Claims of "Unilateral" U.S. Action Exasperate Brit Hume -- 02/18/2003 CyberAlert
2. Nets Marvel at "Diverse" Marchers, "Elderly" to "Soccer Moms"
3. NY Times Celebrates Rally: "Throwing a Party With a Purpose"
4. CBS and CNN Avoid Labeling a Far-Left Think Tank
5. Laudatory Reagan Profile, But Couric Relays a Liberal
6. Keith Olbermann: FNC Staff Should Feel Humiliated
Sixteen of 19 NATO nations and 34 countries in all back the U.S. policy toward Iraq, but on Fox News Sunday, much to the consternation of Brit Hume, the NPR duo of Mara Liasson and Juan Williams kept referring to the U.S. going it "alone," "isolating itself" and how "the United States is basically acting in a unilateral fashion." To that last claim by Williams, an exasperated Hume retorted: "It's not unilateral when it's 16 to 3! Can't you count?"
During the panel portion of the February 16 program, NPR political reporter Mara Liasson warning about the U.S. going it 'alone' on Iraq: "I think the reason why it's important to try to get the entire international community singing from the same page on Iraq is not necessarily for American public opinion, because even though I agree the polls show now that the American public would rather have international support, I think that if America went it alone, there would be public support for that. I don't think that the U.S. would turn against the Bush administration.
But I think that it's important for what happens the day after. I think this stuff matters. Even though the administration has made it very clear it doesn't necessarily care about world opinion, it's going to do this on its own with the coalition of the willing-"
Minutes later Williams worried about the U.S. "isolating itself." The former NPR talk show host and current commentator charged: "But look at what's happening to NATO, look at what's happening at the UN. The United States is in essence, then, isolating itself. We are building tremendous rifts in these institutions."
Back from an ad break, Williams stood up for France, Germany and Belgium: "What they are saying, Brit, and I hope everyone hears this clearly, I mean, they're saying they have a point to make, they do not feel that the United States is acting in a way that is sufficiently based, that would allow them to feel good about this military action-"
Just as they did last month with the anti-war "peace" rally in Washington, DC and San Francisco, in covering Saturday's anti-liberation of Iraq protest marches around the world, the networks ignored the organizing roles and participation of far-left proto-communist and America-hating groups and people and, instead, portrayed participants as a "diverse coss-section" of average people.
The ABC, CBS and NBC newscasts on Saturday night all led with multiple stories on the protests and all featured soundbites from very average looking people along the march routes while CNN's Maria Hinojosa trumpeted: "Like New York, it's an extraordinarily diverse crowd. I have seen elderly men and women with mink coats carrying their posters. I have also seen children with their parents coming from public schools..."
All day CNN featured lengthy segments under the banner of "Voices of Dissent." CNN anchor Carol Lin marveled at "the diversity out there, I mean, you had soccer moms out there, professional people, people who have never really participated in...political rallies." From Berlin, reporter Matthew Chance insisted the marchers were not "radicals" but "bankers, they're office clerks, they're just normal people..."
ABC's World News Tonight showcased a "teacher" and a "pediatrician" in New York City before Hilary Brown in London admired how the protest "cuts right across political and social lines."
On the CBS Evening News, Jim Acosta zeroes in on how "Charles Richardson and his wife held posters bearing the picture of a son, who is now awaiting war in the Persian Gulf." Anchor Russ Mitchell celebrated "Code Pink: Women for Peace," a bunch of far-leftists who recently traveled to Iraq to aid Saddam Hussein's cause. CBS showed a clip of one of the women kissing French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin.
Over on the NBC Nightly News, Pat Dawson highlighted "Andrew and Denise Johnson" who "drove from Danvers, Massachusetts, to New York City, their first time at an anti-war rally." Leading into a clip from a man with a wife and two pre-teen daughters at his side, Dawson relayed: "Protest organizers argued the real message of today's rallies is that a silent majority of Americans is uneasy with the prospect of war, like the Green family of Great Neck, New York. To them, the President's case against Saddam Hussein remains unconvincing."
Despite the massive coverage, John McKenzie concluded his ABC story by passing along a plea: "So many voices, filling the streets, struggling to be heard."
Only FNC's Jennifer Eccleston, checking in from Paris on the Fox Report, hinted that in addition to the "cross-section" of French society the march in Paris brought out communists: "We saw a cross-section of society at the Paris protests, young, old and families, many of them supporting a socialist and communist parties of France."
Now, some more detail about the ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN coverage on Saturday, February 15:
-- ABC's World News Tonight/Saturday. Anchor Terry Moran glowingly opened the broadcast: "Good evening. I'm Terry Moran. It's no secret there is a lot of opposition to the Bush Administration's plans for war in Iraq. Today, around the world, we got a sense of the sheer scale and intensity of that opposition. Millions of people from New York to London to Rome and in scores of other cities, took to the streets to protest against any U.S.-led invasion against Iraq. It was an enormous display of anti-war and in some cases, anti-American sentiment. We start tonight with Hilary Brown in London, where one of the largest rallies took place."
Brown's piece showcased how "some had never marched before," and she concluded: "This anti-war demonstration here in Hyde Park is being described as one of the biggest demonstrations in British history. It cuts right across political and social lines. The question is whether this will be enough to change the position of the country's Prime Minister. Hilary Brown, ABC News, London."
Next, John McKenzie checked in from New York City where he carried a soundbite from a teacher who said he's "ashamed" of the U.S. government, and then a female pediatrician.
"There are many here today who speak with a sense of urgency and frustration," McKenzie asserted before a clip of another protester and from South Africa's Desmond Tutu. McKenzie concluded: "So many voices, filling the streets, struggling to be heard. John McKenzie, ABC News, New York."
McKenzie's worry about "the struggle to be heard" came about four-and-a-half minutes into ABC's coverage of those very protests.
-- CBS Evening News. Anchor Russ Mitchell teased the show: "Calls for peace: Hundreds of thousands demonstrate in New York and dozens of other American cities. Millions of voices are raised against an Iraq war in Britain and around the world."
Mitchell began: "Streets and parks in cities across the U.S. and the world were filled with demonstrators today protesting a possible U.S.-led war against Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of protesters jammed New York City streets near the UN, and spread across much of Midtown Manhattan when the designated rally site could not accommodate them all. Despite some scuffles between police and demonstrators and a number of arrests, the protest was overwhelmingly peaceful.
Acosta maintained that "organizers say the rally drew 500,000 people. There were certainly several hundred thousand, filling as many as 40 New York blocks bearing signs that read, 'No blood for oil' and 'Get the warheads out of DC.' Charles Richardson and his wife held posters bearing the picture of a son, who is now awaiting war in the Persian Gulf."
Acosta challenged Richardson: "Some of the soldiers out there might say, you know, 'You're not doing us any good here.'
CBS moved on to Europe. In London, Tom Fenton was in awe: "This may have been the biggest political rally in UK history. Perhaps as many as a million people converged on the center of London to march and denounce American plans for war. And this is Britain, America's closest ally in the campaign against Saddam Hussein. Most people here are appalled at the thought of going to war against Iraq....And protesters are not buying a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda....In fact, polls show a third of the British public thinks President Bush is a greater threat to peace than Saddam Hussein."
After noting Prime Minister Tony Blair's defense of his policy, Fenton returned to the anti-liberation of Iraq side: "And they demonstrated not just in England. People marched all over Europe, regardless of their governments' stand..."
Fenton concluded: "The Bush administration's efforts to win public support for action against Iraq may have had the unintended effect of uniting European public opinion. This is an entire continent that apparently does not want to go to war. Tom Fenton, CBS News, London."
To end the program, Russ Mitchell offered a positive profile of a bunch of far-left women: "Many of the faces were not young, but most were as excited as the college kids they once were, ready to have their voices heard again. Take this group of easy-to-spot women in pink, practiced protesters, veterans of decades of demonstrations, a small pink spot in a huge crowd marching today."
Despite her lack of affection for Hussein, she aided his propaganda efforts. Mitchell: "Medea Benjamin is from San Francisco, but she's been traveling a lot lately. She and a dozen other Pink ladies just returned from Baghdad, where they spent 10 days touring the country, visiting schools and markets and donating blood."
-- NBC Nightly News. Dana Lewis trumpeted: "The heart of London today paralyzed by the largest anti-war demonstration in British history. By some estimates, up to a million people walked miles carrying the same message: No war with Iraq under any circumstances, even though no one was defending Saddam Hussein."
Lewis maintained: "The message for their Prime Minister and Washington's staunchest ally, Tony Blair, 'Make tea, not war.' Many here were marching for their first time ever in any demonstration, like Barbara Pierce, whose daughter went to Baghdad a week ago to be a human shield....Blair took note of the protestor's message, but in a speech to his Labour Party he insisted that leaving Saddam in power is inhumane."
Lewis added: "Voices in the street and around the world today, a massive demonstration of just how much of the world views the threat and level of danger differently than America, and here how Washington has failed miserably to convince most of Europe about the need for force when it comes to Saddam Hussein...."
Lewis concluded with a very familiar soundbite from Jesse Jackson in London: "Give peace a chance." Lewis then wrapped up:
From New York City, reporter Pat Dawson asserted: "Bundled up against the cold, protesters came by the thousands, filling block after block around the United Nations to make a single dramatic statement against going to war."
Dawson called it "a scene repeated in protests across the country, from Seattle to Milwaukee," before he ran a soundbite from a man sporting a "Fox Sports" jacket and then located the most average people to showcase: "Andrew and Denise Johnson drove from Danvers, Massachusetts, to New York City, their first time at an anti-war rally.
-- CNN and its "Voices of Dissent." During the 12-2pm EST show, anchor Martin Savidge asked Richard Quest in London: "Who organized the demonstration? And who makes up most of the crowd? Is it young people, is it middle-aged, older, give us an idea?"
Savidge posed the same question to Maria Hinojosa in New York:
"Can you give us an idea of who is in this crowd? What ages, perhaps what background, what walk of life?"
The 10pm EST CNN Saturday Night program led with protest stories from New York City, Sydney and Berlin. Anchor Carol Lin inquired of Matthew Chance in Berlin: "Did you see the same mix of people that we've been hearing about in New York, L.A., in Australia right now, middle class, professionals, people who normally you wouldn't expect to find at an anti-war demonstration?"
At about 10:30pm EST Lin pressed historian Douglas Brinkley about the impact of the protests: "When you take a look at the diversity out there, I mean, you had soccer moms out there, professional people, people who have never really participated in mass -- in political rallies. And yet, they felt so strongly about coming out and being heard. Do you think that's an important political factor that the President needs to consider?"
> The true agenda. You can get an idea about the radical agenda of those behind the marches, a subject ignored by the mainstream media, by checking out the Web sites of the organizers:
That last one features Ramsey Clark's effort to impeach President Bush. For the ten "articles of impeachment," go to:
On National Review Online's "The Corner," in an item picked up on Monday by Greg Pierce's "Inside Politics" column in the Washington Times and by Brit Hume on his FNC show, Rod Dreher offered this nugget on Saturday about the true nature of some of the protesters:
NRO also linked to a left coast Web site with photos of the protest in San Francisco, including a picture of Bush as Hitler with blood for a mustache and a sign proclaiming: "Defend Cuba and North Korea against imperialist attack." Check: http://www.right-thinking.com/comments.php?id=P508_0_1_0
For how the networks covered the January 18 marches, see the January 20 and 21 CyberAlerts: "Peace march" whitewash. Ignoring the radical agenda of organizers, the networks painted attendees as sympathetically as possible, stressing how they were made up of "grandparents," "honor students," "soccer moms" and "Republicans." CNN highlighted an elderly Nazi survivor who wants to "stop more suffering." ABC's description: "Black and white, Democrat and Republican, young and old." MSNBC: "A growing number of people are speaking out against a war with Iraq: Students, grandparents, businessmen..." For that and a lot more, see:
The New York Times on Sunday matched the tone of the networks. "Wide Range of Ages, Races and Parties Unite on Iraq," proclaimed the February 16 headline over a series of dispatches from protest cities, starting with London.
The Times headlined the summary from Paris: "Throwing a Party With a Purpose." Over the dispatch from Rome: "A Festive Tone, But Somber Ideas."
Craig Smith began his piece from Paris:
For the series of dispatches which all ran together:
The Institute for Policy Studies is a far-left, Washington, DC-based outfit, but on Friday morning its anti-liberation of Iraq expert on the subject went unlabeled by both CBS News and CNN.
When Phyllis Bennis of IPS appeared on Friday's The Early Show with Susan Sarandon to publicize the weekend's protest marches, Harry Smith, MRC analyst Brian Boyd noticed, identified Bennis simply as a "foreign policy expert."
A bit later on CNN, Maria Hinojosa set up a segment: "Joining me to talk about why they are anti-war activists are Phyllis Bennis, who is with the Institute for Policy Studies, and a Middle East expert, and Susan Sarandon."
Smith introduced the 7:30am half hour segment on the February 14 Early Show: "It is being billed as one of the largest anti-war protests ever. This weekend millions of demonstrators are expected to hit the streets worldwide to voice their protest against a possible war with Iraq. United for Peace and Justice is a coalition organizing the rallies here in the United States. Actress Susan Sarandon and foreign policy expert Phyllis Bennis are here to tell us more about it."
A bit later, on CNN's American Morning, Maria Hinojosa handled the remote interview: "We're here inside a union building on 42nd Street, and this has become the headquarters of what they say is an international movement to stop a possible war in Iraq. The organization is called United for Peace and Justice, and joining me to talk about why they are anti-war activists are Phyllis Bennis, who is with the Institute for Policy Studies, and a Middle East expert, and Susan Sarandon..."
Hinojosa's first "question" to Sarandon: "Susan, there might be some people who say that they might not agree with this war, but they don't necessarily want to take to the streets, because they're worried about seeing -- being seen as unpatriotic. Why, as an American citizen, do you think it's important to stand out and step up now?"
The IPS Web site, which will give you a flavor of its agenda:
For a paper by Bennis, "Understanding the U.S.-Iraq Crisis:
In the midst of a generally laudatory review of former President Reagan's tenure in office aired to mark President's Day, on Monday's Today, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens noticed, Katie Couric passed along the standard liberal canard about how Reagan's tax cuts and military spending caused the deficit to grow.
Without mentioning how non-defense spending grew much faster than inflation during the 1980s, to say nothing about how tax revenue growth exceeded the inflation rate, Couric asserted: "During his tenure the economy improved but budget deficits grew as he cut taxes and increased defense spending."
She began her February 17 piece on a more positive note: "On this Presidents Day we wrap up our special series on the Commanders-in-Chief with Ronald Reagan. He was the 40th President of the United States and led what many called the Reagan Revolution. A two-term presidency he hoped would be remembered as a great rediscovery of American values."
A nice shot at the Fox News Channel from Keith Olbermann, the former MSNBC host who has filled in for Paul Harvey on ABC Radio, been a commentator on CNN's NewsNight, and is set to co-host the 2004 summer Olympics on NBC.
On Monday, Olbermann filled in as host of MSNBC's 5pm EST Nachman and during a discussion of reality TV shows, MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth observed, Olbermann told Tom Jicha of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
Speaking of humiliation, let's not forget this classic insult from Olbermann on the August 18, 1998 edition of MSNBC's The Big Show in a "question" to then-Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren:
Now that's an embarrassing supposition to be humiliated about. -- Brent Baker