2. Time's Sometimes-Gooey Cover: 'Hillary's Time to Take the Lead'
3. ABC's Shipman: Bush's Iraq Policy 'More Unpopular by the Day'
4. Criticizing NFL, Gumbel Gratuitously Hits Cheney's 'Demeanor'
5. "Top Ten Signs Osama Bin Laden Is in Love with You"
Editor's Note: CyberAlerts have been sporadic recently (I sent the NQ text to e-mail subscribers on Tuesday, but nothing went out on Wednesday) because I've been dealing with a health situation which has made it difficult for me to read, eat or to sleep (hard to when you can't close an eye), and too impaired to drive. After some hours in a hospital and then at a doctor's office -- where I was prescribed what I trust are some good drugs to alleviate my condition -- I hope to be on the mend soon, but I'm told the condition can last for weeks and I still may get worse before I get better. I had to work in slow-motion to put together this CyberAlert. WebMD's description of my annoying affliction, "Bell's palsy," which some MRC colleagues in our DVR recording operation diagnosed before I ever saw a physician: www.webmd.com - Brent Baker
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, in a short item about a gas station in Illinois which accidentally sold unleaded fuel for 30 cents per gallon, anchor Brian Williams sarcastically relayed a take that made him sound like a lame left-wing comedian: "The pumps were quickly shut down amid fears that oil company profits might plummet. But for one brief, shining moment, we the consumers won. It was like the old days before you needed to refinance your home to refill your tank."
[This item is adopted from a Wednesday morning posting, by Scott Whitlock, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters: newsbusters.org ]
According to New York magazine, Brian Williams makes $4 million a year: newyorkmetro.com
Sounding a bit like a radio DJ dedicating a song, Williams also announced that the story was "for all those who quietly suffer at the gas pump every day across this country, watching those numbers fly by."
Williams isn't the first multi-millionaire NBC News personality to complain about the draining effect of gas prices. A year ago, Katie Couric, on the August 15, 2005 edition of Today, discussed the financial strain that fuel costs supposedly put on her:
Co-host Matt Lauer: "Pain at the pump. Gas prices are going sky high. I paid $2.94 a gallon over the weekend to fill up the car."
For more, check the August 16, 2005 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
For a video clip: newsbusters.org
One can only hope that Couric's new job at CBS allows her to fill up her tank without resorting to bank loans.
A transcript of the August 22 NBC Nightly News segment read by Williams: "This next item here is for all those who quietly suffer at the gas pump every day across this country, watching those numbers fly by. The scene was the Charles Street Stop-and-Go in Rockford, Illinois. The time, yesterday morning. The price at the pump for medium-grade, unleaded, $3.09 a gallon. But then a computer glitch somehow moved the decimal point on the price one place to the left. That turned the $3 gas into 30-cent gas. The attendant noticed something might be wrong when a huge line formed outside the gas station. The pumps were quickly shut down amid fears that oil company profits might plummet. But for one brief, shining moment, we the consumers won. It was like the old days before you needed to refinance your home to refill your tank."
Time's cover story on Hillary by Karen Tumulty is predictable, largely channeling anonymous Clinton aides and strategists about her forthcoming campaign for the White House. There are no conservatives quoted. It only gets unpredictable when Tumulty turns the corner to acknowledge (mean-spirited) conservatives. Typically, in her starry-eyed reflection on the "outsize status of both Clintons," and how her race will be "brutal," she exaggerates the number of anti-Clinton tomes by a factor of five or ten, but she surprises by actually naming the forthcoming Jonah Goldberg book, as well as the Brent Bozell-Tim Graham media-bias packet.
[This item, by Tim Graham, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsNusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Tumulty wrote in the August 28 cover story:
Amazon's page for the Bozell/Graham book: www.amazon.com
And the closing paragraph:
For the August 28 cover package, "The Presidential Ambitions of Hillary Clinton," go to: www.time.com
ABC's Claire Shipman appeared eager to trot out more Democratic hyperbole on President Bush's handling of Iraq during Tuesday's Good Morning America. Setting up Shipman's piece, GMA anchor Robin Roberts reported on the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, which found President Bush's overall job approval rating up five points, since a July survey, to 42 percent. Minutes later, discussing the President's stance on the war in Iraq, Shipman asserted that during his Monday news conference, the President "offered no real softening of a policy that grows more unpopular by the day, even among Republicans."
An examination of the same USA Today/Gallup poll that Roberts reported, however, shows that 36 percent of those polled approve of President Bush's handling of Iraq. That is actually a one percent increase since USA Today/Gallup last measured public opinion on the issue in July. For USA Today's August 22 article on the poll: www.usatoday.com
While still low, the poll shows that public opinion on the President's handling of Iraq is, if anything, holding steady, not growing "more unpopular by the day." This appears to be another demonstration of the liberal media going beyond the facts to put their own spin on the war: bad for President Bush, bad for Republicans, bad for America.
Relevant portions from the 7:15am EDT, August 22 report follows:
Robin Roberts: "On a day when he ordinarily would be vacationing, President Bush is hard at work today, in overdrive, some would say. He is heading to Minnesota to campaign, part of a blitz to boost Republican candidates around the nation, and he's got some wind in his sails. A USA Today/Gallup poll, out this morning, says the President's approval ratings, 42 percent, his highest rating in some six months..."
Claire Shipman: "...It's an unusual sight, the President holding forth in the briefing room in mid-August. With no news to trumpet, the grim reality of Iraq became the centerpiece...And he was typically testy on that subject, especially as regards critics."
Like a negative political ad for the opposition, as Shipman spoke her two sentences about Bush refusing to soften his policy, his picture transformed to black and white and zoomed in, crowding out the top of his head.
[This item was posted, with video, Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The audio and video will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, to watch the Real or Windows Media clip, or to listen to the MP3, go to: newsbusters.org ]
I was on vacation last week and only got to record and watch the August 15 Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel when HBO replayed it on Wednesday, August 23.
In February, just before the Winter Olympics, Gumbel used his HBO show to urge his viewers "not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention." Text and video in the February 16 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
Then in June, while encouraging Americans to watch and appreciate World Cup soccer, Gumbel slipped in a personal/political slam: "I know that in soccer they score about as often as Ann Coulter makes sense." Text and video in the June 22 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
For more on the NFL's reaction to Gumbel's criticism of Tagliabue, check the August 22 Washington Post story, "Tagliabue May Face One Final Issue: Gumbel Could Be Ousted for Comments," at: www.washingtonpost.com
Bryant Gumbel's commentary at the end of the August 15 edition of HBO's Real Sports, which will air several more times this month, an "open letter" to incoming NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:
HBO's page for Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: www.hbo.com
From the August 21 Late Show with David Letterman, prompted by a book by a mistress/sex slave to Osama bin Laden who revealed the terrorist was obsessed with Whitney Houston and wanted to marry her, the "Top Ten Signs Osama Bin Laden Is in Love with You." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com
10. He carved your initials in an infidel
9. Always gets the camel washed and waxed before he picks you up
8. Never forgets to release an Al-Jazeera video on your birthday
7. You say you enjoy Barry Manilow -- next day he sends you Barry Manilow's ear
6. Orders 1 goat milk, 2 straws
5. Says only thing hotter than your body is his scorching hatred for the Zionists
4. Get a romantic greeting card that reads, "You jihad me at 'Hello'"
3. He lets you call him "Ossie"
2. New intelligence reports put his whereabouts at Zales
1. He says every time he thinks of you, there's an uprising in his pants
Terror Leader's Greatest Love Of All
Osama bin Laden was obsessed with Whitney Houston, a new book claims. The al Qaeda chief even wanted to marry the American singer, according to Kola Boof's autobiography. The Sudanese poet and novelist says she was kept against her will as bin Laden's mistress in 1996.
Excerpts of her autobiography, Diary Of A Lost Girl, have been published in Harper's magazine.
"He told me that Whitney Houston was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen," it reads.
"He said he wanted to give Whitney Houston a mansion that he owned in a suburb of Khartoum....
Bin Laden would also speak constantly about "how beautiful she (Houston) is, what a nice smile she has, how truly Islamic she is."...
Boof also claims the al Qaeda supremo would "ramble on" about his favourite TV shows, The Wonder Years, Miami Vice and MacGyver.
END of Excerpt
For the article in full: uk.news.yahoo.com
-- Brent Baker