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The 2,103rd CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
11:55am EST, Thursday December 8, 2005 (Vol. Ten; No. 216)

 
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1. CBS: Most Want "Timetable," But Skip Most See Pullout "Disaster"
While CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer on Wednesday night highlighted how, in a fresh CBS News/New York Times poll, President Bush's approval rating has risen five points since October, he pointed out just one other survey finding -- one which matched a Democratic agenda item -- that "58 percent of those questioned said the U.S. should set a timetable for troop withdrawal; 39 percent said no." But Schieffer skipped how the survey also discovered that the public agrees with Bush and rejects the policy urged by Congressman John Murtha and left-wingers, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and DNC Chairman Howard Dean. As reported in the CBSNews.com summary of the poll: "Six in 10 say they would agree with President Bush's statement that removing U.S. troops from Iraq now would be 'a recipe for disaster.'" Specifically, 61 percent responded "yes" compared to 34 percent who replied with a "no" -- a nearly two-to-one ratio.

2. Oops, CBS Admits Scoop About GOP Move to Dump DeLay Didn't Occur
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Bob Schieffer reminded viewers how "we reported last night that a group of House Republicans was ready to start proceedings to permanently remove Tom DeLay from the House leadership because of his indictment on campaign money laundering charges. Well, the Republicans held a closed-door meeting today, but there was no effort to remove DeLay, who has stepped down temporarily until the case is resolved." Indeed, on Tuesday's newscast Gloria Borger claimed that "tomorrow morning, House Republicans are going to meet behind closed doors and they are going to tell their leaders in no uncertain terms, €˜We never want Tom DeLay back as our Majority Leader.' They're saying to their leaders, €˜We want new elections in the early new year. And if you don't allow us to do it, we are going to force these elections on you.'" Borger promised: "I guarantee you, Bob, there are going to be people coming out of the woodwork to run for leader in the Republican Party. There's no shortage of ambition up here."

3. Today and Lauer Push Guest to Agree that Rumsfeld Should Be Fired
With "Should Rumsfeld Be Fired?" as the on-screen graphic, Today co-host Matt Lauer on Wednesday pushed NBC News consultant Barry McCaffrey, a retired General, to agree that the Secretary of Defense should be canned. Citing how "clearly the way we would be greeted hasn't turned out to be the reality, the level and the scope of the insurgencies," Lauer asked: "So when it comes again to military commanders and troops do you feel that they may be frustrated knowing that back home in Washington no one's lost their job over this?" Lauer zeroed in on Rumsfeld: "These military people live by a code, among other things, of accountability so do you think they want someone like Secretary Rumsfeld or someone else to be held accountable?"


 

CBS: Most Want "Timetable," But Skip
Most See Pullout "Disaster"

     While CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer on Wednesday night highlighted how, in a fresh CBS News/New York Times poll, President Bush's approval rating has risen five points since October, he pointed out just one other survey finding -- one which matched a Democratic agenda item -- that "58 percent of those questioned said the U.S. should set a timetable for troop withdrawal; 39 percent said no." But Schieffer skipped how the survey also discovered that the public agrees with Bush and rejects the policy urged by Congressman John Murtha and left-wingers, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and DNC Chairman Howard Dean. As reported in the CBSNews.com summary of the poll: "Six in 10 say they would agree with President Bush's statement that removing U.S. troops from Iraq now would be 'a recipe for disaster.'" Specifically, 61 percent responded "yes" compared to 34 percent who replied with a "no" -- a nearly two-to-one ratio.

     [This item was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To share your views, go to: newsbusters.org ]

     Over graphics with the poll numbers, Bob Schieffer announced on the December 7 CBS Evening News:
     "Now to Iraq, and President Bush's campaign to bolster Americans' support for the war. A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows that, so far anyway, the President is not making much headway. On the question of bringing the troops home, 58 percent of those questioned said the U.S. should set a timetable for troop withdrawal; 39 percent said no. Still, the President is getting a better grade on his overall job performance. He's now rated at 40 percent approving now, up from 35 percent in October, 53 percent still disapprove. We have more on the President and the war now, from John Roberts."

     Roberts then began his story on President Bush's admission of setback in the reconstruction effort: "There's another poll number the White House is worried about. Only a third of Americans think President Bush is accurately describing what's going on in Iraq...."

     For CBSNews.com's summary of the poll: www.cbsnews.com

 

Oops, CBS Admits Scoop About GOP Move
to Dump DeLay Didn't Occur

     On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Bob Schieffer reminded viewers how "we reported last night that a group of House Republicans was ready to start proceedings to permanently remove Tom DeLay from the House leadership because of his indictment on campaign money laundering charges. Well, the Republicans held a closed-door meeting today, but there was no effort to remove DeLay, who has stepped down temporarily until the case is resolved." Indeed, on Tuesday's newscast Gloria Borger claimed that "tomorrow morning, House Republicans are going to meet behind closed doors and they are going to tell their leaders in no uncertain terms, €˜We never want Tom DeLay back as our Majority Leader.' They're saying to their leaders, €˜We want new elections in the early new year. And if you don't allow us to do it, we are going to force these elections on you.'" Borger promised: "I guarantee you, Bob, there are going to be people coming out of the woodwork to run for leader in the Republican Party. There's no shortage of ambition up here."

     Watching on Tuesday night, I took Borger's prediction of candidates "coming out of the woodwork" to replace DeLay as a forecast about what will occur when leadership elections are held in January, not what would occur Wednesday -- but she clearly earlier asserted dissatisfaction would be raised in the Wednesday meeting.

     [This item was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To post your comments, go to: newsbusters.org ]

     Bob Schieffer had introduced the since-retracted Tuesday, December 6 story: "When a Texas judge ruled yesterday that Congressman Tom DeLay must stand trial on charges of funneling illegal campaign contributions to Texas Republicans, the practical effect was that DeLay may not be able to resume his role as leader of House Republicans when Congress reconvenes in January. Well, Gloria Borger has learned that a growing number of House Republicans don't want him back as leader. Gloria, tell us now. What have you learned?"
     Gloria Borger, on Capitol Hill: "Well, Bob, tomorrow morning, House Republicans are going to meet behind closed doors and they are going to tell their leaders in no uncertain terms, €˜We never want Tom DeLay back as our majority leader.' They're saying to their leaders, €˜We want new elections in the early new year. And if you don't allow us to do it, we are going to force these elections on you.' They believe that DeLay's ethics issues have become a drag on all of them."
     Schieffer: "Well, do they have the votes to do this?"
     Borger: "Yes, Bob. You need about 50 votes. But what we're hearing today is that the leaders are saying, €˜You don't have to force us into this; we're going to have an election as kind of a confirmation of our leadership. But I guarantee you, Bob, there are going to be people coming out of the woodwork to run for leader in the Republican Party. There's no shortage of ambition up here."
     Schieffer: "Well, we'll talk with you tomorrow night about. Thank you very much, Gloria."

     "Tomorrow night," Wednesday, Schieffer didn't talk on air to Borger.

 

Today and Lauer Push Guest to Agree that
Rumsfeld Should Be Fired

     With "Should Rumsfeld Be Fired?" as the on-screen graphic, Today co-host Matt Lauer on Wednesday pushed NBC News consultant Barry McCaffrey, a retired General, to agree that the Secretary of Defense should be canned. Citing how "clearly the way we would be greeted hasn't turned out to be the reality, the level and the scope of the insurgencies," Lauer asked: "So when it comes again to military commanders and troops do you feel that they may be frustrated knowing that back home in Washington no one's lost their job over this?" Lauer zeroed in on Rumsfeld: "These military people live by a code, among other things, of accountability so do you think they want someone like Secretary Rumsfeld or someone else to be held accountable?"

     The MRC's Geoff Dickens took down Lauer's December 7 questions about Rumsfeld.

     Lauer: "It's clear that there were some miscalculations going into this war, General. You can argue about troop strength but clearly the way we would be greeted hasn't turned out to be the reality, the level and the scope of the insurgencies, insurgency so when it comes again to military commanders and troops do you feel that they may be frustrated knowing that back home in Washington no one's lost their job over this?"
     McCaffrey: "Clearly bad judgments were made by the civilian leadership in the Pentagon going into this war. It got away from us, it didn't have to be this way. One would think Secretary Rumsfeld and others would be held accountable for it."
     Lauer: "And again these military people live by a code, among other things, of accountability so do you think they want someone like Secretary Rumsfeld or someone else to be held accountable?"
     McCaffrey suggested that troops in the field wouldn't focus on that, but that "the military leadership" realizes that the civilian heads of the Pentagon engaged in "widespread" misjudgements.
     Lauer: "You've heard the drumbeat for awhile now and it seems to be intensifying again surrounding Secretary Rumsfeld. You think he's gonna hold on to his job?"
     McCaffrey: "I'm surprised, to be honest, he's still there. His judgments were egregiously wrong. He's staying now to shape the Armed Forces over the next 20 years. It's hard to imagine why someone who made that series of bad calls would be allowed to be the architect of future armed forces."

     NewsBusters blogger Mark Finkelstein posted an item Wednesday about this interview. To post your comments, go to: newsbusters.org

-- Brent Baker

 


 


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