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Harlingen, Texas, September 10, 2005: You need to look long and hard if you are attempting to find any information about the use of tugboats, towboats or barges in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. In fact, the only reference to these watercraft noted was in a September 1, 2005 Reuters pool release. It stated “A tugboat pushes barges past an oil refinery in southern Louisiana.

Some calm and dispassionate political analysis Saturday night on Comedy Central's Weekends at the DL. Actress/comedian Kathy Griffin delivered not comedy but her vitriolic personal opinion as she shouted, to loud audience applause while she gesticulated with her arms: “The President is a moron! I'm saying it. I don't care. He's an idiot. Cheney is evil. I'm sick of, impeach them, get them out! I hate them! I hate them. Get them out. They got to go!" She later pleaded: “What is it going to take for you people? Get Bush out! Impeach! Out! Out! Out!” Griffin also denounced FNC's Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity: “He and Hannity can suck it. I hate those two idiots! Those liars.”

Griffin is the star of the reality show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the d-List on NBC-Universal's Bravo cable channel, a regular on the E! channel's “red carpet” coverage before awards ceremonies, has had roles in several movies, as well as appearing on such TV shows as NBC's Suddenly Susan sit-com and currently on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Transcript follows. Video: RealPlayer or Windows Media

It is not a hold-the-presses moment when a major Hollywood actor comments on American politics and demonstrates that he/she is ignorant as a board fence on the subject. However, as a reminder that some people ARE paying attention and DO know truth from falsehoods, some comments are in order about an interview with Donald Sutherland today (Sunday).

Sutherland was interviewed at the Savoy by Jasper Gerard, and the article was published in the Sunday Times, in the UK.

On September 3, a question was asked here: “How Will Hurricane-Related Halliburton Contract Be Reported?” Yesterday, Reuters answered this with an article entitled “Firms With Bush Ties Snag Katrina Deals.”

“Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President George W. Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

“One is Shaw Group Inc. and the other is Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton.”

A lot of focus was given to Vice President Cheney in this article:

The mainstream press does not always blame only Republicans or conservatives. There's a tendency in some quarters to believe that, but it's not true. What is true, however, is that the tendency to blame or criticize Republicans and/or conservatives is much, much stronger than the tendency to blame Democrats and/or liberals. This fact manifests itself in a couple of different ways. The first thing that happens is that a Democrat can get away with things that a Republican just can't. Trent Lott, for example, made an offhand remark at a birthday party for Strom Thurmond that could be read as racist, and the outcry was immediate and widespread. When Richard Durbin went to the floor of the Senate to make comments that were far more inflammatory and inappropriate, comparing the US military to Nazis and genocidal Cambodian dictators, there was no coverage at all for several days, and the little coverage it eventually got didn't compare to what Lott got. The other thing that happens is that Democratic follies and foibles tend to get grouped with others by Republicans, and presented in "everybody does it" arguments. I've said for years that there are three mainstream blame assessment scenarios: if the Republicans are wrong, they get blamed; if both parties are wrong, the Republicans get blamed; and if the Democrats are wrong, both parties get blamed.

On Friday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s Charlie Gibson and Barbara Walters, while doing a promo for her upcoming interview with former Secretary of State Colin Powell to be aired on 20/20 later that evening, appear to have distorted the meaning of some of Powell’s statements:

Gibson: There's a number of things in this. Number one you ask about whether he, he laid out in that speech some connection between terrorism and Saddam Hussein and you asked him about that.

Walters to Powell: When you learned that you had been misled how did you feel?

Powell:  Terrible.

This is creative editing to make a point different than what Powell was stating.  Gibson asked Walters about a connection between terrorism and Saddam Hussein.  However, Walters’ question to Powell about having been misled was concerning weapons of mass destruction.  This is how the ABC News website related the exchange:

1. Christopher Fotos at PostWatch notes that Kanye West has company in WashPost columnist Colbert King. King also was offering his respect for Kanye on the talk show Inside Washington, and Charles Krauthammer quickly told him he was nuts.

On CNN’s The Situation Room last evening, Wolf Blitzer adroitly set up Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean with questions surrounding racism in Hurricane Katrina rescue and prevention efforts:

On Fox News this morning, Geraldo Rivera claimed that the New York Times’ Allessandra Stanley lied about him pushing people in New Orleans so his camera crew could catch him assisting folks being evacuated from a retirement home.  Please reference Ian Schwartz’s post from Tuesday concerning this.

For almost two weeks since Katrina devastated New Orleans, America’s media have been lambasting the president for not properly funding the Army Corps of Engineers. An article at CNSNews this week deals specifically with a NY Times hypocrisy in this regard.

This morning, NY Times columnist John Tierney has an op-ed suggesting that much of the media – including the Times – might have no clothes on:

“Or suppose the investigators try to find out why the Army Corps of Engineers didn't protect New Orleans from the flood. Democrats have blamed the Iraq war for diverting money and attention from domestic needs. But that hasn't meant less money for the Corps during the past five years. Overall spending hasn't declined since the Clinton years, and there has been a fairly sharp increase in money for flood-control construction projects in New Orleans.

“The problem is that the bulk of the Corps's budget goes for projects far less important than preventing floods in New Orleans. And if the investigators want to find who's responsible, they don't have to leave Capitol Hill.”

During the Friday night (SOS) Saving OurSelves: The BET Relief Telethon, actor/comedian Steve Harvey and singer/actress Queen Latifah came to rapper Kanye West's defense. Harvey imparted: “We love you, brother. And do keep your head up, and we understand what you were trying to say, and you have a lot of people's support in spite of all the ridicule that you're receiving, man. Do stay strong.” Latifah saw West as a martyr, chiming in with how “you always going to pay to speak what's on your mind and what's on your heart. But that don't mean you shouldn't say it.”

Last Friday (Sept. 2), on NBC's Concert for Hurricane Relief, West ludicrously contended that “we already realize a lot of the people that could help are at war right now fighting another way and they’ve given them permission to go down and shoot us.” He later added this slam: “George Bush doesn't care about black people." (Previous NewsBusters item on West.)

Transcript of the comments from Harvey and Latifah follows. Video Excerpt: RealPlayer or Windows Media

Seeking to extol the virtues of ‘diversity’ and bemoan the lack of same on campus, Michelle Locke of the Associated Press gives us a story titled, “Blacks Still a Minority at UC Berkeley.” She writes:

NPR's All Things Considered tonight carried a story from reporter Frank Langfitt focusing on how Wal-Mart brought their efficient distribution system to bear in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, particularly in Kenner, Louisiana, where their supplies arrived before federal or Red Cross help. He did conclude by noting that Wal-Mart is videotaping their charity for reporters. But hey, why not? Wal-Mart has been quite a whipping boy for negative media coverage.

Reading viewer email at the bottom of 4:00 hour of CNN's "Situation Room," Jack Cafferty dismissed a call from a viewer "try to be 'fair and balanced'" in his commentary segments, deriding the audience member's suggestion as a "thinly veiled reference to the F-word network."

Full transcript:

And finally, John writes: Cafferty, your liberal opinions are not appreciated by a majority of the viewers. Your smart remarks about our President and Vice President are not welcome. If at all possible, try to be "fair and balanced."

I think that was a thinly veiled reference to the F-word Network, Wolf. What do you think?

Video Excerpt: Real or Windows

What would you do if you opened up your morning newspaper or turned on the local television news and found grisly photos of one of your parents, or a brother, sister, uncle, cousin or a close personal friend? You would be outraged. And rightfully so.

But some of my colleagues in the mainstream media claim they can’t report properly the terrible aftermath of Hurricane Katrina unless the Federal Emergency Management Agency allows them to photograph dead bodies up close and personal.