Saturday, September 09, 2006

Extra entry

From the previous entry:

Here's Mazzeti's version of coverage, half of paragraph five and all of six:

But one report did contradict the administration's assertion made before the war and since, that ties between Mr. Zarqawi and Mr. Hussein's government provided evidence of a close relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
As recently as Aug. 21 Presdeint Bush said at a news conference that Mr. Hussein "had relations with Zarqawi." But a C.I.A. report completed in October 2005 concluded instead that Mr. Hussein's government "did not have a relationship, harbor or even turn a blind eye toward Zarqwi and his associates," according to the new Senate findings.

And it was concluded before then as well and it was called out yesterday by Carl Levin but Mazzeti seems to suffer from David Gregory Disease -- chief sympton: irrational hatred for Democrats which leads not only to on air siding with Republicans but repeating their spin. [See next entry for that.]

The following originally appeared in it but as one phone call turned into five, the sidebar grew. For the record, five friends at CBS called to complain. Members who had complained and gotten a reply were told that I'd address it in my column in Polly's Brew tomorrow. We're going to address it now because the first friend to call pulled in a marker.

Here's the section pulled so that the focus in the previous entry would remain on the fact, FACT, that there was no link between Saddam Huseein and al-Qaeda.

If that's confusing to anyone, David Gregory Disease -- as Mike pointed out, having neither breasts or a vagina, Gregory gets a pass from critics and watchdogs -- including one woman who made an IDIOT out of herself with her little chuckle at Katie Couric Friday. Considering that the program can't appear to find Iraq with both hands and a seeing eye dog, maybe next time she needs a chuckle, she can look in the mirror?

But here's one example on David Gregory: The Price of Loyalty by Ron Suskind caused a panic in the adminstration. They falsely slimed Paul O'Neill and suggested that the documents used in Suskind's book were taken. A day before the book's official release, Stretch was on air repeating those charges, if not the facts.

Many people had the book before the official release date (I had it before the official release date).

Gregory could have contacted the publisher's for a statement or a copy (he did neither). If he had, he would have been steered viewers to page viii of the introduction which clearly states that papers were released to O'Neill by the Treasury Department on CD-ROMs. (Couric, the object of the witch's cackle yesterday, would be the one left to correct the record for NBC the next day on Today in an interview with Suskind and and O'Neill.) Again, one call would have steered Gregory to that page. Instead he was happy to repeat Republican spin. When Snow Job dared to suggest that Gregory recycled "Democratic talking points" this week, Gregory had a melt down. Not "spin," mind you, but "talking points."

So point, Carl Levin was right but, in the Times, we're not supposed to note it.

On the witch's cackle. At the request of a friend who's been with CBS News for some time the following is being noted here. If that program wants to be taken seriously as a watchdog, their CBS bias needs to be addressed. Over the summer, they also felt the need to slime Bob Schieffer. I don't care for Schieffer, I never have. But if you're going to raise some personal lawsuit, you better follow it. When you raise it, you better tie it in and you better follow it up after. If you don't, it looks like a cheap shot.

So did the witch's cackle. It was a cackle over the fact that CBS Evening News showed the photos of Tom Cruise and Katie Holems with their child. Like it or not, it was news. The New York Times has written of the controversy (stirred the controversy?) that the absence of photos had created. Now possibly, CBS News could have been as "professional" as the cackler's program which aired a comedy clip? Is that news?

A summer without Iraq, is that news? Don't offer up an interview about press spin that touched on Iraq -- that's not covering Iraq. The Bully Boy's campaign strategy for the November Congressional elections is to steer everyone away from talking about Iraq. Fortunatley for him, independent media dropped Iraq this summer.

So here's hint before the next witch's cackle: When you interview a Mother Jones' reporter about Chris Hedges being burned by TWO sources for a story (one linking Saddam Hussein to 9-11), you ask who the second source was? If your a damn watch dog, you ask that question. The second source has never been revealed and you're own BIAS is on display when you won't tackle that question while claiming to be an uninhibited watchdog.

If you think a cackle belongs on a broadcast, you've got serious problems. Community members know the program I'm speaking of. If it continues to shirk its responsibilities, we'll not it by name here. But when a friend calls and says, "I'm calling in a marker" (words I've used myself many times), we will note it here and we will add to it by noting that the program that felt the need to eulogize Peter Jennings (he met with them to hear their points -- blessed be) should have been able to spare a few minutes to dissect the nonsense that was Peter Jennings Reporter. If you're so fond of Peter Jennings that you need to take a look back at him (while ignoring John H. Johnson, among others who pass), than possibly when ABC betrays what you say Jennings stood for with a laughable, embarrassing special, you need to have a comment?

But ABC and NBC don't get raked over the coals the way CBS does. And the witch's cackle was just the latest example. If they want to be the CBS watchdog, they need to bill themselves as that. If they want to be a media watchdog, they need to find some fairness in their coverage. That means holding everyone equally responsible and that doesn't mean you praise Chris Hedges for naming ONE of TWO sources for a story falsely linking Saddam Hussein and 9-11. Nor does it mean that when you have a Washington Post story revealing Dexter Filkins as the go-to-guy by the US military when they want to plant a questionable story that you reduce that to a headline as opposed to a serious explanation.

Should they wonder why their action alerts are so often ignored, one reason is their bias is so often remarked upon. The Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and their child photos were a story because the media had made them a story. Snickering over the airing of the photos when you have no coverage of Iraq for the entire summer to point to is making a joke of yourself. Get serious.

And there have been four more calls so this will probably be pulled for its own entry. But one point noted is that the Katie Couric patrol (it's a huge patrol -- made up by many) has REMAINED silent on the issue of Charlie Gibson. To read and hear all the jaw boning, only Couric moved from daytime show to evening news. That's not quite reality. But then the silence that greeted the demotion of a pregnant woman and the demotion of a man injured in Iraq to make room for Gibson's apparently big ass (it needs to fill two anchor chairs and not one) wasn't reality either.

The program can offer all the witch's cackle it chooses to. But as long as it does and as long as it continues to hold CBS News to one standard (higher) and the rest to another (lesser), the last laugh won't be the witch's cackle. If they want to have influence, they might want to consider checking their own bias at the door.

Was it just friends at CBS "whining"? I didn't think so because I listen to the program. I called a friend in the suites at cable news and one who produces for another network. "Who does the program really go after?" CBS. Whether they intend that to be the impression they leave or not, it is the one left and it's left outside of CBS. "They go to town on Bob [Schieffer]!" said cable (who dislikes Schieffer almost as much as I do).

If they can tear themselves away from their I-Hate-CBS-News fan club (difficult, granted, because they really appear to have it in for Katie Couric), they might want to attempt to tell their listeners about the US military keeping a body count of Iraqis. It's interesting how that story was ignored in June when Nancy A. Yousseff and now, as the Pentagon's reports are cited, we're all pretending like the claim of no body counts was ever made.

Our focus is Iraq these days. This entry had to be done when someone called in a marker. So this is an extra entry today. I will do two more and Ruth's finishing her report which ideally will go up after Laura Flanders' show tonight. (If not, I should have left the house two hours ago so it may go up tomorrow.) One is a visual. And Isaiah has a comic for tomorrow for those wondering. (A new one.)

No tags, I'm trying to get done this morning as quickly as possible but between Mazzetti's 'reporting' and the phone calls, I'm running way behind.

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