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NBC Skips More Upbeat Iraq Judgment ABC and CBS Find Newsworthy --7/31/2007


1. NBC Skips More Upbeat Iraq Judgment ABC and CBS Find Newsworthy
NBC Nightly News on Monday ignored a development both ABC and CBS found newsworthy, that after eight days in Iraq, two Brookings Institution scholars who describe themselves as "harshly" critical of Bush's Iraq policy, determined the situation in Iraq is better than they assumed and so the "surge" should continue into next year. Instead of reporting the fresh assessment from Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, NBC anchor Brian Williams, citing "a draft U.S. report," aired a full story on how "there are disturbing new details about corruption at the very top of the Iraqi government." But the NBC Nightly News has hardly been reticent before about running soundbites from O'Hanlon with dire warnings about Iraq. ABC anchor Charles Gibson declared "the column was the talk of Washington today." From Iraq, Terry McCarthy related that "the report tracks fairly closely with what we're seeing." On CBS, David Martin noted how "with one day left in the month, American casualties in July are the lowest since the troop surge began in February." Martin aired soundbites from Pollack and O'Hanlon as he described "just enough progress so that a critic like Michael O'Hanlon, who used to think the surge was too little too late, now believes it should be continued."

2. ABC's Harris: New British PM 'Potentially No More Poodle' to Bush
ABC's World News Sunday featured a report about the Monday meeting between President Bush and recently chosen British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, which included speculation about how Bush's relationship with Brown will compare to that with Tony Blair. Between anchor Dan Harris and correspondent John Cochran, the derogatory charge by Blair critics that he was Bush's "poodle" was mentioned three times. While Cochran described the label as "perhaps unfair," when the report concluded, Harris, after having already mentioned the "poodle" insult once as he introduced the story, followed up by remarking, "Potentially no more poodle."

3. CNN Promotes 'Generation Chicken Hawk' Attack on College Repubs
Five hours apart on Sunday night, CNN aired lengthy segments on a left-winger's Web video attack on College Republicans, "Generation Chicken Hawk," for supporting the Iraq war while they fail to serve in the armed forces. But CNN refused to properly label Max Blumenthal's ideology or far-left credentials. Anchor Rick Sanchez set up the story: "A writer, opposed to the Iraq war, goes to a national meeting of College Republicans, and creates a video that's fueling a hot political debate over the Web. He says that he's exposing the quote, 'hypocrisy of a group of young people who are behind the war, but won't put their own lives on the line when it comes to the war.'" In the second airing, Sanchez made clear he agreed with the left-winger: "As you watch these guys -- and I think most people at home would agree -- there seems to be a certain hypocritical nature to this. I mean, they're so boastful when they talk about supporting the war, and yet sheepish when it comes to actually doing something about it." Sanchez also saw something even more nefarious: "They're young upstarts. But is there a sense that this is the kind of organization that makes the Karl Roves of the world?" AUDIO&VIDEO See & Hear the Bias - Audio & Video Clip Archive

4. CBS Uses Child to Paint Bush as Heartless Over Spending on Cops
Another example of how journalists equate federal spending with caring, on Saturday's Early Show, CBS news reader Jeff Glor used a seven-year-old's letter to portray President Bush as criminally uncaring for planning to veto a bill to spend more federal money to pay for local police officers.

5. Reporters on Tom Snyder's Shows Denied Bias, Made Liberal Points
NBC, CNBC and CBS talk show veteran Tom Snyder, who passed away Sunday at age 71, frequently had media figures as guests on his shows and the journalists inevitably denied any liberal bias or otherwise made liberal political points. Then-NBC White House reporter Brian Williams gushed over President Clinton in 1995: "I've also said that if Americans were paying Presidents by the thought, we're getting a bargain in this guy because, my God, he's just always moving, his brain's moving, he hardly sleeps." Earlier that year, Dan Rather denied any media bias as he insisted "most reporters, when you get to know them, would fall in the general category of kind of common-sense moderates." A couple of years later, in 1997, actor Richard Belzer denounced former President Reagan for how "he did some unconscionable things," charging that Reagan "traded guns for cocaine to free hostages."


NBC Skips More Upbeat Iraq Judgment ABC
and CBS Find Newsworthy

NBC Nightly News on Monday ignored a development both ABC and CBS found newsworthy, that after eight days in Iraq, two Brookings Institution scholars who describe themselves as "harshly" critical of Bush's Iraq policy, determined the situation in Iraq is better than they assumed and so the "surge" should continue into next year. Instead of reporting the fresh assessment from Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, NBC anchor Brian Williams, citing "a draft U.S. report," aired a full story on how "there are disturbing new details about corruption at the very top of the Iraqi government." But the NBC Nightly News has hardly been reticent before about running soundbites from O'Hanlon with dire warnings about Iraq.

ABC anchor Charles Gibson declared "the column was the talk of Washington today." From Iraq, Terry McCarthy related that "the report tracks fairly closely with what we're seeing both in our visits to U.S. bases in and around Baghdad involved with the surge, and also our trips out to Baghdad neighborhoods talking to Iraqi population. Clearly, security is improving as the U.S. military footprint expands so the violence goes down, the sectarian killings go down." Indeed, on CBS, David Martin noted how "with one day left in the month, American casualties in July are the lowest since the troop surge began in February. And civilian casualties are down a third." Martin aired soundbites from Pollack and O'Hanlon as he described "just enough progress so that a critic like Michael O'Hanlon, who used to think the surge was too little too late, now believes it should be continued."

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

Both ABC and CBS also highlighted a downbeat report on Iraq, an Oxfam report on the "humanitarian crisis."

In the Monday New York Times op-ed, "A War We Just Might Win," O'Hanlon and Pollack reported that they found that "morale is high" amongst "the soldiers and marines" who "told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results." They duo detailed progress they saw, before concluding "the surge cannot go on forever. But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008."
An excerpt from their July 30 op-ed:

VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration's critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily "victory" but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated '€" many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services -- electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation -- to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began -- though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done....

In Baghdad's Ghazaliya neighborhood, which has seen some of the worst sectarian combat, we walked a street slowly coming back to life with stores and shoppers. The Sunni residents were unhappy with the nearby police checkpoint, where Shiite officers reportedly abused them, but they seemed genuinely happy with the American soldiers and a mostly Kurdish Iraqi Army company patrolling the street....

Another surprise was how well the coalition's new Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Teams are working. Wherever we found a fully staffed team, we also found local Iraqi leaders and businessmen cooperating with it to revive the local economy and build new political structures. Although much more needs to be done to create jobs, a new emphasis on microloans and small-scale projects was having some success where the previous aid programs often built white elephants....

END of Excerpt

For the July 30 op-ed in full: www.nytimes.com

As noted above, the NBC Nightly News hasn't hesitated to feature O'Hanlon's previous dire forecasts. On April 28, the newscast featured O'Hanlon's warning: "We're going to have to see some pretty striking results from the surge pretty soon to continue to justify the strain and the sacrifice it's exacting on our forces." A week earlier, on April 20, O'Hanlon predicted: "If al-Sadr's people really fight us hard, we are in very bad trouble. If the car bombings continue like they did on Wednesday, we are not going to prevail." And back on February 3, NBC brought O'Hanlon on to comment on a government report about the situation in Iraq: "This report definitely leaves open the distinct possibility of utter chaos, outright civil war and complete mission failure. There is no doubt that Iraq could simply collapse."

Monday's NBC Nightly News ran a story by David Gregory on British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's meeting with President Bush, which Williams set up by asking "will the Brits, under Brown, change course" on Iraq? Then, after a plug for his Tuesday interview with Brown, Williams set up the corruption story from Lisa Myers:
"Tonight there are disturbing new details about corruption at the very top of the Iraqi government. A new draft U.S. report, obtained by NBC News, says corruption has hurt delivery of services, threatens vital public support for the government there and there are new indications that Iraq's new rulers have virtual immunity from prosecution. Or senior investigative correspondent, Lisa Myers, has our exclusive story tonight."

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth transcribed some of the July 30 coverage on ABC and al of it on te CBS Evening News:

# ABC's World News:

CHARLES GIBSON: A bit of a surprise today on Iraq. Two long and persistent critics of the Bush administration's handling of the war today wrote a column in the New York Times saying that after a recent eight-day visit to Iraq, they find significant changes taking place. Military analysts Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack wrote, "We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms." They added, "We were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily victory but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with." The column was the talk of Washington today. So we are joined by Terry McCarthy in Baghdad, Martha Raddatz at the White House and Jake Tapper on Capitol Hill for reaction. Let's start with Terry. So, Terry McCarthy, let me start with you. Is what they say they saw in Baghdad a fair reflection of what's going on?
TERRY MCCARTHY: Charlie, the report tracks fairly closely with what we're seeing both in our visits to U.S. bases in and around Baghdad involved with the surge, and also our trips out to Baghdad neighborhoods talking to Iraqi population. Clearly, security is improving as the U.S. military footprint expands so the violence goes down, the sectarian killings go down. Now, what we're not seeing is political progress. The Iraqi parliament hasn't passed a single bill that the U.S. has been pushing for. And, in fact, today they went off on vacation. They're not due back until September 4.


# CBS Evening News:

DAVID MARTIN: With one day left in the month, American casualties in July are the lowest since the troop surge began in February. And civilian casualties are down a third. U.S. officials attribute that to the dismantling of networks which make roadside bombs, and to American soldiers protecting the local population. It would only take a few spectacular attacks to reverse those trends, but even critics of the war strategy are encouraged.
KEN POLLACK, Saban Center at Brookings Institution: The moment that we got to Baghdad, everything felt very different from previous trips to Iraq.
MARTIN: Former CIA analyst Ken Pollack, who earlier this year published an article about Iraq titled "Things Fall Apart," now sees a sudden change in American fortunes.
POLLACK: This is the first time I have gone to Iraq and actually felt that the United States knew what it was doing and was actually creating some degree of progress.
MARTIN: Retired Marine General Jim Jones, who is conducting a congressionally ordered study of the Iraqi security forces, also came back from Iraq saying privately it was better than he expected. By any measure, Iraq is still a deadly mess, and no one is claiming to see light at the end of the tunnel.
POLLACK: We have not won this war, and we didn't see something that looked like victory over in Iraq. All we saw was progress.
MARTIN: Just enough progress so that a critic like Michael O'Hanlon, who used to think the surge was too little too late, now believes it should be continued.
MICHAEL O'HANLON, Brookings Institution: For me, gut instinct, just piecing all the information together subjectively, I thought we should give it a few more months into 2008.
MARTIN: Which is exactly what the American commander, General David Petraeus, wants: Continue the surge into next spring, then start a gradual withdrawal back to the pre-surge troop level of 130,000 by the end of 2008. David Martin, CBS News, the Pentagon.

ABC's Harris: New British PM 'Potentially
No More Poodle' to Bush

ABC's World News Sunday featured a report about the Monday meeting between President Bush and recently chosen British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, which included speculation about how Bush's relationship with Brown will compare to that with Tony Blair. Between anchor Dan Harris and correspondent John Cochran, the derogatory charge by Blair critics that he was Bush's "poodle" was mentioned three times. While Cochran described the label as "perhaps unfair," when the report concluded, Harris, after having already mentioned the "poodle" insult once as he introduced the story, followed up by remarking, "Potentially no more poodle."

Although Cochran laughed slightly, it is unclear whether Harris meant his "potentially no more poodle" remark as a joke or as serious commentary. The "poodle" label was not mentioned on the CBS Evening News as it previewed the meeting between Bush and Gordon, while the NBC Nightly News showed the front page of an issue of The Mirror which displayed the "poodle" insult underneath a Bush/Blair political cartoon.

[This item, by Brad Wilmouth, was posted Sunday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Below is a complete transcript of Cochran's story from ABC's World News Sunday from July 29, followed by a relevant portion of the July 29 NBC Nightly News:

From the July 29 World News Sunday:

DAN HARRIS: The new British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, just arrived here in the U.S. for a meeting with President Bush. Brown's predecessor, Tony Blair, was lampooned by critics as Bush's "poodle." But the U.S./British relationship could now be changing. There is growing speculation that Britain may pull its troops out of Iraq. ABC's John Cochran is in Washington for us tonight.
JOHN COCHRAN: Before leaving London, the new Prime Minister promised to strengthen what he called Britain's most important, bilateral relationship.
GORDON BROWN, British Prime Minister: I believe the relationships between the British Prime Minister and the American prosecute will be as strong, should be strong, and I believe will be strengthened in the months and years to come.
COCHRAN: But another British official says Bush and Brown will not be "joined at the hip." That was a slap at the close relationship between Bush and Brown's predecessor, Tony Blair. The British press ridiculed Blair, perhaps unfairly, as Bush's "poodle" on the Iraq war. Bush and the war are deeply unpopular in Britain -- 85 percent in a recent poll disapproved of how Bush is handling the war.
DAVID GERGEN, Former presidential advisor: Gordon Brown's under enormous pressure at home to distance himself from Blair on the war. The war has been Tony Blair's real albatross in British politics.
COCHRAN: Brown has installed anti-war ministers in his Cabinet. And today's London Times reports he is considering an early British withdrawal from Iraq. The Prime Minister's office downplayed the report. But there are already plans to withdraw Bitish troops from the southern city of Basra to a safer location outside the city. The British military also believes it is more important for their troops to be in Afghanistan than Iraq.
GEORGE W. BUSH, to Tony Blair: Thanks for coming.
COCHRAN: With Tony Blair, President Bush not only had a strong ally on Iraq, he also liked Blair's energetic, outgoing personality. But Brown is more reserved.
ROBERT MCGEEHAN, University of London: The present Prime Minister is a very serious fellow. And he would like to have, what many people have called, a business-like relationship with President Bush.
COCHRAN: Dan, the White House has refused to predict whether the President's relationship with Gordon Brown will be as close as his relationship was with Tony Blair. When asked about that, the President's spokesman said, "Well, we'll find out."
HARRIS: Potentially no more poodle. John Cochran reporting from Washington tonight. John, thank you.

From the July 29 NBC Nightly News:

JOHN YANG: A reality that might lead Brown to carve out a more independent, more business-like relationship with Mr. Bush than his predecessor Tony Blair. At last year's G-8 Summit, an open mike captured the President thanking Blair for a personal gift, a sweater.
GEORGE W. BUSH: I know you picked it out yourself.
TONY BLAIR: Oh, absolutely. In fact, I knitted it!
YANG: Blair payed a political price for that relationship, one that Brown is eager to avoid.
ANTHONY HOWARD, British political commentator: The Prime Minister did suffer by being seen, I think wrongly myself, as a kind of errand boy for the President of the United States.

CNN Promotes 'Generation Chicken Hawk'
Attack on College Repubs

Five hours apart on Sunday night, CNN aired lengthy segments on a left-winger's Web video attack on College Republicans, "Generation Chicken Hawk," for supporting the Iraq war while they fail to serve in the armed forces. But CNN refused to properly label Max Blumenthal's ideology or far-left credentials. Anchor Rick Sanchez set up the story: "A writer, opposed to the Iraq war, goes to a national meeting of College Republicans, and creates a


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More See & Hear the Bias

video that's fueling a hot political debate over the Web. He says that he's exposing the quote, 'hypocrisy of a group of young people who are behind the war, but won't put their own lives on the line when it comes to the war.'" In the second airing, Sanchez made clear he agreed with the left-winger: "As you watch these guys -- and I think most people at home would agree -- there seems to be a certain hypocritical nature to this. I mean, they're so boastful when they talk about supporting the war, and yet sheepish when it comes to actually doing something about it." Sanchez also saw something even more nefarious: "They're young upstarts. But is there a sense that this is the kind of organization that makes the Karl Roves of the world?"

Sanchez, and reporter Josh Levs, repeatedly described Blumenthal as merely "a writer," but as the MRC's Matthew Balan noted in a posting on the MRC's NewsBusters blog, he has written for The Nation magazine and for Media Matters for America. Not only did segment reporter Josh Levs fail to identify many of Blumenthal's left-wing associations (other than the fact that posted his video on the Huffington Post, which was not identified as a liberal website), he tried to cover for Blumenthal by stating that the left-wing writer "really rejects that radical left-wing label" after the co-chair of the College Republicans called Blumenthal part of "a bunch of radical left-wing people."

Levs, a journalist who works for several mainstream media outlets, including CNN and NPR, did the report on Blumenthal's "Generation Chicken Hawk," the latest in a series of videos in which The Nation writer goes to conservative conventions to ask "hard questions." This is how Sanchez and Levs began the segment during the 7pm EDT hour on Sunday, July 29:

RICK SANCHEZ: A writer, opposed to the Iraq war, goes to a national meeting of College Republicans, and creates a video that's fueling a hot political debate over the Web. He says that he's exposing the quote, 'hypocrisy of a group of young people who are behind the war, but won't put their own lives on the line when it comes to the war.' CNN's Josh Levs here with 'Josh's Corner' now. This is interesting, because I know a football coach who used to say, you know, 'it doesn't work if it's all show and no go.' And it does appear that this is moving in that direction.
JOSH LEVS: You know what, a lot of people have associations when they see this. That's one reason it's catching on so big. It's really interesting. You know, first of all, we're talking about the ultimate political question in America right now. It's all about Iraq. So what happens here, yeah, it boils down to one guy who went to this meeting, but he put together this video that right now is catching a lot of attention on the Internet. And you're going to see here that some of the people he talks to may have been asked a question that they did not expect.
Max Blumenthal is a writer who regularly takes on conservative politicians, positions, and groups. He has a new video on his Web site and on the Huffington Post, tracing his visit to a meeting of the College Republican National Committee. Everyone Blumenthal interviews strongly supports the Iraq war.

As part of his report, Levs interviewed Max Blumenthal and the co-chair of the College Republican National Committee, Nick Miccarelli. The clip from the Blumenthal interview lasted uninterrupted for 35-seconds, while Miccarelli, whose clips were interrupted by a short biography of his background, consumed a mere 20 seconds. A transcript of the interview clips:

LEVS: Blumenthal staunchly opposes the war. He calls his video 'Generation Chicken Hawk.'
BLUMENTHAL: An ideology that says you can support this war, which is not supported by most Americans, and which is wearing down the military, without serving it in any way, or participating in it, or making any kind of sacrifice.
LEVS: Isn't it possible to absolutely, thoroughly support a war, but not enlist, with no hypocrisy?
BLUMENTHAL: It's possible to absolutely support a war, but at this point, with the military worn thin, I think at this point it is hypocritical, since this country probably needs them to serve.
NICK MICCARELLI, COLLEGE REPUB NATL CMTE: I think we should take it for what it is, and that's a political hit piece. It's totally one-sided.
LEVS: The group's head, 25-year-old Nick Miccarelli is also in the National Guard, and served in Ramadi, Iraq.
MICCARELLI: People who support stricter laws on a lot of things in this country, and aren't necessarily willing to become police officers.
LEVS: He says some College Republicans do enlist.
MICCARELLI: We're more concerned with what the troops think about us than what a bunch of radical left-wing people think.
LEVS: Blumenthal, who's 29-years-old, summarizes his message in this final shot [shot of car bumper sticker that says 'Draft College Republicans'], and says he's had some positive responses from some members of the military.

Levs only mentioned the fact that Blumenthal "staunchly opposes the war." After his report was aired, Levs was even more disingenuous about Blumenthal's background.

LEVS: And Blumenthal, also, for the record, really rejects that radical left-wing label. He says, you know what, a lot of people in America agree with him. And Rick, it's also relevant to us to keep in mind there have been a lot of Internet videos on this whole argument over Iraq, and sometimes you've got people making fun of anti-war protesters as well.

How can Levs say that with a straight face, given Blumenthal's background. He mentioned the videos where "you've got people making fun of anti-war protesters," but when is CNN going to do a segment on that?

At the end of the segment, Sanchez played a clip of an interview he had conducted with visiting college students from both sides of the aisles about the Iraq war. He imitated Blumenthal by asking the three conservative/Republican students, "Raise your hand if you're ready to go? Raise your hand if you're ready to go to Iraq tomorrow." When the none of the three raise their hands, he pressed them for an explanation:

SANCHEZ: Is there anybody who is going to raise their hand and say they are ready to go to Iraq?
DAVID KIRBY, STUDENT, UNIV. OF GEORGIA: If my country needs me tomorrow, if they call me, if they draft me, then I will go.
SANCHEZ: You said it's the right war. So, are you ready to go?
KIRBY: If my country needs me to go, I will go.

So, you not only have two CNN journalists promoting a left-wing partisan journalist, one of them is trying to imitate him.

Five hours later, during the 11pm EDT hour of CNN Newsroom which was delayed by an hour to allow another re-play of the CNN/YouTube debate with Democratic presidential candidates, CNN aired another live segment on the left-winger's attack on the College Republicans:

RICK SANCHEZ: Staying now with the Iraq war, and doing a little Josh's corner. Josh Levs is joining us to talk about something that's interesting, and it has to do with Young Republicans [sic] -- that's what the organization is called -- getting a visit from a writer, who then challenged them, since they all seemed to be very gung-ho about the war, as to whether or not they themselves would go and fight in this war. Or do they want to?
JOSH LEVS: Exactly. That's what happened. It's a man named Max Blumenthal, who decided to go to a meeting, this national College Republican group, and he posed to some of these people a question that they may not have seen coming.

After playing clips from Blumenthal's "documentary" for the second time, Levs repeated his line that "Karl Rove...Ralph Reed, Jack Abramoff" were all former members of the College Republicans.

The full transcript of the second Sanchez/Levs segment on Max Blumenthal:

(CNN CAPTION: "WHY AREN'T YOU SERVING?")

RICK SANCHEZ: Staying now with the Iraq war, and doing a little Josh's corner. Josh Levs is joining us to talk about something that's interesting, and it has to do with Young Republicans -- that's what the organization is called -- getting a visit from a writer, who then challenged them, since they all seemed to be very gung-ho about the war, as to whether or not they themselves would go and fight in this war. Or do they want to?
JOSH LEVS: Exactly. That's what happened. It's a man named Max Blumenthal, who decided to go to a meeting, this national College Republican group, and he posed to some of these people a question that they may not have seen coming.
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Why are you not fighting them over there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why am I not fighting them over there? Because I'm in college right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm an undergraduate right now, and I just had a scholarship (INAUDIBLE). And I just didn't have any real -- I didn't have any strong urge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think -- you can't talk about this issue if you're not serving.
LEVS: Ok, so he put that and more into an Internet video that he's calling 'Generation Chicken Hawk,' and he told us that this is what it's all about.
BLUMENTHAL: An ideology that says you can support this war, which is not supported by most Americans, and which is wearing down the military, without serving in it in any way or participating in it or making any kind of sacrifice.
SANCHEZ: You know, it's interesting. As you watch these guys '€" and I think most people at home would agree -- there seems to be a certain hypocritical nature to this. I mean, they're so boastful when they talk about supporting the war, and yet sheepish when it comes to actually doing something about it.
LEVS: That perception is definitely what led a lot of people -- what led Max to want to even do this video, and it's making a lot of people really interested.
SANCHEZ: What about the guy that runs -- isn't there like a top guy at the top? I imagine, as a journalist, you probably sought him out.
LEVS: Absolutely. I did. Spoke with him. And guess what? He's a veteran. 25 years old, and he served in Iraq. He called this a political hit job. He said it's one-sided, this video that Max Blumenthal put out there, and this representative of the group also told us this.
NICK MICCARELLI, CO-CHAIR, COLLEGE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMTE.: There are many people who support stricter laws on a lot of things in this country and aren't necessarily willing to go become police officers.
SANCHEZ: Now, he seems like a straight-up guy, who's willing to put his muscle where his mouth is. Maybe a little different than some of the guys in this organization. It's interesting. These organizations, maybe it's me, but they're awfully young to have so much to say about something that maybe they ought to put in a couple of years first. But we'll leave that alone.
LEVS: I'm sure you had something to say in college.
SANCHEZ: They're young upstarts. But is there a sense that this is the kind of organization that makes the Karl Roves of the world?
LEVS: Exactly. It actually made the Karl Rove of the world.
SANCHEZ: He was a member of this organization?
LEVS: Karl Rove was in this, Ralph Reed, Jack Abramoff. Some major Republican players started off in the College Republican world. So, one thing Max Blumenthal is saying with this video is you know what? Some of these people someday just might be running America, so it's worth challenging them now, getting to know what their positions are, and from his perspective, calling them on what he views as hypocrisy.
SANCHEZ: That's amazing. Josh Levs. Thanks, Josh.

CBS Uses Child to Paint Bush as Heartless
Over Spending on Cops

Another example of how journalists equate federal spending with caring, on Saturday's Early Show, CBS news reader Jeff Glor used a seven-year-old's letter to portray President Bush as criminally uncaring for planning to veto a bill to spend more federal money to pay for local police officers.

JEFF GLOR: And one seven year old boy's cry for help has gone as far as Capitol Hill and the White House.
SANTIAGO VALERA: Dear Mr. President, hello, sir, my name is Santiago Santana Valera-
GLOR: In a letter to the President, Santiago describes the shooting death of his aunt and his fear of even playing outside in Orlando, Florida now. His words were read this week on the House floor by his Congressman. It led to the passage of a bill to beef up police departments nationwide. President Bush is expected to veto that legislation."

In a posting on the MRC's NewsBusters blog, MRC intern Michael Lanza noted that Glor's July 28 item offered no specifics about the bill nor did he provide any explanation as to why the President is expected to veto it. Rather, from the framing of the story, the President is portrayed as something of a heartless monster, inexplicably denying the impassioned pleas of a scared child.

For more on what led to Valera's letter, see this Orlando Sentinel article: www.orlandosentinel.com

Reporters on Tom Snyder's Shows Denied
Bias, Made Liberal Points

NBC, CNBC and CBS talk show veteran Tom Snyder, who passed away Sunday at age 71, frequently had media figures as guests on his shows and the journalists inevitably denied any liberal bias or otherwise made liberal political points. Then-NBC White House reporter Brian Williams gushed over President Clinton in 1995: "I've also said that if Americans were paying Presidents by the thought, we're getting a bargain in this guy because, my God, he's just always moving, his brain's moving, he hardly sleeps." Earlier that year, Dan Rather denied any media bias as he insisted "most reporters, when you get to know them, would fall in the general category of kind of common-sense moderates." A couple of years later, in 1997, actor Richard Belzer denounced former President Reagan for how "he did some unconscionable things," charging that Reagan "traded guns for cocaine to free hostages."

MRC intern Michael Lanza located these quotes, from the MRC's archive, of guest appearances on CBS's Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, which aired after David Letterman from 1995 to 1999, and Snyder's early 1990s show on CNBC:

# Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, on CBS's Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, August 19, 1998, in the midst of the Lewinsky scandal: "I think the bigger concern is that how this man who was filled with so much promise when he was first elected, you know, the first Democrat since Franklin Roosevelt and all that, could have squandered so much of the promise of his presidency on this silly fling, and if it hadn't been for Monica Lewinsky, Ken Starr would have come up empty-handed....I don't get why Clinton's critics are so upset about this, and yet you talk about people who've lied to us about policy matters, you know, trading arms for hostages, or 'I won't raise your taxes' -- and those lies affect my life. Clinton's lie doesn't affect my life."

# White House reporter Sarah McClendon on The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, January 4, 1996, denouncing Republicans: "They don't know how people live. How could men come, be born of a woman and be as mean as some of those young Republicans are?"

# NBC White House reporter Brian Williams, November 17, 1995, CBS Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, on President Clinton: "As far as I'll go describing Bill Clinton is he's perhaps the most intellectually and physically active person to have held the job in decades. I've also said that if Americans were paying Presidents by the thought, we're getting a bargain in this guy because, my God, he's just always moving, his brain's moving, he hardly sleeps."

# Dan Rather answering a caller about liberal bias, February 8, 1995, CBS's Late Late Show with Tom Snyder: "It's one of the great political myths, about press bias. Most reporters are interested in a story. Most reporters don't know whether they're Republican or Democrat, and vote every which way. Now, a lot of politicians would like you to believe otherwise, but that's the truth of the matter. I've worked around journalism all of my life, Tom Snyder has as well, and I think he'll agree with this, that most reporters, when you get to know them, would fall in the general category of kind of common-sense moderates. And also, let me say that I don't think that 'liberal' or 'conservative' means very much any more, except to those kind of inside-the-Beltway people who want to use it for their own partisan political advantage. I don't think it holds up."

# Newsweek media writer Jonathan Alter on CNBC's Tom Snyder, October 6, 1993: "Sometimes I think the reports of liberal bias are a bit exaggerated. But you can subscribe to newsletters that tell you there's liberal bias and another newsletter will tell you there's conservative bias. What you realize is that those people aren't really interested in media criticism. What they're doing, often, is just ax-grinding for a political view in the guise of media criticism, getting it through customs as criticizing the media."

# A very hostile attitude for Ronald Reagan from actor Richard Belzer, then a star of NBC's Homicide drama. Belzer, now a star of NBC's Law & Order: SVU, appeared on the December 18, 1997 Late Late Show with Tom Snyder. Here's an exchange from the CBS show:

Tom Snyder: "You gave it to Reagan pretty good when Reagan was in office. Now, he's a former President and an old man at the end of his trail with Alzheimers. Do you see him differently now from the way you saw him them?"
Richard Belzer: "I see the humanity of his suffering, but I have no sympathy for the man. He caused undue, he demonized the poor during his administration. He did some unconscionable things that I don't want to get into now, but everyone's aware of, its in the history books, I'm not making it up."
Snyder: "But now when you say he did some unconscionable things that's not fair because-"
Belzer: "OK, well you know he traded guns for cocaine to free hostages, that's documented. I know people argue that but let's say there's no cocaine, he did trade weapons to our mortal enemy, and he...I'll tell you, the first thing he did in office and the last thing he did in office will bookend Reagan. His first act as President of the United States-"
Snyder: "Fire the air traffic controllers?"
Belzer: "-No, that was another maniacal thing. No one has ever done a story about how many air accidents there were after he did that by the way, and there were a lot. Aside from that, his first act in office was, there is a law in the United States, the federal government cannot fund any institution that practices segregation. Ronald Reagan's first act as President was to suspend that law for Bob Jones University...."

-- Brent Baker