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8 p.m.: Dan Rather, Lesley Stahl, Ed Bradley and the rest of the crew at CBS – John Kerry’s flagship network – are straining to maintain straight faces, but the contrast with the furrowed brows and tight lips at Fox speaks volumes about where they think the election’s going.
9 p.m.: Over to CNN, where the election coverage is about as boring as a Jeff Greenfield analysis. Greenfield, Larry King, Wolf Blitzer, Judy Woodruff, Bill Schneider – is there an election team as tiresome as this one?
10 p.m.: Things are getting interesting. The Kerry victory train hasn’t left the station, and the realization that the exit polls may have been off is starting to sink in.
Midnight: For more than an hour now there’s been little satisfaction to be gained from switching around the broadcast networks and the cable channels. Florida has gone to Bush, and the president seems poised for a surprise victory, but too many states remain uncalled, including the Big Enchilada, Ohio. Dan Rather is getting increasingly batty as the night wears on, spitting out his patented Ratherisms at a frenzied pace:
“If this election gets any closer, someone is going to have to call 911, call the police, call the nurse.”
“It’s enough to give aspirin a headache.”
“This race is hot enough to peel paint off a house.”
2 a.m.: NBC, its cable affiliate MSNBC, and Fox have called Ohio for Bush. ABC and CBS are holding out. Peter Jennings at ABC has taken on the look of the disgusted blue-state liberal he is. He knows Kerry’s finished, but can’t allow himself to completely lose it on the air. The frustration will come out in the days ahead, as it did back in 1994 after the Republicans took control of the House and Senate and Jennings, the day after the election, compared Americans who’d voted Republican to a child throwing a temper tantrum.
2:30 a.m.: Watching Pat Buchanan on MSNBC. I hate to say it, but the old dog seems to have mellowed some. The Buchanan paradox is highly visible as he chats amicably with Joe Scarborough and Ron Reagan. Described by just about everyone who knows him as a charming, big-hearted man, Buchanan comes across tonight as just that. And then one recalls how often he’s tiptoed close to Holocaust denial without quite crossing the line; his constant carping about alleged Jewish disrespect for the Catholic Church and the sinister influence of neoconservatives (read: Jews) on Bush administration policy; and his trashing of Israel at every opportunity – and once all that comes into focus, his crinkly eyes and friendly guffaws mean nothing.
3:30 a.m.: If anyone still had the slightest doubt about the reality of media bias, it should evaporate right now, this election night of 2004, in light of how CBS and ABC, against all reason and historical precedent, are refusing to call Ohio for Bush. Both Jennings and Rather have acknowledged that other networks long ago made the call, but Rather insists that CBS has “information” the other networks don’t. Like those bogus National Guard documents you vouched for, Dan? Rather did let loose with another Ratherism in reacting to NBC’s decision to award Ohio to Bush: ‘President Bush’s reelection is at the door, knock, knock, knock.’
4 a.m.: With more than 99 percent of precincts accounted for in Ohio and Bush leading Kerry by nearly 140,000 votes, Jennings and Rather still insist the state’s too close to call. Earlier, CNN actually took Ohio out of the red-or-blue sweepstakes and colored it green for undecided. Meanwhile all the networks have no problem projecting Pennsylvania for Kerry – even though his lead over Bush is not as great as Bush’s lead in Ohio.
4: 30 a.m.: Assured of a Bush victory despite CBS and ABC’s maintaining their state of denial, it’s off to bed for two hours’ worth of sleep. Sleep well, Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, Al Franken, Maureen Dowd, et al.
About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.
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Obama went to begin the Arab Spring in Egypt which is still his target; Israel is just the lever.
Qatar’s wealth and Turkey’s size should not preclude us from telling it as it is: Qatar and Turkey are among the worst villains in the Gaza tragedy.
New Delhi would do well to remain aware of the predicament of Israel today.
his Tisha B’Av, and this Tu B’Av, remember: Hashem will protect us if we unite and rally around Him
Israel’s morality is underscored by its unprecedented restraint and care for loss of life.
The Gazan octopus arm is a test case, as the rest of the arms are closely watching it.
Obama has chosen shaky ally on the way out over strong ally solidly in the American orbit.
World War I had sown chaos throughout the centuries-old Jewish communities of Eastern Europe.
The IDF pounding continued and it again seemed only a matter of time before Hamas would be forced to accept the Egyptian proposal.
Nothing is ever so clear in the complex and often brutal calculus of urban warfare.
These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.
What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.
With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.
As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.
George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.
Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.
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