Fort Hood Killings: A Tragedy for Politically Correct Journalists

Vol. 22, No. 24

Ft. Hood: A Tragedy for Politically Correct Journalists

"I cringe that he [Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan] is a Muslim. I mean, because it inflames all the fears. I think he's probably just a nut case. But with that label attached to him, it will get the right wing going and it just - I mean these things are tragic, but that makes it much worse."
- Newsweek's Evan Thomas on Inside Washington, November 6. [Audio/video (0:20): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

"As for the suspect, Nidal Hasan, as one officer's wife told me, 'I wish his name was Smith.'"
- ABC's Martha Raddatz on World News, November 5.

"It's looking more and more like he was just, sort of, a religious nut. And you know, Islam doesn't have a majority - the Christian religion has its full, you know, full helping of nuts, too."
- CBS's Bob Schieffer to Senator Lindsey Graham on Face the Nation, November 8.

"The Pentagon has made a real concerted effort to create a military that is culturally sensitive and religiously tolerant, but Muslims in uniform today face a challenge not seen since Japanese-Americans fought in World War II. They taste suspicion from some fellow soldiers who question their loyalty and resentment from fellow Muslims opposed to both American wars."
- Correspondent Bill Weir on ABC's World News, November 6. [Audio/video (0:35): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

He's No Terrorist - Just a Stressed-Out Soldier

"How disturbing is it to you that it looks like various agencies failed to connect the dots on Major Hasan?...We know from the beginning of the Iraq war, the escalation in number of cases of post-traumatic stress disorder. The other fact is, is that the more people go back to these fields, these theaters of war, either in Iraq or Afghanistan, it multiplies the incidence of these kinds of things occurring."
- CBS's Harry Smith questioning Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on the November 11 Early Show. Hasan never served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Journalists Keep Trying to Lure Republicans to the Left

"The feeble pulse of moderation in the Republican Party is in danger of flat-lining in the Nov. 3 congressional election in upstate New York....The party continues to deny the Obama ascendancy with an agenda of naysaying when creative ideas and candidates, not right-wing zeal, are the obvious way to get back in the game of democracy."
- October 26 New York Times editorial headlined, "Torching the Big Tent."

"[The Republican Party] has become an extremist shard of a party that is essentially a regional southern party in the country and doesn't have broad appeal to the mass of Americans....I think that that's the problem that Republicans are facing going forward."
- Time's Joe Klein on CNN's Reliable Sources, November 8.

"[Scozzafava's dropping out] is a sign that the leash that the base is holding on the party is tightening and that the Palins, the talk radio, Rush Limbaughs, the Fox, the definition of what is acceptable as a Republican, I think, is narrowing....I do wonder about whether Republicans are going to have the freedom to maneuver they'll need to recover in some of those blue states where they've significantly eroded."
- National Journal's Ron Brownstein, formerly a longtime political reporter for the Los Angeles Times, on ABC's This Week, November 1.

ABC Frets: "What Happened to the Big Tent"?

"A liberal Republican gets forced out of the race by a more conservative guy who was actually not a Republican, was running on the Conservative ticket. What happened to the big tent in the Republican Party?"
- ABC's Charles Gibson on World News, November 2.

Reporter John Berman: "[Republican Dede] Scozzafava came under withering attack from the likes of Sarah Palin and national conservative groups....The Republican National Committee is now backing [Conservative Party candidate Doug] Hoffman....Hoffman says not all views are welcome. The tent can only be so big?"
Conservative Doug Hoffman: "Well, isn't that true in life in general? There's always boundaries."
Berman: "The question for Republicans is: Will those boundaries become a burden?"
- ABC's World News, November 2.

Larry King vs. "the Far Right"

"That [Democratic congressional victory] may be the first defeat for the far right tonight....Since the far right did get into that race in upstate New York, is this a legitimate defeat for them tonight?...Do you see the far right as evidenced by - we all know who they are - as a threat to your party?"
- CNN's Larry King to various guests during his network's election night coverage just after midnight, November 4.

Conservatives Engaged in Stalin-esque "Purge" of GOP

"'Scozzafava' turns into epithet: It's a Grand Old Purging as moderate's ouster spotlights Republican dysfunction"
- Headline over a November 10 front-page story in the Washington Post.

"The battle for upstate New York confirms just how swiftly the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy Obama....Though they [conservatives] constantly liken the President to various totalitarian dictators, it is they who are re-enacting Stalinism in full purge mode."
- New York Times columnist Frank Rich, November 1.

Host Chris Matthews: "Is the Republican Party in a purge? Something like in the '30s in Russia, where they're knocking off people that are not politically correct. Obviously they're not communists. But this kind of roughhouse decision to bop off people?..."
Newsweek's Howard Fineman: "Yeah, well, as long as we're making wild comparisons, this is sort of the crack cocaine of reduced Republicanism here."
- MSNBC's Hardball, November 2. [Audio/video (0:38): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

A Democratic Defeat? Impossible!

"If The Dems Lose Next Week: How it might help them in the long run."
- On-screen graphic during CNN's The Situation Room, October 30.

Real Problem: "The Stimulus Was Too Small"

"The problem is the stimulus was too small, and they compromised it down and so you had less effect. I mean, the fact is these [10.2 percent unemployment] numbers would be a lot worse without the stimulus."
- Former Washington Post and New York Times political correspondent E. J. Dionne, now a Washington Post columnist, on NBC's Meet the Press, November 8.

"We're going to have to have more stimulus, more spending. You say, well that's terrible....Well, alright, so we don't come out of the recession."
- ABC's Sam Donaldson on This Week, November 8.

Katie Touts "the Godfather of Green"

"I'm honored to be joined today by the Godfather of Green, the King of Conservation: Former Vice President Al Gore."
- Katie Couric opening her November 2 "@KatieCouric" webcast. [Audio/video (0:53): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Ooooh, They're So Cool!

"He carries a smartphone on his hip, goes out for burgers and plays pickup hoops. She goes to their daughters' soccer games, works in the garden and loves listening to her iPod. Together, they host poets, artists and musicians at their house and invite neighborhood kids to drop by....President Obama may not have delivered on all the policy changes he promised since his election a year ago, but he and his family have brought dramatic social change to the nation's capital and to the country's collective image of its first family."
- USA Today's Mimi Hall and Maria Puente in a November 3 front-page story headlined, "With cultural 'flair,' Obamas updating first family's image."

After 34 Years at ABC News...

"I worry about the lack of objectivity and the future of the news business....This desire [of MSNBC and Fox News] to play to niche audiences is making it harder and harder for mainstream media like ABC, NBC or CBS - and there are viewers who watch news that plays to their own prejudices."
- ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson in a November 10 speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, as quoted in the next day's Boston Herald.

Dick Cheney, "Torture Man"

"You might think an endorsement from Dick Cheney would be like a dinner invite from [Saddam's sons] Uday and Qusay Hussein, but not in Texas. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison says she's pleased to have the former Vice President's support in her race for governor. Can the torture man boost her backing from conservatives in beating secessionist governor Rick Perry?"
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball, October 29. [Audio/video (0:26): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Letting Limbaugh Speak = Act of War?

"Last week, your man Robert Gibbs met with the folks at Fox News, declared a truce in this war you've been having with them. Was the truce broken this morning?"
- CBS's Bob Schieffer to White House advisor David Axelrod on Face the Nation, November 1, referring to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh's appearance that same morning on Fox News Sunday. [Audio/video (0:22): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

The New Poster Boy of "Morally Compromised" Journalists

"Yeah, I play, I play a morally compromised news journalist....You know, he's kind of a modern day - he's not sort of the gravitas - parochial, you know, Walter Cronkite. He's more of Anderson Cooper-y."
- Actor Scott Wolf, who plays a TV news anchor in ABC's sci-fi series V, on the November 5 Good Morning America.

"Of Course" Obama Is "Much Smarter" than Us Pundits

Host Chris Matthews: "He's [President Obama] hung back at a point that's almost driven us crazy. He has let Harry Reid carry the ball....Is that smart?
Newsweek's Howard Fineman: "I think it may turn out to be. I've been like you, all over cable TV, saying, 'How come he isn't out there pounding away at this? He ought to do it like Ronald Reagan and have four points and pound!' That's not Barack Obama....One of his great qualities, whether you like him or not, is patience. And he's playing a very patient game here."
Matthews: "Howard, is he smarter than us?
Fineman: "Of course he is! Much smarter!"
- The Chris Matthews Show, November 1. [Audio/video (0:39): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Matthew Balan, and Kyle Drennen
INTERN: Mike Sargent
MEDIA CONTACT: Colleen O'Boyle (703) 683-5004