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Bob Schieffer Obsesses Over How Iraq is Now "Guerrilla War" --6/30/2003


1. Bob Schieffer Obsesses Over How Iraq is Now "Guerrilla War"
More than a few journalists in recent days have raised the charge that the U.S. is now involved in a "guerrilla war" in Iraq, a term meant to invoke fears of another Vietnam-like quagmire. But no one has been as obsessed with the idea as Bob Schieffer, who raised it repeatedly on Sunday's Face the Nation. Schieffer opened the June 29 broadcast with the theme: "Today on Face the Nation, has Iraq become a guerrilla war?" He then made both Senator John McCain and Senator Chris Dodd respond to the proposition.

2. Thomas Admits Affirmative Action "Assuages Us Guilty Liberals"
Newsweek's Evan Thomas admitted on Inside Washington that affirmative action "assuages us guilty liberals."

3. CNN's Woodruff's Cues up Hillary Clinton from the Left
CNN's Judy Woodruff landed a rare opportunity to question Senator Hillary Clinton on policy, but instead of challenging Clinton from the right, Woodruff used her session on Friday's Inside Politics to continue her crusade in eliminate obstacles which might block adding prescription coverage to Medicare. Woodruff summarized how Clinton thinks Senator Ted Kennedy is favoring a version which doesn't go far enough and then relayed how she began her session with Clinton: "I asked Senator Clinton if she thinks Kennedy made a mistake." Woodruff soon worried about how making a prescription deal would hurt the liberal cause: "Doesn't it take a potentially good issue for the Democrats off the table and let the President have a victory here?"

4. Olbermann Mocks Fears of Hillary, Admires Fears of FNC
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann used his Countdown show on Friday night to mock Republican concerns about Hillary Clinton gaining more power, but he admired fears of FNC as he publicized an anti-Fox News Channel Web site (with a "Faux News Channel: We Distort, You Comply" T-shirt) and sarcastically joked: "The First Amendment may cover agitproperties.com, presuming Rupert Murdoch doesn't buy the First Amendment." Plus, "fear and loathing of the Clintons has been a major focus of Republican fundraising efforts for, it seems, a generation," Olbermann asserted, before ridiculing the idea that Hillary Clinton as Senate Minority Leader would be a "nightmare."


Bob Schieffer Obsesses Over How Iraq
is Now "Guerrilla War"

More than a few journalists in recent days have raised the charge that the U.S. is now involved in a "guerrilla war" in Iraq, a term meant to invoke fears of another Vietnam-like quagmire. But no one has been obsessed with the idea as Bob Schieffer, who raised it repeatedly on Sunday's Face the Nation. Schieffer opened the June 29 broadcast with the theme: "Today on Face the Nation, has Iraq become a guerrilla war?"

Schieffer proceeded to propose the notion to Senators John McCain and Chris Dodd. To McCain: "What many people are wondering is have we moved from one phase of this war into another phase? Rather than being over, are we now into a guerrilla war, do you think?" To Dodd: "Do you believe this is an organized resistance? Have we now gotten ourselves into a guerrilla war?"

Schieffer launched the Sunday show: "Today on Face the Nation, has Iraq become a guerrilla war? Dozens of attacks on American troops have been reported in just the last week, and since May 1st, at least 63 Americans have died in Iraq. Are more troops needed now, and why can't Saddam Hussein be found? And did the U.S. administration plan for this? These are the questions for Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Chris Dodd, Democrat from Connecticut."

Schieffer's first question to McCain, appearing via satellite from Phoenix, Arizona: "Senator McCain, since May 1st, 63 Americans have now died -- and I believe some 23 of those have been killed in combat -- in Iraq. I say that, since May 1st, because that was the day that the President declared combat operations over in Iraq. What many people are wondering is have we moved from one phase of this war into another phase? Rather than being over, are we now into a guerrilla war, do you think?"
McCain: "I think we're in a phase of the reconstruction of Iraq, the installation of the principles and functions of a democratic society, which is incredibly difficult. I think all of us who saw this basically as two phases: one, a military operation which was decisive, which we're all proud of, and a very, very difficult, long and perhaps expensive in American blood and treasure operation, worth it, but very long and difficult...."

Schieffer's first question to Dodd, who was in studio: "Senator Dodd, you've just heard Senator McCain. Do you believe this is an organized resistance? Have we now gotten ourselves into a guerrilla war?"
Dodd: "Well, I think John's choice of words was the right one. It's certainly, I wouldn't call it an insurgency yet. The irony might be here that the opposition is better organized for the reconstruction phase than we were, in a sense..."

Thomas Admits Affirmative Action "Assuages
Us Guilty Liberals"

A member of the Washington press corps has come clean, simultaneously admitting he's a liberal and that liberals favor affirmative action because it "assuages us guilty liberals."

Newsweek's Evan Thomas On the Inside Washington over the weekend, in the midst of a discussion about the Supreme Court's affirmative action rulings, Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas noted that the SAT test score gap between blacks and whites is growing. Asked why, Thomas opined:
"In some ways affirmative action is a diversion and a distraction. For one thing, it only affects people applying to about a hundred schools. It doesn't affect most black African-Americans or most whites. So it's a bit of a sideshow that assuages us guilty liberals. The real problem is education, doing things going after that gap."

Such as vouchers, which guilty liberals oppose.

CNN's Woodruff's Cues up Hillary Clinton
from the Left

CNN's Judy Woodruff landed a rare opportunity to question Senator Hillary Clinton on policy, but instead of challenging Clinton from the right, Woodruff used her session on Friday's Inside Politics with the New York Senator to continue her crusade in eliminate obstacles which might block adding prescription coverage to Medicare.

Woodruff summarized how Clinton thinks Senator Ted Kennedy is favoring a version which doesn't go far enough and then relayed how she began her session with Clinton: "I asked Senator Clinton if she thinks Kennedy made a mistake."

Woodruff soon worried about how making a prescription deal would hurt the liberal cause: "You don't agree with it. And the other piece of this is, is doesn't it take a potentially good issue for the Democrats off the table and let the President have a victory here?"

This approach from the left matches how she treated Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy and Republican Senator Rick Santorum in recent weeks. As recounted in the June 25 CyberAlert:
CNN's Judy Woodruff, a case study in the media's liberal, pro-government spending/government can solve any problem bias. Last Wednesday, she took on Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy from the left suggesting to him that his prescription coverage giveaway program in Medicare doesn't go far enough: "I began by asking him about his signing off on a plan that would leave some seniors with less drug coverage than they need and whether he undercut those seniors." This week she interviewed Republican Senator Rick Santorum and worried about how with Democratic and Republican plans in conflict a new program might not pass: "I started by asking him if the whole Medicare reform effort could unravel over this kind of disagreement." For the item in full: www.mediaresearch.org

Back to the taped Clinton interview conducted on June 26 and played on the June 27 Inside Politics, Woodruff's other questions were hardly tough on anything else. Woodruff wondered, for instance, if there's an opening on the Supreme Court, "if the President picks a replacement is it automatically going to be a bloodbath, do you think, in the fight for confirmation?"

In her only challenge to anything Clinton said, Woodruff did note that though Democrats want Bush to consult with them before nominating someone for the Supreme Court, that was not a courtesy the Clinton White House extended to Senate Republicans. Woodruff also passed along the worry that the activities of Bill and Hillary are "taking attention away from" the Democratic presidential candidates. "What do you say to that?"

A rundown of Woodruff's questions to Senator Clinton as shown in a taped segment on the June 27 Inside Politics:

-- Woodruff set up the segment: "I sat down with New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton about a wide range of issues yesterday, including the White House-backed Medicare reform bill. Senator Clinton opposed the measure. She says it doesn't go far enough. Senator Edward Kennedy, however, decided to support the bill. He was a leading supporter. And I asked Senator Clinton if she thinks Kennedy made a mistake."
Clinton: "I think he believes given the fact we have a Republican President and Republican majorities in both Houses, that this is the best we're going to get, and we should take it as a down payment. And I understand that position. I don't agree with it, but I certainly think it's a credible, supportable position to have."
Woodruff: "You don't agree with it. And the other piece of this is, is doesn't it take a potentially good issue for the Democrats off the table and let the President have a victory here?"
Clinton: "Well, I don't think about it like that. I mean to me you're supposed to be doing the work for the people who send you to Washington and the politics will take care of itself...."

-- Woodruff: "Turn to the Supreme Court, a lot of discussion and speculation about whether there will be a vacancy, a retirement on the Supreme Court right now. If there is, if the President picks a replacement is it automatically going to be a bloodbath, do you think, in the fight for confirmation?"
Clinton: "I think it depends upon who the President nominates. You know, just this week we've had two landmark decisions, one upholding the role of diversity as a compelling state interest in the admission process to higher education and the other upholding the right to privacy. So clearly a great deal of concern that if we have someone who is so extreme that they couldn't work with the remaining justices, that they would come at these issues from way outside the mainstream of American jurisprudence, then I think there would be a problem. But there are so many thoughtful Republicans who could be nominated, and I hope the administration, if a vacancy opens up, will choose to go that route."
Woodruff: "Now some Democrats have written a letter to the President saying this should be a collaborative process, that he should consult with Democrats. Now it's my understanding that Republicans did that when your husband was the President. He didn't necessarily agree to do that, I understand. And if that's the case, why should President Bush do it?"
Clinton: "Well I think there was a lot of consultation during the Clinton administration. And in fact there were oftentimes a Senator from a home state of a nominee who would say no and the administration abided by the rules of the Senate and didn't go forward, and we're not seeing quite that same courtesy now. And, unfortunately, many nominees who were well qualified, who were within the mainstream of American legal thought were held up, never given a vote, filibustered and unfortunately, were not given the chance and honor to serve our country on the bench...."

-- "Let me ask you about the 2004 election. We have at least nine Democrats out there who have declared they want to be President. They're out there work, they're giving it their heart, they're campaigning day and night, they're pouring their passion, but are they getting their message across? It seems to me they're having a hard time connecting with the American people. What do you think?"
Clinton: "I don't think that's a fair assessment. I think that right now they're doing what a candidate so far in advance of any votes being cast has to do...."

-- Woodruff: "What do you say to those observers, Senator Clinton, who say that your husband out there making speeches, more active than most former Presidents have been, you're out there with your book, the comment I heard is well, the Clinton's are -- you know they're getting all the attention, they're hurting the Democrats who are running for President taking attention away from them? What do you say to that?"
Clinton: "Well, I don't see that at all. I think that we have good candidates. I'm certainly going to support whoever emerges from this process. And I think it's important that people be reminded of the very significant differences between Democrats and Republicans. And the best way to do that is look at the policies of the Clinton administration and the difference it made in the lives of so many Americans, and compare that to the choices that are being made in this administration. It's a very different vision of the kind of country that we should have in the next generation."

-- Woodruff: "Is there a leader of the Democratic Party right now?"
Clinton: "Oh I think that there are certainly two leaders, Tom Daschle in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House. And then we will have a leader emerge from this nominating process as our presidential candidate."

That was it. Will someone in the media ever ask Hillary Clinton a tough question, one that doesn't assume she's on the side of the angels trying to do good for all of us naifs?

Olbermann Mocks Fears of Hillary, Admires
Fears of FNC

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann used his Countdown show on Friday night to mock Republican concerns about Hillary Clinton gaining more power, but he admired fears of FNC as he publicized an anti-Fox News Channel Web site (with a "Faux News Channel: We Distort, You Comply" T-shirt) and sarcastically joked: "The First Amendment may cover agitproperties.com, presuming Rupert Murdoch doesn't buy the First Amendment."

"Fear and loathing of the Clintons has been a major focus of Republican fundraising efforts for, it seems, a generation," Olbermann asserted, before mocking the idea that Hillary Clinton as Senate Minority Leader would be a "nightmare."

MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth caught two of Olbermann's items on his June 27 show under the heading of "Countdown follow-ups."

-- "Starting with the GOP's biggest political fund-raiser. No, it's not the President. It's Senator Hillary Clinton. Fear and loathing of the Clintons has been a major focus of Republican fundraising efforts for, it seems, a generation. And it's key to its latest pitch to the party faithful from the Virginia Senator George Allen. According to the New York Post, Allen's warning donors coast to coast that their dollars are needed to match the money that Senator Clinton is raising, allegedly as part of her plan to succeed Tom Daschle to become majority leader if the Democrats can take control of the Senate. In Senator Allen's words, that would be a [in a mocking voice] 'nightmare.'"

-- "And the fickle finger of satire has now pointed at its latest target among the establishment: Fox News. And Fox has pointed a finger back. A T-shirt company in Texas, already known for its Pentagon News Network sendup of CNN, has produced two more shirts: 'Faux News Channel: We Distort, You Comply.' And the very subtle 'O'Reilly Youth' T-shirt. Richard Luckett of agitproperties.com says the Fox folks thought this shirt was in particularly bad taste and an infringement on copyrights. They sent a cease and desist letter. Luckett says he doesn't know what happens next, but he's glad Fox made a stink. Traffic on his Web site went from 300 a day to 41,000. And Fox may or may not win a lawsuit. The First Amendment may cover agitproperties.com, presuming Rupert Murdoch doesn't buy the First Amendment."

If Murdoch does, Olbermann has earned a high licensing fee.

-- Brent Baker