Appearance Alert!
MRC's Brent Bozell on FNC's The Kelly File, Friday 9:40pm ET/PT

NBC Stacks Deck Against Petraeus, and Takes a Shot at McCain Too --4/9/2008


1. NBC Stacks Deck Against Petraeus, and Takes a Shot at McCain Too
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams led Tuesday's newscast by listing the burden of the Iraq war in years, troops, deaths and cost before Jim Miklaszewski, unlike reporters on ABC and CBS, found it newsworthy to show a man, in the Senate hearing for General David Petraeus, shouting "bring them home!" In the next story, Andrea Mitchell decided to highlight, again unlike ABC or CBS, how John McCain "stumbled...by again describing al Qaeda as Shiite" and Williams turned to Richard Engel, NBC's Iraq reporter, who described Petraeus' decision to end troop withdrawals in July as "frustrating and disheartening in that the rules of the game have changed." Williams opened: "The war's now five years old. That's longer than U.S. involvement in World War II. There are currently 162,000 U.S. troops serving in Iraq. Death toll is now over 4,000. And the price tag of this war for military operations alone: nearly half a trillion dollars so far."

2. Walters: Surge Failed, 'Darling You Can Cite All Stats You Want'
View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck touted the success of the surge before veteran ABC News journalist Barbara Walters dismissed it. On Tuesday's The View the panel discussed General Petraeus' testimony before Congress on the situation in Iraq. Hasselbeck called the surge "one of the most effective strategies in the war" before Walters swiftly responded: "No it has not." Walters then contended an up tick in violence shows the surge has failed: "Now there has been more violence than there has been in many months." Hasselbeck then pointed out how the Iraqis "met 12 of the 18 benchmarks" and "90,000 of the Sunnis have decided to join U.S. forces." Walters responded by dismissing those figures: "Darling you can get all of the statistics you want, but you've had more violence than you've had in months."

3. CBS's Smith Cues Up Democratic Talking Points on Iraq to Clinton
In an interview with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, about the upcoming congressional testimony of General David Petraeus on the Iraq war, co-host Harry Smith began by asking a question that perfectly towed the Democratic Party line: "David Petraeus is going to come before this committee this morning. He's going to say in more -- you know, more elaborate words than I will right now, that the surge is working. The number of attacks in Baghdad have more than doubled in the last two months. About a dozen U.S. servicemen have been killed there in just the last several days. Do you think the surge is working?" Clinton was very appreciative of Smith's softball and let him know: "Well Harry, I think you just made a summary argument against the position that it's working." Smith's claim that attacks in Baghdad "more than doubled" recently was accurate according to an April 8 New York Times article. However, what Smith failed to also point out was the dramatic decline of attacks during the surge, which preceded the latest round of violence.

4. Geraldo Has Sympathy Pains for Hillary on Bosnia Gaffe
Last week Fox News host Geraldo Rivera expressed he would be "proud" to vote for Barack Obama, but on Saturday's Geraldo At Large he showed he still has some affinity for Hillary Clinton as well. When former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele claimed Clinton's Bosnia gaffe was the reason for her drop in a recent poll, Rivera felt for the former First Lady as he sympathized: "I think that, that's awful. I, I feel so bad for her for that."

5. ABC's Sawyer Touts Rosie O'Donnell's 'Singular Take' on the World
Good Morning America's Diane Sawyer featured noted 9/11 conspiracy theorist Rosie O'Donnell for over 15 minutes on Tuesday and failed to ask about any of her numerous controversial statements. Despite this, Sawyer did find the time to laud the former talk show host's "singular take on the world" and to make crafts with the hard core leftist who once asserted that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America." Sawyer glossed over the controversial statements O'Donnell made during her tenure as a co-host of the ABC program The View. At one point, the GMA co-anchor even admitted: "So, I don't want to go back and rehash all of 'The View' stuff again." Some of the "stuff" Sawyer might have been referring to, included telling the lone conservative voice on The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, on November 9, 2006: "Don't fear the terrorists. They're mothers and fathers." During her GMA appearance to promote a new book on crafts, O'Donnell stated that one factor in her quitting The View was control. In her role as an interviewer, Sawyer certainly offered no conflicting point of view and failed to ask tough questions.

6. Reminder: The MRC's 'DisHonors Awards' Are Thursday Night
Reminder: The MRC's "DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters," with the "William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence" presented to Tony Snow, plus some special surprises, will be held tomorrow (Thursday) night. So, if you bought a ticket or are on the complimentary list, don't forget to attend! Reception at 6pm, dinner promptly at 7pm.


NBC Stacks Deck Against Petraeus, and
Takes a Shot at McCain Too

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams led Tuesday's newscast by listing the burden of the Iraq war in years, troops, deaths and cost before Jim Miklaszewski, unlike reporters on ABC and CBS, found it newsworthy to show a man, in the Senate hearing for General David Petraeus, shouting "bring them home!" In the next story, Andrea Mitchell decided to highlight, again unlike ABC or CBS, how John McCain "stumbled...by again describing al Qaeda as Shiite" and Williams turned to Richard Engel, NBC's Iraq reporter, who described Petraeus' decision to end troop withdrawals in July as "frustrating and disheartening in that the rules of the game have changed." Williams opened: "The war's now five years old. That's longer than U.S. involvement in World War II. There are currently 162,000 U.S. troops serving in Iraq. Death toll is now over 4,000. And the price tag of this war for military operations alone: nearly half a trillion dollars so far."

Before and after audio of a man yelling "bring them home!", Miklaszewski helpfully suggested: "A protestor voiced what some Americans are demanding for U.S. troops." In a piece by Mitchell on how the three presidential candidates approached Petraeus, she pointed how that "the Republican Senator also stumbled, briefly, by again describing al Qaeda as Shiite." She countered: "Al Qaeda is Sunni, not Shiite. McCain immediately corrected himself." So, if he immediately corrected himself, why highlight it?

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

NBC has been the most-interested in McCain's references to al-Qaeda as Shia or the Shia Iran helping the Sunni al-Qaeda. The March 20 CyberAlert item, "Moving on from Obama's Pastor, NBC Focuses on McCain 'Mistake,'" recounted:

A day after Barack Obama's speech in reaction to the bigoted and hateful rants of his long-time pastor, the network evening newscasts moved on -- with only ABC briefly mentioning the topic -- while NBC Nightly News, which has run just one clip of Jeremiah Wright and on Friday had instead featured a whole story about Obama's childhood friends cheering him on, centered a Wednesday night story around "a mistake" by John McCain. Anchor Brian Williams provided an ominous plug: "Did John McCain slip, or was his mistake intentional? His choice of words making news tonight."

Kelly O'Donnell soon proposed: "Defense and national security are central to McCain's campaign. So a mistake he repeated this week has stood out. At least three times McCain incorrectly asserted that Iran is aiding al Qaeda." After video of Senator Joe Lieberman whispering in McCain's ear, McCain corrected himself as O'Donnell explained: "The mistake, al Qaeda is a Sunni group while Iran is a Shia nation." O'Donnell highlighted how "Senator Obama seized on the error," concluding with the suggestion the one comment undermined McCain's image: "Leaving McCain to defend his expertise during a trip in which he intended to showcase it."

For the entire posting: www.mrc.org

How ABC and CBS framed the story on Tuesday, April 8:

# Charles Gibson, ABC's World News: "Good evening. The senior commander of forces in Iraq told Congress today that significant, buty fragile, progress had been made in the war. And then, as expected, General David Petraeus called for an indefinite pause of troop withdrawals this summer. He refused to say if or when troop withdrawals might resume. And he would not offer an estimate of how many American forces would still be in Iraq after the election in November. Among those questioning the General on Capitol Hill today, all the presidential candidates. ABC's Jonathan Karl is at the Capitol."


# Katie Couric, CBS Evening News: "Good evening, everyone. Seven months ago, America's top General in Iraq went before Congress to declare the surge was working and the U.S. could start bringing some troops home. Today, General David Petraeus returned to Capitol Hill, but this time he announced plans to stop those troop withdrawals in July with no timetable for resuming them. David Martin begins our coverage tonight."


# Some highlights from the NBC Nightly News coverage:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Good evening. The man in charge of the war effort in Iraq, General David Petraeus, today reported to Congress on the status of the fight and what the future looks like to him. By his side was the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and, across the gulf of photographers, two Senate committees with a full day of questions about what's going on over there. The war's now five years old. That's longer than U.S. involvement in World War II. There are currently 162,000 U.S. troops serving in Iraq. Death toll is now over 4,000. And the price tag of this war for military operations alone: nearly half a trillion dollars so far [on screen: "at least $430 Billion"]. Those are the stakes. Now the testimony and the politics of the day, we have it all covered. Our Pentagon correspondent, Jim Miklaszewski, starts us off live on Capitol Hill tonight....

ANDREA MITCHELL: While today's witnesses echoed McCain's stay the course approach, the Republican Senator also stumbled, briefly, by again describing al Qaeda as Shiite.
SENATOR JOHN McCAIN TO PETRAEUS: Do you still view al Qaeda in Iraq as a major threat?
PETRAEUS: Certainly not as major a threat as it was say 15 months ago.
McCAIN: Certainly not a obscure sect of the Shiites overall.
MITCHELL: Al Qaeda is Sunni, not Shiite. McCain immediately corrected himself....

RICHARD ENGEL, IN STUDIO: I watched it and overwhelmingly I came away with the impression that it was somewhat frustrating and disheartening in that the rules of the game have changed. For years, military commanders have said that once conditions on the ground improve then troops can start to pull back. Today, General Petraeus said conditions on the ground have improved, but you know what? The troops have to stay. And I think if I was the mother or father of the one of the soldiers serving in Iraq, I'd be proud because he said they've achieved tremendous successes, but I'd also be upset that, if I listened to him, he'd say they would have to stay there in order to maintain that success.

Walters: Surge Failed, 'Darling You Can
Cite All Stats You Want'

View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck touted the success of the surge before veteran ABC News journalist Barbara Walters dismissed it. On Tuesday's The View the panel discussed General Petraeus' testimony before Congress on the situation in Iraq. Hasselbeck called the surge "one of the most effective strategies in the war" before Walters swiftly responded: "No it has not." Walters then contended an up tick in violence shows the surge has failed: "Now there has been more violence than there has been in many months."

Hasselbeck then pointed out how the Iraqis "met 12 of the 18 benchmarks" and "90,000 of the Sunnis have decided to join U.S. forces." Walters responded by dismissing those figures: "Darling you can get all of the statistics you want, but you've had more violence than you've had in months."

[This item was adapted from the NewsBusters post by Justin McCarthy: newsbusters.org ]

From the April 8 edition of the ABC daytime gabfest:

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: I think the surge has probably been one of the most effective strategies in this war.
BARBARA WALTERS: No it has not.
HASSELBECK: Oh, I disagree I think it absolutely has-
WALTERS: I think a few weeks ago it was considered that. Now there has been more violence than there has been in many months. And you've had other military men saying that the, that the armed forces are so, there are so few and they're so strained that we would not be prepared for other attacks. I think the surge, from what I read, I'm not an authority and none of us here are -- the surge was but the violence has continued and gotten worse. And the, and the Iraqis are showing no ability to be able to take over.
HASSELBECK: Well, they've met 12 of the 18 benchmarks. 90,000 of the Sunnis have decided to join U.S. forces. They have-
WALTERS: Darling you can get all of the statistics that you want, but you've had more violence than you've had in months.
HASSELBECK: This surge will be studied for years to come in terms of the genius of it, how it turned this war around.
JOY BEHAR: I have a question. How long does this surge last? A surge, like when you get an electric surge, it's very short. [laughter and applause] Why is this going on so long?
HASSELBECK: The surge was our initial, remember in 2006 when people like, I mean you had everyone from Senator Clinton calling for a quick withdraw. They said the only way we can have any sort of victory was to quickly get our troops out of there in 2006. And General Petraeus recommended, and you have Senator McCain who was right behind him-
WALTERS: But the question is how long is this surge going to be?
HASSELBECK: The surge was the initial push.
WALTERS: But how long is the surge going to be?
SHERRI SHEPHERD: She's not General Petraeus Barbara!
HASSELBECK: The surge is-
[laughter]
SHEPHERD: I mean, you got to give her a break.
BEHAR: She's on record saying it's working. We want to know how long.
HASSELBECK: The surge has worked. The surge has worked. That initial push of troops into the area has absolutely worked. No one can deny that.
WALTERS: Yes you can if it's not working now.
HASSELBECK: That, that's up for debate. General Petraeus what's actually happening there.

CBS's Smith Cues Up Democratic Talking
Points on Iraq to Clinton

In an interview with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, about the upcoming congressional testimony of General David Petraeus on the Iraq war, co-host Harry Smith began by asking a question that perfectly towed the Democratic Party line: "David Petraeus is going to come before this committee this morning. He's going to say in more -- you know, more elaborate words than I will right now, that the surge is working. The number of attacks in Baghdad have more than doubled in the last two months. About a dozen U.S. servicemen have been killed there in just the last several days. Do you think the surge is working?" Clinton was very appreciative of Smith's softball and let him know: "Well Harry, I think you just made a summary argument against the position that it's working." Smith's claim that attacks in Baghdad "more than doubled" recently was accurate according to an April 8 New York Times article. However, what Smith failed to also point out was the dramatic decline of attacks during the surge, which preceded the latest round of violence.

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

The April 8 New York Times article here: www.nytimes.com

Smith later asked about the possibility of a civil war in Iraq: "I guess the question is if U.S. troops are drawn down there, what ends up happening to this country? Does it fall into what a lot of people believe is an inevitable civil war?" Clinton replied: "Well, there's a low grade civil war going on right now...But one thing we know for sure is continuing the Bush policy, the Bush/McCain policy now is not a recipe for success. It is to continue to mire the United States, lead to more loss of our young men and women, more injuries and, frankly, I think destabilize our position globally and divert our ability to deal with Afghanistan and other problems that I think have a much more direct interest for the United States."

Smith then observed: "That's what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has talked about." However, according to another New York Times article from April 6, Chairman Mike Mullen supported maintaining the troop surge: "The Army and the rest of the service chiefs have endorsed General Petraeus's recommendations for continued high troop levels in Iraq. But Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army Chief of Staff, and their top deputies also have warned that the war in Iraq should not be permitted to inflict an unacceptable toll on the military as a whole." Smith mis-characterized Mullen's statement and left out this more complete context.

The April 6 New York Times article: www.nytimes.com

Here is the full transcript of the April 8 segment:

7:00AM TEASER, HARRY SMITH: Breaking news this morning, fireworks on Capitol Hill. The general in charge of U.S. policy in Iraq defends his strategy and comes face-to-face with three presidential candidates.

7:01AM TEASER, SMITH: In just a couple of minutes, Senator Hillary Clinton will join us on this very big day on Capitol Hill. The Senator, along with Senators Obama and McCain, going to be questioning the top commander in Iraq, General Petraeus, about the course of U.S. policy there. And with all three candidates competing for attention, we're going to see if, at the end of the day, military or political strategy was at the top of the agenda.

7:02AM SEGMENT:
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: But first, high drama is expected on Capitol Hill today as all three presidential hopefuls come face-to-face with the top American commander in Iraq. CBS News Capitol Hill Correspondent Chip Reid is live this morning. Chip, good morning.
CHIP REID: Well, good morning, Maggie. It's been almost seven months since General David Petraeus last walked into a congressional hearing room, a hearing room that today could turn into a stage for political theater. When General David Petraeus last appeared before Congress, he said the surge was working. This time he's expected to argue it's been so successful, troop levels can be brought down to pre-surge levels by summer. But while military strategy is the topic of today's hearing, political strategy may rule the day with all three presidential candidates expected to jump into the fray. John McCain, a staunch supporter of the war, is expected by many to lash out at Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as he did Monday, angrily accusing them of making campaign promises they can't keep.
JOHN MCCAIN: To promise a withdrawal of our forces from Iraq, regardless of the calamitous consequences to the Iraqi people is the height of irresponsibility. It is a failure of leadership.
REID: All eyes would then turn to Hillary Clinton, who sits on the same committee, watching for her to return fire. Later in the day at a second hearing, Barack Obama will get his chance to take aim at McCain, as he did in a statement Monday, accusing McCain of a failure of leadership for supporting an open-ended occupation of Iraq that has made the American people less safe. Now, the last time Petraeus testified, of course, he said the surge was working. But when he was asked whether the surge was making the American people safer, he said he didn't know. He hadn't thought it through. Well, with seven months to think about it, you can bet he'll be asked about that again. Harry.
HARRY SMITH: Alright, thanks very much, Chip Reid on Capitol Hill. Joining us now from Washington is Senator Hillary Clinton. Good morning Senator.
HILLARY CLINTON: Good morning.
SMITH: David Petraeus is going to come before this committee this morning. He's going to say in more -- you know, more elaborate words than I will right now, that the surge is working. The number of attacks in Baghdad have more than doubled in the last two months. About a dozen U.S. servicemen have been killed there in just the last several days. Do you think the surge is working?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well Harry, I think you just made a summary argument against the position that it's working. You know, a year ago we were told that the purpose of it was to give the Iraqi government the time to make the decisions that only they can make for themselves on how they're going to allocate oil, end the, you know, political disputes and the sectarian violence and all of the other decisions that are on their plate. That hasn't happened, and even General Petraeus a few weeks ago admitted that the political progress has not been what he would have wanted or that we expected-
SMITH: Although, although, although-
CLINTON: So I just don't understand how they can make that case.
SMITH: Although some people have said this has given Maliki the cover to go after the Mehdi Army, to go after these separate, you know, factions, rogue factions of Muqtada al Sadr, that maybe, in fact, this has helped Maliki to show he has a little spine now.
CLINTON: Well, we'll see. It didn't look very successful in his efforts in Basra. And the lead in the fight against the Mehdi Army in Baghdad is by the U.S. military. So you know, I am very unhappy with, you know, what has transpired this past year because I really believe that we're just marking time until it is absolutely time to change and that won't happen apparently under President Bush until next year. And when I'm president, we will, we'll begin to withdraw our troops. And you know, Senator McCain is a friend of mine, I obviously respect his service to our country, but the failure of leadership here is the Bush Administration, it's the failure to continue this conflict. It's the failure to recognize that there is no military solution.
SMITH: I guess the question is if U.S. troops are drawn down there, what ends up happening to this country? Does it fall into what a lot of people believe is an inevitable civil war?
CLINTON: Well, there's a low grade civil war going on right now. It's Shiite on Shiite, it's Sunni and Shiite. And I think that, of course, there are very difficult days ahead and the consequences are going to be challenging. But one thing we know for sure is continuing the Bush policy, the Bush/McCain policy now is not a recipe for success. It is to continue to mire the United States, lead to more loss of our young men and women, more injuries and, frankly, I think destabilize our position globally and divert our ability to deal with Afghanistan and other problems that I think have a much more direct interest for the United States.
SMITH: That's what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has talked about. And very quickly, you yesterday advocated the boycotting of the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games. I have just a few seconds. Could you elaborate on that just very quickly?
CLINTON: Well, I think that President Bush should decide not to attend the opening ceremonies unless and until the Chinese do what the world is calling for them, which is to end the oppression in Tibet and give back religious and cultural freedom to the Tibetans and do more to help the world end the genocide in Sudan. We need to put that pressure on the government of China. And I think President Bush should do that. And I hope that he will.
SMITH: Alright, Senator Clinton, thanks very much for your time this morning. Do appreciate it.
CLINTON: Thank you. Good to talk to you, Harry.

Geraldo Has Sympathy Pains for Hillary
on Bosnia Gaffe

Last week Fox News host Geraldo Rivera expressed he would be "proud" to vote for Barack Obama, but on Saturday's Geraldo At Large he showed he still has some affinity for Hillary Clinton as well. When former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele claimed Clinton's Bosnia gaffe was the reason for her drop in a recent poll, Rivera felt for the former First Lady as he sympathized: "I think that, that's awful. I, I feel so bad for her for that."

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

The following is the full exchange as it occurred on the April 5 edition of Geraldo At Large on FNC:

GERALDO RIVERA: And Governor Steele, you have a situation where this Rasmussen poll, I was pretty shocked when I saw it, now showing Barack Obama, I think for only the second time over 50 percent. He's at 51, Hillary Clinton is at 41. That's a 10-point spread. It looks as if the momentum have, has that people are, are putting the, the Wright controversy behind Obama and now seem to be rallying to him in a way that I, up until now, have not seen. you until now have not seen.
FORMER MARYLAND LT. GOVERNOR MICHAEL STEELE: I think less that in actuality. I think this is more about people sort of recoiling from the Hillary gaffe. I mean this, she effectively ended her campaign, in my view, with the Bosnia comment. I think shed a lot of momentum.
RIVERA: Do you really think it was that?
STEELE: I, I really I do. When you look-
RIVERA: I think that, that's awful. I, I feel so bad for her for that.
STEELE: When you look at, when you look at the, when you look at the polling and you track it and you watch it, it was a precipitous drop for her after that statement came out. I mean, I mean it's just silly. I mean people discount what the Clintons say, to begin with, but this was bigger than any discount that they could possibly give them and I think it really hurt her. And I think for Barack the Reverend Wright issue, as much as people want to, you know say, "We're past that," trust me I've been out in middle-America, we're not past it. It's still an issue. It, it's beneath the surface and people are waiting to see the next shoe to drop. What else is out there? Remember, keep in mind, this man has not been thoroughly vetted yet. They're still more revelations. We do not know, not so much about, you know, we know a lot about, you know, his, his vision. We don't know about the practical experience, we don't know how that translates for the rest of the country.

To read more about Rivera's endorsement of Obama see: www.mrc.org

ABC's Sawyer Touts Rosie O'Donnell's
'Singular Take' on the World

Good Morning America's Diane Sawyer featured noted 9/11 conspiracy theorist Rosie O'Donnell for over 15 minutes on Tuesday and failed to ask about any of her numerous controversial statements. Despite this, Sawyer did find the time to laud the former talk show host's "singular take on the world" and to make crafts with the hard core leftist who once asserted that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America." For more on this, see the September 13, 2006 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

Sawyer glossed over the controversial statements O'Donnell made during her tenure as a co-host of the ABC program The View. At one point, the GMA co-anchor even admitted: "So, I don't want to go back and rehash all of 'The View' stuff again." Some of the "stuff" Sawyer might have been referring to, included telling the lone conservative voice on The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, on November 9, 2006: "Don't fear the terrorists. They're mothers and fathers." During her GMA appearance to promote a new book on crafts, O'Donnell stated that one factor in her quitting The View was control. For her earlier program, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, "...There was no one with a conflicting point of view." In her role as an interviewer, Sawyer certainly offered no conflicting point of view and failed to ask tough questions. For Rosie's thoughts on terrorism, see the November 10, 2006 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

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

The GMA host definitely appeared aware that O'Donnell could say something bizarre or controversial at any moment. Before asking the comedienne about the 2008 presidential race, Sawyer declared, "Politics. Not the views of the management, whatever they are here. Hillary or Obama?"

Finally, a humorous moment occurred early in the segment. Right as Sawyer proclaimed the "singular take" O'Donnell expresses on her web page, a screen shot of the ex-talk show host's site appeared. The grammatically incorrect, almost incomprehensible O'Donnell post read as follows:

cause i was drinking too much cause i didn't want to anymore cause it is hard to lose weight wen (sic) drinking cause i never have only one

A singular take, indeed.

[A second segment, in the 8am hour, followed. At that point, Sawyer and O'Donnell made crafts with the other hosts of GMA.]

A partial transcript of the April 8 segment, which aired at 7:31am:

DIANE SAWYER: But first, 11 time Emmy winner Rosie O'Donnell joins us this morning back on live TV with us right here, a year now since she left The View. And over the years, as you know, she's made her mark as a comedian, a stand-up comedian. 30 years ago she started out. An actress, a talk show host, author. And now she's getting ready to add another title to her resume. We'll tell you about that. Always outspoken, funny, original. Her own show debuted in 1996. Seconds later, with 11-Emmys she was queen of daytime TV.
[Clip of Rosie talking to Barbara Streisand on her first show.]
ROSIE O'DONNELL: I don't remember my life without you in it. It's the truth.
BARBARA STREISAND: Oh, my God.
SAWYER: Ten years after that, she joined "The View," an odyssey of ratings success. With good days, combative days. Pop culture to politics.
[View clip]
ROSIE O'DONNELL: You just said our enemies in Iraq. Did Iraq attack us?
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: No, I'm saying al Qaeda-
O'DONNELL: Okay. Did Iraq attack us, Elisabeth?
HASSELBECK: Iraq did not attack us, Rosie. We've been there.
O'DONNELL: Correct.
SAWYER: Everyone knows the story. It ended in controversy. Since then, she's continued to give her singular take on the world through her free association about so many things. [Onscreen graphic: "cause I was drinking too much cause I didn't want to anymore cause it is hard to lose weight wen (sic) drinking cause I never have only one"] For instance, how she feels about drinking. How the once queen of TV doesn't allow her own kids to watch TV and Rosie O'Donnell today. The next chapter. Rosie O'Donnell, right here.
O'DONNELL: Hi.
SAWYER: Good morning.
O'DONNELL: Good morning.
SAWYER: Great to see you.
O'DONNELL: You too.
SAWYER: So, I don't want to go back and rehash all of The View stuff again. But I just want to know from this vantage point a year later, any regrets? Anything you would do differently?
O'DONNELL: You know, I think you can't be at a place that you haven't arrived at yet, you know? So what I was doing when Barbara asked me to do it, was I thought how is it going to feel to go back in the big wave, so to speak? It was a little bit of a trial period to see what I thought. And, you know, almost made it to the end. I did eight months. I got out -- two months early.
SAWYER: Short of the finish line. But talking to you now, are you, are you calmer now? Do you feel more in control now of yourself and who you are?
O'DONNELL: Yes, but I will say that if we start to talk about the current political situation, there's a chance that it might get heated.
SAWYER: I'm going to talk about that.
O'DONNELL: I'm the same person I always was. But on my show there was no one with a conflicting point of view. And I was also the boss of everything, which frankly for me works well.
SAWYER: Do you watch The View?
O'DONNELL: I do, occasionally. I catch it. Yes. I see it on YouTube when something big happens?
SAWYER: What about you and Elisabeth? Any contact?
O'DONNELL: Yes, after she had the baby, I e-mailed her. And, you know, she doesn't e-mail me back often, but she occasionally does. And, you know, I keep saying this and it's not in any way, shape or for to diminish or disparage, but she's very young. You know, when I was that young and had a newborn baby and one in diapers, you know, your life is a little bit more black and white than when you get to be 46 and you have gray hair all over.
SAWYER: You have no -- You have no gray hear. I'm skipping right over the all over.
O'DONNELL: Well, there are some parts of your hair you can dye. Yeah, exactly.
SAWYER: You have no gray hair.
O'DONNELL: Well, because there's a very expensive hair dye in there. But, frankly I would be all gray.
SAWYER: All right, then. With apologies then to your former gig let's do some topics.
O'DONNELL: Okay.
SAWYER: Politics. Not the views of the management, whatever they are here. Hillary or Obama?
O'DONNELL: Both. I've been saying both from the beginning. I think that the only way that they're going to be able to really serve the nation and democracy is to put down their own egos and to combine forces, in some way, shape or form and save democracy, this 200-year-old experiment that we're trying to, you know, not have fall apart in this world. To be the beacon of hope that America used to be. This woman, this African-American need to look at each other and go, "Oh, my God can you believe we're here. Let's get together."
SAWYER: They're going to have to decide at some point.
O'DONNELL: Well, maybe they're going to get together. How do you know? That could be the dream ticket. I think if enough people believe it, if they hear it enough from America -- We need both of them is what I believe.
SAWYER: What about "Dancing with the Stars" moving from the sublime to the television here. You've said I will never do Dancing With the Stars. Why not?
O'DONNELL: No, are you kidding me? First of all Marie fainted. Okay? I'm fatter than Marie and I'm more out of shape and I was never a dancer to begin with. I'm doing "No, No Nanette" at the City Center Encores.
SAWYER: Oh, right. I heard that.
O'DONNELL: Yeah, I'm doing that in April or May. And so I'm tapping now. So, I have a tap number in the show. And, that, believe me, learning one number has taken me three months. And there's no way I could do Dancing With the Stars.

Reminder: The MRC's 'DisHonors Awards'
Are Thursday Night

Reminder: The MRC's "DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters," with the "William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence" presented to Tony Snow, plus some special surprises, will be held tomorrow (Thursday) night. So, if you bought a ticket or are on the complimentary list and you confirmed, don't forget to attend! Reception at 6pm, dinner promptly at 7pm so the gala can start by 8pm.

Questions: Call (703) 683-9733.

-- Brent Baker