2. NYTimes Skews Poll to Paint New Desire for National Health Care
3. Tickets on Sale for MRC's DisHonors Awards/20th Anniversary Gala
Checking in on Friday's CBS Evening News with how the administration is reacting to the Walter Reed scandal, White House correspondent Jim Axelrod gratuitously brought up Katrina as he asserted that "the White House is well aware of the PR nightmare that it faces. The last thing this administration can afford is another Katrina."
Following the lead story on how Secretary of Defense Gates forced the resignation of Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey, and then replaced Harvey's choice to take over as commander of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, in the wake of controversy over dilapidated conditions in an outpatient housing building, Couric went to Axelrod on the White House lawn. He delivered a brief report:
[This item was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org  ]
A PR nightmare the media would be pleased to fuel with an approach that presumes every problem must be compared to Katrina.
ABC's Jonathan Karl and NBC's Jim Miklaszewski managed report the story Friday night without reminding viewers of Katrina.
Is the New York Times pushing for national health care? The paper devoted most of its latest poll to health care questions and claimed most would willingly pay more taxes for it. But that number is the same as it was in 1993. Friday's front-page carried a story based on the poll: "Most Support U.S. Guarantee of Health Care -- Would Pay More Taxes in Return, Poll Finds." While the Times emphasized that "More people now see guaranteeing health insurance as important than did so at the end of the Clinton efforts in 1996," the paper did not reveal that the number of people willing to pay higher taxes for it (which the Times found sufficiently newsworthy to put in the headline) has actually gone down since the Times first asked the question in September 1993, when the response was 61% willing -- 33% unwilling. Friday's 60% willing -- 34% unwilling split is actually slightly less than the 1993 figure.
[This item was adopted from a Friday posting, by Clay Waters, on the MRC's TimesWatch site, documenting and exposing the liberal political agenda of the New York Times: www.timeswatch.org  ]
An excerpt from the March 2 New York Times article by Robin Toner and Janet Elder:
A majority of Americans say the federal government should guarantee health insurance to every American, especially children, and are willing to pay higher taxes to do it, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
While the war in Iraq remains the overarching issue in the early stages of the 2008 campaign, access to affordable health care is at the top of the public's domestic agenda, ranked far more important than immigration, cutting taxes or promoting traditional values.
Only 24 percent said they were satisfied with President Bush's handling of the health insurance issue, despite his recent initiatives, and 62 percent said the Democrats were more likely to improve the health care system.
Americans showed a striking willingness in the poll to make tradeoffs to guarantee health insurance for all, including paying as much as $500 more in taxes a year and forgoing future tax cuts....
More people now see guaranteeing health insurance as important than did so at the end of the Clinton efforts in 1996. At that time, 56 percent polled said it was the government's responsibility to do so, and 38 percent said it was not. In the current poll, 64 percent said the government should guarantee health insurance for all; 27 percent said it should not.
Moreover, an overwhelming majority in the current poll said the health care system needed fundamental change or total reorganization, just as they did in the early 1990s, when a deep recession and soaring health care costs galvanized the public and spurred the Clinton drive.
END of Excerpt
For the news story in full: www.nytimes.com 
Here's Question 31, which is where the Times got its headline: "Would you be willing or not willing to pay higher taxes so that all Americans have health insurance that they can't lose no matter what?" 60% answered they were willing, while 34% said they were not willing.
The Times summarized that finding: "The poll found Americans across party lines willing to make some sacrifice to ensure that every American has access to health insurance. Sixty percent, including 62 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans, said they would be willing to pay more in taxes. Half said they would be willing to pay as much as $500 a year more."
The Times certainly pushed hard on health care -- 56 poll questions are devoted to the topic.
While the Times emphasized that "More people now see guaranteeing health insurance as important than did so at the end of the Clinton efforts in 1996," the paper did not reveal that the number of people willing to pay higher taxes for it (which the Times found sufficiently newsworthy to put in the headline) has actually gone down since the Times first asked the question in September 1993, when the response was 61% willing -- 33% unwilling. Friday's 60% willing -- 34% unwilling split is actually slightly less than the 1993 figure.
Admittedly, Friday's result was significantly higher than when the question was last asked in 1994 (55% willing -- 42% unwilling), but historically it's right where it's always been in the Times' limited sample (four polls) -- not really big news.
For daily postings about bias in the New York Times, check the MRC's TimesWatch site: www.timeswatch.org 
Just over three weeks until the MRC's annual "DisHonors Awards," this year part of what will be the biggest event in the MRC's history -- our 20th Anniversary Gala: www.mediaresearch.org 
Date: Thursday, March 29 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC. Reception at 6pm, dinner and gala at 7pm. (Black-tie optional.)
Seats are $250.00 each, limited to two per individual unless you are an Associate or Trustee of the MRC. (Contribute $1,000 annually to earn Associate status; $5,000 annually to earn Trustee privileges.)
Every year we end up oversold, so if you want to ensure a seat, order ASAP.
Seats can only be purchased via phone. If you would like to reserve your seat, want more information on how to become an MRC Associate or Trustee, or information on purchasing a table for the evening, please contact Sara Bell at (800) 672-1423 between 9am and 6pm EST Monday through Friday. Or, e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org 
The MRC accepts all major credit cards.
At each annual gala, we mockingly award the worst reporting of the year and then have a conservative leader accept the award in jest.
But the best reason to attend is to watch the videos of the nominated quotes and enjoy making fun of the media's misdirected left-wing reporting.
This year's award categories:
# Puppy Love Award
# Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis
# God, I Hate America Award
# Tin Foil Hat Award for Crazy Conspiracy Theories
# The I'm Not a Political Genius But I Play One on TV Award
If you didn't attend last year, this is what you missed:
Cal Thomas, Larry Kudlow, Tony Blankley Mark Levin, Jack Singlaub, Stan Evans, Linda Chavez, Ken Cribb and Ron Robinson highlighted the presentations and acceptances of MRC's "2006 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2005," which were presented on Thursday night, March 30, before an audience of more than 900 packed into the Independence Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt hotel in Washington, D.C.
Following the presentation of the DisHonors Awards videos in five categories, a look at several unintentionally humorous clips from network newscasts and the audience picking the Quote of the Year, those in attendance watched a "Tribute to the American Military" video. It was preceded by a "Toast to the Fallen Comrade" and followed by remarks from Herman Cain, the former President of Godfather's Pizza and National Chairman of the MRC's Free Market Project.
DisHonors Awards winners were selected by a distinguished panel of 17 leading media observers, including Rush Limbaugh, Steve Forbes, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Robert Novak and Mary Matalin, who served as judges.
Cal Thomas, a syndicated columnist and panelist on FNC's Fox Newswatch, served as Master of Ceremonies. Lawrence Kudlow, host of CNBC's Kudlow & Company and National Review Online's economics editor, was the first presenter of nominated video clips, followed by Washington Times Editorial Page Editor Tony Blankley and nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin.
In place of the journalist who won each award, a conservative accepted it in jest. Those standing in for the winners: Major General Jack Singlaub (Retired), radio talk show host and conservative commentator Linda Chavez, Ron Robinson, President of the Young America's Foundation, Ken Cribb, President of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and a former Reagan administration official, and author Stan Evans, the founder of the National Journalism Center, who delivered an especially hilarious routine.
The evening began with welcoming remarks from Cal Thomas, an invocation by Reverend Robert Sirico, President of the Acton Institute, and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Colonel Robert Rust (Retired).
END Reprint of Summary of last year's event
To watch video of all of last year's nominated quotes and of the award presentations, check: www.mediaresearch.org 
-- Brent Baker