Saddened by Hillary’s “Burden”
“Is it any kind of a burden for you, Senator, that so many opinions are pre-formed? Americans know Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
— Anchor Brian Williams interviewing Hillary Clinton on the January 22 NBC Nightly News.
Hillary Too Timid for Katie?
“Senator Clinton, you’re against sending additional troops to Iraq, and according to our latest poll, 66 percent of Americans agree with you. So why not vote to cut off funding so the President can’t carry out this policy?”
— Katie Couric to Hillary Clinton on the January 22 CBS Evening News.
“Hot” Hillary, Obama the Poet
“Call it, ‘Obama Wave collides with Clinton Juggernaut.’... Next to [Senator Barack] Obama’s fluid poetry, Hillary Clinton can seem overly cautious....In the glamour game? It would have to be a draw right now. Hillary Clinton has been the unparalleled star of the Democratic Party — her power hard-earned and palpable, her ‘hot factor’ given a substantial boost by her ever-popular husband. But Barack Obama, with his fairy tale family, has personal charisma to spare....As you can see, there will be a lot of jostling between these two white hot, likely presidential candidates.”
— ABC national correspondent Claire Shipman on Good Morning America, January 18. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Toasting Pelosi’s “Freight Train”
“A short while ago, the Democratic-led House passed the final measure of its self-declared first one hundred hours in office....It was an energy bill that would encourage investment in alternative energy sources and lower oil industry subsidies....The House, by the way, completed their scheduled hundred hours of work in just about 42 hours, so they can put the other 58 in the bank.”
— ABC’s Charles Gibson on World News, January 18.
“Like a freight train, she’s already moved six major pieces of legislation through the House — everything from stem cell to minimum wage. And whatever side you’re on, when this new Speaker moves, she moves fast. Nancy Pelosi says power is not handed to you, you have to know how to win it. When she walks into a room, she is quiet, polite. But her fellow politicians say she’s galvanized steel with a smile.”
— ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America, Jan. 19. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
No War If Women Ran World...
“Do you believe that if there were more women presidents in the world, there would be less war? How sure are you that there would be less war?”
— Diane Sawyer tossing out a question to all 16 female U.S. Senators on ABC’s Good Morning America, Jan. 17.
But Is America Too Backwards?
“There was a Newsweek poll recently that showed that 35 percent of American people do not think America is ready for a woman president....What has taken America so long? We’ve got, what, six, seven, female presidents, six prime ministers that I know about in the world.”
— Sawyer in a second segment with the female Senators about an hour later in the same program.
Katie’s Feminist Critique
“It’s still thrilling — and even a little awe-inspiring — to get ‘briefed’ at the White House, no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office. And yet, the meeting was a little disconcerting as well. As I was looking at my colleagues around the room — Charlie Gibson, George Stephanopoulos, Brian Williams, Tim Russert, Bob Schieffer, Wolf Blitzer, and Brit Hume — I couldn’t help but notice, despite how far we’ve come, that I was still the only woman there....The feminist movement that began in the 1970s helped women make tremendous strides — but there still haven’t been enough great leaps for womankind....That meeting was a reality check for me — and not just about Iraq. It was a reminder that all of us still have an obligation to ask: Don’t more women deserve a place at the table too?”
— CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric in a January 15 “Couric & Co.” blog posting on CBSNews.com, referring to a White House briefing held in advance of President Bush’s January 10 speech on Iraq.
More Taxes, Please
Host George Stephanopoulos: “You were Secretary of Energy. Energy independence, as you say, is going to be one of the number one issues in the campaign. And you’ve talked about alternative energy. But isn’t it going to take real sacrifice, real cutbacks in consumption if we’re going to be energy independent?...Higher gas taxes?”
Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM): “It’s going to be a collaborative effort. No, you don’t have to do it with taxes....”
Stephanopoulos: “But aren’t higher energy taxes the best way to get people to conserve?”
— ABC’s This Week, January 21.
John McCain vs. “Far Right”
“Plus, Senator John McCain takes not-so-friendly fire from the far right. Why he is fending off criticism from an evangelical leader....Senator John McCain is fending off fire from the far-right flank this morning. A leading evangelical minister says there’s no way he could support McCain.”
— CNN’s Miles O’Brien first teasing, then introducing a report on James Dobson’s opposition to McCain, January 16 American Morning.
Bush Giving Chris Nightmares
“There’s grounds for the President to retire based upon the mistakes made. He will not retire....This President still has a star that leads him to a kind of a messianic thinking that somehow he’s the essential man right now to keep us in that war.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during live coverage a few minutes before President Bush’s Iraq speech, January 10.
“A lot of people are going to go to bed tonight terrified that the President of the United States admitted to mistakes in terms of implementing his policy over there....I am worried — well, I shouldn’t say I’m worried — I am definitely interested in the fact that the President of the United States maintains that neoconservative aggressiveness....If we’re going to take the same attitude towards Iran that we took towards Iraq, and wait for them to do something we don’t like in the weapons area, the nuclear weapons area, and attack that country, that’s serious business.”
— Matthews about 45 minutes after the President concluded his speech on Iraq, January 10. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Which Way Is It?
“Bush Cheered at Fort Benning”
— Headline of a January 11 Associated Press report.
“Bush Speaks and Base Is Subdued”
— New York Times headline on same trip, January 12.
Fox’s 24 = “Naked Brainwashing”
“Is 24 propaganda? Is it fearmongering? Or is it a program-length commercial for one political party?...If the irrational right can claim that the news is fixed to try to alter people’s minds, or that networks should be boycotted for nudity or for immorality, shouldn’t those same groups be saying 24 should be taken off of TV because it’s naked brainwashing?”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on the January 16 Countdown, reacting to how the Fox drama depicted terrorists detonating a “suitcase nuke” near Los Angeles.
Media’s “Plantation Mentality”
“As we saw in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the plantation mentality that governs Washington turned the press corps into sitting ducks for the war party, for government, and neoconservative propaganda and manipulation.....What’s happened is not indifference or laziness or incompetence, but the fact that most journalists on the plantation have so internalized conventional wisdom that they simply accept that the system is working as it should. I’m doing a documentary this spring called ‘Buying the War,’ and I can’t tell you again how many reporters have told me that it just never occurred to them that high officials would manipulate intelligence in order to go to war. Hello?”
— PBS’s Bill Moyers, in a January 12 speech to a conference on “media reform” aired four days later on the left-wing Pacifica network’s Democracy Now.
“Hard to Portray” Good Iraq News
“[Life in Iraq] isn’t entirely what it seems. You know, we’re really good at getting across the relentless bombing and the violence, but it’s really a lot harder for us to portray those spaces in between....When you wake up early in the morning, if you can be out on the streets, which we can’t anymore, the sun shining, there are children walking to school, there are girls and boys, there are Iraqi girls who are walking to school, and it’s that wonderful sign of resilience that is the fabric, the background of life there. Now, to go out and do that story, we would not only be putting ourselves in danger and our local people in danger, we’d probably be putting those children in danger because that is the nature of television. I worked under Saddam Hussein in Saddam’s Iraq, and this is harder now than it ever was then.”
— Baghdad reporter Jane Arraf on the January 19 NBC Nightly News. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Pelosi, Sweeper of the House
Diane Sawyer: “I’m going to tell you what she [Nancy Pelosi] did, I’m willing to bet, no Speaker of the House has ever done in the entire history of the United States of America....We’re walking along with the camera, she looks at the carpet. It has lint on it, little scraps of paper. She can’t stand it. She gets down and cleans the carpet so we could walk. And she looks up at me and says, ‘It’s just the bonus of having a female Speaker of the House.’”
Robin Roberts: “Yeah. Don’t think any of the guys did that. All right, Diane. Have a safe trip back home.”
David Muir: “A clean rotunda on Capitol Hill.”
Roberts: “Got to love it!”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, January 19.
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Mike Rule, Scott Whitlock and Justin McCarthy
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Michael Chapman
CIRCULATION MANAGER: Holly Schnitzler