In an interview with Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George about the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith was concerned about the reaction of the American people to the new pontiff: "Explain the difference between the private man and the public Pope that some Americans are maybe even a little unsure or fearful of."Monday’s "Early Show" identified the Pope as a "hard liner" numerous times. [Audio available here]
Smith went on to ask about the priest pedophilia scandals and if the Pope’s mission was meant to "heal" those scandals: "The Pope was talking to reporters about priest abuse in the Catholic Church in the United States, and he said, quote, "we are deeply ashamed and we'll do whatever is possible so that this does not happen in the future." Is this -- this trip to the United States, would you say that this -- part of the mission of this church is some healing?"
Finally, Smith concluded the interview by asking Cardinal George about the Pope’s opposition to the Iraq war: "He is going to be addressing the United Nations, he's going to be speaking to the President of the United States in private chambers. Among the messages of the Catholic Church is an anti-war message. Will he deliver that to President Bush?" The Cardinal responded by explaining: "He is eager, however, that whatever happens next is good for the Iraqi people, that they can live in peace and that we don't leave a very violent Iraq behind. So I'm sure the conversation won't just be anti-war or pro war, it'll be what do we do next?"
If you don’t support abortion on demand, you’re against women’s rights. That’s according to "The View’s" Joy Behar. Debating how closely aligned John McCain’s policies are with the Bush administration, it led to a mention of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. [Audio available here.]
BEHAR: I said to [McCain] off the camera, I said to him "listen how can you be against Roe v. Wade? You can not turn on women like that."
HASSELBECK: Why is that turning on women?
BEHAR: Because it’s against women and you know it.
Never mind nightly TV newscasts are geared toward older generation. Never mind scandals like Dan Rather and the falsified National Guard documents leading up to the 2004 presidential elections have caused people to look for their news from other sources like the Internet and talk radio.
"[B]ut there were so few [good TV news writers] because we became dependent on pictures and that coupled with deregulation of television, when you had three, four networks - and suddenly, there are 20, then there are 50 and now there are 300 and however many - 500," he said. "And as a consequence, the pie that used to be sliced three or four ways is now slivers and as a consequence, everybody is trying to hold on to their little audience and to do that, you got to entertain."
Bill Maher, true to form on his "Real Time" program on HBO on Friday, went on a tirade against Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church, only days before the Pope’s visit to the U.S.. He stated that the Pope "used to be a Nazi" and compared him to a cult leader. He then went on to call the Church a "child-abusing religious cult" and "the Bear Stearns of organized pedophilia." "And that’s the Church’s attitude: 'We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,' which is fine, far be it from me to criticize religion."
Following a profanity-tinged one-liner concerning the raid on the Texas compound of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Maher quipped, "In fact, whenever a cult leader sets himself up as God’s infallible wingman here on Earth, lock away the kids. Which is why I’d like to tip off law enforcement to an even larger child-abusing religious cult. Its leader also has a compound, and this guy not only operates outside the bounds of the law, but he used to be a Nazi and he wears funny hats. That’s right, the Pope is coming to America this week and ladies, he’s single!" At the "funny hat" line, Maher displayed a picture of Pope Benedict wearing a wide-brimmed hat called a saturno
According to ABC reporter Elizabeth Vargas, "Americans are the most wasteful people on the planet. We use more than any other people on the planet." The network correspondent's America bashing came as she appeared on Friday's "Good Morning America" to promote a new "20/20" special on how United States citizens haphazardly abuse such amenities as showers and diapers. [Audio available here]
While appearing in front of hundreds of prop-diapers, Vargas lectured, "Well, if everybody lived like [the United States], we would need four, at least four, planet Earths to meet our resource demand and our dumping ground demand." Now, while Vargas did claim that the diapers she used would be given to a hospital, throughout the segment many more diapers, bottles and cut-down trees appeared as props. The question needs to be asked, did "20/20" and the National Geographic network, who co-produced a companion program, waste products, while at the same time haranguing the United States for doing the same thing?
Rosie O’Donnell, who once said it is "physically impossible" for fire to melt steel, shockingly revealed she did not make it through college. Promoting her new book "Crafty U" on the April 8 edition of "Martha," Rosie admitted she was not able to get through a real university. Rosie also recounted bitter memories from "The View."
Fawning over Martha Stewart’s intellect, Rosie implied she does not match up as she confessed to dropping out of Boston University with a 1.62 grade point average. She claimed she was too busy working at the local comedy club to focus on her classes. [Audio available here.]
Later in the same segment, Rosie discussed her experience on "The View" noting "it’s hard for me when I’m not the boss." This is stating the obvious for the viewers that witness her bully another co-host and nearly mistakenly referred to "The View" as "The Rosie O’Donnell Show." Rosie added "there was a little Republican who scared me," referring to Elisabeth Hasselbeck who stood up to Rosie in the end.
Liberal talk show host Ed Schultz, appearing on Monday’s "American Morning" on CNN, defended his labeling of John McCain as a "warmonger" at a recent Obama campaign fundraiser, despite the statement being repudiated by Obama’s campaign. Twice, Schultz stated that "the man [McCain] is a warmonger" and used the term a total of five times during the course of the interview. Not only did Schultz defend his remark, he also claimed that McCain mistreated his fellow veterans with his votes on veterans’ benefits. [Audio available here.]
Co-host John Roberts, who interviewed Schultz, compared the talk show host’s remark to Bill Cunningham’s use of Obama’s middle name "Hussein" at a February 2008 McCain rally and how the Republican candidate repudiated Cunningham. At the same time, Roberts didn’t press Schultz too hard on the "warmonger" labeling.
On Friday's "Good Morning America," for the second day in a row, and the third time in a little over a week, the ABC program promoted the story of a transgendered man who is having a baby via artificial insemination. At no time did GMA feature any guest to challenge or question the psychological ramifications for a child who was born from a pregnant "father."
During the April 4 segment on the subject, GMA guest news anchor David Muir described Thomas Beatie's decision as "very controversial." One would assume that a controversial decision would have two sides to it. But over the course of three segments, totaling ten minutes and 16 seconds, the closest the network program got was on April 3, when psychologist Jeffrey Gardere mildly advised, "It really is incumbent upon this individual, his wife, to try to give this as much dignity as possible, to not make it a joke, to not make it that something that's cheap[sic]."
CNN correspondent Dana Bash, during an interview of Senator John McCain which aired on Tuesday’s "The Situation Room," raised the issue of whether the Republican presidential candidate felt voters’ pain on the economy. "[I]n this time of uncertainty, when there are so many people hurting, are you concerned that there are voters out there who hear that who say, John McCain is heartless when it comes to this issue?" The thought that McCain might be "heartless" was reenforced by inclusion of the chyron, "McCain & Voters’ Pain: Against Big Economic Bailouts." [Audio available here.]
Following her "heartless" question on the economy, Bash followed up by asking a particularly blunt question about whether the current economy would hurt him if it continued into the time immediately before the election. "If the headlines that are on the front page of the newspapers today are the same headlines on the front pages in late October, early November, does John McCain lose?"
Interviewed Tuesday for Charlie Rose's PBS show, CNN founder Ted Turner argued that inaction on global warming “will be catastrophic” and those who don't die “will be cannibals.” He also applied moral equivalence in describing Iraqi insurgents as “patriots” who simply “don't like us because we've invaded their country” and so “if the Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we'd be doing the same thing.” On not taking drastic action to correct global warming:
Not doing it will be catastrophic. We'll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten but 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals.
Turner ridiculed the need for a big U.S. military, insisting “China just wants to sell us shoes. They're not building landing craft to attack the United States,” and “even with our $500 billion military budget, we can't win in Iraq. We're being beaten by insurgents who don't even have any tanks.” After Rose pointed out the Iraqi insurgents “have a lot of roadside bombs that kill a lot of Americans” and wondered “where do you think they come from?”, Turner answered:
I think that they're patriots and that they don't like us because we've invaded their country and occupied it. I think if the Iraqis were in Washington, D.C., we'd be doing the same thing: we'd be bombing them too. Nobody wants to be invaded.
On Tuesday's "Today" show, co-anchor Ann Curry traveled with Barack Obama on the campaign trail and mostly threw softball questions to the presidential candidate, questions like who did he prefer: "Beatles or the Rolling Stones?" Curry also tried to broker an Obama-Clinton ticket as she pressed: "They want this. The Democrats want this."
The toughest Curry ever got with the Illinois senator was when she pointed out Obama's lack of business experience as it pertained to his ability to address the economy. However, Curry never hit Obama with a single question on Jeremiah Wright or Tony Rezko but she did find time to show Obama "flirting" with voters. [Audio available here.]
The following is the full interview as it occurred on the April 1, "Today" show:
The AP reported this afternoon: “Saddam Hussein's intelligence agency secretly financed a trip to Iraq for three U.S. lawmakers during the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. An indictment unsealed in Detroit accuses Muthanna Al-Hanooti, a member of a Michigan nonprofit group, of arranging for three members of Congress to travel to Iraq in October 2002 at the behest of Saddam's regime.”
When two of those Congressmen, Democrats Jim McDermott of Washington and David Bonior of Michigan, appeared from Baghdad on the September 29, 2002 This Week on ABC, George Stephanopoulos -- the MRC's Rich Noyes reminded me -- chastised a critic, not McDermott and Bonior, for daring to condemn the loaded charges against the U.S propagated by the two left-wingers. After McDermott blasted U.S. foreign policy from Baghdad, a shocked George Will remarked, "Why Saddam Hussein doesn’t pay commercial time for that advertisement for his policy, I do not know." Turns out, he did. [Video at right, audio available here.]
On Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith discussed a question being asked of Chelsea Clinton about Monica Lewinsky on the campaign trail with Washington Post reporter Sally Quinn, who was baffled by the media’s refusal to ask Chelsea tough questions: "Frankly, in all of my years of journalism, I have never seen the press lie down like this before. This is -- this is not what the American public thinks of as the critical and sort of -- killing, marauding, press corps – " Smith responded by admitting that: "Yeah, we're not exactly -- we're not exactly watchdogs here." [Audio available here]
Those comments were sparked by Smith asking Quinn: "As a press, though, we have basically, you know, said, 'okay, if those are the rules, you know, that's fine.' Have we sort of -- you know, have we laid down?"
Prior to talking to Quinn, Smith interviewed the Butler University college student, Evan Strange, who asked Chelsea the question at a campaign forum on campus. Strange, as it turns out, is a Clinton supporter:
Jack Kevorkian, AKA Dr. Death, has a celebrity in his fan club, "View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg.
Discussing the notorious suicide assisting doctor’s run for Congress on the March 25 edition, Goldberg said she’s a "big fan" of Kevorkian "because he believed that he could help people who were in, in a place where no one was helping them." Joy Behar wondered: "Why is he a bad guy? I don’t understand it...it’s over my head somewhere." [Audio available here.]
Elisabeth Hasselbeck expressed concern about a "gray area" and "lines blurring," if for example the one responsible for a suffering person’s care has financial motives for that person’s death. Sherri Shepherd, besides a few jokes, did not contribute much to the conversation. Transcript follows:
Now that the major media have acknowledged en masse that Hillary Clinton lied shamelessly about landing in Bosnia to sniper fire, it seemed like the right moment to remember Mrs. Clinton’s claims about honesty and truthfulness in the famous Steve Kroft 60 Minutes interview in 1992 – not the part that aired in 1992, mind you, but a different set of snippets that aired on February 1, 1998, twelve days after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke.
In these clips, pulled out from our archives for our book Whitewash, Hillary proclaimed "voters are tired of people who lie to them" and lectured about the Bible to Kroft as they discussed Bill Clinton’s alleged adultery, "You know, there are ten commandments, not one. And one of them is, ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.’" [Audio available here.]
Here’s an excerpt from Whitewash that offers more detail:
Some have accused the media of trying to undermine the war effort by swaying public opinion with images of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq, but the visuals are justified and important, according to Associated Press President and CEO Tom Curley.
Curley was the keynote speaker of the Sunshine Week dinner at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on March 18. Curley defended the media's use of the controversial photographs as "moving and very unifying."
"Well, we've all tried and we've all been turned down, and I think your question is another reminder we should keep trying," Curley said when asked about the importance of those photographs. "We should never stop trying. I find those pictures very moving and very unifying. All of us really, really appreciate the sacrifices that are being made."
One of the criticisms of the media's coverage of Sen. Barack Obama's candidacy - both from his opponents on the right and on the left, has been that he's been given a free pass on a lot of issue.
The latest in particular had been the recently uncovered of Obama's former church minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who had made several incendiary remarks about race and the government.
Eleanor Clift, known for her defense of Bill and Hillary Clinton on the syndicated show, "The McLaughlin Group," came to the defense of Obama in a March 17 appearance at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
In a speech on Iraq policy delivered Monday at George Washington University, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recalled facing “sniper fire” on her 1996 trip to Bosnia to visit U.S. troops on a peacekeeping mission. But reporters traveling with the then-First Lady made no reference to any “sniper fire” at the time, and pictures of Clinton arriving at the main air base in Tuzla (see attached video) don’t show anyone ducking or covering.
Good morning. I want to thank Secretary West for his years of service, not only as Secretary of the Army, but also to the Veteran's Administration, to our men and women in uniform, to our country. I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia, and as Togo said, there was a saying around the White House that if a place was too small, too poor, or too dangerous, the president couldn't go, so send the First Lady. That's where we went.
I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base. But it was a moment of great pride for me to visit our troops, not only in our main base as Tuzla, but also at two outposts where they were serving in so many capacities to deactivate and remove landmines, to hunt and seek out those who had not complied with the Dayton Accords and put down their arms, and to build relationships with the people that might lead to a peace for them and their children.
Do you think the media have blown this whole global warming thing out of proportion by devoting so much attention to it? One New York Times reporter says it deserves a more prominent place in the media.
Andrew Revkin, the environmental reporter for the Times, spoke in Newark, Del., on March 12 for the University of Delaware's Global Agenda lecture series, "Boiling Point: International Politics of Climate Change." He said he thought this issue deserved more spotlight, but outlined why it didn't get it.
"On the climate issue, climate - science particularly - climate, in multitude doesn't get a lot of respect because science is laden with complexity," Revkin said. "Newsrooms crave ‘Spitzer, Prostitute.' That says it right there - where's the complexity? Or - stock scandal, or you know, $107 oil, or the Yankees traded somebody big."
Appearing on the March 12 edition of "The Colbert Report," Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz discussed the media’s fawning coverage of Barack Obama, noting Chris Matthews famous "thrill going up my leg" comment when hearing Senator Obama. Kurtz comically stated "we don’t know how high that thrill went." Host Stephen Colbert replied "that thrill is what you call ‘the hardball.’ [see video here]
Kurtz noted the mainstream media’s excitement over Obama and felt they got a little bit tougher when "Saturday Night Live" parodied the pro-Obama bias. When Colbert noted the press probably loved to talk about the potential bias because they got to talk about themselves. Kurtz conceded "we are a very self absorbed profession."
Amy Menefee also wrote on the Kurtz interview noting that the big three networks are still relevant and opining that journalists put their "feelings aside."
Everyone is a whore according to "View" panelist Joy Behar. Discussing the identity of Governor Eliot Spitzer’s call girl, Ashley Alexandra Dupre, Behar appeared sympathetic and portrayed the woman as a victim. Later in the show, in conversing about former "American Idol" contestant David Hernandez’s alleged background as a stripper, Behar hypothesized that "everybody is a whore, a little bit."
Crackpot theories are not new to daytime personality. Behar previously suggested that the saints of the past would be mental patients today. Joy Behar continued that "every time you say ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no,’ you’re whoring yourself." Whoopi Goldberg opined "it depends what you think whoring is. You know, what’s whoring to one person is not whoring to another."
MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on today's "Fox & Friends" to discuss findings by MRC analysts that Gov. Eliot Spitzer's (D-NY) party affiliation (and Hillary Clinton superdelegate status) has been persistently overlooked in broadcast and print media outlets.:
BOZELL: ABC and then NBC "Nightly News" two days ago, not once mentioned that he was a Democrat. "Good Morning America," not once mentioned that he was a Democrat. ABC nightly news, not once mentioned that he was a Democrat. CBS, one mention on the nightly news, no mention on the morning news. AP did a three-paragraph breaking story, never mentioned that he was a Democrat, then they came out with a full story, never mentioned that he was a Democrat. Last night, NBC, never mentioned he was a Democrat. Last night, ABC never mentioned that he was a Democrat. It is unbelievable.
Co-host Steve Doocy noted that this is not new for the news media, recalling the 2001 Gary Condit saga. Condit, you will recall was suspected in the disappearance of former intern Chandra Levy:
Anti-male sexism once again became a topic on the March 11 edition of "The View." Discussing New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal, Joy Behar, who called men "idiots" who "think with Mr. Happy," shouted "I am sick of men and their sexual proclivities." Sherri Shepherd quickly responded "don’t put it on men." Elisabeth Hasselbeck noted the prostitute was a woman and "there are two people to blame there, two people that tangoed here." Later in the conversation Behar claimed "I don’t hate men. I hate politicians."
Behar also added "it seems as though power and sex go together with men." She also said she "would like to see a scandal where a woman is getting great sex." Whoopi Goldberg then inquired what kind of reaction would ensue if a female politician was caught with a male prostitute. Behar theorized that "they’d burn her at the stake."
The relevant portions of the conversation are below.
NewsBusters Associate Editor Noel Sheppard appeared on the March 10 "Glenn Beck" program on CNN Headline News to discuss the left-wing Web's recent smear of the radio host. Beck was taken out of context for comments he made about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). [See Sheppard's related March 8 blog entry here.]
GLENN BECK, host: Noel Sheppard is the associate editor of newsbusters.org, a conservative watchdog of the liberal blogs. Noel, you apparently did a Google search on this story. How out there is my bigotry?
NOEL SHEPPARD, Associate Editor, NewsBusters.org: Well, I Googled "Glenn Beck," "Obama" and "Anti-Christ," and I got 744,000 hits. Now, that doesn't mean that there's been 744,000 articles already written about this. That`s a little bit nuts.
"I said it before and I'll say it again," Amanpour said. "I believe that we failed as a profession to do our duty which is simply to ask the hard questions, to stay on it, to fact check and to cross-check and to not take one version of the story hook, line and sinker."
Over the weekend, on Fox News' "Geraldo At Large," actor/comedian Richard Belzer declared his hope for Barack Obama to redefine America from the "warmongering," "far right," "intolerant," atmosphere-"raping", poor-"demonizing" nation that it's become under the Bush administration. Prompted by host Rivera to reveal his choice in the 2008 campaign the "Law and Order" star took off on the following anti-Bush/pro-Obama tirade:
We've been redefined for seven years now as a war-mongering, far right, intolerant nation who's raping our own atmosphere and demonizing the poor and letting the banks rob us blind. I think if, any incremental move away from that would be a Godsend. And I think Obama will, at the very least, put the brakes on this madness and in some ways heal it. Another thing, if I may Geraldo, being a man of color, I think the rest of the world, if they see that America elects a man of color I think they'll breathe a big sigh of relief and not think that we're this warmongering, rich white guy country.
The following is the full exchange as it occurred on the March 2, edition of Fox News’ Geraldo At Large:
A couple at the "cross roads" of a "complicated" love story. That's how Diane Sawyer set up the feature on a transgendered Microsoft executive, his/her wife, and their son in the 8:00 half-hour on "Good Morning America."
The socially progressive bent of GMA was evident in the lack of context or perspective given to the family's story. No consideration was given to the glaring social issues raised. It was reported as just another human-interest story.
The five-minute feature, reported by Neal Karlinsky, explained the conflict Michael Wallent had with his identification as a male, his decision to become a female and the ramifications of that decision in his workplace and at home.
Appearing on the March 5 "Your World" program with guest host Brenda Buttner, MRC Director of Media Analysis and NewsBusters Senior Editor Tim Graham lambasted the mainstream media for its gauzy treatment of Democratic frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.):
It's really sad that at this point in the presidential campaign, when we're in a situation where they are saying now that the math is impossible for Hillary Clinton to get the Democratic nomination, that now suddenly the media is going to try to vet Barack Obama's record. And really, obviously, the media itself are saying, 'Well, obviously the Saturday Night Live skit had something to do with this.'
They're taking their cues on when to be a professional journalist based on comedy sketches?!
Barack Obama was clearly off his game on Wednesday's "Today" show as he not only confused David Gregory with Matt Lauer but even worse proclaimed that he "won Michigan." Gregory, substitute hosting for Matt Lauer, did remind Obama that it was he and not Lauer that was conducting the interview, but failed to correct the more egregious error of Obama claiming a victory in a state where he wasn't even on the ballot.
The following is the complete interview as it occurred on the March 4, "Today" show:
DAVID GREGORY: How is Senator Barack Obama feeling about his campaign this morning? He joins us now from San Antonio, Texas. Senator good morning to you.
BARACK OBAMA: Good morning, Matt.
GREGORY: It's, it's David today Senator. The reality--