Jennings to Franks: Want "More Time"? WMD "Legitimate...Tools" -- 03/14/2003 CyberAlert
2. Glover: "Patriotism" Being Used to "Quiet Us and Detain Us"
3. FNC Explores France's Record of Enabling Saddam Hussein
4. CBS's Hartman Finds Anti-War Teenage Protesters are Clueless
5. All Nets Refer to "What Critics Call 'Partial-Birth Abortion'"
>>> "2003 Dishonor Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters." CyberAlert subscribers can get tickets for $150, $25 off the regular price, for the Thursday, March 27 event in Washington, DC. For all the info and how to buy tickets:
Peter Jennings, in an interview conducted in Qatar with General Tommy Franks, commander of all U.S. troops in the region, worried if he has "enough men" to achieve his mission, suggested he might want "more time" before war begins, wondered if military targets next to schools and mosques would be "off limits," wanted to know if Franks has any "fear" about what could happen and asked Franks to put himself in Hussein's shoes: "If you were Saddam Hussein, do you think that chemical and biological weapons would be a legitimate tool in your box, in your tool kit?"
Franks refused to take part in Jennings' imagining: "I would never place myself, Peter, in the mind of the leader of the Iraqi regime." To which Jennings insisted: "Isn't that part of what a commander's supposed to do?" Franks rejected the notion: "No, sir."
Excerpts from the interview ran on Thursday's World News Tonight and Prime Time Thursday. On World News Tonight, the segment aired minutes after ABC's Terry Moran once again referred to the Bush policy as a "hardline" one: "This morning, Secretary of State Powell told members of Congress the administration was re-considering its hardline."
Plugs for the upcoming segment on Prime Time Thursday featured very brief video clips of Jennings, outfitted in a green helmet, standing in the turret of a tank. His Mike Dukakis moment. (Check the posted version of this item to see this.)
Below is a rundown of the questions posed on the March 13 World News Tonight (WNT), with the one also played on Prime Time Thursday (PTT) noted, followed by those shown only on Prime Time Thursday.
-- Jennings: "You have argued from almost the outset of his process for more men. You've had to fight for it on occasion. Do you have enough men now to win?"
-- Jennings: "Do you think you can currently, with your capacity, win this war 5-to-4 or 15-nothing?"
-- Jennings: "Any target off-limits?"
-- Jennings, in question shown on both WNT and PTT, returned to his usual push to delay any war: "From a purely military point of view, would you like to have more time before the battle begins?"
-- Jennings: "I've talked to young soldiers and Marines this week close to the front who openly admit that they're afraid. Is fear a factor for the commander as well?"
-- Jennings: "For better or worse, sir, you're about to have a place in history. At this point, what would you like history to say about you?"
In addition to the fourth question above, the Prime Time Thursday excerpt featured these questions:
-- Jennings: "Do you have enough men to liberate the people of Iraq from Saddam Hussein and enable them to at least begin the process of democratizing, without costing American lives?"
-- Jennings wondered if Franks is frightened about fighting in a city like Baghdad and "how much stock" he puts in stories that Hussein will bust dams, light oil fields on fire.
-- Jennings: "If you were Saddam Hussein, do you think that chemical and biological weapons would be a legitimate tool in your box, in your tool kit?"
ABCNews.com has posted the text of some of the interview:
When ABC's transcript is in conflict with what I have above, go with my version which matches exactly what was actually said on the air.
Who exactly is "us"? Accepting the "Chairman's Awards" during the NAACP Image Awards broadcast on Fox Thursday night, actor Danny Glover asserted: "How we assume our responsibility as concerned, informed citizens, to question, dissent, to speak truth in times when fear and the call to nationalism and patriotism are used as barriers to quiet us and detain us will determine how we [are] remembered."
Are anti-war celebrities being "detained" or is Glover identifying himself with al-Qaeda suspects who have been detained?
(Glover clearly said "detained," not "refrained.")
Glover's comments came during the awards ceremony taped on Saturday night, March 8, at Universal Studios in Los Angeles County. Accepting his award in the event run in prime time by Fox on March 13, Glover rallied the audience:
(Glover did not say the words in brackets, "to" and "are," but I inserted them in order to make his comments make sense, or at least so his nonsense is not made worse by his oral stumbling.)
The NAACP's page for its Image Awards: http://126.96.36.199/newima.html
For a picture of Glover and a rundown of his many movie roles: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Glover,+Danny
Last year Glover was amongst a bunch of left-wing celebrities, including Ed Asner, Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon and Marisa Tomei, who helped pay for a full page New York Times ad, from a group called Not in Our Name, denouncing President Bush's war on terrorism. The ad screeched: "We call on all Americans to RESIST the war and repression that has been loosed on the world by the Bush administration. It is unjust, immoral, and illegitimate." The signers also equated 9/11 with the terror inflicted by the U.S. military in Baghdad, Panama City and Vietnam. Details: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020923.asp#8
Providing the kind of historic look at France's friendliness with Saddam Hussein you'll never see on ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, on Thursday night FNC's Brian Wilson Special Report with Brit Hume reviewed France's recent history of impeding any effort to contain or impede Hussein.
FNC reporter Brian Wilson ran through a series of French actions, from renewing diplomatic relations to blocking a UN "resolution that would have imposed travel restrictions on Iraqi military and intelligence officers" to not supporting the current set of inspections to how "the French oil giant, Total Fina Elf, has a $60 billion deal with Hussein to develop southern Iraqi oil fields."
Before Wilson's piece, Hume relayed how a new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that when "asked how they would feel if the President agreed to French demands and extended the inspections, 44 percent said they'd be less favorable toward President Bush, while 28 said they'd be more favorable."
Hume recited the poll results on his March 13 show: "In our latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, 71 percent of those polled support U.S. military action to disarm Iraq and remove Saddam compared to 67 percent back in January, while 20 percent now oppose, down from 25 percent. Seventy-one percent also agree it's time to go into Iraq, up 15 percent from last month, while only 21 percent disagree with such action, that down 14 percent from last month. Eight percent said they're not sure, 87 percent of those asked feel Iraq is not complying with UN resolutions to disarm. Only four percent feel they are complying. And when asked how they would feel if the President agreed to French demands and extended the inspections, 44 percent said they'd be less favorable toward the President, President Bush, while 28 said they'd be more favorable, and 19 percent say they would remain the same in their attitude on that issue. Finally, when asked who was doing more to achieve peace in Iraq, 75 percent said soldiers, eight percent favored war protesters, five percent felt both were contributing."
The poll results are online at: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,81023,00.html
Hume set up Wilson's story: "France's behavior on Iraq has shocked many Americans and triggered calls for boycotts and a wave of anti-French jokes. But if you followed the history of the world's efforts to disarm Saddam Hussein and France's role in it, its recent behavior may not seem so surprising. And as Fox News correspondent Brian Wilson reports, this is not the first time France has not seen eye to eye with the U.S. and its allies when dealing with Iraq."
Wilson began, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Since the days of de Gaulle, French foreign policy has been largely pro-Arab. In the mid-70s, the French were so tight with Saddam Hussein that Jacques Chirac, the French foreign minister at the time, was jokingly nicknamed 'Jacques Iraq.' Today Chirac, now the President of France, has been using the United Nations as a forum to frustrate U.S. efforts to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. Why?"
Clueless anti-war high school student protesters mocked by CBS News. Really. Wednesday's 60 Minutes II ended with a short piece by Steve Hartman, the guy who does the very Americana "Everybody Has a Story" vignettes, on how he suspects high schoolers are just using the protests to get out of class: "To me, giving up algebra for peace is a kind of like giving up brussel sprouts for Lent, just a little too convenient to be commendable."
Hartman showed how they really need "to pick up a newspaper." When a high school girl told him that "people who never did anything are just being bombed and suffering and becoming homeless," Hartman asked where this is occurring. She giddily replied: "Everywhere. They, didn't they bomb Iraq?" Asked to name the leader of Iraq, a guy answered: "Osama bin Laden." Back to the not too swift girl, she kept repeating a flyer's demand: "Healthcare not welfare!" Of course, it really postulated: "Healthcare not warfare."
MRC analyst Brian Boyd alerted me to the Hartman piece, which aired at the end of the March 12 60 Minutes II, and put together a transcript of it.
Sitting in a coffee shop, Hartman began: "Everyday I come to this coffee house in Los Angeles. It's across the street from a high school where twice now I've seen students walk out of class to protest war with Iraq. Now to me, giving up algebra for peace is a kind of like giving up brussel sprouts for Lent, just a little too convenient to be commendable.
Hartman's piece then jumped from the street side to conservative actor/author Ben Stein's house. Stein declared from his sofa: "I'm stunned when I meet them and how little they know."
Back to the teens on the street, Hartman picked up where he left off, with a the dumbfounded guy: "Why does Osama bin Laden keep coming to my head?"
And that was the end of Hartman's piece.
Of all the 60 Minutes II stories on Wednesday night, which included a Dan Rather report on how the Patriot II missiles supposedly don't work, this is the only one without an online mention or summary, at least as of Thursday night. The 60 Minutes II page: http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/60II/main3475.shtml
For a picture and bio of Hartman:
To learn about his usually heartwarming "Everybody Has a Story" pieces:
All the networks on the same page. In describing a Senate vote to ban a type of abortion, on Thursday night ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FNC and NBC all used nearly identical language to separate themselves from the most common way the procedure is identified as all referred to how the vote was on a procedure "critics call 'partial-birth abortion.'"
ABC: "...late term abortions which critics call 'partial-birth abortion.'"
CBS: "...a particular type of late-term abortion that opponents call 'partial-birth.'"
CNBC: "...a type of late-term abortion that opponents call 'partial birth.'"
CNN: "...a specific kind of late-term abortion, a procedure that's come to be known by its critics as 'partial-birth abortion.'"
FNC: "...a ban on what critics call 'partial-birth abortion.'"
NBC: "...the Senate vote to ban the procedure, which critics call 'partial-birth abortion.'"
Talk about uniformity and conformity.
I suppose that on the up side, at least those against the procedure got their negative-sounding language into every story.
Now a rundown of the full items on the vote. Only FNC did anything more than a brief item, so for all but FNC these quotes represent the total coverage on Thursday night, March 13:
-- ABC's World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson: "A victory today for anti-abortion forces. The Senate overwhelmingly voted -- 64 to 33 -- to ban certain late term abortions which critics call 'partial-birth abortion.' The Senate bill would ban the procedure even when a pregnant woman's health is in danger as long as her life is not threatened. President Bush supports the ban."
-- CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather: "On Capitol Hill the Senate voted today, by a nearly two-to-one margin, to ban a particular type of late-term abortion that opponents call 'partial-birth.' House passage is expected this Spring and President Bush has said he will sign this legislation. Abortion rights activists vow a court fight."
-- CNBC's The News with Brian Williams anchor Forrest Sawyer, previewing next day headlines "The Washington Post, Senate votes to ban late-term abortion procedure. The vote was nearly two to one. And that is a type of late-term abortion that opponents call 'partial birth.' The bill includes an exemption if the woman's life is in danger. The House is expected to vote in favor. The President is expected to sign it. Several women's and civil liberty groups are challenging the ban."
-- CNN NewsNight anchor Aaron Brown: "A few more stories before we go to break, starting with a controversial vote in Congress today. The Senate voted to outlaw a specific kind of late-term abortion, a procedure that's come to be known by its critics as 'partial-birth abortion.' The vote was 64-33. The measure expected on sail through the House. If it does, it'd be the first time Congress criminalized a specific form of abortion and a Supreme Court challenge looks like certainty. The court knocked down a Nebraska law quite similar to the bill passed by Congress today."
-- On FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume, Hume avoided the phraseology: "The Senate voted overwhelmingly today to ban a controversial abortion method that involves partial delivery of a fetus..." But Carl Cameron came through: "By a lopsided 65 to 33 margin, the U.S. Senate passed a ban on what critics call 'partial-birth abortion.'"
-- NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw: "One of President Bush's top priorities, outlawing late-term abortions, made big headway in Congress today. The Senate vote to ban the procedure, which critics call 'partial-birth abortion.' The bill is expected to pass in the House next month. The President has already promised he'll sign, but a court fight is expected almost as quickly."
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