2. CBS News Alum Goldberg Predicts Media Will Turn Against McCain
3. ABC's McFadden Urges Carter-Loving Cher to Run for Office
4. 'Top 10 Reasons Mitt Romney Dropped Out of the Presidential Race'
Implying those on the right opposed to John McCain's Republican presidential bid are extremists beyond the politically acceptable, fill-in CBS Evening News anchor Harry Smith on Thursday night warned that McCain "still faces a tough battle to win the support of hard-line GOP conservatives." Smith's characterization came a day after Time magazine's Web site headlined a Wednesday posting by Washington Bureau Chief Jay Carney, "McCain: Frail with the Far Right." In the Thursday night CBS story in which Jeff Greenfield avoided pejorative labeling, Nicole Wallace, a CBS News political analyst who was Director of Communications for the Bush White House in 2005-2006, discounted those troubled by McCain -- whom she called "ABM Voters: Anybody But McCain" -- as "a smaller sliver of the party than we give them credit for being."
(The February 6 Time magazine online article: www.time.com  )
That's the second time in eight days a former Bush operative turned network television analyst has dismissed or denigrated conservative concerns about McCain. Back on the January 30 World News on ABC, former Bush-Cheney campaign strategist Matthew Dowd, attributed conservative opposition to John McCain not to McCain's more liberal positions on many issues, but to how McCain "basically is not going to answer to anybody, especially the conservative pundits or the conservagentsia. And they don't like that." As recounted in the January 31 CyberAlert, with video:
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Friday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org  ]
To give Wallace her due, in another soundbite she recognized the importance for McCain of winning over conservatives, advising him: "I think he has to become just as comfortable campaigning shoulder to shoulder with Tom Coburn and some of these other conservatives as he is campaigning shoulder to shoulder with Rudy Giuliani and Joe Lieberman. I mean, we have to see him just as proud of his record as a fiscal conservative and of a social conservative, as we see him with his reputation as a maverick."
The February 7 CBS Evening News story on the day Mitt Romney suspended his presidential effort:
ANCHOR HARRY SMITH: While McCain may be close to locking up the Republican nomination, he still faces a tough battle to win the support of hard-line GOP conservatives. Senior political correspondent Jeff Greenfield has that part of the story.
JEFF GREENFIELD: As word of Governor Romney's decision has spread today, the argument over John McCain's now-apparently certain nomination continued among some conservatives. On one side, dire warnings [video of images from the Wall Street Journals' Web site] about the unthinkable alternative of a Democratic President. On the other side [video of Rush Limbaugh], pointed remarks about his political weakness.
CBSNews.com video of Smith's intro and Greenfield's story: www.cbsnews.com 
Noting presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain "gets good treatment" from journalists, former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg predicted on Thursday's O'Reilly Factor that since the "media like him because he's the one who pokes his thumb in Republican and conservative eyes, mostly conservative eyes," that's "going to end" and so "as soon as it's McCain against Obama or Clinton the media goes over to the other side."
In his weekly Thursday appearance with Jane Hall on the FNC show's segment assessing media behavior, Goldberg agreed with Bill O'Reilly that McCain has received favorable press, and then offered his forecast for how the media will turn on McCain as soon as he stands in the way of liberal becoming President:
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org  ]
Back in 2000, Goldberg penned Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News: www.amazon.com 
Goldberg's Web site: www.bernardgoldberg.com 
On Thursday's Good Morning America, ABC reporter Cynthia McFadden suggested that aging, liberal singer Cher might want to think about running for office. After discussing the performer's new Las Vegas show, McFadden asked Cher about politics. Explaining why she was pro Hillary Clinton and not supporting Barack Obama, the performer segued into discussing the "saint" known as Jimmy Carter and how "all he talked about was what he wanted to do for this country. And because of his inexperience, they cut him off at the knees." McFadden's response to this glowing assessment of the one term President: "Maybe you should run for office."
Perhaps it was the positive Clinton comments that prompted McFadden's compliment. After all, this is the woman who told Senator Hillary Clinton that it might be a "good idea" to have a Hillary/Bill co-presidency. (During the January 31 Nightline interview, McFadden also sympathetically wondered: "When you lie awake at night...what worries you?" For more on that, see the February 4 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org 
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Thursday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org  ]
A longer version of the interview was showcased later in the day on Nightline.
A transcript of the brief exchange, which aired at 8:48am on February 7:
CYNTHIA MCFADDEN: We turn now to politics. So, do you have a candidate?
From the February 7 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Reasons Mitt Romney Dropped Out of the Presidential Race." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com 
10. Harsh Midwest weather was murder on his split ends
9. Wants to devote more time to rap persona P. Mitty
8. Polls show public doesn't want a president who looks like a casino greeter
7. Just couldn't compete with the Ron Paul juggernaut
6. Unveiling a new line of honey-roasted Romnuts
5. That bastard Zogby had it in for him
4. Apparently America is not ready for a white male president
3. No number 3 -- writer suffering from Mitt withdrawal
2. There was that little problem of nobody voting for him
1. Lost all of his money betting on the Patriots
For video of Letterman reading the list: www.cbs.com 
-- Brent Baker