On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent John Blackstone reported on the growing influence of Latino voters, making sure to focus on Republican setbacks: "They favor Democrats over Republicans, 62 to 25 percent....in Nevada, Latinos were urged not to vote in a controversial ad....created by a conservative Latino group, seemed designed to help Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle."
Blackstone went on to deride Angle's campaign: "In ads promising to get tough on illegal immigration, Angle has been accused of stereotyping Latinos and in a much-viewed video she told Hispanic students some of them looked Asian." He then turned to problems in Meg Whitman's California gubernatorial campaign: "...immigration became an issue when Meg Whitman's undocumented housekeeper went public about being fired after working nine years for Whitman."
Blackstone touted the fact that "Among none-Latino voters she's in a dead heat with Jerry Brown at 48 percent each. But add in Latinos, and Brown has a five-point edge, 49 percent to 44 percent."
In the wake of Virginia Thomas requesting an apology from Anita Hill, on Thursday's CBS Early Show, fill-in co-host Chris Wragge used the story to raise questions about Thomas's political involvement: "That phone call is bringing up new scrutiny upon Virginia Thomas, who is not just an angry spouse but also a long-time advocate of conservative causes."
In the report that followed, CBS chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford implied that since Virginia Thomas is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas her conservative activism in a conflict of interest: "She has long advocated for conservative causes....she formed a grassroots conservative group called Liberty Central and has spoken at tea party conventions....Critics have raised questions about her role in the group as the wife of a sitting Justice, and Mrs. Thomas, not one to suppress her opinions, has felt the heat."
On Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith noted how President Obama was on the campaign trail "in hopes of avoiding a Democratic washout," but added, "he may be getting some help from Republicans....unintentional help." Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes exclaimed: "...we've been seeing a spate of strange claims from tea party candidates in recent weeks."
As supposed evidence of those "strange claims," Cordes pointed to Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell accurately noting that the phrase "separation of church and state" appears nowhere in the Constitution. Cordes remarked that O'Donnell's comment "actually drew gasps from her audience yesterday," and later concluded: "O'Donnell – who calls herself a strict constitutionalist – appeared unaware of one of the Constitution's most basic tenets."
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl fretted over the possible expansion of Israeli settlements near an important archeological site in Jerusalem: "So archeology is being used as a political tool....indoctrination, almost." She claimed that "organizations that move Jewish settlers into Arab areas have infiltrated" the surrounding Arab neighborhood.
Stahl described the dig site: "...more and more Israeli settlers have moved east into the Arab-populated areas. One place where it's gotten especially complicated and volatile is the Arab neighborhood of Silwan. The complication in Silwan involves an Israeli archeological dig called the City of David." She worried about the religious implications: "It's controversial that the City of David uses discoveries to try to confirm what's in the Bible, particularly from the time of David, the king who made Jerusalem his capital....There's an implicit message that because David conquered the city for the Jews back then, Jerusalem belongs to the Jews today."
In a story on Florida Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson's bid for reelection on Sunday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Michelle Miller described the left-wing bomb thrower this way: "Freshman Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson considers himself a fighter....Whether taking on the foreclosure mess or the Republican Party."
Miller briefly referred to Grayson's history of controversial comments: "...this lawyer, former businessman, and economist, has gained notoriety for his partisan remarks on the House floor." A clip was played of the Congressman proclaiming that Republicans wanted to people to "die quickly" because they opposed ObamaCare. However, missing from the report was any mention of Grayson accusing his opponent of being like the Taliban for having socially conservative views.
On CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Rita Braver conducted a fawning interview with Nancy Pelosi, portraying the widely unpopular Speaker of the House as a strong leader taking on her opponents: "Nancy Pelosi is considered one of the most effective speakers in congressional history....Believe it or not, Republicans are out to fire Pelosi and Madam Speaker is firing back."
Braver began the segment by declaring: "Speaker Nancy Pelosi is all business. Whether it's on her morning walk along the Potomac....Or showing off the private balcony outside her Capitol office." She then lobbed this softball to the "all business" Speaker: "Do you ever let yourself relax and just do nothing? Loaf a little?" Pelosi replied: "I think I may take that up, but not until after the election."
On Thursday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric talked to a group of supposedly independent voters in Pennsylvania, but touted how none of them were undecided about one thing: "...there was unanimous agreement in this group, the Tea Party isn't their cup of tea." [Audio available here]
Following that declaration by Couric, each voter took their turn denouncing the conservative political movement. Marketing director Scott Barclay dismissed the tea party "as another voice from the fringe." Janis Fonteccio proclaimed: "They make statements that are just absolutely terrorizing." Single mom Katie Gray Sadler warned: "Making a lot of noise doesn't necessarily mean you have the right answers." Maria Reice, a registered nurse, wrapped up the tea party bashing: "It shouldn't be the Tea Party. It should be the inflammatory party."
On Friday's CBS Early Show, after news reader Erica Hill reported on Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's heated Thursday appearance on ABC's 'The View,' co-host Harry Smith proclaimed O'Reilly to be "the bloviater-in-chief" and that "he was in full bloviation mode yesterday."
Hill began her report by declaring: "When Barbara Walters introduced the conservative talk show host on 'The View' Thursday, she ignited a major fuse, turning daytime TV into dynamite." Hill described how O'Reilly's statement that "Muslims killed us on 9/11" caused left-wing hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg to walk off the set. Once she concluded her piece, Smith said of O'Reilly: "He loves all this attention." Hill replied "he thrives on it." Smith added: "He was so happy to see their reactions to him."
At the top of Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared that vicious gossip monger Perez Hilton "makes nice....with so much bullying going on he doesn't want to be a bully himself anymore." While the report that followed cheered Hilton's efforts to reform himself, the morning show has been happy to promote his bullying tactics in the past.
Correspondent Ben Tracy noted how Hilton "controversially outed gay performers like Lance Bass and Neil Patrick Harris." However, on the September 25, 2008 Early Show, correspondent Michelle Gillen seemed to have no problem with it as she reported on Hollywood's acceptance of gay celebrities: "Neal Patrick Harris...remains a high profile star since he was outed by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton." A clip was played of Hilton claiming such outing was "par for the course" and Gillen concluded: "Now that 'out' is apparently 'in.'"
At the top of Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez teased an upcoming report on Wednesday's Delaware Senate debate by proclaiming: "U.S. Senate candidate and tea party favorite Christine O'Donnell is grilled in her first highly-anticipated debate, where she addresses everything from witches, to China, to late-night TV jokes."
Rodriguez's declaration was later followed by a completely one-sided report from congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes, who focused exclusively on O'Donnell being interrogated over past statements: "Well, this debate involved two candidates, but the spotlight was really on one of them, Christine O'Donnell, and her history of controversial comments."
After playing clips of moderators, CNN anchor Wolf Blizter and Delaware First Media's Nancy Karibjanian, grilling O'Donnell, Cordes mockingly remarked: "Outside the auditorium, several witches milled about, some for O'Donnell, some against." She then noted how O'Donnell's "now infamous ad came up more than once."
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith interviewed former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and questioned the ability of tea party candidates to be effective in office: "...when it's time to govern, can anger govern? Or better yet, how about this one, if a tug-of-war starts between the tea party folk and the mainstream Republicans, who's going to win that tug-of-war?" [Audio available here]
Smith played up potential division in the GOP in a previous question: "...a very interesting conundrum for the Republicans....tea party supporters themselves...84% say there is a lot or some difference between them and Republicans. This is not going to be an easy thing to fold in these folks once they get in office."
In response to Smith's "anger" question, Huckabee observed: "Political parties are to serve people, not to lord over them. The Democrats are in trouble because they just went ahead and did what they wanted to do and recklessly and irresponsibly disregarded their bosses."
Near the end of Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith interviewed actress Naomi Watts about her latest role as former CIA agent Valerie Plame in the movie 'Fair Game': "...a ripped from the headlines true story of espionage and betrayal. Naomi Watts plays former CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose life was torn apart when her cover was blown by the U.S. government."
After playing a clip from the new film, Smith briefly summarized the controversy this way: "Joe Wilson was sent by the CIA to Niger to determine whether or not yellow-cake uranium was being exported to Iraq....when [he] said no, the Bush administration said somebody's got to pay and that was Valerie Plame." Smith went on to proclaim: "...it is not only this very public story but it is also sort of the private anguish of this family....That is almost torn asunder by this."
Grilling Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez questioned President Obama attacking Republicans over unproven claims of accepting foreign campaign donations: "Why did he spend so much time talking about the Republicans trying to steal the election? Offering no evidence of that. Isn't it a bit undignified for the President to resort to that?"
The Democratic governor attempted to defend the President: "Well, the President's got dual roles, he's the commander-in-chief...but he's also the campaigner-in-chief....[talking] about what's to be afraid of....the unreported money that's coming into this campaign through groups that we'll never know who contributed to, that's something our citizens should be worried about." Rodriguez pressed him: "If you gave them evidence to support that claim, it would be one thing. But, to make claims like this without backing them up, seems not right."
On Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith interrogated New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino over comments he made in opposition to gay marriage: "But by making a statement like that, 'brain-washed into thinking homosexuality is acceptable.' You must think it's not normal....Do you think it's – that people are gay by choice or by birth?"
Paladino explained his position: "I have of no reservations about gay people at all, none, except for one thing, their desire to get married. I just feel – I'm a Catholic, and I feel – there's 7.5 million Catholics in New York State. I feel that marriage is only between a man and a woman." Smith continued to grill Paladino, implying the candidate was contributing to violence against homosexuals: "...this statement comes from, at a time when New Yorkers just learn about this horrendous attack by this gang on these young gay men in the Bronx, where they were tortured and sodomized....You don't feel like you've added any fuel to the fire of gay hatred by saying what you said?"
In a report on Friday's CBS Early Show, senior White House correspondent Bill Plante noted that President Obama hitting the campaign trail for Democrats didn't seem to be helping: "...more than half of the voters say that the President's support for any one candidate would have no impact on their decision." However, he then declared: "Not all Republicans are coasting to victory in 2010."
While Plante acknowledged that "Republicans [are] far more energized than Democrats this campaign season," he spent the second half of his report focused on two GOP candidates behind in the polls: "New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, who recently got into a fight with a New York Post reporter, is way behind his opponent, Andrew Cuomo....Also running behind in the polls, Delaware's tea party Senate candidate, Christine O'Donnell." Plante went on to proclaim that O'Donnell "made headlines earlier this week with her infamous 'I am not a witch' commercial."
Despite a new CBS poll showing low approval numbers for President Obama, at the top of Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith emphasized weak numbers for the tea party: "...most Americans think President Obama is not living up to their expectations. But, they don't know if the tea party is an answer to the problem."
Smith later declared: "...less than a month before the midterm elections, there's a lot of voter uncertainty about the tea party movement." Correspondent Ben Tracy then reported: "...most Americans haven't made up their minds about the growing tea party movement. The rest are nearly evenly split in their views." A headline on-screen read: "Voter Frustration; CBS News Poll: Not Good News for Obama or Tea Party."
In concluding his report, Tracy remarked on how according to another poll finding, Sarah Palin "hasn't won over the country." He touted that "When asked if Palin would make an effective president, only 22% say yes. 64%, no, including nearly half [45%] of Republicans." Only then did Tracy finally mention the numbers for Obama: "66% Of Americans view him as an average or poor president, while another 31% say his backing of a candidate running for office will actually be a detriment." Tracy observed: "...the two biggest names in the respective parties may actually be something to avoid come election day."
Following Tracy's report, Smith talked to St. Louis conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch about the poll and proclaimed: "...while people are certainly aware of the tea party, the vast middle in America is not exactly running toward it. They certainly seem to be moving away from the President, but they're not running toward the tea party. They're still sitting on the fence."
Appearing on Wednesday's CBS Early Show, business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis expressed disappointment in the lack of a new stimulus package, but hoped for other government action: "...while the government doesn't necessarily have the political will or the motivation to put a new stimulus into effect here in the United States, the Federal Reserve is prepared to step in and do that."
Co-host Maggie Rodriguez had asked Jarvis about possible reasons for why the stock market "sky-rocketed" on Tuesday. Jarvis touted possible intervention by the Fed as a reason for the stock "surge": "...many are anticipating that the Federal Reserve will take its own tools and do stimulative action."
Rodriguez then wondered: "Yeah, the Fed has been indicating that's it's going to step in and prop up the economy. But there's a lot of speculation about what exactly Ben Bernanke will do. What are the options?" Jarvis replied: "...one particular thing, and that is to start printing more money, put more money into circulation." While she acknowledged that such an action "decreases the value of the money in your pocket," Jarvis rosily predicted: "...it also can increase the value of things around you, like your home."
On Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith highlighted supposed division between Sarah Palin and Alaska senate candidate Joe Miller: "...a controversial e-mail, reportedly from Sarah Palin's husband, Todd, that is burning up the internet, it was leaked by a left-leaning website called The Mudflats and is causing quite a stir in political circles."
Smith explained that Todd Palin was upset that Miller had not endorsed Sarah Palin when asked about her possible 2012 candidacy in television interviews. Smith then quoted from the email in question: "Todd reportedly sent it to Republican senate nominee Joe Miller, who Sarah Palin endorsed, and it says, quote, 'Sarah put her blank [a**] on the line for Joe and yet he can't answer a simple question, is Sarah Palin qualified to be president? I don't know if she is. Joe, please explain how this endorsement stuff works. Is it to be completely one sided?'"
Turning to CBS political analyst and Republican strategist Dan Bartlett, Smith said of Miller, "he's gone on Fox a couple of times and he hasn't really been able to say how much, you know – profess his fealty to Sarah Palin." In response, Bartlett remarked that, "you can kind of feel for Todd Palin and what he's doing," but then added: "Sarah Palin and her camp are extremely thin-skinned and if she does plan to run for president, she's going to have to get used to people like this doing things that they don't appreciate." Smith replied: "A thicker hide in order, perhaps."
Neither Smith nor Bartlett raised the ethical issue of a private email being publicized or the fact that Palin had been a victim of email-hacking in the past.
Touting "faint signs of hope" for Democrats in November, on Monday's CBS Evening News, political correspondent Jeff Greenfield outlined a strategy the DNC could use to stave off major Republican gains in Congress: "So how could Democrats prevent, or at least minimize, their losses? There are three keys."
Greenfield began by encouraging efforts to re-energize the left: "First, turn out the base....That's why President Obama is out trying to persuade his core backers – blacks, Hispanics, the young – not to stay home in November." He then urged marginalizing the GOP: "Second, convince the voters that this election is a choice. With ads that argue the Republicans are just too extreme." Finally, Greenfield recommended that vulnerable Democrats run from their liberal records: "Third, declare your independence. Across the country, many incumbent Democrats are stressing how they oppose the President and House Speakier Nancy Pelosi."
Greenfield did acknowledge problems with some of his advice. On the suggestion that Democrats paint the GOP as "too extreme," he brought in Republican strategist David Winston, who explained: "Ultimately, when you're talking about your opponent, it's because you don't have anything to say about yourself, and the electorate gets that."
Wrapping up the segment, Greenfield admitted: "But it is still uphill for Democrats. Independents were the key to the Republican takeover of Congress in '94 and the Democratic takeover in '06. Right now they are leaning heavily Republican....in this climate, less bad seems to be about the best Democrats can hope for."
During Monday's CBS Early Show, a promo ran for the network's new daytime show, 'The Talk,' based on ABC's 'The View.' The show features former Early Show co-host Julie Chen and five other well-known women chattering about topics of the day.
At one point in the ad, fellow host and actress Leah Remini declares of Chen: "Julie, very smart. Makes me feel stupid." On the May 22, 2008 Early Show, Chen mistakenly placed Hawaii in the Atlantic Ocean.
The promo begins with Chen claiming another show co-host, Sharon Osbourne, wife of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, to be "the most real person I know."
Appearing on Monday's CBS Early Show, former President Jimmy Carter came up with his own version of history while remarking on Democratic chances in this year's midterm elections: "...when I was in office at this time, I had a 66% favorable rating and we had a very successful midterm election." In reality, Carter's approval stood at 49% in late October of 1978 and the Democrats lost seats in Congress.
Carter went on to blame Republican obstructionism for the Democrats' problems in 2010: "[Obama] is faced with an obstacle that I didn't have and that is almost complete polarization and absence of any cooperation from the Republican Party." The former president praised Obama: "He's gotten some very wonderful achievements so far." However, he lamented: "I don't think the Democrats are going to have a very good success in a couple of weeks."
Co-host Harry Smith earlier asked about the Middle East peace talks breaking down following the continuation of Israeli settlements. Carter replied: "Well, the key thing is for Israel to give up its ambition to occupy and control Palestine...they are still building Israeli homes in Palestine, against the wishes of the Palestinian people." Ironically, Carter was on to discuss his work for Habitat for Humanity just prior to condemning the construction of Israeli homes. He later called for "an assurance that Israel will get out of Palestine and let the Palestinians have their own viable and contiguous nation."
On Friday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez talked to gay rights activist Judy Shepard, mother of murdered gay student Matthew Shepard, about the suicide of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi, asking: "Do you think that our young people, that we, as a society, have learned anything since Matthew's death?"
In reply, Shepard ranted: "...we have such vicious rhetoric still floating around the country....All you have to do is go to the floor of the Congress, or media, the newspapers, about the discontent with 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and the marriage issue and it still seems like we're trying to relegate the gay community to a second-class citizen."
Rodriguez wondered: "What do you think that Congress or lawmakers should be doing differently?" Shepard used the opportunity to promote liberal agenda items: "Well, they should be granting basic civil rights to the gay community instead of continuing to try to deny them....To deny them service in the military or job security on a federal level or even the right to marry and receive all those benefits that are derived from that, it's just – it's just unfair, and, in my view, un-American."
Later, Rodriguez brought up the role of the internet in driving Clementi to suicide. Shepard declared: "...the blogosphere is particularly damaging, full of opinions that really have no accountability, that people take as the absolute truth. There's a real danger in what happens on the internet now."
Appearing on Thursday's 'Andrea Mitchell Reports' on MSNBC, 'The Last Word' host Lawrence O'Donnell touted his Tuesday interview with Levi Johnston: "I love that kid. He's honest, he's straightforward, he's not embarrassed." The questions O'Donnell put to Johnston were identical to the ones CBS Evening anchor Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin in a 2008 interview.
Introducing O'Donnell, host Andrea Mitchell played a video mash-up that placed his interview with Johnston alongside Couric's interview with Palin. O'Donnell remarked to Mitchell: "I re-scored his answers last night when I stacked them up against Sarah Palin's and I think he really actually did do a better job than Sarah Palin, question by question, answer by answer."
The video showed O'Donnell ask Johnston about the teaching of evolution in schools, Johnston provided this brilliant response: "You're kind of getting over my head on these things here. Yeah, I don't really know how to answer that question."
Filling-in for Keith Olbermann on the November 13, 2009 Countdown, O'Donnell gave this nasty review of Palin's first book, 'Going Rogue': "Sarah's index and footnote-free, score-settling campaign memoir. No mind-numbing charts or graphs, no big words, no scholarly Latin phrases, like caveat emptor. And I bet the pictures are, like, amazing."
As Politico reported on Wednesday, during a gathering in a Richmond, Virginia home, President Obama "seemed to offer a ringing endorsement" of Daily Show host Jon Stewart holding a 'Rally to Restore Sanity' in Washington DC, supposedly as a way to allow moderate nonpartisan voices to be heard.
Obama declared: "...apparently he's going to host a rally called something like Americans in favor of a return to sanity....And his point was 70 percent of the people – it doesn't matter what political affiliation –70 percent of folks are just like you. They go about their business. They work hard every day. They're looking after their families. They don't go around calling people names. They don't make stuff up."
Stewart has claimed that the rally is nonpartisan and designed to promote moderation: "If we had to sum up the political view of our participants in a single sentence... we couldn't. That's sort of the point." However, Obama's endorsement clearly demonstrates a decidedly liberal slant to the event. In addition, NewsBusters' Tim Graham earlier reported that the rally was being organized by two former aides to Bill Clinton.
In an interview with 'Obama's Wars' author Bob Woodward on Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith sought to defend the President's uncertainty on Afghanistan: "...when he takes over they're already in this war for seven years and what he was not going to do...was give the military a blank check in an open-ended deal, say, 'go do your best.'"
Moments before that comment, Smith spun severe division in the White House over the war this way: "...these folks are infused with ambition and intelligence and have lots of things at stake and there really is quite a lot of friction among them all, as they're theoretically trying to get to the same place." Woodward replied: "I mean, it's intense....so much is unsettled. The President's committed to 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan. But, in these secret meetings in the Situation Room in the White House, he repeatedly says, 'we need a plan to get out. There can be no wiggle room. I'm not going to do ten years.'"
The Washington Post reporter then observed: "[Obama] is out of Afghanistan psychologically and the question is, for a commander in chief, don't you have to be kind of the guy who's up there, 'Yes, we can. We're going to win.'?" At that point, Smith ran to Obama's defense with the "blank check" remark.
At the top of the 8PM ET hour on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, senior White House correspondent Bill Plante touted President Obama's comments about the midterm elections in a recent interview: "[He] told Rolling Stone magazine that for those people not to come out, those so-called 'surge voters,' would be 'inexcusable and irresponsible'....'people need to shake off this lethargy and buck up.'"
News reader Erica Hill then brought up another part of the interview: "Also in that Rolling Stone article, on a little bit lighter note, I understand the President is perhaps expanding his musical library a little bit?" Plante responded: "...there are 2,000 tunes on his iPod. We got a look inside, it's Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan....He's got Nas, Lil' Wayne, some of the hip-hop artists. And his daughters are getting into the act, too. Sharing their musical tastes with him." Hill remarked: "Ah, I imagine that could include the Jonas Brothers, from everything we've heard about the Obama girls."
What was missing in the discussion of the President's Rolling Stone interview were his attacks on the tea party movement and Fox News. Of the tea party, Obama declared: "...there are probably some aspects of the Tea Party that are a little darker, that have to do with anti-immigrant sentiment or are troubled by what I represent as the president." As NewBusters' Lachlan Markay pointed out, Obama also proclaimed that Fox News has a "point of view" that is "ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country." Neither Plante nor Hill made any mention of those controversial comments.
On CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Martha Teichner promoted left-wing class warfare talking points from former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich: "[He] in a new book points out another ominous parallel between the Great Depression and the 'Great Recession,' its cause." Reich proclaimed: "More and more of the income that was generated by the economy went to people at the top." [Audio available here]
Teichner worked to bolster Reich's argument: "In the last century, there were only two years, in 1928 just before the great crash, and then again in 2007, during which the richest 1% were taking home nearly a quarter of the entire income of the nation." Reich continued his assault on upper income earners: "Last year, when most Americans were suffering, the top 25 hedge fund managers each earned $1 billion. A billion dollars would pay the salaries of something like 20,000 teachers."
Again, Teichner made sure to back up Reich's assertions: "That wage inequality, Reich argues, is at the heart of our economic woes. And to fix things, we need to pay those teachers and the rest of the middle class more, not less, so they can spend enough to kick-start the economy. And yes, that means higher taxes for the rich."
In a Sunday 60 Minutes story that gave a glowing portrayal of the real estate developer and imam behind the Ground Zero mosque, CBS anchor Scott Pelley also used the opportunity to smear opponents of the project: "...a national controversy with anger, passion, and more than a little misinformation. Opponents whipped up a fury, calling the project a grotesque mega-mosque tied to terrorism."
Pelley began by touting how building developer Sharif El-Gamal was simply trying to improve a "dingy block in lower Manhattan" and that he "thought his project would be a step up for a seedy part of downtown." Pelley described how "the community enthusiastically agreed. The plan was endorsed by the Mayor, the borough president, and the community board." He then emphasized the distance from Ground Zero: "You can't see Ground Zero from here, but when you make the corner...you can see the cranes where the new World Trade Center buildings are going up....It took us another two minutes to walk to the edge of what the government officially designates as Ground Zero."
Pelley highlighted El-Gamal's multi-cultural background: "...you're a Muslim who married a Christian girl. Your mother is Catholic. And you joined the Jewish community center on the West Side of Manhattan." However, he then turned to mosque opponent Pamela Geller, whom he characterized as "a former New York media executive who writes a politically far Right blog that mixes news, opinion, and conspiracy theories."
While discussing sex allegations against Bishop Eddie Long on Friday, MSNBC host and gay rights activist Contessa Brewer asked Bishop James Dean Adams: "Long has taken a very strong anti-homosexual stand....Is there always a danger, if you're taking that sort of stand, that you're living in a glass house and people are going to be encouraged to throw stones?"
Brewer described how "the Southern Poverty Law Center calls Bishop Eddie Long 'one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay moment. Long reportedly told his congregation about homosexuals, he said, God says you deserve death.'" The left-wing organization spliced together that comment and other clips of Long's Sermons on its website.
Brewer used Long's comments to go after Bishop Adams: "I mean, you can't support that, do you? The saying that homosexuals deserve death?" Adams replied: "No. I don't say that homosexuals or anybody, for that matter, deserves death." Brewer continued: "Do you think, in any way, Bishop, this will change the way black churches deal with the issue of homosexuality?" Adams explained: "I disagree with the viewpoint that the church is somehow been purposefully anti-gay. It's not about anti-gay. It's just simply anti-sin."
Agreeing with Christine O'Donnell's decision not to do anymore national media interviews, CBS News political analyst John Dickerson acknowledged on Wednesday's Early Show that "the national media is not doing her any favors and, basically, a lot of people want her on so that she can have a car crash on air."
Dickerson went on to add that O'Donnell "needs to focus on Delaware....she's got to reach out to independents and get outside of the narrow conservative constituency she won." He then remarked: "...she's smart to keep to her knitting and she just has to hope that voters don't penalize her for trying to kind of stay away from the national media, which might look like staying away from any kind of difficult or probing questions." Co-host Harry Smith joked in reply: "Knit one, pearl two for John Dickerson this morning."
Both Smith and Dickerson joked about how "disappointed" they were that O'Donnell would not be making anymore national media appearances. Throughout the discussion, a headline on screen made reference to O'Donnell's witchcraft comments: "Bewitched?; O'Donnell Says No More National Interviews."