FNC’s Brit Hume on Monday night picked up on how, in trying to smear Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito as a bigot, Senator Ted Kennedy, in a quote showcased by many media outlets, read from what was really a satire. Hume noted how at the hearings last week Kennedy read this from a magazine published by Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP): “People nowadays just don't seem to know their place. Everywhere one turns, blacks and Hispanics are demanding jobs simply because they're black and Hispanic.” Hume informed his viewers: “But the magazine's editor at the time says the article was pure satire, a send-up of what liberals think conservatives think. He added quote, 'I think left-wing groups have been feeding Senator Kennedy snippets and he has been mindlessly reciting them,' unquote." As Tim Graham noted in a Friday NewsBusters item, in his ABCNews.com blog that day, Jake Tapper first reported how Dinesh D’Souza, the editor to whom Hume referred, had let him know that the 1983 piece in Prospect magazine was satire.

Last week, NBC, CNN and the Washington Post -- amongst many other outlets -- highlighted Kennedy’s reading of the quote, which he displayed on a board behind him, yet none, as far as I’ve observed, have offered any clarification. NBC’s Pete Williams featured the Kennedy soundbite on Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News and Thursday’s Today; CNN’s Bob Franken recited it himself on Thursday’s American Morning; and two Thursday Washington Post stories quoted Kennedy’s citation of the quote. (Rundown follows.)



Does President Bush resemble Adolf Hitler and Satan? That seemed to be the implication during the 9am half hour of CNN's American Morning. A protester wearing a George W. Bush mask, complete with a colored in Hitler-esque mustache and red horns attached to the forehead was deemed a Bush "look-alike" by reporter Susan Roesgen. In her report on how the bureaucracy at FEMA is delaying federal funds for rebuilding New Orleans, Roesgen highlighted a group of female Catholic school students demonstrating for money to repair the city's levees. The students, as Roesgen noted, "hoped the President would stop by" the protest.  It was then that the demonstrator wearing the Bush mask was highlighted on camera, while Roesgen narrated, "But while a look-alike showed up with a wad of cash, Mr. Bush did not." The "wad of cash" in the demonstrator's hand was actually several phony dollar bills mocking the Bush administration.

Susan Roesgen: "City officials aren’t the only ones wondering when federal money will materialize. Catholic school girls marched on Jackson Square. They and their teachers say more money is needed to fix the levees, and they hoped the President would stop by after his meeting with business leaders. But while a look-alike showed up with a wad of cash, Mr. Bush did not." Real Player or Windows Media

A transcript of the full report follows below.



Closing out a slow news week on CNN’s American Morning today, anchor Miles O’Brien couldn’t resist taking a potshot at the Iraq war. O’Brien was discussing singer Willie Nelson’s brand of alternative fuel, "BioWillie," with co-host Carol Costello shortly before 6:30 am. Costello noted that Nelson views his product as an anti-war statement, "He says, why not grow--grow our own fuel, instead of starting wars over it?" In response, O’Brien quipped, "Well, then, we’d have to invade Nebraska. Get the corn, right?"

The transcript of the brief exchange follows below.



CNN’s promotion of Cindy Sheehan's anti-war crusade continued on today’s American Morning. During the show’s Top Five in ‘05 segment, anchor Carol Costello profiled ‘The Peace Mom’ who "forced the nation and President Bush to take a long, hard look at the war," as number three in their countdown. And while a billion Catholics worldwide may disagree, CNN actually ranked Sheehan’s "national movement" and "worldwide spectacle" higher than the legacy of one of the most influential religious leaders of our time, Pope John Paul II, number four on American Morning’s list.

During the mostly fluff piece on Sheehan and her "fight," one line was particularly laughable. Costello asserted, "Love Cindy Sheehan or loathe her, the one thing that was almost impossible to do in 2005 was to ignore her." CNN helped make that possible, thanks to their constant coverage of Sheehan's every move from Crawford to D.C. to her most recent trip to Britain, as reported by Newsbusters.

A full transcript from the 9:45 am segment follows below.



Friday’s American Morning on CNN featured an interview session with two members of a Cleveland-area Marine reserve unit just back from Iraq who outlined how their one-on-one experience with Iraqi people showed the situation isn’t nearly as hopeless as the media portray it. Miles O'Brien set up the segment: "The story we get out of Iraq on a daily basis, whether it's through politicians or through the media, is generally a story which doesn't paint a rosy picture of the situation there. A couple of Marines who are just back from some very difficult duty in Iraq would like to tell you a little different story.” Corporal Stan Mayer relayed how “we saw a lot of transformation in the towns we went into. They really kind of, they got a lot safer, we got a lot more smiles after we spent enough time in a certain area." O'Brien pressed: "The big picture analysis here is that, that, militarily, this is a -- it may not be a war that the U.S. can win. Do you disagree with that?" Corporal Jeff Schuller shot back: "Definitely."

Doing a search on Yahoo News, I discovered how CNN found them: They were the focus of a Monday Christian Science Monitor story which reported that “soldiers clearly feel that important elements are being left out of the media's overall verdict” on Iraq. Focusing on the 3/25 Marine unit, reporter Mark Sappenfield traveled to Brook Park, Ohio and found that “amid the terrible scenes of reckless hate and lives lost, many members of one of the hardest-hit units insist that they saw at least the spark of progress” and that “their conversation could be a road map of the kind of stories that military folks say the mainstream media are missing.” Sappenfield relayed how “the Iraq of Corporal Mayer's memory is not solely a place of death and loss. It is also a place of hope. It is the hope of the town of Hit, which he saw transform from an insurgent stronghold to a place where kids played on Marine trucks. It is the hope of villagers who whispered where roadside bombs were hidden. But most of all, it is the hope he saw in a young Iraqi girl who loved pens and Oreo cookies.” (Full transcript of CNN's segment follows as well as an excerpt from the CSM article.)



It’s the Poor Innocent Consumer vs. Big Bad Oil, with a side of Politicians to the Rescue.



Within seconds of President Bush finishing his announcement of Samuel Alito as the nominee to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court, the CNN “American Morning” team was ready to attack and criticize this decision (video links to follow).



     From television to newspapers, the media have gone wild over oil companies’ profit reports this week, asking “how much is too much?” 



An interesting contrast occurred on the morning shows regarding ExxonMobil’s record high quarterly earnings. Over at CNN’s American Morning, Miles O’Brien and Andy Serwer fretted over ExxonMobil’s announcement, with O’Brien declaring it the, “outrage moment of the morning.” Meanwhile, Good Morning America’s financial contributor Mellody Hobson explained how the profits were a result of supply and demand.



On CNN’s American Morning, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was quick to attach the “very conservative” label to possible Supreme Court nominees Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and Michael Luttig. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, however, Toobin deems to be “a lot more politically appealing.”



During an appearance on CNN's American Morning, Al Franken repeated once more his "joke" that Karl Rove and Lewis Libby will "definitely be executed" for their involvement in the CIA leak investigation. When asked by substitute host Zain Verjee during the 8:20 am interview about the investigation, Franken maintained that Rove and Libby had committed treason.

Zain Verjee: "So you, you and your other liberal friends really salivating the prospect of seeing an indictment here?"

Al Franken: "Well–"



While the House of Representatives was getting serious about legal reform, CNN was calling it “silly” and other TV news outlets ignored it.

The House passed the “cheeseburger bill” October 19 – a bill that makes people, not the food industry, responsible for consequences of their eating habits. The bill passed 307 to 119 and will go to the Senate.