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Cafferty Unleashes Tirade on View "We Were Lied To" Pre Iraq War --11/2/2005


1. Cafferty Unleashes Tirade on View "We Were Lied To" Pre Iraq War
The stunt by Senate Democrats who forced the chamber into closed session so they could get publicity for demands for an immediate probe into administration use of pre-war intelligence, earned a favorable tirade Tuesday afternoon from CNN's Jack Cafferty who charged that "there's a perception in this country that we were lied to about the run-up to the war in Iraq." Most believe they were "lied" to? More like Cafferty channeled the claims of the radical left. Cafferty proceeded to concede that "maybe we were, and maybe we weren't, but there are a lot of people who think we were." Cafferty rued, as if WMDs were the only reason for the war: "A half a trillion dollars and 2,000 of our kids later, we're still there. We're mired in a thing that has no visible end" and so "if they lied to us, if there was some kind of intent to deceive, then they ought to find out who did it, and tear their fingernails out, and then get rid of them." He insisted that "it's about what's right and what's wrong and what people who are entrusted to govern this country do with the power we give them. If it's being abused, we damn well have a right to know, and something should be done about it."

2. Sawyer Channels O'Connor on Alito's "Repugnant" View of Marriage
ABC's Diane Sawyer, on Tuesday's Good Morning America, distorted Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's ruling on the constitutionality of a law passed by the majorities of both houses in the Pennsylvania legislature and signed by that commonwealth's Democratic Governor, into how "he argued that a woman should have to notify her husband before she gets an abortion." Sawyer reminded her guest, commentator Joe Watkins, how "Sandra Day O'Connor said this reflects a repugnant view of marriage. Women do not lose their constitutional rights because they're married." Sawyer displayed her disdain: "But does this opinion give even you pause? And again Sandra Day O'Connor's notation that it was a repugnant view of marriage?" Sawyer turned to her other guest, Joe Lockhart, and, in astonishment, pointed out how "72 percent of Americans say a woman should have to notify her spouse. So, there seems to be a majority in this country in favor of that."

3. Milwaukee Journal Editorial: Thomas Not Black Enough, Deserves *
In denouncing President Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court, an editorial in the Tuesday Milwaukee Journal, "A nomination that will divide," charged that Justice Clarence Thomas really isn't black. After fretting about how a "minus" of the Alito pick "is that the nomination lessens the court's diversity," the editorial writers argued: "In losing a woman, the court with Alito would feature seven white men, one white woman and a black man, who deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America."


Cafferty Unleashes Tirade on View "We
Were Lied To" Pre Iraq War

The stunt by Senate Democrats who forced the chamber into closed session so they could get publicity for demands for an immediate probe into administration use of pre-war intelligence, earned a favorable tirade Tuesday afternoon from CNN's Jack Cafferty who charged that "there's a perception in this country that we were lied to about the run-up to the war in Iraq."


Listen to MP3 audio clip

Most believe they were "lied" to? More like Cafferty channeled the claims of the radical left. Cafferty proceeded to concede that "maybe we were, and maybe we weren't, but there are a lot of people who think we were." Cafferty rued, as if WMDs were the only reason for the war: "A half a trillion dollars and 2,000 of our kids later, we're still there. We're mired in a thing that has no visible end" and so "if they lied to us, if there was some kind of intent to deceive, then they ought to find out who did it, and tear their fingernails out, and then get rid of them." He insisted that "it's about what's right and what's wrong and what people who are entrusted to govern this country do with the power we give them. If it's being abused, we damn well have a right to know, and something should be done about it."

[This item was posted Tuesday morning, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To post your comments, or to watch Cafferty's rant in either RealPlayer or Windows Media formats, go to: newsbusters.org ]

The MRC's Megan McCormack noticed that about five minutes before 4pm EST Tuesday, while the Senate was still in closed-session, CNN's Jack Cafferty in New York came aboard the Washington, DC-based The Situation Room to recount some e-mail responses to his question of the hour, "Is it wrong for the Democrats to shut down the Senate?" He admitted it was an inaccurately worded question since the Senate was not shut down and proceeded to read six e-mails: four supportive of the Democratic move, one which called it a Democratic "stunt" and one in which the writer just quipped, "Do you really think anyone will notice?"

Cafferty then launched this tirade: "You know, I get a lot of mail. And depending on what we read, they say you're a conservative, you're a liberal; you're a Republican, you're a Democrat. This isn't about any of that stuff, I don't think. It's about what's right and what's wrong. There's a perception in this country that we were lied to about the run-up to the war in Iraq. Maybe we were, and maybe we weren't, but there are a lot of people who think we were. And a half a trillion dollars and 2,000 of our kids later, we're still there. We're mired in a thing that has no visible end. If it was necessary, and if the threats were real, fine and dandy. But if they lied to us, if there was some kind of intent to deceive, then they ought to find out who did it, and tear their fingernails out, and then get rid of them. And it's not about being, you know, on one side of the political spectrum or the other. It's about what's right and what's wrong and what people who are entrusted to govern this country do with the power we give them. If it's being abused, we damn well have a right to know, and something should be done about it. Wolf?"

Blitzer: "All right, Jack Cafferty speaking his mind, as he always does here in The Situation Room."

Sawyer Channels O'Connor on Alito's "Repugnant"
View of Marriage

ABC's Diane Sawyer, on Tuesday's Good Morning America, distorted Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's ruling on the constitutionality of a law passed by the majorities of both houses in the Pennsylvania legislature and signed by that commonwealth's Democratic Governor, into how "he argued that a woman should have to notify her husband before she gets an abortion." Sawyer reminded her guest, commentator Joe Watkins, how "Sandra Day O'Connor said this reflects a repugnant view of marriage. Women do not lose their constitutional rights because they're married." Sawyer displayed her disdain: "But does this opinion give even you pause? And again Sandra Day O'Connor's notation that it was a repugnant view of marriage?" Sawyer turned to her other guest, Joe Lockhart, and, in astonishment, pointed out how "72 percent of Americans say a woman should have to notify her spouse. So, there seems to be a majority in this country in favor of that."

Sawyer, the MRC's Brian Boyd noticed, had teased up top on the November 1 Good Morning America: "This morning high stakes. The battle lines drawn over the President's new Supreme Court nominee, everything from abortion rights to machine guns."

A few minutes later, from GMA's new, higher outdoor-looking Times Square studio, where it appears the anchors are inside a cloud, Sawyer interviewed two guests from remote locations: "More now on that battle bursting wide open this morning over President Bush's Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. And the red hot center of it all does seem to be, again, where does he stand on abortion? Will he vote to overturn Roe versus Wade? And, will he vote to restrict Roe versus Wade? Joining us now from Washington, former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart; and from Philadelphia Joe Watkins, conservative commentator and former aide to the first President Bush. Both sides with us this morning."

Sawyer's questions, which showed her obsession over Alito's ruling on spousal notification:
"Joe Lockhart, one word for this nominee?"
Joe Lockhart: "Political."
Sawyer: "Joe Watkins?"
Joe Watkins: "I think outstanding choice."
Sawyer: "Okay, I think that pretty much gives us the range of opinions here. Let me go back to you, Joe Lockhart, because as we know there are still five votes to uphold Roe versus Wade, but there are questions about how he can restrict it. And we did hear from his mom yesterday, who said 'of course he's against abortion.' Are you satisfied that personal opinion, though, is not what he's going to do on the Court?"
Lockhart: "Well, certainly I'm not satisfied and I think that's what the hearings will be about. The judge has a record of voting or having an opinion that would undermine Roe v. Wade. All of the pro-life groups yesterday were out rejoicing that Roe v. Wade was dead. So I think the hearings will tell us that. But I don't think it's just about abortion. There's worker protection, there's protecting the environment, civil rights, civil liberties, all those things. And this will all come out."
Sawyer: "Okay, let me go back to Joe Watkins because you heard Joe Lockhart say that he does have a record. I want to ask you about this 1991 opinion, Joe Watkins, he was the lone dissenter. He argued that a woman should have to notify her husband before she gets an abortion. Now, let me just say Sandra Day O'Connor heard this same case and Sandra Day O'Connor said this reflects a repugnant view of marriage. Women do not lose their constitutional rights because they're married."
Watkins: "Well, certainly this judge has a long track record. He's got 15 years on the federal bench, he's been involved in over 3,500 cases and he's written over 300 opinions. So you'll find lots of opinions in his background. I don't think that anybody ought to second guess what this judge might do on any issue. I think the neatest thing about him is the fact that he will be a fair and impartial interpreter of the law. Somebody who will strictly interpret the constitution of the United States. And be impartial and not try to legislate from the bench. That's about the most we can hope for from any judge."
Sawyer: "But does this opinion give even you pause? And again Sandra Day O'Connor's notation that it was a repugnant view of marriage?"
Watkins: "Not at all. I think that clearly this is somebody who is a studied and thoughtful person. He considers every case based on its merits and he considers it likewise within the guidelines of the U.S. constitution. I'm confident that if Justice Alito is confirmed that he'll do a great job and be impartial and fair to everybody, to men and to women alike, once he's a Supreme Court justice."
Sawyer: "I should point out, Joe Lockhart, that 72 percent of Americans say a woman should have to notify her spouse. So, there seems to be a majority in this country in favor of that."
Lockhart: "Yeah, but I, you know, I think when you talk about strict interpretation of the constitution and you talk about equal rights, there are many cases in which that would be against the interests of the woman. I think the important thing here is, as you mention, is Sandra Day O'Connor. This is replacing her, this is the swing seat on the Supreme Court. There are a number of 5 to 4 decisions that affect every part of American life. And what the President is saying here for political reasons is 'I want to move the Court to the far right.' And I don't think the country is ready for that and I think that's why there'll be a fight here. I think there are mainstream values that are shared by most of Americans. And I think when America looks at where his opinions are, not whether he's a smart guy, not whether he's, you know, someone that they like, I don't think the country is ready to move back to the right on questions like privacy, questions like civil rights, questions like worker rights. And I think that's when you look at the record, you're going to find a lot of troubling opinions. And I don't think the country wants it. The country wants to be in the center, not moving to the right."
Sawyer: "Joe Watkins, quick final word. Is there going to be a scorched earth fight?"
Watkins: "Well, there probably will be a fight. But this is a judge, a justice who comes to the bench without an agenda. If he had an agenda to push, if he was trying to legislate from the bench, I'd be worried. But this is clearly somebody who doesn't come to the bench with that kind of an attitude. I'm looking forward to some great hearings."

Milwaukee Journal Editorial: Thomas Not
Black Enough, Deserves *

In denouncing President Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court, an editorial in the Tuesday Milwaukee Journal, "A nomination that will divide," charged that Justice Clarence Thomas really isn't black. After fretting about how a "minus" of the Alito pick "is that the nomination lessens the court's diversity," the editorial writers argued: "In losing a woman, the court with Alito would feature seven white men, one white woman and a black man, who deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America."

[This item was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To share your thoughts, go to: newsbusters.org ]

Credit to Mark Belling, a talk show host from 3 to 6pm daily in Milwaukee on WISN Radio, for alerting us to the editorial. For Belling's Web site: www.belling.com

For the Milwaukee Journal's November 1 editorial: www.jsonline.com

-- Brent Baker