1. ABC Hypes Anti-Bush Protest and Media Question in South Africa As if the average African or even African leader were peppering President Bush with questions about his evidence for going to war with Iraq, ABC's Peter Jennings opened his Wednesday broadcast by trumpeting how "the Bush administration is obliged again to defend its case for war in Iraq -- from Africa to Capitol Hill." In fact, it was a U.S. reporter who brought up the subject in Pretoria. ABC also showcased what CBS and NBC ignored, a mere thousand protesters. ABC displayed a poster with Bush sporting a Hitler... continue reading
1. CNN's Brown Spread "Bush Knew" Web Rumor After It Was Retracted When castigating George Bush for passing on bogus information about uranium from Niger, Aaron Brown last night passed along a one-source Web story he should have known was false since it had been retracted four hours earlier. Brown had not cited his source. Read the MRC's Media Reality Check "Quick Take" updating today's CyberAlert. Plus, the retraction from the Web site and a commentary by Scott Hogenson of the MRC's "What Did CNN Know and When Did They Know It?" 2. Ex-CNN Chief Isaacson Insists CNN... continue reading
1. ABC and NBC Paint Bush Concession as Undermining Case for War President Bush may have overreached when he cited how Iraq had received uranium from Niger, but in reporting Tuesday night on the White House's admission that the charge was based on forged documents, ABC's Peter Jennings and NBC's Tom Brokaw also overreached in delivering broad generalities about how the concession undermined a premise for the war. Jennings charged: "The Bush administration admits that a vital argument for going to war against Iraq was not true." Brokaw asserted: "There are new questions about his justification for war with Iraq."... continue reading
1. Franks Defending Bush's "Bring 'Em On" Comment Astounds ABCers President Bush's "bring 'em on" comment from last week continues to appall national news figures as they channel the spin of liberal Democrats. Peter Jennings on Monday night decided that Diane Sawyer asking General Tommy Franks about it was the only newsworthy part of her interview and so highlighted her asking him about it earlier in the day on Good Morning America. When he affirmed that he "absolutely" agreed with Bush's statement, a clearly astounded Sawyer retorted, "You do!?!?" 2. Howard Dean No Liberal to Washington Post , Really a... continue reading
1. Most Homeless Ever, Numbers "Not Seen Since Great Depression" Last week CBS and NBC simultaneously discovered a new crisis of a supposedly record number of homeless families. "There are now more homeless families on the street than ever before," reporter Lee Cowan declared on Thursday's CBS Evening News. Cowan also hyperbolically claimed: "There are more homeless families now in Manhattan than since the Great Depression." Not to be outdone, NBC's Hockenberry insisted on Friday's Dateline that the homeless in New York City are now "in numbers it's estimated not seen since the Great Depression." Although NBC had promoted a... continue reading
1. CNN's Brown Admits Focus on Iraqi Attacks Skewing Public's View By focusing so much on day by day problems in Iraq, former Army officer Ralph Peters argued in a New York Post op-ed on Tuesday, the media are obscuring America's overall success. Tuesday night's network newscasts illustrated Peters' point as all led with the latest incidents of violence and contrasted them with the Bush administration's "insistence" that conditions are improving in Iraq. CNN's Aaron Brown conceded that "it is undoubtedly true that the reporting of these attacks are changing the country's view of the war." 2. The CBS Evening... continue reading
1. Isaacson: Ben Franklin Would Make Fun of Bush's Foreign Policy If Ben Franklin were alive today, he'd enjoy sitting around making fun of President Bush's foreign policy. And Clinton's scandals too, former CNN News Group Chairman Walter Isaacson contended on Monday's Today. 2. Newsweek v. Newsweek on Whether O'Connor in Sync with America Newsweek versus Newsweek. The "Conventional Wisdom" box in this week's Newsweek awarded the Supreme Court an up arrow and lauded its perceptiveness: "Love 'em or hate 'em, diversity and gay-rights decisions were in sync with America." But a few pages later, in a story praising Justice... continue reading
1. Bob Schieffer Obsesses Over How Iraq is Now "Guerrilla War" More than a few journalists in recent days have raised the charge that the U.S. is now involved in a "guerrilla war" in Iraq, a term meant to invoke fears of another Vietnam-like quagmire. But no one has been as obsessed with the idea as Bob Schieffer, who raised it repeatedly on Sunday's Face the Nation. Schieffer opened the June 29 broadcast with the theme: "Today on Face the Nation, has Iraq become a guerrilla war?" He then made both Senator John McCain and Senator Chris Dodd respond to... continue reading
1. "Ferocious" Conservatives Block Equality, Limbaugh in "Extreme" Where have all the liberals gone? In relaying reaction to the Supreme Court's 6-3 decision on gay rights, the broadcast network evening news shows contrasted those "in favor of gay rights" with "conservatives." ABC's Cynthia McFadden complained about derisive attitude of conservatives: "Gays and lesbians are clearly encouraged, but given some of the ferocious language on the other side, full equality may be a good ways off." NBC's Roger O'Neill tagged Rush Limbaugh as an "extremist" for daring to cite Justice Scalia's dissent. O'Neill charged: "On the extremes, talk show host Rush... continue reading
1. Lester Maddox (?-GA), Nets Refuse to ID Party of Segregationist Lester Maddox (?-GA Gov.). The media had no reticence last year about making sure readers and viewers understood that the Trent Lott who belonged to a whites-only fraternity was part of the Southern rise of the GOP, but in announcing the death Wednesday of former Georgia Governor Lester Maddox, a segregationist, the networks refused to inform their viewers that he was a Democrat. ABC and CNBC ran full stories, yet neither ABC's Peter Jennings or CNBC's Don Teague found Maddox's party affiliation worth noting even though both reported how... continue reading