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Scold Bush's "End Run" on Bolton, ABC Points to Hillary as Model --8/2/2005


1. Scold Bush's "End Run" on Bolton, ABC Points to Hillary as Model
The network evening newscasts reacted with indignation to President Bush's decision to make a recess appointment of John Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations. "President Bush made an end-run around Congress," declared World News Tonight anchor Elizabeth Vargas. ABC's Terry Moran highlighted how "Bolton's blistering criticisms of the UN and his tough, even abusive, management style led Democrats and some Republicans to block his nomination, arguing that the U.S. cannot afford to alienate the international community further." George Stephanopoulos relayed the suggestion that Bolton "take a page from Hillary Rodham Clinton's play book when she ran for Senate from New York: Go on a listening tour. A little of that humility...will go a long way in the UN." CBS's Bill Plante cited "Bolton's combative personal style and in-your-face conservative ideology." NBC Nightly News anchor Campbell Brown asserted that Bush "has bypassed the confirmation process," explaining Democrats "were especially angry that the White House refused to release documents they said were important for the Senate's consideration." Andrea Mitchell contended Bolton is "going to have to be less ideological to establish his credibility."

2. ABC and NBC More Sympathetic to Clinton's Recess Appointments
Not all high-profile recess appointments are equally egregious in the eyes of the DC press corps and network news chiefs in Manhattan. While ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas complained Monday night that "President Bush made an end-run around Congress and appointed John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations" and described Bolton as "highly controversial," in 1997 ABC framed Bill Clinton's effort to make Bill Lann Lee the Assistant Attorney General in charge of civil rights as a tale of a mistreated American hero. Peter Jennings described him as "a classic example of an American success story" and Linda Douglas insisted he "seemed to be the perfect candidate to be the nation's head of civil rights." NBC's Today a provided a sympathetic interview with Lann Lee in 1997, but on Monday morning Katie Couric demanded: "So over the weekend the White House...seemed to indicate that President Bush is poised to use his recess appointment power and send John Bolton to the UN without a Senate confirmation vote. How can he do that?!"

3. Rather Stands By What He Won't Call "Memogate," Will Get Emmy
In a SmartMoney.com/Esquire "What I've Learned" first-hand recounting of thoughts from Dan Rather, such as this insight, "You trust your mother. But you cut the cards anyway," Rather complained that "many of the people" who call his scandal "memogate" are doing "so for their own partisan and/or ideological purposes." Unlike with Watergate, he insisted in the July 29 posting, "no crime was committed here" and he maintained: "The central facts in the story were correct, and they have not been denied. A pillar of support for the story has been called into question and remains in question. We don't know everything yet." Rather also claimed that "whatever mistakes" were made, "real or imagined," they "were not born of political bias nor of prejudice." Plus, an ad in Television Week out on Monday disclosed that in September Rather will be awarded with a "special" Emmy "in recognition of his years of outstanding work."


Scold Bush's "End Run" on Bolton, ABC
Points to Hillary as Model

Elizabeth Vargas The network evening newscasts reacted with indignation to President Bush's decision to make a recess appointment of John Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations. "President Bush made an end-run around Congress," declared World News Tonight anchor Elizabeth Vargas. ABC's Terry Moran highlighted how "Bolton's blistering criticisms of the UN and his tough, even abusive, management style led Democrats and some Republicans to block his nomination, arguing that the U.S. cannot afford to alienate the international community further." George Stephanopoulos relayed the suggestion that Bolton "take a page from Hillary Rodham Clinton's play book when she ran for Senate from New York: Go on a listening tour. A little of that humility...will go a long way in the UN." CBS's Bill Plante cited "Bolton's combative personal style and in-your-face conservative ideology." NBC Nightly News anchor Campbell Brown asserted that Bush "has bypassed the confirmation process," explaining Democrats "were especially angry that the White House refused to release documents they said were important for the Senate's consideration." Andrea Mitchell contended Bolton is "going to have to be less ideological to establish his credibility."
ABC and NBC championed the opposition of Ohio Republican George Voinovich as ABC's Elizabeth Vargas touted how "even Republican Senator George Voinovich said the appointment will add to Bolton's lack of credibility at the UN" and NBC's David Gregory referred to how "one top Republican, Senator George Voinovich of Ohio, refused to support him in a committee vote." By what measure is Voinovich a "top" Republican?

(See item #2 below for examples of how the media were much more agreeable with some of Clinton's recess appointments.)

A rundown of Monday night, August 1 coverage on the broadcast networks, as compiled by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth:

# ABC's World News Tonight. Anchor Elizabeth Vargas teased: "The President side-steps the Senate: He appoints a controversial new UN ambassador while lawmakers are on vacation."

Vargas set up the subsequent story: "Turning now to news in Washington. Today, President Bush made an end-run around Congress and appointed John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton is highly controversial. Senate Democrats had held up his confirmation for months amid allegations that he was highly critical of the UN and abusive as a manager. The President waited until Congress went on vacation to act. And ABC's White House correspondent, Terry Moran, reports."

Moran began: "John Bolton arrived at the U.S. Mission to the UN this afternoon, losing no time in taking charge there. That is precisely what President Bush wanted."
George W. Bush: "This post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially during a war and a vital debate about U.N. reform."
Moran: "So, three days after the Senate went into recess, Mr. Bush used the power the Constitution grants presidents 'to fill up all vacancies that may happen' when the Senate is not in session, and made clear he wants Bolton to take a tough approach to reforming the UN."
Bush: "His mission is now to help the U.N. reform itself, to renew its founding promises for the 21st century."
Moran: "Bolton said he looks forward to the job."
John Bolton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations: "It will be a distinct privilege to be an advocate for America's values and interests at the U.N."
Moran: "But that humility is a far cry from the harsh tone Bolton has taken towards the U.N. in the past."
Bolton Clip #1, dated February 1994: "That proposition is there is no such thing as the United Nations."
Bolton Clip #2: "The secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost 10 stories today, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), at May hearing: "We see here lack of candor."
Moran: "Bolton's blistering criticisms of the UN and his tough, even abusive, management style led Democrats and some Republicans to block his nomination, arguing that the U.S. cannot afford to alienate the international community further. Today, Bolton's critics didn't back down."
Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): "I just don't think he can do a very good job there. I think it's going to hurt the President. More importantly, going to hurt the country."
Moran: "At the UN, Secretary-General Annan offered a not-so-subtle warning to the hard-charging Bolton to go easy."
Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General: "An ambassador always has to remember that there are 190 others who will have to be convinced."
Moran concluded with some spin favorable to Bush: "But pushing the United Nations is just what President Bush wants Bolton to do. And as for the manner in which he was appointed, well, presidents from George Washington, right up through Bill Clinton, have used these recess appointments to get their nominees past the Senate, too, Elizabeth."

Vargas turned to George Stephanopoulos: "As you can imagine, reaction from those who opposed Bolton's appointment was harsh. Democrats called the recess appointment 'devious' and 'seriously flawed.' Even Republican Senator George Voinovich said the appointment will add to Bolton's lack of credibility at the UN. And ABC's George Stephanopoulos joins us. And it is true that every President has used these recess appointments."
Stephanopoulos: "No question about it, Elizabeth. They made a regular habit of it, as Terry just pointed out. But it's also true that you've never seen one for a position like this. There have been 24 UN ambassadors -- 22 of them were approved unanimously. But Democrats concede privately today, Elizabeth, that this debate has played out. It's time to move on."
Vargas: "Well, so given the way he was appointed, does this undermine his credibility, his effectiveness at the UN?"
Stephanopoulos pointed to Hillary Clinton as a role model: "Well, as one UN insider told me today, this is much more of a Washington debate than a UN debate. As far as they are concerned, as far as the Secretary-General, the ambassadors are concerned, he's the President's guy. That's all they need to know. But one insider did say he should take a page from Hillary Rodham Clinton's play book when she ran for Senate from New York: Go on a listening tour. A little of that humility that Terry showed earlier will go a long way in the UN."


# CBS Evening News. Bob Schieffer announced: "It may not be for as long as he wants, but President Bush put the man he does want at the United Nations today. Using what is called a 'recess appointment,' he named John Bolton to be UN Ambassador, which means that Bolton can serve until the current Congress adjourns at the end of next year. The action came after the Senate refused to vote on whether to confirm the controversial Bolton, and Bill Plante has our details."

Plante began: "Brushing aside objections to Bolton's combative personal style and in-your-face conservative ideology, Mr. Bush today handed him the UN job and accused Democrats of playing politics with the nomination."
George W. Bush: "And a majority of United States senators agree that he is the right man for the job. Yet, because of partisan delaying tactics by a handful of senators, John was unfairly denied the up-or-down vote that he deserves."
Plante: "Democrats and even a few Republicans oppose Bolton, not only because he's a fierce critic of the United Nations, but also because his assertive and often abrasive relations with former government colleagues earned him a reputation prized by his supporters but despised by critics."
Carl Ford, former intelligence official, at April 12 hearing: "He's a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy."
Plante: "His critics call Bolton 'a bully' and 'blunt.' The Bush White House makes a virtue of that. It calls Bolton 'results-oriented.'"
Scott McClellan: "Sometimes a Blunt style is needed in order to get things done."
Plante delivered a fairly even-handed conclusion: "And it wasn't just his personality. Democrats also focused on Bolton's request for secret communication intercepts in the run-up to the Iraq war, suggesting that he may have been on a witch hunt for U.S. officials who disagreed with him. But despite lengthy hearings, Democrats never demonstrated that Bolton had done anything improper. And tonight Bolton is already in New York and on the job. And the goal is UN reform. Democrats say that because Bolton was denied Senate confirmation he won't be effective. White House officials say the President trusts him, and that's all that matters. Bob?"

Schieffer asked Plante: "You know, when he was in the State Department during the first Bush administration, of course, he was not by any stretch of the imagination a part of Colin Powell's inner circle. Who exactly is his champion over there? Who pushed this thing, Bill?"
Plante, from the White House: "Well, Bob, Vice President Cheney, for one, because Bolton is so clearly identified with the conservative wing of the party, the base of the party. And they wanted to find a job for him in this second term, and Mr. Bush was determined that he was going to have his own man."


NBC's Campbell Brown # NBC Nightly News. Fill-in anchor Campbell Brown teased: "Done deal: President Bush makes John Bolton America's Ambassador to the UN, whether Senate Democrats like it or not."

Brown introduced the story: "And now to Washington, where President Bush is defying his opponents in the Senate. He has bypassed the confirmation process and appointed John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the UN Democrats objected to Bolton's nomination for a variety of reasons, but they were especially angry that the White House refused to release documents they said were important for the Senate's consideration. Here's NBC's chief White House correspondent David Gregory."

Gregory checked in: "The President's controversial new ambassador was booed today as he arrived at his New York office for the first time. Hours earlier, the President explained why he bypassed Senate Democrats."
George W. Bush: "This post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially during a war and a vital debate about U.N. reform."
Gregory: "But Democrats accuse Bolton of being abusive to subordinates and twisting pre-war intelligence to fit his views. One top Republican, Senator George Voinovich of Ohio, refused to support him in a committee vote."
Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), at May 12 hearing: "It is my opinion that John Bolton is the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be."
Gregory: "Today Bolton sought to quiet critics who accuse him of being difficult to manage, suggesting to the President he won't be a lone ranger."
John Bolton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations: "I am prepared to work tirelessly to carry out the agenda and initiatives that you and Secretary Rice direct."
Gregory: "With Congress out, the President used his constitutional authority to make the recess appointment, a hardball move, but hardly unique to this President. Mr. Bush has made 106 of them. Bill Clinton made 140 recess appointments. The President's father, 77. But the move is temporary. Bolton's appointment only lasts until January, 2007, when a new Congress convenes. Today Senate Democrats expressed outrage."
Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): "So to send up a nominee that has not been confirmed by the Senate, where strong objections have been raised, I think is going to hurt the President's credibility at the UN. It's going to hurt our agenda."
Gregory: "UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed Bolton, but cautioned him to work well with others."
Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General: "It is all right for one ambassador to come and push, but an ambassador always has to remember that there are 190 others."
Gregory concluded: "Undaunted, tonight White House officials say that Bolton, the first ever U.N. ambassador to get a recess appointment, is just what that body needs, a blunt diplomat who knows how to get things done."

Brown: "NBC's chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell joins me now with more on the Bolton appointment. Andrea, good evening."
Andrea Mitchell, from Washington, argued: "Good evening, Campbell. Well, the President wants John Bolton to be blunt, but he's going to have to figure out a way to get along with some of those diplomats in New York because they say they're not going to let him run roughshod over them. So if he's going to accomplish what the President wants, he's going to have to win some allies to win some votes. Campbell?"
Brown: "And, Andrea, what are some of the first challenges he is going to face in this job?"
Mitchell: "Well, specifically, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, the very issues on which he was once accused of twisting intelligence. So he's going to have to be less ideological to establish his credibility, but this man is an experienced diplomat, Campbell. He's done it before, and he is going to go with a mandate, certainly, from this President."

ABC and NBC More Sympathetic to Clinton's
Recess Appointments

Not all high-profile recess appointments are equally egregious in the eyes of the DC press corps and network news chiefs in Manhattan. While ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas complained Monday night that "President Bush made an end-run around Congress and appointed John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations" and described Bolton as "highly controversial," in 1997 ABC framed Bill Clinton's effort to make Bill Lann Lee the Assistant Attorney General in charge of civil rights as a tale of a mistreated American hero. Peter Jennings described him as "a classic example of an American success story" and Linda Douglas insisted he "seemed to be the perfect candidate to be the nation's head of civil rights." NBC's Today a provided a sympathetic interview with Lann Lee in 1997, but on Monday morning Katie Couric demanded: "So over the weekend the White House...seemed to indicate that President Bush is poised to use his recess appointment power and send John Bolton to the UN without a Senate confirmation vote. How can he do that?!"

ABC also delivered contrasting approaches to Bush versus Clinton recess appointments of judges, as recounted in the January 19, 2004 CyberAlert:

ABC's inconsistency on recess judicial appointments. On Friday night, Peter Jennings, without uttering a syllable about how Senate Democrats have used unprecedented tactics to block Bush judicial nominees or conveying anything positive about Charles Pickering's qualifications, highlighted how "Democrats accuse Pickering of opposing civil rights" while Senator Kennedy claimed "'the President's appointment serves only to emphasize again this administration's shameful opposition to civil rights.'" But back in December of 2000 when President Clinton made a recess judicial appointment, anchor Aaron Brown treated Clinton as the one fully justified in his actions in the face of Senate Republicans opposed to black nominees. Brown trumpeted how Roger Gregory "will be the first African-American on the court. The President has nominated four African-Americans to the 4th Circuit but Republicans in Congress would not hold confirmation hearings."

Jennings, in Des Moines, provided this take, on the January 16 World News Tonight, about Bush's recess appointment to a seat on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans: "The Bush administration's making news today. President Bush has unilaterally appointed a controversial judge to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Democrats are very angry that Mr. Bush installed Charles Pickering. He's used what's called a recess appointment that will last until the next Congress takes office, made when Congress was not in session. Democrats accuse Pickering of opposing civil rights and bringing a conservative agenda to the bench. Senator Kennedy said for the Democrats today, 'the President's appointment serves only to emphasize again this administration's shameful opposition to civil rights.'"

A little more than three years ago, however, then-World News Tonight anchor Aaron Brown, now with CNN, portrayed Clinton as justified in the face of race-based GOP obstructionism. On December 27, 2000 Brown intoned: "At the White House today, President Clinton bypassed Congress and appointed lawyer Roger Gregory to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Mr. Gregory will be the first African-American on the court. The President has nominated four African-Americans to the 4th Circuit but Republicans in Congress would not hold confirmation hearings. Now that Congress is not in session, Mr. Clinton used his powers to make what's called a recess appointment."

END of Reprint of previous CyberAlert

Now, contrast the World News Tonight story on Bolton, in item #1 above, to the November 6, 1997 treatment of failed Clinton nominee Bill Lann Lee, as recounted in the November 7, 1997 CyberAlert:

While Linda Douglass allowed Senator Orrin Hatch to explain his opposition, he was outnumbered four-to-one in soundbites. ABC framed the story as a tale of a mistreated American success story, not as a story of how the nominee, Bill Lann Lee, wants to further the racial spoils system and insists on fighting public will in California's Prop 209 vote. As transcribed by Geoffrey Dickens, ABC offered this sympathetic picture of a victim of conservative racial apathy:

Peter Jennings: "In Washington today there is a nasty political battle going on about the fate of a man who everyone seems to acknowledge has been, at least up until now, a classic example of an American success story. His name is Bill Lann Lee. And he is the President's choice to run the civil rights division at the Justice Department. Mr. Lee who is Asian-American has been a supporter of affirmative action as is the President. Which makes Mr. Lee's nomination the latest battleground in the campaign to end affirmative action. Here's ABC's Linda Douglas."

Linda Douglas: "Bill Lann Lee seemed to be the perfect candidate to be the nation's head of civil rights. He grew up in Harlem, the son of penniless Chinese immigrants and watched his father suffer discrimination as he worked in a laundry. But Lee went on to win a scholarship to Yale and later became one of the country's leading civil rights lawyers representing the NAACP."

Edward Kennedy: "He's devoted his life and career to finding practical solutions to real life problems of discrimination and bigotry."

Douglas: "But today the Republican Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee described Lee as an affirmative action zealot who would twist the law to fit his political agenda."

Orrin Hatch: "It's time for us to take a stand against these policies that are dividing America and ripping us apart."

Douglas: "Hatch's stance is only recent. Coming after weeks of pressure by conservative groups to defeat Lee. And last week House Speaker Newt Gingrich took the unusual step of sending a letter to the head of the Senate arguing that Lee, 'seems to ignore the color blind nature of the Constitution.' But Democrats charge Republicans are just using Lee as a way to attack President Clinton for supporting affirmative action."

Joseph Biden: "I think you all have the wrong bill. I think this is about Bill Clinton not about Bill Lee."

Douglas: "Some of Lee's defenders believe it is easier for Republicans to go after Lee because he is not black but Asian-American."

Karen Narasaki, Asian Pacific American Consortium: "The Senators have been much more aggressive about going after Bill Lee because many of them come from states where there are not large Asian-American constituencies."

Douglas: "Most Republicans chose not to speak today but with civil rights leaders looking on [video of Jesse Jackson, Mfume and others] emotions ran high. Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy choked back tears as he talked about the discrimination faced by his father, an Irish immigrant."

Pat Leahy: "There is not a Bill Lann Lee or anybody else willing to enforce a civil rights law. Had there been my father's life would have been a lot different. I do not want to see us backtrack."

Douglas: "Privately some Democrats are gleeful believing that Republican's attacks on Lee may backfire with minority voters. But many Republicans are willing to take that chance gambling that the time is right to take on President Clinton over affirmative action. Linda Douglas, ABC News, Washington."

END of Excerpt

For that item online, with a contemporary picture of Jennings: www.mediaresearch.org


Katie Couric teased Monday's Today, citing an "obscure" rule: "Then controversial nominee John Bolton may be heading to the United Nations anyway because of an obscure rule which allows the President to make an appointment while Congress is in recess. What is this all about and what's going on with John Roberts? We're gonna talk with Chris Matthews about that and much more."

Couric's first question to Matthews, as noted by the MRC's Geoff Dickens: "So over the weekend the White House, Chris, seemed to indicate that President Bush is poised to use his recess appointment power and send John Bolton to the UN without a Senate confirmation vote. How can he do that?!"
Matthews explained: "Well he can do it under the law and he can, he can make the appointment through the end of this Congress which means the earliest days of 2007. It's interesting because the title that he's getting is permanent representative to the United Nations and it won't be a permanent appointment. It will be a recess appointment only good for one Congress. He really won't have the full authority of someone like Daniel Patrick Moynihan who spoke for the whole country, not just for the President."
Couric: "So will this dilute Bolton's effectiveness if he's put in this position?"
Matthews: "Well you know you could argue this is the second time he's been passed over because Condi Rice didn't make him her number two when he clearly wanted the position. And here you have the United States Senate, basically rejecting him. And so I think this is a tough one but I think he's a strong personality, he carries the President's personal authority and he does speak with the full philosophical punch of this administration. He is a neo-conservative who believes in the war in Iraq believes in this effort to democratize the world, he's a Bush man all the way. I think that will carry some power."
Couric: "So Chris it's temporary, will ultimately he'll have to be confirmed after this period of time?"
Matthews: "If he wants the full four years. If he wants to go all the way to the end of this presidential term, yes."

Contrast that tone to Today's approach to Lann Lee on the December 12, 1997 Today, as recounted in the December 15 CyberAlert which was tracked down Monday by the MRC's Rich Noyes. An excerpt from the 1997 CyberAlert:

If you had any doubt about which side the networks will favor if President Clinton makes a recess appointment of Bill Lann Lee they should have been answered by Today's treatment of him on Friday. Co-host Matt Lauer described a recess appointment as "a solution" and failed to confront the nominee with the concerns of Republicans in the Senate.

Instead of a look at Lee's use of extortion while at the NAACP, euphemistically called "consent decrees," and continued advocacy of policies the Supreme Court has ruled impermissible, Lauer's questions painted him as a victim of conservatives out to get Clinton. Here are all of Lauer's questions from December 12 as transcribed by the MRC's Eric Darbe:

-- "You take a look at your resume and you seem like a pretty good candidate to be assistant attorney general for civil rights. But you've run into a wall in Congress. And, as you know, the problem is that some conservative Republicans think that your support of affirmative action simply doesn't work for this job. How do you convince them that you're the right guy for the job?"

-- "But some of these Republicans, Orrin Hatch among them, say look here's a guy who is going to be in the middle of the civil rights policy in this country and he has beliefs, on affirmative action, that fly in the face of what we believe, the Republicans talking here. And that also are in direct opposition to certain laws that have been passed in this country. Are you being treated fairly here?"

-- "Kind of an interesting situation here, it would be a little strange for the Republicans to expect Bill Clinton to appoint or to nominate someone for this job who is anti-affirmative action, after all the President himself is in favor of affirmative action."

-- "There's a solution here, albeit a temporary solution. The President could make you what's called a recess nominee. Which he can give you the job for a year, almost a trial run. And that way Republicans can say hey he's pretty good at this and then vote on you, a year from now. Would you accept the job under those conditions?"

-- "But your talking about Congress here, so in other words, you would take the job, you'd consider taking job even though you'd know that you do not have the support in Congress at this time?"

-- "There is talk behind the scenes, Mr. Lee, that the Republicans would be willing to give you, almost any other job, but this one. Would you be willing to walk away form this, and take another job?"

-- "Good Luck to you, Bill Lann Lee, nice to meet you."

END of Excerpt from a previous CyberAlert

Rather Stands By What He Won't Call "Memogate,"
Will Get Emmy

Dan Rather In a SmartMoney.com/Esquire "What I've Learned" first-hand recounting of thoughts from Dan Rather, such as this insight, "You trust your mother. But you cut the cards anyway," Rather complained that "many of the people" who call his scandal "memogate" are doing "so for their own partisan and/or ideological purposes." Unlike with Watergate, he insisted in the July 29 posting, "no crime was committed here" and he maintained: "The central facts in the story were correct, and they have not been denied. A pillar of support for the story has been called into question and remains in question. We don't know everything yet." Rather also claimed that "whatever mistakes" were made, "real or imagined," they "were not born of political bias nor of prejudice." Plus, an ad in Television Week out on Monday disclosed that in September Rather will be awarded with a "special" Emmy "in recognition of his years of outstanding work."

Romenesko ( www.poynter.org ) on Monday highlighted the SmartMoney.com posting of what I presume appears in the hard-copy edition of the September Esquire magazine.

Rather's paragraph, in full, on Watergate versus Memogate:
"Watergate became a shorthand word for a widespread criminal conspiracy that was led by a president of the United States. There were big constitutional values at stake. That's not to be equated with a lot of other things that have come to have gate attached at the end. Many of the people who call it [Memogate] do so for their own partisan and/or ideological purposes. No crime was committed here. The central facts in the story were correct, and they have not been denied. A pillar of support for the story has been called into question and remains in question. We don't know everything yet. More will come out. Whatever mistakes -- real or imagined -- that were made were not born of political bias nor of prejudice. Did we do it perfectly? No. Are there things I wish we'd done that we didn't do? Yes."
("Memogate" was in brackets in the posting.}

Rather made a similar argument in a June 2 appearance on CNN's Larry King Live. The Friday, June 3 MRC CyberAlert summarized: Dan Rather reiterated to CNN's Larry King on Thursday night that he believes the memos, in his National Guard hit piece on President Bush, were genuine. Rather emphasized how "the documents were part of a fairly wide array of information we had" and were "supported by all kind of things other than the documents." When King wondered, "so, are you saying the story might be correct?", Rather replied: "Well, I'm saying a prudent person might take that view." For more, go to: www.mediaresearch.org

In the Esquire piece, Rather also opined about how journalistic inaccuracy is okay: "The press is a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious."

For Rather's "What I've Learned" page in full: www.smartmoney.com

The MRC's Tim Graham noticed on Monday that a back page Television Week ad soliciting ad buyers for a special section devoted to the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, touted how two people will be "Special Honorees" at the September 19 awards ceremony to be held at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.

The Emmy Web site notes the special award planned for HBO's Sheila Nevins, but has nothing about any honor for Rather.

The ad in the just-published August 1 Television Week features pictures of Nevins and Rather under a "Special Honorees" heading. The text for Rather: "Dan Rather
"Distinguished journalist
"Recipient of a special Emmy in recognition of his years of outstanding work."

The home page for the News & Documentary Emmy Awards: www.emmyonline.org

The link to the July 7 press release, "THE 26th ANNUAL NEWS AND DOCUMENTARY EMMY AWARD NOMINEES ANNOUNCED TODAY BY THE NATIONAL TELEVISION ACADEMY: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD TO BE PRESENTED TO HBO'S SHEILA NEVINS," which made no mention of Dan Rather: www.emmyonline.org

-- Brent Baker