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CNN's Jack Cafferty isn't the only one taking cheap shots at President Bush for taking a vacation in August, before Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi and Louisiana. The New York Times and Washington Post are doing it, too. From an August 31 New York Times editorial about Katrina:
As the levees of Lake Pontchartrain gave way, flooding New Orleans, it seemed pretty clear that in this case, government did not live up to the job.


The latest direct-mail fundraising letter from Walter Cronkite for the liberal Interfaith Alliance begins with the ludicrous sentence: "When I anchored the evening news, I kept my opinions to myself." (SURE you did.) It continues: "But now, more than ever, I feel I must speak out. That's because I am deeply disturbed by the dangerous and growing influence of people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell on our nation's political leaders."



Harlingen, Texas, August 30, 2005: The Miami Herald had another Abu Ghraib story this past Saturday. In an Associated Press article by Charles J. Hanley, the headline announced, “Abu Ghraib general describes her Iraq tour”

The article’s opening paragraph reads, “Iraqi prisoners could lift their doors right off their hinges. One senior sergeant whiled away his evenings blasting grazing sheep with a guard tower machine gun. U. S. commanders didn’t bother telling their troops they’d be stuck in Iraq for months more than advertised.”



Elisabeth Bumiller's at it again...

As Brit Hume pointed out in his FOX News broadcast today,  the NY Times reported that the President said protesters like Cindy Sheehan were weakening the United States and emboldening terrorists. Here's NY Times writer, Elisabeth Bumiller's, direct quote:



In the 5pm EDT half hour of CNN's The Situation Room today, Jack Cafferty used the hurricane as an excuse to trash President Bush for being on vacation, as if the location of Bush, who already authorized federal action, has any impact on that federal response to the devastation. Cafferty asked host Wolf Blitzer: “Where's President Bush? Is he still on vacation?”Blitzer answered that “he's cut short his vacation. He's coming back to Washington tomorrow.” Cafferty snidely contended: “Well, that would be a good idea. He was out in San Diego, I think, at a Naval air station giving a speech on Japan and the war in Iraq today. Based on his approval rating in the latest polls, my guess is getting back to work might not be a terrible idea.”

Full transcript of the exchange, between Cafferty in Manhattan and Blitzer in Washington, DC, follows.



Another week, another opportunity for NPR's Nina Totenberg to discover that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts is conservative and to caution us about it anew.


Today’s Boston Globe op-ed page carries a blast of propaganda so undiluted it makes you look around blinking and wonder how you strayed into a teach-in. "Katrina’s Real Name," by Ross Gelbspan, author of "The Heat Is On" and "Boiling Point," builds on a rhetorical trope: The "real name" of various disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, "is global warming."



A just-released Washington Post/ABC News poll strongly suggests that American attitudes toward the war in Iraq have not been changed by the recent activities and exorbitant press coverage surrounding new anti-war idol Cindy Sheehan:

The survey also suggests, however, that Sheehan's anti-war vigil has failed to mobilize large numbers of Americans against the war. If anything, her opposition has done as much to drive up support for the war as ignite opponents, the survey found.

Eight in 10 Americans--including overwhelming majorities of Democrats, Republicans and political independents--say Sheehan's protest has had no impact on their attitudes toward Iraq. While one in 10 say she has made them less likely to support the war, the same proportion say she has made them more likely to back the conflict.

Yet, what is peculiar about this release is its absence from today’s Washington Post print edition.  The results were posted at the WaPo website at 7:00AM eastern time, and, conceivably were given to the editors too late to make this morning’s paper.  However, one wonders if these numbers had shown huge movements in public opinion as a result of Cindy and Company’s protests if this would have been headline news today.  Moreover, it shall be interesting to watch how prominently these numbers are displayed in tomorrow’s paper if at all.



If you only got your news about Hugo Chavez from the Today show you could only assume that he's a sweetheart of a guy. To date Today show has yet to fully report on, shall we say, Chavez's bad side. On this morning's Today at 8:11 am, Natalie Morales offered no context in her anchor brief about Reverend Jesse Jackson's trip to Venezuela.



Radio Equalizer has an interesting compilation of various media outlets who reported on the number of pro- and anti-war protestors in Crawford.


Little Green Footballs highlights these two pictures from Crawford, each with Cindy Sheehan praying with Al Sharpton.

The first picture shows the version you'll see on most of the networks, the second picture shows the actual event.

Moment 1:

Moment 1 zoomed out:



The Hollywood Reporter says the president of CBS News, Andrew Heyward, thinks hiring an ombudsman is "a risk."

The ombudsman will be a "kind of media reporter, mostly focused on CBS News, reporting and writing about how the news is gathered, produced and placed." He will write a blog that is meant to go "behind the scenes"



Matching NBC and MSNBC stories from last Thursday, on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show over the weekend, Matthews touted Cindy Sheehan as representing a “tipping point” on Iraq analogous to Walter Cronkite’s 1968 on-air lecture about Vietnam. Matthews set up his lead topic: “Next stop, Saigon? This month a watershed moment of defeatism over Iraq. Senators are getting quiet and polls are sinking. Then a tipping point [footage of Cindy Sheehan]. An anti-war mother of a fallen soldier becomes an emblem of anger and national frustration. It reminds many of another clear tipping point from another war." Matthews then played a clip from Cronkite. On last Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, Carl Quintanilla trumpeted how Sheehan has “dominated headlines, mobilized protesters” and made “it safe, her supporters say, to voice doubts about the war, just as Walter Cronkite did on the Evening News in 1968.”

Full CyberAlert item follows. For all the items in today’s MRC CyberAlert.



Today the Washington Post's Peter Carlson "celebrates" the 10th anniversary of The Weekly Standard magazine, puckishly noting that it "is a truly excellent right-wing warmongering magazine, no matter what your political persuasion might be."


Within a day of Katrina whipping the Gulf coast, Time.com leads with "Is Global Warming Fueling Katrina?" Jeffrey Kluger notes that "to hear a lot of people tell it, we have only ourselves—and our global-warming ways—to blame." His idea of sounding moderate is to allow generously that hurricanes did occur before the arrival of Rapacious Capitalist Humanity: "One thing’s for sure: hurricanes were around a long, long time before human beings began chopping down rainforests and fouling the atm