1. CBS Frames Lead Around "Mounting Criticism" of Bush from GOP Based upon one Republican Senator advocating the closure of the Guantanamo prison camp, another Republican Senator warning of declining public support for U.S. troops in Iraq, and one Republican U.S. Representative, Walter Jones, best-known for the silliness of re-naming french fries as "freedom fries," calling for the setting of a date to withdraw troops from Iraq, CBS Evening News anchor John Roberts on Sunday night led with "mounting criticism" of Bush from "members of his own Republican Party." Roberts insisted: "In what appears to be a significant shift in... continue reading
1. NBC Displays Agenda, Leads with Case for Closing Guantanamo Based upon President Bush's comment on Wednesday about Guantanamo -- "Well, you know, we're exploring all alternatives as to how best to do the main objective, which is to protect America" -- on Thursday night NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams displayed a little wishful thinking as he led with how "President Bush says it may be time to shut down the camp where hundreds of prisoners have been held in the war on terror." Jim Miklaszewski asserted that Guantanamo has "become a symbol of prisoner abuse. And the Bush... continue reading
1. Nets Jump on Charge Oil Lobbyist Edited Global Warming "Science" NBC, MSNBC and CNN jumped Wednesday night on a front page New York Times story, "Bush Aide Edited Climate Reports: Ex-Oil Lobbyist Softened Greenhouse Gas Links," a story based on a disgruntled staffer who went to the left-wing Government Accountability Project, which the Times nicely described as "a nonprofit legal-assistance group for government whistle-blowers." NBC's David Gregory dubbed it simply a "watchdog group." NBC anchor Brian Williams asserted: "Tonight the question, 'Is the administration putting politics above science?'" Like NBC and the New York Times, CNN anchor Aaron Brown... continue reading
1. Networks Pounce on Opportunity to Hype "Downing Street Memo" Enabled by a question posed at Tuesday afternoon's press conference at the White House with President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC's Countdown, with Keith Olbermann making it his lead item, and CNN's NewsNight all jumped on a cause celebre of the left, the so-called "Downing Street memo." NBC's David Gregory described it as "a rallying cry for war critics" which "claims that in July 2002, the President had already decided to go to war and claims, quote, 'the intelligence and... continue reading
1. Couric Treats Annan as Wise Sage, Pushes Him to Denounce Bolton NBC's Katie Couric treated UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is mired in a scandal Couric only lightly touched, as a wise sage, empathetically ending her taped interview with him, which aired on Tuesday's Today: "You literally have the weight of the world on your shoulders." He agreed: "I do, but not everybody understands that." Monday's NBC Nightly News ran a clip from the interview in which Couric treated the UN as an aggrieved party: "Are you angry that the United States has not been more supportive of... continue reading
1. In "Greatest American" Contest, Lauer Trumpets Clinton's Success In summarizing the lives of the 25 finalists in the Discovery Channel's "Greatest American" contest, NBC's Matt Lauer on Sunday night labeled Bill Clinton as "brilliant" before trumpeting: "Under Clinton the economy boomed -- deficits turned into surplus -- and more than 22 million jobs were created. Along with the character flaws and the subpoenas came peace and prosperity." The brief segment did not feature any explicit criticisms of Clinton's presidency, but when it came to George W. Bush, whom Lauer described as "our tough-talking, language-mangling Commander-in-Chief who most Americans just... continue reading
1. Rather Insists Guard Story True, "Not Fact" to Call Memos "Fake" Dan Rather reiterated to CNN's Larry King on Thursday night that he believes the memos, in his National Guard hit piece on President Bush, were genuine. Rather emphasized how "the documents were part of a fairly wide array of information we had" and were "supported by all kind of things other than the documents." When King wondered, "so, are you saying the story might be correct?", Rather replied: "Well, I'm saying a prudent person might take that view." Rather pointed out how the investigatory panel named by CBS... continue reading
1. ABC & CBS Counter Felt Critics, Contend Felt Had to Go to Media ABC and CBS on Wednesday night devoted stories to discrediting the notion that former FBI Deputy Director Mark Felt behaved disreputably by giving information in a criminal probe to reporters. The stories began with denunciations of him from Nixon loyalists, then took on those claims. "Critics say he should have gone to his superiors through channels," World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson noted before adding: "His supporters point out his superiors were in on the Watergate coverup, that he did the only thing he could to... continue reading
1. Watergate Glory Days Revived, Motivations Skipped, Felt a Hero Vanity Fair magazine's well-orchestrated publicity efforts for its revelation of the name of "Deep Throat" led most of the media on Tuesday to enthusiastically re-live their glory days of Watergate. All three broadcast network evening newscasts ran multiple stories on the identification of former FBI official Mark Felt, but unlike CBS and NBC, ABC failed to note that President Nixon's decision to not name him FBI Director, after the passing of J. Edgar Hoover, may have meant personal bitterness was his motivation. CBS featured reminiscing from Dan Rather who declared... continue reading
1. Schieffer: To Save America's Honor, Guantanamo Must Be Closed Recalling how John McCain's "code of honor" is what "separated him from his captors" in communist North Vietnam, on Sunday's Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer casually referred to how he "thought about that as yet another tale of torture and abuse came out about the POW camp we are running at Guantanamo Bay." Schieffer then proceeded to endorse New York Times columnist Tom Friedman's recommendation that "the prison ought to be shut down because the stories about it are so inflaming the Arab world." Schieffer presumed the worst about... continue reading