During an interview by "GQ" magazine's Wil Hylton posted on the magazine's blog on September 20, CNN founder Ted Turner blamed Fox News for pushing America into the Iraq war, tagging the conflict as "Rupert's war," and contended that he is more afraid of America's possession of nuclear weapons than he is of rogue states like Iran obtaining such weapons. Turner: "I'm much more worried about our nuclear arsenal than theirs. Iran, at best, can get a few nuclear weapons. We have tens of thousands. We have to get rid of them." The CNN founder, who has a history of defending North Korea, ignoring the country's problem of starvation, complimented its "thin" citizens as "healthy," and suggested the despotic regime is of no more danger to America than Cleveland, Ohio. Turner: "They were nice to me. There weren't a lot of fat people walking around. They were all thin. And being thin is healthier than being fat. ...
If you thought the proper way to refer to terrorists who commit violence in the name of Islam was by using such terms as "Islamic terrorists," "Islamic militants," or even "Islamic extremists," be on notice that you may be offending Alan Colmes. In fact, even if you refer to the terrorist group "Islamic Jihad" by that name, which is the name the group uses to refer to itself, you're still not in the clear.
On Monday's "MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams," host and former MSNBC General Manager Abrams used the show's regular "Beat the Press" segment to respond to criticism by some Fox News personalities of recent anti-Bush comments made by MSNBC's Chris Matthews, and their questioning of whether Matthews is too partisan to host the latest Republican debate. Abrams: "The attack team over at Fox News is trying to get some traction out of comments Chris Matthews made ... Now, in a silly and obvious partisan attack, they're suggesting Matthews shouldn't host the Republican debate." After playing a clip of Bill O'Reilly charging that NBC News was "in the pocket" of the Democratic party, Abrams accused FNC of being "in the pocket" of the Republican party. Abrams: "The Republicans have had Fox News, and O'Reilly in particular, in their pocket on the Republican talking points since 1996." Abrams ultimately defended Matthews as "far less predictable" than Fox News hosts. (Transcript follows)
After playing a clip of FNC's Gretchen Carlson complimenting Brit Hume as their regular moderator of debates, Abrams challenged Hume's objectivity by playing a clip of the FNC host expressing his opinion that "a lot of Democrats" don't take the war on terrorism seriously, which came from a roundtable discussion from the July 29 "Fox News Sunday."
Friday's "Hannity and Colmes" featured a discussion of a recently released Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll which found that, when asked the question, "Do you personally think the world would be better off if the United States loses the war in Iraq?" 19 percent of Democrats answered "yes" while 20 percent answered "don't know," leaving only 62 percent who definitely disagreed with the idea that the world might be better off if America lost. By contrast, 87 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Independents disagreed with the idea that a loss by America might be a good thing for the world. (Transcript follows)
On Thursday's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN's Randi Kaye filed a story in which she promoted gun control as a solution for Philadelphia's crime problems, as she pushed the argument that the city's high rate of gun violence was the result of Pennsylvania state lawmakers voting to loosen gun laws in the 1990s. And, as if criminals would bother to apply for a permit to legally carry a concealed weapon, Kaye further suggested that the availability of concealed carry permits has contributed to the city's problems. Kaye: "In 1995 there were fewer than 800 applications for concealed weapons here. 'Keeping Them Honest,' we checked, and today there are 29,000 permits to carry. And it's against the law for police to ask anyone why they want one. One law enforcement source told me permits to carry are being passed out like candy." A blog posting on the show's Web site based on this story can be seen here. (Transcript follows)
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz led a discussion of Hillary Clinton's recent media attention, commenting that the networks "lust after putting her on," and also quipped that the New York Senator did "the full Ginsburg" when she appeared on all the Sunday morning talk shows last week, during which, as Kurtz noted, she gave the "Clinton cackle" response to a number of questions. While discussing the recent Democratic debate moderated by NBC's Tim Russert, Kurtz also pointed out that Clinton had flip-flopped on the issue of whether she would be willing to torture a terrorist prisoner, as he noted the lack of media coverage. Kurtz: "That was a flip-flop by Hillary Clinton. She had earlier said, taken the opposite position saying that torture would be acceptable in that kind of extreme situation. The AP, the New York Daily News pointed this out, but you didn't get a lot of flip-flop coverage." (Transcript follows)
On Wednesday's "Countdown" show, just minutes before the beginning of the night's Democratic debate coverage on MSNBC, Chris Matthews remarked that he was "warming up to Hillary these days," while host Keith Olbermann responded that "I don't have anything to warm up from."
Matthews also attacked Fox's "partisanship" and suggested that its anchor, Chris Wallace, is an "ignoramus."
"When [Wallace is] the one that took down her husband a few months ago and he's talking about excessive partisanship. ... He's there representing Fox Television putting down partisanship. What? Of course she had to laugh. What else could she say, 'You're an ignoramus'?" (Transcript follows)
According to Alan Colmes, since evil dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not a liberal, but instead a "conservative," then conservatives in America should not be offended because the Iranian leader received better treatment on a college campus than some of America's conservative political figures, some of whom have been met with attacks with pies or other violence.
Such was the absurd argument suggested by the liberal FNC host during a discussion on Monday's "Hannity and Colmes." Colmes commented to conservative guest/author David Horowitz: "Ahmadinejad's not a liberal. He's a conservative. He's very right wing. He was welcome at Columbia University. You shouldn't be complaining. Phil Donohue, Hillary Clinton, they've been all booed off stages. You don't talk about that." (Transcript follows)
On Friday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann questioned why Democrats are not accusing Republicans of racism because of the decision by GOP presidential candidates to reject invitations to debate at black and Hispanic events, as he asked: "When the Republican presidential candidates refuse to debate at black or Hispanic venues, why are they not being asked if they're as racist as that seems?" As he discussed the issue with liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, during which the words "White Wingers" were displayed at the bottom of the screen, the Countdown host raised the possibility Republicans are interested in re-segregating schools by overturning Brown versus Topeka Board of Education. Olbermann: "Is it possible they're actually hoping to move backwards in this, that there is some part of the Republican party that says, you know, we got to roll back, those activist judges in Brown versus Board of Education, we got to get rid of them?" (Transcript follows)
On Thursday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his latest "Special Comment" to attack President Bush's "pissy juvenile blast" for the President's criticism of the MoveOn.org "General Betray Us" ad during the day's news conference, accusing him of "hypocrisy" for not criticizing what Olbermann called the Republican "hamstringing of Captain Max Cleland and the lying about Lieutenant John Kerry." Olbermann further accused Bush of "pimping" General David Petraeus and of making the general into a "political hack" at the risk of moving America's government toward a "military junta." Olbermann: "It is a line which history shows is always the first one crossed when a democratic government in some other country has started down the long, slippery, suicidal slope towards a military junta. Get back behind that line, Mr. Bush, before some of your supporters mistake your dangerous and stupid transgression as a call to further politicize our military." (Transcript follows)
On Monday's "The Situation Room," hosted by Wolf Blitzer, CNN's liberal political analyst/former Clinton advisor Paula Begala distorted Alan Greenspan's words about the Iraq war being about oil, and referred to the "most damning indictment and betrayal that Mr. Bush could have committed." Begala also commented that Greenspan's words show that Michael Moore and MoveOn.org "were in the center" on the issue of Iraq. Begala: "Alan Greenspan ain't the kook left. He ain't Michael Moore. He ain't MoveOn. In fact, he is a guy who now shows that Michael Moore, MoveOn, and the rest of them were in the center." (Transcript follows)
On Thursday night, after President Bush's Address to the Nation regarding Iraq, MSNBC featured a discussion dominated by criticism of the President from the left, which bolstered the views of such liberal guests as talk radio host Rachel Maddow and Democratic Senator Joe Biden, and challenged conservative guest and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's take on the speech. Chris Matthews showed repeated fascination with the President's reference to 36 nations fighting in Iraq, calling it "ludicrous." When Maddow compared America's toppling of Saddam Hussein's government to attempts by insurgents to topple the current elected government by remarking that "it's like getting a lecture on the evils of prostitution from David Vitter," Keith Olbermann seemed impressed as he labeled her words "the first zing of the night." (Transcript follows)
During a report on Friday's The Situation Room about each party's message regarding the war on terrorism, CNN's Bill Schneider slanted the piece toward plugging Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' challenge to Republicans. Schneider relayed the desire by Republicans to make the 2008 election about the war on terror, and, after summarizing Edwards' proposal for an "aggressive new policy against terrorism," Schneider concluded the report: "Edwards' message is: If the Republicans want to refight the 2004 campaign, bring'em on." (Transcript follows)
On Tuesday's "Countdown," MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered his latest "Special Comment" rant against President Bush, branding him a "liar" because the President raised the possibility of withdrawing some American troops during his speech in Iraq, after the President had also spoken, in Robert Draper's new book, "Dead Certain," of "sustaining a presence" in Iraq. Olbermann assumed Bush's two statements -- about withdrawing some troops and "sustaining a presence" -- could not be consistent, thus contending Bush had revealed an "evil secret." Olbermann: "A man with any self respect, having inadvertently revealed such an evil secret, would have already resigned and fled the country! You have no remaining credibility about Iraq, sir!" (Transcript follows)
History seemed to repeat itself on Monday's World News with Charles Gibson, as substitute anchor Dan Harris introduced a story, filed by ABC correspondent John Berman, which highlighted the view of "some scientists" that global warming is responsible for an increase in the number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes in recent decades. Not only did the same Harris/Berman team file a similar story over two years ago on the July 9, 2005 show, then known as World News Tonight, but Monday's report also recycled soundbites of two scientists from the earlier story. Berman, from Monday September 3: "Across the globe, the number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled over the past 30 years.
On Monday's MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams, host and MSNBC General Manager Abrams attacked CNN's series God's Warriors for "a defense of Islamic fundamentalism and the worst type of moral relativism," and as "shameful advocacy masked as journalism," quipping that series host Christiane Amanpour "avoided getting bogged down in objectivity." Abrams further took exception with Amanpour for comparing those who support Israel's defense strateg
During an August 6 interview, posted online, with Television Week, former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw blamed racism for the debate over whether illegal immigrants should be in the country as he referred to "some people who still believe that people of color are not needed in this country." In response to a question about diversity in the newsroom, Shaw contended that "each generation fights the same battle, only it becomes more subtle, more sophisticated, but it's still a war" before tying in the illegal immigration debate. (Transcript follows)
On the Tuesday August 21 The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Joe Bastardi poured water on claims that a global warming trend has been the cause of hurricanes of increased intensity as he contended that the Northern Hemisphere similarly saw periods of increased hurricane activity in past decades, going back to the 1890s. Bastardi: "We're back in the '30's, '40's and 50's. This back and forth cycle that occurs, we saw it in the 1890s to 1910. ... And people are just getting carried away and fascinated when, if they go back and look at what happened before, you can see the similarities." (Transcript follows)
On Monday's MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams, host and MSNBC general manager Abrams opened his show lambasting Karl Rove, tagging him the "Constitutional Crippler" for accusing judges of "bending the law" while Rove, Abrams contended, was doing much the same. Abrams: "If Karl Rove had been a professional wrestler, they might have called him 'the Constitutional Crippler.' Abrams further accused Rove of "hypocrisy" and of "shifting rules to accommodate his political objectives" as the MSNBC general manager declared that he would "not shed a tear" at Rove's departure.
Keith Olbermann a "fair and balanced" journalist for a day? Did the sweltering Chicago temperatures somehow get to him? The MSNBC host who is notorious for anti-Bush, anti-conservative rants employed a more balanced approach when he moderated Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, hosted by the AFL-CIO. While audience members posed numerous left-leaning questions to the candidates, Olbermann asked a number of challenging questions, a few even posed from the right. Olbermann not only asked "what should we not be funding" to find the money for repairs to infrastructure, without even suggesting a tax increase, but the MSNBC host also asked about the possibility of an al-Qaeda takeover in Iraq. Olbermann: "If you get us out of Iraq and somehow al-Qaeda takes over anyway, what will you do then?" (Transcripts follow)
On Wednesday's The Situation Room, CNN host Wolf Blitzer, while interviewing Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison about his recent trip to Iraq, asked the Congressman about his recent controversial remarks comparing President Bush to Hitler, words that could be interpreted as a suggestion that Bush was behind the 9/11 attacks, and comments that have received little media coverage. Blitzer gave Ellison the chance to "explain exactly what you did mean," and asked if the Congressman agreed that the "comparison of Bush and Hitler" was "inappropriate." (Transcript follows)
On Friday's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann charged that the "endless war and endless spending" had "crippled our ability to repair or just check our infrastructure," as he hosted Air America's Rachel Maddow in a discussion blaming the Minneapolis bridge collapse on Iraq war spending and unwillingness by conservatives to raise taxes. Olbermann quoted Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar's charge of "messed up priorities" and New York Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's labeling of bridge collapse victims as "almost victims of war" because "perpetual war depletes the funds available to maintain our infrastructure." Maddow charged that America is "paying this incredible deadly price for a brand of American conservatism that hates and demeans government." (Transcript follows)
On Sunday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Kelly Cobiella filed a report about American medical students who are receiving the "gift" of a free education from the Latin American School of Medicine, established by former Cuban president Fidel Castro to train doctors for poor communities. But, while entertaining suggestions from one student who thought that Michael Moore's trip to Cuba for health care "proposed a really good question about looking at our medical system and seeing what things we need to change," the CBS correspondent also found that "Cuba is no health care paradise," as she reported on "crumbling" hospitals, doctors making $20 a month, and "shortages of just about everything from drugs to high-tech equipment." (Transcript follows)
ABC's World News Sunday featured a report about the upcoming meeting between President Bush and recently elected British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, which included speculation about how Bush's relationship with Brown will compare to that with Tony Blair. Between anchor Dan Harris and correspondent John Cochran, the derogatory charge by Blair critics that he was Bush's "poodle" was mentioned three times. While Cochran described the label as "perhaps unfair," when the report concluded, Harris, after having already mentioned the "poodle" insult once as he introduced the story, followed up by remarking, "Potentially no more poodle." (Transcript follows)
On Friday's World News, ABC host Charles Gibson incorrectly implied that a murder suspect in New York City had purchased his weapon from a gun store in Virginia, ignoring the fact that the original owner, now deceased, had purchased the gun legally from the shop in 1999, and that police have not yet discovered how the suspect obtained the gun. Instead, Gibson contended that this case shows that criminals often go to shops for their weapons as he set up the piece: "Well, the recent shooting death of a New York City police officer is shedding some light on how criminals get their guns. Too often, they simply go to a store. And they know which stores to go to.
On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Byron Pitts filed a report on the causes of and potential solutions for Philadelphia's high murder rate in which the correspondent heard from several people who approached the problem from a liberal point-of-view while the NRA's Wayne LaPierre voiced a conservative point-of-view on the issue. While LaPierre stressed the need for more prosecutions of criminals, other activists blamed the crime problem on such issues as income "disparity," "availability of guns," and "inherent racism." (Transcript follows)
On the Friday July 20 The Situation Room on CNN, substitute anchor Miles O'Brien insisted that, regarding the role of carbon emissions in global warming, "the scientific debate is over," as he lectured former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts on the subject. In response to Watts' contention that "I don't believe the Earth is melting because of carbon emissions," O'Brien responded: "Well, you're not paying attention to the science, J.C. You're definitely not paying attention. ... The scientific debate is over, J.C., we're done." (Transcript follows)
On Wednesday's Your World with Neil Cavuto, FNC's Cavuto hosted both ABC's John Stossel and environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to discuss Kennedy's charge, from the stage of Saturday's "Live Earth" concert in New Jersey, that the ABC anchor, as well as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, have been "lying" about global warming and are "toadies" for corporations.
Stossel charged that some of Kennedy's comments about the environment are "silly" and brought up a number of big scares that have been promoted in recent years, some by environmentalists, that have turned out not to materialize. Asked by Cavuto if ignoring the issue may make it worse, Stossel responded: "Well, it's possible. And it's possible that the killer bees were going to come up and sting us all to death, and that Y2K was going to crash all the planes, and that the pesticides that his organization [Natural Resources Defense Council] is so upset about were causing the cancer epidemic, and the frog testicles were shrinking, were going to make us all sterile. The scares from the environmental groups have just come one after the other. None has been true."
On Tuesday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann voiced his latest consipiracy theory regarding Bush administration officials politically timing the release of terror warnings or terrorism-related news to distract attention from stories embarrassing to the administration, as Olbermann seized on comments by Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff that he has a "gut feeling" that terrorists are more likely to strike during the summer. While interviewing Newsweek's Richard Wolffe, the Countdown host brought up his suspicions. Olbermann: "How about my gut feeling that Mr. Chertoff said this so that the lead story on the newscast on ABC would not be Iraq or Alberto Gonzales or that USA Today poll, but that it would be this, you know, 'gut feeling' of his, plus a vague sky-is-falling story about an al-Qaeda cell, which even the people in Homeland Security say is just nonsense?" (Transcript follows)
ABC's World News Sunday presented a sympathetic look at Philadelphia city officials who are threatening to sue the Pennsylvania state government, "dominated by rural lawmakers" from hunting country, for blocking the city's push for more gun regulation in the face of a high murder rate. Correspondent David Kerley suggested a link between New York City's gun control laws and its lower murder rate. Kerley: "Philadelphia has more murders than New York, with six times the population. But unlike New York, Philadelphia cannot pass its own gun laws." Instead of presenting the argument that a greater rate of gun ownership could help reduce crime, Kerley merely showed a soundbite of a Republican lawmaker who argued that gun control would not affect criminals, before concluding: "That argument is being echoed across much of the country, as rural sensibilities continue to rule the gun debate, and cities like Philadelphia prepare for another night, and another shooting death." (Transcript follows)