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Gloria Borger's Early Show recap of yesterday's confirmation hearings for Judge John Roberts was dominated by exchanges with liberal senators pressing the Chief Justice nominee from the Left on abortion, but Borger closed off her report noting that conservatives are concerned about Roberts's views on overturning Roe v. Wade: "Conservatives are listening very closely to what Judge Roberts has to say about Roe versus Wade."

The Washington Post reported today on the Virginia gubernatorial debate between Republican Jerry Kilgore and Democrat Tim Kaine, noting how Kilgore "faltered under a series of questions by moderator Tim Russert, host of NBC's Meet the Press."

Call me idealistic, but I somehow always expect that correspondents, videographers, and editors -- especially those on network shows -- will learn to hold themselves to higher reporting and promotion standards in the inteest of ojectivity. Of course, I nearly always wind up asking myself, "What were you thinking?"

There were some gruesome findings yesterday in New Orleans.

Some were discovered in a hospital. Others in a nursing home.

Yet, this didn’t stop New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd from continuing her bitter evisceration of our president.

No, not a moment’s mourning for this crusader. Not a second to consider the innocents that were lost in these medical facilities, or the friends and family members who are grieving.

Instead, Ms. Dowd gets more and more vitriolic and venomous with each passing day. Just listen to her apparent glee as she announces the increase in the hurricane fatalities while linking responsibility to the White House:

[Brent Baker posted this item on behalf of MRC President Brent Bozell to provide for a discussion on his blog page about his TV appearance.] On Tuesday's NewsNight, CNN anchor Aaron Brown set up an interview with Bozell by complaining that “we were called a 'race-baiter' by a conservative media Web site. Needless to say, we don't agree, which made our conversation with the piece's author, Brent Bozell, that much more interesting tonight.” Brown pleaded to Bozell: “Why do you call me, little old innocent me, you know, why do you call me a 'race-baiter' for asking the question [clip from an earlier show]: 'Do you think black America is sitting there thinking, “If these were middle class white people, there'd be cruise ships in New Orleans, not the Superdome”?"

In fact, the “race-baiter” formulation did not appear in Bozell's column, but was in a September 3 NewsBusters headline: “Race-Baiting by Blitzer and Brown; Race Raised by Williams and Koppel.”

Excerpts from the previous NewsBusters item and Bozell's column with which Brown took exception, plus a transcript of the September 13 CNN interview follow.

Video Excerpt #1: RealPlayer or Windows Media
Video Excerpt #2: RealPlayer or Windows Media

Some noteworthy quotes from Tuesday's broadcast network evening newscast coverage of the Senate's confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. ABC's Linda Douglass saw civil rights through a liberal prism as, over a picture of Roberts with Ronald Reagan, she relayed how “Democrats hammered him about things he wrote as a young government lawyer 25 years ago, when the Reagan administration was fighting against expanding civil rights laws.” Conservatives would contend Reagan was just trying to ensure equal treatment of all races. Douglass also highlighted questions about the improper influence of Roberts' religious beliefs, as if anyone with them is disqualified: “Democrats made clear they suspect Roberts, a devout Catholic, will lower the wall between church and state. One Senator quoted John Kennedy.” Viewers then heard Senator Dianne Feinstein recite: “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.”

Over on CBS, Gloria Borger negatively framed Roberts' views on another topic: "The only woman on the panel grilled Roberts on his old legal memos, which appear to disparage women and their complaints about unequal pay." Borger repeatedly used the term “abortion rights” and Bob Schieffer hoped: “When he says today that Roe v. Wade is a 'settled legal precedent,' as he calls it, does that mean he supports abortion rights?"

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams trumpeted the liberal ideology of Arlen Specter, the Republican Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and how Specter is "unafraid to act independently." Williams touted: “He says his brushes with death have made him hyper-aware of the life-saving possibilities of stem cell research. He brought an hour glass to a Senate hearing, he says, to point out time's a-wastin'." Williams soon championed how “from his earliest days in politics, on the staff of the Warren Commission, running for mayor of Philadelphia in 1967, to his 25 years in Congress, Specter has been unafraid to act independently. It's a virtue he believes will serve him well throughout these hearings."

Transcripts, compiled by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, follow.

Some good economic news was released by the Labor Department today.  However, if you rely on the AP as your source for such things, you’d never know it:

“Surging costs for gasoline and other energy products fueled inflation at the wholesale level in August, pressure that is expected to become even more intense once the full impact of Hurricane Katrina is felt.

“The Labor Department said its Producer Price Index, which measures inflation before it reaches the consumer, jumped a sharp 0.6 percent in August following an even bigger 1 percent increase in July.”

Curiously, this AP reporter felt that it was unnecessary to inform the reader that this inflation figure was less than expected, and signaled to Wall Street that prior to the advent of Katrina, rising fuel prices have not dramatically impacted our economy.  Here’s how Bloomberg reported the same data:

A little something from Sunday's Face the Nation that shouldn't go unnoticed: Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu (LA), unable to cite, off-hand, examples which illustrated her allegation that the White House was orchestrating a smear campaign of local officials who responded to Hurricane Katrina, told host Bob Schieffer that he need only ask various "journalists throughout town."

Criticism for budget deficits has been replaced by calls for big government

Early Show co-host Julie Chen interviewed CBS's resident homeland security expert, Randy Larsen, about FEMA director Mike Brown's resignation. Larsen offered perhaps the most balanced analysis of all the Hurricane Katrina coverage on CBS, noting that FEMA's scope and mission are not all-encompassing, and that local and state officials are supposed to remain in charge of disaster recovery, rescue, and cleanup efforts, with FEMA in a secondary role. This of course, cuts against the bias CBS News has had on hurricane relief.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer caps off a silly editorial about Rep. Richard Pombo's plans to strengthen/weaken (depending on whom you ask) the Endangered Species Act with this concluding paragraph:
As critics point out, the act hasn't restored many threatened species to robust health. If consensus can be found, it's possible that Congress could craft better ways of restoring endangered species. But the starting point must be to prevent extinction. On that basic responsibility, Congress must not mess with the Endangered Species Act's great success.
In other words, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer simultaneously is putting forth the following self-contradictory theses:

As predicted, the new blog for CBS News, Public Eye, whose stated purpose was to "bring transparency to the editorial operations of CBS News," has instead turned into a spin machine, a way to counter what is going on in the blogosphere. After CBS's unpleasant ordeal with blogs last year (this month marks the one-year anniversary), CBS News president Andrew Heyward realized the news division had to get in on the act in order to in effect have it both ways, an MSM presence and a blog presence.

Following the resignation of Michael Brown as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Richard Stevenson writes in Tuesday's New York Times:

Katie Couric brought on presidential historian Michael Beschloss to ask if Katrina will damage Bush's legacy. At the top of the show at 7:00 am Couric teased the upcoming segment: "Will this storm hurt President Bush's ability to accomplish his second term agenda and what impact will it have on his legacy? We'll talk with a top historian about that."

At 7:12 am Couric sat down with Beschloss in studio and opened with the following questions: 

The Boston Globe reports that sociologists believe the bad news coming from the media about the behavior in New Orleans was overblown. They blame "credulous reporters" for creating a misleading situation.