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Matthews Trumpets 'Amazing Moment' of Pelosi Next to Cheney --11/8/2006


1. Matthews Trumpets 'Amazing Moment' of Pelosi Next to Cheney
Just after 11pm EST Tuesday night, MSNBC's Chris Matthews celebrated how Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, a likelihood following the Democratic takeover of that body, will be "a great opportunity for her and a great opportunity for women" and an "amazing moment" when at the next State of the Union address she'll be "the incredibly interesting person" next to Dick Cheney with his "fire hydrant build" and "very distinguished snarl." Matthews told Keith Olbermann, his co-anchor: "I think it's a great opportunity for her and a great opportunity for women. I think one of the most stunning, most iconic pictures we'll see on television in the next year is the State of the Union address, where you have Dick Cheney, who has got that sort of, you know, fire hydrant build sitting there with that very distinguished snarl of his, and then this incredibly interesting person next, a woman, first time ever sitting behind the President sharing power with the American government. It's going to be an amazing moment."

2. Democrats Take House and Senate? Matthews: 'That'll Be Fantastic'
A Freudian slip from Chris Matthews? About 7:36pm EST during MSNBC's election night coverage, Matthews was interviewing Chuck Todd of the National Journal, who predicted that if Democrats gained 25 to 30 House seats, it would also mean a Democratic Senate takeover. As Matthews began his response, he proclaimed "that'll be fantastic news." But he quickly corrected himself: "It'll be huge news, I should say," as he went on to say President Bush would have to negotiate his policies with Congress: "President George W. Bush, having to actually negotiate every aspect of national policy, including the war in Iraq."AUDIO&VIDEO

3. MSNBC's Scarborough: 'I Bash My Party More Than The Democrats'
Winding up the 8pm EST hour of election coverage Tuesday night on MSNBC, Scarborough Country host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman from Florida, indignantly lectured Chris Matthews: "Just a point of personal privilege as they say in the House. Howard Dean accused me of not being fair and down the middle. You agreed with Howard Dean. I just want to say, Chris, I have spent the past two years trying my best to be very critical of my party. In fact, if you look at my transcripts you will see that I have been bashing my party more than the Democratic Party because I want to make sure that I am fair and down the middle." AUDIO&VIDEO

4. CNN's Schneider Bedeviled By How Most Vets Backed Allen Over Webb
Based on exit polls, CNN's Bill Schneider reported in the 7pm EST hour Tuesday night that the veteran vote went for Republican Senator George Allen over Democratic challenger Jim Webb. But Schneider seemed baffled as to how such a thing could happen. During the election night coverage, he mentioned that Webb was a "veteran" or "decorated hero" three times in a mere four sentences.

5. Newsweek Editor: Voter Message in Ousting 'Firebrand' Santorum
Newsweek Senior Editor Marcus Mabry, appearing on CNN to deliver a postmortem on Republican Rick Santorum's loss in Pennsylvania, attacked the Senator as a "firebrand partisan" and wondered if Republicans would learn a lesson from his loss and be more cooperative with Democrats: "If a partisan, firebrand partisan like Rick Santorum is not returned to the Senate, maybe the American people are sending a message to the Republican Senators." But, as New York Times columnist David Brooks pointed out last week, Santorum "has pushed through a stream of legislation to help the underprivileged, often with Democratic partners."

6. On CNN Begala Smears Rush Limbaugh as a 'Drug-Addled Gasbag'
During an election night discussion of the Missouri embryonic stem cell debate, CNN analyst Paul Begala slammed Rush Limbaugh as a "drug-addled gasbag who is self discredited." Bill Bennett, also on the panel with James Carville and J.C. Watts, chastised Begala: "Well, it's a nasty comment."

7. Cafferty Slams Iraq as a War for Oil; Wonders if Bush Really Won
CNN's Jack Cafferty, who recently called Donald Rumsfeld a war criminal, chose Election Day to accuse the President of going to war in Iraq for oil and of condoning torture. He also wondered if George Bush was "elected at all."

8. Missouri: NBC Repeatedly Leaves Embryo Out of 'Stem Cell' Story
One of the most routine (and inaccurate) tics of news coverage of Missouri's cloning amendment and other medical-research stories is to describe the controversy over embryo-destroying stem cell research as simply a fight over "stem cell research." To declare that a pro-life politician is "against stem cell research" is quite inaccurate (since they favor research on adult stem cells and from umbilical cord blood). But NBC's Kevin Tibbles did that twice Tuesday morning to Sen. Jim Talent on Today, and never once even used the word "embryo" or "embryonic" to describe the specific human lives being destroyed in the research process.

9. NBC Morning Reporters Highlight GOP Racism, As Alleged 'By Many'
NBC's Today correspondents on Tuesday made sure to underline that Republicans were seen as racist in the Senate campaigns in Tennessee and Virginia. Reporter Tom Costello began his November 7 report: "Matt, good morning. This has been a hard fought race. It's been injected with advertisements viewed by many as being racist by the Republican National Committee. The Corker campaign repudiated those ads, as did the Ford campaign, of course."

10. Matthews: Racist Voters Like Black Candidates 'Almost Castrated'
As Chris Matthews sees it and decreed it Sunday afternoon, if voters in Maryland decided to go for Republican Michael Steele it would be because they prefer African American candidates who are "unthreatening" or "almost...castrated," and that the "funny" "lighthearted" Steele strikes voters as "a guy I would like to have living next door" -- although he quickly added that "that may be pushing it in some cases." As Joe Scarborough, one of the rotating anchors of MSNBC's continuing election coverage tried to interrupt, Matthews justified his comments by insisting that, "I have to tell you, we have an ethnic problem in this country. And it's coming to the fore, this race problem we have."

11. ABC's Nightline Gushes: Obama, An 'American Political Phenomenon'
On Monday night's edition of Nightline, just hours before the polls opened for Tuesday's midterm election, ABC's Terry Moran prematurely promoted a potential 2008 Democratic presidential contender. Moran went along with Illinois Senator Barack Obama as he campaigned for Democrats across the country. Moran's piece was full of praise for the "American political phenomenon," whom, according to Moran, millions see as "the savior of the Democratic Party."

12. FNC Shows NewsBusters: 'Leading Mainstream Media Critic Blog'
In the Fox News Channel's "Buzz on the Blogs" segment at about 9:39pm EST Tuesday night, columnist and blogger Michelle Malkin began her look at blog critiques of election coverage by citing "grievances, mostly from the right side of the blogosphere, over the leak of exit polls and what they consider the premature calling of a lot of these races." She then pointed to NewsBusters' take: "At NewsBusters.org, which is one of the leading mainstream media critic blogs, they've been highlighting the early calls in Pennsylvania." AUDIO&VIDEO


Matthews Trumpets 'Amazing Moment' of
Pelosi Next to Cheney

Just after 11pm EST Tuesday night, MSNBC's Chris Matthews celebrated how Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, a likelihood following the Democratic takeover of that body, will be "a great opportunity for her and a great opportunity for women" and an "amazing moment" when at the next State of the Union address she'll be "the incredibly interesting person" next to Dick Cheney with his "fire hydrant build" and "very distinguished snarl." Matthews told Keith Olbermann, his co-anchor:
"I think it's a great opportunity for her and a great opportunity for women. I think one of the most stunning, most iconic pictures we'll see on television in the next year is the State of the Union address, where you have Dick Cheney, who has got that sort of, you know, fire hydrant build sitting there with that very distinguished snarl of his, and then this incredibly interesting person next, a woman, first time ever sitting behind the President sharing power with the American government. It's going to be an amazing moment."

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

Matthews continued his speculation:
"And the question she has to decide as she takes on this role is, is she going to be a leader of the House, or the a leader of the Democrats. She has to be both. But that leader of the House role is very important. She cannot just be a Democratic leader. She has to represent every member of that House, and that's a very difficult role. Some people have been able to play it over the years -- Sam Rayburn, I think Tip O'Neill, some of the others, and some others have just been simply political leaders."

Democrats Take House and Senate? Matthews:
'That'll Be Fantastic'

A Freudian slip from Chris Matthews? About 7:36pm EST during MSNBC's election night coverage, Matthews was interviewing Chuck Todd of the National Journal, who predicted that if Democrats gained 25 to 30 House seats, it would also mean a Democratic Senate takeover. As Matthews began his response, he proclaimed "that'll be fantastic news." But he quickly corrected himself: "It'll be huge news, I should say," as he went on


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to say President Bush would have to negotiate his policies with Congress: "President George W. Bush, having to actually negotiate every aspect of national policy, including the war in Iraq."

A few minutes later, Matthews chose the words "the damn rich" as he described some of the "populist" sentiments of some Americans angry about the rich making too much money. Matthews: "Every time you ask people questions now, they don't just say I'd like to make more money at work, I'd like to have a higher salary, I'd like to have some break on tuition for the kids, they're saying the damn rich are getting all the money." Matthews went on to mention "Halliburton" and "the rich grabbing it" as reasons some Americans say "we're not doing so well."

[This item, by Brad Wilmouth, was posted with video late Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The video/audio of Matthews making his "fantastic" outburst will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, to watch the Real or Windows Media or to listen to the MP3 audio, go to: newsbusters.org ]

Below are transcripts of the two relevant portions from MSNBC's November 7 election night coverage:

Chuck Todd, National Journal, about 7:36pm: "I'm still believing, and I think our line here is about 25 or 30 House seats. If it gets over 25 or 30 House seats, you're going to see six Senate seats. I don't think you're going to see four Senate seats and 30 House seats for the Democrats."
Chris Matthews: "Well, that'll be fantastic news. It'll be huge news, I should say, because if that happens, then we have a government run by the Democrats and executive branch run by the Republicans, President George W. Bush, having to actually negotiate every aspect of national policy, including the war in Iraq, right Chuck?"

...

Matthews, about 7:39pm: "And it could be that populist instinct I keep finding in the polling, Howard. I want you to check Gene and I on that, which is every time you ask people questions now, they don't just say I'd like to make more money at work, I'd like to have a higher salary, I'd like to have some break on tuition for the kids, they're saying the damn rich are getting all the money. There's a real anger out there you're seeing, it shows up in discussions of foreign trade, all kinds of ways, the rich are grabbing it, Halliburton, the big shot insider taking the money away from us, that's why we're not doing so well."

MSNBC's Scarborough: 'I Bash My Party
More Than The Democrats'

Winding up the 8pm EST hour of election coverage Tuesday night on MSNBC, Scarborough Country host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman from Florida, indignantly lectured Chris Matthews: "Just a point of personal privilege as they say in the House. Howard Dean accused me of not being fair and down the middle. You agreed with Howard Dean. I just want to say, Chris, I have spent the past two years trying my best to be very critical


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of my party. In fact, if you look at my transcripts you will see that I have been bashing my party more than the Democratic Party because I want to make sure that I am fair and down the middle."

So "far and down the middle" means hitting Republicans harder than Democrats? Too bad Matthews, a former staffer to Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, doesn't routinely attack Democrats to prove how "fair and down the middle" he is.

[This item, by Rich Noyes, was posted with video Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The video/audio will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, to watch the Real or Windows Media or to listen to the MP3 audio, go to: newsbusters.org ]

After Scarborough pointed out how frequently and often he attacks the GOP, Matthews turned to NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell, whom he called "not partisan" to settle the issue. Mitchell quipped that "I think that Joe has been too pro-Democrat myself."

While the rest of the panel laughed, Scarborough unsmilingly interjected: "So do all my Republican friends."

What brought on Scarborough's defensive lecture was an earlier exchange after MSNBC declared Democrat Bob Casey the winner in Pennsylvania's Senate contest. Matthews asked whether Casey's victory would mean that Hillary Clinton might have an easier time carrying Pennsylvania if she was the Democratic nominee. Scarborough opined: "There is a big difference between Bob Casey and Hillary Clinton. You know, Bob Casey really is, and I think this is the headline here, Bob Casey is the new breed of Democrat."

He added: "You know, like I have said for sometime, Democrats used to be so easy to pick off in the Southeast and even in states like Pennsylvania, because they would get these people who were ideologically aligned with Hillary Clinton and the far left wing of the Democratic Party. That's not the case this year, and you've got to give a lot of credit to Chuck Schumer," referring to the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

A few moments later, Matthews asked Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean if they were giving too much credit to Schumer and not enough to Dean. Dean replied, "No, my concern was calling Hillary Clinton a member of the far left. I don't know who's making those comments but he certainly isn't anywhere close to neutral. I mean, the fact is-"
Matthews agreed: "Well, he isn't, actually. [Laughs] Go ahead. You aren't either, so let's go on here."

Twenty minutes later, Scarborough took an opportunity to complain about how Matthews had agreed with Dean's bias complaint, but he also made it clear that he sees Hillary Clinton as an "excellent" U.S. Senator and not on the far left, saying he should have named someone like Barbara Boxer.

Here's the relevant transcript from just before 9pm EST:

Chris Matthews: "Let's go to our panel. Let's start with Joe Scarborough. Joe, it seems like the evening is following a pattern long predicted: easier victories in Pennsylvania and in Ohio for the Democrats, more questionable results in the other five states."
Joe Scarborough: "No doubt about it, Chris. Obviously we just -- the question is, how big of a wave is it going to be this year? And it looks right now like it's going to at least be a wave that will give the Democrats a nice, a nice victory in the House, not so on the Senate.
"I do have to say something, just a point of personal privilege as they say in the House. Howard Dean accused me of not being fair and down the middle. You agreed with Howard Dean. I just want to say, Chris, I have spent the past two years trying my best to be very critical of my party. In fact, if you look at my transcripts you will see that I have been bashing my party more than the Democratic party because I want to make sure that I am fair and down the middle.
"If you look at an op-ed I wrote for the Washington Post, I actually said that George Bush should not be followed. If you look at a column I wrote for the Washington Monthly, I actually said that the Republican Party did not deserve to regain control of the United States Congress because they have done such a miserable job. Look at my transcripts, night after night, and you will see that I go after my own party more than the Democratic Party. That's all I want to say.
"Now, one correction I do have to say, I actually did identify Hillary Clinton with the far left of the Democratic Party. Actually, Howard Dean was correct, I was wrong on that point. I was playing more to image to her voting record. She's been a centrist, and that's something else I've said time and time again on my program, that Hillary Clinton has been an excellent United States Senator. I misspoke, I should have said Barbara Boxer [panel chuckles]. It's not an insult to say somebody is liberal. I like Barbara Boxer very much also. We agree on some things. We don't agree on others, but the terminology that I affixed to Hillary Clinton is not an accurate term, and even though you play Hardball, Chris, sometimes you throw the ball a little bit outside, and that time I think you did."
Matthews: "Ok, Joe. I'll put your uniform on and it will be an umpire's uniform from now on-"
Scarborough, testily: "That's my job."
Matthews: "I think it will get quite boring, but we'll put that uniform on you. I agree with that assessment of my coverage of your coverage as confirming Howard Dean's coverage of your coverage. I'll try to keep it straight next time. Fair enough on that point. I think I was responding to your reference of Hillary Clinton as far left, and I thought that might be an interpretive assessment of her ideology rather than a generally accepted one. However, most people would accept your interpretation of her ideology, so I stand corrected."
Scarborough: "And most people who watch my show would say that I do my best to be fair."
Matthews: "You're definitely a maverick, Joe Scarborough."
Scarborough: "Thank you, Chris Matthews."
Matthews: "You have always been such, and should be regarded in the highest, the highest way."
Scarborough: "Thank you."
Matthews: "I'm running out of positive adjectives here. Let's try and go to -- who can we find is that not partisan on the board. Of course, Andrea Mitchell. Andrea Mitchell, do you want to break that tie? Would you say that Joe Scarborough is generally a maverick but in this case was wrong, as I was reviewing it, was wrong in this case to call Hillary Clinton -- what did he call her? -- very far left?"
Andrea Mitchell: "I think that Joe has been too pro-Democrat myself."
Scarborough, unsmiling: "So do all my Republican friends."

CNN's Schneider Bedeviled By How Most
Vets Backed Allen Over Webb

Based on exit polls, CNN's Bill Schneider reported in the 7pm EST hour Tuesday night that the veteran vote went for Republican Senator George Allen over Democratic challenger Jim Webb. But Schneider seemed baffled as to how such a thing could happen. During the election night coverage, he mentioned that Webb was a "veteran" or "decorated hero" three times in a mere four sentences.

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

Schneider asserted at about 7:09pm EST: "These are veterans. Now they could be voting for James Webb because James Webb was the Secretary of the Navy. James Webb is a decorated hero and a veteran of the Vietnam War. He might have done very well with veterans. But this is, if women were a breakthrough for Webb, the veteran vote was a breakthrough for George Allen. George Allen, the Republican, carried 57 percent of the veterans vote in Virginia, despite the fact that Webb is a decorated veteran and a former Naval Secretary."

Newsweek Editor: Voter Message in Ousting
'Firebrand' Santorum

Newsweek Senior Editor Marcus Mabry, appearing on CNN to deliver a postmortem on Republican Rick Santorum's loss in Pennsylvania, attacked the Senator as a "firebrand partisan" and wondered if Republicans would learn a lesson from his loss and be more cooperative with Democrats: "If a partisan, firebrand partisan like Rick Santorum is not returned to the Senate, maybe the American people are sending a message to the Republican Senators." But, as New York Times columnist David Brooks pointed out last week, Santorum "has pushed through a stream of legislation to help the underprivileged, often with Democratic partners."

[This item is expanded from a Tuesday night NewsBusters posting by Scott Whitlock: newsbusters.org ]

In his October 29 column, Brooks contended that "over the past 12 years almost every time a serious piece of anti-poverty legislation surfaces in Congress, Rick Santorum is there playing a leadership role....
"[H]e has pushed through a stream of legislation to help the underprivileged, often with Democratic partners. With Dick Durbin and Joe Biden, Santorum has sponsored a series of laws to fight global AIDS and offer third world debt relief. With Chuck Schumer and Harold Ford, he's pushed to offer savings accounts to children from low-income families. With John Kerry, he's proposed home ownership tax credits. With Chris Dodd, he backed legislation authorizing $860 million for autism research. With Joe Lieberman he pushed legislation to reward savings by low-income families."

Mabry's comment fro about 10:05pm EST:
"I think while we've heard some laudatory things tonight about the bipartisanship, on occasion, of the Senator from Pennsylvania, who only has another two months in office now, we have to remember this was an incredibly politicizing, divisive partisan, both on the floor of the United States Senate, but also back in Pennsylvania. And that's one of the reasons he's been turned out tonight.
"So, while, he reached across the aisle on occasion, his rhetoric is amongst the most heated of the U.S. Senate. The question now is, what will this new Republican, if Republicans keep the Senate and Democrats win the House, as many prognosticators are prognosticating, the question is going to be what is that Republican Senate like. It's a separate house of the U.S. government. Are they going to work with the Democratic House or are they going to make sure the Democrats get nothing done? If a partisan, firebrand partisan like Rick Santorum is not returned to the Senate, maybe the American people are sending a message to the Republican Senators."

On CNN Begala Smears Rush Limbaugh as
a 'Drug-Addled Gasbag'

During an election night discussion of the Missouri embryonic stem cell debate, CNN analyst Paul Begala slammed Rush Limbaugh as a "drug-addled gasbag who is self discredited." Bill Bennett, also on the panel with James Carville and J.C. Watts, chastised Begala: "Well, it's a nasty comment."

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

The discussion, with Democratic strategist Begala's insult, began at 8:08pm EST Tuesday night on CNN:

Paul Begala: "There are principled reasons to oppose embryonic stem cell research. There are principled Americans who do. Bill Bennett is one of them. But Bill Bennett was not the face and the voice of the anti-embryonic stem cell debate. It became Rush Limbaugh, a drug-addled gasbag who is self discredited. That's good for Claire McCaskill. And I just talked to her campaign manager, Richard Martin. He says that the turnout in the cities is very high. He's very encouraged that in the very, kind of, Anglo-suburbs of, of Eastern Jackson County, which, traditionally, pretty Democratic and should really care about stem cell research, he thinks turnout is going to be something like 70 percent. So they think the stem cell thing is working big for them."
Anderson Cooper: "Bill, do you want to-"
Bill Bennett: "Well, it's a nasty comment about Rush. It's his personal opinion. That's fine. Rush happens to be a very popular person. Rush also said that he would apologize if he were wrong. Rush is also a native of the state of Missouri. And a lot of people listen to him and take him seriously in his good moments and his not so good moments."

Cafferty Slams Iraq as a War for Oil;
Wonders if Bush Really Won

CNN's Jack Cafferty, who recently called Donald Rumsfeld a war criminal, chose Election Day to accuse the President of going to war in Iraq for oil and of condoning torture. He also wondered if George Bush was "elected at all."

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

A transcript of the November 7 Cafferty File segment aired in the 4pm EST hour of CNN's The Situation Room:

Wolf Blitzer: "Jack Cafferty is here with 'The Cafferty File.' Jack?"
Jack Cafferty: "Thank you, Wolf. However today's election turns out, it's a safe bet it's going to be a good long while before anyone successfully pedals a neo-conservative agenda to the American electorate again. George Bush was elected twice by the thinnest of margins, if, in fact, he was elected at all. And, from the start, what we saw wasn't what we got. President Bush: 'I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's being called nation building.' That's exactly what we're doing in Iraq and it's not working. Administration officials told us the war in Iraq's not about the oil. Three and a half years and 3000 American combat deaths later, we're told it's about the oil. The President pledged to restore honor and integrity to the Oval Office and then along came Abu Ghraib, secret prisons, outsourcing interrogations, NSA spying, torture and a decline in the reputation of this country worldwide that is unprecedented in our history.
"These midterm elections could be a tsunami of rejection for the Bush White House and it's policies, but even if it's not, it's likely that the neo-conservative vision is toast, at least for a good long while. Here's the question: 'How much damage has the Bush administration's agenda done to the Republican Party in this country?' E-mail your thoughts to Caffertyfile@cnn.com or go to CNN.com/Caffertyfile. Wolf?"
Blitzer: "And Jack, throughout the night your going to be reading our viewers' e-mail and getting some input from them and sharing that with our viewers."
Cafferty: "That's correct."
Blitzer: "Excellent. Thanks very much, Jack."

Is Jack Cafferty trying to out-Olbermann Olbermann?

Missouri: NBC Repeatedly Leaves Embryo
Out of 'Stem Cell' Story

One of the most routine (and inaccurate) tics of news coverage of Missouri's cloning amendment and other medical-research stories is to describe the controversy over embryo-destroying stem cell research as simply a fight over "stem cell research." To declare that a pro-life politician is "against stem cell research" is quite inaccurate (since they favor research on adult stem cells and from umbilical cord blood). But NBC's Kevin Tibbles did that twice Tuesday morning to Sen. Jim Talent on Today, and never once even used the word "embryo" or "embryonic" to describe the specific human lives being destroyed in the research process.

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

Co-host Meredith Vieira: "You know Kevin we heard a lot about the race after Rush Limbaugh criticized those ads that Michael Fox did supporting stem cell research and the Democratic candidate Claire McCaskill. How much do you think that controversy will play into the voters' minds today when they go to the polls?"
Tibbles: "It is looking like the stem cell research issue actually could be the one that breaks or makes a candidate in this race. McCaskill is for stem cell research and of course Talent has come out against it. Over the weekend, for example, from the pulpits in many churches here, church leaders were preaching and asking voters to go out and vote no, but it is looking in the polls that those who are going to vote for it because they are two very important centers for research and medical research here in Missouri. It is looking that might pass. Now a vote for stem cell research could wind up helping McCaskill, a vote against it and if the Republicans get that vote out, a vote against it could help Talent. So it could be the stem cell research issue that actually tips the balance here."
Vieira: "It would trump Iraq as the main issue, then."
Tibbles: "It is looking like the domestic Missouri issue of stem cell research is trumping Iraq, trumping the economy, trumping national security here in Missouri."

For those who might think Tibbles isn't being exquisitely sensitive to liberal word choices, we should remind you that in May, the very same Tibbles clumsily used the term "those who critics call illegals" in a story on illegal immigration: www.mrc.org

CBS's Sharyn Alfonsi also had this problem (with less repetitiveness) on Tuesday's The Early Show on CBS:
"A ballot initiative on stem cell research is a hot button issue in Missouri, number two behind Iraq. How voters side on that issue could tip the balance of power in the Senate. Democrat Claire McCaskill says she's not worried about Washington...And stem cell research isn't the only hot button issue here. Voters are also going to decide on an initiative that would bump up the minimum wage here."

Alfonsi had a bit of soundbite imbalance in the piece, showing Republican Jim Talent just saying the race would be close, but allowing Democrat McCaskill a 12-second oration on how poor Americans aren't feeling the prosperity like those on Wall Street.

NBC Morning Reporters Highlight GOP Racism,
As Alleged 'By Many'

NBC's Today correspondents on Tuesday made sure to underline that Republicans were seen as racist in the Senate campaigns in Tennessee and Virginia. Reporter Tom Costello began his November 7 report: "Matt, good morning. This has been a hard fought race. It's been injected with advertisements viewed by many as being racist by the Republican National Committee. The Corker campaign repudiated those ads, as did the Ford campaign, of course."

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

By many? Try "by many Democrats," at least. From there, David Shuster (usually assigned to Chris Matthews on MSNBC), also underlined the alleged-racist angle on the Virginia race:
"Meredith, good morning. A statistical dead heat is not at all where the incumbent Republican George Allen ever thought he would be. Allen had been talked about being a presidential contender in 2008 but his campaign has been set back by a series of missteps including his use of the term macaca and allegations about his use of the N-word to describe blacks, but the key issue in this race has been the Iraq war...

Matthews: Racist Voters Like Black Candidates
'Almost Castrated'

As Chris Matthews sees it and decreed it Sunday afternoon, if voters in Maryland decided to go for Republican Michael Steele it would be because they prefer African American candidates who are "unthreatening" or "almost...castrated," and that the "funny" "lighthearted" Steele strikes voters as "a guy I would like to have living next door" -- although he quickly added that "that may be pushing it in some cases."

As Joe Scarborough, one of the rotating anchors of MSNBC's continuing election coverage tried to interrupt, Matthews justified his comments by insisting that, "I have to tell you, we have an ethnic problem in this country. And it's coming to the fore, this race problem we have."

Of course, whether or not Steele wins, most of his votes will come from Maryland's more conservative voters. Does this mean that Matthews is blaming liberal Democratic voters for the supposed racist antagonism against Steele?

[This item, by Rich Noyes was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

As Brad Wilmouth already documented, Matthews on Sunday also blamed racism for the fact that Democrat Harold Ford appeared to be trailing in his race for a Tennessee Senate seat: "We all know the history of our country electing white people. Blacks vote for whites. Whites don't vote for blacks. It's just been a problem. It's just a horrible problem. I thought he was really courageous in making this run. I never thought it was really that winnable. He's from Memphis. He's had a history of family illegalities. Talk about the old man being involved in affecting your election. An uncle in trouble. I think he had to overcome an awful lot. But most importantly, he's an African-American guy running in the United States." See: www.mrc.org

Matthews made his comments about Steele around 2:25pm EST on Sunday, during live coverage shortly after President Bush's delivered comments praising the death sentence verdict against Saddam Hussein. As he and Scarborough handicapped the various races, Matthews blurted out what he presented as praise of Michael Steele:
"Michael Steele has run a first-rate campaign. He's a gentleman of the first order. You talk about meeting him -- I've met him at so many football games and baseball games, and he's always great to hang around with, but that's all I really know about him."
"But the commercials have been so positive. He's so -- I hate to say this, because this sounds so damned ethnic -- unthreatening, which a lot of white voters like to see from an African-American, unthreatening. You almost have to be castrated to take the fear away from some people." As Matthews said "unthreatening" and "castrated," he raised his voice to emphasize each word.

At this point, Scarborough tried to interrupt, but Matthews plowed forward: "And this guy comes on as a funny guy, a lighthearted, positive guy. And the people go 'God, this guy is a guy I would like to have living next door' -- although that may be pushing it in some cases."

After Scarborough tried again to interrupt, Matthews finished up: " And so I have to tell you, we have an ethnic problem in this country. And it's coming to the fore, this race problem we have."

Of course, the fact is that in both Tennessee and Maryland voters are siding with the candidate who best represents their positions on the issues -- Republicans voting for the white Bob Corker and black Michael Steele, Democrats picking the white Ben Cardin and black Harold Ford. Matthews could be rejoicing over how color-blind the American political system is in the early 21st century, but instead he's impugning voters as too racist to vote fairly.

ABC's Nightline Gushes: Obama, An 'American
Political Phenomenon'

On Monday night's edition of Nightline, just hours before the polls opened for Tuesday's midterm election, ABC's Terry Moran prematurely promoted a potential 2008 Democratic presidential contender. Moran went along with Illinois Senator Barack Obama as he campaigned for Democrats across the country. Moran's piece was full of praise for the "American political phenomenon," whom, according to Moran, millions see as "the savior of the Democratic Party."

[This item, by Megan McCormack, was posted Tuesday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Moran gushed on the November 6 show: "You can see it in the crowds. The thrill, the hope. How they surge toward him. You're looking at an American political phenomenon. In state after state, in the furious final days of this crucial campaign, Illinois Senator Barack Obama has been the Democrat's not-so-secret get-out-the-vote weapon. He inspires the party faithful and many others, like no one else on the scene today...And the question you can sense on everyone's mind, as they listen so intently to him, is he the one? Is Barack Obama the man, the black man, who could lead the Democrats back to the White House and maybe even unite the country?"

In a softball question to Senator Obama, Moran asked him about the buzz surrounding his political future: "And right now you are on a roll. You're, people,'Obamania,' they, they call it. The rock star. You get a big cheer when you get up there."
Obama: "This has been an interesting ride...You know, I, I'm suspicious of hype and I'm suspicious of our celebrity culture, which, you know, is part of politics. I mean, there's a showmanship aspect to it."

Moran then gushed over Obama's rise to political stardom: "So how did this happen? A 45-year-old senator with less than two years experience in the Congress, anointed by millions as the savior of the Democratic Party."
Obama: "The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states."
Moran: "It was one speech, 17 minutes of unfiltered access to the American people at the 2004 Democratic Convention. Obama, then an obscure state senator, got a huge chance, and he hit it out of the park."
Obama: "But I've got news for them, too, we worship an awesome God in the blue states and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the red states. We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states."
Moran: "It was a national debut like no other in recent history."

As for his presidential ambitions, Moran played up the hype around Obama repeatedly throughout his report: "St. Louis, Missouri, this is one of the closest Senate races in the country. Democrat Claire McCaskill needs every vote she can find, and once again, Obama is a huge draw...The crowd is transfixed. You can sense their longing for him to run for president...And everywhere he goes, people want him to run for president, especially in Iowa, cradle of presidential contenders. Around here, they're even naming babies after him."
Obama [holding an infant]: "Well, how are you? This is baby Barack right here. Oh, you're so precious! Yes, you are."

Moran then highlighted concerns that America would be unprepared to deal with a "black, progressive" presidential candidate: "Along with the hope, however, there are fears for the emotions that a black, progressive candidate for president might unleash."
Unidentified female: "I hope we do see him as president one day. But then, with the hatred that still exists in this country, I don't know how long he would live."

Citing Obama's background, Moran praised the Senator for "bridging divides" and wondered if he brought that sense of unity to his politics: "Raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, Obama seems to have found a way to reconcile many of the most painful differences in American culture. It seems, sometimes, that much of your politics is about bridging divides."
Obama: "Right."
Moran: "Republican, Democrat, black, white, red, blue. It's almost as if the bridging of differences you did in your own life-"
Obama: "Yeah."
Moran: "-is something you're bringing to your politics. Is your politics about your biography?"

Finally, while Moran offered no conservative criticism of Obama, he did note Democratic criticism of Obama, for wanting to work with President Bush: "Obama's already angered some on the left by insisting that should Democrats take control of Congress tomorrow, they should seek to work with President Bush, rather than try to impeach him or launch investigations into how the Iraq war was started."

The "rock star" label, so often used by the media to describe Obama, continued during Tuesday's Good Morning America, when reporter Kate Snow, discussing probable 2008 presidential candidates, like Moran, labeled him as such: "There are a few wild cards that we're watching. The former vice president, Al Gore, the rock star Senator Barack Obama, the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, and then all the rest."

FNC Shows NewsBusters: 'Leading Mainstream
Media Critic Blog'

In the Fox News Channel's "Buzz on the Blogs" segment at about 9:39pm EST Tuesday night, columnist and blogger Michelle Malkin began her look at blog critiques of election coverage by citing "grievances, mostly from the right side of the blogosphere, over the leak of exit polls and what they consider the premature calling of a lot of these races." She then pointed to NewsBusters' take: "At NewsBusters.org, which is one of the leading mainstream media critic blogs, they've been highlighting the early calls in Pennsylvania."


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More See & Hear the Bias

[This item was posted, with video, Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The audio and video will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, go to: newsbusters.org ]

As Malkin spoke, viewers saw a split-screen of her and of this NewsBusters posting, "Polls Remain Open in Pennsylvania, But CBS Announces Casey Victory," by Rich Noyes: newsbusters.org

-- Brent Baker