Preparing for the year’s end, Newsweek’s web site is now carrying a video of "The Decade In Seven Minutes." Unsurprisingly, the historical memory is sharply partisan and liberal. It’s a very self-serving first draft. On how many events is Newsweek biased? Let us count the ways. (MRC's Mike Sargent did the transcript.)
1. Elian Gonzalez (no gun in Elian’s face photo, no mention of mother dying to get the boy to America).
NARRATOR: Federal agents seize six-year-old Elian Gonzalez in Miami. He’s sent back to Cuba.
JANET RENO: Elian is safe.
2. The 2000 Recount and 2001 Tax Cut.
NARRATOR: Florida becomes the center of the universe. Recounts, butterfly ballots, hanging chads, and Katherine Harris enter the lexicon. Thirty-six long days later the US Supreme Court halts the recount. W wins the Presidency, Gore later wins an Oscar. Bush is sworn in as number 43.
BUSH: God bless America.
NARRATOR: Not everyone is happy. [Shot of protesters] Bush signs a huge tax cut into law. Many people are happy. [Shot of Bush with GOP "fat cats."]
3. The Early War on Terror.
NARRATOR: September 11th. World Trade Center, the Pentagon, Shanksville Pennsylvania. Nearly three thousand die. Americans unite, flags everywhere. The U.S. invades Afghanistan. The Taliban falls, but Osama bin Laden escapes. Bush signs the Patriot Act. Decade-long constitutional fight begins.
Anthrax scare makes opening the mail a very scary proposition. Everyone blames the terrorists. An American Airlines flight crashes in New York. Everyone blames the terrorists. Turns out to be pilot error.
4. Tenet, Powell Wrong on Iraq.
NARRATOR: Congress authorizes military force – wait, aren’t we already at war? Terrorist bombs kill more than 200 in Bali. CIA Director George Tenet says the case against Saddam Hussein is a slam dunk. He’s wrong.
GEORGE TENET: That’s my fault.
NARRATOR: Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas. Another hit to America’s morale. Colin Powell makes a case against Iraq at the U.N. He says Saddam Hussein is tied to al-Qaeda.
COLIN POWELL [chopped clips]: Iraq – al-Qaeda – Saddam Hussein – bin Laden.
NARRATOR: He’s wrong. Shock and awe. Baghdad falls, Iraqis pull down a Saddam statue. They beat it with shoes. Mission accomplished! Ooooor not.
5. The Saddam Capture’s Funny?
NARRATOR: Saddam Hussein is found in a hole. He needs a shave. John Kerry wins the Iowa caucus. Howard Dean screams (video of The Scream). Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake teach Americans what a wardrobe malfunction looks like. The CIA admits there was no threat of WMDs in Iraq.
DAVID GREGORY: No weapons of mass destruction.
6. 2004: Dem Speeches Great, Bush Speeches Dumb.
The DNC nominates John Kerry for President.
JOHN KERRY: Reporting for duty!
NARRATOR: Barack Obama – who? – gives the keynote address. The speech is really good. The country forgets about the Iraq war and focuses on Vietnam, Swift boats, and windsurfing...[A sentence on poisoning in Ukraine.] Kerry flip-flops.
KERRY: I actually did vote for the 87 billion dollars [edit...] before I voted against it.
NARRATOR: Loses election, no recount necessary....
Bush begins his second term as President. His speech is about freedom:
BUSH [chopped clips]: Freedom – freedom – freedom.
NARRATOR: And tyranny:
BUSH [chopped clips]: Tyranny – tyranny.
7. Schiavo and Katrina.
NARRATOR: Terry Schiavo becomes a ping-pong in right-to-life battle. The right-to-die side wins. Terrorist bombs kill 52 in London. Two weeks later, copycat bombers fail. Hurricane Katrina makes landfall, New Orleans fills with water. Bush tells FEMA director Michael Brown he’s doing a --
BUSH: – heckuva job.
NARRATOR: He isn’t. Over 1,800 people die.
8. The Middle East.
NARRATOR: U.S. death toll in Iraq hits 2,000. Iran says it has produced enriched uranium, but President Ahmadinejad says he wants peace and stability. The world is skeptical.
9. Bush vs. "Stem Cell Research," Not Just Embryo-Destroying Research.
NARRATOR: President Bush vetoes federal funds for stem cell research. Liquids are banned from airplanes after an apparent terrorist plot. Millions of water bottles end up in the trash.
10. Racist America.
NARRATOR: Borat opens in theaters.
SACHA BARON COHEN: My name 'a Borat!
NARRATOR: Proving that Americans are gullible -- and maybe racist.
11. Saddam’s Hanging "Chaotic."
NARRATOR: President Gerald Ford dies at 93, just four days before Saddam Hussein is executed in Iraq. Grainy cell phone video shows his chaotic hanging.... The U.S. undertakes a surge of more troops in Iraq. Opponents say it won’t work. It does.
12. Gun Control?
NARRATOR: A Virginia Tech student goes on a rampage, killing 32 people. It is the deadliest shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history. So far.
13. Obama Wins, His Speech Isn’t Funny.
NARRATOR: Obama becomes the first black President. America has changed....Obama is inaugurated. Aretha Franklin wears a big hat. Obama signs stimulus package to jump-start the economy. It’s big.
14. Iran’s Election Protests (Deaths in the street unmentioned).
NARRATOR: Iran holds Presidential elections. Ahmadinejad wins. Opponents protest for days.
15. Democratic Conclusion.
NARRATOR: Bill Clinton travels to North Korea to help free two American journalists. Momentarily steals the spotlight from Hillary. Ted Kennedy dies after a long battle with cancer. His dream of universal health care eludes him. Obama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The world responds with a collective "huh?!"
It ends at that point, with a final request: "A lot happened in the decade, but we couldn’t include it all. Tell us what we missed." That could be a long list.