Time Mag Chief: Gore a 'Superb Choice' for Person of the Year --12/18/2007
2. ABC's Kate Snow: Lieberman a 'Conservative' Backing McCain
3. Tom Brokaw: Iraq Surge Success a 'Black Mark' on Team Bush
4. Now Online: '20th Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting'
5. Christmas Gift Idea: Bozell's New Book on the Media and Hillary
Time magazine's Managing Editor hinted on Monday's Today show that Al Gore would be a "superb choice" for recipient of the publication's 2007 Person of the Year award. Richard Stengel agreed with co-host Meredith Vieira that the former Vice President was on the "short list" and extolled: "He's had an extraordinary year. He's had an extraordinary influence. There was a real tipping point this year in terms of people being conscious of the environment. So, he would be a superb choice."
On Time's Web site, the magazine is currently ranking the potential of the seven "short list" candidates. Each person receives a pro and con as to why that individual might or might not win. And while General David Petraeus's "con" is that he can be seen as "excessively protective" of President Bush, Gore's negative is simply that much of his "green works" were completed in 2006. However, the "pro" touted impact: "The Nobel Prize ensures that a generation of children will envision his face while being scolded for leaving a room without turning off the lights." The winner of Time's "Person of the Year" will be announced live on Wednesday's Today. See Time's Web site for the "pro/con" list: www.time.com
[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Stengel, it should be noted, is a former advisor and speechwriter to Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley. The MRC has documented his bias throughout the years. In June of 1999, he famously derided the communist-exposing Whittaker Chambers as a "nasty piece of work" and wrote that "nobody likes a snitch." Check the May 18, 2006 CyberAlert for more on Stengel: www.mrc.org
Co-host Vieira did mention that General David Petraeus is in the running and that the "controversial troop surge in Iraq may actually be working." But she also hyped the fact that "a lot of people think Al Gore is going to be the choice."
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:44am on December 17:
MEREDITH VIEIRA: It is one of the most anticipated announcements of the year. Since 1927, Time magazine has selected a man, woman, group, place or even idea to honor as person of the year. The criteria for the choice, someone that, quote, "for better or for worse, has done the most to influence the events of the year." And this year, the field is wide open. There have been presidents, dictators, and leaders in the world of business. Even you have made the cut. So who might grace the cover this year? Could it be author J.K. Rowling, who after seven installments of the wildly popular Harry Potter books, had her final Potter chapter? Or Steve Jobs, chairman and CEO of Apple, which continues to dominate new realms of technology with inventions like the iPhone. Or General David Petraeus, whose controversial troop surge in Iraq may actually be working? Other choices, former Vice President Al Gore, who won the Nobel Peace prize this year for his lifelong dedication to the environment. Or could it be one of the many world leaders who made headlines this year, like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Russian President Vladimir Putin, who tightened his grip on power? How about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, trying to broker a Middle East peace? Or Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is transforming his country into a 21st century superpower. So who or what will it be this year? We'll find out later this week. And the answer lies in the brain of this man, Richard Stengel, Time's managing editor. Richard, good morning.
According to ABC's Kate Snow, support for the Iraq War automatically makes one a conservative, even if that individual is liberal on most other issues. In reporting on Monday's Good Morning America on the increasingly tight race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Snow briefly mentioned at the end that Joseph Lieberman endorsed John McCain. She dismissively referred to Lieberman as a "conservative" when she announced McCain "won over a long-time Democrat, all be it a conservative one."
Though Lieberman's support of the Iraq War is well known, Lieberman is hardly a conservative or even a "conservative Democrat." Lieberman voted with the American Conservative Union's agenda 17 percent of the time in 2006 and 16.8 percent lifetime. He voted with the ACU's liberal equivalent, Americans for Democratic Action, 75 percent of the time in 2006.
[This item was adopted from the NewsBusters post by Justin McCarthy: newsbusters.org ]
The entire transcript from 7:12 AM on December 17:
CHRIS CUOMO: Let's turn to the race for '08 and Hillary Clinton. Just a few weeks ago, she looked invincible, but now with 17 days left to the Iowa caucuses, she's in the race of her life. Over the weekend though, she did pick up the endorsement of the "Des Moines Register." And as "Good Morning America" weekend anchor Kate Snow reports, Hillary Clinton is doing all she can to win back more support.
KATE SNOW: Check out the 1980 Bell 222, AKA the Hill-o-copter. Senator Clinton and her supports plan to take to the air to hit all of Iowa's 99 counties in this key week before Christmas.
In a long interview with Rachel Sklar of The Huffington Post, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw accentuated the dark cloud inside the silver lining of the surge. The fact that it's having some effect only darkens a "black mark" against the administration. But when it comes to the current campaign, he could only offer praise for Hillary Clinton ("enormous capacity" of her "native intelligence") and Barack Obama (also with "enormous intelligence," and some rookie mistakes.)
[This item, by Tim Graham, was posted Monday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Brokaw on the surge: "It was too late, there were a lot of officers and military analysts who said early on that we needed more troops there, the fact that the surge came so late in the process is, I think, a black mark against the war planners and against the administration, I don't think there's any question about that. But now that it's in place it is having some effect: The diminution of insurgent attacks -- but now we find out that they're moving north and they're just changing the battlefield."
Sklar seemed intent on finding every common point that could be made between Iraq and Vietnam. Like a good Democratic Party man, Brokaw could only find the nicest things to say about Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, too. First, he said Obama has "made some rookie mistakes, and he's still a work in progress. Everyone agrees he's a man of enormous intelligence and great potential, but one of the reasons we have these campaigns is to see it through, so to speak."
By contrast, on Hillary, Brokaw argued: "I think she's run a very impressive campaign, I think she has enormous capacity in terms of her just native intelligence and her political acuity...she still struggles with what I would probably best describe as that missing component -- people are not quite there with her yet. And a lot of it unspoken and some of it just has to do with character -- 'I don't quite trust her, I can't warm up to her' -- whatever the element is, it's there. Despite all that she has run a remarkably strong campaign."
Just before that, Brokaw complained that the country was too divided between right and left, that the division is "radioactive," and he even complained about his recent interview with conservative talk-show host Hugh Hewitt:
That's a rich answer coming from Brokaw, who has trouble telling an interviewer from The Huffington Post that the surge is working, and even if it is, it's way too late to give any credit to President Bush or General Petraeus.
For the Huffington Post interview posted Monday: www.huffingtonpost.com
Now Online: Results for the "Best Notable Quotables of 2007, the Twentieth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting" A panel of 52 leading media observers judged 17 award categories and the winning quotes and top runners-up have been posted on the MRC's home page, with the quotes from television accompanied by click-and-play Flash video, as well as downloadable Windows Media video and MP3 audio clip. The direct address: www.mrc.org
You'll also see a link to an Adobe Acrobat PDF that matches the eight-page hard copy version. Direct address for the PDF: www.mrc.org
For the list of judges, who were generous with their time: www.mrc.org
Between Christmas and New Year's Day I'll distribute the text of all the winners and runners-up, but for now you'll have to go online to learn the results.
- Blue State Brigade Award for Campaign Reporting
- Damn Those Conservatives Award
- Good Morning Morons Award
- Dynamic Duo Award for Idolizing Bill and Hillary
- Madness of King George Award
- Tin Foil Hat Award for Crazy Conspiracy Theories
- America Makes Us Sick Award
- Media Hero Award
- Politics of Meaninglessness Award for Silliest Analysis
- Channeling the Nut Roots Award
- Media Millionaires for Higher Taxes
- O Great Goreacle Award
- Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity
- Perky Princess Award for Katie's Cutesy Comments
- Drive By Media Award for Shooting at the Competition
- Not Biased Enough Award
- Quote of the Year
-- Brent Baker