ABC's Koppel Sees Only "Modestly Enthusiastic Onlookers" -- 04/04/2003 CyberAlert
2. ABC's Engel/Jennings Civilian Decimation Tag Team
3. U.S. Gas Giveaway "Purchased Patriotism" Just as Bad as Iraq's
4. Clift: "More Like a War of Conquest Than a War of Liberation"
5. CNN Showcases Lunacy of a "Human Shield"
6. Stephanopoulos Driving Sunday Morning Viewers Away from ABC
7. Fans Walk Out on Band Which Impales Bush Mask on Mike Stand
8. Dennis Miller Takes on Peter Arnett and Michael Moore
9. NYPD Blue Star Dennis Franz: "We're Doing the Right Thing"
10. Letterman's Top 10
CBS and NBC on Thursday night, along with CNN and FNC, conveyed enthusiastic greetings from Iraqi civilians for U.S. soldiers, but not ABC News. "There were some modestly enthusiastic onlookers," Ted Koppel grudgingly acknowledged.
CBS's Jim Axelrod, however, saw "men, women, children, smiling and waving. We heard people say 'welcome.' 'Hello Mr. Bush.'" NBC's Dana Lewis declared: "For the most part American troops have been warmly welcomed by thousands of Iraqis, many curious enough to wait hours just to get a glimpse of them." New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins told NBC viewers that he witnessed "a really warm reception by just about every Iraqi that we passed. People waving and people cheering."
On ABC's World News Tonight, traveling with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, Ted Koppel maintained: "There were some modestly enthusiastic onlookers, actually the largest number of Iraqis that we have seen since we have been in country. There was one trooper tossing plastic frisbees to some of the kids. That probably got more of a reaction and more enthusiasm than anything else did."
Over on the April 3 CBS Evening News, Jim Axelrod with the Army at airport, recalled over video of happy civilians as his unit moved north earlier in the day: "Look how they were met. These are men, women, children, smiling and waving. We heard people say 'welcome.' 'Hello Mr. Bush.' These are picture now two weeks into the war that quite frankly many had expected to see from the outset."
On the NBC Nightly News, Dana Lewis, with the Army's 101st Airborne in Najaf, witnessed: "For the most part American troops have been warmly welcomed-"
Viewers saw a crowd of people giving a thumbs up.
Later, anchor Tom Brokaw offered an audio report from New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins with the Marines:
The Engel/Jennings civilian decimation tag team, part two. From Baghdad, on Thursday night ABC's freelancer, Richard Engel highlighted the plight of one civilian put in danger by coalition bombing, a woman who, Engel relayed, "told me that when the bombs started dropping this morning, she became terrified and immediately went into labor" and so had a Caesarian section.
Moments later, Jennings recited a litany of uncorroborated numbers to illustrate the pain the coalition has inflicted. He related how "a missile strike, possibly American, killed civilians as well as soldiers at a village near Baghdad airport," how "al-Jazeera reported that 18 civilians died during bombing near the northern city of Mosul" and how "the International Committee of the Red Cross reports today that their doctors in southern Iraq have seen, their words, 'incredible levels of civilian casualties.'"
The night before, as recounted in the April 3 CyberAlert, Richard "Peter Arnett" Engel relayed on World News Tonight how "6,000 Arab and Muslim volunteer suicide bombers" have arrived in Baghdad. Arnett had a "baby milk factory," Engel has a "maternity hospital." He asserted: "Iraqis are growing increasingly enraged by the mounting damage to civilian sites -- including this maternity hospital." Engel went to the streets to gather public opinion: "I asked this man if he thinks the war is about liberating him from Saddam's brutal regime. 'Liberation?' he asked me. 'Who asked for America to liberate us?'" Peter Jennings suggested that the Iraqi claim of "almost 700 civilians killed in the country since the U.S. invaded" last month "may be low." See the April 3 CyberAlert.
For the April 3 World News Tonight, Engel reported how the power was out in Baghdad and the outage cut off a TV interview being conducted by the Minister of Information. Engel continued, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
Jennings followed up: "It is very hard to keep up with the effect of the fighting on Iraqi civilians. The Reuters News Agency says that a missile strike, possibly American, killed civilians as well as soldiers at a village near Baghdad airport. The television network al-Jazeera reported that 18 civilians died during bombing near the northern city of Mosul. And the International Committee of the Red Cross reports today that their doctors in southern Iraq have seen, their words, 'incredible levels of civilian casualties.'"
To MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann, an American gas station employing the publicity gimmick of giving away some free gas to those with cars displaying a U.S. flag is "purchased patriotism" just as despicable as the Iraqi regime using civilians as human shields and "forced suicide bombers" because, amongst those "waiting for their five free gallons, were a few who weren't really that gung ho about the war but just stuck a flag in their windshield wiper to get the gasoline gratis." Olbermann mightily lambasted: "Purchased patriotism is one of the things we're fighting against."
In his end of the hour commentary Thursday night, Olbermann also elevated a malicious charge of anti-American leftists: "Some anti-war protesters are claiming an unfortunate link between this conflict and big oil, meantime somebody else is giving away gas to anybody who will paint their mud flaps red, white and blue, and how bad does that look?"
Not as bad as Olbermann's reasoning.
The MRC's Tim Graham alerted me to Olbermann's ridiculous display of moral equivalence, between a harmless sales ploy and murdering your citizens, which Olbermann conveyed in a commentary at the end of the 8pm EST hour he anchors, "Countdown: Operation Iraqi Freedom." He repeated it live just before 1am EST at the end of the midnight hour which he also now anchors as of this week.
Olbermann intoned on April 3, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
In between FNC reports Thursday morning from inside Iraq showing Iraqis cheering the passing convoys of U.S. soldiers moving north, largely unimpeded, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift insisted that "the measure of resistance that we've seen and the kind of fighting bodes ill for the occupation and I know we want to call it a liberation, but I think this looks more like a war of conquest than a war of liberation."
Bill Kristol dismissed her assertion as "pathetic," noting that "the Iraqi people are clearly happy to be liberated."
National Review Online's Kathryn Jean Lopez, in NRO's "The Corner," caught the outlandish outburst from Clift, the MRC's Tim Graham brought it to my attention and MRC analyst Patrick Gregory transcribed what Clift argued during a segment at about 11:30am EST on Thursday when she appeared with Weekly Standard Publisher Bill Kristol during the hour anchored by David Asman.
Clift argued: "I think there was an expectation this would be a lightning fast war and this is a political war, and if we win, which we will inevitably win because we're the most powerful military in the world, but at what cost. And this is a political contest for the hearts and minds of the Iraqis and the Arabs in the Middle East. And the danger is that we can win the military victory and lose the peace. And I think the measure of resistance that we've seen and the kind of fighting bodes ill for the occupation-"
MRC analyst Ken Shepherd took down the most humorous portion of the April 3 interview, the third item of the day first noticed by the MRC's Tim Graham.
At about 1:35pm EST on Thursday, CNN viewers were treated to this illuminating exchange between Blitzer in Kuwait City and U.S. citizen Cahill, who was a human shield for five weeks at a Baghdad water treatment plant which the coalition never bombed, in Amman, Jordan:
Let's leave this guy in Amman.
George Stephanopoulous seems to be driving viewers away from ABC on Sunday mornings. Between the first quarter of 2002 and the first quarter of this year, while the long-established This Week is well-ahead in the ratings for relative new comer Fox News Sunday, which grew the most percentage-wise, of the four broadcast network Sunday interview programs, only This Week, now in third place behind CBS's Face the Nation, has lost audience size in the past year, Neilsen numbers highlighted by the Drudge Report revealed.
This Week was co-hosted by Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts until Stephanopoulos became the sole host in September.
An excerpt from Drudge's April 3 story:
According to Nielsen Media Research data, "Meet the Press with Tim Russert," had its best quarter ever (since at least the start of people meters in 1987), among total and younger viewers (adults 25-54). For the first quarter 2003, "Meet the Press" averaged 5.211 million total viewers, 61% more than second place CBS "Face the Nation's" 3.240, a 76% advantage over third place "This Week with George Stephanopoulos'" 2.961 million, and 178% more viewers than FOX "News Sunday's" 1.875 million....
Compared to the first quarter last year (2002), "Meet the Press'" total viewer audience grew by 10% this year, CBS increased 4% and fourth place FOX grew by 26%. ABC was the only Sunday morning public affairs program to loose viewers, declining by 9% since a year ago when the program was "This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts."
In homes, "Meet the Press" posted a 4.0 rating and a 12 share for the first quarter. CBS had a 2.5/7, ABC had a 2.2/6 and FOX had a 1.4/4. The Russert-moderated program has also now placed first in homes for 22 consecutive quarters. Compared to a year ago in homes, "Meet the Press" increased 11%, CBS was up 9%, FOX increased by 17% but ABC declined 15%.
Among the key demographics women, men and adults, "Meet the Press" outperformed the competition in all categories....
END of Excerpt
Public revulsion at trashing the President in a time of war. "Incensed fans walked out of Pearl Jam's concert Tuesday after lead singer Eddie Vedder impaled a mask of President Bush on a microphone stand, then slammed it to the stage," the Rocky Mountain News reported on April 3 in a story to which several people alerted me.
An excerpt from the story by reporter Mark Brown of the Denver newspaper:
...Most of Vedder's antiwar remarks earlier in the Pepsi Center show were greeted with mixed cheers and scattered boos. But dozens of angry fans walked out during the encore because of the macabre display with the Bush mask, which he wore for the song Bushleaguer, a Bush-taunting song from the band's latest album, Riot Act.
"When he was sharing his political views in a fairly benign manner -- supporting our troops, opposing policy -- that's OK," said Keith Zimmerman, of Denver.
"When he takes what looks like the head of George Bush on a stick, then throws it to the stage and stomps on it, that's just unacceptable. I love Pearl Jam, but that was just way over the edge. We literally got up and left."
Others joined Zimmerman, some complaining about the lyrics of Bushleaguer, which in part call Bush "a confidence man" and say, "He's not a leader/he's a Texas leaguer."
"I wasn't sure if it was really happening," said Kim Mueller. "We looked at each other and realized he really did have George Bush's head on a stick and was waving it in the air, then slammed it to the ground and stepped on it."
"It was like he decapitated someone in a primal ritual and stuck their head on a stick," Zimmerman said....
Vedder has used the Bush mask in previous shows in Australia and Japan, but Denver's U.S. tour opener was the first show since war broke out in Iraq....
END of Excerpt
Read the story in its entirety posted online at www.rockymountainnews.com.
Another round of pro-American patriotism, pro-President Bush and anti-liberal jibes, jests, zingers and slams from actor/comedian Dennis Miller on Thursday's Tonight Show with Jay Leno, including a nice shot at Peter Arnett: "How am I supposed to trust the honesty of a reporter that has that bad of a comb-over on top of his head?...Hey guess what Pete? We know you're bald, okay? The outside of your skull is as empty as the inside."
From the April 3 Tonight Show on NBC, most of Miller's cutting observations about the present situation:
-- Pride in conduct of the war:
-- Denouncing anti-war protesters, Miller described how he puts them into four categories, the second one made up of those who call everyone but Hussein a Hitler:
-- On the up side of war protesters:
-- On the Dixie Chicks:
-- On Peter Arnett:
-- On Michael Moore:
-- On justification for the war:
-- On those whining about the length of the war:
-- On global warming:
-- Advise to soldiers in Iraq:
-- Praising the troops:
For Miller's previous Tonight Show appearance see the February 26, 2003 CyberAlert.
For Miller taking on Phil Donahue on February 3 read the February 4, 2003 CyberAlert.
For links to earlier Miller appearances on the Tonight Show and a picture of him see the January 30, 2003 CyberAlert.
Dennis Miller may be one of the few Hollywood celebrities backing President Bush's was policy, but he isn't totally alone. On the April 1 edition of the syndicated program Extra Dennis Franz, who plays "Detective Andy Sipowicz" on NYPD Blue, declared: "I think we're doing the right thing."
Franz, who fought in Vietnam for nearly a year, urged Americans to get behind the troops: "They are defending our country. Thank God that we have people in this world that are willing to do it."
For a picture of Franz, check his Internet Movie Database bio.
10. "Thanks to soft, snowy ground, no push-ups!"
9. "Don't have to worry about sunscreen like those suckers stationed in Hawaii"
8. "Our state-of-the-art surveillance equipment makes salmon fishing a snap"
7. "When the days get really short, we only put in a 45-minute work week"
6. "One of the senior airmen is a moose"
5. "Can't taste mess hall food when your tongue is frozen solid"
4. "On weekends, can take advantage of Nome's crazy nightlife"
3. "The government provides mittens"
2. "If you want baked Alaska, just order 'baked here'"
1. "Daily schedule: one hour doing Air Force stuff; nine hours snowboarding"
-- CyberAlert edited by Brent Baker