1. ABC Deceivingly Paints Bush Haters as Average Military Families In a Sunday night ABC story, the brother and mother of soldiers killed in Iraq denounced Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for having an auto-pen machine sign his letters of condolence. But while World News Tonight/Sunday anchor Terry Moran portrayed the two as representative of how "some military families" are "upset" with Rumsfeld, the two are dedicated Bush and Rumsfeld haters with a political axe to grind. Ivan Medina spoke in June at a pro-Fahrenheit 9/11 publicity event and in May took part in an anti-Rumsfeld protest where he charged:... continue reading
1. Lobby in Favor of SS Tax Hike, Against Extending Income Tax Cuts In looks at President Bush's economic summit, CBS on Wednesday night lobbied in favor of raising Social Security taxes and was joined by ABC in arguing against making Bush's income taxes permanent. On the CBS Evening News, John Roberts fretted that "increasing taxes could easily extend the life of Social Security, but President Bush won't even consider that." Anthony Mason concluded a review of tax policy proposals by noting that "critics of the President say he will need some bold ideas because the tax cuts alone add... continue reading
1. "Aghast" at Bush's Picks for Medals of Freedom, "Hush Medals"? The awarding Tuesday of Presidential Medals of Freedom to Tommy Franks, Paul "Jerry" Bremer and George Tenet upset reporters on ABC and MSNBC. ABC's Peter Jennings teased World News Tonight by announcing that President Bush decided to honor "three men whose contribution to the war was controversial." Reporter John Cochran cited Bremer's "decision to remove Iraqis who served in Saddam Hussein's government" and how "that decision was reversed after the U.S. realized it needed their help." Cochran snidely noted: "No mention of that today." Cochran moved on to the... continue reading
1. McCain Speaks Out Against Rumsfeld, CBS & NBC Trumpet His Words John McCain, the media's favorite Republican speaks out against a Bush official, and the networks, as usual, hang on his words. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams devoted a Monday news item to how "McCain told the Associated Press today he has, in his words, 'no confidence,' in Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld." CBS's Dan Rather built up McCain's resume: "Arizona's Republican Senator and Vietnam War hero, John McCain, a member of the Armed Services Committee in the Senate, is stepping up his criticism of Defense Secretary Donald... continue reading
1. ABC Frets Over Saddam Trial Procedures, He Lacks "Legal Counsel" Saddam Hussein the victim of lack of legal counsel. ABC led Sunday's World News Tonight with a look, one year after the capture of Saddam Hussein, at delays in his trial. Reporter Jim Sciutto highlighted how "critics point to several failures, that Saddam has not yet been allowed to meet with a lawyer, that the trial will permit testimony obtained under torture" and that evidence has not been "properly preserved or recorded." Sciutto stressed how "both the United Nations and Human Rights Watch have expressed doubts the trial will... continue reading
1. Reticent to Reform Social Security, Prefer Taxes to Stock Market The CBS Evening News tied a story on President Bush's plan to reform Social Security to a worker who supports the idea of private accounts for a portion of an employee's payment, but only after anchor Dan Rather reverentially described Social Security as "the biggest, most successful retirement program in the world." Though over time the stock market has always out-performed Social Security, John Roberts warned of instability in the stock market. Over video of people on the floor of a stock market yelling and waving their arms, Roberts... continue reading
1. Now They Tell Us, 9/11 Reform "Could Leave Country Less Safe" Now they tell us, or at least NBC does. For weeks the networks painted the intelligence reform bill as a critical defense against another terrorist attack and portrayed conservatives opponents of it in the House as obstructionists. But with the House and Senate coming to a compromise to pass it, on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News Andrea Mitchell informed viewers of its shortcomings: "Not everyone believes the plan will improve intelligence. Many worry the bill propelled by popular demand could leave the country less safe." Mitchell pointed out the... continue reading
1. Lauer: Karzai Swearing-In "Tarnished" Since bin Laden Not Caught Lauer's laments, first of three. Emphasizing the negative. On the morning of the swearing in of a democratically-elected President in Afghanistan barely three years after the U.S. went to war against the Taliban, NBC's Matt Lauer wanted to know "how much is that success tarnished by the fact that Osama Bin Laden is still out there and al Qaeda is so active?" 2. Battle Cry for Freedom in a Movie "Baffling" to Matt Lauer Lauer's laments, second of three. Running through the ten "cheesiest" lines in films as determined by... continue reading
1. GMA Features "Outraged 9/11 Wives," Don't Note They Backed Kerry With "OUTRAGED 9/11 WIVES" as the on-screen heading, Monday's Good Morning America featured Kristen Breitweiser and Patty Casazza, to denounce those opposed to the intelligence reform bill, without bothering to mention how both endorsed John Kerry. (In a Kerry ad, Breitweiser declared that since "I want to look in my daughter's eyes and know that she is safe...I am voting for John Kerry." Casazza had pined that "on 9/11, my life was in a long, dark tunnel. Now I can see some light. John Kerry has the answers.") On... continue reading
1. ABC Blames Fear of Conservatives for Blocking Pro-Inclusion Ad The left-wing United Church of Christ (UCC) put out a press release complaining about how their ad denigrating other churches, which showed bouncers, in front of a church, turning away a gay couple, a Hispanic man, a black woman and a guy in a wheelchair, was rejected by the three biggest broadcast networks, and ABC jumped to the church's defense without, of course, mentioning the church's ideology while repeatedly referring to "Christian conservatives." Peter Jennings seem befuddled by why anyone would oppose the ad: "Why do the major networks refuse... continue reading