In his Monday "Media Notes" column, Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz first reports on one of Jack Abramoff's friends in the media. His second item -- on CNN's Jack Cafferty -- used several quotes outlined by Brent Baker in CyberAlerts and several NewsBusters bloggers.
Cafferty's cutting remarks have made him a hero to some on the left. Liberal radio host Cenk Uygur called for Cafferty to get his own prime-time show, saying on http://HuffingtonPost.com that "he is a rare truth-teller on cable news." But Tim Graham of the conservative Media Research Center writes that Cafferty "has created a little career as a gruff anti-Bush commentator" in "an attempt to be the anti-Bill O'Reilly."
Notice that the Huffington Post gets a web address (and online, a link), but there is no NewsBusters mention or link. (That item would be here.) But this is a definite sign that Cafferty is emerging as an anti-Bush pundit in liberal media eyes. See how Cafferty responded:
Cafferty disagrees, saying he was often accused of being "a Nazi and a right-winger" when he initially supported the administration's war effort. "I certainly don't picture myself as an apologist for one side of the political spectrum or another," he says. "When I see something that aggravates me or doesn't make sense or seems strange in some way, I express that."
A little hunting through Nexis doesn't detect any brash Cafferty comments in favor fo the Bush administration going to war, although he had a lower profile then, as a commentator on "American Morning with Paula Zahn" and hosting the weekend "In The Money" show. On the March 2, 2003 edition of "In the Money," Cafferty interviewed Adam Zagorin of Time magazine, and his question doesn't sound so right-wing as he assesses the coming war costs:
We're still, though, talking about staggering sums of money. President Bush is insisting on getting $600 billion in tax cuts through the Congress. We're already operating at something around the neighborhood of a $300 billion deficit. The cost for the war, the reconstruction and the possible occupation of that country, for as long as it takes to install a democratic government, are variables that are only going to cost more as time goes on. Is there anybody in the administration saying, 'Wait a minute. This is getting just too expensive. Maybe we should rethink some of these priorities?'
But Cafferty's answer only makes my point. See how he sounds like an O'Reilly clone with the I'm-an-independent protest?