1. Al Hunt: "Clarke Dealt a Lethal Blow Against" Bush's Re-Election The Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt declared on CNN's Capital Gang that Dick "Clarke dealt a lethal blow against what is the central rationale for George Bush's re-election," that "I'm tough on terrorism." 2. ABC Paints Clarke as Victim of "Ferocious and Personal Attacks" Though Dick Clarke struck first, much of the media continue to paint him as the victim of counter-attacks by operatives for the White House. On Friday night, for instance, ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas bemoaned how "the acrimony reached an entirely new level today" as "Senate... continue reading
1. Morning Shows Pound Bush, Bolster Clarke and Ignore Clinton Clinton let off the hook by the morning shows. "Dramatic testimony at the 9-11 hearing," CBS's Hannah Storm teased at the top of Thursday's Early Show before she led with Richard Clarke's anti-Bush push: "Former counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke said the Bush administration largely ignored the threat from al-Qaeda before September 11th." Storm's colleague, Harry Smith, soon used an interview session with former CIA Director James Woolsey to expound on how the Clinton administration's devotion to kill Osama bin Laden was dropped by the incoming Bush team while, over on... continue reading
1. Networks Undeterred by Any Doubts About Clarke's Credibility Several events on Wednesday undermined former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke's contention that the Bush team's failure to adequately pursue al-Qaeda in it first months in office made the attacks possible. FNC disclosed how in 2002 Clarke had defended the Bush record, during his testimony Clarke conceded that any actions by the Bush team would have been too late to prevent the attacks and commissioners pointed out how, in 14 hours of private testimony, Clarke hadn't made any of his anti-Bush claims. Yet none of the developments bruised Clarke's credibility with the... continue reading
1. ABC Spikes President Bush's Retort to Clarke's Charges ABC's World News Tonight led on Saturday and Sunday night with Dick Clarke's charges against President Bush leveled in his new book, and ran two stories on Monday night about the charges and the White House counter-attack, but on Tuesday night ABC didn't air a word of President Bush's first comments on Clarke or anything from Clarke's resignation letter, which the White House released Tuesday, in which he praised President Bush. ABC, CBS and NBC all led Tuesday night with how both the Clinton and Bush administrations came in for criticism... continue reading
1. Nets Relay Clarke's Charges Against Bush, Ignore Clinton Years The broadcast network newscasts on Monday night ran through the Bush White House's retort to the attacks on it from Richard Clarke about President Bush's supposed lack of interest, pre-9/11, in fighting terrorism and poor job of doing it since 9/11. But they still led with Clarke's charges, treating them as fully credible, while only ABC's Terry Moran passed along how "there is a deep sense of betrayal in the West Wing tonight." All also ignored Clinton's record, an eight-year period of time when Clarke oversaw that administration's anti-terrorism efforts... continue reading
1. Jennings: Iraqis Humiliated, French Foreign Minister Upset Peter Jennings in Baghdad on Friday contended that Iraqis don't feel so much "liberated" as "humiliated" by the removal of Saddam Hussein and, during a press conference with Secretary of State Colin Powell, forwarded a complaint from the French Foreign Minister who "says terrorism did not exist in Iraq before the war and the Iraq war has not led to a more stable world." 2. Network Stars Keep Pressing McCain to Join Ticket with Kerry Network news stars just can't let go of their dream of a Kerry-McCain ticket. On Sunday's Face... continue reading
1. Rush Limbaugh & Sam Donaldson Appear at MRC's "DisHonors Awards" A rundown of the MRC's "DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2003," as presented on Thursday night before an audience of more than 850 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. Two surprise appearances: Sam Donaldson and then, outdoing that, Rush Limbaugh. 2. The Judges Who Selected the Winning Quotes List of the 13 judges who evaluated the quotes and picked the winners. 3. Audience Awarded the "Quote of the Year" to Charles Pierce The "Quote of the Year," as chosen via the cheering,... continue reading
1. CBS Evening News Ignores Own Poll Finding on Bush Leading Kerry When a CBS News poll found John Kerry leading George W. Bush by 48 to 43 percent amongst registered voters, Dan Rather reported it on the February 16 CBS Evening News, and when another CBS News poll two weeks ago put Kerry up by a mere one point over Bush, by 47 to 46 percent with registered voters, the February 28 CBS Evening News highlighted the finding. But on Monday, while the home page, for much of the afternoon and into the evening featured the results of... continue reading
1. Juan Williams Claims Kerry Lacks Friendly Media, Hume Chortles Barely a week after left-wingers created a mainstream media mini-firestorm over a few fleeting images from 9-11 in Bush re-election campaign TV ads, on Fox News Sunday NPR's Juan Williams relayed the claim of a Kerry campaign operative about how "the right wing" has "the ability to start a rumor on the Internet. It gets then into the right-wing radio and to Rush Limbaugh and the like. And then it suddenly gets repeated all over the TV discussions shows, and suddenly, then it's taken as legitimate by mainstream media" but,... continue reading
1. Fretting Over 9/11 in Bush Ads, Yet Bush "Piker" Compared to FDR More complaining on Thursday from the networks about the inappropriateness of the Bush campaign using fleeting images from 9/11 in some of its campaign TV ads. ABC anchor Charles Gibson, for instance, asserted that the scenes "ignited a debate about whether it's appropriate to use such images in an election campaign." But in a column the same day, the Washington Post's liberal David Broder undermined the claims of Bush's left-wing critics that Bush looks bad compared to FDR who did not exploit World War II for political... continue reading