Saturday, 05 July 2008


Ken Berwitz

Greta Van Susteren has finally had enough.

After all this time she has decided to respond to the ever-envious CNN's continual sniping at her and her show, and their arrogant attitude that Anderson Cooper is above her in some way.

Here is Ms. Susteren's commentary - sorry for the lengh but I thought you'd want to see every word: 

TIME TO KEEP CNN HONEST!! (something they say they are doing about everyone elsehhm)


(ok, I admit I am having fun with CNN with this headline since that is what they flash up on their screen every night at 10 pm..!)

I just read this statement by the executive producer of CNNs Anderson Cooper show (see below) Anderson Coopers show competes directly with ON THE RECORD. I feel somewhat reluctant to give them this free advertising but my staff deserves to keep them honest - in other words defend against what is an obviously effort to make less of our hard work covering news for you.

What I dont get is that Anderson Cooper recently blogged and bragged that he did not take shots at the competition (meaning me and meaning ON THE RECORD.) Do take note: I did not fire first. I have been doing my own job and not insulting them or trying to make less of them. They fired first and I am responding as I am sure you would do likewise. It is thus time to keep CNN honest about their show. Coooper lets his surrogate attempt to make less of our executive producer did not and would not do this and I would not permit it. So here is the quote:

Were a news program, while Ms. Van Susterens show is not a news program, Mr. Doss told TVNewser on Tuesday. Its missing-person-of-the-day. Theres an audience for that, but its not what we do. Were covering the world, not just covering whos missing today.

Not a news program?

Now why is he picking a fight? and why is trying to make less of us at 10pm ? Is it because we consistently beat them and have for years?

This is silly that the CNN executive producer of Anderson Cooper is taking a swipe at our hard work but I am going to defend my staff from what is intended to pretend our show is not news.

Yes, now let me KEEP THEM HONEST:

Lets take a look at thisI asked someone to get me some information (I am busy at 10pm so do not get to watch their show.) What CNN is doing at ten? And how do they conduct themselves? Credibility or not?

To paraphrase MS/NBCs Keith Olbermann, yes many in the news industry behind the scenes - even my friends at CNN - laugh about the fact that CNNs 10pm show has been a marketing experiment. It has been rumored that in one year they spent about 27 million dollars in advertising of Anderson Cooper in their experiment. No network has ever spent that kind of money just to market one person. By the way, the President of CNN told me that Anderson Cooper has a staff of nearly 60. We beat them with our staffof about 12.

They have even done some rather bizarre (demeaning?) marketing. They have put Anderson Cooper on plastic bags like they are selling breakfast cereal.

Here is another example and you decide: CNN sells T shirts of Anderson Cooper not just promoting the show (all networks sell T shirts ) but check this out:

Not my boo? yikesnot exactly Walter Cronkite

I know that the CNN executive producer is busy himself at 10pm.but, alas, if he watched ON THE RECORD at 10pm, he would know about our news show: we do everything that CNN does but we are not taking swipes and trying to make less of them.

They do news of the day. We do news of the day.

They do weather, we do weather. You would think with all their marketing that Anderson Cooper was the only one who covered Katrina.we were there, all producers were there, all my colleagues were therebut guess what? so was every one else in every news outlet in the nation!! The fact is that all the other news organizations had the dignity not to try and make a marketing experiment out of a giant catastrophe! Only one anchor wrote a book and thus collected money from Katrina. The rest of us saw the suffering and simply reported it rather than exploit it.

CNN does politics at 10, we do politics at 10. We have traveled with the President on 2 overseas trips which BOTH included lengthy one on one interviews with the President in less than a years time. I have interviewed Secretary of State RicePresident Clintonand every candidate for President including the two current nominees. I have had multiple interviews with Senator Hillary Clinton, President Clinton, President George H. W. Bush, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, First Lady Barbara Bush and even traveled throughout the Middle East with First Lady Laura Bush. I could go on and on. I guess these are missing persons, too. HhmLets keep CNN honestthe last I checked, none of these political leaders was a missing person.

Now let me get to crime. Do not be fooledCNN at 10pm does crime. I have a giant list of crimes CNN has covered at 10pm. Here is the difference - we do it better. So yes, we get lots of attention. We do it much better because I leave the studio and take the viewers to many crime scenes. Plus, unlike those on the side lines, I am the real thing - I spent 15 years in the criminal courts trying criminal cases and dont get my information from a teleprompterI get it from both investigation and experience. And by the way, missing persons are important. Perhaps if CNN hit the road and spoke to the families they would understand something you dont get from the studio.

It is true.CNN does polygamy better. I will give that to them but it is because they have so much more experience with the polygamy story than any other network. They were obsessed with itnight after night after nighteven assigning multiple correspondents to the story to report only for Anderson Cooper.

After about 13 (?) years of being the #1 woman in all of cable news.and ON THE RECORD being in the top 5 cable news show for so many years, it gets tiresome listening to CNN bragging about themselves. Saying it is so doesnt make it so. Lets keep them honest.


Ken Berwitz

John Conyers is the long-time congressman from Detroit.  He and his wife seem to constantly be under suspicion of illegal activities (which I will detail below). 

Incredibly, he also chairs the house judiciary committee -- and loves to investigate anything and everything that will get him a headline, more often than not for issues unrelated to his congressional duties. 

His latest foray into the ridiculous was earlier this year, when he came to New York to "investigate" the acquittal of three policemen in the shooting of a man in Queens, during his bachelor party.  

Maybe there is a Queens congressperson who would like to investigate why Detroit has turned into a citywide shambles while Conyers has represented it.  Or possibly Conyers' apparently prolific use of taxpayer-paid staffers to perform personal work for he and his wife.

In any event, here, excerpted from today's article in the Detroit News, is an investigation which I somehow doubt Mr. Conyers will be participating in:

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bribe probe ensnarls Conyers

Feds: Surveillance evidence suggests councilwoman took money tied to waste pact

Paul Egan / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- Federal investigators have electronic surveillance evidence that allegedly links Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers with receiving a payment or payments in connection with a city-approved sludge contract, two people familiar with the investigation said.

Conyers -- who changed her position from speaking in opposition to the sludge contract to voting in favor of it -- and at least one other council member are under FBI investigation in connection with possible bribes related to the $47 million contract with Synagro Technologies Inc. of Houston, one of the people familiar with the investigation said Friday. Bribes allegedly paid to people connected with the city but not members of the City Council also are under investigation, one person said.

Conyers, the spouse of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, has been absent from City Council meetings since news of the scandal broke June 28. She declined comment Friday.

"I'm not feeling well right now," she said in a brief telephone interview. "When I get back to work, I'll get back to work."

Former Monica Conyers aide Sam Riddle, who earlier said the FBI had tapped his cell phone and examined his bank records, said Friday that Rayford W. Jackson, a Detroit businessman under investigation in connection with the alleged payoffs, owes him money and wrote him two checks that bounced.

In November, the City Council voted 5-4 to award a contract to Synagro that would pay the company close to $47 million a year to haul and treat the city's sewage sludge. Synagro was represented in the deal by James Rosendall, a Grand Rapids businessman who recently stepped down from his appointed post on the Michigan Transportation Commission. Jackson, of RAS Development Inc., was a local partner on the deal.

The Synagro investigation is part of a broader FBI probe of City Hall that has examined contracts related to Cobo Center and other city departments and spans several years.

Last week, Synagro announced it had suspended Rosendall without pay and had stopped payments on its contract with Jackson. Alvin L. Thomas II, Synagro executive vice president and general counsel, said Synagro is cooperating with the FBI investigation and is not a target.

Riddle, who worked as a consultant to Conyers and who said he turned down an FBI request to cooperate with the investigation by wearing a wire, said Friday that Jackson owes him money for a consulting project they worked on in February 2007 and that Jackson wrote him two corporate checks that bounced. Riddle would not say how much Jackson owes him but said, "I intend to collect, still."

Riddle said he is unaware of Conyers soliciting money in connection with the sludge contract and unaware of anyone paying her money in connection with the contract. Also, "I've never accepted money from anyone that I delivered to Monica Conyers," Riddle said.

"If they've listened to my phone conversations with her ... I don't know how they might interpret some of those conversations," Riddle said. "I dealt with her on a couple of levels -- on her campaign, and as a councilwoman."

Riddle said he does not believe he has billed Conyers for any consulting work since September or October.

It was not clear Friday whether the electronic surveillance involving Conyers was audiotaped or videotaped or both.

Another person the FBI is interested in talking to in connection with the investigation is Michael Tardif, a political adviser to Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and a member of the Democratic National Committee, a person familiar with the investigation confirmed Friday.

Tardif could not be reached for comment Friday. His attorney, David DuMouchel, declined comment. James Canning, a mayoral spokesman, could not be reached for comment Friday.

FBI agents investigating the Synagro contract have also asked questions about Bernard Kilpatrick, who is the mayor's father and a Detroit business consultant.

The mayor, who is awaiting trial on unrelated perjury and other felony charges related to his testimony at a police whistle-blower trial last year, has denied any involvement in the Synagro contract or ensuing investigation.

How many different ways do you figure John and Monica Conyers will be under a cloud of suspicion before national media pick up on it?  The story line is a beaut - the investigator and his wife under investigation themselves.  I bet if Mr. and Ms. Conyers were Republican it would be all over the news - not just in Detroit but everywhere else.

But Detroit is owned and operated by Democrats.  So the allegations (with plenty of evidence, let's remember) of John and Monica Conyers' use of their staff as indentured slaves and Monica Conyers' taking bribes, then suddenly changing her vote ...not to mention Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's use of the city funds as a personal piggy bank? 

That's BO-ring.  No story there, sheeple, nothing to see.  Just move along, move along.....

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


Ken Berwitz

Granted, not every soldier feels this way. 

But for those who keep trying to convince themselves that our troops in Iraq have successfully been killjoyed and disheartened by the war, it might be instructive too see the following blog from John Hinderaker at

Celebrating Independence Day in Baghdad

In what is being described as the largest re-enlistment ceremony in the history of the American military, 1,215 servicemen and women signed up for a combined 5,500 years of additional service earlier today in Baghdad:


General David Petraeus oversaw the ceremony:

Petraeus, reiterating earlier remarks made by Command Sergeant Major Hill, said that the unprecedented ceremony sends a message to friend and foe alike. He told those assembled that it is impossible to calculate the value of what you are giving to our country . . . For no bonus, no matter the size, can adequately compensate you for the contribution each of you makes as a custodian of our nations defenses.

Fittingly, the re-enlistment took place in one of Saddam's former palaces.


Ken Berwitz

When a Republican runs afoul of the law, mainstream media are virtually guaranteed to identify that person as a Republican.

But when a Democrat runs afouls of the law, mainstream media are more than likely to identify that person as a ????????.

The latest example comes to us from Mark Finkelstein of

Say, Today, What Party Do the Conyers Belong To?

By Mark Finkelstein | July 5, 2008 - 15:54 ET

Add Monica Conyers's name to that list of Dems run afoul of the law whose party affiliation the MSM fails to mention.  Conyers, the Detroit City Council President Pro Tem, a Democrat and an Obama supporter, has made unwelcome headlines before, from getting into an argument with an eight-grader to allegedly threatening to shoot an aide to the Detroit mayor.  Now things have taken a turn for the worse. According to the Detroit News in an article today entitled Bribe probe ensnarls Conyers:

Federal investigators have electronic surveillance evidence that allegedly links Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers with receiving a payment or payments in connection with a city-approved sludge contract.

Ruh-roh.  Conyers is the wife of John Conyers, the Dem Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who continues to toy with the notion of seeking to impeach President Bush.  So how did this morning's Today show report the story? 

View video here

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: The Detroit News is reporting this morning that Monica Conyers, wife of long-time Congressman John Conyers, was caught on a surveillance camera allegedly taking bribes.  Conyers is a city councilwoman in Detroit. The paper reports she received a payment or payments in connection with a city contract. Mrs. Conyers declined to comment.

The only capital 'D' to be found in Today's report was the one in Detroit News.

Let's play "what if."  What if the Republican elected-official wife of a prominent House Republican had been arrested in similar circumstances?  Odds Today would have omitted the pair's party affiliation?

If this happened a couple of times you could write it off as happenstance.  But if it happens over and over again - as it does - you have to accept reality and call it a newsroom decision. 

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


Ken Berwitz

Sadly, there are people who actually believe that Iran isn't against Jews, just against Israel. 

Even more sadly, there are people who do not understand that, with a very limited number of exceptions, people who hate Israel, the country also hate Jews, the people.

In case you happen to be one of them, here's a little tidbit from Iranian television, courtesy of two great web sites: and

Iranian TV: 'The Secret of Armageddon'

Fri, Jul 4, 2008 at 3:24:32 pm PDT

Heres your daily dose of mind-bogglingly sick antisemitic propaganda from Iranian TV, in a documentary that claims Jew-boys have a plan for the genocide of humanity. (Courtesy of MEMRI TV.)

Click picture to play video. Requires Windows Media Player; Mac users should install Flip4Mac.

.Does that make it clear enough?  I hope so.


Ken Berwitz

Get ready for this one.  It's a classic.

Regular readers of the New York Times know that, virtually every day, it finds some angle to attack our presence in Iraq. 

If you are against the war you probably appreciate their efforts, even if you might also be embarrassed by the Times' lack of journalistic standards as it, effectively, editorializes on its news pages.

On the other hand, if you support the war or have mixed feelings about it, you are pretty much just left with the Times' lack of journalistic standards.

Over time, I have chronicled several of the more bizarre angles The Times has used to downgrade our successes in Iraq.  But today's may be the single most bizarre one of them all.  Here it is, excerpted from the entire article (which I urge you to read):

July 5, 2008

Despair Drives Suicide Attacks by Iraqi Women

BAQUBA, Iraq Wenza Ali Mutlaq walked a bit uncertainly up the long street near the main government offices here on June 22, the hot wind stirring her heavy black abaya. She passed the concrete barricades put up to ward off suicide car bombers and made her way alone, almost haphazardly.

Suddenly, a police car zoomed in. A policeman got out to talk with her. And then their lives were over torn apart, along with 14 other people, by the huge blast of fire from her concealed explosive vest.

Ms. Mutlaq, who was in her 30s and whose attack was captured on a security video, was the 18th female suicide bomber of the war to strike in Diyala Province, which has been hit by female attackers much more frequently than any other province of Iraq, according to Iraqi police records and the American military. So far, 11 of the 20 suicide bombings carried out by women in Iraq this year have occurred in Diyala.

Why so many women? Why now? In a particularly painful twist, the phenomenon seems to have arisen at least in part because of successes in detaining and killing local members of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a homegrown Sunni insurgent group that American intelligence officials say is led by foreigners.

The women who become suicide bombers often have lost close male relatives a husband, a brother, a son in fighting, because they became suicide bombers themselves or because they were detained by American or Iraqi security forces.

Ms. Mutlaq was no exception: her older brother had already taken the same path, detonating a suicide vest on June 10 during a shootout with Iraqi government forces.

If theres one single trend that I see, its the womens relationship with the male figures that were members of A.Q.I. and were captured or killed, said a senior military analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing information that had not been released publicly.

The subordinate role of women in conservative, rural Sunni families in Diyala makes them particularly vulnerable to pressure, said Sajar Qaduri, a member of the Diyala Provincial Council and the only woman on its security committee.

Although she is bombing herself and aiming to kill people, I feel these women are really victims of terrorism, said Mrs. Qaduri, who is a Shiite and whose husband was kidnapped two years ago and has not been heard from since. Only women in despair, in desperate situations, would do this. Dealing with such a phenomenon is not easy.


Please understand what you are reading here.  The Times' negative angle du jour is that we are doing so well in decimating al qaeda Iraq (AQI) that it is depressing the women associated with them, so they are more willing to die killing innocent people than they used to be. 

What are we supposed to do?  Feel bad that US and Iraqi troops are neutralizing AQI murderers?

The alternative, of course, is to leave the AQI murderers alive and well so they can do it instead of their wives, mothers, girlfriends, etc.  I'm sure the Times would be running positive articles about that, one after another....

I'm particularly drawn to that delightful quote the writer, Alissa J. Rubin, made sure to toss in:  "Although she is bombing herself and aiming to kill people, I feel these women are really victims of terrorism"  What are we supposed to, be sympathetic to this murderer?  WHY is she a victim?  Because her murdering male relative was stopped from killing people?  THAT makes her a VICTIM?

Even in today's sorry state of media, few publications but the New York Times would present this kind of insanity to you under the guise of straight news reportage.   And there it is, right on page one.

Oh, by the way, weren't we told that Al Qaeda wasn't actually in Iraq?  Maybe the Times will do an article on that for tomorrow's edition.  Don't bet against it.

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