Teasing an upcoming segment on Thursday’s CBS Early Show about new attacks on Sarah Palin by the father of her grandson, Levi Johnston, co-host Maggie Rodriguez exclaimed: "And shocking allegations that could shatter former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s conservative family image. If she chooses to believe what Levi Johnston is saying."
In the later report on Johnston’s Vanity Fair rant against Palin, correspondent Kelly Wallace claimed he "took off the gloves" and "debunks the popular image of Palin as hockey mom and moose hunter, telling...that ‘she doesn’t hunt, doesn’t read, doesn’t work hard, doesn’t spend time with her family, but instead spends all night alone in her bedroom.’" Wallace continued: "As for Sarah and Todd’s marriage, Johnston says they constantly threatened each other with divorce. ‘Once the cameras would leave, they didn’t talk to each other. I’ve never seen them sleep in the same bedroom.’"
After Wallace’s report, Rodriguez briefly mentioned: "And when we talked last April, he made similar claims to me and Sarah Palin said he’s lying, he just wants publicity, he just wants his little moment in the spotlight...my guess would be she would probably say something along those lines." Co-host Harry Smith then turned to Rodriguez and asked: "Because you’ve met him, you’ve interviewed him. Does he seem like – seem credible to you?" Rodriguez simply replied: "I don’t know. How could I possibly answer that?"
Our national media are treating the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy as an historic event, more historic even than the deaths of presidents like Gerald Ford. Is this level of attention warranted?
We can all grant that Ted Kennedy was a major legislator with his hands in a lot of historic government action. He was at times a very eloquent speaker and was always a passionate fighter. To his side of the aisle, he was their inspirational leader.
Now add the personal story: Two of his brothers were mercilessly assassinated. He was the final Kennedy from that generation. Clearly, when the media spent countless hours mourning the death of John F. Kennedy Jr., a man who never had a political career, the death of an actual Senator of 46 years should be a greater event.
It is not the amount of coverage that bothers, it is the quality of reporting. "[The Kennedys] are the closest thing we have in this country to royalty, the clan's iconic images engraved on our national consciousness." That's how ABC's Claire Shipman put it on the August 26 Good Morning America, echoing what others have been saying across the dial. CBS anchor Harry Smith began this way: "He bore the unspeakable grief and overwhelming hopes of a nation."
At the top of the 8AM ET hour of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Russ Mitchell wondered if Ted Kennedy’s death could "spur Congress to pass a health care reform bill?" Correspondent Nancy Cordes answered that question: "Kennedy’s death, in a way, gives new life to health care legislation, which has really taken a beating the past few weeks at town halls across the country."
Cordes went on to declare: "Supporters of health care reform say they’re going to fight even harder to achieve Kennedy’s dying wish, universal healthcare. With Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia even suggesting that the legislation be named after the late great lawmaker."
Earlier on the show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez interviewed Utah Senator and Kennedy friend Orrin Hatch, and asked about the "dying wish" of the Massachusetts Senator: "I’d be willing to bet that he would be smiling down on the capital if Republicans and Democrats could finally compromise to fulfill his dream of health care reform. Do you think that Senator Kennedy’s passing could be the impetus that could finally make that happen, or do you think that the only bridge builder who could have done that is gone now?"
Sounding like a close friend or relative of Senator Ted Kennedy, at the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez proclaimed: "A life that was able to bring friends and enemies together....We’ll hear from one of those foes who became a friend as we broadcast from the John f. Kennedy Presidential Library where the body of Uncle Teddy will arrive today and lie in repose."
Moments later, Rodriguez continued the unusually personal reporting on the death of the Massachusetts Senator: "This place dedicated to a slain American president will today serve as a shrine to his younger brother, a beloved American senator....we were joking here that we think all this wind today is sort of fitting for the Kennedys. The tousled hair, a perfect day for sailing, a wonderful day for the Kennedy family and the public to gather here, at this of all places, to remember Ted Kennedy. Sort of symbolic, Chris, I think, of the older brother looking down, looking after the younger brother."
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez interviewed commentator Dick Morris about his latest book critical of the Obama administration, Catastrophe. After reading the book’s full title, Rodriguez observed: "This title, though, Mr. Morris, can’t you see a lot of people dismissing it right off the bat as alarmist? It screams at you."
In response, Morris pointed out the dire state of the economy: "9.5% unemployment, four quarters of negative growth, our car companies in receivership, our health care program about to be taken over, and banks being nationalized, and I’m alarmist?"
Rodriguez replied by citing recent media spin that the recession is over: "Well what about the positive indicators? Because not so long ago, it was on the cover of every magazine, the topic of every cable show and Sunday morning show, that we were kind of digging out of the recession. We saw three straight months of rising home sales, the stock market up more than 40% since March. Ford beat expectations. Doesn’t that count?"
On Monday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Sharyl Attkisson filed a report highlighting the recent defections of thousands of AARP members to the more conservative American Seniors Association (ASA), because of the perceived support by the AARP for ObamaCare. The report recounted that Obama recently had to correct a claim that the AARP supports his plan, while some are suspicious that the group may support the President privately, but are unwilling to admit to doing so publicly.
Substitute anchor Maggie Rodriguez noted that Obama had to backtrack on claiming AARP support as she introduced the story: "President Obama once thought he had the AARP on board, as he put it, on his plan for health care reform, but he has since had to back off on that claim."
After touting the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program as a "runaway success" and "great for the environment," Friday’s CBS Early Show finally reported on problems with the plan as co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: "And find out why the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program could actually end up costing you long term."
While previous Early Show segments on the plan gave only passing attention to its critics, Rodriguez began Friday’s story by explaining: "Congress has passed a $2 billion extension for the popular ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program, but some critics are being vocal this morning, saying it may not be such a good idea after all." Correspondent Terrell Brown reported: "‘Cash for Clunkers’ is said to be environmentally friendly, but some are trashing the new government program....Recyclers say some salvaged car engines are still valuable. Instead, they’re being needlessly destroyed." One wonders why CBS did not highlight this criticism before the government spent another $2 billion on the program.
Brown went on to describe the car-destroying process: "Dealers are told to destroy the engine by replacing oil with sodium silicate and then running it....With the engine destroyed, many cars bypass the part recyclers and go straight to the salvage yards." The report featured the vice president of the Automotive Recylers Association, Michael Wilson: "We think a much more efficient program would have been to encourage recycled parts usage....All those parts that could have been reused will go right to a scrap processor."
After depicting the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ car buying program as a "runaway success" on Friday, on Tuesday’s Early Show, correspondent Nancy Cordes argued: "The Department of Transportation says the program has been great for the environment. 80% of the clunkers have been pickups or SUVs, traded in for new cars with an average mileage nearly 10 miles per gallon higher."
Following that declaration Cordes cited car salesman Mario Sosnowski, who praised the program: "Starting from 8:00, 9:00 in the morning, we’re here till – till midnight every day because of the program, because of the excitement."
At the top of the show, co-host Julie Chen depicted Republican opposition to increased funding for ‘Cash for Clunkers’ as a desire to "put the popular program on the scrap heap." Following Cordes’ report, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint about his objections: "We now see this morning that this program is, in fact, getting more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road. It’s getting people to spend money. So do you still believe, as you have said in recent days, that this is quote ‘a great example of the stupidity coming out of Washington’?"
At the top of Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith touted a White House-produced video: "And your letters to the President...A behind-the-scenes look at how President Obama keeps in touch with everyday Americans." After airing the administration spin, co-host Maggie Rodriguez argued it was "all part of Obama’s promise of transparency in the people’s White House."
Smith introduced the latest White House public relations push by declaring: "Beginning today, the Obama administration is giving Americans a behind-the-scenes look into the inner workings of the White House. This morning we have an exclusive look at how the letters of every day Americans make their way to the President’s desk."
The video that followed featured a montage of President Obama in the Oval Office dubbed with his narration: "These letters, I think, do more to keep me in touch with what’s happening around the country than just about anything else....It gives you a sense of what’s best about America and inspires you and makes you want to work that much harder to make sure that spirit is reflected in our government."
Reporting on the Obama administration’s ‘Cash for Clunkers’ car buying program running out of money, CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes offered a mixed message: "‘Cash for Clunkers’ has been such a runaway success....The program is so popular...word spread it would be suspended...because of fears that sales would soon swallow up the $1 billion for rebates the government had set aside."
At the top of Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: "It’s a week old and incredibly popular. But is the government’s ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program coming to a screeching halt? We’ll see why it may run out of gas and why so many are angry." She later introduced Cordes’ report by explaining: "It appears that ‘Cash for Clunkers’ could be kaput. There’s been a lot of criticism that the week-old federal program is just too confusing. But the White House says it’s so popular that it’s already running out of money, so they’re reevaluating."
Taking a break from President Obama’s failing health care plan or the Henry Gates controversy, at the top of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez focused on a more important story: "And move over, Martha. The First Family chooses a popular celebrity retreat for their vacation. We'll tell you where the President will tee off."
Rodriguez later introduced the segment by declaring: "President Obama and his family have chosen a well-known and classic locale for their summer vacation next month, Martha's Vineyard. An exclusive island off the coast of Massachusetts." Correspondent Bianca Solorzano then reported: "It’s an island retreat, beloved by the Kennedys, the Clintons, the late Walter Cronkite, and soon, the Obamas." A clip was played of Julia Wells, editor of the island’s Vineyard Gazette newspaper, who gushed: "There’s an electric excitement about it all."
Solorzano described the luxurious accommodations the Obama family would be treated to: "...the First Family will stay at Blue Heron Farm. The 28-acre, $20 million enclave is located in Chilmark. The farm suits Obama to a ‘tee’ with golf facilities, a pool, basketball court, private beach, and a rental price tag of up to $50,000 a week." The report failed to feature any criticism of such a costly presidential vacation in tough economic times.
While reporting on President Obama’s efforts to pass health care reform legislation on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez cited one person who would benefit from the plan: "Debby Smith from Virginia...lost her job back in 2006, and lost her health care benefits, and says that she can't afford the $700 a month that it would cost take to pay for her own insurance."
What Rodriguez failed to mention was that Smith was an Obama volunteer. During a July 1 health care town hall meeting, the President singled out Smith, giving her a hug as she tearfully told her story of lacking health insurance for cancer treatments. That night, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric reported: "Debby Smith is a volunteer for Mr. Obama's political operation Organizing for America. The White House invited her to attend. The President called her exhibit A in a system that's too expensive and too complicated."
On Wednesday, Rodriguez took no note of Smith’s activism on behalf of Obama but did describe her as "the prototypical person that this [health care] proposal would help."
In her Tuesday interview with President Obama, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric wondered: "You're so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken? Do you ever wake up and say, ‘Damn, this is hard. Damn, I'm not going to get the things done I want to get done and it’s just too politicized to really get accomplished the big things I want to accomplish’?" [audio available here]
In her last interview with Obama, during the debate over the stimulus package in February, Couric also portrayed Obama as a victim of Washington: "You campaigned to change the culture in Washington, to change the politics as usual culture here. Are you frustrated? Do you think it is much, much harder to do that than you ever anticipated?"
Most of Couric’s latest presidential interview was aired on Tuesday’s Evening News, however, the question about Obama’s confidence was saved for Wednesday’s Early Show. At the top of the CBS morning show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez informed viewers about the President’s press conference scheduled for Wednesday night: "President Obama goes prime time tonight, taking the battle for health care reform directly to the American people."
In reaction to a propaganda video of the Taliban holding an American soldier hostage in Afghanistan, on Monday’s CBS Early Show, terrorism analyst Jere Van Dyk argued: “What they [the Taliban] are saying is that ‘we can treat American soldiers, we can treat prisoners, better than Americans are treating them.’”
Speaking to co-host Maggie Rodriguez about the capture of Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl, Van Dyk continued to explain his observation: “There’s a story in the New York Times this morning, also in the Wall Street Journal earlier, about prisoner abuse, Americans abusing prisoners in Afghanistan. What they [the Taliban] are saying to the -- to the Afghan public is that ‘we can do a better job, do not be afraid of us in the future.’” Rodriguez accepted that premise and added: “Because he’s clean, the place looks like -- he’s being fed. They’re taking care of him.”
Van Dyk went on: “…that’s a signal there. He’s wearing nice clothes, he’s being fed, he has a cup of tea there… what they are saying is that ‘we will protect to the death… a guest in our home.’ He is in someone’s home right now.” He went on to predict: “My belief is, my hope of course is, and my cautious feeling is that he will be protected. He will not be harmed.”
At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith marked the ten-year anniversary of the death of JFK Jr. by declaring: "He was such an icon in the city [New York], and we're going to remember JFK Jr. a little bit later on this morning."
In the later segment, Smith described Kennedy as "a paparazzi magnet" who was "crowned the sexiest man alive." Smith went on to exclaim: "Now ten years after his tragic death, the public fascination continues. People magazine has just released these never before seen photos."
In addition to touting Kennedy’s tabloid popularity, Smith alluded to his potential as a political player: "John attended private school and then headed to Brown University and NYU Law School, but he did not follow in his father's footsteps." The segment featured Peter Canellos, editor of the book ‘Last Lion: The Rise and Fall of Ted Kennedy,’ who observed: "So many people who, you know, remember the Kennedy presidency always assumed that someday he would go into politics."
Australian researchers released new findings concerning marriage and divorce this week and it has received mild coverage on the news programs in the United States. "The Early Show" on CBS decided to take a crack at discussing the report on Wednesday morning and only succeeded in sounding uninformed and out of touch.
Maggie Rodriguez, co-anchor and the star of the week on NewsBusters, had her own perception of sex before marriage. In a separate study from the Australian one (but in the same vein) Harry Smith reads that "Couples who shack up before tying the knot are more likely to get divorced than their counterpart."
A cover story in the June edition of Latino Magazine, discussed CBS Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez’s efforts to "...educate her peers on how to be cognizant of Latino viewers, by pushing stories about Latinos that are of interest to all Americans, as well as informing them of more humane and respectful labels – such as undocumented immigrant instead of illegal alien."
The story, written by Aida Bardales, quoted Rodriguez: "All you have to do is to mention it to them. If I wasn’t here, they wouldn’t think twice because forever ‘illegal alien’ was used and they didn’t put a face to that term." It went on to praise Rodriguez’s reporting on the 2008 conference of the left-wing Hispanic group La Raza: "Though she’s careful to not force irrelevant stories upon her viewers, she does feel a need to include the Latino perspective. When she was invited to host the National Council of La Raza’s Annual Conference in 2008, she saw it as opportunity to share the experience with "The Early Show" viewers."
Earlier in the story, Rodriguez argued that her ethnic background actually made her a better reporter on certain issues: "As Hispanics [we] will always give a more accurate representation of a Hispanic story...just because we understand the language and are part of the culture. We have a unique understanding of the people that an Anglo would not have."
Maggie Rodriguez wants us to know that she's a real journalist. "If I were to program a show for my viewing pleasure, I would make it all news," she told Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post in a July 13 article. But the host of CBS's "Early Show" also insisted, "I'm not a journalistic snob."
As the broadcast network evening newscasts reported Friday on Sarah Palin's decision to resign as Alaska's governor, some of the negative wording on the CBS Evening News sounded eerily similar to the partisan statement attacking Palin that was released by the Democratic National Committee, which was quoted the same evening on FNC's Fox Report, and on Special Report with Bret Baier.
As she began her report, correspondent Nancy Cordes used words with a negative connotation -- "abandoning her job" -- to describe Palin's departure from office. Cordes: "Surrounded by family at her home in Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin said she was abandoning her job because she has no interest in being a lame duck."
Similarly, the statement issued by DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse also used the word "abandon" to refer to Palin's resignation: "Her decision to abandon her post and the people of Alaska who elected her continues a pattern of bizarre behavior that more than anything else may explain the decision she made today.”
Teasing an upcoming interview with actress Megan Fox on Tuesday’s Early Show, co-host Harry Smith gushed: "...this woman has jumped from virtual unknown to Hollywood A-lister. It doesn’t hurt she is one of the most beautiful women on the planet...And a very nice young person."
Smith failed to make any mention of the "Transformers" star’s controversial comments in a June 5 interview, in which she wished the villainous robots in the movie could "...just take out all of the white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America." Fox, a self-described bisexual, made the comments while talking with "Total Film UK."
Fellow co-host Maggie Rodriguez similarly fawned over Fox: "Harry already got the chance to meet her and I said ‘how is she?’ You sounded like Tony the Tiger...‘She’s great.’ A lot of people are saying, you know, she’s the new ‘it girl,’ the new Angelina Jolie."
CBS Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez wondered on Friday: "Lots of politicians get caught having affairs, as you know. The trick, though, is making a comeback. It’s happened before, but the question is does John Edwards have a political future?"
Rodriguez later introduced the segment by citing Edwards’ recent comments about his political future in a Washington Post interview: "Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton, just two of the high profile politicians who’ve survived the scandal of having an extramarital affair. Now John Edwards is speaking out for the first time, since his affair, about testing the waters for a possible political comeback. But is it too late? Is the damage done?"
In the report that followed, correspondent Nancy Cordes quoted Kenneth Vogel of Politico on the topic: "His cancer-stricken wife knew about the affair, asked him not to run for president. He did anyway. He kept it from his staffers. His political committees may have paid hush money. All of these things put together just make it that much more difficult for him to find a way to rehabilitate himself in the public eye." Cordes responded to that seeming political obituary by declaring: "Not so fast. Lots of politicians, after all, have had affairs and gone on to successful careers. Crisis management experts say Edwards may be testing the waters and could still have a political future."
On Thursday evening, the CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News presented opposite takes on whether Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi is really a moderate, or whether he is actually about as extreme and dangerous as current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. CBS’s Mark Phillips argued that Mousavi is merely more moderate in "tone" than Ahmadinejad while taking similar policy positions, while NBC’s Richard Engel played up Mousavi as a real alternative to Ahmadinejad. CBS News substitute anchor Maggie Rodriguez introduced Phillips’s report: "Mir Hossein Mousavi insists he won the presidential election there, only to have it stolen from him. He's been cast as an outsider, anxious for reform. But as Mark Phillips reports, that's not exactly the case."
After beginning his report contending that "Mir Hossein Mousavi is neither a champion of democracy as we know it, nor an advocate of great change within Iran's mullah-dominated government," Phillips further argued that Mousavi would bring little substantive policy difference to the presidency:
ABC and CBS's morning shows on Wednesday both provided surprisingly tough questioning to Christina Romer, one of Barack Obama's economic advisors. On the issue of health care, Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer compared the costs of Medicare to the new health care plan and pointed out past government inaccuracies when it came to accessing cost.
She grilled, "You know, in 1965, everyone was told that over 25 years, the cost of Medicare would be $12 billion. The actual cost, $107 billion." Sawyer added, "Ten-times what the estimate was. Can you know this cost? And can you guarantee it's not going to be more than the administration believes?" Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez quizzed Romer, the Chairwoman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, on Obama's repeated insistence that he has no interest in meddling in the private sector. She wondered, "He sounds like he's being forced to do these things. If he believes that big government is actually a bad thing, why doesn't he at least try less intrusive options, which are certainly be offered up?"
The common, everyday act of swatting a bug is something that happens countless times a day at picnics and ball games across the country, especially during the summer, but when Barack Obama was caught on tape by CNBC's cameras doing it, the fawning liberal press couldn't contain their excitement. All three broadcast network morning shows, on Wednesday, praised the presidential kill as they were impressed by the "ninja" Obama's "precision," and "cat-like quickness."[audio available here]
On NBC's "Today" show substitute-host David Gregory opened the show declaring: "You just have to appreciate the, the concentration and the precision! Just a few things going on in the world but it's as if everything was stopped and at a standstill for the President to lower the boom." On CBS' "The Early Show," Chris Wragge marveled: "We've also just confirmed the President is a Ninja." And on ABC's "Good Morning America," they even brought out the Telestrator to break down the video as Chris Cuomo offered play-by-play: "You see? He stares at the fly. How many times have each of us tried to do this? Look at the hand coming up. The poise. The cupping. And the quick slap...Just knocked it away, very rare."
The following exchanges were aired on the June 17 editions of NBC's "Today" show, ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS's "The Early Show":
On Thursday, CBS Early Show co-host Julie Chen declared: "President Obama seeks to reset Mideast relations in a historic speech in Cairo." Co-host Harry Smith gushed: "Powerful, far-ranging speech this morning...he was not only presidential, he was also professorial. He was very much a teacher this morning. He was giving Americans and Muslims a history lesson."
In a later segment, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer shared Smith’s description of Obama as a history professor: "I mean, one thing I didn't know, he pointed out that Morocco, a Muslim country, was the first to recognize the United States. He also pointed out there is a mosque in every state in the United States of America. This was, as you say, this was Professor Obama...during a lot of this, and I think that will have an impact."
Smith got reaction to Obama’s speech from CBS analyst Reza Aslan, who praised the President’s criticism of Israel: "...some very frank talk about issues, about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict... there were some words that Obama used that had never been used before by any American president, including the word ‘occupation,’ and the word ‘Palestine.’ I think this is going to be really remarkable, the way that the Muslim world reacts."
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen mentioned President Obama taking the First Lady on a date night to New York City over the weekend: "The President and First Lady had a long-planned night out in New York City on Saturday, doing dinner and Greenwich Village and taking in the Broadway show, ‘Joe Turner's Come and Gone’" Co-host Maggie Rodriguez commented on the restaurant the first couple went to: "Blue Hill, down in Greenwich Village. It’s a wonderful restaurant." Co-host Harry Smith added: "Probably impossible to get a reservation now, right?"
Later, Rodriguez explained the "long-planned" excursion: "...this is something that he [Obama] promised her, apparently, when he was on the campaign, ‘I'm going to take you out on a date night in New York City.’" Guest co-host Amanda Holden, judge of the talent show ‘Britain’s Got Talent,’ remarked: "Oh, that’s so sweet." Rodriguez agreed: "I know, it is sweet." Holden went on: " They’re such a good looking couple, aren’t they? Fantastic." Rodriguez again agreed: "They’re beautiful."
While reporting on disgraced priest Alberto Cutie leaving the Catholic Church in the wake of a sex scandal, on Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked CBS News analyst Father Thomas Williams about the Church’s celibacy rule: "It seems to me that the Catholic Church, at least in south Florida, is not necessarily being introspective and considering whether Father Cutie and others have left the Catholic Church, and others are failing to join, because of its stringent rules. Would you like to see your church be more introspective, more progressive?"
When the story about Father Cutie first broke in early May, Rodriguez then asked Father Williams if it was time for the Catholic Church to overturn the "outdated" and "rigid" vow of celibacy that it requires of its priests. She went on to describe the vow as a "nearly impossible standard." On May 11, Rodriguez interviewed Cutie, and asked: "You don't believe that the celibacy promise should be lifted?...If they don't change this policy, do you think that they will continue to lose people, or fail to recruit people who feel the Church is too rigid?"
On Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez was unusually tough on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as she asked the judge’s former clerk, Julia Tarver Mason, about some of Sotomayor's past controversial comments: "...she, herself, has rejected the notion that a judge should decide cases based solely on facts and the law...referring to one case – she hopes that ‘a wise Latina woman would reach a better conclusion than a white male.’What do you say to critics who say if a white conservative male had said that, he would have been booted out of the judiciary?"
Mason defended her former boss: "Well, I think that comment has been grossly misconstrued, frankly, it was a comment she made in a speech a decade ago, talking about the importance diversity on the court... when she decides a case, she decides it based on the law, as that's appropriate." Earlier Mason had argued that Sotomayor was "legal purist" and "...not someone who is going to try to reach a particular result in a particular case. She calls them straight down the middle, just like she sees them."
Rodriguez later followed up with a question about one of Sotomayor’s most controversial decisions: "Some of her critics are also bringing up a case where she sided against some white firefighters who claimed reverse discrimination in hiring practices...Rush Limbaugh has called her a ‘reverse racist.’ Could that be true?" Mason denounced Limbaugh: "That's an absurd notion. If – Judge Sotomayor is one of the most egalitarian people I’ve ever met...the fact that people from the right are throwing these outrageous allegations right now is just an indication that they don't know much about her record...it was not in any way a radical decision by her. And it was supported by the city of New Haven itself. So if you call her racist, you have to call the entire city of New Haven racist."
After the winner of "American Idol" is crowned, the appropriate action is to congratulate the newly crowned Idol on his success. Yet on May 21 media focus was clearly elsewhere. That day, reports on all three networks' morning broadcasts, marveled at how Kris Allen beat Adam Lambert and gave unusual attention to contestants who did not win, but are still successful, leaving little doubt that these hosts and reporters believe something wasn't right about Allen's victory.
Allen and Lambert are very different. Allen, a married twenty-three year old, is a college student from Arkansas. He grew throughout the season as a performer and was often labeled as humble. Lambert, on the hand, was an edgy performer who has become known for his "guyliner," or extensive use of black eyeliner. Although he was a frontrunner and often praised by the judges, his sexuality was often questioned, especially after photos hit the Web in which he appeared to be kissing another man.
At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez reported breaking news of a terror plot in New York foiled by the FBI: "The FBI busts a home-grown terror plot, arresting four men who planned to bomb synagogues and shoot down aircraft." Later, Rodriguez spoke with terrorism expert and former Bush aide, Juan Zarate, about the failed attack: "There's no question these guys were serious. When they were captured they were planting what they thought were three real bombs inside cars. My question is, how common is this? Are these guys just the minority? Or is this type of thing rampant?"
Zarate responded by specifically citing similar domestic terror plots that were prevented under the Bush administration: "I don't think this is unusual. The FBI has taken down other cells like this in the past. Recall the Fort Dix plot in New Jersey, recall a plot in Chicago to go after malls and civilians walking around malls. So we've seen this kind of home-grown terrorist cell and activity before." In May of 2007, the CBS Evening News actually downplayed the arrest of six suspects in the Fort Dix case, with correspondent Armen Keteyian declaring: "...more than 400,000 names have come under one form of government surveillance or another -- from watch lists to wiretaps. But only a handful of terrorists have been convicted in cases with concrete ties to al-Qaeda."