Two Hours Pushing Rosie's Agenda; "Flag Waving" Has "Infected Journalism"; NBC on the Real Arafat; Fonda's Vietnam Revisionism
1) ABC devoted two hours of its prime time Thursday night
to the personal and political agenda of liberal activist/actress/TV talk
show host Rosie O'Donnell so she could press her cause to overturn a
Florida law which bars gay and lesbian couples from adopting kids. Lest
there be any doubt that ABC centered the show around O'Donnell's
views, the network fawningly titled the program, "Rosie's Story:
For the Sake of the Children."
2) The Boston Globe reported that CNN's Christiane
Amanpour complained "that a flag-waving fervor seems to have infected
journalism, pointing to 'a definite sense of patriotism in the American
media since Sept. 11....I think people are afraid of challenging the
3) Thursday's NBC Nightly News featured a refreshing
piece by Andrea Mitchell who documented how Yasser Arafat regularly
promises peace while at the very same time urging his followers to murder
Israelis: "On January 27th Arafat tells Israeli television: 'My
hand is outstretched in peace.' But earlier that same day, to a
Palestinian women's march, he called for 'jihad' -- holy war. And
within hours the first female suicide bomber blows herself up on a busy
4) The failure of Virginia's legislature to ask
residents to enact a higher sales tax prompted the Washington Post to
assume a tax hike is desirable as it examined "what went wrong."
5) Former NBC News reporter Star Jones was baffled on
ABC's The View by disgust at Jane Fonda: "I've been floored by
the number of e-mails this show received even now from Vietnam
veterans." Fonda claimed she opposed the war in order to save U.S.
soldiers: "I discovered that we had been lied to and that tens of
thousands of American men had died because our leaders wouldn't admit
that they'd made a mistake." She insisted veterans are mad at her
only because they cannot "face" how the government lied to them.
6) Sam Donaldson for Senate? The New York Post speculated
on Thursday that he may run for a New Mexico seat.
social attitude adjustment agenda, "for the children." In the
worst kept secret in years, on Thursday night Rosie O'Donnell announced
to an ABC audience that she's a lesbian. Her "revelation"
occurred during a two-hour special edition of Prime Time Thursday, a
"special event" in the words of host Diane Sawyer, devoted to
promoting a pet cause of O'Donnell's, allowing gay and lesbian couples
to adopt kids and, specifically, her quest to overturn a Florida law which
bars homosexual foster parents from adopting.
Lest there be any doubt that O'Donnell's
personal views set the agenda for the show which she appeared throughout
to talk both about her sexuality and adoption, ABC fawningly titled the
program, "Rosie's Story: For the Sake of the Children."
ABC nearly turned over its entire broadcast
schedule on Thursday to the liberal O'Donnell's cause, with Good
Morning America featuring two lengthy excerpts from the Sawyer interview
with her as well as a preview of what led the prime time show, the most
sympathetic look possible at the subject: a profile of two gay men who
have taken into their foster home several HIV-positive kids who no one
else wanted, but now the kids face losing the only parents they've ever
known since Florida law says they should be adopted by a heterosexual
couple. After the second O'Donnell interview segment, actress Rene Russo
announced that she was raised by lesbians.
Thursday's World News Tonight also ran a
clip from the segment with the poster gay parents.
On GMA, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson noticed,
O'Donnell proclaimed her new mission in life now that she's ending her
day time TV show in May, a mission with a political edge which ABC News
helped fulfill: "I'm leaving [The Rosie O'Donnell Show] because I
feel as though I've done everything I wanted to do. I will continue to
raise money and awareness about the rights of children in a country where
they have no rights, and that's what my mission and my life is, that's
what I've always felt would be my mission in life, would be to help raise
awareness of the plight of children in this country."
GMA also highlighted the portion of the
interview in which O'Donnell declared President Bush "wrong"
to say a family with a mom and a dad are better for kids and she invited
George and Laura Bush to come stay with her and her partner, an
ex-Nickelodeon cable TV channel executive, to prove their fitness.
It's hard to provide a thorough rundown for
a two-hour show, and I missed a half hour of it, but I think it's safe
to say ABC had no intention of delivering a balanced look at the
controversial subject. The show began, as noted above, with the most
sympathetic case study one could imagine, two gay men in a long term
relationship who were willing to take in HIV-positive kids. After lengthy
interview segments with O'Donnell, about 45 minutes into the show Sawyer
did allow some opponents of gay adoption to suggest why placing kids with
heterosexual couples is preferable, but their arguments were immediately
dismissed as either naive or just plain wrong by "experts"
The last 20
minutes of the program was dedicated to having kids, from what appeared to
be barely six-years-old to their early teens, declaring that they love
their gay or lesbian foster parents and that they are just as caring,
stable and nurturing as heterosexual parents. As if the kids have any
basis of comparison.
O'Donnell has an ally at another network for
her agenda. On Thursday's Entertainment Tonight, NBC's Matt Lauer
asserted: "She's a good friend and I support her 100 percent."
A few weeks ago on The View, Barbara Walters and the rest of the show's
gang made it clear they don't understand how anyone could oppose letting
gay couples adopt.
One subject not raised by Sawyer with
O'Donnell: Why O'Donnell, a New York City native who tapes her show at
Rockefeller Center, lives in Florida, a state without an income tax. Could
it be that the liberal O'Donnell who advocates higher government
spending is trying to avoid the state income taxes she'd have to pay if
she officially resided in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut?
Christiane Amanpour complained that the Bush team "is getting a lot
of cover" from journalists because patriotism in the media means
reporters "are afraid of challenging the administration."
Amanpour made the comments, which FNC's Brit
Hume highlighted Thursday night, at a March 13 forum held a day after
Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and
Public Policy gave her an award for lifetime excellence in investigative
In the March 14 Boston Globe, Mark Jurkowitz
quoted Amanpour's remarks (ellipses as they appeared in the Globe
said that a flag-waving fervor seems to have infected journalism, pointing
to 'a definite sense of patriotism in the American media since Sept.
11....I think people are afraid of challenging the administration....I
think the Bush administration is getting a lot of cover from us willing to
For the entire Globe story: http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/073/living/Post_
midst of the usual media focus on the "cycle of violence" in
Israel and the supposed over-reaction of Israel to terrorist attacks,
Thursday's NBC Nightly News featured a refreshing piece of journalism by
Andrea Mitchell. She documented how Yasser Arafat regularly promises peace
in English while at the very same time urging his followers to murder
Israelis. One example, earlier this year he announced: "Into
Jerusalem we shall go as millions of martyrs as need be."
Thursday's World News Tonight on ABC
illustrated the prevalent media attitude in which Palestinian polemic
points are given full legitimacy. Peter Jennings talked with Barbara
Walters in Saudi Arabia after she had interviewed the Crown Prince. One of
Jennings' questions: "What did the Crown Prince say about the
difficult issues of Palestinian rights to return to live in what is Israel
today and what did he say about Jerusalem?"
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams set up
the March 14 story: "These days you hear the question openly: Can
there ever really be a peace deal with the current leaders in charge on
both sides? Yasser Arafat, especially, has unique problems, which
sometimes tried to solve by saying different things, depending on who is
Reporter Andrea Mitchell explained Arafat's
contradictions: "He's been the de facto leader of the Palestinians
for decades, once calling for total war. Now claiming he wants peace. But
which Yasser Arafat are we to believe? Critics say it's hard to tell,
because what he says often depends on whom he's talking to. There are
plenty of examples.
January 27th Arafat tells Israeli television: 'My hand is outstretched
in peace.' But earlier that same day, to a Palestinian women's march,
he called for 'jihad' -- holy war. And within hours the first female
suicide bomber blows herself up on a busy Jerusalem street. A week later
the same doubletalk. In the Sunday New York Times, Arafat writes, 'I
condemn the attacks carried out by terrorist groups against Israeli
civilians.' But, to his own people in Ramallah, it's a call to arms.
Here he says, quote, 'Into Jerusalem we shall go as millions of martyrs
as need be.' And that night a terrorist murdered three Jewish settlers,
including a mother and child. Palestinian radio, which Arafat controls,
calls the terrorist a hero, and Arafat tells his followers, 'We will
make the lives of the infidels hell.'
flagrant example: Bush officials say last January Arafat meets with United
States peace negotiator Anthony Zinni to discuss a cease fire. But on that
same day Israel captures this Iranian ship loaded with weapons for the
Palestinians. Arafat tells President Bush he knows nothing about it -- a
blatant lie, according to U.S. intelligence."
"Ordering up weapons that were intercepted on a boat headed
for that part of the world is not part of fighting terror.
That's enhancing terror."
"So which Arafat are we to believe? Perhaps neither."
former U.S. ambassador to Israel: "He tells us he's going to do one
thing and he signals to his people another thing."
University of Maryland: "He has left a lot of things vague enough to
be interpreted by the international community and those who know him as
not to be truthful."
concluded: "But as frustrating as Arafat can be for the U.S.,
officials say they have to deal with him until the Palestinians
elect someone else."
failure to enact some kind of a tax hike or a mechanism to allow one is a
failure to the Washington Post, one requiring an examination of "what
CyberAlert does not usually deal with local
news stories, even in major national newspapers, but this one seems so
endemic to the newspaper's ethos, that I thought I'd devote a few
lines to it.
Last week, the Republican Speaker of the House
of Delegates in Virginia managed to get the session adjourned before
liberal Democrats and liberal Republicans could push through a bill which
would have placed on the ballot in Northern Virginia a referendum on
imposing a regional sales tax hike to ostensibly pay for more
transportation and education spending. This, after state spending has
soared 44 percent over the past four years.
With that as the background, check out how the
Washington Post, in all of its weekly "Extra" sections dedicated
to news about Northern Virginia localities, approached the situation --
not as a victory which saved residents from a tax hike, but as a failure.
"For N.Va. Area, a High-Stakes No-Hitter: Despite Differences, Hopes
for Salvaging Sales Tax Measure," read the March 14 headline over the
unbylined story, which began:
Virginia has struck out -- for now -- on additional money for
transportation and education, although Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) has said he
would press for a transportation-only sales tax referendum when lawmakers
come back to Richmond next month.
General Assembly adjourned Saturday, Fairfax Extra asked five top
political, business and education leaders to look at what went wrong and
whether some type of tax proposal could still win approval this
For the entire story:
Fonda's revisionist history enabled by clueless panelists on ABC's The
View. Interviewing Fonda on the March 14 edition of the ABC day time
program created by Barbara Walters, former NBC News reporter Star Jones
was baffled by why Vietnam veterans are still disgusted at Fonda:
"I've been floored by the number of e-mails this show received even
now from Vietnam veterans, from their families..."
Meredith Viera, a former 60 Minutes
correspondent, also sat around the couch with Fonda. Walters, who earlier
called in from Saudi Arabia, did not participate in the Fonda segment.
Fonda, who in 1972 traveled to North Vietnam
where she posed atop an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot-down U.S. planes
and did a radio broadcast praising the wonderful achievements of the enemy
communist regime over "U.S. imperialists," and who said
Americans should "not hail the POWs as heroes, because they are
hypocrites and liars" who were never tortured, claimed on The View
that all the actions she took during the Vietnam War were in order to save
U.S. soldiers from dying:
believed that our country was on the side of the angels and that we stood
for integrity and peace and human rights, and when I discovered that we
had been lied to and that tens of thousands of American men had died
because our leaders wouldn't admit that they'd made a mistake even
though they knew it privately..."
She added that she was concerned about how the
war "put our men in danger" and that veterans are mad at her
only because they cannot "face" how their government lied to
In a widely cited comment from 1970, Fonda had
extolled: "It's my fondest wish that some day every American will
get down on their knees and pray to God that some day they will have the
opportunity to live in a communist society."
Many millions died at the hands of communists
in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam after the U.S. pulled out to leave Fonda's
friends in charge.
Fonda came aboard the March 14 The View to
promote an anti-war play she is producing in New York City, Necessary
Targets, about a New York City psychologist confronting the horrors of war
Fonda ruminated, as transcribed by MRC analyst
Brad Wilmouth: "And then the Vietnam War, like a lot of people, I
couldn't avoid dealing with the Vietnam War, and I realized that our
government was lying to us. And I grew up believing, my father fought in
the Pacific and I believed that our country was on the side of the angels
and that we stood for integrity and peace and human rights, and when I
discovered that we had been lied to and that tens of thousands of American
men had died because our leaders wouldn't admit that they'd made a
mistake even though they knew it privately, and now that's all come out.
And I realized that if citizens don't become active and involved,
they're going to get away with it, and so I've never looked
That led Star Jones to wonder why people would
still hold a grudge against her: "I've been floored by the number
of e-mails this show received even now from Vietnam veterans, from their
families, that say ask her about this, ask her about that. I know that
you've moved past it and our country has moved past it, but how do
Fonda cut her
off: "I will never move past it, we should not move past it. We need
to learn the lessons, we should learn the lessons, we're going to stay
there until we learn the lessons."
"But I know so many veterans say 'I disagree with her.'"
elaborated on her earlier rationale: "Yeah, it's because it's
much easier for people to buy into the revisionist history that has been
created for us about what that war was about. It's much harder to
realize that people that we elected to office lied to us, put our men in
danger [applause], and killed them in order to save their own egos, and
because God forbid we should lose face. And it's too hard to have to
face that, especially if you've had friends that have died there or if
you have families that have died there, but if we don't understand what
that was really -- I'm writing about it right now and so I'm real
passionate about it.
know, the thing that's important about Necessary Targets also
relates to the Vietnam issue in the sense that this is a small little blue
planet and if we don't learn to love others, that's what Necessary
Targets is about, this woman, this psychiatrist from New York is put
into a situation with people that she doesn't care anything about, she
doesn't know anything about, it's not her struggle, and learns to open
her heart and learns that we're all in this together, whether they're
Afghanistan, Bosnian, Vietnamese, American, Philippine, it doesn't
matter. Either we hang together with love and learn to look out for each
other and learn to make sure that the people we elect to office move from
a place of empathy and compassion and love rather than, 'I'm going to
prove I'm a man and, you know, God forbid I should lose face, you know,
I'm going to put the coon skin on the wall.' We are not learning our
lessons. That's why this play is important."
I guess Jane Fonda never joined Ted Turner on
any hunting trips.
Via a Google.com search, I located a lot of
pages with material about Fonda's actions and statements during the
Vietnam era, but I cannot vouch for their accuracy, though I have no
reason to believe anything below is inaccurate and I've stuck to what
Several sites feature the photo of Fonda atop
the anti-aircraft gun, including:
Henry Mark Holzer and Erika Holzer, authors of
the book, Aid and Comfort: Jane Fonda in North Vietnam, show the picture
on the book's cover: http://www.hanoijane.net/
Another site features the following recounting
of Fonda's comments about American POWs:
When American POWs finally began to return home (some of them having
been held captive for up to nine years) and describe the tortures they had
endured at the hands of the North Vietnamese, Jane Fonda quickly told the
country that they should "not hail the POWs as heroes, because they
are hypocrites and liars." Fonda said the idea that the POWs she had
met in Vietnam had been tortured was "laughable," claiming:
"These were not men who had been tortured. These were not men who had
been starved. These were not men who had been brainwashed." The POWs
who said they had been tortured were "exaggerating, probably for
their own self-interest," she asserted. She told audiences that
"Never in the history of the United States have POWs come home
looking like football players. These football players are no more heroes
than Custer was. They're military careerist and professional killers"
who are "trying to make themselves look self-righteous, but they are
war criminals according to law."
END Reprint of Web item
That's from: http://www.geocities.com/fateymike/jane.html
This Web page has the most stuff about Fonda,
but be warned (or encouraged) that it also features a graphic of a man
urinating on Fonda and a picture what purports to be a topless Fonda.
A man named Grover Furr, who teaches a course
about the Vietnam War at Montclair State College in New Jersey, has posted
the text of Fonda's 1972 Hanoi radio broadcast. Furr's page for it: http://www.chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/fonda.html
The text as Furr has it posted:
Jane Fonda Broadcast from Hanoi, August 22, 1972
(The following public domain information is a transcript from the US
Congress House Committee on Internal Security, Travel to Hostile Areas, HR
16742, 19-25 September, 1972, page 7671. From the CompuServe Military
[Radio Hanoi attributes talk on DRV visit to Jane Fonda; from Hanoi in
English to American servicemen involved in the Indochina War, 1 PM GMT, 22
August 1972. Text: Here's Jane Fonda telling her impressions at the end of
her visit to the Democratic Republic of
Vietnam; (follows recorded female voice with American accent);]
This is Jane Fonda. During my two week visit in the Democratic Republic
of Vietnam, I've had the opportunity to visit a great many places and
speak to a large number of people from all walks of life-workers,
peasants, students, artists and dancers, historians, journalists, film
actresses, soldiers, militia girls, members of the women's union, writers.
I visited the (Dam Xuac) agricultural coop, where the silk worms are
also raised and thread is made. I visited a textile factory, a
kindergarten in Hanoi. The beautiful Temple of Literature was where I saw
traditional dances and heard songs of resistance. I also saw unforgettable
ballet about the guerrillas training bees in the south to attack enemy
soldiers. The bees were danced by women, and they did their job well.
In the shadow of the Temple of Literature I saw Vietnamese actors and
actresses perform the second act of Arthur Miller's play All My Sons, and
this was very moving to me-the fact that artists here are translating and
performing American plays while US imperialists are bombing their country.
I cherish the memory of the blushing militia girls on the roof of their
factory, encouraging one of their sisters as she sang a song praising the
blue sky of Vietnam -- these women, who are so gentle and poetic, whose
voices are so beautiful, but who, when American planes are bombing their
city, become such good fighters.
I cherish the way a farmer evacuated from Hanoi, without hesitation,
offered me, an American, their best individual bomb shelter while US bombs
fell near by. The daughter and I, in fact, shared the shelter wrapped in
each others arms, cheek against cheek. It was on the road back from Nam
Dinh, where I had witnessed the systematic destruction of civilian targets
-- schools, hospitals, pagodas, the factories, houses, and the dike
As I left the United States two weeks ago, Nixon was again telling the
American people that he was winding down the war, but in the rubble-strewn
streets of Nam Dinh, his words echoed with sinister (words indistinct) of
a true killer. And like the young Vietnamese woman I held in my arms
clinging to me tightly -- and I pressed my cheek against hers -- I
thought, this is a war against Vietnam perhaps, but the tragedy is
One thing that I have learned beyond a shadow of a doubt since I've
been in this country is that Nixon will never be able to break the spirit
of these people; he'll never be able to turn Vietnam, north and south,
into a neo-colony of the United States by bombing, by invading, by
attacking in any way. One has only to go into the countryside and listen
to the peasants describe the lives they
led before the revolution to understand why every bomb that is dropped
only strengthens their determination to resist.
I've spoken to many peasants who talked about the days when their
parents had to sell themselves to landlords as virtually slaves, when
there were very few schools and much illiteracy, inadequate medical care,
when they were not masters of their own lives.
But now, despite the bombs, despite the crimes being created-being
committed against them by Richard Nixon, these people own their own land,
build their own schools-the children learning, literacy- illiteracy is
being wiped out, there is no more prostitution as there was during the
time when this was a French colony. In other words, the people have taken
power into their own hands, and they are controlling their own lives.
And after 4,000 years of struggling against nature and foreign
invaders-and the last 25 years, prior to the revolution, of struggling
against French colonialism -- I don't think that the people of Vietnam are
about to compromise in any way, shape or form about the freedom and
independence of their country, and I think Richard Nixon would do well to
read Vietnamese history, particularly their poetry, and particularly the
poetry written by Ho Chi Minh.
END Reprint of Fonda's radio broadcast
The audience of ABC's The View heard nothing
about what Fonda really said 30 years ago.
Donaldson for Senate? The New York Post's "Page Six" gossip
column on Thursday included this intriguing item, to which the MRC's
Rich Noyes alerted me:
"Senator Sam? Sam Donaldson may not be
getting any love from his bosses at ABC, but this afternoon he's joining
Senate Democrats in a private luncheon in the U.S. Capitol. The bombastic
newsman, who is rumored to be on his way out of ABC's weak Sunday
political chat show, might be eyeing a run for the Senate in New Mexico,
where he raises mohair-producing sheep on his federally subsidized
Maybe George Stephanopoulos can be his
campaign manager. --
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