Beck Cites NewsBusters on Obama Double Standard, Conyers Scoffs at Reading Bills

On Tuesday's Glenn Beck Program on FNC, host Beck picked up on P.J. Gladnick's recent NewsBusters posting which helped bring attention to President Obama's double standard in charging that Congress was "rushed" by the Bush administration into passing budgets and anti-terrorism measures with little time for debate -- in a 2004 interview with Randi Rhodes on the left-wing Air America -- even though as President he has pressed Congress to act quickly on a number of major spending proposals since taking office.

Beck also ran a clip of Congressman John Conyers as the Michigan Democrat scoffed at suggestions members of Congress should read and understand bills before voting for them. Conyers: "To get up and say, 'Read the bill.' What good is reading the bill if it's 1,000 pages and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?"

During the show's regular "Hot List" segment, Beck recounted: "The Web site NewsBusters.org posting a November 2004 interview with Air America's Randi Rhodes, where Senator-elect Obama complains about the Bush administration."

Then an audio clip of Obama from the 2004 interview ran:

When you rush these budgets that are a foot high, and nobody has any idea what's in them and nobody has read them ... and it gets rushed through without any clear deliberations or debate. Then, these kinds of things happen, and I think this is, in some ways, what happened to the Patriot Act. I mean, you remember there was no real debate about that. It was so quick after 9/11 that it was introduced that people felt very intimidated by the administration.

Moments earlier, Beck relayed to viewers the comments by Conyers about reading bills before voting for them. The FNC host set up the clip: "Democratic Congressman John Conyers from Michigan ... He is not only admitting, but he is also making fun of those silly people who want them to read the bills."

A clip of Conyers ran: "To get up and say, 'Read the bill.' What good is reading the bill if it's 1,000 pages and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?"

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, July 28, Glenn Beck Show on FNC:

GLENN BECK: Sometimes, I give lawmakers a hard time for not actually reading the bills that they pass before voting on them. I know, I know, that's a lot to ask, you know, to have somebody do their job that we're paying them $173,000 for. I mean, I guess they're just not like me.

I like to curl up with a nice 1,400-page cap-and-trade bill at night and just get all snugly and read it. It's great. Of course, I did kill one of my children with it when I accidentally put it over beside me. I didn't know they were und under the blanket.

Now, Democratic Congressman John Conyers from Michigan, a state that is doing really well. You make great selections in your politicians in Michigan. Anyway, he is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He is not only admitting, but he is also making fun of those silly people who want them to read the bills.

REP. JOHN CONYERS (D-MI): To get up and say, "Read the bill." What good is reading the bill if it's 1,000 pages and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?

BECK: Am I being punked? I mean, these crazy people want you to do your job. I know, I wouldn't want to hang out with lawyers, but aren't you a lawyer? I'm pretty sure you are.

...
Congressman Conyers, however, isn't the only one complaining about the length and complexity of these bills. Oh, what are we going to do? Here is another Senator -- oh, wait a minute. That looks like the President. Oh, no. This was when he was the Senator. Not President Obama, Senator-elect Obama.
The Web site NewsBusters.org posting a November 2004 interview with Air America's Randi Rhodes, where Senator-elect Obama complains about the Bush administration.

BARACK OBAMA AUDIO FROM 2004 INTERVIEW: When you rush these budgets that are a foot high, and nobody has any idea what's in them and nobody has read them-

RANDI RHODES, FORMER AIR AMERICA RADIO HOST: Fourteen pounds it was.

OBAMA: Yes, and it gets rushed through without any clear deliberations or debate. Then, these kinds of things happen, and I think this is in some ways what happened to the Patriot Act. I mean, you remember there was no real debate about that. It was so quick after 9/11 that it was introduced that people felt very intimidated by the administration.

BECK: I think I am in an upside-down world here. Rushing through it? No time for debate? Intimidated by the administration? Wow, that sounds familiar. Kind of like what we have been doing for the last six months. It's almost like he doesn't want anybody to read these bills. Or was that just George Bush that was doing that? I can't tell anybody apart anymore.

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On Friday's Glenn Beck Program on FNC, substitute host Eric Bolling interviewed the now-famous "angry Democrat," Don Jeror, who confronted House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer at a recent public event as the he challenged the Democratic push for universal health insurance. At the event, Jeror famously contended that while President Obama took six weeks to choose a dog for the White House, Congress is "trying to stuff the health care bill down our throat in three to four weeks."

During his interview on FNC, Jeror summarized the potential risks to the elderly posed by the institution of public health insurance, and proclaimed that America has "the best health care in the world." Jeror:

There is nothing subtle about our government. It's a logical progression. Money is going to get tight. It always does. When that money gets tight, what's going to happen is, the health care for the elderly is going to be cut back. They are the least productive citizens in the government's point of view. The truth of the matter is, there is no problem with American health care other than the cost. We have the best health care in the world, but you don't burn down your house or tear down your house to remodel your living room. You work with the existing structure.

Below is a complete transript of the interview from the Friday, August 7, Glenn Beck Program on FNC:

ERIC BOLLING: You might have heard about this guy, the angry Democrat who demanded the truth at a recent town hall in Upstate New York. Take a listen.

DON JEROR, ANGRY DEMOCRAT: They're lying to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right.

JEROR: I don't have sophisticated language. I recognize a liar when I see one.

REP. STENY HOYER (D-MI): I didn't say what you're saying.

JEROR: What you said was the same as the Bush administration.

HOYER: I said it hasn't changed.

JEROR: No, it wasn't. Listen, I'm a registered Democrat, okay?

HOYER: Me, too.

JEROR: Why would you guys try to stuff the health care bill down our throat in three to four weeks when the President took six months to pick one dog for his kids?

BOLLING: Well, we decided to have him join us for a personal perspective on the health care debate sweeping the nation. With us now is Don Jeror. Don, first of all, congratulations. You went there and you spoke your mind. You were passionate. Were you nervous?

JEROR: Absolutely. I'm real nervous right now, as a matter of fact. Let me clarify something. First of all, this wasn't really a town hall. This was, this is set up to actually discuss high-speed rail, but we hadn't been able to contact Michael Arcuri, we have called his office and called his office, and never got an answer. So this was the only place we could go that we know he's going to be. We had no idea Steny Hoyer was even going to be there.

BOLLING: Well, you know, I would guess you had House Leader Steny Hoyer, you might as well ask him what's on your mind. It doesn't have to be about, you know, high-speed trains, why not the most pressing thing on your mind, health care. What was the response from the crowd? And we saw you. We saw Steny Hoyer's response. What about the crowd? Were they behind you? Were they angry? What was their feeling?

JEROR: Yes. It kind of went back and forth. And make no mistake, at the end, Michael Arcuri and Steny Hoyer got a huge hand. It was a, it was an invitation-type Democratic event. I'm really disappointed, and I think it points out the absurdity of the situation where an average American can call a politician a liar and what happens is he gets on national news. These guys are not used to being called liars. The facts are behind me. And he was either ignoring it or he was being deliberately ignorant.

BOLLING: Don, what concerns you most about the health care reform bill?

JEROR: What concerns me most is the government control. The government is a sledgehammer. There is nothing subtle about our government. It's a logical progression. Money is going to get tight. It always does. When that money gets tight, what's going to happen is, the health care for the elderly is going to be cut back. They are the least productive citizens in the government's point of view. The truth of the matter is, there is no problem with American health care other than the cost. We have the best health care in the world, but you don't burn down your house or tear down your house to remodel your living room. You work with the existing structure.

BOLLING: Don, I spend a lot of time on TV. I asked Congress people. I asked senators. I asked anyone who have come on TV and have an opinion if they're in a place to vote on a bill like this, have they read it. Did anyone ask Steny Hoyer if he read the bill?

JEROR: I don't think we did that day. We sat there and did this. So it's understood, you know, everybody is calling me the angry Democrat or the angry guy. But we sat there very quietly and listened to Michael Arcuri, the local Congressman, speak. I certainly do not agree with the guy. When Steny Hoyer came up and he actually told what I knew for a fact to be a lie, I confronted him on it. I sit there and yell at my TV like most Americans. I have done it for years and years, and to actually call one of these guys out, you know, the way I describe it, $787 billion for a stimulus, $1.8 trillion for health care, calling Steny Hoyer out for a liar is priceless.

BOLLING: Priceless. There you go. You know, and we'll call you our angry Democrat. Thanks a lot, Don Jeror.

JEROR: Okay, thank you very much.

 

 

FNC Interviews Brit Who Warns America Against National Health Care

On Friday's Glenn Beck Program, FNC aired a pre-recorded interview between Beck and a British member of the European Parliament, Daniel Hannan, who warned against the dangers of instituting a national health system in America because of the problems Britons must endure from their country's National Health Service. During an interview in which he recounted the long waits, the inability to go outside the system for faster treatment, and the system's discrimination against the elderly Hannan summed up his amazement that Americans could consider such a system:

I find it incredible that a free people living in a country dedicated and founded in the cause of independence and freedom can seriously be thinking about adopting such a system in peacetime and massively expanding the role of the state when there's no need.

He also warned that once such a massive bureaucracy and voting bloc of government workers becomes entrenched, such a system would likely be impossible to get rid of:

The reason we put up with it for so long is because it has become such a huge system. ... We have 1.4 million people employed by the National Health Service. It is the third biggest employer in the world after the Red Army in China and the Indian National Railways. ... And that is the electoral bloc that makes it almost impossible to get rid of. So if you do this thing, ... don't imagine that you can come back and change your minds a couple of years from now.

During the interview, Hannan recounted the experience of a friend of his who broke his ankle and was not allowed to purchase painkillers out of pocket as he tried to endure the lengthy wait for treatment in the emergency room:

And he said, "Look, I'm in real pain, can I have some painkillers while I'm waiting." And they said, "No, get to the back of the line." He said, "Look, I'd buy them." And they said, I think they became very aggressive, "What do you mean you're going to buy them? This is the National Health Service, so we don't have any provision for independent purchase of medicine." So that's the mentality.

Below is a complete transcript of the interview from the Friday, August 7, Glenn Beck Program on FNC:

GLENN BECK: When I'll see that, that made it look spooky. European socialized health care, it's not spooky or riddled with problems. No, it's not. And it's not going to be more real if we adopt it here in the U.S. It's not going to be sunshine and lollipops. Socialized medicine. Some will take a counter to that and say, "No, Glenn, I think it stinks on ice." But to find that out, you have to talk to somebody who knows the system firsthand.
Daniel Hannan. He is a member of European Parliament from southeast England. Big fan, sir. Welcome.

DANIEL HANNAN, MEMBER OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Thank you.

BECK: Nice to have you here. Now, do you think you could stay and run, you can't run for President, but, you know, you could just run for Congress or Senate. You have a lot of fans here in America.

HANNAN: Yes. Certainly, I'm a really big fan of your Constitution, and I'm a pretty strict interpretationist about it. So the presidency is not.

BECK: You are one of the only people, politicians, that I've heard in a long time that say you are a fan of the Constitution. It's not real popular right now here in America.

HANNAN: But, you know, I'm maybe not popular among all the politicians.

BECK: Yes.

HANNAN: But, look, it works. I mean, look at what is you live with. It's made you rich and free and independent.

BECK: Yes.

HANNAN: And it has driven those values to every country of the world-

BECK: Yes.

HANNAN: -and so that the world owes you something.

BECK: Here we have a Congress and a President that are not listening to the American people and they're not listening and reading the Constitution, and about to deliver us the universal right to medicine that is just fantastic in your country. Tell me about how great universal health care is.

HANNAN: Well, I mean, the most striking thing about it is that you are very often just sent back to the queue. You turn up with a complaint, with an ailment and you are told, "Okay, how about October of next year" or whatever it is. And then you are not able to supplement your treatment, your state's health care treatment with any private money of your own. People who had conditions and tried to buy drugs independently, they were told that the health treatment would be stopped. Now, I had a friend of mine. This is an amazing story. A friend of mine broke his ankle. And he went to the accident and emergency. And it was Friday night. Now, one of our national traditions is that on Friday nights we all get drunk and have fights with each other. So there was a long queue of people to get in.

And he said, "Look, I'm in real pain, can I have some painkillers while I'm waiting." And they said, "No, get to the back of the line." He said, "Look, I'd buy them." And they said, I think they became very aggressive, "What do you mean you're going to buy them? This is the National Health Service, so we don't have any provision for independent purchase of medicine." So that's the mentality.

BECK: I can't imagine what Americans will do when they have to wait. I mean, we just put this up on the screen. Cataract surgery, you have to wait eight months. Hip replacement, 11 months. You know, you may be free, but what's your quality of life?

HANNAN: Sure.

BECK: You have to wait for 11 months.

HANNAN: Sure.

BECK: Knee replacement, wait for 12 months. Herniated disc, five months.

HANNAN: And if you can't work during that period, then, you're losing income. So it's not really free, is it? And, in any case, it's not free because you're paying for it through your taxes.

BECK: We just found out that, and God bless him, he's a guy I disagree with on, you know, on almost everything, and he is my Senator. But I don't wish him ill. But we just found that Senator Chris Dodd has prostrate cancer. I'd like to make a challenge to Senator Chris Dodd to go over to your country and be treated for prostrate cancer. Here in the U.S., five-year relative survival rate is 100 percent. In Canada, it's 95 percent. In the U.K., it's 77 percent.

HANNAN: Quite right. That is an extraordinary figure. You think of those statistics and maybe that explains why, as I understand it, your Senators and Congressmen are not proposing to be part of this system themselves.

BECK: Yes.

HANNAN: Listen, our system, our NHS came out of a peculiar time. We were basically under full mobilization when we invented this, right? It was. It's Word War II, 1944. So it was a time when we had food rationing, when everything had been nationalized, when we had hugely high taxes, you know, because everything had been conscripted into the war. That was the product, that was the thinking that led to the state health care system. I find it incredible that a free people living in a country dedicated and founded in the cause of independence and freedom can seriously be thinking about adopting such a system in peacetime and massively expanding the role of the state when there's no need.

BECK: Because they would say that this is going to save us money.

HANNAN: Well, you know it is the single biggest item of our government budget. And it's, you know, the state generally doesn't do things as efficiently as the market does. Of course, it doesn't. If you know that you're getting the same treatment without paying for it, you have no incentive to keep costs down.

BECK: Daniel, what is -- I mean, have you been -- do you follow here in America at what's happening on the ground with our politicians? Because they are currently getting hammered by the people as they're coming home. These congressmen are coming home. And I hope to God, that, Congress, you learn from this, because it's only going to get much, much worse for you. What could they possibly be thinking?

HANNAN: Well, I mean, I don't know. But I just say, as an elected representative myself, no politician can disregard his constituents' opinion. And there is dishonor in an elected politician listening to what his people want. That's what we call democracy, right? There's no kind of weakness. I suppose how this is meant to work. So, I hope that people watching this program, whichever side they're on, are going to make their views felt and I hope that their representatives will listen to them over the summer vacation and come back. I mean, quite apart from anything else, I just wonder at a time like this how the U.S. can afford something of this scale. I mean, things are being different.

BECK: They're telling us that we can't afford not to do it. They're telling us this lie that somehow or another, if we do this, this is going to solve all of our problems with our debt and deficit. It's going to, somehow or another, we're going to save so much in health care. I can't imagine how. You deny people service at a certain age for certain procedures, do you not?

HANNAN: I mean, the worst, the worst thing is to be elderly on a system like ours.

BECK: Yes.

HANNAN: Actually, to be fair, it's not so bad with kids. You know, it generally tends to reflect social values. But we have got, I can tell you horror stories about elderly people kind of left starving in wards, you know? And the amazing thing is, you know, why do we put up with it? The reason we put up with it for so long is because it has become such a huge system. It's got such an enormous bureaucracy based around it, right?

BECK: Yes.

HANNAN: We have 1.4 million people employed by the National Health Service. It is the third biggest employer in the world after the Red Army in China and the Indian National Railways. Most of those 1.4 million people are administrators, that the managers outnumber the doctors and nurses. And that is the electoral bloc that makes it almost impossible to get rid of. So if you do this thing, if, you know, you're going to decide.

BECK: Yes.

HANNAN: But if you do it, don't imagine that you can come back and change your minds a couple of years from now.


BECK: That's why I say, America, you cannot let this thing pass. You cannot let any of this structure in, because you think the third largest employer in-

HANNAN: In the world.

BECK: -in the world, do you think, now you understand why they want it so badly. That's why. This is going to change the face of America, and they'll do it forever. Daniel, thank you very much.

HANNAN: Thank you, Glenn.

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On Tuesday, FNC's The O'Reilly Factor hosted FNC analyst Bernard Goldberg as the former CBS News correspondent highlighted a story recently posted on his Web site in which he complains of how little mainstream media attention was given to the fact that former President George W. Bush had volunteered to go to Vietnam as part of his service in the Texas Air National Guard, but that he was turned down because other pilots were more experienced, and that CBS News producer Mary Mapes did not include this important angle in the infamous piece by Dan Rather that used forged documents to paint Bush as trying to avoid Vietnam War service.

On his Web site, BernardGoldberg.com, Goldberg chastizes Mapes:

However the complexities and seeming contradictions are interpreted, if Bush at any point had volunteered to fly combat missions in Vietnam – as the CBS investigation unequivocally states — how then could he have been a slacker?  The clear answer is that he could not – unless, of course, he volunteered to go to Vietnam knowing full well he wouldn’t be taken.  But if that was the case, Mapes would have had an obligation to report both that he volunteered and then produce a credible witness to say it was a sham.  She did neither.

Mapes, a well-known liberal at CBS News, has always contended that she had no agenda, that she was not out to get President Bush.  But if she knew that George Bush had volunteered for service in Vietnam – as the CBS outside panel clearly concludes — she obviously had an obligation to share that with her viewers.

Below is a transcript of portions of Goldbergs observations from his Web site, BernardGoldberg.com: 

What seems like a long, long time ago Dan Rather was a very powerful force in American journalism.  He not only was the anchorman of the CBS Evening News, he was also the face of the network’s renowned news division — the “Tiffany” network of bigger-than-life legends like Ed Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, Mike Wallace and many, many others.

That was then.  Now Dan Rather is suing the network that employed him for 44 years, asking for $70 million dollars in damages.  Technically, the lawsuit is about a dry legal issue — breach of contract.  But it is also about something much more personal to Rather:  his legacy.  It is a lawsuit, fundamentally, about saving Dan Rather’s reputation.

That reputation took a turn for the worse back in 2004.  As has been widely reported, just 55 days before a very close presidential election, Dan Rather and his producer Mary Mapes put a story on the weekday edition of 60 Minutes that brought on the media equivalent of World War III.  There were accusations that Rather, Mapes, and maybe the entire CBS News Division had set out to deliberately destroy George W. Bush and get John Kerry elected President of the United States – a charge everyone at CBS vehemently denies.

The story was about how the young George Bush got preferential treatment during the Vietnam War; how he wangled his way into the Texas Air National Guard back in the 1960s to avoid service in Vietnam;  and how he was able to do it because his father was a big-shot, a United States Congressman from Houston. The story portrayed the Bush as a slacker. Others have said it portrayed him as a “cowardly draft dodger.”

And to bolster their story, Rather and Mapes got their hands on “never-before-seen” documents (as Rather put it in his story) that supposedly backed up their months (and in Mapes’ case, years) of reporting.  But in no time flat the documents came under attack, mainly by conservatives on the web who examined the typeface of the memos and concluded they were fakes.

CBS News management aggressively defended the story in general and the documents in particular – until they didn’t. After about two weeks, CBS threw in the towel and said it could no longer stand by the story.  Rather, who had been vigorously defending his story, reluctantly went on the air and admitted the documents could not be authenticated.  Later he would say he was forced to do it.

In the aftermath of the fiasco, CBS established an outside panel to look into the matter.  In January of 2005 the panel issued a report which concluded the news division failed to establish that the documents were legitimate and not bogus. Mapes was fired.  A vice president and two producers were forced to resign.  And Dan Rather was a dead man walking.

He had already lost his job as anchorman of the evening news but was allowed to stay on the weekday edition of 60 Minutes, which his story had sent on a glide path to oblivion.  And when that show died an inglorious death Rather went over to the Sunday edition of 60 Minutes. But that wouldn’t last long, either.  When his contract ran out CBS yanked him off the show, but made him an offer he decided to refuse:  Rather would get an office and an assistant and he could report stories for any CBS News broadcast that called on him – if any CBS News broadcast ever chose to call on him.  CBS offered Rather $250,000 a year, according to my sources, who say he wanted a million.  When he didn’t get it, he quit.  According to Rather, he was pushed out the door by the head of CBS, Leslie Moonves.

In 2007, Rather filed his $70 million lawsuit against his old company saying he wasn’t allowed to defend his story because the top management of CBS’ parent company, Viacom, wanted to appease the Bush Administration and protect its business interests.

Until now, the controversy over the Rather/Mapes story has centered almost entirely on one issue:  the legitimacy of the documents – a very important issue, indeed.  But it turns out that there was another very important issue, one that goes to the very heart of what the story was about – and one that has gone virtually unnoticed.   This is it:  Mary Mapes knew before she put the story on the air that George W. Bush, the alleged slacker, had in fact volunteered to go to Vietnam.

Who says?  The outside panel CBS brought into to get to the bottom of the so-called “Rathergate” mess says. I recently re-examined the panel’s report after a source, Deep Throat style, told me to “Go to page 130.”  When I did, here’s the startling piece of information I found:

Mapes had information prior to the airing of the September 8 [2004] Segment that President Bush, while in the TexANG [Texas Air National Guard] did volunteer for service in Vietnam but was turned down in favor of more experienced pilots.  For example, a flight instructor who served in the TexANG with Lieutenant Bush advised Mapes in 1999 that Lieutenant Bush “did want to go to Vietnam but others went first.”  Similarly, several others advised Mapes in 1999, and again in 2004 before September 8, that Lieutenant Bush had volunteered to go to Vietnam but did not have enough flight hours to qualify.

This information, despite the fact that it has been available since the CBS report came out four years ago, has remained a secret to almost everybody both in and out of the media — one lonely fact in a 234- page report loaded with thousands of facts, and overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the documents.

I made an online check and discovered that while a few websites noted the CBS finding, the story got no ink (that I could find) on the news pages of any big mainstream paper.  I did manage to find two opinion pieces about the CBS mess – one in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the other in the Miami Herald — that briefly, and only in passing, mentioned the “Bush volunteered” angle. But that was it!  A check of network newscasts turned up nothing. And when I questioned two journalists with intimate knowledge of the story, both said Mapes never shared her information with them.

For the record:  George W. Bush has always maintained that he joined the National Guard not to avoid service in Vietnam but because he wanted to be a fighter pilot. He has openly acknowledged that he did not want to be drafted and serve in the infantry, and says he signed up for the Guard knowing full well he would have to spend almost two years in flight training and another four years in part-time service.

It is also true, however, that in his 1968 application to join the Texas Air National Guard Bush was asked if he wanted to go overseas and he checked the box that said “do not volunteer.”  But as the Washington Post reported on July 28, 1999:  “Bush said in an interview that he did not recall checking the box. Two weeks later, his office provided a statement from a former, state-level Air Guard personnel officer, asserting that since Bush ‘was applying for a specific position with the 147th Fighter Group, it would have been inappropriate for him to have volunteered for an overseas assignment and he probably was so advised by the military personnel clerk assisting him in completing the form.’”  He later told the Post:  “Had my unit been called up, I’d have gone . . . to Vietnam.  I was prepared to go.”

However the complexities and seeming contradictions are interpreted, if Bush at any point had volunteered to fly combat missions in Vietnam – as the CBS investigation unequivocally states — how then could he have been a slacker?  The clear answer is that he could not – unless, of course, he volunteered to go to Vietnam knowing full well he wouldn’t be taken.  But if that was the case Mapes would have had an obligation to report both that he volunteered and then produce a credible witness to say it was a sham.  She did neither.

Mapes, a well-known liberal at CBS News, has always contended that she had no agenda, that she was not out to get President Bush.  But if she knew that George Bush had volunteered for service in Vietnam – as the CBS outside panel clearly concludes — she obviously had an obligation to share that with her viewers.

Now the question is, did she share what she knew with her correspondent, Dan Rather.  Or to put it another way:  What did Rather know — and when did he know it?  The answers may come out at trial, if his case against CBS goes that far.  At the moment, neither side appears anxious to settle.