Congressman James Traficant (?-OH); Saudi Aid to Suicide Bombers Skipped; Terrorist and Victim Equated; MSNBC Imitating FNC?
1) Following his conviction on multiple corruption counts, anchors on ABC, CBS, FNC and CNN on Thursday night all identified Congressman James Traficant as a Democrat. But not NBC's Tom Brokaw or MSNBC's Brian Williams.
2) Saudi Arabia makes payments to the families of suicide murderers, FNC's Brit Hume reported on Thursday in picking up on a UPI story. But while highlighting a Saudi telethon "to raise money for Palestinians in the occupied territories who the Saudis are referring to as 'martyrs,'" ABC's Peter Jennings failed to make clear how the money goes to the families of killers.
3) To ABC's Claire Shipman, a victim and a suicide murderer were "both excellent students with a passion for writing and pop music." Shipman saw equally valid "missions" for each: "Both girls were intent on their missions: one, searching for spices and fish for a Sabbath dinner; the other, looking for an answer to her rage." Shipman also blamed Ariel Sharon, claiming that "many believe" he "sparked the current crisis with a controversial visit to a disputed holy site," while she described Yasser Arafat as "the charismatic crusader for a Palestinian homeland."
4) Helen Thomas of Hearst Newspapers and ABC's Terry Moran tag teamed Ari Fleischer at Thursday afternoon's White House press briefing, demanding to know how President Bush could possibly believe Ariel Sharon is "a man of peace." FNC's Jim Angle noted how Fleischer took on the media's slant as he "sought to broaden the media's focus from what Israel is doing to the demands Mr. Bush made of the Arabs and Palestinians as well."
5) MSNBC trying to glom onto FNC's patriotism? On Thursday the least-watch cable news channel started calling itself "America's NewsChannel" as the NBC peacock part of its logo was changed to display a flag motif. And a promo conveyed a view suspiciously similar to how Brit Hume ends his show.
U.S. Representative James Traficant (?-OH). Following his conviction on multiple corruption counts, anchors on ABC, CBS, FNC and CNN on Thursday night all identified Traficant as a Democrat. But not NBC. Nor MSNBC, which now calls itself "America's NewsChannel."
In his 17-second item, Tom Brokaw managed to
twice inform viewers that Traficant is from Ohio, but not his party
affiliation. Brokaw announced on the April 11 NBC Nightly News:
A bit later on "America's NewsChannel,"
MSNBC, Brian Williams also failed to identify Traficant's party.
Williams, however, found time to note Traficant's hair and clothing
style, relaying on The News with Brian Williams:
In addition to Iraq, Saudi Arabia makes payments to the families of suicide murderers, FNC's Brit Hume reported on Thursday as he noted that the Saudis held a television fundraiser for the cause. But while highlighting the very same telethon ABC's Peter Jennings failed to acknowledge the terrorist destination of some of the money.
Picking up on a UPI story, on FNC's April 11
Special Report with Brit Hume the anchor of the same name related:
Stephen Schwartz had reported in an article in the April 8 edition of The Weekly Standard: "The kingdom pledged $400 million last year for the support of 'martyrs' families,' according to the Saudi Embassy's Web site. At $5,300 per 'martyr,' that works out to about 75,000 martyrs, suggesting the Saudi princes anticipate a lot more suicide bombings than Israel has yet suffered."
For Schwartz's piece in full:
On Wednesday, James Taranto's "Best of the Web" column for OpinionJournal.com (www.opinionjournal.com/best ), caught the UPI story which Hume cited. An excerpt from the April 9 UPI story, "Saudi Arabia sets aside $50M for 'martyrs'," by Pamela Hess:
The Saudi Arabian government has paid out at least $33 million to families of Palestinians killed or injured in the 17-month-old intifada and in December 2001 earmarked another $50 million for the payments, according to Arabic news agencies and the Saudi Embassy's Web site.
Similar payments promised by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein have drawn sharp condemnation from U.S. President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
The Saudi Committee for Support of the Al-Aqsa Intifada distributes payments of $5,333 to the families of the dead and $4,000 to each Palestinian receiving medical treatment in Saudi hospitals. The fund is managed by Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, according to the embassy.
The sum is far less than the $10,000 Iraq offers to the families of those killed and the $25,000 it gives to the kin of suicide bombers, but is nonetheless significant to the average Palestinian whose annual income is $1,575....
END of Excerpt
For the entire UPI story:
Despite all of this, Peter Jennings skipped
over the troublesome details on Thursday night about how the money goes to
those killed and may very well go to the families of killers. Over video
of the telethon, on the April 11 World News Tonight he stated, as taken
down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
A murderer and her victim put on the same moral plane by ABC's Claire Shipman. On Thursday's Good Morning America, Shipman treated as equally valid the "missions" of a victim of a suicide murderer and the perpetrator: "Both girls were intent on their missions: one, searching for spices and fish for a Sabbath dinner; the other, looking for an answer to her rage." Shipman stressed their similarity: "The girls were alike in many ways, both excellent students with a passion for writing and pop music."
Oh, and one also had a passion to murder a lot of other people.
On Thursday night Shipman, newly arrived in Jerusalem, filed a story for World News Tonight which treated Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat as two similar "warriors" even though only one is acting in defense of a democratic government. She blamed Sharon, saying that "many believe" he "sparked the current crisis with a controversial visit to a disputed holy site," while as she described Arafat as "the charismatic crusader for a Palestinian homeland."
Shipman began her April 11 World News Tonight
piece: "The 72-year-old revolutionary and the 73-year-old general.
Today in many ways they embody this conflict. The two men who have fought
each other for decades locked in a contest of wills. Ariel Sharon:"
Walking by a holy site didn't kill anyone. Arafat's suicide murderers did and continue to do so.
Earlier, Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts set up Shipman's April 11 dispatch: "If we were getting numb to the violence in the Middle East, all it took was two young girls -- so alike on the outside, but so different inside -- to bring home the human cost of war."
Shipman checked in, as transcribed by MRC
analyst Jessica Anderson, with ellipses where matching soundbites
A lot more "difficult" for the victims of Palestinian terrorism than the perpetrators whose "rage" Shipman tried to rationalize.
Helen Thomas of Hearst Newspapers and ABC's Terry Moran tag teamed Ari Fleischer at Thursday afternoon's White House press briefing, demanding to know how President Bush could possibly consider Ariel Sharon to be "a man of peace," the MRC's Ken Shepherd observed.
Thomas seemed flummoxed by the concept: "Ari, will you go on the public record and stand by a statement you made earlier this morning which was that Sharon is a man of peace which some Israelis might not even agree with. Do you stand by that, that he's a man of peace considering his record?"
Moran soon asked: "To follow up on the statement that the President believes Ariel Sharon is a peacemaker. Given that Sharon has long been on record saying that he's against the Oslo Accords, that as Minister of Housing in several governments he is on the record saying that one of the purposes of building settlements in the West Bank is to render impossible the establishment of a Palestinian state there, and given that he's twice in his career been reprimanded by Israeli authorities for atrocities committed by forces under his de facto control against Palestinians, on what evidence does the President believe that Ariel Sharon is a man of peace?"
Well, as the Prime Minister of a democracy he's acting in its self-defense. He's not sending suicide murderers to kill Palestinian civilians and any Palestinians who were killed have only their leadership to blame. Yasser Arafat won a Nobel Peace Prize and yet he's responsible for a lot more deaths than Sharon.
Thursday night on FNC's Special Report with
Brit Hume, reporter Jim Angle noted how Fleischer took on the media's
anti-Israel slant: "The White House also sought to broaden the
media's focus from what Israel is doing to the demands Mr. Bush made of
the Arabs and Palestinians as well."
File this under "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Or, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
On Thursday, though it is the least-watched of the three cable news channel, MSNBC seemed to try to match FNC's patriotic flavor by starting to call itself "America's NewsChannel" with the NBC peacock part of its logo now displaying a U.S. flag motif.
A promo I saw on Thursday night featured this white lettering over a blurry flag in the background with the word "fear" in red:
Sounds suspiciously like Brit Hume's closing line every night: "Fair, balanced and unafraid."
And before anyone e-mails me, I realize there should not be a period after the S in Harry S. Truman, but that is what MSNBC displayed.
From the April 10 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Reasons John Ashcroft Would Not Sing on Our Show." Late Show Web page: http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/ 
(Letterman had hoped Ashcroft would sing "Let the Eagle Soar," a song he wrote. CNN last month showed Ashcroft singing it, a clip of which Letterman has been regularly playing. Instead, on the April 9 Late Show Ashcroft joined Paul Shafer and the orchestra where Ashcroft played piano for a rendition of the Beatles song, "Can't Buy Me Love." Brit Hume ended his FNC show Wednesday night by playing a clip of that and I believe CNN's Inside Politics also showed it.)
The "Top Ten Reasons John Ashcroft Would Not Sing on Our Show."
10. Pre-show partying with Mayor Bloomberg left him in no condition to
On Tuesday, Michael Z. McIntee, author of the daily Wahoo Gazette report on the Late Show Web site, posted the lyrics to the song Ashcroft ended up not singing:
"Let the eagle soar,
If he had sung it a lot of viewers probably would have missed the religious message and considered it a tribute to protecting the environment. -- Brent Baker 
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