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Schneider: "Clinton Felt Your Pain, George Bush Flew Over It" --6/2/2006


1. Schneider: "Clinton Felt Your Pain, George Bush Flew Over It"
CNN's Bill Schneider sounded more like a spokesman for the Democratic Party than a seasoned political analyst during the 4pm EDT hour of Thursday's The Situation Room. Prompted by the mayoral inauguration in New Orleans, Schneider provided a report on the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina and the impact it will have on the 2006 mid-term elections. He opined over a picture of President Bush looking out the window of Air Force One: "The President's image of compassion was shaky to begin with, even though he calls himself a compassionate conservative. Bill Clinton felt your pain. George Bush flew over it." That zinger met with strong approval, not surprisingly, from Schneider's colleague, Jack Cafferty during his "Cafferty File" segment minutes after Schneider's report: "Great line from Bill Schneider. 'Bill Clinton felt your pain. George Bush flew over it.'" AUDIO&VIDEO

2. NYT's Friedman Attacks GM As "Dangerous," Demands Gas Tax Hike
New York Times columnist and best-selling foreign policy author/guru Thomas Friedman appeared on ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday, mostly to address the administration's Iran initiative. But Diane Sawyer also turned to Friedman's harsh, but very green, Wednesday column which began with this sentence: "Is there a company more dangerous to America's future than General Motors?"

3. Soldier Gives His Purple Heart to CBS's Kimberly Dozier
In a Thursday night update on the CBS Evening News on the condition of Kimberly Dozier, the CBS News correspondent seriously injured Monday in Baghdad, Sheila MacVicar reported that a soldier at the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, where Dozier is recovering, gave her his Purple Heart.


Schneider: "Clinton Felt Your Pain, George
Bush Flew Over It"

CNN's Bill Schneider sounded more like a spokesman for the Democratic Party than a seasoned political analyst during the 4pm EDT hour of Thursday's The Situation Room. Prompted by the mayoral inauguration in New Orleans, Schneider provided a report on the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina and the impact it will have on the 2006 mid-term elections. He opined over a picture of President Bush looking out the window of Air


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Force One: "The President's image of compassion was shaky to begin with, even though he calls himself a compassionate conservative. Bill Clinton felt your pain. George Bush flew over it."

That zinger met with strong approval, not surprisingly, from Schneider's colleague, Jack Cafferty during his "Cafferty File" segment minutes after Schneider's report: "Great line from Bill Schneider. 'Bill Clinton felt your pain. George Bush flew over it.'"

[This item, by the MRC's Megan McCormack, was posted late Thursday afternoon, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The Real and Windows Media video, along with MP3 audio, will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert. But to watch or listen in the meantime, go to: newsbusters.org ]

According to Schneider, who filed his June 1 piece from Washington, DC, Katrina cost the apparently "clueless" Bush administration its image of compassion and competence:
"...The Bush administration seemed clueless about the magnitude of the disaster."
Soledad O'Brien, CNN's American Morning host, September 2, 2005: "When yesterday did you become aware?"
Michael Brown, FEMA Director, on the CNN show: "I think it was yesterday morning when we first found out about it. We were just as surprised as everybody else."
Schneider, over CNN poll numbers showing the percent who said "President Bush can manage government effectively," fell from 53 to 43 percent between July and October, 2005: "Result? President Bush lost his carefully cultivated image of competence. The President's image of compassion was shaky to begin with, even though he calls himself a compassionate conservative. Bill Clinton felt your pain. George Bush flew over it [picture of Bush looking out window of Air Force One].
"Historically, in midterm elections, the President's party pays for the President's sins. A lot of voters see last year's hurricanes as one of a growing list of problems that government has failed to solve. The result is mounting anti-incumbent sentiment. Only a third of Americans say they would like to see most members of Congress re-elected. Issues like Iraq and immigration are likely to bring out protest votes on the left and on the right. Anti-war. Anti-amnesty. Could there be a protest vote over the handling of hurricane damage? Possibly."

To bolster his last statement, Schneider featured a soundbite from an unidentified protester at an anti-Bush demonstration: "The result of the negligence of this administration, of it's non-concern for people who are poor, for people who are black, for people who are brown, for people of color."

NYT's Friedman Attacks GM As "Dangerous,"
Demands Gas Tax Hike

New York Times columnist and best-selling foreign policy author/guru Thomas Friedman appeared on ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday, mostly to address the administration's Iran initiative. But the MRC's Brian Boyd also noticed Diane Sawyer turned to Friedman's harsh, but very green, Wednesday column which began with this sentence: "Is there a company more dangerous to America's future than General Motors?"

[This item, by the MRC's Tim Graham, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The June 1 exchange about GM between Sawyer in Manhattan and Friedman in Washington, DC:

Diane Sawyer: "Boy, did you cause a stir yesterday with your column saying that it's time for Toyota to take over General Motors because General Motors has offered what to subsidize gas for people who in effect buy gas-guzzlers?"
Tom Friedman: "Yeah, well, General Motors started a program of $1.99 a gallon gasoline in California and Florida for people who will buy certain GM cars including a Hummer, a 6,400 pound car that gets what, 9 miles per gallon. At a time when we're in a war on terrorism, with people funded and fueled by our energy purchases, I don't think that's real smart. I've got a documentary coming out on this on the 24th of June on the Discovery Channel [plug, plug!] and I think this is the biggest strategic issue facing us today."
Sawyer: "But you're really tough, because you say that there will be more soldiers in Humvees in the Middle East if there are more people in Hummers here in the United States. And you're even saying that there should be a tax that takes gasoline prices up to $3.50 to cut this addiction."
Friedman: "Diane, the only way we're going to get, we're going to break what President Bush called our addiction to oil is if we price oil at a level that people are not going to want to buy these gas guzzlers and companies therefore aren't going to make these gas guzzlers. You know, the fact is we never can tell the truth to an Iran or any of these other Middle East potentates unless we end this addiction. Addicts never tell the truth to their pushers."

Friedman's column lectured for a gas tax hike:
"Not only is GM subsidizing its gas-guzzlers, but not a single member of Congress, liberal or conservative, will stand up and demand what most of them know: that we must have some kind of gasoline tax to compel Americans to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles and to compel Detroit to make them.
"Where are the presidential aspirants on this issue? I have yet to hear John McCain, Mitt Romney, George Allen, Al Gore or Hillary Clinton support at least a $3.50 floor price for gasoline, so that it will never fall below that level and the alternatives can really flower and spread...
"President Bush remarked the other day how agonizingly tough it is for a president to send young Americans to war. Yet, he's ready to do that, but he's not ready to look Detroit or Congress in the eye and demand that we put in place the fuel-efficiency legislation that will weaken the forces of theocracy and autocracy that are killing our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan '€" because it might cost Republicans votes or campaign contributions.
"This whole thing is a travesty. We can't keep asking young Americans to make the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan if we as a society are not ready to make even the most minimal sacrifice to help them."

For Friedman's May 31 column in full, check this blog page: www.smirkingchimp.com

Soldier Gives His Purple Heart to CBS's
Kimberly Dozier

In a Thursday night update on the CBS Evening News on the condition of Kimberly Dozier, the CBS News correspondent seriously injured Monday in Baghdad, Sheila MacVicar reported that a soldier at the U.S. military hospital in Germany, where Dozier is recovering, gave her his Purple Heart. From Landstuhl, MacVicar related:
"Something happened that surprised and moved all of us this afternoon. A young American soldier came up to Kimberly's brother, Michael, and told him that he'd met Kimberly in Iraq two years ago after he'd been wounded with shrapnel in his arm. The soldier had his Purple Heart with him, and he told Michael that he'd now like Kimberly to have it because, he said, she suffered as much as any soldiers. That Purple Heart is now beside Kimberly's bed."

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

For a text version of MacVicar's report, with a pre-injury picture of Dozier, go to: www.cbsnews.com

-- Brent Baker