After being off the last two days, Harry Smith returned to CBS’s "Early Show" this morning and apparently he didn’t forget the bias. Today Smith interviewed Dan Bartlett, a counselor to President Bush. While Smith set up Senator Joe Biden on June 5 to go on the offensive against the war, he tried his best to keep Bartlett on the defensive while downplaying President Bush’s surprise visit to Iraq yesterday.
Smith began the questioning:
"Well, the Iraqis now have a constitution. Now they actually have a government as well. What they don't have in Baghdad is day-to-day security or even electricity. How does the president's visit change that?"
After Bartlett noted it gave President Bush the opportunity to sit down with Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to discuss the options going forward, Smith brought up the insurgency:
"But the Iraqis have been suffering under this insurgency for three years and four months now. How long will it be before an Iraqi living in Baghdad can have a reasonable expectation of walking down the street and not being afraid of getting killed?"
Three years and four months would have the insurgency beginning in February 2003, a month before the invasion of Iraq began. It is no secret that Harry Smith is anti-war and sometimes has trouble getting his facts straight, but when being confrontational it often helps when the point is accurate. Then again, accuracy hasn’t always been one of CBS’s strong points.
Bartlett responded to Smith’s assertions mentioning that Iraqis suffered under Saddam Hussein for 30 years. This prompted Smith to remark:
"Well, some people in Baghdad say it's even worse now than it was before."
I’m sure there are people who believe things are worse now than under Saddam. Those who benefitted under Hussein’s regime surely would say things are worse now. And it is likely, in a city the size of Baghdad there would be some average Iraqis who may feel this way as well. But what about the average Iraqi who thinks things are better now than they were under Saddam? Shouldn’t they be taken into consideration as well? Apparently not since they don’t support Smith’s opinion.