Cut Gas Prices, Bring Back Saddam
“Just look at the numbers. In March of 2002, when Saddam Hussein was still in power, average gas prices were 63 cents lower than they are today. Some motorists we talked to were left asking, ‘What has the liberation of Iraq really done for Americans — other than give us higher gas prices?’”
— Sandra Hughes on the April 1 CBS Evening News.
Victims of “Record” Gas Prices
“More bad news on gas prices this morning, as the average price for a gallon of unleaded
rose four more cents, another record. The AARP issued an emergency alert, saying high gas prices are forcing many seniors to stop purchasing required medicine and, in some cases, to choose between gas for their cars and food.”
— NBC’s Ann Curry on Today, April 1.
“As gas prices keep rising, a worrying new trend: families are taking out second and even third mortgages on their homes as a way of coping with soaring prices. Many of these new loans are in California, where gas prices recently topped $3.00 a gallon. If interest rates rise as expected, experts say the wave of foreclosures will mean thousands of families joining the ranks of the nation’s homeless.”
— ABC’s Robin Roberts, Good Morning America, April 1.
Thalia Assuras: “The evidence is all over the Internet: healthy young people are putting their own organs up for sale, desperate for money to deal with fast-rising gas prices. Grad student Julie Potts just sold her kidney on Ebay.”
Julie Potts: “I have enough money for now, but if prices don’t come down, I don’t know what I’ll sell next. Maybe I can make it with one lung.”
Assuras: “The Bush administration still refuses to tap into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. For people like Julie, the President’s cruel pro-industry stance gives ironic new urgency to the protest slogan, ‘No Blood for Oil.’”
— CBS’s The Early Show, April 1.
Women, Minorities Hit Hardest
“On average, the aggressive white male investor will likely double or even triple his monthly pension check under the President’s plan for private accounts, while women and minorities would average only about a 50 percent increase, adding fuel to critics’ charges that Social Security privatization would hit women and minorities hardest.”
— Reporter Bill Plante, CBS Evening News, April 1.
Are They Nuts? Or Cynical?
“As you may know, Terri Schiavo has been in a persistent vegetative state since 1990 with zero chance of recovery. When Republicans intervened into a private family dispute to get the Schiavo case heard in a federal court, do you think they did so because they fervently believe in a religious-right ideology that favors prolonging life, no matter what the cost or consequences? Or are they simply seeking to please their own extremely religious right-wing base?”
— CBS News/New York Times poll question, April 1.
MSNBC’s Matthews Offended By Words He Put In Guest’s Mouth
Host Chris Matthews: “Michelle Malkin, you were just saying that Michael Schiavo, the husband of Terri Schiavo, is wrong to want to pull the plug on his wife. Why?”
Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin: “Chris, I don’t think we can be absolutely certain about what his wife, what Terri would have wanted.”
Matthews: “Do you think he’s a murderer?”
Malkin: “What? No, Chris let me make my point – ”
Matthews: “You do, don’t you!? Now, I want you to be clear now. You’re alleging that Michael Schiavo walked in one night oh so many years ago and took a pillow to Terri, aren’t you?”
Malkin: “No, what? I never said – ”
Matthews: “How can you come on this program and make such an allegation? Were you in the room when this attempted murder took place?”
Malkin: “Chris, you’re putting words in my mouth.”
Matthews: “What gives you the right to drum up this fantasy? It’s something out of an Agatha Christie movie!”
Malkin: “What? I didn’t say that at all. Chris let me talk!”
Matthews: “No, Michelle, I want you to be clear. Are you calling Michael Schiavo a murderer, yes or no?!”
Malkin: “I just wanted to make a general point about the way euthanasia is viewed by some members of – ”
Matthews: “Yes or no, Michelle?! Did Michael Schiavo have a hit taken out on his wife?”
Malkin: “Chris let me – ”
Matthews: “Unbelievable. You’ve turned this poor husband into a Scott Peterson! I can’t believe you’d come on this program and make these charges with absolutely no proof. Okay, we’ll be back in a minute, and we’re gonna try and keep it clean from here on out. Sheesh. You’re watching
— Exchange on MSNBC’s Hardball, April 1.
CBS Clamors for Higher Taxes
John Roberts: “President Bush has adamantly refused to consider raising taxes to save Social Security, claiming tax hikes would harm the economy. But Franklin Roosevelt raised the top income tax rate to 90 percent, and his policies helped the country climb out of the Great Depression. Today, the top rate is a measly 35 percent, and the federal tax code is larded with far more loopholes than back in the ‘30s. Some analysts see a lot of room for higher rates.”
Robert McIntyre, Citizens for Tax Justice: “With these ghastly deficits, it would be immoral not to raise taxes.”
— CBS Evening News, April 1.
Admit It, We’re Despicable
“Scott, Iran has complained about the State Department’s latest annual report on international human rights abusers, which failed to even mention the documented U.S. abuses at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. Since opening a dialogue with the world is supposed to be a priority in this President’s second term, why can’t Secretary Rice at least be fair and rank the United States somewhere between Cuba and Sudan in terms of human rights abuses?”
— ABC’s Terry Moran to Press Secretary Scott McClellan at an April 1 White House briefing.
Apogee of America-Hating
“A wise man said the real scholar is not someone who merely presents a few dry facts, but one who provokes us to think beyond our own prejudices. With that in mind, academia certainly reached a high point recently when a University of Colorado professor provoked the entire country to see itself as much of the rest of the world does: as an evil empire that deserved the terrorism that confronted it on September 11, 2001....And so we choose Ward Churchill as our ‘Person of the Week.’ His hope, he told us, was that at least a few Americans might put aside the smug superiority that has earned the U.S. the wrath of the international community. Our leaders could certainly learn from him.”
— Peter Jennings introducing and concluding his profile of Churchill on ABC’s
World News Tonight, April 1.
Here’s a Shot Deep to Left Field
“After the steroid scandals, fans are ripe for a return to an old-fashioned style of play, featuring such humble, cooperative, multilateral plays as the bunt and the hit-and-run, and out with the game’s most unilateral, macho, chest-thumping American event: the home run. If so, then the logical choice for baseball’s next commissioner would be not the oft-rumored Bush, but rather John Kerry.”
— Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell, April 1.
Kyoto Treaty: A Bear Necessity
“Their homes were once a pristine wilderness. They reigned supreme for thousands of years. But civilization changed all that. First came factories, then the automobile. We recently spent several days with the biggest victims of the President’s rejection of every international proposal to stem global warming: Alaska’s polar bears. Tonight, ‘Unbearable: Left out in the cold by Washington.’”
— Ted Koppel introducing ABC’s Nightline, April 1.
Is Our Children Swimming?
Katie Couric: “Will new Bush administration budget cuts mean more deaths at the beach this summer? Joining us to discuss beach safety, a real expert, former
Baywatch star, David Hasselhoff. Thanks for joining us. David, is it safe to go back in the water?”
David Hasselhoff: “Glad to be here. I’m really only an actor. But, I guess if you, uh, know how to swim that helps.”
Couric: “Interesting! How concerned should parents be that the Bush administration has slashed CPR funding? How many children do you think will die as a result?”
— Exchange on NBC’s Today, April 1.
If He Only Had a Clue
“Number five tonight, Hammer of Hypocrisy. It was hard enough not to gawk at the spectacle of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay lugging around Terri Schiavo like a human shield. But now the
Los Angeles Times has reported that when Mr. DeLay struggled with his own father’s life-ending brain injury, what is now callous barbarism was once compassionate conservatism. But there’s pandering to be done, and Mr. DeLay is not going to tell the religious hucksters swarming around Tampa Bay that the Wizard of Oz isn’t handing out new brains this week in Emerald City.”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, April 1 Countdown.
Leave It to Inspector Dan
“Finally, a personal note. Partisan political operatives drove me from my rightful place as anchor of the
CBS Evening News, alleging, without proof, that our story on President Bush’s evasion of his National Guard service was somehow based on quote, ‘fraudulent,’ unquote, memos. Following in the footsteps of O.J. Simpson, I am committing to you here tonight that I will go to any rodeo, to any part of the Earth, to track down proof of the authenticity of the memos. No matter what you’ve heard from fanatics on the right, I still stand by the accuracy of the story.”
— Dan Rather on the April 1 60 Minutes/Wednesday, his first TV appearance since leaving the
CBS Evening News.
Editor: Dan Rather
Associate Editors: Josh Howard, Betsy West, Mary Murphy
Document Production: Bill Burkett
Chief Fact Checker: Mary Mapes
Public Relations: Tom Shales, Marvin Kalb
Executive Without Responsibility: Andrew Heyward
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