1. Jennings Emphasizes How Inspectors Are "Pleading for Time"
ABC's Peter Jennings opened World News Tonight with the words "pleading for time" on screen over a shot of Hans Blix as Jennings stressed: "The inspectors want more time to do their job." Unlike CBS or NBC, Jennings also highlighted up front how the nuclear inspector promised "credible assurance that Iraq has no nuclear weapons program," and Jennings treated the reaction to the UN report from the White House and Hussein regime with equal dismissiveness: "What we heard from the Iraqi government today is also as it was at the White House: true to form." Jennings pleaded with George Stephanopoulos: "The Democrats going to take on the President any more vigorously on the question of war?"
2. Time: Bush "Paying Homage" to Confederacy "Champion"? Never Mind
Time devoted an entire story in its January 27 issue to its discovery of a piece of evidence illustrating how, though President Bush "issued a stern rebuke to Senator Trent Lott," he "has revived a practice of paying homage to an even greater champion of the Confederacy -- Jefferson Davis" by sending "a floral wreath to the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery." But, as Time admitted late last week, the entire story was false. Yet New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wouldn't let it go: "Why keep a tradition of honoring the Confederacy while you're going to court to stop a tradition of helping black students at the University of Michigan?"
3. Today Examines How "Racism" & "Bigotry" Are "Alive and Well"
The U.S. has led the world in integrating peoples of various ethnic groups, races and religions, and after 9-11 showed a remarkable lack of personal anger toward Muslims, yet NBC's Today on Monday devoted
nearly a full hour to how, as Katie Couric put it, "the sad truth is in this country racism, prejudice, bias, bigotry...is unfortunately alive and well." Today focused on a few very deplorable but atypical instances of hate-inspired murder and cited hugely exaggerated statistics with a panel of liberals but no conservatives. The test of your "hidden bias," whether you agree that "it should be against airport policy to allow airport security to search passengers based on their ethnic group."
4. Garofalo Blasts Bush for Protecting Cells, Killing Iraqis
In the midst of repeating ludicrous far-left anti-war comments, such as maintaining that "we do not know" if Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, actress Janeane Garofalo complained about how the news media are not "taking me too seriously" as "they use actors to marginalize the anti-war movement." Contrary to reality, she claimed the media focus only on odd looking anti-war marchers. She was most upset by Bush's "glaring hypocrisy" in wanting to ban abortion, "yet at the same time he is asking us to drop bombs on Iraqi civilians." So, "if you are a pre-sentient mass of cells, this country will protect you," but if you are an Iraqi "we can just drop bombs on you with impunity."
Jennings Emphasizes How Inspectors Are
"Pleading for Time"
Though CBS's Dan Rather noted how the UN arms inspectors had found no "smoking gun" and NBC's Tom Brokaw pointed out how they "want more time," both led their newscasts by stressing how Iraq has failed to comply with the UN resolution. In contrast, ABC's Peter Jennings opened World News Tonight with the words "pleading for time" on screen over a shot of Hans Blix as Jennings stressed: "The inspectors want more time to do their job."
Jennings proceeded to highlight up top how the nuclear inspector, Mohamed el-Baradei, was much softer on Iraq, a point pf view CBS and NBC only got to in subsequent stories. Jennings announced that the nuclear team "said they have found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program so far and, his words now, 'provided there is sustained proactive cooperation by Iraq, we should be able within the next few months to provide credible assurance that Iraq has no nuclear weapons program.'"
Jennings treated the reaction to the UN report from the White House and Hussein regime as equally credible: "After spending last week in Baghdad listening to the Iraqi government, what we heard from the Iraqi government today is also as it was at the White House: true to form."
Discussing the developments with George Stephanopoulos, Jennings pleaded: "The Democrats going to take on the President any more vigorously on the question of war?"
Below, a rundown of how CBS and NBC opened their Monday night, January 27 newscasts followed by how Jennings approached things on ABC:
-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather teased his broadcast: "Tonight's headlines: Chief inspector slams Iraq. U.S. says time is almost up..."
Rather led the show: "Good evening. The next move is up to President Bush in his State of the Union address tomorrow night. Secretary of State Colin Powell warned Saddam Hussein today that the time for peaceful disarmament is fast coming to an end. This followed the long-awaited progress report from United Nations weapons inspectors. They have so far found no smoking gun to prove Iraq has weapons of mass destruction but, they said flatly, Saddam is not cooperating with the inspectors on matters of substance."
John Roberts started a report from the UN: "It was a sharply worded indictment of Iraq's reluctance to disarm and it only added fuel to President Bush's claim that Saddam Hussein is up to his same old game...."
-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw teased the program: "Road to War: UN weapons inspectors say Saddam is not coming clean. They want more time..."
Brokaw began the show: "Good evening. After weeks of weapons inspections, posturing by Iraq, angry demands by the Americans and skepticism from Western allies, this was an important day on the road to either war or a peaceful solution in the stand off that now has the world on hold. Hans Blix made his report to the UN Security Council on the progress of the inspectors so far. And in his dry, diplomatic monologue, he ticked off some troubling issues that are still unresolved: Nerve gas and anthrax, missile and rockets, and most of all, Iraq's resistance to disarming."
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Peter Jennings, over a shot of Blix with "pleading for time" on screen, teased the program: "On World News Tonight, the United Nations inspectors say Iraq has not yet accepted that it must disarm. The inspectors want more time to do their job."
Jennings introduced the show, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth, with this lengthy rundown:
"Good evening, everyone. This was a very important day in the debate about the possibility of war between the United States and Iraq. This morning, when the United Nations weapons inspectors reported on their progress in Iraq to the UN Security Council, there was a huge amount at stake for the Bush administration, Iraq, of course, and many other governments. The chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said, 'Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance -- not even today -- of the disarmament which was demanded of it.' As for Iraq's claims that it had destroyed all of its VX nerve gas, Mr. Blix said, 'The U.S. [on screen "the UN"] has information that conflicts with this account.' And that 'the discovery of some empty warheads designed for chemical weapons could have been an Iraqi oversight but also the tip of a submerged iceberg.' The chief nuclear weapons inspector, Mohamed el-Baradei, said they have found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program so far and, his words now, 'provided there is sustained proactive cooperation by Iraq, we should be able within the next few months to provide credible assurance that Iraq has no nuclear weapons program.' There was more from both men today about weapons and trust, or lack of it, and time, though they didn't exactly plead for it."
Setting up a subsequent story, Jennings treated the reactions in Washington and Baghdad as equally believable: "After spending last week in Baghdad listening to the Iraqi government, what we heard from the Iraqi government today is also as it was at the White House: true to form."
From Baghdad, Dan Harris explained how Iraq claims to have displayed "super cooperation."
Jennings soon brought aboard Stephanopoulos: "Now to wrap up this subject just for the day, some observations from ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who is with us here in Washington. George, I know you spent part of the day talking to Democratic leadership here, tomorrow being the State of the Union, and the Democratic response. The Democrats going to take on the President any more vigorously on the question of war?"
Stephanopoulos: "Well, I think they do feel emboldened now to question the President, in part because they see the resistance on the UN Security Council. And also they see polls showing rising anxiety in the American public, but it's a limited opposition. They're going to call for the President to give the inspectors more time and also call on President Bush to give more evidence."
Jennings: "And do you sense that that is the genuine position of all the Democrats, particularly those who wish to run for President?"
Stephanopoulos: "Well, yes, and that position is basically a holding pattern. They have some serious concerns about the unintended consequences of war, but they feel they have nothing to lose at all by being reluctant, by seeming reluctant to go to war. They think that keeps them in line with the public."
Jennings: "Now, tomorrow in the State of the Union as many Americans will be interested in the state of the economy."
Stephanopoulos: "No question about it. Senator Tom Daschle, the Senate Minority Leader, today said that the state of the union now is anxious. And the Democrats are going to try very hard to say that the President hasn't done anything for economic security."
ABC News has Jennings speaking for the Iraqis and Stephanopoulos for the Democrats.
Time: Bush "Paying Homage" to Confederacy
"Champion"? Never Mind
Time magazine's effort to prove President George W. Bush's racism was based on false claims the magazine accepted from former Clinton officials.
Time magazine devoted a half page story in its January 27 issue to its discovery of a piece of evidence illustrating how, though "Bush issued a stern rebuke to Senator Trent Lott...for his praise of the segregationist 1948 presidential bid of Strom Thurmond," Bush "has revived a practice of paying homage to an even greater champion of the Confederacy -- Jefferson Davis." Specifically, Time reporters Michael Weisskopf and Karen Tumulty charged: "Last Memorial Day, for the second year in a row, Bush's White House sent a floral wreath to the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery."
The story was illustrated with a photo of a wreath in front of a memorial. The caption: "A wreath sent by President Bush to the Confederate monument."
On Thursday last week, however, the magazine had to admit its entire story was false. But New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who had pounced on the original tale as proof of Bush's racial intolerance, instead of just correcting herself, used her correction a few days later to take another shot at Bush's for supposedly trying to end the tradition of allow black to attend the University of Michigan.
The text of the January 23 correction issued by Time which, in the new February 3 issue, appears in small type in a corner of the Notebook section, the same section where the original piece ran:
"The article 'Look Away, Dixieland' [Jan. 27] stated that President George W. Bush 'quietly reinstated' a tradition of having the White House deliver a floral wreath to the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery -- a practice 'that his father had halted in 1990.' The story is wrong.
"First, the elder president Bush did not, as TIME reported, end the decades-old practice of the White House delivering a wreath to the Confederate Memorial; he changed the date on which the wreath is delivered from the day that some southern heritage groups commemorate Jefferson Davis's birthday to the federal Memorial Day holiday.
"Second, according to documents provided by the White House this week, the practice of delivering a wreath to the Confederate Memorial on Memorial Day continued under Bill Clinton as it does under George W. Bush."
That correction is online at:
The original story is still online:
The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reported on Monday that "Time based its account on interviews with participants in the ceremony and former Clinton officials." Weisskopf doesn't want to dwell on it. He told Kurtz: "We screwed up, we corrected it, we moved on."
Of course, the tale told by the Clintonistas matched what the reporters wanted to believe as it fit into Time's assumption that Republicans exploit racial divides.
As recounted in the December 19 CyberAlert, both parties have used race at times to attract votes, but this week's Time and Newsweek magazines smeared only Republicans, and especially conservatives, as the ones exploiting white resentments against blacks. Newsweek declared: "Trent Lott and the GOP grew up together in the South. They both have a painful secret." Time argued: "When the Democratic Party embrace the civil rights movement, many alienated Southerners turned to the Republicans. The effects are still being felt today." It only took 40 years. Time even portrayed the Contract with America as racist.
Even if Bush didn't re-start the wreath-laying, but simply continued what Clinton did free of any media criticism of him, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd remained unsatisfied. Here's her "correction" at the bottom of her January 26 column:
"In my last column, I cited a Time article reporting that the president had 'quietly reinstated' a custom of sending a wreath to the Confederate Memorial. Time has since corrected the story, saying he didn't revive the custom, but simply continued it.
"I would still ask: Why keep a tradition of honoring the Confederacy while you're going to court to stop a tradition of helping black students at the University of Michigan?"
That Dowd column is online at:
Today Examines How "Racism" &
Are "Alive and Well"
The United States has led the world in integrating peoples of various ethnic groups, races and religions into its society, and after 9-11 showed a remarkable lack of personal anger toward Muslims and Arabs with very few crimes committed against them, yet NBC's Today on Monday devoted the 9am hour to how, as Katie Couric put it, "the sad truth is in this country racism, prejudice, bias, bigotry whatever you want to call it is unfortunately alive and well."
Today focused on a few very deplorable but atypical instances of hate-inspired murder of people because of their skin color, sexual orientation or religious affiliation, and cited hugely exaggerated statistics on the number of "hate crimes." Today's panel revealed a political agenda behind the hour, though Today did not acknowledge it.
In addition to Judy Shepherd, the mother of Matthew Shepherd, who was killed because he was gay, and Ruby Bridges, "who at six famously integrated the William France public school in New Orleans, escorted by federal marshals," the panel featured the politically-motivated liberal Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Tolerance.org along with James Zogby, the President of the Arab American Institute, who has a specific policy agenda on such things as ethnic profiling at airports.
The Today Web page features a section, "Fighting Intolerance," with links to all the groups on the show plus more:
Dees' Tolerance.org site features an a page where you can "test your hidden bias." See:
For the test on "hidden bias" against Arabs and Muslims, the test begins by asking you to agree or disagree with these two statements:
-- "It should be against airport policy to allow airport security to search passengers based on their ethnic group."
-- "Law enforcement officers should pay particular attention to those social groups more heavily involved in crime, even if this means focusing on members of particular ethnic groups."
That "test" is online at:
So, if you acknowledge the reality that Muslim men from the Arab region of the world are more likely to commit mass murder than Swedish teenage girls, and you favor a policy to combat that, you are somehow prejudiced? Sounds more like being rational to me.
The actual test involves your quick and immediate reaction to a series of pictures.
Some highlights, or lowlights, from Today's half hour with the panel on intolerance brought to our attention by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens. Couric set it up:
"Intolerance in America. Images of the racial upheaval of the 1950s and 60s might come to mind but the sad truth is in this country racism, prejudice, bias, bigotry whatever you want to call it is unfortunately alive and well. And we're back on this Monday morning January the 27th inside Studio 1A. I'm Katie Couric along with Matt Lauer and Al Roker. The statistics, as we all know, are frightening. According to the FBI more than 12,000 people in 2001 fell victim to a hate crime either because of their race, their religion, their ethnicity, sexual orientation or even because of a disability."
Let's pause to ponder that statistic. The MRC's Tim Graham tracked down how the FBI says: "The term victim throughout this publication refers to a person, business, institution, or society as a whole, unless otherwise specified." That would seemingly make the victim number awfully nebulous and ill-defined, and to summarize it as "12,000 people" is not technically accurate. For the FBI numbers:
Matt Lauer picked up from Couric: "In this half hour we're gonna take a look at the roots of intolerance focusing on how to prevent biased attitudes from becoming actions of hate. The key of course is education and we've invited an expert panel."
Couric later plugged the discussion: "And coming up next on Today we begin our examination of intolerance in America with a look at recent events that suggest we still have a lot of work to do."
Lauer recounted the problem: "It is only natural to identify ourselves with the groups we belong to. Our heritage, our religion, our community. But when it comes at the exclusion of others it can lead to bias and bigotry. History has shown this country's come a long way. But more recent events remind us that we still have a long way to go."
Footage with voice-overs. Man: "We are the Ku Klux Klan!
Man: "We've got to take a hard look, though, at Islam. It's a very evil and very wicked religion."
Man: "Yes I am a racist because I look at the pigmentation of my skin. I seem to like the white."
Man: "If I see someone that comes in with a diaper on his head that guy needs to be pulled over."
Man: "Matthew Shepard is in hell now."
Lauer: "These are some of the sights and sounds of intolerance in America. Biased attitudes often expressed in words, other times escalating into action....It's estimated that every day eight blacks, three whites, three gays, three Jews, and a Latino become hate crime victims. The nearly 700 known hate groups in the U.S. are the most visible face of intolerance. But you may be surprised to learn that they're responsible for less than five percent of hate crimes."
Lauer warned of what has occurred since 9-11: "And in the wake of 9-11 a disturbing new trend is emerging. So-called anti-Islamic crimes rose a staggering 1600 percent from the previous year. The number considered even higher because of attacks against people perceived to be Muslim. Balbir Singh Sodhi was killed in Mesa, Arizona just days after the September 11th attacks. He was neither Muslim nor Arab but rather an Indian Sikh...Sodhi went to his local Costco to buy American flags for the gas station he owned. And before leaving donated all of the money in his pocket, $75, to a victims of September 11th fund. He was shot and killed less than an hour later."
That certainly was a terrible incident of a crime committed by a moron, but it hardly proves any larger trend. The FBI report for 2001 lists only ten "hate" murders
And as James Taranto pointed out last year in his "Best of the Web" column for OpinionJournal.com: "For all the warnings about an expected wave of anti-Arab or anti-Muslim crimes after Sept. 11, we really didn't see much of one." He noted how Human Rights Watch only managed "to come up with three authentic examples of people who 'were murdered as a result of the September 11 backlash.' Curiously, none of the victims were Arab, and at least one was Sikh, not Muslim; it's a safe bet that Osama's boys wiped out considerably more of their innocent coreligionists on Sept. 11 than all America's 'haters' put together.
"Three people murdered is, of course, three too many, no matter what the circumstances. But to put things in perspective, that's one-third as many murders (and possibly less) attributed to the 'D.C. snipers,' who seem to have been on a mission of Muslim-inspired hate, and it's roughly 1/1,000th the number of victims that 19 Muslims claimed on Sept. 11." For Taranto's take:
Returning to more traditional concerns, Lauer maintained: "And if history is any indicator bias is slow to overcome. Hate crimes against blacks are still the leading cause of racially motivated incidents....Anti-Semitism has consistently made up the majority of incidents against religion, according to the FBI. Intolerance against gays remains pervasive as well and estimates are that suicide among gay teens is disproportionately high."
During the subsequent panel discussion Lauer cued up Zogby: "You talk about the federal government. After 9-11 James, the President came out and said, 'Do not be intolerant of Arab Americans, people from Arab countries. But then we know that there was a roundup of people from certain countries where the government was looking to question those people. Seems like conflicting messages."
Zogby, naturally, agreed: "Devastating. I mean the President stopped hate crimes in their tracks, early on, but his Justice Department has fed those hate crimes and created intolerance by almost justifying the sense that these people are dangerous and watch out for them...."
Lauer prompted Dees: "Morris, we talk about the high profile cases, Matthew Shepard and James Byrd and Ricky Byrdsong and, and should, I guess the question is should we be focusing more of our attention and pardon me for saying this Mrs. Shepard, but on the guy who spray paints a racial slur on a black church or a swastika. Are those the people that go on to further acts of violence if we don't get to them now?"
But Lauer actually suggested one liberal policy may fuel intolerance. He asked Bridges: "As you know the President, Ruby, has spoken out about the University of Michigan's admissions policy, saying they're weighted too much on race. Do you think affirmative action breeds intolerance? A white person who says, 'why is the minority getting what I'm not getting?'"
Zogby jumped in to demand "affirmative acceptance": "Affirmative action and I think it's critical and important that in 2002 that we graduate entire classes of kids from college, all white, don't know any one African American. Don't know anyone Asian, don't know anyone of another ethnic or racial group is wrong. But in addition to affirmative action we need affirmative acceptance programs. We need to do the kind of thing that Morris Dees does with the mixing-up days where kids brought together, socially-engineered together, then need to socially-engineer programs to know each other better so they take advantage of the diversity in the schools where they're now in."
Lauer ended on a dour note about the future: "Just a, I have about a minute left. Let me say, the makeup of this country is changing. It's, it's not gonna be long from now, California, it's already happened where the minorities become the majority. As the majority gets further squeezed are we going to see more intolerance, in your opinions?"
Garofalo Blasts Bush for Protecting Cells,
"I don't know that I would need to be famous as a Middle East policy expert to see that unilateral imperialism is bad policy," comedian/actress Janeane Garofalo declared in making a ridiculously over-hyped charge on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday before complaining about how the news media are not "taking me too seriously." She contended: "I think they use actors to marginalize the anti-war movement."
She complained to Howard Kurtz on the January 26 CNN show that "historically the mainstream media has never been particularly friendly to any socially progressive ideas" and then blamed the White House and the media for her ignorance:
"If I am uninformed, which I'd like to think I work very hard not to be, uninformed, it is the fault of the White House and the mainstream media. We don't get enough information. We don't get enough news with our news. And how can we function as a democracy without information? We are given disinformation and White House propaganda all the time. We have no history to our news, no context to our news, no global perspective. We don't see people outside our borders as humans. And if I am uninformed, which I'd like to think I work very hard not to be, uninformed, it is the fault of the White House and the mainstream media."
Uninformed or refusing to accept the information? She complained: "You have anchors saying all the time, 'Well, we know Saddam has weapons of mass destruction.' No, we don't. We do not. We do not know that."
She clearly doesn't watch television network news. How else to explain her take on how the networks portrayed the recent anti-war march: "They tend to marginalize it by only interviewing the guy dressed as a carrot on stilts or Wavy Gravy. You know what I mean? Like some guy with no teeth and a tie-dyed Grateful Dead shirt, because they want to marginalize it."
In fact, as anyone who actually watched or read the coverage, or read about it in CyberAlert, would know, the networks and major newspapers avoided the extremist organizers and attendees and focused nearly exclusively on those attendees who looked like mainstream America.
Refer back to:
-- "Peace march" whitewash. Ignoring the radical agenda of organizers, the networks painted attendees as sympathetically as possible, stressing how they were made up of "grandparents," "honor students," "soccer moms" and "Republicans." CNN highlighted an elderly Nazi survivor who wants to "stop more suffering." ABC's description: "Black and white, Democrat and Republican, young and old." MSNBC: "A growing number of people are speaking out against a war with Iraq: Students, grandparents, businessmen..." See:
Subsequent items in that CyberAlert looked at Washington Post and New York Times coverage.
-- Add CBS to the list of networks whitewashing Saturday's "peace" marches by ignoring the far-left agenda of those behind the protests and focusing on how marchers represented a cross-section of America. "Young, old, veterans and veteran activists united in the effort to stop the war before it starts," trumpeted CBS's Joie Chen. From San Francisco, John Blackstone highlighted a young boy who came with his father as Blackstone admired how "the crowd seemed to span the generations, a multitude that reminded" one protester "of the anti-war movement's glory days." Blackstone, however, did allow one woman to blast the "naiveté" of protesters.
Garofalo showed the most animosity toward President Bush, telling Kurtz in a quote checked against the tape by MRC analyst Patrick Gregory:
"Now, another thing I'd like to bring up, if I may, that is a glaring hypocrisy -- George W. Bush is vehemently pro-life, seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade, will not, seeks to ban scientific research as pertains to some stem cell research, cloning, because of the sanctity of human life. Yet at the same time he is asking us to drop bombs on Iraqi civilians. According to the United Nations, up to a million people will be killed and/or wounded in this war. So, apparently, if you are a pre-sentient mass of cells, this country will protect you and your rights to the nth degree. If you have made the mistake of becoming an Iraqi citizen, apparently we can just drop bombs on you with impunity."
Despite such ludicrousness, Garofalo, thanks to her celebrity status, gets plenty of air time on TV to spout her left-wing venom.
Monday's "Media Notes" column by Kurtz in the Washington Post nicely summarized most of what Garofalo said on Reliable Sources:
Garofalo, who was once part of the Saturday Night Live cast, went on to co-star in HBO's Larry Sanders Show. Since then, she's done a lot of small roles and starred in a few semi-successful movies. For a photo of her and a rundown of her roles, see her Internet Movie Database page:
Her numerous TV appearances to complain about how she's not being taken seriously are giving her a nice career-advancing boost in visibility. -- Brent Baker
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