At his blog Political Punch, ABC reporter Jake Tapper has been reading Al Gore's new book The Assault on Reason. He has an online analysis going through the "liberal red meat," and perhaps the knee-slapping funniest line -- coming from a man who stood silently in support of Bill Clinton every day of his scandalous presidency, except when he was honoring him as "one of our greatest presidents" minutes after he was impeached for lying in a sexual harassment lawsuit -- is his claim about the Bush administration: "I cannot remember any administration adopting this kind of persistent, systematic abuse of the truth and the institutionalization of dishonesty as a routine part of the policy process."
This could be the funny Who Are You To Talk? runner-up: "It is love of power for its own sake that is the original sin of this presidency."
But Tapper finds "For me the most surprising part of the book was Gore's implication that if a more competent person had been president during 9/11 -- like, say, him -- 9/11 might not have happened." He underlined:
ABC has just announced co-host Rosie O'Donnell will not return to "The View." Brian Frons, president of Disney ABC's Daytime Television made the announcement.
"We had hoped that Rosie would be with us until the end of her contract three weeks from now, but Rosie has informed us that she would like an early leave. Therefore, we part ways, thank her for her tremendous contribution to 'The View' and wish her well."
"View" creator Barbara Walters also made her statement.
"I brought Rosie to the show. Rosie contributed to one of our most exciting and successful years at 'The View.' I am most appreciative. Our close and affectionate relationship will not change."
“Critics say it is harmful to schoolchildren,” co-host Robin Roberts teased at the top of Friday's Good Morning America. “Mainstream scientists worry that because this museum is so sophisticated it will be more effective at giving children a distorted view of science,” ABC reporter Dan Harris argued.
Back in 1999, a New York City art museum showcased an exhibit featuring a portrait of the Virgin Mary surrounded by elephant dung and cutouts from pornographic magazines. But then the media only saw a threat to free speech if the artist or museum were deprived of public funds. The New York Times then argued: “One man’s blasphemy is another man’s faith."
In fact, from what I can tell by looking at LexisNexis, Google News, and closed-captioning dumps, the only media outlet in the nation that covered this story was Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes.”
This is despite the fact that the Drudge Report broke the story at 10:27AM eastern time Thursday.
What’s potentially even more shocking is that all three network evening news broadcasts began with reports out of Iraq. For instance, here’s how CBS’ Katie Couric began Thursday’s “Evening News” (from closed-captioning):
Former Clinton spinner George Stephanopoulos, now ABC’s “chief Washington correspondent,” argued on Friday’s Good Morning America that Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s votes last night against funding U.S. troops was a smart move to “keep them in the game,” and speculated that by next year the vote could look “prescient” because “either American troops will be on their way home, or the war will be so unpopular, that everyone else will be coming along to their position.”
As Stephanopoulos repeated the logic of the Democratic campaign operatives, nowhere in his equation did he suggest the possibility that either the situation in Iraq may be significantly improved — making the Democrats urge to surrender now seem foolish — or that if the Democrats succeed in forcing American troops off the battlefield, they would be blamed if the bloodshed becomes far worse.
“Entertainment Weekly's” online site, EW.com, is usually politics-free, but not this week. Who would have thought that EW's “Lost” blogger could inject a little Bush Derangement Syndrome into a review of the show's May 23 season finale? Somehow, writer Jeff Jensen managed to find a way (spoilers ahead).
In case you aren’t a “Lost” viewer, here’s what you need to know to help explain this article about the show's season closer entitled “Through The Looking Glass.” Ben, the leader of the Others, intercepted the retreating Losties to negotiate with their leader Jack. Three Losties stayed behind to attack the Others’ but were taken hostage in the process. Ben threatened to have them killed by their captors if Jack didn’t follow his demands. So, now that the scene is set up, here is the BDS in full glory (emphasis mine):
NewsBusters reader Bender messaged me earlier noting that, given an opportunity to explain her views on American troops and terrorism, Rosie O'Donnell made no effort to clear the air on her blog in a posting the evening of May 23 at Rosie.com.
On a day when Rosie O’Donnell was absent from ABC’s “The View,” an intelligent person would expect the discussion would be a bit more civil, right?
Instead, as co-host Joy Behar discussed her evening at the theatre to see the critically acclaimed “Frost/Nixon” – which she actually referred to as “Nixon/Frost” – the comedienne stated that the former president was “an orangutan who’s constipated” as well as a “paranoid drunk.”
I kid you not.
The unpleasantries commenced shortly after Behar mentioned that she had gone to “see this Nixon/Frost play” last night. Barbara Walters interjected:
On Thursday’s morning shows, all three networks covered the dust-up between Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck on "The View," but only ABC’s "Good Morning America" framed the shouting match as "a debate that is playing out over kitchen tables across the country."
Really? Americans are having spirited discussions during supper over "who are the terrorists?" Because that’s what "The View" co-hosts were debating, Ms. O’Donnell’s insinuations that the U.S. is responsible for the deaths of Iraqi civilians and, therefore, an enabler of terrorism, at the very least.
GMA co-host Robin Roberts began the May 24 segment by asserting that O’Donnell’s over-the-top comments had larger implications:
In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards rejected the “metaphor” of the “war on terror” that America has been fighting since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
But appearing on ABC News on September 11, 2001, just a few hours after the attacks occurred, Edwards left no doubt how he felt the country should respond to al Qaeda’s terrorism, declaring “We should treat it as an act of war.” Video: Real (398 KB) or Windows (442 KB) plus MP3 (65 KB)
When it comes to anti-war politics, Rosie O'Donnell is one bedfellow Chris Matthews would gladly do without. The MSNBC host made that crystal clear on this afternoon's Hardball. Matthews played a clip of O'Donnell's recent slanging spate in which she unmistakably intimated to Elizabeth Hasselbeck that US troops are terrorists, responsible for 655,000 civilian deaths in Iraq [itself a grossly exaggerated figure in any case].
MSNBC HOST CHRIS MATTHEWS: While I generally sympathize with her point of view, her skepticism about this war, I do have a problem with her suggestion that we're the terrorists, which is clearly what the intent of that conversation was.
On Tuesday’s "World News," reporter Brian Ross exposed a CIA sponsored plan to enact covert action against Iran’s economic structure. On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program attempted to portray the plan in as hyperbolic a manner as possible. This is the graphic that accompanied Mr. Ross’ report for the May 23 GMA: "America’s Hidden War With Iran? CIA’s Secret Operation"
Include an introduction by co-host Chris Cuomo that described the operation as "covert actions aimed at destabilizing the regime," and one might think that some sort of military action was imminent. Finally, Ross described the specifics of the operation, some 30 seconds into the report:
Why should a country go to the effort of spying on America when all they have to do is follow the US media? USA Today reported a database of phone calls and the New York Times publically exposed the SWIFT banking transaction database; both were used to combat terrorism. Now on the May 22 edition of ABC News’ the Blotter, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito revealed another national security-related secret (my emphasis throughout):
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
Last night the rhetorical attack on Avandia was fierce.
"We're starting with a story that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans because a new study out today says a drug they take increases their chances of having a heart attack and dying," warned CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric.
On Tuesday, "Good Morning America" continued it’s week-long promotion of prominent Democrats with a profile of Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle. Co-anchor Robin Roberts, who in teases for the interview on Monday, glowingly referred to Mrs. Obama as "amazing," "very confident" and "professional," today added "strong" and "warm" to the list of adjectives used to describe the Democrat’s wife.
She also asked almost no tough questions of Michelle Obama. Will the spouses of Republican candidates, such as Ann Romney, be awarded such adulation?
Back in November, GMA’s Diane Sawyer queried Barack Obama as to whether Americans were "secretly" more racist or sexist. Ms. Roberts seemed to be posing the slightly less inflammatory version of that question to Michelle Obama:
Robin Roberts: "With a landmark run of both Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Obama for the 2008 presidential bid, many wonder who has a better shot at making history. Do you think the American public is ready for a woman more so than an African American or vice versa?"
Rosie cited yet another conspiracy on the May 22 edition of "The View," this one of the Michael Moore variety. The co-hosts of the ladies’ chat show discussed Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and his extravagant lifestyle. Joy Behar stated that she would rather have someone who earned their way up there than inherit it, like the Bush family. Rosie responded likewise implying there is a connection between the Bush family and the September 11 hijackers.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: Where did they make that money?
JOY BEHAR: I’m not sure where they made the money.
O’DONNELL: Oil, yes, deals with the Saudis. 19 of the hijackers were Saudis.
For the second time in two days, "Good Morning America" co-anchor Diane Sawyer interviewed Al Gore about his thesis that the media are obsessed with celebrity, while "politicians are heard in sound bites." That point may be undercut by the fact that, by Tuesday, the ex Vice President has received 15 and a half minutes of air time to complain about the subject.
After prompting Gore to compare Americans to chickens on a farm, the co-host allowed herself to be interrogated and challenged over how the media operates. But first, Sawyer and GMA helped Gore along with his analogy that Americans are like frightened chickens in the way they allow themselves to be manipulated:
Sawyer: "You even talk about chickens when, when you were young and on the farm, that you could hypnotize chickens this way."
Clip of 50s instructional video: "It's no trick to keep a chicken from straying through the fence if you know how."
Back on April 23, as NewsBuster Scott Whitlock noted at the time, ABC’s Diane Sawyer fretted about the supposedly sky-high stock market. “Is this the thrill before the meltdown?” she panicked. “What should you do this morning to protect your money?” ABC's on-screen graphic ridiculously wondered: "Is Unstoppable Market Good or Bad?"
Today, an Investor’s Business Daily editorial mocks Sawyer’s Chicken Little approach. “We’re still waiting for the ‘meltdown’ that ‘Good Morning America’ stock guru Diane Sawyer was warning us about a month (and 600 Dow points) ago, when she devoted a segment to what we should do ‘to protect our money.’”
On the May 21 edition of "The View," co-host Rosie O’Donnell responded to the fall out from her moral equivalency rant on Thursday. Rosie claims some cable news outlets "twisted" her words, and then got personal with token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck, calling her critics the "crappy shows" that "Elisabeth watches."
"But I didn't say it. You know who said it? Those crappy cable shows said it. The ones Elisabeth watches. Those shows."
Hasselbeck harshly reacted to those comments and it prompted Rosie to personally attack her more.
HASSELBECK: I watch all cable news, number one. I watch all of the, because that's part of my job and as an American citizen I try to broaden as many concepts as possible by watching all those news programs, okay. I do, obviously, like, like certain shows. I'll throw them out if you want me to. Like "Hannity and Colmes," they're one of my favorites, because they hold debates [applause] They hold debates on that show and I think that is, that is like what we do here only, you know, we have four women. And I think it's special here. But to say that, you know, someone can't hold two thoughts at the same time just because I believe in terrorism when there are Democrats out there running for office who don’t want to believe in terrorism and they want to treat it like the boogeyman. How are they going to protect us from something--
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program extended its habit of offering copious amounts of time to Democratic political contenders. GMA devoted 10 and a half minutes of coverage to promote former Vice President Al Gore and his new book, "The Assault on Reason."
This is the same network that, in March, featured 30 minutes of softball questions with Senator Hillary Clinton in a "town hall" style meeting, a campaign gift that the network has yet to offer to a Republican presidential candidate.
The May 21 segment contained an odd disconnect as Gore proceeded to accuse the media of focusing on unserious, silly subjects and Diane Sawyer mostly accepted, or did not disagree with criticism of the medium. The ABC host prefaced a question about the former Vice President losing weight by saying, "But to dig not-very deep, once again, at my peril here-" Gore proceeded to interrupt and hector Ms. Sawyer over wondering about such things. "Well, listen to you. Listen to you," Gore began.He continued:
After Rosie O’Donnell leaves "The View" next month, where will Americans go for bizarre 9/11 conspiracy theories? On Monday, the comedienne reiterated her theory that fire couldn’t possibly melt steel. The ABC host also agreed that she has a "cult personality." A few days later, O’Donnell was at it again, comparing the United States to terrorists. Liberal co-host Joy Behar also found a Republican presidential candidate she can finally embrace...Congressman Ron Paul.
"This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos displayed his usual high level of objectivity when he assumed that the only racists who would have a problem with Obama are Republicans (and they wouldn’t vote for a Democrat anyway). Yes, it’s a good thing that liberals don’t use cheap generalizations.
On Friday, both CBS and ABC skewed their coverage of the Senate’s immigration bill to the left. Neither network featured a conservative talking head that opposed the legislation, instead "The Early Show" and "Good Morning America" simply referred to the "critics" who believe the bill would amount to amnesty for those who came to the country illegally. However, while both networks also interviewed Senator Ted Kennedy, ABC anchor Diane Sawyer actually pressed the liberal legislator with several conservative points.
GMA used flowery language to discuss the Senate’s action, describing the legislation as "landmark." Co-host Sawyer asserted, "It was a historic day to see Republicans and Democrats coming forward on something together." ABC even queried illegal aliens as to what they think of the Senate’s action:
Diane Sawyer: "Everyone taking sides. [sic] But sometimes it’s good to hear the voices from the people who are at the center of the debate. And some of these illegal 12 million have been phoning in to Talk Back, which is our website. Here's one woman who partially hid her face."
Outgoing "View" co-host Rosie O’Donnell made racist and anti-Catholic slurs during her tenure on the show. On the May 18 edition, she can now add a sexist comment to her resume. In the context of a book about a male nanny, Barbara Walters asked the co-hosts if they would like a male nanny. Rosie responded likewise.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: No, I wouldn't.
WALTERS: Not even--You would not want a male nanny?
O’DONNELL: No question about it.
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Maybe not for a daughter.
O’DONNELL: Nope. Not even for a son.
Her reasoning? Rosie applied the same argument proponents of racial profiling use noting, "the vast majority of people who sexually abuse children are male." But the vast majority of men would never sexually abuse children.
The May 17 edition of "The View" featured Rosie equating the United States with the terrorists, and Joy announcing her support for a Republican...but not what you may think. Token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck strongly made her case for how evil terrorists are and Rosie scuffed, "I don’t think you should use the word terrorist." Hasselbeck then noted a murderer is a murderer and asked what we should call terrorists "sweet peas?"
Rosie, in interrogating the non-liberal co-hosts, implied that the United States are the real terrorists.
O’DONNELL: I haven't -- I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?
Appearing on Good Morning America today, Geraldo Rivera claimed that illegal aliens in the United States are "law abiding." Is he right?
In a debate moderated by GMA co-host Diane Sawyer that began today at about 7:15 am EDT, Geraldo faced off against Glenn Beck. Rivera made a case for letting the estimated 12 million illegal aliens remain in the country.
GERALDO RIVERA: We have 12 million people who are gainfully employed; the vast majority of them are. I submit to you that these people are a vital part of the American economy. That they are doing jobs that essentially Americans don't want. Americans are fully employed. To lose these 12 million hard-working people, law-abiding, family people, socially-conservative people in many ways, I think would be a travesty.
When Beck challenged Geraldo's law-abiding claim, pointing to the three illegal aliens who were among the al Qaeda-inspired terrorists planning to attack Fort Dix, Rivera retorted that the fence Beck favors wouldn't have kept them out, since they came in through JFK airport.
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz interviewed America's top anchorman for Thursday's paper, and the anchor of ABC's World News was determined: "Charlie Gibson was determined not to lead his newscast with the preacher's death." He explained:
"It lends importance to a figure whose legacy contained a lot of positives and a lot of negatives," says the ABC anchor, who was once a reporter in Falwell's home base of Lynchburg, Va. "It venerates the subject to an extent that I didn't think belonged there. He was a controversial figure."
What does it say when porn-peddler and sex-shop owner Larry Flynt treated Jerry Falwell’s death with more class than CNN? As Newsbusters reported yesterday, during “Anderson Cooper 360,” CNN used a still from an old protest video that had a large illustration of Jerry Falwell next to a large illustration of Hitler.
Despite being courtroom and media adversaries that was kicked into overdrive when Flynt ran a fake ad in “Hustler,” which claimed that Falwell’s first sexual experience was with his mother in an outhouse and resulted in a lawsuit producing a landmark First Amendment ruling by the US Supreme Court, allowing the parody of public figures, Flynt issued this surprisingly generous and thoughtful statement to "Access Hollywood" on May 15 (emphasis mine):
Dan Rather is hardly averse to posing for pictures
Dan Rather, the disgraced former CBS anchor who always denounced TV news for being too "soft," will soon be making his entertainment television debut:
There were gasps of surprise at ABC's fall-schedule announcement
this week when the veteran TV newsman popped up as an actor in clips
for "Dirty Sexy Money," a new drama about a wealthy, misbehaving New
The role wasn't exactly a stretch. Rather plays a reporter at a
fancy dinner party pressing a politician, portrayed by William Baldwin,
about his future political plans.
Rather initially said no when the show's executive producer and
director, Peter Horton, called to ask if he'd be interested. News
people occasionally pop up in fictional settings, like CNN's Christiane
Amanpour on Tuesday's "Gilmore Girls" series finale, but it is frowned
upon at CBS News--his former home for decades-- and Rather had never