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The Weekly Worst

The Networks vs. The 9/11 Commission

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004 Weekly Worst PDF

     The so-called mainstream media never admit their liberal tilt, so the news analysts at the Media Research Center tirelessly document the media's bias. All three broadcast networks share last week's "award" for the worst media bias:

» The Networks vs. the 9/11 Commission. After a staff report for the 9/11 Commission documented numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, but no proof Iraq joined in the 2001 attacks on America, all three networks twisted that finding into an utter rejection of the administration's case for war as reporters portrayed Bush as untrustworthy:

  • On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, reporter John Roberts charged Bush had a credibility gap: "One of President Bush's last surviving justifications for war in Iraq...took a devastating hit when the 9/11 Commission declared there was no ‘collaborative relationship' between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden....The report is yet another blow to the President's credibility."
John Roberts
John Roberts insisted the President's case for war "took a devastating hit."
  • Over on World News Tonight, ABC's Peter Jennings said the finding was unequivocal: "One of the Bush administration' most controversial assertions in its argument for war in Iraq was that Saddam Hussein had links to al-Qaeda. Today the 9/11 Commission said, unequivocally, not so."
ABC's Peter Jennings
ABC wrongly claimed there was "No connection between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein."
  • And on NBC Nightly News, David Gregory seemed astonished that Bush was sticking to his story: "The White House isn't backing down tonight, insisting there always was an Iraq-al-Qaeda link. But it's clear this report is a blow to the President's rationale for war."
NBC's David Gregory
NBC's David Gregory seemed astonished the President "isn't backing down."

     But the commission did not examine the case for war against Saddam, and the next day, its Democratic vice chairman Lee Hamilton scolded the media for concocting the controversy: "The sharp differences that the press has drawn...are not that apparent to me." ABC and NBC buried that quote deep inside their stories Thursday night — and the CBS Evening News ignored Hamilton's rebuke altogether.

For more, see the June 17 CyberAlert.

And, see the June 18 CyberAlert.





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