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Even as the news was breaking during the first minutes of the show, Katie Couric wasted absolutely no time in launching the first of what are sure to be many hits on Harriet Miers, who appears to be President Bush's pick to replace Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court.



Newsweek's Howard Fineman and Eleanor Clift could hardly contain their excitement over the "Power Outage" of the Republican Party. (Oct. 10 Issue).



On Friday, the New York Times once again slammed Karen Hughes on her tour of the Middle East. (Subbing for Clay Waters at TimesWatch, Ken Shepherd questioned the trend Wednesday and Friday.) In Friday's piece, Times reporter Steven Weisman mentioned the views of retired diplomat Edward Djerejian, who issued a report two years ago on America's failed efforts at public relations (or public diplomacy, as the goverment calls it).



Editor and Publisher notes that just days after the New York Times "sort of admitted it had erred in a blast at Fox News' Gerald Rivera during the Katrina tragedy," the paper has now finally ran a "full correction" for a "miscue by columnist Paul Krugman, while announcing a new policy on noting errors on that page."



On CNN’s “Larry King Live” last night, retired CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite said Americans are ignorant, and that the majority of the population isn’t smart enough to make the proper decisions at election time to vote for president.

In a tirade about America not paying its teachers enough, Cronkite said:

“We're an ignorant nation right now. We're not really capable I do not think the majority of our people of making the decisions that have to be made at election time and particularly in the selection of their legislatures and their Congress and the presidency of course.”

What follows is a full transcript of this encounter, and a video link.



On CNN's In the Money today, Jack Cafferty suggested that President Bush is devoting too much time to the natural disasters in the southeastern United States: "President Bush is calling on Americans to drive less, in between the trips on Air Force One to the Gulf Coast, which seems to be happening about every six hours in the last week or ten days."

Yet only weeks ago, Cafferty was berating the President for not doing enough.



Brian Williams and Mike Taibbi on last evening's “NBC Nightly News” did exactly what they reported Bill Bennett claims started this whole controvery in the first place – took his radio remarks totally out of context.

In his introduction to the segment, Williams stated “[Bennett] says his remarks are being taken out of context.”  Then, Taibbi only played back the offensive sentences made by Bennett, along with the text of those sentences printed on the screen adjacent to Bennett’s picture.  However, Taibbi did not play, read, or print out for the viewer the question that was asked of Bennett by the caller to his radio program, nor what was said by Bennett before or after these sentences.  As a result, Williams and Taibbi did exactly what Williams said Bennett is asserting – took his words out of context.

In addition, Taibbi only solicited or quoted opinions on this issue that were antagonistic towards Bennett.  These included Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal), Harry Reid (D-Nev), and the president of a civil rights group.  Taibbi also reported the White House’s denouncement of what Bennett said.  As a result, not one person was interviewed or quoted who supported Bennett’s contention that when taken in their entirety, his words are not as contentious as what is being reported.

What follows is a full transcript of this report along with a video link.



“Bill Bennett is the poster child for racism” and “you cannot say that statement that was made by Bill Bennett is not a racist statement,” Colby King, the Washington Post’s Deputy Editorial Page Editor and columnist, declared on this weekend’s Inside Washington. King contended that “there's no way you can parse his words and get away from what he said. What he said was morally reprehensible. He has said, in effect, that blacks have a predisposition for being criminals.” No, Bennett simply based his proposition on how a higher percentage of blacks than other races commit crimes and, like King, Bennett rejected the idea of systematic abortion as “morally reprehensible.” Nonetheless, King proposed, “Now the question is: How will his party handle him? Will they come to his defense? Or will they take the right position?"

For King’s weekly columns published on Saturdays. For a bio of King, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. Full transcript follows.



In an article October 1 by Kelly Brewington, the Baltimore Sun takes Former Education Secretary Bill Bennett to task for his unusual comment on his radio show this week. The article is focused mostly on the reactions to that comment.

The reporter writes, "Democrat leaders leapt on Bennett, a prominent Republican analyst, describing his statement as the latest in a long trail of public comments by white conservatives unfairly linking blacks to crime and sexuality."



In an article entitled “The Time is Right,” Newsweek used an interview with long-time feminist activist Marie Wilson to hype a Hillary Clinton presidency as well as ABC’s new series about a female president, “Commander in Chief.” Newsweek set the piece up by referring to a possible Hillary-Condi matchup in 2008. However, Wilson is never asked what she thinks of the second female Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, which certainly would have been a natural question for a woman who is president of the White House Project, a non-profit organization designed to assist the advancement of women in the workplace and in politics. Instead, the only female politician discussed with Wilson was indeed the junior senator from New York.

As for ABC’s new series, Newsweek and Wilson made it very clear what the intention of this show is (Newsweek’s questions in bold):



For five years I've hosted a local, community-access political TV talk show, 'Right Angle.' We've had hundreds of guests, many of them college students, with a good smattering of high school students and even a handful of middle-schoolers.

But for sheer embarrassing, puerile, vapidity, none of them has been the equal of the utterly unwatchable Ellen Ratner, the short, and liberal, half of "The Long & the Short of It" feature on Fox & Friends Weekend.



Yesterday, I noted the DeLay "giddiness" of Post columnist Eugene Robinson, a long-time "objective" journalist for the Post, allowed to let it all hang out. But also on the Friday page was a column by E.J. Dionne, who used to be a highly respected political reporter for The New York Times and the WashPost. (Suffice it to say he hasn't been as well-reviewed, at least by conservatives, as a columnist.)



On Sean Hannity's show Friday afternoon, Bill Bennett said the radio-show scandal has gotten so bad, he's being denounced by Howard Stern "for saying inappropriate things on the radio. That's a hell of a place to be."

Yike. Indeed, the Friday rundown of Stern's show on HowardStern.com reports that after a typical interview session with porn star Brandi Love,



The print media is set to have a field day with William Bennett's comments regarding an outlandish book. (Touched on earlier on Newsbusters by Brent Baker and Dave Pierre.)



The CBS Evening News, which in June never uttered a syllable about Democratic Senator Dick Durbin's incendiary comments, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, equating U.S. servicemens' treatment of detainees at Guantanamo with the Nazi regime and the Soviet gulags, on Friday led with remarks made by Bill Bennett, just two days earlier, on his morning radio show. With “Bennett Blunder” on screen, Wyatt Andrews teased his lead story: "He really did say it, that fewer black babies would reduce crime.” Anchor Bob Schieffer appeared stupefied: "We start tonight with a story that everyone seems to be talking about, and you have to ask, 'Just what was the man thinking?'” Andrews played an audio clip of Bennett saying that “you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down” as well as how “that would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do.” Andrews then seemed befuddled: "Abort black babies and the crime rate goes down?”

It may have been an impolitic formulation (aborting all male babies for a while would lead to much less crime 15-25 years later), but as the saying goes, a gaffe in Washington is when someone says a truth people don't want to hear -- though Bennett immediately denounced the notion as "morally reprehensible." Andrews quoted from Bennett's defense, but concluded by complaining that Bennett did not cave in to political correctness: “Bennett's written statement renounces all bigotry and asserts that over his career he's worked hard for minorities. But there's nothing in the statement even close to regret or to an apology.”

Friday's NBC Nightly News also pounced on Bennett with a full story before the first ad break. Back in June, the program ran just an anchor-read brief on Durbin. Friday night, unlike Andrews, Mike Taibbi pointed out how "Bennett said he based his comments on the book Freakonomics, which, among other things, theorizes a link between abortion generally and the crime rate, but that his comments in their entirety made his position unmistakable." ABC's World News Tonight aired nothing Friday, but had a short item Thursday night. Good Morning America, which waited more than week until Durbin's apology to touch his comments, aired a full story Friday morning on Bennett. NBC's Today, which also didn't get to Durbin until he apologized -- and then not until the 8am news update, put Bennett at the top of Friday's Today. “Under fire,” Katie Couric announced, “former Education Secretary William Bennett feeling the heat for saying this on the radio." Viewers then heard a clip which excluded Bennett's “morally reprehensible” clarification.

Full transcripts of the CBS, NBC and ABC stories follow, along with links to MRC CyberAlert coverage of the reticent approach to Durbin.