Media Reality Check
  Notable Quotables
  Press Releases
  Media Bias Videos
  30-Day Archive
  The Watchdog
  About the MRC
  MRC in the News
  Support the MRC
  Planned Giving
  What Others Say
  Take Action
  Gala and DisHonors
  Best of NQ Archive
MRC Resources
  Site Search
  Media Addresses
  Contact MRC
  Comic Commentary
  MRC Bookstore
  Job Openings
  News Division
  NewsBusters Blog
  Business & Media Institute
  Culture and Media Institute

Support the MRC

Special Sections:

February 2003

Ramsey Clark Helped Rather Secure Saddam Interview

CBS’s Dan Rather got his big scoop with the help of radical, anti-American activist Ramsey Clark.
(Cyberalert, February 28)

See Also:
National Review Online: "Dan Rather's Soft Serve"
     • Media Reality Check: Dan Rather Stars in "Gullible's Travels"


CBS Highlights Iraqi Upset With Bush for Refusing Debate

CBS’s Mark Phillips relayed the opinion of an Iraqi who called President Bush “a coward” for refusing to debate Saddam Hussein. Once again, there was no mention that Iraq is a totalitarian state where those who disagree with Hussein wind up dead.
(CyberAlert, February 28)


Rather Won’t Judge Hussein’s Truthfulness; Notes He’s Big on “Eye Contact”

Actor Bruce Willis filled in for David Letterman and asked Dan Rather a solid question: “How could you tell if he’s just a lying sonofabitch?” Rather responded with a comment about the seating arrangement and that Saddam is a “strong eye contact person.”
(CyberAlert, February 28)


ABC Claims U.S. Causing Bitter U.N. Debate

ABC’s Terry Moran blamed the Bush administration’s “hard line” for “an unusually bitter debate” at the U.N. Security Council. Neither CBS nor NBC took that approach.
(CyberAlert, February 28)


Jennings Balances Blix Statements With Iraqi Statements

ABC’s Peter Jennings gave the same weight to U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix statement that Iraq’s cooperation has been “very limited” as he did to the Iraq’s agreement “in principle” to destroy Al-Samoud missiles.
(CyberAlert, February 28)


Sawyer Highlights British MP’s Anti-Bush Rant

Diane Sawyer said a British MP’s insulting slam of the Bush administration – the MP said the “born-again, right-wing, Bible-belting, fundamentalist, Republican administration in the United States wants war” – was a “personal wakeup.” There’s “widespread disgust” with the U.S. and the President, she added.
(CyberAlert, February 28)


He’s Back…Peter Arnett Returns

Peter Arnett is now working for National Geographic Explorer and putting together something called Peter Arnett’s Baghdad Diary. Today highlighted a segment he did on an Al-Jazeera broadcast that featured American and Iraqi college students denouncing U.S. treatment of Iraq.
(CyberAlert, February 28)


Rather Highlights Saddam’s Time to Pray in 60 Minutes II Interview

Dan Rather’s CBS interview was far from challenging, allowing the man who has butchered thousands to come across as reasonable. The Iraqi dictator even stopped filming for a quick prayer break.
(CyberAlert, February 27)


“Human Shields” Worried About Being “Tools” of Saddam
Saddam Hussein provides the food and shelter for the “human shields” but they’re worried that the public will think they are “tools” of the Iraqi government.
(CyberAlerts, February 27)


ABC and CNN Hype “Virtual” Anti-War Protest

Anti-liberation of Iraq activists staged what they called a “virtual” protest. The group phoned, e-mailed and faxed congressional offices, tying up Capitol Hill phone lines for a couple of hours.
(CyberAlert, February 27)


Will Iraq be Another Quagmire?

CNN used this on-screen graphic during a Wolf Blitzer interview of Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.): “If War Happens, Another Quagmire?”
(CyberAlert, February 27)


The Saddam Show

CBS News is providing a propaganda platform for Saddam Hussein. In released excerpts of Dan Rather's 60 Minutes II interview, the Iraqi dictator claimed he wants to debate President Bush and that he "respects" American public opinion. The tyrant also said the U.N. inspectors were wrong, he doesn't have any missiles that violate restrictions.
(CyberAlert, February 26)


Jennings Worried By Bush Saying He Would Assassinate Saddam

Peter Jennings and ABC were worried about a comment, attributed to President Bush, that the President would have Saddam assassinated if he had the chance. CBS and NBC didn’t even bother to report it.
(CyberAlert, February 26)


Donahue Goes Out With a Rant

Phil Donahue’s MSNBC show finally bit the dust after 223 days on the air. The liberal host’s last guest was Rosie O’Donnell, who said every person she’s spoken to is against the war.
(CyberAlert, February 26)


ABC’s Version of “Hardline”

ABC’s Martha Raddatz claimed U.N. inspector Hans Blix was taking a “very, very hardline” on Iraq by ordering them to destroy the Al-Samoud missiles. Blix did not issue a deadline for destruction, however.
(CyberAlert, February 25)


Ramsey Clark Helps Rather Get Interview with Saddam

Anti-American crusader and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark used his contacts in the Iraqi regime to help CBS’s Dan Rather get an interview with Saddam Hussein.
(CyberAlert, February 25)


BBC War Reporting Generating “Unprecedented” Number of Complaints

London’s Daily Telegraph reported that the BBC has received an “unprecedented” number of complaints for the anti-American tone of its war reporting.
(CyberAlert, February 25)


NBC Says Al-Arian Claims Could Be Embarrassing to Bush

Former University of South Florida professor and terrorism suspect Sami Al-Arian boasted that he helped elected President Bush. NBC News described the claim as “a potentially embarrassing connection between the professor and President Bush.”
(CyberAlert, February 25)


Clift: Coalition of the “Bullied and the Bribed”

Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift said President Bush made a “stupid” remark when he dismissed war protests. Also said Bush had put together a “coalition of the bullied and the bribed.”
(CyberAlert, February 24)


Former Watergate Reporter Claims Anti-War Protests Were Poorly Covered

Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame claimed anti-war protests had been treated “dismissively” by the media.
(CyberAlert, February 24)


Jennings Calls Al-Arian Arrest Controversial; Passes on Guantanamo Concerns

Peter Jennings treated a man arrested on terrorism charges as the victim of an over-aggressive Justice Department.
(CyberAlert, February 21)


Cokie Roberts Tells Journalists “It’s Our Country”

ABC’s Cokie Roberts told a group of journalists at the National Press Foundation’s awards dinner that she “never understood” the argument against using “the first person plural when talking about ‘our country.’”
(CyberAlert, February 21)


Jennings: Bush Jeopardizing Relations with “Oldest and Best Friends”

According to ABC, it’s not France and Germany that are threatening old alliances; it’s the Bush administration. ABC White House reporter Terry Moran even claimed the Bush administration “presented what amounted to an ultimatum” to the U.N. Security Council.
(CyberAlert, February 20)


Moran Accuses U.S. of “Dismissive Superiority”

ABC White House reporter Terry Moran used a White House press conference to lecture the Bush administration. Moran cited comments from Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and asked: “Is that the rhetoric of a great power?”
(CyberAlert, February 20)


Iraqi Official Cites “Peace” Marchers For Lack of Cooperation

ABC’s Dan Harris noted that Iraq is not fully cooperating with U.N. inspectors and quoted an Iraqi official who said “America was in trouble” because of peace marches and the anti-war sentiment at the United Nations.
(CyberAlert, February 20)


Jennings Trumpets “Enormous Anti-War Demonstrations”

ABC’s Peter Jennings rued the fact that the anti-war demonstrations had done little to change President Bush’s mind. The anchor did note that the marches had give opponents “some sense that they have momentum.”
(CyberAlert, February 19)


CBS: U.N. Struggles for Iraqi Cooperation

While other networks hyped war protestors, CBS Evening News noted that the Iraqis aren’t exactly bending over backwards to help the U.N. Only three of 30 interview requests with scientists have been granted.
(CyberAlert, February 19)


Two Superpowers: The U.S. and The Protestors

MSNBC’s David Shuster claimed “those who took to the streets opposing U.S. policy” are the second “world superpower.”
(CyberAlert, February 19)


Why Is “Unilateral” U.S. Supported by 16 NATO Countries?

FNC’s Brit Hume pointed out the obvious to some fellow panelists on Fox News Sunday: It’s not unilateral when 16 of 19 NATO countries and 34 nations in all support the U.S.
(CyberAlert, February 18)


More Network Spin: “Diverse” Crowds Protest War

Another Saturday of protests led to more stories about how normal all the protesters were. The radical and extreme, of course, went unlabeled or unmentioned.
(CyberAlert, February 18)


NY Times Matches Networks’ Tone

The New York Times felt the protesters were wonderful, too. “Throwing a Party With a Purpose” and “A Festive Tone, But Somber Ideas” were a couple of the headlines.
(CyberAlert, February 18)


Left Wing Think Tank Unlabeled

The Institute for Policy Studies is a leftist outfit headquartered in Washington, D.C. but its Iraq expert went unlabeled during segments on CNN and CBS.
(CyberAlert, February 18)


Jennings Touts Iraqi Concession, Claims French Reflects European Opinion

Saddam Hussein banned nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in Iraq and ABC’s Peter Jennings treated it as real news. Jennings also suggested that the French government reflects the feeling of the European public who believe “Mr. Bush is in too much of a hurry to go to war.”
(CyberAlert, February 15)


Sawyer Calls Iraqi Ban on Weapons of Mass Destruction “Breaking News”

Hussein’s cynical ploy was treated as a real news story on ABC’s Good Morning America. “Is this the big chess move, the spectacular move that can change the momentum toward war?” Diane Sawyer asked.
(CyberAlert, February 15)


Jennings: U.S. Threatens Allied Solidarity

French recalcitrance doesn’t mean a thing, according to the ABC anchor. It’s America’s insistence on having its own way that’s threatening to rupture NATO.
(CyberAlert, February 15)


Compelling But Wrong

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer described the French Foreign Minister’s case against war as “compelling,” but his guest, a former Clinton White House official, said it was a “flat out wrong case.”
(CyberAlert, February 15)


Fleischer: Is ABC Admitting There Are Weapons of Mass Destruction?

ABC correspondent Terry Moran asked White House Press Secretary about Saddam Hussein’s “arsenal of germs and chemicals” getting to terrorists. Fleischer was surprised. Was the skeptical ABC News Division admitting Iraq had weapons of mass destruction?
(CyberAlert, February 13)


Jennings Finds More Detractors

ABC’s Peter Jennings was in Phoenix, highlighting the views of war opponents and Iraqis who have moved to the United States.
(CyberAlert, February 13)


Koppel More Skeptical of the Bush Administration Than Former Clinton Aide
A former Clinton adviser was more favorably disposed towards the Bush administration than ABC Nightline’s Ted Koppel.
(CyberAlert, February 13)


Jennings and ABC Offer Anti-Administration Spin

ABC News could not find a connection between al Qaeda and Iraq but did find dissatisfaction with how the U.S. plans to do things in a post-Hussein Iraq.
(CyberAlert, February 12)


Upping Terrorist Threat Level a Political Ploy

CBS Early Show host Hannah Storm was skeptical of the increased terrorist threat level, asking Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge if it was being used to justify war with Iraq.
(CyberAlert, February 12)


Uhh…Never Mind That Thing With Those Scientists

ABC’s Peter Jennings was beside himself when Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz asserted that Iraq had threatened scientists who cooperated with the UN, calling it “a very inflammatory charge.” Three weeks later, ABC News independently verified the claim. 
(CyberAlert, February 11)


Two-Thirds Back the President…But There’s No Consensus
Jennings was at it again, claiming there was “no consensus about war.” A “town meeting” Jennings hosted at the Portland, Ore. ABC affiliate was proof.
(CyberAlert, February 11)


Even the Kids Don’t Like Us

ABC's Diane SawyerDiane Sawyer’s Iraqi minder did a fine job, making sure Diane’s report included street kids singing a song about Saddam and saying America was “bad.” For good measure, an average Iraqi who had one gun promised to fight whoever attacked him.
(CyberAlert, February 11)


If We Don’t Have France, We Can’t Go!

Despite the fact 18 European nations and Australia support President Bush’s position on Iraq, NBC News highlighted the warning of Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin, who said the U.S. would be “foolish” to “go it alone.”
(CyberAlert, February 11)


Jennings: Anti-War Debate “Timid” in America

ABC’s Peter Jennings claimed the Iraqis “appear to making concessions” and the “U.S. thinks it has growing support for war.” Jennings also promised to seek out dissent in the country.
(CyberAlert, February 10)


Clift: U.S. as Dishonest as the North Koreans

Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift tried to explain how the North Korean switch from plutonium to uranium didn’t violate their agreement with the U.S.
(CyberAlert, February 10)


Clinton Would Have Bombed the North Koreans!

Yeah. Seriously. That’s what Tom Oliphant of the Boston Globe claimed anyway.
(CyberAlert, February 10)


Aaron Brown Challenges Gore Vidal

Good for Aaron Brown, who asked this logical question of left-wing author Gore Vidal: Since you agree Saddam Hussein is a brutal tyrant, why is freeing the people of Iraq a bad idea?
(CyberAlert, February 10)


ABC Looks at Middle East Opinion

ABC’s Peter Jennings highlighted how people in many Arab countries that are supporting the U.S. on Iraq are upset, “Many Arabs, even if they dislike Saddam Hussein, wonder about America’s long-term intentions,” Jennings said.
(CyberAlert, February 7)


About Time They Told Viewers!

No one gives their true opinion in Iraq…because they get killed if they do! NBC’s Tom Brokaw relayed that to David Letterman, explaining that saying “the wrong thing gets them not only in trouble, but probably executed.”
(CyberAlert, February 7)


Now Why Don’t You Tell Ann Curry!

Ann Curry struck again on Today, relaying that typical Iraqis plan to fight the Americans “like the Vietnamese.” “Every man, woman and child will be a soldier and we will win.”
(CyberAlert, February 7)


Helen Thomas: How Have We Split the Oil with the Russians and French?

Another installment of the Helen Thomas follies. The Hearst Newspaper columnist asked Press Secretary Ari Fleischer if he deny “reports” she’d heard that the U.S. has made a deal to divide the oil with the French and Russians after a war with Iraq.
(CyberAlert, February 7)


How’s This For Out of Touch?

Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory noted that before Secretary of State Colin Powell’s speech at the UN: “Among people I know, nobody was for the war.”
(CyberAlert, February 7)


Dems Impressed But Jennings Skeptical

Peter Jennings injected his personal skepticism into reports about Secretary of State Colin Powell’s case for war with Iraq. The anchor first used the skeptical approach on George Stephanopoulos and then tried it out on defense reporter John McWethy.
(CyberAlert, February 6)


Rather Highlights Additional European Support

CBS’s Dan Rather noted that 10 more European nations came out in support of the U.S. after Powell’s speech. NBC’s Campbell Brown called liberal Democratic Senator Joe Biden a supporter and claimed even supporter want the President to get UN backing.
(CyberAlert, February 6)


Holy Smoke! Bob Simon Called Someone a Lefty!

In what might have been a first, CBS’s Bob Simon insinuated that Tony Benn, the former British Member of Parliament that recently interviewed Saddam Hussein, had left-wing political views. Don’t you think Saddam knows “the Americans are coming after him no matter what he does or says, no matter which British lefties he invites to Baghdad?”
(CyberAlert, February 6)


If We Wanted the Oil, We Would Have Kept It in ‘91

Fox News William La Jeunesse told viewers that not all Arab leaders think the conflict with Iraq is over oil. “If the Iraqi conflict really was about oil, Arab leaders say America would have never left in 1991,” he noted.
(CyberAlert, February 6)


Raddatz Offers Tips to French

Everyone, from Democratic Senators to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, was impressed by the case Secretary of State Colin Powell presented to the UN. Make that almost everyone. ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz kept “trying to listen through the ears of the French and the German” – that must have been tough – and found “a lot they can play with.”
(CyberAlert Extra Edition, February 5)


Curry Showcases “Average” Iraqi Views

Just before Secretary of State Colin Powell’s speech at the UN, NBC’s Ann Curry provided another installment in her continuing series about what people in a totalitarian police state think. After discussing Tony Benn’s interview with Saddam Hussein, she then relayed some “on the street” public opinion from Baghdad.
(CyberAlert Extra Edition, February 5)
Related Item:
A week earlier in a report about reaction to the President’s State of the Union address, Curry had included these comments from an “average” Iraqi in Baghdad.
(CyberAlert, January 30)


Left Wing to CBS, Famous to Jennings

British politician Tony Benn interviewed Saddam Hussein and the three broadcast networks all showed tape of it. CBS labeled Benn “a lifelong left-wing activist,” NBC called him “anti-war” while Peter Jennings didn’t bother with an ideological label and claimed he was one of Britain’s most famous politicians. 
(CyberAlert, February 5)


Good Question: Do “Peace” Activists Ever Condemn Saddam?

Anderson Cooper subbed for Aaron Brown on Newsnight and asked CNN’s man in Baghdad, Nic Robertson, a good question. Do the peace protesters ever say a bad word about Saddam?
(CyberAlert, February 4)


Mandela’s Rant Covered, Support of Eight European Nations Barely Mentioned

Dan Rather gave only a sentence to the eight European nations who had backed President Bush’s Iraq policy but CBS delivered a full story on Nelson Mandela’s disagreement with the policy.
(CyberAlert, February 3)


Top of Page



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