On the second day of a new feature on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show, called "Quick Comments," the MSNBC host turned his attention to Neal Boortz -- whom he called a "hate radio host" and referred to as being "dehumanized" -- and others who oppose the implementation of ObamaCare, accusing them of "killing 45,000 people every year," and suggesting that those who seek to block universal health care are as bad as terrorists. As Olbermann cited a dubious study which claimed that 45,000 people die in America each year because they lack health insurance, the Countdown host charged:
What would you do, sir, if terrorists were killing 45,000 people every year in this country? Well, the current health care system, the insurance companies, and those who support them are doing just that. ... Those fighting health care reform – not those debating its shape or its nuance – people who demand the status quo, they are killing 45,000 Americans a year.
Olbermann concluded by comparing ObamaCare opponents to terrorists: "Because they die individually of disease and not disaster, Neil Boortz and those who ape him in office and out, approve their deaths, all 45,000 of them – a year – in America. Remind me again, who are the terrorists?"
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann picked up on an item posted by the far-left Media Matters for America, and slammed Media Research Center founder and President Brent Bozell as "Worst Person in the World" because the MRC founder recently criticized MSNBC host Ed Schultz for accusing Republicans of wanting people to die. Schultz, from the Ed Show last September: "The Republicans lie! They want to see you dead. They'd rather make money off your dead corpse. They kind of like it when that woman has cancer and they don't have anything for her."
Because Bozell argued in a recent NewsMax article that if "Rush Limbaugh went on the air and said that about a liberal, it would be the end of his career," Media Matters sought to prove him wrong as the group compiled quotes from Limbaugh in which the conservative host had responded to incendiary comments from liberal Democrats like Congressman Alan Grayson, with Limbaugh picking up on the promotion by liberals of abortion and euthanasia, and of liberal support for the kind of socialized medicine plans that in other countries have led to government bureaucracies sometimes denying medical procedures to elderly patients in favor of spending limited tax money treating younger people.
As Olbermann began his attack on Bozell, he incorrectly – or perhaps intentionally – referred to the Media Research Center as the "Media Research Council," and called Bozell "Boze." Olbermann: "But our winner, Brent Bozell, the founder of the Media Research Council. He has given out one of his annual prized-by-the-left, foot-in-his-own-mouth awards to our own Ed Schultz because Ed said, ‘The Republicans lie, they want to see you dead, they’d rather make money off your dead corpse.’"
After reading several quotes from Limbaugh collected by Media Matters, Olbermann mocked the MRC and its founder as he concluded:
On Monday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann slammed FNC's Brit Hume for advising Tiger Woods to convert to Christianity while appearing on yesterday's Fox News Sunday panel, where Hume has regularly appeared for years and contributed his opinions to the discussion in a way that differs from his manner of moderating discussions in a more neutral way when he used to host Special Report with Brit Hume. Although Olbermann later backed away from likening Hume to radical Muslims, during the show's opening teaser, Olbermann did make such a comparison: "An organization proselytizing, trying to force others to convert to its faith alone, you know, just like Islamic extremists."
At one point as the Countdown host plugged a segment in which he discussed Hume with author Dan Savage, the words "Hume's Holy War" were shown at the bottom of the screen as Olbermann spoke: "So Brit Hume tells Tiger Woods he can be forgiven, but only if he converts to Christianity. Fox has given up all pretense, hasn’t it?"
As Olbermann and Savage went on to make fun of Christianity, the MSNBC host at one point quipped: "'WWJDIHS,' which is: What would Jesus do if he strayed?" Savage brought up fringe religious figure Fred Phelps, who has become infamous for holding protests at the funerals of American soldiers, and lumped him in with Hume, Pat Robertson and Gary Bauer. Savage:
On the December 26 Saturday Today, as NBC anchor Amy Robach brought up Sarah Palin during a segment on people who made the news in 2009, Robach sounded as if she might have had a wish that Palin disappear from public view as she asked if Palin would "ever just go away?" Robach: "And, Brian, another big political story, the rise and fall of Sarah Palin, and yet she continues to grab headlines. Her new book came out. Will she ever just go away? Do you think she's going to be a big force this next year?"
Comedian Brian Balthazar seemed to want Palin to remain in public to be fodder for jokes as he contended that "when she opens her mouth, people pay attention. And, in fact, when she opens her mouth, often she doesn't stop, so it, there's so much to work with with Sarah. She's not going away."
Robach, possibly hinting that she also sees Palin as either a good source for humor or for the news industry which she is a part of, followed up by posing a question to NBC contributor Toure. Robach: "And, Toure, do we really want her to go away? Probably not."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the December 26 Saturday Today show on NBC:
Appearing as a guest on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday, TVNewser’s Gail Shister, who was inducted into the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Hall of Fame in 2008, made a sexual joke about new World News anchor Diane Sawyer that a male guest likely couldn’t have gotten away with. After the Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik had finished discussing the visual effect of ABC zooming in the camera so Sawyer appears closer to the viewer than previous hosts, Shister began her response with a sexual joke about Sawyer:
Well, first of all, Howie, I personally have no problem being right on top of Diane Sawyer, so that was not a problem for me. I think when you’ve got somebody that classy and visually attractive, why not get up close with her? I don’t think they’re going to stay that close every single newscast. I thought she made a seamless transition. I was pleasantly surprised at how seamless it was.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, December 27, Reliable Sources on CNN:
Saturday’s Fox News Watch gave attention to a couple of entries in the MRC’s "Best Notable Quotables of 2009: The 22nd Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting." Returning from a commercial break, a clip of CBS’s Katie Couric began the segment as Couric was shown expressing awe at President Obama’s confidence as she interviewed him last July. Couric: "You’re so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken? Do you ever wake up and say, ‘Damn, this is hard’?"
FNC host Jon Scott then jumped in to credit the MRC:
That’s Katie Couric earlier this year with President Obama. Her performance there garnered the Media Research Center’s "Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award for Obsequious Obama Interviews." The MRC acknowledging more achievements in its annual awards for the year’s worst reporting. The "Master of His Domain Award for Obama Puffery" goes to Time’s Joe Klein for his May 4 cover story on Barack Obama’s first 100 days as President.
Even liberal panel member Ellis Henican of Newsday thought Couric’s words were "icky," and contended that "I wouldn’t want to be caught on tape saying either one of those things."
Catching up on the Sunday, December 20, syndicated Chris Matthews Show – during which the panel weighed in on who should be granted various dishonors for the year – panel member Howard Fineman of Newsweek charged that independent Senator Joe Lieberman, formerly a Democrat, had "kicked [Democrats] n the teeth time after time after time and behaved in a completely self-righteous way about it," as the panel discussed Lieberman’s insistence on making Senate Democrats negotiate on universal health insurance. After host Chris Matthews introduced the show’s "Chutzpah Prize" for the year – with nominees being Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Bristol Palin boyfriend Levi Johnston, and Senator Joe Lieberman – Fineman voiced his belief that Lieberman deserves attention. Fineman:
On Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams took a moment to remember Vietnam War veteran, retired Colonel Robert Howard, who was awarded many honors for his heroic service, including the Medal of Honor, eight Purple Hearts, four Bronze Stars, and two Dinstinguished Service Crosses. Williams began his tribute: "We have a brief special word tonight about a very special man whose story you should know about, in part because his story will be told for generations to come. Robert Howard might have been the toughest American alive while he was among us. Bob was the only man ever to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate acts of staggering heroism in combat."
After recounting some of the honors bestowed upon Colonel Howard, Williams related: "It's believed Bob Howard was the most heavily-decorated American veteran of the modern era, period."
The NBC anchor further recounted: "In one 54-month period he was wounded 14 times. He served five tours of duty in Vietnam. And in recent years, he loved his trips to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit the men and women in uniform and in the fight there."
On Wednesday’s Good Morning America on ABC, after she talked about her latest film, It’s Complicated, actress Ali Wentworth subjected husband and new GMA anchor George Stephanopoulos to some jabs as she and co-anchor Robin Roberts spent a few minutes talking about him. Wentworth joked that as they were about to meet for the first time for a blind date, "I knew who he was and wasn’t interested ... I don't even think I took a shower that day, honey, sorry."
She further teased her husband by revealing that he cried at the end of the film Enchanted, and by recounting that the entire family sleeps together with the family dog. Wentworth: "We all sleep in the same bed. There, I'm just going to say it. Parent magazine can come after us. So, it's me, George, the two girls, and our dog, Charlie. And so, when we wake up in the morning, we're usually covered in pee, and we don't know whose it is."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, December 23, Good Morning America on ABC:
Imagine the outrage if any Republican President went on vacation during a recession and spent $4,000 a night on accommodations. On ABC’s Good Morning America Wednesday, correspondent Yunji de Nies seemed to suggest that President Obama’s family will be spending such an amount renting expensive living space at an estate house in Hawaii for a two-week Christmas vacation. De Nies: "Christmas trees here aren't cheap – neither is staying in this $8.9 million house, which runs $4,000 a night. The Obamas rented this one and the two next door for family and friends. When you spend that kind of money, people pay attention to detail."
De Nies did not specify exactly how much is being spent or where the money is coming from, though the amount may even be significantly more than $4,000 a day as she related that "the two next door" were also being rented for family and friends of the Obamas. The ABC correspondent also recounted that the estate house overlooks a beach popular with royalty: "But it's the master bedroom and its breathtaking view that is the crown jewel. Kailua Beach has been ranked the island's best, a favorite of Hawaiian royalty."
Anchor George Stephanopoulos gushed over Obama's plans for a two-week getaway to Hawaii as he introduced the report:
Thursday's Today show on NBC showed an excerpt from Tom Brokaw’s upcoming documentary, "American Character Along Highway 50," during which the former NBC Nightly News anchor plugged Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson – a friend of President Obama -- and delivered a puff piece on Johnson’s life and political goals, giving Johnson several soundbites to promote himself without being challenged, with Johnson proclaiming that he ran for mayor partly because "there’s a lot of inequality in our country."
But, even though at one point Brokaw recounted that Johnson founded the St. Hope foundation to help provide education, the former NBC anchor did not bring up Johnson’s history of corruption, specifically the finding that he misused $800,000 in AmeriCorps funding at St. Hope.
Last June, in an interview on FNC’s Fox and Friends, former inspector general Gerald Walpin of the Corporation for National and Community Service – who had just been fired by the Obama administration – recounted his findings against Mayor Johnson and theorized that Obama had fired him because of his aggressive stance against the President's political ally. Walpin:
On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent John Blackstone gave attention to the danger for small businesses if the final version of health care reform requires employers to provide health insurance for their employees as he highlighted two business owners – one who fears health care reform could close down his night club business while the other is more optimistic about how her business would be affected. Substitute anchor Jeff Glor set up the report: "As we mentioned earlier, the health care bill passed by the Senate today would extend coverage to 30 million Americans. A key element is a mandate forcing many companies to pay for their workers' insurance or pay a fine – a very difficult choice for struggling small business owners."
Blackstone related that "the prescription for change includes some bitter medicine, mandates requiring companies to pay for health insurance or pay a fine." While Blackstone at one point argued that small business owners are likely to benefit "from insurance exchanges in the reform plans which should hold down premiums in many cases by helping small businesses join together for greater buying power," the CBS correspondent also gave substantial attention to nightclub owner Jay Siegan’s fears that " the music will go silent if he's required to provide insurance."
On Thursday's World News, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer took the time to devote an entire story to 92-year-old Democratic Senator Robert Byrd’s vote for the Democratic health care bill, which the West Virginia Democrat dedicated to former Senator Ted Kennedy, whom the ABC anchor described as "health care champion Ted Kennedy." Sawyer recounted that Byrd had to be brought into the Senate chamber in a wheel chair several times recently to cast votes related to the bill.
Sawyer informed viewers of Byrd’s long Congressional career and 98 percent attendance record, and then quoted his declaration that "I do what duty tells me to do" as he arrived to vote for the bill. After recounting the Democratic Senator’s emotional reaction and declaration of love for Senator Kennedy when he learned of Kennedy’s illness, Sawyer concluded: "Old comrades, old friends – one gone, one carrying on."
On Saturday, NBC News host Lester Holt seemed to lament the fact that the climate change conference in Copenhagen did not result in greater regulation of carbon emissions as, on the NBC Nightly News, Holt passed on that "many" called the agreement that was reached "weak and disappointing," and he seemed to accept the premise that more regulations would affect the climate as he relayed that President Obama "admitted a lot more needs to be done to achieve significant changes in global warming." Holt: "President Obama, who took the lead on getting that deal, calls it a breakthrough. But even he admitted a lot more needs to be done to achieve significant changes in global warming."
During the same morning’s Today show, as he introduced correspondent Mike Viqueira, Holt recounted that the conference "fell far short of what many hoped for." Viqueira passed on complaints by environmental activists: "But a lot of people say it falls short. It will monitor emissions cuts, would this agreement, but it sets no target for curbing greenhouse gases, and that has left a lot of people – particularly in the environmental community – very disappointed."
Below are complete transcripts of the relevant stories from NBC’s Today show and the NBC Nightly News from Saturday, December 19:
On Thursday’s Stossel show on Fox Business Network, host John Stossel got to do the kind of show he was not able to do earlier this year when he was at ABC, as he devoted an entire show to the debate over access to health care, and gave attention to the market-based plan utilized by most employees of Whole Foods, which uses health savings accounts and encourages employees to shop around for health care, and to conserve their money for use in future years. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who has been the target of attacks from socialized medicine advocates despite the popularity of his company’s program with its employees, was the featured guest on Stossel's show, though he and Stossel at one point did get to debate socialized medicine advocate Russell Mokhiber. When Mokhiber cited the dubious statistic that 45,000 Americans die yearly from lack of health insurance, and contended that "zero Canadians die from lack of health insurance," Mackey charged that in Canada, "They oftentimes die from a lack of health care as they wait for services that are rationed by governmental bureaucrats."
While Stossel argued that too much involvement by a third party like insurance companies or government programs have caused health care prices to increase because consumers shop around less, Stossel and Mackey also charged that government regulations that forbid health insurance companies to compete across state lines, and that require insurance companies to cover procedures in their plans that are not desired by many customers, have helped create the problem of high insurance prices:
On the Sunday, December 20, syndicated Chris Matthews Show – during which the panel weighed in on who should be granted various dishonors for the year – Matthews seemed to lump conservatives like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh in with what Matthews saw as "white tribalism" as he also fretted over the "birthers" who promote the fringe conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in America. Matthews had notably expressed frustration about "white tribalism" being stirred up by "idiots" in America at the end of last week’s show.
Matthews seemed to compare Glenn Beck and Limbaugh to swine flu as he introduced the award titled "A Plague on Both Our Houses." Matthews played a clip of Beck going over the top in calling President Obama a "racist" on FNC’s Fox and Friends, but he did not specify any particular quote from Limbaugh. A bit later, after the BBC’s Katty Kay tied Palin to the "birthers," prompting Matthews to interject that "I think it’s white tribalism," Matthews brought up the new book of panel member John Heilemann of New York magazine, and set up Heilemann to blame Palin for "activating" racism against Obama during the 2008 campaign.
Matthews: "Was this something that was simmering, this sort of tribalistic resentment of Barack Obama being what he is?"
On Saturday’s Fox News Watch on FNC, regular panel member Jim Pinkerton of the conservative New America Foundation corrected fellow panel member Douglas Kennedy – an FNC correspondent and son of former New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy – as Kennedy asserted that "you don't have to be a scientist to know that the world is getting hotter," and that "that's objective reporting to say that the world is getting hotter."
Pinkerton responded: "Actually, it’s inaccurate reporting to say that. The world has been cooling since 1998."
Earlier, Pinkerton also seemed to pick up on a Newsbusters posting by the MRC’s Geoffrey Dickens as he cited a polar photographer who appeared as a guest on Thursday's Today show on NBC and declared that the debate over global warming is over. Pinkerton also alluded to a story by ABC's Jake Tapper which ran on Thursday's World News in which clips of drought and flooding were shown during a soundbite of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown talking about climate change.
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Saturday, December 19, Fox News Watch on FNC:
On the Sunday, December 13, syndicated Chris Matthews Show, as he ended the show with words of praise for Morgan Freeman’s latest film, Invictus, and its depiction of Nelson Mandela uniting blacks and whites in South Africa in the 1990s, host Matthews referred to "white tribalism" having been stirred up in America, and showed clips of anti-Obama protesters.
Matthews: "In this world of ours today, it seems that any idiot – almost any idiot can rally the forces of tribalism, including white tribalism in this country. You can do it with a frown or a smile – easiest thing in the world to rile people back to their roots, get them thinking with all the rage of their grandparents."
On This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, December 13, during the show’s Roundtable segment, liberal blogger Arianna Huffington argued that the war in Afghanistan is "the gold standard of a dumb war, immoral and unnecessary," during a discussion of President Obama’s recent speech at West Point announcing that he would send more troops to Afghanistan, and his speech in Oslo accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.
Huffington also criticized fellow liberal panel member John Podesta -- a former Clinton administration member who is now president of the Center for American Progress -- charging that, "You now sound like George Bush," after Podesta explained President Obama’s rationale for sending more troops into Afghanistan.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the December 13 This Week on ABC:
While it is not uncommon to see those who are climate change skeptics challenged in the media for having a pro-business financial interest in voicing their views, on Saturday's Fox News Watch, conservative columnist and regular panel member Cal Thomas made an observation that cuts in the opposite direction rarely given attention in the mainstream media -- that there are financial incentives that can also pressure scientists to voice agreement with the climate change theory that blames human activity for affecting climate patterns.
After panel member Judith Miller argued that Climategate should have inspired more public debate among scientists -- which could then have been covered by the media -- Thomas responded:
Well, one of the reasons it didn’t happen, of course, is because of the oppression of much scientific opinion. I’ve talked to scientists who say they can’t get the grants if they don’t toe the line. And many in the media don’t ask those kinds of questions, and so they feel, you know, shut out and shut up.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Saturday, December 12, Fox News Watch on FNC:
Appearing as a guest on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report on Thursday, CBS News correspondent Lara Logan defended America’s continued war effort in Afghanistan, and argued that it is "crap" that some have made comparisons between Afghanistan and the Vietnam War. Logan: "You know, the ridiculous thing about all these comparisons – it’s the graveyard of empires, it’s Obama's Vietnam – it’s all that crap, right?"
Logan, who has spent years in the field covering the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, went on to make a strong case in favor of staying in Afghanistan and continuing the fight against Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terror group because of the threat the group still poses, as she cited bin Laden's stated desire to attack America's homeland with weapons of mass destruction:
The truth is that when the Vietnam War ended, the Viet Cong didn't follow the U.S. back home. And that's the big difference. You don't have to listen to one President or another President. It's not political. Listen to bin Laden. Go and read what he has said: We will follow the United States, we will attack the homeland again, we will use nuclear weapons, we will use biological warfare. I mean, it's very simple. Everything al-Qaeda has ever said they were going to do before, they've done. There is no reason to doubt his intentions.
Friday's Joy Behar Show on CNN Headline News showed a pre-recorded interview with Roseanne Barr in which Barr opined that, although Sarah Palin is "likable," the "stuff she says is half nuts," and she's "half crazy and out of her mind." Barr -- who herself has a recent history of doing such bizarre things as appearing in Heeb magazine dressed as Adolf Hitler removing Jewish gingerbread cookies from an oven -- went on to declare that Palin is "like a slave to these, you know, right-wing men. That’s like the only way a right-wing woman can make it."
Barr soon added: "The only way a woman can make it in the right wing, or the conservative, whatever the hell you want to call it, Republican, is to be against all other women. And that is what she does."
Ironically, just moments later as she and Behar expressed disapproval at the man who recently threw tomatoes at Palin, Barr was critical of liberals who have treated the former Alaska governor "badly because she's female," calling it "disgusting." Barr: "I don’t like where she is treated like badly because she’s female. I think that’s so wrong, and I think the left and the liberals are disgusting to do that."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, December 11, Joy Behar Show on CNN Headline News:
On Thursday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC host Bill O’Reilly slammed Dick Wolf, the left-wing executive producer of NBC's Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, because Wednesday's episode – featuring a killer who targeted the children of illegal immigrants – contained dialogue of a character blaming conservatives like O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck for inciting violence against immigrants.
O’Reilly showed a clip of dialogue from the show in which left-wing lawyer Randall Carver -- played by John Larroquette -- made a comparison between a racist conservative talk show host character -- named Gordon Garrison -- and real-life conservative talk show hosts. Larroquette: "Garrison, Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly, all of them, they are like a cancer spreading ignorance and hate. I mean, they’ve convinced folks that immigrants are the problem, not corporations that fail to pay a living wage or a broken health care system."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, December 10, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
On Tuesday night’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC, during an interview with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, when Maddow recounted a recent incident in which a man unsuccessfully threw a tomato at Sarah Palin at a public event at a mall, Fallon joked that it was "awful" because the thrower "didn’t come close" to hitting Palin. Fallon: "Didn’t hit her at all? Didn’t come close? Awful."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the late Tuesday/early Wednesday, December 8th/9th Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC:
While it has been documented that CNN's Howard Kurtz chided his own news network for ignoring the recently-revealed scandal involving Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus nominating his girlfriend for a U.S. attorney position -- after the CNN anchor had monitored CNN on Saturday -- it turns out that on Sunday morning, even before Kurtz's Reliable Sources show had begun, CNN had already started to pay more attention to the scandal than the news network had on Saturday, but -- while one may argue the story deserves even more attention -- CNN Sunday Morning actually devoted somewhat more time to the story than the other morning newscasts on ABC, CBS, NBC, and even FNC.
Baucus was also directly labeled as a Democrat by CNN Sunday Morning co-anchors T.J. Holmes and Betty Nguyen, which the two had done in the previous day's story on CNN Saturday Morning. The Baucus scandal was mentioned several other times during the day on CNN NewsRoom, each time with Baucus clearly identified as a Democrat.
On Sunday, during the 6:00 p.m. hour and again during the 7:00 p.m. hour, CNN NewsRoom, hosted by Don Lemon, ran a report by correspondent Mary Snow on ClimateGate -- which was somewhat more balanced than the piece aired on November 25 -- though this report similarly did not quote any of the emails that suggest manipulation of data on global warming by scientists at the UK's University of East Anglia. But both times after Snow's report aired, Lemon followed up by talking with a guest or reporter who disputed the credibility of ClimateGate, without interviewing any global warming skeptics.
After Snow’s report aired during the 6:00 p.m. hour, Howard Gould of Equator International opined that "I don't see any importance" in the emails, and later asserted: "I think people are making a big deal out of nothing. I think it's the climate debunkers that are out there, it's their last ray of hope, and they're trying to cling on to something. But it's really, you know, I think it's a bit of a joke."
On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN's Howard Kurtz brought up the scarcity of media attention paid to the revelation that high-profile Democratic Senator Max Baucus nominated his girlfriend to be a U.S. attorney for his home state of Montana, as the CNN host even took to task CNN for ignoring the scandal, calling it a "stunning lapse in judgment," and recounted that he had monitored the news channel on Saturday and did not see Baucus mentioned. Kurtz: "Washington Post has it on page three, New York Times has it on page 33. I watched CNN all day yesterday. I didn’t see any mention of this story, which I thought was a stunning lapse in judgment."
When Kurtz questioned why there was so little media attention, guest Chip Reid of CBS News asserted there was "no scandal" in the story. Reid: "I don’t think it has legs because there’s no sex scandal, and it’s not like Vitter. It’s not like Ensign. There’s no scandal here."
Friday’s CBS Evening News devoted a full story, filed by correspondent Jim Axelrod, to late-term abortion Doctor LeRoy Carhart – who stepped in to succeed Dr. George Tiller, known for performing many partial birth abortions, after his murder last spring – during which Carhart was given several soundbites to justify his work. At one point gushing that "Until I can find someone else to care for women, they still need somebody to care for them," he later asserted: "I totally believe in this cause every bit as much as I did believe every morning when I got up in the military that I was doing the right thing. And if dying for this cause is what I have to do, then that`s what I will do."
But CBS’s Axelrod never used the term "partial birth abortion," or described the horrific procedure involved in some abortions. And, after anchor Katie Couric described Carhart’s work as "controversial" as she introduced the report, she also conveyed a more positive connotation as she referred to his and Dr. Tiller's activities as a "cause," as did Carhart himself. Couric:
On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, as the panel discussed media coverage of former Republican Governor – and current FNC host – Mike Huckabee’s involvement in commuting the prison sentence of Maurice Clemmons – who would later go on to murder four police officers in Washington state – panel members at first left the impression that Huckabee had commuted Clemmons's sentence after his child rape conviction. (Credit to NewsBusters reader Dana Christianson for emailing in a tip on the matter.) Conservative panelist Jim Pinkerton of New America Foundation had to point out that Huckabee commuted the sentence at a time when Clemmons serving time for the non-violent crime of committing burglary – which he did in 1989 while he was under age 18. Pinkerton even had to directly correct liberal FNC analyst Kirsten Powers, who seemed to convey that she thought Huckabee had commuted the sentence after the child rape conviction:
JIM PINKERTON, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: The kid was 17 years old and convicted of nonviolent – not – without a gun burglary and sentenced to 108 years. I think most people would see that as excessive. The real scandal is that he had at least three brushes with the law since the year 2000, and nobody then ever chose to revoke his clemency. That wasn't Mike Huckabee's fault. That was other people.
KIRSTEN POWERS, FNC ANALYST: What about the child rape?
On Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, during the regular "Dumbest Things of the Week" segment, host Bill O’Reilly and guest Greg Gutfeld of FNC’s Red Eye, possibly picking up on an item posted the day before on Newsbusters, highlighted ABC’s The View co-host Joy Behar’s recent defense of Tiger Woods as she opined that at least the golf star is not being a "hypocrite" like "one of these pro-marriage, right-wing kind of guys who is anti-gay."
After playing a clip from The View, Gutfeld responded: "I just can't believe she's still single. What a catch. ... This angers me, one, that she says that if you're a conservative you're anti-gay, which is bigotry, her own form of bigotry. Number two, she insults the left. She's saying that the left, because they have no standards, cannot be hypocrites. Therefore, they can get away with things."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the segment from the Friday, December 4, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC: