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NBC Champions 'Global Force' Gore as Nation's 'Potential Savior' --10/12/2007


1. NBC Champions 'Global Force' Gore as Nation's 'Potential Savior'
Three months after NBC promoted Al Gore's agenda by broadcasting more than 75 hours of his "Live Earth" concerts, Thursday's NBC Nightly News got the jump on the inevitable media excitement -- if Gore wins (as he did) the Nobel Peace Prize to be announced Friday -- by championing how that could launch a Gore presidential bid. Anchor Brian Williams cited "rumors today surrounding" Gore about the Nobel and pronounced "that an effort to draft him to run for President just might work." David Gregory trumpeted how Gore has supposedly "become both a global force tackling climate change and a celebrated figure now in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize." Gregory highlighted the "Draft Gore" Web site and how "yesterday backers placed a full page ad in the New York Times." Bizarrely suggesting Republicans would vote for Gore, Gregory contended "Gore is seen by some as a potential savior in the '08 race with questions about frontrunner Hillary Clinton's electability and a GOP field leaving many Republicans dissatisfied." So, those who find Rudy Giuliani too liberal would prefer Gore? Gregory next featured Democratic strategist Steve McMahon praising Gore for how he "was right on just about every major issue, whether it was the war, the deficit or now global warming."

2. Chris Matthews Even More Liberal Than Ben Affleck?
Appearing on Thursday night's Hardball, liberal actor Ben Affleck joined host Chris Matthews in hashing over what Matthews called Jimmy Carter's "fearless" criticism of Dick Cheney, GOP "jingoists" and "crazy" right-to-carry laws. Interestingly enough, next to Matthews, Affleck seemed more moderate, at least in his responses to the Hardball host's liberal baiting, as the actor deemed Carter's attack on Cheney was "almost inappropriate," and admitted: "I'm probably less of a gun control guy than Rudy Giuliani is." However, Affleck did agree with Matthews that Mike Huckabee's "crazy" support of right-to-carry laws wouldn't stop increased violence in the cities.

3. CNN's Blitzer Asks Carter Which GOP Candidate Scares Him Most
Interviewing former President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday's The Situation Room, CNN's Wolf Blitzer cued up Carter to denounce conservatives and make reckless charges against the Bush administration. On the presidential race: "Do any of these candidates, presidential candidates, scare you?" After Carter answered that none of the Democratic candidates scared him, Blitzer followed-up: "What about the Republican side?" and "Who scares you the most?" Later in the interview, Blitzer asked Carter: "By your definition, you believe the United States, under this administration, has used torture?" Carter's unequivocal answer: "I don't think it. I know it, certainly." This led to a follow-up question from Blitzer on whether President Bush should be impeached: "But you don't want to see any formal charges or a trial?"

4. 'Top Ten Signs There's a Ghost in the White House'
Inspired by Jenna Bush's comment to Texas Monthly magazine, David Letterman's "Top Ten Signs There's a Ghost in the White House."


NBC Champions 'Global Force' Gore as
Nation's 'Potential Savior'

Three months after NBC promoted Al Gore's agenda by broadcasting more than 75 hours of his "Live Earth" concerts, Thursday's NBC Nightly News got the jump on the inevitable media excitement -- if Gore wins (as he did) the Nobel Peace Prize to be announced Friday -- by championing how that could launch a Gore presidential bid. Anchor Brian Williams cited "rumors today surrounding" Gore about the Nobel and pronounced "that an effort to draft him to run for President just might work."

Reporter David Gregory trumpeted how Gore has supposedly "become both a global force tackling climate change and a celebrated figure now in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize." Gregory highlighted the "Draft Gore" Web site and how "yesterday backers placed a full page ad in the New York Times." Bizarrely suggesting Republicans would vote for Gore, Gregory contended "Gore is seen by some as a potential savior in the '08 race with questions about frontrunner Hillary Clinton's electability and a GOP field leaving many Republicans dissatisfied." So, those who find Rudy Giuliani too liberal would prefer Gore? Gregory next featured Democratic strategist Steve McMahon praising Gore for how he "was right on just about every major issue, whether it was the war, the deficit or now global warming."

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

The July 10 MRC CyberAlert item, "Gore Thanks NBC for 'Live Earth' Coverage, Curry Urges Him to Run," posted with video, recounted:

Appearing with Today news reader and Dateline anchor Ann Curry during NBC's prime time coverage Saturday of Al Gore's "Live Earth" concerts, Gore gave a shout out to the network for its donation to his global warming cause, as Gore told Curry: "Thanks for what NBC has been doing." Curry didn't exactly deliver a hard-hitting interview. When Gore declared the concerts "the largest global entertainment event in all of history," she congratulated him before pressing him about running for President, suggesting that "without you there will not be the political will in the White House to fight global warming."

She pleaded: "A lot of people want me to ask you tonight if you're running for President. And I know what you're answer is gonna be, believe me. I gotta ask you though. After fueling this grass roots movement, if you become convinced that without you there will not be the political will in the White House to fight global warming to the level that is required, because the clock is ticking, would you answer the call? Would you answer the call, yes or no?"

For the entire article: www.mediaresearch.org

The June 6 CyberAlert posting, "NBC Networks to Air 75 Hours of Gore 'Climate in Crisis' Concerts," reported:

In what will surely be one of the largest ever, if not the largest, in-kind contributions to a presidential campaign if Al Gore decides to run, NBC Universal announced late last week that its networks will devote an incredible 75 hours of time on Saturday, July 7 to showing Gore's "Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis."

In addition to the entirety of NBC's prime time that night hosted by Ann Curry of NBC News, CNBC will carry seven hours of coverage from 7pm to 2am EDT; Bravo will show the concerts around the world for 18 hours starting at 8am EDT; and both the Sundance channel and the Universal HD channel will showcase the concerts for 22 hours each beginning at 4am EDT.

Rounding out the 75 hours, mun2 will run a two-hour show at 5pm EDT and Telemundo will air a one-hour special at 7pm EDT. And that's not counting how NBC's press release touted that "MSNBC will broadcast special coverage of this global concert event throughout the day with live reports from the concerts in New York and London."

For the posting in full: www.mrc.org

In fact, NBC changed the coverage hours a bit for its cable channels and ended up airing a few additional hours in total.

Transcript of the Thursday, October 11 NBC Nightly News story:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Now to presidential politics and the rumors today surrounding former Vice President Al Gore: One, that he could be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize tomorrow for his work on climate change; the other, that an effort to draft him to run for President just might work. Our report tonight from NBC's David Gregory.

DAVID GREGORY: He has become both a global force tackling climate change and a celebrated figure now in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize. But does Al Gore still want to be President? This summer he said no, but not never.
AL GORE, JULY 5 TODAY SHOW: I don't have any plans or intentions to be a candidate.
GREGORY: Today an adviser said even the Nobel Prize is unlikely not change his mind.
MICHAEL FELDMAN, FORMER GORE ADVISER: I think all this is very exciting and interesting, but he remains focused on the issue that he's been working on for more than 30 years, and that's how to solve the climate crisis.
GREGORY: Supporters aren't giving up. There is a "Draft Gore" Web site and yesterday backers placed a full page ad in the New York Times.
BILL MCCORMICK, DRAFTGORE.COM: He offers two important things: One is eight years of experience in the White House, and second he offers an ability to win the general election.
GREGORY: Politically, Gore is seen by some as a potential savior in the '08 race with questions about frontrunner Hillary Clinton's electability and a GOP field leaving many Republicans dissatisfied. His entry may be a long shot, but Democratic strategists say he could immediately change the race, eclipsing the campaigns of Barack Obama and John Edwards.
STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: He's gone from being somebody who left the stage to somebody who it turns out was right on just about every major issue, whether it was the war, the deficit or now global warming.
GREGORY: In an interview for Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, Senator Clinton dodged a question about Gore's impact, saying only she hopes he wins the Nobel Prize.
SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON: I think we've got great candidates running. We have a wonderful field. You don't have to be against anybody.
GREGORY: If the elusive Gore does not run, the only question left is, who is he for? David Gregory, NBC News, Washington.

Makes you wonder how many journalists are awaiting Gore's guidance?

Chris Matthews Even More Liberal Than
Ben Affleck?

Appearing on Thursday night's Hardball, liberal actor Ben Affleck joined host Chris Matthews in hashing over what Matthews called Jimmy Carter's "fearless" criticism of Dick Cheney, GOP "jingoists" and "crazy" right-to-carry laws. Interestingly enough, next to Matthews, Affleck seemed more moderate, at least in his responses to the Hardball host's liberal baiting, as the actor deemed Carter's attack on Cheney was "almost inappropriate," and admitted: "I'm probably less of a gun control guy than Rudy Giuliani is." However, Affleck did agree with Matthews that Mike Huckabee's "crazy" support of right-to-carry laws wouldn't stop increased violence in the cities.

[This item, by Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Thursday evening on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Matthews, who asked questions to the left of Affleck throughout the October 11 interview, began the following segment by playing clips of Republican candidates responding to Matthews' questions from Tuesday's GOP debate in Michigan.

Chris Matthews: "Well, you know, except for Rudy Giuliani who made the point if there's an emergency you act, but these other guys act like it's a military junta running this country. Like you don't, 'Oh we might as a courtesy, as a luxury check in with Congress.'"
Ben Affleck: "Yes, I mean it's, it's very clearly laid out, of course you go to Congress and you ask for declaration of war but, the, the other really peculiar argument is that, as if, that it's very common that, you know, you have to go to war so quickly against another nation state, that you wouldn't be able to assemble the, the Congress of the United States of America. We got the Congress together the next day after Pearl Harbor. What is a,a quicker emergency gonna happen where, you know, we were able to get people together after 9/11. When is the situation gonna arise where it's gonna happen so quickly that we're gonna have to declare a war. I mean it takes a long time to assemble the armed forces. I think we're gonna find the time to consult the Congress of the United States."
Matthews: "Could it be that built into that way of talking is this notion of fear-mongering? That they're trying to imagine a day when Iran is going to attack the United States with all its air force and artillery and everything else and we have to move quickly to defend ourselves? What are they talking about?"
Affleck: "I think this is of a way, you know, all these guys are basically afraid that if any of them qualify any of these statements by talking about anything other than saying, you know, 'We need to be strong and presidential. I need to be able to use force unilaterally,' they'll be attacked by the other guys and made to look weak."
Matthews: "Yeah well that, well is this, is this a battle of the biggest jingoist?"
Affleck: "Yeah. I mean it's just about, I think, looking the most strong. The irony is they have Rudy Giuliani who, in another point during the debate, defined himself as a strict constructionist when talking about the line-item veto and is willing to throw away the Constitution in talking about the, you know, talking about war and also talking about the Second Amendment, which he's not a strict constructionist when it comes to gun control."
Matthews: "Well are you?"
Affleck: "Well I'm probably more on the side of, anyway, doesn't matter-"
Matthews: "Where are you on the Second Amendment?"
Affleck: "I'm probably less of a gun control guy than Rudy Giuliani is, if you look at the gun control laws of New York City. I mean it's probably next to impossible to own a handgun in New York City and, you know."
Matthews: "We had Huckabee on the other night. I said what do we do about gang warfare in North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia? We have tough gangs going at each other and one guy kills somebody and somebody else kills somebody else and turf wars, the usual kind of thing - Sharks and Jets again. You know, nothing new in America but he said right-to-carry will solve that problem. Are you crazy?"
Affleck: "Right-to-carry won't solve that problem."
Matthews: "I mean having kids, more kids armed with their licenses? What? These kids wouldn't qualify for licenses anyway."
Affleck: "What solves that problem is, you know, addressing that from the bottom-up, which is addressing issues of poverty and education and you know, dealing with broken homes and drugs and addiction and-"
Matthews: "Oh yeah."
Affleck: "Those are difficult, you can't just, you know-"
Matthews: "The other way to do it is the way Chief Timoney says to handle it and that is to have a lot of police in, in the streets after a killing so you stop the revenge killings. You gotta do some tactical."
Affleck: "Well yeah, that, that'll address, like a single one-off, kind of, stopping the next person dying, yeah."
Matthews: "Yeah kids walking down the street with four of his friends and he's got a bulge in his pocket you might ask him what the bulge is."
Affleck: "Right, more police will, will work I'm sure."
Matthews: "Let's take a look at Jimmy Carter. I know you watch these things, you watch the debate, you watch all this. Here's former President Jimmy Carter speaking about the current Vice President."
[Jimmy Carter: "Well you know he's been a disaster for our country. I think he's been overly persuasive on, on President George Bush and, and quite often he's prevailed but it was one of his main commitments was to go into, into Iraq under false pretenses and he still maintains that those false pretenses are accurate. He still maintains, somehow, that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks. He still maintains that, that Iraq somehow or another had weapons of mass destruction, claims that have been disproven by all reasonable sources."]
Matthews: "I love the way he laughs when he makes these points. He's fearless, this guy!"
Affleck: "He is. He's kind of, the appeal he has and I think that may have been almost inappropriate, probably to go that, that far after Vice President Cheney, even though, I'm personally not a fan of his. But, but you know, he, he seems like the guy who has, there's something appealing about him because he seems to have nothing to lose. And he, you know, he's done some wonderful, amazing things, some great humanitarian work. I mean this is a guy who two-weeks ago was in Darfur and the, the Khartoum-led government wouldn't let him in to one part of the village and he just sort of brazenly walked through with the guys from jonjui pointing guns at him and he said, '€˜You, you can't stop me from going in here. So he clearly isn't going to be afraid of what, what Vice President Cheney is gonna say to him. I think there is something appealing about a guy who, who seems to be like, you know, almost, I don't know, gleefully reveling in the fact that he just doesn't care."

Back in June, Affleck was a little more strident, when he appeared on Hardball and called the Bush administration "one of the worst in history." To read more about that, see the CyberAlert from June 8: www.mrc.org

CNN's Blitzer Asks Carter Which GOP Candidate
Scares Him Most

Interviewing former President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday's The Situation Room, CNN's Wolf Blitzer cued up Carter to denounce conservatives and make reckless charges against the Bush administration. On the presidential race: "Do any of these candidates, presidential candidates, scare you?" After Carter answered that none of the Democratic candidates scared him, Blitzer followed-up: "What about the Republican side?" and "Who scares you the most?"

Later in the interview, Blitzer asked Carter: "By your definition, you believe the United States, under this administration, has used torture?" Carter's unequivocal answer: "I don't think it. I know it, certainly." This led to a follow-up question from Blitzer on whether President Bush should be impeached: "But you don't want to see any formal charges or a trial?"

The October 10 Situation Room devoted about 18 minutes total to the prerecorded interview of Carter -- nearly 8 minutes in the 4pm Eastern hour and 10 minutes in the 5pm Eastern hour. In the first segment during the 4pm Eastern hour, Blitzer began by asking Carter about the Republican presidential candidates, which led to the "who scares you the most" question.

[This item, by Matthew Balan, was posted Thursday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

BLITZER: Right now, Republican presidential candidates, including Giuliani, making the suggestion that if Democrats are elected to the White House, U.S. national security will suffer. Here's what Giuliani says:
RUDY GIULIANI: If one of them gets elected, it sounds to me like we're going on the defense. We're going to cut back, cut back, cut back, and we'll be back to our pre-September 11 mentality of being on defense.
BLITZER: What do you want to say to Rudy Giuliani?
CARTER: Well, I thought on pre-September 11 that George W. Bush was in the White House and the Republicans were in charge. I think, during the Clinton years, we kept our country safe, we protected out interests around the world, we were admired by almost everyone on earth, and we were free. And we were also out of a war. So, I think that history has shown that the Democrats are just as firm and staunch on security as are the Republicans. It ought to be a nonpartisan issue, and it's a ridiculous thing for Giuliani to be making a claim of that kind.
BLITZER: Do any of these candidates, presidential candidates, scare you?
CARTER: Not on the Democratic side, no.
BLITZER: What about the Republican side?
CARTER: Well, they all seem to be outdoing each other in who wants to go to war first with Iran, who wants to keep Guantanamo open longer and expand its capacity, things of that kind. They're competing with each other to appeal to the ultra-right wing, warmongering element in our country, which I think is a minority of the total population.
BLITZER: Who scares you the most?
CARTER: I wouldn't want to judge between them, because if I condemn one of them, it might escalate him to the top position in the Republican ranks.
BLITZER: But basically, what I hear you saying is, from your perspective, on the issue of national security, there's really not much of a difference between the Republican frontrunners.
CARTER: That's exactly right. I think the Democrats, basically, want to see the Lee Hamilton and the James Baker recommendation -- one of the finest blue-ribbon commissions ever established in this country -- unanimously recommended what we should do about Iraq.
BLITZER: The Iraq Study Group.

CARTER: Yes. And the Democrats are basically for that. The Republicans threw it in the wastebasket and said we don't want that. We want it to be much more militant, stay in Iraq definitely, and maybe invade or attack Iran. And I think that's a startling difference between the two.

Blitzer and Carter then discussed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's recent statements that they were unsure whether American troops could be out of Iraq by 2013. Carter expressed his disagreement with the two Democrat candidates on this issue.

Blitzer's next topic concerned "foreign policy blunders," something with which Carter has extensive experience.

BLITZER: On the scale of, you know, historic precedents and historic blunders, from your perspective, what kind of blunder was the invasion of Iraq to get rid of Saddam Hussein?
CARTER: Among the preeminent blunders of American history. It was predicated on false claims. Deliberate or not, I don't know. It was incorrectly consummated and perpetuated. The claims of what -- how easy it would be were wrong. And I think everyone -- just about everyone agrees that the whole war in Iraq has been carried out with a series of blunders.
BLITZER: Some suggest it is the worst foreign policy blunder in American history. Are you among those?
CARTER: I would put it almost on an equal basis with Vietnam, yes. Those two in my lifetime certainly would be the worst two blunders.
Carter accused the Bush administration of human rights violations in new book, "Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope." Blitzer asked the former president to comment further on the subject, which resulted in a long exchange between the two on torture. Blitzer included a question on whether President Bush was lying about the U.S. using torture. Carter answered affirmatively.
BLITZER: President Bush said as recently as this week the United States does not torture detainees.
CARTER: That's not an accurate statement, if you use the international norms of torture as has always been honored, certainly in the last 60 years, since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was promulgated. But you can make your own definition of human rights and say, we don't violate them. And we can -- you can make your own definition of torture and say we don't violate it.
BLITZER: But, by your definition, you believe the United States, under this administration, has used torture?
CARTER: I don't -- I don't think it. I know it, certainly.
BLITZER: So, is the president lying?
CARTER: The president is self-defining what we have done and authorized in the torture of prisoners, yes.
BLITZER: But -- but that raises a really important question. Those who are engaged in torture, who commit torture...
CARTER: Yes.
BLITZER: -potentially, that could be a violation of international or other laws.
CARTER: Yes, I think so.
BLITZER: Has there been a violation of the law from your perspective?
CARTER: If you use the international treaties to which we are committed-
BLITZER: Like the Geneva Conventions-
CARTER: -like the Geneva Conventions, and also...
BLITZER: Because early in the -- they said the Geneva Conventions don't apply to these detainees who were not wearing uniforms. They were not part of any formal army. They were picked up on the battlefield and brought to Guantanamo Bay.
CARTER: My impression is that the United States Supreme Court has said that is a false premise. And I presume that the administration complies with the rulings of the Supreme Court. And the international community obviously still adheres to and professes to commit themselves the honoring of the Geneva Convention, and also, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the United States helped draft and promoted and has endorsed up until six-and-a-half years ago unanimously among all the-
BLITZER: So, should someone be held accountable?
CARTER: Well, I think we -- the best way to hold people accountable in this country is through the election process.
BLITZER: That is the best way to get -- in other words, from your perspective, to get rid of the incumbent administration and move on?
CARTER: Yes.
BLITZER: But you don't want to see any formal charges or a trial?
CARTER: No, I don't think so. I think that would be inappropriate. That has been done in some cases, as you know, but I don't think it is appropriate at all.

The 4 pm Eastern hour concluded with the torture discussion. In the 5 pm Eastern hour, Blitzer focused on the subject of Iran, including the context of Carter's own presidential experiences with the Islamist country; and how Iran plays into the internal politics of the Bush administration and the 2008 presidential campaign. Blitzer also brought up the subjects of the reported Israeli airstrike on a target in Syria, the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians, and the economy. In the cumulative 18 minutes, three CNN viewers also asked questions of the former President.

'Top Ten Signs There's a Ghost in the
White House'

From the October 11 Late Show with David Letterman, inspired by Jenna Bush's comment to Texas Monthly magazine, the "Top Ten Signs There's a Ghost in the White House." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

10. White House staffers have sensed a cold presence that's not Condoleezza

9. Rattling chains and agonized screams make the place sound like Gitmo

8. Someone's been reading the intelligence memos

7. Mysterious force keeps pulling Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne's pants down

6. Bush looks scared even when he's not looking at poll numbers

5. Halliburton has offered a $3 billion contract to the Ghost Whisperer

4. Medical documentation proves Cheney's been dead since '96

3. Actually, with Bush on vacation every two weeks, it's like having a ghost in the White House -- am I right, America?

2. Laura saw Saddam Hussein wearing underpants and eating Doritos

1. Mysterious banging and moaning noises in Oval Office, but Bubba ain't there


A paragraph from a profile of First Daughter Jenna Bush in the November Texas Monthly:
Jenna sleeps in what she says is "the White House kids' bedroom," just down the hall from her parents' room. (John F. Kennedy Jr., LBJ's daughters, and Chelsea Clinton all slept there.) When I ask her what it's like to live in the White House, she gives me the kind of throwaway answer that's almost worth a story in itself: "I feel like it's filled with millions of ghosts. I get scared there sometimes. I'm not kidding. I have heard ghosts, I really have -- ghosts singing opera. One night, opera noises came out of my fireplace. When I told my sister, she didn't believe me, but the next week we were up late in that bedroom and we heard 1950's piano music. People will think I'm crazy for saying that."

For the entire profile: www.texasmonthly.com

-- Brent Baker