Appearance Alert
MRC's Bozell to appear on Fox News' 'The Kelly File' at 9:40pm ET

CyberAlert -- 09/19/2002 -- CBS Attaches "When Did He Know It?" Verbiage to Bush

CBS Attaches "When Did He Know It?" Verbiage to Bush; CNN Compares Bush to Foolish Cartoon Figure; NBC's Pro-Ho Chi Minh Reporter; Jennings Highlighted Liberal Professors; NY Times Reporter Blasts SUV Owners

1) CBS's Bob Schieffer attached the scandal-implying "what did he know and when did he know it" language to President Bush in examining the congressional report about pre-9/11 intelligence failures, a politicization avoided by ABC and NBC. Dan Rather tied Bush to a cover up: "Congressional investigators revealed there were more warning signs than the Bush administration and the government in general has acknowledged."

2) Saddam Hussein sure fooled President Bush by inviting in arms inspectors, CNN's Aaron Brown suggested Tuesday night as he analogized Bush to the cartoon character "Wile E. Coyote" realizing he's standing only on air while the Road Runner, Hussein, managed to stop at the edge of the cliff.

3) NBC's anti-war, pro-communist correspondent. During an interview on Wednesday's Today about a book featuring the reminiscing of female journalists who covered the Vietnam war, Laura Palmer, who covered it for NBC News, recalled that before going to Vietnam "I went to every anti-war march in Washington. I chanted, 'Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, NLF is gonna win!'"

4) Update. The history professors demanding that Congress declare war on Iraq before any military action occurs, who were highlighted on Tuesday night by ABC's Peter Jennings, definitely come from the left. The petition authors concluded a Los Angeles Times op-ed by ruing "the baleful legacy of the Cold War with its imperial presidency, suppression of dissent and a for-or-against-us mentality."

5) New York Times reporter Keith Bradsher on the owners of SUVs: "They tend to be people who are insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors or communities."


>>> New MRC Web site look. The MRC's Web team has modified the design of our home page to better display our postings. We think it makes the page brighter, clearer, more organized and less cluttered. Please let us know what you think, whether positive or negative. E-mail your comments to: cybercomment@mrc.org and I'll pass them along. <<<

1

CBS used the release of a report released Wednesday by a joint House-Senate intelligence committee about pre-9/11 clues to the terrorist attacks to raise the "what did the President know and when did he know it?" question, a spin not forwarded by the other networks in their stories on a hearing about the report. Specifically, Bob Schieffer concluded his September 18 CBS Evening News story by asserting that "the White House has refused to declassify all information about what the President knew and when he knew it."

Dan Rather opened the broadcast by linking President Bush's name to the intelligence failures: "Congressional investigators revealed there were more warning signs than the Bush administration and the government in general has acknowledged."
In the subsequent story, reporter Bob Schieffer highlighted how a relative of a 9/11 victim "recalled what White House officials were saying just months ago." Schieffer then showed a clip of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice insisting that flying planes onto buildings could not have been predicted.

The report found that warning signs not only appeared during the Bush years but had begun in 1995 with developments in 1996 and 1998, so neither ABC or NBC politicized the issue to Bush as both stuck to what the report said about the bureaucratic agencies.

Peter Jennings, for instance, opened World News Tonight: "Good evening everyone. We begin tonight with a failure of government intelligence that will likely haunt the U.S. intelligence community for many years. Today a special congressional committee released a report which describes, for the first time, just how many warnings the U.S. had before the September attacks that Osama bin Laden had plans for the United States."

Linda Douglass noted how the U.S. knew for six years that bin Laden wanted to attack with airplanes, including a 1998 discovery that the World Trade Center had been targeted and that a July of 2001 intelligence report warned al Qaeda was planning a significant attack. Douglass concluded: "Now the congressional investigators say that the intelligence agencies were simply overwhelmed with information and that it did not know if the sources of that information were credible. But many in Congress now say that there are still more questions than answers and Peter, they want a blue ribbon commission to dig deeper."

Over on the NBC Nightly News, Tom Brokaw announced: "Now to the missed signals prior to September 11th. At a congressional hearing today, previously classified terrorist threats collected by intelligence and law enforcement officials were made public for the first time. And family members of those killed testified angrily that they hold the intelligence community responsible."

Jim Miklaszewski related the "devastating indictment" by the families of the intelligence agencies as he noted: "U.S. intelligence received a starting number of warnings that terrorists might use airliners to launch suicide attacks against U.S. targets," beginning with a 1995 plot in the Philippines to fly a plane into the CIA, followed by signs in 1996 of a plan to hit the White House with a plane. In 1998, Miklaszewski pointed out, CIA Director George Tenet declared war on al Qaeda but didn't back it up with personnel so that in September of 2001 only one analyst was looking at al Qaeda. Miklaszewski concluded:
"The congressional inquiry still found no smoking gun, specific evidence that could have precisely predicted the attacks on 9/11. But some in Congress are calling for an independent investigation to determine if there's more the CIA and FBI knew but just aren't telling."

CBS, however, decided to politicize the matter by repeatedly mentioning the current administration while never once citing the previous one by name.

Rather opened the CBS Evening News: "Good evening. The debate will go on for years. Could anyone have prevented the September 11th attack on America? Today Congress opened its first public hearings on the massive failure of the FBI and other U.S. intelligence operations to anticipate and possibly warn the American public about the terrorist attacks, specifically the 9/11 mass murders. Congressional investigators revealed there were more warning signs than the Bush administration and the government in general has acknowledged. And, in emotional testimony, families of the victims said no one in the government did nearly enough to alert the public about known dangers. CBS's Bob Schieffer was at the hearing."

Schieffer began his piece, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Speaking for those who lost loved ones on 9/11, Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband died at Ground Zero, told the committee she questions whether the government took the precautions it should have before the attack."

After a brief clip of her, Schieffer focused on how she mocked a Bush official, a shot neither ABC or NBC found so newsworthy: "Urging the committee to find out exactly who knew what, she recalled what White House officials were saying just months ago."
Kristen Breitweiser: "I don't think anybody could have predicted-"
CBS then switched in progress to a clip of Condoleezza Rice from May 16; "-that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon."
Schieffer: "The committee's lead investigator, Eleanor Hill, said she found no evidence the government had specific information the attack would come on 9/11, or that the trade towers would be the target. But she said newly-declassified documents reveal numerous warnings that aircraft might be used."
Eleanor Hill, Joint Intelligence Committee Staff Director: "From 1994 through as late as August 2001, the intelligence community had received information indicating that international terrorists had seriously considered the use of airplanes as a means of carrying out terrorist attacks."
Schieffer: "And the targets could range from the World Trade Center in New York to the CIA in Washington. In one report last April, a source told intelligence agents Osama bin Laden had become interested in commercial pilots as potential terrorists and that he wanted a 'spectacular and traumatic attack,' such as the first World Trade Tower bombing. Documents show CIA director George Tenet recognized the danger posed by bin Laden in 1998 and declared war on him, telling deputies, 'I want no resources or people spared in this effort.' Yet there were no massive shifts in budget or reassignment of personnel, nor did Tenet's concern reach even some within the government, including many FBI agents who told the committee they didn't even know about Tenet's declaration. And despite 33 intelligence intercepts between May and July of last year, warning an attack might be imminent, the urgency being felt within the government was never made clear to the public."
Hill: "Our review has found little evidence prior to September 11th of a sustained national effort to mobilize public awareness and to harden the homeland against a potential assault by bin Laden within the United States."
Schieffer concluded by attaching the scandal-implying "what did he know and when did he know it" language to Bush: "And just why that was is the question that now hangs over this report. The other question is how much of all this was actually shared with the President? Over the committee's strong objection, the White House has refused to declassify all information about what the President knew and when he knew it."

The media, which want to know how all the pre 9/11 clues did not lead to preventative action, are now demanding the Bush team provide absolute proof of Saddam Hussein's threat before it takes any action against him.

2

Saddam Hussein sure fooled President Bush by inviting in arms inspectors, CNN's Aaron Brown suggested Tuesday night as he analogized Bush to the cartoon character "Wile E. Coyote" realizing he's standing only on air while the Road Runner, Hussein, managed to stop at the edge of the cliff.

Brown, MRC analyst Ken Shepherd noticed, offered the analogy in introducing a September 17 NewsNight story by Richard Roth on Iraq's offer to allow weapons inspections:
"We begin with that moment when Wile E. Coyote looks back and sees the Road Runner standing at the edge of the cliff which means he isn't standing on anything but thin air. Seems a bit like where the Bush administration is tonight, scrambling to get back onto solid ground after the Iraqi offer to let UN weapons inspectors come back into the country. The President is trying to shift the spotlight back to Iraqi misbehavior. The Secretary of State meantime is in New York trying to keep members of the Security Council from taking an Iraqi 'yes' for an answer. But momentum is gathering."

3

NBC's anti-war, pro-communist correspondent. During an interview on Wednesday's Today about a book featuring the reminiscing of female journalists who covered the Vietnam war, Laura Palmer, who covered it for NBC News, recalled that before going to Vietnam "I went to every anti-war march in Washington. I chanted, 'Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, NLF is gonna win!' And two months later there I was."

NLF stood for National Liberation Front, the Communist forces in South Vietnam.

MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens caught the concession which occurred as Ann Curry interviewed Palmer and Denby Fawcett about their book, War Torn: Women Reporters Who Covered Vietnam."

At one point, Curry asked Palmer: "You weren't a reporter, never meant to become a reporter. What happened?"


On Sept. 18 Today, Laura Palmer admitted that before covering Vietnam for NBC, "I chanted, 'Ho, Ho, Ho, Chi Minh, NLF is gonna win!"

Palmer explained: "No I never intended to go to Vietnam. I was hitchhiking illegally on the interstate and I was picked up by a doctor and we fell in love. And two months after graduating from college we went to Vietnam. I had been very much involved with the anti-war movement. I never expected to go to Vietnam. I protested the war. I went to every anti-war march in Washington. I chanted, 'Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, NLF is gonna win!' And two months later there I was. I went to Vietnam with the answers and when I left I was proud simply to be able to understand the questions."
Curry: "Which is to say that you were overwhelmed, which is to say what exactly?"
Palmer: "Which is to say that it was not a war that was just black and white there were many more issues and it was a war that had been going on for decades and one where, though my opinion about America's involvement never changed I could see how much more complicated it really was on the ground."
Curry: "You actually filed, you worked for NBC News actually for a year."
Palmer: "Yes I did."

Today has posted an excerpt from the book:
http://www.msnbc.com/news/809169.asp

4

Update. The history professors demanding that Congress declare war on Iraq before any military action occurs, who were highlighted on Tuesday night by ABC's Peter Jennings, definitely come from the left, an op-ed by the petition's authors revealed.

As noted in the September 18 CyberAlert, on the September 17 World News Tonight Jennings showcased a complaint from some history professors. Jennings announced:
"It is 215 years ago that the Constitution was signed. And on Capitol Hill today historians delivered a petition to Congress saying Congress must vote on whether or not to declare war against Iraq, not just authorize military action. The petition, signed by more than 1200 historians, says by not acting Congress has left the President solely in control of war powers to the detriment of democracy and in clear violation of the Constitution."

In the September 18 CyberAlert I noted that I couldn't find any other story about the petitions. I've since learned that Tuesday's Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed by the authors of the petition, two UCLA history professors. Its conclusion provides a strong hint as to the political agenda behind it:
"The U.S. now finds itself at a crossroads. Either it will return to the balance of powers the founding fathers created to protect constitutional government or it will keep alive the baleful legacy of the Cold War with its imperial presidency, suppression of dissent and a for-or-against-us mentality."

"War Issue Imperils Constitution" read the September 17 Los Angeles Times headline over the piece by Joyce Appleby and Ellen Carol Dubois. The paper described the petition effort: "Joyce Appleby and Ellen Carol DuBois, history professors at UCLA, have circulated the American Historians' Petition, now with more than 1,200 signatures, urging Congress to assume its constitutional r"
That's where the posted version cut off. I'd assume the r word is "role."

To the read the op-ed: CLICK HERE

5

Attention SUV drivers, check out how a New York Times reporter characterized you, that is if you aren't too "insecure and vain" to handle it. In his new book, High and Mighty: SUVs, the World's Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way," Keith Bradsher charged:
"They tend to be people who are insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors or communities."

A book review by Tom Walsh, on the Detroit Free Press's auto.com Web site, recounted the vitriol featured in the book released this week which was written by Bradsher, now the New York Times reporter in Hong Kong, who until last year had been the paper's Detroit correspondent.

Though Bradsher repeatedly denounces SUVs "menacing," Walsh pointed out that "Bradsher faces a daunting task to convince the public that SUVs are a huge menace to society, when in fact, the overall rate of U.S. highway deaths has dropped by 50 percent since the mid-1980s, even as sales of SUVs jumped by 600 percent."

Rush Limbaugh listeners on Tuesday may have heard Limbaugh talking about the book and Walsh's review of it. In his "Best of the Web" column for Opinion Journal.com on Wednesday (www.opinionjournal.com/best ), James Taranto provided a link to Walsh's review. An excerpt from the September 17 posting by the Detroit Free Press columnist:

Detroit's top auto executives, plus legions of Explorer, Grand Cherokee, Durango, Navigator and Tahoe owners, will be squirming -- and probably fuming -- over publication today of a provocative book, "High and Mighty: SUVs, the World's Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way."

This book assaults sport-utility vehicles with a gusto recalling Ralph Nader's 1965 broadside against the Corvair in "Unsafe at Any Speed."

Written by New York Times correspondent Keith Bradsher, "High and Mighty" (Public Affairs, $28) bashes auto companies, auto buyers, the government and even Sierra Club tree huggers for the sport-utility vehicle craze that Bradsher claims is killing thousands of people and wrecking the environment.

Do you drive an SUV?

If so, don't read the next quote with food in your mouth. Here's what Bradsher writes about SUV buyers:

"They tend to be people who are insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors or communities."

Bradsher's favorite word to describe SUVs is "menacing," which he uses nine times in one five-page passage discussing the kill-or-be-killed psychology of SUV drivers....

Bradsher was Detroit bureau chief for the Times from 1996 to 2001; he now runs the paper's Hong Kong bureau....

"We're only at the beginning of the SUV problem," Bradsher told me from Hong Kong in a phone interview Monday, predicting that deaths and injuries will multiply as older-model used SUVs are purchased and driven by teenagers.

In the book's introduction, Bradsher spells out his premise, branding SUVs as gas guzzlers that "roll over too easily, killing and injuring occupants at an alarming rate, and are dangerous to other road users, inflicting catastrophic damage to cars that they hit and posing a lethal threat to pedestrians."...

Bradsher's book is a full-tilt polemic, in the vein of Nader's "Unsafe at Any Speed," to which it will inevitably be compared. It takes a provocative point of view and argues it passionately.

Is it persuasive? Sometimes. There's little question that SUVs are more prone to roll over than most cars and vans. And the safety implications of design incompatibility -- big vehicles with high bumpers smashing into low-riding cars -- should be debated and studied.

That said, Bradsher faces a daunting task to convince the public that SUVs are a huge menace to society, when in fact, the overall rate of U.S. highway deaths has dropped by 50 percent since the mid-1980s, even as sales of SUVs jumped by 600 percent.

And Bradsher, in his zeal to demonize the SUV, may turn off even his most supportive audiences by insulting them....

And he even jabs environmentalists, the most likely support group for "High and Mighty," charging that they've been slow to criticize SUVs. "Mechanical engineering has appealed less to environmentalists than paddling around among endangered whales and coral reefs, or planting trees in deforested regions of the Himalayas," he writes....

END of Excerpt

For Walsh's review in full:
http://www.auto.com/industry/walsh17_20020917.htm

To see the book's cover, and/or so you SUV owners can buy a copy to learn how awful you are: CLICK HERE

I am an SUV owner, but since I'm not married and have no children, I guess I'm not quite as dreadful a person as are all you married parents who drive SUVs.

On the up side, being so "self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in" your "neighbors or communities," leaves you more time to read CyberAlerts. -- Brent Baker

6


Sign up for CyberAlerts:
Keep track of the latest instances of media bias and alerts to stories the major media are ignoring. Sign up to receive CyberAlerts via e-mail.

Subscribe!
Enter your email to join MRC CyberAlert today!

questions and comments about CyberAlert subscription

You can also learn what has been posted each day on the MRC's Web site by subscribing to the "MRC Web Site News" distributed every weekday afternoon. To subscribe, go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters