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The 2,745th CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
8:30am EDT, Wednesday October 8, 2008 (Vol. Thirteen; No. 190)
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1. Nets Condemn McCain Calling Obama 'That One'; CNN: Palin Racist
Matching the Obama campaign spin, the network reporters and analysts were upset by John McCain, at one moment in the second presidential debate on Tuesday night, referring to Barack Obama as "that one." CBS's Jeff Greenfield asserted "there is going to be clearly a major headline soundbite" and insisted "those two words are going to be what the water cooler conversation is tomorrow. Was it demeaning? Was it an insult?" Katie Couric turned to a group of "undecided voters" for their reaction to the phrase. One man "thought it was a little bit childish" and another "undecided" man declared: "I'm really tired of the last eight years of for us or against us and to me that showed that side of McCain coming out and the picky and childish and we've had eight years of that." On CNN, Suzanne Malveaux compared it to Bill Clinton's characterization of Monica Lewinsky: "It's like 'that woman,' you know, that we've heard 'that woman,' I mean a lot of people are saying that was the kind of language that was very condescending." A few minutes later, Democratic hack Paul Begala slimed Sarah Palin as a racist, citing the Associated Press and how "they said her attack on this whole Bill Ayers thing was 'racially-tinged.' That's not what a Democrat said, that's what the Associated Press said." There's a difference? MSNBC viewers heard Chris Matthews pleased by Obama's "wonderful smile" before he charged McCain's smile "has a somewhat menacing quality."

2. PBS Offers 20 Minutes to Obama; New Yorker Editor Blasts Palin
On his PBS talk show after the debate Tuesday night, Charlie Rose devoted most of the first 20 minutes of the show to top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. He claimed: "We also invited a representative from the McCain campaign, but they were unable to do so this evening." Neither Rose nor the McCain campaign could find a person to match 20 minutes for Obama? As for the pundits, New Yorker magazine editor (and former Washington Post reporter) David Remnick blasted Sarah Palin for going "negative in the lowest way possible," and said her selection "really is turning out to be a great misery." He maintained the race is turning strongly to Obama, "and deservedly so."

3. Stephanopoulos Goes 3 for 3: Again Declares Democrat the 'Winner'
Deciding "Obama is two for two," ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who last Friday called Joe Biden the winner over Sarah Palin, declared Barack Obama "definitely won" over John McCain in the second presidential debate, just as he had determined following the first one -- and that makes it three times out of three debates the Democratic operative turned ABC journalist has picked the liberal Democrat. In Tuesday's "Nightline Report Card," Stephanopoulos trumpeted Obama's performance: "He definitely won tonight. I think, again, he showed over the course of this debate, over the course of the two debates, he is answering the number one question Americans have about him. Does he have the experience it takes to serve effectively as President? Over the course now of three hours of debates, he is answering that question minute by minute."

4. Obama Needs Police Protection from Palin? Couric Suggests So
Over video simply showing Barack Obama walking down the steps from his airplane, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric on Tuesday night juxtaposed how Obama "was given a police escort to his hotel," as if that's anything unusual for a presidential nominee under standard Secret Service protection, with how "in recent days, he's been under a non-stop verbal assault from Sarah Palin." So the Governor of Alaska is a threat to Obama's personal safety? Couric never explained why she decided to highlight the police escort when Obama and McCain, as well as Palin and Joe Biden, get them every day: "The economy will likely dominate tonight's presidential debate. John McCain arrived in Nashville last night while Barack Obama flew in earlier today and was given a police escort to his hotel. In recent days, he's been under a non-stop verbal assault from Sarah Palin. But are her criticisms accurate? Wyatt Andrews, now, with a Reality Check."

5. AP: McCain Tied to 'Nazi Collaborators...Right-Wing Death Squads'
On Tuesday, an Associated Press article featured on MSNBC.com and briefly as a top headline on the popular internet homepage MSN.com, was titled: "McCain linked to group in Iran-Contra case." The subtitle read: "Organization had ties to former Nazi collaborators, right-wing death squads." The article attacked a group founded by retired U.S. General John Singlaub: "The U.S. Council for World Freedom was part of an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America. The group was dedicated to stamping out communism around the globe." The AP article justified reporting on the tenuous McCain connection by explaining: "McCain's ties are facing renewed scrutiny after his campaign criticized Barack Obama for his link to a former radical who engaged in violent acts 40 years ago."

6. CBS's Glor: Bill Ayers a 'Once Radical Anti-War Advocate'
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Jeff Glor condemned the McCain campaign for "blasting" Barack Obama and playing a "guilt-by-association game" by discussing Obama's connection to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. Glor proclaimed: "Using a new ad to pile on adjectives, 'dangerous,' 'dishonorable,' 'liberal,' and 'risky.' And using running mate Sarah Palin to name names, trying to link Obama with controversial characters like the once radical anti-war advocate William Ayers and fiery pastor Jeremiah Wright." While Glor referred to Ayers being "once radical," in a 2001 New York Times article, Ayers expressed no remorse for his 1970's terrorist activities, saying: "I don't regret setting bombs...I feel we didn't do enough."

7. CNN's Griffin Does a Real Fact-Check on Obama/Ayers Connection
During a report on Monday's Anderson Cooper 360 program, CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin presented many of the missing details about the relationship between Barack Obama and left-wing terrorist William Ayers that two earlier "Truth Squad" reports on the network on Sunday and Monday omitted. Griffin stated that despite the spin of the Obama campaign and their mainstream media supporters, "...the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said."

8. ABC News 'Feminist' Slams Palin as 'Not Caring' About Other Women
Retiring ABC journalist Lynn Sherr trashed Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin as not enough of a feminist. "What, exactly, has she done legislatively for other women? What paths has she forged?" Sherr asked TVNewser columnist Gail Shister in an interview published Tuesday morning: "She seems to have turned it [feminism] on its head. She doesn't seem to care about bringing along other women with her," Sherr complained as she packed up her ABC News office.

9. Diane Sawyer Reminisces About '92 'Super Bowl' Dem Documentary
On Tuesday's Good Morning America, co-host Diane Sawyer fondly reminisced with Democratic strategist James Carville about "War Room," the 15-year-old political documentary on the 1992 presidential campaign. Opening the segment with Carville, one of the film's stars, she fawned: "It's become like revisiting a big moment in the Super Bowl. Going back to 1992, when Bill Clinton and a team of strategists in a war room unseated a sitting President." Later, after playing a clip of Carville as he congratulated the Clinton team for their hard work, Sawyer cooed: "When you look back, can you believe it still? Can you believe it yet?" Oddly, one person who also starred in the film, and is featured on the DVD cover, wasn't cited in the segment. George Stephanopoulos, the former top aide to Bill Clinton-tuned ABC journalist, somehow escaped mention.


 

Nets Condemn McCain Calling Obama 'That
One'; CNN: Palin Racist

     Matching the Obama campaign spin, the network reporters and analysts were upset by John McCain, at one moment in the second presidential debate on Tuesday night, referring to Barack Obama as "that one." CBS's Jeff Greenfield asserted "there is going to be clearly a major headline soundbite" and insisted "those two words are going to be what the water cooler conversation is tomorrow. Was it demeaning? Was it an insult?" Katie Couric turned to a group of "undecided voters" for their reaction to the phrase. One man "thought it was a little bit childish" and another "undecided" man declared: "I'm really tired of the last eight years of for us or against us and to me that showed that side of McCain coming out and the picky and childish and we've had eight years of that."

     On CNN a little past 11 PM EDT, reporter Suzanne Malveaux compared it to Bill Clinton's characterization of Monica Lewinsky: "It's like 'that woman,' you know, that we've heard 'that woman,' I mean a lot of people are saying that was the kind of language that was very condescending." A few minutes later, Democratic hack Paul Begala slimed Sarah Palin as a racist, citing the Associated Press and how "they said her attack on this whole Bill Ayers thing was 'racially-tinged.' That's not what a Democrat said, that's what the Associated Press said." There's a difference? MSNBC viewers heard Chris Matthews pleased by Obama's "wonderful smile" before he charged McCain's smile "has a somewhat menacing quality."

     In the post-debate 25 minutes on NBC, Brian Williams relied on Internet chatter as he contended "John McCain took some heat from a lot of people" for " when he referred to his Senate colleague, an opponent in this race, Senator Obama, as, quote, 'that one.' That line got a lot of response on the Internet."

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

     Asked by Williams at the end of NBC's coverage for one moment or utterance "that lives on" from the debate, both NBC political director Chuck Todd and correspondent Andrea Mitchell cited Obama campaign talking points: the "that one" from McCain and how wonderfully Obama summarized his "change" message. Todd conceded the Obama campaign push on "that one" will make it reality:

     CHUCK TODD: Well, I think clearly the Obama campaign is pushing this "that one" moment. They're pushing it hard. They've already e-mailed it around a half dozen times to reporters. So whatever -- whether it should be the moment or not, they're pushing it and that matters. If a campaign pushes something, that's how these post-spin wars happen, but I wonder if the Dow today dropping 500 points ends up being more influential on how people view this debate tonight than anything that happened on stage.
     WILLIAMS: And Andrea Mitchell, a few seconds left to get you on the record, same question. What lives on after this evening?
     ANDREA MITCHELL: Well, it may be Barack Obama's closing statement about change because he wrapped it all up in the few seconds that he had and that may be the impression left with the voters and the viewers.

     Chris Matthews, on MSNBC just before 11 PM EDT, as caught by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth: "Barack Obama is gifted in his birth by a wonderful smile. He has a wonderful way of disengaging or disarming attacks on him, even when they're ferocious. John McCain, when he smiles, has a somewhat menacing quality. It may not be purposeful, but when he smiles, you wonder what he's really thinking. For whatever reason, Barack Obama comes off as debonair, even under attack, and I think tonight, given the fact of the way this thing started, with Barack in the lead, I think he'll stay in the lead after tonight. There was not a game changer."

     In a humorous aside on ABC, reporter Jake Tapper quipped about how moderator Tom Brokaw had taken over the "town hall" format, so to McCain's detriment it wasn't much of one: "The town was taken over by the mayor" and "the town hall, that Senator McCain does excel in, kind of broke down."

     Just as with the first presidential debate and the VP debate, those surveyed by CBS and CNN said the Democrat won. The CBS News/Knowledge Networks poll of 500 "uncommitted voters" found 39 percent thought Obama won with 27 percent picking McCain and 35 percent considering it a tie. The CNN/Opinion Research "flash poll" had Obama as the winner by 54 to 30 percent.

     More on the CBS and CNN post-debate coverage:

     # CBS News, with "ten undecided voters" at the CBS News studio in New York:

     COURIC: What did you think of this one? What struck you?
     JEFF GREENFIELD: First it was what didn't happen. The dogs did not bark in the night. After all the talk about taking the gloves off, no mention of Bill Ayers, no mention of Tony Rezko, the Chicago financier. No mention of Jeremiah Wright. I think Bob's [Schieffer] right, in part, because of the format. But there is going to be clearly a major headline soundbite. Sometimes there none. And it came when John McCain was going after Barack Obama for voting on what he considered a pork-laden energy bill, and I think we ought to listen to this.
     COURIC: In 2005, and let's take a listen to that.
     JOHN McCAIN, IN DEBATE: There was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate loaded down with goodies. Billions for the oil companies and it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney. You know who voted for it? You might never know. That one. You know who voted against it? Me.
     GREENFIELD: Katie, I think that those two words are going to be what the water cooler conversation is tomorrow. Was it demeaning? Was it an insult? And I just have a feeling that that focus is going to be a major part of the conversation. As was the part where Obama constantly, as Bob said, kept his eyes on McCain and McCain seemed to be kind of wandering around. You remember the last debate there was talk about him not paying attention.
     COURIC: So this is cosmetic stuff for the most part, Jeff, attitudinal stuff. Did you think there was no real winner in terms of substance?
     GREENFIELD Well, I thought what was interesting, and if we have time we'll play this bite, was that Obama came here with one goal: relentlessly focus on the middle-class. The middle-class, the middle-class, the middle-class.
     COURIC: We'll play that soundbite in a moment, because I'm curious. I know when we heard John McCain say "that one" you all responded. It was really one of the few times that, you know, you said "wow, that was interesting." What did that, how did that strike you, Michael?
     MICHAEL, FROM MARYLAND HEIGHT MISSOURI, ONE OF TEN 'UNDECIDED VOTERS' IN CBS'S MANHATTAN STUDIO: I thought it was a little bit childish. I thought it was aggressive. I expected John McCain to, this is his home turf, this type of debate and I expected him to come into this a little more reserved than I saw tonight.
     COURIC: Anybody else have strong opinions about that comment?
     ROSEMARY, FROM LANCASTER OHIO: It just wasn't respectful. Most of the debate, I think, was civil and, but that comment was not.
     COURIC: Gregg?
     GREGG, FROM HENNIKER NEW HAMPSHIRE: Yeah. And I think this debate actually put me over the top. I, I'm really tired of the last eight years of for us or against us and to me that showed that side of McCain coming out and the picky and childish and we've had eight years of that.
     COURIC: So you are saying you've gone from uncommitted to committed now?
     GREGG: You know, I thought Senator Obama really did present himself well. I liked his approach. Again, I listened to this time and time again with dealing with not only our friends but our enemies. And we've gotten into circumstances that we just alienate everybody, including some of our own citizens.

     CBS then went to an ad break without airing any comment from a pro-McCain "undecided voter."


     # CNN, 11 PM EDT half hour, with Begala's racist charge, to which the MRC's Melissa Lopez alerted me:

     JEFFREY TOOBIN: It suggests that John McCain really will have time to get that hair transplant. He is just not doing very well in these debates. I don't mean to belabor this point, but that moment when he called, when he said "that one" and referred to Obama that way. I think that's going to be memorable and I don't think that's going to be a happy memory.
     SUZANNE MALVEAUX: It's like "that woman," you know, that we've heard "that woman," I mean a lot of people are saying that was the kind of language that was very condescending, very patronizing and even at the end, they talk about the fact that he, McCain, left early. There wasn't a hand shake between the two wives.

...

     JAMES CARVILLE: But if you stop and contemplate this country if Obama goes in and he has a consistent five point lead and loses the election, it would be very, very, very traumatic I think.
     GLORIA BORGER: I think about age, also, demographics plays into this tremendously. Because if you get a youth vote, race is going to be much less important and this is what the Obama people believe and this is what a lot of pollsters believe. It really affects older voters much more than younger voters.
     ANDERSON COOPER: Paul, you were going-
     PAUL BEGALA: This is why what Sarah Palin is doing is so dangerous. You know, I love, love, love attack politics, I love it, but she has -- at least in the views of the Associated Press, they said her attack on this whole Bill Ayers thing was "racially-tinged." That's not what a Democrat said, that's what the Associated Press said. And it harkens back to, at the convention, she had this quote in her convention speech, kind of anodyne quote about how small towns are good. Well Bobby Kennedy Jr looked it up and it was from a guy named Westbrook Pegler, who Kennedy describes as a fascist, avowed racist who wrote this about Bobby's father, Senator Kennedy. "Some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies" Now, why does this Governor have such an affinity for such a hatemonger to quote him in her speech. Why is she now saying things that at least the Associated Press says is very divisive, "racially-tinged"?

     On the AP, Begala was citing a particularly sleazy AP story from Sunday. The October 6 MRC CyberAlert recounted:

The AP's Douglass K. Daniel, in a Sunday "news analysis," alleged "her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret." Daniel asserted that "in a post-Sept. 11 America, terrorists are envisioned as dark-skinned radical Muslims, not the homegrown anarchists of Ayers' day 40 years ago" and thus "portraying Obama as 'not like us' is another potential appeal to racism."

An excerpt from the October 5 AP dispatch by the Washington bureau reporter:

By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is "palling around with terrorists" and doesn't see the U.S. like other Americans, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering campaign.

And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret....

Palin's words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee "palling around" with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn't see their America?

In a post-Sept. 11 America, terrorists are envisioned as dark-skinned radical Muslims, not the homegrown anarchists of Ayers' day 40 years ago. With Obama a relative unknown when he began his campaign, the Internet hummed with false e-mails about ties to radical Islam of a foreign-born candidate.

Whether intended or not by the McCain campaign, portraying Obama as "not like us" is another potential appeal to racism. It suggests that the Hawaiian-born Christian is, at heart, un-American.

Most troubling, however, is how allowing racism to creep into the discussion serves McCain's purpose so well. As the fallout from Wright's sermons showed earlier this year, forcing Obama to abandon issues to talk about race leads to unresolved arguments about America's promise to treat all people equally.

John McCain occasionally looks back on decisions with regret. He has apologized for opposing a holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr. He has apologized for refusing to call for the removal of a Confederate flag from South Carolina's Capitol.

When the 2008 campaign is over McCain might regret appeals such as Palin's perhaps more so if he wins.

     END of Excerpt

     For the entire spiel: www.breitbart.com

     For the October 6 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

 

PBS Offers 20 Minutes to Obama; New Yorker
Editor Blasts Palin

     On his PBS talk show after the debate Tuesday night, Charlie Rose devoted most of the first 20 minutes of the show to top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. He claimed: "We also invited a representative from the McCain campaign, but they were unable to do so this evening." Neither Rose nor the McCain campaign could find a person to match 20 minutes for Obama?

     As for the pundits, New Yorker magazine editor (and former Washington Post reporter) David Remnick blasted Sarah Palin for going "negative in the lowest way possible," and said her selection "really is turning out to be a great misery." He maintained the race is turning strongly to Obama, "and deservedly so."

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

     Remnick pulled no punches:

McCain began the debate in a sarcastic and frustrated mood. He used the phrase 'he and his cronies,' 'that guy over there' -- you can tell there was a real antipathy there that lasted from beginning to end. Obama was collected. He was eloquent. He was clear. He was unfazed by attacks. He gave the message that he wouldn't brook attacks that would go personal. So I think he won this debate in dramatic fashion.

In a miserable, miserable economic week, and in a week that began with Sarah Palin. We can't forget Sarah Palin's performance in the debate, and then her performance on the stump, in which she went negative in the lowest way possible. It was a relief, I suppose, that McCain didn't go that direction himself tonight, but I think the damage had already been done. This is a terrible week for John McCain and it could well be that the race has moved in a really decisive direction, in the direction of Obama, and deservedly so, considering the performances in the debates and the campaign itself.

     Remnick thought the old 1999-2000 liberal McCain, the one that lost the nomination, would so disdain McCain 2.0 in 2008:

I think the McCain of eight years ago would look upon his campaign now with real disappointment and derision, considering his policy flips and the way that his performance and his rhetoric, and his behavior on the stump -- and by his choice of Sarah Palin, which really is turning out to be a great misery.

     Doris Kearns Goodwin disagreed on McCain's restraint. She suggested that bringing in the personal attacks in this town hall format would have been a disaster, so "I'm not sure he deserves credit for not doing it."

 

Stephanopoulos Goes 3 for 3: Again Declares
Democrat the 'Winner'

     Deciding "Obama is two for two," ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who last Friday called Joe Biden the winner over Sarah Palin, declared Barack Obama "definitely won" over John McCain in the second presidential debate, just as he had determined following the first one -- and that makes it three times out of three debates the Democratic operative turned ABC journalist has picked the liberal Democrat. In Tuesday's "Nightline Report Card," Stephanopoulos trumpeted Obama's performance:
     "He definitely won tonight. I think, again, he showed over the course of this debate, over the course of the two debates, he is answering the number one question Americans have about him. Does he have the experience it takes to serve effectively as President? Over the course now of three hours of debates, he is answering that question minute by minute."

     Issuing his grades, Stephanopoulos awarded Obama an A and two A-minuses while he presented McCain with one A-minus and two grades of B+. Stephanopoulos contended "where I really think Barack Obama won the debate tonight in strategy is on foreign policy. He took the debate to John McCain, took it to John McCain's judgment, jujitsued the line that John McCain used in the last debate about how Barack Obama doesn't understand foreign policy."

     He scolded McCain on accuracy: "Two attacks he makes on taxes which just every fact check organization has said is just wrong. When he says Barack Obama raised taxes 94 times, it's simply not true. He's jumbling together a whole bunch of different votes which include votes against tax cuts....And then second, he says that 50 percent of small businesses will get a tax increase under Barack Obama. Again, that's just not true. The best we could see is maybe 15 percent."

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

     The September 27 CyberAlert item, "In 'Nightline Report Card' Stephanopoulos Gives Obama the Win," recounted:

Awarding Barack Obama two grades of A-minus and one B-minus while presenting John McCain with two grades of B-plus and one B-minus, at the end of his "Nightline Report Card" segment on Friday night, ABC's George Stephanopoulos declared Obama the "winner" -- with a big illustrative check mark on screen: "Bottom line, the winner is Barack Obama. He comes into this race where the country wants change. His number one goal was to show that he belonged on that stage. He was a credible commander-in-chief, that he could hold his own on national security. He did that tonight. He gets the win."

     Full rundown: www.mrc.org

     October 3 posting, "Stephanopoulos Again Declares the Liberal the Debate Winner," reported:

Six days after declaring Barack Obama the winner of the first presidential debate, following Thursday's VP debate George Stephanopoulos again decided the liberal Democrat in the debate, this time Joe Biden, was the winner -- but in assigning his "Nightline Report Card" grades he gave both Biden and Sarah Palin the same overall assessments: each got one A, one A-minus and one B. Asked by anchor Terry Moran to name "the winner," Stephanopoulos argued: "Joe Biden, but boy, was this close. I think that Governor Palin did an awful lot to help herself tonight. There is no question that she beat expectations, that she was fluent, that she showed she could stand up there on the stage. She laid a couple of attacks there against Barack Obama, but going back to my first point on overall strategy, right now, this is a race where if John McCain cannot convince the country that he's going to take it in a different direction from President Bush, he simply cannot win..."

     More: www.mrc.org

     The "Nightline Report Card" segment on the Tuesday, October 7 Nightline, as corrected against the closed-captioning by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth:

     TERRY MORAN: Still on the campus of Belmont University here in Nashville. Which candidate scored better in this second of three debates? Our chief Washington correspondent, George Stephanopoulos, here with the "Nightline Report Card." George, first, strategy. What's the grade?
     GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: For Barack Obama, Barack Obama gets an "A" there. John McCain gets a "B plus." And here's what happened in strategy. I thought John McCain started out very strong. He had that proposal to buy up all the bad mortgages. He clearly was going to press on the attack on Barack Obama, on taxes and several other issues, his ties to Fannie Mae. But here's what Obama did tonight. He answered the tax charge again. He said 95 percent of Americans are going to get a tax cut. One of his strongest domestic moments was on health care. Clear distinction between the candidates. He says it's a right. John McCain says it's a responsibility. But where I really think Barack Obama won the debate tonight in strategy is on foreign policy. He took-
     MORAN: Foreign policy?

     STEPHANOPOULOS: He took the debate to John McCain, took it to John McCain's judgment, jujitsued the line that John McCain used in the last debate about how Barack Obama doesn't understand foreign policy.
     BARACK OBAMA: It's true, there's some things I don't understand. I don't understand how we ended up invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 while Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda are setting up base camps and safe havens to train terrorists to attack us.
     STEPHANOPOULOS: And then he drove it home, Terry. They talked about Pakistan. Three times in the debate tonight, Barack Obama is the candidate up there saying I'm going to go after Osama bin Laden, no matter what the Pakistanis say.
     MORAN: John McCain sort of letting that happen up there. So Barack Obama the edge on strategy. Style. The body language? What's the grade?
     STEPHANOPOULOS: On style, Obama "A minus," McCain "A minus." I thought they both used the stage and used this format very well. They both roamed the stage very well. They were both very well aware of the camera angles at all times. You're exactly right. You pointed it out in your piece. I thought McCain had his absolute best moment when he walked up to that chief petty officer, put his arm on his shoulder, and said, "I thank you for your service." But, and we should talk about this, you might downgrade McCain just a bit for a moment that came about halfway through the debate where he seemed to show again some disdain for Barack Obama.
     MORAN: Where he essentially was talking about the energy bill that McCain voted against, Obama voted for. I'm not sure if we have this clip. Essentially what John McCain did in that moment was say, you'll be surprised to find out who voted against it. And he kind of pointed over to Obama and says, "That one."
     STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, that didn't really strike me-
     MORAN: Me, neither.
     STEPHANOPOULOS: -in the moment, yet, the Obama people are pushing it pretty hard. They're saying it showed disdain again. What surprises me even more, in the spin room tonight, the Republican National Committee is acting as if they're going to use this as a slogan. They're going to keep saying "that one" about Barack Obama. I think that's a huge mistake.
     MORAN: I'm missing the point of that altogether.
     STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm not sure I get it, either.
     MORAN: I'm not even sure it's that demeaning. All right, finally, we got the accuracy issue.
     STEPHANOPOULOS: On this one, Obama gets an "A minus" and McCain gets a "B plus." They were both within the range that you would expect for political talk. The reason, I think, McCain does a little bit worse on this, two attacks he makes on taxes which just every fact check organization has said is just wrong. When he says Barack Obama raised taxes 94 times, it's simply not true. He's jumbling together a whole bunch of different votes which include votes against tax cuts.
     MORAN: And he did mention that part of it tonight.
     STEPHANOPOULOS: That part of it. And then second, he says that 50 percent of small businesses will get a tax increase under Barack Obama. Again, that's just not true. The best we could see is maybe 15 percent.
     MORAN: All right, bottom line here, who won the second presidential debate?
     STEPHANOPOULOS: Obama is two for two.
     MORAN: He's two for two because you had him winning the first one.
     STEPHANOPOULOS: He definitely won tonight. I think, again, he showed over the course of this debate, over the course of the two debates, he is answering the number one question Americans have about him. Does he have the experience it takes to serve effectively as President? Over the course now of three hours of debates, he is answering that question minute by minute.
     MORAN: Do you think that Obama has, as I pointed out in the piece, a kind of cooler demeanor up there, a little more distant, professorial even.
     STEPHANOPOULOS: And here's how it's working for him. We've been in the midst of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression over the last three weeks. One of the things you've seen because of that steady demeanor, the number of Americans, according to our ABC polling, who see Barack Obama as the safe choice, the safe choice in this election, are 55 percent Obama, 51 percent McCain. Obama is passing McCain on that score in part because of his steady, calm demeanor.
     MORAN: Big surprise there in those numbers. George Stephanopoulos, with the "Nightline Report Card," awarding debate number two to Barack Obama.

 

Obama Needs Police Protection from Palin?
Couric Suggests So

     Over video simply showing Barack Obama walking down the steps from his airplane, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric on Tuesday night juxtaposed how Obama "was given a police escort to his hotel," as if that's anything unusual for a presidential nominee under standard Secret Service protection, with how "in recent days, he's been under a non-stop verbal assault from Sarah Palin." So the Governor of Alaska is a threat to Obama's personal safety? Couric never explained why she decided to highlight the police escort when Obama and McCain, as well as Palin and Joe Biden, get them every day: "The economy will likely dominate tonight's presidential debate. John McCain arrived in Nashville last night while Barack Obama flew in earlier today and was given a police escort to his hotel. In recent days, he's been under a non-stop verbal assault from Sarah Palin. But are her criticisms accurate? Wyatt Andrews, now, with a Reality Check."

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

     In that subsequent story, Andrews recited one misstatement by Obama and three by Palin, including on William Ayers where Andrews whitewashed Obama's ties to Ayers as he skipped over how Obama launched his local Illinois state senate campaign at Ayers' home:

     ANDREWS: Governor Palin continues to question Obama's ties to William Ayers, once a Vietnam war protestor linked to several bombings.
     PALIN ON CAMPAIGN EVENT: Bill Ayers is an unrepentant domestic terrorist.
     ANDREWS: Now, who knows if that comes up tonight, but the facts are this: Today William Ayers is a professor of education. Obama has served with Ayers on two education and charity-related boards, but he's condemned Ayers' violent past as detestable.

 

AP: McCain Tied to 'Nazi Collaborators...Right-Wing
Death Squads'

     On Tuesday, an Associated Press article featured on MSNBC.com and briefly as a top headline on the popular internet homepage MSN.com, was titled: "McCain linked to group in Iran-Contra case." The subtitle read: "Organization had ties to former Nazi collaborators, right-wing death squads." The article attacked a group founded by retired U.S. General John Singlaub: "The U.S. Council for World Freedom was part of an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America. The group was dedicated to stamping out communism around the globe." The AP article justified reporting on the tenuous McCain connection by explaining: "McCain's ties are facing renewed scrutiny after his campaign criticized Barack Obama for his link to a former radical who engaged in violent acts 40 years ago."

     The AP appeared to be getting its story tips from the Obama campaign, as Boston Globe deputy national political editor, Foon Rhee, reported: "The Obama camp today is sending around reports on Singlaub, founder of the US Council for World Freedom, which was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal during the mid-1980s and was criticized for supposed links to Nazi collaborators and right-wing death squads in Central America."

     The October 7 AP dispatch, un-bylined: www.msnbc.msn.com

     Yahoo posting with the byline of Peter Yost from the AP's Washington bureau: news.yahoo.com

     The Boston Globe blog posting: www.boston.com

     [This item, by Kyle Drennen, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     In the AP article, General Singlaub was quoted and suggested that McCain had little or no involvement in the organization: "We had McCain on the board to make him feel like he wasn't left out. It looks good to have names on a letterhead who are well-known and appreciated. I don't recall talking to McCain at all on the work of the group." Despite that explanation, the AP still thought it appropriate to suggest an equivalence between McCain's ties to such an organization and Obama's ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers: "The renewed attention over McCain's association with Singlaub's group comes as McCain's campaign steps up criticism of Obama's dealings with William Ayers, a college professor who co-founded the Weather Underground and years later worked on education reform in Chicago alongside Obama."

 

CBS's Glor: Bill Ayers a 'Once Radical
Anti-War Advocate'

     On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Jeff Glor condemned the McCain campaign for "blasting" Barack Obama and playing a "guilt-by-association game" by discussing Obama's connection to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. Glor proclaimed: "Using a new ad to pile on adjectives, 'dangerous,' 'dishonorable,' 'liberal,' and 'risky.' And using running mate Sarah Palin to name names, trying to link Obama with controversial characters like the once radical anti-war advocate William Ayers and fiery pastor Jeremiah Wright." While Glor referred to Ayers being "once radical," in a 2001 New York Times article, Ayers expressed no remorse for his 1970's terrorist activities, saying: "I don't regret setting bombs...I feel we didn't do enough."

     In addition, in October of 2006, Ayers did an interview with the Communist publication Revolution and defended left-wing radical Ward Churchill who referred to victims of September 11th as Nazis: "He's being pilloried for his politics, for being a leftist, for being a critic of U.S. imperialism as it relates to Native Americans. How can we as socialists or as communists or as leftists, how can we leave him in the cold and say, well I'm a good leftist because I don't talk the way Ward talks. I find that appalling. And I would hope that when they come to get Ward, we all link arms and don't allow it."

     The 2001 New York Times article: query.nytimes.com

     Revolution's 2006 Ayers interview: sweetness-light.com
     [This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     Following Glor's denouncement of the McCain campaign's "mud slinging", co-host Harry Smith talked to Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer and asked: "Never really seen a campaign quite like this one. And over the last 48 hours, the rancorous tone of this campaign is just -- I'm even a little surprised by it. Are you taken back by it?" Schieffer replied: "Yeah, I am a little surprised by it, but clearly the McCain campaign has made a conscious decision to go after Obama. They want to change the subject from the economy. They're going to go after Obama's character and somehow try to paint him as different than other people."

     On Sunday's Face the Nation, Schieffer declared that the McCain campaign attacks on Obama were a sign of "a campaign that's turned down and dirty." See the October 6 CyberAlert: mrc.org

     Here is the full transcript of the Tuesday segment:

     7:00AM TEASER:
     HARRY SMITH: And I'm Harry Smith in Nashville, where the candidates will host their own town hall tonight. The second presidential debate, Will it be enough to restart the McCain campaign?

     7:01AM TEASER:
     SMITH: We're on the campus of Belmont University. Morning, everybody. This, of course, is where the big debate will happen tonight in a town hall format. Who does that -- does that pose an advantage for one candidate or the other? So much at stake. We'll talk about that and a lot more, too, in just a little bit.

     7:09AM SEGMENT:
     HARRY SMITH: Well, round two of the presidential debates happens tonight here in Nashville, on the campus of Belmont University. Jeff Glor, our national correspondent, is across campus with more on that. Good morning, Jeff.
     JEFF GLOR: Hey, Harry, good morning to you. Round two will look different than round one because the candidates will be taking questions in this town hall style format from not just the moderator, but also audience members, so that's a change and this campaign has changed a bit, too. Right now it's hard to tell which one's sinking faster, the stock market, or the tone of this campaign.
     JOHN MCCAIN: What has this man ever actually accomplished in government?
     BARACK OBAMA: That's what you do when you're out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time.
     GLOR: Based on the beginning of the week, you'd think tonight's town hall style debate would be dirty, but these intimate settings, while spontaneous, might minimize the mud slinging.
     MIKE ALLEN: The town hall format makes it much tougher to be nasty because if a voter asks you about health care, you can't tell them that your opponent consorts with terrorists.
     GLOR: On the stump, that's much easier. The McCain campaign spent Monday blasting Barack Obama as a mystery man.
     JOHN MCCAIN: For a guy who's already authored two memoirs, he's not exactly an open book.
     UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Increasing the risk on their lives. How dangerous.
     GLOR: Using a new ad to pile on adjectives, 'dangerous,' 'dishonorable,' 'liberal,' and 'risky.' And using running mate Sarah Palin to name names, trying to link Obama with controversial characters like the once radical anti-war advocate William Ayers and fiery pastor Jeremiah Wright.
     SARAH PALIN: I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America the way that you and I see America.
     GLOR: It may be a guilt-by-association game, but it's one the Obama campaign soon joined, dredging up McCain's associations in the '80s with Charles Keating, the scandalous banking figure.
     UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He was someone that McCain took much of his policy advice from.
     GLOR: With polls showing McCain struggling, both nationally and in battle ground states, his campaign has made no secret of their plan to shift the story away from the economy. Considering what's happening, that could be more challenging than getting a loan right now. Whatever strategy either campaign employs, time is running short, Harry. Now just four weeks until election day.
    
     HARRY SMITH: Jeff Glor with us here at Belmont University this morning, thank you so much. We are joined here by Bob Schieffer from 'Face the Nation.' Good morning, sir.
     BOB SCHIEFFER: Good morning, Harry.
     SMITH: I tell you, we've had so many conversations through this last year or so. Never really seen a campaign quite like this one. And over the last 48 hours, the rancorous tone of this campaign is just -- I'm even a little surprised by it. Are you taken back by it?
     SCHIEFFER: Yeah, I am a little surprised by it, but clearly the McCain campaign has made a conscious decision to go after Obama. They want to change the subject from the economy. They're going to go after Obama's character and somehow try to paint him as different than other people. Whether they can do that with this story, this economic situation as tough as it is, we'll find out, but I don't think there's any question that is what they're trying to do.
     SMITH: Right. People talk about John McCain and how well he performs in these town hall settings. Does this favor him in some ways? I've been at a bunch of Obama rallies and he walks around and takes questions, too. Do you think this format favors one or the other?
     SCHIEFFER: I think it does favor John McCain. This is the place where he seems most comfortable. John McCain doesn't like to make speeches, but he likes to take questions. And I tell you, I think he's going to come right out of the box and try to score a knockout early on. I think he'll go directly after Obama. The interesting thing is going to be to see how Obama reacts to that. Obama makes a great speech. He is not always done as well in debates as he has when he's just behind the podium.
     SMITH: Right.
     SCHIEFFER: This is going -- I mean, how many times can we say it, Harry? We've never seen anything like this.
     SMITH: Right, right.
     SCHIEFFER: I mean, but we've never seen anything like this.
     SMITH: The -- it's so interesting, because the Obama lead was starting to grow in the polls last week. It's starting to shrink a little bit again. Who do you think has the most at stake tonight of these two candidates?
     SCHIEFFER: Well, I don't know how I would answer that. But I think, I mean, it's all on the line. And I don't think this is decided yet. I think it's still to be determined. It'll be decided by what happens tonight and these -- in the coming weeks, so-
     SMITH: Because they say there's about 10% undecided and plenty who say they might still change their minds.
     SCHIEFFER: Well, they might. I mean, this thing is still somewhat volatile. And again, we've never seen one like this go this long where neither candidate has really broken away.
     SMITH: Yeah.
     SCHIEFFER: Obama has opened up a little lead, but just a tiny one.
     SMITH: Yeah, still within reach.
     SCHIEFFER: I think anything can change and anyone can still win. I still wouldn't bet even your money on it.
     SMITH: What's left of it, right?
     SCHIEFFER: Yeah, exactly.
     SMITH: Bob Schieffer, thank you very, very much.

 

CNN's Griffin Does a Real Fact-Check
on Obama/Ayers Connection

     During a report on Monday's Anderson Cooper 360 program, CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin presented many of the missing details about the relationship between Barack Obama and left-wing terrorist William Ayers that two earlier "Truth Squad" reports on the network on Sunday and Monday omitted. Griffin stated that despite the spin of the Obama campaign and their mainstream media supporters, "...the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said."

     Host Anderson Cooper introduced Griffin's report, which began 19 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour, as one of the CNN program's "Keeping Them Honest" features. Oddly, an on-screen graphic that read "The Dow Plunges," which had nothing to do with the subject of the segment, ran during its entirety. The correspondent began by repeating Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn's background in the Weather Underground, "an anti-Vietnam War group that bombed federal buildings, including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon." He then gave Obama's early characterization of his relationship with the 1960's radical, that the Democrat "confirmed... that he knew Ayers, and, when pressed, said they served on a charitable foundation board together, and Obama condemned Ayers' support of violence."

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

     For more on how CNN omitted details in their two "Truth Squad" reports on Sunday and Monday, see the October 7 CyberAlert item, "CNN's 'Truth Squad' Obfuscates Obama Link to Terrorist Ayers" at: www.mrc.org

     Griffin then outlined how "the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said." After playing a sound bite from senior Obama campaign adviser Anita Dunn, who thought it was "just wrong, and, frankly, it's quite unfair" that Obama's opponents were going after her candidate "because of Bill Ayers' past," the CNN correspondent introduced how Obama and Ayers' "paths repeatedly crossed" as members of the board of the Annenberg Challenge Project, where for seven years, "Bill Ayers and Obama, among many others, worked on funding for education projects, including some experiments supported by Ayers." In another sound bite, National Review Online's Stanley Kurtz characterized how this funding worked: "Instead of giving money directly to schools, they gave men to what they called external partners, and these external partners were often pretty radical community organizer groups."

     Later, Griffin detailed how Ayers and Obama were also board members for the Woods Fund, another foundation which donated money to liberal groups: "Among its recipients -- Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church, where Obama attended, and a children and family justice center where Ayers' wife worked."

     The CNN correspondent concluded his report with details about the 1995 meeting at Ayers' house where then-Illinois State Senator Alice Palmer introduced Obama as her heir-apparent: "In 1995, months after the little-known Barack Obama became Annenberg Project chair, [Illinois] State Senator Alice Palmer introduced the young Obama as her political heir-apparent. Where was that introduction made? At the home of the '60s radicals Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn." Dunn, in another sound bite, tried to portray this meeting as innocent: "A Democratic state senator organizes a meeting of her supporters at the house of another one of her supporters. What is the problem here, Drew? It is the worst kind of inference and the worst kind of politics to say that, somehow, that says something about Barack Obama."

     However, after his report concluded, Griffin countered that "this meeting at Bill Ayers' home has been classified in many different ways. What I can tell you from two people who were actually there is: number one, former State Senator Alice Palmer says she in no way organized this meeting. She was invited, and attended it briefly. And, Dr. QuintonYoung, a retired doctor, told us this indeed was Barack Obama's political coming-out party and it was hosted by Bill Ayers."

     The full transcript of Drew Griffin's report from Monday's Anderson Cooper 360:

     SARAH PALIN: It turns out one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers.
     (Crowd Boos)
     PALIN: And, according to The New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that quote,'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol.'
     ANDERSON COOPER: Well, that, of course, is Sarah Palin today on the stump spearheading this new effort by the McCain campaign to raise doubts about Barack Obama. Now, critics say they're simply trying to change the focus from the economy to this issue back on Obama. But, in this case, they're linking him to a '60s radical, Bill Ayers. Supporters of the McCain campaign say, look, this is all fair game. In a debate earlier this year, Barack Obama described Ayers as quote, 'a guy who lives in my neighborhood,' and with whom he served on a board. Now, the Obama campaign is clearly trying to play down any allegations of a relationship between these two men, and, just as clearly, the McCain is trying to play up allegations of a relationship. So, what's the truth? CNN Special Investigations Unit correspondent Drew Griffin is 'Keeping Them Honest.'
     DREW GRIFFIN (voice-over): Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, in the 1960s and '70s, were radicals -- members of the Weather Underground, an anti-Vietnam War group that bombed federal buildings, including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon. On the run for years, the case against them was thrown out, due to illegal wiretaps and prosecutor misconduct. Ayers has never repented and has said, as late as 2001, he wished he had done more to stop the war.
     Barack Obama confirmed during a primary debate that he knew Ayers, and, when pressed, said they served on a charitable foundation board together, and Obama condemned Ayers' support of violence. But the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said.
     ANITA DUNN, SENIOR OBAMA CAMPAIGN ADVISER: What they are arguing is that, somehow, the fact that these two people who served -- both [as] educational reformers in Chicago, both of whom did have their paths cross professionally, as well as -- as neighbors occasionally, that, somehow, this association is a problem for Barack Obama because of Bill Ayers' past and things that happened in the 1960s, when Barack Obama was 7 years old. And that's just wrong, and, frankly, it's quite unfair.
     GRIFFIN: One place their paths repeatedly crossed, according to a CNN review of board minutes and other records, was Chicago's Annenberg Challenge Project, where a $50 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation matched locally-raised funds to improve schools. According to participants and project records, Bill Ayers fought to bring the Annenberg grant to Chicago. Barack Obama was recruited as its chair. For seven years, Bill Ayers and Obama, among many others, worked on funding for education projects, including some experiments supported by Ayers.
     Stanley Kurtz, a conservative researcher for the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has also been reviewing the recently released records of Chicago's Annenberg Challenge.
     STANLEY KURTZ, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: Instead of giving money directly to schools, they gave men to what they called external partners, and these external partners were often pretty radical community organizer groups.
     GRIFFIN: And the board gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill Ayers' Small Schools Project promoting alternative education, like the Peace School, with a curriculum centered around a United Nations theme, and another school where the focus was African-American studies.
     GRIFFIN: (on-camera): And this was directly funded by Annenberg?
     KURTZ: Oh, yes.
     GRIFFIN: Under Obama's chairmanship?
     KURTZ: Oh, yes, and the specific job of the board of directors was to give out the money.
     GRIFFIN (voice-over): While continuing work on the Annenberg Challenge, Barack Obama and Bill Ayers also served together on a second charitable foundation, the Woods Fund. Among its recipients -- Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church, where Obama attended, and a children and family justice center where Ayers' wife worked. Ayers has strong defenders in Chicago, among them Richard Daley, the mayor, who called Ayers a valued member of the Chicago community. The city gave Ayers its Citizen of the Year award in 1997 for his work on the Annenberg Project.
     For Obama, the chairmanship of the $100 million Annenberg board helped vault him from South Side Chicago lawyer to political player, and that, too, has another connection to Bill Ayers. In 1995, months after the little-known Barack Obama became Annenberg Project chair, [Illinois] State Senator Alice Palmer introduced the young Obama as her political heir-apparent. Where was that introduction made? At the home of the '60s radicals Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. The Obama campaign again says it is just a coincidence.
     DUNN: A Democratic state senator organizes a meeting of her supporters at the house of another one of her supporters. What is the problem here, Drew? It is the worst kind of inference and the worst kind of politics to say that, somehow, that says something about Barack Obama.
     GRIFFIN (on-camera): Anderson, this meeting at Bill Ayers' home has been classified in many different ways. What I can tell you from two people who were actually there is: number one, former State Senator Alice Palmer says she in no way organized this meeting. She was invited, and attended it briefly. And, Dr. Quinton Young, a retired doctor, told us this indeed was Barack Obama's political coming-out party and it was hosted by Bill Ayers.
     COOPER: So, Drew -- bottom line, if Obama and Ayers worked together with others to, I guess, improve schools, what exactly is the McCain/Palin camp saying is wrong with -- with this relationship, or this working relationship, or however you want to characterize it?
     GRIFFIN: Well, Anderson, I haven't contacted the McCain campaign on this issue. What they're saying on the stump is the same thing that Hillary Clinton brought up during the primary campaign. It is the issue of trust. You know, by raising this issue of Bill Ayers, and whether or not Barack Obama was hanging around with him, palling around with him, or just working with him -- Bill Ayers, in the '60s, had a very, very different view of the United States that many Americans did. A lot of Americans were against the Vietnam War, but not a lot of Americans formed a group and started bombing things because of it. Now, they're trying to say that that raises judgment issues on Barack Obama, which has been the tag other campaigns -- now McCain's, have been trying to peg on him ever since he started running for president.
     COOPER: But Barack Obama has publicly stated he does not agree with this guy, correct?
     GRIFFIN: Well, he has said that he does -- I forget his exact words, but he certainly deplores the -- the violence in the past.
     COOPER: Right.
     GRIFFIN: I haven't been able to ask him directly about the relationship he has or had with -- with Bill Ayers.
     COOPER: All right, Drew Griffin, thanks very much.

 

ABC News 'Feminist' Slams Palin as 'Not
Caring' About Other Women

     Retiring ABC journalist Lynn Sherr trashed Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin as not enough of a feminist. "What, exactly, has she done legislatively for other women? What paths has she forged?" Sherr asked TVNewser columnist Gail Shister in an interview published Tuesday morning: "She seems to have turned it [feminism] on its head. She doesn't seem to care about bringing along other women with her," Sherr complained as she packed up her ABC News office.

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

     Sherr's feminist credentials were on display at ABC a dozen years ago when she tossed out the results of her own network's scientific poll to advance her thesis that the popular culture makes women feel bad about their breasts.

     As MRC's MediaWatch reported at the time (in a NewsBite headlined "Stacked Reporting"):

Do you wonder if reporters make up facts or use questionable information to support their own views? ABC's Lynn Sherr did in an April 26, 1996 20/20 in which she argued "the number one way to get sexy, in many women's minds, is with larger breasts."

But Washington Post pollster Richard Morin revealed May 19 that Sherr ignored ABC's own scientific poll conducted specifically for the story. Instead she relied on an unscientific Self magazine survey which found that half the women felt their bosoms were "inadequate." In fact, the ABC poll found only 23 percent had "ever" wished their breasts were a different size. Asked by Barbara Walters whether breast size is most important to men, Sherr explained that the ABC poll found that "It's the face first, breasts come a close second." Really? Morin noticed that at eight percent, breasts came in a distant fourth place.

     END of MediaWatch excerpt

     That's online at: www.mediaresearch.org

     During her 1996 20/20 report, Sherr rued how "suddenly, breasts seem more prominent, more pervasive, and, well, more ample than ever. [Over video from Baywatch.] What once was a national fixation has become a frontal invasion " defying laws of nature, and decorum....All the hype is creating undo pressures on American women. With so much being pushed up and pointed out, they barely know what a natural breast looks like anymore."

     "How did we get from tossing bras away to madly clamoring to buy Wonder Bras and Miracle Bras and having breast implants?" Sherr asked a psychologist. "Do you think this is demeaning to women, all this emphasis on breasts? Does it forever condemn, if you will, women to a subservient position if breasts are so important?"

     In her interview with TVNewser, Sherr cited her credentials as "someone who spent years breaking down doors for women" as she pounded Sarah Palin. Excerpts:

Sarah Palin may say she's a feminist, but ABC veteran Lynn Sherr, a feminist since John McCain's moose-hunting running mate was in kindergarten, is dubious.

"As someone who spent years breaking down doors for women, I think a piece of feminism has to do with looking out for other women," says Sherr, 66. "What, exactly, has she done legislatively for other women? What paths has she forged?

"She's the person for whom all this was done; the beneficiary of all the good works of the women's movement. Yet she seems to have turned it on its head. She doesn't seem to care about bringing along other women with her."...

Naturally, Sherr scoffs at the notion of a "new" feminism. "What's wrong with the old feminism?"

Palin's well-rehearsed spontaneous winks during last week's vice presidential debate, for example, didn't score any points with Sherr. "I'm just as offended by a man doing it. It feels contrived. I just want someone to be a straight shooter with me."

     END of Excerpt

     For the TVNewswer online interview: www.mediabistro.com

 

Diane Sawyer Reminisces About '92 'Super
Bowl' Dem Documentary

     On Tuesday's Good Morning America, co-host Diane Sawyer fondly reminisced with Democratic strategist James Carville about "War Room," the 15-year-old political documentary on the 1992 presidential campaign. Opening the segment with Carville, one of the film's stars, she fawned: "It's become like revisiting a big moment in the Super Bowl. Going back to 1992, when Bill Clinton and a team of strategists in a war room unseated a sitting President."

     Later, after playing a clip of Carville as he congratulated the Clinton team for their hard work, Sawyer cooed: "When you look back, can you believe it still? Can you believe it yet?" Oddly, one person who also starred in the film, and is featured on the DVD cover, wasn't cited in the segment. George Stephanopoulos, the former top aide to Bill Clinton-tuned ABC journalist, somehow escaped mention.

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

     The affection appeared mutual. After the aforementioned clip, where Carville told the staff that labor and love were the most powerful things a person could give, Carville told Sawyer: "I love working with you, Diane. You're both of them, darling."

     A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:43am on October 7:

     DIANE SAWYER: It's become like revisiting a big moment in the Super Bowl. Going back to 1992, when Bill Clinton and a team of strategists in a war room, unseated a sitting president. And famously, we heard these words.
     ["War Room" clip]
     JAMES CARVILLE: Stay focused. Talk about things that matter to people. You know? It's the economy, stupid. Okay?
     SAWYER: It's the economy, stupid. And there he is, the author himself. The famous documentary, "The War Room," has been reissued, by the way. And Democratic strategist, GMA contributor, welcome aboard. James Carville is here this morning. But, let's talk about the war room 2008. I want to put George Stephanopoulos's maps back up there. Because this shows, right, that Obama is carrying -- he's ahead in all the Kerry states.
     JAMES CARVILLE: Right.
     SAWYER: From four years ago. But, he has added -- can we bring them on here? Yeah. He's added two states. New Mexico and Iowa. Those are holding secure?
     CARVILLE: Yes.
     SAWYER: And this means, this means, if we have a third map, there it is. These are the states where it's close. And he only has to win one more? One more? Any one of these?
     CARVILLE: Yeah. Indiana's always been a dream state for the Democrats. We've never been able to come close. And there's always been that feeling that we can do it. And right now, from everything I hear and in the polls that I see, we're in good shape. Ohio is- Obama has a significant lead in Ohio.
     SAWYER: Okay, but let me put you on both sides of the camps here. Because, if you're Obama, heading into the debate tonight, what do you have to do to secure, to know that you're going to secure this one extra state?
     CARVILLE: Well, one thing, he cannot think about those states going in. Because, literally sometimes you do. You freeze up. What Senator Obama has to do tonight is give people a sense of confidence that he understands what's going on, particularly in the economy. That he's sort of calm. That he's reasoned. Also, remember, tonight is very different. These are voters asking questions. And he's got to do the way that President Clinton, then-Governor Clinton did in '92, which really helped them. He was able to connect a one-on-one relationship with the voters during the debate.
     SAWYER: So, it's not just talking. It's connecting tonight. Okay. You're John McCain. You're John McCain. You're looking at this map. And you know you have to make a bold move. I'm going to play what Karl Rove says he thinks John McCain has to do.
     KARL ROVE: They've got to do two things. One is you have got to talk about character, values and views of Obama in a way that people consider to be fair and relevant. And second of all, the McCain/Palin ticket needs to give voters a positive agenda. So the people who are concerned about Obama's qualification, have something to hang their hat on.
     SAWYER: Negative on Obama. Go positive on yourself.
     CARVILLE: Well, it's kind of ironic- Isn't it interesting that Karl Rove is on Fox? But, anyway--But yeah. I think he's saying you have got to go negative on him and positive on yourself. Well, that's like saying the future is ahead of us and the past is behind us. I mean, yes, obviously, any campaign wants to do that.
     SAWYER: But, specifically, what could he do? Is there anything he can do to change this map?
     CARVILLE: I think what McCain can try to do and has not done very effectively, is have a coherent, a sort of coherent strategy to question Obama's judgment. I mean, one day, to have Sarah Palin down in Naples Florida, probably one of the most Republican place in the country, attacking him for something else. There's an uncoordinated, different attack over here. I think what they need to do, if they're going to try to change this around, and understand, right now, this is not a particularly close race. If they want to get back in the race. Because, right now, McCain's really not in this race. He's six points behind. That's a pretty good margin in American politics.
     SAWYER: It's close in a lot of these states, though.
     CARVILLE: Again, these are states -- every one of these states, George W. Bush carried in a close 2004 election. He is losing -- for him to get back in, he has to -- if it's going to attack Obama's judgment, they have to be much more coherent than they've been. They've been far, far too ad hoc.
     SAWYER: So, we'll see tonight if he comes out with one clear message.
     CARVILLE: Right.
     SAWYER: But, before we go, as we said, "The War Room," is now reissued, the famous documentary. Just want to play a little of it. Because, you talked about, and I'm thinking about, all these people have committed almost two years of their lives to this campaign. This here's what you said to the team back in '92.
     ["War Room" clip]
     CARVILLE: There's a simple doctrine outside of a person's love, the most sacred thing they can give is their labor. And somehow or another, along the way, we tend to forget that. And labor is a very precious thing. That's what I do for a living. I'm proud of it. We changed the way campaigns are run.
     SAWYER: When you look back, can you believe it still? Can you believe it yet?
     CARVILLE: You know, it was something -- it was great to be able to run a presidential campaign. And, you know, have it work out like it did, is really remarkable. I look back and I feel very, very proud and good about what we did. I feel excited about the way that we're working today. To not know people in these headquarters today, on both sides, that there's a real kind of thing there. And that they're getting that feeling. I'm very glad for them. I had it. And one side is going to have that feeling on election night. And I know they worked just as hard as we did. And they're all good people. I'm very happy for them.
     SAWYER: Labor and love. Okay. Return of the war room.
     CARVILLE: I love working with you, Diane. You're both of them, darling.
     SAWYER: Thank you very much. We're going to go to break as fast as we can now.

-- Brent Baker

 


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