Mary Mapes, the fired CBS News producer who oversaw the report which led to the Memogate scandal is out promoting her new book on the affair. Her first TV interview since being shown the door airs tomorrow morning on ABC's "Good Morning America." Here's some excerpts from the ABC preview:

In her interview with ABC News chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross, to be broadcast Wednesday morning on "Good Morning America," Mapes says she is unrepentant about her role. "I don't think I committed bad journalism. I really don't," she says.

Mapes is author of a newly-published book about the controversy, called "Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power" (St. Martin's Press). [...]

Mapes tells Ross she feels in no way responsible for what happened at CBS News in the wake of her "60 Minutes II" report.

"If you're talking about an investigation that basically gutted a news organization, and turned people one against another and made people afraid of each other, and really scooted the country's most experienced anchor out of his anchor chair, and now has the evening news casting about for some kind of format that will be zippy and new, I didn't do that. I had absolutely nothing to do with any of that," she said. [...]


CBS's The Early Show ran a positive story set in Iraq today which cast the work of American troops in a positive light and showed CSI: New York star Gary Sinise airing criticism of negative media coverage. The story by correspondent Hattie Kauffman, however, was a gimmicky plug during "CSI Week" on the Tiffany network's morning show to plug new episodes of the trio of highly-watched CBS crime dramas.

Towards the end of her report on Sinise's charity, Operation Iraqi Children, Kauffman set up Sinise's criticism of the media: "In addition to his performances on the USO tour, Sinise continues to stay in touch with the troops in Iraq. From them, he hears the good news that he complains is overlooked in press coverage."

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Sinise: "I get another side of the story that we don't hear through the media, and it's, you know, more positive things happening than you would think."

Kauffman agreed: "The news reports are a bomb, a car bomb, a suicide bomb."

Sinise continued: "It's always about a bomb or a suicide bomber or somebody getting killed. And, of course, that's dramatic and all of that. But on a day-to-day basis, there's a lot of improvement. There's a lot of hope. There's a lot of kids that are going to school that never got to do that before."


The CBS News producer who attempted to start a wine label called Jesus Juice while he was covering the Michael Jackson trial is beginning to backtrack after his activities were exposed.


Brian Montopoli at Public Eye, the media blog for CBSNews.com, today notes that the left-leaning reaches of the blogosphere are virtually ignoring the riots in Paris which have continued unabated for nearing two weeks now. After excerpting some conservative blogger commentary on the troubles in France, Montopoli closes:


A CBS producer who led the network's coverage of the recent Michael Jackson trial has been marketing a brand of wine under the label "Jesus Juice," complete with a logo of a Christ figure sporting a Jacksonesque red glove, fedora hat, white socks, and penny loafers

NewsBusters.org has learned that Bruce Rheins, a high-level producer for such shows as the "CBS Evening News", and his wife, Dawn Westlake, began preparations for their marketing campaign while the Jackson case was still in court, registering a U.S. trademark for the words "Jesus Juice" in January of 2004, days after word got out that Jackson referred to wine by that term in allegedly attempting to seduce young boys.

A year later, the couple registered (under Westlake's name) the web domain JesusJuice.biz, apparently with the intent of partnering with a wine maker to create a product line bearing the Jesus Juice name, in a partnership or by purchasing the trademark.


The MSM has provided a fair amount of coverage today of the "pirate" attempt to hijack a cruise ship off the coast of Somalia. But most, if not all, of the MSM outlets have refused to identify the "pirates" [and their leader Mohamed Abdi Hassan] as Islamic terrorists.  "Pirate" has joined "bomber," "militant," "insurgent," and "freedom fighter" as a euphemism for "Islamic terrorist." 


An hour before that anti-war ER scene, the wife noticed this, and so did the Catholic League:


Filling up at the pump is costing less and less each day – 45 cents per gallon less since its post Rita peak of $2.94 as of October 30. Despite that huge drop, all three broadcast networks have reported on rising or high gas prices four times as often as falling prices. Here are some of the key results:

  • ABC the Worst: ABC mentioned falling gas prices only once out of 11 reports and that was only after three straight weeks of price declines.


Eight days ago, Steve Gilliard, a liberal blogger critical of Lt. Governor Michael Steele (R-MD), a black conservative seeking the Republican senatorial nomination in his state, altered a photograph of the candidate to portray a minstrel in blackface, and accompanied it with the caption, "I's Simple Sambo and I's running for the Big House."

[Gilliard has since removed his original artwork, but blogger Charles Bird saved the image before Gilliard took it down and documents it on redstate.org, a conservative team blog.]

Understandably, this set off a storm in the blogosphere, with many conservative and some liberal bloggers decrying the racist post as beyond the pale. As I blogged last week, even the Washington Post reported it in their Metro section. Well, the story has evolved a bit more. While the Maryland Democratic Party also issued a statement criticizing it, lately, some elected Maryland Democrats including a white Democrat vying for Governor, have excused the attack on Steele as valid owing to Steele's affiliation with the GOP.

So far there has been no coverage of this new development in the mainstream broadcast media.


As NewsBusters reported Wednesday evening, a new CBS News poll pegged President Bush’s job approval rating at 35 percent. Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics posted an analysis of this poll’s methodology at his blog last evening (hat tip from a NewsBusters reader named “Jsemby.”) What his figures show is that CBS polled 46% more Democrats in its weighted sample than Republicans:  

New CBS News poll out tonight. Highlights:

·      Bush job approval at all time low of 35%

·      Bush favorable rating at 33%

·      Right track 27%, wrong track 68%

·      Congress job approval 34%

·      Congressional Dem favorable rating 41%, Congressional Republican favorable rating 35%

Now for the numbers behind the numbers. Take a look at the composition of the respondents:


The broadcast network morning shows did segments today concerning yesterday’s surprise “closed session” in the Senate demanded by Democratic minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada).


Mary Mapes, the former CBS News producer who became famous for her involvement in a “60 Minutes II” segment last year concerning President Bush’s involvement in the Air National Guard, had an excerpt of her upcoming book, “Truth and Duty,” printed in the December issue of Vanity Fair.

An Editor and Publisher article published last evening stated the following:

“Mapes writes that she had felt the Guard segment was a big success after airing on Sept. 8, 2004, until the following morning at 11 a.m. when she learned that a bunch of ‘far-right’ Web sites were claiming that documents were forged.

"That same day about 3 p.m. she recalls staring at the Drudge Report and seeing a big picture of Rather at the top and a headline saying that he was ‘shaken’ and hiding in his office. The phone rang and it was Rather, telling her he'd just heard about the Drudge deadline and he wanted to assure her that he was not 'shaken' and was not hiding out.

"He signed off with a favorite expression of his: ‘FEA’ for ‘---- them all.’"