The broadcast networks and CNN on Monday morning trumpeted the vigil outside of President Bush's Texas ranch by a virulent Bush-hater, but didn't really fully convey her hatred. NBC's Katie Couric showcased her at the top of Today: “And a mother's vigil. Her son died in Iraq.

Political news often lacks the sizzle and spice that morning shows desire. It's hard to hold good ratings if you dwell on the meat and potatoes of public policy that is fairly complex. But everyone understands an allegedly corrupt Democratic congressman getting busted by the feds.

In 2003, Mike Paranzino, a conservative activist, organized in response to the Tiffany Network planning to air a horrendously biased (not to mention poorly acted) miniseries on Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Paranzino and others were successful in getting CBS to drop-kick the dramatic monstrosity to a sister cable network Showtime.

Fast forward to today, and CBS and Paranzino again cross paths, but this time on more amicable terms.

When is a baby a baby? Apparently for the media not when in the womb, even if that child is "planned and wanted" as former Clinton Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders was wont of saying. Reporting on the recent birth of Susan Anne Catherine Torres, the daughter of Virginia woman Susan Torres, who suffered a stroke resulting in brain death in May, CBS Early Show correspondents used medical jargon to refer to baby Susan when she was as yet unborn:

The Early Show
3 August 2005 (Wednesday)

Ken, it's sad to see coverage of embryonic stem cell research in general, which often omits is that the embryo is currently destroyed before the stem cells can be extracted. All the sympathy is expended on the Cody Unsers, who we recognize as fully human, but the embryos don't even have a cute ultrasound picture to show us they're fully human.

CBS's The Early Show this week offered balance in its treatment of embryonic stem cell research in its two part series, "Two Faces of Hope," but came short of fully delivering. Monday's installment by Hattie Kauffman centered on Cody Unser, a paralyzed stem cell research advocate, with no critics allowed talking head time to cast doubt on the promise of embryonic stem cell research. Tuesday's mostly positive portrayal of frozen embryo adoption by correspondent Tracy Smith, however, featured a critic of embryo adoption, as well as Smith asking her story's subjects, J.J. and Tracy Jones, if they had allowed their adopted son to be used as a "political pawn" at a White House event they attended in May which encouraged embryo adoption.

The Early Show once again ignored the release of a positive economic report. The NFP (Nonfarm Payroll) numbers showed decent gains for June and healthy revisions up for both April and May. After the numbers came out, TES still had time for six stories, including one about a family with a new set of identical triplets to add to their identical twins. At least TES didn't accuse the Bush administration of drafting a couple of the newborns to join the labor force.