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AP reporter John Solomon publicizes Tom DeLay's congressional-campaign website TomDeLay.com, especially its page on The Facts about Travis County prosecutor Ronnie Earle. It's fairly straightforward until it talks to "the experts" about it.  There's this expert claim:



The Washington Post sent its ace reporter, Dana Milbank, to cover yesterday’s grand jury appearance by chief White House aide, Karl Rove. Milbank gave the reader a fascinating blow-by-blow of the proceedings, including letting the curious know that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald does indeed use public restrooms:

“Almost three hours after Karl Rove entered the grand jury chambers yesterday morning, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald walked hurriedly from the room and toward the waiting reporters.

“‘Just going to the men's room,’ he announced, continuing past the media pack. ‘Don't want to create any buzz.’"

Yet, never one to miss an opportunity to belittle a member of the Bush administration, Milbank relayed a vision of female protestors from Code Pink standing in front of the courthouse dressed as condoms:



In the midst of the feeding frenzy concerning contentions that the video teleconference between President Bush and soldiers stationed in Iraq was staged (video link to follow), most of America’s media forgot to tell the public what actually happened during the event. In fact, there was a lot of great news offered by these soldiers that has largely gone unreported as a result.

For instance, as reported by Gerry Gilmore of the American Forces Press Service:



Just before 5pm EDT Friday, during The Situation Room's review of blog postings, CNN's Jacki Schechner recited examples of blog sites critical of the media's hyping of the so-called “staged” live tele-conference Thursday between President Bush and soldiers in Iraq. With a shot of the NewsBusters posting, “Shocked, Just Shocked Network Reporters Hype 'Staged' Bush Event with Troops” on screen, Schechner relayed: “From NewsBusters, this is a group site that was put together to combat what they call the liberal media bias, saying there is nothing wrong with figuring out 'who should answer which question' or telling soldiers, who aren't familiar with media interviews, to 'take a breath' before answering.”

Video clip: Real or Windows Media



So a preacher, a comedian, and a scientist walk into a bar...

Okay, I'll spare you that joke, but all of the above comprised Harry Smith's theological roundtable in the second half hour of today's Early Show. The question for Jerry Falwell, Andy Borowitz, and Bill Nye "the Science Guy," was, "Is God mad at us," given all the natural disasters---tsunami, hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides---that have beset the planet since last December.



     CBS reporter Kelly Cobiella’s reaction to flooding in the northeast United States was to call for federal aid. All she needed to do to understand that wasn’t a good idea was to watch her own news show.

     Cobiella’s call came during the October 13 “Evening News,” which did a two-part segment on flooding in the northeast. Cobiella was in New Hampshire and Claire Duvall reported from New Jersey. Cobiella began the report and after surveying the New Hampshire flood damage she declared “There is a real need for federal help here.”


CBS reporter calls for government aid to assist Northeast flood victims.


The free weekly tabloid Washington City Paper recently started a new feature, Service Industry, its purpose, "rating D.C.'s houses of worship." Religious readers, however, may sense a bit of condescension, intended or not, in the notion of rating a church service much like it were a play, concert, or film, especially if the church rated by the City Paper's reviewer seems to give it bad marks for its conservative or traditional Christian theology.



The "mainstream" media today, in a stunning display of left-wing bias, engaged in a coordinated anti-war propaganda campaign designed to overshadow an attempt by President Bush on Thursday to rally America's troops. The effort was so gratuitously spiteful, partisan, and transparent that Joseph Goebbels himself would have applauded it.



Staff writers Robert E. Pierre and Hamil Harris report today in the Metro section of the Washington Post on Louis "Farrakhan's Message of Defiance and Unity"* in his march planned for tomorrow in Washington, D.C., commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March.



Israeli-based Steven Erlanger's "news analysis" from Jerusalem in Friday's New York Times is purportedly about the Israel-Palestinian "road map" toward peace ("Mideast Knot: One Map, Many Paths"), but Erlanger devotes most of his space to sympathy for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.


On last night's Hardball Chris Matthews claimed his colleagues at the current White House Press Corps weren't tough enough, declared current Republican problems worse than Watergate and thought Reagan, "got away with a lot."

The following is the relevant portion of Matthews interview with Craig Crawford on his new book:



In August, I blogged about CBS reporters using the medical term "fetus" to describe an unborn child, even in stories where the child was a "planned and wanted child" as former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders was wont to say.


 

In a deliciously ironic twist of fate, shortly before airing a segment aimed at embarrassing the Bush administration by suggesting that it had staged a video conversation between the president and soldiers in Iraq, the Today show was caught staging . . . a video stunt.

In the Bush/Iraq segment, Today screened footage indicating that prior to engaging in a video conversation with President Bush, soldiers on the ground in Iraq were given tips by a Department of Defense official.

But the only advice that the official was shown as giving was a suggestion to one solider to "take a little breath" before speaking to the president so he would actually be speaking to him. It was also stated that some of the soldiers practiced their comments so as to appear as articulate as possible. But there was no indication, or even allegation, that the soldiers were coached as to the substance of their comments or in any way instructed what to say.

Video excerpt: Real or Windows Media



As Brent Baker noted last night, the networks were far more excited about the supposed scandal of the administration having “a staged event” where the President talked by satellite with soldiers serving in Iraq. (Speaking of “staged,” how often do you think Brian Williams or Bob Schieffer sit down in the anchor chair and just wing it?)

Andrea Mitchell pretty much gave it away on Thursday’s Nightly News, allowing that “Many administrations, Democrat and Republican, stage-manage events. And often the news media ignore the choreography.” But the networks didn’t want to “ignore the choreography” yesterday, because it didn’t fit their spin. Mitchell preferred to expose what she called “a rare look behind the curtain of a White House trying to sell an increasingly unpopular war.”

If the Iraq war is “increasingly unpopular” — and polls suggest it is — one reason may be because the broadcast networks have heavily skewed their news agenda toward the bad news coming out of Iraq: car bombings, U.S. casualties, terrorist attacks, squabbling among Iraqi politicians, etc., etc.

I just finished a study of every Iraq story aired on the three broadcast network evening newscasts this year, from January 1 through September 30, nearly 1,400 stories. (More)