'Early Show' Previews Nagin's '60 Minutes' Gaffe; Note (Somewhat) Good News In Iraq
On Friday’s "Early Show," there were three stories worth noting here on NewsBusters. First, CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews painted the ruling by the FDA allowing the morning after pill, known as Plan B, to be sold without a prescription in many cases as an election year ploy by the Bush Administration and as a victory for women’s groups at the expense of conservatives. Next, correspondent Mark Strassmann, reporting from Baghdad, actually noted some progress in securing Iraq, "…But since then, U.S. and Iraqi forces have ratcheted up pressure in Baghdad's meanest neighborhoods. The results look promising. City-wide, murders are down 41%." Finally, viewers were given a preview of this Sunday’s "60 Minutes" interview with Ray Nagin, in which Nagin defended the slow pace of progress in New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina by comparing his cities recovery to New York’s after 9/11: "It's alright. You guys in New York City can't get a hole in the ground fixed, and it's five years later. So let's be fair." Further analysis of each of these stories follows.
In Wyatt Andrews report on the FDA ruling, Andrews portrays the decision as a victory for most women’s groups, and as an example, a clip from Cecile Richard, President of Planned Parenthood is shown. But what about women's groups who view this ruling by the FDA as a defeat such as Concerned Women for America, which denounced the FDA ruling, shouldn't they also be heard? Instead of hearing from a conservative women's group, a soundbite from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was shown.
Later in his report, Andrews suggests the administration flip flopped on the issue to play election year politics:
"Politically, this was a defeat for the conservatives. For almost 3 years, the FDA scientist who called Plan B safe complained it was religious pressure that was blocking the drug. Now, two months before the election, the administration just did an about-face."
What an idea for an election year ploy, deal a defeat to your base this close to election day.
The show wasn’t all gloomy for the Bush administration, however, as Mark Strassmann reported from Baghdad. Strassman provided a rare glimpse into progress made on the ground:
"But since then, U.S. and Iraqi forces have ratcheted up pressure in Baghdad's meanest neighborhoods. The results look promising. City-wide, murders are down 41%."
But before you get too excited, Strassmann ended the report with a reminder that the war is still unpopular in the U.S.:
"U.S. troops know that the war here is increasingly unpopular among Americans."
Finally, CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts’ interview with Ray Nagin, which will be broadcast on Sunday evening on "60 Minutes" was previewed. While the clip of the interview broadcast to "Early Show" viewers shows Pitts challenging Nagin on why reconstruction of New Orleans has been slow, it didn’t show Pitts’ reaction to Nagin’s statement:
"It's alright. You guys in New York City can't get a hole in the ground fixed, and it's five years later. So let's be fair."
Hannah Storm notes this comment has offended a lot of people, to which Pitts’ offers a weak defense, claiming it's just Nagin's style:
"Oh, without question. I mean that's Ray Nagin, love him or hate him. That's his style. It's his shoot from the lip style, that's gotten him in trouble in the past."
Storm mentions the "chocolate city" remark as an example. (Click here for yet another example of Nagin’s "style," one that will surely go ignored by the "60 Minutes" interview, even though it was said on CBS).
Pitts’ goes on to note that Mississippi, which was also hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, has done a better job in recovering from the storm, asked why that is? Pitts responds:
"Well people say it's because of leadership in part. Their delegation went to Congress and put in their proposal, came with a plan that they liked and they're getting their money now. Louisiana, people are still waiting."
But where are the party labels in this report? Could it be there are no labels because Mississippi has Republican leadership under Governor Haley Barbour while Louisiana and New Orleans are run by Democrats? If the situation was reversed, would Pitts think twice about mentioning the party labels?