Washington Post Finds Pro-Torricelli Republicans; "County's Growing Diversity Reflected in Those Gunned Down"; SUVs Kill as Many as Did the Terrorists; MSNBC Bumps Low-Rated Nachman; Lange: "I Despise" Bush & It's "Embarrassing" to be American
1) The Washington Post's kind of Republicans. Other than the Chairman of the New Jersey state Republican Party, reporter Dale Russakoff on Sunday relayed the views of two Republican residents of the Garden State: A woman who will vote for Democrat Frank Lautenberg because she fears the Christian Right and a woman and her husband who even would have voted to re-elect Robert Torricelli because they oppose Bush's Iraq policy and "so having another Republican in the Senate makes us a little bit nervous."
2) The Washington Post on Friday marked the murder of five local residents by celebrating how their deaths demonstrated the "diversity" of Montgomery County, Maryland where they were killed. The front page headline: "County's Growing Diversity Reflected in Those Gunned Down."
3) On Friday's Today NBC's Ann Curry allowed Keith Bradsher to rail, unchallenged, against
SUVs. In an excerpt from his book featured on Today's Web page, Bradsher claimed that SUVs are causing as many deaths each year as the number who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Two weeks earlier, however, CNN's Connie Chung balanced Bradsher by having him appear alongside a conservative and to Bradsher's claim that SUV owners are "insecure and vain" as well as "self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors," Chung retorted: "Come on. This is ridiculous!"
4) Jerry Nachman is the first casualty of MSNBC's low ratings. He's been bumped from 7 to 5pm EDT and replaced by an hour on Iraq anchored by Lester Holt. New ratings show FNC dominating with four of the five most-watched shows on cable news.
5) Update on Jessica Lange. Barbara Walters condemned Lange for saying she's "ashamed" of the U.S. and Inside Edition ran soundbites from what the actress said at a film festival last month in Spain. On Bush, "I despise his administration and everything they stand for." And: "The election was stolen by George Bush and we have been suffering ever since under this man's leadership." On Iraq: "It's unconstitutional, it's immoral and basically illegal."
In all of New Jersey, not counting the Chairman of the state's Republican Party, the Washington Post could not find one Republican who plans to vote for Republican Senate Candidate Doug Forrester over Frank Lautenberg, the ex-Senator Democrats substituted last week for Senator Robert
"Other Than Republicans, Few in N.J. Feel Outraged," announced the headline over an October 6 story by Post reporter Dale Russakoff. The subhead: "As for 'Switcharoo,' Voters Cite Scandals in Both Parties."
In addition to state Republican Chairman Joe Kyrillos, Russakoff, in a story datelined from Clifton, N.J., cited the views of two Republican residents: A "registered Republican" woman who is "socially very liberal" and will vote for Frank Lautenberg because she fears the Christian Right and a "Republican" woman and her husband who even would have voted to re-elect Torricelli because they oppose Bush's Iraq policy and "so having another Republican in the Senate makes us a little bit nervous."
Quite the Republican stalwarts.
Russakoff found these typical Republicans after "a full day of interviews in New Jersey's three main demographic subdivisions -- suburbs, cities and white ethnic enclaves."
Russakoff's description of the two "Republicans" in name only quoted in the story:
-- "Carolyn Buck, a registered Republican and former banker turned stay-at-home mother." Russakoff relayed: "Describing herself as 'socially very liberal,' Buck said she will vote without reservation for Lautenberg. 'I hate the Christian Right, and where they've taken the Republicans is just not where I am,' she said."
-- Russakoff's second representative Republican: "The state Republican Party sent out a fundraising letter Friday asking for 'emergency contributions' and warning that the switcheroo 'has made our state, once again, the butt of national jokes.' But the Rev. Heather Cherrey, a Republican in suburban Dumont, said this message will not work for her or her husband.
"She said the state supreme court was 'very, very wrong' to allow Lautenberg on the ballot after the statutory deadline. 'Bob Torricelli didn't quit because of problems with his ethics. He's had problems with his ethics forever. He quit because he was behind,' she said. She also said she and her husband voted for Bush in 2000 and think he has done a 'wonderful job on Afghanistan.'
"'But in Iraq we're going to be the aggressor,' she said, 'and we feel very uncomfortable about that. So having another Republican in the Senate makes us a little bit nervous.' She said they would vote for Lautenberg and even would have voted for
The Washington Post's kind of Republicans -- very liberal.
To read the Russakoff story in full:
The joy of "diversity" in death. The Washington Post on Friday marked the murder of five local residents by celebrating how their deaths demonstrated the "diversity" of Montgomery County, Maryland where they were killed.
"Arbitrary Victims, Identical Fate," read the October 4 front page headline over this subhead: "County's Growing Diversity Reflected in Those Gunned Down."
Because of the byline strike by the paper's unionized staff, the story did not carry a byline. It began:
James L. "Sonny" Buchanan Jr. died doing a favor for an old customer.
Though he had been out of the landscaping business for months, he still drove from his new home in Virginia every week or so to trim the grass of a longtime Kensington customer he refused to disappoint.
He was operating the Lawn-Boy mower along a strip of grass on Huff Court near Fitzgerald Auto Mall when a sniper's bullet caught him in the chest shortly after 7:30 yesterday morning.
Like Buchanan, 39, the other four victims in yesterday's random violence were shot while conducting the mundane minutiae of life: buying groceries, pumping gas, vacuuming a van and resting on a bench outside a post office.
They included an Indian-born cabdriver who preached the value of education and dreamed of arranging a good marriage for his daughter, a federal worker with a passion for the Civil War and racial justice, a young mother who had moved from rural Idaho to make a life in the urban sprawl of Montgomery County, a woman who had paused for a moment after getting off a bus and the altruistic landscaper who wrote poems and nurtured underprivileged children.
Their names and faces reflected the diversity that has become Montgomery County: Sarah Ramos, Premkumar A. Walekar, James Martin, Lori Lewis Rivera and James L. Buchanan, the man almost everyone knew as "Sonny."
END of Excerpt
See the story for yourself:
CNN's Connie Chung a model of balance compared to NBC's Ann Curry. Friday's Today featured an interview with New York Times reporter Keith Bradsher, author of High and Mighty: SUVs, the World's Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way. Curry never challenged a word Bradsher said as he railed against SUVs and she tossed him softball questions in which she echoed his themes. "The fact about SUVs is they are gas guzzlers," she asserted before inquiring: "So if we want something that's more fuel efficient and less dangerous to our families, where should we be looking if it's not for an
In an excerpt from his book featured on Today's Web page, Bradsher claimed that SUVs are causing as many deaths each year as the number who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks: "My best estimate is that the replacement of cars with SUVs is currently causing close to 3,000 needless deaths a year in the United States -- as many people annually as died in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001."
No concern apparently about how many more would die if the government mandated higher fuel economy standards which would force automakers to sell smaller and lighter cars.
Two weeks earlier, CNN's Chung balanced Bradsher by having him appear on her show alongside Sam Kazman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and she challenged some of Bradsher's heated claims. She related how in his book he offered this broad indictment of SUV owners: "They tend to be people who are insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors or communities." To that, Chung declared: "Come on. This is ridiculous!"
That quote from the Bradsher book was first publicized by Detroit Free Press reporter Tom Walsh. For an excerpt of his book review, refer back to the September 19
Today fill-in co-host Curry set up her October 4 session with Bradsher, as taken down by MRC analyst Ken Shepherd:
"Let's tell people how you got into this. You're a New York Times reporter. Years ago, you're doing reports about the event basically of the SUV. You're excited about it, but then what happens?"
Bradsher recalled how a New York Times editor first alerted him to the dangers posed by SUVs: "Well, my first year in Detroit, I wrote enthusiastic stories about the rise of SUVs like many reporters. One day my editor called me up, 1997, and said, 'look, we have to think about the safety [and] environmental implications of switching from a lot of cars to a lot of SUVs.' And as I began looking into it, spent the next five years writing about that for the New York Times, I found there are a lot of problems. There are all kinds of safety and environmental loopholes."
Curry: "And you compile them all into this book. And what you, and you say the biggest problem is, is safety and it's not necessarily rollovers like everybody thinks?"
Bradsher helpfully explained: "There are a lot of different problems that added up together mean that people in SUVs have a higher death rate than in cars. Some of the problems are the guard rails aren't tall enough for them.....Another problem: brakes. The brakes on SUVs don't stop you as fast as they stop a car...."
Curry: "Automakers have already taken your criticisms to heart, I mean they, there is something called a Bradsher guardrail is that what that's called?"
Bradsher: "A Bradsher bar, yes."
Curry: "And it's actually something that helps prevent some of the rollovers that were a bigger problem in the past."
Bradsher: "It's a hollow steel bar below and behind the bumper and it's actually to reduce somewhat the danger to cars in the sense that it catches the front ends of cars and it catches the doorsills of cars so that the SUVs don't vault right into the passenger compartment which some of them still do."
Curry: "So they named it after you because of your reporting so its probable that what you're saying in this book will be taken very much to heart. But in light of that though, in light of all of these problems, why are these vehicles so popular?"
Bradsher: "Couple of reasons. One, it's getting more and more inconvenient to drive a car these days. The glare from the SUVs is blinding. It's hard to see down the road or around the SUVs. But it's also because there is a myth of safety about SUVs....Second, parents need to be extra careful about telling small children how to behave around large sport utility vehicles. Large sport utility vehicles are particularly likely to back up over children...."
Curry: "And also, the fact about SUVs is they are gas guzzlers, I mean they're very expensive to operate. So what cars do you think that people should think about when they've got kids cause a lot of people who've got SUVs really are looking for a way to transport large families, right?"
Bradsher naturally agreed: "Exactly."
Curry: "So if we want something that's more fuel efficient and less dangerous to our families, where should we be looking if it's not for an SUV?"
Bradsher: "There are some really good choices out there. Full-sized cars and minivans are very efficient, practical choices. You can get over 30 miles to a gallon on the highway in a lot of full-sized cars these days....
Today posted an excerpt from Bradsher's book. An excerpt of the excerpt in which Bradsher asked "How many people is the SUV boom already needlessly killing?" His answer:
....My best estimate is that the replacement of cars with SUVs is currently causing close to 3,000 needless deaths a year in the United States -- as many people annually as died in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.
Roughly 1,000 extra deaths occur each year in SUVs that roll over, compared to the expected rollover death rate if these motorists had been driving cars. About 1,000 more people die each year in cars hit by SUVs than would occur if the cars had been hit by other cars.
And up to 1,000 additional people succumb each year to respiratory problems because of the extra smog caused by
This conservative estimate excludes a lot of problems that are hard to calculate, like SUVs' harm to pedestrians, or their contribution to global warming. It also excludes the growing problems overseas, where SUV sales are also starting to rise, especially in Europe, South America and Australia. SUVs are the world's most dangerous vehicles because they represent a new model of personal transportation that is inherently less safe for road users and more harmful to the environment than cars....
END of Excerpt of excerpt
For the entirety of the excerpt, with a photo of Bradsher on Today as well as a video clip of the interview:
Two weeks earlier, on the September 23 Connie Chung Tonight on CNN, Chung allowed both Bradsher and the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Sam Kazman to debate the merits of SUVs. Chung prompted Bradsher: "Give me three good reasons why you believe SUVs are dangerous -- because we own one. I think everyone out there either owns one or knows someone who has one." She then turned to Kazman: "One of the complaints that people have about SUVs, including this gentleman here, is that they do not come under federal guidelines regarding fuel economy. Why not?"
Chung soon challenged Bradsher: "Your critics say that you make quite valid points; however, you go overboard. Here's one of the quotes from your book. You say: 'People who have SUVs tend to be people who are insecure and vain. They're frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors or community.' Come on. This is ridiculous."
Bradsher maintained: "The next sentence in the book is that 'some might dismiss that as a cynic's view, but that's what the automakers' own market researchers say.'"
Even if so, Bradsher quoted it approvingly.
Chung insisted: "But that is so ridiculous, isn't it? Don't you admit that you've put something quite silly in this book? If you want to have credibility regarding your allegations against SUVs, why put something like that in there?"
Bradsher held firm: "Not in the least. I describe, I have lots of quotes from different auto executives and market researchers, such as Chrysler's head of market research saying that people who buy SUVs want to be able to put the kids in the back seat, roll up the smoked-glass windows and pretend they're still single and able to get a date again."
Jerry Nachman has become the first casualty of MSNBC's poor ratings. As of tonight, Monday October 7, Nachman's 7pm EDT show is moving to 5pm EDT to make room for a new 7pm EDT hour about Iraq anchored by Lester Holt, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.
An excerpt from the October 5 Washington Post story presumably written by Lisa de Moraes, but which did not carry a name due to the byline strike, a story which relayed some numbers showing MSNBC's low
....Starting Monday, the flailing news network will telecast "Countdown: Iraq," anchored by Lester Holt, in the 7 p.m. hour preceding "Donahue." "Countdown" is replacing "Nachman," which is being pushed to 5pm weekdays; it will continue to rerun at 2am....
The announcement of the program shift comes days after the September cable news network numbers came out. Nachman's show, which debuted July 15, averaged 250,000 viewers through the end of the third quarter. But in September, compared with August, "Nachman" fell nearly 20 percent, to 206,000 viewers -- roughly a third of the population of Alaska. In contrast, "MSNBC Live with Lester Holt," from 5 to 6pm, averaged 247,000 viewers last month, even though the number of homes tuned to television is smaller in the earlier hour.
Holt's new 7pm show will have a long way to go to catch time-slot competitors Shepard Smith on Fox News Channel, which averaged more than 1 million viewers in September, or even CNN's "Crossfire," which averaged nearly 600,000 viewers.
"Donahue," with "Nachman" as its lead-in, averaged slightly fewer than 400,000 viewers in September, which is on par with his audience in August.
MSNBC's third-quarter slump wasn't confined to
Its prime-time viewership plunged 36 percent from a year earlier, to fewer than 400,000. But CNN also suffered post-9/11 anniversary viewership problems; it was down 30 percent to fewer than 900,000 in prime time. Fox News Channel was the only cable news net with a revved third quarter -- up 18 percent compared with the year before, to a prime-time average of 1.1 million viewers....
END of Excerpt
Donahue isn't going to attract a bigger audience with his recent guest choices. On Thursday night, 45 minutes with Senator Robert Byrd and on Friday night, Ralph
An October 3 New York Post story by Michael Starr reported the prime time audiences for the cable news networks and five most-watched cable shows. Starr related how Neilsen determined for the third quarter:
> In prime time, "FNC averaged 1.1 million viewers in prime time -- a 17 percent increase over the same period in 2001." In second place, CNN a "with 879,000 prime time viewers (a 30 percent drop off), while MSNBC finished a distant third with a paltry 249,000 prime time viewers."
> The top five shows, four of five of which are on FNC:
1. FNC's O'Reilly Factor pulled in an average of 1.9 million viewers.
2. CNN's Larry King Live attracted an average of 1.4 million viewers.
3. FNC's Hannity & Colmes was right behind with 1.2 million viewers.
4. FNC's Fox Report with Shepard Smith "was fourth with 1.1 million viewers."
5. FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume garnered 937,000 viewers a night on average.
Update on Jessica Lange, America and Bush hater. The syndicated program Inside Edition aired a story showing soundbites from what the actress said at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain last month where she won a "lifetime achievement" award; how you can watch a RealPlayer playback of what she uttered; Lange's comments as originally reported in a newspaper in Spain; and how Barbara Walters condemned Lange for her remarks.
(As recounted in the October 3 CyberAlert, Lange denounced President Bush: "I hate Bush," Lange spewed last week when receiving an award at a film festival in Spain. She added: "I despise him and his entire administration" and that "what Bush intends to do with Iraq is unconstitutional, immoral and illegal."
| The actress best-known for roles in films ten-plus years ago, such as King Kong, Tootsie and Cape Fear, also said she was "ashamed to come from the United States" and, since the "atmosphere in my country is poisonous, intolerable for those of us who are not right-wing," she thanked the festival organizers for "allowing me to get out" of the U.S. for "a few days."
Lange's September 25 comments first came to light in the United States via an item in MSNBC.com's "Scoop" gossip column by Jeannette Walls, who appears to have lifted her item from a German source, the September 26 Deutsche
Edition showed actress Jessica Lange denouncing President
Bush: "I despise him"
For excerpts of both stories:
Now, the updated developments:
> Friday's edition of the syndicated program Inside Edition, hosted by Deborah Norville, ran a story about Lange's remarks. The program showed Lange making these comments, in English, at a pre-awards ceremony press conference:
-- On George W. Bush: "I despise him. I despise his administration and everything they stand for."
-- "To my mind the election was stolen by George Bush and we have been suffering ever since under this man's leadership."
-- "And I think this latest thing with Iraq is absolute madness and I'm stunned that there is not opposition on a much more global scale to what he's talking about."
-- "There has to be a movement now to really oppose what he is proposing because it's unconstitutional, it's immoral and basically illegal."
-- "It is an embarrassing time to be an American. It really is. It's humiliating."
Thanks to a CyberAlert reader who wishes to remain anonymous, but whom I will say is a contributor to freerepublic.com, I've located a Web page where you can watch the entire press conference with Lange.
Go to this page for a photo of Lange getting her award:
Then click on click on "LIVE. Jessica Lange, Chen Kaige and Agustí Villaronga in Press Conference. Donostia Award's Gala."
Or, go direct to this link:
And to play the RealPlayer video, click on:
Press Conference with the Donostia Award."
Unfortunately, the yatv.com customized RealPlayer format does not allow you to advance the video to a particular time point and the press conference is about 45 minutes long. But I sacrificed myself for the ease of CyberAlert readers and discovered that the relevant comments come about 35 minutes into the event. So hit play, turn down your volume and then listen up after a half hour.
> The same CyberAlert reader also alerted me to a Madrid newspaper story about Lange's remarks. Headlined, "Jessica Lange recibe el Premio Donostia y declara su odio a George Bush y su Administración," the story is datelined San Sebastian. The opening paragraph of the story by Elsa Fernandez-Santos in the September 26 edition of El Pais:
"Lo que George Bush pretende hacer con Irak es inconstitucional, inmoral e ilegal. Odio a Bush, le desprecio a él y a toda su Administración. No sólo por su política internacional, sino también por la nacional. Venir hoy de Estados Unidos sólo me da vergüenza, es humillante". Jessica Lange respondió ayer así a la pregunta de cómo veía las consecuencias del 11-S en su país y del anuncio de guerra contra Irak. "Bush robó las elecciones y desde entonces lo padecemos todos. Lo de Irak es una absoluta locura, pero lo que no entiendo es que nadie le frene, ni dentro ni fuera de EE UU. No veo movimientos de derechos civiles o de estudiantes que se enfrenten a un Gobierno inaceptable. No existe conciencia entre los jóvenes de lo que está ocurriendo en nuestro país y sólo espero que algún día esto cambie y alguien se levante de una
END of Excerpt
For the article in full:
> Prompted by a short item in Thursday's (October 3) New York Daily News, with some of what Lange said at the film festival in San Sebastian Spain, on Thursday's The View Barbara Walters said Lange had every right to castigate Bush, but Walters condemned Lange for saying she's "'ashamed' to come from the United States."
Walters asserted: "She's getting a lifetime achievement award for her acting. So you accept the award. If people want to say things -- Barbra Streisand was on doing a fundraiser for the Democrats last Sunday and bashed Bush -- that's okay. She's doing a fundraiser. She might have gone on, some people thought more, some people, that's her right. But when you are going to get -- I think -- to get an award for your acting and you say -- you can even dislike Bush -- but when you say it makes me feel 'ashamed' to come from the United States. This is still the greatest country in the world [*], whether you like the President and agree with him or you don't. It's the wrong place to do it."
* at this point the audience broke into applause, a reassuring sign of widespread disgust with Lange's anti-American attitude.
If America is so awful, why didn't Lange stay in Spain?
-- Brent Baker
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