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President Claims Network Is Not Biased
CBS President Andrew Heyward:
"Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I do deny that we have a
bias, and I'm familiar with the work that [Brent] Bozell and [Reed] Irvine do.
They are activists and extremists of the Right. Ö
ď Ö [T]he people I work with, many of them are surprisingly
ď Ö [A]s journalists we're always holding the establishment up to
scrutiny, whether it's a Republican or a Democratic administration, a
Republican or a Democratic Congress. It's our job to ask tough questions and
to shine a light in corners that might otherwise remain dark. And if you tend
to be conservative, by definition somebody who's constantly challenging the
status quo, even though that's how we see our jobs, is seen potentially as
unpatriotic or they're anti-government, anti-American. Ö ď
-- CBS President Andrew Heyward responds to a callerís question on
C-SPAN, July 31, 2000.
Franken Jokes About Executing President Bush
"Well, let's dive right in. The way the CIA leak investigation is
playing out must really have shaken your faith in four men who I know are your
personal heroes: Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush."
Al Franken: "Well, you know, what worries me about this is
that, I mean, this does follow a pattern with Rove, which is that he has
through the years smeared people. But this is a, this is outing a CIA agent,
which George H.W. Bush, the President's father who headed the CIA, said was
treason. And what I'm worried about is that that might be the indictments, and
that Rove and Libby and others may face, may be executed."
Franken: "That's what I'm worried about. And I think that, I'm
against the death penalty."
Olbermann: "But it would be a hell of a story for cable news."
Franken: "It would. Especially if it got to the President and
the Vice President-" [Olbermann laughs]
Franken: "-because, and I think there should be a
constitutional amendment passed as soon as possible that we can't execute
either a sitting or recently-impeached President and Vice President."
Olbermann: "Well, I mean, there have been signs of life. We've
reviewed the videotapes, and there are clearly signs of life in both of them,
so that would just be a horrific thing to have happen."
Franken: "Well, it would be demoralizing, don't you think?"
Olbermann: "With the new book, The Truth (with Jokes), we
already have some controversy. We found a very unusual, some might say
disturbing, video on the Web. And I thought you should get a chance to respond
to this, but let's play the tape first."
START Amazon's video clip:
Unidentified man: "I'm a big fan. I gave five stars, and I've
already ordered five copies of The Truth (with Jokes)."
Franken: "Well, thank you. Now, you must be Scott from
Franken: "And how many stars did you give Lies?
Franken: "Really? You didn't like it?"
Scott: "I didn't read it. I'm just a right-wing jerk. That's
why I said in my review that you want the terrorists to win."
Scott: "And that you've never been funny."
Franken: "Okay, that's it." [Franken kicks Scott character in
Franken: "Ah, that felt great. Thanks, Amazon."
END video clip
Olbermann: "Now, as one of the blogs affiliated with noted
media watcher Brent Bozell, or as he's sometimes known, 'Red Beard the
Pirate,' asks, 'Is there a theme of violence in Al Franken's work?'" [Franken
laughs] Now, apart from the infamous scuffle that day on Jeopardy with Alex
Olbermann: "-is there a theme of violence in your work, sir?"
Franken: "I don't think so.
-- Exchange between left-wing author Al Franken and MSNBC's Keith
Olbermann, Countdown, Oct. 25, 2005.
Franken Jokes About 'Executing' White House Officials
Letterman quipped: "The real crime is that there's an adult
man walking around in the current administration named Scooter. I mean, we can
agree on that, right?" [Audience laughter]
Franken combined the liberal spin on the case with some humor:
"That, but sooner or later he'll be executed, so that, and you worry about
because the President at some, he said right away when Novak outed the CIA
agent, Plame, said 'I want to get to the bottom of this.í Well now Karl Rove
is his right-hand man. Did he ask Karl? Did Karl lie to him? If so, we know he
should have fired Karl by now so that, and did Karl tell the truth to him? In
that case the President -- and I think, by the way, that we should never ever,
ever, ever execute a sitting President." [Audience laughter]
Letterman: "It makes us look bad around the world, I think."
Franken, in jest: "It would. It would be heartbreaking, I
think, and I think that we should have a constitutional amendment."
Letterman: "I see, yeah. Have we ever come close in the
history to executing a seated President?"
Franken: "No, this will be the closest."
Letterman: "This will be the closest, yeah."
Franken: "Unless we get that amendment passed now."
-- Exchange between David Letterman and left-wing comedian Al
Franken, Late Show with David Letterman, CBS, Oct. 21, 2005.
Lee: Levee Explosion 'Not Far-Fetched'
Bill Maher: ... This past Saturday Lewis Farakhan did a kind
of reunion of the Million Man March. I donít think we got a million people
this time. But he was saying, last Saturday in Washington, that he thinks that
the federal government, there was a conspiracy to actually blow up those
levees so that they would flood the poor black districts in New Orleans. I
have to tell you, I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I don't believe it. But when
you see some of the things that have gone on in this country."
Spike Lee: "Exactly. It's not far-fetched. And also I would
like to say it's not necessarily blow it up. But, the residents of that ward,
they believe it, there was a Hurricane Betsy in '65, the same that happened
where a choice had to be made, one neighborhood got to save another
neighborhood and flood another 'hood, flood another neighborhood. Look, we're
Maher: "That's been done before."
Lee: "We're in LA, and thereís an emergency situation, we
called from Beverly Hills, we call from Compton. Which one the cops coming to
Maher: "Right. But that's different than pro-actively blowing
up a levee to flood one neighborhood. Iím not saying itís not possible."
Michel Martin: "That would require a conspiracy. I mean, look,
we can all understand, anybody with any knowledge of history can understand
why a lot of people can feel this way, that that's a reasonable theory. But it
would also require a conspiracy at three levels of government -- the local,
the state, and the federal. It would require no white residents-"
Lee: "Presidents have been assassinated. So why is that so
Martin: "Because it would require, because it would require no
white person in the government to have a moralcompass. It would require no
black person to have a spine and I think that's a very hard case to make."
Lee: "Let me ask you a question: Do you think that election in
2000 was fair? You don't think that was rigged?" [audience applause]
Martin: "Itís not a question of not being fair, itís a
Lee: "If they can rig an election, they can do anything!"
Carlson: "I was in New Orleans right after the hurricane in
the ninth ward. And while I didn't hear anybody say the levee was blown up by
the federal government, I did interview a bunch of people who were stuck there
who said they believed this was part of the conspiracy to rid New Orleans of
black people. They honestly believed that. I didnít argue with them, I just
listened to what they said and I felt bad for them. So as you sit here -- who
is someone who is rich and has option -- and are watched by people who are
poor and have no options, it seems to me it's your responsibility, your
obligation to tell them the truth and you know the truth, which is the federal
government did not blow up the levees so donít feed the paranoia and the
Lee: "First of all, howís that feeding the paranoia?"
Carlson: "Because youíre saying itís entirely possible when
you know perfectly well itís not possible."
Lee: "Howís it not possible?"
Carlson: "The federal government blew up the levees? A,
there's zero evidence, b, it's difficult to blow up a levee, c, there were
news cameras all around and nobody saw it. I mean, letís be real here."
Lee: "Because nobody saw, because nobody saw means, can it
happen? Let me ask you a question: With the history of this country, you ever
heard of 'Tuskegee experimentí? Answer! Answer!"
Carlson: "Iím not going to sit here for your history lesson. I
want to know what-"
Lee: "Explain to the audience what the Tuskegee experiment
Carlson: "I'm not even going to get into that."
Lee: "Why not?"
-- Exchange among Commentator Bill Maher, Director Spike Lee, ABC
reporter Michel Martin, and Commentator Tucker Carlson, Real Time with Bill
Maher, HBO, Oct. 21, 2005.
Jack Cafferty Advocates Rove Indictment
Jack Cafferty: "Here's the question. What should Karl Rove do
if he is indicted? Now, you can e-mail us your thoughts at
you can go to CNN.com/Caffertyfile. Both those addresses will get you to the
same place. Weíll read some here. He might want to, he might want to get
measured for one of those extra large orange jump suits, Wolf, 'cause looking
at old Karl, I'm not sure that heíd, they'd be able to zip him into the
regular size one."Wolf Blitzer, anchoring from DC: "He's actually lost some
weight. I think he's in pretty good shape."
Wolf Blitzer, anchoring from DC: "He's actually lost some
weight. I think he's in pretty good shape."
Cafferty: "Oh, well then maybe just the regular off the shelf
large would handle it for him."
Blitzer: "Yeah, but you know, itís still a big if. Itís still
a big if."
Cafferty: "Oh, I understand. I'm, Iím just hoping you know. I
love, I love to see those kinds of things happen. It does wonders for me."
Blitzer, bemused: "All right, Jack. Weíll get back to you.
Thank you very much."
-- Exchange between Jack Cafferty and Wolf Blitzer, The Situation
Room, CNN, Oct. 17, 2005.
Sutherland Trashes Bush Administration
Joe Scarborough: "Let's move on now to
actor Donald Sutherland. He's busy. Not only is he playing the Republican
villain -- and of course the Republican is a villain on the ABC show
'Commander in Chief.' He's also spending his free time lashing out at the Bush
administration. During a recent appearance on the BBC, Sutherland called the
current president 'vile,' 'inadequate,' a 'liar.' But that's not all. He went
on to say this, quote, ĎThey only care about profit. They will destroy our
lives. And so it's something you have to care about if you're passionate about
the lives of our children because we've stolen their future.' And then,
feeling emotional, Sutherland broke down in tears. Take a look."
Donald Sutherland, via BBC's posted RealPlayer video: "We
have children. How dare we take their legacy from them? How dare we? It's
-- Scarborough Country, MSNBC, Oct. 4, 2005.