Keith: Bush Is “Un-American”...
“Mr. Bush has signaled that his unparalleled and unprincipled attack on reporting has a new and venomous side angle: The attempt to link, by the simple expediency of one word, ‘media,’ the honest, patriotic, indeed vital questions and questioning from American reporters, with the evil of al-Qaeda propaganda. That linkage is more than just indefensible. It is un-American. Mr. Bush and his colleagues have led us before to such waters. We will not drink again....It thus becomes necessary to remind the President that his administration’s recent Nazi ‘kick’ is an awful and a cynical thing. And it becomes necessary to reach back into our history, for yet another quote, from yet another time and to ask it of Mr. Bush: ‘Have you no sense of decency, sir?’”
— MSNBC Countdown host Keith Olbermann, September 5. In his speech that day, Bush didn’t attack reporters, but stated: “bin Laden says that al Qaeda intends to launch, in his words, ‘a media campaign…to create a wedge between the American people and their government.’” (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)
...And Rumsfeld Is a “Fascist”
“The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack. Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet....The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms....And about Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country faces a ‘new type of fascism.’ As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that — though probably not in the way he thought he meant it. This country faces a new type of fascism — indeed.”
— Olbermann in part of a six-minute commentary on Countdown, August 30. Rumsfeld urged people respond to journalists who have created “myths and distortions” about the troops and asserted “America’s not what’s wrong with the world.” (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)
Katrina, Still a Bush Disaster
“Less than half of New Orleans residents have moved back. There have been, according to government watchdog groups, at least $2 billion in fraud and waste, scams, et cetera. Can Bush claim that there’s any success in what’s happened in the Gulf Coast in the past year?”
— MSNBC Hardball substitute host Norah O’Donnell to Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, August 28.
Hurricane Exposed Awful Truth
“Good morning, it was a once in a lifetime storm. One year ago she slammed into the Gulf Coast with 150 mph winds, devastating a great American city, ripping at the hearts and the souls of a region, laying bare an America still achingly divided by race and class. And battering the image of an administration.”
— Co-host Matt Lauer opening NBC’s Today, August 29.
“Here in New Orleans tonight, the water that came through this neighborhood a year ago destroyed a lot. It exposed a lot, too, including, some say, the dicey issues of race and class in our country. Why didn’t certain people leave? Who did get out? Was any of this in any way intentional?”
— Brian Williams introducing interview with left-wing professor Michael Eric Dyson, NBC Nightly News, August 28.
Bush, Heartless “Patrician” Snob
“You have apologized for the damage, but what about the damage to your presidency?...A lot of Americans are always going to believe that that weekend, that week, you were watching something on television other than what they were seeing, and Professor Dyson from the University of Pennsylvania said on our broadcast last night it was because of your ‘patrician’ upbringing, that it’s a class issue.”
— Williams to President Bush, August 29 Nightly News. (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)
TV’s Conspiracy Theory Agenda
ABC’s Steve Osunsami: “In many black neighborhoods, they actually believe that white residents sent the barge that destroyed the levee and flooded their communities.”
Unidentified black man, in HBO’s film by Spike Lee: “They had a bomb. They bombed that sucker.”
Osunsami: “To this day, the conspiracy theories are so widely held, director Spike Lee put them on film....”
Spike Lee, director: “As an African-American in this country, I don’t put anything past the government.”
— ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson, August 30.
“Finally, the elephant in the room, if you will, Mr. Nagin. There are still people in the black community...who believe that the day after Katrina struck New Orleans the levees were breached intentionally. That they were blown, if you will, to flood black and poor neighborhoods to spare middle-class white neighborhoods.”
— NBC’s Matt Lauer to New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, August 29 Today.
GOP: Expect Dirty Racial Smears
Host Chris Matthews: “Are they gonna bring in the ethnic factor? In the dirty old days, like five or 10 years ago, we had a situation like that and the Republicans were warning, most of these ranking members, these about to chairmen, are African-Americans. They go after [John] Conyers, who is a bit far out, politically. But they’ll use the ethnic factor, or won’t they? It’s a tough question, isn’t it?”
Time’s Michael Duffy: “Late. Late. There’s a, Lee Atwater used to say this: ‘You can play a race card late, and only once.’ But I think in an election that’s gonna be close, and they have chambers up for grabs — you said the good old days were, the bad old days were over? I don’t think so.”
— Chris Matthews Show, August 27.
“In fund-raising appeals, on the Internet and in stump speeches, Republicans raise the specter of a Judiciary Committee headed by Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, a banking committee steered by Barney Frank of Massachusetts, a tax-writing committee led by Charles B. Rangel of New York, and an energy panel under the leadership of John D. Dingell of Michigan. Democrats and others call it a tired scare tactic with more than a whiff of bigotry because Republicans often point to gay and black Democrats who would lead committees.”
— New York Times reporter Carl Hulse, August 26 article.
Irresponsible to Keep Taxes Low
“I mean, if the deficit continued to grow, it’s not responsible to say you’re never going to raise taxes....Ronald Reagan also increased taxes....So it’s, ‘Read my lips,’ you’re never going to vote to raise taxes?”
— George Stephanopoulos to conservative Stephen Laffey, who is challenging liberal Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island’s GOP Senate primary, ABC’s This Week, September 3.
Admitting Media’s Anti-War Bias
Newsweek’s Evan Thomas: “I was a ‘Chicken Hawk’ like a lot of people....You know, most of the mainstream types, mainstream journalists believed — close call — that we had to got to this war. They’ve now changed their view. You can feel it shift over the summer.”
NPR’s Nina Totenberg: “I wasn’t there....I was already at the exits at the beginning because it didn’t make any sense to me. With all deference, I would suggest that a lot of people sort of hesitatingly went along because they were intimidated as a result of 9/11. And I think most sane people thought really this would make matters worse and it’s made matters worse.”
— Exchange on Inside Washington, August 25. (With WMV video clip)
Katie: Only My Viewers Are Skewed
“I know that I’ve tried my best through my career to ask challenging questions to whomever I’m speaking, and whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat, I try to raise important issues depending on their particular position.... Oftentimes people put their, they see you from their own individual prisms. And if you’re not reflecting their point of view or you’re asking an antagonistic question of someone they might agree with in terms of policy, they see you as the enemy, and I think that’s just a mistake....You have Fox, which espouses a particular point of view.”
— Katie Couric at the Aspen Ideas Festival on July 5, broadcast by C-SPAN on September 2.
“So In Love With Hillary Clinton”
“Former [CBS] congressional correspondent Phil Jones tells Weisman that Couric is ‘a liberal Democrat who is so in love with Hillary Clinton’ that it could pose a problem if Clinton runs for President.”
— Dave Shiflett reviewing Alan Weisman’s book Lone Star: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Dan Rather on Bloomberg.com, August 29.
Newsweek’s Democratic Advisor
“I think it’s really important for the Democrats to remind the voters that this election is really about accountability, because there hasn’t been any. The only way you can get any is to get at least one chamber of Congress....Other-wise, you can’t hold hearings to hold their feet to the fire....That’s what this election is really about.”
— Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter on MSNBC’s Countdown, August 23.
Karl Rove Strikes Again
“You know, if you were a real cynic, you could also wonder if the oil companies might not be pulling the price of gas down to help the Republicans get re-elected in the midterm elections a couple of months away.”
— CNN commentator Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room, August 30.
Dick’s “Demeanor” Unfit for NFL
“Roger: Although your league is wildly successful, making it fit Dick Cheney’s demeanor can’t serve you well in the long run. Yeah, football’s a business, but it’s also a game. Legislating individuality out of the NFL may have been Paul’s thing, but it needn’t be yours.”
— Bryant Gumbel’s August 15 commentary on HBO’s Real Sports, presented as advice to incoming NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
(With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
NEWS ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Megan McCormack, Mike Rule, Scott Whitlock and Justin McCarthy
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey
CIRCULATION MANAGER: Jennifer Bookwalter