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At about 4:40pm EDT this afternoon on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell marveled at how Venezuela, “perhaps with a bit of a sense of irony,” has offered assistance despite the call by Pat Robertson, whom she identified as a “colleague” of the Bush administration, for the assassination of Venezuela's President. Chris Matthews soon piped up about how “we often argue about states' rights and the need to reduce the size of the federal government, yet in a crisis, it's the federal government which has the resources, the money, the manpower, the personpower I should say, to do the job.”

Mitchell contended FEMA was ineffective until Bill Clinton became President and was going well until a second Bush took over the White House. She contended that “since the Clinton days,” FEMA has shown “that it can move very effectively,” but “we've seen also, post-9/11, that federal disaster assistance and coordination was sorely lacking.” She also wanted to know “how much the National Guard deployments from around the region to Iraq and Afghanistan and other parts of the world has depleted the resources that were available?”

Full transcript of the exchange follows.



Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page capped off the PBS NewsHour yesterday with a commentary on wedge issues in politics, particularly the supposed use of the race card by Republicans in President Nixon's "Southern Strategy.". Page congratulated Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman for publicly renouncing the "Southern Strategy" earlier this year in an apology given to the NAACP, but he closed his commentary hinting that the GOP is all too ready to make gays the next wedge issue:



Some in the media have blamed the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina on global warming. NBC's Robert Bazell warned on Monday's NBC Nightly News, in a story carried repeatedly on MSNBC, that "many scientists say we can expect such storms more often as global warming increases sea temperatures around the world." In a Monday posting on Time.com Jeffrey Kluger forwarded that "to hear a lot of people tell it, we have only ourselves -- and our global-warming ways -- to blame." Kluger conceded that "hurricanes were around a long, long time before human beings began chopping down rainforests and fouling the atmosphere," but he concluded that in the future global warming "could make even Katrina look mild." Former Washington Post and Boston Globe reporter Ross Gelbspan, in a Tuesday Boston Globe op-ed, charged: "The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming." In contrast, the New York Times remarkably reported Tuesday: "Because hurricanes form over warm ocean water, it is easy to assume that the recent rise in their number and ferocity is because of global warming. But that is not the case, scientists say."

Full CyberAlert item follows. For all of today's MRC CyberAlert.



For at least 13 years, broadcasters have pushed global warming into coverage of disasters.


New poverty statistics ignore the fact that new numbers are among the lowest in 20 years.


Major series fails to understand why premium care has a premium price.


It took the force of Hurricane Katrina to wake up the media to a big story: U.S. oil refining.

Following a summer of relentless gas price coverage, the storm’s threat to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico added urgency to reports about the oil industry. But only one network news story in three months of summer coverage has attempted to explain the role of U.S. oil refining in the nation’s gasoline supply. Instead, networks have made passing references to the causes behind pricing and have criticized the free market.



Dan Froomkin in the Washington Post stretches for a ways to blame Bush for Hurricane Katrina.

"Did any of his previous budget decisions allow the hurricane to cause more damage than it might have otherwise?"

Those darn tax cuts.

"Could Bush and the federal government have done more to prepare for hurricane recovery? Unlike the Asian tsunami, this hurricane was forecast days ahead of time."



Reporter Carl Hulse flips through former conservative Sen. Jesse Helms' memoir, "Here's Where I Stand." The headline accurately captures the loaded nature of the review: "In Memoir, Jesse Helms Says He Was No Racist."

Hulse begins: "Former Senator Jesse Helms defends his record on race relations and explores his role in the rise of the modern conservative movement in a new memoir that reserves some of its harshest words for the news media."




WashPost reporters Dana Milbank and Alan Cooperman crack wise today on a Heritage Foundation event, mocking the idea that the "anti-war" movement's leading groups are anti-capitalist and anti-American, and in some cases (like International ANSWER) clearly affiliated with the communist Workers World Party.  This is easier to mock when you've left out all of Cindy Sheehan's wildest anti-American statements.  You can play the game of seeing how twisted the Pos


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: