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CBS's Smith Urges Gore to Declare, Presses Gore '08 Button on Him --5/31/2007


1. CBS's Smith Urges Gore to Declare, Presses Gore '08 Button on Him
On Wednesday's Early Show, co-host Harry Smith stumped for an Al Gore presidency, going so far as trying to place a "Gore 2008" button onto the former Vice President's suit. "They were handing these out at the lecture last night at George Washington University," Smith explained as the two sat in Washington, DC with the Capitol on the background. Holding up the button to Gore's suit, Smith wondered, "here, let's see what it looks like....Save that in a freeze frame." AUDIO&VIDEO See & Hear the Bias - Audio & Video Clip Archive

2. ABC Attempts to Justify Anti-American Booing of Miss USA
On Wednesday's Good Morning America, the ABC program attempted to justify and explain away the booing that Miss USA, Rachel Smith, received in Mexico City during Monday night's Miss Universe pageant broadcast on NBC. In a tease for the segment, GMA anchor Diane Sawyer even wondered aloud, "Was it fair?" Reporter Dan Harris insisted that the rude heckling and yelling must be understood in a broader context. He explained: "By all accounts, the booing was actually not personal. It's actually a sign of the increasingly intense relationship between the U.S. and Mexico at a time when the immigration debate is very hot." Harris later elaborated, saying that "many Mexicans feel that U.S. uses its power to get its way in world politics and also in competitions such as this one..." AUDIO&VIDEO See & Hear the Bias - Audio & Video Clip Archive

3. GMA Cites Michael Moore to Trumpet Popularity of Universal Health
To promote the popularity of "universal health care," as espoused by Democratic candidates and Michael Moore, ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday selectively cited a poll from last year. With "56% of Americans favor universal health care" on screen," Diane Sawyer touted how "Senator Barack Obama released his plan for what he calls universal health care, something the majority of Americans say they want, according to an ABC News poll." But Sawyer failed to note how that's down six points, from 62 percent, in ABC's 2003 health issues survey. Reporter Claire Shipman recounted how the leading Democratic candidates are matching the desire of the public by proposing universal coverage plans before she trumpeted how "the issue should soon get hotter with this," the "upcoming release of Michael Moore's new film 'Sicko,' his scathing look at the health care system." However, Shipman failed to explain how very few think universal coverage "would actually improve the quality or cost of their own care, the availability of treatments, or their choice of doctors or hospitals."

4. Tapper Notes Thompson's 'Liberal' on Campaign Finance & Abortion
Reporting moves by Fred Thompson to launch a presidential campaign, ABC's Jake Tapper on Wednesday night interjected a conservative take on the actor and former Senator, suggesting "Thompson will soon face questions" about "the liberal positions he's taken in the past on campaign finance reform and abortion." Describing McCain-Feingold as "liberal" is noteworthy in itself. In his World News piece, Tapper had explained how, given conservative dissatisfaction with the three leading Republican contenders, Thompson thinks he can be "a conservative with star power." But, Tapper cautioned, "playing a President is a lot easier than being one."

5. Ex-WashPost Reporter 'Infuriated' Opponents Deny He's a Democrat
Charlie Hall, a Washington Post reporter and copy editor for 20 years, is running for a county board seat in suburban northern Virginia as a Democrat, and as the Post itself reported Tuesday, he gets really upset when his Democratic opponents suggest he has no Democratic credentials: "The issue infuriates Hall, who said that he has voted Democrat his whole life."


CBS's Smith Urges Gore to Declare, Presses
Gore '08 Button on Him

On Wednesday's Early Show, co-host Harry Smith stumped for an Al Gore presidency, going so far as trying to place a "Gore 2008" button onto the former Vice President's suit. "They were handing these out at the lecture last night at George Washington University," Smith explained as the two sat in Washington, DC with the Capitol on the background. Holding up the button to Gore's suit, Smith wondered, "here, let's see what it looks like....Save that in a freeze frame."


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[This item is adapted from a NewsBusters posting, with video, by Justin McCarthy. The video will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but to watch it in the meantime, go to: newsbusters.org ]

The Gore/Smith love fest began with seven and a half minutes of soft questions. Harry Smith, who offered a puffy interview of Al Gore several months ago (On The Early Show in February, Harry Smith asked Richard Branson: "Is Al Gore a prophet?" See: www.mrc.org ), asked such questions as "where's the other party?" implying that the Democrats do not attack the administration enough.

Gore read through the usual left wing talking points such as U.S. troops "trapped in a civil war" in Iraq, implied Congress has been a rubber stamp for the administration, called for public financing of political campaigns, and of course, called reducing greenhouse emissions a "moral issue." As Gore ticked these off, Smith simply said "right" several times. Harry Smith set up the former Vice President to speak out against Bush's environmental policies: "President Bush getting ready to go to Europe for the G-8. The folks in the European Union want to do emissions reductions. The president said yesterday we're not going to participate. Your reaction?"

At the end of the interview, Smith essentially begged Gore to run as he presented a "Gore 2008" pin:
SMITH: Yeah. If you were president, you would have probably signed on.
GORE: Yeah, yeah.
SMITH: Do you mind if I [holding up "Gore 2008" pin]
GORE: [Laughing] No, no.
SMITH: -you don't want to -- they were handing these out at the lecture last night at George Washington University. Are you sure you-
GORE: Thank you. Thank you for coming to that, by the way.
SMITH: There you go. You can hold it.
[laughter]
GORE: I don't want to invite that kind of speculation, but thank you.
SMITH: Here, let's see what it looks like. [holding up pin to Gore's suit]
GORE: Yeah, okay.
SMITH: All right, all right. Save that in a freeze frame.

Just last week, as documented in the May 29 CyberAlert, the CBS Evening News championed Gore:

"He was once called 'Mr. Stiff.' Now he's known as 'The Goreacle,' the new Al Gore," CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric touted in plugging an upcoming Friday night story. With "Gore 2.0" on screen, Couric set up the subsequent tribute by asserting that "no one's getting more attention than the latest edition of Al Gore. Sharyn Alfonsi reports on Gore 2.0." Attention from the media, certainly. Alfonsi trumpeted how "Al Gore seems to have gone from awkward to almost slick," proposing that "all it took was eight years, some melting polar ice caps and an Oscar win for his documentary." Interspersed with clips of Gore on various news and entertainment shows, Alfonsi hailed how "he spread the word about global warming, and now is changing the political climate. In some polls, Gore is third for the Democratic nomination, and he's not even a candidate. And he's come out with another book, The Assault on Reason." In his media tour for it, he's "knocking the media with one arm and the Bush administration with the other." See: www.mrc.org

The entire transcript of the May 30 Early Show interview:

SMITH: Former Vice President Al Gore believes it is time to act to save American democracy. In his new book, "The Assault on Reason," he argues that the foundations of our republic are under threat by today's politics of fear as practiced by the Bush administration and Al Gore joins us this morning. Good morning, sir.
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: Good morning.
SMITH: I want to dive right into the book. There are so many sections that literally lift off the page. Here on page 181 you're talking about President Bush. "We are less safe because of his policy. He has created more anger and righteous indignation against us than any leader of our country. In all the years of our existence as a nation, he has exposed Americans abroad and Americans in every U.S. town and city to a greater danger of attack because of his arrogance and willfulness." That is -- those are damning, damning words.
GORE: I think they're accurate. And I think that the deeper problem is how we have, as Americans, allowed the implementation of policies that have led to 150,000 troops being trapped in a civil war, just to pick one example. There are many.
SMITH: The thing -- as I read this book -- because you talk about television. You talk about a disengaged electorate. And I kept thinking to myself as I read it where's the other party? Where is the other -- we, we do live in a two-party system. Where's, where's the other party?
GORE: Yeah, and I criticize both parties and the system as a whole. And I say in the book very clearly it's too simple and too partisan to simply place the blame on President Bush because we have a Congress and free speech and independent courts and checks and balances, free press. We are all responsible for the decisions we make. And, and if this administration persuades the Congress to vote in favor of invading a country that didn't attack us, it is important for us to look at the reasons why that was acceptable to the Congress. At the time of that vote, more than two-thirds of the American people had been given the impression and believed it, that Saddam Hussein was the man who attacked us on 9/11.
SMITH: Right.
GORE: That wasn't true. And the fact that, that case was made is bad, but what's much worse is that the immune system of democracy, our natural defenses against such gross errors, failed to work, and we have to address these underlining problems. Because whether it's the invasion of Iraq or the climate crisis or other crises-
SMITH: Right.
GORE: There are -- there's lots of evidence available ahead of time that should be used to show that we should make a different decision.
SMITH: You certainly -- the news media comes under assault in your book because we seem to be so obsessed with a lot of things that tend not to matter. But one of the things that occurred to me was if, if, if part of the problem is there's not enough of a free flow of information back and forth, which you also argue about, wouldn't a public television show, like a Jim Lehrer, for instance, wouldn't they have 25 million viewers every night as opposed to the several million that they have, because they do what we don't do every day?
GORE: No, I don't think so. The, the essential -- the element of television that I think has been troubling for democracy, now that it has become the most dominant medium by far, even with the rising importance of the internet, is that it's one way. And whether it's public television or commercial television or whatever-
SMITH: Right.
GORE: -Or community access television. When it's one way-
SMITH: Radio -- radio is one way. If you look back-
GORE: It is-
SMITH: -Some of the greatest presidents of, of our democracy -- or the republic happened during the age of radio. That was a one way.
GORE: The most popular radio format simulates two-way communication by having call-ins. But you're quite right, that radio preceded television as the first broadcast medium.
SMITH: Right.
GORE: And the first concerns among defenders of democracy arose with radio. And that's why the equal time provision and the fairness doctrine and the public interest standard were put in place here. Those protections were almost completely removed during President Reagan's term.
SMITH: You talk about this disengaged electorate. And one of the things that occurred to me is maybe people don't feel they have a stake. Maybe they don't participate. Maybe they don't listen or search out information they, they, they should because they don't feel they have a stake because, quite honestly if you go a block over onto K Street, that's really who runs the people over there [pointing to the Capitol]. If you're a lobbyist, you have a say. If you're not a lobbyist, how do you have a say in that though?
GORE: Yeah, and I think that's right. I think that's related to the fact that the American people don't feel as if they have a way to make their voices heard, to make their votes count. And for all the work on campaign finance reform -- and I've always supported it-
SMITH: Yeah.
GORE: I do think that it sometimes misses the, the elephant in the middle of the room, which is, that as long as politicians in both parties have to rely on huge sums of money to buy 30-second television commercials, which is the principal means of communication in our democracy between candidates and voters now-
SMITH: Right.
GORE: Then they're going to go to the people who reliably have that money year in and year out and the special interests dominate that group.
SMITH: And in the book, you advocate federal, federal funding for elections. Two quick subjects, very quickly: President Bush getting ready to go to Europe for the G-8. The folks in the European Union want to do emissions reductions. The president said yesterday we're not going to participate. Your reaction?
GORE: Well, I think that's an abdication of U.S. leadership in the world. We are the largest source of global warming pollution. We are the natural leader of the world. All of the other countries in the G-8 are unified in support of taking action to save the planet's environment for us as human beings.
SMITH: Right.
GORE: And, and President Bush is opposed to it and is blocking any progress. Look, Harry, we are putting 70 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere today and every day. This is a moral issue. And the fact that our country is not providing leadership and, worse, is blocking progress, should be an issue that brings protesters out, that brings people to speak their minds, loudly and clearly and forcefully on this.
SMITH: Yeah. If you were president, you would have probably signed on.
GORE: Yeah, yeah.
SMITH: Do you mind if I [holding up "Gore 2008" pin]
GORE: [Laughing] No, no.
SMITH: -you don't want to -- they were handing these out at the lecture last night at George Washington University. Are you sure you-
GORE: Thank you. Thank you for coming to that, by the way.
SMITH: There you go. You can hold it.
[laughter]
GORE: I don't want to invite that kind of speculation, but thank you.
SMITH: Here, let's see what it looks like. [holding up pin to Gore's suit]
GORE: Yeah, okay.
SMITH: All right, all right. Save that in a freeze frame.
GORE: Thank you for the interview.
SMITH: All right, thanks very much. Vice President Al Gore, we do appreciate it. You can read an excerpt from "The Assault on Reason" at our website at cbsnews.com.

ABC Attempts to Justify Anti-American
Booing of Miss USA

On Wednesday's Good Morning America, the ABC program attempted to justify and explain away the booing that Miss USA, Rachel Smith, received in Mexico City during Monday night's Miss Universe pageant broadcast on NBC. In a tease for the segment, GMA anchor Diane Sawyer even wondered aloud, "Was it fair?"

Reporter Dan Harris insisted that the rude heckling and yelling must be understood in a broader context. He


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explained: "By all accounts, the booing was actually not personal. It's actually a sign of the increasingly intense relationship between the U.S. and Mexico at a time when the immigration debate is very hot." Harris later elaborated, saying that "many Mexicans feel that U.S. uses its power to get its way in world politics and also in competitions such as this one..."

At no time did time during the segment did Harris feature anyone who disagreed with this so-called political statement from the crowd or even anyone who simply called them rude for booing a beauty pageant contestant.

He did, however, interview a left-wing Green Party activist who attempted to validate the boorish behavior:
Dan Harris: "The tensions were evident back in 2004 and 05 when Mexicans booed during soccer games against the United States. Some even chanted Osama. The resentment has only grown since then as the U.S. has sent the National Guard to help beef up border security and build a wall to keep out the immigrants. Many Mexicans are also anxious about the new immigration bill in Congress supported by President Bush that many fear would split Mexican parents from their American born children."
Nativo Lopez, President, Mexican American Political Association: "People in Mexico get a flavor of that debate and it's irking them. And I think what occurred is an expression of their disfavor with the debate and the manner and the tone in Congress currently."

For a taste of Lopez's politics, see his interview in Socialist Worker magazine: www.socialistworker.org

Notice that Harris used the phrase "keep out the immigrants" and doesn't include the world illegal? The ABC reporter also never seemed to wonder why, if America is so hated, millions still flock across the border.

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

At the very end of the piece, host Diane Sawyer did utter a mild rebuke for the booing, but clearly Dan Harris felt that berating a young woman who did educational work in South Africa is a legitimate way to make a political statement.

A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:17am on May 30:
Diane Sawyer's tease: "Was it fair? Miss USA loudly booed at the Miss Universe pageant. Who had the breach of manners in Mexico and how much did it sting on top of that fall?"

The subsequent story. Robin Roberts: "We're going to switch subjects now because it's the fall heard around the world. Yes, you're going to see it again, Miss USA taking a tumble during the Miss Universe pageant in Mexico City. But if you thought that was tough, wait until you hear what Miss USA had to endure from the audience there in Mexico. You hear that? Boos, even heckling? A lot of people wondering why that type of reception. We asked Dan Harris to find out."
ABC Graphic: "Why Was America Booed? Cat Calls For Miss America"
Dan Harris: "Robin, good morning. By all accounts, the booing was actually not personal. It's actually a sign of the increasingly intense relationship between the U.S. and Mexico at a time when the immigration debate is very hot. The boos started as soon as Miss USA., Rachel Smith from Tennessee, stepped forward for the interview round in the Miss Universe pageant in Mexico City, Monday night, which aired on NBC. But the booing and the chants of Mexico did not stop."
Rachel Smith: "When I traveled to South Africa to volunteer at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls in South Africa. I'm very passionate about education."
Donald Trump, pageant co-owner: "I don't think they were booing Rachel, Perhaps they were booing some policies of the United States."
Harris: "The tensions were evident back in 2004 and 05 when Mexicans booed during soccer games against the United States. Some even chanted Osama. The resentment has only grown since then as the U.S. has sent the National Guard to help beef up border security and build a wall to keep out the immigrants. Many Mexicans are also anxious about the new immigration bill in Congress supported by President Bush that many fear would split Mexican parents from their American born children."
Nativo Lopez, President, Mexican American Political Association: "People in Mexico get a flavor of that debate and it's irking them. And I think what occurred is an expression of their disfavor with the debate and the manner and the tone in Congress currently."
Harris: "Rachel Smith herself has not commented. It was a tough night overall for her. She failed to capture the crown after slipping during the evening gown competition. However, she's being credited with grace under fire, during the boos which she managed to partly turn into cheers by address the crowd in Spanish."
Rachel Smith: [Briefly speaking in Spanish]
Harris: "Many Mexicans feel that U.S. uses its power to get its way in world politics and also in competitions such as this one, and they were upset that Miss Mexico did not make it to the final five, and Miss USA did, even though, Robin and Diane, she slipped and fell as we've seen."
Roberts: "But she showed a lot of composure."
Harris: "Yes, she did."
Diane Sawyer: "And who boos someone at a pageant like that? Really? How do you say boo back in Spanish? Really? To do that to her-"
Roberts: "Didn't the producers there try to tell the audience-"
Harris: "In the commercials, yes. They said you're making Mexico look bad, during the commercial break."

GMA Cites Michael Moore to Trumpet Popularity
of Universal Health

To promote the popularity of "universal health care," as espoused by Democratic candidates and Michael Moore, ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday selectively cited a poll from last year. With "56% of Americans favor universal health care" on screen," Diane Sawyer touted how "Senator Barack Obama released his plan for what he calls universal health care, something the majority of Americans say they want, according to an ABC News poll." But Sawyer failed to note how that's down six points, from 62 percent, in ABC's 2003 health issues survey. Reporter Claire Shipman recounted how the leading Democratic candidates are matching the desire of the public by proposing universal coverage plans before she trumpeted how "the issue should soon get hotter with this," the "upcoming release of Michael Moore's new film 'Sicko,' his scathing look at the health care system." However, Shipman failed to explain how very few think universal coverage "would actually improve the quality or cost of their own care, the availability of treatments, or their choice of doctors or hospitals."

From the ABCNews.com summary of the network's poll released last October: "While 56 percent support a shift to universal coverage, far fewer, ranging from 15 to 26 percent, think such coverage would actually improve the quality or cost of their own care, the availability of treatments, or their choice of doctors or hospitals. Indeed by 2-1 people think universal coverage would make the quality of their own care worse, and by better than 2-1 think it would worsen their choice of doctors or hospitals."

That's online at: abcnews.go.com

NewsBusters blogger Mark Finkelstein noticed the six point drop, from 62 percent in 2003 to 56 percent in 2006, in favor of universal coverage. That's on page 29 of the PDF with the poll results: abcnews.go.com

A transcript, provided by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, of the May 30 GMA story:

Diane Sawyer: "Well, one of the hottest of the hot topics possible in the race for the White House is health care. And on Tuesday, Senator Barack Obama released his plan for what he calls universal health care, something the majority of Americans say they want, according to an ABC News poll. But his plan has drawn fire from his fellow contenders and we're going to turn now to GMA senior national correspondent Claire Shipman who has more. Claire?"

Claire Shipman: "Diane, this was Barack Obama saying I have substance as well as style. He was caught flat footed on the health care issue a couple of months ago and he is picking the right subject. In addition to Iraq, health care is something the Democrats are really focusing on this time. The voters care about it. A recent ABC News poll showed that 80 percent of Democrats and, get this, two thirds of independent voters, that's a critical voting block, think universal coverage is more important than keeping taxes down. It's the issue of the day for Democrats."
Illinois Senator Barack Obama: "As President, I will sign a universal health care plan into law by the end of my first term in office."
Shipman: "And again, the sparks are flying. No sooner had Barack Obama unveiled the plan he labeled virtually universal than he took two incoming shots. Senator Edwards calling it 'simply inadequate.' Senator Clinton, in a dig, commended him for 'entering the debate' but said 'we have to achieve true universal health care.' What a difference a decade makes. Remember this?"
Hillary Clinton [1993 file footage] "We intend to get this as right as we can."
Shipman: "Clinton's efforts to promote universal health care roiled her husband's presidency. But these days, a health care plan is a must have for candidates and for Democrats, the buzz word is universal."
Ron Pollack, Exec Director, Families USA: "This really is an issue for virtually everybody because health care costs are skyrocketing."
Shipman: "But the candidate to keep up with is a Republican. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney points to his state's universal plan as one of his greatest legislative achievements And the issue should soon get hotter with this."
Michael Moore: "He sawed off the tops of two of his fingers."
Shipman: "The upcoming release of Michael Moore's new film 'Sicko,' his scathing look at the health care system."
Michael Moore: "The hospital gave him a choice. Reattach the middle finger for $60,000 or do the ring finger for $12,000."
Shipman: "Now John Edwards is the candidate who is pushing hardest on this. He is proposing raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for it all. Robin, who would have thought candidates fighting over ownership of the phrase universal health care?"
Robin Roberts: "Who would have thunk it? All right, Claire. Thank you very much."

Tapper Notes Thompson's 'Liberal' on
Campaign Finance & Abortion

Reporting moves by Fred Thompson to launch a presidential campaign, ABC's Jake Tapper on Wednesday night interjected a conservative take on the actor and former Senator, suggesting "Thompson will soon face questions" about "the liberal positions he's taken in the past on campaign finance reform and abortion." Describing McCain-Feingold as "liberal" is noteworthy in itself. In his World News piece, Tapper had explained how, given conservative dissatisfaction with the three leading Republican contenders, Thompson thinks he can be "a conservative with star power." But, Tapper cautioned, "playing a President is a lot easier than being one."

The NBC Nightly News also took time to look at a potential Thompson bid, but neither Brian Williams or Tim Russert hinted at any liberal views held by Thompson. In fact, Williams relayed how "he would run as a red-meat conservative" and Russert reported that, to fill the vacuum felt by conservatives, "Thompson would try to cast himself as a consistent conservative."

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

The relevant portion of Jake Tapper's May 30 World News story, a longer version of which aired later on Nightline:
"But playing a President is a lot easier than being one. Thompson will soon face questions about his lack of legislative accomplishments during his eight years as a Senator from Tennessee and the liberal positions he's taken in the past on campaign finance reform and abortion. And, as he faced during his successful 1994 Senate race, about his past career as a lobbyist."

Ex-WashPost Reporter 'Infuriated' Opponents
Deny He's a Democrat

Charlie Hall, a Washington Post reporter and copy editor for 20 years, is running for a county board seat in suburban northern Virginia as a Democrat, and as the Post itself reported Tuesday, he gets really upset when his Democratic opponents suggest he has no Democratic credentials: "The issue infuriates Hall, who said that he has voted Democrat his whole life."

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

Post reporter Bill Turque chronicled the primary fight for the Providence District of the Fairfax County Board, a long-time Democratic stronghold. Hall's a staunch opponent of new real-estate development in the area. The incumbent fighting for re-election on June 12 is Linda Q. Smyth, who is backed by the chairman of the Fairfax County Board, Gerald Connolly:

The race has been marked by an undercurrent of charge, countercharge and score-settling. Connolly has been outspokenly critical of Hall's lack of involvement in the Democratic Party, even suggesting that he is a closet Republican in cahoots with Connolly's arch political rival, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va). Providence is in Davis's 11th Congressional District.

"Charlie Hall has no known Democratic credentials," said Connolly, who normally extols as a virtue the board's bipartisan consensus on major issues.

Hall said newsroom guidelines at The Post, where he worked as a reporter and part-time copy editor from 1985 to 2005, barred active involvement in partisan causes. He did acknowledge, however, that he and other activists met with Davis for 45 minutes in his congressional office in January to discuss politics in Providence. Hall, who said the meeting was arranged by someone else, said he had been considering running as an independent and wanted to know about the chances that a Republican would join the race, which would make an independent candidacy less attractive. He said Davis described the chances as low.

The issue infuriates Hall, who said that he has voted Democrat his whole life and that Connolly "has spent a hell of a lot more time in Tom Davis' company in the last six months than I have." His campaign produced records showing that Smyth voted in Republican primaries in 1988, 1989 and 1996.

"Meanwhile the other side is questioning my fitness as a Democrat," he said. "It seems like an odd tack to take. Anybody looking at my fundraising would see that if I had a congressman behind me, I'd be in a different boat." Smyth enjoys a commanding edge, $77,856 to Hall's $3,685, according to the latest reports.

END of Excerpt

For the May 29 "Metro" section article in full: www.washingtonpost.com

Working as a reporter at The Washington Post might bar explicitly partisan activity, but you would think Democrats could count years of service at the Post as a different kind of partisan donation at the office.

Hall's Web site touts the endorsement of the Democratic bloggers at Raising Kaine, who agree the former Post reporter is the more authentic anti-development liberal: www.charliehall2007.org

-- Brent Baker