Latest Posts

Pat Robertson is predictably lambasted in the New York Times for suggesting the U.S. "go ahead" and assassinate Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez

Reporter Laurie Goodstein opens with a loaded rundown of Robertson's greatest hits before getting to the newest controversy: "Pat Robertson, the conservative Christian broadcaster, has attracted attention over the ears for lambasting feminists, 'activist' judges, the United Nations and Disneyland."

New York Times reporter Anthony DePalma today perfectly demonstrates the mantra of much of the modern press: Never pass up an opportunity to bash Bush.

In his front-page story entitled “9 States in Plan to Cut Emissions by Power Plants,” Mr. DePalma adroitly accomplishes this credo in paragraph two:

The cooperative action, the first of its kind in the nation, came after the Bush administration decided not to regulate the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

The beauty of this sentence is its derision without specificity. For instance, Mr. DePalma doesn’t elaborate on how Bush blocked such environmental regulations until the second page of the story buried inside the main section in paragraph 23:

The Bush administration's rejection of the Kyoto Protocols has caused deep divisions nationwide, with many local governments attempting to force the administration to taking action by passing their own carbon dioxide rules.

OF COURSE! This is about KYOTO!

On Tuesday evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews joined the pack in identifying Pat Robertson as a Republican leader: "Otherwise, it will look like a major leader in the Republican Party on the conservative side of things...who won the Iowa caucuses back in ‘88, by the way...for president, is out to get this guy (Hugo Chavez)."

In an utterly disgraceful (even for them) grab for another anti-war family dustup, the Associated Press today unleashed a story called, “Troops' Gravestones Have Pentagon Slogans.”

NBC on Tuesday night devoted a story to comparing Iraq to Vietnam. Reporter Jim Miklaszewski concluded that “while there are marked differences between the wars in Iraq and Vietnam, the rhetoric, at least, is beginning to sound much the same.” Miklaszewski used as an excuse for raising the subject how "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld himself bringing up the Vietnam issue at his Pentagon briefing today” and rejected the equivalence. Miklaszewski went on to highlight how Senator Chuck Hagel, “the prominent Republican and decorated Vietnam veteran, said this week the U.S. is now bogged down in Iraq, similar to Vietnam.” Miklaszewski reported that “there's increasing concern in the Pentagon that a growing anti-war drumbeat here at home” -- a drumbeat being pounded by NBC -- “could eventually take a toll on troop morale in Iraq, not at all unlike Vietnam.” He also chided Rumsfeld for how he “ignored the latest polls which indicate a majority of Americans now think it was a mistake to go to war in Iraq."

CyberAlert item follows. For all of the articles in today's MRC CyberAlert.

(An earlier NewsBusters posting today by Mark Finkelstein highlighted NBC's Vietnam comparison in a segment on Wednesday's Today show.)

Pat Morrison editorializes for the LA Times, I'm going to have to break this one down one stream-of-consciousness at a time:
WHO DIED AND left Cindy Sheehan in charge? We put her in charge the press, the politicians, the people. We put her in charge not just of her own message and her mission, which is all she had asked for, but we cranked up her voice to equal volume with the man she's calling out: POTUS himself, George W.

A front-page story concerning Iran in Tuesday’s Washington Post was clearly intended to thwart American efforts preventing that country from obtaining nuclear weapons, as well as to embarrass the Bush administration with more implications of faulty intelligence.

In an article entitled “No Proof Found of Iran Arms Program”, Dafna Linzer states:

Traces of bomb-grade uranium found two years ago in Iran came from contaminated Pakistani equipment and are not evidence of a clandestine nuclear weapons program, a group of U.S. government experts and other international scientists has determined.

"The biggest smoking gun that everyone was waving is now eliminated with these conclusions," said a senior official who discussed the still-confidential findings on the condition of anonymity.

Dontcha just love it when media outlets quote unnamed sources in stories with such vast global implications?  Oftentimes, as in this instance, such vague references result in the article being so loosely based in verifiable facts that it is tough to take it seriously.

President of CNN, Jonathan Klein told the New York Times:
"It's easy and it's brainless," Mr. Klein said in a telephone interview, explaining why cable news outlets have gravitated to [Natalee Holloway].

You know the MSM figure a story has legs when they create a logo for it, and sure enough Today opened its segment with a natty little logo of an American solider, an Iraqi flag, and the emblazoned question: "Iraq – the new Vietnam?”

In to answer the question was that paragon of objectivity Chris Matthews – former aide to Dem House Speaker Tip O’Neill.

The contretemps, brouhaha, and (ten dollars please) rodomontades over Pat Robertson are only the latest proof that the very secular media see Robertson as a Born-Again Freak Show. And the latest outburst -- not prompted or prodded by a talk-show opponent, but calmly scripted -- doesn't help. The contrast between Love Thy Neighbor and Kill The Venezuelan Tyrant does cause a bit of whiplash.

Drudge is reporting that Jonathan Klein, head honcho at CNN, is taking some verbal shots at the folks at Fox News:
"CNN President Jonathan Klein implies ratings news leader FOXNEWS is mired in coverage of "meaningless nonsense," claiming: "Fourteen Americans dead, and they have Natalee Holloway on," Klein says. "And they're supposedly America's news channel."

Despite Pat Robertson's waning role in national politics, the broadcast and cable networks on Tuesday evening jumped on his Monday suggestion that Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez should be assassinated now in order to avoid a costly war later. All three broadcast network evening newscasts featured full stories, with ABC's World News Tonight making it the lead. Anchor Charles Gibson snidely forwarded: “A popular Christian broadcaster says assassination is the way to deal with one world leader who criticizes the U.S. Some ask, 'is this Pat Robertson's definition of Christian love?'" CBS played a clip of Donald Rumsfeld dismissing Robertson as just another example of how “private citizens say all kinds of things all the time," and Gloria Borger then countered by touting Robertson's prominence: "But Robertson is not just any private citizen. He's a former Republican presidential candidate with a large evangelical following.” NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams declared that Robertson “has created something of an international firestorm” before reporter Bob Faw concluded that Robertson is “a man of God who doesn't calm waters, but roils them.”

Robertson “may have no clout with the Bush administration, but you wouldn't know that from watching CNN today,” FNC's Brit Hume noted in reviewing the competing cable network's all-day obsession -- a focus which continued into the evening with Robertson leading the 7pm EDT Anderson Cooper 360 (hosted by Heidi Collins), the 8pm EDT Paula Zahn Now and the 10pm EDT NewsNight with Aaron Brown who tried to hold the whole religious right culpable as he asserted that "political leaders worried it makes the so-called Christian Right seem neither Christian nor right.” Robertson was also the first topic covered by MSNBC's 7pm Hardball with Chris Matthews and 8pm Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

In her Monday column, Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times gave another update on the Sheehan vs. Bush saga saying, "There is no sign that Mr. Bush will meet with Ms. Sheehan (he met with her once in a group in June 2004, two months after her son's death, when she said that he was disrespectful for calling her "Mom"), but he did say shortly after she began her vigil on Aug.

Today’s edition of The Capital Times of Madison, Wisc. ("Wisconsin’s Progressive Newspaper"), tells about a town hall meeting where, by 100 to 1, participants favored a "paid sick days" ordinance for all workers in the city. Link here:

Not until the fifth paragraph does one quoted participant give the game away.

ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today this morning ignored the "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy Tour" which is steaming its way towards Crawford, Texas to demonstrate in support of President Bush and the war in Iraq. CBS's The Early Show briefly mentioned it in the 8:30 a.m. news briefing by co-host Julie Chen:

And war protester Cindy Sheehan could face more opposition when she returns to Texas. A group supporting the U.S. mission in Iraq is headed to Crawford, they're calling it the quote, 'You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy Tour.'