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Sharyn Alfonsi was at it again on the “CBS Evening News.” In her ongoing tour of the country seeking poignant war stories, tonight she found a great one – twelve people protesting against the Iraq war in Birmingham, Alabama. She spoke with Vietnam war veteran, David Waters:

Alfonsi: Today at 59, Waters wants the U.S. out of Iraq and says he is not the only one.

Waters: Opposition to the war is definitely growing, yes.

Alfonsi: Even in the south?

Waters: Even in the south, yes.

Alfonsi: So we stopped by a weekly anti-war protest in Birmingham today, where we met Susan Mims, another Vietnam vet. But there's only about a dozen people here.

Alfonsi finished her report by saying, “The anti-war movement here is really nothing more than a murmur.”

Actually, with a population of 242,820, I’m not sure that twelve qualifies as a murmur.

What follows is a full transcript of this report, and a video link.



What they say:
Will the Gulf Coast Fish Again?
Katrina's Public Health Effects Still Unknown

TOXIC GUMBO: Katrina's Environmental Legacy
Cover-up: toxic waters 'will make New Orleans unsafe for a decade' : EPA
Don’t go in the water: Katrina’s toxic legacy
Katrina's Next Disaster
Katrina leaves a toxic nightmare: Oil spills rival Exxon Valdez; then there's the deadly chemicals

The truth:
NOAA: Oct. 11, 2005 — NOAA completed additional analyses of fish, water and sediment samples collected from coastal and offshore marine waters of the Gulf of Mexico... The 154 fish and crab samples harbored no E. coli (Escherlchia coli), a bacteria associated with human or animal fecal contamination. Additional testing on shrimp samples taken from Mississippi Sound is ongoing. Analyses of water samples for indicators of human sewage or agricultural runoff found levels that are below the Environmental Protection Agency's safety limits for bathing beaches. These limits constitute the most stringent government standard for recreational waters. Fish muscle tissue analyzed for pesticides and other industrial chemicals, such as PCBs and DDTs show very low levels that are likely not related to hurricane runoff. The levels of PCBs ranged from 2.5 - 15 parts per billion and the levels of DDTs ranged from 0.8 - 2.2 parts per billion. The PCB levels found in these samples are far below the Food and Drug Administration's safety standards for commercial seafood and are similar to levels detected in fish in non-urbanized areas. (FDA's PCB limit is 2000 ppb, and their DDT limit is 5000 ppb). NOAA announced on September 29 that the first tests showed no elevated exposure to hydrocarbon contaminants, which are common in marine life after exposure to oil spills.

Who do you believe?



Last week Time Magazine’s cover story was called The Battle Over Gay Teens and I wrote an article discussing the bias from the writer of the article and also cited examples of where content was intentionally ignored. 



Wednesday's edition of The Oprah Winfrey Show was devoted to a look "Inside the Lives of America's Poor," coming out of the spirit of the reporting from hurricane Katrina. Once again, Oprah was outraged that anyone would disagree that whites would have drawn a better government response.



Spending federal money without raising taxes? Broadcasters have been incredulous at the thought, especially since Hurricane Katrina hit – so much so that 59 percent of their tax-related stories have suggested tax hikes. Reporters turned to everyone from Bill Clinton to the man on the street to fellow journalists to make the case for taxation.

A typical question from a network reporter showed annoyance at the president’s tax policy and implied that anything but raising taxes is irresponsible, sounding something like this: “The last thing in the world that George W. Bush wants to do is raise taxes, but the amount of money that we’re talking about here, we’re talking about many, many, many tens of billions of dollars. Can that be done without raising taxes?” That was ABC’s Ted Koppel following Bush’s address to the nation on September 15. Journalists made sure the audience didn’t forget several things – namely, that Americans are paying for military operations in Iraq and that the United States has a deficit. As the Free Market Project has shown reporters frequently refer to deficits as if they are inherently bad, though they are actually a small percentage of a multitrillion-dollar economy and should not inspire panic.



Ripped from the headlines: The plot for Wednesday's Law & Order on NBC is inspired by the Schiavo case -- and it looks like one of those fighting to keep the Schiavo-like character alive may also be a murderer since the NBC Web site's description of the episode says that “a car bomb kills the husband of an incapacitated woman shortly before the victim planned to disconnect her feeding tube.” I would caution, however, that L&O plots


CBSNews.com's blog, Public Eye, has a post today on their Early Show viewer demographics, broken down by half-hour block. They show that two-thirds of the audience are women throughout all four half-hour blocks of the show, but that the first half-hour is younger and has more male viewership.



During the 9:00am hour of the Today show Katie Couric tried to play herself off as a middle-of-the roader. Today invited Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake to promote their new book, What Women Really Want, which included a premise that women agree on 80 percent of the issues. Couric used that as an opportunity to essentially yell, "Me too! I'm everywoman!"



Byron Pitts did a story on last night’s “CBS Evening News” called “Nuevo New Orleans.” In it, Pitts reported a wave of legal and illegal immigrants coming into New Orleans seeking employment.

At a town hall meeting with small business owners, Mayor Ray Nagin said on camera: “How do I make sure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers?”



For two days, all parts of the American press have been reporting a "constitutional compromise" which has "gained the support of a main Sunni political party." With this compromise, it is expected that upwards of half the Sunnis (a 20% minority in Iraq) will support its new Constitution, and it will be ratified in the vote on Saturday.

All well and good. But hasn't anyone in the press recalled certain adventures of James Madison? (He was in all the papers.) We in the United States have been through exactly the same process. But NO ONE in the American press has, so far, remembered and mentioned that fact.

There was a bitter fight between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists in Philadelphia in 1787, whether we would have a new Constitution. And if so, what would be the powers of the new federal government. When the Constitution was submitted to Congress for its review, and afterwards to the states for their ratification, that same fight spilled out to the state capitols.



Describing a brief interview NBC's Matt Lauer had with President Bush and the First Lady in front of a Habitat for Humanity construction project yesterday, The Washington Post's Dana Milbank was so obsessed with the President's body language that everything else he wrote about the interview got lost in his frenzied descriptions. For instance, regarding a question about prosecutors' interest in Rove, Milbank described the President's response as:



New from the Business & Media Institute


Media Wont Rest until Taxes Are Raised
Were fighting terrorists. Were rebuilding the Gulf Coast. Can we do all this without tax increases? is the media refrain. In post-Katrina tax coverage, 59 percent of network news stories suggested raising taxes. They turned to everyone from Bill Clinton to the man on the street make the case.



Interview takes the left-wing NRDCs position on global warming and downplays their opposition to nuclear power.


Networks flood airwaves with stories suggesting tax hikes to pay for Katrina and other price tags.


The New York Times breaks its weird silence on reporter Judy Miller, with David Johnston's article (a page A16 piece that lacks even a front-page blurb) marking her testimony today to the grand jury investigating the leak of Valerie Plame's name.