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Warren: Conservatives Never Pleased, So Bush Should Lie to Them? --10/12/2005


1. Warren: Conservatives Never Pleased, So Bush Should Lie to Them?
The opposition from the religious right faced by the fictional Republican presidential candidate on NBC's The West Wing, symbolizes for Jim Warren, the former Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune who is now a Deputy Managing Editor for the paper, how real-life conservatives, upset over the Harriet Miers pick, will never be satisfied. On Tuesday's Hardball on MSNBC, Warren admired how the fictional drama's Alan Alda character "confronts a top Christian Right official who insists on a public pledge that Alan Alda, if elected President, will only pick anti-abortion judges to the federal court. And Alan Alda, seeing the world as much more complicated, declines to do that." Warren asked and answered his own question: "Why is that relevant? I think it's relevant because just like Bill Clinton could never satisfy his left, it seems that Bush can never satisfy a group for whom he has cut taxes, delivered Saddam Hussein on a platter, done what they want on late term abortion and stem cell research, come out against gay marriage and picked a whole lot of conservative judges."

2. Couric More Concerned About Freeh's Credibility Than Clinton's
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh wasn't on Tuesday's Today show for very long before his credibility was immediately questioned by Katie Couric. After her introduction and a generic 'why did you want to write this book?' query, Couric pounced in just her second question: "You know many people have viewed this book in reviews and, and newspaper accounts so far as your effort to settle scores with the President [Clinton]. Do you think, you obviously, there's no love lost between the two of you, that's very, very clear. Do you think your personal animus might be coloring your professional perspective so much that you can't be objective about what was really going on during the administration?" As for the other bombshell of the book, that Clinton was too busy hitting up the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for a presidential library donation, to ask for his help in the Khobar Tower investigation? Couric dismissed the criticism in the very same question in which she raised the issue.

3. Harrelson Denounces "Oil-Garchy," Character Paints Hill as Victim
Actor Woody Harrelson, appearing on Tuesday's Late Show with David Letterman, denounced "this oil-garchy that calls itself our executive branch" and complained about the "petrochemical industry taking over the world." Then viewers saw a clip of him playing a lawyer in a new movie, North Country, in which his character paints Anita Hill as a maligned victim as he warns a sexual harassment victim about how she'll be characterized in court as a "nut" or a "slut" since "right has nothing to do with the real world. Look at Anita Hill, because she's you." That movie, opening next week, is based on a book by former Newsweek White House reporter Clara Bingham, Class Action: The Story of Lois Jenson and the Landmark Case that Changed Sexual Harassment Law.

4. NBC's Law & Order Wednesday Night: Plot Inspired by Schiavo Case
Ripped from the headlines: The plot for Wednesday's Law & Order is inspired by the Schiavo case -- and it looks like one of those fighting to keep the Schiavo-like character alive may also be a murderer.


Warren: Conservatives Never Pleased,
So Bush Should Lie to Them?

The opposition from the religious right faced by the fictional Republican presidential candidate on NBC's The West Wing, symbolizes for Jim Warren, the former Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune who is now a Deputy Managing Editor for the paper, how real-life conservatives, upset over the Harriet Miers pick, will never be satisfied. On Tuesday's Hardball on MSNBC, Warren admired how the fictional drama's Alan Alda character "confronts a top Christian Right official who insists on a public pledge that Alan Alda, if elected President, will only pick anti-abortion judges to the federal court. And Alan Alda, seeing the world as much more complicated, declines to do that." Warren asked and answered his own question: "Why is that relevant? I think it's relevant because just like Bill Clinton could never satisfy his left, it seems that Bush can never satisfy a group for whom he has cut taxes, delivered Saddam Hussein on a platter, done what they want on late term abortion and stem cell research, come out against gay marriage and picked a whole lot of conservative judges."

[This item was posted Tuesday evening on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To share your thoughts by posting a comment, go to: newsbusters.org ]

Sunday's West Wing, an October 10 CyberAlert item recounted, had the head of the "American Christian Assembly" telling Drudge that "Arnie Vinick," the GOP presidential candidate played by Alda, promised to appoint only pro-life judges, a pledge "Vinick" had made. Explaining it to his upset staff, "Vinick" admits: "I lied to a liar. Miserable little," Vinick's voice trails off as he slams a folder down and stands up: "He's what's wrong with this party. He's the problem, not me! Tell that lying little creep the United States Senate gets to advise and consent on judges, not the clergy. If his gang wants to have a say in picking judges, tell him to run for the Senate." See: www.mediaresearch.org

Back to Warren on Hardball, I'd point out that conservatives have been disappointed in Bush for some very non-conservative policies, including giving the federal government a greater role in schools, pushing a huge new entitlement programs and proposing and approving massive spending hikes.

Warren appeared from Chicago on the October 11 Hardball aired live at 5pm EDT and re-run at 7pm EDT. During a segment with NBC's Andrea Mitchell on the status of the Miers nomination, Warren asserted:
"At the risk, Chris, of sending your self image to new and Olympian heights, I have to refer to your very fine self-portrayal the other night on the NBC show West Wing which I think, the interesting scene there is relevant to what's going on here. The Republican presidential candidate, played by Alan Alda, confronts a top Christian Right official who insists on a public pledge that Alan Alda, if elected President, will only pick anti-abortion judges to the federal court. And Alan Alda, seeing the world as much more complicated, declines to do that. Why is that relevant? I think it's relevant because just like Bill Clinton could never satisfy his left, it seems that Bush can never satisfy a group for whom he has cut taxes, delivered Saddam Hussein on a platter, done what they want on late term abortion and stem cell research, come out against gay marriage and picked a whole lot of conservative judges. But you've got the likes of Pat Buchanan who is still bashing him."
Andrea Mitchell tried to correct him: "I don't want to play TV critic here, but I think Alan Alda did cave in and did give him that secret assurance."
Warren accurately clarified: "No he lied to him, the point was he lied."

A lying President. Haven't we tried that already?

Couric More Concerned About Freeh's Credibility
Than Clinton's

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh wasn't on Tuesday's Today show for very long before his credibility was immediately questioned by Katie Couric. After her introduction and a generic 'why did you want to write this book?' query, Couric pounced in just her second question: "You know many people have viewed this book in reviews and, and newspaper accounts so far as your effort to settle scores with the President [Clinton]. Do you think, you obviously, there's no love lost between the two of you, that's very, very clear. Do you think your personal animus might be coloring your professional perspective so much that you can't be objective about what was really going on during the administration?" As for the other bombshell of the book, that Clinton was too busy hitting up the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for a presidential library donation, to ask for his help in the Khobar Tower investigation? Couric dismissed the criticism in the very same question in which she raised the issue.

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

Couric's question: "I know that you also make an accusation in the aftermath of the Khobar bombings in Saudi Arabia which killed 19 Americans in 1996 and was an act of terrorism that foreshadowed this current war on, on terrorism. That instead of pushing the Saudis for access to prisoners President Clinton was asking for money for his library. But a lot of people say you were never in those meetings and in fact the President did push the Saudis and you really don't know what you're talking about basically, has been some of the response to this."
Freeh: "Sure I've heard the response. Well let me say this. He didn't push the Saudis and the proof in the pudding is that we asked the administration, the Clinton administration, my administration for three-and-a-half years to intercede with the Saudis. Nothing happened. We asked President Bush 41 to help us. He met with the Crown Prince on a Saturday afternoon in McLean, Virginia. Monday morning, 48 hours later, the Crown Prince invited myself, the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia and the head of my criminal, the head of my counterterrorism division and gave us access to the prisoners. So that fact is an unassailable fact."

While the buzz around Freeh's book surrounds his account of the Clinton scandals Couric managed to ask just two questions about them before to asking about the FBI's pre-9/11 preparedness.

Couric concluded the interview with a parting shot from a Clinton toady: "Well I know that the Clintons spokesperson Jay Carson said your book was, 'a total work of fiction and written by a man who's desperate to clear his name and sell books.'"

When Bill and Hillary Clinton released their respective memoirs the Today show swallowed their fish tales whole but Clinton critics always get the third degree.

As the June 22, 2004 CyberAlert recounted: Just as they absurdly greeted Hillary Clinton's book a year ago as "candid" about how she only learned after eight months how Bill Clinton had lied to her about Lewinsky (on the June 4, 2003 Today Katie Couric gushed about how Mrs. Clinton was "very candid about a very personal matter"), some network stars have been equally gullible about Bill Clinton's new book. Couric touted at the top of Monday's Today: "True confessions. A candid President Clinton talks about his political accomplishments and personal demons." See: www.mediaresearch.org

Harrelson Denounces "Oil-Garchy," Character
Paints Hill as Victim

Actor Woody Harrelson, appearing on Tuesday's Late Show with David Letterman, denounced "this oil-garchy that calls itself our executive branch" and complained about the "petrochemical industry taking over the world." Then viewers saw a clip of him playing a lawyer in a new movie, North Country, in which his character paints Anita Hill as a maligned victim as he warns a sexual harassment victim about how she'll be characterized in court as a "nut" or a "slut" since "right has nothing to do with the real world. Look at Anita Hill, because she's you." That movie, opening next week, is based on a book by former Newsweek White House reporter Clara Bingham, Class Action: The Story of Lois Jenson and the Landmark Case that Changed Sexual Harassment Law.

Amazon's page for the book: www.amazon.com

The Internet Movie Database's plot summary for the film: "A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit." That would place the lawsuit filing seven years before anyone heard of Anita Hill.

For the IMDb page on the movie: www.imdb.com

[This item was posted Wednesday morning on the MRC's NewsBusters.org blog. To share your comments: newsbusters.org ]

Harrelson, who took off the last five years to live a "sustainable" lifestyle in Hawaii (solar power, growing own food), forwarded the usual litany of environmentalist scare-mongering: "I do think that we're in big trouble. I mean, you look at the signs. They're all around us, the tsunamis, the hurricanes, all of it predicted, the melting of the polar ice caps...."

The exchange, about politics and Harrelson's environmental views, on the October 11 Late Show:

Letterman: "In your estimation, if, in fact, you subscribe to the theory that the planet has been damaged, is it correctable? Is it too late? Have we gone too far?"
Harrelson: "Well, you know, I am an optimist, Dave. I do think that we're in big trouble. I mean, you look at the signs. They're all around us, the tsunamis, the hurricanes, all of it predicted, the melting of the polar ice caps. This has all been predicted 20, 25 years ago by scientists and it's all coming to fruition. So I think we're in a serious situation, but I think the main thing we've got do is get off fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are really destructive."
Letterman: "That would then start a reduction in the rising temperature? Is that the way that would work?"
Harrelson: "Well, it would take a while before it will affect it, but especially because it seems like these darn, this oil-garchy that calls itself our executive branch and all the people associated with them are making a lot of money. So I think it's going to take a while to turn around. But I do know a lot of people who, you know, you can buy a Mercedes that is a diesel engine or any kind of diesel car and you can run bio-diesel."
Letterman: "What is bio-diesel?"
Harrelson: "Bio-diesel is vegetable oil along with ethanol or methanol and some kind of PH balancer. But Rudolph Diesel, when he designed that engine, he meant for it to run off of vegetable oil from the farmers. I don't think he imagined any petrochemical industry taking over the world."

A bit later, Letterman ran a clip from the movie North Country in which Harrelson plays "Bill White," a lawyer who takes on the case of Minnesota miner "Josey Aimes," played by Charlize Theron. In the scene, Aimes/Theron stands at the edge of an ice rink as White/Harrelson skates around with a hockey stick and shoots a puck:

"White," played by Harrelson: "Look, Josey, the illusion is that all your problems are solved in court. The reality is that even when you win you don't win."
"Aimes," played by Theron: "I know, but I'm right."
Harrelson's character: "Well, I'm sure you are but right has nothing to do with the real world. Look at Anita Hill, because she's you. You think you're out-gunned at the mine? Wait until you get to a courtroom. It's called the nuts and sluts defense. You're either nuts and you imagine it or you're a slut and you asked for it. Either way it's not pleasant. Take my advice. Find another job, start over."
Theron's character: "I don't have any start over left."

The Warner Brothers page for North Country: northcountrymovie.warnerbros.com


# DNC Chairman Howard Dean will be a guest on tonight's (Wednesday) Late Show with David Letterman.

NBC's Law & Order Wednesday Night: Plot
Inspired by Schiavo Case

Ripped from the headlines: The plot for Wednesday's Law & Order is inspired by the Schiavo case -- and it looks like one of those fighting to keep the Schiavo-like character alive may also be a murderer.

From NBC's page for the 10pm EDT/PDT and 9pm CDT/MDT Law & Order:
"BEFORE DISCONNECTING WIFE'S FEEDING TUBE, HUSBAND IS KILLED BY CAR BOMB WHICH IGNITES SENSATIONAL MEDIA ATTENTION -- A car bomb kills the husband of an incapacitated woman shortly before the victim planned to disconnect her feeding tube, and when Detectives Fontana (Dennis Farina) and Green (Jesse L. Martin) wade into the politically charged case, they find the bombmaker who points them to suspects that include the woman's angry family and clergy. As national media arrive, A.D.A.s McCoy (Sam Waterston) and Borgia (Annie Parisse) engage in a frustrating shell game where each suspect seems to have a mutually bulletproof alibi."

NBC's Web page for the weekly drama: www.nbc.com

-- Brent Baker