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Unlike Other Nets, ABC Again Refuses to Tag Hamas as "Terrorist" --1/27/2006


1. Unlike Other Nets, ABC Again Refuses to Tag Hamas as "Terrorist"
While CBS and NBC reporters were willing Thursday night to outright tag, without any qualifiers or attributions to others, Hamas as a "terrorist" group, for the second night in a row, ABC's World News Tonight distanced itself from the term -- even avoiding it during a friendly profile of a terrorist. ABC anchor Bob Woodruff teased from Jerusalem: "Tonight, a monumental shake-up in the Middle East. Hamas declared the winner of the Palestinian elections. The U.S. calls them terrorists." But that was it for the label. Woodruff proceeded to refer to Hamas as "the militant Islamic group that calls for the destruction of Israel" and he conceded "there is no question that Hamas is more militant and more overtly Islamic than the secular leaders it defeated." Woodruff also noted that "through its military wing," Hamas "has led the fight against Israel," but he then put a nice and generous face on Hamas, adding that "through its charities" Hamas has "provided free schooling, medicine and food." Without calling her or her murdering sons either "murderers" or "terrorists," Wilf Dinnick touted the "sacrifice" for the cause of the mother of suicide bombers: "She vowed to do whatever Hamas asks of her....And if that means sacrificing her three remaining sons, Um Nidal says she's willing."

2. CBS Evening News Picks Up on Majority Backing of Eavesdropping
Despite the decision by the editors of CBSNews.com not to highlight the finding in a new CBS News/New York Times poll, of how 61 percent believe President Bush authorized wiretaps in order to "fight terrorism," with just 29 percent saying he did it just to "expand the powers of the presidency," on Thursday's CBS Evening News John Roberts alerted viewers to the finding. Roberts relayed: "On the NSA spying program, President Bush went into today's press conference with a boost. A new CBS News/New York Times poll found 61 percent of Americans believe the eavesdropping is meant to fight terror and the majority support that [53 percent back Bush authorizing wiretaps]." When Roberts ended his piece, anchor Bob Schieffer marveled at how "it looks to me as if the President has decided to make this a political issue to show that he is strong in the fight against terrorism and perhaps the Democrats are weak. And I must say, looking at that poll, he may be succeeding."

3. NYT's Dowd: Clinton's Lies "Endearing," Bush "Lies" In His Bubble
Appearing on Keith Olbermann's Thursday January 26 Countdown show on MSNBC, while comparing President Bush's words on his NSA wiretapping program with Bill Clinton's "lying," New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd made known her view that she found Bill Clinton's lying "poignant and endearing" because "when Bill Clinton would deceive, he would throw in a semantic clue that let you know he was deceiving." She further added that "He would let you know he was lying, and then the right wing would come down so hard on him and over-punish him." Regarding Bush's citation of Iraq's liberation as a major justification for the war in the absence of WMD, Dowd pontificated that "you cannot do things that start with a lie, and they just lead to trouble down the road."

4. Mike Wallace: "I Was the House Conservative at CBS News"
Catching up with a claim from a couple of weeks ago, on Tim Russert's weekend CNBC show back on January 14, CBS's Mike Wallace, who said that he voted for Richard Nixon in 1960 and 1968, insisted that "I was the house conservative at CBS News for a while." If he's what people at CBS consider conservative...


Unlike Other Nets, ABC Again Refuses
to Tag Hamas as "Terrorist"

While CBS and NBC reporters were willing Thursday night to outright tag, without any qualifiers or attributions to others, Hamas as a "terrorist" group, for the second night in a row, ABC's World News Tonight distanced itself from the term -- even avoiding it during a friendly profile of a terrorist. ABC anchor Bob Woodruff teased from Jerusalem: "Tonight, a monumental shake-up in the Middle East. Hamas declared the winner of the Palestinian elections. The U.S. calls them terrorists." But that was it for the label. Woodruff proceeded to refer to Hamas as "the militant Islamic group that calls for the destruction of Israel" and he conceded "there is no question that Hamas is more militant and more overtly Islamic than the secular leaders it defeated." Woodruff also noted that "through its military wing," Hamas "has led the fight against Israel," but he then put a nice and generous face on Hamas, adding that "through its charities" Hamas has "provided free schooling, medicine and food."

Following his opening story on the election victory by Hamas, Woodruff set up a piece on how "one of its most-celebrated figures," a woman who won a seat, "is a mother who sent her sons to their deaths." With "A Bombers' Mother" as the on-screen tag, Wilf Dinnick provided a non-judgmental look at how "Palestinians voted for Miriam Farahat because she's made astonishing sacrifices in her quest to destroy Israel. Farahat has sent three of her six sons on suicide missions. That's why her supporters call her Um Nidal, the 'Mother of the Struggle.'" Without ever calling her or her murdering sons either "murderers" or "terrorists," Dinnick concluded with her "sacrifice" for the cause: "Today, she vowed to do whatever Hamas asks of her. 'I am ready to serve,' she says. And if that means sacrificing her three remaining sons, Um Nidal says she's willing."

[This item was posted Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To post your comments, go to: newsbusters.org ]

(Good Morning America tri-host Robin Roberts apparently didn't get the memo about not calling Hamas "terrorist." At the top of the 8am half hour on Thursday's GMA, the MRC's Brian Boyd noticed, Roberts reported: "Big news while you were sleeping. Overnight the stunning results in the Palestinian election. Surprise victory for the terror group Hamas." But seconds later, news reader Kate Snow returned the show to Woodruff-mode as she distanced herself from the description: "A stunning upset this morning in the Middle East. Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group, looks to be the big winner in the Palestinian parliamentary elections.")

A promo, aired during Thursday's World News Tonight, touted Woodruff's insights: "Right at the moment history is made in the Middle East, Bob Woodruff is again right there. The only network news anchor on the scene with the unmatched reporting you can only get by being there, live inside the story."

On the January 26 CBS Evening News, anchor Bob Schieffer echoed Woodruff as he cited "Hamas, which the United States brands a terrorist organization." But from the Palestinian territories, CBS reporter David Hawkins didn't hesitate to refer to "the terrorist group's landslide win." NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams declared outright in his tease: "The terrorist group Hamas wins the Palestinian elections." Introducing his lead story, Williams reported that "the Palestinian elections had defied the exit polls and swung the other way to Hamas, a terrorist group." NBC reporter Martin Flectcher described Hamas as "Islamic militants" and as "a fundamentalist Muslim group devoted to the destruction of Israel."

On Wednesday's World News Tonight, Woodruff asserted: "Hamas, which the U.S. calls a terrorist organization..." See: www.mediaresearch.org

In this NewsBusters.org item, "Can Journalists Read the Hamas Charter Before They Go Soft on the T-Word?", Tim Graham provides text from the Hamas charter: newsbusters.org

Transcripts from Thursday night, January 26 coverage of Hamas, with the ABC transcripts provided by Brad Wilmouth, who corrected the closed-captioning against the video:

# CBS Evening News. Bob Schieffer's lead:
"Well, the Palestinian group that has vowed to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth has scored a solid victory in parliamentary elections. Hamas, which the United States brands a terrorist organization, will have outright control of the Palestinian government. That will radically change the whole Middle East equation and the prospects for peace, and it puts the United States in an extremely awkward position. We begin our coverage with David Hawkins in Gaza."
David Hawkins: "Hamas supporters are celebrating their victory."
Celebrating man leaning out of car: "Now Hamas is government!"
Hawkins: "While the rest of the world wonders whether the terrorist group's landslide win will bury all hope for Middle East peace. In a statement tonight, acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insisted that 'Israel will not negotiate with any Palestinian administration if even a part of it is an armed terrorist organization.'..."


# NBC Nightly News. Brian Williams teased:
"Power struggle. The terrorist group Hamas wins the Palestinian elections, but President Bush says the U.S. won't do business with them. Now what?"
Williams soon opened his newscast: "Good evening. We have news on several fronts tonight, in part because for the 22nd time in his presidency, President Bush today took questions from the White House press corps. He was asked about the domestic surveillance controversy, about New Orleans, and most immediately about the news overnight that the Palestinian elections had defied the exit polls and swung the other way to Hamas, a terrorist group. That is a big problem for the U.S., just as it was a big surprise around the world. The President has vowed not to do business with Hamas, so we'll begin there with NBC's Martin Fletcher."
Fletcher began: "Even Hamas was stunned by its landslide victory. The Islamic militants won 76 out of 132 seats. It can form a majority government all on its own. But Hamas leaders quickly offered to share power with the defeated Fatah party. Fatah leaders said no. After 40 years of dominating Palestinian life, the party of Yasser Arafat is out."
Saed Erekat, Palestinian peace negotiator: "We will not be part of any national unity government."
Fletcher: "And the future of President Mahmoud Abbas is in doubt. Democracy in the Palestinian territories has brought to power a fundamentalist Muslim group devoted to the destruction of Israel and the creation of an Islamic state..."


# ABC's World News Tonight. Bob Woodruff, in opening teaser:
"I'm Bob Woodruff in Jerusalem. Tonight, a monumental shake-up in the Middle East. Hamas declared the winner of the Palestinian elections. The U.S. calls them terrorists. What will it mean for the region and the chances for peace?"
Woodruff led: "Good evening from Jerusalem. We begin tonight with a sea change in the Middle East. Hamas, the militant Islamic group that calls for the destruction of Israel, has won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in a landslide. Out of 132 seats, Hamas took 76, compared to 43 for Fatah, the party of Yasser Arafat, which has ruled Palestinian politics for four decades. Fatah's Prime Minister and cabinet immediately resigned. President Bush said he will not deal with Hamas until it recognizes Israel's right to exist. But no one doubts Hamas was elected fairly and freely in a part of the world where it doesn't happen very often.
"Across the West Bank and Gaza today, the green flags of Hamas flowed through the city streets. Thousands packed into downtown Ramallah, chanting and firing in the air. Outside the Palestinian parliament, there was violence. Supporters of Fatah, stunned by their defeat, moved in with stones and fists after someone raised a Hamas flag over the building. Fatah officials, who have ruled the Palestinians for 41 years, were stunned. Long-serving peace negotiator Saeb Erekat went to bed last night thinking Fatah had won."
Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator: "This was a major shock for me. I woke up this morning to find the skies of my hometown green and to find a new political era, a new political life."
Woodruff: "There is no question that Hamas is more militant and more overtly Islamic than the secular leaders it defeated. At today's celebrations, the men marched in front, the women followed, nearly all of them their heads covered. Hamas won this election largely because many Palestinians believe Fatah's government failed. 'I am so happy Hamas won,' this woman told us. 'We tried Fatah, and they just didn't get the job done.' Fatah did little to end the Israeli occupation or lift its people out of poverty. But Hamas, through its military wing, has led the fight against Israel and, through its charities, provided free schooling, medicine and food. Palestinians are desperate for change."
Unidentified Palestinian man: "We tried Fatah for ten years, and nothing happened in this country."
Woodruff: "The Israeli government said today it would not negotiate with Hamas. Hardliner Benjamin Netanyahu, who is running for Prime Minister again, seized the political moment to sound this alarm: 'In front of our eyes is being created "Hamas-stan,"' he said, 'worse than Iran and in the image of the Taliban.' In downtown Jerusalem, the concern was more measured."
Unidentified man: "I don't know what will happen now with a terror organization leading the Palestinian Authority. It doesn't seem good."
Woodruff: "But tonight, the question of good and bad ultimately depends on what Hamas does with its power. It has been swept in by a clean election on a wave of popularity and by people who have grown tired of infighting and corruption. The expectations and the stakes here are very high."

Woodruff moved directly to a second story: "Hamas, in the past, has used suicide bombings to devastating effect. And one of its most-celebrated figures is a mother who sent her sons to their deaths. Tonight, she is an elected official. Here's ABC's Wilf Dinnick."
Wilf Dinnick: "It doesn't matter that she has no political experience. Palestinians voted for Miriam Farahat because she's made astonishing sacrifices in her quest to destroy Israel. Farahat has sent three of her six sons on suicide missions. That's why her supporters call her Um Nidal, the 'Mother of the Struggle.' In this Hamas video, she shows her 17-year-old how to attack Israelis. Just hours later, he shot and killed five students in this Jewish settlement. Then, he was killed himself. 'I love my children,' she says, 'but, as Muslims, we sacrifice our emotions to build a nation for the Palestinian people.' Wherever she campaigned, people said it was the way she gave up her children for her nation, with no tears, that won their support. And this week they rewarded her with their votes.
"Now that Um Nidal has been elected to the Palestinian parliament, the question is: Will she end her violent campaign against Israel? Today, she vowed to do whatever Hamas asks of her. 'I am ready to serve,' she says. And if that means sacrificing her three remaining sons, Um Nidal says she's willing. Wilf Dinnick, ABC News, Gaza."

CBS Evening News Picks Up on Majority
Backing of Eavesdropping

Despite the decision by the editors of CBSNews.com not to highlight the finding in a new CBS News/New York Times poll, of how 61 percent believe President Bush authorized wiretaps in order to "fight terrorism," with just 29 percent saying he did it just to "expand the powers of the presidency," on Thursday's CBS Evening News John Roberts alerted viewers to the finding. Roberts relayed: "On the NSA spying program, President Bush went into today's press conference with a boost. A new CBS News/New York Times poll found 61 percent of Americans believe the eavesdropping is meant to fight terror and the majority support that [53 percent back Bush authorizing wiretaps]." When Roberts ended his piece, anchor Bob Schieffer marveled at how "it looks to me as if the President has decided to make this a political issue to show that he is strong in the fight against terrorism and perhaps the Democrats are weak. And I must say, looking at that poll, he may be succeeding."

Just as the CBS Evening News went on the air in the East, CBSNews.com posted a rundown of the survey, "Poll: Bush's Approval Remains Low." But it did not include any mention (and still does not as of 11pm EST [nor at 11am EST Friday]) of the public backing for Bush on what the media have portrayed as scandalous illegality. Instead, the home page posting highlighted the findings on Bush's approval rating, the administration's plans for Katrina victims, the Iraq war, the Jack Abramoff case, rating of Congress and the condition of the health care system. An accompanying PDF of the complete poll results, "The Bush Presidency and the State of the Union: January 20-25, 2006," included the NSA eavesdropping findings.

For the CBSNews.com article on the poll: www.cbsnews.com

For the PDF rundown of the complete poll results: www.cbsnews.com

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

Joining, in progress, Roberts' January 26 story on the Bush press conference, as he arrived at the poll numbers which were displayed on screen:

Roberts: "On the NSA spying program, President Bush went into today's press conference with a boost. A new CBS News/New York Times poll found 61 percent of Americans believe the eavesdropping is meant to fight terror [compared to 29 percent who said "expand presidential power"] and the majority support that [53 percent back Bush authorizing wiretaps]. The President insisted again today he's on solid legal ground and was skeptical about increasing talk in Congress to write new laws covering the program."
President Bush, at his morning press conference: "If the attempt to write law makes this program, is likely to expose the nature of the program, I'll resist it. Why tell the enemy what we're doing? If the program is necessary to protect us from the enemy."
Roberts: "Even if Congress were to write new laws, the larger question is, would President Bush feel obligated to conduct the eavesdropping only under those rules? From a legal standpoint not likely. But the Congress gives him everything he needs, political pressures may dictate that he has to. Bob?"
Schieffer: "You know John, it looks to me as if the President has decided to make this a political issue to show that he is strong in the fight against terrorism and perhaps the Democrats are weak. And I must say, looking at that poll, he may be succeeding."
Roberts: "A political issue and a national security issue which history would show the President does very well on. You take a look at that poll, the majority of Americans think if it's directed at terrorism it's the right thing to do, Bob."

NYT's Dowd: Clinton's Lies "Endearing,"
Bush "Lies" In His Bubble

Appearing on Keith Olbermann's Thursday January 26 Countdown show on MSNBC, while comparing President Bush's words on his NSA wiretapping program with Bill Clinton's "lying," New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd made known her view that she found Bill Clinton's lying "poignant and endearing" because "when Bill Clinton would deceive, he would throw in a semantic clue that let you know he was deceiving." She further added that "He would let you know he was lying, and then the right wing would come down so hard on him and over-punish him." Regarding Bush's citation of Iraq's liberation as a major justification for the war in the absence of WMD, Dowd pontificated that "you cannot do things that start with a lie, and they just lead to trouble down the road."

[This item, by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, was posted Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To share your views, go to: newsbusters.org ]

The segment started as Olbermann brought aboard Dowd to discuss Oprah Winfrey's apology for pushing discredited author James Frey's fraudulent book. The Countdown host drew parallels between Oprah's apology on her show earlier in the day and Bush's almost simultaneous news conference to answer critics of his controversial NSA spying program. When Olbermann turned his attention to Bush's news conference, he implied that Bush should perhaps apologize for the NSA program: "Maureen, right now, we want to look at a televised event in which nothing close to an apology was even hinted at."

After playing clips from the news conference, including Bush's awkward response to one question, Olbermann quipped that "the President will never know that he writes part of my newscast for me every night" and that "it sounded as if the burden of his version of what the definition of 'is' is got to be too much for him today, and he was ready to punt on that one."

Olbermann later mocked the administration's attempts to emphasize the international nature of the eavesdropping, posing the question: "Is not the whole idea of this definition, international versus domestic, is this not by itself a red herring? I mean, you could call it intergalactic spying, and the issue is the legality, not the name, right?" Dowd argued that the reason the administration is trying to expand presidential power is because Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld "felt emasculated" when, during their time in the Ford administration, presidential powers were shrunk.

Olbermann then moved on to wonder if former President Clinton had somehow set a precedent for Bush's conduct: "Who has enabled this? I mean, in a perverse way, is it almost necessary to say that Bill Clinton paved the way for George Bush to conduct a kind of fingers-in-his-ears, shout la-la-la-la-la presidency?"

Dowd then got her chance to compliment Clinton's style of deception: "No, they're two entirely different things because when Bill Clinton would deceive, he would throw in a semantic clue that let you know he was deceiving. 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman.' We knew what he meant by that. You know, 'I did not,' about dope, 'I didn't break the laws of this country.' So it was sort of poignant and endearing. He would let you know he was lying, and then the right wing would come down so hard on him and over-punish him. And in the case of Bush, he's just in a completely different reality. You know, they call us the 'reality-based community,' and they create their own reality, and so Bush is just in a bubble. And when you're in the bubble, you don't know you're in the bubble."

Concluding her appearance, Dowd more directly accused Bush of lying as she contrasted Oprah's initial defense of the discredited Frey with Bush's defense of the Iraq invasion after the failure to find WMD: "When Oprah was clinging to supporting Frey, she was doing it for the reason of emotional truth, that millions of people could be helped by his story of redemption. And Bush, with Iraq, said that we, even if it turned out not to be true, the reasons we went to war, it was right because millions of Iraqis would be liberated. But you cannot, you know, do things that start with a lie, and they just lead to trouble down the road."

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the January 26 Countdown show:

Olbermann, at about 8:06pm EST: "And what happens to the two careers here? What happens now to Oprah Winfrey's credibility? What happens to what's left of James Frey's credibility?"
Maureen Dowd: "Well, Oprah Winfrey, who I think probably already had more credibility than the President, her credibility goes up because, unlike the President, she's willing to admit that, you know, she made a mistake and face up to it and, you know, she's the man. And Frey will do fine because I don't think anyone cares, including, you know, his publisher, whether it's truth or fiction."

Olbermann, at about 8:09pm EST: "Maureen, right now, we want to look at a televised event in which nothing close to an apology was even hinted at, so if you would stand by for a second, we'll get your reaction to this, but let me first give the headline. The President unexpectedly stepping up to the White House Press Room podium today in day four of the high-intensity push to tamp down the controversy over the warrantless domestic spying or, as the White House calls it, the 'international spying,' on phone calls and e-mails that either began or finished inside this country. 'The program is legal,' the President said. 'It's designed to protect civil liberties, and it's not domestic. Not, not, not.'"
Unidentified female reporter: "Members of your administration have said that the secret eavesdropping program might have prevented the September 11th attacks, but the people who hijacked the planes on September 11th had been in this country for years, having domestic phone calls and e-mails. So how specifically can you say that?"
George W. Bush: "Well, Michael Hayden said that because he believes that had we had the capacity to listen to the phone calls from those from San Diego and elsewhere, we might have gotten information necessary to prevent the attack, and that's what he was referring to."
Unidentified woman: "But they were domestic calls."
Bush: "No, domestic, outside. We will not listen inside this country. It is a call from al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda affiliates either from inside the country out or outside the country in, but not domestically."
Olbermann: "And we will analyze the President's entire news conference at length later in the hour. But first, again, Maureen Dowd, the President will never know that he writes part of my newscast for me every night, but right there, it sounded as if the burden of his version of what the definition of 'is' is got to be too much for him today, and he was ready to punt on that one."
Dowd: "Well, it's simply already been proven not to be true. The Times did a fantastic story where they interviewed, you know, FBI agents involved in the case, and already there have been a lot of domestic domestic calls and innocent Americans swept up. And, you know, I know a reporter who the FBI showed up at his door and went in to interview his son, and it turned out that in connection with his work, he had called Al-Jazeera headquarters in Qatar, and he was being swept up. And the FBI didn't even know that the name of the person they were looking for was an official of Al-Jazeera. So you're dealing with the FBI and CIA who have bumbled so badly in everything in the last six years. We want to give them more unlimited powers? I don't think so."
Olbermann: "On several occasions in the last few years, this White House has seemingly defied this idea that a lot of societies have been held together by that no man can hold back the tide. They're going to stand there, they're going to try to do exactly that. If it doesn't really work, they'll say, well, yeah, it did work, you're wrong. And if you question them about that, they'll get you into a semantical discussion. Is not the whole idea of this definition, international versus domestic, is this not by itself a red herring? I mean, you could call it intergalactic spying, and the issue is the legality, not the name, right?"
Dowd, laughing: "Don't give Cheney and Rummy ideas. They're going to be doing intergalactic spying. It's all a red herring. What this is about, Dick Cheney wants to throw off all of these rules. He wants to go to war without permission, he wants to torture without permission, he wants to snoop without permission because he and Rummy were Ford officials at a time when presidential power shrank. They felt emasculated. They did not like it. They stewed about it for 30 years. Now they are trying to do everything they can to expand presidential power. So they're doing exactly what they want to."
Olbermann: "Who has enabled this? I mean, in a perverse way, is it almost necessary to say that Bill Clinton paved the way for George Bush to conduct a kind of fingers-in-his-ears, shout la-la-la-la-la presidency?"
Dowd: "No, they're two entirely different things because when Bill Clinton would deceive, he would throw in a semantic clue that let you know he was deceiving. 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman.' We knew what he meant by that. You know, 'I did not,' about dope, 'I didn't break the laws of this country.' So it was sort of poignant and endearing. He would let you know he was lying, and then the right wing would come down so hard on him and overpunish him. And in the case of Bush, he's just in a completely different reality. You know, they call us the 'reality-based community,' and they create their own reality, and so Bush is just in a bubble. And when you're in the bubble, you don't know you're in the bubble."
Olbermann: "If you would be so kind, wrap this up, tie this story of Mr. Bush's current conundrum with the Oprah Winfrey-James Frey thing. Is there something the President could learn from Ms. Winfrey or even from James Frey?"
Dowd: "Well, Tom Scocca did a brilliant piece in the New York Observer when he said when Oprah was clinging to supporting Frey, she was doing it for the reason of emotional truth, that millions of people could be helped by his story of redemption. And Bush, with Iraq, said that we, even if it turned out not to be true, the reasons we went to war, it was right because millions of Iraqis would be liberated. But you cannot, you know, do things that start with a lie, and they just lead to trouble down the road."
Olbermann: "Well, maybe he can get a book out of it."

Mike Wallace: "I Was the House Conservative
at CBS News"

Catching up with a claim from a couple of weeks ago, on Tim Russert's weekend CNBC show back on January 14, CBS's Mike Wallace, who said that he voted for Richard Nixon in 1960 and 1968, insisted that "I was the house conservative at CBS News for a while." If he's what people at CBS consider conservative...

The MRC's Geoff Dickens caught this exchange on the program which runs Saturday nights at 7pm, 10pm and 1am EST:

Tim Russert: "Did you find him [Richard Nixon], in his own way, more personable than Jack Kennedy in terms of one-on-one conversations?"
Mike Wallace: "Well, I, the, you know, my conversations with Jack Kennedy weren't that, we weren't, we didn't spend that much time together as, as adults. I spent a lot of time with Richard Nixon, and he, I think he really genuinely liked me and, and was serious about wanting me to come aboard. And, of course, I voted for him."
Russert: "In 1960?"
Wallace: "Yeah."
Russert: "Against Jack Kennedy?"
Wallace: "That's correct."
Russert: "Wow! What about in '68 against Humphrey? You were a Nixon man."
Wallace: "I was a Nixon man, yeah. No, you know, we of the liberal media, which you hear all the time, no, no, I was, I was the house conservative at the CBS News for a while."

I guess CBS hasn't had a "house conservative" since 1968.

-- Brent Baker