Bush’s “Travesty of Justice”
“This morning, above the law? The President decides convicted White House official Scooter Libby should not go directly to jail. He’s not going to jail at all. Was justice served?”
— Fill-in co-host David Muir opening ABC’s Good Morning America, July 3.
Meredith Vieira: “Is it possible that this decision to commute and not pardon will backfire with the President’s conservative base, whose patience with him is already tried?”
Weekly Standard’s William Kristol: “No, no....Look at all the screaming and yelling. Look at Joe Wilson’s ridiculous comments just now....”
Vieira: “Why do you say those are ridiculous, sir? There are many people who feel that this was a travesty of justice. So those who believe that are ridiculous?”
— Exchange on NBC’s Today July 3. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
“Greatest Crime of This Century”
“Good evening. A President who lied us into a war and, in so doing, needlessly killed 3,584 of our family and friends and neighbors; a President whose administration initially tried to destroy the first man to nail that lie; a President whose henchmen then ruined the career of the intelligence asset that was his wife when intelligence assets were never more essential to the viability of the Republic; a President like that has tonight freed from the prospect of prison the only man ever to come to trial for one of the component felonies in what may be the greatest crime of this young century.”
— Keith Olbermann opening MSNBC’s Countdown, July 2. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
“I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war....I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons and sisters and daughters and friends and neighbors....I accuse you of handing part of this Republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it....Resign.”
— Olbermann in a “Special Comment,” July 3 Countdown.
Hey, Let’s Send Scooter to Iraq
“I got an idea, I got a solution. Pardon him but send him to Iraq in uniform and put him on the front. Send him to the front. He supported the war, send him to fight it!...In the old days the judges would take a working class kid who got into a scrape with the law and say, ‘Junior, want to go jail or do you want to go join the Army?’ They should say the same thing to Scooter Libby. ‘Want to join the Army?’”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Hardball, June 21. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
NBC’s Big Donation to Gore
NBC’s Ann Curry: “Live Earth involves 130 countries, 7 continents, 2 billion viewers, dozens of bands and it’s all in a day’s work for this man, who’s worked tirelessly to raise the issue of global warming, the Chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection, Al Gore. Al, good evening. You know, you’ve been pouring yourself into this issue, I mean, I gotta tell you, you’ve exhausted yourself....Nevertheless you keep pushing and actually the question is, what constitutes success here?”
Former Vice President Al Gore: “...We are now prepared to announce formally that this is now the largest global entertainment event in all of history.”
Curry: “Whoa!...Congratulations....A lot of people want me to ask you tonight if you’re running for President.... Would you answer the call?...Have you ruled it out?...Have fun tonight. And I think you are.”
Gore: “Thank you very much. Thanks for what NBC has been doing.”
Curry: “Alright, thanks a lot.”
— Exchange during NBC’s three-hour July 7 broadcast of Gore’s “Live Earth” concert to fight global warming. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Global Warming Not Political?
“I really don’t think climate change is a political issue.... Everyone agrees it’s happening. If it’s a political issue, it’s whether the political will exists to address that change. We know we need to do something, and this is a way to heighten awareness.”
— NBC Senior Vice President Dan Harrison quoted in the July 9 Washington Post defending NBC Universal’s 75-hour multi-network coverage of Gore’s “Live Earth.”
“The Unseen Path to Cruelty”
— Headline over June 25 front-page Washington Post story by Barton Gellman and Jo Becker about Vice President Cheney’s role in devising rules for captured terrorists.
The CIA: More Evil than Ever
“On page after page, some of the darkest chapters of the CIA’s history are described in chilling detail....Many experts say they also shed light on this era, on the question of what the agency should and shouldn’t be doing at a time when the CIA is running secret prisons, using coercive interrogation techniques like water boarding and expanding its role in the war against al-Qaeda and other terrorists.”
— ABC’s Terry Moran on World News, June 26.
Editing Out the Fairness
“The conservative shock-pundit, who sniped on Good Morning America Monday that she hoped the Democratic candidate [John Edwards] would be ‘killed in a terrorist assassination plot,’ was a guest on MSNBC’s Hardball Tuesday night, prompting a live call-in by Elizabeth, who demanded that Coulter ‘stop the personal attacks.’”
— The Washington Post’s Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger in the June 28 “Reliable Sources” column.
“I did not call John Edwards the F-word. I said I couldn’t talk about him because you could go into rehab for using that word. But about the same time, you know, Bill Maher was not joking and saying he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack. So, I’ve learned my lesson. If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.”
— Full quote from Coulter on ABC’s Good Morning America, June 25.
Hoping for Coulter “Death Match”
Co-anchor Ryan Owens: “Okay, I have an idea....You know how we have a Paris Hilton blackout?...How about an Ann Coulter blackout?”
Co-anchor Taina Hernandez: “Ah, no ‘Coulter cash’ for us....Or we can pit them together in some kind of skinny death match?”
Owens: “Skinny death match?”
Unidentified person off-camera: “Or go to jail together.”
Owens: “Here’s your weather.”
Hernandez: “Or go to jail together. That’s Peter. Here’s your weather.”
— ABC’s overnight World News Now, June 28. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Blame Hunters, Not Criminals
Anchor Dan Harris: “Urban Americans tend to favor strict gun laws. Rural Americans do not. But in one big city, they don’t get to choose. Philadelphia has to follow gun laws set by the state government, which is dominated by rural lawmakers. And city officials say that is why they have the highest murder rate of the nation’s big cities — 213 this year and counting....”
Reporter David Kerley: “Nearly every day, someone in Philadelphia is shot to death. Last fall, it was five-year-old Cashae Rivers... Riding in the back seat of a car, a bullet ripped through her heart....[But] rural sensibilities continue to rule the gun debate — and cities like Philadelphia prepare for another night, and another shooting death.”
— ABC’s World News Sunday, July 8.
Hailing “Bold” Lefty Protest
“One hundred forty-one high school seniors from around the country, this year’s class of presidential scholars, came to the White House for a meet-and-greet with the President. When they got there, 50 of them presented him with a handwritten letter that they had signed demanding that the United States stop the practice of torture.”
— NBC’s Brian Williams on the June 25 Nightly News.
“That’s a pretty bold stroke, to hand the President a letter, particularly one with that sort of controversial subject matter....Did you have any problem getting those 50 students to sign it?...In response, the President said, ‘We respect human rights.’ Do you buy that?...Obviously, you weren’t shy about sharing your opinions, which is what the great thing about this democracy is.”
— CNN American Morning co-anchor John Roberts interviewing three of the high school students who handed Bush the letter decrying U.S. “torture,” June 26.
“Have to Respect” Jimmy Carter
“Historian Douglas Brinkley says he used the White House as a stepping stone for greater things. He intervened in civil wars around the globe, monitored elections, and confronted dictators. And Carter’s work for Habitat for Humanity shows that even for someone who was once the most powerful man on Earth, there’s no higher calling than helping your neighbor. To cap it all, in 2002 he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Of course he’s been outspoken, criticizing President Bush and equating some Israeli policies with apartheid, and critics have accused him of acting decidedly unpresidential. Agree with him or not, you have to respect him for sticking to his principles. At 82, Jimmy Carter is having an impact still, perhaps even more than when he was President.”
— CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric on her June 19 “Katie Couric’s Notebook,” a video posting to her “Couric & Co.” blog at CBSNews.com.
Hitler Not as Evil as Bush
“You could argue that even the world’s worst fascist dictators at least meant well. They honestly thought [they] were doing good things for their countries by suppressing blacks/eliminating Jews/eradicating free enterprise/repressing individual thought/killing off rivals/invading neighbors, etc....Bush set a new precedent. He came into office with the attitude of ‘I’m so tired of the public good. What about my good? What about my rich friends’ good?’”
— Ex-Washington Post sports reporter and Seinfeld writer Peter Mehlman in a June 20 Huffington Post blog item.
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