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The 2,291st CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
3:20pm EDT, Monday October 23, 2006 (Vol. Eleven; No. 178)

 
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1. ABC & NBC Hail 'Remarkable' and 'Exciting' Obama Presidential Bid
Senator Barack Obama's admission on Meet the Press, that he's thinking about running for President, excited the press corp Sunday night with the broadcast network evening news -- at least ABC and NBC -- salivating over the prospect. "The headline out of Washington today," ABC World News anchor Dan Harris declared at the start of his newscast, "was about the 2008 presidential election. Senator Barack Obama, whose been getting an extraordinary amount of attention for a freshman lawmaker, made a remarkable reversal. After long insisting that he would not run for President, he now says he's thinking about it. This is shaking up a wide-open presidential race..." The NBC Nightly News didn't lead with Obama, but devoted a full story to it followed by discussion between anchor John Seigelthaler and Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert. Reporter Dawn Fratangelo trumpeted how "a fresh new candidate with such mass appeal has some political observers already predicting the potential for the most exciting presidential race in years."

2. CNN's Tough Question to Obama: 'What's Your Biggest Fear?'
One day after getting the celebrity treatment on NBC's Today, Senator Barack Obama stopped by CNN's American Morning on Friday to receive fawning questions from Soledad O'Brien. The big difference in the coverage was that while NBC's Meredith Vieira referred to Obama as a "rock star," O'Brien only mentioned that "some people say he is the brightest star in the Democratic Party." CNN's morning host, who only mentioned Iraq and North Korea in passing, found time for particularly tough questions, including this hardball: "What's your biggest fear?"

3. Time Magazine Trumpets Obama With 12 Pages of Hype and Excerpts
Last week's Time magazine cover story on "Why Barack Obama Could Be The Next President" is really part of an enormous package offering hope to liberals about defeating the conservative movement, especially the religious right. The October 23 issues included a six-page article by Joe Klein about being dazzled by Obama the "political rocket," a six-page excerpt from Obama's book The Audacity of Hope, explaining how "progressives" can neutralize religious conservatives, and, just to stay on point, a three-page excerpt from David Kuo's book Tempting Faith titled "Why a Christian in the White House Felt Betrayed."

4. NBC's Meredith Vieira Lets Her Anti-War Roots Show, Hits Bartlett
Meredith Vieira let her anti-war roots show on Monday's Today show when the Today co-host aggressively countered White House counselor Dan Bartlett's points on Iraq policy, charging: "But it's not working, sir. It's not working. These benchmarks don't seem to be working. The troops, themselves are saying, it's not working." While constructive criticism on the war policy is welcome from those who want to win, it's somewhat transparent and dubious coming from a longtime war critic like Vieira. 5)A new Media Research Center study released on Thursday documented how the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts have aired just two unfavorable stories about Nancy Pelosi since she was elected House Minority Leader (about one every 24 months), and haven't labeled her a "liberal" since November 14, 2002 -- in spite of her hardcore liberal voting record, as admired by the liberal Americans for Democratic Action. Now, it seems Pelosi's media admirers are trying to coronate her as the next Speaker of the House even before the voters go to the polls. Friday's Today show on NBC aired a long, nearly all-positive profile that carried the on-screen headline "Speaker Pelosi? The Race of Her Life." The October 20 Today piece was one the Pelosi camp must have savored. Reporter Jamie Gangel touted Pelosi's political acumen: "She often introduces herself as a mother and grandmother, and is known for her trademark smile. But don't be fooled. At 66, she is ambitious, effective, and has made an art form of staying on message." In the nearly 3 minute 26 second long tribute, NBC reserved just 24 seconds for criticism.

5. Media Race to Coronate 'Speaker Pelosi,' NBC's Fawning Tribute
On Friday's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann previewed what could be one of his closest steps yet towards falling off the edge of the Earth in far-left Bush-bashing in the form of his latest 'Special Comment' segment. Two days after suggesting that President Bush poses a greater threat to America than the terrorists for not granting habeas corpus to terror suspects, Olbermann previewed his next "Special Comment," planned for Monday, attacking a "Republican scare commercial" featuring clips of Osama bin Laden, which Olbermann characterized as "meeting the dictionary definition of terrorism" because of it's "scare tactics." Olbermann further accused Republicans of "doing the terrorists' work for them by trying to terrify Americans."

6. Olbermann on Monday to Accuse Bush of 'Terrorism' Scare Tactics
On Friday's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann previewed what could be one of his closest steps yet towards falling off the edge of the Earth in far-left Bush-bashing in the form of his latest 'Special Comment' segment. Two days after suggesting that President Bush poses a greater threat to America than the terrorists for not granting habeas corpus to terror suspects, Olbermann previewed his next "Special Comment," planned for Monday, attacking a "Republican scare commercial" featuring clips of Osama bin Laden, which Olbermann characterized as "meeting the dictionary definition of terrorism" because of it's "scare tactics." Olbermann further accused Republicans of "doing the terrorists' work for them by trying to terrify Americans."


 

ABC & NBC Hail 'Remarkable' and 'Exciting'
Obama Presidential Bid

     Democratic Senator Barack Obama's admission on Meet the Press, that he's thinking about running for President, excited the press corp Sunday night with the broadcast network evening news -- at least ABC and NBC -- salivating over the prospect. "The headline out of Washington today," ABC World News anchor Dan Harris declared at the start of his newscast, "was about the 2008 presidential election. Senator Barack Obama, whose been getting an extraordinary amount of attention for a freshman lawmaker, made a remarkable reversal. After long insisting that he would not run for President, he now says he's thinking about it. This is shaking up a wide-open presidential race..." The NBC Nightly News didn't lead with Obama, but devoted a full story to it followed by discussion between anchor John Seigelthaler and Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert. Reporter Dawn Fratangelo trumpeted how "a fresh new candidate with such mass appeal has some political observers already predicting the potential for the most exciting presidential race in years."


     # Dan Harris led the October 22 World News:
     "And good evening. I'm Dan Harris. Control of Congress is hanging in the balance in the elections two weeks away. But the headline out of Washington today was about the 2008 presidential election. Senator Barack Obama, whose been getting an extraordinary amount of attention for a freshman lawmaker, made a remarkable reversal. After long insisting that he would not run for President, he now says he's thinking about it. This is shaking up a wide-open presidential race, featuring some of the biggest names in politics."

     In the subsequent story, John Yang referred to Obama as "the Democrats' rising young star" and touted how "freshman Illinois Senator Barack Obama has been gracing magazine covers, from Time and Newsweek, to Men's Vogue."
     Tim Russert on Meet the Press: "But it's fair to say you're thinking about running for President in 2008?
     Senator Barack Obama: "It's fair, yes."
     Russert: "And so it sounds as if the door has opened a bit."
     Obama: "A bit."


     # CBS Evening News. Anchor Byron Pitts held himself to a short item: "With Campaign '06 still far from over, freshman Senator Barack Obama today backed off an earlier pledge to stay on the sidelines in 2008. In an appearance on NBC, the Illinois Democrat said he's now considering a ran run for the presidency in two years is."
     Obama, on Meet the Press: "I have thought about the possibility. But I have not thought it about it with the seriousness and depth that I think is required. My main focus right is in '06 and making sure we re-take the Congress."


     # NBC Nightly News. Anchor John Seigenthaler: "From Illinois, Senator Barack Obama today an about face on Meet the Press that could shake up the race for President in 2008. NBC's Dawn Fratangelo has that story."

     Tim Russert on Meet the Press: "But it's fair to say, you're think being running for President in 2008?"
     Senator Barack Obama: "It's fair, yes."
     Fratangelo: "This morning on Meet the Press, Senator Barack Obama opened the door for a possible White House run. Just last January he ruled it out."
     Tim Russett on Meet the Press, January 22: "So you will you not run for President or Vice President in 2008?"
     Obama: "I will not."
     Russert, on Sunday's Meet the Press: "Will you not?"
     Obama: "Well, that is how I was thinking at that time and I don't want to be coy about this. Given the responses that I've been getting over the last several months, I have thought about the possibility."
     Fratangelo: "In recent weeks, Obama has been everywhere. On the cover of Time, talking to Oprah, promoting a new book on Larry King. On the Today show. Even on the cover of Men's Vogue."
     John Harwood, CNBC: "Barack Obama has a different profile, somebody who is positive in his own right, projects optimism and enthusiasm, Democrats are going to be hungry for that in 2008."
     Fratangelo: "The 45-year-old burst onto the political scene as the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic convention. At recent campaign appearances for other candidates, he's the one generating excitement and possible momentum for the party looking beyond the mid-term elections...
     "Clinton and the other most likely Democratic candidates have more experience than Obama, who has served only two years in the U.S. Senate and, before that, the Illinois state legislature. Still, a fresh new candidate with such mass appeal has some political observers already predicting the potential for the most exciting presidential race in years."

 

CNN's Tough Question to Obama: 'What's
Your Biggest Fear?'

     One day after getting the celebrity treatment on NBC's Today, Senator Barack Obama stopped by CNN's American Morning on Friday to receive fawning questions from Soledad O'Brien. The big difference in the coverage was that while NBC's Meredith Vieira referred to Obama as a "rock star," O'Brien only mentioned that "some people say he is the brightest star in the Democratic Party." CNN's morning host, who only mentioned Iraq and North Korea in passing, found time for particularly tough questions, including this hardball: "What's your biggest fear?"

     Most of the anchor's queries were of the short variety:
     O'Brien: "Politics seems particularly mean these days."
     Obama: "Yes."
     O'Brien: "I think, we see partisanship that you see. And sort of, as you mentioned, in D.C. that you don't necessarily see in the American people. So why don't politicians get that?"
     Obama: "There are a lot of institutional pressures on politicians. The most powerful being that they don't want to lose elections."
     O'Brien: "Yes, that would be it pretty much."

     [This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     The October 20 CyberAlert item, "Today Show Groupies Swoon Over 'Rock Star' Barack Obama," recounted:

Senator Barack Obama got NBC's Meredith Vieira, Matt Lauer and even Al Roker in a tizzy as he made this Thursday's Today show his latest book tour stop. Vieira hailed the freshman Democratic Senator from Illinois as "electrifying" and a "rock star" and never once threw a tough question his way, even getting him to call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. She cued him up: "Well if you were President now, when would you start that withdrawal? Immediately?" Recalling his 2004 Democratic convention speech, Vieira swooned: "Many people, afterwards, they weren't sure how to pronounce your name but they were moved by you. People were crying. You tapped into something. You touched people. What did you tap into that, that was missing?" On to promote his book and Democrats in the mid-terms, Obama received the full TRL treatment on the October 19th Today show, complete with Vieira offering guest musical performer Vince Gill as an incentive for Obama to announce his presidential candidacy.

     For the CyberAlert article in full: www.mrc.org

     During the October 20 CNN segment, which aired in the 7:31am EDT half hour EDT, the closest O'Brien came to a tough question was to timidly wonder about Obama's experience. And that followed two softballs on the subject:

     O'Brien: "I gather you read what David Brooks wrote about you in the New York Times. He said, under the title, 'Run, Barack, Run'. And he's talking about the presidency. 'Barack Obama should run for president,' he writes. 'He should run first for the good of his party.' And then he goes on later to say, 'The next Democratic nominee should either be Barack Obama or should have the stature that would come from defeating Barack Obama.' In other words, in the very least, let the guy beat you so he can have some stature. Why do you demur when you're asked about your presidential ambitions?"
     Obama: "Well, because we've got three weeks to go before probably the most important election that I've seen in a long time. I think that President Bush is going to be in the office for the next two years. And really what's going to determine what we do in Iraq , what happens in terms of healthcare, are we going to put together an energy plan; how are we going to rewrite the education law, No Child Left Behind -- all that's going to be determined in the next two years. And so I'm spending enormous amounts of time focused on making sure the Democrats get elected."
     O'Brien: "You're too busy to think about running for president?"
     Obama: "Well, look, it's not that -- I know that seems odd, but it's a pretty serious thing to think about. If you're going to do something like that, you've got to think it through. It's not -- it can't be driven by personal ambition alone. It's got to be based on a sense somehow that you can actually be useful to the country in that way. So that's not something that I'd be thinking about just off-the-cuff."
     O'Brien: "And do the job, I would imagine. You've got four years in national politics. Do you think you're qualified to be president?"
     Obama: "Yeah, I think the only people who are completely qualified to be president are Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, people who have been president. Because you land that first day, and I suspect that things come at you pretty fast."

     If the Senator from Illinois does run for President, Americans can probably expect more of these Oprah style interviews.

     The Following are all of O'Brien's fawning questions:

     Soledad O'Brien: "Some people say he is the brightest star in the Democratic Party right now. Two years ago at the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama stepped out on the national stage, and here's what he said."
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "Well, the senator has a new book called €˜The Audacity of Hope'. Senator Barack Obama joins us this morning. It's nice to see you. What does that mean, the audacity of hope?"
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "Maybe not just historically. If you look at today, you see Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, school shootings. You know, people who struggle to send their kids to college, when they have jobs. We talked to somebody yesterday who doesn't have health insurance, has a good job."
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "Where do you see hope in that?"
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "Politics seems particularly mean these days."
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "I think, we see partisanship that you see. And sort of as you mentioned, in D.C. that you don't necessarily see in the American people. So why don't politicians get that?"
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "Yes, that would be it pretty much."
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "I gather you read what David Brooks wrote about you in the New York Times. He said, under the title, 'Run, Barack, Run'. And he's talking about the presidency. 'Barack Obama should run for president,' he writes. 'He should run first for the good of his party.' And then he goes on later to say, 'The next Democratic nominee should either be Barack Obama or should have the stature that would come from defeating Barack Obama.' In other words, in the very least, let the guy beat you so he can have some stature. Why do you demur when you're asked about your presidential ambitions?"
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "You're too busy to think about running for president?"
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "And do the job, I would imagine. You've got four years in national politics. Do you think you're qualified to be President?"
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "Well, how come you don't name the current President? He's qualified, too. You left him off the list."
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "You write about how tough it is, I think you say the toughest part is to be a father, you know, where you have doubt, as how you are as a husband and father."
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "And that's a big area to have doubt in. What's your biggest fear?"
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "High drama, yeah."
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "Michelle must tell you, because that's what I tell my husband, too. Barack Obama, the book is called 'The Audacity of Hope.'"
     [Obama]
     O'Brien: "It's so nice to see you, Senator. Thanks for talking with us this morning. Appreciate it."

 

Time Magazine Trumpets Obama With 12
Pages of Hype and Excerpts

     Last week's Time magazine cover story on "Why Barack Obama Could Be The Next President" is really part of an enormous package offering hope to liberals about defeating the conservative movement, especially the religious right. The October 23 issues included a six-page article by Joe Klein about being dazzled by Obama the "political rocket," a six-page excerpt from Obama's book The Audacity of Hope, explaining how "progressives" can neutralize religious conservatives, and, just to stay on point, a three-page excerpt from David Kuo's book Tempting Faith titled "Why a Christian in the White House Felt Betrayed."

     [This item, by Tim Graham, was posted Friday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     Klein's cover story, titled "The Fresh Face," tried to sound detached that Obama's not "quite ready to answer the tough questions." (As you'll see, Klein's tough questions are pressing from the left, and he's unhappy that Obama's slow to commit.) Klein began in typical jaunty fashion about how Obama wows a Rockford audience with "sly hipster syncopation" and how his style is "quietly conversational, low in rhetoric-saturated fat; there is no harrumph to him."

     We also learned, "Obama is doing something rare in latter-day American politics: he is respecting their intelligence. He's a liberal, but not a screechy partisan. Indeed, he seems obsessively eager to find common ground with conservatives."

     For Klein's story: www.time.com

     Not partisan? Captain Common Ground? But Klein's just not pushing the button for that speech. Obama can sound a lot like Hillary Clinton when pressed, that somehow conservatives are stuffed to the gills with ideology and liberals are not, as in this remark in a Fox News interview:
     "I think that George W. Bush is a good and decent man. I think he is a likable person. I think that he wants to do right by this country. I think he has been a far more ideological president than we've seen in many years. ... I think that's lead to significant mistakes.
     "I think it's part of the reason we have seen the misjudgments in Iraq. It's part of the reason we have tried to cut taxes, fight two wars, without paying for it. I think reputably what you've seen in this president is ideology over fact and evidence. I think that always gets us in problems if you're on the right or on the left."

     See: www.foxnews.com

     When Klein talked to Obama about his appeal, Obama pled (perhaps to a less generous reader, boasts) that people should embrace more opportunities for young black men because, "If you feel good about me, there's a whole lot of young men out there that could be me if given the chance." Klein protested: "But that's not quite true. There aren't very many people -- ebony, ivory, or other -- who have Obama's distinct portfolio of talents. Or what he calls his 'exotic' family history."

     It's clear that Klein sees glimmers of his hero Bill Clinton in Obama's refusal to speak for absolute certitude, his use of self-deprecation and empathy as "powerful political tools," and his "obsessive-compulsive tic" for consensus. But he sees a flaw in that Obama doesn't seem "willing to take big risks...with the exception of a bipartisan effort with ultra-conservative Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to publish every government contract a matter of some embarrassment to his pork-loving colleagues €" his record has been predictably liberal. And the annoying truth is, The Audacity of Hope isn't very audacious."

     Klein expressed disappointment with an Obama speech on "alternative energy to an audience gathered by MoveOn.org at Georgetown University." What, no left-wing label? Klein only said it was "a chance for the best-known group of activist Democrats to play footsie with the party's most charismatic speaker." It was, to Klein, "a disappointment, the closest I had seen Obama come to seeming like a standard-issue pol, one who declares a crisis and answers with Band-Aids. In this case, he produced a few scraggly carrots and sticks to encourage Detroit to produce more fuel-efficient cars. The audience of students and activists sensed the Senator's timidity and became palpably less enthusiastic as Obama went on. Just two days before, Al Gore gave a rousing speech in New York City in which he proposed a far more dramatic alternative energy plan: a hefty tax on fossil fuels that would be used, in turn, to reduce Social Security and Medicare taxes."

     Oh joy. We're back to Time magazine's habit of thumping the tub for gas taxes. From there, Klein presses Obama that he couldn't have avoided thinking about these great liberal proposals, until Obama cried uncle on Gore's gas-tax idea: "It's a neat idea. I'm going to call Gore and have a conversation about it. It might be something I want to embrace."

     In summary, a perfect demonstration of Klein in action, a man who never sees himself as a mere chronicler of politicians, but am activist, almost a campaign consultant: a man who presses and prods and coaches a Democrat into shape, urging and kvetching until the contender becomes everything Klein demands, pressing the candidate to join a consensus Klein is trying to build for bold liberal action. Obama's struggling to win the Joe Klein Primary.

     Obama's book excerpt, titled "My Spiritual Journey," spent several paragraphs remembering his Senate run against transplanted-from-Maryland black Republican candidate Alan Keyes, and how Keyes implicitly accused Obama of doubt, "that my faith was adulterated, that I was not a true Christian." At the end of the excerpt, Obama presented himself as a father gripped with religious doubt. He also has a strange passage about how we would see the patriarch Abraham today as a child abuser for trying to kill his Isaac at God's command because we can only "act in accordance with those things that are possible for all of us to know," instead of a faith that is "true for us alone."

     Obama's central plea to liberals was in this paragraph:
     "I am not suggesting that every progressive suddenly latch on to religious terminology. I am suggesting that perhaps if we progressives shed some of our own biases, we might recognize the values that both religious and secular people share when it comes to the moral and material direction of our country. We need to take faith seriously not simply to block the religious right but to engage all persons of faith in the larger project of American renewal."

     The Kuo excerpt, deeper into the magazine, was introduced hopefully: "For Republicans who fear that the Foley scandal might keep Evangelicals away from the polls in November, here comes another challenge €" in hardcover format. A new memoir by David Kuo, former second-in-command of President Bush's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, has the White House on the defensive with an account of an Administration that mocked Evangelicals in private while using them at election time to bolster its support."

     Time doesn't feel the need to verify if Kuo's account is true. There is no rebuttal from other Bush officials, just an excerpt, highlighted with large text reading, "The back-office Republican political machine was able to take Evangelicals for granted -- indeed, often viewed them with undisguised contempt -- and still get their votes."

     The excerpt concluded:
     "Now I am finding the courage to speak out about God and politics and their dangerous dance. George W. Bush, the man, is a person of profound faith and deep compassion for those who suffer. But President George W. Bush is a politician and is ultimately no different from any other politician, content to use religion for electoral gain more than for good works. Millions of Evangelicals may share Bush's faith, but they would protect themselves -- and their interests--better if they looked at him through the same coldly political lens with which he views them."

     Kuo ought to know. It takes a "coldly political lens" to stab your former employer in the back three weeks before an election to sell books in a liberal "news" magazine that's anxious to suppress the conservative Christian vote.

 

NBC's Meredith Vieira Lets Her Anti-War
Roots Show, Hits Bartlett

     Meredith Vieira let her anti-war roots show on Monday's Today show when the Today co-host aggressively countered White House counselor Dan Bartlett's points on Iraq policy, charging: "But it's not working, sir. It's not working. These benchmarks don't seem to be working. The troops, themselves are saying, it's not working." While constructive criticism on the war policy is welcome from those who want to win, it's somewhat transparent and dubious coming from a longtime war critic like Vieira.

     The April 6 CyberAlert recounted:

Meredith Vieira, the replacement for Katie Couric as co-host of NBC's Today this fall, marched in an anti-Iraq war protest back in August of 2004. On the Monday, August 30, 2004 edition of the ABC daytime show she quad-hosts, The View, the former CBS 60 Minutes reporter told viewers that she attended the anti-Bush protest held in New York City on the Sunday before the Republican convention opened, insisting: "I didn't go anti-Bush or pro-Kerry. I'm still so upset about this war and I'm so proud I live in a country where you can protest." She showed a photo of herself marching with her pre-teen daughter and her husband, Richard, who was the senior political producer at CBS News for most of the 1980s. Behind her in the photo: A protest sign featuring a "W," for George W. Bush, with a slash through it. Earlier in 2004, she declared of the Iraq war: "Everything's been built on lies. Everything! I mean the entire pretext for war." When guest Ann Coulter charged that "liberals hate America," Vieira called that "stupid."

     For video, check of "Profiles in Bias" page for Vieira: www.mrc.org

     [This item is adopted from a posting, by Geoffrey Dickens, Monday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     The following are Vieira's questions to Bartlett in the 7am half hour of the October 23 Today.

     Meredith Vieira: "So will the White House change course in Iraq and put more pressure on the government there? Dan Bartlett serves as counselor to President Bush. Mr. Bartlett, good morning to you."
     [Dan Bartlett]
     Vieira: "I want to start, actually, with Richard Engel's report out of Baghdad because this, this man, our reporter is on the ground with the troops and the troops are telling him that they are extremely frustrated. They don't know why they're there anymore, sir. They say they went to fight terrorism and right now what they're doing, essentially, is propping up the security forces, police forces and half the time they don't trust them. So for the sake of the troops, the people that we sent there what is our mission?"
     [Bartlett]
     Vieira: "How are you working with them, Mr. Bartlett? If there is no timetable, as the New York Times reported, if there is none that you're imposing on the government there but simply benchmarks. You said there have always been benchmarks. What are the benchmarks and in particular, with regard to controlling these militias-"
     Bartlett: "Well it's important to understand-"
     Vieira: "-and disarming them."
     Bartlett: "Well Meredith it's important to understand the difference and it's an important distinction between a set timetable where we'll say, regardless of what happens on the ground we're gonna pull our troops out and setting up milestones or benchmarks that are, that'll incentivize the Iraqi government to take more responsibility, both on the security front as well as on the political front. And that's where we're working with the Iraqi government right now because if we were to set an artificial timetable regardless of the circumstances on the ground that's only going to embolden the enemy to wait us out and say, 'Don't worry the Americans will be gone next month-
     Vieira: "But it's-"
     Bartlett: "-or the month after that. So it's-"
     Vieira: "But it's not working, sir. It's not working. These benchmarks don't seem to be working. The troops, themselves are saying, it's not working."
     Bartlett: "Well Meredith it is a very difficult fight right now and just because the enemy is fighting back doesn't make it any less necessary for us to prevail in this fight. Now what the commanders are doing and they've met with President Bush constantly, most recently on Saturday morning, is to constantly adapt our tactics to make sure we are doing everything we can to, to defeat the enemy. But to suggest that just because it is a difficult fight, that we ought to quit the fight would be a disaster for national security for our country. So what the President is going to impress upon, not only his commanders and diplomats on the ground but more importantly on the Iraqi government themselves is that we must devise a strategy or tactics to achieve the, the victory in Iraq that we understand to be in the interest of our country and it's a very difficult fight right now and it's, and it is important that we prevail."
     Vieira: "The President has said, 'I am patient but I'm not patient forever. At what point will his patience run out?"
     Bartlett: "Well that's a constant conversation that he is having with the commanders on the ground and our ambassador and diplomats on the ground to make sure that we still have a willing partner in Prime Minister Maliki and his government to fulfill their responsibilities to take over their country."
     Vieira: "Are they doing that? Do you believe that they're doing that?"
     [Bartlett]
     Vieira: "Why not put their, why not put their feet to the fire, though, sir? Why not say look-"
     [Bartlett]
     Vieira: "There's a sense of urgency here in this country too, with regard to the midterm elections and a lot of political pundits believe that the Republicans will lose the House and that the Senate is hanging on by a thread, at this point. President Bush's dad, former President Bush, actually pondered the impact of a Democratic House and Senate and was chided a bit by his son who said, that the Democrats are quote, 'Not going to win.' What makes this President Bush so confident?"
     [Bartlett]
     Vieira: "Dan Bartlett, counselor to President Bush, thank you very much."

 

Media Race to Coronate 'Speaker Pelosi,'
NBC's Fawning Tribute

     A new Media Research Center study released on Thursday documented how the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts have aired just two unfavorable stories about Nancy Pelosi since she was elected House Minority Leader (about one every 24 months), and haven't labeled her a "liberal" since November 14, 2002 -- in spite of her hardcore liberal voting record, as admired by the liberal Americans for Democratic Action.

     Now, it seems Pelosi's media admirers are trying to coronate her as the next Speaker of the House even before the voters go to the polls. CBS News touted its profile of Pelosi ("Two Heartbeats Away") set to air on Sunday's 60 Minutes, and Friday's Today show on NBC aired a long, nearly all-positive profile that carried the on-screen headline "Speaker Pelosi? The Race of Her Life."

     The giddiness may be premature: Friday's Washington Times reported that moderate and conservative House Democrats may oppose elevating the ultraliberal Pelosi to the top job, even if Democrats win a numerical majority next month.

     The October 20 Today piece was one the Pelosi camp must have savored. Reporter Jamie Gangel touted Pelosi's political acumen: "She often introduces herself as a mother and grandmother, and is known for her trademark smile. But don't be fooled. At 66, she is ambitious, effective, and has made an art form of staying on message."

     Sticking with NBC's obsession with the Kennedy clan, Gangel also highlighted an old photo of a young Nancy Pelosi with John F. Kennedy. Gangel fawned: "By the time she was a teenager, she knew the importance of making savvy contacts."

     In the nearly 3 minute 26 second long tribute, NBC reserved just 24 seconds for criticism -- a mild jab from President Bush about Pelosi's claim to love tax cuts ("Given her record, she must be a secret admirer") and noting how "Republicans love to run against her, calling Pelosi an unabashed liberal from San Francisco."

     Republicans "call" Pelosi? Which part can't NBC independently confirm -- that Pelosi is an "unabashed liberal" or that she's "from San Francisco"?

     [This item, by Rich Noyes, was posted Friday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     For the MRC's October 19 Media Reality Check, "TV News Gives Free Ride to 'Speaker Pelosi,'" go to: www.mrc.org

     MRC's Justin McCarthy took down the full transcript of Today's tribute to Pelosi, which aired at about 8:19am EDT:

     Matt Lauer: "If you believe the polls, then the Democrats could very well win back control of the House of Representatives in about three weeks time. If they do, the next Speaker of the House will be a woman for the first time in history. Our national correspondent Jamie Gangel caught up with the controversial Representative Nancy Pelosi, the woman who could become third in line of succession for the presidency."
     Clip of Pelosi meeting voters: "Good morning, how are you?"
     Jamie Gangel: "Out on the campaign trail, Nancy Pelosi is raising money, and slamming Republicans."
     Pelosi at a podium: "Drain the swamp. Return the Congress to the American people."
     Gangel: "Her goal: to win the house for Democrats and become the first Madame Speaker in American History."
     Pelosi shaking hands: "How are you? Nice to see you."
     Gangel: "At first glance, Pelosi might appear an unlikely back room pol. She often introduces herself as a mother and grandmother, and is known for her trademark smile. But don't be fooled. At 66, she is ambitious, effective, and has made an art form of staying on message."
     Clip of Pelosi from Meet the Press: "We will have a new direction for America."
     Gangel: "To Pelosi, this is second nature. She grew up on politics."
     Pelosi to Gangel: "Every day was a campaign. There was never an election that we weren't involved in."
     Gangel: "Her father [Thomas D'Alesandro] was the powerful mayor of Baltimore, and by the age of seven, little Nancy, was an expert in constituent services."
     Pelosi: "I knew how to answer the phone and tell people how to get a hospital bed, or who to call to go into a project."
     Gangel: "Another lesson, by the time she was a teenager, she knew the importance of making savvy contacts. [Picture of young Pelosi with John F. Kennedy] And her father [shown with FDR] taught her the bottom line of political warfare."
     Pelosi: "You have to know how you can win an election."
     Gangel: "You learned how to count votes from him?"
     Pelosi: "Count votes. You'd have these yellow legal pads and they'd say how many votes does it take to win? And it's still the same thing."
     Gangel: "A relative latecomer to elected office. Pelosi first married successful California businessman Paul Pelosi, raised a family of five, and then at 46, asked her children whether she should run for office."
     Pelosi: "I asked Alexandra, who was, again, going to be a senior in high school. She and her siblings said to me, €˜Mother, get a life.'"
     Gangel: "Since then, Pelosi has been working for this day. Rising through the ranks to Minority Leader."
     Clip of Pelosi speaking to reporters: "We may get called to the floor momentarily."
     Gangel: "But many critics are surprised she's made it this far, charging she is out of touch, and short on substance. And Republicans love to run against her, calling Pelosi an unabashed liberal from San Francisco."
     Clip from a Republican ad showing a black and white shot of Pelosi: "How do we stop her?"
     Gangel: "But Pelosi has not hesitated to take on the President."
     Pelosi at a campaign event: "Stay the course, Mr. President, is not a strategy, it is a slogan."
     Gangel: "And a sure sign she's taken seriously, the President is firing back."
     Clip from President Bush giving a speech: "She said, 'We love tax cuts.' Given her record, she must be a secret admirer."
     Gangel: "But if Pelosi becomes the next Speaker, it may be more because of Republican self-inflicted wounds. The Iraq war, corrupt lobbyists, the page scandal."
     Pelosi: "They're all responsible."
     Gangel: "Now with her opponents feeling the heat. The question is will it pay off on Election Day? For Today, Jamie Gangel, NBC News, Washington."

 

Olbermann on Monday to Accuse Bush of
'Terrorism' Scare Tactics

     On Friday's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann previewed what could be one of his closest steps yet towards falling off the edge of the Earth in far-left Bush-bashing in the form of his latest 'Special Comment' segment. Two days after suggesting that President Bush poses a greater threat to America than the terrorists for not granting habeas corpus to terror suspects, Olbermann previewed his next "Special Comment," planned for Monday, attacking a "Republican scare commercial" featuring clips of Osama bin Laden, which Olbermann characterized as "meeting the dictionary definition of terrorism" because of it's "scare tactics." Olbermann further accused Republicans of "doing the terrorists' work for them by trying to terrify Americans."

     [This item, by Brad Wilmouth, was posted Monday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     On Wednesday's show, Olbermann had already come close to suggesting that some of Bush's actions could be viewed as terrorism. The Countdown host not only referred to the government "becoming just a little bit like the terrorists," but he also labeled some of Bush's "invocations" as "terroristic," and compared the wish of a 9/11 planner to end America to what President Bush himself "has wrought." Olbermann: "One of the terrorists believed to have planned the 9/11 attacks, you told us yesterday, said he hoped the attacks would be the beginning of the end of America. That terrorist, sir, could only hope. Not his actions nor the actions of a ceaseless line of terrorists, real or imagined, could measure up to what you have wrought...These things you have done, Mr. Bush, they would constitute the beginning of the end of America."

     For more, including video of his October 18 rant: www.mrc.org

     Near the beginning of Friday's show, Olbermann showed a clip of an RNC ad featuring Osama bin Laden, and then mentioned the ad again in an interview with WashingtonPost.com's Chris Cillizza. After the interview, Olbermann went on to plug his Monday "Special Comment":
     "And about the Republican scare commercial. Does it not meet the dictionary definition of terrorism? A 'Special Comment,' Scare Tactics: How


| |
More See & Hear the Bias

the Republicans are willing to do the terrorists' work for them by trying to terrify Americans. Monday here on Countdown, 8 and Midnight Eastern, 5 and 9pm Pacific."

-- Brent Baker

 


 


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