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Tuesday's World News with Charles Gibson highlighted signs of improvement in parts of Baghdad in the aftermath of the U.S. troop surge.

CBS News, via its "Public Eye" blog, has responded to the National Center for Public Policy Research's critique (covered here yesterday in Newsbusters) of its 60 Minutes show Sunday.

A night after leading with an “exclusive” about the more imminent than thought horrific threat posed by Iran's nuclear weapons capability, ABC's World News began Tuesday with another Brian Ross “exclusive” in which he exposed a clandestine “secret war” inside Iran, a revelation that seemingly could undermine U.S. efforts to prevent Iran's extremist leaders from using those weapons of mass destruction. “Tonight,” anchor Charles Gibson announced at the top of Monday's World News, “an alarming acceleration of Iran's nuclear program. Iran could have material for a bomb in two years. A Brian Ross exclusive.” Ross soon explained how “in the last three months Iran has more than tripled its ability to produce enriched uranium -- meaning, according to weapons experts, that it could have enough material for a nuclear bomb within two years...”

Jump ahead 24 hours, and Gibson teased Tuesday's World News: “Tonight, a secret war going on inside Iran. Deadly stealth attacks in Iran, being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. government. Brian Ross investigates.” Ross outlined how “U.S. and Pakistani sources tell ABC News that the U.S. has been secretly advising and encouraging a militant group that has carried out a series of guerrilla raids inside Iran, raids that have led to the deaths or capture of Iranian soldiers and officials. The group operates out of the Baluchistan province of Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.” Naturally, ABC managed to make a connection to Dick Cheney as Ross relayed: “Pakistani sources say the secret campaign against Iran was on the agenda when Vice President Cheney met with Pakistani President Musharaff in February.”

Andrea Mitchell and Chris Matthews orchestrated a rather obvious flip-flop Monday of a controversial statement the former made on the “Chris Matthews Show” the day before.

In a nutshell, Matthews’ Sunday panel was discussing the politics of Iraq. During several instances, Mitchell stated that Gen. David Petraeus had recently had a private meeting with the Republican caucus promising progress in the embattled nation by August.

The next day on “Hardball,” Matthews, in the middle of a discussion about presidential candidates, suddenly asked Mitchell about Petraeus. She answered by stating the general had recently addressed both Republicans and Democrats about progress in Iraq, after which the discussion quickly reverted back to presidential candidates (video available here).

Here's what Mitchell said Sunday that apparently needed correcting:

Time's 51 things 'to make a difference' would control food we eat and where it is grown.

As part of its 44-page epic on how to survive global warming, Time magazine advocated vegetarianism and bashed burgers in the April 9 issue.

"If you switch to vegetarianism, you can shrink your carbon footprint," said the magazine.

Although ABC overlooked it, MSNBC on April 3 cited Rosie O’Donnell’s September 11 conspiracy theories as well as her Iran British hostage crisis conspiracy theory. Media analyst Steve Adubato weighed in on the issue.

Both NBC "Nightly News" and CBS "Evening News" on April 2 reported a new study about the decline of air travel quality, without interviewing industry executives.

It confirmed "what a lot of frequent flyers already know -- it has gotten worse," according to NBC anchor Brian Williams.

UPDATE at post's bottom.

Lt. Col. Rick Francona (USAF Retired) is an MSNBC military analyst who also writes for the network's "Hardblogger" blog. But while Francona has plenty of thoughts on how to deal with Iran's hostage-taking and on the notion of setting a withdrawal deadline for U.S. troops in Iraq, a review of Nexis showed zero hits for Francona on MSNBC recently, and only one appearance on NBC's "Nightly News" the day after the British servicement were taken hostage. And even then, he was featured with a sound bite about the Pat Tillman investigation.

Here are the headlines and dates for his three most recent "Hardblogger" entries:


The 15 British sailors and Royal Marines were captured on March 23. Francona has written more on Iran specifically and the Middle East in general, it's just not all been posted to MSNBC's Web site. Francona runs his own Web log, Middle East Perspectives, and has a few additional posts in the same time period, including one dated March 25 explaining the long-disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway in which Iran captured its British hostages.

So given Francona's expertise and his being on the MSNBC payroll, he's been pretty busy appearing on air, right?

Well, a Nexis search for "Rick Francona" among MSNBC documents from March 19-April 3 turned up no hits.

The redesigned Time magazine is lending itself to selling the letters and quotes that are pleasing to liberals. In the Inbox section, letters praising Al Gore and Caroline Kennedy are in bold letters, as is a letter demanding Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should have been canned along with Donald Rumsfeld when CBS broke open Abu Ghraib in 2004. In the Verbatim section, only two quotes were in bold type: from Elizabeth Edwards and Bush-bashing Sean Penn.

When Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced she had taken in $26 million in campaign donations on Monday, "Good Morning America" focused on the "historic," "staggering," and record shattering nature of the total. But on Tuesday, April 3, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney received only suspicion over his equally impressive announcement of a $23 million fund-raising total.

GMA host Robin Roberts repeatedly asked Romney questions such as "where is the money coming from, Governor?" Ms. Roberts also wondered how the candidate’s Mormon faith factored into his fund-raising. She even challenged the Republican hopeful to take a page from John Kennedy and address his faith:

Robin Roberts: "Many are wondering if you will do, take a page from former President Kennedy, who had addressed the nation about his Catholic upbringing. Do you anticipate, anticipate doing the same?"

So far the New York Times has apparently yet to do any original reporting on the lawsuit filed by six imams against US Airways and some passengers who reported suspicious behavior by the imams before a flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix last year. The imams were taken off the plane in Minneapolis for behavior that included loud chanting, cursing the United States, and praising Saddam Hussein.

Bill Buckley has a great syndicated column out today on how the global warming crusade is really getting out of hand:

The heavy condemnatory breathing on the subject of global warming outdoes anything since high moments of the Inquisition. A respectable columnist (Thomas Friedman of The New York Times) opened his essay last week by writing, "Sometimes you read something about this administration that's just so shameful it takes your breath away."

CBS, NBC attack industry for poor performance though travelers do not.

The April 3 edition of "The Early Show" reported on the fallout from the Supreme Court decision regarding EPA regulatory policies. Business correspondent Anthony Mason featured auto industry analyst John Casesa who claimed it "will force Detroit auto companies to radically change their business model," but there was no mention of the potential cost to the consumer.