2. Matthews Touts Sheehan as "Tipping Point" Analogous to Cronkite
3. ABC: Natl Guard Families "Facing This Storm Alone" Thanks to Bush
4. "Top Ten Signs George W. Bush is Having a Bad Vacation"
Another week, another opportunity for NPR's Nina Totenberg to discover that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts is conservative and to caution us about it anew. On Inside Washington over the weekend, she warned that "if he's as conservative as his papers reflect, his nomination will dramatically change the direction of the court." Seconds later she made clear she is sure that he's going to be a "very conservative" justice: "I have no idea what kind of justice he's going to end up being, except for the fact that I'm pretty sure he's going to be very conservative." A week earlier on the same show she declared that after reviewing memos he wrote while working in the Reagan White House counsel's office, "he is much more conservative than I ever would have guessed."
In recent weeks, Totenberg has tagged Roberts as "very conservative," "very, very conservative" and "very, very, very conservative," as well as "a really conservative guy," "a hardline conservative" and "a clear conservative," to say nothing of being "a conservative Catholic." Four weeks ago on Inside Washington she asserted that she "was actually quite surprised at how, how very, very conservative he was."
Inside Washington is a weekend show carried Saturday nights at 7pm local time by NewsChannel 8, a Washington, DC area all-news channel owned by the ABC affiliate, and Sunday mornings at 10am, right after This Week, by that affiliate, WJLA-TV. In a couple of weeks, however, it will be moving to Washington, DC's PBS station, WETA channel 26.
On the edition aired over this past weekend, the MRC's Rich Noyes noticed, fill-in host Kathleen Matthews, a WJLA-TV channel 7 anchor who is the wife of MSNBC's Chris Matthews, set up a segment:
Previous CyberAlert items on Totenberg's labeling of Roberts, all with pictures of her:
# July 21 CyberAlert: There's no doubt in NPR reporter Nina Totenberg's mind that Judge John Roberts is "very conservative," it's just a matter of how "very." On NPR's All Things Considered on Tuesday night, she prefaced "conservative" with three verys, describing him as "a very, very, very conservative man." But in a taped soundbite on the next day's Good Morning America on ABC, she cut back to two modifiers, dubbing him merely "a very, very conservative man." For the quotes in full: www.mrc.org
# July 25 CyberAlert: NPR's Nina Totenberg, who last week tagged Supreme Court nominee John Roberts as "very, very conservative" and "very, very, very conservative," on Inside Washington over the weekend described him as merely "very conservative." But she couldn't resist adding a modifier every time she applied the conservative label, also dubbing him "a really conservative guy," "a hardline conservative" and "a clear conservative." Plus, she emphasized how he's "a conservative Catholic." See: www.mrc.org
# August 1 CyberAlert: A parody of herself? NPR's Nina Totenberg, who has tagged Supreme Court nominee John Roberts as "very conservative," "very, very conservative" and "very, very, very conservative," as well as "a really conservative guy," "a hardline conservative" and "a clear conservative," to say nothing of being "a conservative Catholic," on Inside Washington over the weekend relayed that after she "spent five hours reviewing all of his documents from when he worked in the Justice Department," she "was actually quite surprised at how, how very, very conservative he was." Apparently, she didn't listen to herself. See: www.mediaresearch.org
Matching NBC and MSNBC stories from last Thursday, on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show over the weekend, Matthews touted Cindy Sheehan as representing a "tipping point" on Iraq analogous to Walter Cronkite's 1968 on-air lecture about Vietnam. Matthews set up his lead topic: "Next stop, Saigon? This month a watershed moment of defeatism over Iraq. Senators are getting quiet and polls are sinking. Then a tipping point [footage of Cindy Sheehan]. An anti-war mother of a fallen soldier becomes an emblem of anger and national frustration. It reminds many of another clear tipping point from another war." Matthews then played a clip from Cronkite. On last Thursday's NBC Nightly News, Carl Quintanilla trumpeted how Sheehan has "dominated headlines, mobilized protesters" and made "it safe, her supporters say, to voice doubts about the war, just as Walter Cronkite did on the Evening News in 1968."
When replayed on MSNBC's Countdown, fill-in host Amy Robach framed Quintanilla's story around how "there are those who wonder if attitudes toward the war could be reaching a tipping point and whether the Gold Star mom could be the driving force."
For a RealPlayer or Windows Media clip of Quintanilla's story with a soundbite from Cronkite in 1968, go to where the August 26 CyberAlert item was posted on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org
"Next Stop, Saigon?" read the on-screen heading, at the top of the Chris Matthews Show, beneath video of soldiers in Vietnam. The MRC's Geoff Dickens caught how Matthews teased his first segment: "Next stop, Saigon? When did the war in Iraq start to sound like Vietnam with no light at the end of the tunnel and everyone saying we can't just cut and run?"
Matthews introduced the segment: "First up, next stop Saigon? This month a watershed moment of defeatism over Iraq. Senators are getting quiet and polls are sinking. Then a tipping point [footage of Cindy Sheehan]. An anti-war mother of a fallen soldier becomes an emblem of anger and national frustration. It reminds many of another clear tipping point from another war."
Gratuitous shot, in the midst of Hurricane Katrina coverage, at Bush's Iraq policy? Anchoring ABC's World News Tonight/Sunday, Dan Harris snuck in an item about how "about three thousand members of the Louisiana National Guard are now serving in Iraq" and so "a lot of their family members will be facing this storm alone."
Harris' brief item, which the MRC's Rich Noyes observed, came during a 12-minute World News Tonight/Sunday which aired on most EDT/CDT ABC affiliates after ABC broke away from the tied Little League World Series game, which they moved to ESPN2 at about 6:15pm EDT. But the full-length World News Tonight/Sunday, which I caught from ABC's Auburn, Maine affiliate, ran the same short story.
Over file video of an assembly of the Louisiana National Guard, Harris intoned on the August 28 newscast: "And there is this note: About three thousand members of the Louisiana National Guard are now serving in Iraq. A lot of their family members will be facing this storm alone. Guards in neighboring states will be on duty in Louisiana if they are needed."
From the August 29 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Signs George W. Bush is Having a Bad Vacation." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com
10. He has that haggard look of someone getting only nine hours of sleep a night.
9. Arrested at Crawford Mobil station after trying to pump and run.
8. Asked if Cheney would let him help run the country.
7. So bored he actually read a couple of pages of an intelligence briefing.
6. He's drinking more than the twins.
5. He's cutting it short from 12 weeks to 8.
4. Just asked Pat Robertson to assassinate his travel agent.
3. Flew down to Miami and put a cap in Suge Knight's knee.
2. Accidentally gave Laura the necklace engraved "Condoleezza."
1. Spent past week setting up new television so he can watch Dave in Hi-Def.
The Late Show began high-definition broadcasting with Monday's show.
-- Brent Baker