As NewsBusters reported Saturday, Neal Gabler implied on FNC's "Fox News Watch" that he wanted the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol to go to Iraq and be killed so that he could attend the conservative writer's funeral.

On Monday, FNC's John Gibson took issue with Gabler's despicable comments during his radio program, calling Gabler a "lowlife," and "a coward" because "he will not come on the air to defend the things he says."

But that was just the beginning (audio available here courtesy our friend Johnny Dollar):



Matching the theme of NBC Nightly News from the evening before, the Today show on Friday morning portrayed Republican Senator John Warner's call for 5,000 troops to return home by Christmas as “a major defection” and “sharp rebuke” to President Bush, but to the astonishment of co-host Matt Lauer, who described Warner as “a pretty heavy domino” falling against Bush, guest Bill Kristol rejected the media's presumptions about the importance of Warner's stand. On Thursday, NBC anchor Brian Williams had hailed a possible “turning point in the debate over America's involvement in Iraq” because of “a major defection from President Bush's camp.” (NB rundown of Thursday night hype of Warner) Friday morning, Andrea Mitchell echoed Williams as she trumpeted “a major defection from the most authoritative Republican Senator on all things military. It is a sharp rebuke to the President” from “the Senate's most influential Republican on the Armed Services Committee.”

When Kristol made clear he didn't think Warner's comments were such a big deal since he remains opposed to a pull-out timetable, Lauer argued: “What about the signal it sends to moderate Republicans in Congress? You know everybody talks about some sort of large scale defection. Isn't John Warner a pretty heavy domino?” Kristol countered: “No, because it hasn't fallen. He's not going to vote against the President in September, that's the more important thing.” Turning to the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq, which Mitchell had described as “grim,” Kristol highlighted positive findings about defeating al-Qaeda, prompting an incredulous Lauer to wonder: “Are they looking at the same country that you just saw?” Lauer soon insisted: “It paints a much more pessimistic picture than you just painted for me.”