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ABC & CBS Chide Republicans for 'Turning Cold Shoulder' to Obama --1/29/2009


1. ABC & CBS Chide Republicans for 'Turning Cold Shoulder' to Obama
Shortly after the House on Wednesday passed President Barack Obama's $825 billion "stimulus" package, ABC and CBS commiserated with Obama over his unsuccessful efforts to woo Republican votes. "Not one Republican voted for it," ABC anchor Charles Gibson announced on World News with "Rescue Plan" as the on-screen heading, "turning a cold shoulder to the President's appeal for bipartisan support." Reporter Jonathan Karl fretted: "So much for the President's charm offensive. Today it was all partisan rancor and name-calling." CBS reporter Chip Reid related how "the White House says this is a victory for the President, but certainly there is also some disappointment that he worked so hard to get bipartisan support and couldn't get a single Republican vote." Reid soon chafed over how "Republicans relentlessly attacked the bill despite the President's extraordinary efforts to get bipartisan support." Katie Couric noted how "the President went up to the Hill to personally appeal to Republicans already," so, she pleaded, "what more can he do?"

2. ABC Distorts Economic Horrors; Spending Deal a 'Promising Signal'
Wednesday's Good Morning America led into an interview with House Republican Leader John Boehner about the massive Democratic "stimulus" package with a deluge of horror stories about the awful economy: an elderly man who froze to death after failing to pay his power bills; a new report declaring the need for $2 trillion in new infrastructure spending; and an unemployed man who killed his family and himself. "You know this situation -- you don't need me to tell you about it, we hear about job losses being reported every day," news anchor Chris Cuomo told viewers, "so the pressure is on lawmakers" to "get past the age-old battle over tax cuts versus spending" and pass the massive spending bill. Making it perfectly obvious which side he's on, Cuomo declared "a promising signal for all of us" that Boehner seemed to come out of a meeting with President Obama "looking to make a deal." But the economic horror stories that ABC pushed all contained significant omissions.

3. On Hardball, Chris Matthews Patronizes Limbaugh Listeners
Chris Matthews, on Wednesday night's Hardball, fell into the same trap many other journalists have in misunderstanding the term "Dittoheads," to describe fans of Rush Limbaugh as having no minds of their own that, as Matthews claimed, "repeat every word he speaks as gospel." Of course, as Limbaugh himself points out, fans of the radio talk show host are a varied group, that listen to him because he expresses the opinions they already share and/or just because he's entertaining and the term "Dittohead" is merely shorthand for saying you are a fan, not some "mind-numbed robot." However that fact was lost on Matthews who went on to patronize the audience, saying Limbaugh acts as "a support group for guys, mainly men," who, "feel underappreciated by their families, by their bosses."

4. CBS's Schieffer: Obama Banning 'Torture' Like Civil Rights Act
At the end of Sunday's Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer declared: "Hubert Humphrey once said the 1964 Civil Rights Act was America's single most effective foreign policy initiative. It had nothing to do with foreign policy, but it told the world who we were and what we stood for and that our system was about fairness and equal treatment and that it worked. I thought about that when Barack Obama announced that torture would never be part of our national policy."

5. Newsweek.com Omits 'Pro-Life' Groups' Connections to Democrats
Newsweek's Sarah Kliff, in a January 27 Web-exclusive article entitled "Pro-Lifers In Obamaland," failed to mention how several organizations and individuals she labeled as "pro-life" have friendly relations with pro-abortion Democrats. She also tried to portray the pro-life movement as being "split" between "those who are preparing for the fight of their lives and those who see an opportunity to redefine what it means to be pro-life," with the latter being the organizations sympathetic to the Democrats. Kliff wrote sympathetically of these groups, which are actually trying to muddy the waters of pro-life activism. Kliff began by introducing Sister Sharon Dillon, a "50-year-old former director of the Franciscan Federation" who has been "a pro-life activist since high school." Sister Dillon "doesn't agree with Roe v. Wade," but she's also "frustrated with the kind of single-minded activism she sees around her." What does Sister Dillon see as being "single-minded"? Apparently, it's "young girls chanting, 'hey hey, ho ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go!'"


ABC & CBS Chide Republicans for 'Turning
Cold Shoulder' to Obama

Shortly after the House on Wednesday passed President Barack Obama's $825 billion "stimulus" package, ABC and CBS commiserated with Obama over his unsuccessful efforts to woo Republican votes. "Not one Republican voted for it," ABC anchor Charles Gibson announced on World News with "Rescue Plan" as the on-screen heading, "turning a cold shoulder to the President's appeal for bipartisan support." Reporter Jonathan Karl fretted: "So much for the President's charm offensive. Today it was all partisan rancor and name-calling."

CBS reporter Chip Reid related how "the White House says this is a victory for the President, but certainly there is also some disappointment that he worked so hard to get bipartisan support and couldn't get a single Republican vote." Reid soon chafed over how "Republicans relentlessly attacked the bill despite the President's extraordinary efforts to get bipartisan support." Katie Couric noted how "the President went up to the Hill to personally appeal to Republicans already," so, she pleaded, "what more can he do?"

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Thursday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide these transcripts of the Wednesday, January 28 stories:

# ABC's World News:

CHARLES GIBSON: President Obama's giant $825 billion economic stimulus package cleared its first hurdle today. The House of Representatives passed it -- 244 in favor, 188 opposed. Not one Republican voted for it, turning a cold shoulder to the President's appeal for bipartisan support. Jonathan Karl reports from the Capitol tonight.

JONATHAN KARL: So much for the President's charm offensive. Today it was all partisan rancor and name-calling.
REP. DAVID DREIER (R-CA): It is 627 pages long, and that totals $1.18 billion for every single page in this bill.
REP. DAVID OBEY (D-WI): -many members behaving like mosquitoes.
REP. JERRY LEWIS (R-CA): Mr. Chairman, I very much appreciate you recognizing this mosquito.
REP. MIKE PENCE (R-IN): It's merely a wish list of long-standing liberal Democrat priorities.
KARL: One after another, Republicans lined up in opposition. But Democrats are in charge now, able to pass the largest bill of its kind in history -- $825 billion, including $275 billion in tax cuts; $550 billion in new spending, including $43 billion on transportation projects, more than $160 billion on health care, and $150 billion on education, double the entire budget of the Department of Education.
NANCY PELOSI, HOUSE SPEAKER: We are moving the ship of state in a new direction.
KARL: But Republicans say the bill is filled with old-fashioned big-government spending that won't stimulate the economy. For example, $335 million for sexually transmitted disease prevention, $600 million to buy new cars for government employees, and $1 billion to follow up on the 2010 Census, which, of course, hasn't happened yet. The Senate is expected to pass its own more costly version of this bill next week. That would put Congress on track to meet President Obama's deadline of getting a final bill to his desk by President's Day. But, Charlie, in the Senate, it is expected that the overwhelming majority of Democrats will oppose this as well.


# CBS Evening News:

KATIE COURIC: Good evening, everyone. President Obama made an in-person appeal to House Republicans to vote for his economic stimulus plan, but it didn't work. Not a single Republican joined the majority Democrats tonight as the House passed the more than $800 billion package. The final tally, 244 yeas and 188 nays. Twelve Democrats also voted no. Chip Reid is our chief White House correspondent, and, Chip, the President gets a victory, but not the bipartisan one he had hoped for.

CHIP REID: That's right, Katie. The White House says this is a victory for the President, but certainly there is also some disappointment that he worked so hard to get bipartisan support and couldn't get a single Republican vote. As the House of Representatives prepared to vote on the economic stimulus bill today, President Obama made one last plea for bold action, on behalf of American workers.
BARACK OBAMA: -the workers who are returning home to tell their husbands and wives and children that they no longer have a job. And all those who live in fear that their job will be next on the cutting blocks, they need help now.
REID: House Democrats voted overwhelmingly for the bill, which they say will create three to four million jobs.
REP. DAVID OBEY (D-WI) Every week that we delay is another 100,000 or more people unemployed.
REID: But Republicans relentlessly attacked the bill despite the President's extraordinary efforts to get bipartisan support.
REP. MIKE PENCE (R-IN): It's merely a wish list of long-standing liberal Democrat priorities that have little to do with putting our economy back on its feet.
REID: Some examples, they say, a billion dollars for Amtrak, $41 billion for local school districts, $127 billion for health care for the poor and unemployed.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI): Spending, just plain old spending
REID: Earlier, the President met with a group of CEOs who told him the bill will create jobs, lots of them. Around the table, long-time pillars of the economy whose work forces are now taking it on the chin -- IBM, 2,800 layoffs, Xerox, 3,000; Motorola, 6,100; and Corning, 3,500 layoffs announced just yesterday.
DAVID COTE, HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC., CLIP #1: -needs to get done fast.
COTE CLIP #2: Thank God you are not a timid man.
REID: And White House officials say this is just the beginning. Next week, the bill goes to the Senate, and the President is going to work very hard, they say, to get Republican support. As Press Secretary Robert Gibbs put it today, they're in the third inning of a nine-inning game, and a lot can change. Katie?
COURIC: And, Chip, as you mentioned, I mean, the President went up to the Hill to personally appeal to Republicans already, so what more can he do?
REID: Well, he can do a couple of things, Katie. Number one, they can make more changes in the bill, and they are prepared to do that. And number two, they are going to continue this charm offensive, essentially. They're going to have a cocktail party here tonight -- 11 Republicans, 11 Democrats. That's part of the new bipartisan way of looking at Congress.

ABC Distorts Economic Horrors; Spending
Deal a 'Promising Signal'

Wednesday's Good Morning America led into an interview with House Republican Leader John Boehner about the massive Democratic "stimulus" package with a deluge of horror stories about the awful economy: an elderly man who froze to death after failing to pay his power bills; a new report declaring the need for $2 trillion in new infrastructure spending; and an unemployed man who killed his family and himself.

"You know this situation -- you don't need me to tell you about it, we hear about job losses being reported every day," news anchor Chris Cuomo told viewers, "so the pressure is on lawmakers" to "get past the age-old battle over tax cuts versus spending" and pass the massive spending bill. Making it perfectly obvious which side he's on, Cuomo declared "a promising signal for all of us" that Boehner seemed to come out of a meeting with President Obama "looking to make a deal."

But the economic horror stories that ABC pushed prior to showing the interview with Boehner (taped Tuesday afternoon) all contain significant omissions. The "unregulated" power company being blamed for the elderly man's death is owned by the local government, not some greedy capitalist utility. The new report arguing for massive spending on roads and bridges was released two months early to influence the stimulus vote. And the man who tragically killed his family did not lose his job because of cost-cutting or anything related to the economy, but after being investigated for possible fraud.

[This item, by the MRC's Rich Noyes, was posted Wednesday afternoon on MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Interviewing Boehner, Cuomo was mainly a cheerleader for the Democratic bill: "77,000 jobs lost on just Monday. When you look at how to fix this situation, can you do it without investing in industry, without spending? Do you think you can do it by just cutting taxes?" Cuomo also hit Boehner with the complaint of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the faulty implementation of the TARP program should be laid at Republicans' feet, even though relatively few House Republicans supported the program back in the fall: "Nancy Pelosi says it's your party's fault. Fair criticism?"

Cuomo did, at least, acknowledge how the TARP was a symbol of "wasteful spending" -- a curious point, since the new spending program is much bigger, was also assembled without hearings or much debate, and does not even carry the promise of the TARP loans to banks that the money will be repaid to the government when the economy improves.

Here's how the Wednesday, January 28 program unfolded:

After a segment about icy weather across the Midwest and East, reporter Barbara Pinto reported on the story of an elderly man who died in Michigan after failing to pay his electric bills. As the on screen graphic read: COLD TRAGEDY: IS POWER COMPANY TO BLAME?, Pinto explained:
"In the dead of winter, anger is boiling over on South Chilson Avenue over what happened inside this house to 93-year-old Marvin Schur....Schur had fallen months behind on his electric bill so the power company installed a limiting device on his meter. Use too much power and the device trips, cutting off all electricity. The homeowner then needs to go outside to hit a reset button. It's unclear whether the 93-year-old Schur knew the limiter had been placed on his meter or was told how to reset it....
"The power company says it has used limiters on delinquent bill payers for 18 years without incident until now....Now the power company in this part of Michigan is unregulated, so they make their own rules about how to handle customers who fall behind."

But Pinto's complaint about how the power company is "unregulated" omits the fact that Bay City Electric, Light & Power is actually a municipal utility owned by the local government of Bay City, Michigan. So it was a government worker who put the limiter on Marvin Schur's electric meter, not an "unregulated" private sector worker: www.baycitymi.org

A few moments later, in the news update segment, news anchor Chris Cuomo added to the sense of urgency with this brief item, over the graphic "Failing Infrastructure":
"The roads you drive to work, the bridges you cross, here's the news, they are failing in a big way. A new report from some of the nation's top engineers gives our aging infrastructure a grade of a low D. The needed repairs to fix them, an estimated $2 trillion."

But according to the New York Times, the report is from the American Society of Civil Engineers and was released early to push for more infrastructure spending: "The society had planned to release the report in March, but moved it up to try to influence the debate over the $825 billion economic stimulus bill being negotiated by the Obama administration and Congress." Cuomo didn't mention that part of the story. NY Times article: www.nytimes.com

Then a few minutes later, Cuomo tied a family tragedy to "tough times":
"In Los Angeles, a stunned community is struggling to understand how an out-of-work father could shoot his five children, his wife, and then himself. Before killing his family, Ervin Lupoe faxed a letter to a TV station describing how he and his wife had been fired from their jobs at a hospital. He said he thought it was better to end their children's lives than leave them in someone else's hands. The children ranged in age from two to eight years old....City officials are now trying to raise awareness about the different ways people can get help in these tough times."

But according to the Los Angeles Times, the sad event may have had nothing to do with "tough times," but possible misconduct on the part of Lupoe and/or his wife: "Evidence was emerging Tuesday evening that the couple had been fired after an investigation into misconduct and had not been laid off as part of cost-cutting....The probe involved allegations of fraud, according to sources familiar with the inquiry, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry was ongoing." See: www.latimes.com

With that as their pessimistic preamble, viewers then saw Cuomo champion the big spending bill to Boehner in an interview taped Tuesday afternoon:

DIANE SAWYER: As we said, today is the day. It's the first big vote on the new President's economic policy. President Obama's $825 billion stimulus plan, expected to be under vote in the House today. The President took the extraordinary move of meeting with House Republicans Tuesday to try to get last-minute support.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I don't expect 100% agreement from my Republican colleagues but I do hope that we can all put politics aside and do the American people's business right now.
SAWYER: And just yesterday, you had a chance to speak with House Republican Leader John Boehner about all this, Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO: Yes, we did, and you know this situation -- you don't need me to tell you about it, we hear about job losses being reported every day. The stimulus package is now being valued by some at $900 billion or more so the pressure is on lawmakers. The question, can they get past the age-old battle over tax cuts versus spending? Well, a promising signal for all of us, yesterday the House Republican Whip [sic] John Boehner started the day calling for a blockade of President Obama's plan, but after a major meeting with the President he came out looking to make a deal. [to Boehner] What happened in that meeting to change your mind set?
JOHN BOEHNER: Well, we had a very good dialogue with the President and all of our members. It was open and honest conversation. Clearly, there are some differences but the president was clear that he was going to continue to reach out to us, continue to listen to our ideas and I think we have to remember we're at the beginning of this process.
CUOMO: The President refers to legitimate philosophical disagreement, you seem to say the same. What is this philosophical disagreement?
BOEHNER: Well, you know, we have Democrats and Republicans in America because we do believe that there are different roles for the federal government. The President believes that the government can spend and create jobs. Many of us on the Republican side believe that if we allow American families and small businesses to keep more of what they earn, that we can create jobs and preserve jobs in America much more efficiently.
CUOMO: 77,000 jobs lost on just Monday. When you look at how to fix this situation, can you do it without investing in industry, without spending? Do you think you can do it by just cutting taxes?
BOEHNER: No, it's not -- we're for more than just cutting taxes. What we're concerned about, some of the spending in this bill has nothing to do with creating jobs or preserving jobs. The bill that'll on the floor today is a bill that has too much spending, too much wasteful spending and buries our kids and grandkids under a mountain of debt.
CUOMO: The idea of wasteful spending comes nowhere more than it does in criticism of how the TARP funds have been spent so far. Let me ask you, where do you think responsibility lies in terms of why we don't know where this money is that's been given to the companies and how it's being spent? When I asked this to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, she put it squarely on the Bush administration. Please take a listen to what she had to say:
CLIP OF NANCY PELOSI ON GOOD MORNING AMERICA, JANUARY 13: There is nobody more disappointed in how the Bush Administration executed the TARP law than the members of Congress who sent the bill to them, at their insistence, but with our conditions, which they ignored.
CUOMO: Nancy Pelosi says it's your party's fault. Fair criticism?
BOEHNER: Well, listen, it's the Treasury Department's problem, and whether it's the career or political people, that's water over the dam. But the fact is, we're gonna spend additional money in the TARP to help ailing financial institutions and other sectors of our economy. We need to know how this money was spent.
CUOMO: What's wrong for the American people to say: '€˜You in Congress, all of you we put there to watch our backs, you are to blame. Don't talk to me about the Treasury, you could have found out if you had been on it more aggressively.' Fair?
BOEHNER: Listen, I've been on this, literally, since about two weeks after we passed bill in October. Asking these same questions. I'm as disappointed as Nancy Pelosi is that we don't have answers as yet.
CUOMO: What's the fix, you think, Mr. Representative? Everybody says transparency, accountability, how do you do it?
BOEHNER: Well, listen. We have a serious problem in our economy. There's no books, there are no books written about how to do this. There is no track to follow. So, we're at the mercy of a lot of very smart people who are going to be giving us advice about what we need to do. The real key for congress, is can we do the right thing?
CUOMO: Alright, Representative Boehner, I appreciate it very much.
BOEHNER: Thank you.
CUOMO: And the Representative's last point is probably the most instructive: The best thing we have going for us in avoiding the politics as usual, is that they don't really know what will work in this situation, so they may not cling to the partisan positions as much. The Representative said February 13 is the date they hope to have a bill on the President's desk.
ROBIN ROBERTS: February 13, the new target date. Thank you.

On Hardball, Chris Matthews Patronizes
Limbaugh Listeners

Chris Matthews, on Wednesday night's Hardball, fell into the same trap many other journalists have in misunderstanding the term "Dittoheads," to describe fans of Rush Limbaugh as having no minds of their own that, as Matthews claimed, "repeat every word he speaks as gospel." Of course, as Limbaugh himself points out, fans of the radio talk show host are a varied group, that listen to him because he expresses the opinions they already share and/or just because he's entertaining and the term "Dittohead" is merely shorthand for saying you are a fan, not some "mind-numbed robot." However that fact was lost on Matthews who went on to patronize the audience, saying Limbaugh acts as "a support group for guys, mainly men," who, "feel underappreciated by their families, by their bosses."

[This item, by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Wednesday evening on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Matthews' slights against Limbaugh and his audience came in several segments devoted to Republican Congressman Phil Gingery coming on the talk show host's program to apologize to him for a criticism he made earlier in the week. In one of the segments Matthews threw the following question to Salon's Joan Walsh:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay here's a great philosophical-, Joan you have opened a can of worms here. Why do libertarians and I respect a lot of libertarian philosophy. It's, at least, in ideal terms the Ayn Rand stuff. It's-, I love the idea it's romantic. If everybody could live on themselves, and take care of themselves, if that could work, it doesn't, fine. But why do people who say they're individualists, cowboys, out there all alone, refer to themselves as "Dittoheads?"
Why would you take pride in being a ditto of what Rush Limbaugh say? In other words, repeating after him, every word he speaks as if its gospel? And, and, it doesn't make any sense. How can you be both a "Dittohead," and an individualist? It makes no sense to me!

Then a little later in the program Matthews insulted Limbaugh listeners when he made the following observation to guest panelist liberal New York Times columnist Bob Herbert:

MATTHEWS: The Limbaugh constituency and it is a support group. He's a support group for guys, mainly men, I think, traveling around the country trying to sell product between 12 and 3 Eastern. They're out they're working hard, they're trying to meet sales quotas. I guess they feel underappreciated by their families, by their bosses. And he says, "Look you're the guys carrying the load. It's those people out there, that aren't working the ones who are getting a free tax ride. They're the ones we gotta get." Right? That's what he's playing to.
BOB HERBERT, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: That's exactly what he's playing to but I think what is interesting is apparently the "Dittoheads" are in Congress as well. So you have Republican members-
MATTHEWS: Ha!
HERBERT: You have Republican members of Congress who feel free to openly criticize President Obama but if they criticize Rush then they have to genuflect and kiss his ring. I find that fascinating.

The following exchanges were aired on the January 28 edition of Hardball:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: But Joan what do you make of the politics here? This is a pretty strong charge from Rush. I think it was backed up, well I guess it's, in effect backed up by people like Phil Gingery, the congressman, because he come back and groveled before the altar of, of, of, God, of Rush Limbaugh. What a sight!
JOAN WALSH, SALON: You know, with all due respect, with all due-
MATTHEWS: You see who got the power here.
WALSH: Yes he's licking his boots. Let's be honest. Have you ever seen anything more pathetic than that display? And with all due respect to Dick Armey this is not about the tax code. This is not about smart tax policy. This is not about the stimulus. This is about the politics of resentment. And this is about Rush Limbaugh playing up Democrats against Republicans.

MATTHEWS: Okay.
WALSH: I mean you know we haven't talked about the most disgusting thing that Rush said which is that we should-
(DICK ARMEY INTERRUPTS)
WALSH: No, no, no let me finish. Let me finish.
MATTHEWS: No, no, let's hear...No, no, no! This show is Hardball. Joan, you have cued me. Here he is. The most disgusting thing he ever said last week. Last week-
WALSH: Oh good. My..
MATTHEWS: Thank you for cuing it. Here it is. Here's Rush Limbaugh last week.
(Begin clip of Limbaugh on Fox News)
RUSH LIMBAUGH: We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds. That we have to bend over, grab the ankles, bend over forward, backward whichever, "because his father was black. Because this is the first black president."
(End clip)
MATTHEWS: What, what do we make of that? That we have to, "bend over, grab the ankles, bend over forward, backward whichever because his father was black?" What is this? What is this?
WALSH: Did anyone, did anyone think? Did one person, did one Republican think of apologizing to President Obama for such an obnoxious, sickening thing? I mean c'mon! This is what we're talking about.

...

MATTHEWS: Okay here's a great philosophical-, Joan you have opened a can of worms here. Why do libertarians and I respect a lot of libertarian philosophy. It's, at least, in ideal terms the Ayn Rand stuff. It's-, I love the idea it's romantic. If everybody could live on themselves, and take care of themselves, if that could work, it doesn't, fine. But why do people who say they're individualists, cowboys, out there all alone, refer to themselves as "Dittoheads?" Why would you take pride in being a ditto of what Rush Limbaugh says. In other words repeating after him, every word he speaks as if its gospel? And, and, it doesn't make any sense. How can you be both a "Dittohead," and an individualist? It makes no sense to me!

...

MATTHEWS: The Limbaugh constituency and it is a support group. He's a support group for guys, mainly men, I think, traveling around the country trying to sell product between 12 and 3 Eastern. They're out they're working hard, they're trying to meet sales quotas. I guess they feel underappreciated by their families, by their bosses. And he says, "Look you're the guys carrying the load. It's those people out there, that aren't working the ones who are getting a free tax ride. They're the ones we gotta get." Right? That's what he's playing to.
BOB HERBERT, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: That's exactly what he's playing to but I think what is interesting is apparently the "Dittoheads" are in Congress as well. So you have Republican members-
MATTHEWS: Ha!
HERBERT: You have Republican members of Congress who feel free to openly criticize President Obama but if they criticize Rush then they have to genuflect and kiss his ring. I find that fascinating.

...

MATTHEWS TO DAVID SHUSTER: I think Rush Limbaugh plays brilliantly to his constituency - traveling salesmen. I know how he does it. He's a support group. Nobody else roots for him, he does. Everything he says is brilliantly tuned to that constituency against-, the trouble is I have with people like that is they, they're never as tough on the rich people as they are on poor people. And I think it's easy to go after the poor people. People that have nothing, who get a tax break or a tax credit. And they're struggling, and they get to work.
By the way, I always say to people, you think poor people don't work? Come to Washington at six o'clock in the morning and see who's waiting for a bus to go to work. Every street corner people are waiting on busses to go to work in the morning. These are poor people working for very low income. They work 40, 50, 60 hours a week and they make very little money to come home with. But they show up for work every day and they get up very early after taking care of their families. Then they gotta go home and take care of their families when they do get home at six o'clock. They work very hard.
The idea that poor people don't work as hard as rich people is crap. And I, and I think a lot of the people on the right sell that argument all the time. That somehow people are richer because they work harder. A lot of people work very, very hard. They just haven't had the breaks. Sometimes the education. Whatever? Maybe the parents, somebody let them down somewhere along the line. But you can't-, life is not a beautiful meritocracy. It just isn't. It doesn't work that way.

To read about Rep. Phil Gingery apologizing to Limbaugh: www.rushlimbaugh.com

CBS's Schieffer: Obama Banning 'Torture'
Like Civil Rights Act

At the end of Sunday's Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer declared: "Hubert Humphrey once said the 1964 Civil Rights Act was America's single most effective foreign policy initiative. It had nothing to do with foreign policy, but it told the world who we were and what we stood for and that our system was about fairness and equal treatment and that it worked. I thought about that when Barack Obama announced that torture would never be part of our national policy."

[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Wednesday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Schieffer continued to praise Obama as well as the new President's world view: "With a simple declaration, President Obama told the world our system of government is so strong we don't need to torture people to survive. That is the way of those who would destroy us. But that is not us. We have found a better way. That is what our message to the world must be. More importantly, that is what we want our children to know. When we were admired and respected by others, we are far more secure than any weapon can ever make us."

Newsweek.com Omits 'Pro-Life' Groups'
Connections to Democrats

Newsweek's Sarah Kliff, in a January 27 Web-exclusive article entitled "Pro-Lifers In Obamaland," failed to mention how several organizations and individuals she labeled as "pro-life" have friendly relations with pro-abortion Democrats. She also tried to portray the pro-life movement as being "split" between "those who are preparing for the fight of their lives and those who see an opportunity to redefine what it means to be pro-life," with the latter being the organizations sympathetic to the Democrats. Kliff wrote sympathetically of these groups, which are actually trying to muddy the waters of pro-life activism.

[This item, by the MRC's Matthew Balan, was posted Wednesday evening on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

For Kliff's entire article, see "Pro-Lifers In Obamaland," at: www.newsweek.com

Kliff began by introducing Sister Sharon Dillon, a "50-year-old former director of the Franciscan Federation" who has been "a pro-life activist since high school." Sister Dillon "doesn't agree with Roe v. Wade," but she's also "frustrated with the kind of single-minded activism she sees around her." What does Sister Dillon see as being "single-minded"? Apparently, it's "young girls chanting, 'hey hey, ho ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go!'" So Kliff started with the premise that wanting to overturn this Supreme Court ruling is "single-minded."

The Newsweek correspondent mentioned that Sister Dillon went "marching with a group called Catholics United." Catholics United, founded in 2005, is led by Chris Korzen and James Salt. Both men have liberal credentials. Korzen "previously worked as an organizer with the Service Employees International Union and the Pax Christi Young Adult Forum," while Salt "oversaw the Kansas Democratic Party's faith outreach efforts, including messaging work for Governor Sebelius and development of faith-based messaging resources," according to their short bios on Catholics United's website.

For Korzen and Salt's Catholic United bios, see "About Us" at: www.catholics-united.org

After describing Sister Dillon's focus on wanting to reduce the number of abortions, Kliff continued by trying to accentuate how "single-minded" certain pro-lifers apparently are: "What Dillon is promoting may not sound radical. But to legions of pro-life activists, even the use of the word 'reduction' instead of elimination borders on heresy."

What Kliff didn't mention about Sister Dillon is that she is the Operations Director for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, which is another "pro-life" organization mentioned later in her article. Both organizations were singled out by name by Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput in October 2008 as "Democratic-friendly groups...[which] have done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn." One way Catholics United specifically "undermined the progress pro-lifers have made" was to urge its supporters to oppose literature drops by pro-life organizations at churches during the weeks before the election.

For Dillon's biography for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, see their staff page: www.catholicsinalliance.org

For more on Archbishop Chaput's statement against Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, see Kathleen Gilbert's October 20, 2008 item on LifeSiteNews.com, "Denver Archbishop Chaput: Obama Supporting Pro-life Catholics 'Absurd:'" at: www.lifesitenews.com

For more on Catholics United urging their supporters to oppose pro-life literature drops at churches, see Steven Ertelt's October 31, 2008 item on LifeNews.com, "Catholics United Threatens Churches, Pastors Over Pro-Life Literature Drops" at: www.lifenews.com

Later in the article, Kliff emphasized the apparent "split" happening in the pro-life movement: "The election of a pro-choice administration and a Democratic Congress has divided the pro-life movement, between those who are preparing for the fight of their lives and those who see an opportunity to redefine what it means to be pro-life." She then expanded on the latter group. First, the Newsweek correspondent described organizations such as Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good as "among a handful of groups at the intersection of religion and politics...that spent the election cycle pushing for a new understanding of how to pursue a pro-life agenda." She also outlined that "while the majority of pro-lifers may be preparing for an escalated battle, there is a small group that sees the change in Washington as an opportunity to reshape some of the movement's core principles."

Besides Sister Dillon, who is a member of this "small group"? Kliff named Jim Wallis, an Obama apologist described by her as the director of "Sojourners, a progressive evangelical group." The correspondent also used the "pro-life" label with the evangelical: "Wallis, who is pro-life, and other progressive leaders are trying out a strategy that has so far failed to gain much traction on either side of the debate..." She went on to describe Wallis' apparent involvement in the timing of President Obama's revocation of the Mexico City policy:
Unlike his Democratic predecessor, Obama did not use the anniversary of Roe to reverse the Mexico City Policy. Wallis, the Evangelical leader, was involved in discussions with Obama advisors about how the president would announce that executive order and says the timing -- late on a Friday afternoon -- was intentional. "Everyone knew it was going to be rescinded," says Wallis. "He was trying to do it quietly, without fanfare. By issuing a statement first, he sent a clear signal that he's not looking to start a fight with people who are pro-life."

END of Excerpt

Obama is "not looking to start a fight with people who are pro-life" by merely not doing it on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade?

Earlier in the article, Kliff made two other omissions. She described Democratic Senator Bob Casey as being "pro-life," despite his early support for Obama during the presidential campaign, and his mixed voting record on the issue. On Wednesday, Senator Casey voted against an amendment which would have restored the Mexico City Policy. She also failed to mention how President Obama defended Roe v. Wade in his statement on the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, which she described as also offering "an optimistic view of the level of cooperation possible between pro-lifers and pro-choicers." The President wrote, "On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women's health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose."

For more Senator Casey's record on the abortion issue, see David Freddoso's September 12, 2007 item on National Review Online, "He's Not His Father's Pro-life Democrat: Casey votes to fund abortion groups" at: article.nationalreview.com

For more on Casey's vote against the restoration of the Mexico City Policy, see Steven Ertelt's January 28, 2009 item on LifeNews.com, "Senate Defeats Pro-Life Amendment to Restore Mexico City Policy on Abortion:" www.lifenews.com

For President Obama's full statement on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, see Steven Waldman's January 23, 2009 item on Beliefnet.com, "Obama's Abortion Steps -- Mexico City "Gag Rule" and Roe v. Wade statement -- Bound to Disappoint Pro-Life Supporters:" blog.beliefnet.com

-- Brent Baker