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Williams Sees Victories, But Frustrated by 'How's the War Going?' --6/20/2007


1. Williams Sees Victories, But Frustrated by 'How's the War Going?'
NBC anchor Brian Williams, on Tuesday's Daily Show, recognized that there are "tremendous local victories" in Iraq, but told Jon Stewart the constant suicide bombings killing scores of civilians leave him unable to answer the question: "How's the war going?" But, "when you look at the big picture you wonder how it's ever going to work?" Asked by Stewart about his March trip to Iraq, Williams offered a colorful detail about pleadings from Iraqi women as he answered: "We go to Ramadi and Iraqi women, unprompted, didn't know who I was, come up and say in Arabic to the American commander, 'please don't ever leave us. Don't leave this town.' They've gone block by block talking to the Imans, making the town safe. Same day: I fly back with an American four-star General, we get to Baghdad to hear that 93 Shia pilgrims have been killed by two vest bombers. And then you come home after eight days and people say, 'How's the war going?' And how are you ever going to sum that up? You have tremendous local victories, and yet when you look at the big picture you wonder how it's ever going to work?"

2. CBS Runs Story on U.S. Soldier Heroism With Neglected Iraqi Kids
CBS's Lara Logan performed a rare act: Reporting a story of humanitarian heroism among U.S. soldiers. Both Monday's CBS Evening News and Tuesday's Early Show ran an extensive story on some members of the 82nd Airborne rescuing neglected Iraqi orphans. The soldiers discovered malnourished children living in extremely unsanitary conditions. Logan then played soundbites of several U.S. soldiers describing the horrific conditions and even gave a human face to those serving their country. Captain Jim Cook noted he "got a little angry" and Logan reported the children are now being cared for at another facility. At the end of the report, CBS even ran footage of soldiers playing with and nurturing the children.

3. Couric: 'You Have to Respect' Carter for Sticking to Principles
On her "Couric & Co." blog, CBS anchor Katie Couric on Tuesday once again offered her love and kisses to Jimmy Carter. In the "Katie Couric's Notebook" video featured in her blog (video which airs on some CBS affiliates as an Evening News promo), Couric used the occasion of Carter being awarded an honorary doctorate of civil law from Oxford to demand of viewers that "you have to respect him for sticking to his principles."

4. NY Times Uses Unsympathetic Book on Thomas to Bash Him Some More
The cover of the Sunday New York Times Book Review, "Thomas Agonistes," heralded a review of "Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas," an unsympathetic biography of the Supreme Court justice by Washington Post reporters Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher. The Times handed the reviewing job to Orlando Patterson, a sociology professor at Harvard and long-time Thomas critic, who charged: "There is now little doubt that he lied repeatedly during his confirmation hearings -- not only about his pornophilia and bawdy humor but, more important, about his legal views and familiarity with cases like Roe v. Wade."

5. Walters Endorses Moore's Sicko: 'I Think Everybody Should See It'
Barbara Walters, who plays an objective journalist on TV, loves to offer her ringing endorsements for left wing films. About a year ago on The View, in June of 2006, Walters, upon interviewing Al Gore, asserted, "it's very important to see" An Inconvenient Truth. On Tuesday's edition of The View Walters spoke with Michael Moore and again endorsed his new socialist advocating film Sicko: "A lot of the film is about, is about the insurance companies and the condemnation of them. I just have to say, I don't usually give opinions, but whatever you're Republican or Democrat or whatever you are, this is an amazing film. I thought it was -- I think everybody should see it. When it premiered last night, you got a standing ovation. That's unusual for you. Everybody loved you." AUDIO&VIDEO See & Hear the Bias - Audio & Video Clip Archive


Correction: Some links in the June 19 CyberAlert article, "Al Neuharth: Limbaugh 'Idiotic,' Bloggers Full of 'Stupidity,'" were inaccurate. The links in the online CyberAlert posting have been corrected: www.mrc.org

Williams Sees Victories, But Frustrated
by 'How's the War Going?'

NBC anchor Brian Williams, on Tuesday's Daily Show, recognized that there are "tremendous local victories" in Iraq, but told Jon Stewart the constant suicide bombings killing scores of civilians leave him unable to answer the question: "How's the war going?" But, "when you look at the big picture you wonder how it's ever going to work?" Asked by Stewart about his March trip to Iraq, Williams offered a colorful detail about pleadings from Iraqi women as he answered: "We go to Ramadi and Iraqi women, unprompted, didn't know who I was, come up and say in Arabic to the American commander, 'please don't ever leave us. Don't leave this town.' They've gone block by block talking to the Imans, making the town safe. Same day: I fly back with an American four-star General, we get to Baghdad to hear that 93 Shia pilgrims have been killed by two vest bombers. And then you come home after eight days and people say, 'How's the war going?' And how are you ever going to sum that up? You have tremendous local victories, and yet when you look at the big picture you wonder how it's ever going to work?"

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

Two previous CyberAlert items recounted what Williams reported in March from Iraq on the NBC Nightly News. The March 6 posting, "NBC: Iraqis Want U.S. to Stay, Anti-War Effort Helping Insurgents," relayed: "Williams ran a clip of Army Colonel John Charlton proclaiming that Iraqis 'do not want us to leave' and a soundbite from Army Lt. Colonel Charles Ferry who asserted: 'The people here are very glad to see us.' Williams marveled: 'You just said, 'They don't want us to leave.' That's the tenth time today I've heard that. I've got to go back to the States and do a newscast that every night has another politician or 12 of them saying, 'We have got to get out of that godforsaken place.'" See: www.mrc.org

The next day, "NBC's Brian Williams Highlights Troops Who Support U.S. in Iraq," summarized: "On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams, reporting from Baghdad, delivered a refreshing end to the show as he showcased several U.S. troops who voiced support for their work in Iraq, and for America continuing its presence there. While Williams did present one soldier who was less than enthusiastic about the mission, other troops, featured in pre-recorded soundbites, spoke of 'staying until the job is done,' and of feeling 'proud' about helping the Iraqis." For more: www.mrc.org

The exchange about Iraq on the June 19 Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: I've come to enjoy going over there because otherwise I wouldn't be exposed to the folks who are fighting this war for us, to the folks who volunteered to fight this war for us. And I found a way to go over that guarantees my safety as much as anyone can. You know, Bob Woodruff of ABC is a very good friend of mine and I look at him and think, 'but by the grace of God.' And I was the first reporter in about six months to walk down the main drag of Ramadi. And we had F-16s overhead and gunships on either side and there were four members of the Third Infantry Division who had me to protect and I thank them for my life.
STEWART: So it is like, as Mike Pence the Congressman said, like a summer time market in Indiana. Very similar.
WILLIAMS: But I tell you what. We go to Ramadi and Iraqi women, unprompted, didn't know who I was, come up and say in Arabic to the American commander, 'please don't ever leave us. Don't leave this town.' They've gone block by block talking to the Imans, making the town safe. Same day: I fly back with an American four-star General, we get to Baghdad to hear that 93 Shia pilgrims have been killed by two vest bombers. And then you come home after eight days and people say, 'How's the war going?' And how are you ever going to sum that up? You have tremendous local victories, and yet when you look at the big picture you wonder how it's ever going to work?

CBS Runs Story on U.S. Soldier Heroism
With Neglected Iraqi Kids

CBS's Lara Logan performed a rare act: Reporting a story of humanitarian heroism among U.S. soldiers. Both Monday's CBS Evening News and Tuesday's Early Show ran an extensive story on some members of the 82nd Airborne rescuing neglected Iraqi orphans. The soldiers discovered malnourished children living in extremely unsanitary conditions. Logan then played soundbites of several U.S. soldiers describing the horrific conditions and even gave a human face to those serving their country.

Captain Jim Cook noted he "got a little angry" and Logan reported the children are now being cared for at another facility. At the end of the report, CBS even ran footage of soldiers playing with and nurturing the children.

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

The entire transcript from the June 19 Early Show:

RUSS MITCHELL: Four years of war in Iraq has taken many innocent lives. But last week, U.S. Troops saved some two dozen special needs children who apparently were victims of their caretakers' greed. We should note that some of the pictures in the following report are fairly graphic. CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan is live in Baghdad with this exclusive story. Lara, good morning.

LARA LOGAN: Good morning, Russ. Well, after our story aired on CBS, we're told by Prime Minister Maliki's office that he met with his senior advisers. He has ordered personally two separate investigations to be carried out by the Ministries of Health and Labor. He knows that he has to act quickly in this situation. This was a very distressing scene for both the Iraqi soldiers and the American soldiers who made this terrible discovery. This was the scene that shocked battle-hardened soldiers, captured in photographs obtained by CBS News. On a daytime patrol in central Baghdad, just over a week ago, a U.S. military advisory team and Iraqi soldiers happened to look over a wall and found something horrific.
STAFF SERGEANT MITCHELL GIBSON, USA: They saw multiple bodies laying on the floor of the facility. They thought they were all dead, so they threw a basketball, tried to get some attention and actually one of the kids lifted up their head and tilted over and looked and then just went backdown. So they said, "oh, they're alive" so they went into the building.
LOGAN: Inside the building, a government-run orphanage for special needs children, they found more emaciated little bodies tied to the cribs.
STAFF SERGEANT MICHAEL BEAL, USA: I saw children that you could see literally every bone in their body, they were so skinny, had no energy to move whatsoever, no expression on their face.
LIEUTENANT STEPHEN DUPERRE, USA: Kids were tied up, naked, covered in their own-
LOGAN: Feces?
DUPERRE: Waste. Feces.
LOGAN: It didn't stop there. The soldiers found kitchen shelves packed with food and in the stockroom, rows of brand-new clothing still in their plastic wrapping. Instead of giving it to the boys, the soldiers believe it was being sold to local markets. This is the man in charge, the orphanage caretaker. His well-kept office shown in this photo, a stark contrast to the terrible conditions just outside this room.
CAPTAIN JIM COOK, USA: My first thought when I walked in there was shock. And then I, I got a little angry that they were treating the kids like that. And then that's just when everybody started getting upset.
LOGAN: Nothing more emotional than finding this boy who Army medics didn't expect to survive. For Staff Sergeant Gibson that was the hardest part.
GIBSON: Seeing this boy that was here where we're standing with thousands of flies covering his body, unable to move any part of his body. You know, we had to actually hold his head up and tilt his head to make sure that he was okay. The only thing basically that was moving was his eyeballs, flies in the mouth, in the eyes, in the nose, ears, eating all of the open wounds, from sleeping on the concrete.
LOGAN: In this boiling sun here?
GIBSON: Yes.
LOGAN: I mean, it's well over 100 degrees.
GIBSON: 120 or so, yes.
LOGAN: Hard to believe that this is the same boy one week later. Now clean and being cared for, along with all the other boys in a different orphanage, located only a few minutes away from where they suffered their ordeal. When we visited the orphanage with the soldiers, it was clear the boys had been starved of human contact as much as anything else. Some still had marks on their ankles from where they were tied. Since only one boy can talk, it's impossible to know what terrible memories they might have locked away. This is a tough test for the Iraqi government. How a nation cares for its most vulnerable is one of the most important benchmarks for the health of any society. Lara Logan, CBS News, Baghdad. When we watched this story with some of our Iraqi colleagues and friends here, Russ, they could hardly look at the pictures. And they found it very difficult to come to terms with the fact that this could happen to their own children inside their own country. Russ.
MITCHELL: Lara, it is very hard to watch. Let me ask you something. What happens to these kids at this point?
LOGAN: Well, they're now being housed temporarily in this other orphanage which is a much better facility. The conditions are far better. As you saw there, the children are clean. They're being fed. Their basic needs are being taken care of. But they're only there temporarily. This orphanage lacks money, just like everything else in Iraq. They're worried about security. They lack the resources and proper medical resources to take care of these children properly. And so they're desperately in need of help and hoping the Maliki government will be able to give that to them. So really, the future for these boys is quite undecided at this point.
MITCHELL: You've seen a lot obviously in your time in Baghdad. What was your reaction when you went to that orphanage and saw these kids after viewing those horrible pictures?
LOGAN: You know, it's the only thing that you can cling to is the fact that they're in a much better situation. I just -- I couldn't believe how much better they were doing. When you think that it was only a week before that they were really on death's door. And the recovery that they made, just on having food and water and being treated like human beings, was nothing short of a miracle. But what was quite overwhelming was how forgiving the children were. They wanted human contact and attention more than they seemed to want anything else, Russ.

Couric: 'You Have to Respect' Carter
for Sticking to Principles

On her "Couric & Co." blog, CBS anchor Katie Couric on Tuesday once again offered her love and kisses to Jimmy Carter. In the "Katie Couric's Notebook" video featured in her blog (video which airs on some CBS affiliates as an Evening News promo), Couric used the occasion of Carter being awarded an honorary doctorate of civil law from Oxford to demand of viewers that "you have to respect him for sticking to his principles." Tell that to President Bush. She began by citing another Carter cheerleader:
"Historian Douglas Brinkley says he used the White House as a stepping stone for greater things. He intervened in civil wars around the globe, monitored elections, and confronted dictators. And Carter's work for Habitat for Humanity shows that even for someone who was once the most powerful man on Earth there's no higher calling than helping your neighbor. To cap it all in 2002, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Of course he's been outspoken, criticizing President Bush and equating some Israeli policies with apartheid. And critics have accused of acting decidedly unpresidential. Agree with him or not, you have to respect him for sticking to his principles. At 82, Jimmy Carter is having an impact, still, perhaps even more than when he was President. That's a page from my notebook."

[This item, by Tim Graham, was posted Wednesday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

This will attract viewers to watch your newscast? Telling them you're a big liberal fan of Jimmy Carter? Even Couric didn't attempt to defend Carter's presidency. It's a little hard to argue he was "once the most powerful man on Earth" when he couldn't solve the Iranian hostage abduction and he couldn't solve rampant inflation and growing unemployment and he couldn't stop the Soviet Union from expanding its empire. That's why Couric had to employ the lame "agree with him or not, you have to respect him" defense. She certainly didn't note that Carter called President Bush the worst President in our history, a title many would rather pin on him.

If CBS canned its "Free Speech" segment because CBS insiders couldn't handle Rush Limbaugh or other conservatives getting a rare shot on its airwaves, why is CBS still promoting Katie's unopposed liberal pom-pom jobs?

For Couric's blog/video "notebook," go to: www.cbsnews.com

NY Times Uses Unsympathetic Book on Thomas
to Bash Him Some More

The cover of the Sunday New York Times Book Review, "Thomas Agonistes," heralded a review of "Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas," an unsympathetic biography of the Supreme Court justice by Washington Post reporters Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher. The Times handed the reviewing job to Orlando Patterson, a sociology professor at Harvard and long-time Thomas critic, who charged: "There is now little doubt that he lied repeatedly during his confirmation hearings -- not only about his pornophilia and bawdy humor but, more important, about his legal views and familiarity with cases like Roe v. Wade."

[This item, by Clay Waters, was posted Tuesday on the MRC's TimesWatch site: www.timeswatch.org

Patterson no doubt made the Times happy with vitriol like this (before even addressing the actual book):
"Thus, although he seriously believes that his extremely conservative legal opinions are in the best interests of African-Americans, and yearns to be respected by them, he is arguably one of the most viscerally despised people in black America. It is incontestable that he has benefited from affirmative action at critical moments in his life, yet he denounces the policy and has persuaded himself that it played little part in his success. He berates disadvantaged people who view themselves as victims of racism and preaches an austere individualism, yet harbors self-pitying feelings of resentment and anger at his own experiences of racism. His ardent defense of states' rights would have required him to uphold Virginia's anti-miscegenation law, not to mention segregated education, yet he lives with a white wife in Virginia. He is said to dislike light-skinned blacks, yet he is the legal guardian of a biracial child, the son of one of his numerous poor relatives. He frequently preaches the virtues of honesty and truthfulness, yet there is now little doubt that he lied repeatedly during his confirmation hearings -- not only about his pornophilia and bawdy humor but, more important, about his legal views and familiarity with cases like Roe v. Wade."

For the June 17 review: www.nytimes.com

Matthew Franck at National Review Online took apart Patterson's ignorance of Thomas's actual judicial record and concluded: "I suppose the editors of the NYTBR knew they could count on Orlando Patterson to loathe Clarence Thomas, and that's all they cared about. But don't you think they could have at least found a Thomas-hater who has read one or two of his opinions?" See: bench.nationalreview.com

Walters Endorses Moore's Sicko: 'I Think
Everybody Should See It'

Barbara Walters, who plays an objective journalist on TV, loves to offer her ringing endorsements for left wing films. About a year ago on The View, in June of 2006, Walters, upon interviewing Al Gore, asserted, "it's very important to see" An Inconvenient Truth. On Tuesday's edition of The View Walters spoke with Michael Moore and again endorsed his new socialist advocating film Sicko: "A lot of the film is about, is about the insurance


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companies and the condemnation of them. I just have to say, I don't usually give opinions, but whatever you're Republican or Democrat or whatever you are, this is an amazing film. I thought it was -- I think everybody should see it. When it premiered last night, you got a standing ovation. That's unusual for you. Everybody loved you."

For "Walters Promotes Gore's 'Compelling, Horrifying' Global Warming," see the July 7, 2006 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

[This item is adapted from a posting, by Justin McCarthy, on the MRC's NewsBusters.org blog: newsbusters.org ]

The View was more balanced than usual Tuesday with conservative activist Star Parker alongside Elisabeth Hasselbeck. However, that did not stop Walters from asserting her authority over the guest co-host. Through the course of the June 19 Michael Moore interview, Walters along with Joy Behar, cut off Parker in a fashion similar to how Rosie O'Donnell treated Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

WALTERS (TO STAR PARKER): Excuse me, can I just ask my question? I know we, we promised each other that we would try to each one get a question
STAR PARKER: That's true.
WALTERS: Okay, fine (looking pack to Parker)
PARKER: (laughing)
[...]
PARKER: Thank you. I get to ask my question, because, you know, it's a real complicated issue. Because I did watch the film and I thought about the points that you were making. It's so personal. But my question is about the socialized medicine part going into other countries to decide it. But I want to preface it with okay, what we have in our country now, you know, you mentioned the 47 million that our uninsured. That down the households, that's about ten percent of Americans. Ten percent have no insurance. Then you have about ten percent that are like people like myself, who go and buy their insurance on the open market. And there are complications there, of course, because I can't buy across state lines-
JOY BEHAR: What's your question?
WALTERS: This has to do with socialized medicine. That's what you're talking about.
PARKER: I'm getting to it. Now, there's two other segments. 80 percent of Americans have their employer buys their insurance for them. And that's the ones where you're talking HMO's. They have complications because a third party is paying the bill.
WALTERS: Star, darling, would you ask your question?
PARKER: Socialized medicine, the other half. I lived in that. I lived on welfare. That other half, 50 percent of that group the government already pays for. My question is, why would you go to a foreign country, you know you talk about-
BEHAR: Got the question.

-- Brent Baker