Media Vote to Convict Cheney
“It was a verdict that shook the White House, and ground zero was Dick Cheney’s office....During the trial, the jury never heard from Cheney, but the prosecutor said there was a cloud over the Vice President’s office. And today he said it’s still there. Only now, Katie, it may be darker.”
— Correspondent Gloria Borger on the March 6 CBS Evening News, reporting on the guilty verdict against former Cheney aide Scooter Libby.
“Is this the beginning of the end, do you believe, for the Vice President?”
— Co-host Meredith Vieira to Tim Russert on NBC’s Today, March 7.
Silliest Question of the Day
Substitute anchor Elizabeth Vargas: “Democrats are also calling on the President to, quote, ‘do something’ in light of today’s guilty verdict. Ambassador Joe Wilson, who wrote the editorial that started this whole thing, said today he wants Karl Rove fired from the White House. Do you think that might happen?”
George Stephanopoulos: “No. It ain’t going to happen....”
— ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson, March 6.
To Bush, Laws “Get In the Way”
“The most interesting part of this story will be whether or not President Bush pardons Libby on his way out the door a year and a half or so down the road. Somehow, it would be the perfect parting gesture for an administration that has come to view things like the Constitution and the nation’s laws as inconveniences that only serve to get in the way of their agenda.”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty, The Situation Room, March 6. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Bob’s Vietnam Mindset
Anchor Katie Couric: “The Bush administration is characterizing the British draw down as a sign of success. Is anyone buying that?”
Bob Schieffer: “Well, if that’s the claim, it’s going to be a very hard sell....I think what we’re seeing here, Katie, is what happened back during the Vietnam era when things were going badly and the crusty old Senator from Vermont, George Aiken, said ‘there’s only one way out here, that’s to declare victory and just leave.’ That’s what we’re seeing.”
— Exchange on the February 21 CBS Evening News, referring to British plans to reduce their troops in Iraq from about 8,000 to about 5,000 by December.
Clinton: “Like Jesus in the Temple”
“When I watched him [former President Bill Clinton] at Mrs. King’s funeral, I just have never seen anything like it....There are times when he sounds like Jesus in the temple. I mean, amazing ability to transcend ethnicity — race, we call it, it’s really ethnicity — in this country and, and speak to us all in this amazingly primordial way.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Hardball, February 28. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
“All” Experts Endorse “Saint” Al
“As the throngs of celebrities greeted Al Gore as a secular saint, I wondered if this might usher in a backlash against environmentalists....It seems like we’re reaching critical mass when it comes to this issue. And all the experts agree. Well, almost every expert. (There are a handful of scientists — many of them on the payroll of big oil companies — who wonder if global warming is a reality.) But my fervent hope is that Hollywood’s embrace of Al Gore doesn’t give people an excuse to condemn and mock the effort — and oppose taking steps that we as a society need to take to deal with the issue of climate change.”
— Anchor Katie Couric writing about the Oscars on her CBSNews.com blog, “Couric & Co.,” February 26.
Global Warming Causes Everything
Katie Couric: “I’m Katie Couric. Tonight, deadly storms sweep across the nation. A rare supercell tornado hits an Alabama high school. More than a dozen people are reportedly killed....CBS News weather analyst Bryan Norcross is in our Washington bureau tonight. Bryan, is this unusual for this time of year?...Does this have anything to do with global warming?”
Weather analyst Brian Norcross: “No, I don’t think so....”
— CBS Evening News, March 1.
Gore Now “Coolest” Ex-Veep Ever
“Incredible as it may seem, Al Gore is not only totally carbon neutral, but geek-chic cool. No velvet rope can stop him....’He is more popular now than he ever was in office, and he knows it,’ says Laurie David, one of the producers of Inconvenient Truth and a Hollywood environmental activist (and wife of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David) who has traveled around the world promoting the film with Gore. ‘He’s a superhero now.’”
— Washington Post reporter William Booth in a February 25 front-page profile of Gore headlined, “Al Gore, Rock Star; Oscar Hopeful May Be America’s Coolest Ex-Vice President Ever.”
Most Mock What NBC Hypes
“Is it the tomb of Jesus? A shocking new claim that an ancient burial place may have housed the bones of Christ and a son. This morning, a Today exclusive that could rock Christianity to its core.”
— Matt Lauer touting an upcoming segment on Today, February 26.
“We tracked down the archeologist who first discovered the tomb 27 years ago. Amos Kloner says there’s nothing special about it....”
— Reporter Wilf Dinnick on ABC’s World News, Feb. 26.
“This is a tale from The Da Vinci Code via the Indiana Jones school of archeology....Once before, the Discovery Channel tried to sell audiences a story about another ancient box of bones with the Jesus connection. The man at the center of that claim is now facing trial for fraud.”
— CBS’s Mark Phillips on the February 26 Evening News.
Another Day, Another Liberal Plea
“The surprising number of workers who have no paid sick days. Will Congress finally expand sick pay to everyone?... 145 nations, but not the United States, require businesses to provide some paid sick days.”
— ABC’s Charles Gibson on the February 22 World News.
Bad Timing at the New York Times
“Mr. Cheney’s trip to Pakistan was shrouded in unusual secrecy....Mr. Cheney’s traveling press pool was sworn to secrecy, and allowed to report only the barest details just before he left....American officials did not explain the extraordinary secrecy surrounding Mr. Cheney’s visit....”
— New York Times reporter David Sanger in a February 27 report about Cheney’s trip to Southwest Asia.
“A suicide bomber blew himself up this morning outside the main gate of the United States military base at Bagram while Vice President Dick Cheney was inside the base. Mr. Cheney was not hurt in the attack.”
— Lead sentence of a story posted on the New York Times’ Web site a few hours later.
Speaking of Killing Cheney...
“I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.”
— Host Bill Maher on his HBO show Real Time, March 2, discussing how a few commenters at a left-wing blog were upset that the attempt to kill Cheney had failed.
We’re Rooting for Every Democrat
Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky: “This is a set of firsts, not just for the African-American community, but for women, for Hispanics and Bill Richardson. There are so many firsts in this Democratic [presidential] primary that I think it’s really a good time to be a Democrat.”
Anchor Contessa Brewer: “It’s sort of like we’re all rooting for everybody all at once.”
— Exchange around 3:10pm on MSNBC Live, March 5.
Something Else to Blame on Bush
Reporter Dawn Fratangelo: “How has this administration affected your songwriting?”
Singer Mary Chapin Carpenter: “It’s made me more angry. I feel despair when I turn on the news or I read the newspaper. I feel despair that we’re, we’re never going to be able to regain the respect of the countries of this world. That we’re, we’re putting our children in danger of not having a future.”
— NBC’s Today, March 6.
Bushies = “Liars and Murderers”
“I don’t know what it’s going to take for people to really wake up and understand that they are liars and they are murderers. I’m sorry....After the Katrina incident, after the incompetence that took place there, after the incompetence and the lying about this war. [Applause] I don’t understand it.”
— ABC’s Joy Behar on The View, February 28. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Won’t Be Free Until Bush Is Gone
Co-host Rosie O’Donnell: “Don’t you believe that, like, the Patriot Act has robbed us of us our civil liberties in this country, that fear has taken over from faith in democracy, in the Constitution?”
Comedian Dennis Miller: “No, I don’t.”
O’Donnell: “I do.”
— Exchange on ABC’s The View, March 1.
Actor Zach Braff, NBC’s Scrubs: “You know America...my middle name is Israel. We’re both named after countries.... Do you think that you have any traits in common with the country that is your namesake?”
Actress America Ferrera, ABC’s Ugly Betty: “Well, you know, I mean, I guess I’m a free-spirited person and America’s supposedly the ‘land of the free,’ right? Or at least we will be in 2008.”
— Exchange during the “Spirit Awards” shown live on the Independent Film Channel, February 24. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Mike Rule, Scott Whitlock, Justin McCarthy and Matthew Balan
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey
CIRCULATION MANAGER: Holly Schnitzler