Worrying About Civil Rights; Taliban "Law and Order"; They Are "Terrorists" to the WSJ; U.S. War Not "Just"; Letterman on Osama 1) Reporting on John Ashcroft's announcement about the number of persons being held in the post-September 11 investigations, ABC's Peter Jennings emphasized how "some of the charges are for very minor violations." NBC's Tom Brokaw stressed questions about "whether the Bush administration is violating civil rights." 2) The upside of the Taliban. CBS's Allen Pizzey: "Considering that tribal warfare and its attended looting and lawlessness helped propel the Taliban to power five years ago, who is to dispute that... continue reading
Media Must React to Criticism; Why Another Book About Reagan?; WTC "Had to Be Destroyed"; Jennings Defended His 9/11 Coverage 1) Katie Couric's first question to Lou Cannon on Monday morning's Today show: "Do we need another book about Ronald Reagan?" 2) Referring to the World Trade Center towers, Norman Mailer declared: "Everything wrong with America led to the point where the country built that tower of Babel, which consequently had to be destroyed." He wondered: "What if those perpetrators were right and we were not? We have long ago lost the capability to take a calm look at the... continue reading
Hurt Reporters Pentagon's Fault?; Vidal: U.S. Got Its Comeuppance; Burka & Bikini Equally Oppressive?; Dershowitz's Anti-FNC Rant 1) Sam Donaldson: "Mexican nationals, young, are not being rounded up." On This Week Donaldson didn't seem to understand why Middle Eastern men have been targeted by the FBI any more than young Mexican nationals. 2) Oddball question of the weekend: On CNN's Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz asked a producer for National Geographic TV, who was wounded in Afghanistan, whether he harbored "any resentment toward the Pentagon" for not allowing front line access to U.S. troops by journalists and "thereby prompting people... continue reading
Jennings Told: "Nobody Likes You"; Rivera Complained He Was "Marginalized" at NBC; Doonesbury Had Bush Thanking the Terrorists 1) A man in Dallas curtly chided Peter Jennings: "Nobody likes you." That rebuke aired on ABC's World News Tonight about 24 hours after Jennings, moderating a TV panel program on the local ABC affiliate, was hit with complaints about his September 11 remarks about President Bush. 2) Geraldo Rivera left NBC for Fox News because he felt "marginalized" at NBC News where, he told Newsday's Verne Gay, "I never even talked to Tom Brokaw or Brian Williams." On September 11 Rivera... continue reading
Parody of Reporters on SNL; "Terrorist" Too "Judgmental" for BBC; Actor Danny Glover Denounced U.S. as "Purveyors of Violence" 1) Newsweek's Evan Thomas conceded: "Last week I said it might take a couple of hundred thousand ground troops. I was wrong, wrong, wrong." 2) NBC's Saturday Night Live (SNL) lampooned the stupidity of questions posed at Pentagon briefings. One "reporter" asked: "We're getting reports of U.S. special op forces being dropped into Taliban areas with camouflage and night vision goggles. This means the Taliban soldiers won't be able to see our troops, but we'll be able to see them. Is... continue reading
Sept. 11 Not "Terrorism" to BBC; Hugging a Victim = "Taking Sides" to Larry King; Geraldo: Monicagate Distracted FBI From Bin Laden 1) Since the airport security bill would still allow private screeners at some airports, Dan Rather called it a "watered-down compromise bill." 2) Four out of five questions posed by Nightline host Chris Bury were hostile to the Bush plan to try suspected terrorists in military tribunals. He suggested that the plan would demonstrate "hypocrisy" since the U.S. would "essentially doing the same thing" the U.S. condemned Peru for doing in the case of Lori Berenson. 3) Hugging... continue reading
CNN: Taliban Kept "Law and Order"; Public Disapproval for Media Coverage; Vietnam Analogies; Connie Chung Sang to Dan Rather 1) The Taliban aren't all bad, CNN reporter Kamal Hyder contended Tuesday night. On the up side, in Kandahar the Taliban kept "a semblance of law and order." 2) The public approves of the performance of all of the major players in the war on terrorism, except one: the "news media." A Gallup poll released on Wednesday found 54 percent disapproval for how the news media are "handling the war on terrorism since September 11," compared to 43 who approve. 3)... continue reading
"Terrorist" U.S. Navy?; With "Reforms" Gore Would Have Won; Rather Didn't Correct 2000 Error; Toobin Unswayed; Saved from Lesbianism 1) Terrorist U.S. Navy. Peter Jennings related how the President of Iran told him the U.S. shooting down of an Iranian commercial jet in 1988, the same model which had just crashed in Queens, was "terrorism for Iranians." Instead of pointing out differences from the September 11 attacks, Jennings simply remarked: "Just to show you how many connections are made on a day like this." 2) Different spins on the latest Florida recount. The New York Times reported "Bush would have... continue reading
Bush Drew Viewers to ABC; More on Clinton Speech; Russert to Bloomberg: GOP Too "Extreme"? Hunt's Marxism; Rather on Alligators 1) By showing President Bush's address on Thursday night ABC doubled its normal audience for the time slot and captured more than twice as many viewers as did Fox. Six million tuned in on the cable news channels, with half deciding to watch on FNC. 2) National Review and decided Bill Clinton's speech last week, in which he had insisted, "Those of us who come from various European lineages are not blameless," wasn't as bad as that quote made... continue reading
ABC's Down Spin on War Poll; CNN Guest Called Story "Garbage"; MSNBC Chief: "Patriotism Police"; Clinton: U.S. Not Blameless 1) The new ABC News poll discovered an 89 percent approval level for the President with 90 percent backing the military action in Afghanistan. But introducing Bush before his Thursday night address, ABC's Peter Jennings emphasized how polls have suggested "some declining confidence in the U.S. counter-terrorism efforts and on the war front." 2) "Garbage." That's how retired Army Colonel David Hackworth, during an appearance on CNN, described a story by CNN's own Bob Franken on how the Taliban are proving... continue reading