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CBS Uses Fires to Remind Viewers Bush 'Never Stopped' for Katrina --10/29/2007


1. CBS Uses Fires to Remind Viewers Bush 'Never Stopped' for Katrina
ABC and CBS on Sunday night pivoted from the success, of the aide efforts for fire evacuees at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, to make political points: ABC highlighted a protest about "immigrant rights" and CBS focused on how President Bush's visit to victims contrasted with how after Katrina Bush "flew home from vacation" in Air Force One "thousands of feet above the evacuees" and "never stopped." Reporter Seth Doane contended, over 2005 video on the CBS Evening News of the Superdome evacuees, Bush peering out the window of Air Force One and that plane flying over the stadium, that "for many it was a sharp contrast with another football stadium two years ago: The Superdome in New Orleans during Katrina -- overcrowded, miserable conditions, all under a leaking roof, while thousands of feet above the evacuees, President Bush flew home from vacation in Air Force One and never stopped." Doane suggested: "Contrast this past week when the President came to a burned-out area to press the flesh..."

2. Elevating Publicity Stunts: Lauer Asks Condi About Code Pink
Matt Lauer's Friday morning interview with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ended badly. It wasn't that Rice brought bad answers to the interview. It wasn't that Lauer mocked or insulted Rice. It was that Lauer elevated a tired publicity stunt from the radical leftists at Code Pink to something approaching "newsworthy" status: "Let me end on just a different subject. On Wednesday you were set to appear before the House Foreign Relations Committee, and a protestor walked right up to your face, Madam Secretary, and said, with red paint on her hands and said, quote, 'the blood of millions of Iraqis is on your hands.' She was taken out of the room. Not on a policy level, on a personal level, what was your response to that moment? Were you angered? Were you upset? Were you frazzled? How did you respond to it?"

3. GMA Doubts U.S. 'Credibility' on Iran; Celebrates Hillary's 60th
According to former Bill Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos one reason the United States wouldn't start a war with Iran is because the Bush administration doesn't possess the "troops or the allies or the credibility that it would take to launch a war right now." Stephanopoulos, who is now the host of ABC's This Week, slipped that take into a discussion on Friday's Good Morning America of new sanctions the White House is imposing on Iran. Would the network journalist ever casually assert that his old boss is lacking in credibility? Perhaps if the issue was inappropriate relationships in the workplace? It seems unlikely. A few minutes earlier, guest co-host Deborah Roberts could hardly refrain from gushing while she reported the details of Hillary Clinton's 60th birthday party on Thursday night. The ABC correspondent lauded: "And a lovely touch from former President Clinton who said at 60, his wife looks very beautiful. Isn't that nice?...Isn't that sweet?" Fellow guest co-host Elizabeth Vargas swooned over the "beautiful" birthday song with which rocker Elvis Costello serenaded the 2008 candidate. GMA regular Chris Cuomo enthused: "She definitely enjoyed it. I can guarantee you that."

4. Latest Postings on the MRC's TimesWatch Site: NY Times Bias
Headlines from postings last week on the MRC's TimesWatch site dedicated to documenting and exposing the liberal political agenda of the New York Times.

5. Don't Miss 'NewsBusted' Comedy Videos Making Fun of Liberals
Have you yet watched the MRC's "NewsBusted" comedy video show posted on our NewsBusters blog? If not, two fresh two-minute editions were posted last week. "NewsBusted" is a new, twice a week, comedy show with jokes about politics, Hollywood and media bias.

6. Worst 'Notable Quotables' of Past 20 Years: Potpourri of Idiocy
Now Online with 50 Flash Videos: 20th Anniversary Notable Quotables with more than 100 of the most outrageous quotes from our past two decades, many accompanied by audio and video clips. Last week, the MRC's Rich Noyes posted, on the MRC's NewsBusters blog, a daily installment of quotes from the anniversary issue. The one posted Friday: Potpourri of Idiocy. For sheer wackiness, it's hard to top then-CNBC anchor Geraldo Rivera, who sang his disdain for independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr during the height of the Lewinsky scandal, July 21, 1998, on his Rivera Live program, to the tune of "Twinkle, twinkle, little star."


CBS Uses Fires to Remind Viewers Bush
'Never Stopped' for Katrina

ABC and CBS on Sunday night pivoted from the success, of the aide efforts for fire evacuees at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, to make political points: ABC highlighted a protest about "immigrant rights" and CBS focused on how President Bush's visit to victims contrasted with how after Katrina Bush "flew home from vacation" in Air Force One "thousands of feet above the evacuees" and "never stopped." Reporter Seth Doane contended, over 2005 video on the CBS Evening News of the Superdome evacuees, Bush peering out the window of Air Force One and that plane flying over the stadium, that "for many it was a sharp contrast with another football stadium two years ago: The Superdome in New Orleans during Katrina -- overcrowded, miserable conditions, all under a leaking roof, while thousands of feet above the evacuees, President Bush flew home from vacation in Air Force One and never stopped." Doane suggested: "Contrast this past week when the President came to a burned-out area to press the flesh..."

Unsaid, Bush visited, within a week, areas of Mississippi hit by Katrina and made it to New Orleans as soon as conditions made a trip feasible.

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

Over on ABC's World News, reporter Ryan Owens looked at Qualcomm before noting "across town, a protest by an immigrants' rights group. They say officials didn't do enough to evacuate migrant workers. Four charred bodies were found last week in a field near the Mexican border." But other news reports made it clear those killed weren't picking crops and could be more accurately described as "illegal aliens" since they were found by a border crossing.

An October 25 San Diego Union-Tribune posting, by Pauline Repard and Greg Gross, reported:

Border Patrol agents found the bodies of three men and a woman in a rocky canyon near the junction of state Routes 94 and 188, between Potrero and Barrett Junction Thursday.

The identity and nationality of the victims haven't been determined yet, but Border Patrol supervisor Joseph Mason said the canyon is part of a rugged mountain route popular with illegal immigrants and smugglers.

"There are large groups and then small groups like this one that go through there on a regular basis," Mason said. "There are footpaths all over the place."

Border Patrol agent Matthew Johnson said that earlier in the week, agents rescued a group of border crossers in the area who said there were more people nearby.

"We looked for them, but the fires came up and we didn't find them," he said.

That's online at: www.signonsandiego.com

Elevating Publicity Stunts: Lauer Asks
Condi About Code Pink

Matt Lauer's Friday morning interview with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ended badly. It wasn't that Rice brought bad answers to the interview. It wasn't that Lauer mocked or insulted Rice. It was that Lauer elevated a tired publicity stunt from the radical leftists at Code Pink to something approaching "newsworthy" status: "Let me end on just a different subject. On Wednesday you were set to appear before the House Foreign Relations Committee, and a protestor walked right up to your face, Madam Secretary, and said, with red paint on her hands and said, quote, 'the blood of millions of Iraqis is on your hands.' She was taken out of the room. Not on a policy level, on a personal level, what was your response to that moment? Were you angered? Were you upset? Were you frazzled? How did you respond to it?"

GMA Doubts U.S. 'Credibility' on Iran;
Celebrates Hillary's 60th

According to former Bill Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos one reason the United States wouldn't start a war with Iran is because the Bush administration doesn't possess the "troops or the allies or the credibility that it would take to launch a war right now." Stephanopoulos, who is now the host of ABC's This Week, slipped that take into a discussion on Friday's Good Morning America of new sanctions the White House is imposing on Iran. Would the network journalist ever casually assert that his old boss is lacking in credibility? Perhaps if the issue was inappropriate relationships in the workplace? It seems unlikely.

A few minutes earlier, guest co-host Deborah Roberts could hardly refrain from gushing while she reported the details of Hillary Clinton's 60th birthday party on Thursday night. The ABC correspondent lauded: "And a lovely touch from former President Clinton who said at 60, his wife looks very beautiful. Isn't that nice?...Isn't that sweet?" Fellow guest co-host Elizabeth Vargas swooned over the "beautiful" birthday song with which rocker Elvis Costello serenaded the 2008 candidate. GMA regular Chris Cuomo enthused: "She definitely enjoyed it. I can guarantee you that."

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

A transcript of the two brief segments, which aired at 7:09am and 7:12am on October 26:

# 7:09am, DEBORAH ROBERTS: And finally, it's been a lucrative 60th birthday for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. Supporters paid up to $2,300 each at a star-studded bash in New York last night. Rocker Elvis Costello marked the milestone, evoking another famous birthday moment.
ELVIS COSTELLO, singing: Happy birthday Mrs. President.
ROBERTS: Pretty nice. And a lovely touch from former President Clinton who said at 60, his wife looks very beautiful. Isn't that nice? That's the news at 7:09. Almost 7:10. Back to you guys. I know. Isn't that sweet?
ELIZABETH VARGAS: I know. Elvis Costello. He's not quite Marilyn Monroe.
ROBERTS: That's okay. It was a beautiful rendition.
VARGAS: It was a beautiful rendition.
CHRIS CUOMO: She definitely enjoyed it. I can guarantee you that.
VARGAS: I can guarantee you, too.


# 7:12am, ELIZABETH VARGAS: Now to the increasing tension between the United States and Iran. The Bush administration is now imposing some of the harshest sanctions on Iran since the Iranian hostage crisis nearly 30 years ago. Leading Democrats say they are worried the administration could be putting America on a path to another war. ABC's chief Washington correspondent and host of 'This Week' George Stephanopoulos joins us from Washington with the bottom line. George, first of all, why these sanctions? Why now?
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Frustration and anger, Elizabeth. You saw those explosives in the newscast that are being used against American troops in Iraq. The administration is convinced those are coming from Iran and the Iranian revolutionary guards. But they're also frustrated because they can't get-- the administration can't get Russia and China and some of our European allies to go along with broader sanctions through the United Nations, so they decided to act on their own.
VARGAS: The Bush administration did say this morning, quote, 'We do not think conflict is inevitable,' but many Democrats say the rhetoric, the actions we're seeing right now toward Iran mirror exactly what was happening toward Iraq shortly before we invaded.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's true. And there's no question the rhetoric has been ratcheted up. But, over the last five years, we've been fighting in Iraq. So we don't have the troops or the allies or the credibility that it would take to launch a war right now. Now, the administration has gone through some preparations. They've asked for $88 million for some bunker-busting bombs, which could be used against Iranian sites. But all my reporting suggests that they're not spoiling for a war right now. I've talked to senior ministers in both the Israeli and British government who say they don't expect the administration to go to war. Every single administration official I've spoke within, including the President, downplays the possibility of war right now. One administration official told me yesterday, 'We're not going to war with Iran.'
VARGAS: This is having big reverberations already in the race for the White House, of course. Senator Clinton getting a lot of flack because she supported these sanctions.
STEPHANOPOULOS: She certainly is. She supported the sanctions. She also voted for a resolution a couple of weeks ago which named these Iranian revolutionary guards a terrorist group. Her opponents, Senator Edwards, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, are all against this. And what Senator Edwards has been saying out on the campaign trail, we're going to show it now, is that she hasn't learned her lesson from the Iraq War."
FORMER SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS: Senator Clinton voted yes. And she's entitled to do that. I just disagree and I disagree strongly with it. You cannot give Bush and Cheney this kind of authority.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, of course, Senator Clinton says this resolution was in no way, shape or form a vote for war or authorization for war.

Latest Postings on the MRC's TimesWatch
Site: NY Times Bias

Headlines from postings last week on the MRC's TimesWatch site dedicated to documenting and exposing the liberal political agenda of the New York Times. All articles by TimsWatch Editor Clay Waters:

# The Three Faces of Hillary -- All Flattering: Mark Leibovich's latest flattering profile gives us Hillary Clinton, Efficient Manager.

# Poor Mexicans "Being Squeezed" by Decline in Money Sent Home from Illegals: Isn't the plight of poor Mexicans properly the responsibility of Mexico?

# Adoring Elizabeth Edwards: No "trophy wife" cracks here: "A campaigner so skilled, some wonder who's running."

# Talking Around Rangel's Big Tax Hike: The Times manages not to spell out precisely where Rangel's tax-hike proposal would begin to bite on "the wealthy."

# Double Standards on Osama-Obama Gaffes: Romney vs. Kennedy; Mitt Romney mixed up Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden, and the Times has fun. But what happened when Ted Kennedy did the same thing?

# Times Goes Easy on Rep. Stark's Despicable Comments on Bush, Iraq: Liberal Rep. Pete Stark unleashed more despicable comments, sliming U.S. troops as murderers and George W. Bush as a monster, but the Times soft-pedaled the offense while noting Stark "will celebrate his 76th birthday on Veterans Day."

# Editorial Page In Denial Over Good News in Iraq: "The news out of Iraq just keeps getting worse," the lead editorial blares. Does that "news" include the 70% reported drop in violence since the end of June?

# "How Dirty Did the Tricks Get?" Times Swallows All Valerie Plame's Claims

# Times Just Can't Stand Lou Dobbs' Stand on Illegal Immigration: The Times pursues Lou Dobbs' opposition to illegal immigration as if he was the first journalist to ever make his opinion on an issue clear (although it's an everyday occurrence in the liberal media).

# Times Oddly Underwhelmed by Victory of Indian-American in Louisiana: Could it be because Louisiana Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal is a conservative, religious Republican?

To read any of those postings, plus new ones going online Monday, go to: www.timeswatch.org

Don't Miss 'NewsBusted' Comedy Videos
Making Fun of Liberals

Have you yet watched the MRC's "NewsBusted" comedy video show posted on our NewsBusters blog? If not, two fresh two-minute editions were posted last week. "NewsBusted" is a new, twice a week, comedy show with jokes about politics, Hollywood and media bias. The idea for the show is really quite simple: Politics is absurd, so is the news. Why not have some laughs from it all? Enjoy the freshest comedy on the Web making fun of liberals and the media.

You'll find the latest edition at the top of NewsBusters: www.newsbusters.org

For the archive of ones you've missed, as posted on YouTube in click and play Flash format: www.youtube.com

There are 14 episodes online to enjoy.

Worst 'Notable Quotables' of Past 20
Years: Potpourri of Idiocy

Now Online with 50 Flash Videos: 20th Anniversary NQ. Since the MRC was founded 20 years ago, Notable Quotables has been a vital tool in our mission to document, expose and neutralize the media elite's liberal bias. The special 20th Anniversary Edition contains more than 100 of the most outrageous quotes from our past two decades, many accompanied by audio and video clips. Watch Dan Rather berate Vice President Bush during a live interview; listen to Bryant Gumbel suggest radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh bore responsibility for the Oklahoma City bombing; and recall the media's sneering disdain for Ronald Reagan, and their utter admiration for Bill and Hillary Clinton.

To read the quotes and watch the videos: www.mrc.org

For the 8-page PDF which matches the hard copy, but without any pictures or videos: www.mrc.org

CLICK AND PLAY FLASH VIDEO, Plus other options: We're very excited that this production marks the MRC's first time to post "click and play" Flash video. So if you have Flash functional in your browser, as most do who use Firefox or Internet Explorer, just click on a screen shot and the video will play.

If you want to see a larger version, or prefer to download, you'll see Windows Media icons to allow you to download the wmv. Same goes for the MP3 audio clips for radio hosts or producers who wish the play the clips of their show.
Last week, the MRC's Rich Noyes posted, on the MRC's NewsBusters blog, a daily installment of quotes from the anniversary issue. Here's the collection posted on Friday:

To wrap up this week's posts, I thought I'd list a few of the most outrageous or moronic quotes we've come across since 1987.

For sheer wackiness, it's hard to top then-CNBC anchor Geraldo Rivera, who sang his disdain for independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr during the height of the Lewinsky scandal, July 21, 1998, on his Rivera Live program, to the tune of "Twinkle, twinkle, little star."

"Twinkle, twinkle Kenneth Starr, now we see how crude you are / Up above your jury high, like the judge up in the sky / Twinkle, twinkle little Starr, now we see how wrong you are / When you drag the agents in, when you bully moms and kin / Then you kiss the treacherous Tripp, twinkle, twinkle DC drip / Twinkle, twinkle little Starr, now we see how small you are."

A few days later, on his August 6, 1998 show, Rivera again erupted against Starr and declared his love for Bill Clinton:

"Mr. President, we love you. I want to hug you, I want to hug you, please do the right thing. This is nothing, this is nothing. Thomas Jefferson did not have this in mind, I swear to God....I would give Ken Starr the Nobel Peace Prize were he to be man enough not to refer a sex lie to the House for impeachment."

Now, some other ridiculous/infuriating quotes from the MRC's archives:

# "It's a morbid observation, but if everyone on Earth just stopped breathing for an hour, the greenhouse effect would no longer be a problem." -- Newsweek Senior Writer Jerry Adler, December 31, 1990.

# "By American presidential standards, Mikhail Gorbachev accomplished enough in his seven-year term to qualify for a bust on Mount Rushmore." -- NBC's Jim Maceda, December 25, 1991 Nightly News.

# "Corporations pay public relations firms millions of dollars to contrive the kind of grass-roots response that Falwell or Pat Robertson can galvanize in a televised sermon. Their followers are largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command." -- Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf in a February 1, 1993 news story.

# "I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease....He is an absolutely reprehensible person." -- USA Today columnist and Pacifica Radio talk show host Julianne Malveaux on Justice Clarence Thomas, November 4, 1994 PBS's To the Contrary.

# "It is liberalism, whether people like it or not, which has animated all the years of my life. What on Earth did conservatism ever accomplish for our country?" -- Charles Kuralt talking with Morley Safer on the CBS special, One for the Road with Charles Kuralt, May 4, 1994.

# "Crime Keeps On Falling; but Prisons Keep On Filling." -- September 28, 1997 New York Times headline over Week in Review article.

# "So, I'm getting less chips, paying the same amount of money. Is that legal for them to do this?" -- CBS's Julie Chen questioning Carol Foreman Tucker of the Consumer Federation of America about companies charging the same price for smaller snack food packages, January 3, 2001 Early Show.

# "Seven years ago, when the last referendum took place, Saddam Hussein won 99.96 percent of the vote. Of course, it is impossible to say whether that's a true measure of the Iraqi people's feelings." -- ABC's David Wright in Baghdad, on World News Tonight, October 15, 2002.

# "If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age." -- Charles Pierce in a January 5, 2003 Boston Globe Magazine article. Kopechne drowned while trapped in Kennedy's submerged car off Chappaquiddick Island in July 1969, an accident Kennedy did not report for several hours.

-- Brent Baker