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The 2,736th CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
11:40am EDT, Thursday September 25, 2008 (Vol. Thirteen; No. 181)

 
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1. Couric Scolds Palin for 'Great Depression' Scare Couric Raised
Interviewing John McCain on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Katie Couric informed him and viewers that, during an interview of Sarah Palin she conducted earlier in the day, Palin warned of a "Great Depression" if the bail out is not passed, leading Couric to scold Palin to McCain: "But isn't so much of this, Senator McCain, about consumer confidence and using rhetoric like the 'Great Depression,' is that the kind of language Americans need to hear right now?" Quite a bit of chutzpah for Couric, chutzpah CBS didn't even hide from viewers since in the subsequent excerpts from the Palin interview which viewers saw it was Couric herself who raised the ominous phrase. Palin had not used the term when Couric asked Palin: "If this doesn't pass, do you think there's a risk of another Great Depression?" And Couric was not the only network news star on Wednesday to raise the spectre of a "Great Depression" -- or worse. NBC's Tom Brokaw: "Do you worry about a cataclysmic event coming out of all of this, that we go into a Great Depression?"

2. ABC's Kate Snow Complains: Palin is Hiding from Reporters
Good Morning America weekend anchor Kate Snow complained on Wednesday's show about a lack of access to Sarah Palin during the vice presidential candidate's trip to the United Nations in New York. The ABC journalist snidely commented on the Republican's meetings with world leaders: "But aside from a few photo ops, New Yorkers aren't getting much more than a glimpse of Sarah Palin." She added: "New York City is a pretty easy place to get lost in the crowd, even, it turns out, if you're a potential Vice President." Regarding the exits and entrances of Palin, Snow remarked: "Outside, a clear shot of her exit. Until, a patrol car and Secret Service SUV just happened to pull up right in front of our cameras." While discussing camera footage of Palin talking to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, she fretted, "The pool camera got 15 seconds. With Henry Kissinger, even less."

3. Luke Russert on Today: 'Smartest Kids' Naturally Favor Obama
Out of the mouths of young, untrained reporters come the unspoken beliefs of the liberal media. Speaking to Matt Lauer as they toured Virginia for Wednesday's Today show, NBC newbie Luke Russert reported from the University of Virginia. Just before the 8:30 break, Lauer asked him if that campus was representative of students statewide, and young Russert asserted: "You have to remember, the smartest kids in the state go there, so it's a little, leaning a little bit towards Obama." Later in the day, Russert issued an apology/clarification and the AP distributed a story, "NBC's Russert says he made 'dumb' statement," which credited the MRC.

4. CNN Slams Palin for 'Road to Nowhere' Project She Couldn't Oppose
CNN's American Morning program on Wednesday (and Election Center the night before) ran a report by correspondent Abbie Boudreau that desperately tried to criticize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin for a "Road to Nowhere" that was part of the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" project. Boudreau interviewed Bob Weinstein, the Democratic Mayor of Ketchikan, Alaska, who claimed that the Alaska Governor "spent $26 million out of a federal earmark for the Gravina access, a.k.a. 'Bridge to Nowhere' project, on this road that will not go to a bridge." Boudreau also interviewed a toll booth operator and a former Palin campaign coordinator to agree it was a regrettable boondoggle. Throughout the report, the on-screen graphic proclaimed, "Road to Nowhere: Another Sarah Palin Project." CNN was implying to its viewers that both the infamous Bridge and the road from it were "Palin projects," as if she originated them, instead of appearing on the scene halfway into the story.

5. CNN Correspondent Aneesh Raman Quits to Join Obama Campaign
Aneesh Raman, formerly an international correspondent for CNN, left the network in June to "try something different" and MediaBistro's FishbowlDC discovered Tuesday that by "different" he meant working for Barack Obama's messaging shop sending out e-mails for the campaign.

6. Olbermann Boasts of More Air Time, Now Able to 'Say What I Think'
Keith Olbermann, who was hardly reticent during the conventions to express his far-left opinions, told David Letterman on Wednesday that he's pleased about being relieved by MSNBC of anchor duties for upcoming debates and on election night since it will enable him "to be on more than I was previously and I can say what I think."


 

Couric Scolds Palin for 'Great Depression'
Scare Couric Raised

     Interviewing John McCain on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Katie Couric informed him and viewers that, during an interview of Sarah Palin she conducted earlier in the day, Palin warned of a "Great Depression" if the bail out is not passed, leading Couric to scold Palin to McCain: "But isn't so much of this, Senator McCain, about consumer confidence and using rhetoric like the 'Great Depression,' is that the kind of language Americans need to hear right now?" Quite a bit of chutzpah for Couric, chutzpah CBS didn't even hide from viewers since in the subsequent excerpts from the Palin interview which viewers saw it was Couric herself who raised the ominous phrase.

     Palin had not used the term when Couric asked Palin: "If this doesn't pass, do you think there's a risk of another Great Depression?"

     Palin's reaction, in full: "Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this, as it's been proposed, has to pass or we're going to find ourselves in another Great Depression. But, there has got to be action taken, bipartisan effort, Congress not pointing fingers at this point at one another, but finding the solution to this, taking action, and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed."

     And Couric was not the only network news star on Wednesday to raise the spectre of a "Great Depression" -- or worse. NBC's Tom Brokaw: "Do you worry about a cataclysmic event coming out of all of this, that we go into a Great Depression?"

     In an interview with Bill Gates on the NBC Nightly News tied to Gates, as head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, attending the Clinton Global Initiative summit, a dire Brokaw inquired: "As you develop a business plan for the Gates Foundation in the midst of what we're going through right now, do you worry about a cataclysmic event coming out of all of this, that we go into a Great Depression in this country and the ripple effect around the world?"

     [This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Wednesday night, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     Couric's question to Palin before the "Great Depression" one: "Polls have shown that Senator Obama has actually gotten a boost as a result of this latest crisis, with more people feeling that he can handle the situation better than John McCain."

     From Couric's September 24 session with John McCain at her anchor desk:

     KATIE COURIC: Earlier today, Senator, I spoke with your running mate, Sarah Palin, and she told me that if action is not taken, a Great Depression is quote "the road that America may find itself on." Do you agree with that assessment?
     JOHN McCAIN: I don't know if it's exactly the depression, but every respected economist in this country is saying you'd better address this problem and you'd better do it now or the consequences, obviously, of inaction are of the utmost seriousness. So I agree with Governor Palin. There's there's so much at stake here. That's why I am confident that we'll sit down and work together on this thing.
     COURIC: But isn't so much of this, Senator McCain, about consumer confidence and using rhetoric like the "Great Depression," is that the kind of language Americans need to hear right now?
     McCAIN: Well, listen, I've heard language from respected people "we're staring at the abyss." I've heard all kinds of things from people. I don't think we need to scare people, but I certainly think we need to tell them the truth and tell them what's at stake here. And everyone says -- and I say -- this is the greatest crisis since the end of World War II. You cannot, I mean, to tell American citizens that everything's fine I think just would be, that would be outright deception. I think it's of the utmost seriousness and this is a crisis of enormous proportions. But we can fix it. And America's best days are still ahead of us.

     CBSNews.com online version of the McCain interview, with a transcript and video: www.cbsnews.com

     From Couric's interview of Sarah Plain aired later in the Wednesday CBS Evening News:

     SARAH PALIN: The interesting thing in the last couple of days that I have seen is that Americans are waiting to see what John McCain will do on this proposal. They're not waiting to see what Barack Obama is going to do. Is he going to do this [wiggles finger] and see what way the political wind's blowing? They're waiting to see if John McCain will be able to see these amendments implemented in Paulson's proposal.
     COURIC: Why do you say that? Why are they waiting for John McCain and not Barack Obama?
     PALIN: He's got the track record of the leadership qualities and the pragmatism that's needed at a crisis time like this.
     COURIC: But polls have shown that Senator Obama has actually gotten a boost as a result of this latest crisis, with more people feeling that he can handle the situation better than John McCain.
     PALIN: I'm not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who's more apt to just be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who's actually done it?
     COURIC: If this doesn't pass, do you think there's a risk of another Great Depression?
     PALIN: Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this, as it's been proposed, has to pass or we're going to find ourselves in another Great Depression. But, there has got to be action taken, bipartisan effort, Congress not pointing fingers at this point at one another, but finding the solution to this, taking action, and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.

     Online version of the Palin interview, with a transcript of what aired (which I've corrected above) and video clip: www.cbsnews.com

 

ABC's Kate Snow Complains: Palin is Hiding
from Reporters

     Good Morning America weekend anchor Kate Snow complained on Wednesday's show about a lack of access to Sarah Palin during the vice presidential candidate's trip to the United Nations in New York. The ABC journalist snidely commented on the Republican's meetings with world leaders: "But aside from a few photo ops, New Yorkers aren't getting much more than a glimpse of Sarah Palin." She added: "New York City is a pretty easy place to get lost in the crowd, even, it turns out, if you're a potential Vice President."

     Regarding the exits and entrances of Palin, Snow remarked: "Outside, a clear shot of her exit. Until, a patrol car and Secret Service SUV just happened to pull up right in front of our cameras." While discussing camera footage of Palin talking to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, she fretted, "The pool camera got 15 seconds. With Henry Kissinger, even less."

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

     Kate Snow hasn't always had to complain about a lack of access. She has repeatedly received exclusive interviews with Bill Clinton, in particular. And in return, provided fawning coverage to the ex-President. During the August 4 edition of GMA, the journalist actually prefaced a question by telling Clinton he didn't need to answer: "Pretty simple question. And maybe you don't want to answer it right now and I respect that fully. But, if you want to answer it, do you personally have any regrets about what you did campaigning for your wife?" See an August 5, 2008 CyberAlert posting for more: www.mrc.org

     On July 24, 2007, she went with the former commander in chief to Africa as he promoted his Clinton Global Initiative charity. Snow rhapsodized, "In Africa, they seem to be on a first-name basis with the former president, shouting €˜Bill! Bill!'" See a July 24, 2007 CyberAlert posting for more: www.mrc.org

     The reporter also cooed that Clinton might "redefine the role of first spouse in America." (Snow has also extolled Senator Hillary Clinton during her run for the White House.) Is it likely to think that coverage of a conservative Republican like Sarah Palin would be similarly glowing?

     It should be pointed out, however, that Snow's ABC colleague Jake Tapper actually did note when a Democrat restricted access. On July 24, during Barack Obama's tour of the Middle East and Europe, Tapper complained from Obama's plane: "Inside, the plane has been redesigned to separate the Senator and his staff from us lowly reporters." See a July 25 CyberAlert posting for more: www.mrc.org

     A transcript of the September 24 segment, which aired at 7:31am:

     ROBIN ROBERTS: But first in this half hour, with just one week until her debate with Senator Joe Biden, and six weeks until the election, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is essentially getting a crash-course in foreign policy. She's here in New York spending time meeting with heads of state at the United Nations. "Good Morning America" weekend anchor Kate Snow is here with the latest and is joining us in Times Square. Kate?
     ABC GRAPHIC: Sarah Palin at the U.N.: Tense Times With Press
     KATE SNOW: Good morning, Robin. We're told Governor Palin and her husband, Todd, stayed in last night. No Times Square night life for them. The goal of this trip is to bolster her foreign policy credential, to get her familiar with world leaders. But aside from a few photo ops, New Yorkers aren't getting much more than a glimpse of Sarah Palin. New York City is a pretty easy place to get lost in the crowd, even, it turns out, if you're a potential vice president. We caught a few frames of the governor as she left her hotel, Tuesday. Zipping off to her first meeting ever with a foreign head of state, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai. After she slipped in through a side door, the campaign allowed cameras and one producer in the room for 29 seconds. The campaign says they talked about security in Afghanistan, the need for more U.S. troops and energy policy. We heard Governor Palin ask the president about his young son, born last year.
     GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN: What is his name?
     AFGHANISTAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI: Mirwais.
     SNOW: Outside, a clear shot of her exit. Until, a patrol car and Secret Service SUV just happened to pull up right in front of our cameras. Next up, Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe. They reportedly talked trade. The pool camera got 15 seconds. With Henry Kissinger, even less.
     UNIDENTIFIED VOICE TO CAMERA MAN: Would you please turn around and walk out the door? Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, guys. Please. Thank you. SNOW: Outside, a quick good-bye. And even quicker exit.
     MATTHEW DOWD (ABC News analyst): The campaign is trying to protect themselves and Governor Palin, from putting her in a position where a mistake can be made.
     SNOW: While Governor Palin played diplomat, husband Todd and the kids were secretly sight-seeing, taking pictures in front of the Statue of Liberty, visiting Ground Zero, eating hot dogs in Central Park. And trying on princess dresses at FAO Schwartz. Constantly in motion, Palin side-stepped questions and fans as she was whisked from one meeting to the next. In fact, the one Palin who was talking wasn't really a Palin at all.
     SARAH PALIN IMPERSONATOR: Hi. This is Sarah Palin.
     SNOW: The Daily News caught this look-alike Palin on tape. But the real governor was far more elusive.
     DOWD: I think they over-thought this and over-planned this in such a way that it actually could hurt. It makes her seem like she's just another politician that's doing the things that everybody thinks is necessary.
     SNOW: Today, there are more meetings on tap. Governor Palin meeting with the leaders from Ukraine, Georgia, Iraq and Pakistan. Some of those meetings are solo. Some of them are alongside her running mate John McCain. And, in fact, they meet also with Bono, the lead singer of U2, with his One campaign. And, Robin, we're wondering whether they can sneak Bono in through a back exit.
     ROBERTS: Yeah. That's a little tough, especially in this town with Bono. Hey, Kate, thanks so much.

 

Luke Russert on Today: 'Smartest Kids'
Naturally Favor Obama

     Out of the mouths of young, untrained reporters come the unspoken beliefs of the liberal media. Speaking to Matt Lauer as they toured Virginia for Wednesday's Today show, NBC newbie Luke Russert reported from the University of Virginia. Just before the 8:30 break, Lauer asked him if that campus was representative of students statewide, and young Russert asserted: "You have to remember, the smartest kids in the state go there, so it's a little, leaning a little bit towards Obama."

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

     The exchange with Lauer of UVA:

     LAUER: And that's a very top notch school. Is it representative of what's happening in other schools and with the youth vote all around this state and maybe the country?
     RUSSERT: To a degree. You have to remember the smartest kids in the state go there, so it's a little, leaning a little bit towards Obama. But it really kind of is a microcosm of the state. White males we spoke to were overwhelmingly for McCain. African-Americans overwhelmingly for Obama. White women kind of split down right the middle. So you kind of see, it's, it's reflective, to a degree.

     Later in the day, Russert issued an apology/clarification on MSNBC's "First Read" blog:

Earlier this morning on the Today Show I misspoke and made what is without a doubt, quite simply a dumb comment.

Mtt Lauer talked about UVA being a smart school and whether or not it could be considered a microcosm of Virginia at large. I said UVA had a lot of smart kids and so the school was leaning Obama.

I MEANT to say that many of the kids who go to UVA are from affluent, highly educated households who are leaning Obama and hence their kids lean Obama. Plenty of smart college kids will vote for John McCain from UVA, and plenty of smart kids go to Virginia Tech or George Mason and they, too, could end up being big Obama voters.

Today was one of my first lessons in the perils of live television...lesson learned.

     That's online at: firstread.msnbc.msn.com

     The AP distributed a story, "NBC's Russert says he made 'dumb' statement," which credited the MRC:

NBC News reporter Luke Russert said he made a "dumb" misstatement on the "Today" show Wednesday when he suggested that smart people supported Barack Obama for president.

Almost immediately, Russert took a hazing in the Web world. Wrote Tim Graham of the conservative Media Research Center on the NewsBusters blog: "Out of the mouths of young, untrained reporters come the unspoken beliefs of the liberal media."

Russert, son of the late "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert, is covering youth issues for NBC News. He filed a report for "Today" about campaign activity at the University of Virginia, and talked about it live afterward with Matt Lauer.

Russert, 23, said about the university: "The smartest kids in the state go there so it is leaning a little bit toward Obama."...

     Yahoo's posting of the entire article: news.yahoo.com

 

CNN Slams Palin for 'Road to Nowhere'
Project She Couldn't Oppose

     CNN's American Morning program on Wednesday (and Election Center the night before) ran a report by correspondent Abbie Boudreau that desperately tried to criticize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin for a "Road to Nowhere" that was part of the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" project. Boudreau interviewed Bob Weinstein, the Democratic Mayor of Ketchikan, Alaska, who claimed that the Alaska Governor "spent $26 million out of a federal earmark for the Gravina access, a.k.a. 'Bridge to Nowhere' project, on this road that will not go to a bridge." Boudreau also interviewed a toll booth operator and a former Palin campaign coordinator to agree it was a regrettable boondoggle. Throughout the report, the on-screen graphic proclaimed, "Road to Nowhere: Another Sarah Palin Project." CNN was implying to its viewers that both the infamous Bridge and the road from it were "Palin projects," as if she originated them, instead of appearing on the scene halfway into the story.

     Weinstein claimed Palin could have stopped the project. At the end of the report, the correspondent explained that Meg Stapleton, Palin's campaign spokeswoman, had said that "under ordinary circumstances, Governor Palin would not have allowed the Gravina road project to move forward. But given the federal earmark was granted and because the contract for the road was already signed before she got into office, the governor was left no viable alternative." Therefore, CNN devoted nearly four minutes to Palin critics insisting she was responsible for a boondoggle....that they favored.

     [This item, by the MRC's Matthew Balan, was posted Wednesday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     Boudreau, who is part of CNN's so-called Special Investigations Unit, traveled to Ketchikan and Gravina Island and walked down the "Road to Nowhere" with Weinstein, the Democratic mayor. In her introduction to the first of two clips with Weinstein, Boudreau stated that the mayor "calls it Governor Palin's 'Road to Nowhere.'" After taking P.J. Murphy, the toll collector, to the road for her take on it, she played the second clip from Weinstein, as the two of them walked down the empty road. He made light of how the only people using the road at that point were the two of them. The correspondent then went to a clip from her interview of Mike Elerding, the former Palin campaign coordinator. She asked him if he thought it was "a waste of taxpayer money." He answered, "Without the bridge, yeah. Yes."

     Boudreau did not emphasize that both Weinstein and Elerding were backers of the Bridge to Nowhere who are now angry with Palin for reversing course. They also failed to note that Weinstein ran the local Democratic campaign against her in 2006, as the Anchorage Daily News reported two days after Palin became McCain's running mate:

Mayor Weinstein said many residents remain irked by Palin's failure to come to Ketchikan since that time to defend her decision -- despite promises that she would.

Weinstein may be especially sore -- he helped run the local campaign of Palin's 2006 Democratic rival, Tony Knowles. But comments this week from area Republicans show bitterness there too.

Bert Stedman, a Sitka Republican who represents Ketchikan in the state Senate, told the Ketchikan Daily News he was proud to see Palin picked for the vice-president's role, but disheartened by her reference to the bridge.

"In the role of governor, she should be pursuing a transportation policy that benefits the state of Alaska, (rather than) pandering to the southern 48," he said.

Businessman Mike Elerding, who helped run Palin's local campaign for governor, told the paper he would have a hard time voting for the McCain ticket because of Palin's subsequent neglect of Ketchikan and her flip-flop on the "Ralph Bartholomew Veterans Memorial Bridge."

     For more on Weinstein and Elerding being "irked" by Palin's "neglect" of Ketchikan, see the August 18, 2008 article by Tom Kizzia in the Anchorage Daily News, "Palin touts stance on 'Bridge to Nowhere,' doesn't note flip-flop" at: www.adn.com

     Despite trying to smear Palin with this project, CNN didn't reveal the extent of the plagiarism controversy which rocked the failed 1988 presidential bid of Palin's opponent, Delaware Senator Joe Biden, during their hour-long special look at the Democratic vice-presidential candidate earlier in September, which was anchored by Boudreau.
     For more on how CNN didn't fully explain Biden's past plagiarism, see Michael M. Bates's September 14, 2008 item on NewsBusters.org, "CNN Downplays Biden's Deceptions": newsbusters.org

     The full transcript of Abbie Boudreau's report, which began 17 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour of Wednesday's American Morning:

     (CNN CHYRON: "Road to Nowhere: Another Sarah Palin Project")
     JOHN ROBERTS: 17-and-a-half minutes now after the hour. So, who hasn't heard Governor Sarah Palin say that she told Congress thanks but no thanks on that 'Bridge to Nowhere?' Most people have heard that. But did you know that leading up to the non-existent bridge that she was for before she was against is the little-known 'road to nowhere,' and it is very real. Our Special Investigations Unit correspondent Abbie Boudreau found it, drove it, and reports now on how it came to be.
     ABBIE BOUDREAU (voice-over): Take a look down there. That's the City of Ketchikan. And over there across the Tongass Narrows -- that's Gravina Island, and that's where the local airport sits. To get there from Ketchikan, you have to take the ferry. It takes about 10 minutes. So that brings us first to the plans for the notorious expensive 'Bridge to Nowhere.' It would have crossed the Narrows here, but to get to the airport, they needed a road. But here's what happened: when the political outcry about the bridge got so loud and they killed it, well, it was too late. They'd already signed a contract for the road project, so they built it.
     BOUDREAU (on-camera): This is Gravina Island Highway. It runs about three miles long at $8 million per mile, paid for by your tax dollars. But there's no one on this road. Many locals call it the 'Road to Nowhere.'
     BOUDREAU (voice-over): The Democratic mayor of Ketchikan calls it Governor Palin's 'Road to Nowhere.'
     MAYOR BOB WEINSTEIN, DEMOCRAT, KETCHIKAN, ALASKA: She's been saying, 'I told Congress thanks, but no thanks. I stopped that "Bridge to Nowhere" project.' In fact, she didn't tell Congress, thanks, but no thanks, and spent $26 million out of a federal earmark for the Gravina access, a.k.a. 'Bridge to Nowhere' project, on this road that will not go to a bridge.
     BOUDREAU: Weinstein says, of course, a road would have made sense if a bridge had been built, considering how now, locals and tourists have to take a ferry to the airport. While we were on the road, we met P.J. Murphy, who works on the island.
     P.J. MURPHY, TOLL BOOTH COLLECTOR: Not many people are coming out yet.
     BOUDREAU (on-camera): No. Why did you call?
     MURPHY: Well, I'm the toll collector down there, and I wanted to see where it went and what it looked like.
     BOURDREAU: What do you think?
     MURPHY: It's a nice road. It's a nice road. It's a lot better than the road I drive on to go home.
     BOUDREAU: And what do you think about where it ends?
     MURPHY: Well, it's the 'Bridge to Nowhere.' I mean, come on.
     BOUDREAU (voice-over): Mayor Weinstein came with us to see the road, too.
     BOUDREAU (on-camera): I mean, who is using this road? Since we've been here we haven't-
     WEINSTEIN: Well, currently, you and I are using the road.
     BOUDREAU (voice-over): He can joke about it now, wearing a 'Nowhere, Alaska' t-shirt. But he says that earmark money could have been used to fix roads and sidewalks in town that people actually use.
     BOUDREAU (on-camera): Simply put, what could Governor Palin have done? If she says she's against earmarks, what could Governor Palin have done in this case?
     WEINSTEIN: Governor Palin could have stopped construction of this road.
     BOUDREAU (voice-over): Back up in the helicopter -- another reality check.
     BOUDREAU (on-camera): It kind of just curves around then it just stops. That's where the bridge was supposed to pick up, right there.
     BOUDREAU (voice-over): We tried to find someone in town who supported the road. So we contacted Palin's former campaign coordinator, an avid Palin supporter. But even he had a hard time not backing the project.
     BOUDREAU (on-camera): Do you think it's a waste of taxpayer money?
     MIKE ELERDING, FORMER PALIN CAMPAIGN COORDINATOR: On the road?
     BOUDREAU: Yeah.
     ELERDING: Without the bridge, yeah. Yes.
     BOUDREAU (voice-over): Meg Stapleton, a McCain/Palin spokesperson tells us the governor had no choice, and that's why the project moved forward.
     BOUDREAU (off-camera): It's hard to imagine that the governor wouldn't think that that's a waste of money -- taxpayer money.
     MEGHAN STAPLETON, MCCAIN-PALIN CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON: The governor could not change that earmark. That earmark was given. That earmark was dictated. That had to be spent on the Gravina road and nothing else, and so, the governor had no options.
     BOUDREAU: Could she have stopped construction?
     STAPLETON: My understanding is that -- you know, I'd have to look into that for you. I don't know.
     BOUDREAU: Stapleton did get back to us. And she says, under ordinary circumstances, Governor Palin would not have allowed the Gravina road project to move forward. But given the federal earmark and because the contract for the road was already signed before she got into office, the governor was left no viable alternative. Abbie Boudreau, CNN, Anchorage, Alaska.
     ROBERTS: But it is a lovely road.

 

CNN Correspondent Aneesh Raman Quits
to Join Obama Campaign

     Aneesh Raman, formerly an international correspondent for CNN, left the network in June to "try something different" and MediaBistro's FishbowlDC discovered Tuesday that by "different" he meant working for Barack Obama's messaging shop sending out e-mails for the campaign. For FishbowlDC's September 24 post, "Raman's An Obama Guy," about an Obama e-mail for which he is listed as the contact name ("Statement of Senator Obama on President Ahmadinejad's remarks"), go to: www.mediabistro.com

     [This item is based on a Wednesday NewsBusters blog posting by Matthew Sheffield: newsbusters.org ]

     Raman is hardly the first prominent television journalist to go work for Democrats this year. In May, ABC reporter Linda Douglass joined up to work as a strategist and spokesman for Obama. See the May 22 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

     A third journalist, ex-ABC News anchor Carole Simpson signed up with the Hillary Clinton campaign during the Democratic primaries. Check the February 5 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

     Currently working for the Obama campaign is Kate Albright-Hanna, a former CNN producer who pitched her services to Obama in 1999 while she was still working at the network. Details in the August 21 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

 

Olbermann Boasts of More Air Time, Now
Able to 'Say What I Think'

     Keith Olbermann, who was hardly reticent during the conventions to express his far-left opinions, told David Letterman on Wednesday that he's pleased about being relieved by MSNBC of anchor duties for upcoming debates and on election night since it will enable him "to be on more than I was previously and I can say what I think." On Wednesday's Late Show, where he filled in at last-minute for his nemesis John McCain, Letterman asked about his removal from the anchor slot along with Chris Matthews. Olbermann expounded:
     "We're not the anchors any more. We're just going to be commentators...I'm actually going to be on more than I was previously and I can say what I think rather than sit there going 'now here's more from such and such over there.'...Basically, I can just sit there between appearances and eat ice cream for 20 minutes at a time and then come back and go 'that's the crappiest answer I've ever heard in a debate.'"

     [This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted late Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     Amongst things Olbermann said on MSNBC during the conventions when as a co-anchor he was, apparently, feeling refrained from revealing what he thought:

     # Enthralled by Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic convention: "For 42 minutes not a sour note and spellbinding throughout in way usually reserved for the creations of fiction. An extraordinary political statement. Almost a fully realized, tough, crisp, insistent speech in tone and in the sense of cutting through the clutter. Akin to the words that were given to the fictional title character in that Aaron Sorkin film, The American President, only this 'cut the crap!' moment is not the stuff of fiction. This is the real thing out here. I'd love to find something to criticize about it. You got anything?"

     CyberAlert, with video: www.mrc.org


     # From the last night of the GOP convention, likely the rant which cost Olbermann and Matthews their anchor slots:

MSNBC's Olbermann Has Angry Breakdown Over 9/11 Video Tribute

Just moments after MSNBC aired the Republican convention's 9/11 video tribute, shown at about 8:40pm EDT Thursday night, Keith Olbermann offered an angry rebuke of his own network for doing so (CNN and PBS also aired it) since it included aftermath video from September 11, 2001:

"If at this late date, any television network had of its own accord showed that much videotape, and that much graphic videotape of 9/11, and I speak as somebody who lost a few friends there, it, we, would be rightly eviscerated at all quarters, perhaps by the Republican Party itself, for exploiting the memories of the dead and perhaps even for trying to evoke that pain again. If you reacted to that videotape the way I did, I apologize. It is a subject of great pain for many of us still and was probably not appropriate to be shown."

     CyberAlert, with video: www.mrc.org

-- Brent Baker

 


 


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