1. CBS's Schieffer Declares: "You Now Know Where John Kerry Stands" Finding clarity in confusion. During Thursday night's debate, Senator John Kerry derided the war in Iraq as "a colossal error in judgment," even as he explained that he "did vote to give the authority [to go to war] because I thought Saddam Hussein was a threat." Kerry also declared that "the President made a mistake in invading Iraq," but when asked, "Are Americans now dying in Iraq for a mistake?" Kerry quickly answered, "No, and they don't have to." Nevertheless, CBS's Bob Schieffer declared: "Whether you agree with him... continue reading
1. ABC: Kerry Finally Fighting Back, Matching Bush's Fearmongering The hapless Kerry campaign that has avoided tough attacks on President Bush is finally fighting back against the unfair attacks leveled by Bush operatives. That's the prism through which ABC portrayed the campaign in a Wednesday night debate preview story by ABC's Dan Harris who devoted a story to how, "until recently, Kerry and the Democrats" had supposedly "largely avoided the politics of fear. But as one Kerry advisor said today, the campaign has recently decided it is time to, quote, 'fight fire with fire.' Democrats are doing what the President... continue reading
1. CBS Legitimizes Draft Fear, Driving Mom from Bush to Howdy Doody Five weeks before the election, CBS decided to give legitimacy to Internet rumors by devoting a "What Does It Mean to You?" segment to "fears" of a supposedly Bush-supporting mother that President Bush will impose a military draft. Dan Rather intoned: "A mother worries her son will be drafted. Does she have good reason?" Richard Schlesinger focused his piece around how the mother "is petrified about a military draft, and she's not alone. Mass e-mails are circulating among worried parents." Schlesinger pointed out how both Bush and Kerry... continue reading
1. Bush Up 51-45, But Jennings Stresses Negatives for Bush in Poll President Bush may have a "solid lead" over John Kerry in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, as the Tuesday Washington Post headline put it, but on Monday night ABC's Peter Jennings managed to emphasize the negative for Bush as he stressed how "the President is vulnerable in some areas" with 60 percent believing we're "bogged down in Iraq" and 51 percent who "say the war was not worth fighting." Though Jennings noted that "only 37 percent of registered voters have a favorable opinion of Mr. Kerry," he... continue reading
1. Rather Pounces on "Hitting Below the Belt in the Bible Belt" The Kerry campaign complains and CBS News jumps in line to castigate Republicans. "The Kerry campaign is accusing the Republican National Committee today of hitting below the belt in the Bible Belt," Dan Rather intoned on Friday's CBS Evening News in introducing a full story devoted to a campaign flyer with the word "Banned" over a Bible. John Roberts asserted that "the claims are dramatic and alarmist: A Kerry White House would ban the Bible and undermine the moral fabric of America by appointing 'activist judges' who would... continue reading
1. CBS Sets Out to Show Bush Just as Much a "Flip-Flopper" as Kerry Reacting to poll numbers which show more Americans think John Kerry than George W. Bush says what people want to hear and that many more see Bush over Kerry as decisive, CBS set out to prove that Bush is really just as much of a flip-flopper. Jim Axelrod acknowledged on Thursday's CBS Evening News that "while Senator Kerry has certainly supplied some raw material for this characterization," but he countered that "the President is not without his own, shall we say, changes of mind." Axelrod cited... continue reading
1. Rather Still Sees Memos as Real and Is Upset at Thornburgh Pick In making a brief announcement of the names of the two men appointed to investigate CBS's use of documents seemingly everyone but Dan Rather believes were forgeries, on Wednesday's CBS Evening News Rather maintained his stance that CBS just can't be sure they are real, not that they are fake, as Rather referred to "documents CBS News has not been able to authenticate." While he didn't show his discontent on the air, Thursday's New York Times revealed that "Mr. Thornburgh's appointment upset Dan Rather...according to four colleagues... continue reading
1. ABC Features Denigration of Bush Service Record, Corrects Bush Correcting George W. Bush but not John Kerry. ABC's World News Tonight on Tuesday evening showcased a clip of a man at a Kerry rally, denigrating President Bush, by pointing his finger as he shouted: "Take off the gloves, Senator. You showed up for duty! The Commander-in-Chief didn't! You showed for duty, the Commander-in-Chief didn't!" Moments later, anchor Peter Jennings took another shot at Bush as he observed that "we were struck today by a very pointed attack by President Bush on John Kerry." Viewers then saw a clip of... continue reading
1. Rather Fails to Admit Forgery or Apologize for Impugning Critics On Monday's CBS Evening News Dan Rather refused to describe the memos as forgeries, offered no apology for impugning critics, who turned out to be accurate, as "partisan political operatives" and "partisan political ideological forces," conceded CBS approached Bill Burkett despite Burkett's well-known Bush-hating animosity and devoted much less time to the clarification than to two CBS Evening News stories which insisted upon the authenticity of memos. 2. In Exchange for Memos, CBS Asked Kerry Campaign to Call Burkett Dan Rather denounced the "partisan political operatives" who dared to... continue reading
1. Staudt Undermines CBS's Case, CBS "Experts" Say They Are Not CBS's defense of its forged memos took a blow on Friday when retired Colonel Walter Staudt, the man whom, in CBS's forged documents, Lt. Colonel Jerry Killian complained, in a memo dated 18 months after Staudt had retired, "Staudt is pushing to sugar coat" Bush's performance record, denied to ABC News applying any pressure on Bush's behalf or of having been asked to accept Bush into the Guard. Then on Sunday the Washington Post revealed that two of the "experts" put forward by CBS News to validate the documents... continue reading