Jennings Relays How North Koreans See Bush as “Hostile”; FNC Warns Viewers About Iraqi Monitoring of Reporters; BBC Reporter: Bush “Glovepuppet” of Cheney & Rumsfeld;
Today Promotes Jane Goodall’s Animal Rights Cause; SNL Audience Applauds McCain’s Zingers at Streisand
1) Equal time from ABC for communist thugs as for a U.S. President. On Monday night Peter Jennings relayed how the North Korean regime, just days after admitting it has broken an agreement and is pursuing nuclear weapons, says the Bush administration, in Jennings’ words, “must be less hostile.”
2) From the “fair and balanced” network fair warning that FNC stories from inside Iraq may not be so fair and balanced. On Monday night, FNC anchor Brit Hume cautioned his viewers about how FNC’s reporter in Baghdad “works under close Iraqi monitoring of where he goes and what he reports.” Will other networks follow FNC’s lead and provide such an advisory?
3) BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson said at a literary festival last week, the Guardian reported, that “George Bush was a man of below average intelligence and a
'glovepuppet of his Vice President, Dick Cheney, and Defence Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld.’" Simpson also described Fox News as “dysfunctional, grotesquely patriotic and embarrassing.” But it was Simpson who dressed as a woman and claimed to have “liberated” Kabul.
4) Jane Goodall’s Web site features as the lead item on its home page a link to its “Roots and Shoots Global Peace Initiative” which promotes the “teaching of tolerance” in the wake of 9-11
with a link titled, “Beyond Blame: Reacting to the Terrorist Attack.” But on Monday’s Today Ann Curry didn’t ask Goodall about any of that. Instead, Curry trumpeted Goodall’s agenda: “What is the greatest lesson you've learned?...What gives you hope Jane?...What sustains you?...You also travel with the forest within you, you say?”
5) In an ad for a “McCain Sings
Streisand” CD on Saturday Night Live, the audience applauded John McCain’s zingers at Barbra
Streisand: “For over 20 years I’ve had Barbra Streisand trying to do my job. So I decided to try my hand at her job....Do I know how to sing? About as well as she knows how to govern America.”
Equal time from ABC for communist thugs as for a U.S. President. On Monday’s World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings relayed how the North Korean regime, just days after admitting it has broken an agreement and is pursuing nuclear weapons, says the Bush administration, in Jennings’ words, “must be less hostile.” Jennings then gave the Bush view.
On the October 21 show, Jennings announced this short item:
“North Korea said today it is willing to negotiate with the United States about its nuclear weapons program. But the Bush administration, the Koreans say, must be less hostile. For his part, President Bush looked at the North Koreans and called it a troubling discovery but also an opportunity to work with the United States and its allies to convince North Korea that it must disarm.”
From the “fair and balanced” network fair warning that FNC stories from inside Iraq may not be so fair and balanced. On Monday night, FNC anchor Brit Hume cautioned his viewers about how FNC’s reporter in Baghdad “works under close Iraqi monitoring of where he goes and what he reports.”
Hume set up a piece on the October 21 Special Report with Brit Hume about Saddam Hussein’s release of prisoners: “We have a report from Iraq on these events from correspondent Greg Palkot. Be advised that Greg, like all correspondents in Iraq, works under close Iraqi monitoring of where he goes and what he reports.”
All correspondents may operate under the same strictures, but I have not noticed any other network providing such a warning for its viewers.
Hume’s advisory came just a few days after a New Republic story by Franklin Foer detailed how Western journalists are afraid of reporting anything that will upset the regime for fear of losing access if their visas, which must be renewed every few weeks, are not approved.
Foer suggested: “To stay on the right side of the regime, many reporters on the Baghdad beat take the path of least resistance: They mimic the Baath Party line.” He also noted the monitoring cited by Hume: “If you are lucky enough to gain a visa to report in Iraq, you also receive a minder, an English-speaking government shadow who is required by the regime.”
For an excerpt of the article with illustrative examples of how journalists altered reporting so as to not offend their hosts, see the October 18
For the article in the October 28 New Republic, “How Saddam Manipulates the U.S. Media,” in full, go to:
John Simpson, World Affairs Editor at the BBC, “doesn't think much of President Bush or the way U.S. TV networks, and particularly Fox News, have covered the war on terrorism,” FNC’s Brit Hume observed on his show Monday night.
Indeed, a story in Saturday’s Guardian newspaper in London recounted how at the Cheltenham Literary Festival Simpson “said George Bush was a man of below average intelligence
and a 'glovepuppet of his Vice President, Dick Cheney, and Defence Secretary Donald
Simpson, Guardian reporter Fiachra Gibbons relayed, described Fox News as “'dysfunctional, grotesquely patriotic and embarrassing’ and had mislead the American public after September 11 with 'hysterical, excitable reporting.’”
As a result of such awful reporting, “the US public had been horribly misinformed, he said. 'I went to Ground Zero and I found that many people believed US immigration policy was the reason why America was so disliked. Thank God I don't have to broadcast to them. There is no recognition of linkage with America's support for Israel. There is a great hunger for information in America which people are not just getting.’"
Thank God we don’t have to listen to his reports.
Gibbons also passed along how Simpson described how Geraldo Rivera “had turned up late in Kabul with a pair of pearl-handled pistols boasting that he wanted to bring home the head of Osama bin Laden 'and bronze it.’
“'He pulled out these pistols and waved them in the air,’ he said. 'I have my problems with CNN and I sometimes have my problems with the BBC, but I can't remember seeing anyone doing that before in a live broadcast.’"
At least Kabul doesn’t have a Hooters! (If you don’t get the reference, see the October 17 CyberAlert for Rivera’s latest embarrassing incident:
But as the saying goes, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Rivera may have been the John Wayne of Afghanistan, but Simpson was the Klinger of Afghanistan. (“Klinger” was the guy on M*A*S*H*, played by Jamie Farr, who dressed in women’s clothing.)
As Hume recalled: “Simpson, by the way, got into Afghanistan last year by dressing up in a woman’s burka. And later, as the Taliban fled Kabul, Simpson got there ahead of
the advancing Northern Alliance. He said quote, 'it’s an exhilarating feeling to be liberating a city.’”
For photos of Simpson, check a profile of him posted on the BBC Web site:
It’s titled, “John Simpson: Action Addict,” and recounts his claim to have “liberated” Kabul. The profile also stated Simpson “has tried to remain objective” and related how in the Tiananmen Square protests he interceded not to protect students but to protect a soldier for the communist regime:
“Since he became the editor of the BBC's World Affairs Unit 13 years ago, he has tried to remain objective about such historic moments as the fall of Ceaucescu and the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
“He watched the release of Nelson Mandela with 'tears flooding down my face’ and while journalists are supposed to be observers not players, Simpson has sometimes been unable to restrain himself.
“After seeing two soldiers killed by an angry crowd in Tiananmen Square, he stepped in to help prevent a third being
murdered. 'There's something inside me that wells up and says 'stop it',’ he says.”
Sounds like Simpson is the Geraldo of Britain.
For the October 19 Guardian story:
Jane Goodall’s Web site features as the lead item on its home page a link to its “Roots and Shoots Global Peace Initiative” which promotes the “teaching of tolerance” in the wake of 9-11 with a top link to the Southern Poverty Law Center and a link further down the page titled, “Beyond Blame: Reacting to the Terrorist Attack.”
The second link on Goodall’s “Roots and Shoots” page: “What is Islam? -- Increase your knowledge base on this fascinating and peaceful religion.” Third link: “Tolerance Watch -- learn more about the difficulties that Arab and Muslim Americans are facing across the country.” Fourth link: the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a group which has defended justifications for the
9-11 attacks, and that’s putting it kindly but I don’t recall the details at the moment.
Despite that first concern for the plight of Muslims in an intolerant America, when Goodall appeared on Monday’s Today, fill-in co-host Ann Curry didn’t ask her a word about it in a segment tied to Goodall’s new book, The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do To Care For the Animals We Love.
Goodall offered this overwrought warned: “If we don't continue to care about the environment now then if it gets worse than it is now then the terrorists will win because there will be nothing left for our grandchildren.”
Curry failed to challenge Goodall and instead set her up with prompts to repeat the claims she made in her book. A sampling of Curry’s approach caught by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens: “You say that people are afraid to talk about being caring about the environment because they may be perceived, they think, as unpatriotic?...What is the greatest lesson you've learned?...
What gives you hope Jane?...The UN has just reported that 13 species of the world's apes could be extinct within 30 years. I mean in the face of it, that seems so hopeless....What sustains you?...You also travel with the forest within you, you say?”
Better question: What “sustains” Curry at NBC News when she doesn’t even try to be a journalist and instead just mimics her guest’s agenda?
Today created special backdrops for the segment with huge photos behind Curry and Goodall of penguins, pelican-looking birds, elephants and chimpanzees.
Curry set up the October 21 lovefest during the 8am half hour: "Legendary primatalogist Jane Goodall has devoted her life to understanding the animal kingdom. As a young woman she broke new ground in her study of chimpanzees in Africa. She went on to become a tireless advocate and educator spreading the message of how humans can more peacefully coexist with animals. Now along with animal behavioral scientist Marc Bekoff she is out with a new book, The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do To Care For the Animals We Love. Jane Goodall welcome."
Curry’s first question: "You had once written, quote, 'I feel deep shame when I look into the eyes of my grandchildren and think how much damage has been done to the planet Earth since I was their age. Each of us must work as hard as we can now to heal the hurts and save what is left.' Why do you think each one of us can make a difference given the enormity of the damage?"
Even Goodall is feeling oppressed by the patriotism police, Curry suggested: "So you've come up the with these Ten Trusts. These ideas on how people can, can do something. But you know the, the thing is that you come out with it at a time when the nation is facing terrorism. Its eye is on something else. And also you say that people are afraid to talk about being caring about the environment because they may be perceived, they think, as unpatriotic?"
Goodall confirmed her theory: "I noticed that very much. You know I was in New York on the 11th of September and traveling around after that in this country with lectures called, 'Reason for Hope,' and I found that when I was saying to people, 'Look if we don't continue to care about the environment now then if it gets worse than it is now then the terrorists will win because there will be nothing left for our grandchildren.' So it's desperately important, maybe more important than ever that we start caring for the environment. And think about the effects of nuclear war on this poor planet. I doubt it could sustain it."
Who doesn’t care about the impact of nuclear war?
Curry let Goodall’s views drive the interview as she walked Goodall through her “ten trusts.” Curry prompted Goodall: "You basically write this book as a call to action. Let's go through some of these trusts. You say: 'Rejoice that we are a part of the animal kingdom. Respect all life. Open our minds in humility to animals and learn from them.' What is the greatest lesson you've learned?"
Goodall: "It is humility. I mean the chimpanzees which I've studied for 43 years now. You know they are so like us in so many ways. One by one the things that we used to think unique to humans has been shown to be present also in chimps."
Curry mildly objected: "We're not superior?"
Goodall: "We're different. We're unique. We're just not as different as we used to think. And our main difference is the sophisticated spoken language. So you and I can educate people around the world just by talking."
Curry: "And educate our children because that's one of your trusts. You say, 'Teach our children to respect and love nature. Be wise stewards of life on Earth.' You say even cell phones hurt the environment."
Goodall: "Yes unfortunately they are made from coltan and coltan is a substance mined and it's being found in Eastern Congo so people illicitly have gone rushing into mine within the national park and almost all the animals are gone because they've been eaten."
Curry: "You also say, 'Value and help preserve the sounds of nature. Refrain from harming life. Have the courage of our convictions and praise those who work for animals and the natural good. Act knowing we are not alone and life with hope, and live with hope.' What gives you hope Jane?"
Goodall: "Traveling around, meeting the amazing people. Knowing that nature is so resilient. Knowing that animal species on the brink of extinction can be given another chance."
Curry: "Really?! Because the UN has just reported that 13 species of the world's apes could be extinct within 30 years. I mean in the face of it, that seems so hopeless."
Goodall: "Well it just means that we have to really, really work. You know I was in Johannesburg for the, for the Earth Summit on sustainable development. And all of the NGOs, we all got this feeling, 'Okay it's up to us. Now we've got to roll up our sleeves and get everybody's help.'"
Curry: "You've spent 300 days out of this year, of every year traveling to spread your message. What, what sustains you?"
Goodall: "The people. They equate spiritual power that I feel-"
Curry: "And you also travel with the forest within you, you say?"
Goodall: "I travel with the forest within me."
Curry concluded: "Well you honor it. Jane Goodall, thank you so much. And we should tell people the book is called, The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do to Care For the Animals We Love. And also you can log onto JaneGoodall.org for more information."
I did log on to janegoodall.org and discovered the promotion for the “Roots and Shoots Global Peace Initiative.”
In addition to the text and links cited at the top of this item, the page is filled with material which assumes Americans must be taught tolerance, including one link nicely titled “Beyond Blame: Reacting to the Terrorist Attack.” Yet Goodall has no trouble blaming humans for environmental degradation.
-- “Roots & Shoots in Action! -- learn about Roots & Shoots groups who are working towards greater tolerance, compassion and cultural understanding.”
-- “'Beyond Blame: Reacting to the Terrorist Attack’ -- Use this set of activities featured by Tolerance.org and created by the Education Development Center to help your middle and high-school students address issues connected to September 11th.”
-- “How to Stand With Those Targeted by Hate -- a list of 10 strategies. Created by the National Conference of Community and Justice, St. Louis, featured by
For the “Roots and Shoots Global Peace Initiative” page on
John McCain earned applause from the Saturday Night Live audience during a skit in which he sang, very badly, some stanzas from Barbra Streisand songs mixed in with some zingers at Streisand for making political pronouncements.
When even New Yorkers laugh and applaud hits on a liberal activist like Streisand you know most find her annoying.
The skit was a take-off on a TV commercial for a CD titled “McCain Sings Streisand.” It opened with McCain singing “people who need people.” McCain then observed: “I’ve been in politics for over 20 years. And for over 20 years I’ve had Barbra Streisand trying to do my job. So I decided to try my hand at her job.”
That prompted the audience to applaud. McCain picked up with a bit of “Memories/The Way We Were” before launching this zinger: “Do I know how to sing? About as well as she knows how to govern America.” That led the New York City audience to laugh and applaud.
McCain, badly and off key, sang some from another Streisand song and then inquired: “Pretty annoying, huh? Now you know how I feel.”
The audience applauded again before McCain delivered a quip followed by a promise: “My new CD is a must for all of Barbra Streisand’s fans as well as Log Cabin Republicans. And as a special added bonus, just for Babs, a portion of all sales will be used to damage Alaskan wildlife preserves. So order today!”
The cause sounds enticing, but believe me, McCain can’t sing so its fortunate it’s all a joke.
For more about Streisand’s fundraiser for Democrats last month, and a RealPlayer video clip of Streisand singing customized anti-Republican lyrics at it to the tune of “The Way We Were,” see the MRC’s “Celebrities on Politics and War” page:
-- Brent Baker
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