NYT Editor: Iraq 'Going Very Badly,' Denounces Talk Radio & Rove --12/5/2007
2. CBS and CNN: NIE Revelation on Iran 'Embarrassment' -- Or Worse
3. CBS vs CBS, and ABC & NBC Too, on NIE Impact on Iran Sanctions
4. ABC's Cuomo Gushes Over Young Clinton Staffers' Zeal for Hillary
5. Bozell Talks About His Book Thursday on O'Reilly's Radio Show
In a speech last week in London, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller charged the war in Iraq is "going very badly" -- though just a week earlier even his paper acknowledged how conditions have improved significantly in Iraq -- insisted that at his paper "we do not work in the service of a party, or an industry, or even a country" and contended the "American electorate has gravitated to angry and intolerant fringes, right and left" because of "hate-mongering radio broadcasts and intemperate television shout shows" and the deliberate "nasty" effort of "dividing the electorate into mistrustful camps and pandering to their fears" which "was an explicit strategy of the President's political wizard, Karl Rove." Keller's comments came as he delivered the Hugo Young Memorial Lecture, named for a long-time reporter and columnist for the left-wing Guardian newspaper.
[This item is adapted from a Tuesday posting, by Clay Waters, on the MRC's TimesWatch site: www.timeswatch.org ]
Keller's liberal pontificating was reminiscent of remarks a year-and-a-half ago from Keller's boss, New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. The May 30, 2006 CyberAlert item, "NY Times Publisher Apologizes for Failure to Enact Liberalism," recounted:
C-SPAN on Saturday night (May 27) aired the Sunday, May 21 commencement remarks, by New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., at the State University of New York at New Paltz where he was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters. Sulzberger delivered a left wing rant in which he presumed liberal policy goals are more noble than conservative ones as he offered an "apology" for the nation his generation has left to the next generation: "You weren't supposed to be graduating into an America fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land. You weren't supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, whether it's the rights of immigrants to start a new life; or the rights of gays to marry; or the rights of women to choose. You weren't supposed to be graduating into a world where oil still drove policy and environmentalists have to fight relentlessly for every gain."
An excerpt from Keller's address, at London's Chatham House, as posted November 29 by The Guardian newspaper:
....Whatever you think of its policies, the current administration has been more secretive, more mistrustful of an inquisitive press, than any since the Nixon administration. It has treated freedom of information requests with contempt, asserted sweeping claims of executive privilege, even reclassified material that had been declassified. The administration has subsidized propaganda at home and abroad, refined the art of spin, discouraged dissent, and sought to limit traditional congressional oversight and court review. The war in Iraq alone is a case study of the administration's determination to dominate the flow of information -- from the original cherry-picking of intelligence, to the deliberate refusal to hear senior military officers when they warned of the potential for chaos, to the continually inflated claims about the progress in building up an indigenous Iraqi army....
For one thing, I strongly suspect that these attempts to enforce a single, authorized version of 'The Truth' have backfired. The evidence for that lies in the identity of some of our best sources. They are military officers appalled by the rosy portrayal of our triumphs in Iraq, government lawyers disturbed by what they see as a cavalier attitude toward civil liberties and the balance of powers, career intelligence officers who feel their work has been massaged to conform to what their superiors want to hear. As our media columnist David Carr once wrote: leaks tend to affect ships that aren't seaworthy to begin with.
The distaste for debate and dissent has another, higher cost. Fighting terrorists, whatever method you choose, depends on making alliances at home and abroad. It depends on a consensus of the civilized world. And I wonder whether the discrediting of honest critics, the unwillingness to trust anyone except a cohort of diehard loyalists -- has undermined the unity of purpose essential to such a struggle....
Besides a decided preference for operating in the dark, the Bush administration has contributed to the woes of the press in another way. It has helped create a toxic climate for the press by inflaming the polarization of our public. At least since the election of 2000, with its attendant questions of legitimacy, some of the wide, reasonable middle of the American electorate has gravitated to angry and intolerant fringes, right and left. There are many reasons for this -- including the proliferation of partisan blogs, hate-mongering radio broadcasts and intemperate television shout shows -- but a president plays a considerable role in setting the tone of public discourse, and the tone of public discourse in my country has been nasty. It has been nasty by design; dividing the electorate into mistrustful camps and pandering to their fears was an explicit strategy of the president's political wizard, Karl Rove."...
Too often, though, the critics are shrill, personal, and humorless neo-Bolsheviks and mini-McCarthy's. After our decision to report on the government's warrantless wiretapping program, some members of the administration's amen chorus proposed that the Times be charged with treason under the Espionage Act. A right-wing radio pundit suggested that I be put to death. And another defender of the national interest posted maps to my apartment -- and my publishers' -- on the internet, for the benefit of any lunatics who wanted to drop by and set us straight. Those of you who are acquainted with New York apartment life can imagine how that went over with my co-op board.
[This from the editor of the paper that in June 2006 showed how to find the weekend homes of Vice President Cheney and former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. See: travel2.nytimes.com ]
And I would argue that in this clattering, interconnected, dangerous world, journalism that cuts through the noise has never been needed more. We have a war going very badly in Iraq, and another one in Afghanistan where our declaration of victory looks very premature....
[If Keller still thinks the Iraq war is "going very badly" even after the troop surge, perhaps he should read the front page story, "Baghdad Starts to Exhale as Security Improves," in his November 20 paper. TimesWatch's look: www.timeswatch.org ]
And for a laugh, check this out:
Third, we are agnostic as to where a story may lead; we do not go into a story with an agenda or a pre-conceived notion. We do not manipulate or hide facts to advance an agenda. We strive to preserve our independence from political and economic interests, including our own advertisers. We do not work in the service of a party, or an industry, or even a country. When there are competing views of a situation, we aim to reflect them as clearly and fairly as we can....
END of Excerpt
The Times doesn't work in the service of the United States? We can believe that. TimesWatch posting on the Times undermining a terrorism surveillance effort: www.timeswatch.org
For the full text of Keller's remarks, as posted November 29 on the Guardian's Web site: www.guardian.co.uk
In the wake of the new National Intelligence Report which found that Iran apparently halted its nuclear weapons program, some in the media rallied around a single word to describe the revelation: "embarrassment." Face the Nation anchor Bob Schieffer, in a conversation with anchor Russ Mitchell following President Bush's 10am EST press conference on Tuesday, thought the finding rose to a level higher than embarrassment. Mitchell wondered: "Is this an embarrassment for the administration?" Schieffer replied: "I think it's more than an embarrassment, Russ. I think it's very disturbing." Later in the day on CNN, Wolf Blitzer called the situation "pretty embarrassing" and Jack Cafferty agreed "it's embarrassing," adding: "It's shameful."
[This item is adapted from a Tuesday afternoon posting, by Matthew Balan, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The exchange at about 10:45am EST during a CBS News special:
RUSS MITCHELL: Bob Schieffer is our chief Washington correspondent and anchor of 'Face the Nation.' And Bob, the President said he was having a good time up there, but to this observer and to others in the room, he did not look like having a good time. Despite his resolve, what are you hearing? Is this an embarrassment for the administration?
Several hour later on CNN's The Situation Room, the same 'E' word turned up during a conversation between Wolf Blitzer and Jack Cafferty. The conversation took place during the 4pm Eastern hour of the program, after a report by CNN senior political correspondent Bill Schneider on the possible domestic political fallout from the revelation, and just prior to Cafferty's "The Cafferty File" segment.
WOLF BLITZER: Let's check in with Jack Cafferty. He's got 'The Cafferty File,' joining us from New York. I know in our 6pm hour, we're going to talk in our round table about this, Jack, but it's pretty embarrassing, when you think about it.
Reports on Tuesday's broadcast network evening newscasts all highlighted concerns the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which concluded Iran stopped working on its nuclear weapons program in 2003, will reduce international pressure on Iran. But just a couple of minutes after CBS's Jim Axelrod asserted that "maintaining an international coalition to confront Iran will no doubt be trickier now," CBS's Elizabeth Palmer contended from London that pressure to impose sanctions, "led by the European leaders," remains "huge" since "they've always said, 'look, the point is to stop Iran enriching uranium that could be one of the ingredients for a bomb.' And they believe that sanctions could be very effective in finally curbing that program which remains very active as we speak."
Like Axelrod, NBC's David Gregory noted that "the President is making the case that the international community cannot let up on Iran," but "the question is whether a skeptical public and skeptical international community will listen?" ABC's Martha Raddatz related how the White House is "concerned" and "I've been in touch with some diplomats. The ones who have to go overseas and say please join us with these sanctions. There is definite concern..."
[This item was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The conclusion of Jim Axelrod's story, from the White House, on the December 4 CBS Evening News:
AXELROD: Maintaining an international coalition to confront Iran will no doubt be trickier now. China's ambassador to the United Nations said today, quote: "Things have changed" because of this latest NIE.
Next, anchor Katie Couric went to Elizabeth Palmer in London for a report on Palmer's recent trip to Iran where she found the current sanctions are hurting that nation's economy. Couric then asked Palmer about whether there is "still a lot of international pressure to impose more sanctions" and Palmer offered an assessment which differed from the assumptions relayed by CBS's Axelrod minutes earlier, as well as the stories on ABC and NBC:
COURIC: Now that these U.S. intelligence agencies have said that the Iranians stopped working on developing nuclear weapons four years ago, is there still a lot of international pressure to impose more sanctions?
While interviewing the young Clinton staffers who suffered through a hostage situation in New Hampshire last week, Good Morning America co-anchor Chris Cuomo used an interview on Tuesday's program to gush over their zeal for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Almost unable to contain himself, the ABC journalist extolled: "They come out of this experience lucky to have their lives, more dedicated than ever to Senator Hillary Clinton."
Now, most Americans would freely admire the calm and collected manner in which Graham, Katherine and Morgan (GMA provided no last names) handled the obviously stressful situation of having to deal with a disturbed man claiming to have a bomb. However, some of Cuomo's comments seemed to go over the top. He approvingly explained to co-host Diane Sawyer: "They said they want to campaign harder then ever, because of this experience. If she wins, they should go right into the cabinet."
[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
On Monday, GMA reporter David Kerley covered the subject and appeared to imply that the disturbed man, Leeland Eisenberg, committee his crime because he didn't have access to affordable health insurance. See the December 4 CyberAlert for more: www.mrc.org
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:31am on December 4:
DIANE SAWYER: But first, we do want to tell you about the troubled man who allegedly held three workers host hostage at Hillary Clinton's campaign office in New Hampshire. He was arraigned on kidnapping charges on Monday. Prosecutors have described Leeland Eisenberg as a manipulative career criminal who is hiding behind phantom mental health issues. Well, this morning, the hostages are speaking out for the first time about the terrifying scene inside the office. And here's Chris with a GMA exclusive.
CHRIS CUOMO: Now, Diane, this situation could have gone very differently if there had been different hostages inside. These are a remarkable group of young people. And they told us in this exclusive interview about the grueling, hours-long ordeal with this obviously dangerous and unstable man. Take a look and a listen to Hillary Clinton staffers Graham, Katherine and Morgan. So, take me back to Friday afternoon. What was going on when Mr. Eisenberg walked in?
MRC President Brent Bozell's media tour, for his new book, 'Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, but Conservatives Will,' has been extended with an appearance Thursday (December 6) on Bill O'Reilly's radio show, The Radio Factor. Bozell will be on during the second hour -- the 1pm EST half hour -- of the 12 to 2pm EST national show which, however, airs on a delayed basis in many markets.
The show is carried live in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, DC: In New York City, O'Reilly's show runs on WOR (710 AM) and it's on live in Los Angeles on KABC (790 AM) from 9 to 11am PST, putting Bozell on at 10am PST. In Washington, DC, you can catch the show live from noon to 2pm, with Bozell on at 1pm, on "3WT" at 107.7 FM from Warrenton, Virginia; 1500 AM from Wheaton, Maryland; and 820 AM in Frederick, Maryland.
To find the station and time O'Reilly's show is carried in your area: www.billoreilly.com
Bozell's book will make a great Christmas gift. Here's more about the book published by Crown Forum and where to order it online:
Bozell's book: Uncovering a Fifteen Year Love Affair
How could America's presidential front-runner be a woman who has held only one elective office and had staggering numbers of personal, political, and financial scandals?
How did the First Lady to a disgraced, impeached president become a presidential front-runner despite never having held elective office before 2001? And how did this happen given her staggering number of personal, political, and financial scandals -- and her leftist political agenda?
Authors L. Brent Bozell and Tim Graham peel back the layers of Hillary Clinton's success to expose the real shocker -- not Travelgate or Whitewater -- but a fifteen year love affair by the liberal media, starting with Time magazine, who first introduced Hillary Clinton to the country as an "amalgam of Betty Crocker, Mother Teresa and Oliver Wendell Holmes." The elite media's continued and unprecedented favoritism is the key to Hillary's mythic political standing. They have downplayed or ignored her every scandal and recast her ultra-liberalism as being in the political center.
What's even more stunning is the incredible number of stories that have been under-reported, excused and buried. To expose the truth, the authors interviewed dozens of leading conservatives who want Americans to hear the whole story, including Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Cal Thomas, Newt Gingrich and many others.
Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will
Order your copy today! Go to: www.mrc.org
-- Brent Baker