1. CBS Evening News Never Touched Durbin, But Leads with Bennett The CBS Evening News, which in June never uttered a syllable about Democratic Senator Dick Durbin's incendiary comments, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, equating U.S. servicemens' treatment of detainees at Guantanamo with the Nazi regime and the Soviet gulags, on Friday led with remarks made by Bill Bennett, just two days earlier, on his morning radio show. With "Bennett Blunder" on screen, Wyatt Andrews teased his lead story: "He really did say it, that fewer black babies would reduce crime." Anchor Bob Schieffer appeared stupefied: "We start... continue reading
1. Nets Obscure Earle's Partisan Affiliation; CBS Didn't With Starr The CBS Evening News, which described Ken Starr as the "Republican" independent counsel, on Wednesday night went out of its way to avoid alerting viewers to how Ronnie Earle, the Texas county prosecutor behind the indictment of Tom DeLay, is a Democrat. Anchor Bob Schieffer twice described DeLay not by his title as House Majority Leader, but as the "House Republican Leader." While Schieffer relayed how DeLay "says he's the innocent victim of a rogue district attorney," viewers did not learn of Earle's party affiliation until three-fourths the way through... continue reading
1. Rather: Bush Guard Memo Story "Accurate," Never Proven Not So In an interview with Marvin Kalb carried live by C-SPAN from the National Press Club on Monday night, Dan Rather made quite clear that he believes in the accuracy of his Bush National Guard story based on what everyone else realizes were fabricated memos. Rather argued that "one supporting pillar of the story, albeit an important one, one supporting pillar was brought into question. To this day no one has proven whether it was what it purported to be or not." Kalb pressed for clarification: "I believe you just... continue reading
1. Totenberg, Clift Urge Tax Hike; Thomas Recalls Reagan Upped Taxes A week after NPR's Nina Totenberg, on Inside Washington, urged imposition of a "Katrina tax," on the same show this past weekend she dismissed the idea of cancelling $24 billion of transportation bill earmarks as small change and suggested that "if you canceled the tax cuts, you'd get $225 billion." She rejected the contention that would hurt the economy and forwarded the standard liberal class warfare argument that "if people who are richer in this country don't pay more, we can't take it out of the hides of poor... continue reading
1. CBS Evening News Executive Producer Denounces CyberAlert Stories Declaring that the Media Research Center "is a much more biased organization than any institution in the MSM," CBS Evening News Executive Producer Jim Murphy, on the CBS News "Public Eye" blog on Thursday, criticized two MRC CyberAlert articles I wrote. Public Eye Editor Vaughn Ververs asked Murphy to comment on a September 21 CyberAlert item, "CBS: Air-Conditioned Bush Should 'Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.'" Murphy seemed befuddled by the article: "Please explain to me what's WRONG with pointing out the President spoke from an air-conditioned tent, which to most... continue reading
1. CBS News Trumpets Carter's Criticism of Bush Administration In a Wednesday CBS Evening News story on shortcomings in FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina, reporter Randall Pinkston cited "frustrations that reached as far away as the state of Maine, where officials received ice that was supposed to go to the Gulf Coast." Pinkston touted how "former President Jimmy Carter, who created FEMA, criticized the Bush administration's decision to strip the agency's independence." Viewers then saw a clip of Jimmy Carter from a Tuesday night forum at the Carter Center in Atlanta: "This obviously lowered FEMA's status so that they would... continue reading
1. CBS: Air-Conditioned Bush Should "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" CBS on Tuesday night delivered a sarcastic look at President Bush's visit to the Gulf coast. After reciting a list of problems people are having in New Orleans, reporter Sharyn Alfonsi jumped to a soundbite of Bush in Mississippi, declaring: "Every time I come back here, I see progress." Alfonsi gratuitously pointed out that Bush was "speaking inside an air-conditioned tent" and noted how "he toured a Folgers plant in Louisiana" but, she stressed, "small business owners say this kind of progress is the exception." Then, over video of... continue reading
1. NBC Finds Oklahomans to Nudge Bush to Raise Taxes and Leave Iraq NBC gave time Monday night to criticism of President Bush from the right as David Gregory, in noting how the libertarian Cato Institute reported that spending is up one-third under Bush, relayed how "conservatives are getting fed up, openly complaining about the return of big government under George W. Bush." Gregory proceeded to relate Senator John McCain's recommendation that the prescription drug entitlement be cancelled as well as former Senator John Edwards' call for tax cuts to be repealed. But in a second story, Mike Taibbi traveled... continue reading
1. Stephanopoulos and Russert Cue Up Talking Points to Bill Clinton Other than a few gentle challenges from George Stephanopoulos, such as "why shouldn't Democrats vote for John Roberts in the same proportions Republicans voted for Justice Breyer and Justice Ginsburg?," Stephanopoulos, and NBC's Tim Russert even more so, tossed up talking points more than questions to Bill Clinton in taped interviews shown on Sunday. When Clinton advocated a tax hike, Stephanopoulos fretted with him: "The President is not going to move. What do Democrats do?" Stephanopoulos cued up Clinton to talk about his new pet project: "Take us out... continue reading
1. To ABC's Surprise, Katrina Victims Praise Bush and Blame Nagin ABC News producers probably didn't hear what they expected when they sent Dean Reynolds to the Houston Astrodome's parking lot to get reaction to President Bush's speech from black evacuees from New Orleans. Instead of denouncing Bush and blaming him for their plight, they praised Bush and blamed local officials. Reynolds asked Connie London: "Did you harbor any anger toward the President because of the slow federal response?" She rejected the premise: "No, none whatsoever, because I feel like our city and our state government should have been there... continue reading