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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.


When Media Matters took out of context a statement Bill Bennett made on his radio show, the mainstream media were more than willing to comply and show outrage over his remarks.

But another radio host made comments even more explosive, and even elicited a response from the Jewish Anti-Defamation League.



The book by disgraced former CBS producer Mary Mapes, Truth and Duty : The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power, has finally been put back on Amazon.com. But this time the excerpt from the book has been removed.



Actor Woody Harrelson, appearing on Tuesday’s Late Show with David Letterman, denounced “this oil-garchy that calls itself our executive branch” and complained about the “petrochemical industry taking over the world." Then viewers saw a clip of him playing a lawyer in a new movie, North Country, in which his character paints Anita Hill as a maligned victim as he warns a sexual harassment victim about how she’ll be characterized in court as a “nut” or a “slut” since “right has nothing to do with the real world. Look at Anita Hill, because she's you.” That movie, opening next week, is based on a book by former Newsweek White House reporter Clara Bingham, Class Action: The Story of Lois Jenson and the Landmark Case that Changed Sexual Harassment Law.

The Internet Movie Database's plot summary for the film: "A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit." That would place the lawsuit filing seven years before anyone heard of Anita Hill. (More of what Harrelson told Letterman follows.)



Does the MSM sense blood in the Bush administration water? That seems to be the case, judging from the breathtaking accusation that Katie Couric just leveled at it.

The context was Couric's interview of Chris Matthews on the subject of the investigation by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald into possible leaks in the Valerie Plame affair.



At Get Religion, Terry Mattingly notes that Gov. Jeb Bush is catching flak from the atheist lobby for encouraging Florida children to read "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe." Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State is typically wheezing over anyone encouraging stories with Christian metaphors. (Actually, Lynn's claiming C.S.



Remember all those media predictions about the toxic nature of the floodwaters in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina?  Well, it appears that much like their prognostications of casualties, how long it was going to take to drain the city, and the likely devastation to America’s economy, this too was an extraordinary exaggeration.

Here’s a sampling of the press opinions concerning this water made shortly after Katrina hit:

  • ABC News reported on September 6: "Thousands of hurricane survivors who spent hours trapped in or wading through floodwaters likely exposed themselves to a wide range of bacteria and other contaminants.”
  • Reuters reported on September 7: “The brew of chemicals and human waste in the New Orleans floodwaters will have to be pumped into the Mississippi River or Lake Pontchartrain, raising the specter of an environmental disaster on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, experts say.”
  • The Christian Science Monitor reported on September 8: “Chemicals leaking from cars and factories will cause one of costliest environmental cleanups ever.” 

Yet, today:



On Tuesday's Today, Matt Lauer interviewed President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at a house building zone for those who were affected by Katrina to live in, in which the President is contributing too. Lauer immediately accused Bush of using this as a photo-op situation.



Sharyn Alfonsi did a story on “The CBS Evening News” tonight that brought me to tears.  Now, I don’t know whether the intention was to stoke anti-war sentiment, or just to show how children at Fort Benning, Georgia are coping with their parents being deployed to Iraq.




Author Jane Smiley in a letter to Salon (emphasis mine):

Gary Kamiya writes, "In a just world, Bush, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, Feith and their underlings would be standing before a Senate committee investigating their catastrophic failures, and Packer's book would be Exhibit A." No.

In a just world, these people would be taken out and shot.



Readers of a September 22, 2005, Newsbusters story, posted by this writer, may be pleased to see that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has written a letter to Air America radio host Randi Rhodes.