Yesterday, I reported on a new Media Research Center study that documented how the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts have aired just two unfavorable stories about Nancy Pelosi since she was elected House Minority Leader (about one every 24 months), and haven’t labeled her a “liberal” since November 14, 2002 — in spite of her hardcore liberal voting record,

Did publisher Simon & Schuster adjust its release schedule and rush into print a new book unflattering to the Bush administration to make an impact on the forthcoming mid-term elections? If the words of its author, David Kuo, are any indication, it's certainly a possibility.

In an interview today (Tuesday, October 17, 2006) on the Laura Ingraham radio show, Kuo was a guest in addition to prominent evangelical Chuck Colson. The suspicious timing of the release of Kuo's book was discussed. Here's the relevant exchange:

KUO: Maybe if I'm Laura Ingraham or Chuck Colson, I get to choose when my book comes out. As you guys know, someone else decides when that happens.

INGRAHAM: So you had no control over that. None.

KUO: If you look at my contract, when the book is released (sic), it's not when the book was released. All that being said (long 3-second pause) No, what I'm saying is, look - the contract that I signed was for the book to be released in early 2007.

At the end of Sunday's 60 Minutes, Andy Rooney expressed bafflement over why anyone would worry about a nuclear weapon in the hands of a communist tyrant: “I don't understand why we think it's okay for us to have a nuclear weapon, but it isn't okay for some other countries to have any.” And he went on to assert a very naive and dangerous view: “I don't think any country should have nuclear weapons. And that includes ours.” Noting how many “are in a tizzy” over North Korea's nuclear weapon test, Rooney rued that “we're a little late getting exercised about this. North Korea has always been more of a threat to world peace than Iraq ever was and if we were going to attack someone three years ago to make the world safer, we should have attacked North Korea, not Iraq.”

He then rationalized how “it's not hard to understand why North Korea wants the bomb. If we Americans lived in North Korea instead of here, do you think we'd be in favor of our little country having it? You're darn right we would.” Rooney acknowledged that the UN has “been an ineffectual organization,” but contended that's why “we've got to give it more power and the way to give it more power is to give it more responsibility,” so though a minute earlier he suggested the U.S. should have attacked North Korea instead of Iraq, he argued “the UN should take the bomb away from North Korea; we should not.”

Tonight's 60 Minutes will feature Mike Wallace's interview with Bob Woodward about Woodward's new book, State of Denial, full of charges of Bush administration misdeeds.

Is NBC News the publicity agency for CBS News? While Thursday's CBS Evening News had nothing on Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's new book, for which he sat for an interview with Mike Wallace set to air on this Sunday's 60 Minutes, the NBC Nightly News led with the “explosive new book” about the Bush administration's “deception” on Iraq.

In a profile of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice which led Sunday's 60 Minutes, Katie Couric explained how Rice “rejects the notion that the U.S. is a bully, imposing its values on the world.” CBS then ran a soundbite from Rice as she sat a few feet in front of Couric: “What's wrong with assistance so that people can have their full and complete right to the very liberties and freedoms that we enjoy?” To which, Couric retorted by inserting one of her kids into the story: “To quote my daughter, 'Who made us the boss of them?'” (Couric has two daughters, one a teen and the other a tween, I believe.) Couric followed up: “You have said that your goal was, quote, 'To leave the world not just safer but better.' Right now Iraq doesn't seem safer, Iran and North Korea have not fallen into line. Do you honestly believe that the world is safer now?”

Earlier in the segment, Rice asserted about the Iraq war that “the idea that somehow because the intelligence was wrong, we were misleading the American people, I really resent that.” Rice's lack of guilt seemingly astonished Couric: “Really? Because that's what so many people think.” At least “so many” in Couric's Manhattan news media orbit.

In his commentary at the end on Sunday's 60 Minutes, the day before the five year mark since 9/11, Andy Rooney noted that “we're trying to protect ourselves with more weapons,” a policy with which he only grudgingly agreed as he lamented, “we have to do it I guess.” Then, however, he suggested the fault for terrorism lies with American behavior, not the murderous ideology of terrorists who want to destroy Western democratic culture: “But might be better if we figured out how to behave as a nation in a way that wouldn't make so many people in the world want to kill us." By that reasoning, during the Cold War should the U.S. have adopted policies meant to appease the Soviets? Rooney delivered his remarks on the season premiere of the program (delayed in the EDT/CDT zones by tennis for nearly a half hour) which gave two of the show's three segments to Katie Couric's piece on World Trade Center first responders who are suffering from the air they inhaled. (Transcript follows)

Video clip (25 secs): Real (700 KB) or Windows Media (800 KB), plus MP3 audio (135 KB)

Looks like CBS got itself a two-fer. Katie's not just an anchor - she's a comedian, too!

The highlight of her extended interview with Harry Smith on this morning's Early Show, touting her debut on tonight's CBS Evening News, was her claim that what the "old media" has to offer in contrast with the new media is . . . "integrity and standards."

Couric is apparently a jokester of the deadpan school, managing to get off the line without dissolving into guffaws. This from the woman about to take over the illustrious Dan Rather Forged Document Chair, named in honor of the hoax perpetrated by the old media and peremptorily exposed by that lacking-in-integrity new media. Is the irony lost on Katie that the opening for her job occured because Dan Rather was sacked over the exposure of his lack of integrity and standards?

This past Sunday on "60 Minutes," CBS correspondent Byron Pitts interviewed New Orleans Mayor, Ray Nagin, about New Orleans’ recovery since hurricane Katrina. Pitts’ hit Nagin with statements full of hyperbole, claiming there are "few visible signs of recovery" in New Orleans, and that there is "tons of debris still scattered about," yet, Pitts offered little in the way of facts and figures to back up his claims.

Has CBS's Mike Wallace gotten soft in his old age? His usual knock-out style was nowhere to be found during his interview with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, writes in the New York Sun:

CBS's Mike Wallace spent a half-hour of network air time with Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and some of his questions were tough, about Hezbollah violence and Holocaust denial and the Iranian leader's desire to wipe Israel off the map.

60 Minutes contributor Mike Wallace engaged in a heart-to-heart with the man who says Israeli should be "wiped off the map" and the holocaust was a "myth."