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Borger Spins Democrat's Corruption Into Bad News for Both Parties --5/23/2006


1. Borger Spins Democrat's Corruption Into Bad News for Both Parties
Gloria Borger concluded her Monday CBS Evening News story on the FBI's weekend confiscation of cash from a freezer in Louisiana Democratic Congressman William Jefferson's home by declaring a pox on both parties: "At a time when 77 percent of the American public believes that all members of Congress take bribes, Congressman Jefferson's troubles help no one in either party." Unlike ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas and NBC anchor Campbell Brown who noted Jefferson's party affiliation in their story introductions, CBS's Bob Schieffer managed to set up Borger's report without identifying Jefferson's party: "The government says FBI agents videotaped Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson taking $100,000 in cash from an informant and later found $90,000 in his home freezer." Borger did subsequently identify Jefferson as a Democrat.

2. NBC and CBS Promote "Profile in Courage Award" to Murtha
The NBC and CBS morning shows on Monday championed the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library's awarding of its annual "Profile in Courage Awards" going to Democratic Congressman John Murtha for the "courage" to denounce the Iraq war and Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora for the "courage" to work to expose mistreatment of detainees. On Today, Katie Couric declared that the two match the "definition of courage" before she tossed softballs to the two honorees: "Why was it so important for you, Congressman Murtha to stand up and speak your mind?" She empathized: "You did take a lot of grief from the Bush administration for making this speech, Republicans in Congress for making this speech. Some people even suggested you didn't deserve the two Purple Hearts and Bronze Star you, you were awarded during the Vietnam War. How difficult was it for you personally in the aftermath of standing up and, and, and speaking your mind?" Over on CBS's The Early Show, Julie Chen proposed toe Murtha: "Your act of courage was seen last fall when you spoke out against the war, after voting for it. Was that a difficult decision for you?" Like Couric, Chen sympathized: "Congressman Murtha you spoke about the fallout that you suffered, the criticism that came out. It was actually surprising that some were trying to attack your past heroic efforts..."

3. NY Times Publisher Goes on a Left-Wing Rant at Graduation
As keynote commencement speaker, New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. "apologized" to graduates at the State University of New York at New Paltz on Sunday for the failure of his generation to stop the Iraq War and to sufficiently promote "fundamental human rights, be it the rights of immigrants to start a new life, the right of gays to marry or the rights of women to choose."

4. ABC Makes Gibson Solo Anchor: He Sees World Through Liberal Prism
ABC News on Tuesday morning announced that they have selected Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson to replace Elizabeth Vargas as solo anchor of World News Tonight, starting on Memorial Day. (When Vargas returns from maternity leave in the fall, she will just co-anchor 20/20. Gibson will continue to co-host GMA on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the end of June.) When he hosted the 2004 town-hall style debate between President Bush and John Kerry, Gibson chose a balanced set of audience questions that equally represented liberal and conservative concerns, but as a frequent fill-in on World News Tonight and on Good Morning America, over the years Gibson himself has otherwise rarely strayed from the media elite's liberal template. Some examples below.


Borger Spins Democrat's Corruption Into
Bad News for Both Parties

Gloria Borger concluded her Monday CBS Evening News story on the FBI's weekend confiscation of cash from a freezer in Louisiana Democratic Congressman William Jefferson's home by declaring a pox on both parties: "At a time when 77 percent of the American public believes that all members of Congress take bribes, Congressman Jefferson's troubles help no one in either party." Unlike ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas and NBC anchor Campbell Brown who noted Jefferson's party affiliation in their story introductions, CBS's Bob Schieffer managed to set up Borger's report without identifying Jefferson's party: "The government says FBI agents videotaped Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson taking $100,000 in cash from an informant and later found $90,000 in his home freezer." Borger did subsequently identify Jefferson as a Democrat.

[This item was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Schieffer set up the May 22 CBS Evening News story:
"The government says FBI agents videotaped Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson taking $100,000 in cash from an informant and later found $90,000 in his home freezer. But Jefferson said today he will not resign from Congress and he said he thought it inappropriate for the FBI to search his Capitol office this weekend. To the surprise of some, the Senate Republican leader said he too has concerns about the search. Gloria Borger now with more on that."

Gloria Borger soon outlined:
"Federal investigators now allege that last July, the Louisiana Democrat removed a leather briefcase from a car trunk containing $100,000 in $100 bills. He stuffed it inside the passenger compartment of his 1990 Lincoln Town Car and drove off. Hidden cameras taped it all. Shortly thereafter, agents found $90,000 in the freezer of Jefferson's Washington home, stuffed in frozen food containers. The Congressman insists he can explain everything..."

After relaying how Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist expressed concern about the FBI searching the office of a Member of Congress, Borger concluded from Capitol Hill:
"But this story is really not about FBI etiquette. At a time when 77 percent of the American public believes that all members of Congress take bribes, Congressman Jefferson's troubles help no one in either party, Bob."

On Monday's Today, the MRC's Geoff Dickens noticed, NBC's Ann Curry also avoided listing Jefferson's party affiliation:
"Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson has been caught on videotape accepting bribes according to court documents. The FBI accuses him of accepting $100,000 from an informant and then stashing the cash in his freezer. The Congressman has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing."

NBC and CBS Promote "Profile in Courage
Award" to Murtha

The NBC and CBS morning shows on Monday championed the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library's awarding of its annual "Profile in Courage Awards" going to Democratic Congressman John Murtha for the "courage" to denounce the Iraq war and Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora for the "courage" to work to expose mistreatment of detainees. On Today, Katie Couric declared that the two match the "definition of courage" before she tossed softballs to the two honorees: "Why was it so important for you, Congressman Murtha to stand up and speak your mind?" She empathized: "Congressman Murtha you did take a lot of grief from the Bush administration for making this speech, Republicans in Congress for making this speech. Some people even suggested you didn't deserve the two Purple Hearts and Bronze Star you, you were awarded during the Vietnam War. How difficult was it for you personally in the aftermath of standing up and, and, and speaking your mind?"

Over on CBS's The Early Show, Julie Chen proposed toe Murtha: "Your act of courage was seen last fall when you spoke out against the war, after voting for it. Was that a difficult decision for you?" Like Couric, Chen sympathized: "Congressman Murtha you spoke about the fallout that you suffered, the criticism that came out. It was actually surprising that some were trying to attack your past heroic efforts, fighting the Vietnam War, serving for 37 years in the Marine Corps. You were a decorated soldier, you had two Purple Heart awards and the Bronze Star. Were you surprised by the criticism that came out?"

The awards, overseen by Caroline Kennedy, regularly honor liberals and others for advancing a liberal cause. For instance, Connecticut Governor Lowell Weicker won for imposing a state income tax and New Jersey Governor James Florio was honored for pushing for more gun control. Not every winner advanced a liberal cause, but none ever won, since the 1990 inception of the award, for an explicitly conservative policy. For the list of winners: www.jfklibrary.org

# The MRC's Geoff Dickens took down Couric's plugs and questions on the May 22 Today:

Pre-break plug at 7:52am: "You know I sometimes like to look up the definition of sort of often used words and I was looking up the definition of courage and I think the fourth one is applicable to a segment coming up. It's 'mental or moral strength enabling one to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty firmly and resolutely.' Coming up Caroline Kennedy is going to introduce us, Matt, to two men who are definitely the definition of courage and you'll see why."

At the top of the 8am half hour: "Coming up in this half hour we're gonna be talking about the Profile In Courage Awards. John F. Kennedy won a Pulitzer Prize for his book of the same name a half century ago honoring eight U.S. senators who risked their political careers to actually stand up for what was right. Now the Profile In Courage Awards are handed out every year to public servants who have followed that same road. Caroline Kennedy will join us with this year's winners in just a few minutes. Hi Caroline."
Lauer: "Not sure she can hear us just yet."

Couric set up the eventual segment with Caroline Kennedy and the two honorees in Boston: "The John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage Awards are given every year to public servants who have taken great political risk to stand up for what they believe is right. The awards are named for President Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize-winning book Profiles In Courage, which believe it or not, was first published 50 years ago. Today Caroline Kennedy will present this year's awards to Democratic Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania and former U.S. Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora at the JFK Library in Boston, Massachusetts. Good morning to all of you."

Couric's questions:
-- "Caroline let me start with you if I could. Is there a, is there a theme, do you think, in this year's, in terms of the accomplishments of this year's recipients?"

-- "And I know that Congressman Murtha you have long been a staunch supporter of the military and of, of national, of the national defense. You're a highly decorated Vietnam veteran but last November you really stunned the establishment for calling for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. And we should mention this was prior to the American public sort of seeing a shift in their views on the Iraq war. Why was it so important for you, Congressman Murtha to stand up and speak your mind?"

-- "But Congressman Murtha you did take a lot of grief from the Bush administration for making this speech, Republicans in Congress for making this speech. Some people even suggested you didn't deserve the two Purple Hearts and Bronze Star you, you were awarded during the Vietnam War. How difficult was it for you personally in the aftermath of standing up and, and, and speaking your mind? How difficult was it to deal with the criticism?"

-- "Congressman I want to get to, to Mr. Mora but I want to ask you really quickly, you know, you've called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, again last week and yet there was a swearing-in this weekend of Iraq's first full term government since Saddam Hussein and, and President Bush is calling it a turning point. Do you think that no progress is being made there politically?"

-- "Mr. Mora I know that you fought an internal battle within the Pentagon for two years. You were very worried about the interrogation tactics being used against terror suspects particularly in Guantanamo Bay but you were really met with cold indifference, weren't you, at the Pentagon? Why was it so important for you to keep hammering away at this issue?"

-- "I know Gua-, I know that the Abu Ghraib story broke two years later but I'm just curious when you were in a position to do something why didn't you resign and go public? Wouldn't that have been the ultimate act of courage?"

-- "Meanwhile Caroline do you find in the current political climate it is harder or easier to find two such people as the ones you're honoring today?"

-- "Well Caroline Kennedy it's always a pleasure to do this with you every year. Thanks so much. Congressman John Murtha, Alberto Moro, Mora rather. Congratulations to both of you."


# CBS's The Early Show, as tracked by the MRC's Mike Rule. Julie Chen set up the session: "Well later today, two men who have stood up in the face of strong opposition will receive the prestigious 'Profile in Courage' award. The award was named after President John F. Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize-winning book 'Profiles in Courage' which was published 50 years ago. Caroline Kennedy will present this year's awards to Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha, and former U.S. Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora. Good morning to all of you."
Carolyn Kennedy, John Murtha, Alberto Mora: "Good morning."

(Oddly, in an on-screen graphic, CBS placed their three guests in Quincy, Massachusetts. While it's certainly true that a lot of institutions which are not in Boston are often said to be in Boston, such as Harvard University, MIT and Boston College, the JFK Presidential Library actually is in Boston and not Quincy.)

A transcript of the interview:

Julie Chen: "Caroline, let me begin with you by explaining what this award is all about."
Caroline Kennedy, President John Kennedy, Daughter: "Well, I think my father recognized that courage is really essential for leadership. And so, one of the ways that we honor his memory is by celebrating political courage today. And so, every year we give out an award to people who have stood up for what they believe in and what's right for America. And present them on his birthday with this 'Profile in Courage' award. And we're thrilled to be doing that today."
Julie Chen: "Congressman Murtha, your act of courage was seen last fall when you spoke out against the war, after voting for it. Was that a difficult decision for you?"
John Murtha, Pennsylvania Congressman: "Well, it was responsive. And the thing that worried me, the troops that in with inadequate forces and inadequate equipment. Then in addition to that the army down the road was broken as far as I could see. And yet all the things they said were an illusion. They said how much better it was getting and every progress report I saw was mischaracterized, misrepresented. So I felt an obligation to speak out in order to try to turn this thing around. The military wanted victory, and it was time to get out. As a matter of fact, these guys have done a marvelous job. The troops, you couldn't ask for any more. But they're caught in the middle of a civil war. So I got a lot of criticism. I got lot a lot of people initially, matter of fact, if the war was over 50% of the people supported when I spoke out. And of course now it's changed considerably. Because I think they wanted to hear exactly what has happened. Exactly whether there's progress. And I said there's not only no progress, it's worse than it was prewar. This thing has been mishandled so badly. The American people needed to hear. We're spending $450 billion on this war by the end of the year, $9 billion a month, and so we need to change course."
Julie Chen: "Absolutely. Let me turn to Mr. Mora, because your act of courage was when you wrote that secret memo to the Pentagon trying to prevent the abuse of detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay by the United States. How much did you struggle with your decision to write that memo?"
Alberto Mora, U.S. Navy, Former General Counsel: "There was no struggle at all. It was very easy. In fact there was never any other option. The fact that the policy of cruelty is inimitable to our values and our laws was clear to me from the start."
Julie Chen: "And how did you feel two years after writing this memo when the Abu Ghraib story broke?"
Alberto Mora: "I think it's a, I still put a measure of sadness that all of this should have come to pass. I think the cruelty inflicted on individuals in captivity is something that is so contrary to our values that it's damaged our nation in so many different ways. We're recovering, I think we're getting better. The American people, the American government is resilient. And I think we're starting to recognize the error of those ways. But I'm sad that it happened in the first place."
Julie Chen: "What was the fallout for you personally by speaking out and writing that memo?"
Alberto Mora: "There was very little fallout curiously enough. And a lot of support. I think the majority of people I work with, the vast majority of people I work with in the Navy and in the Pentagon all feel more or less the same that, in fact, this was a mistake, at best. It should have never even happened, and we have to rectify this as quickly as possible."
Julie Chen: "Congressman Murtha you spoke about the fallout that you suffered, the criticism that came out. It was actually surprising that some were trying to attack your past heroic efforts, fighting the Vietnam War, serving for 37 years in the Marine Corps. You were a decorated soldier, you had two Purple Heart awards and the Bronze Star. Were you surprised by the criticism that came out?"
John Murtha: "I wasn't surprised. It irritates me that they would not listen to substantive recommendations. That's the thing that's so frustrating. That they tried to work by fear. They tried to scare everybody that might say something against them. When I originally spoke out, they got up on the floor of the House, and of course at that time the public supported this war. So, I recognized that when I did this, I didn't realize I'd get an outpouring of support from the public like I did. It was just for four days I got 18,000 communications. 80% of them favorable. But the point was, the ones that were bitter were pretty bad. A matter of fact my staff heard words they had never heard before. And as a drill instructor I'd heard those words before."
Julie Chen: "Caroline I imagine this year is easy to find two heroes to give this award to, no?"
Caroline Kennedy: "Yeah, well we're very inspired. And I think what comes through here is that it always takes a lot of courage to be the first person to speak up. And I think that that's something that people should bear in mind when they feel that something is the right thing to do. Once you have the courage to do it, others will follow. And I think that these two men have set an example for all of us."
Julie Chen: "Well said. Caroline Kennedy, Congressman John Murtha and Alberto Mora, thank you all. Congratulations and have a beautiful ceremony today at the Kennedy Library."

NY Times Publisher Goes on a Left-Wing
Rant at Graduation

As keynote commencement speaker, New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. "apologized" to graduates at the State University of New York at New Paltz on Sunday for the failure of his generation to stop the Iraq War and to sufficiently promote "fundamental human rights, be it the rights of immigrants to start a new life, the right of gays to marry or the rights of women to choose."

[This item, by the MRC's Clay Waters, is adopted from his postings on TimesWatch.org: www.timeswatch.org
And the NewsBusters blog: newsbusters.org ]

Paul Kirby of Kingston's Dail Freeman newspaper quoted from Sulzberger's address, which he begins with a facetious "apology" to the class for being part of the generation that let them down due to insufficient liberal activism:
"'I will start with an apology,' Sulzberger told the graduates, who wore black gowns and hats with yellow tassels. 'When I graduated in 1974, my fellow students and I ended the Vietnam War and ousted President Nixon. OK. OK. That's not quite true. Maybe there were larger forces at play.'"

He went on to lament that his generation "had seen the horror and futility of war and smelled the stench of government corruption. Our children, we vowed, would never know that. So, well, I am sorry."

Some more from Sulzberger: "It wasn't supposed to be this way. You weren't supposed to be graduating in an America fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land. You weren't supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, be it the rights of immigrants to start a new life, the right of gays to marry or the rights of women to choose."

Kirby reported: "Sulzberger added the graduates weren't supposed to be let into a world 'where oil still drives policy and environmentalists have to relentlessly fight for every gain. You weren't. But you are and I am sorry for that.'"

For Kirby's May 22 article: www.dailyfreeman.com

The prepared text of Sulzberger's full commencement speech has been by Romenesko: poynter.org

The Monday Poughkeepsie Journal also has a story on Sulzberger's remarks: www.poughkeepsiejournal.com

The home page for SUNY at New Paltz: www.newpaltz.edu

ABC Makes Gibson Solo Anchor: He Sees
World Through Liberal Prism

ABC News on Tuesday morning announced that they have selected Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson to replace Elizabeth Vargas as solo anchor of World News Tonight, starting on Memorial Day. (When Vargas returns from maternity leave in the fall, she will just co-anchor 20/20. Gibson will continue to co-host GMA on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the end of June.) When he hosted the 2004 town-hall style debate between President Bush and John Kerry, Gibson chose a balanced set of audience questions that equally represented liberal and conservative concerns, but as a frequent fill-in on World News Tonight and on Good Morning America, over the years Gibson himself has otherwise rarely strayed from the media elite's liberal template.

For the announcement from ABC News: www.abcnews.go.com

ABC's Charles Gibson After the news broke this morning, the MRC's Rich Noyes quickly cobbled together some Gibson material from the MRC's archive, starting with a Thursday, October 7, 2004 Media Reality Check issued the day before Gibson was set to moderate a presidential debate:

Charlie Gibson, ABC's Liberal Question Man Friday's Debate Moderator Loved July's Democratic Convention but Scolded "Icy" Tone of VP Debate

Four years ago, town-hall style debate moderator Jim Lehrer approved mostly liberal-leaning questions for undecided voters to ask of Al Gore and George W. Bush. This time around, ABC's Charles Gibson will reign over the debate featuring citizen questions, and his record as a questioner on Good Morning America shows his embrace of liberal policy positions, disdain of harsh rhetoric from candidates, and a warm spot for Democratic theatrics:

- Ruing Costly Tax Cuts. On January 21 of this year, the morning after President Bush in his State of the Union address asked Congress to extend his tax cuts, Gibson confronted White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card with the standard liberal complaint: "The President last night called for making the tax cuts permanent. Is that, in a sense, making deficits in the hundreds of billions of dollars permanent?"

- George W. Bush's "Obscene" Fundraising. Gibson's Good Morning America bent over backwards to promote John McCain during his run against Bush in 2000, hosting him far more than all of his GOP primary rivals combined. Gibson seemed especially infatuated with McCain's efforts to further regulate free speech, inviting the Senator to condemn Bush's superior fundraising in an October 12, 1999 appearance: "You have been pushing campaign finance reform for quite some time....Given the fact that it is so important, what does it say about the system when one candidate raises more than $50 million? Is that obscene?"

- Clinton Too Conservative. In a June 4, 1999 town meeting, Gibson scolded President Clinton for being timid on gun control: "The polls have shown that this country would accept registration of firearms, and yet we don't do that and we're not fighting about regulation of guns. We regulate every other consumer product out there." A year later, on the May 12, 2000 Good Morning America, Clinton returned to hear Gibson tell him his efforts weren't sufficient: "By my count, we have more states rejecting new gun control legislation than have passed it. We have 15 states that have passed prohibitions on cities suing gun manufacturers. That hardly seems like progress."

- No Compassion on the Right. "Bush is using this term 'compassionate conservative' as he campaigns, which is an interesting juxtaposition of two seemingly contradictory terms," Gibson complained to New York Times columnist William Safire back in November 1999.

- Jazzed by Democrats. After the first night of the Democrats' convention this year, Gibson was stirred: "People were juiced like I don't think I've seen at a convention ever before. This place really was moving last night." Four mornings later, after Kerry spoke, Gibson led the cheers: "For those who doubted John Kerry could pull off a stirring speech, doubts dispelled. For those who doubted John Kerry could unite a traditionally fractious party, doubts dispelled."

- Upbraiding Any Negativity. Gibson might react badly if Bush decides to go after Kerry's dovish Senate record. Just Wednesday, the morning after the VP debate, Gibson was displeased with the negative tone. "Icy last night. It was icy in that room, two guys sitting side-by-side, throwing bombshells at one another," he groused.

- Anti-war posters. "I grew up in the Vietnam era, which is probably one of the signal events of my life and I think affected everybody of my generation. And we used to have a little framed sign hanging in our bedroom, my wife and I, that said, 'War is not good for children and other living things,' and I believe that. So I don't like covering war and I hate to see them occur." -- Gibson on CNN's Larry King Live, July 2, 2003.

END Reprint of 2004 Media Reality Check

That's online at: www.mrc.org

Now some more recent liberal outbursts from Gibson:

# "Obscene" Oil Profits. Just two weeks ago (May 8), Gibson got in the face of ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO James Mulva, condemning oil company profits: "The estimates are that the six large U.S. [oil] companies will have a total of $135 billion in profits for the year 2006. Don't consumers have a right to be angry?...The public looks at a total of $135 billion over the year, that's larger than the gross domestic product of Israel, and says isn't that an obscene amount?" For full details: www.mrc.org

# Throw the Book at Rush Limbaugh? Three times on the May 1 Good Morning America, Gibson wondered if the conservative talk show host was dealt with too gently: "Rush Limbaugh is set to sign a deal with prosecutors today after three years of prescription drug fraud investigations. But did he get off easy? The controversy ahead... Coming up on Good Morning America, a rush to judgment? He's made a deal with


| |

prosecutors. Did Rush Limbaugh get off easy?...We're going to start the half hour with Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio talk show host. He's expected to sign a deal with prosecutors later today....But now there are new questions: Is Limbaugh getting off too easy?" For full details: www.mrc.org

# Bush not a uniter, Democrats have tried to reach out. Gibson during live coverage before President Bush's State of the Union address, January 31, 2006: "He [President Bush] tries to unite but, of course, a lot of Democrats feel this has not been a uniting President. They have gone down that road before, trying to work with the President and, of course, the old expression is, 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me more than once, fool me twice or ten times, shame on me.'" For full details: www.mrc.org

# Must raise taxes to pay for Iraq I. Gibson following an interview with Senator Clinton, September 7, 2005 Good Morning America: "Just before we went on the air, Diane and Robin, I asked her [Hillary Clinton] -- given the fact that it's going to cost so much for recovery and with what we're spending in Iraq -- whether we're not going to have to raise taxes." For full details: www.mrc.org

# Must raise taxes to pay for Iraq II. Gibson to White House counselor Dan Bartlett on Good Morning America, September 15, 2005: "Are you going to maintain that we can pay for this, we can pay for the war in Iraq, and we can pay for the rising healthcare costs in this country without raising taxes? These are astronomical dollars we're talking about that will cost the federal treasury." For more: www.mrc.org

ABC's Charles Gibson & Attorney General Alberto Gonzales # Restoring Constitution = Legislating from the Bench? After President Bush named John Roberts to the Supreme Court, Gibson seemed baffled about how a strict constructionist could support the overturning of the pro-abortion Roe v. Wade decision. On the July 21, 2005 Good Morning America, he challenged Attorney General Alberto Gonzales: "The President has said John Roberts would not legislate from the bench. He didn't want a nominee who would legislate from the bench. Does that mean that this will be a justice who will not be overturning settled law, i.e. Roe v. Wade?" Details: www.mrc.org

# The "Extreme Conservative" Pope. Just two weeks before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Gibson on the April 4, 2005 Good Morning America suggested Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's extremist views would disqualify him from the post: "German-born Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is also mentioned, but his extreme conservative views and his age might be his undoing when votes are cast in the Sistine Chapel."

Look for more next week on Gibson from our archive.

-- Brent Baker