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Schieffer Calls Rather a 'Great Reporter,' Williams Salutes Him --6/21/2006


1. Schieffer Calls Rather a 'Great Reporter,' Williams Salutes Him
The CBS and NBC anchors signed off Tuesday night by delivering glowing tributes to Dan Rather, who officially departed from CBS News earlier in the day, with CBS's Bob Schieffer calling him a "great reporter" and Brian Williams offering him "a tip of the Stetson." Schieffer touted Rather's journalistic skills: "When a story broke, he wanted to be there....That is the mark of all great reporters, that is what I most admired and will always remember about him. Dan Rather was one of the great reporters of his time." Williams closed the NBC Nightly News with a personal tribute to Rather's career, ending: "As the man himself has been known to say many times and on similar occasions, a tip of the Stetson to you and we'll be seeing you down the road." On the controversy which led to Rather's downfall, Williams asserted: "He was forced to resign 15 months ago after what has since been dubbed 'Memogate,' a story about President Bush's National Guard service, for which Rather later apologized." Unmentioned by Williams: How Rather has yet to concede the story was false or based on forged documents. Last September, Rather declared: "The story is accurate." AUDIO&VIDEO

2. On Today, NBC's Campbell Brown Yucks It Up With Bush-Bashing Poet
NBC's Campbell Brown couldn't contain her laughter Tuesday morning as The Nation magazine's liberal columnist Calvin Trillin poked fun at George W. Bush. Promoting his new collection of poems, A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme, Trillin cracked up Today show co-host Brown with such old poetic knee-slappers as: "Obliviously on he sails with marks not quite as good as Quayle's." Brown went on to praise Trillin's latest work as "great stuff" and predicted: "It's going to be a hilarious book." Brown even urged Trillin to recite verses from A Heckuva Job.

3. Dan Harris Touts Feminist Church Leaders, Mangles Catholic Angle
ABC's World News Tonight on Monday touted the election of the new female Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA as a "milestone" and a "significant advance for women in religion." To the media elite, it is a political victory for feminism, and the religious angle is barely worth mentioning. ABC reporter Dan Harris trumpeted Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori for denting the "stained glass ceiling," but said nothing about her theological beliefs, including her expressing the liberal view on CNN that homosexuality "is not a sin." The battle over gay clergy and "marriage," not female leaders, is the real battle in the Anglican Communion. Harris mangled the facts when he turned to claiming "a grandmother in Pennsylvania will be ordained as a Catholic priest...one the Vatican will not condone." So if the Vatican will not recognize the ordination, is it an ordination?

4. Ann Coulter Hails MRC Archive as She Cites the Media's Incivility
You read it here first. In Ann Coulter's nationally syndicated column last week on angry reaction to criticism and attacks on the "Jersey Girls" in her new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, she recounted an attack on her by NBC News which CyberAlert had detailed and she hailed the MRC's archive. Coulter cited how NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams aired a "report on 'civility' in America, which has apparently been horribly despoiled by my book." She also revealed how "in precisely five minutes on the Media Research Center's Web site, I turned up some random examples of the sort of civility we got from the MSM before the alternative media allowed conservatives to be heard, too."

5. Connie Chung, Dancing in Evening Gown, 'Sings' Goodbye on MSNBC
It's not especially newsworthy that Connie Chung and Maury Povich's Saturday program on MSNBC, Weekends with Maury and Connie, which debuted in January, has been canceled. Perhaps no more newsworthy, but definitely more amusing, is that on the show's final episode this past weekend, Chung, as she writhed on top of a piano and danced around it, bade her audience farewell in song, to the tune of "Thanks for the Memories." Then she collapsed on the floor. Watch the video. AUDIO&VIDEO


Schieffer Calls Rather a 'Great Reporter,'
Williams Salutes Him

The CBS and NBC anchors signed off Tuesday night by delivering glowing tributes to Dan Rather, who officially departed from CBS News earlier in the day, with CBS's Bob Schieffer calling him a "great reporter" and Brian Williams offering him "a tip of the Stetson." Schieffer, who succeeded Rather as anchor of the CBS Evening News, exuded: "I'm going to miss Dan. He's been a part of my life for more than 40 years." Schieffer touted Rather's journalistic skills: "When a story broke, he wanted to be there. He thought that was the only way to report a story. That is the mark of all great reporters, that is what I most admired and will always remember about him. Dan Rather was one of the great reporters of his time."

Williams closed the NBC Nightly News with a personal tribute to Rather's career, ending: "As the man himself has been known to say many times and on similar occasions, a tip of the Stetson to you and we'll be seeing you down the road." On the controversy which led to Rather's downfall, Williams asserted: "He was forced to resign 15 months ago after what has since been dubbed 'Memogate,' a story about President Bush's National Guard service, for which Rather later apologized." Unmentioned by Williams: How Rather has yet to concede the story was false or based on forged documents. Last September, Rather declared: "The story is accurate."

ABC anchor Charles Gibson held Rather's departure to a short item he read sans any fawning comments about Rather.

[This item was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

# CBS Evening News, June 20. Before Schieffer's closing comments, viewers saw a fawning tribute to Rather from Anthony Mason who declared it was an "honor" to work with Rather. Then Schieffer opined:
"And just a personal word, I'm going to miss Dan. He's been a part of my life for more than 40 years. We first met at the assassination of John Kennedy when I was a young newspaper reporter. We crossed paths again in Vietnam, and when I joined the CBS News Washington bureau as a rookie reporter in 1969, he was the most famous reporter in America, the White House correspondent for CBS News, but he made me feel welcome. His way was not always my way, and we did not always agree, but we became friends along the way because we shared a great love for news. When a story broke, he wanted to be there. He thought that was the only way to report a story. That is the mark of all great reporters, that is what I most admired and will always remember about him. Dan Rather was one of the great reporters of his time. Good luck, Dan. All the best. I'm Bob Schieffer, good night."


# NBC Nightly News. Brian Williams ended with this personal commentary:
"Tonight a long and very public relationship has come to an end in our business of television news. Dan Rather is leaving CBS News after 44 years with the network after he and executives at CBS failed to agree on a new contract. Dan first became known to television viewers, and come to find out his future bosses at CBS, while covering Hurricane Carla. He was young and intrepid and standing knee-deep in water. From there, his career sped off to Watergate with stops along the way in places like Vietnam. Upon the retirement of the iconic Walter Cronkite, Dan took the anchor chair and held it for 24 years. He was forced to resign 15 months ago after what has since been dubbed 'Memogate,' a story about President Bush's National Guard service, for which Rather later apologized. His next move has yet to be announced officially. Though he said today, '€˜it just isn't in me to sit around doing nothing.' As the man himself has been known to say many times and on similar occasions, a tip of the Stetson to you and we'll be seeing you down the road."

As for how Rather "apologized," that obfuscates his continued denial about the fake documents which drove his National Guard story and his refusal to acknowledge his skewed reporting. A late September MRC CyberAlert item, with video, "Rather: Bush Guard Memo Story 'Accurate,' Never Proven Not So," recounted:

In an interview with Marvin Kalb carried live by C-SPAN from the National Press Club on Monday night [September 26], Dan Rather made quite clear that he believes in the accuracy of his Bush National Guard story based on what everyone else realizes were fabricated memos. Rather argued that "one supporting pillar of the story, albeit an important one, one supporting pillar was brought into question. To this day no one has proven whether it was what it purported to be or not." Kalb pressed

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for clarification: "I believe you just said that you think the story is accurate?" Rather affirmed: "The story is accurate."
Rather soon maintained that the public recognizes the "hidden hand pressure" politicians exert on media executives and so "they understood that what we reported as the central facts of the story and there were new insights into the President's, were correct and to this day, by the way have not been denied which is always the test of whether," and he moved on before finishing his sentence. Later, talking about using "courage" as a sign-off in the mid-1980s, Rather rued: "There's part of me, it says, you know, 'damn I wish I hadn't caved, I wish I'd stuck with it.'" That prompted Kalb to ask: "Do you think your network showed courage last fall?" Rather answered by remaining silent for seven seconds.

The September 27 CyberAlert provided a full rundown and a video clip, which will be added to the posted version of this item, but in the meantime: www.mrc.org

For the MRC's extensive archive of Rather's liberal bias from over the years, check our index page, "The Dan Rather File: Decades of Liberal Media Bias," which features video of the infamous 1988 encounter with VP George H.W. Bush and has links to several compilations of quotes and videos, such as "Liberal Bias by Topic," "Liberal Bias by Year," "Journalists Praise Rather and Rather Defends His Discredited Story," "Dan's Downfall: Forged Documents," "'Corny in Kansas' Rather-isms" and "Rather Lame Denials of Bias." It's at: www.mediaresearch.org

On Today, NBC's Campbell Brown Yucks
It Up With Bush-Bashing Poet

NBC's Campbell Brown couldn't contain her laughter Tuesday morning as The Nation magazine's liberal columnist Calvin Trillin poked fun at George W. Bush. Promoting his new collection of poems, A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme, Trillin cracked up Today show co-host Brown with such old poetic knee-slappers as: "Obliviously on he sails with marks not quite as good as Quayle's." Brown went on to praise Trillin's latest work as "great stuff" and predicted: "It's going to be a hilarious book." Brown even urged Trillin to recite verses from A Heckuva Job.

[This item, by the MRC's Geoff Dickens, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

She prompted him: "But the new, the title of your book came from what you, perhaps feel, is the President's most memorable line thus far?"
Trillin: "I think it's gonna stick with him in the way that, 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,' has stuck with Franklin D. Roosevelt. I think, 'Brownie you're doing a heckuva job,' to the FEMA chief Michael Brown, the former Commissioner of Judges in the International Arabian Horses-"
Brown: "In the middle of Hurricane Katrina."
Trillin: "Yes I think that will be what's linked with him throughout history."
Brown: "Read from the book for us. I know you've got a little section here that's actually some verse you wrote sort of after that, a follow to Brownie's 'Heckuva job' comment."
Trillin: "Yeah. The, the, well I guessed you'd call the title poem is Further Words By Bush To Michael Brown. 'A qualified guy, I wish I had added. Your resume super even if padded. We wanted the best to lead FEMA's forces and who would know more than a man who knows horses. You saw that the storm was more than some showers and sent off a memo in four or five hours. You found out the life in the Dome was not super and only a day after Anderson Cooper. A heckuva job, you know how to lead 'em, we hope to award you the Medal of Freedom.'"
Brown, laughing: "It is, it's very funny the way you write but it's also, there is anger here. I mean is that what inspires you? Is that how you choose the material? The things that you get really mad about?"

In teasing the segment at 8:30am, Brown, along with Matt Lauer, professed to be fans of Trillin's:

Brown: "We've also got bestselling author Calvin Trillin. He's got a new book. He is taking poetic license poking some fun at President Bush and the Bush administration so he's gonna be here and he's always quite funny."
Matt Lauer: "He is."

The following is the entire interview with Trillin:

Campbell Brown: "Bestselling writer Calvin Trillin isn't a big fan of the Bush administration and he doesn't think there's a lot of rhyme or reason to what they do so he is using rhyme once again to take on the powers-that-be and he has just released a collection of his poems called A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme. And Calvin Trillin, good morning to you."
Calvin Trillin: "Good morning."
Brown: "So this is a follow-up to your 2004 bestseller which was Obliviously On He Sails: The Bush Administration in Rhyme."
Trillin: "Right."
Brown: "So I'm guessing that means it, there was no shortage of material here for you, huh?"
Trillin: "No actually Obliviously On He Sails was half of a poem, that title. It was a poem I wrote during the 2000 campaign when George Bush's college transcript was revealed and the whole poem was 'Obliviously on he sails with marks not quite as good as Quayle's.'
Brown, laughing: "Okay."
Trillin: "But now I find myself sort of nostalgic for Quayle."
Brown, laughing: "Yeah."
Trillin: "The whole George H.W. Bush administration fills me with nostalgia and I wonder how I could-"
Brown: "Why, why is that?"
Trillin: "Well I, I mean people like Brent Scowcroft I really feel terrible saying anything unkind about him as he was dozing through those meetings because he's the one who said that going to Baghdad to depose Saddam Hussein would make us an occupying power in a hostile country. I now think of him as my ally, my compadre, my homey."
Brown, laughing: "And what a change. I mean it's amazing-"
Trillin: "Yes."
Brown: "-that in just a few years your view could turn like that."
Trillin: "I'm even getting sort of nostalgic for John Sununu who started my career as a deadline poet."
Brown: "He started your career! Because you loved his name so much."
Trillin: "I loved the name and I, and I did a poem called, 'If you knew what Sununu.' He was harmless. He didn't do anything."
Brown: "Explain to people what a deadline poet is. They may not know. Most people don't really put it in that context."
Trillin: "A deadline poet, unlike poets who can just mosey around waiting for a sunset that happens to inspire them but deadline poet has to come up with a poem every week, every issue of, in my case The Nation. There are a couple of other deadline poets."
Brown: "Yeah."
Trillin: "And so we're faced with, of course, deadlines and we're faced with the irritating habit of people with names that have no rhyme and meter going into public office which I object to. I don't think it should be allowed."
Brown: "But the new, the title of your book came from what you, perhaps feel, is the President's most memorable line thus far?"
Trillin: "I think it's gonna stick with him in the way that, 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,' has stuck with Franklin D. Roosevelt. I think, 'Brownie you're doing a heckuva job,' to the FEMA chief Michael Brown, the former Commissioner of Judges in the International Arabian Horses-"
Brown: "In the middle of Hurricane Katrina."
Trillin: "Yes I think that will be what's linked with him throughout history."
Brown: "Read from the book for us. I know you've got a little section here that's actually some verse you wrote sort of after that, a follow to Brownie's 'Heckuva job' comment."
Trillin: "Yeah. The, the, well I guessed you'd call the title poem is Further Words By Bush To Michael Brown. 'A qualified guy, I wish I had added. Your resume super even if padded. We wanted the best to lead FEMA's forces and who would know more than a man who knows horses. You saw that the storm was more than some showers and sent off a memo in four or five hours. You found out the life in the Dome was not super and only a day after Anderson Cooper. A heckuva job, you know how to lead 'em, we hope to award you the Medal of Freedom.'"
Brown, laughing: "It is, it's very funny the way you write but it's also, there is anger here. I mean is that what inspires you? Is that how you choose the material? The things that you get really mad about?"
Trillin: "Unless, unless it doesn't rhyme, then I decide well I wasn't that angry after all. I'm sure it will come out alright."
Brown: "This comes from your father we should say too. Yes?"
Trillin: "Yes my father had a restaurant for a while and put a poem on the menu every lunchtime, a couplet, and he was more interested in rhyme than meter. And actually the book is dedicated to him. And I say he could write such couplets as: 'Each your food gently said Mom to little son Roddy. If you don't I will break every bone in your body.'"
Brown: "Beautiful words!"
Trillin: "Very sensitive man, my dad."
Brown: "Brings a tear to your eye."
Trillin: "Right, right. Very poetic."
Brown: "It's great stuff. Well Calvin Trillin it's going to be a hilarious book, I'm sure. A follow-up to your previous one. Great to have you here. We really appreciate it."
Trillin: "Thank you."

Dan Harris Touts Feminist Church Leaders,
Mangles Catholic Angle

ABC's World News Tonight on Monday touted the election of the new female Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA as a "milestone" and a "significant advance for women in religion." To the media elite, it is a political victory for feminism, and the religious angle is barely worth mentioning. ABC reporter Dan Harris trumpeted Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori for denting the "stained glass ceiling," but said nothing about her theological beliefs, including her expressing the liberal view on CNN that homosexuality "is not a sin." The battle over gay clergy and "marriage," not female leaders, is the real battle in the Anglican Communion.

Harris mangled the facts when he turned to claiming "a grandmother in Pennsylvania will be ordained as a Catholic priest...one the Vatican will not condone." So if the Vatican will not recognize the ordination, is it an ordination? In fact, Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) excommunicated women claiming to be priests. By the logic employed by Harris, if I decided to buy a microphone and a TV camera, and I put ABC logos on them, am I an ABC reporter? Or does ABC think I don't need to be officially recognized as an ABC reporter before I go around town claiming to be ABC?

[This item is adopted from a Tuesday afternoon posting by Tim Graham, on the MRC's NewsBusters blog: newsbusters.org ]

The Catholic League's Bill Donahue took off after ABC with characteristic gusto for mangling the facts:
"Some at ABC News are obviously hyperventilating over the election of the first female presiding bishop in the Episcopal Church, and that no doubt led them to package this story with a bogus account about women being ordained as Catholic priests. Joan Clark Houk, and seven other women, will hold an 'ordination' ceremony on a boat in Pittsburgh on July 31, but no one save mad feminists will give it any credence. Indeed, this happens every day in the asylum: some actually think they're the Pope.
"ABC News also errs in thinking that this make-believe game has never been played before. In 1981, AP picked up on a story by the National Catholic Reporter which said a woman 'has been ordained and has been performing the duties of a priest for the past year.' In 1996, Catholic World Report ran a story on a meeting of the Women's Ordination Conference (which supports next month's game) wherein four women dressed as Catholic bishops and then 'solemnly blessed the audience as they made their way to a stage that was filled with dancing women.' And just last month, Victoria Rue, wearing a white robe, appeared before a crowd in San Jose and declared, 'I am a Roman Catholic woman priest.'
"In other words, this madness is old hat. Nonetheless, I am asking David Westin at ABC News for an on-air clarification of this bogus story."

That's online at: www.catholicleague.org

Here's the transcript of the June 19 story, to give you the complete feminist flavor:

Anchor Charles Gibson: "It's been a milestone decision, taken by the Episcopal Church, as Katherine Jefferts Schori has been elected to head the group. She becomes the first woman to lead a branch of the Anglican Communion, which has 77 million members worldwide. Schori's appointment is a significant advance for women in religion. It is also controversial. As ABC's Dan Harris explains."

Harris: "Bishop Jefferts Schori says her election to the top job in the Episcopal Church is a dent in the so-called 'stained glass ceiling,' centuries of male domination."
Rt. Reverend Katherine Jefferts Schori: "My election to this position says that the bishops of this church are able to make decisions without regard to the gender of the person being considered, which is what we're all hoping for across the board."
Harris: But that is not what everyone's hoping for across the board. Bishop Jefferts Schori's election threatens to split the episcopal church in the U.S., And across the world."
Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh: "It breaks my heart. I was born into this church. And what this church has done has embraced a revolutionary agenda, rather than a part of mainstream Christianity."
Harris: "Starting in the early '70s, as the women's movement gained steam, more women began entering the ministry. Presbyterians, Episcopalians, United Methodists and American Baptists now regularly ordain women. But that's a relatively small percentage of American Christians. Most evangelical denominations, as well as the Catholic Church, steadfastly refuse to ordain women. Nevertheless, in late July, Joan Clark Hauk, a grandmother from Pennsylvania, will be ordained as a Catholic priest, along with seven other women. It will be the first ceremony of its kind in this country, and one the Vatican does not condone."
Hauk: "I am asking the church to turn away from the sin of discriminating against women and blaming it on God."
Harris: "Bishop Jefferts Schori is quietly confident she can win converts."
Schori: "I've discovered that one can build relationships with almost anyone who will talk with you."
Harris: "To those pushing up against the stained glass ceiling, one critic recommends the famous prayer, 'God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.' For some Christian women, however, that's just not good enough. Dan Harris, ABC News, New York."

Ann Coulter Hails MRC Archive as She
Cites the Media's Incivility

You read it here first. In Ann Coulter's nationally syndicated column last week on angry reaction to criticism and attacks on the "Jersey Girls" in her new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, she recounted an attack on her by NBC News which CyberAlert had detailed and she hailed the MRC's archive. Coulter cited how NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams aired a "report on 'civility' in America, which has apparently been horribly despoiled by my book." She also revealed how "in precisely five minutes on the Media Research Center's Web site, I turned up some random examples of the sort of civility we got from the MSM before the alternative media allowed conservatives to be heard, too."

An excerpt from Coulter's June 15 column:

....The establishment's current obsession with me is the MSM's last stand. They've deployed the whole lineup of yesterday's power brokers against me, and all they've accomplished is to make my book the No. 1 book in the country. In other words, their efforts to defeat me have just created more people like me. Now who's stuck in an unwinnable quagmire, losers?

Take note, conservatives: No American need ever fear the liberal establishment again. It's all over but the sobbing.

Back when there were only three TV stations and no Internet, talk radio or Fox News, it used to be so easy for the MSM to destroy reputations -- Joe McCarthy, Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, Robert Bork, Dan Quayle, Oliver North, Clarence Thomas, Pat Buchanan, Newt Gingrich, Paula Jones and Linda Tripp, to name a few of the MSM's prey.

Liberals aren't having so much fun now that the rabbit has the gun.

Last Wednesday, Brian Williams began the "NBC Nightly News" -- currently watched exclusively by old ladies in nursing homes -- with a report on "civility" in America, which has apparently been horribly despoiled by my book. Williams complained that the "explosion in our media, our deafening national noise level and our changing mores have made this a much different era in America than the one our parents grew up in."

Oh, the civility of having only three TV stations back in our parents' day! It was even more civil in the Soviet Union where there was only one TV station.

In precisely five minutes on the Media Research Center's Web site, I turned up some random examples of the sort of civility we got from the MSM before the alternative media allowed conservatives to be heard, too. These are all-new quotes I've never even seen before. There are about a hundred more in my book "Slander."

# On Ronald Reagan: "I predict historians are going to be totally baffled by how the American people fell in love with this man (Ronald Reagan) and followed him the way we did." -- CBS News White House reporter Lesley Stahl on NBC's "Later With Bob Costas," Jan. 11, 1989

# On Pat Buchanan: "On the road I travel to the mall in Wheaton, Md., two white men severely beat two black women Tuesday. One was doused with lighter fluid, and her attacker tried to set her afire. Both men cursed the women for being black. I couldn't help but shudder: That could have been me. This heinous act happened only hours after Pat Buchanan voters gave him 30 percent of the vote in the Maryland GOP presidential primary." -- USA Today columnist and former "Inquiry" page editor Barbara Reynolds, March 6, 1992

# On Lee Atwater: "(Lee Atwater) was a scoundrel, one of the darkest figures to dominate our recent politics, a man with a comprehensively cynical view of his fellow creatures....He made it in the most improbable way, learning to dress at Brooks Brothers and keep his funky white trash wickedness too....In running campaigns that played on racial divisions, he was something worse than a bigot; he was a man who pretended to be a bigot in hope that it would sell." -- Washington Post op-ed by reporter Marjorie Williams, March 30, 1991

# On Newt Gingrich: "So how do you put an end to what Jim Wright called 'mindless cannibalism'? Do you put a muzzle on Newt Gingrich?" -- "CBS This Morning" co-host Kathleen Sullivan, June 1, 1989

END of Excerpt

For Coulter's column in full as posted by Jewish World Review: www.jewishworldreview.com

The June 7 CyberAlert recounted: Ann Coulter and Al Franken don't have much in common, but both do enjoy making very provocative comments, laced with edgy humor which appeals to those on their side of the spectrum and conveys an underlining political point. But as the MRC's Geoff Dickens noticed after watching Tuesday's Today, Matt Lauer has two different sets of standards for the politically provocative authors. If you are on the left he laughs with you, if you are on the right he slams you. On the June 6 Today, an outraged Lauer read from Coulter's new book Godless: The Church of Liberalism, and was particularly upset by her critique of the 9/11 widows: "These broads are millionaires lionized on TV and in articles about them reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' death so much.'" Lauer demanded: "So if you lose a husband you no longer have the right to have a political point of view?" (In fact, Today in particular trumpeted Bush-bashing widows to the exclusion of other viewpoints.) But last October Lauer laughed when Franken asserted that "George H.W. Bush, the President's father, said...that outing a CIA agent is treason. I agree. So I think that Rove and Libby will be executed."

For more and video: www.mrc.org

The June 8 CyberAlert relayed: At a time when left-wing Bush-haters regularly call the President a "liar" and a killer, ABC and NBC on Wednesday night pegged stories to the controversy over Ann Coulter's criticism of the very political 9/11 widows, with NBC anchor Brian Williams adding a nice touch by harkening back to Joe McCarthy as he promised a look at "why some are now asking, 'Have you no shame?'" But while the NBC Nightly News focused solely on Coulter, on ABC's World News Tonight Jake Tapper suggested "our democracy has always been messy and vulgar" and he cited some anti-Bush slams. The opening teaser from Williams: "And is it crossing the line? A conservative author's attack on 9/11 widows. This time, has the debate in this country just gone too far?" Williams set up the last story of his newscast by pleading: "Just when you think it seems like there are no limits on anything, someone comes along and makes a comment that goes over the line." Reporter Mike Taibbi turned to the media's favorite conservative-basher, David Gergen, to answer whether Coulter had "gone too far?" See: www.mrc.org

Connie Chung, Dancing in Evening Gown,
'Sings' Goodbye on MSNBC

It's not especially newsworthy that Connie Chung and Maury Povich's Saturday program on MSNBC, Weekends with Maury and Connie, which debuted in January, has been canceled. Perhaps no more newsworthy, but definitely more amusing, is that on the show's final episode this past weekend, Chung, as she writhed on top of a piano and danced around it, bade her audience farewell in song, to the tune of "Thanks for the Memories." Then she collapsed on the floor.


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Monday's New York Post, in a story headlined "Connie Croaks Adieu," printed some of her lyrics:

We came to do a show for very little dough

By little, I mean I could make more working on skid row

That's cable TV.

Thanks for the memories

This half a year flew by

That Maury, what a guy

Instead of asking: Who's the daddy? He could talk Dubai

How stunned were we all

Thanks for the memories

The thing I love the most

About hubby as co-host

Is all those other anchors were as dull as melba toast

The sparks really flew

Thanks for the memories

Now that the show is through

I've got bigger things to do

But Maury is back weighing in:

Fat babies, how taboo!

He can't get enough.

For the June 19 New York Post article: www.nypost.com

It's painful to watch or hear, but audio and video will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert. In the meantime, it's on the MRC's NewsBusters blog where I added video after Tom Johnson picked up on the buzz following a Drudge posting on Chung's performance: newsbusters.org

Tom suggested: "To be fair, Chung sings better than Elaine Benes danced. That said, watch this and you'll appreciate Bob Hope (not to mention Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys) more than you ever did before."

On the three-minute video, the 2 MB Windows Media file was rendered at a lower quality 81 kbps rate with the Real clip, at 5.4 MB, rendered at the higher 225 kbps quality level.

-- Brent Baker