CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers reported that Hillary Clinton’s campaign trip to Iowa this past weekend "marked the first time any Clinton has ever campaigned in Iowa." Ms. Bowers, reporting in the 7:00 half hour of Monday’s "Early Show," should have researched the facts before making such a blanket assertion. According to a Nexis search, CNN reported on February 11, 1996 that then President Clinton was campaigning in Iowa, even though he had no primary opponent, to "solidify his support." And, a Nexis search on Hillary Clinton revealed that the New York Senator was the key note speaker at a Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner to raise funds for Iowa Democrats on November 15, 2003.
Ms. Bower’s report, while not necessarily biased, raises the question, is anyone at CBS doing research? One would think that in the wake of the Dan Rather "memogate" scandal in 2004, CBS journalists would be more cautious about what they report and would take the time to verify the accuracy of their claims.
A transcript of Ms. Bower’s piece follows:
Harry Smith: "First let's get to our top story and that is 'Campaign 2008.' Two big name New Yorkers with presidential aspirations, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, had busy weekends in two key states. CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports."
Cynthia Bowers: "Voters in the early-bird caucus state of Iowa got a first look at Hillary Clinton this weekend. Some said she talked more softly than they expected."
Hillary Clinton, New York Senator: "This is one of the issues we're going to work very hard on."
Cynthia Bowers: "But she still carried a big stick when it came to bashing the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq, telling supporters in Davenport the president's war strategy was 'ill-conceived and incompetent.'
Hillary Clinton: "He has said on more than one occasion he is leaving this to his successor, which I think is the height of irresponsibility. And what we have to do is put enormous pressure on him to end the war he started and bring our troops home."
Cynthia Bowers: "Amazingly, her trip marked the first time any Clinton has ever campaigned in Iowa, a state where she is polling well behind John Edwards and a state that is considered must win in a primary that now includes nine Democrats. It is even more crowded on the other side. In a surprise announcement, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee became the tenth Republican. Rudy Giuliani one of the early favorites, took a pre-announcement fundraising trip to the other small state with a big say, New Hampshire, telling supporters this race is about bridging the political divide."
Rudy Giuliani, former New York Mayor: "It is not just about ideologies; it isn't about political parties. It's about who can do it better for our city, our state, and our country.
Cynthia Bowers: "But that divide, likely, won't be bridged any time in the next 22 months. That's how far off election day is, 22 months that just might be more tiring on the voters than on the candidates. Cynthia Bowers. CBS News, Chicago."