On Monday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Russ Mitchell interviewed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, and asked about Iraq: "When you look at April, last month, 50 American soldiers were killed in Iraq. And a lot of Americans look at that and they're pessimistic, despite what you say about morale and how things are going in Iraq--in Iraq. Does the American public have a right to be pessimistic, in your mind?"
While suggesting Americans are ‘pessimistic’ about the war in Iraq is justified, Mitchell forgets to mention the role CBS News has played in promoting some of that pessimism with its own coverage of the war. In addition, using the phrase ‘right to be pessimistic’ leaves little room for disagreement, as Admiral Mullen pointed out: "The American public obviously gets to choose whether they're optimistic or pessimistic."
Mullen went on to explain: "I think clearly, over the last many months, things have improved fairly dramatically. We always need to be reminded of the sacrifice that these young men and women generate in terms supporting the overall mission."
On Monday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his regular "Worst Person in the World" segment to accuse the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Michael Mullen, of trying to "fake" a "Gulf of Tonkin" incident with Iran over the recent U.S. Navy confrontation with Iranian navy speed boats in the Strait of Hormuz. Referring to reports that, out of five Iranian boats, only one unarmed boat approached the U.S. Navy ships, and that the threatening message received could have come from a "well-known marine heckler" of the area, Olbermann awarded the "Worst Person" dishonor to Mullen: "So you guys tried to fake another Gulf of Tonkin incident using some clown with a CB radio and the lethal threat posed by the S.S. Minnow? Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen, on behalf of the Bush administration, today's 'Worst Person in the World'!"