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Williams Tells Grads U.S. Broken: 'Need You to Fix the Country' --6/10/2008


1. Williams Tells Grads U.S. Broken: 'Need You to Fix the Country'
Delivering the commencement address Sunday at Ohio State University in Columbus, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams implied America is broken as he told the graduates: "We need you to fix the country." That clip, squeezed in between Al Gore at Carnegie Mellon and Martin Sheen at Notre Dame, aired as part of an annual compilation of commencement advice run at the end of Monday's NBC Nightly News. In full video of his remarks posted on MSNBC.com, Williams apologized for his contemporaries: "On behalf of my generation, I'm sorry, the Internet is so cool we got sidetracked." He urged the graduates to "pick one area" and do something about it, recommending they "start with climate" since "something tells me this may be a challenge in the years ahead" to "find a way to get around without fuel in our tanks that comes from an enemy of this country." Echoing a theme of those calling for "change," Williams pleaded: "We won't seen an election like this for decades again in this country. We are at a crossroads. They don't get more important and it's so important that you all get involved." Williams scolded bloggers for writing about themselves, exhorting bloggers to talk "about all of us" since "we need to start thinking of us as the collective, the United States that we used to know."

2. Wash Post Columnist: 'Bush Lied' Argument Doesn't Match Facts
Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt will no doubt upset liberal bloggers with his Monday column underscoring something the rest of the national media elite hasn't exactly underscored: that the "Bush lied, people died" line doesn't match what Democrats on the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence found and some media outlets forwarded. For instance, on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams announced: "In a long-awaited report, the Senate Intelligence Committee today concluded that President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials exaggerated and misrepresented the intelligence about Saddam Hussein and his possible connections to al Qaeda in making the case for war in Iraq." But Hiatt pointed out: "Dive into [Sen. Jay] Rockefeller's report, in search of where exactly President Bush lied about what his intelligence agencies were telling him about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and you may be surprised by what you find. On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The President's statements 'were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates.'..."

3. After 64 Minutes to Dems, ABC Offers McCain Time -- With Obama
ABCNews.com reported on Sunday that the network had invited Senators Barack Obama and John McCain to appear in a joint, 90 minute, primetime town hall meeting on ABC. This hardly seems balanced, as ABC has donated 64 minutes worth of town hall air time exclusively to Democrats during the just-ended presidential primary season. This came about through two such events that aired on Good morning America on March 26 and July 16, 2007, one with Hillary Clinton and another with John Edwards. The Republicans, however, had no representation in a GMA town hall. So, what sense does it make to include a Democrat in ABC's first 2008 town hall that would have actually featured a GOP contender?

4. CBS: Schroeder on HRC: 'We Thought Salem Witch Trials Were Over'
On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked about Hillary Clinton dropping out of the presidential race with liberal blogger Arianna Huffington and former Democratic Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, who commented on sexism during the campaign: "It troubles me a lot what we saw. It was like they made a witch out of her [Hillary Clinton], some people. You know we thought the Salem witch trials were over. But some people, no matter what she said, it was 'don't believe it. She's really evil.' This is -- I've never seen anyone do that to a candidate." That comment was sparked by Smith asking about Clinton: "Did she -- did she get a fair shake?"

5. CNN Turns to Steinem to Blame Hillary's Loss on Sexism, Media
CNN's American Morning, following-up on their segment last Friday with Gail Sheehy on whether sexism factored into Hillary Clinton's loss, asked "pioneering feminist" Gloria Steinem about the issue on Monday morning. Steinem placed the blame squarely on "misogyny and the culture at large, and especially in the media." "[N]o candidate in history has been asked to step down by the media. She was. The average time that it takes for a loser to endorse a winner in this situation is four months -- four months. She did it in four days, and look how she was criticized, you know, for not doing it the very same night. It's outrageous." Co-hosts Kyra Phillips and John Roberts interviewed Steinem at the end of the 7 am hour of the CNN program. Roberts first addressed the issue of "what went wrong:" "Was it that, as her husband has suggested, she got a raw deal as the first female candidate to go this far, or was it something else?" In reply, Steinem lamented: "I never thought that a progressive woman could win the top spot in my lifetime, and I never thought she could win....We have a very bad record in this regard. We're like 82nd in the world in terms of representing women..."

6. NBC Promotes Climber Who Says Global Warming Kills More Than 9/11
On Monday's Today show, NBC's Amy Robach sat down with a French climber, who was arrested for scaling the New York Times building, to promote his belief that global warming kills more people every day than 9/11. The NBC graphic bragged it had an exclusive with the global warming alarmist, Alain Robert, and while Robach did note the criminal charges being brought against him, she never challenged Robert's assertion that climate change was deadlier than al Qaeda. Robach: "You did it with a message. Tell us about this organization and why it's so important to you." Alain Robert: "In fact, you know, actually, global warming is killing more people every week than 9/11, so which is a big amount of people."

7. Brokaw Scolds Letterman on 'Horrible' US; Environmental Hypocrisy
Tom Brokaw came aboard Monday's Late Show to promote his book about the 1960s, but soon chided David Letterman with some historical context after Letterman forwarded standard liberal claims about how the America of 2008 is in a "horrible" state thanks to the awful President George W. Bush, and when Letterman fretted about government inaction on global warming, Brokaw embarrassed the late night host by pointing out how he's a big carbon-producer since he drives a big vehicle and flies executive jets. On the terrible state of the nation, Letterman contended "everything...has gone so lousy in the last eight years" so "things are horrible in ways they shouldn't be horrible." Brokaw pointed to his book about 1968, and delivered a friendly lecture about the many terrible events of that year far worse than anything this year. Similarly assuming the present is the worst ever, Letterman complained: "People are all talking about, 'okay we're going to change the emissions by 2035, by 2020.' That's too late. I mean, it's a hundred degrees now!" Letterman pleaded: "It's got to come from the government. They have to lead us." Brokaw agreed, but then made the host uncomfortable: The government has to lead and those of us who drive -- uhh uhh -- big carbon-emitting vehicles or fly in airplanes that have only two passengers on them-"


Media Appearance: MRC President Brent Bozell is scheduled to appear on FNC's Fox & Friends at 8:15 AM EDT this (Tuesday) morning.

Williams Tells Grads U.S. Broken: 'Need
You to Fix the Country'

Delivering the commencement address Sunday at Ohio State University in Columbus, where we was awarded an honorary Doctor of Journalism degree, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams implied America is broken as he told the graduates: "We need you to fix the country." That clip, squeezed in between Al Gore at Carnegie Mellon and Martin Sheen at Notre Dame, aired as part of an annual compilation of commencement advice run at the end of Monday's NBC Nightly News. In full video of his remarks posted on MSNBC.com, Williams apologized for his contemporaries: "On behalf of my generation, I'm sorry, the Internet is so cool we got sidetracked." He urged the graduates to "pick one area" and do something about it, recommending they "start with climate" since "something tells me this may be a challenge in the years ahead" to "find a way to get around without fuel in our tanks that comes from an enemy of this country."

Echoing a theme of those calling for "change," Williams pleaded: "We won't seen an election like this for decades again in this country. We are at a crossroads. They don't get more important and it's so important that you all get involved. Put your generational stamp on American politics."

Williams scolded bloggers for writing about themselves, exhorting bloggers to talk "about all of us" since "we need to start thinking of us as the collective, the United States that we used to know."

Video of a commencement story on the Web site of NBC's Columbus affiliate, WCMH-TV, featured a longer version of the line from Williams: "We need you to fix the country -- and I'm sorry to ask this of you." In another soundbite aired by the local station, Williams paraphrased Bill Clinton: "There is nothing wrong with America that someone from Ohio State can't fix. Go get them OH!" Check: www.nbc4i.com

[This item is adapted from a Monday night post, by the MRC's Brent Baker, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

It may well be that polls show many Americans think the nation is heading in the wrong direction, but does that mean it is appropriate for a journalist -- in a national election year -- to declare that America needs to be "fixed," clearly suggesting the country is broken?

Video of the compilation aired on Monday's NBC Nightly News, with a short clip of Williams: www.msnbc.msn.com

Looking around the Web extensively for more of what Williams said in order to get a fuller quote to put it all in context, didn't yield anything beyond the video on MSNBC.com. The Columbus Dispatch's Monday story didn't quote Williams, the Ohio State commencement page does not have text of the prepared remarks, the OSU press release page offers nothing, the student newspaper hasn't published since June 2 and the WOSU-TV channel 34 site has a page with video highlights of past commencements, but nothing yet from the latest one. And Williams has not posted anything about it on his Daily Nightly blog. (See the NewsBusters posing for links to the listed pages.)

A partial transcript, taken down from MSNBC.com's Flash video of nearly the entire June 8 remarks:

....I come here today with a request for the Class of '08: We need you to fix the country -- and I'm sorry to ask this of you. And I'm deadly serious and we really do. I am 49 and on behalf of my generation, I'm so sorry, the Internet is so cool we got sidetracked. I can burn an hour on Perez Hilton like that. And I know I speak for a lot of you: WebMD, very cool, except anything I've ever punched in comes back "thyroid cancer."

The Internet is fantastic and it takes way too much of our time, so, with apologies, we need you all now to step up and every adult in this place has every faith that you're up to the job. You are today, as of today, as fearsome a weapon as the one they assembled during the Manhattan project in a similar place -- Soldier Field up in Chicago. You are the most fearsome weapon in the world. You are students in the United States of America armed with a newly-minted college degree from the Ohio State University.

So pick one area: energy, politics, diplomacy, science, education, military, transportation. Start with climate. Something tells me this may be a challenge in the years ahead. Tomorrow's predicted high for Columbus is 220 degrees.

Energy policy: Can you please help us find a way to get around without fuel in our tanks that comes from an enemy of this country?

We can no longer fly dependably, commercially point to point in this country...

Politics: Pick a campaign. Campaign for McCain, campaign for Obama, campaign for the Libertarian, for the Vegan Party, but volunteer, get out there and campaign for someone. We won't see an election like this for decades again in this country. We are at a crossroads. They don't get more important and it's so important that you all get involved. Put your generational stamp on American politics.

Dial in and pay attention, and I say that as part of a group we all have to start thinking and acting as one. There are, as of this week, 117 million blogs in the United States. One more time: 117 million blogs. And I stand here today as one of them. And what do most of us bloggers talk about? Us. And the problem is we need to start talking about us, all of us. We need to start thinking of us as the collective, the United States that we used to know. It's going to require a lot of work.

I am proud to say that in my life and my job I am able to spend a lot of time with American in uniform. They are magnificent and would so enjoy this here today....They too, as you are, are the very best of your generation. Think of them when you think you're having a bad day....Will all veterans of the U.S. armed forces please do us the honor of standing up in place?...

For the 13-minute flv video: www.msnbc.msn.com

Wash Post Columnist: 'Bush Lied' Argument
Doesn't Match Facts

Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt will no doubt upset liberal bloggers with his Monday column underscoring something the rest of the national media elite hasn't exactly underscored: that the "Bush lied, people died" line doesn't match what Democrats on the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence found and some media outlets forwarded. For instance, on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams announced:
"In a long-awaited report, the Senate Intelligence Committee today concluded that President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials exaggerated and misrepresented the intelligence about Saddam Hussein and his possible connections to al Qaeda in making the case for war in Iraq. Most of the Republicans on the committee notably and sharply disagreed with some of the report's findings."

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

But Hiatt pointed out:

There's no question that the administration, and particularly Vice President Cheney, spoke with too much certainty at times and failed to anticipate or prepare the American people for the enormous undertaking in Iraq.

But dive into [Sen. Jay] Rockefeller's report, in search of where exactly President Bush lied about what his intelligence agencies were telling him about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and you may be surprised by what you find.

On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The president's statements "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates."

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president's statements "were substantiated by intelligence information."

On chemical weapons, then? "Substantiated by intelligence information."

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? "Generally substantiated by available intelligence." Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information."

As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you've mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush's claims about Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to terrorism.

But statements regarding Iraq's support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda "were substantiated by the intelligence assessments," and statements regarding Iraq's contacts with al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." The report is left to complain about "implications" and statements that "left the impression" that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.

END of Excerpt

For the June 9 column in full: www.washingtonpost.com

Hiatt concluded that the problem was not that Bush overstated the intelligence as much as the intelligence was so off-kilter, which is a danger for a President of either party. But Hiatt is left-wing enough to ignore that Democrats are especially reluctant to use military force, and so even if intelligence reports of threats were strongly worded, it might not spur any action. If President Gore had faced all this overdone intelligence on Iraq's capabilities, no one really believes he would have gone to war. It's even questionable whether President Gore would have done more to dislodge the Taliban in Afghanistan than President Clinton did.

After 64 Minutes to Dems, ABC Offers
McCain Time -- With Obama

ABCNews.com reported on Sunday that the network had invited Senators Barack Obama and John McCain to appear in a joint, 90 minute, primetime town hall meeting on ABC. This hardly seems balanced, as ABC has donated 64 minutes worth of town hall air time exclusively to Democrats during the just-ended presidential primary season. This came about through two such events that aired on Good morning America on March 26 and July 16, 2007, one with Hillary Clinton and another with John Edwards.

The Republicans, however, had no representation in a GMA town hall. So, what sense does it make to include a Democrat in ABC's first 2008 town hall that would have actually featured a GOP contender? (Yahoo News has reported that the Obama and McCain camps are rejecting of the offer of a joint appearance: news.yahoo.com )

However, if ABC were to argue that McCain has also turned down previous requests for a exclusive town hall, is it likely that Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee or any of the other Republican primary contenders would have all said no to the same free publicity given to Edwards and Clinton?

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

The first such event featured softball questions from co-host Robert Roberts to Senator Clinton, including a query about whether the former First Lady's 1993 plan for universal health care was "ahead of its time." Roberts even allowed Clinton plants from the town hall audience to pose questions:

ROBIN ROBERTS: What you said then in, in '€˜93, many people felt it was just, in some ways, ahead of its, ahead of its time. Somebody that was there, and wants to ask you what is different now, between what happened then, and he is Dr. Steve Eckstat. He is, he works at the free clinic of Iowa. Doctor?
DR. STEVE ECKSTAT: Morning. In 1993, I was a member of the Clinton Health Care Task Force when we were attempting to provide universal health care coverage of all Americans...If elected president, Senator Clinton, would you be willing to try again to provide universal health care coverage for all Americans and make that at priority for your administration?

Roberts also let Clinton to go on at great lengths, speaking for 18 of the 26 minutes she was featured. See the March 27, 2007 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

On July 16, 2007, GMA presented a town hall (and a additional 38 minutes of air time) to another Democrat, John Edwards. And although Sawyer did ask tougher questions than Roberts, she also tossed Edwards queries such as "What's the worst meal you've had on the road?" and "Do you listen to an iPod? Does it relax you on the road?" See the July 17 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

CBS: Schroeder on HRC: 'We Thought Salem
Witch Trials Were Over'

On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked about Hillary Clinton dropping out of the presidential race with liberal blogger Arianna Huffington and former Democratic Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, who commented on sexism during the campaign: "It troubles me a lot what we saw. It was like they made a witch out of her [Hillary Clinton], some people. You know we thought the Salem witch trials were over. But some people, no matter what she said, it was 'don't believe it. She's really evil.' This is -- I've never seen anyone do that to a candidate." That comment was sparked by Smith asking about Clinton: "Did she -- did she get a fair shake?"

Smith followed by telling Schroeder: "Talk to me from your gut." The former Congresswoman needed no encouragement: "I'm telling you I feel there's a tremendous amount of sexism still out there. And this is not a society that deals with sexism. You know, racism, we now recognize and we all stand up. Anti-Semitism, the same thing. Good for us. That's wonderful...But the sexism that we saw in some of the media really troubled me. And we didn't have party leaders standing up. You know, If you're the woman and you stand up and say, 'Wait a minute I believe that's sexist.'...Then everybody says, 'oh, there they go. They're whining, they can't take it.' And I really think we have a lot of ground to cover on sexism."

[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

At the beginning of the segment, Schroeder also said to Smith: "I was the one who said the White House was the ultimate tree house with the big 'no girls allowed' on it." Smith then asked: "Do you think they can take the sign down?," Schroeder replied: "No, not yet."

Smith asked Huffington about the sexism question, quoting from Clinton's Saturday concession speech: "'18 million cracks in this glass ceiling,' is your sense the glass ceiling is about to be ultimately broken?" Huffington agreed with Schroder: "Oh, it will definitely be broken. You know, we broke one ceiling with the nomination of Barack Obama and, as Pat said, there is residual sexism, there is residual racism."

Huffington went on to add how Clinton had "transformed" herself: "...also what is amazing is the way she was herself transformed through the campaign...She's now the keeper of the Clinton brand. And she has changed the Clinton brand. It's much more popular and- " Smith interrupted: "Absolutely. Because she started as a celebrity candidate. She transcended that, by the end she was her own person."

Here is the full transcript of the June 9 segment:

HARRY SMITH: Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton officially suspended her presidential campaign, endorsing former rival Barack Obama and uttering these historic words:
HILLARY CLINTON: When we first started, people everywhere asked the same questions, could a woman really serve as commander in chief? Well, I think we answered that one. To those who are disappointed that we couldn't go all the way, especially the young people who put so much into this campaign, it would break my heart if in falling short of my goal, I in any way discouraged any of you from pursuing yours. Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And when you stumble, keep faith. And when you're knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on. Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it.
SMITH: Joining us now, Pat Schroeder, former congresswoman from Colorado, herself a one-time presidential hopeful. And Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of the Huffington Post. Good morning to you both.
PAT SCHROEDER: Good morning.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON: Good morning.
SMITH: Congresswoman, I can't help but remember first meeting you in the '70s when you were working for the Equal Rights Amendment back in those days.
SCHROEDER: Yes. Which still hasn't passed but-
SMITH: And yourself a presidential hopeful. I can't help but wonder what you were thinking when you listened to Hillary's speech on Saturday?
SCHROEDER: Oh, I thought it was a brilliant speech. It was a wonderful speech. And the wonderful thing about it was she encouraged everybody to keep trying, you know, 'Let's make this a celebration and let's say we moved the ball down the field, we didn't quite get over the goal line, but that's okay.' It's turned out to be much more evolutionary than revolutionary, let me say, this whole women's movement.
SMITH: Right, right.
SCHROEDER: But as you know, I was the one who said the White House was the ultimate tree house with the big "no girls allowed" on it and-
SMITH: Do you think they can take the sign down?
SCHROEDER: No, not yet.
SMITH: Not yet. Arianna Huffington, what did you think about Saturday's speech?
HUFFINGTON: I thought it was an incredibly powerful message for all women and the next generation of young women and young men. Because the thing that stops people from fulfilling their dreams, pursuing their dreams is the fear of failure. And Hillary Clinton dealt with that head on during her speech when she said 'don't play the game of might have beens.' You know, 'every moment,' she said, 'wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward.' The stakes are too high. And that is like a very powerful message which I want to have framed, put on my desk, and give to my teenage daughters.
SMITH: Did she -- did she get a fair shake, Pat Schroeder?
SCHROEDER: Oh, my goodness. Well I really-
SMITH: Talk to me from your gut, not from-
SCHROEDER: I'm talking to you from my gut, I'm telling you I feel there's a tremendous amount of sexism still out there. And this is not a society that deals with sexism. You know, racism, we now recognize and we all stand up. Anti-Semitism, the same thing. Good for us. That's wonderful.
SMITH: Right.
SCHROEDER: But the sexism that we saw in some of the media really troubled me. And we didn't have party leaders standing up. You know, If you're the woman and you stand up and say, 'Wait a minute I believe that's sexist.'
SMITH: Right.
SCHROEDER: Then everybody says, 'oh, there they go. They're whining, they can't take it.' And I really think we have a lot of ground to cover on sexism. It troubles me a lot what we saw. It was like they made a witch out of her, some people. You know we thought the Salem witch trials were over. But some people, no matter what she said, it was 'don't believe it. She's really evil.' This is -- I've never seen anyone do that to a candidate.
SMITH: Arianna Huffington, '18 million cracks in this glass ceiling,' is your sense the glass ceiling is about to be ultimately broken?
HUFFINGTON: Oh, it will definitely be broken. You know, we broke one ceiling with the nomination of Barack Obama and, as Pat said, there is residual sexism, there is residual racism. But it was clear that in Hillary Clinton's case this is a game changing defeat, both for the people who are going to follow her for the next generation, and also what is amazing is the way she was herself transformed through the campaign.
SMITH: Right.
HUFFINGTON: She's now the keeper of the Clinton brand. And she has changed the Clinton brand. It's much more popular and-
SMITH: Absolutely. Because she started as a celebrity candidate. She transcended that, by the end she was her own person.
SCHROEDER: She is her own person and Bill is the tail of the kite.
SMITH: Yeah.
SCHROEDER: Which is really an interesting thing, isn't it.
SMITH: Arianna Huffington, Pat Schroeder, great to see you both. Thank you very much for being with us this morning.
SCHROEDER: Thank you.
HUFFINGTON: Thank you.

CNN Turns to Steinem to Blame Hillary's
Loss on Sexism, Media

CNN's American Morning, following-up on their segment last Friday with Gail Sheehy on whether sexism factored into Hillary Clinton's loss, asked "pioneering feminist" Gloria Steinem about the issue on Monday morning. Steinem placed the blame squarely on "misogyny and the culture at large, and especially in the media." "[N]o candidate in history has been asked to step down by the media. She was. The average time that it takes for a loser to endorse a winner in this situation is four months -- four months. She did it in four days, and look how she was criticized, you know, for not doing it the very same night. It's outrageous."

Co-hosts Kyra Phillips and John Roberts interviewed Steinem at the end of the 7 am hour of the CNN program. Roberts first addressed the issue of "what went wrong:" "Was it that, as her husband has suggested, she got a raw deal as the first female candidate to go this far, or was it something else?"

In reply, Steinem lamented: "I never thought that a progressive woman could win the top spot in my lifetime, and I never thought she could win, which was all the more reason it was important to support her. We have a very bad record in this regard. We're like 82nd in the world in terms of representing women, and the pattern at the very top is that you have different varieties of men, the Jewish man, the Puerto Rican -- you know, before you have a woman in that spot."

[This item, by the MRC's Matthew Balan, was posted Monday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

After initially bringing up the issue of the media's "misogyny," Steinem later went back to it when Phillips asked if Hillary Clinton should have made a "gender speech" just as Barack Obama made a "race speech." Note how the CNN substitute co-host, even in a segment about Hillary Clinton's loss, can't help but to gush over Obama.

PHILLIPS: Did she miss an opportunity, though, to do a speech on gender? He came out with the race speech in March. It was amazing, riveting -- should she have done the same thing?
STEINEM: Well, I think that -- I think she should have. But I think the pressures on her not to were enormous, because people would have said, oh, she's fetching, she's complaining. You know, the fact is that gender is still perceived as part of nature in a way that race used to be and, you know, sometimes still is, but it's not as much anymore, thank goodness. So I'm not sure that -- I mean, she would have been so criticized in the media. Look how criticized she's been for even raising the fact that she's a female human being.

Despite this cheerleading on the part of Phillips, Steinem, now that she is an Obama supporter herself, doesn't slam the media for its pro-Obama bias. Instead, the issue for her is the media's apparent sexism.

The full transcript of the Gloria Steinem interview from Monday's American Morning:

SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON: So today I am standing with Senator Obama to say, yes we can!
KYRA PHILLIPS: Senator Hillary Clinton suspending her historic campaign this weekend and throwing her full support behind Barack Obama.
JOHN ROBERTS: But will the millions of women who back Hillary Clinton follow her lead? Pioneering feminist author Gloria Steinem supported Hillary Clinton in her campaign. She's now backing Barack Obama. She was at the speech on Saturday and she joins us now. Good to see you, thanks for coming in.
GLORIA STEINEM: Thank you so much.
ROBERTS: Let me start first of all with this idea that six months ago, she was a lock for the nomination. What do you think went wrong? Was it that, as her husband has suggested, she got a raw deal as the first female candidate to go this far, or was it something else?
STEINEM: Well, I am in kind of a special situation here because I never thought that a progressive woman could win the top spot in my lifetime, and I never thought she could win, which was all the more reason it was important to support her. We have a very bad record in this regard. We're like 82nd in the world in terms of representing women, and the pattern at the very top is that you have different varieties of men, the Jewish man, the Puerto Rican -- you know, before you have a woman in that spot. Clearly, part of the problem is the misogyny and the culture at large, and especially in the media. I mean, you know, no candidate in history has been asked to step down by the media. She was. The average time that it takes for a loser to endorse a winner in this situation is four months -- four months. She did it in four days, and look how she was criticized, you know, for not doing it the very same night. It's outrageous.
PHILLIPS: Well, you know, it's interesting. You said something that everyone -- or women are more likable as the loser.
STEINEM: Yes, right.
PHILLIPS: So do you think -- do you think the fact that she did not win is actually going to be better for women in the long run because of that?
STEINEM: No, no, no, no, it's not good for women to be liked as losers. But it's an evidence of the bias in the culture. It's the way sex roles, gender roles are policed, let's put it that way -- that men are liked when they win and women are liked when they lose. It's the way we are policed into our roles which oppresses men too. You know, they should be liked whether they win or not.
PHILLIPS: But is it sort of the thing that -- well, men still don't want to see women get it, get that brass ring and so....
STEINEM: Right, and some women don't either, you know, because we're all raised by women or most of us are raised by women until we come to think that female authority is only appropriate in childhood, and we feel when we see an authoritative woman, we feel almost regressed to childhood, because that was the last time we saw an authoritative woman. So, it's deep, it's going to take quite a while, and we're taking even longer in this country than most countries.
ROBERTS: Gloria, some people, including former Senator Bob Kerrey, have suggested that she didn't lose because she was a woman. He just ran a better campaign and had he have run in 1992 against Bill Clinton, probably would have beaten him too.
STEINEM: Yeah, but that's ridiculous to do -- a single factor analysis of history, you know, she didn't win or lose. But, you know, we're all unique people. Every situation is unique. But had she not been a woman, you know -- she was very close. So any single thing, you know, could have made the difference.
ROBERTS: Do you think he needs to do a speech on gender, very much the way he did one on race?
STEINEM: Well, look, her candidacy was really born in Beijing during her first term, when she went there gave a fantastic speech about women's rights as human rights -- women from Africa, Asia, you know, stood up and said she should be a leader. He needs to read that speech, I think, which I'm sure he understands anyway, and always speak about women's rights as human rights, and having had his own experience of discrimination, makes it much easier for him to understand what women of all races go through.
PHILLIPS: Did she miss an opportunity, though, to do a speech on gender? He came out with the race speech in March. It was amazing, riveting -- should she have done the same thing?
STEINEM: Well, I think that -- I think she should have. But I think the pressures on her not to were enormous, because people would have said, oh, she's fetching, she's complaining. You know, the fact is that gender is still perceived as part of nature in a way that race used to be and, you know, sometimes still is, but it's not as much anymore, thank goodness. So I'm not sure that -- I mean, she would have been so criticized in the media. Look how criticized she's been for even raising the fact that she's a female human being.
PHILLIPS: She got up there, not only as a contender but -- right next to him.
STEINEM: She has made such a huge advance. You know, this is the first time. I mean, I ran as a delegate for Shirley Chisolm 36 years ago. Shirley Chisolm took the 'white males only' sign off the White House door -- both, you know. And, you know, we've had 50 women, you know, running over time. It takes a long time in this -- in a country that is this big and that is this biased against female human beings. I mean, let's face it, you know, we have this kind of frontier macho thing and we've still got it. But, therefore, we're choosing our leadership talent from a tiny pool. But what we have to remember is that men have gender, too. We have to talk about gender roles as men. White people have race, too. We have to talk about white racism. Every time we talk about -- race doesn't belong to the people who are afflicted by it. It belongs to all of us, and if we do that, this campaign really will be historic and we will have enlarged the talent pool from about 6%...
PHILLIPS: Both of them having cracked the doors. They've busted open the doors, from race to gender....
STEINEM: It's huge. We had an embarrassment of talent this year, and I'm very proud to have been part of both campaigns and we're going to elect Barack Obama.
ROBERTS: Gloria, thanks for coming in this morning -- appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
STEINEM: Thank you.

NBC Promotes Climber Who Says Global
Warming Kills More Than 9/11

On Monday's Today show, NBC's Amy Robach sat down with a French climber, who was arrested for scaling the New York Times building, to promote his belief that global warming kills more people every day than 9/11. The NBC graphic bragged it had an exclusive with the global warming alarmist, Alain Robert, and while Robach did note the criminal charges being brought against him, she never challenged Robert's assertion that climate change was deadlier than al Qaeda.

AMY ROBACH: What is it about scaling skyscrapers that makes you so passionate?
ALAIN ROBERT: This is something a bit different, but most of all, you know, now since nearly a year, I have decided to fight on global warming, and that's the reason why I have decided to climb the New York Times building.
ROBACH: Yeah this climb was different than others, because the other times, you did it perhaps just for the thrill of it. This time you did it with a message. Tell us about this organization and why it's so important to you.
ROBERT: In fact, you know, actually, global warming is killing more people every week than 9/11, so which is a big amount of people.

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

The following is the full interview as it occurred on the June 9 Today show:

AMY ROBACH: He is a real-life Spider Man. Traffic came to a standstill in Manhattan last week when Frenchman Alain Robert climbed the 52-story New York Times headquarters with no rope, no harness, just pure grit. A professional climber, Robert says he has scaled more than 80 buildings across the globe and here in the Big Apple. He has now been charged with reckless endangerment, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct and is out on bail. Alain's manager is Julie Cohen. Alain, Julie, good morning to both of you.
ALAIN ROBERT: Good morning.
JULIE COHEN: Good morning.
ROBACH: Alright, a lot of questions here. A lot of people think, you know, why? You describe actually, "Climbing is my passion, my philosophy of life" on your Web site. What is it about scaling skyscrapers that makes you so passionate?
ROBERT: This is something a bit different, but most of all, you know, now since nearly a year, I have decided to fight on global warming, and that's the reason why I have decided to climb the New York Times building.
ROBACH: Yeah this climb was different than others, because the other times, you did it perhaps just for the thrill of it. This time you did it with a message. Tell us about this organization and why it's so important to you.
ROBERT: In fact, you know, actually, global warming is killing more people every week than 9/11 so which is a big amount of people, and you look at the weather today, once again, it's going to be record you know. Above, nearly 100 degrees for a night. So actually, the global warming is killing and the government are not doing that much on the matter. So that's why I have decided that I was, I was having to give a little bit of my time to fight on global warming.
ROBACH: A little bit of your time. Why don't you use protection? Why don't you use harnesses? I mean, that's got to be pretty scary, right? What are you feeling when you're climbing up that building?
ROBERT: No. The, the thing is, you know, from the beginning, I did start to climb, year 1975, and I have nearly always climbed the same way, you know, many not using any safety devices.
ROBACH: Julie, you've been with Alain for a while. You were down below. You recorded some of his preparations the day before. What does it take to get something like this together?
JULIE COHEN, MANAGER: It takes quite a bit of preparation, mostly because we want to be very careful so that he's not putting anyone ever in danger, and we have to, you know, do our research and find out-
ROBACH: Well, and speaking of that, I mean obviously, we numbered or we listed the number of charges you're facing right now, and a lot of people are saying, you know what, this was not just, not just unsafe for you, but unsafe for everyone on the ground below.
ROBERT: It's not, it's not the truth. You know, climbing the New York Times, it's climbing a ladder. This, I told already everything to the media.
ROBACH: So you had no reason to believe, at all, you could fall?
ROBERT: I am, I am living some world record. Meaning that I did hardest route, for solo, on the planet. So you think that by climbing a ladder, I injure people? I don't think so.
ROBACH: Well I mean, what are your expect-, what do you expecting to say in court? You're back in court on Wednesday, facing these charges. What are you anticipating?
ROBERT: This is my lawyer, you know, is going to defend me, is an expert. First of all, you know, okay they are charges me for criminal trespass. Trespassing is entering inside the property. So there is no criminal trespass. But disorderly conduct, you know I did the best I could do, meaning that I did climb at 11 o'clock which there was not much traffic instead of climbing during the rush hour.
ROBACH: I want to speak a little bit about the message. You talked about the sign you unfurled. And it said, "Global Warming Kills More People Each Day Than 9/11." Did you at all anticipate, just how sensitive that is here in the New York area and how upset some people were at seeing that sign at all, and was there a better message to get that message out than climbing up, scaling up this building?
ROBERT: No, you know, I'm going to tell you why. It's because, okay, I feel so sad, you know, about what's happened in New York seven years ago, you know. I pay a lot of respect to the victims, to the people who have lost husband or daughter and son, but the thing is, you know, to emphasize how important is, is the fight on global warming-
ROBACH: Right.
ROBERT: -I needed to have a very strong message.
ROBACH: Right. Well you certainly got that message out loud and clear. Alain, Julie, thanks so much for being with us.
COHEN: Thank you.

Brokaw Scolds Letterman on 'Horrible'
US; Environmental Hypocrisy

Tom Brokaw came aboard Monday's Late Show to promote his book, Boom! Voices of the Sixties: Personal Reflections on the '60s and Today, but soon chided David Letterman with some historical context after Letterman forwarded standard liberal claims about how the America of 2008 is in a "horrible" state thanks to the awful President George W. Bush, and when Letterman fretted about government inaction on global warming, Brokaw embarrassed the late night host by pointing out how he's a big carbon-producer since he drives a big vehicle and flies executive jets.

On the terrible state of the nation, Letterman contended "everything...has gone so lousy in the last eight years" so "things are horrible in ways they shouldn't be horrible." Brokaw pointed to his book about 1968, and delivered a friendly lecture:
"Let me remind you that forty years ago this year, Doctor King was killed, Bobby Kennedy was killed, we had the Chicago riots, 16,000 people were killed in Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson decided not to run for re-election, the Kerner Commission said we are two societies -- one white, one black, separate and unequal -- we had urban riots and in the fall we had as cantankerous and as contentious and in many way as mentally violent an election as we've ever had..."

Similarly assuming the present is the worst ever, Letterman complained: "People are all talking about, 'okay we're going to change the emissions by 2035, by 2020.' That's too late. I mean, it's a hundred degrees now!" Letterman pleaded: "It's got to come from the government. They have to lead us." Brokaw agreed, but then made the host uncomfortable:

BROKAW: The government has to lead and those of us who drive -- uhh uhh -- big carbon-emitting vehicles or fly in airplanes that have only two passengers on them-
LETTERMAN: Alright, alright, that's fine Tom.

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted, with audio video of the global warming exchange, late Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Letterman owns homes in the Caribbean and in Montana.

As a long-time Letterman fan, I attribute his slide into believing liberal claptrap to his daly reading of the left-wing New York Times, a paper which is particularly alarmist about global warming claims.

The two exchanges, before an audience in Manhattan's Ed Sullivan Theater, as broadcast on the Monday, June 9 Late Show with David Letterman on CBS:

DAVID LETTERMAN: Guys talking about the President really can't do anything about the economy. I don't know if that's true or not, but let's give them that one, let's just say "okay, the President can't do anything about the economy." Everything else has gone so lousy in the last eight years. I mean -- and I'm a guy who doesn't pay attention to much, as long as I got wresting and a TV dinner I'm fine -- but even I am perceiving now that things are horrible in ways they shouldn't be horrible. Now, we're not going to impeach the guy. Could we get our money back? Honest to God, what, I mean [audience applause], just at least something.
TOM BROKAW: David, that's why we have elections and we're about to have an election and on January 20th he'll be out of office. In this book, I write about 1968. Let me remind you that forty years ago this year, Doctor King was killed, Bobby Kennedy was killed, we had the Chicago riots, 16,000 people were killed in Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson decided not to run for re-election, the Kerner Commission said we are two societies -- one white, one black, separate and unequal -- we had urban riots and in the fall we had as cantankerous and as contentious and in many way as mentally violent an election as we've ever had -- with George Wallace who was part of it.
So, we've been through these difficult times before and the way you work your way out of them is you get the two parties to nominate their best candidates and then everybody re-enlists as citizens and say to themselves and their family and their friends: "Hey, it's time for us to get involved." So that's how I feel about it.
LETTERMAN: Well, if you're confident, I'll be confident. But don't you agree, they guy just was a mistake?
BROKAW: Well, it's ah [pause for applause] Remember it's his tax return that your auditing, not my tax return!

...

LETTERMAN: Now here the other day I hear that the Senate, they were monkeying around, they had some kind of climate change bill and it just ran out of gas and it dropped dead. And people are all talking about, "okay we're going to change the emissions by 2035, by 2020." That's too late. I mean, it's a hundred degrees now! In 2020, honest to God, what's it going to be?
BROKAW: Well, everybody has to dive into this. A lot of businesses are making the turn because they think there's an opportunity-
LETTERMAN: But it's got to come from the government. They have to lead us. We need leadership here.
BROKAW: The government has to lead and those of us who drive -- uhh uhh -- big carbon-emitting vehicles or fly in airplanes that have only two passengers on them-
LETTERMAN: Alright, alright, that's fine Tom.

Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

-- Brent Baker