1. CBS: Kerry Offers "Impassioned" Retort, Bush Message "Undercut" The campaign on Thursday through the lens of the CBS News eye: John Kerry fought back nobly against unfair attacks on a subject on which the public is tired, Vietnam, while the new poverty numbers were a setback for President Bush which makes his message about an improving economy "hard to see." Without citing any evidence, Byron Pitts maintained there's "growing evidence voters are frustrated over the bickering about his war record." Pitts trumpeted how Kerry delivered "an impassioned response" to critics. Pitts insisted that "around the country, it's policy positions,... continue reading
1. Nets Jump on Cleland Stunt, Hype Ginsburg Overlap with Swifties ABC, CBS and NBC reporters all acknowledged how the Bush team called former Senator Max Cleland's trip to Crawford, Texas a "publicity stunt," but that didn't prevent NBC Nightly News from leading with it Wednesday or the CBS Evening News from pairing it as their top story with the resignation of Bush campaign legal counsel Ben Ginsburg, a pairing ABC's World News Tonight went with after stories on the Russian plane crashes. Without offering any proof, NBC's Tom Brokaw claimed that Cleland "lost his Senate seat after an ad... continue reading
1. ABC Champions Cheney Noting Gay Daughter, Disagreement with Bush CBS, CNN, FNC and NBC all covered how Vice President Cheney on Tuesday talked about how one of his daughters is gay and made clear that he disagrees with President Bush's position on same-sex marriage, but ABC considered his comments to be the most important news of the day as World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson led by trumpeting how Cheney became "the most powerful politician in American history to acknowledge that he has a child who is gay." Gibson emphasized how Cheney "expressed a position on gay marriage fundamentally... continue reading
1. Networks Dissatisfied, Complain Bush "Refuses to Condemn the Ad" Aligning themselves with the Kerry campaign spin line, ABC and NBC were dissatisfied Monday night with how President Bush condemned all 527 groups and not specifically the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. "President Bush today condemned the ads," ABC anchor Charles Gibson noted before he fretted, "but he only condemned the way such ads are financed, paid for by independent groups. He avoids condemning the specific content of the ads, and that infuriates Democrats." NBC's Tom Brokaw complained: "The President praises Kerry's Vietnam service, but refuses to condemn the ad."... continue reading
1. Probed Bush Guard Record, But Now Want Bush to Condemn Swift Ads On the first Face the Nation after President Bush's Air National Guard service became a big media scandal in February, CBS's Bob Schieffer focused on the substance, demanding to know what recently released records revealed. He did not demand that the Kerry team condemn the pursuit of the issue or DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe for accusing Bush of being "AWOL" and, in fact, his co-host, Time's Karen Tumulty, outlined how the subject helped the Kerry campaign in its denigration of Bush character. But a bit more than... continue reading
1. Kerry Blast at Bush Moves Nets to Finally Show Swift Boat Ad John Kerry achieved Thursday what 250 swift boat veterans from the Vietnam war could not: Some broadcast network attention for their contention that John Kerry greatly exaggerated his exploits in Vietnam, even if the anti-Kerry vets were painted, without evidence, as insidious operators doing President Bush's bidding. ABC's World News Tonight, which ignored the May 4 press conference by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and hasn't since mentioned their charges or early August ad, led with how, as anchor Elizabeth Vargas framed the matter in a manner... continue reading
1. Media Push Kerry Spin on How Tax Cuts Help Rich the Most A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study released on Friday documented that, thanks to the Bush tax cuts, the top 20 percent of taxpayers saw their share of all income taxes collected rise while the burden borne by the middle 20 percent fell. But the media highlighted data which either pointed out the self-evidently obvious and thus hardly newsworthy -- that the higher your income the larger the numeric value of your tax cut -- or by claiming the tax cuts shifted the tax burden away from the... continue reading
1. Nets Fret Over Cheney's "Scathing" and "Harsh Attack" on Kerry The presidential candidates and their surrogates fire off attacks on each other virtually every day, but Vice President Dick Cheney's criticism on Thursday of John Kerry for promising to lead a "more sensitive war on terror," unleashed media angst with all the networks focusing a story on it. ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas called it a "scathing attack," CNN's John King described it as a "fierce attack" and from Athens, NBC's Tom Brokaw tagged it a "harsh attack." On CBS, anchor Scott Pelley fretted about how while Cheney "hammered hard... continue reading
1. ABC Sees "Harsh" Attack from Bush While Kerry is "Hitting Back" A "harsh" Bush and Cheney versus the Kerry-Edwards team which is simply "hitting back." ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas warned on Wednesday night that "the Bush campaign unleashed its harshest attacks yet on Senator Kerry" as "Vice President Cheney accused Kerry of exhibiting, quote, 'a lot of hesitancy and uncertainty'" while President Bush also "went on the attack." ABC's Jonathan Karl argued that "the fervor of the attacks suggests Republicans are worried Kerry is gaining ground." In the very next story, ABC painted Kerry as the set upon victim... continue reading
1. Bush Wrong on Stem Cells, Not Kerry's False Claims on Cambodia FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume on Monday night picked up on how John O'Neill and Jerome Corsi assert in their new book, Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, that contrary to John Kerry's claims that he was in Cambodia in 1968 when President Nixon insisted no U.S. armed forces were in that nation, an allegation he raised in railing in 1986 against President Reagan's efforts to help the Nicaraguan freedom fighters, he was not in Cambodia. The other networks, however, ignored that... continue reading