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The 1,958th CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
4:45am EDT, Friday April 22, 2005 (Vol. Ten; No. 71)

 
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1. Winners at the MRC's "DisHonors Awards" Held Thursday Night
A rundown of the MRC's "2005 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2004," as presented on Thursday night before an audience of more than 950 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC. Cal Thomas was the Master of Ceremonies with Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Neal Boortz pitching in as presenters of five award categories with conservatives, including T. Boone Pickens and Zell Miller, accepting them in jest. Also, John O'Neill of Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth received the MRC's first Conservative of the Year Award.

2. The Judges Who Selected the Winning Quotes
The list of the 16 judges, all leading media observers, who gave generously of their time to evaluate the quotes and pick the winners.

3. Audience Awards the "Quote of the Year" to Dan Rather
The "Quote of the Year," as chosen via the cheering, clapping and hooting from the audience.

4. Media Ignore Bolton Critic's Tie to "Mothers Opposed to Bush"
No doubting a Bolton critic? Bob Schieffer on Wednesday's CBS Evening News and Katie Couric on Thursday morning's Today show both passed along the latest charge leveled against John Bolton, the President's nominee for Ambassador to the United Nations, that he threw a tirade against a woman while both were in Moscow in 1994. But neither bothered to tell viewers that the woman, Melody Townsel, who claimed that Bolton was "behaving like a madman," is an anti-Bush activist and the founder of the Dallas chapter of "Mothers Opposed to Bush" or MOB.

5. CBS: Germans Unhappy with German Pope, "Unease" Over Nazi Years
On Wednesday night, CBS reporter Sheila MacVicar found in Germany mostly "dissidents" and Protestants attacking the "prejudice" of Pope Benedict XVI and calling his election a "catastrophe." She reported most Germans didn't want him to be Pope, and there was "not much celebration" there. CBS also added people questioning whether young Joseph Ratzinger was a "coward" during the Nazi era. McVicar failed to tell viewers that Ratzinger deserted an anti-aircraft battery in Munich, risking the death penalty.


MRC Appearance Alert: MRC President L. Brent Bozell is scheduled to appear sometime in the 8am EDT hour Friday on FNC's Fox & Friends. Topic: The MRC's DisHonors Awards.
    

 

Winners at the MRC's "DisHonors Awards"
Held Thursday Night

     Cal Thomas, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Neal Boortz, Zell Miller, Midge Decter, T. Boone Pickens and Janet Parshall highlighted the presentations and acceptances of MRC's "2005 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2004," which were presented on Thursday night, April 21, before an audience of more than 950 -- our largest crowd ever -- packed into the Grand Ballroom of the J.W. Marriott in Washington, D.C.

     Following the presentation of the Dishonors Awards videos in five categories, a look at the Best of the Worst of Dan Rather and the audience picking the Quote of the Year, we presented a 12-minute video tribute to the Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth. MRC President L. Brent Bozell then honored a founder of the group, John O'Neill, with the MRC's Conservative of the Year Award. O'Neill paid tribute to his comrades who were appalled by John Kerry's claims and charges.

     DisHonors Awards winners were selected by a distinguished panel of 16 leading media observers who served as judges -- including Rush Limbaugh, Cal Thomas, William F. Buckley, Jr., Ann Coulter, John Fund, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Kate O'Beirne, Lucianne Goldberg, Walter E. Williams, Thomas Winter and Robert Novak. For the list of judges with identifications and links to their Web sites, see item #2 below.

     Cal Thomas, a syndicated columnist and host of FNC's After Hours with Cal Thomas, served again as a splendid Master of Ceremonies. Sean Hannity, co-host of FNC's Hannity & Colmes and a national radio talk show host, was the first presenter of nominee videos and the announcement of the winner, followed by author Ann Coulter and then Atlanta-based nationally-syndicated radio talk show host Neal Boortz.

     In place of the journalist who won each award, a conservative accepted it in jest. Those standing in for the winners: Colin McNickle of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the target of Teresa Heinz Kerry's "shove it" remark; renowned businessman T. Boone Pickens; national radio talk show host Janet Parshall; Midge Decter, author and conservative intellectual; and former U.S. Senator Zell Miller.

     The evening began with welcoming remarks from Cal Thomas, an invocation by Reverend Vincent Rigdon and the Pledge of Allegiance led by MRC Trustee Dick Eckburg.

     After the second award category, we paid tribute to Reed Irvine, the founder of Accuracy in Media who passed away last year, and then Ann Coulter narrated a video review of Dan Rather's worst bias. Later, Cal Thomas urged the audience to put Peter Jennings in their prayers. To introduce acceptor Colin McNickle, attendees watched videos of Teresa Heinz Kerry's "shove it" attack of him and, leading into Zell Miller, attendees were treated to video of the Miller/Chris Matthews "duel" exchange from MSNBC's Republican convention coverage. The audience loudly cheered Miller's retorts to Matthews and laughed throughout Miller's live mock acceptance remarks.

     For all five "DisHonors Awards" categories, the top three quotes in each category were played in random order followed by the announcement of the winner. Throughout the night Thomas, the presenters and acceptors entertained the audience with humorous comments about current events, mocking the pretentiousness displayed in the nominated quotes and the poor journalism of those being highlighted.

     To get the full flavor of the mocking atmosphere of the evening, you'll need to watch video of the event (it will not be carried by C-SPAN). The MRC's Mez Djouadi has already posted RealPlayer videos of each nominated quote, and through the day Friday he will be adding video segments of Cal Thomas introducing the presenters, the presentations of the awards and the remarks of those accepting them. So, as the hours pass, check back with this address to see what has been added since you last checked: www.mediaresearch.org

     Below are the top runners-up in each award category as picked by the judges, followed by the winner and the name of the conservative who accepted the award in jest:


+ REALLY Time to Retire Award

Presented by Sean Hannity

     Runners-up:

     # CBS's Morley Safer: "You talk about a vision, and it's some kind of abstract, vague idea. Did his [Ronald Reagan's] vision include extraordinary deficits? Did his vision include cutting of the budgets for education and a back of the hand in terms of public education?"
     King: "History will not be kind to him?"
     Safer: "No, I don't think history particularly will be kind."
     King: "You don't?"
     Safer: "They'll talk about all that superficial stuff that all of you have been talking about. But when it gets down to the real substance, I don't think history has any reason to be kind to him."
-- CNN's Larry King Live, June 14 discussion about Ronald Reagan's legacy.

     # "Today, on the Internet and elsewhere, some people, including many who are partisan political operatives, concentrated not on the key questions of the overall story, but on the documents that were part of the support of the story. They allege that the documents are fake....The 60 Minutes report was based not solely on the recovered documents, but on a preponderance of the evidence, including documents that were provided by what we consider to be solid sources and interviews with former officials of the Texas National Guard. If any definitive evidence to the contrary of our story is found, we will report it. So far, there is none."
-- Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, September 10.


     And the winner is:

     # "I have a feeling that it [bin Laden's new videotape] could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, that he probably set up bin Laden to this thing."
-- Former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite on CNN's Larry King Live, October 29.

     Accepting for Walter Cronkite....Colin McNickle



+ Send Bush to Abu Ghraib Award

Presented by Sean Hannity

     Runners-up:

     # "The President's team knows that it can't get back to the White House by taking only hard right turns, so it has, as three of its featured speakers, Republicans who have been successful by navigating the middle of the road as well as the right-hand side: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, Rudy Giuliani, New York's former Mayor, and Senator John McCain who often calls himself John Kerry's best friend in the U.S. Senate. Streetwise New Yorkers may call that the political equivalent of a popular con game in this tough town -- three-card monte. But then, that's also a game in which the dealer almost always wins."
-- Tom Brokaw on the August 29 NBC Nightly News, the eve of the Republican convention.

     # "To move to the 9/11 Commission, you yourself have acknowledged in the, that Osama bin Laden was not a central focus of the administration in the months before September 11th....Two-and-a-half years later, do you feel any sense of personal responsibility for September 11th?"
-- New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller to President Bush at an April 13 news conference.


     And the winner is:

     # Bill Moyers: "There have been 37,000 civilians killed in Iraq, or as many perhaps as 100,000. Why is abortion a higher moral issue with many American Christians than the invasion of Iraq and the loss of life there?"
     Sister Joan Chittister: "Could I ask you that question? Because that is the moral question that brings me closest to tears. I do not understand that, Bill. You see, I'm absolutely certain that some of the people that we're killing over there are pregnant women. Now what do you do? Now what do you do? That's military abortion."
     Moyers: "Somebody said to me -- that's what?"
     Chittister: "That's military abortion. Why is that morally acceptable?"
     Moyers: "Somebody said to me the other day that Americans don't behead, but we do drop smart bombs that do it for us."
-- November 12 exchange on PBS's Now.

     Accepting for Bill Moyers....T. Boone Pickens



+ Al Franken Award for the Stupidest Analysis

Presented by Ann Coulter

     Runners-up:

     # Matt Lauer: "Let me talk about this idea that a rag-tag group -- not well-fed, not well-clothed, completely under-equipped as compared to this great British army and the Hessians -- could accomplish this. And let me ask you to think about what is going on in Iraq today, where the insurgents €" not well equipped, smaller in numbers -- the greatest army in the world is their opposition. What's the lesson here?"
     Lynne Cheney: "Well, the difference, of course, is who's fighting on the side of freedom."
-- Exchange on the November 9 Today show, where Mrs. Cheney was promoting her new children's book on General George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War.

     # "Tonight, savagery in the streets of Iraq. Ten Americans die in a single day, four of them civilians murdered, mutilated and dragged through the streets. Who is behind this? What drives American civilians to risk death in Iraq? In this economy, it may be, for some, the only job they can find."
-- Dan Rather teasing a report on the CBS Evening News on March 31, the day four American civilians were killed and mutilated in Fallujah, Iraq.


     And the winner is:

     # "Veterans haven't been a big force in past campaigns... but the Vietnam vets may feel bound together more strongly....It may be too early to know how influential they'll be in Kerry's campaign, but they have already done one thing: If the Republicans had any hope of casting Kerry as some Michael Dukakis-style effete Eastern liberal, that's over. The band of brothers stands in its way."
-- CNN's Bruce Morton on Inside Politics, January 30.

     Accepting for Bruce Morton....Janet Parshall



+ The I'm Not a Political Genius But I Play One on TV Award

Presented by Neal Boortz

     Runners-up:

     # Cynthia McFadden: "There's the last image of the video where President Bush, or a President Bush look-alike, kisses Saddam Hussein-" Madonna: "On the cheek." McFadden: "On the cheek. What are we supposed to think about that?" Madonna: "Although, you know, they [President Bush and Saddam Hussein] are very different people serving very different purposes. I think they both have very equally narrow views about how to solve problems and it is all about power, the struggle for oil and the struggle for world domination, and at the end of the day, are they that different? You know what I mean? I don't want to equate George Bush with Saddam Hussein. But I believe that George Bush and Saddam Hussein are both behaving in an irresponsible manner, so in that respect, they're alike."
-- Pop singer Madonna in an interview shown on ABC's 20/20, June 18.

     # "We must make it clear that a hundred million women in this country will not have their rights rolled back by political extremists! The far right have already squandered your Social Security! They better put our uteruses in a lockbox and keep their hands off them!"
-- Actress Camryn Manheim, who played "Ellenor Frutt" on ABC's The Practice, screaming at the April 25 pro-abortion "March for Women's Lives" rally on the Mall in Washington, D.C. and shown live on C-SPAN.


     And the winner is:

     # Joe Scarborough: "Since George Bush got into public life, he's been underestimated by his opponents....Is that a part of an act that this guy does to lull Democrats into underestimating him, or do Democrats just put up really, really bad candidates against this guy every four years?"
     Comic/liberal radio host Janeane Garofalo: "Well, I don't recognize that as a valid question. First of all, George W. Bush is a bad candidate. George W. Bush is unelectable, in my opinion. And secondly-"
     Scarborough: "Well, why does he keep winning?"
     Garofalo: "I don't know, voter fraud? A failed mainstream media that fails to inform the electorate about what their government is doing? Ignorance? Apathy? I don't know."
-- MSNBC's Scarborough Country, January 20, 2005, the night of Bush's second inauguration.


     Accepting for Janeane Garofalo....Midge Decter



+ John Kerry Suck-Up Award

Presented by Neal Boortz

     Runners-up:

     # Byron Pitts: "For Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, tonight's acceptance of the Democratic nomination is more than merely a day, it's his destiny. Best understood from the beginning. Back not simply to when John Forbes Kerry was born in 1943 to a Catholic couple from the privileged class, but to that time when America embraced Camelot. Boston Globe columnist Tom Oliphant has covered Kerry's career from the start."
     Tom Oliphant, Boston Globe: "I'm absolutely convinced that this all started out of a very sincere belief in President Kennedy's words."
     John F. Kennedy (1961 Inaugural Address): "Ask not what your country can do for you-"
     Pitts: "A gifted athlete and captain of the debate team at Yale, Kerry followed his idol's lead and enlisted in the Navy in 1966. In Vietnam, Lieutenant John F. Kerry rescued a comrade in combat, killed an enemy soldier, won three Purple Hearts and one Bronze Star. He returned home both angry and ambitious."
     Kerry: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake."...
     Pitts: "The day before his speech, Kerry crossed Boston Harbor with some of his crew mates from Vietnam. His band of brothers. They have one battle left. But tonight the loner will stand alone here in his hometown one more time and look to do what John F. Kerry has nearly always done -- find a way to win."
-- Pitts on CBS's The Early Show, July 29.

     # Dan Rather: "Speaking of angry, have you ever had any anger about President Bush -- who spent his time during the Vietnam War in the National Guard -- running, in effect, a campaign that does its best to diminish your service in Vietnam? You have to be at least irritated by that, or have you been?"
     John Kerry: "Yup, I have been."
-- July 22 CBS Evening News.


     And the winner is:

     # "It was four years ago during the Democratic convention, not far from where we stand tonight, that John Kerry stood near his father on his deathbed. Earlier, as the family was preparing to leave John Kerry's home in Boston, I'm told he whispered to his sister, 'Remember the words of our mother on her deathbed when she said, 'John,' knowing he would run for President some day, 'remember, John, integrity, that's what matters.' Tonight, John Kerry tried to show that integrity."
-- CBS's Byron Pitts during live coverage of John Kerry's speech to the Democratic convention, July 29.

     Accepting for Byron Pitts....Zell Miller

 

The Judges Who Selected the Winning
Quotes

     The Judges: To select the winners of the MRC's "2005 DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporting of 2004," a distinguished panel of 16 leading observers of the liberal media in action generously gave of their time to serve as our judges. They reviewed three to five quotes in each of five award categories. For each set of quotes the judges picked first and second place choices. First place selections earned two points, second choices were allocated one point. The MRC's Kristina Sewell tabulated the ballots.

- Neal Boortz, Atlanta-based nationally syndicated radio talk show host

- L. Brent Bozell III, President of the Media Research Center

- William F. Buckley, Jr., Founder of National Review

- Ann Coulter, columnist and author of How to Talk to a Liberal

- John Fund, columnist for OpinionJournal.com

- Lucianne Goldberg, publisher of Lucianne.com

- Sean Hannity, co-host of FNC's Hannity & Colmes and an ABC Radio talk show host

- Laura Ingraham, host of the nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham Show

- Rush Limbaugh, host of The Rush Limbaugh Show

- Michelle Malkin, FNC contributor and editor of MichelleMalkin.com

- Robert Novak, CNN host, Chicago Sun-Times columnist

- Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor of National Review and panelist on CNN's Capital Gang

- William Rusher, Distinguished Fellow at the Claremont Institute

- Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist and host of FNC's After Hours

- Walter E. Williams, columnist and professor of economics at George Mason University

- Thomas S. Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Human Events

     For links to the Web sites for each judge, or to pages which feature their work, go to: www.mediaresearch.org

 

Audience Awards the "Quote of the Year"
to Dan Rather

     Quote of the Year. Following the presentation of the awards, attendees saw replays of the four winning quotes uttered by members of the news media: Walter Cronkite, Bill Moyers, Bruce Morton and Byron Pitts.

     But MRC President Brent Bozell proposed a fifth quote for consideration for what he suggested was the "Story of the Year," Dan Rather's use of fake memos to attack President Bush. Attendees watched this video which featured Rather on the September 8 60 Minutes, followed by Rather on the September 10 CBS Evening News:
     "60 Minutes has now obtained a number of documents we are told were taken from Colonel Killian's personal file. Among them, a never before seen memorandum from May 1972 where Colonel Killian writes that Lieutenant Bush called him to talk about how he 'can get out of coming to drill from now through November.' We consulted a handwriting analyst and document expert who believes the material is authentic."
     "The 60 Minutes report was based not solely on the recovered documents, but on a preponderance of the evidence, including documents that were provided by what we consider to be solid sources."

     Then, as a picture of each nominee was displayed, audience members were asked by MRC President L. Brent Bozell to clap, cheer, yell or even throw silverware to indicate their preference so that he, along with Cal Thomas, Ann Coulter and Neal Boortz, could decipher the audience's preference. (Sean Hannity had departed to do his 9pm EDT show live on FNC.)

     It wasn't even close. While the Cronkite quote earned hearty applause, the audience erupted at seeing Dan Rather's face and so he won the Quote of the Year.

 

Media Ignore Bolton Critic's Tie to "Mothers
Opposed to Bush"

     No doubting a Bolton critic? Bob Schieffer on Wednesday's CBS Evening News and Katie Couric on Thursday morning's Today show both passed along the latest charge leveled against John Bolton, the President's nominee for Ambassador to the United Nations, that he threw a tirade against a woman while both were in Moscow in 1994. But neither bothered to tell viewers that the woman, Melody Townsel, who claimed that Bolton was "behaving like a madman," is an anti-Bush activist and the founder of the Dallas chapter of "Mothers Opposed to Bush" or MOB.

     [The MRC's Rich Noyes submitted this article for CyberAlert.]

     Thursday morning on FNC's Fox & Friends, the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes revealed how he had interviewed Townsel's former boss: "She complained to him often about things going wrong under the contract over there, in one of those former Soviet republics, never mentioned this about John Bolton before." Naturally, neither CBS nor NBC mentioned that fact as they painted Bolton as on the defensive.

     CBS's Schieffer at least noted that Townsel was a Democrat, although he concealed the activism that she has employed against the President. NBC's Couric didn't even mention that, as she added Townsel's claims to the list of liberal complaints against Bolton that she ticked off on April 21 to Tim Russert:
     "He was already quite unpopular in some quarters for some of the disparaging comments he made about the United Nations. And now he faces allegations of trying to have a lower level official who challenged him, removed. He also faces allegations from a woman who claims that he threatened her and spread rumors about her in some incident back in 1994. The Senate Foreign Relations committee has postponed the vote on his confirmation. Is his nomination in big trouble, Tim?"

     Maybe Bolton's problem is that Senators are reacting to incomplete and misleading reports in the media.

     On Wednesday's Special Report, FNC's Brit Hume noted that a number of news organizations had relayed the latest allegation without noting the partisan nature of the person making them:
     "We told you earlier this week that Texas businesswoman Melody Townsel, who has accused prospective U.N. Ambassador John Bolton of chasing her through a Moscow Hotel ten years ago, quote, 'behaving like a madman,' is a self-described liberal Democrat and the founder of the Dallas chapter of 'Mothers Opposing Bush.' But you would never find that out from reading today's accounts of her charges against Bolton in some major media outlets. The Washington Post never mentions Townsel's partisan connections in its front-page story on the Bolton nomination. Neither did the AP, nor Reuters, nor The Los Angeles Times."

     Indeed, the April 20 Washington Post carried a front-page story by reporters Charles Babington and Dafna Linzer that detailed Townsel's charges against Bolton, which were cited by Senate Democrats as a reason to deny Bolton the ambassadorship. Instead of presenting her as a disgruntled partisan, the Post touted her insistence that "no one asked me to send the letter, but when I saw he was nominated, I knew I had to share my experiences."

     An excerpt from the Post article:

[Senator Joseph] Biden [the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs committee] said committee aides recently heard from a person who corroborated a woman's claim -- raised after Bolton testified last week -- that Bolton, then working as a private lawyer, had chased her through a Moscow hotel in 1994, thrown things at her and falsely claimed to U.S. aid officials that she had misused funds and might go to jail. Melody Townsel of Dallas said in a letter to the committee that Bolton "put me through hell" when he represented a firm that was at odds with her client in a USAID project in Kyrgyzstan. Biden taunted GOP members pressing for a vote yesterday on Bolton's nomination, saying, "I guess you don't want to hear about that."

Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) said members had enough information to vote and suggested Democrats were stalling in hopes of thwarting Bolton. "I wasn't born yesterday," he said....

Without naming Townsel, Biden quoted the charges she made in her "open letter" to the committee, which was released last weekend. After her client complained about the performance of the Kyrgyzstan project's chief contractor -- which hired Bolton as its lawyer -- she wrote: "Mr. Bolton proceeded to chase me through the halls of a Russian hotel, throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and, generally, behaving like a madman." Back in Kyrgyzstan, she said, Bolton told USAID officials "that I was under investigation for misuse of funds and likely was facing jail time. As US AID can confirm, nothing was further from the truth....His behavior back in 1994 wasn't just unforgivable, it was pathological."

Townsel, who runs a public relations firm in Dallas, said in an interview yesterday that "no one asked me to send the letter, but when I saw he was nominated, I knew I had to share my experiences."

     END of Excerpt

     For the article in full: www.washingtonpost.com

     Thursday morning's Washington Post story by Babington and Jim VandeHei also included no discussion of Townsel's background, but repeated the charges against Bolton in an analysis of his chances for confirmation:
     "Allegations leveled at Bolton include accusations that he tried to have several lower-level government officials fired or reassigned after they challenged him on assertions about various nations or other matters. Also, a Dallas woman says that in 1994 -- when Bolton was a private lawyer for a firm at odds with her client over a contract -- Bolton chased her through a Moscow hotel, threw things at her, threatened her and spread false rumors about her to U.S. officials overseeing the government-backed project in Kyrgyzstan."

     Now, back to Wednesday's (April 20) CBS Evening News. The MRC's Brian Boyd transcribed the lengthy piece read by anchor Bob Schieffer: "John Bolton, President Bush's nominee to be the Ambassador to the United Nations, has run into some new trouble on Capitol Hill. The members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have postponed a vote on whether he should be confirmed. Committee Democrats had already come out against him because of his past statements questioning the need for the United Nations. Now, some Republicans on the committee are having some second thoughts after a new allegation surfaced."

     Schieffer, noting only that Townsel was "a Democrat" detailed her unproved charge: "An allegation made by Melody Townsel, a Democrat and former USAid contractor. She told the committee that in 1994, while a private citizen, Bolton displayed what she called €˜pathological' behavior toward her during a trip to Russia for a U.S. relief effort. Townsel says he quote [text on screen], €˜chased me through the halls of a Russian hotel, throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and, generally, behaving like a madman. John Bolton put me through hell, and he did everything he could to intimidate, malign, and threaten not just me, but anybody unwilling to go along with his version of events.'"

     The MRC's Geoff Dickens noted that on NBC's Today show on Thursday, co-host Katie Couric and Meet the Press host Tim Russert ran though the latest developments surrounding both House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, then got around to Bolton.

     Couric told Russert: "Let's move on, if we could Tim, because to the other big controversy which is the nomination of, of UN ambassador John Bolton. He was already quite unpopular in some quarters for some of the disparaging comments he made about the United Nations. And now he faces allegations of trying to have a lower level official who challenged him, removed. He also faces allegations from a woman who claims that he threatened her and spread rumors about her in some incident back in 1994. The Senate Foreign Relations committee has postponed the vote on his confirmation. Is his nomination in big trouble, Tim? What's going on there?"

     Russert affirmed: "Yeah it's in trouble and here's why Katie. Again in the committee there are ten Republicans, eight Democrats. Right now that nomination could not be voted out of committee. If it was it would go to the floor without a recommendation which can be almost fatal when it comes to a full vote before the Senate. The problem is that several Republican senators, Katie, by my count at least four have deep, deep reservations about Mr. Bolton. They believe that at the United Nations we're gonna need someone who can present the case to the world about intelligence data regarding North Korea and Iran and that in the past Mr. Bolton has in fact said to lower employees, 'Give me the information, the data I want or I will fire you.'"

     Couric helpfully chimed in: "'That supports my position,' basically."
     Russert: "That, that's the allegation. He as denied it but there is at least one Republican, Mr. Chafee, who has said, 'I may not vote for him.' George Voinovich of Ohio stunned Washington the other day Katie because he surprised everybody saying, 'My conscience got to me. I want to slow down this nomination.'"
     Couric wondered: "So basically do you think it's over for John Bolton?"
     Russert wouldn't go that far: "Well the next three weeks are critical. The President's standing by him but if more information comes out it's a drip, drip, drip. John McCain said, 'a death by a thousand cuts,' although he supports Mr. Bolton. It's anyone's guess right now but the nomination is far from certain."

     On Thursday morning's Fox & Friends, MRC's Megan McCormack found, the Weekly Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes, outlined one factual problem with the newest anti-Bolton charge that neither CBS nor NBC bothered to reveal, namely that while Townsel seems to have complained about a lot of things when she was in Russia, Bolton wasn't one of them.
    
     At about 8:15am EDT, co-host Steve Doocy asked Barnes about the new complaint: "So now there's this allegation, this woman who back in the '90s, John Bolton went screaming after her and in some-"
     Co-host Brian Kilmeade interjected: "Called her fat and gay."
     Doocy resumed: "-said she was fat, she stole money, she might be gay. It's just one woman who's got an ax to grind, clearly, she's part of €˜Moms Opposing Bush.' Is this going to derail that guy?"
     Barnes: "Well, I don't think that is. Among other things I -- yesterday I talked to the guy who had hired her, who is a Republican, who had hired her initially, and she complained to him often about things going wrong under the contract over there, in one of those former Soviet republics, never mentioned this about John Bolton before. It just sort of popped up now that he's nominated to be UN ambassador. Look, if that serious -- if the committee thinks that's a serious charge, they need to bring the woman to Washington and have her testify. I suspect they won't do that."

 

CBS: Germans Unhappy with German Pope,
"Unease" Over Nazi Years

     On Wednesday night, CBS reporter Sheila MacVicar found in Germany mostly "dissidents" and Protestants attacking the "prejudice" of Pope Benedict XVI and calling his election a "catastrophe." She reported most Germans didn't want him to be Pope, and there was "not much celebration" there. CBS also added people questioning whether young Joseph Ratzinger was a "coward" during the Nazi era. McVicar failed to tell viewers that Ratzinger deserted an anti-aircraft battery in Munich, risking the death penalty.

     [The MRC's Tim Graham submitted this item for CyberAlert]

     Anchor Bob Schieffer introduced the April 20 CBS Evening News story, as taken down by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth: "The world is still getting to know the new Pope. And to get a better idea of who he is, we went to where he came from. Sheila MacVicar did that today, and she had a lot of company."

     MacVicar began with the obligatory but brief positive angle: "The world's media came to a very small town in Germany today, crowding the square in front of what has now become 'the' local attraction -- the house where Pope Benedict XVI was born. By order of the mayor, the beer was free. Thirty miles away, the Catholic boarding school where the young Ratzinger studied. Father Thomas Frauenlob, the dean of the school, is quick to support him."
     Father Thomas Frauenlob, St. Michael's Seminary: "I think he is a very clear thinking man. He is based on the Holy Spirit of scripture. He is very familiar with the tradition."
     Typically, MacVicar explained the problem was conservatism: "But for many Germans, adherence to tradition and conservative teachings is he problem. And that has lead to dwindling attendance, not enough priests, no social reform."
     Hans Kung, identified on screen as a "dissident Catholic theologian," asserted: "We are in big trouble in many ways, and I think Ratzinger knows that."

     Actually, Kung was stripped of the right to call himself a "Catholic" theologian by the Vatican in 1979, but CBS clearly doesn't abide by those rules.

     MacVicar continued: "A poll showed that more Germans were against him becoming Pope than supported him. Germany's Protestants are unhappy, too. Some church leaders have called this election a catastrophe. They had wanted to see their faiths come closer together, but as a Vatican official, Protestant church leaders say Joseph Ratzinger acted with, quote, 'a considerable degree of exclusion and prejudice.'"
     Elisabeth Pick, German protestant: "You can't stay always on a very strict line. You have to show some also human feelings, like the former Pope."
     MacVicar then turned to a very cursory review of Ratzinger's war history, which seemed designed not to inform, but to sow vague doubts: "There is another part of his life which causes unease here: What Joseph Ratzinger did during the war. He has said he was forced to join the Hitler Youth and served in an anti-aircraft battery. Germans and historians argue about whether, like others, he could have made another choice."
     Max Arthur, German historian: "It takes a brave person to walk away. We don't know sufficient to be able to say this was an act of a coward."
     MacVicar concluded: "Supporters say that as the church and the world come to know him, all these doubts will slip away. But in Germany, there is not much celebration."

     What was "this" cowardly act Max Arthur's quote suggests? MacVicar did not mention young Ratzinger deserting that anti-aircraft battery in Munich, risking the death penalty. As a 1998 story in the Catholic newspaper Our Sunday Visitor explained:
     "His greatest peril came in the days preceding Germany's surrender in early May 1945. Taking advantage of the prevailing chaos, he made his way home, narrowly escaping the sentries posted at every crossroad with orders to shoot all €˜deserters' on sight. Once home, he found himself in even greater danger from two SS officers quartered in the family home, whose comrades had already hung from trees other young deserters. The two disappeared suddenly, without harming the young Joseph or his father, whose open denunciations of Hitler would have brought him immediate death only days before."
     The story also quoted from Ratzinger's own 1998 memoirs, titled "Milestones," in which he passionately explained:
     "One night we were dragged out of our beds and lined up, still half-asleep, in our training suits....An SS officer made each of us step forward individually. Taking advantage of our drowsiness, and by placing us on display before the whole troop, he tried to get us to 'volunteer' for the Waffen-SS. In this way a number of well-meaning comrades were pressed into service with this criminal gang. With a few others I was happy to be able to say that I intended to be a Catholic priest. Whereupon we were dismissed with withering scorn and abuse. How delicious these insults tasted, however. They were our deliverance from the menace of this mendacious 'voluntary service' with all its consequences."
    
     Does that sound like a closet Nazi? The story was not found in a search of the Our Sunday Visitor website, but is still available at: www.catholicculture.org

-- Brent Baker

 


 


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