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Michael Barone of U.S. News told FNC's Chris Wallace tonight that “if a World War II era Cindy Sheehan had gone to Hyde Park and Warm Springs and camped out and demanded a meeting with President Roosevelt,” she “would just been thought to have been a person who was the victim of a personal tragedy and who had gone over the bend as a result of it, and they would have mercifully given her no publicity.” Barone, co-editor of the bi-annual Almanac of American Politics, credited the change in media attitude to how in “World War II, the press almost unanimously wanted us to win the war,” but “today we have many in the press -- not most I think, but some at least -- who do not want us to win this war and think that we don't deserve to win this war.”

Transcript of Barone's comments on Special Report with Brit Hume follows.



Described alternately as “insular,” “Mayberry-like,” and “nearly all-white,” AP writers Tom Coyne and Ashley M. Heher have raised serious questions about the racial integrity of John Roberts’ boyhood town.



The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which is in the same city as CNN, reports:

"CNN's Jim Walton got the message people were upset with the network's airing of an ad that targeted Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. More than 10,000 messages, actually... "In a note Monday to fellow executives, Walton, the network's president, said the phone would be the only way to reach him for a while, given that his e-mail was temporarily clogged."



As Clay Waters points out in his previous posting, a New York Times article by Eric Lichtblau sheds some interesting light on warnings issued by the State Department to the Clinton administration back in 1996 concerning Osama bin Laden's move from the Sudan to Afghanistan:

In what would prove a prescient warning, the State Department intelligence analysts said in a top-secret assessment on Mr. bin Laden that summer that "his prolonged stay in Afghanistan - where hundreds of 'Arab mujahedeen' receive terrorist training and key extremist leaders often congregate - could prove more dangerous to U.S. interests in the long run than his three-year liaison with Khartoum," in Sudan.
On the one hand, it is quite shocking that the Times would publish a story so critical of President Clinton.

Yet, maybe most surprising is the continuous reference to America's Public Enemy Number One as "Mr. bin Laden". In fact, thirteen times in this article, Osama is so respectfully referred to.

Are the Times editors compensating for their tremendous discomfort with publishing an article critical of their favorite modern president by raising Osama to a level deserving of the title "Mister"?



Two generally anti-Bush intelligence reporters, Eric Lichtblau and Philip Shenon, have important scoops in Wednesday's paper about anti-terrorist inaction on Clinton's watch. But will network news notice?

First up is Lichtblau's "State Dept. Says It Warned About bin Laden in 1996," buried on A12: "State Department analysts warned the Clinton administration in July 1996 that Osama bin Laden's move to Afghanistan would give him an even more dangerous haven as he sought to expand radical Islam 'well beyond the Middle East,' but the government chose not to deter the move, newly declassified documents show."

Lichtblau explains: "The declassified documents, obtained by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act request and provided to The New York Times, shed light on a murky and controversial chapter in Mr. bin Laden's history: his relocation from Sudan to Afghanistan as the Clinton administration was striving to understand the threat he posed and explore ways of confronting him. Before 1996, Mr. bin Laden was regarded more as a financier of terrorism than a mastermind. But the State Department assessment, which came a year before he publicly urged Muslims to attack the United States, indicated that officials suspected he was taking a more active role, including in the bombings in June 1996 that killed 19 members American soldiers at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia."


Oil and gas prices had their biggest one-day decline in months today after an Energy Department report suggested that the highly-touted shortage that has been all over the news in the past couple of weeks is actually not the case.

The September crude oil contract declined by $2.78 to $63.30 per barrel -- a 4.2% decline -- while September gas fell by 9.86 cents to $1.885 per gallon -- a 5% decline.

According to Bloomberg:

Demand for gasoline fell 75,000 barrels to an average 9.4 barrels a day, the lowest in a month, according to the report.

``There are signs that gasoline demand is tapering off, which has reduced supply fears," said [Tom Bentz, an oil broker at BNP Paribas Commodity Futures Inc. in New York].

U.S. gasoline demand last month was lower than in July 2004 because of higher retail prices, the American Petroleum Institute said in a report released today. The total amount of gasoline supplied in the U.S., a measure of demand, was 9.28 million barrels a day in July, down 0.8 percent from a year earlier, the industry-funded group's report showed.

Isn't that fascinating? Gasoline demand was lower this July than last July. Moreover, crude oil supplies are now 9.6% higher than they were this time last year.

That's right -- I said HIGHER. (cont'd)



The media continue their daily gas price hype on all networks. It's more than high-priced TV talent whining about the cost of a gallon of gas. Many of the stories contain serious factual errors.



Times Watch reports on the latest Civility Update from the newspaper that put the anti-Gore "RATS" ad non-controversy on the top of the front page. They're loving a blogger whose site slogan is "Proudly Lowering the Level of Political Discourse." Lefty blogger Lee Papa's one-man show at the New York International Fringe Festival is all the rage to Times critic Margo Jefferson: How do we liberals show we're strong, he asks, and answers firmly: 'We have to rape Republicans.



The New York Times relates a touching story in an editorial about a lady (Victoria Ruvolo) who not only forgave, but powerfully comforted a man who had nearly killed her (Ryan Cushing) when the two met face to face outside the courtroom where Cushing had just entered his guilty plea.

Cushing tossed a turkey through Ruvolo's car windshield last fall. She "needed many hours of surgery to rebuild her shattered facial bones."



New from the Business & Media Institute



But their coverage of the Bush economy reads like a collection of Democratic Party press releases, calling a strong economy everything from 'struggling' to 'volatile' or 'dicey.'


Networks half-baked report criticized those who have fun in the sun.


ABC does note the cause of the problem is that businesses cant build new refineries.


Major medias problem with adjusting prices based on inflation adds to anxiety about cost.


Yesterday MRC's Rich Noyes posted to Newsbusters and issued a Media Reality Check regarding the broadcast media ignoring the Able Danger story.