CBS's Trish Regan Repeatedly Describes Bush-Lieberman 'Kiss' as 'Infamous'

Twice on Tuesday, CBS News correspondent Trish Regan labeled as “infamous” the embrace, derided as “The Kiss” by supporters of Connecticut Senate hopeful Ned Lamont, between President George W. Bush and incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman in the well of the House after Bush's 2005 State of the Union address. Regan didn't attribute the characterization to Lieberman's opponents. She stated it as fact. On the Early Show she explained over brief video of the event: "Ned Lamont has used this now infamous kiss to his advantage on campaign buttons and television ads, suggesting Lieberman is just too cozy with the President." Then on the CBS Evening News, Regan asserted over the same video: “His campaign has used images like this now infamous kiss." (Picture of "The Kiss" follows)

ABC's Jake Tapper, in contrast, managed to avoid such loaded terminology on Tuesday's World News when he delivered this sentence over video of Bush and Lieberman followed by a “The Kiss” button and a look at a truck carrying check-to-cheek Bush and Lieberman figures: "Liberals perceive Lieberman as too close to Bush, especially on the war, encapsulated with this presidential embrace, an image Lamont supporters have made iconic."

The Oxford Dictionary built-in to the WordPerfect I'm using to write this, defines “infamous” as "well known for some bad quality or deed" and "morally bad; shocking." Dictionary.com defines “infamous” as “Having an exceedingly bad reputation; notorious.” and “Causing or deserving infamy; heinous: an infamous deed.”

For more on Regan's August 8 Early Show story, check Michael Rule's Tuesday afternoon NewsBusters posting.

A partial transcript of Regan's August 8 CBS Evening News story from Hartford:
Trish Regan: “...Businessman Ned Lamont went from political obscurity to front-runner with a one-issue campaign: Lieberman's support for the war in Iraq.”

Lamont: “I think George Bush rushed us into this war. I think Joe Lieberman cheered him on every step of the way and that those that got us into this mess should be held accountable.”

Regan: “That message has propelled Lamont to a six-point lead in the polls. His campaign has used images like this now infamous kiss and television ads-”

Announcer of ad with video transforming Lieberman's face into Bush's: “He talks like George W. Bush and acts like George W. Bush-”

Regan: “-to portray the President and Lieberman as one in the same...”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center