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Turner: Iraqi Insurgents 'Patriots,' Warming Inaction: Cannibalism --4/2/2008


1. Turner: Iraqi Insurgents 'Patriots,' Warming Inaction: Cannibalism
Interviewed Tuesday for Charlie Rose's PBS show, CNN founder Ted Turner argued that inaction on global warming "will be catastrophic" and those who don't die "will be cannibals." He also applied moral equivalence in describing Iraqi insurgents as "patriots" who simply "don't like us because we've invaded their country" and so "if the Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we'd be doing the same thing." On not taking drastic action to correct global warming: "Not doing it will be catastrophic. We'll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten but 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals." Turner ridiculed the need for a big U.S. military, insisting "China just wants to sell us shoes. They're not building landing craft to attack the United States," and "even with our $500 billion military budget, we can't win in Iraq. We're being beaten by insurgents who don't even have any tanks." After Rose pointed out the Iraqi insurgents "have a lot of roadside bombs that kill a lot of Americans" and wondered "where do you think they come from?", Turner answered: "I think that they're patriots and that they don't like us because we've invaded their country and occupied it. I think if the Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we'd be doing the same thing: we'd be bombing them too."

2. NBC's Ann Curry Tosses Softballs to Obama on Today Show
For Tuesday's Today show, co-anchor Ann Curry traveled with Barack Obama on the campaign trail and mostly threw softball questions to the presidential candidate, such as whom did he prefer: "Beatles or the Rolling Stones?" Curry also tried to broker an Obama-Clinton ticket as she pressed: "They want this. The Democrats want this." The toughest Curry ever got with the Illinois Senator was when she pointed out Obama's lack of business experience as it pertained to his ability to address the economy. However, Curry never hit Obama with a single question on Jeremiah Wright or Tony Rezko, but she did find time to show Obama "flirting" with voters.

3. ABC's David Wright Again Touts Obama and Bashes Hillary
ABC reporter David Wright used a segment on Monday's Nightline to once again fawn over Barack Obama and also take a swipe at Hillary Clinton. Discussing the New York Denator's fund-raising woes, Wright mentioned Clinton's unpaid campaign debts and snidely observed that they included "a debt of $292,000 for health insurance premiums for her campaign staff. Ironic for a candidate promising health care for everyone." Wright, who spent the day with Obama while he campaigned in Pennsylvania, asked the candidate no tough questions and, after mentioning the Democratic presidential contender's now-famous bowling excursion, even skipped over the fact that the Senator bowled a lowly 37.

4. Today Show Promotes Phil Donahue's Anti-Iraq War Documentary
Phil Donahue looked across the film landscape littered with numerous anti-Iraq war box-office failures and decided he needed to add one more to the list and the Today show was more than happy to help him promote it. The liberal talk show host appeared on Tuesday's Today show with anti-Iraq war veteran/activist Tomas Young to plug what NBC's Ann Curry hailed as "a documentary that Sean Penn has called...part 'Coming Home,' part 'Born on the Fourth of July.'" Co-anchor Meredith Vieira, who conducted the interview, called the film "powerful."

5. MRC's 'DisHonors Awards' Next Week, Time to Get Tickets Short
The MRC's 2008 "DisHonors Awards" are next week and seats are running out. We only have a few left. The MRC's annual video awards with the "William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence," this year presented to Tony Snow, will take place in Washington, DC on Thursday evening, April 10. Confirmed participants: Ann Coulter, Larry Kudlow, Mark Levin, Cal Thomas and many more since surprise conservative guests will accept the awards in jest. Get your tickets now.


Notice: Just in case anyone believed the quotes, all of them in the Media Reality Check posted and e-mailed on Tuesday, April 1, were made up. "Media Rally 'Round Latest Democratic Deity: Journalists Glorify Barack Obama as Martin Luther, Jonas Salk and Nelson Mandela of Campaign '08," was as April Fool's edition. If you missed it, check it out online: www.mediaresearch.org

Turner: Iraqi Insurgents 'Patriots,'
Warming Inaction: Cannibalism

Interviewed Tuesday for Charlie Rose's PBS show, CNN founder Ted Turner argued that inaction on global warming "will be catastrophic" and those who don't die "will be cannibals." He also applied moral equivalence in describing Iraqi insurgents as "patriots" who simply "don't like us because we've invaded their country" and so "if the Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we'd be doing the same thing." On not taking drastic action to correct global warming: "Not doing it will be catastrophic. We'll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten but 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals."

Mp3 Audio file can be heard here. WMV file can be seen here.

Turner ridiculed the need for a big U.S. military, insisting "China just wants to sell us shoes. They're not building landing craft to attack the United States," and "even with our $500 billion military budget, we can't win in Iraq. We're being beaten by insurgents who don't even have any tanks." After Rose pointed out the Iraqi insurgents "have a lot of roadside bombs that kill a lot of Americans" and wondered "where do you think they come from?", Turner answered:
"I think that they're patriots and that they don't like us because we've invaded their country and occupied it. I think if the Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we'd be doing the same thing: we'd be bombing them too. Nobody wants to be invaded."

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Tuesday night, with audio and video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

At some point Wednesday, video of the interview should be added to this page on the Charlie Rose Web site: www.charlierose.com

Turner's description of the Iraqi insurgents and terrorists who want to crush any freedom in Iraq as "patriots" is reminiscent of how NBC's Matt Lauer saw them back in 2004. The Wednesday, November 10, 2004 MRC CyberAlert article, "Lauer Equates George Washington's Rag Tag Army to Iraqi Insurgents," recounted:

In a Tuesday Today segment with Lynne Cheney about her children's book on George Washington crossing the Delaware River, Matt Lauer referred to how Washington led "a rag-tag group, not well-fed, not well-clothed, completely under-equipped as compared to this great British army," and pivoted to Iraq: "Let me ask you to think about what is going on in Iraq today where the insurgents not well equipped, smaller in numbers, the greatest army in the world is their opposition. What's, what's the lesson?" Lauer argued that "the insurgents believe they're fighting for a cause as well. They don't believe any less than we believe." Cheney scolded him: "You're being awfully relativistic here. I mean, the insurgents are killing Iraqis by the hundreds, Iraqis by the thousands. It's not as though this is a matter between just 'on the one hand on the other hand.' We are on the side of freedom."

For the previous CyberAlert in full: www.mediaresearch.org

Streaming Real of that exchange: www.mediaresearch.org

Or, downloadable Real video (775 KB): www.mediaresearch.org

Downloadable MP3 audio (175 KB): www.mediaresearch.org

A couple of excerpts from Turner on the Tuesday, April 1 Charlie Rose on PBS, all apparently not April Fool's comments but what he really believes:

On what will happen if global warming is not addressed immediately:

TED TURNER: Not doing it will be catastrophic. We'll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten but 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals. Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state -- like Somalia or Sudan -- and living conditions will be intolerable. The droughts will be so bad there'll be no more corn grown. Not doing it is suicide. Just like dropping bombs on each other, nuclear weapons is suicide. We've got to stop doing the suicidal two things, which are hanging on to our nuclear weapons and after that we've got to stabilize the population. When I was born-
CHARLIE ROSE: So what's wrong with the population?
TURNER: We're too many people. That's why we have global warming. We have global warming because too many people are using too much stuff. If there were less people, they'd be using less stuff.

On what he told the UN in a speech Tuesday:

TED TURNER: I also said war doesn't make any sense anymore. And we need to cut the military budgets back.
ROSE: How much do you want to cut the military budgets back?
TURNER: Right now the U.S. is spending $500 billion a year on the military which is more than all 190 countries in the world put together. The two countries that the military-industrial complex and some of the politicians would like to demonize and make enemies are Russia and China. China just wants to sell us shoes. They're not building landing craft to attack the United States. And Russia wants to be our friends, too.
ROSE: Well, wait a minute. No, no, no.
TURNER: Well I know that because I spent time with the Chinese and Russians.
ROSE: You're telling me the Chinese military budget is not increasing? Is that what you're saying?
TURNER: It might increase, but you know how big it is compared to ours? It's one 20th what ours is and so is the Russian military budget. Those are not credible expenditures. However, even with our $500 billion military budget, we can't win in Iraq. We're being beaten by insurgents who don't even have any tanks, they don't have a headquarters, they don't have a Pentagon. We don't even know if they have any Generals.
ROSE: They have a lot of roadside bombs that kill a lot of Americans.
TURNER: Well, that's right. That's exactly right.
ROSE: And where do you think they come from?
TURNER: I think that they're patriots and that they don't like us because we've invaded their country and occupied it. I think if the Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we'd be doing the same thing: we'd be bombing them too. Nobody wants to be invaded.
ROSE: Nobody likes an occupying force, or to be occupied.
TURNER: That's right. It's gotten to be -- it's passe. You know, it's time to move on. I mean, all we have to do is look at Vietnam. In Vietnam, we killed three million Vietnamese. They never attacked us, we attacked them. It was another one of these preemptive wars like the war in Iraq. And we lost 50,000. They lost three million. That's like 60 for one. But at the end of 18 years we left and the Vietnamese were there.
I'm just so glad, because I think about it a lot, that the Vietnamese, the North Vietnamese, didn't give us an ultimatum that we couldn't leave Vietnam until we signed a decoration of surrender, you know, so they could get that on tape just like the Japanese surrendered on the Missouri.
ROSE: We made them sign a declaration of surrender.
TURNER: Yeah, but we surrendered and then we could go home. We couldn't go home. What if the Iraqis, the insurgents say that: we're not going to let you leave until you sign a surrender document, we just want the mighty United States. I mean, that's how ridiculous the whole situation is.
ROSE: But where does this, where did this idea come from?
TURNER: I think a lot. I spend a lot of time thinking. And I hope that's not a sin. And let me tell you another one, another story: We're not the only superpower that's being beaten by a third world country that doesn't have a single airplane. The Russians got beat, too.
ROSE: In Afghanistan.
TURNER: That's exactly right.
ROSE: With whose help?
TURNER: Well, we were helping Osma bin Laden, we were backing him that time.
ROSE: The Mujahidin.
TURNER: Right.

Previous MRC/CyberAlert posts about Turner's far-out views:

# October 16, 2007, "Turner: FNC to Blame for Iraq, U.S. Nukes Worse Than Iran Nukes." See: www.mediaresearch.org

# September 27, 2007, "Turner: Chance Humanity Will Survive Impaired by Bush's 'Bombing.'" Go to: www.mediaresearch.org

# September 22, 2006, "Turner Takes Credit for Ending Cold War, Spouts Other Silliness." See: www.mediaresearch.org

# September 20, 2005 MRC CyberAlert, "To Blitzer's Amazement, Turner Defends Jong, Treatment of People." Go to: www.mediaresearch.org

That won the "Quote of the Year" at the MRC's 2006 "DisHonors Awards" for this silliness:

Ted Turner: "I am absolutely convinced that the North Koreans are absolutely sincere. There's really no reason for them to cheat [on nukes]....I looked them right in the eyes. And they looked like they meant the truth. I mean, you know, just because somebody's done something wrong in the past doesn't mean they can't do right in the future or the present. That happens all the, all the time."
Wolf Blitzer: "But this is one of the most despotic regimes and Kim Jong-Il is one of the worst men on Earth. Isn't that a fair assessment?"
Turner: "Well, I didn't get to meet him, but he didn't look -- in the pictures that I've seen of him on CNN, he didn't look too much different than most other people I've met."
Blitzer: "But, look at the way, look at the way he's, look at the way he's treating his own people."
Turner: "Well, hey, listen. I saw a lot of people over there. They were thin and they were riding bicycles instead of driving in cars, but-"
Blitzer: "A lot of those people are starving."
Turner: "I didn't see any, I didn't see any brutality...." -- Exchange on CNN's The Situation Room, September 19, 2005.

For video: www.mrc.org

NBC's Ann Curry Tosses Softballs to Obama
on Today Show

For Tuesday's Today show, co-anchor Ann Curry traveled with Barack Obama on the campaign trail and mostly threw softball questions to the presidential candidate, such as whom did he prefer: "Beatles or the Rolling Stones?" Curry also tried to broker an Obama-Clinton ticket as she pressed: "They want this. The Democrats want this."

The toughest Curry ever got with the Illinois Senator was when she pointed out Obama's lack of business experience as it pertained to his ability to address the economy. However, Curry never hit Obama with a single question on Jeremiah Wright or Tony Rezko, but she did find time to show Obama "flirting" with voters.

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

The following is the full interview as it aired on the April 1 Today show:

MEREDITH VIEIRA: Now to "Today on the Trail." On Monday Ann spent the day with Democratic Senator Barack Obama. Nice to see you again, Ann.
ANN CURRY: You too Meredith. While Senator Obama has a clear lead in the overall delegate count polls show a tight race with Senator Clinton in some of the states still to be decided. So we caught up with Obama on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania, 22 days before its primary day. A rare quiet moment for Barack Obama before launching Monday. The fourth day of a bus tour through Pennsylvania. Considered a must-win state for a Democrat in the general election and where Senator Hillary Clinton leads Obama in the primary polls. 17 points up she is in the state last week.
BARACK OBAMA: That was last week.
CURRY: He is drawing crowds and he is moving fast, sometimes veering into them. Giving your Secret Servicemen a headache.
OBAMA: Yeah.
CURRY: Greeting.
OBAMA: How's everybody doing today?
CURRY: Posing.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN TO OBAMA: You can put your arm around me that's okay.
CURRY: Even flirting.
OBAMA TO VOTER: I don't want to get in trouble with your husband.
CURRY: Blue-collar Reagan Democrats are key and they're worried about jobs. Most voters say now that the economy is their greatest concern.
OBAMA: Right.
CURRY: You've never run a business. Why should Americans trust you, as President, in this economy?
OBAMA: Well first of all, I think it's important to note the same could be said for Senator Clinton and Senator McCain. I started my public service career as a community organizer. So that motivation to make sure that the American dream, that opportunity, that people having ladders into upward mobility are available and expanded. That's been what I've spent my entire adult life working on.
CURRY: What do you think about Clinton supporters who say, she's earned the nomination. That you've jumped in line?
OBAMA: Well look I very much respect Senator Clinton's supporters for their passion and their enthusiasm. I think this contest has been good for the Democratic Party. We've brought in all kinds of new people into the, into the process and I think that bodes well for November.
CURRY: Do you believe that she's earned a place as Vice President on your ticket?
OBAMA: I think it is very premature for either of us to talk about vice presidential, you know, nominees because right now we're both, you know, in the thick of a battle to win the nomination.
CURRY: You think she still has a chance of winning?
OBAMA: Oh, you know, I think that as long as she's in, I don't take anything for granted. That as long as she is on the ballot in any state and she's got supporters who want to cast their ballot for her that she has every right to stay in the race and I think that-
CURRY: You just being gracious?
OBAMA: Well no I'm, I am stating, I think, what is central to our democratic tradition which is everybody has a right to run. And, you know, she has certainly earned the right to stay in this race as long as she wants. She is running a formidable race. I mean we ran, we won 11 contests in a row and that didn't knock her out. And that's some tenacity on her part and I think that--
CURRY: You admire her for her tenacity?
OBAMA: Oh absolutely and I think she deserves to be able to run and, and make her case as to why she should be the best president.
CURRY: Well then why not commit to this idea that you two could be on a ticket together? Do you, do you think this is not possible? I know you say it's premature-
OBAMA: Yeah I just think it's premature. That's-
CURRY: -but, but people as you, you've heard them out there. They want this.
OBAMA: Well the-
CURRY: The Democrats want this.
OBAMA: You know, I mean ultimately I think that what we have to do is settle the presidential nomination and what's more important than anything is not my ambitions, Senator Clinton's ambitions, what, you know, how we divvy up power. What's most important is how can we deliver for the American people? When I lose sleep at night it is not because I'm worrying about what's gonna happen in Pennsylvania or Indiana or how we're gonna resolve this contest. When I lose sleep at night it's because I think about being president and all the challenges that we had to face out there.
CURRY: On some smaller questions he offered simple answers. Coffee or tea?
OBAMA: Tea.
CURRY: Beatles or Rolling Stones?
OBAMA: Rolling Stones.
CURRY: Which president do you most want to be like?
OBAMA: Lincoln.
CURRY: Why?
OBAMA: He never lost sight of the humanity of even those who opposed them.
CURRY: Are you sure that God exists?
OBAMA: Yes.
CURRY: Do you pray once a week-
OBAMA: Once every day.
CURRY: -or once a day? Once a day.
OBAMA: Sometimes twice a day, depends on the day.
CURRY: Some days are needing prayer more than others?
OBAMA: Some days you need a little more prayer than others.
CURRY: Best thing your mom ever taught you?
OBAMA: Empathy. Making sure that you can see the world through somebody else's eyes, stand in their shoes. I think that's the basis for kindness and compassion.
CURRY: Cubs or White Sox?
OBAMA: White Sox.
CURRY: Basketball or bowling?
OBAMA: Basketball.
CURRY: Not bowling.
OBAMA: Not bowling.
CURRY: You just-
OBAMA: You saw those gutter balls but, you know what, that shows that I'm willing to try new things.
CURRY: Were you trying to lose?
OBAMA: I never try to lose.
CURRY: He bowled a 37 Saturday, Meredith. And it was, well I think it's fair to say it was humiliating for, for him.
MEREDITH VIEIRA: Yeah, well he never wants to get down in the gutter, you know, and he really did, unfortunately, with the bowling.
CURRY: Well I, I think, I think he was only in, in bowling, certainly in the interview. Alright.
VIEIRA: Okay Ann, great job. Thanks very much.

ABC's David Wright Again Touts Obama
and Bashes Hillary

ABC reporter David Wright used a segment on Monday's Nightline to once again fawn over Barack Obama and also take a swipe at Hillary Clinton. Discussing the New York Denator's fund-raising woes, Wright mentioned Clinton's unpaid campaign debts and snidely observed that they included "a debt of $292,000 for health insurance premiums for her campaign staff. Ironic for a candidate promising health care for everyone."

Wright, who spent the day with Obama while he campaigned in Pennsylvania, asked the candidate no tough questions and, after mentioning the Democratic presidential contender's now-famous bowling excursion, even skipped over the fact that the Senator bowled a lowly 37. (Although there was video of Obama rolling a gutter ball.)

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

Rather then press Obama with tough questions, Wright seemed content to perform stenographer duties and regurgitate where the candidate went. "Barack Obama's campaign schedule over the past few days seemed almost like a five-year-old's birthday party," the ABC reporter extolled. He then mentioned important details such as the fact that, while campaigning, the Senator "ate hot dogs and French fries. He toured a chocolate factory" and "went to a petting zoo." By the time Wright got around to asking Obama about his bowling skills, a goofy grin could be seen on the correspondent's face.

Wright's pro-Obama bias is so strong that it extends all the way to bashing the politician's opponent. In addition to Monday's dig at the New York Senator's campaign funds, on February 22, the journalist actually distorted the meaning of a comment by Mrs. Clinton. Filing a report for that day's Good Morning America, Wright discussed a quote about the difficulties of campaigning and alleged, "Clinton went on to compare her suffering to soldiers wounded in Iraq." In actuality, the former first lady said the exact opposite, that the struggles in her life are nothing in comparison to that of our soldiers. See a February 22 NewsBusters post for more on this subject: www.newsbusters.org

On another occasion, Wright enthused that Obama rallies were like "Springsteen concerts." So, it wouldn't seem like much of a stretch to suggest that this is a reporter who has made his choice in the Democratic primary. See a February 21, 2008 CyberAlert posting for more on Wright's Springsteen remark: www.mrc.org

A transcript of the March 31 Nightline segment:

MARTIN BASHIR: Good evening. We thought it was close, but a new poll shows Barack Obama way out in front in the race for the Democratic nomination. According to a new national Gallup poll released today, Obama is now leading 51-43 percent over Hillary Clinton. Now, to give you a sense of how far he's come just eight weeks ago in that same poll, Clinton was leading Obama by 13 points. With all eyes on the Pennsylvania primary in three weeks' time, David Wright spent the day with the Obama campaign.
DAVID WRIGHT: Good evening, Martin. Things just might be looking up for Obama here in Pennsylvania even though the polls do show him trailing Senator Clinton. He spent the weekend pounding the pavement here, doing the kind of retail politics we haven't seen since Iowa. Barack Obama's campaign schedule over the past few days seemed almost like a five-year-old's birthday party.
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA: We're gonna have some root beer.
WRIGHT: He ate hot dogs and French fries. He toured a chocolate factory.
OBAMA [Talking to some elderly women]: Now I don't see any old ladies. I see some very sweet ones.
WRIGHT: He went to a petting zoo. Actually, a farming academy, associated with Penn State University. But for Obama, the highlight seemed to be feeding a one-month-old calf.
OBAMA [As he feeds a calf]: Oh, there you go. That's what I'm talking about. Is she gonna drink this whole thing?
STUDENT (PENN STATE UNIVERSITY): Yes, she will.
OBAMA: Scott, I need a shot of this for my nine and six-year-old. Just because every day they say what did you do today? Well, I gave speeches, boring.
WRIGHT: And the main event, the main event wasn't the town hall meeting. It wasn't the news conference with his new best friend Pennsylvania's junior Senator, Bob Casey. You guys are going bowling later. Are you much of a bowler?
OBAMA: I am a terrible bowler.
WRIGHT: The main event was the bowling.
OBAMA: Those are some nice bowling shoes.
WRIGHT: Obama and Casey went bowling for votes. Trying as best they could to keep it out of the gutter. All of this of course aimed at the white, working class voters, Clinton's strongest constituency here in Pennsylvania. What is the rhyme and reason of the places that you've gone together and the activities that you've done?
SENATOR ROBERT CASEY: I think it's just a way to connect with real people. Have them meet him, hear him - listen to his message of hope.
WRIGHT: At the same time, Obama is outspending Clinton two to one here, hoping not so much to win the state, but to keep Clinton from winning too big.
PROFESSOR RICHARD JOHNSTON (Political Science, University of Pennsylvania): Well he's got to play a delicate game. He can't blow it off. He's got to take it seriously. He has to earnestly spend as much money to get as many votes as he can, and yet, he doesn't want to raise expectations unduly. Indeed, you know, if he can come into Election Day with relatively low expectations then outperforming expectations is the critical thing.
WRIGHT: If he can do that, he would effectively blunt Clinton's expected victory in Pennsylvania. Tonight, Clinton held a rally in Fairless Hills.
SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON: I see that sign out there which says please don't quit. Well one thing you know about me is I do not quit.
WRIGHT: For her part, Clinton now says she plans to stay in the race all the way through primary season. And after, until what happens to Michigan and Florida gets resolved.
CLINTON: You know, there are some folks saying, well, we ought to stop these elections. I didn't think we believed that in America. I thought we of all people knew how important it was to give everyone a chance, to have their voices heard and their votes counted and we're going to give Indiana that chance on May 6.
WRIGHT: But it's now coming to light she may be running out of money. According to the Federal Election Commission, her campaign has nearly $9 million in unpaid bills, including a debt of $292,000 for health insurance premiums for her campaign staff. Ironic for a candidate promising health care for everyone. She also owes $3,000 to her former high school. Obama has a huge financial advantage.
OBAMA: 90 percent of our donations came through the internet in February. I don't know yet what the percentage is in March, but it's a lot easier to, you know, maintain a budget when you've got a million small donors who are there with you and believe in what you're doing, compared to if you're raising $2,300 checks from people who at some point tap out.
WRIGHT: Here in Pennsylvania, does he have a shot at winning?
CASEY: Well, it's tough. He's the underdog now, and that would be -- that would be very tough. But I do think he can make progress, and I think if you're making progress in a state like this it helps -- I think it helps long term.
WRIGHT: In the long term, he needs to support not just of the voters of Pennsylvania, but of the super delegates who will ultimately decide the nomination.
JOHNSTON: In some sense, Pennsylvania voters now are a kind of an exhibit in the display for the consumption of super delegates.
WRIGHT: The polls do show Clinton with a significant lead in this state, but Obama is hoping to chip away at that lead. And remember, he's not just pitching his message to the voters of Pennsylvania, but also those key, undecided super delegates, hoping to lure them his way.

Today Show Promotes Phil Donahue's Anti-Iraq
War Documentary

Phil Donahue looked across the film landscape littered with numerous anti-Iraq war box-office failures and decided he needed to add one more to the list and the Today show was more than happy to help him promote it. The liberal talk show host appeared on Tuesday's Today show with anti-Iraq war veteran/activist Tomas Young to plug what NBC's Ann Curry hailed as "a documentary that Sean Penn has called...part 'Coming Home,' part 'Born on the Fourth of July.'" Co-anchor Meredith Vieira, who conducted the interview, called the film "powerful."

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

The following is the Curry teaser followed by the full segment as it occurred on the April 1 Today:

ANN CURRY: And also coming up this morning a movie, a documentary that Sean Penn has called, it's called "Body of War" the documentary. He's called it, "part 'Coming Home,' part Born on the Fourth of July.'" It's basically one soldier's story. A young man who signed up to fight after 9/11 and his life was permanently changed by the war in body and mind and spirit that Phil has a way, it's directed by Phil Donahue who's gonna be here, along with the now paralyzed veteran to talk about this journey.

...

MEREDITH VIEIRA: Phil Donahue has never been one to turn away from telling a difficult story and he is back at it. In a new documentary he co-directed, "Body of War," tells the story of one soldier. Tomas Young enlisted in the Army after 9/11, hoping to fight al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Instead, he was sent to Iraq where on his very first mission he was instantly paralyzed from the chest down. Tomas Young, Phil Donahue, good morning to both of you.
PHIL DONAHUE: Hi Meredith.
TOMAS YOUNG: Good morning.
VIEIRA: You know I saw this film last night. It is so powerful Phil. I know that you met Tomas in the hospital. He had come back from Iraq paralyzed from the waist down, only a few days into his mission there. What was it about him that said to you, "I need to tell this soldier's story?"
DONAHUE: I think the gravity of his injury is what attracted me, attracted me to Tomas at the beginning. And I just thought the American people should see this. This is the drama being played out in thousands of homes in this country. Families who sent people like Tomas to this war and they've come back with injuries that turned the whole family upside down.
VIEIRA: And Tomas, you opened up your life to cameras and in, and in a very intimate and personal way. We see this film, we see the number of pills you have to take on a daily basis. You talk about bodily functions. You, you get married during the course of the film and talk very openly about not being a husband to your wife physically, having real issues there as well. Why, why did you want to tell this story? What, were you trying to make an anti-war statement here or something else?
YOUNG: Not necessarily an anti-war statement. But men and women all over the country who enlist go with the full knowledge and idea that they may come back home in a body bag or in one of those coffins, though we're not allowed to see coming off the planes. But nobody really thinks I'm gonna come home and I'm gonna be in a wheelchair or worse, I'm gonna be a quadriplegic who's living off a ventilator or something to that effect. No husband thinks that they're gonna come home and not be able to satisfy their wife or girlfriend. I wanted to show the ramifications and consequences of either making an impetuous decision, as far as military enlistment without all the options or anything in anybody's daily life, without fully recognizing all the angles and consequences that could happen.
VIEIRA: But you did go from warrior to anti-war activist and had you gone to Afghanistan instead of Iraq -- because that's where you wanted to go, that's where you thought the problem was and still believe the real problem is -- would you feel the same way? If the same thing had happened, but if in Afghanistan?
YOUNG: I would be against any military presence in Iraq, but also if I had been shot and paralyzed in Afghanistan, where I enlisted to go, there would be no "Body of War." You and I would not be talking right now. I would have never met Phil probably. I would have taken my monthly money from the government and gone home and shut up. But, unfortunately, I was shot in a war that I didn't think was just or fought for the right reasons.
VIEIRA: We actually have a clip from the, from the movie. This is a scene where you're at an anti-war demonstration in Washington and you, you're going past a group of, of mothers whose sons and daughters did not come back from the war. They died. We want to show their reaction to you.
[BEGIN CLIP]
MOTHER: I noticed in Washington when we were there with the Gold Star Mothers for Peace and the MFSO, whose babies have not come home, whose husbands have not come home, I noticed them touching Tomas, kissing him, hugging him, wanting to be near him. And I think there was a connection there, because he came home and their family members didn't.
[END CLIP]
VIEIRA: And that is your mom's voice that we we're hearing. What was that experience like for you, Tomas? Obviously for your mom it was very moving.
YOUNG: It was, it was indescribable. I mean, I, I don't feel any particular sort of pride or happiness in the fact that I came back and, and they didn't. But if I, if by allowing a mother, or a wife of somebody who didn't come home to, to touch my face, to feel some connection with me, for whatever reason, then I'm, I'm more than happy to step into that role because they need somebody to help turn to, to touch, to do whatever they need to let go of their grief. I'm more than happy to help with that.
VIEIRA: You know, there are veterans who come back injured in wars and, and still believe the sacrifice that they made is worth while. Certainly some that have been in Iraq. What would you say to them?
YOUNG: That is well within their rights as, A.) an American and B.) a soldier. And I, in fact, I think the only people who, who should be able to say that they support what happened over there are people who feel a real sacrifice and sense of loss associated with this war, people who have served. If you haven't seen what's going on over there or know anything of it, you really don't get a chance to be a sideline cheerleader. But in the same vain, anybody can be against this war in Iraq because all they want is the troops to come home safely and be used properly as they volunteered to defend the Constitution and the country.
VIEIRA: Tomas Young, thank you so much. Phil Donahue, extremely, extremely powerful film. Thank you for your time this morning.
DONAHUE: Thank you, Meredith.
VIEIRA: And "Body of War" opens across the country throughout the month.

To read more about Body of War, visit its entry at IMDB.com: www.imdb.com

MRC's 'DisHonors Awards' Next Week, Time
to Get Tickets Short

Just over a week until the MRC's 2008 "DisHonors Awards" and seats are running out. We only have a few left. The MRC's annual video awards with the "William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence," this year presented to Tony Snow, will take place in Washington, DC on Thursday evening, April 10. Confirmed participants: Ann Coulter, Larry Kudlow, Mark Levin, Cal Thomas and many more since surprise conservative guests will accept the awards in jest. Get your tickets now.

"It was a terrific show...It was a great, great, great assemblage of people... Everybody just had a blast!" -- Rush Limbaugh, 2007 recipient of the William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence.

Make your reservation today. Every year our gala sells out, so don't delay.

Individual seats available for $250. To reserve your seat(s), contact the MRC's Sara Bell at: sbell@mediaresearch.org

Or call, 9 to 5:30 PM EDT weekdays: (800) 672-1423.

Online page with information: www.mrc.org

For a look at all the fun at last year's event: www.mediaresearch.org

-- Brent Baker