1. Evening Newscasts Continue Rove Focus, Offer Ominous Predictions The networks just won't let go of Karl Rove, with the NBC Nightly News leading with the supposed scandal as another week began. On Monday night, anchor Brian Williams hyped "more claims and allegations in the story involving presidential right-hand man Karl Rove." After a piece from David Gregory, Williams noted how "a lot of Democrats don't want this story to go away," a wish the media are carrying out. Andrea Mitchell concluded a second story by warning that "depending on what the grand jury decides could make this spy story... continue reading
1. CBS Airs One-Sided Anti-Rove Story; CNN Sees "Smear" of Wilson All three network evening newscasts last night carried stories on the Rove controversy, but CBS's report from John Roberts was by far the most one-sided. Anchor Bob Schieffer began by touting how "an expanding chorus of Democrats demanded today that presidential strategist Karl Rove be fired," and Roberts included soundbites from ex-Ambassador Joe Wilson, Democratic congressman Rush Holt and protesters chanting "Karl Rove has got to go," but not a single soundbite from a Rove defender. Meanwhile, Wilson appeared on CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports on Thursday. Blitzer began... continue reading
1. NBC's Today Treats Wilson as Victim, Lets Him Rail Against Rove NBC's Today show on Thursday gave former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the husband of the CIA employee at the center of an investigation over whether her name was illegally leaked in 2003, a chance to spout off against Karl Rove and the Bush White House. Wilson claimed he and his wife were victims of a "conspiracy" and a "web of lies," and demanded that President Bush fire Rove even before the investigation is completed. Reporter Jamie Gangel served up softballs like, "What does your wife think of Karl Rove?"... continue reading
1. Networks Pounce on Leaked E-mail to Begin Push for Firing Rove Monday night and Tuesday morning, all three broadcast network newscasts trumpeted a leaked e-mail that indicated that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove told Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper in July 2003 that Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife "apparently works at the agency," meaning the CIA. On World News Tonight, ABC's Terry Moran summoned the image of Watergate, saying White House spokesman Scott McClellan's response yesterday was to "stonewall." This morning, network morning hosts began a "Dump Rove" movement. ABC's Charles Gibson announced at the top of... continue reading
1. Gibson & Stephanopoulos Fret About Bush as Obstructionist at G-8 On Wednesday's Good Morning America, Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos formed an anti-Bush tag team on the downfalls of the G-8 summit in Edinburgh, Scotland. The former Clinton spin artist presented Bush as a Lone Ranger obstructionist, saying "no way" to the Kyoto global-warming treaty. British leader Tony Blair wants more Africa aid and energy curbs, prompting Gibson to worry: "You say President Bush isn't cooperating?" And: "So how does Mr. Bush function? Is it seven [leaders] and then this one man over here in the corner, President Bush?"... continue reading
1. On O'Connor, Lots of Labeling, Wishes for Moderate Replacement All three networks broke in to regular Friday morning programming to note the retirement announcement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. ABC's Manuel Medrano was stuck on the C-word, saying Chief Justice Rehnquist is an "ardent conservative" and would likely be replaced by "another strong conservative, ardent conservative," unless O'Connor the "pragmatic centrist," whom Bush would work to replace with an "ardent conservative." George Stephanopoulos expressed some wishful thinking that O'Connor's swing vote role "might lead President Bush to nominate someone who's not as much of an ideological conservative... continue reading
1. ABC and NBC Peg Stories to Criticism of Bush for Invoking 9/11 While ABC and NBC on Wednesday night gave time to the White House's defense of President Bush's mentioning of September 11th in his Tuesday night address on Iraq, the evening newscasts on both networks pegged stories to Democratic criticism on that point. "It was his frequent mention of the 9/11 attacks that seemed to get critics especially riled," World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson asserted in setting up a piece from Terry Moran who relayed: "Democrats responded furiously, accusing the President of exploiting the attacks and of... continue reading
1. CNN Team Upset by Bush Tying 9/11 to Iraq, Gergen "Offended" The CNN analysis team, after President Bush' national address Tuesday night from Ft. Bragg, seemed obsessed about Bush tying September 11th to the war in Iraq. Wolf Blitzer fretted: "We heard a lot of explanations of the connections to 9/11, the new world after 9/11. We heard no reference to the major argument that he made going into the war: weapons of mass destruction." David Gergen falsely asserted that Bush "never once called them 'Iraqi insurgents,' as the media does. He called them terrorists, you know, as if... continue reading
1. Sawyer: Court "Conservative" & Totenberg Warns It'll Be More So Though many court rulings in recent terms have hardly pleased conservatives, ABC's Diane Sawyer on Monday morning referred to the "conservative composition of the Court" before NPR's Nina Totenberg, appearing on Good Morning America, warned that "it is likely that whomever President Bush appoints will be more conservative than even this very conservative Chief Justice." 2. Gibson Obsesses on Cheney's "Last Throes," Uses Poll to Counter ABC's Charles Gibson twice raised, with Army General George Casey, Vice President Cheney's claim the Iraq insurgency is in "its last throes" before... continue reading
1. To Totenberg's Indignation, Thomas Accuses NPR of Liberal Bias Your news outlet is liberal, no your's is. Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas wondered, on Inside Washington over the weekend, whether the effort in the U.S. House to reduce funding for PBS and NPR through the CPB would "make NPR a little less liberal?" An indignant Nina Totenberg of NPR retorted: "I don't think we're liberal to begin with and I think if you would listen, Evan, you would know that." Thomas countered that "I do listen to you and you're not that liberal, but you're a little bit... continue reading