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With a title like "Broken Government: Power Play," one could probably assume that the upcoming CNN special won’t be very fair to President Bush. But just in case there were any doubt, reporter John King appeared on Thursday’s "American Morning" to drive home the point:

Miles O’Brien: "Twelve days to the election. We're looking at the power of the presidency. A new CNN poll out this morning, we asked some people if they think the President does in fact have too much power. And like so many issues in this country, shows a lot of division among the electorate. CNN's John King is here with a preview of what's going on tonight in our 'Broken Government' series. Good morning, John."

John King: "Good morning to you, Miles. It's a fascinating subject. Many say, post-9/11, this President has crossed, stretched, some say trampled the Constitution in his pursuit of the war on terrorism. The president says whatever it takes. Some say he has busted the balance of powers, if you will, the constitutional lines. The President, of course, says no. It's one of the issues we're exploring as we look at the 'Broken Government.' He began on a very different course, a governor with a famous name who conveyed more West Texas than Washington. Compassionate conservative was his label of choice. Kinder, gentler, his promised world view. A crisp September morning suddenly changed from gorgeous to gruesome. A few whispered words in a Florida school room, transformed a presidency and a president."

How nice of CNN to offer the caveat that President Bush does, in fact, deny stretching and trampling the Constitution.



Thursday's Howard Kurtz profile of NBC Baghdad correspondent Richard Engel in the Washington Post has a real clash of perspectives.



CNN might well prove a one-network full employment plan for myself and my colleagues at the MRC's Business & Media Institute, with its ongoing attacks against the strong economy.

You might even say CNN has gone to war against it.

That's the conclusion my colleagues Amy Menefee and Julia Seymour arrived at with their October 25 article.



Reporter Carl Quintanilla followed NY Times lead in slamming housing market in a story on Home Depot's changing approach to retail.



CBS’s ad expert claimed on Thursday’s "Early Show" that the Republicans in Tennessee are playing on "racist," "Reconstruction era" fears in the Senate campaign against Democrat Harold Ford Jr.



Fire away.


Journalists aren't the hard-charging watchdogs of government that they claim to be, and the romantic notion of reporters saving our democracy is fiction, says Jack Shafer in Slate.


Terrorists in Iraq know they can rely on CNN to carry their propaganda as if it were straight news, now the Taliban is having success in placing "news" with the publicly funded British Broadcasting Corporation.

The homepage blurb makes it sound, well, official [emphasis added]:

'Civilians killed' in Nato raids Scores of civilians have been killed in Nato raids against the Taleban in southern Afghanistan, officials say.
But the true nature of the reporting only becomes clear after you click on the headline to read the story itself [emphasis added]:
Scores of civilians have been killed during Nato operations against Taleban fighters in southern Afghanistan, local officials and civilians say.


Democrats are "bombing" the Google News site in order to ensure that any news about 50 Republican candidates will go to articles by left-wingers. But fortunately, the liberal activists decided to be fair and balanced, pulling some of the articles for being, according to the article, "too partisan."

Reports the New York Times:



The Times jumps into the liberal-inspired brouhaha over the RNC's supposedly racist TV ad against Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr., who is running in Tennessee against Republican Bob Corker.

Robin Toner gets Thursday's front page with "In Tight Race, Ad on Black Candidate Stirs Furor." The online headline is even blunter: "Ad Seen as Playing to Racial Fears."

"The Tennessee Senate race, one of the most competitive and potentially decisive battles of the midterm election, became even more unpredictable this week after a furor over a Republican television commercial that stood out even in a year of negative advertising.



Hollywood has always been run by those on the left, but before the 60's and 70's, executives knew that their films had to appeal to mainstream America. That all changed when Hollywood decided to no longer censor itself, and directors got a free reign to turn movies into left-wing advocacy films. As a result, Hollywood has suffered ever since, with more empty theater seats every year.

It's gotten so bad that famed director George Lucas no longer thinks that making big-budget movies is even a viable business model.



Just as we figured, a liberal was behind the first published leaks of the Mark Foley emails. The New York Times, amazingly enough, broke this story.

But the headline writers at the Times couldn't bring themselves to inform readers of the politics of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group that is very liberal on issues not pertaining to sexuality, and the former employer of the still-anonymous individual who started the blog stopsexpredators.blogspot.com.

It's also worth noting that not a single Republican or conservative media figure is quoted in the story denouncing Democrats for their personal attacks or gutter politics, something the Times certainly would have done had a Democrat been the victim. (HT: several readers.)


Just in time for election season, Time magazine’s Joe Klein went on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country Tuesday to give Americans a heapin’ helpin’ of some fine hypocrisy. Sorry, Jed. In the space of a couple of minutes, Klein bashed Rush Limbaugh with some (isn’t this stuff getting old?) typical drug references, castigated Vice President Dick Cheney for “[legitimizing] a guy like Rush Limbaugh,” praised Michael J. Fox’s ad for Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), and slammed the ad made in Missouri by famous athletes and actors to counter Fox’s (video link to follow). Of course, Klein also had time to praise what some Democrat candidates are doing to woo voters, while chastising Republicans for doing virtually the same thing.

The festivities started with host Joe Scarborough showing Michael J. Fox’s recent campaign ad for Claire McCaskill, then an audio clip of Rush Limbaugh’s response, and finally asking Klein for his opinion – as if the viewers couldn’t predict what Klein would say:



While some have puzzled or protested over why CBS would offer its "freeSpeech" megaphone on the Evening News to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, it shouldn't be missed that the Left has not been ignored. Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation sounded off on Bush subverting the Constitution on October 9.



Though there's a harbinger of winter in the air here in upstate New York, it didn't prepare me for the hell-freezing-over moment on this morning's 'Today' show. Matt Lauer went to bat for Rush Limbaugh.

Lauer interviewed conservative commentator Laura Ingraham and USC law prof - and Dukakis presidential campaign manager - Susan Estrich about current campaign tactics. Matt set the tone with this question, which implied that - hand-wringing notwithstanding - there's nothing unusual about the level of nastiness in this campaign season:

"A lot of people are running around all flustered right now about these negative ads, these negative comments in the final stages of the campaign. Have you seen anything lately that you haven't seen in campaigns past?"

Agreeing with Lauer's premise, Laura pointed out that there is a time-honored tradition of negative campaigning in America going right back to the Adams-Jefferson campaign of 1796.

When Matt moved to the Fox/Rush matter, I assumed he was going to jump on the Dem/MSM Rush-bashing bandwagon. Instead, in a display of admirable equanimity Lauer observed: