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On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann highlighted a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll which shows President Bush's approval rating "plummeting even further" and, as the Countdown host observed, "for the first time in the Bush presidency," the President's approval rating among Republicans has fallen below 70 percent.



Though the Red Chinese regime was so embarrassed by a woman interrupting the White House welcoming ceremony for Chinese President Hu Jintao to denounce him, that it censored the incident from news coverage back in China, CBS on Thursday night framed coverage around worries about offending China over Taiwan and how some incident made the White House look bad while NBC focused on the “embarrassment” the protester caused to the Bush team. CBS's Bob Schieffer led with how “this was not the best day the White House ever had,” citing how “a government announcer introduced China's national anthem by calling it the national anthem of the Republic of China.” Schieffer adopted Red China's spin, er, I mean that of the People's Republic of China, as he explained how Republic of China is “the formal name of the island of Taiwan,” which “claims to be an independent nation, a claim that China fiercely disputes.” Plus, “a heckler got into the White House grounds and caused a commotion.” ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas echoed Schieffer's concern about the announced name of the country: "There was another awkward moment during the White House ceremony. An announcer referred to China as the 'Republic of China,' which is the formal name for Taiwan, which China considers to be a rebellious province."

NBC's David Gregory declared that "this was considered to the President a major embarrassment" and fretted about how "the outburst was a major irritant to the Chinese leader since the White House gave her a day pass to attend the event." Anchor Brian Williams asked "about the lasting significance" of the incident? Gregory relayed how "one veteran diplomat that was on hand today said there's no way that the Chinese won't think that this was an intentional move by the administration." (Transcripts follow)



The following is an op-ed of a previous NewsBusters piece entitled "Media Amnesia: Gen. Zinni Briefed Clinton Administration on Secret Iraq War Plan."



There are a few other more personal notes in the Barbara Walters interview with Jane Fonda on PBS. Ted Turner's first words on his first date with Fonda are a little bizarre: "We got in the car. His first words to me was, ‘some of my best friends are communists. I’m thinking, ‘did he say that because he thinks I’m a communist, and it won’t get in the way’?" He named Gorbachev and Castro as his close friends.



Harry Smith was at it again on CBS’s "The Early Show" this morning. He had two segments of note today. In the first notable segment, during the 7:00 half hour, he interviewed former Bush Administration aide Mary Matalin about the staff shakeups at the White House. And in the 8:30 half hour, he interviewed Jane Fonda about her memoirs, My Life So Far, which are being released in paperback.



On this morning's Today Katie Couric endorsed Ted Kennedy's goal of guaranteeing health care for every America as "noble." After a discussion about the White House shakeups Couric moved to promoting Ted Kennedy's new book: "Let me ask you about the seven challenges.



On last night's Hardball Chris Matthews invited on Rolling Stone Editor Eric Bates to promote their Bush-bashing issue imploring him: "Eric, let me ask you about the cover, because it is gonna come out and you’re on to push it, and I want you to push it. " Bates responded in kind stating Bush has: "...domestic policies that have, have trashed the economy and resulted in a dramatic shift of wealth," and declaring "



Rolling Stone magazine – that bastion of American political thought – has a cover story in its most recent edition entitled “The Worst President in History? One of America’s Leading Historians Assesses George W. Bush.” As the picture on the cover was a caricature of the president looking like a dunce, you didn’t have to be a genius to figure out what the answer was. In fact, the author, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz, cut to the chase in the opening paragraph:

George W. Bush's presidency appears headed for colossal historical disgrace. Barring a cataclysmic event on the order of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, after which the public might rally around the White House once again, there seems to be little the administration can do to avoid being ranked on the lowest tier of U.S. presidents. And that may be the best-case scenario. Many historians are now wondering whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history.” 

Yet, as far as I can tell from the posting of this article and its contents, nowhere was it revealed that Wilentz has been a strong opponent of the president’s for quite some time, or that he organized a group of historians and Hollywoodans to protest the November 2000 presidential election results. As the National Review’s Peter Berkowitz wrote in July 2002:



After hinting that Earth could follow Venus in a warming trend, The Washington Post includes a new study that calms climate change rhetoric.


Positive story a welcome respite from fear-mongering on obesity and bird flu.


The authoritarian government of China is well-known for suppressing free speech and sometimes getting American media companies eager to cash in on a huge emerging market to help it do so. Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, Time Warner, Fox, and others have soiled their reputations assisting the communist regime's crack downs on dissent.

American media companies don't always back down. Sometimes, however, they're censored directly by the Chinese government itself. Such was the case today when a protestor apparently affiliated with the meditation group Falun Gong managed to get herself close to Chinese president Hu Jintao as he was visiting the White House.

As the woman's voice began shouting out before being arrested by Secret Service agents, Chinese television blacked the screen and muted the audio, according to Matt Drudge. After the event was over, when CNN International (the version of CNN seen outside the United States) began discussing the protestor, its signal was abuptly cut off to Chinese viewers, making some wonder what was going on.



TV Newser says Rob Reynolds, a former reporter for CNBC, CNN and NBC, has been hired by Al Jazeera International, the new English-language channel that is having trouble finding a U.S. carrier. Perhaps cable companies are worried about a mass exodus of conservative viewers if they sign on with Al Jazeera.



At the late-night PBS talk show "Charlie Rose," the revolving door of hosts keeps turning. On Monday night, ABC's Barbara Walters interviewed Jane Fonda about the paperback edition of her memoir, and just past the midway point of the interview, Walters asked indignantly about conservative opposition to her. "It amazes me that I still get letters about you...what has it been since Vietnam? Forty years?...The anger. 'Traitor to her country.



Phil Hall writes in the Media Industry Newsletter that today's journalists are mediocre and the writing is poor. He counts off several reasons why that's the case, including number three: blogs. Blogs, he says, are nothing more than "hit-and-run" journalism.


The woman who has given hope to a thousand journalists was invited to the annual White House Correspondents dinner. News organizations with reporters covering the White House may invite anyone they wish.

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