NBC Showcases Tehran Newspaper's Caricature of Bush as Pinocchio --12/6/2007
2. ABC's Brian Ross Continues Pattern of Slamming GOP Front-Runners
3. CBS's Early Show Builds Up Huckabee Only to Tear Him Down
4. Walters Hails 'Fascinating' Hugo Chavez as 'Charismatic'
5. Flashback: Walters Honors Pelosi as 2006's 'Most Fascinating'
6. 'Whitewash' Amongst 'Most Important' Books on Clinton and Press
Checking in Wednesday night from Tehran with Iranian reaction to what anchor Brian Williams described as the new intelligence assessment that "Iran is not developing nuclear weapons after all," NBC correspondent Ali Arouzi held up a newspaper to show how it portrayed President Bush "as Pinocchio." Arouzi described crowds cheering President Ahmadinejad's railing against lies spread by the U.S. and how the state media are calling President Bush "a liar and a warmonger." On the upside for Iranians, Arouzi found the "many" who "have long been worried that the United States will attack Iran over its nuclear ambitions" now have "a sense of relief that that won't happen."
[This item was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide a transcript of the brief segment on the December 5 NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Now to Iran, where there's been strong reaction to this week's new U.S. intelligence assessment, the one saying Iran is not developing nuclear weapons after all. Our "Reporter's Notebook" tonight on what it's like there comes from our man on the ground in Iran, Ali Arouzi.
ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross on Wednesday continued his habit of offering up critical takes on Republican front-runners over Democratic candidates. So far this year, the correspondent has featured four hard-hitting segments on GOP candidates and only one on a Democrat. During a piece on Good Morning America (a similar version of which also aired later on World News), Ross investigated a developing story of whether then-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee used his influence to secure the release of a convicted rapist who went on murder two women. The story has received major play on the left-wing blog site Huffington Post, a source Ross mentioned on GMA but not World News, though he left out any attribution of the Web page's very liberal leanings.
[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Wednesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
In total, "Brian Ross Investigates" has looked into Fred Thompson twice and once for Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. In other words, four tough queries on 2008 Republicans and only one for a Democrat. He has, for instance, done no stories on Clinton's hiring of document thief Sandy Berger.
(Ross's story on Huckabee featured a misleading onscreen graphic that claimed the then-Arkansas Governor pardoned rapist Wayne Dumond who went on to murder two women in Missouri. The ABC graphic read, "Huckabee's Pardon: Rapist Struck Again After Release." The inaccurate information appeared beneath the December 5 segment for two minutes and 50 seconds of a three minute plus segment. On FNC's Fox and Friends, which got the story right, co-host Steve Doocy explained that the Governor lobbied the Arkansas parole board to release Dumond. They did so. He then played a clip of Huckabee on FNC in November in which the Governor pointed out: "I did originally support parole, but Governors don't parole anybody.")
Ross opened the segment with what has become a trademark, a sneering, sarcastic tone that is common for his reports on Republicans. Raising the issue of hypocrisy, he began: "Mike Huckabee has told Republicans he's tough on crime, not afraid to order the death penalty as governor of Arkansas." Ross then recounted details of the case that would question this concept.
On October 9, 2007, the day of Fred Thompson's first presidential debate, Ross used the same over-the-top tone to attack Thompson for his work 34 years ago on the Watergate hearings. He asserted: "A much different, less valiant picture of Thompson emerges from listening to the White House audiotapes made at the time as President Nixon plotted strategy with his aides in the Oval Office." See the October 10 CyberAlert for more: www.mrc.org
On November 5, for ABC's World News, Ross looked into the criminal past of a Thompson advisor. The journalist took this snide swipe at the former Senator's relationship with the man, Phil Martin, and how Thompson has been "traveling in style": "Fred Thompson has been traveling in style during this campaign on a Cessna Citation Five private jet, owned by close adviser and long-time friend Phil Martin, the tall man in the gray jacket." See the November 6 CyberAlert for more: www.mrc.org
For an October 23 story on Rudy Giuliani and his connection to an alleged pedophile priest, GMA co-host Diane Sawyer introduced a Ross piece by noting that the former mayor has been "dogged by questions about his past." The investigative reporter then noted that some of the accusers want to know "why Giuliani is defending and protecting" the man accused of sexually abusing teenage boys. Check the October 24 CyberAlert for details: www.mrc.org
In comparison, Ross's lone investigative look into a Democrat, Senator Hillary Clinton and her relationship to fugitive liberal fundraiser Norman Hsu, contained little flowery language. At the conclusion of the August 31 World News piece, however, he did note that Barack Obama also received money from Hsu and that "as the candidates shake the trees for money, there will no doubt be even more bad apples to fall before the campaign is over." But that seems to condemn everyone and, in general, Ross mostly stuck to reporting the facts of the case and certainly never suggested that "a much different, less valiant picture" of Clinton was emerging.
A transcript of the GMA segment, which aired at 7:13am on December 5:
DIANE SAWYER: And the hot candidate in the spotlight. What did former Governor Huckabee do that has a grieving family saying they paid the price? A Brian Ross investigation....
ROBIN ROBERTS: Now to the race to '08. As you heard in the newscast, the latest polls show former Governor Mike Huckabee surging in Iowa, not so much in New Hampshire. And now, a controversy from Huckabee's past could throw a new road block in to his path to the Oval Office. ABC's chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross joins us and has been following this. Good morning, Brian.
BRIAN ROSS: Good morning, Robin. Mike Huckabee has told Republicans he's tough on crime, not afraid to order the death penalty as governor of Arkansas. But new details are emerging this morning about his role in pushing for the release of a convicted rapist, who then went on to rape and murder two more women. Ashley Stevens was a 17-year-old high school cheerleader in Forest City, Arkansas, when she was raped at gunpoint.
Following two days of positive coverage for Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and his front-runner status in Iowa, on Wednesday the CBS Early Show decided it was time to tear down the former Governor's campaign: "He's being dogged by new reports that he had a much bigger role in the parole of convicted rapist Wayne Dumond while he was Governor of Arkansas than he had previously been claiming." Compare that statement by co-host Harry Smith with Smith's previous assessment of Huckabee when previewing an interview with the candidate two days earlier: "When he announced he was running for the Republican nomination, many people said Mike who? Hucka what? But Evangelical Christians, a powerful force here, have rallied to his support. Pro-life, traditional marriage, they have found their champion. But they have found something more, a candidate who is good on his feet...His thoughtful debate performances have set him apart."
[This item, by Kyle Drennen, was posted Wednesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Smith did another story on Huckabee on Tuesday, December 4, featuring additional parts of the interview not aired on the December 3 show. At the conclusion of that segment, co-host Hannah Storm remarked: "Do you get the sense that not everything he says is run through a focus group?" Smith added: "I actually said that. He can't afford a focus group," to which Storm replied, "No, No he just seems like the real -- the rock and roll preacher!" Julie Chen joined in the praise: "Yeah, came across very real."
So what happened? Well, as CBS Correspondent Joel Brown explained during a report leading Wednesday's Huckabee coverage: "As Governor of Arkansas, he apparently used his influence to help free a man from prison, a man convicted of rape. But the Huffington Post reports that the way it unfolded back then is not exactly how Huckabee portrays it now on the campaign trail. As Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee pushed for the parole of convicted rapist Wayne Dumond, despite warnings that the man would likely strike again if released."
In addition to the use of the Huffington Post as a legitimate news source, with no mention of it being a left-wing blog routinely filled with hate speech toward conservatives, the report all but portrays Huckabee as a rapist supporter. The Huffington Post story: www.huffingtonpost.com
(For the MRC's study on "Huffington's House of Horrors," go to: www.mediaresearch.org )
Smith then took the story even further, "...we'll have an exclusive interview with the mother of one of Wayne Dumond's victims who says she is vowing to do whatever it takes to stop Huckabee from winning the election."
During that interview with Lois Davidson, Smith decided it was best to show how Dumond's release was part of the vast right-wing conspiracy against the Clintons: "You know that it's a very complicated case from the standpoint that...This guy had gone to prison, the person he had been convicted of raping was a relation of Bill Clinton, that the conservatives in the state of Arkansas had demanded his release because they said the only reason he had gone to prison was because he'd been a relative of Bill Clinton's. Does any of that make any difference to you?" Davidson replied "no," and Smith countered, "Yeah. Of course not."
If that aspect of the case would "of course not" make a difference to Davidson, then why did Smith bring it up at all?
Toward the end of the interview, Smith asked Davidson: "People were literally pleading for him not to be released. Is it your feeling that the governor may have just disregarded that, or did he just bend to political pressure?" So much for Huckabee being the "thoughtful" and a "rock and roll preacher."
For the full transcripts of the Wednesday and Monday segments, go to the NewsBusters node linked above.
According to Barbara Walters' set of rules, Venezuelan socialist anti-American dictator Hugo Chavez does "positive things." Promoting her annual special set to air Thursday night, "The Ten Most Fascinating People of 2007," on Wednesday's The View Walters discussed one of her top ten, Hugo Chavez. Walters, who slobbered over Chavez in a March interview, noted his recent setback, exclaiming she "was amazed that he...didn't get to be President for life" and insisted "he's a charismatic character." Joy Behar inquired if he's "still fascinating even though he didn't win the election." Walters quickly answered "yeah."
[This item was adapted from the NewsBusters post by Justin McCarthy: newsbusters.org ]
When Walters allowed the co-hosts to guess who her secret number one is, Sherri Shepherd guessed Britney Spears. Walters refuted it, claiming "we try to have people that do positive things."
The Tuesday, March 20 CyberAlert, "Walters Gushes Over 'Dignified' Chavez 'Married to Revolution,' recounted:
ABC's Barbara Walters interviewed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for a segment showcased on the March 16 edition of 20/20. And although she did occasionally challenge authoritarian leader, Walters spent much of the interview discussing important topics such as whether Chavez likes coffee, marriage, and generally regurgitating the Venezuelan President's propaganda. Amongst the inquiries from Walters: "What's the biggest misconception about you?" Walters oozed: "You are not married now. Are you -- Do you want to marry, or are you married to the revolution?" Discussing the interview on Friday's Good Morning America, Walters insisted that "what he's trying to do for all of Latin America, you know, they've been trying to do it for years, is to eliminate poverty. But this is not the crazy man that we have heard." She added: "By the way he sings. He sang to me."
Then on Friday's Nightline, Walters affectionately recalled: "Well, he was not what I expected. He was very dignified. He was warm, friendly. He likes the U.S. It's George Bush that he doesn't like. He also was very personal. He talked about how hard his life was, that he wished he could be in love but you can't be when you are heading a country."
For the previous CyberAlert article in full, with video: www.mediaresearch.org
The transcript from the December 5 The View:
WALTERS: Hugo Chavez, I was amazed that he, that he didn't get to be President for life. I thought he was going to just bring in loads and loads of people. The fact that he, anyway, neither here nor there.
Tonight (Thursday) at 10pm EST/PST, 9pm CST/MST, ABC will air "Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2007," with Bill Clinton and Hugo Chavez (see #4 above) amongst the honorees. As usual, ABC is withholding the name of the "most fascinating" pick, but a year ago Walters awarded that tribute to then-incoming liberal Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In 1994, however, Walters did not make the then-incoming House Speaker after a party change, Newt Gingrich, her "most fascinating person of 1994." Gingrich didn't even get into one of the other nine slots.
The Wednesday, December 13, 2006 CyberAlert recounted:
Barbara Walters ended her Tuesday night ABC News countdown special, "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006," by touting, near the end of the 10pm EST/9pm CST hour, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the "most fascinating person of 2006."
Walters celebrated Pelosi's victory: "We picked our most fascinating person on election day this past November. Next month, Congress will get a Speaker of the House unlike any before. Our most fascinating person of 2006: Mother of five and Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi. In January, Nancy Pelosi will become the most powerful woman in America. She will assume office as the first-ever female Speaker of the House, two heartbeats from the presidency." Walters soon pleaded to Pelosi: "You've talked about sometimes using your mother-of-five voice. Now I sit here, and you're very gentle. Talk to me in the mother-of-five voice." She also asked Pelosi to confirm that she thinks President Bush is "incompetent and irresponsible and not a leader?"
In her 1994 special, however, Walters did not make the then-incoming House Speaker after a party change, Newt Gingrich, her "most fascinating person of 1994." That honor went to Nelson Mandela on the December 13, 1994 show and Gingrich was not one of the other nine, a list which included Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Rupert Murdoch (for getting NFL games on Fox), Barbra Streisand and Jimmy Carter ("In his post-White House years, he seems to have left the mark that alluded his presidency and brought the role of ex-President to a new state of grace").
This  year's "most fascinating," in order of presentation: Andre Agassi, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (count as one), Joel Osteen, "Jay-Z," Steve and Terri Irwin (one), Anna Wintour, Sacha Baron Cohen, John Ramsey, Patrick Dempsey and Nancy Pelosi.
For the full rundown of the Pelosi segment: www.mrc.org
The ABC.com plug for the Thursday night, December 6 special, with the names of eight of the ten people/couples to be profiled:
Can you guess who tops Barbara Walter's list as the most fascinating person of 2007?
Find out Thursday. Watch "Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2007," on ABC, Thursday, at 10 p.m. ET.
Hosted by Barbara Walters, the special includes sexy Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, her soccer superstar husband, David Beckham, pop singer Justin Timberlake, Emmy Award winner Katherine Heigl, Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, former President William Jefferson Clinton, and MySpace media moguls Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe. There will be two big surprise guests, including The Number One Most Fascinating Person of 2007, who will be announced on the program.
That's online at: abc.go.com
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Editor-in-Chief of The American Spectator magazine, on Tuesday gave readers of the Washington Times his endorsement of the new book by MRC President Brent Bozell, Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will. In his December 4 review, "Exposing Clintons' lies," Tyrrell hailed: "Whitewash is one of the most important books I have read about the Clintons' relationship with the press, and I myself have contributed a number of books to this field."
Tyrrell also praised the Media Research Center for 20 years of exposing and combating liberal media bias: "It is not just the Clintons who confuse the historic record -- it is all their fellow 1960s Coat and Tie Radicals in the media. That is why the work of L. Brent Bozell III and his colleague Tim Graham is so valuable. Their Media Research Center has been monitoring the networks and major newsprints for 20 years, doing yeoman service to preserve the truth from the Kultursmog, the political culture that our soi-disant liberals have polluted with their lies, misrepresentations and oversights."
For the December 4 review, in full: washingtontimes.com
Bozell will be a guest today (Thursday) in the second hour (live at 1pm EST) of Bill O'Reilly's national radio show. For details, check: www.mrc.org
Bozell's book will make a great Christmas gift. Here's more about the book published by Crown Forum and where to order it online:
Bozell's book: Uncovering a Fifteen Year Love Affair
How could America's presidential front-runner be a woman who has held only one elective office and had staggering numbers of personal, political, and financial scandals?
How did the First Lady to a disgraced, impeached president become a presidential front-runner despite never having held elective office before 2001? And how did this happen given her staggering number of personal, political, and financial scandals -- and her leftist political agenda?
Authors L. Brent Bozell and Tim Graham peel back the layers of Hillary Clinton's success to expose the real shocker -- not Travelgate or Whitewater -- but a fifteen year love affair by the liberal media, starting with Time magazine, who first introduced Hillary Clinton to the country as an "amalgam of Betty Crocker, Mother Teresa and Oliver Wendell Holmes." The elite media's continued and unprecedented favoritism is the key to Hillary's mythic political standing. They have downplayed or ignored her every scandal and recast her ultra-liberalism as being in the political center.
What's even more stunning is the incredible number of stories that have been under-reported, excused and buried. To expose the truth, the authors interviewed dozens of leading conservatives who want Americans to hear the whole story, including Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Cal Thomas, Newt Gingrich and many others.
Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will
Order your copy today! Go to: www.mrc.org
-- Brent Baker