The NewsBusters Weekly Recap: October 6 to 12
Appearing on Wednesday's "Good Morning America," media critic Howard Kurtz and co-host Chris Cuomo marveled at the media's ability to turn Americans against the war in Iraq. Kurtz, who has a new book on the subject, claimed that the top three network anchors kept "framing the story in such a way" that the bad news finally had an impact. While Cuomo and Kurtz discussed the declining ratings of the network newscasts, somehow, media bias never came up as a reason. Over on FNC's "O'Reilly Factor," however, anchor Bill O'Reilly did broach the subject with Kurtz. Asked to name a conservative at either CBS or NBC, the media critic came up with the name of that well known right-winger, Brian Williams.
Who would be the best candidate to help conservative Republican primary voters pick their nominee? That answer is, of course, obvious: Chris Matthews. The liberal anchor presided over a Republican debate this week and asked such insightful questions as whether the U.S. would "have gone to war in Iraq if we weren't so dependent on Middle East oil?" Chris, why not just chant, "No blood for oil"?
It seems that the media can never resist gleefully highlighting one Republican attacking another Republican, even if it's posthumously. Various ABC hosts, both on "World News" and on "Good Morning America," chose the day of Fred Thompson's first 2008 debate to play old Watergate tapes of Richard Nixon deriding the then-attorney as "dumb." It seems as though the media have developed Sudden New Respect Syndrome for the president they used to loathe.
Finally, in celebrity news, so to speak, ABC's Chris Cuomo gushed to ex-President Jimmy Carter that certainly the United States would now appreciate his leadership during the Iran hostages crisis. Over on CBS, "60 Minutes" reporter Scott Pelley highlighted Bush-bashing singer Bruce Springsteen and gushed over his anti-war message.