Appearance Alert!
MRC President Brent Bozell to appear on FNC's Kelly File at 9:20 p.m. EST

Soldiers in Iraq on Anti-Surge Resolution: 'Sick' & 'Treason' --2/14/2007


1. Soldiers in Iraq on Anti-Surge Resolution: 'Sick' & 'Treason'
Of the broadcast network evening newscast stories Tuesday night on the House debate over the non-binding resolution that "disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush...to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq," only ABC's Jake Tapper included the views of soldiers in Iraq. Tapper's report on World News featured soundbites from two Army Sergeants in Ramadi, and both condemned the resolution. First Sergeant Louis Barnum declared: "It makes me sick. I was born and raised a Democrat, but when I see that it just kind of makes me sad." Sergeant Brian Orzechoski went even further: "I don't want to bad-mouth the President at all. I mean, to me it's treason." AUDIO&VIDEO See & Hear the Bias - Audio & Video Clip Archive

2. Romney Is No Obama: CBS Devotes 54 Times More Time to Democrat
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney formally announced Tuesday that he would seek the Republican nomination for President, but one would hardly know it from watching CBS's Early Show. Romney's candidacy received exactly ten seconds worth of coverage Tuesday, following stories on a Utah mall shooting, winter storms, and the ongoing soap opera of Anna Nicole Smith's demise. However, on Saturday, when Illinois Senator Barack Obama announced his candidacy as a Democrat, CBS's Saturday Early Show previewed it by devoting 9 minutes and 9 seconds (549 seconds) to his decision -- a greater than 54:1 advantage.

3. Couric Implies Rampant Sex Discrimination, Touts Feminist Point
On Monday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric asserted a common talking point among feminists, the misleading statistic that women make 76 cents for every dollar earned by a man. As part of a series titled "The American Spirit," Couric profiled Janet Hanson, the founder of a women's networking group called 85 Broads, which is dedicated to helping women get ahead, as Hanson doesn't seem to believe a woman can make it on her own. Couric asserted: "Women earn only 76 cents for every dollar a man earns, and that really hasn't changed much over the last 30 years. Why?" Hanson explained: "Women have to learn how to become better negotiators for themselves, which is hard to do. So they need to see other women doing that successfully, and the whole mission behind this network is that women cannot succeed if they don't leverage each other's intellectual firepower."

4. PBS Producer Unable to Find Conservatives to Speak on Media Bias?
Several national newspapers praised the four-hour PBS Frontline series which began Tuesday night titled "News War," on how Team Bush (and Team Nixon before that) undemocratically waged war on the press. There's not much on whether the press was undemocratically waging war on the elected President in those cases. (Who, pray tell, voted for the New York Times to run the country?) The man setting the table for the first two hours is Arun Rath, who the South Asian Journalists Association website jokingly notes "acquired a semi-classical education at Reed College in Oregon ('Atheism, Communism and Free Love')." What a surprise for an NPR/PBS producer.

5. Ex-NY Times Reporter Chris Hedges Expounds on 'American Fascists'
Chris Hedges, who served at the Times as a reporter and Middle East bureau chief for a total of 15 years, appeared last Thursday on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report to discuss his new book, "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America." He slammed Christian Right leaders: "What they have done is pervert, destroy, and hollow out the actual heart of the Christian religion. I mean look at the little empires that people like James Dobson or Pat Robertson run. They are despotic, Third World fiefdoms where these guys fly around with bodyguards and Leer Jets." He also charged that "the image that they present of Jesus and of the Christian is essentially a warrior cult. I mean, it is that obsession with violence, it's that notion that America can use its imperial power and use its violence to create a Christian society" and so "it is a message that's deeply anti-Christian and I think filled with a lot of bigotry and a lot of intolerance."


Soldiers in Iraq on Anti-Surge Resolution:
'Sick' & 'Treason'

Of the broadcast network evening newscast stories Tuesday night on the House debate over the non-binding resolution that "disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush...to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq," only ABC's Jake Tapper included the views of soldiers in Iraq. Tapper's report on World News featured soundbites from two Army Sergeants in Ramadi, and both


| |
More See & Hear the Bias

condemned the resolution. First Sergeant Louis Barnum declared: "It makes me sick. I was born and raised a Democrat, but when I see that it just kind of makes me sad." Sergeant Brian Orzechoski went even further: "I don't want to bad-mouth the President at all. I mean, to me it's treason."

[This item was posted Tuesday night, with audio/video, on the MRC's blog. The clip will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert. (Audio is over-modulated, but that's how it aired on ABC's DC station.) But in the meantime, to listen to the MP3 audio, or to watch the Real or Windows Media, go to: newsbusters.org ]

Earlier in the story, Tapper ran clips from those for and against it as he highlighted how Maryland Republican Wayne Gilchrest is in favor, before noting that "most Republicans criticized the non-binding resolution as worthless."

One of the anti-resolution soundbites came from Republican Congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia on the House floor:
"If the troops in Baghdad watched what Congress was doing today, they would be outraged. Fortunately for us and the free world, they don't sit around and watch C-SPAN and what silly politicians do."
Jake Tapper took up the challenge: "ABC News asked these Army Sergeants in Ramadi what they thought of the resolution."
Army First Sergeant Louis Barnum: "It makes me sick. I was born and raised a Democrat, but when I see that it just kind of makes me sad."
Sergeant Brian Orzechoski: "I don't want to bad-mouth the President at all. I mean, to me it's treason."
Tapper concluded his story: "It is a very simple resolution, Charlie. It basically just says that the Congress supports the troops but opposes the President's plan. It is not binding, it does not cut off any funding for the troops. But simple or not, Charlie, the debate, as you heard, was passionate."

In highlighting anti-war effort remarks from soldiers in Iraq, ABC and Tapper echoed how the January 26 NBC Nightly News gave rare voice to soldiers in Iraq disturbed by criticism of the war back home. The January 29 CyberAlert recounted (with video):

Embedded with the Army's Stryker Brigade's Apache Company (the Fort Lewis, Washington-based 1st Battalion of the 23rd Infantry Regiment in Hurriya, Richard Engel relayed how "troops here say they are increasingly frustrated by American criticism of the war. Many take it personally, believing it is also criticism of what they've been fighting for. Twenty-one-year-old Specialist Tyler Johnson is on his first tour in Iraq. He thinks skeptics should


| |
More See & Hear the Bias

come over and see what it's like firsthand before criticizing." Johnson asserted: "You may support or say we support the troops, but, so you're not supporting what they do, what they're here sweating for, what we bleed for, what we die for. It just don't make sense to me."

Staff Sergeant Manuel Sahagun directly took on the spin of war critics, complaining that "one thing I don't like is when people back home say they support the troops, but they don't support the war. If they're going to support us, support us all the way." Engel soon powerfully concluded: "Apache Company has lost two soldiers, and now worries their country may be abandoning the mission they died for."

For a full transcript and audio/video: www.mrc.org

Exactly two weeks later, however, the February 9 NBC Nightly News ran a dispatch from Engel which showcased soldiers who want the war to end. The February 12 CyberAlert reported:
Engel ran just one soundbite, from a Staff Sergeant with the First Infantry Division, who declared: "It is pretty much almost a lost cause. I mean, nothing it seems we do is doing any good. Every country goes through a civil war. So, I mean, maybe it'd be better for them to have a civil war and hash it out and then try to help them after that." Engel added about the unit he had traveled with which narrowly escaped an IED explosion: "They all told me it's time to end this war. And, Brian [Williams], the soldiers also asked why it seems from here there are no plans to end the war, just discussions of battle tactics?" See: www.mrc.org

Romney Is No Obama: CBS Devotes 54 Times
More Time to Democrat

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney formally announced Tuesday that he would seek the Republican nomination for President, but one would hardly know it from watching CBS's Early Show. Romney's candidacy received exactly ten seconds worth of coverage Tuesday, following stories on a Utah mall shooting, winter storms, and the ongoing soap opera of Anna Nicole Smith's demise. However, on Saturday, when Illinois Senator Barack Obama announced his candidacy as a Democrat, CBS's Saturday Early Show previewed it by devoting 9 minutes and 9 seconds (549 seconds) to his decision -- a greater than 54:1 advantage.

[This item is adopted from a posting by Michael Rule on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

On the Saturday Early Show, CBS aired at least one story on Barack Obama in each of the first three half hours. Yet, the ten seconds they allotted to Governor Romney on Tuesday's program, was buried in the 7:30 half hour at 7:37. Unlike CBS, both ABC and NBC on Tuesday devoted a full story to Governor Romney's announcement, and NBC added an additional anchor brief, roughly comparable to the coverage they gave Obama on Saturday.

Polls indicate that both Senator Obama and Governor Romney are top tier candidates for their respective party nominations and while NBC and ABC attempted to provide similar coverage, at least when it came to the official campaign announcements, CBS provided Barack Obama with almost 55 times as much coverage as Mitt Romney.

Couric Implies Rampant Sex Discrimination,
Touts Feminist Point

On Monday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric asserted a common talking point among feminists, the misleading statistic that women make 76 cents for every dollar earned by a man. As part of a series titled "The American Spirit," Couric profiled Janet Hanson, the founder of a women's networking group called 85 Broads, which is dedicated to helping women get ahead, as Hanson doesn't seem to believe a woman can make it on her own. Couric asserted: "Women earn only 76 cents for every dollar a man earns, and that really hasn't changed much over the last 30 years. Why?" Hanson explained: "Women have to learn how to become better negotiators for themselves, which is hard to do. So they need to see other women doing that successfully, and the whole mission behind this network is that women cannot succeed if they don't leverage each other's intellectual firepower."

[This item is adopted from a posting by Michael Rule on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Yet, an article on CNN Money, written by Jeanne Sahadi, a woman, argued why the 76 cent statistic is misleading:

When it comes to pay discrimination, the one statistic you hear over and over is that women make only 76 cents for every dollar a man earns.

To the average person, that ratio gives the false impression that any woman working is at risk of being paid 24 cents less per dollar than a man in the same position.

But all the wage-gap ratio reflects is a comparison of the median earnings of all working women and men who log at least 35 hours a week on the job, any job. That's it.

It doesn't compare those with equal work, equal training, equal education or equal tenure. Nor does it take into account the hours of overtime worked....

END of Excerpt

For the February of 2006 commentary in full: money.cnn.com

But these points were not discussed by Couric, leading to the impression that women are discriminated against when it comes to salaries. Yet, there are many factors that lead to disparity in pay. According to the same CNN article cited above:
"Factors may include: more women choose lower-paying professions than men; they move in and out of the workforce more frequently; and they work fewer paid hours on average."

PBS Producer Unable to Find Conservatives
to Speak on Media Bias?

Several national newspapers praised the four-hour PBS Frontline series which began Tuesday night titled "News War," on how Team Bush (and Team Nixon before that) undemocratically waged war on the press. There's not much on whether the press was undemocratically waging war on the elected President in those cases. (Who, pray tell, voted for the New York Times to run the country?) The man setting the table for the first two hours is Arun Rath, who the South Asian Journalists Association website jokingly notes "acquired a semi-classical education at Reed College in Oregon ('Atheism, Communism and Free Love')." What a surprise for an NPR/PBS producer.

Frontline's page for the series: www.pbs.org

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

In a new interview on the SAJA Web site, Rath explained how he was somehow completely incapable of tracking down conservatives to comment on the show's arrogant liberal thesis, namely that the press is crucial to save democracy from freedom-crushing Republicans:
"We tried without success for nearly a year to get someone from the administration to talk to us, but at the last minute we scored an interview with Dan Bartlett. That, and a number of other key interviews came about from simple persistence and effort over a long time by a number of producers.
"We were originally going to feature a lot more about the rise of conservative media in this series, but it just wouldn't fit in the end; plus we'd tried without success to get interviews with the big names at Fox News, and to talk about conservative media without such key players (Rush Limbaugh et al also turned us down) felt a little weak."

For the entire interview: www.sajaforum.org

Suffice it to say PBS has not contacted the news watchers at the MRC. It's probably also easily guessed they didn't call the many conservative talk show hosts and members of Congress who could build up a decent head of steam about the arrogance of Obama-worshiping newspapers who wage war on the war on terror.

[Correction: The MRC's Tim Graham posted this correction on NewsBusters on February 19:

Frontline executive editor Louis Wiley protested that they had (contacted the MRC). I asked our publicists, and they located an e-mail from April, requesting a 90-minute interview with MRC President Brent Bozell, which was refused. I was not aware of the request, and I was incorrect. Here is the e-mail I received from Wiley of PBS:

As our producer Arun Rath said, we had wanted to interview O'Reilly and Limbaugh in person to ask them questions about this topic, but they turned us down. It didn't, however, stop us from doing our best to represent their views as our commitment to professionalism requires.

In fact, there are a number of conservative voices, as well as other critics, in next Tuesday's film about reporting on sensitive secret government programs in a time of war. You'll hear the President call such stories "disgraceful;" you'll hear from a former number two at the CIA explain how they may be harmful; you'll hear a spokesman for the FBI, himself a former newsman, question the decision to publish; you'll hear from Pat Buchanan; and there will be a steady drumbeat of voices in stock footage clips, including Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and William Kristol, who will pillory The New York Times and The Washington Post.

As to your point about "not contacted the news watchers at the MRC," in fact, we spent several weeks trying to get an interview with your publisher, Brent Bozell. Maybe you didn't know that he turned us down, but perhaps you'll understand why your complaint about the lack of conservative voices strikes me as chutzpah in the first degree.

Cheers, Louis Wiley, Executive Editor, FRONTLINE]

Ex-NY Times Reporter Chris Hedges Expounds
on 'American Fascists'

Chris Hedges, who served at the Times as a reporter and Middle East bureau chief for a total of 15 years, appeared last Thursday on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report to discuss his new book, "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America." He slammed Christian Right leaders: "What they have done is pervert, destroy, and hollow out the actual heart of the Christian religion. I mean look at the little empires that people like James Dobson or Pat Robertson run. They are despotic, Third World fiefdoms where these guys fly around with bodyguards and Leer Jets." He also charged that "the image that they present of Jesus and of the Christian is essentially a warrior cult. I mean, it is that obsession with violence, it's that notion that America can use its imperial power and use its violence to create a Christian society" and so "it is a message that's deeply anti-Christian and I think filled with a lot of bigotry and a lot of intolerance."

You may remember Hedges for being booed off a college commencement stage in the middle of an anti-war rant in May 2003: www.timeswatch.org

[This item, by Clay Waters, was posted Tuesday on the MRC's TimesWatch site: www.timeswatch.org ]

Here's a selection of the transcript from the second half of the interview with host Stephen Colbert, who kept up his act as conservative Christian straight-man, setting up the dour Hedges to make cracks at Christianity: "What would be the harm if we became a Christian nation that obeyed the laws of God as these quote, unquote, 'American Fascists' want? You haven't made a case for the badness of it."
Chris Hedges: "Well, because what they have done is pervert, destroy, and hollow out the actual heart of the Christian religion. I mean look at the little empires that people like James Dobson or Pat Robertson run. They are despotic, Third World fiefdoms where these guys fly around with bodyguards and Leer Jets and amass hundreds of millions of dollars taken from -- people who live on the margins of American society-"
Colbert: "Their success is evidenced that they are blessed by God. God wants you to be rich, sir."
Hedges: "-and it sells, to people in despair. And they run that cut line, you know, with the 800 number for the love offering, and tell people to mail in their rent checks."
Colbert: "They are all full of love and you sound very angry, so who 's the Christian here?"
Hedges: "I don't think anger's a bad thing. I mean, Augustine said: Hope has two children, anger and courage. Anger at the way things are and courage to make them better. And I look at this movement as a movement that is destroying a faith that I care deeply about. I mean these people don't speak about compassion. They don't speak about the poor. They have turned, they have perverted the religion into this gospel of prosperity where Jesus will make us all rich and powerful and bless us."
Colbert: "Do you think Jesus wants you to be poor? I think Jesus wants me to be rich."
Hedges: "Well then, you are following the right movement because-"
Colbert: "Well good to each his own, you follow your Jesus and I follow mine. We'll see who wins. We should have our Jesuses fight it out."
Hedges: "I think so. I mean the image that they present of Jesus and of the Christian is essentially a warrior cult. I mean, it is that obsession with violence, it's that notion that America can use its imperial power and use its violence to create a Christian society. They condemn other ways of being other religion as satanic, I mean, they're constantly blasting Islam, nominal Christians, liberals, it is a message that's deeply anti-Christian and I think filled with a lot of bigotry and a lot of intolerance."

For the latest examples of bias in the New York Times, check the daily updates at: www.timeswatch.org

-- Brent Baker