top


The 2,435th CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
9:45am EDT, Tuesday June 26, 2007 (Vol. Twelve; No. 108)
Back To Today's CyberAlert | Free Subscription

1. CBS Frets Court's Turn to Right, ABC Rues Campaign Finance Ruling
The Supreme Court on Monday issued two rulings related to free speech, but CBS was more concerned by the court's move "to the right," while ABC deplored the impact of the ruling striking down of a ban on advocacy advertising 60 days before an election. Substitute CBS Evening News anchor Harry Smith, however, saw only one of the cases as involving free speech as he stressed the ideological direction of the court: "Today the justices ruled on a broad range of issues, including campaign finance reform and free speech for students. The rulings illustrate a distinct turn to the right due in part to the court's newest members." Instead of seeing a victory for free speech, Wyatt Andrews described it as "part of a trend in which the Roberts court generally has moved to the right." Andrews soon touted how "often the court's only woman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, would verbally strike back," such as when "she said the partial-birth abortion decision reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family, and this was out loud in open court." Over on ABC, anchor Charles Gibson relayed how both of the big rulings "involved freedom of speech," but only in the school case did ABC put "free speech" on screen. With "Campaign Ads" on screen, Gibson rued the triumph for free speech: "The court weakened a key provision of the campaign finance reform law, opening the way for many more groups to run many more political ads."

2. NBC Highlights Students Asking Bush to Stop Torturing Prisoners
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams highlighted a "surprise" letter presented to President Bush by high school students visiting the White House who wanted the President to "stop the practice of torture." Williams: "When they got there, 50 of them [out of 141] presented him with a handwritten letter that they had signed demanding that the United States stop the practice of torture." During the 37-second item, Williams recounted the story and at one point showed a copy of the letter on-screen with the sentence "We do not want America to represent torture" blown up so it was readable to viewers. The NBC anchor concluded by relaying the President's response: "The President told them the United States does not practice torture, the very same thing the President has said publicly in the past."

3. NBC's Today Portrays Dick Cheney As the 'Master of Stealth'
Carrying the left's water, on Monday's Today show, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell furthered the liberal spin of Dick Cheney as a dark and sinister force inside the White House. While refusing to label Melanie Sloan and Michael Blanton as the known liberals that they are, O'Donnell cited them, along with the Washington Post's Barton Gellman, in a segment that portrayed Cheney as a "master of stealth." In the story about Cheney withholding documents from the National Archives, O'Donnell aired three soundbites opposed to Cheney but only aired one from a Cheney advocate, White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino.

4. ABC Again Admires 'Noble' Environmentalist Who Shuns Toilet Paper
On Monday's Good Morning America, for the second time in less than two months, the ABC program featured a gushing segment on a liberal environmentalist's "noble experiment" of forgoing toilet paper and all other modern amenities in order to have "no impact" on the Earth. GMA weatherman Sam Champion, who is himself a promoter of extremist environmental beliefs, touted how the year-long project could be "fun." Co-anchor Chris Cuomo marveled at how Colin Beaven, or "No Impact Man," as he likes to be called, is trying to "do nothing to hurt the environment." In an unintentionally funny moment, when Cuomo noted that he couldn't "go without" toilet paper, this exchange followed. Cuomo: "Can't go without [toilet paper]. Can't be that green, Sam. Can't be that green." Champion: "I want to help you." In the 8:30am tease for the segment, guest co-host Juju Chang deemed the project a "noble experiment."

5. Huffington Post Writer: At Least Hitler Meant Well -- Unlike Bush
President Bush is actually worse than Hitler because at least the German dictator meant well when he was trying to exterminate Jewish people, ex-Seinfeld sit-com writer and Washington Post sports reporter Peter Mehlman contended in a rant last Wednesday on the Huffington Post blog. Pointing out how many see Bush as the worst President ever, the featured Huffington Post contributor asserted that "what no one is saying is the one overarching reason he's the worst: the Bush administration is the first that doesn't even mean well." Mehlman contended: "You could argue that even the world's worst fascist dictators at least meant well. They honestly thought were doing good things for their countries by suppressing blacks/eliminating Jews/eradicating free enterprise/repressing individual thought/killing off rivals/invading neighbors, etc....Bush set a new precedent. He came into office with the attitude of 'I'm so tired of the public good. What about my good? What about my rich friends' good?'"


 

CBS Frets Court's Turn to Right, ABC
Rues Campaign Finance Ruling

     The Supreme Court on Monday issued two rulings related to free speech, but CBS was more concerned by the court's move "to the right," while ABC deplored the impact of the ruling striking down of a ban on advocacy advertising 60 days before an election. In the other case, the court upheld the right of school officials to ban student signs advocating illegal behavior. Substitute CBS Evening News anchor Harry Smith, however, saw only one of the cases as involving free speech as he stressed the ideological direction of the court: "Today the justices ruled on a broad range of issues, including campaign finance reform and free speech for students. The rulings illustrate a distinct turn to the right due in part to the court's newest members." Instead of seeing a victory for free speech, Wyatt Andrews described it as "part of a trend in which the Roberts court generally has moved to the right." Andrews soon touted how "often the court's only woman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, would verbally strike back," such as when "she said the partial-birth abortion decision reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family, and this was out loud in open court."

     Over on ABC, anchor Charles Gibson relayed how both of the big rulings "involved freedom of speech," but only in the school case did ABC put "free speech" on screen. With "Campaign Ads" on screen, Gibson rued the triumph for free speech: "The court weakened a key provision of the campaign finance reform law, opening the way for many more groups to run many more political ads." Gibson told Stephanopoulos that campaign spending "is out of control" and Stephanopoulos lamented how groups can now "run TV ads right up until election day praising candidates, criticizing candidates, as long as you don't use the words 'vote for' or 'vote against.' And it's very easy to get around that."

     The NBC Nightly News managed to frame both rulings as free speech cases without bemoaning the campaign decision. Brian Williams announced: "The U.S. Supreme Court took on free speech today. It issued two decisions in two cases. One of them will affect what we all see and hear during this coming election season. The other has to do with what school students can and cannot say. " Pete Williams picked up on the majority's use of the "censor" term as he came the closest to painting the ruling as a victory for the cause of free speech:
     "When it comes to free speech, the court said 'the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor.' The ruling said 'discussion of issues cannot be suppressed simply because they may also be pertinent in an election.' Today's decision was cheered by groups ranging from the National Rifle Association to the ACLU, whose ads faced blackouts before elections....."

     [This item was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide these transcripts of the June 25 broadcast network evening newscast coverage of the Supreme Court rulings announced Monday:

     # CBS Evening News:

     HARRY SMITH: And in Washington today, a busy day at the Supreme Court. Today the justices ruled on a broad range of issues, including campaign finance reform and free speech for students. The rulings illustrate a distinct turn to the right due in part to the court's newest members -- Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. More now from Wyatt Andrews.

     WYATT ANDREWS: You don't usually associate the Supreme Court with cases like "Bong Hits 4 Jesus." But after a high school student was suspended for displaying this banner, he brought a First Amendment case and lost. The court said that schools may restrict student speech that promotes drugs.

ANDREW COHEN, CBS News Legal Analyst: High school students just don't have the same sorts of constitutional rights that the rest of us do.
     ANDREWS: The court today also struck down the ban on those last-minute campaign attack ads-
     Clip of ad: And that's bad for Texas.
     ANDREWS: -ruling here that the ban violates the First Amendment. Court analysts say this ruling -- which was strongly supported by conservatives -- is part of a trend in which the Roberts court generally has moved to the right.
     TOM GOLDSTEIN, Attorney: Almost every significant case this term that divided on ideological lines was won by the conservatives.
     ANDREWS: That's partly because the court's swing vote, Anthony Kennedy, has swung mostly conservative, notably by upholding the ban on partial-birth abortion.
     GOLDSTEIN: From abortion to free speech, campaign finance regulation, he's consistently voted with the more conservative wing of the court.
     ANDREWS: The Roberts court this term was also tough on people bringing lawsuits. The court, for example, said taxpayers may not sue the President to stop funding faith-based charities. Women may not sue for pay discrimination if they don't sue within 180 days. Investors can't sue Wall Street firms that might be fixing prices.
     PAMELA KARLAN, Stanford Law School: It's a little hard to say they're decisively pro-business. I mean, they're certainly not pro-the little guy.
     ANDREWS: Often the court's only woman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, would verbally strike back. In that wage case, she complained "the court is indifferent to how women can be victims of wage discrimination." She said the partial-birth abortion decision reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family, and this was out loud in open court.
     KARLAN: Which is an unusual thing for justices to do. Reflects a kind of anger at the direction in which the court is going.
     ANDREWS: That direction toward a pro-business, anti-lawsuit and anti-abortion court is what the President was hoping for when he appointed Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. Wyatt Andrews, CBS News, at the Supreme Court.


     # ABC's World News with Charles Gibson:

     CHARLES GIBSON, in opening teaser: The supreme showdown: The Supreme Court justices draw new lines on free speech in schools and in political ads. Get ready for an onslaught on the airwaves.

     GIBSON (on screen: "Campaign Ads"): There were two important rulings from the Supreme Court today. Both involved freedom of speech. Both were 5-4 decisions. The first will impact the 2008 presidential campaign. The court weakened a key provision of the campaign finance reform law, opening the way for many more groups to run many more political ads. Our chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos is with me tonight. George, the Congress has struggled trying to find ways to limit campaign spending, which is out of control, and all these ads that are on television, without impinging on free speech. And today, in effect, the court, I guess, said you haven't done it.
     GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: That's exactly right, Charlie. The Congress tried to do it with a bill called McCain-Feingold, and this ruling blows a hole in the McCain-Feingold Act. What it says is that if you're a corporation, if you're a labor union, if you're an interest group like the Sierra Club or National Right to Life, you can run TV ads right up until election day praising candidates, criticizing candidates, as long as you don't use the words "vote for" or "vote against." And it's very easy to get around that.
     GIBSON: So I suspect this means we're going to see even more ads in the 2008 presidential campaign than we could have anticipated already.
     STEPHANOPOULOS: You won't be able to count it, Charlie. There was more than $2 billion spent in the 2006 campaign. I think that will more than double in 2008, and this is certainly going to increase the pressure -- it was already heading that way -- for the major party nominees to completely opt out of the public financing and spending limit system.
     CHARLES GIBSON (on screen: "Free Speech"): And the other 5-4 decision today, the court tightened limits on free speech for students. It ruled that schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as advocating drug use. Our legal affairs correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg is at the Supreme Court. So, Jan, it does seem incongruous that the Supreme Court is making a decision over a student's sign that says "Bong Hits 4 Jesus." Tell us about it.
     JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Well, the student said he was just trying to be funny when he unfurled that huge 14-foot banner that said "Bong Hits 4 Jesus," but the school principal thought he was advocating illegal drug use. That's why she ripped it down, and she suspended him. And the Court said that was entirely reasonable, that school officials can limit that kind of harmful speech that they think advocates illegal behavior. Schools act as parents, and they can protect children during the day.
     GIBSON: Now, I would think most people would look at this as common sense, what the court decided today, and yet, it was a 5-4 decision. So there were four justices who disagreed with this.
     GREENBURG: The more liberal justices said that decision was, that sign was just ridiculous, and that this would limit student speech in a number of areas, students should be able to talk about drug use -- maybe they want to change the drug laws. So they saw this ruling as limiting free speech in a very dangerous way.


     # NBC Nightly News:

     BRIAN WILLIAMS: The U.S. Supreme Court took on free speech today. It issued two decisions in two cases. One of them will affect what we all see and hear during this coming election season. The other has to do with what school students can and cannot say. Walking us all through it tonight, our justice correspondent, Pete Williams.

     PETE WILLIAMS: The court today said Alaska high school officials acted properly when the Olympic torch paraded through Juneau in 2002 after students on a street held up a sign that declared 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' -- a nonsensical phrase intended to test free speech right. The principal thought it referred to smoking marijuana and tore it down. Today the court ruled 5 to 4 that because of the government's interest in stopping drug abuse, schools can restrict student expression they believe promotes illegal drugs.
     FRANCISCO NEGRON, NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION: We're thrilled with the decision because what the Supreme Court said is basically that educators don't have to worry about being second guessed.
     PETE WILLIAMS: In another free speech decision today, the court loosened a ban on TV and radio ads that run during election campaigns. Hoping to limit the influence of big money, Congress voted in 2002 to block corporations and labor unions from buying issue ads mentioning candidates, even when they stop just short of calling for a candidate's defeat. Today's ruling said it can be hard to tell whether an ad is genuinely about issues or is an attack ad in disguise. But when it comes to free speech, the court said 'the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor.' The ruling said 'discussion of issues cannot be suppressed simply because they may also be pertinent in an election.' Today's decision was cheered by groups ranging from the National Rifle Association to the ACLU, whose ads faced blackouts before elections.....

 

NBC Highlights Students Asking Bush to
Stop Torturing Prisoners

     On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams highlighted a "surprise" letter presented to President Bush by high school students visiting the White House who wanted the President to "stop the practice of torture." Williams: "When they got there, 50 of them [out of 141] presented him with a handwritten letter that they had signed demanding that the United States stop the practice of torture." During the 37-second item, Williams recounted the story and at one point showed a copy of the letter on-screen with the sentence "We do not want America to represent torture" blown up so it was readable to viewers. The NBC anchor concluded by relaying the President's response: "The President told them the United States does not practice torture, the very same thing the President has said publicly in the past."

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

     Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Monday, June 25 NBC Nightly News:
     "A surprise for President Bush today at an otherwise perfectly ordinary annual event on the President's schedule -- 141 high school seniors from around the country, this year's class of presidential scholars, came to the White House for a meet-and-greet with the President. When they got there, 50 of them presented him with a handwritten letter that they had signed demanding that the United States stop the practice of torture. Afterward, one of the students told our NBC News White House producer that the President told them the United States does not practice torture, the very same thing the President has said publicly in the past."

 

NBC's Today Portrays Dick Cheney As the
'Master of Stealth'

     Carrying the left's water, on Monday's Today show, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell furthered the liberal spin of Dick Cheney as a dark and sinister force inside the White House. While refusing to label Melanie Sloan and Michael Blanton as the known liberals that they are, O'Donnell cited them, along with the Washington Post's Barton Gellman, in a segment that portrayed Cheney as a "master of stealth." In the story about Cheney withholding documents from the National Archives, O'Donnell aired three soundbites opposed to Cheney but only aired one from a Cheney advocate, White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino.

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

     The following is the full, unbalanced segment as it occurred on the June 24 Today show:

     Meredith Vieira: "One of the key architects of the war on terror, Vice President Dick Cheney, is back in a very uncomfortable place for him, the headlines. NBC's White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell has more. Kelly, good morning to you."

     [On screen headline: "Vice Presidential Power, Cheney's Widespread Influence."]

     Kelly O'Donnell: "Good morning, Meredith. The glare of public exposure is probably the thing the Vice President dislikes most. And he's getting more of it, than usual. There's a series running in the Washington Post this week examining his role. And there's a brewing feud between the Office of the Vice President and the National Archives over the handling of classified information. Wielding more power than any Vice President in U.S. history, a master of stealth, even inside the White House."
     Tom Blanton, George Washington University: "Vice President Cheney's been the leader of the effort to say, 'we need a cone of silence over the Executive Branch.'"
     O'Donnell: "Most notably on the controversial policy of holding terror suspects, without charges, indefinitely. As detailed in the Washington Post, Mr. Cheney quietly gave his detainee proposal to the President, bypassing the standard staff review."
     Barton Gellman, Washington Post: "The top ranking officials in the White House never knew about this proposal before the President signed it. That's highly unusual in the Bush or any other White House."
     O'Donnell: "Cheney's influence turns out to be surprisingly wide-ranging. For example, the Post finds he was the force behind capital gains tax cuts and also put an end to the snowmobile ban in national parks. In an interview last year, he said the President gave him the green-light."
     Dick Cheney: "...onset was I'd be an important part of the team and have an opportunity to weigh in on those issues I wanted to weigh in on and he's kept his word."
     O'Donnell: "But has the Vice President gone too far? The National Archives thinks so. Mr. Cheney's is the only office in the Executive Branch refusing to file required reports and permit inspections by the National Archives, which monitors the handling of classified material."
     Melanie Sloan, advocate for government ethics: "He is, in effect, holding himself above the law, saying that there is no oversight over the Office of the Vice President."
     O'Donnell: "The White House acknowledges there is an open dispute but backs Cheney's position."
     Dana Perino, Deputy White House Press Secretary: "...from following the, the laws of the United States he's exempt just from this reporting requirement."
     O'Donnell: "The National Archives unit that looks over how government offices handle this kind of classified information, has gone to the Attorney General. That happened in January but Alberto Gonzales has not responded yet. Now Democrats are asking questions and they're also saying this needs to be investigated. Meredith."
     Meredith Vieira: "Alright, Kelly O'Donnell, thank you very much."

 

ABC Again Admires 'Noble' Environmentalist
Who Shuns Toilet Paper

     On Monday's Good Morning America, for the second time in less than two months, the ABC program featured a gushing segment on a liberal environmentalist's "noble experiment" of forgoing toilet paper and all other modern amenities in order to have "no impact" on the Earth. GMA weatherman Sam Champion, who is himself a promoter of extremist environmental beliefs, touted how the year-long project could be "fun." Co-anchor Chris Cuomo marveled at how Colin Beaven, or "No Impact Man," as he likes to be called, is trying to "do nothing to hurt the environment." In an unintentionally funny moment, when Cuomo noted that he couldn't "go without" toilet paper, this exchange followed. Cuomo: "Can't go without [toilet paper]. Can't be that green, Sam. Can't be that green." Champion: "I want to help you."

     The May 11 CyberAlert, "ABC's GMA Touts Environmentalist Who Boycotts Toilet Paper," recounted GMA's earlier segment: www.mrc.org

     For Champion's earlier exaggeration, see the February 1 CyberAlert article, "Warming Hype: 'Will Billions Die?' and 'Could Destroy Earth?'", online at: www.mrc.org

     In the 8:30am tease for the segment, guest co-host Juju Chang deemed the project a "noble experiment." The experiment in question features self described "tree-hugging lunatic" Colin Beaven and his family refraining from using electricity, elevators and cars for a year. They are currently at the midway point of the endeavor. At no time in the segment, or the one in May, did Champion or anyone else challenge the environmentalist or wonder how much sense it makes to cheer on a man who is abstaining from toilet paper. Indeed, in the tease, Champion seemed to want to downplay that particular angle:

     Cuomo: "...This is the guy who says, 'I don't use toilet paper because it's bad for the environment?'"
     Champion: "This is the guy. It started a big headline. It's just a small part of it. But, you know, they wanted to take it to the extreme. So, it's an experiment."
     Juju Chang: "It's a noble experiment."
     Champion: "Right. And they're not saying, it really is. And they're not saying everybody has to do all of this. But there's some take-away things that we'll be able to do at home. And you can even have your toilet paper and still help the planet."

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

     Although Champion did refer to Beaven and his wife Michelle Conlin as "extreme" on more than one occasion, he clearly meant the word in an admiring way. At one point in the interview, he referred to the project as a "great idea." Later, he allowed Beaven to lecture Americans about flying too much:

     Champion: "Now, you're writing a book and we know, to other people at home and everyone I've talked to about this, goes, ‘Well, that's so extreme!' We know that. This is an experiment. You're writing a book, but hopefully we can take something back to our houses that we can use a little less of or do without. What are some of those things you think we can do?"
     Colin Beaven: "Well, I mean, a big change we could all make is just to fly a little less, drive a little less, use a little less power. To, if we were, for example, if you're flying away twice for two weekends, why not turn it into a one week-long trip and have, reduce your flying by 50 percent in that way, because flying makes a big difference in the carbon emissions."

     Champion closed the segment with this endorsement of how viewers can follow Beaven through his Web site: "We continue to follow him and you can follow him through our website, get connected to his Web site. You can find out more about renewable energy and what you can do at home to maybe play with this experiment all through ABCNews.com."

     What's on Beaven's Web site? Well, this banner greets readers:
     "A guilty liberal finally snaps, swears off plastic, goes organic, becomes a bicycle nut, turns off his power, composts his poop and, while living in New York City, generally turns into a tree-hugging lunatic who tries to save the polar bears and the rest of the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his baby daughter and Prada-wearing, Four Seasons-loving wife along for the ride."

     See: noimpactman.typepad.com

     Now, Beaven calls himself a "tree-hugging lunatic" and a "guilty liberal." Yet, those are characterizations that GMA would probably never employ.

     A transcript of the June 25 segment, which aired at 8:41am:

     8am tease. Sam Champion: "And we call him 'No Impact Man. We're checking in. It's an update on, it's an experiment. A year without this family trying to make no impact on the environment at all. [SIC] They're trying to live as if they were making no impact. Saving money, saving energy. Could you do it as an American family? And, by the way, how are they doing? They're half way into their experiment. We'll talk about it this morning."
     Chris Cuomo: "No impact at all? So they do nothing to hurt the environment?
     Champion: "He's trying."
     Cuomo: "Ooh, respect that. I like that. No impact."
     Champion: "No trash. No, all that."

     8:30am tease. Champion: "And, and this experiment. Could an American family live for a year without making an impact on the environment? Could it happen? One man, No Impact Man, we call him. His experiment. He's half way through it. We'll talk to him."
     Cuomo: "Well, this is the guy who says, 'I don't use toilet paper because it's bad for the environment?'"
     Champion: "This is the guy. It started a big headline. It's just a small part of it. But, you know, they wanted to take it to the extreme. So, it's an experiment."
     Juju Chang: "It's a noble experiment."
     Champion: "Right. And they're not saying, it really is. And they're not saying everybody has to do all of this. But there's some take-away things that we'll be able to do at home. And you can even have your toilet paper and still help the planet."
     Cuomo: "Thank you, Sam. Kid from Queens. Can't go without it. Can't be that green, Sam. Can't be that green."
     Champion: "I want to help you."

     8:41am. ABC Graphic: "Going Green to the Extreme: No Lights, No Car, No Coffee"

     Champion: "He's given up trains, planes, automobiles, sworn off coffee, electricity. And, yeah, everyone says, even toilet paper. I'm talking about No Impact Man, Colin Beaven, who with his family is living without modern conveniences for an entire year. Now, that's to see if an American family could actually live with no impact on the environment. Now, he's at the midway of his experiment. Let's see how the Beaven family is doing. No lights. No electricity. No impact. No problem."
     Colin Beaven: "Honestly, when we first turned the electricity off, the first night, I was like, 'What are we doing?'"
     Champion: "For about seven months now, Colin Beaven, his wife Michelle and their two-year-old daughter Isabella have been urban pioneers going to the extreme, a family with a year-long experiment of no impact on the environment. Since we last saw them, the Beavens have shut off their circuit breaker. Now, the only power to their Manhattan apartment from this single solar panel on their building's roof."
     Beaven: "The only thing this powers right now is my computer."
     Champion: "It's the final stage in the year-long experiment with strict guidelines. Of course, no electricity, nothing bought new. All food bought from local sources. No elevators and all transportation their own leg work."
     Beaven [On his bike]: "This is the no-impact-mobile."
     Champion: "The warm weather is helping, they say. Everyday, Michelle scooters from work and they all meet up in the park for some impact-free family fun. Heading home together, it's a brisk walk up nine flights of stairs. And as nighttime descends over New York, dinner by candlelight, natural beeswax, of course. Followed by some personal time with some mood lighting provided. Over half way through the experiment and they say they've changed in ways they never imagined."
     Michelle Conlin: "There's something about this project that increases the intimacy and the connection between us."
     [Pre-taped segment ends]
     Champion: "Nice support from Michelle, by the way. Now, Colin Beaven joins us for an update on his self-styled experiment. I know we can't all do this and we're going to talk about that. But first, let's talk about Michelle. You had this great idea. You had to kinda talk her into it. How's she doing with the whole thing?"
     Beaven: "You know, at first it was hard for her and" But then, what happened is we found that there was a lot of benefits to it too. You know, for one thing, we're a lot more fit because we eat better and we get more exercise."
     Champion: "You are more fit."
     Beaven: "Yeah, but for another thing, you know, one of the things that we've lost is the TV. And so, our, our family time has moved from sitting in front of the TV not talking to each other, to sitting in the kitchen during our meals and really talking to each other and spending time outdoors. ‘Cause there's no lights in the house and we spend a lot more time outside now with our little girl. So, in a way, it's really strengthened our family."
     Champion: "And so, candlelight, not just romantic, it's actually just the way for you two guys to see each other at dinner. Right?"
     Beaven: "Everything is romantic for us now."
     Champion: "Now, how, by the way, your little daughter, Isabella, right?"
     Beaven: "Isabella."
     Champion: "How's she doing through all this? How's she handling it?"
     Beaven: "Oh, well, you know, she's not even two and a half yet. So, for her, everything is just fun. You know, I put her on, I walk up and down stairs with her and she goes, 'Shoulders, daddy. Shoulders.' So, I throw her on my shoulders and we go up the stairs. She thinks it's great."
     Champion: "Quickly about the electricity, you've completely unplugged. You're not using any power other than your solar panel. What do you miss the most out of that?"
     Beaven: "I think probably the refrigerator. And the reason for that is that I just have to shop everyday because, you know, to bring the food in fresh. So, the fridge is what I miss."
     Champion: "Now, you're writing a book and we know, to other people at home and everyone I've talked to about this, goes, ‘Well, that's so extreme!' We know that. This is an experiment. You're writing a book, but hopefully we can take something back to our houses that we can use a little less of or do without. What are some of those things you think we can do?"
     Beaven: "Well, I mean, a big change we could all make is just to fly a little less, drive a little less, use a little less power. To, if we were, for example, if you're flying away twice for two weekends, why not turn it into a one week-long trip and have, reduce your flying by 50 percent in that way, because flying makes a big difference in the carbon emissions."
     Champion: "Now, and you started this with these grand ideas of how, what you can do and what you can't do. Is there anything along the way that you realized, wait, I thought I could do this, but we just can't do this?"
     Beaven: "Well, I can't figure out a replacement for the natural gas in my stove. There's such a thing a bio-gas, which is gas that is taken from cow manure or from garbage dumps. And the methane, which is the same thing that is in natural gas, but it's not widely enough available for me to use in my stove. And-"
     Champion: "And it's a little hard to bottle your own methane from cattle. I mean, you don't want to" I mean, think about it. It's not easy."
     Beaven: "No. No. No."
     Champion: "But, so that's the one thing you're still using?"
     Beaven: "Yes. That's the one thing."
     Champion: "Now, folks are traveling with you on your web page. They connect with you. They talk to you about these other ideas. Um, and we'll help them do that. We'll talk about how other people can get involved in that. But first of all, we usually send a car to get somebody, to bring them to the show. But we didn't have to do that with you."
     Beaven: "No."
     Champion: "Because, really and truly, even when you're sitting here talking with us, you're still working on the experiment. So how did you get here?"
     Beaven: "I rode my bike."
     Champion: "Yeah. And it's actually in the greenroom."
     Beaven: "Yes, it is."
     Champion: "So all these things that you're doing, and people sometimes are skeptical, but you're actually through this to see if it can be done."
     Beaven: "Well, the idea is we're so attached to so many modern conveniences, and we have this idea. We've inherited this way of life and we think we need so much, so the big question is what could I do with out? Let's really look at what can I do without? Because maybe I don't need as much stuff as I thought and not only that, maybe life could be better without certain things."
     Champion: "And that's the fun part. And we keep saying, people are traveling with you and you can do it along with him. And so, we really want to thank you, Colin, for being here, No Impact Man. We continue to follow him and you can follow him through our website, get connected to his website. You can find out more about renewable energy and what you can do at home to maybe play with this experiment all through ABCNews.com."

 

Huffington Post Writer: At Least Hitler
Meant Well -- Unlike Bush

     President Bush is actually worse than Hitler because at least the German dictator meant well when he was trying to exterminate Jewish people, ex-Seinfeld sit-com writer and Washington Post sports reporter Peter Mehlman contended in a rant last Wednesday on the Huffington Post blog. Pointing out how many see Bush as the worst President ever, the featured Huffington Post contributor asserted that "what no one is saying is the one overarching reason he's the worst: the Bush administration is the first that doesn't even mean well." Mehlman contended: "You could argue that even the world's worst fascist dictators at least meant well. They honestly thought were doing good things for their countries by suppressing blacks/eliminating Jews/eradicating free enterprise/repressing individual thought/killing off rivals/invading neighbors, etc....Bush set a new precedent. He came into office with the attitude of 'I'm so tired of the public good. What about my good? What about my rich friends' good?'"

     Matthew Sheffield, Executive Editor of the MRC's NewsBusters blog, caught the posting as highlighted by another blog, and posted an item Monday on NewsBusters: newsbusters.org

     The June 20 Huffington Post piece, "At Least They Didn't Mean Well....", was cross-posted on Yahoo: news.yahoo.com

     Mehlman's bio on Huffington Post describes how after working at the Washington Post he moved West and became a writer for NBC's Seinfeld sit-com in the 1990s, rising to co-Executive Producer in the show's last season: www.huffingtonpost.com

     An excerpt from Mehlman's June 20 diatribe, with a vulgarity in the first sentence:

Boy, America has had a lot of shitty presidents. Just take a stroll down repressed memory land and look at that police line-up from November 22, 1963 through January 1992. Ford may come out looking the best of the bunch and he was widely acknowledged to be unable to walk and chew gum. (Wisely, his advisors encouraged him to sit while chewing).

And really, Clinton could have been a lot better too.

So now we're six and a half years into Bush and everyone from Helen Thomas on down is declaring him the worst president ever. What no one is saying is the one overarching reason he's the worst: the Bush administration is the first that doesn't even mean well.

With the possible exception of immigration reform -- and who knows what grotesque financial incentive underlies that -- try to pinpoint even one policy motivated by the desire to lessen human suffering, to improve the life of citizens. Nothing. There is nothing....

Even with the low poll numbers, liberals still feel stymied in conveying just how bad this administration is. It's been the ultimate frustration to consider the people who don't see Bush's malevolence: In 2004, rural America cited national security as their number one reason for voting for Bush. But people in the major cities, where there's actually a chance of being victimized by terrorism, people voted against Bush. Frustrating. In the cities, where most people are utterly at two with nature, people cited Bush's raping of the environment as a major reason to vote against him. In rural America, where people fish and hunt and generally do things outside, they voted for Bush. Sooooo frustrating. On Sutton Place and in Harvard-Westlake, where kids go to college after high school, they vote against Bush. In rural America, from where the majority of tragically killed kids in Iraq soldiers come, they vote for Bush.

You could argue that even the world's worst fascist dictators at least meant well. They honestly thought were doing good things for their countries by suppressing blacks/eliminating Jews/eradicating free enterprise/repressing individual thought/killing off rivals/invading neighbors, etc. Only the Saudi royal family is driven by the same motives as Bush, but they were already entrenched. Bush set a new precedent. He came into office with the attitude of "I'm so tired of the public good. What about my good? What about my rich friends' good?"

How can anyone not see it? It's not that their policies have been misguided or haven't played out right. They. Don't. Even. Mean. Well.

     END of Excerpt

     That's online in full at: www.huffingtonpost.com

-- Brent Baker

 


Sign up for CyberAlerts:
     Keep track of the latest instances of media bias and alerts to stories the major media are ignoring. Sign up to receive CyberAlerts via e-mail.

Subscribe!
Enter your email to join MRC CyberAlert today!

 

questions and comments about CyberAlert subscription

     You can also learn what has been posted each day on the MRC’s Web site by subscribing to the “MRC Web Site News” distributed every weekday afternoon. To subscribe, go to: http://www.mrc.org/cybersub.asp#webnews

 


Home | News Division | Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts 
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact the MRC | Subscribe

Founded in 1987, the MRC is a 501(c) (3) non-profit research and education foundation
 that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate for office.

Privacy Statement

Media Research Center
325 S. Patrick Street
Alexandria, VA 22314