Bush "Too Militaristic"; South Korean Support Skipped; Moore: Bush Should Resign; Banfield Boasts She's Not American; CNN: Lost Time
1) The networks put the burden on Bush and not North Korea
for the lack of peace on the peninsula. NBC's Campbell Brown concluded
from Seoul that "many" fear "that Bush has damaged progress
and renewed old animosity." ABC's Terry Moran stressed that
"former Clinton administration officials...say Mr. Bush's approach
is far too militaristic." Only CBS's John Roberts acknowledged:
"Bush is getting full support from opposition lawmakers who argue the
North needs to be seen for what it is."
2) Without noting any support for it amongst South
Koreans, David Gregory asserted on Today that Bush's inclusion of North
Korea in his "axis of evil" had earned "an angry reaction
in Seoul where they were seen as a blow to President Kim Dae Jung's
years-long efforts to reconcile with the North."
3) Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore thinks that President
Bush should resign because of his connections to Enron, telling CNN's
Aaron Brown that the "phony" company "bought" the
administration. Amongst the "good information" in Moore's new
book: That American Eagle pilots start at $15,000 and use food stamps.
4) The secret weapon MSNBC's Ashleigh Banfield uses when
in Pakistan or Iran: She's "very quick to point out" that
she's not a U.S. citizen but is Canadian. With that known, "I tend
to get a warmer reception," she boasted to David Letterman. Plus, she
gushed about Yasser Arafat's his stamina, marveling at how he supposedly
works until 3am as he "sleeps about two or three hours a night."
And Arafat is "frankly" trying to control terrorism in the face
of the "hardest line hawk," Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
5) CNN's Headline News channel offered advice on how to
best subvert U.S. law in order to travel to Cuba, the Miami Herald's TV
critic reported on Tuesday.
6) "Global warming could slow Earth spin, lengthen
days," an ominous headline warned over a CNN.com story last week
citing "a new scientific report." Slow by....11 microseconds
every ten years.
7) Letterman's "Top Ten Ways to Make Curling More
Goldberg, author of Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the
News, is scheduled to appear for an hour or so this morning at 11am EST in
a C-SPAN broadcast of a Close-Up Foundation discussion with high school
students. It should be re-run at some point later in the day. <<<
like the U.S. versus the Soviet Union all over again, with Western
reporters most concerned about hurting the feelings of communists as they
emphasize protests by leftist students. North Korea is controlled by a
belligerent regime which starves its people, who are blocked from leaving,
while building weapons and it has failed to follow through on agreements
to open up to South Korea, but to U.S. network reporters it is President
Bush who is threatening peace on the peninsula.
"Axis of evil. The President in South
Korea where his harsh words for the north are causing concern,"
warned NBC's Tom Brokaw before Campbell Brown concluded from Seoul that
"the fear among many here" is "that Bush has damaged
progress and renewed old animosity." As if the North Korean regime
was friendly until a month ago.
Tuesday night ABC anchor Peter Jennings
acknowledged that "Mr. Bush believes the North is not only repressive
but dangerous," but cautioned: "The President's belief is
causing some anxiety in the South." Terry Moran admonished:
"Former Clinton administration officials who negotiated a successful
deal to stop North Korea's development of nuclear material, say Mr.
Bush's approach is far too militaristic."
From Seoul, CBS's John Roberts stressed:
"In fact, say leaders here, President Bush has unnecessarily
heightened tensions on the peninsula," but unlike ABC or NBC, CBS's
Roberts at least conceded: "Bush is getting full support from
opposition lawmakers who argue the North needs to be seen for what it
In a piece for CNN's Inside Politics, John
King observed the same thing: "Some Korean war veterans, strongly
anti-communist in their views, took to the streets here in advance of Mr.
Bush's visit to praise the American President and his tough talk about
the communist north."
Viewers of FNC's Special Report with Brit
Hume on Tuesday night learned from Jim Angle in Seoul that South Korea
leader Kim Dae Jung's "sunshine" policy is a one-way street
since, for instance, while the south has built a railroad to the border
the north hasn't even started construction. Guest Doug Paal of the
Asia-Pacific Policy Center told Hume that Kim's popularity in South
Korea has plummeted to just 20 percent.
Tom Brokaw, in Utah, teased the February 19
NBC Nightly News: "Axis of evil. The President in South Korea where
his harsh words for the north are causing concern."
From Seoul, Campbell Brown found
"tensions here high, with anti-American protests today over the
President's view of North Korea as part of an 'axis of evil' that
cozies up to terrorists and threatens the world with weapons of mass
destruction. That view at direct odds with South Korea's President Kim
Dae Jung. Kim won the Nobel Peace Prize for his so-called 'sunshine
policy' of engaging the communist north and trying to reunite the
countries, but the fear among many here, that Bush has damaged progress
and renewed old animosity."
Harrison, Center for International Policy: "From the North Korea
point of view you can't trust an opening to South Korea if the U.S. is
hostile to it because the U.S. and South Korea are allies."
Without any balancing perspective, Brown moved
on to how at the DMZ Bush planned to assure Koreans he shares Kim's
ultimate goal of no more separation between the nations. Brown then
concluded with the spin of those who believe in negotiation above all
else: "The President has said he is open to talks with the North even
though many in the region now believe his rhetoric has made that all but
impossible. To ease some of the tension, advisers say that here at least
the President won't publicly mention an axis of evil."
Over on ABC, Peter Jennings opened World News
evening, everyone. We're going to begin with the President this evening.
Mr. Bush has begun a challenging and controversial visit to South Korea,
which has lived in a state of tension with North Korea ever since the
Korean War from 1950-53. The U.S. was crucial to winning that war. Today
South Korea is a very strong American ally. And all these years later, Mr.
Bush believes the North is not only repressive but dangerous. ABC's
Terry Moran is with the President. And the President's belief is causing
some anxiety in the South, Terry."
as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
is, Peter. In a few hours, President Bush will travel to the Demilitarized
Zone separating North and South Korea and try to soothe concerns here by
talking about reconciliation on the peninsula. But he will also repeat the
same kind of tough rhetoric that has made people here so nervous. A South
Korean border honor greeted Mr. Bush as he arrived in Seoul, a sign of the
staunch alliance between the U.S. and this nation of 47 million people.
But the President has put that alliance under strain. Mr. Bush's
description of North Korea as part of the 'axis of evil' has been met
with scattered protests here but also by a widespread sense of
Lee, Yonsei University: "In Korea there is some misunderstanding, and
there is some anti-American sentiments because it seems that he is really
pushing the Korean Peninsula on the verge of some sort of a war."
Moran, over a
shot of the DMZ: "This is why the anxiety is so intense. At a
razor's edge at the Demilitarized Zone, hundreds of thousands of troops,
including 37,000 Americans, face each other on constant alert. South
Korean President Kim Dae Jung has tried to reduce tensions by engaging the
North Koreans in his so-called 'Sunshine Policy.' But the President,
as he made clear in his speech to the Japanese parliament Tuesday, wants
to keep up the pressure on the North."
George W. Bush
in Japan: "We stand more committed than ever to a forward presence in
this region. We will deter aggression against the Republic of Korea."
countered: "Former Clinton administration officials who negotiated a
successful deal to stop North Korea's development of nuclear material,
say Mr. Bush's approach is far too militaristic."
Former Counselor to State Department: "We know that with North Korea
we can come to a verifiable agreement, and I think it's important that
we continue to try to do so."
concluded: "The President's job here is an extremely delicate one:
Calm the waters he has so troubled in South Korea while, Peter, making
sure at all costs that North Korea and the rest of the world does not come
to the conclusion that his tough talk is just a bluff."
Dan Rather introduced the February 19 CBS
Evening News story:
through his tour of Asia, President Bush is now in South Korea where his
inclusion of North Korea in what he called the 'axis of evil' set off
a fierce political debate. Along with meeting South Korean leaders,
CBS's John Roberts reports, President Bush will stand at the Korean
Demilitarized Zone and issue a challenge to the North."
checked in from Seoul: "At the razor wire dividing line between South
and North Korea, within sight of his 'axis of evil,' President Bush
will challenge North Korean leader Kim Jung Il to change his dangerous
ways. But the man who could become South Korea's next President says Mr.
Bush may have already failed."
ruling Democratic Party: "I think President Bush's remark on
'axis of evil' not so good for bringing North Korea out to the
elaborated on the point before noting what ABC and NBC ignored, that many
South Koreans approve of Bush's approach: "In fact, say leaders
here, President Bush has unnecessarily heightened tensions on the
peninsula where 37,000 American troops help keep the North at bay.
Demonstrators angrily protested the President's arrival in Seoul
Tuesday. The State Department has warned Americans here to be on high
alert during the visit. But Mr. Bush is getting full support from
opposition lawmakers who argue the North needs to be seen for what it
South Korean opposition party member: "It's about time to give
North Korean regime that kind of clear, stern message."
"President Bush has branded North Korea a rogue state, using its
development of weapons of mass destruction as the centerpiece to sell his
missile defense shield, urging the world to join him to reign in the
Bush: "We seek a peaceful region where no power or coalition of
powers endangers the security or freedom of other nations."
concluded with a warning: "But tough talk about the North is a
sensitive issue here. Monday tempers boiled over and a shouting match
broke out when a member of South Korea's ruling party said it was
President Bush who was evil incarnate. In his speech at the border,
President Bush is expected to dial back on the provocative rhetoric, not
using the 'axis of evil' comment. For his part, North Korea's leader
has become even more bellicose, accusing what he calls 'U.S.
imperialists' of trying to provoke a second Korean war."
show viewers on Tuesday morning heard a similar storyline from David
Gregory, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens observed. On the February 19 Today,
without noting any support for it amongst South Koreans, Gregory asserted
that Bush's inclusion of North Korea in his "axis of evil" has
earned "an angry reaction in Seoul where they were seen as a blow to
President Kim Dae Jung's years long efforts to reconcile with the
Gregory began: "There was more than a
welcome mat waiting for the President when he arrived at a secure U.S.
military base in South Korea today. Days of anti-American protest over
Bush's hard-line toward the North threaten to overshadow this carefully
scripted visit, the President's first since taking office. The trouble,
Bush's blunt declaration that Communist North Korea is part of an 'axis of
evil' whose nuclear weapons program threatens America. The remarks have
received an angry reaction in Seoul where they were seen as a blow to
President Kim Dae Jung's years long efforts to reconcile with the North.
But Bush in a speech earlier in the day to the Japanese parliament
remained defiant, saying the North Koreans, with their heavy firepower on
the border with the South. are a threat that must be confronted."
Bush: "We seek a region in which demilitarized zones and missile
batteries no longer separate people with a common heritage and a common
concluded: "Tomorrow Bush will follow up those words with a flexing
of his muscles, a visit to some of the 37,000 US troops now deployed along
the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. But aides say the
President has a larger goal here, to shore up South Korea's support for
the war on terror. One way he'll do that is by reaching out to the North
again offering to talk and avoiding a repeat of his 'axis of evil' remark.
David Gregory, NBC News, with the President, in Seoul."
activist/filmmaker Michael Moore thinks that President Bush should resign
because of his connections to Enron, telling CNN's Aaron Brown that the
"phony" company "bought" the administration. "I
don't think we're going to go through another impeachment," Moore
reassured, "but I just hope he has the good graces to say, 'you
know what, this wasn't right and I'm sorry and I'm going to leave
Moore has just started a tour to promote his
new book, Stupid White Men. On Tuesday night he appeared on both FNC's
O'Reilly Factor, where his views were challenged, and on CNN's
NewsNight with Aaron Brown, where they were not.
Playing word association with Brown on the
February 19 show, when prompted with President Bush's name, Moore
blurted out: "Waiting for him to resign."
Moore elaborated: "Enron bought this
administration, you know, Ken Lay and what he had to do there in terms of
picking the regulatory people that were supposed to oversee Enron, the
Arthur Anderson attorney who became head of the Securities and Exchange
Commission, the Enron VP that's Secretary of the Army, the Enron lawyer
that's the White House counsel."
Moore wasn't finished: "This was a
bought administration, and bought by, essentially now what we understand,
a phony company with phony stock prices and frankly, when this all comes
out, I think that, I don't think we're going to go through another
impeachment, but I just hope he has the good graces to say, 'you know
what, this wasn't right and I'm sorry and I'm going to leave
Asked what his book is about, Moore explained:
"It's about lots of things, like, you know, I was sitting next to a
guy at an airport, he's an American Eagle pilot, and he says to me
'you know how much our first-year pilots make?' And I said no. He
says, 'like $15, $16,000.' I said 'you gotta be kidding me.' And
I'm thinking 'oh my God.' And he says, 'yeah, one of our guys just
applied for food stamps.' I'm on a plane with a guy who's flying me
up in the air and he's making less than a kid at Taco Bell? I mean I
just think, what is going on here? So the book is full of a lot of good
information like that."
I always thought that liberals were upset that
minimum wage jobs at places like Taco Bell left you well below the poverty
line and, therefore, short of $16,000 a year based on a 40-hour week.
Moore's book provides a lot of "good
information" which is obviously preposterous if this is his best
anecdote. Commercial pilots are professionals who require a lot of
training time and college courses before they can ever get hired and so
are able to command relatively high starting salaries. And American Eagle
is a unionized company, so to think that its pilots are paid anywhere near
that low a salary is absurd.
Change "Men" to "Man" in
the title of his book, Stupid White Men, and he's got the perfect title
for his autobiography.
Moore has long held an irrational hatred of
the U.S. and President Bush. In message posted on his Web site back on
September 14, Moore screeched: "Am I angry? You bet I am. I am an
American citizen, and my leaders have taken my money to fund mass murder.
And now my friends have paid the price with their lives.
crying, Mr. Bush. Keep running to Omaha or wherever it is you go while
others die, just as you ran during Vietnam while claiming to be 'on
duty' in the Air National Guard. Nine boys from my high school died in
that miserable war. And now you are asking for 'unity' so you can
start another one? Do not insult me or my country like this!
too, will be in church at noon today, on this national day of mourning. I
will pray for you, and us, and the children of New York, and the children
of this sad and ugly world."
secret weapon MSNBC's Ashleigh Banfield uses when in Pakistan or Iran:
She's "very quick to point out" that she's not a U.S.
citizen but is Canadian. With that known, "I tend to get a warmer
reception," she proudly informed David Letterman on Tuesday night.
On the February 19 Late Show, Banfield, host
of MSNBC's 9pm EST hour in which she broadcasts from places like
Pakistan and Iran, recalled her recent experience interviewing Yasser
Arafat, relating an all-too-fond series of recollections which I have not
had time yet to transcribe. [See Web Update below]
After a commercial break, Letterman only had
time for a short second segment with her. So he crammed all his questions
into one up front:
desperately short on time. But I want to know what your life is like when
you're at work over there, how you're regarded as an American citizen,
as a news person, as a woman? How is that, how does that manifest itself?
Do you get a feeling for that?"
referring to CBS Orchestra leader Paul Shaffer of Thunder Bay, Ontario,
revealed how she uses her Canadian citizenship to her advantage in
separating herself from the United States: "Sure, you bet. I mean,
people right away assume that all of us are American because we work for
an American TV crew, but I am Canadian, just like Paul, and so I'm very
quick to point that out and I tend to get a warmer reception by
"Is that right?"
"Yeah, definitely, I notice that."
If being Canadian is such a great advantage,
why doesn't she stay there and work for a Canadian network?
Update: In the first segment of her Letterman appearance,
MSNBC's Ashleigh Banfield recounted her recent experience interviewing
Yasser Arafat. She gushed about his stamina, marveling at how he
supposedly works until 3am as he "sleeps about two or three hours a
night." Asked whether Arafat is controlling terrorism, Banfield
portrayed him as some sort of victim of terrorist actions he has nothing
to do with inspiring for decades, proclaiming: "He answered me
frankly. He said, 'I'm doing the best I can.'" After all, Banfield
rationalized, "he's facing down Ariel Sharon right now, who's the
hardest line hawk that they've had in a long time."
MRC analyst Brian Boyd took down the two
additional exchanges from the February 19 Late Show:
-- Arafat the 22 Hours-a-Day 72-Year-Old
Banfield: "Usually these interviews take
place at two, three in the morning, too, because the Chairman, President
works until that hour."
Banfield: "Yeah. Yeah, we had to be on
stand-by from seven in the morning in the West Bank right through to
Letterman: "So he's up working like at,
before dawn and stays up til half way through the night?"
Banfield: "He sleeps about two or three
hours a night and that's it. And he works up until about 3am, usually if
he's going to grant any interviews they are often around one or two in the
morning. And they were very kind to us to give us the interview just
before midnight because they knew we were on the air at four in the
-- Arafat "frankly" trying to
control terrorism in the face of the "hardest line hawk,"
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Banfield maintained: "When I asked him, 'you
say you have a commitment to controlling people,' but do you have control
of your people?, he answered me frankly. He said, 'I'm doing the best I
can, I'm doing the best job I can.' He's not going to tell me no I don't.
He's caught between a rock and a hard place. He's facing down Ariel Sharon
right now, who's the hardest line hawk that they've had in a long time in
that government and now he's facing a lot of dissent from his own people
as well and his chairmanship and presidency is sort of up in question
among his own people, so he' playing a diplomatic role on both
Headline News offered advice on how to subvert U.S. law in order to travel
to Cuba, the Miami Herald's TV critic reported on Tuesday in a story
highlighted by FNC's Brit Hume that night.
The Miami Herald's Glenn Garvin failed to
give a date for what he caught, as he recounted what he characterized as
CNN's "bold bid for the all-important Felons Aged 21-55 ratings
demographic." Garvin disclosed: "Early-morning anchor Robin
Meade and Atlanta travel consultant Chris McGinnis, who regularly
contributes travel pieces to the network, offered the advice."
An excerpt from Garvin's February 19 piece:
Explaining how to celebrate "a romantic getaway to Cuba,"
McGinnis noted: "There are ways you could go legally, some ways you
can go illegally Now, of course, we need to tell you that you probably
should try to go legally first."
But that, he admitted, isn't easy, since the U.S. government generally
approves trips only for government officials, journalists, athletes
competing in a specific event or those with close family members living in
"If you want to kind of go around the legal way to go, you have to
travel to a third country," McGinnis told the ever-smiling Meade.
"So you have to go to either Nassau in the Bahamas, a few cities in
Mexico, Toronto in Canada, or via Montego Bay." A slide prepared by
CNN's art department popped onto the screen to diagram the routes
McGinnis followed that with information on hotels and currency exchange
rates, and then warned viewers not to pay for anything with credit cards
lest the fed snoops find out. "What you're doing down there is
trading with, supposedly, the enemy, and it's illegal," he said....
Plenty of news organizations have done stories on U.S. tourists
illegally visiting Cuba; that's a legitimate story. (And, certainly, from
those stories, a reader or viewer could figure out how to do it.) But
helping them to break American law crosses a line into something that's
not journalism. I've been watching television for more than 40 years, but
this was the first time I've ever seen a network provide a detailed
blueprint on how to violate the law....
END of Excerpt
To read the entire column: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/2697043.htm
of wacky stuff from CNN which favors a liberal political agenda, a MRC
Web-visitor, whom I forgot to ask permission to credit by name, alerted us
to a CNN.com story from last week which carried the dramatic headline:
"Global warming could slow Earth spin, lengthen days." Citing
"a new scientific report" from "Belgian researchers,"
CNN's Richard Stenger trumpeted how "the carbon gas spike could add
11 extra microseconds every ten years."
Eleven-millionths of a second over ten years!
How will we survive?!?! How will we ever notice?
An excerpt from the CNN article posted on
By steadily releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, humans
could inadvertently slow down the rotation of the Earth, according to a
new scientific report.
A team of Belgian researchers came to that conclusion after using
climate models to simulate a 1 percent increase in the primary greenhouse
gas each year, a rise they said coincides with current trends.
While slight, the shift in the planet's spin could be measured over the
course of decades, providing an ideal method to check the effects of
civilization-induced warming of the world, the scientists said....
In the short term, natural variations in such weather systems would
muddle the task of determining how much the gas influx slows the planet.
But over decades or longer, the human effect could become quite
pronounced, at least in relation to precise measurements of celestial
The carbon gas spike could add 11 extra microseconds every ten years,
unless changes in wind speed and atmospheric pressure somehow cancel each
other out, the Belgian Royal Observatory scientists calculated. A
microsecond is 1 millionth of a
END of Excerpt
For the entirety of the CNN.com article:
spirit of the Olympics, from the February 18 Late Show with David
the "Top Ten Ways to Make Curling More Exciting." Copyright 2002
by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. How about calling it anything but "curling"?
9. Instead of weird lookin' Norwegian dudes in sweaters -- babes in
8. Only allow French judges
7. Sweep the stone toward the hog line and then...okay, I don't know crap
6. Is it too much to ask for one curler to bite another curler?
5. Throw in one of them miniature-golf windmills
4. Instead of a granite stone, use the frozen head of Walt Disney
3. 40% of final score comes from the swimsuit competition
2. You don't think curling is exciting? What are you, insane?
1. First place gets gold medal, the rest are sent to Camp X-Ray
All you have to
know to dislike curling is that Peter Jennings, a native of Canada like
Ashleigh Banfield, is a fan of it, as he noted before a Tuesday night
story about the "sport." --
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