1. NBC's Couric Champions "Clarion Call" of "Moderates Are Coming!" The NBC Today crew was giddy Wednesday morning about the success of "moderates" in obstructing conservatives by getting a deal to avoid eliminating the filibuster option for liberals and to expand stem cell research. Katie Couric bubbled: "A lot of people are wondering is there new, a new clarion call on Capitol Hill? 'The moderates are coming, the moderates are coming!' Right?" Matt Lauer agreed: "That's right. Is it hip to be moderate in Washington these days? Some people Say the vote in the Senate on Monday night over judicial... continue reading
1. Borger Touts "Extraordinary" Deal, "Saves" Senate from Partisans CBS's Gloria Borger was the most enthusiastic Tuesday night about the Senate deal to avoid a showdown on the filibuster as she trumpeted how "last night's deal was an extraordinary one brokered by a bipartisan group of Senators who disregarded the power and the money of outside special interests and worked without their own leaders to cut a deal." With the Senate leadership of both parties "entrenched" with obligations to conservatives and liberals, 14 Senators came to the rescue. She touted the "collection of Republicans and Democrats led by maverick John... continue reading
1. Schieffer Touts Misleading Poll on Most Favoring 60 Vote Standard Another day, another distorted media poll on blocking filibusters for judicial nominees. Barely an hour before a dozen Senate Democrats and Republicans announced a deal to avoid the "nuclear/constitutional option," CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer noted how a CBS News poll found that a piddling ten percent were following the issue "very closely" but, nonetheless, he touted how "people we surveyed still favored needing 60 votes to confirm court nominees." The question, which presumed naivete ("As you may know, there are 100 Senators"), simply asked: "How many Senators'... continue reading
1. Rather Praises Mapes, CBS News: "Kingdom of Journalistic Knights" Interviewed by Tina Brown in a session aired Sunday night on CNBC, Dan Rather praised Mary Mapes, the producer of the 60 Minutes story based on forged memos, as "a very good pro," and insisted that "she's the kind of professional that the audience should want in television." Asked by Brown if "after the flap over the National Guard story, do you feel inhibited?", Rather contended he's never "inhibited when it comes to news and trying to do fair-minded, accurate reporting on important stories." Then Brown wanted to know: "What... continue reading
1. CBS Cites Dire Litany, Asks: Is Iraq "Sliding Toward Civil War?" "It just keeps getting worse in Iraq," Bob Schieffer declared at the top of Thursday's CBS Evening News as he recited a litany of dire news which only CBS considered to be the lead story of the day: "The death toll is rising. Tension is growing between Shiites and Sunnis. Is the country sliding toward civil war?" From Baghdad, Mark Strassmann backed up Schieffer's thesis: "Tit-for-tat terror seems to be pushing Iraq towards civil war. This man says, 'We are heading toward a catastrophe.'" A frustrated Schieffer recalled... continue reading
1. NBC Trumpets Distorted Poll on Opposition to Ending Filibuster NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams trumpeted Wednesday night how "a brand new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll" shows "that by a margin of 56 to 34, Americans want the Senate to weigh in on the President's judicial nominees rather than giving them blanket approval" -- as if that's at issue. In fact, no one is calling for "blanket approval" since, if the filibusters against judicial nominees were eliminated, those now blocked would still have to earn the backing of the majority of Senators, just like every other judge the... continue reading
1. McClellan Suggestion Newsweek Repair Damage Appalls Journalists Some journalists were appalled Tuesday by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's suggestion that Newsweek "help repair the damage that has been talking about the way they got this wrong, and pointing out what the policies and practices of the United States military are when it comes to the handling of the Holy Koran." At the briefing, ABC's Terry Moran demanded: "Who made you the editor of Newsweek? Do you think it's appropriate for you, at that podium, speaking with the authority of the President of the United States, to tell... continue reading
1. Reporters Come to Newsweek's Defense, Suggest Story Really True Following the "fake but accurate" theme espoused by some to defend CBS's use of forged memos to get President Bush, in the wake of Newsweek's retraction late Monday of its claim that a military report would include the charge that a guard at Guantanamo flushed a Koran down a toilet, journalistic colleagues came to Newsweek's defense. CNN's Anderson Cooper proposed: "Is it beyond the realm of possibility that a tactic like this was used?" CBS and ABC passed along allegations from prisoners. Richard Roth of CBS recalled: "Detainees released in... continue reading
1. Newsweek Buries Its Backtracking, NBC Assigns Blame Elsewhere Newsweek may have admitted Sunday that its sloppy reporting, about how a U.S. soldier at Guantanamo Bay flushed a Koran down a toilet, led to riots in Afghanistan which killed at least 15 people, but they hardly made their concession prominent in the May 23 edition of the magazine, especially online where, on the magazine's home page, you'd have to guess that this headline, "The Islamic World: How a Fire Broke Out," had something to do with a retraction. And to read Editor Mark Whitaker's message, you'd have to know to... continue reading
1. Sawyer Presses Mrs. Reagan on Variance with Bush on Stem Cells Before Diane Sawyer served as Mistress of Ceremonies Wednesday night at a $1,500-per seat tribute to Nancy Reagan to raise funds for a transportation pavilion at the Reagan Library, to feature a 707 Air Force One, she wanted to know how the former First Lady could stomach staying overnight at the White House when her host disagrees with her on stem cell research. On Wednesday's Good Morning America, plugging an upcoming interview segment, Sawyer fretted: "We also have a chance to ask her how she feels now about... continue reading