America, the New Evil Empire
“Dan, in the past, the President and the administration have been tough on the Chinese over the subject of human rights. Now the administration itself is under the spotlight over the subject of torture of prisoners in U.S. custody. Does this make it any trickier for the President to go and address this issue with the Chinese?”
— NBC’s Matt Lauer to White House aide Dan Bartlett on the November 14 Today.
“I just want to say: Who are we? We are people who have always been for inspections of prisons, for some degree of human rights and now we’re defending neither....We have now violated everything that we stand for. It is the first time in my life I have been ashamed of my country.”
— Nina Totenberg, commenting on a front-page Washington Post report that captured terrorists are being held at undisclosed sites, Inside Washington, November 4.
Ready for Bush’s Impeachment
“The Libby indictments have opened the door to making the wider case against the Bush administration that they misled the country into war....The next logical step is impeachment, and I think you’re going to hear that word come up and if the Democrats ever capture either house of Congress there are going to be serious proceedings against this administration.”
— Eleanor Clift on the McLaughlin Group, November 5.
“There’s a perception in this country that we were lied to about the run-up to the war in Iraq....If they lied to us, if there was some kind of intent to deceive, then they ought to find out who did it, and tear their fingernails out, and then get rid of them.”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room, Nov. 1.
Time to Dump Rove, Move Left
“It [Miers’ withdrawal] takes him from stand-up guy to tool of the right. If he wants to save his presidency, he’s got to change that image of somebody who, and — let me just finish this thought — [Karl] Rove is the problem, because Rove’s entire engine is to polarize the country, to go to the base, to make sure that base is always with you, to never neglect the base, which keeps him on the right. If he’s ever going to moderate, and if he’s ever going to create any kind of national unity, Rove is going to have to go.”
— Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas on Inside Washington, November 4.
“Dogged” by Biased Reporters
“President Bush came to this summit [in South America] to talk about his free trade policy that he says would help ease poverty and create jobs in the region. But questions about the CIA leak scandal, and the role of top aide Karl Rove, continue to dog him.”
— ABC’s Jake Tapper on the Nov. 4 World News Tonight.
“For President Bush, domestic woes came along, too. The President took a handful of questions from reporters traveling with him....Four of five of those questions related to the political fallout from the CIA leak case.”
— Kelly O’Donnell on the NBC Nightly News, Nov. 4.
Anchor Bob Schieffer: “President Bush is in Argentina tonight, dogged by questions from back home....Well, no rest for the weary. Surely that thought must have crossed the President’s mind. He left Washington, the CIA leak scandal and the indictment of a top White House aide, only to arrive at a big international summit in Argentina where he found new questions, not about the summit, but about the scandal back home....”
Reporter John Roberts: “President Bush was thankful for the chance to get out of Washington. But it didn’t take long for Washington to catch up with him.”
Reporter at press conference: “Did Karl Rove tell you the truth about his role in the CIA leak case?”
— CBS Evening News, November 4.
“Most of the questions asked by the reporters...were Democratic ‘talking points.’...Somebody should explain to members of the mainstream media, that they are not a part of the political opposition. They’re supposed to be reporters. They don’t have to echo Democrats.”
— Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes on FNC’s Special Report, November 4.
CNN’s “African-American” French
Reporter Chris Burns: “There is at this point about half as many vehicles torched as the night before, so you might call that progress, Carol.”
Anchor Carol Lin: “Hard to say, because it’s been 11 days since two African-American teenagers were killed, electrocuted during a police chase, which prompted all of this.”
— Exchange following a November 6 CNN Sunday Night story about the riots in France. The two teenagers were not Americans, but French citizens of Tunisian heritage.
Glimpse Into CBS’s “Standards”
Reporter Brian Ross: “Mary Mapes was the woman behind the scenes, the producer who researched, wrote and put together Dan Rather’s 60 Minutes report on President Bush’s National Guard service, a report which Rather and CBS would later apologize for airing....”
Ross to Mapes: “Do you still think that story was true?”
Ex-CBS producer Mary Mapes: “The story? Absolutely.”
Ross: “This seems remarkable to me that you would sit here now and say you still find that story to be up to your standards.”
Mapes: “I’m perfectly willing to believe those documents are forgeries if there’s proof that I haven’t seen.”
Ross: “But isn’t it the other way around? Don’t you have to prove they’re authentic?”
Mapes: “Well, I think that’s what critics of the story would say. I know more now than I did then and I think, I think they have not been proved to be false, yet.”
Ross: “Have they proved to be authentic though? Isn’t that really what journalists do?”
Mapes: “No, I don’t think that’s the standard.”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, November 9.
She’s a Liberal and a Conservative!
FNC’s Bill O’Reilly: “Now the right wing thinks you’re a raving liberal, you and Rather contrived to put Bush in the worst possible light....So are you a liberal?”
Mary Mapes: “Well, I’m not sure what a liberal is. I’m more liberal than some people. I can tell you my eight-year-old son thinks he’s being raised by the most conservative parents in the world....”
O’Reilly: “Are you registered Democrat?”
Mapes: “You know, I don’t know....I don’t know if I’m independent or Democrat. I know I’m not — in Texas, I’m not sure how I’m registered.”
O’Reilly: “So you would describe yourself politically as?”
Mapes: “Oh, my goodness. I’m liberal on some things, I’m conservative on some things.”
— FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor, November 10.
Larry King: “How about those who said you had a motivation, that you were interested in defeating Bush. You, Mary Mapes.....You had no personal [agenda] at all?”
Mary Mapes: “Oh, my God, no, no of course not! I also, I mean we, Dan Rather and I did stories on Hillary Clinton, we did stories on the Clinton administration and terrorism. No, that’s not — you question whoever is in your cross-hairs and it doesn’t matter.”
— Exchange on CNN’s Larry King Live, November 9.
Can’t Pass Paper’s Black Test?
“In losing a woman, the court with Alito would feature seven white men, one white woman and a black man, who deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America.”
— Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial denouncing the choice of Judge Samuel Alito, November 1.
His Liberal Views Just a Bonus
“Some conservatives mistrust [Arizona Senator John] McCain, partly because reporters like him, and they think that makes him a liberal. But we like him because he answers our questions, not because of where he stands on issues. He is, in fact, conservative: anti-abortion, for a strong defense. He’s a fiscal conservative — against big spending and big deficits.”
— Bruce Morton on CNN’s Situation Room, November 10, skipping over McCain’s liberal positions on taxes, campaign finance “reform” and environmental regulation.
Bias Charge “Damn Foolishness”
Chris Wallace: “I get e-mails from time to time saying to me, ‘You’re just like your father,’ and they don’t mean it as a compliment.”
CBS’s Mike Wallace: “What does that mean?”
Chris Wallace: “They say, ‘Go to CBS. Go to one of the big networks. Go to the mainstream media’ — as if that were a foreign land. Do you understand why some people feel such disaffection for the mainstream media?”
Mike Wallace: “Oh, yeah. They think we’re wild-eyed commies. Liberals. Yes?”
Chris Wallace: “That’s what they think. How do you plead?”
Mike Wallace: “I think it’s damn foolishness.”
— Exchange on Fox News Sunday, November 6.
“It’s very difficult for any reporter or producer to completely and totally shut out his political opinions, but what I’ve seen at CBS News, people do a darned good job at doing that. I guess if I saw that creeping into our coverage I would have to address it, but I don’t see that in our coverage. I think we have been falsely accused of that at times.”
— New CBS News President Sean McManus at a meeting with CBS employees, as reported by Vaughn Ververs on the “Public Eye” blog on CBSNews.com, November 8.
The Bushes First “Oil War”
“Good morning, and welcome to the Critic’s Corner.... Jarhead — that’s slang for a Marine — is set in Desert Storm, America’s first oil war.”
— Gene Shalit reviewing Jarhead on NBC’s Today, Nov. 8.
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brian Boyd, Brad Wilmouth, Ken Shepherd, Megan McCormack, Mike Rule
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey
CIRCULATION MANAGER: Jennifer Bookwalter