Monday, on "Imus in the Morning" guest Jonathan Alter of Newsweek magazine claimed Vice President Cheney has a "toxic combination of arrogance and incompetence," leading Mr. Imus to compare the Vice President to...the BTK killer.
Alter continued his ongoing diatribe against the administration, implying that the administration is un-American for wanting defined rules of interrogation for terror suspects, rather than a broad statement banning anything that "offends the decency of mankind" that is open to broad interpretation and could lead to interrogators later being accused of war crimes. Alter framed the debate as a debate between "heroic" figures like Senators John McCain, John Warner, and Lindsey Graham who want to limit interrogation tactics to our "American values," and the "chicken hawks" in the administration who allegedly favor torture.
On Monday’s “Early Show,” co-host Hannah Storm interviewed First Lady Laura Bush. Unlike Mrs. Bush’s interview on “Today,” Storm’s questions were much more supportive of the first lady, yet she still managed to sneak in a few questions regarding America’s image abroad and the first lady’s role in approving President Bush’s speeches.
Storm held off until her fourth question before delving into the issue of America’s reputation abroad:
On Friday’s “Early Show,” CBS News correspondent Jerry Bowen offered a one sided global warming report. The story appealed to the emotions of viewers and only cited scientists who are alarmist on the subject. Bowen referred to specific findings and opinions offered by scientists who claim “man made” global warming is a threat, while only offering the reality that critics of man as the cause of global warming exist and not their opinions or research.
Citing NASA climate scientist, James Hansen, Bowen noted some frightening conclusions:
“He told a climate conference this week, ‘I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change, no longer than a decade at the most.’ If nothing is done, Hansen foresees a different world with rising seas that would put coastal regions under 3-20 feet of water, more heat waves, more prolonged droughts worldwide, and imminent extinction of animal species in the arctic, including polar bears...”
Over the last week, President Bush’s poll numbers have improved. While the media was quick to highlight poll results when the President’s numbers were declining, they have been less enthusiastic about noting his resurgence. Referring to the "New York Times," co-host of "Fox and Friends" Steve Doocy noted:
"...So, this is really big news for the White House and I'm sure it's going to be on page one. So anyway, with a –because I know that when the president's approval rating was falling, it was on page one..."
Mr. Doocy searched the entire front section of the "Times" on air and was unable to locate news of improving popularity for President Bush. However, it was not just the ‘New York Times" that has omitted improving poll numbers. NBC’s "Today" made no mention of an NBC poll just released yesterday showing President Bush’s approval climbing to 42%. Additionally, neither ABC’s "Good Morning America" nor CBS’s "Early Show" mentioned President Bush’s improved standing with American voters.
On Wednesday’s "Early Show," co-host Rene Syler offered results from Tuesday’s primaries, but the labels were remarkably different. In Rhode Island, Syler classified Senator Chafee’s opponent as a "conservative," but in New York, Senator Clinton’s ultraliberal opponent was simply classified as "anti-war." Bob Schieffer offered commentary on the Rhode Island race, and called the Club for Growth "very conservative." Back in August, Connecticut Senate candidate Ned Lamont was labeled as "anti-war" while the "Early Show" never referred to Lamont backers as "very liberal."
The top story on the "Early Show" was the primary results, and the story was narrated by Rene Syler. She noted Stephen Laffey was a conservative:
On the September 10 episode of "Sunday Morning," Katie Couric talked with the "Jersey Girls," the 9/11 widows who endorsed Senator John Kerry for President in 2004 and have been highly critical of the Bush administration. However, there was no balance or features of 9/11 families who support President Bush such as Debra Burlingame, who lost her brother in the terror attacks. In the piece, Couric just barley touched on the groups endorsement of John Kerry in 2004, while she picked out select quotes from Rush Limbaugh, (no date given for his supposed remarks) and a quote from Ann Coulter's book "Godless" that present the views of those who disagree with the 'Jersey Girls' as being unsympathetic to their loss:
CBS’s "Sunday Morning" claimed the rights of Muslims in America have been trampeled since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. "Sunday Morning" ran a story narrated by Elizabeth Kaledin, a reporter who normally discusses health issues, that featured three Muslims complaining about American policy since 9/11 and offered no voices of Muslims who disagree. One of the three, Mohammed el Filali claimed:
"There is liberty and justice for all, except if you're Muslim."
On Monday morning, the fifth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared on the morning shows of each of the three broadcast networks, ABC’s "Good Morning America," NBC’s "Today," and CBS’s "Early Show. While "Good Morning America," and "Today" avoided talk of possible future campaigns, Rene Syler on the "Early Show" looked ahead to the Presidential campaign in 2008 and inquired if Mr. Giuliani would himself be a candidate:
"If I could, sir, ask you about your political aspirations because there's been a lot of talk. You remain a presidential prospect for 2008, will you run for president?"
As noted by Mark Finkelstein, CBS’s "Early Show" on Tuesday dedicated two segments, one in the 7:30 half hour and the other in the 8:00 half hour, to promote tonight’s debut of Katie Couric as the new anchor of "The CBS Evening News." Given that Couric is employed by CBS and had been in competition with the "Early Show" from 1999 when CBS renamed it’s morning news broadcast until her departure from NBC’s "Today Show" earlier this year, shouldn’t Couric at least know the name of the program on which she was appearing? Apparently she does not.
According to TVnewser.com, in behind the scenes video released by AOL, Couric refers to the "Early Show" as "CBS This Morning," the former name of the show (video available here). During the interview, Couric told "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith that she hoped viewers would find her broadcast “instructive” and spun the low ratings of the “CBS Evening News” as something positive:
As Brent Baker noted, Thursday marked the end of Bob Schieffer’s reign as anchor of the CBS "Evening News." And like the "Evening News," the Friday "Early Show"played Katie Couric’s tribute video to Mr. Schieffer. After morning viewers watched the video, "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith sat down with Mr. Schieffer to discuss the future. Smith began this morning’s Schieffer tribute by taking a shot at the "Evening News" former anchor, Dan Rather:
"When Bob Schieffer stepped down as anchor fo the CBS "Evening News" on Thursday, he left the place in a lot better shape than he found it..."
This past Sunday on "60 Minutes," CBS correspondent Byron Pitts interviewed New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin, about New Orleans’ recovery since hurricane Katrina. Pitts’ hit Nagin with statements full of hyperbole, claiming there are "few visible signs of recovery" in New Orleans, and that there is "tons of debris still scattered about," yet, Pitts offered little in the way of facts and figures to back up his claims. However, a anyone viewing Tuesday’s "NewsHour" on PBS would have heard hard facts that contradict Pitts’ gloomy assertions. For example, Pitts claimed:
"Today, in one of the few visible signs of recovery, the 220 miles of levees damaged by the storm have been repaired by the Army Corps of Engineers."
Unlike Tuesday’s "Today Show," where Matt Lauer advanced a conspiracy theory that the levees were blown up intentionally, on today’s "Early Show" on CBS, co-host Harry Smith pounded Ray Nagin with the notion that nobody has done enough to help the people of New Orleans recover from Hurricane Katrina. Smith challenged Nagin’s leadership abilities:
‘...And, quite frankly Mr. Mayor, a lot of folks in this town have lost faith in you. Can you lead this city to the future?"
Smith complained at the slow pace of cleaning up the city and rebuilding and suggested the city is unlivable:
"You know, as we walk around this city, we're in a neighborhood where there is one house that's been restored next to five houses that haven't been restored. There is still debris around. There have been so many tens of thousands of people displaced. They're making a new life in Atlanta or Houston or even Salt Lake City. What argument would you give to them to come back to a place like this?"
On Friday’s "Early Show," there were three stories worth noting here on NewsBusters. First, CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews painted the ruling by the FDA allowing the morning after pill, known as Plan B, to be sold without a prescription in many cases as an election year ploy by the Bush Administration and as a victory for women’s groups at the expense of conservatives. Next, correspondent Mark Strassmann, reporting from Baghdad, actually noted some progress in securing Iraq, "…But since then, U.S. and Iraqi forces have ratcheted up pressure in Baghdad's meanest neighborhoods. The results look promising. City-wide, murders are down 41%." Finally, viewers were given a preview of this Sunday’s "60 Minutes" interview with Ray Nagin, in which Nagin defended the slow pace of progress in New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina by comparing his cities recovery to New York’s after 9/11: "It's alright. You guys in New York City can't get a hole in the ground fixed, and it's five years later. So let's be fair." Further analysis of each of these stories follows.
On Thursday’s "Early Show" on CBS, co-host Hannah Storm promoted the leftist hype about the link between global warming and hurricanes in a segment with global warming enthusiast, and author of the new book "The Ravaging Tide," Mike Tidwell. Storm acted as more of a facilitator than interviewer, asking leading questions, questions that assumed Tidwell’s comments were accurate, and allowed her guest to make some ridiculous statements that went unchallenged.
Storm’s feelings on the matter can best be summed up by her statement, "…this dependence on fossil fuels needs to be addressed. So what’s your recommendation?"
The new season of CBS’ hit show "Survivor" was previewed on this morning’s "Early Show," and viewers learned that the show will have a segregationist beginning as contestants will be divided according to their race. In the past, tribes on the show have been determined by age or sex or by choosing sides, but this is the first time they have been determined by race, a fact which seemed to appall the co-hosts of "The Early Show."
At the top of the 8:00 hour, Harry Smith asked a random man gathered on the plaza for his reaction to this news, and the response was "it should be pretty interesting." Harry Smith, declared that a "safe" answer, which caused co-host Rene Syler to exclaim:
This past Friday, on PBS’s "Washington Week," NBC’s Andrea Mitchell noted that Hezbollah is winning the PR war around the world:
"And, I have to say, if you look at the mainstream media around the world everywhere other than in the United States, it is remarkably pro-Hezbollah. Hezbollah at this point is being described in most places now as a social service organization and a legitimate part of the Lebanese government, not as a terror group.
Was she critical of the world press for covering Hezbollah in this light, or critical of the American press for not being Hezbollah boosters? Her own comments about Hezbollah may provide some insight. As mentioned in Brent Baker’s July 18 CyberAlert, Mitchell praised Hezbollah as a group that provides social services and it’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, as a populist:
On last night’s "News Hour" on PBS, reporter Jeffrey Brown conducted a segment on media bias as it pertains to the coverage of the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. As his guests, Brown talked with Timothy McNulty, public editor of the Chicago Tribune, Andrew Kohut, President of the Pew Research Center, and Lee Ross, professor of social psychology at Stanford University. Surprisingly, not a media critic among them. The panel attempted to portray the media as fair, pointing to a Pew Poll that showed that 61% of Americans believed the media coverage of the Middle East was fair. But the PBS newscast is selective in publicizing Pew polls. PBS did not report the new Pew Center finding, as reported by Brent Baker in the August 9, 2006 Cyber Alert:
As reported last night by Mark Finkelstein, Chris Matthews interviewed Congressman John Murtha’s Republican opponent, Diana Irey, in Pennsylvania’ 12th district on "Hardball". Part of the interview focused on the Haditha incident in Iraq and Congressman Murtha’s statement of condemnation of American troops surrounding the incident. Matthews challenged Irey, "...if you’re right about Murtha, you must be right about "Time" magazine and all the news publications" and claimed he had no complaints about Murtha’s Haditha comments:
"You know, I think, I think Murtha served in the military as a combat officer in Vietnam. I don't have any complaints, but you have a complaint, that's fine."
This past Sunday, on CBS’s morning show Sunday Morning, Nancy Giles offered commentary on the foiled terror plot in London, and noted that she takes no comfort that this plot was foiled. Additionally, she used her segment to opine that news of the terror plot is just a "distraction" from what she considers more important issues, and offers scathing criticism of the Department of Homeland Security.
"Thank God for Scotland Yard and the people of Great Britain, because I feel more protected by them than the agencies here at home..."
Scotland Yard indeed deserves credit for infiltrating this terror cell and disrupting the plot to blow up airplanes bound for the United States. But what about foiled terror plots here at home? Or the fact that there has not been a terrorist attack here in the U.S. since the tragedy of September 11, 2001? Giles never mentions the U.S. successes in the war on terrorism. Given these facts, it would seem the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, the CIA and the entire intelligence community, and all others charged with protecting America from terrorism are doing a remarkable job in keeping us safe and are just as deserving of praise as Scotland Yard.
President Bush spoke at the State Department this afternoon, and on MSNBC’s "The Most" the graphic on screen was very telling of how the media have covered Hezbollah as it read:
"Breaking News, President Bush: ‘Hezbollah hides behind innocent civilians.’"
It is common knowledge that one of the tactics used by terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah, is to hide among civilian populations in order to either reduce the risk of reprisal or to ensure that if there are repercussions from their attacks, that innocent civilians are killed as well. This is a deplorable tactic but hardly breaking news.
On this morning’s "Early Show" on CBS, Tracy Smith, co-host of the "Saturday Early Show," served as a substitute co-host. Ms. Smith interviewed Evan Thomas, assistant Managing Editor of "Newsweek" magazine regarding the potential political impact the foiled London terror plot may have. As such, Smith suggested the Republicans are losing ground on the issue of terrorism and seemed hopeful that Democrats would be able make it one of their own issues, and even pounded her fists on the table to emphasize her point.
After talking with Mr. Thomas about airport security measures and how another terrorist attack can be prevented, Ms. Smith changed the subject to the politics and noted that President Bush hasn't received a bump in the CBS poll after the London terror arrests:
As many anticipated, Senator Joe Lieberman lost his bid for renomination to the U.S. Senate in Connecticut yesterday. This morning, as reported here by MRC analyst Geoff Dickens, all three network morning shows interviewed Mr. Lieberman and in essence told him to quit the race. And as reported here by Lyford Beverage, Harry Smith, co-host of the "Early Show" questioned the Senator from the left.
However, some important points have been neglected regarding Mr. Smith’s questions. As to Smith’s point:
"Incumbents do not get turned out of office, especially in primaries in this country."
Harry Smith makes it seem as this is something that has never happened before, that is an incumbent Senator losing a primary. Quite the contrary. In 2002, New Hampshire primary voters defeated incumbent Republican Senator Bob Smith in favor of then Congressman John Sununu. In 1992, Illinois Democrats threw out then Senator Alan Dixon and nominated Carol Mosely Braun. And in 1980, Alaska Democratic Senator Mike Gravel lost his bid for renomination to Clark Gruening, the grandson of the incumbent Senator that Gravel himself defeated in a primary in 1968. But if Smith needs further evidence that incumbents in fact do lose primaries, two other incumbents went down to defeat yesterday, Georgia Democrat Cynthia McKinney (who also lost a primary election as an incumbent in 2002) and Michigan Republican Joe Schwartz.
Today is primary day in Connecticut, one in which liberals on the fringe left hope will be Senator Joe Lieberman’s day of reckoning. On Tuesday’s "Early Show" on CBS, correspondent Trish Regan previewed this race, and provided her insight on how Joe Lieberman has fallen from three term incumbent and former Democratic vice Presidential Candidate to now underdog in this race:
Trish Regan: "Ned Lamont has used this now infamous kiss to his advantage on campaign buttons and television ads, suggesting Lieberman is just too cozy with the president."
Infamous is a strong word. Perhaps Lieberman being embraced by President Bush at the 2005 State of the Union Address may be infamous to the far left, but I highly doubt mainstream America views two former rivals of differing political parties hugging as an infamous act.
On Tuesday’s "The Early Show" on CBS, substitute co-host and regular weatherman Dave Price alluded to global warming as the cause of the heat wave that has moved into the Northeast and Mid Atlantic regions:
Dave Price: "Temperatures are hotter and they're longer-lasting and farther reaching. Experts are saying it's historic and global warming may be to blame."
Price cited Jay Gulledge of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change as someone who believes Global warming is to blame:
"According to Gulledge, global warming is the most likely culprit but he says whatever's causing it, the prognosis isn't good."
Yesterday, on CBS’s "Sunday Morning" reporter Martha Teichner narrated a piece sympathetic to Hispanic immigrants, and in particular, illegal immigrants. She profiled three Hispanic people, two of whom initially came to the country illegally. One illegal immigrant she profiled was defiant of his status, and sounded almost threatening when he said:
Alex Vega, Illegal Immigrant. (Pictured): "In 20 years, we are going to run the country. Right now we're running the cities. So little by little, we're running the show. Little by little. So this sleeping giant is already awakened."
And, as noted by Ms. Teichner, the strategy for illegal immigrants is:
"CBS Evening News" anchor Bob Schieffer participated in a phone interview with Bob Steele of the Poynter Institute yesterday. The discussion focused on Schieffer’s view of the current situation in the Middle East and caused Schieffer to pull out an old left wing talking point about war as he lamented:
"We have made a judgment that this is extremely important because this could set off a much wider war, a war that could, if it got big enough, could cause this country, for one thing, to have to reinstitute the draft."
I suppose, theoretically, Schieffer is correct, but is his fear logical? Is there serious discussion on Capitol Hill to bring back the draft? No, in fact the last time the idea of a draft came to a vote in 2004 it received 2 votes.
On Friday night’s edition of Inside Washington, a program which airs on the Washington DC area PBS station WETA, and re-airs on Sunday mornings on the DC ABC affiliate, WJLA, and consists of a round table of political pundits, one of the topics discussed was North Korea. As was widely discussed last week, North Korea test fired a long range missile that could potentially hit the United States called the Taepodong 2 missile. Panelist Mark Shields attempted to make a joke out of the name:
"Does anybody else think Taepodong sounds like a male enhancement device available on cable?"
However, the rest of his exchange with fellow panelist Charles Krauthammer was not so light hearted. Shields used the subject of North Korea to segue into an attack on the administration’s Iraq policy, suggesting that an attack on North Korea would have been a better strategic move than the war in Iraq. Charles Krauthammer disputed this, noting the differences between Iraq and North Korea.
For the second day in a row, Harry Smith, co-host of CBS’s "The Early Show" interviewed a guest about North Korea and its missile tests. Today’s analysis came from frequent guest Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution. And while Smith once again referred to Kim Jong-Il as a nutcase and even inferred that he is a despot, he was easily amazed at O’Hanlon’s suggestion that he is crafty.
As noted, Harry Smith’s first question to O’Hanlon in essence described who Kim Jong-Il truly is:
"Before we talk about missiles I want to talk about Kim Jong-Il for a minute. It's not too extreme, I don't think, to say this guy is nuts. He has nukes. He runs a ruthless regime in North Korea where people routinely don't have enough to eat. This guy is the wild card of all wild cards. What else can we know about this guy?"
Bill Keller, editor of The New York Times, was on the PBS "NewsHour" last night to discuss the fallout over the fact that on June 23, The New York Times among other papers, revealed classified anti terrorism programs. Mr. Keller attempted to downplay the revelation as not a big deal because:
"We weighed very heavily and looked in excruciating detail at claims that this was not something that terrorists knew, that this would somehow be useful to terrorists. And the fact is, you know, you can find more useful detail about what the Treasury is doing in the Treasury's own public briefings."
If there is more useful detail on the public record, then why didn’t the Times print that instead? How does the Times know that the terrorists were already aware of the SWIFT program they wrote about? Did they talk to any terrorists to find out? The fact is, as Bill Keller goes on to mention:
On Monday’s Diane Rehm show on National Public Radio, the arrogance of The New York Times was on full display. Times reporter Eric Lichtblau was a guest on the program discussing the story the Times published on Friday disclosing a secret anti-terror program designed to follow the money. Among the claims made by Lichtblau were, The New York Times determined this anti-terror program was a matter for national debate, the Bush administration is trying to score political points by feigning outrage over the disclosure of this program, and that none of the sources who disclosed the program had political motives.
Lichtblau ,and fortunately for the war on terror and the national security of America he didn't cite an example to back up this claim, wants listeners to believe:
"Um, you know, we’re not gonna just take a leak and run with it. We, you know, carefully look at the facts of the case to decide whether or not it’s worth publishing and I think it’s important to remember that there’s information that we at the New York Times and other papers keep out of the public domain all the time because we agree that yes, this could compromise a source and method, this could actually help the bad guys."