At the conclusion of CNN’s "Your World Today," which features an international take on the news of the day, anchors Stephen Frazier and Rosemary Church read a variety of e-mails on North Korea’s testing of nuclear weapons. Only in the morally relativistic world of CNN, where all opinions are equal, could a letter like this repeated aloud:
Church: "And a completely different view. Soh, from Singapore writes: ‘The North Koreans have done the right thing. Since the end of the Korean War, they have been subjected to hostilities from the United States. and other western powers. This bomb is a source of tremendous pride for the Korean people, north and south. The world should congratulate the North Korean people for this achievement."
One can imagine a 1930s CNN reading German e-mails congratulating Hitler on his triumphant liberation of Poland.
This past week, the media hyperventilated over two developing scandals: Congressman Mark Foley, and Bob Woodward's "State of Denial." ABC, CBS and NBC produced 103 stories on the Foley scandal, quite a bit more time then was devoted to Democratic sex scandals. The "Today" show’s Matt Lauer joined with Tim Russert to slam Speaker Hastert and the GOP. Lauer also contributed to the fawning over Bob Woodward and his new book. The MRC’s Brent Baker noted that Woodward has mocked the President’s intellect in the past.
Speaking of journalists with huge egos, Chris Matthews, yet again, displayed his partisan leanings by defending Robert ‘KKK’ Byrd, claiming that Bush "won’t tell the truth" about Iraq, and praising Clinton for his anti-Fox News rant. Perhaps he should rename his show, "Hardball...For Republicans."
And to think, it was just a few days ago that the former president of MSNBC stated, prior to Fox News, "many in the media scoffed at the notion of a liberal bias." Would this not be the best time to mention that leftist MSNBC host Keith Olbermann recently called Roger Ailes a "fat ass?"
Mike Luckovich, the liberal cartoonist for "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," earned a chuckle from CNN anchor Miles O’Brien by claiming that "80 percent of the priesthood" is gay. Luckovich, who appeared on the October 6 edition of "American Morning," was promoting his new collection of comic strips, "Four More Wars." O’Brien began by asking the cartoonist about the Foley scandal and then attempted to link it with a plan by the pope to ban homosexuals from serving as priests:
O’Brien: "And why don't you explain this one?"
[Cartoon appears onscreen. One priest is looking at the other and says, "Does this make me look gay?"]
Luckovich: "Well, OK. The new pope wanted to -- wants to ban homosexual priests, so you are going to have to lose 80 percent of the priesthood if that happens. But -- so I've got a bishop here saying -- he's looking down at his vestments, and he's saying, ‘Does this make me look gay?"
O’Brien: [Laughs]: "It's -- well, you know, it is a fashion statement, isn't it? All right. And, of course-"
Luckovich: "Yes. You know, I was thinking -- Miles, I was thinking about maybe making Denny Hastert maybe like an archbishop and somehow, you know, making the comparison that way. I'll let you know if that -- if that works out."
O’Brien: "Oh, okay. That sounds like dangerous turf, but I would like to see that one for sure."
Well known liberal Rosie O’Donnell used the shooting at an Amish school in Pennsylvania as a springboard to promote gun control. O’Donnell, who famously sparred with Tom Selleck (video), stated on Tuesday's edition of ABC's "The View" that the event should spur tighter restrictions:
O’Donnell: "I think the horror of imagining six to thirteen-year-old girls handcuffed together and shot execution style, one by one, is perhaps enough to awaken the nation that maybe we need some stricter gun control laws."
This quickly led to an exchange with the program’s token conservative, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, in which O’Donnell asserted that there is no right to own a gun:
Hasselbeck: "So you can’t- You can't take way the right to, to bear arms."
O’Donnell: "Well, it’s not really a right. There’s debate as to what that-"
Hasselbeck: "It is a right. It’s in our Constitution. It’s the Second Amendment."
Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe appeared on Tuesday's "American Morning" to challenge CNN anchor Miles O’Brien over a previous report on the Senator’s global warming position. Specifically, this was in reference to a piece on the September 28 edition of the program that portrayed Inhofe’s skepticism on the subject as less than noble. O'Brien had asserted:
"Now we should point out in a recent five-year period, Senator Inhofe received more than $850,000 in donations from the oil and gas industries, his leading contributor. Inhofe challenged the media to get this story right, as he put it, but when we asked for an interview several times, we were told he is too busy to speak to us this week."
Inhofe did appear this week and he came ready to challenge the CNN host:
INHOFE: "Well, Miles, it's nice to be with you. I know you don't believe it, but it is nice to be with you....You know why? You always smile. So many of these extremists out there, they are mad all the time. But you're not; you smile. In fact, when you're cutting my guts out for two minutes last week, you smiled all the way through it. And I appreciate that."
As part of Newsbusters’ thorough coverage of the Bill Clinton/Chris Wallace interview, the MRC’s Tim Graham noted that the shock should not have been over Wallace’s questions, but rather the softballs provided by "mainstream" journalists such as Tim Russert. The NBC host asked Clinton brief and not exactly hard hitting queries, including "what do you think is the biggest problem" in the world?
CBS anchor Harry Smith seemed perplexed by an "Early Show" guest who had the temerity to blame Clinton for failing to eliminate bin Laden. MSNBC host Keith Olbermann attacked Roger Ailes, Chairman of Fox News, calling him "Ming the Merciless" for daring to criticize Clinton.
Over on CNN, the cable network joined in on the Fox bashing. "Situation Room" contributor Jack Cafferty described FNC as the "F-word network." (It should be noted that this isn’t the first time Cafferty has used the term, it’s sort of a go-to phrase for the liberal anchor.) CNN also featured yet another story over whether the GOP and "Big Oil" are conspiring to bring the price of gas down and, as a result, help the Republicans in the midterm elections
In other wide ranging bias, despite an underwhelming hurricane season, "Good Morning America" warned about Earth’s "soaring temperatures" and anchor Robin Roberts interviewed a parade of global warming cheerleaders.
During the September 27 edition of "Situation Room," CNN host Jack Cafferty went on a rant over the Bush administration’s handling of the war on terror. After noting that Presidents Musharraf and Karzai, of Pakistan and Afghanistan respectively, are publically feuding over dealing with the terror issue, Cafferty "spoke" the words he believed the two men wish to say, but can’t:
Cafferty: "...I think both of these guys are probably reluctant to say, ‘You know President Bush, you’re part of the problem. You decided to invade Iraq. You had the Taliban on the run. You had killed a lot of the people in Al Qaeda. You had, uh, uh, what’s his name, Osama bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora. You had all these people in your gun sights when all of a sudden, Afghanistan became number two on your priority list because you wanted to run off and wage war against Saddam Hussein.’ But nobody’s going to say that, ‘cept maybe me."
Jon Stewart, during a September 26 interview with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, discussed Middle East policy and used the opportunity to trot out his standard, "Bush-the-Moron" material. Sitting across from a valuable American ally, the "Daily Show" host couldn’t resist making this unflattering comparison:
Stewart: "Let’s say, if there were an election held in Pakistan today...And we put up two candidates, George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden, be truthful, who would win a popular vote in Pakistan?"
It’s one thing to acknowledge that, in some extremist areas, bin Laden may have greater popularity, but Stewart appeared to state this concept with glee. He also attempted to goad Musharraf into criticizing the effort in Iraq:
Jon Stewart: "Welcome back, we’re here with President Pervez Musharraf. In your book, it's an incredible autobiography of a life, a very interesting life. There's no mention of Iraq. Is that because you felt like it was such a smart move and has gone so well that to mention it would be gloating?"
Jack Cafferty, the CNN host of the "Cafferty File" segment of the "Situation Room," today derided Fox News as "the F-word network." He also alluded to collusion in regards to an interview Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave "The New York Post" editorial board. After being introduced by host Wolf Blitzer on September 26 at 4:11PM EDT, this exchange occurred:
Cafferty: "How you doing, Wolf? You mentioned Condoleezza Rice met with the editorial board of 'The New York Post' today, right?"
Cafferty: "Yeah, ‘The New York Post’ is owned by Rupert Murdoch, the same guy that owns the F-word network, the Fox News channel, right?"
CNN’s "American Morning" featured two reports this morning on Senator George Allen and the controversies engulfing him. Anchor Soledad O’Brien and political reporter Bob Franken apparently found the whole story amusing, as they could barely restrain their glee. During both segments, Franken brought up "macaca"-gate. At 8:07AM, after mentioning the most recent allegations that Allen, as a college student, used a racial pejorative, Franken characterized the macaca incident this way:
Franken: "And, of course, we know about the controversy that erupted when he used another slur, the word macaca, against an Indian-American operative for his opponent's campaign."
Interestingly, an hour earlier, he described the event differently:
Franken: "Of course, we also remember Senator Allen recently, who was captured on video, when he accused an operative for his Democratic opponent of being, quote, a 'macaca,' which we found out was a racial pejorative. Something that the Senator said he did not know."
So, Franken had to find out what the word means? He didn’t instantly know its definition? Then perhaps he shouldn’t assign a motive to Senator Allen’s usage of the phrase.
For the third time in less then a month, CNN has aired a report investigating the connection between falling gas prices and the GOP’s fortunes in the looming fall election. This time, "American Morning" reporter Ali Velshi looked into the conspiracy theory that oil companies are trying to help Republicans by dropping prices. Co-Anchor Soledad O’Brien teased the report this way:
Soledad O'Brien: "Ahead this morning, is there a conspiracy behind the drop in gas prices? Bloggers say there is something fishy going on."
A few minutes later, at 8:24AM EDT, the program’s other anchor, Miles O’Brien, introduced the segment and joined in the theorizing:
Miles O’Brien: "Well, the national average is now $2.38 for unleaded regular. One month ago, it was $2.87. A year ago, it was $2.79. The price is supposed to go even lower as we head toward the election. Hmm."
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, in an interview for the September 20 "Situation Room," questioned President Bush about Iran and wondered, "Why would it be so bad if this Iranian regime had a nuclear weapon?" Blitzer also alternated between complaining that not enough has been done to fight terrorism and wondering if the President was unnecessarily scaring the American people.
On the subject of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the CNN anchor quizzed Bush as to why he couldn’t meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
BLITZER: "Given the stakes involved -- a nuclear confrontation -- what do you have to lose by sitting down with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?"
President Bush replied by reiterating the need for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. Not to be deterred, however, Blitzer tried again a few minutes later:
BLITZER: "But if it would help -- if it would help to sit down, talk to them and try to convince them....What would be wrong to just sit down with them and tell them, you know what, here are the options before you?"
On Monday night, CNN’s John Roberts previewed the United Nations appearances of President Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a manner that seemed to offer moral equivalence between Bush and the avowed Holocaust denier. Roberts, who filed the September 18 report for "Anderson Cooper 360," was introduced by an announcer tease that set a tone of comparative moral ambiguity:
ANNOUNCER: "He's a president on the ropes. He's a radical on the rise. The leaders of Iran and the United States on a nuclear collision course -- and now the whole world is watching."
First off, "on the ropes" is an odd description for a President with rising poll numbers. Secondly, the language here seems to indicate two leaders, both of whom refuse to back down, rather then one who has threatened to destroy Israel and one who wishes the other would desist in such behavior.
Roberts reported the conflict, in a segment that aired at 10PM EDT, as though he was discussing a political contest between two candidates. Summarizing the problem, he stated:
ROBERTS: "But how did the mudslinging between Tehran and the White House get so bad? Certainly, Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust and insistence that Israel be wiped off the map were part of it. Some people also fault President Bush for what they call increasingly Islamophobic language that alienates Muslims."
Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, well known for slamming conservatives, talked last night with former President Clinton and proceeded to offer him non-stop softball questions. The ex-President plugged his new Clinton Global Initiative program to fight poverty, global warming and support racial reconciliation. (Stewart did not press as to what specifically the project will do.) The tenor of the comedian’s questions can be summed up in this query on what makes Clinton happy:
Stewart: "All right, so what, in your mind, you’ve worked, you’ve worked in government for most of your career. Now you are out and doing private initiatives, these types of things. What’s more effective? What are you having more fun doing and what do you think is more effective?"
Yes, that’s right. Jon Stewart asked the former President what he found "fun," political or private life? It became clear, very early in the program, just how the talk show host differentiated between George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Stewart: "We got a fine program for you tonight Former president Bill Clinton will be sitting down with us today. And uh, I'll ask him probably questions about the political climate and the complex issues, and he will be like [high pitched, hysterical voice], duh, I don't know. Oh, no, wait. That's, uh, oh, right, no, this is President Clinton."
In a September 15 report for "The Situation Room," CNN reporter Bill Schneider wondered if the current decrease in gas prices has been timed to help Republicans in the midterm elections. He ominously asked:
Schneider: "The drop in prices may last a couple of months, long enough to get through the November election. Could that be what the oil companies want?"
Does this mean that high prices in the spring and summer were an attempt to hurt the Republicans? This theme, that oil companies are trying to aid the GOP, was repeated or insinuated throughout the report. In the segment, which aired at 4:40PM, anchor Wolf Blitzer introduced Schneider by noting that a form of smog reducing gasoline will be pulled "as we head into the fall and the November elections."
Rosie O’Donnell, the newly installed co-host at "The View," observed the 9/11 anniversary by stating that America "squandered" world support and the next day she asserted that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam."
O’Donnell wasn’t the only media member to use September 11 as a pretext to bash America. CBS veteran Andy Rooney suggested in his "60 Minutes" commentary that America start acting in a way that "wouldn’t make so many people in the world want to kill us." MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann went further, accusing President Bush of "impeachable" offenses and "lies."
Appearing on another network, but continuing in the same vein, Sean Penn talked to CNN’s Larry King and mused about the President bringing fascism to the United States...
"American Morning" host Miles O'Brien prefaced a September 13 interview with White House Press Secretary Tony Snow by mentioning the President's 9/11 speech and wondering "if lawmakers on both sides of the aisle" were heeding Bush's call for unity. It soon became clear that when O'Brien said both sides, he meant only Republicans. The CNN anchor led with a quote critical of Democrats by Majority Leader John Boehner. Snow then attempted to reference some tough statements made by liberal Senator Carl Levin. O'Brien respond:
O'BRIEN: "No, no, I want to ask -- can I ask about Republicans first? Let's just talk about Republicans....I want to ask you about Republicans."
Rosie O’Donnell, the new host of "The View," restrained herself for exactly one week before letting fly with her extreme liberalism. On the September 12 edition, in response to fellow co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s comment that militant Islam is a grave threat, O’Donnell stated that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America." The comedienne also attacked America’s response to 9/11:
O’Donnell: "We were attacked not by a nation. And as a result of the attack and the killing of nearly 3,000 innocent people we invaded two countries and killed innocent people in their countries."
Rosie O’Donnell and her fellow "View" co-hosts delivered a mostly restrained show on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. The women talked about the terrible loss of life and where each person was on that fateful day. However, during a discussion of the world’s support for America, post-September 11th, the liberal Ms. O’Donnell had to be reined in by the usually equally left-wing Joy Behar.
O’Donnell: "And it’s hard to believe that in the five years since, that's all gone away. And we have sort of squandered, the, you know, the world's, um-"
Behar: "We’ll get to that on another day."
O’Donnell: "Yeah. Well, we’ll get to it, I’m sure."
Look no further than NewsBusters for complete coverage of Katie Couric’s debut as the anchor of the "CBS Evening News." The MRC’s Brent Baker began the week by noting a previous Couric claim that she’s not biased, but Fox is. Additionally, the new anchor has hired liberal Douglas Brinkley as the show’s historian. On September 5, Couric appeared on "The Early Show," only to apparently forget the program’s name! (Perhaps the perky anchor should do some homework on her new network.)
Ms. Couric wasn’t the week’s only big news. On September 6, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews talked to a Green Party candidate who called for President Bush’s execution. He later told the man, "I like you already." Somewhat ironically, this was only a day after Matthews wondered if Republicans would be using "fear tactics" and other extreme strategies to get elected. (Perhaps calling for the President’s execution could be an example?)
In another Chris Matthews story, NewsBusters Editor Matthew Sheffield talked to the host and was told the Valerie Plame story is now too complicated for coverage. In international news, Mr. Sheffield also noted the BBC’s continuing refusal to disclose the religious background of terror suspects.
Rosie O’Donnell used the Sept 7 edition of "The View" as a platform to show off her "get rid of the President" bumper stickers and to mock her partner’s "rabid Republican" parents. The new co-host also mentioned that she enjoyed annoying her mother in-law:
Barbara Walters: "How are your in-laws?
O’Donnell: "Yes, my in-laws, Melanie and Joel Safer. (ph?) I love them, from Baton Rouge Louisiana. (Laughs)...And when they come, you know, I like to annoy them in my own way. And we have two cars and my car, the Volvo, has all of these, you know, ‘no war, peace, get rid of the President’ bumper stickers."
Well, that certainly didn’t take long. On her first day, new co-host Rosie O’Donnell
muted (slightly) some of her well known liberalism. On September 6,
only her second appearance, she made a crack about Rush Limbaugh’s
prescription drug problem
and promoted a gay ‘Survivor.’ O’Donnell was discussing, shockingly,
Tom Cruise when co-host Joy Behar swerved a conversation on
prescription drugs into an unrelated, liberal direction:
"Well, I like Tom, too...but he is not an expert in this particular
area. There are scientists and doctors who are experts. It’s like when
Rush Limbaugh, know who he is? He says that there's no global warming.
Two million scientists say there is global warming, but Rush Limbaugh,
no, there is no global warming."
O’Donnell: "He also said he didn’t have 100 bottles of OxyContin in his room."
"The View," with new co-host Rosie O’Donnell, debuted its tenth season today. O’Donnell, known for her extreme left-wing politics, steered clear of any overt displays of liberalism. There were, however, hints of conflicts to come. After co-host Joy Behar playfully mocked Rosie’s use of baby talk, Ms. O’Donnell looked right into the camera and observed, in reference to conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselback, "...You all thought I was going to have problems with Elizabeth!" Barbara Walters wryly responded, "And trust me, you will!"
Rosie’s "View" debut, which aired on September 5, saw many of O’Donnell’s old standbys: Odd stories about her children and free giveaways to the audience. The comedian appeared to be making an attempt to remind viewers of the "Queen of Nice" Rosie, and not of a loud, political liberal. At 11:09, Behar, possibly in an attempt to set off a rant, asked O’Donnell how many times she had been married:
O’Donnell: "Once. I’m only doing it once."
Behar: " But didn’t they nullify it?"
Rather then take the bait, the new co-host decided to stay polite:
O’Donnell: "We were married and then un-married. But, you know, it’s, you know, we'll get to that, not on the first day."
This week, the MRC’s Megan McCormack brought us a second-by-second account of Kyra Phillip’s now infamous "bathroom chat." She also did a follow-up on FNC’s "Fox and Friends" parody of the event. Soon, the story became a full blown media sensation.
In a September 1 piece for the "Today" show, NBC reporter Keith Miller sought out Jerry Coyne, a University of Chicago professor, to discuss the struggle between science and religion, since it's now being debated in front of Pope Benedict XIV. NBC labeled him simply as a "evolutionary biologist." This is what he had to say about the mixing of faith and science:
Jerry Coyne: "The scientific way of looking at the world, which defends on evidence, and the religious way of looking at the world, which depends on faith, are fundamentally incompatible."
Coyne: "And if there is anything the history of the church should show, it's that if they fight scientific advances, they lose."
Who is Jerry Coyne really? He’s a leftist professor who attacked Ann Coulter for her new treatise on liberals and religion, "Godless." Writing in the "New Republic," he called her a "beached flamingo" and went on to compare Coulter to a zoo animal, saying:
"This beast draws crowds by its frequent, raucous calls, eerily resembling a human voice, and its unearthly appearance, scrawny and pallid."
Florida senatorial candidate Katherine Harris drew a voluminous amount of media attention for her recent comment that the separation of church and state is "a lie." Another Republican Senator, the liberal Lincoln Chafee from Rhode Island, made this liberal error during an August 26 debate with his conservative primary opponent:
Lincoln Chafee: "Rhode Island was founded on separation of religion, separation of church and state....‘Full liberties of religious discernment,’ I think is in our charter and, uh, when we wouldn’t sign the U.S. Constitution, 1789, until we got the same liberties, the same separation of church and state, that we had here in Rhode Island, in the federal Constitution. It took us 13 months as Rhode Islanders, until we got in the First Amendment, first words of the First Amendment in the Constitution, separation of church and state."
Not only is the phrase "separation of church and state" not the first words, it’s not in the First Amendment at all. (Presumably Mr. Chafee was attempting to refer to the Establishment Clause, which is not the same thing in word or meaning.) Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC’s "Countdown," had this to say about Katherine Harris and her comments on August 24:
Harry Smith, "Early Show" co-host, reported live from New Orleans today on the state of the city one year after Hurricane Katrina. Smith essentially had one type of question: Exactly how horrible is the situation today? The CBS journalist talked with Oliver Thomas, President of the New Orleans City Council. He lectured Mr. Thomas, telling him, "Folks feel abandoned. They feel forgotten. They feel desperate." This, despite the fact that more then $44 billion has been spent on rebuilding the Gulf Coast, with a total of $110 billion designated for the project.
Smith began the interview, which aired at 7:10AM EDT on August 28, by asking, "...Could the levees withstand Ernesto if Ernesto turned and came up this way?" Mr. Thomas told him that, while the situation isn’t perfect, the levees are much stronger and more reinforced then a year ago. Apparently this wasn’t the proper answer, because Smith then rephrased remarkably similar questions:
Smith: "If Ernesto came here two days from now, would the city be evacuated? Would we have the same horror story from a year ago?"
Again, the city councilman replied in the affirmative. Of course the city would be evacuated. The "Early Show" co-host interrupted quickly interrupted him with a gloomy scenario:
NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell continued the skewed media reporting of the Middle East by noting the important social work that Hezbollah does and how the rest of the world has a very supportive take on the terrorist organization.
Liberal TV critic Bob Laurence hypothesized that the scant coverage of the kidnaping of two Fox News journalists was due to the frequency of abductions and the network’s "insulting" attitude towards other media outlets. (According to Laurence, nobody, not even terrorists, like FNC.)
Jonathan Alter, the Senior Editor of "Newsweek," last night told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann that Democrats regaining power is the only way to hold the Bush administration accountable for its "incompetence." Appearing on the August 23 edition of "Countdown," he exhorted Democrats to inform voters of this fact:
Alter: "I think it`s really important for the Democrats to remind the voters that this election is really about accountability, because there hasn’t been any. The only way you can get any is to get at least one chamber of Congress."
According to Alter, this is the only scenario under which the Democrats will, at long last, be able to punish the President:
Alter: "Otherwise, you can`t hold hearings to hold their feet to the fire. You have no subpoena power, forget impeachment and all the rest of that, just getting basic answers to questions about why this administration has been incompetent. In order to do that, you`ve got to get some control and some power back. And that`s what this election is really about."
NBC reporter David Gregory last night described Senator George Allen’s now well known "macaca" comment as a "off-the-cuff racial slur," giving the darkest possible interpretation of his words. The Senator has since apologized several times and stated that he wasn't attempting to use a discriminatory term. Gregory’s segment, which aired on the August 23 "Nightly News" at 7:13PM EDT, discussed the impact the web site YouTube is having on politics. This occasion allowed for Allen’s quote to be played, yet again. Gregory did mention that the remark was directed at an "Indian-American staffer from his rival’s campaign." He didn’t, however, recount the pertinent fact that this young man also shot the video and created what amounted to a free commercial for Democratic opponent Jim Webb. The NBC reporter also played a June 17 quip of another Senator with presidential aspirations, Democrat Joe Biden. Back in June, he made some ill-conceived comments about Indian Americans and their propensity to be in the vicinity of a 7/11 or Duncan Donuts. For some reason, however, the media didn’t seem very interested. And Biden's quotes were picked up by C-SPAN, not a political operative.