Pandering to the “Torture” Lobby
“You saw the way they responded to the hard questions about torture in the Republican debate in South Carolina. They came up with easy — and hard-to-defend in a general election campaign — answers. They just played to the base. They played to, ‘Let’s torture ‘em!’ I mean, they, they didn’t say that literally, but that was the subliminal message.”
— NBC’s Andrea Mitchell discussing the Republican presidential candidates on CNBC’s Tim Russert, June 2. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Wolf Advises GOP: Go Left
“Arnold Schwarzenegger, your Governor in California, has become very popular out there by bringing in independents and moderates, and trying to forge a consensus among Republicans and Democrats in your state. Shouldn’t the GOP nationally be following that Arnold Schwarzenegger example in California?”
— CNN’s Wolf Blitzer questioning Congressman Duncan Hunter at the June 5 Republican presidential debate.
Ruing Rude Attack on Hillary
ABC’s Chris Cuomo: “We turn now to Hillary Clinton. Just as she seems to be cementing her position as front-runner, here comes Her Way....billed as the book Hillary Clinton does not want you to read....The [Clinton] campaign said it is an Ambien substitute. They say the book is just a rehash. How do you respond to that, that your book is a sleeper? It’s all been done before. You only needed a library card to report this out. Your response?”
Co-author Jeff Gerth: “Well, the New York Times chose to put 8,000 words of our book on the cover of the Sunday magazine, and we feel that their news judgement is better than that of Senator Clinton’s.”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, June 4.
Run, Al, Run
Co-host Harry Smith: “President Bush getting ready to go to Europe for the G-8. The folks in the European Union want to do emissions reductions. The President said yesterday we’re not going to participate....If you were president, you would have probably signed on?”
Former Vice President Al Gore: “Yeah, yeah.”
Smith: “Do you mind if I-? [holds up a ‘Gore 2008’ pin]...There you go. You can hold it. [laughter]....Here, let’s see what it looks like.” [holds pin to Gore’s lapel]...All right, all right. Save that in a freeze frame.”
— Exchange on CBS’s The Early Show, May 30. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Amnesty, “the Humane Solution”
“You have the President and Ted Kennedy on the same side trying to compromise on this bill. You have the polls showing early on that people were behind what it was fundamentally about. Why did you feel the need to rip a bill like this down?”
“A majority of Americans want a humane solution. The numbers are in favor of giving some type of amnesty to these people. Isn’t that the humane solution? Why are you so adamantly opposed to it?”
— ABC’s Chris Cuomo to GOP Congressman Tom Tancredo, an illegal immigration opponent, on the June 8 Good Morning America. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Fretting End of Amnesty Bill
“Tonight, the landmark compromise on immigration is in big trouble on Capitol Hill. Some senators saying if we can’t pass this, we can’t pass anything.”
— ABC’s Charles Gibson introducing World News, June 7.
“Everybody agrees the system is broken, and everybody agrees it desperately needs to be fixed....You’ve got the extremes on the left and the right trying to kill the entire bill rather than accept provisions they detest.”
— NBC’s Chip Reid on the June 7 Nightly News.
“The left and the right opposed it. So you’ve got this polarization that killed the bill....It makes you wonder, right now, the way things stand, if our political system is really equipped to attack and solve the big problems?”
— Charles Gibson on ABC’s World News, June 8.
Nope, No Partisanship Here
“Whereas other candidates like to throw red meat before their audiences, [Senator Barack] Obama is developing a penchant for hurling cold water at them....Conspicuous candor has been part of Obama’s campaign since his announcement tour in February.”
— Time’s Karen Tumulty in an article on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, June 11 issue.
“When [former Governor Mitt] Romney slowed down and focused on a single issue — immigration — at a press conference in Dover, N.H., the brazen cynicism of his candidacy became almost embarrassing....There isn’t the slightest hint of courage or conviction in his stump act.”
— Time columnist Joe Klein, writing about Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the same issue.
Bush Starting New Cold War?
“Wolf, ‘The U.S.’s plans to build a missile defense shield in Europe are arrogant and threaten to usher in a new Cold War.’ Those are the words of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev....‘The United States is driving itself into a corner. They’ve lost credibility in the world,’ unquote. Mikhail Gorbachev. Meantime, President Bush insists the Cold War’s over....For his part, Putin has accused the U.S. of starting a new arms race. This is just swell, don’t you think? We’ve got trouble with Russia now, which we haven’t had for a number of years. The question is this: Is President Bush reigniting the Cold War with Russia?”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty outlining his “Cafferty File” question for viewers on The Situation Room, June 6.
No Terrorism, Just Fox News Plot
“Our third story in the Countdown, from the mindbending idea that four guys dressed as pizza delivery men were going to outgun all the soldiers at Fort Dix, to the not-too-thought-out plan to blow up JFK Airport by lighting a match 40 miles away....The so-called plot happens to be revealed the day before the second Democratic presidential debate and as the scandal continues to unfold over the firings of U.S. attorneys and their replacements by political hacks. The so-called plot is announced by the Bush-appointed U.S. attorney for Brooklyn, New York, and by the police chief of New York City, the father of a correspondent for Fox News Channel.”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on his Countdown program June 4, outlining his claimed “Nexus of Politics and Terror,” arguing the Bush administration manipulates news about terror plots for political advantage.
Let’s Egg the Dean’s House
“When it was going this poorly in Vietnam, Americans were in the streets demanding to be heard. Students were tearing up college campuses in an effort to head off being sent away to die for nothing. But not this time — 3,503 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq, and nobody does anything. Everything’s off the table. It’s no wonder the Bush White House gets away with this stuff.”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room, June 8.
Why Are Republicans So Mean?
“I recently found out my family came from Holland without permission in the 1600s. Should we be sent back?”
“Why do you hate Mexicans?”
— Reader questions selected by Time magazine to pose to GOP presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, an opponent of illegal immigration, June 11 issue.
Dan Rather = Mr. Integrity
“Even critics of Rather would have to admit he has always stood, firmly and stubbornly, for hard news over fluff and for integrity in the newsroom.”
— Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales, June 13 article.
Land of Overworked Peasants
“We work longer hours, we work harder, we work with fewer breaks than any other industrialized nation on Earth....To put this in perspective, we work more than medieval peasants used to work....We’re a country that has no mandated paid vacation whereas the European Union has a floor of 20 days and vacation champs like France and Sweden offer 39, 40 paid days.”
— CNN contributor Polly LaBarre, In the Money, June 9.
Maybe Biased, Maybe Not
“I’m squeezed in with two AP video reporters from Spain in a room meant for one munchkin....One of the AP reporters says he believes 9/11 was a Bush administration conspiracy hung on al Qaeda....I don’t hear the other reporter sound out on the subject, but he never takes off his Che Guevara T-shirt. Maybe these two will provide unbiased footage and commentary notwithstanding their personal views — maybe not.”
— Michael Fumento recounting his experience embedded with NATO forces in Afghanistan for the Weekly Standard’s June 11 cover story, “The Other War.”
Hard News Dan vs. Katie the Tart
“I have nothing against Katie Couric at all. She’s a very nice person...The mistake was to try to bring the Today ethos to the evening news and to dumb it down, tart it up, in hopes of attracting a younger audience....They changed the set. They changed the executive producers. They changed the graphics person....[but] the trend line continues, as I say, dumbing it down, tarting it up.”
— Ex-CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather critiquing his successor on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, June 11. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
I’m a Reporter, Not a Republican!
“[Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald] Connolly has been outspokenly critical of [Democratic candidate and ex-Washington Post reporter Charlie] Hall’s lack of involvement in the Democratic Party, even suggesting that he is a closet Republican....The issue infuriates Hall, who said that he has voted Democrat his whole life.”
— May 29 Washington Post story by Bill Turque about the bid by Hall, a 20-year Post veteran, to win a seat on the Board of Supervisors in Fairfax County, Virginia. Hall lost.
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Justin McCarthy, Matthew Balan and Brendan Jones
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey
INTERNS: Michael Lanza, Joe Steigerwald
CIRCULATION MANAGER: Holly Schnitzler