'CSI: NY' Actor Slams Biased Iraq Coverage

<img hspace="0" src="media/GarySinise.jpg" align="right" border="0" />CBS's <i>The Early Show</i> ran a positive story set in Iraq today which cast the work of American troops in a positive light and showed <i>CSI: New York</i> star Gary Sinise airing criticism of negative media coverage. The story by correspondent Hattie Kauffman, however, was a gimmicky plug during &quot;CSI Week&quot; on the Tiffany network's morning show to plug new episodes of the trio of highly-watched CBS crime dramas. <br /><p>Towards the end of her report on Sinise's charity, Operation Iraqi Children, Kauffman set up Sinise's criticism of the media: &quot;In addition to his performances on the USO tour, Sinise continues to stay in touch with the troops in Iraq. From them, he hears the good news that he complains is overlooked in press coverage.&quot;</p><p>Video available: <a href="media/2005-11-08-ES.rm">Real Player</a> or <a href="media/2005-11-08-ES.wmv">Windows Media Player</a> <br /><br />Sinise: &quot;I get another side of the story that we don't hear through the media, and it's, you know, more positive things happening than you would think.&quot; <br /><br />Kauffman agreed: &quot;The news reports are a bomb, a car bomb, a suicide bomb.&quot;<br /><br />Sinise continued: &quot;It's always about a bomb or a suicide bomber or somebody getting killed. And, of course, that's dramatic and all of that. But on a day-to-day basis, there's a lot of improvement. There's a lot of hope. There's a lot of kids that are going to school that never got to do that before.&quot;<!--break--><br /><br />Kauffman then set up Sinise's last soundbite before signing off: &quot;What difference might a school book make? To Gary Sinise, all the difference in the world.&quot;<br /><br />Sinise: &quot;If we can help these little kids and they can see that there is freedom to learn, to just go to school and have a pencil and learn, something might happen in the way they grow up, and take charge of their own country.&quot;<br /><br />Co-host Julie Chen then directed viewers to the cbsnews.com website for a link to <a href="http://www.operationiraqichildren.org/">Operation Iraqi Children</a>, Sinise's charity.<br /><br />Mr. Sinise would find his sentiments are well-grounded in empirical data according to the MRC's latest special report by my colleague Rich Noyes: <a href="http://www.mrc.org/SpecialReports/2005/sum/sum101405.asp">&quot;TV’s Bad News Brigade: ABC, CBS and NBC’s Defeatist Coverage of the War in Iraq.&quot;</a></p><p><a href="http://www.mrc.org/SpecialReports/2005/sum/sum101405.asp"></a></p><p /><p>Among other conclusions of the report, two are applicable to Sinise's observation:</p><blockquote><p>Terrorist attacks are the centerpiece of TV's war news. Two out of every five network evening news stories (564) featured car bombings, assassinations, kidnappings or other attacks launched by the terrorists against the Iraqi people or coalition forces, more than any other topic.<br /><br />Few stories focused on the heroism or generous actions of American soldiers. Just eight stories were devoted to recounting episodes of heroism or valor by U.S. troops, and another nine stories featured instances when soldiers reached out to help the Iraqi people. In contrast, 79 stories focused on allegations of combat mistakes or outright misconduct on the part of U.S. military personnel.</p></blockquote><p /><p>The full transcript of the Kauffman piece on Sinise's charity and USO work follows below:</p><p /><blockquote><br /><br />CBS<br />Early Show<br />8 November 2005 (Tuesday)<br /><br /><br /><br />[08:12 a.m. EST] <br /><br />Julie Chen, from the Los Angeles studio: &quot;Gary Sinise is an Oscar-nominated actor and the star of CSI: New York. Now Sinise is using his star power to improve the lives of Iraqi schoolchildren. Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman spoke with this morning's American hero about his mission to put learning tools into eager little hands. <br /><br />Hattie Kauffman: &quot;On CSI: New York, Gary Sinise's character is withdrawn, a loner. But in real life, Sinise reaches out all the way across the globe.&quot;<br /><br />Kauffman: &quot;While visiting school children in Iraq, sinise was stunned to learn the schools have no paper, pencils, or books.&quot;<br /><br />Gary Sinise, actor, CSI: New York: &quot;One school I visited, rebuilt by the troops, it originally didn't have a floor. It was just dirt and there were no windows. It was just kind of cinderblocks.&quot;<br /><br />Kauffman: &quot;Inspired to help change young lives, sinise returned home to his own children's school and asked kids to donate classroom supplies. The response was overwhelming, and operation Iraqi children was born. To date, his organization has sent more than 100,000 school kits to iraqi students.&quot;<br /><br />Sinise: &quot;It's a wonderful way to help the little kids over there, who really have nothing and they've lived in an oppressed society for many, many years.&quot;<br /><br />Kauffman: &quot;I think a lot of people don't realize that you're doing this.&quot;<br /><br />Sinise: &quot;We're actually providing, you know, supplies for these little kids to have a better life.&quot;<br /><br />Child, via translator voice-over: &quot;I study to learn, to be an educated person.&quot;<br /><br />Kauffman: &quot;Sinise teamed up with American troops to get the school supplies into the hands of Iraqi kids. &quot;<br /><br />Sinise: &quot;These soldiers over there and these Marines are very special people, and they're doing a lot of good work. And they care about these people.&quot;<br /><br />Kauffman: &quot;In fact, the servicemen sometimes risk their lives to deliver the school supplies. <br /><br />Specialist Stephen Tapia, US Army Reserve: &quot;This is one of the good missions, you know, you got to see the happiness in the kids, and they actually don't fear us as much.&quot;<br /><br />Kauffman: &quot;As his way of saying thanks to the troops, Sinise performs with his rock group, the Lieutenant Dan Band named for his oscar-nominated role in Forrest Gump.&quot;<br /><br />Sinise: &quot;It's a way to give back. It's just a way to do something to help out.&quot;<br /><br />Kauffman: &quot;In addition to his performances on the USO tour, Sinise continues to stay in touch with the troops in Iraq. From them, he hears the good news that he complains is overlooked in press coverage.&quot;<br /><br />Sinise: &quot;I get another side of the story that we don't hear through the media, and it's, you know, more positive things happening than you would think.&quot; <br /><br />Kauffman: &quot;The news reports are a bomb, a car bomb, a suicide bomb.&quot;<br /><br />Sinise: &quot;It's always about a bomb or a suicide bomber or somebody getting killed. And, of course, that's dramatic and all of that. But on a day-to-day basis, there's a lot of improvement. There's a lot of hope. There's a lot of kids that are going to school that never got to do that before.&quot;&quot;<br /><br />Kauffman: &quot;What difference might a school book make? To Gary Sinise, all the difference in the world.&quot;<br /><br />Sinise: &quot;If we can help these little kids and they can see that there is freedom to learn, to just go to school and have a pencil and learn, something might happen in the way they grow up, and take charge of their own country.&quot;<br /><br />Kauffman: &quot;For the Early Show, Hattie Kauffman, CBS News, Los Angeles.&quot;<br /><br />Chen: &quot;You can find out more about Operation Iraqi Children on our website at cbsnews.com. And you can watch CSI: New York tomorrow night for part two of their special crossover with CSI: Miami. Tomorrow we'll continue our CSI week here on the Early Show when we talk with CSI: New York co-star Melina Karakaredes.&quot;<br /><br />### 08:16 a.m. EST ###</blockquote><p />

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters