Wednesday, 29 August 2007

DO THEY REALLY HATE US?

Ken Berwitz

 

Does the world hate us?

 

If you believe mainstream media, the answer is unequivocally yes.  How many polls have you been shown over the Bush years that "prove" the USA is despised just about everywhere on the planet?  So it must be true, right?

 

Well, not so fast.  There are factors that argue against this premise. 

 

One of them, of course, is immigation.  There are vastly more people from more places trying to get in to the USA than trying to get out of it.  Or, put another way, "immigration is the sincerest form of flattery".

 

Another - and one which media have largely ignored in their doom and gloom reports - is that a succession of democracies around the world have, in the past few years, elected the most pro-USA candidate available.  These include the UK (Tony Blair), Australia (John Howard), Japan (Shinzo Abe), Canada (Stephen Harper), Germany (Angela Merkel) and, most recently, Nicolas Sarkozy (France).  

 

In every one of those countries, voters had a choice of at least one major candidate who was less pro-USA;  sometimes a lot less pro-USA..  But all were rejected in favor of the candidate most likely to work well with the USA under President Bush. 

 

Does that not put the lie to this nonsense about how much we're hated?   I would think so.

 

Yesterday, French Prime Minister Sarkozy made the following statement, which I am reprinting, courtesy of www.ynetnews.com.  Please read it and see how it does or does not jibe with the so-called anti-USA stance:. 

 

.

France's Sarkozy raises prospect of Iran airstrikes

 

In his first major foreign policy speech, French president says diplomatic push by world's powers to rein in Tehran's nuclear program is only alternative to "Iranian bomb or bombing of Iran'

 

Reuters

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday a diplomatic push by the world's powers to rein in Tehran's nuclear program was the only alternative to "an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran."

 

In his first major foreign policy speech, Sarkozy emphasized his existing foreign policy priorities, such as opposing Turkish membership of the European Union and pushing for a new Mediterranean Union that he hopes will include Ankara.

 

He also presented some new ideas, such as possibly renewing high-level dialogue with Syria and expanding the Group of Eight industrialized nations to include the biggest developing states.

 

Sarkozy said a nuclear-armed Iran would be unacceptable and that major powers should continue their policy of incrementally increasing sanctions against Tehran while being open to talks if Iran suspended nuclear activities.

 

"This initiative is the only one that can enable us to escape an alternative that I say is catastrophic: the Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran," he said, adding that it was the worst crisis currently facing the world.

 

Tehran says it only wants to generate electricity but it has yet to convince the world's most powerful countries that it is not secretly pursuing nuclear weapons

 

Sarkozy criticized Russia for its dealings on the international stage. "Russia is imposing its return on the world scene by using its assets, notably oil and gas, with a certain brutality," he said.

 

"When one is a great power, one should not be brutal."

 

Energy disputes between Russia and neighbors such as Belarus and Ukraine have raised doubts in Europe about Moscow's reliability as a gas exporter. It supplies Europe, via its neighbors, with around a quarter of its gas demands.

 

Sarkozy had warm words for the United States, saying friendship between the two countries was important. But he said he felt free to disagree with American policies, highlighting what he called a lack of leadership on the environment.

 

Franco-Syrian dialogue

Breaking with the policy of his predecessor Jacques Chirac, Sarkozy said he was prepared to hold high-level talks with Syria if it backed French efforts aimed at ending the political crisis in Lebanon. "If Damascus committed itself to this path, then the conditions for a Franco-Syrian dialogue would be in place."

 

But he stuck to his predecessor's stance in demanding that a timeline be drawn up for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

 

Sarkozy said the only option for Turkey's accession talks with the European Union was a form of privileged partnership short of EU membership, and said he wanted a Mediterranean Union to take shape next year.

 

 

Turkey has said that project should not be an alternative to Ankara joining the European Union.

 

Sarkozy proposed setting up a "committee of wise men" to consider the future of Europe, including the Turkish question.

 

He criticized Beijing's management of its currency, which he says is too low and gives it an unfair advantage on export markets. He said China and other developing powers Mexico, South Africa, Brazil and India should eventually join the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations to become the G13. .

 

Does that sound like a head of state who dislikes or distrusts the USA?  Not to me it doesn't.

 

To me, it sounds like a man who certainly has his own opinions, some of which coincide with those of the USA and some of which do not.  But one who sees this as an entirely normal part of the give-and-take between friendly nations with strong alliances.

 

And so it goes around the world.  Yes, there are countries which differ with us on policy - Iraq and otherwise.  But do they hate us?  No.  Do their people hate us?  Not if the voters of those major countries are any indication.

 

Reality is what it is.  And the reality here is far more positive for us than what is being force-fed by our media.


CUT-&-RUNSEQUENCES

Ken Berwitz

Interested in finding out what happens if the USA implements the Democratic cut and run strategy for Iraq?

Courtesy of Reuters, I'll let Iran's head of state tell you in his own words:.

Iran says ready to fill vacuum in Iraq left by U.S.

By Edmund BlairTue Aug 28, 5:04 PM ET

Iran is ready to fill a vacuum in Iraq caused by the collapsing power of the United States, its president said on Tuesday.

"The political power of the occupiers (of Iraq) is being destroyed rapidly and very soon we will be witnessing a great power vacuum in the region," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.

"We, with the help of regional friends and the Iraqi nation, are ready to fill this void." Saudi Arabia was one of the countries Iran was ready to work with, he said.

The U.S. military accuses the Islamic Republic of arming and training militias behind some of the violence in Iraq. Iran rejects the charge and blames the presence of U.S. forces, numbering about 162,000, for the violence.

In a two-hour news conference, Ahmadinejad also rejected reports Iran had slowed nuclear work, which the West fears is aimed at making atom bombs, and said it would respond if Washington branded its Revolutionary Guards a terrorist force.

Iran, which like Iraq is majority Shi'ite Muslim, has often called on fellow Gulf states to reach a regional security pact. But Gulf Arab states, most of which are predominantly Sunnis, are suspicious of Tehran's intentions in Iraq and the region.

With Shi'ite Muslims now in power in Baghdad, ties have strengthened between Iran and Iraq since 2003, when U.S.-led forces toppled Iraq's Sunni president, Saddam Hussein, who had waged an eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s.

The region did not need countries from "thousands of kilometers away" to provide security, Ahmadinejad said, and U.S. and other forces in Iraq and Afghanistan had run out of solutions.

"TRAPPED IN A SWAMP"

"They are trapped in the swamp of their own crimes," Ahmadinejad said. "If you stay in Iraq for another 50 years nothing will improve, it will just worsen."

President George W. Bush, in a speech in Reno, Nevada, said extremist forces would be emboldened if the United States were driven out, and Iran would be left to pursue a nuclear weapon and set off an arms race.

"We will confront this danger before it is too late," Bush said, referring to attempts to isolate Iran and the imposition of economic sanctions.

"I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities." A U.S. commander said on Sunday that Iraqi Shi'ite group have received more weapons, funding and training from Iran in the past two months.

U.S. and Iranian officials have held several rounds of talks on security in Iraq since May, the most high-profile meetings since Washington cut ties with Tehran after students took U.S. diplomats hostage following the 1979 revolution.

Washington is also leading efforts to isolate Iran over its nuclear program, which it says is an attempt to build bombs under cover of a civilian program. Tehran denies the charge and says it is seeking only nuclear-generated electricity.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed two sets of sanctions on Tehran since December. Diplomats say Iran's sensitive atomic work seems to have slowed, either for fear of new steps or because of technical hitches.

But Ahmadinejad dismissed reports it was not making such fast nuclear progress. "These (reports) are not true," he said.

"I want to officially announce to you that from our viewpoint the issue of Iran's nuclear case has been closed. Today Iran is a nuclear Iran, meaning that it has the complete cycle for fuel production."

U.S. officials said this month Washington might soon name the Revolutionary Guards a foreign terrorist group, a move that would enable the United States to target the force's finances.

"It would be a joke I guess," said Ahmadinejad, himself a former Guards commander. .

A madman, a believer in the 12th Imam (please, please read up on what that means), who is committed to "wiping Israel off the face of the earth", would be happy to fill the void we are leaving.

That would make ahmadinejad the first or second most important purveyor of oil in the world.  And it would place his nuclear warheads - the ones the UN was supposed to prevent him from creating - dramatically closer to Israeli soil. 

Which, in turn, would bring the world dramatically closer to nuclear holocaust - which this nutjob probably WANTS, based on his religious zealotry. 

Actions have consequences.  Those are the consequences if we cut and run from Iraq. 

You do the math.  Try to erase the partisanship and the ad hominem attitudes, and think very, very hard about what would happen.  THEN tell me what you think about cutting and running.


CLINTON CAMPAIGN SCANDAL - HOW WILL NETWORKS COVER IT?

Ken Berwitz

How can you be surprised that there is a fundraising scandal brewing in the Hillary Clinton campaign?  Unless you support Hillary Clinton unconditionally (and there are a lot of people who do), you know the Clintons have their hands into anything and everything that generates money - and legality never seems to be a concern. 

You are probably aware of  their sorry history of selling everything that didn't move in the White House. 

You are probably also aware of their deep connection to the John Huang/Maria Hsia/Lippo group crowd in return for favors, some of which we know about and, almost certainly, others that we do not.  You know that Hillary Clinton lied about the $100,000 she made in cattle futures.  You know that she lied about not having the billing records from the Rose Law firm that - wonder of wonders - turned up in her LIVING QUARTERS in the White House.  Etc. etc. etc. etc.

So while network news, the Today show and the other usual suspects obsess over whether Senator Larry Craig is or is not gay, I wonder if they'll find time to discuss the Clintons' latest campaign finance scandal - this one involving Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

It's not like there is a complete blackout:  The Wall Street Journal published a report stating that there is an uncomfortable and probably unsavory connection between campaign contributions from the Paw family and a very aggressive, very prolific fundraiser named Norman Hsu.  Here is the relevant excerpt from the WSJ:.

Big Source of Clinton's Cash Is an Unlikely Address

Family's Donations Closely Track Those Of Top Fund-Raiser

By BRODY MULLINS
August 28, 2007; Page A3

DALY CITY, Calif. -- One of the biggest sources of political donations to Hillary Rodham Clinton is a tiny, lime-green bungalow that lies under the flight path from San Francisco International Airport.

Six members of the Paw family, each listing the house at 41 Shelbourne Ave. as their residence, have donated a combined $45,000 to the Democratic senator from New York since 2005, for her presidential campaign, her Senate re-election last year and her political action committee. In all, the six Paws have donated a total of $200,000 to Democratic candidates since 2005, election records show.

That total ranks the house with residences in Greenwich, Conn., and Manhattan's Upper East Side among the top addresses to donate to the Democratic presidential front-runner over the past two years, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of donations listed with the Federal Election Commission.

It isn't obvious how the Paw family is able to afford such political largess. Records show they own a gift shop and live in a 1,280-square-foot house that they recently refinanced for $270,000. William Paw, the 64-year-old head of the household, is a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service who earns about $49,000 a year, according to a union representative. Alice Paw, also 64, is a homemaker. The couple's grown children have jobs ranging from account manager at a software company to "attendance liaison" at a local public high school. One is listed on campaign records as an executive at a mutual fund.

The Paws' political donations closely track donations made by Norman Hsu, a wealthy New York businessman in the apparel industry who once listed the Paw home as his address, according to public records. Mr. Hsu is one of the top fund-raisers for Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign. He has hosted or co-hosted some of her most prominent money-raising events..

Then we have a New York Times article which tells its readers that Ms. Clinton has no intention of returning any of the money.  Here is the relevant excerpt:.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

The Clinton campaign said today that it saw no reason to return donations from two major campaign contributors whose donations, according to the Wall Street Journal, closely track one another.


The Journal reported
that a total of $200,000 in donations to Democratic committees and candidates from the Paw family of Daley City, Calif., and those of Norman Hsu, a wealthy New York businessmen who is a major Democratic donor and Clinton fund-raiser, had sometimes taken place about the same time.

The article also said the Paw family lived in a modest house and raised questions about their ability to make such large donations.

But Lawrence Barcello, an attorney for Mr. Hsu, denied any suggestions that the Paw family donations had indeed come from Mr. Hsu rather than the Paws. .

Ok.  So far this looks like there might be something going on, but it is still pretty much a fishing expedition, doesn't it?  Frankly, despite my dislike of Ms. Clinton, that is what I thought too. 

But before we just chalk this up, let's consider a third story - this time from the (solidly liberal/left) Los Angeles Times:.

Big Dem fundraiser wanted on swindling charges

The Los Angeles Times reports on this website tonight and in Wednesday's print editions that a major Democratic Party fundraiser named Norman Hsu is wanted by authorities for skipping out on an agreement to serve up to three years in prison after pleading no contest to grand theft swindling charges.

In a story by Chuck Neubauer and Robin Fields, The Times reports that for three years Hsu has been carving out a place of political and financial influence by funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions into Democratic Party coffers, much of the money earmarked for Sen. Hillary Clinton. He has earned the ranking of Hillraiser for pledging to raise at least $100,000 for her.

In just the last 36 months Hsu has been involved in raising more than $1 million for Clinton and other Democrats. Howard Wolfson, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, confirmed today that Hsu had been a "longtime and generous supporter" of the party including Clinton. "We have no reason to call his contributions into question or to return them," Wolfson added.

Hsu has developed a specialty of bundling hefty campaign contributions from obscure citizens who live modest lives and have never before given money to campaigns. Many are not even registered to vote.

Over the years other recipients of Hsu donations have included Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Edward Kennedy.

Hsu's lawyer confirmed today that his client was the one involved in the California case but said he did not remember pleading to a criminal case nor facing jail time.

"He is a fugitive," said Ronald Smetana of the California attorney general's office. "Do you know where he is?" .

Hello.  Now it's starting to come into focus.  And the focus - as per usual - is on a Clinton raking in laundered money.

God I love that comment from the lawyer:  "Hsu's lawyer confirmed today that his client was the one involved in the California case, but said he did not remember pleading to a criminal charge nor facing jail time".

Do you remember when Bill Clinton's tax returns neglected to show $20,000 in income and he claimed that he just didn't remember he got it --- at a time that, as Governor of Arkansas, he was paid $35,000 a year?  Do you remember how impossibly ridiculous that was, that he didn't recall an additional 57% of income? 

Well, here is the Norman Hsu version:  Hsu doesn't recall pleading guilty to swindling or to accepting a three year jail term.  Could he be any more blatantly fraudulent? 

THIS is the guy behind that $200,000, from a family which shows exactly no indication they have anywhere remotely near the kind of money that would enable them to give it.

Do you remember the tens of thousands of dollars Al Gore expropriated from Buddhist monks who took a vow of poverty and didn't have any money?  Remember that the checks were consecutively numbered?  Remember how bad that ludicrous story reeked?  Well, the $200,000 from the Paw family, laundere...er, passed through Norman Hsu to Hillary Clinton, has exactly the same odor.

And do you remember that Hillary Clinton's original senate campaign, in 2000, was fraught with scandal and dirty dealings?   If not, let me refresh your memory:.

A committee that helped fund Sen. Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign has been fined for filing three false reports to the Federal Elections Commission regarding a Hollywood gala that feted her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

In a "Conciliation Agreement" with the FEC, New York 2000 and its treasurer Andrew Grossman agreed to pay a civil fine of $35,000 and amend false reports to reflect failure to report a $721,000 donation by Los Angeles millionaire lawyer and businessman Peter Franklin Paul. .

THAT, folks, is why you don't just "chalk it up" when you hear about campaign finance scandals associated with the Clintons.  Hillary Clinton is to dirty campaign finances what the Pacific ocean is to salt.

Now, will the networks give this the coverage it deserves.  Will they treat it the way they would treat an identical scandal if it emanated from, say, Rudy Giuliani's campaign? 

Keep watching and see.  But I think you already know the answer.


THE STEALTH SCANDAL PARTY

Ken Berwitz

It galls me that media - led by the increasingly dishonest New York Times - will relentlessly talk about Republican scandals, big and small, while looking the other way when the perpetrators are Democrats or their adjunct groups.

Here, courtesy of www.politico.com, is a case in point:.

Soros-linked group hit with huge fine

By: Kenneth P. Vogel
Aug 29, 2007 02:19 PM EST
Updated: August 29, 2007 05:51 PM EST

The Federal Election Commission has fined one of the last cycles biggest liberal political action committees $775,000 for using unregulated soft money to boost John Kerry and other Democratic candidates during the 2004 elections.

America Coming Together (ACT) raised $137 million for its get-out-the-vote effort in 2004, but the FEC found most of that cash came through contributions that violated federal limits.

The groups big donors included George Soros, Progressive Corp. chairman Peter Lewis and the Service Employees International Union.

The settlement, which the FEC approved unanimously, is the third largest enforcement penalty in the commissions 33-year history.

ACT, which ceased operations in 2005, was formed in late 2003 and rapidly deployed an enormous organization to do the retail-level grunt work of politics.

It opened more than 90 offices in 17 states from which it mobilized an army of more than 25,000 paid canvassers and volunteers to knock on doors, stuff envelopes and make phone calls urging voters to defeat President Bush and support Democratic or progressive candidates including Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate.

The FEC dismissed allegations that that Kerrys campaign and the Democratic National Committee violated campaign laws by coordinating with ACT or accepting excessive contributions from the group.

ACT was among a new breed of political committee, known as 527 groups, that stretched campaign finance rules on their way to shaping the 2004 elections.

Operatives used the 527s, named for the section of the IRS code under which they were registered, to spend money on politics outside the FECs purview.

But the groups have largely faded from the political landscape as the FEC has sought to rein them in. Late last year, commissioners handed down a total of $630,000 in penalties to three top 527s: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, MoveOn.org and the League of Conservation Voters, and there are more complaints pending.

But the heads of two of the nonprofit campaign finance reform groups behind many of the complaints, including the one that led to the ACT penalty, say its all too little, too late.

This action comes more than three years after our FEC complaints were filed and nearly three years after the 2004 presidential election was held, read a statement from Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, and Gerry Hebert, executive director of the Campaign Legal Center.

Plus, they argued, the fine represents only a tiny fraction of the amount ACT spent illegally on the 2004 elections.

Wertheimer also is involved in a lawsuit to compel the FEC to pass a set of comprehensive rules regulating 527s, without which he said the groups are likely to reemerge in the 2008 campaign.

UPDATE: ACT issued a statement asserting the settlement vindicated the committee by dismissing charges that it coordinated with Kerry and the DNC and by finding ACT did not knowingly or willfully violate the law.

The statement suggested that ACTs problems were partly attributable to an uncertain and swiftly changing legal environment throughout 2004 and said the settlement will end three years of politically motivated charges by the Republican Party and ill-conceived allegations by self-styled campaign finance reform groups.

ACT also touted its remarkable accomplishments, including what it called the single largest general public voter mobilization campaign in American history independently of any political party or candidate campaign. It is no wonder that the Republican Party responded by trying to force the organization to divert its resources from progressive political activism to defending its legal right to exist.

Also weighing in was the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which filed a complaint with the FEC against ACT because its contributions from SEIU came from members dues.

The big problem with the FEC's enforcement action, according to foundation executive Stefan Gleason is that not one cent of the millions of dollars illegally funneled into federal election activity will be returned to the unionized workers forced to foot the bill as a condition of employment.

.

ACT is bankrolled by the USA hating convicted inside-trader, George Soros - whose personal scandals are rarely if ever mentioned by mainstream media. 

ACT just paid $775,000 in fines for campaign stcandal - which is not the first time a Democratic money supply has been nailed, not by a long shot.  But how often do you see that in your paper or on the network news?

This evening, Hillary Clinton announced she will give back the hundreds of thousands of dollars she got through an association with Norman Hsu, a swindler who owes the state of California three years in prison and the Paw family, which, on paper, has no way at all of giving even a fraction of the money they gave to Hillary. 

This stinkeroo has only become a story today - but media know Hillary Clinton's sorry history of dishonesty about money (I detailed some of it in a blog earlier today).  Why weren't they all over her finances from the git-go?  Wouldn't they have been scrutinizing every dollar if this were a Republican?

Remember, it isn't that the Republicans are scandal - ridden.  It is that POLITICS is scandal-ridden and  when media give one party a free pass on their scandals, it makes the other one look like they're the only one.

I guess that's the idea.


GUEST COMMENTARY: BRENT BOZELL ON MORNING SHOW BIAS

Ken Berwitz

If you read this blog even occasionally, you know that I regularly rail against media bias.  One my main targets is the Today show, which my wife prefers in the morning and which we therefore watch (I may be opinionated, but I ain't stupid.)

Sometimes I will monitor Good Morning America on ABC and the CBS Anonymous-athon (which must have a name but it escapes me.)  However, because my experience is so limited with these shows, I can't state with 100% certainty that they're as biased as Today.  I can only wonder.

By contrast, L. Brent Bozell doesn't have to wonder about things like this.  His organization, MRC (Media Research Center) actually monitors the morning shows.  And his latest column, out today, emphatically provides the answer.  Here it is:. .

Democrats Win Morning-Show Primary

by L. Brent Bozell III
August 29, 2007
 

Watching network morning show anchors interview the Democratic presidential candidates often makes you wonder if youve seen tougher interviews on overnight acne-care infomercials. Their questions are often so simple and promotional that you wish theyd just go ahead and wear their Hillary! or Obama 08" buttons on the set.

There is no pretense of political balance. They are actively rooting for a Democratic victory next year, and they have the power to make a real difference. Notwithstanding their overall loss of audience in the last decade, ABC, CBS, and NBC morning shows draw nine times the audience of their cable-news competitors and are geared toward the mostly apolitical mainstream, which makes them an important free-media showcase for presidential hopefuls. A new study shows that if this years campaign coverage on the TV morning shows were a primary election, the Democrats would win in a landslide of attention and hyperbole.

Rich Noyes of the Media Research Center assessed all morning-show coverage on the Big Three from January 1 through July 31. In those 517 campaign segments, the networks offered nearly twice as many segments to Democrats as Republicans, a margin of 284 to 152. (Another 66 stories focused on both parties.) When the sample is narrowed down just to interviews with the candidates or their spouses and staffers, the morning shows gave out nearly three times as much free air time to Democrats (4 hours, 35 minutes) than they gave to Republicans (1 hour and 44 minutes).

ABCs Good Morning America was the worst, with 119 segments on the Democrats to just 51 for the Republicans. And try this for impartiality, ABC-style: the network offered sprawling, positive town hall segments to only two presidential candidates so far this year: 38 minutes for John Edwards and 26 minutes for Hillary Clinton.

Hillarys ABC town meeting was especially scripted, a platform so supportive that a former member of her 1993 health-care nationalization task force just happened to take the microphone to read to her a long softball question about whether she would boldly try, try again to blaze a trail to rescue the uninsured. Anchor Robin Roberts allowed Clinton to carry on (and on) uninterrupted for almost 18 of her 26 minutes with the people. During some of these long soliloquies, the former First Lady urged viewers to look up her campaign web site. ABC somehow failed to put a toll-free 800 number for Hillarys campaign on screen to develop the full infomercial effect.

All three Democratic frontrunners received more individual attention than any of the top Republican candidates, with Hillary unsurprisingly receiving the most coverage of anyone, at 61 adoring minutes. The leading Republican was former liberal media darling John McCain, who attracted 31 minutes of coverage, much of it assessing how his campaign was falling apart.

Even Al Gore, a man the morning anchors love so much that CBSs Harry Smith begged him to put on a Gore for President button, drew 29 minutes on the morning shows this year, giving this unannounced candidate more attention than any announced GOP contender except for McCain.

Rudy Giuliani drew only 26 minutes, and Mitt Romney attracted even less, 19 minutes. Worse still, the Republican segments highlighted problems and controversies, like Romneys Mormonism and Giulianis messy, fractious private life.

By comparison, the babble about Democrats was, and continues to be, embarrassingly giddy. Take ABCs Claire Shipman describing Hillary and Barack as both white hot, a diversity-enhanced clash of the titans. Hillary was an unparalleled star, with a hot factor boosted by her ever-popular husband. But wait, Obama, with his fairy-tale family, has personal charisma to spare! Someone needed to urge Shipman to come down off her puffy cloud of hype.

Then theres the labeling or better put, the utter lack of it. Not once did network reporters describe Hillary Clinton or John Edwards as a liberal. ABCs Jake Tapper once dared to associate the word liberal with Barack Obama, but CBS and NBC never did. In an eye-rolling contrast, the three networks did apply the liberal label 12 times to....Rudy Giuliani, who certainly deserves it on the social issues, as did the unanimously pro-abortion, pro-gay Democrats. Except these are the networks, and love means never having to say youre liberal.

The network morning shows are often attacked for being lighter than air, for ignoring substantive public issues in favor of human-interest stories, celebrity gossip, and food and fashion tips. This study of campaign coverage shows that even in the realm of hard news, the networks have a problem being equally airy and unchallenging for their audience when white hot Democrats grace the set. .

Am I surprised?  No.

Should I be?  No.

Are the three networks disgracefully biased?  Yes.

Will this xpos shame them into more balanced coverage?  Sure, they're planning to change over to neutrality the week after jimmy carter finds something good to say about Israel.


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