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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘CBS’

Media Distorts Former Mossad Head’s 60 Minutes Interview on Iran

Friday, March 9th, 2012

When even the very outfit that conducted the interview with Meir Dagan misrepresents what the man actually said, it provides an opportunity to identify agenda driven reporting.

Here’s the CBS News headline for their promo of the Sunday night 60 Minutes interview with Dagan:

Ex-Israeli spy chief: Bombing Iran a stupid idea

Now, to be fair, Dagan has been a cool voice on the issue of whether or not Israel should bomb Iran’s nukes, and so it is tempting for some to see his call for Israel’s leaders to count to 30 before speaking, as a statement of support for Obama’s view of diplomacy before war.

On January, 2011, Dagan, who was retiring from his post as Mossad chief, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he did not believe Iran would have nuclear capability before 2015.

And so, in Lesley Stahl’s interview with Meir Dagan, part of next Sunday’s “60 Minutes,” she brings up the quote in which he supposedly said that bombing Iran now is “the stupidest idea” he’d ever heard.

Except that’s not exactly what he said. A May 8, 2011 NY Times article reports: “Israel’s former intelligence chief has said that a strike on Iran’s nuclear installations would be ‘a stupid idea,’ adding that military action might not achieve all of its goals and could lead to a long war.”

And the same article continues with a quote from Dagan, speaking at a conference of senior public servants, saying that he declared that “Iran must not be allowed to produce nuclear weapons,” and advocated “covert means of setting back the Iranian program.”

Indeed, this is how Dagan responds to Stahl’s question regarding the “stupidest idea”:

Dagan: An attack on Iran before you are exploring all other approaches is not the right way how to do it.

In fact, the same promo page on CBS News confirms:

Dagan also told Stahl he thinks it’s a mistake generally to make this situation an Israeli-Iranian issue. It should be an international issue. Somehow the Saudis should be encouraged to speak up and pressure the United States. And what he would really like to happen is that Israel sits back, and the Americans do it for the Israelis. It would then be internationalized. He knows that Israel will be attacked whoever does it, but they’ll be attacked less and what he’s most worried about is the retaliation.

In other words, Dagan does not think attacking Iran today is necessarily a bad idea, if the threat is high enough, he only thinks it’s a bad idea for Israel to do it – because a coalition attack on Iran would achieve far superior results.

And we’re not told what Dagan thinks should happen if no one else is willing to join Israel or fight in its stead, while Iran completes its nuclear program and starts blowing up atomic mushrooms in the Dasht-e Kavir desert. Does he think Israel should be sitting on her hands under those circumstances? Somehow I doubt it.

But Meir Dagan’s flare and vigor, colorful celebrity that he is, are being exploited by some media outlets to distort his quite carefully expressed message, creating the impression that he actually supports the Obama Administration’s reluctance to attack Iran.

Did you expect me to start with an Ha’aretz headline? I shan’t disappoint you:

WATCH: Former head of Israeli Mossad: Now is not the time to attack Iran

Dagan agrees with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and President Obama that there is still time to wait before dire actions need to be taken.

Except, at least in the promo and press release, Dagan never says he agrees with Clinton and Obama, and furthermore when Stahl says there is “a lot” of time, he emphatically corrects her and removes the words “a lot” from her sentence, and only says there is still “more time”, presumably meaning we haven’t reached zero-hour yet, but we’re close.

Only at the very bottom of the page Ha’aretz acquiesces that Dagan may not be against bombing Iran after all:

During the interview Stahl suggested that it seemed he was advocating Israel wait and have the U.S. attack Iran’s nuclear sites. Dagan replied: “If I prefer that someone will do it, I always prefer that Americans will do it,” he says.

How many Internet users scroll all the way to the bottom of an article? Only the ones with nothing better to do, like yours truly. But for all intents and purposes, it has now been established that Meir Dagan is against bombing Iran, because it’s stupid. They say so, on the Internet.

And that perhaps is Dagan’s real message, he wants the US and/or an international coalition to stop Iran, including bombing if it need be. Not Israel.

CBS also seems to be playing up Dagan’s analysis of Iran and Ahmadinejad’s sanity and rationality – seemingly implying that tried and true Cold War rules could apply here too.

The regime in Iran is a very rational one,” says the former top Israeli spymaster.  And President Ahmadinejad?  “The answer is yes,” he replies. “Not exactly our rational, but I think he is rational,” Dagan tells Stahl.

Yori Yanover

Deaf And Dumb

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

I’ve often written and said that we are living in remarkable but dangerous times in which we can hear (provided we know how to listen) the footsteps of the Messiah. Ours, however, is a generation that has difficulty hearing.

We are saturated with constant noise, not only from rapidly developing world events but also from our own tumultuous, seductive lifestyles – lifestyles that are conducive to self-absorption and deafness.

You might, of course, wonder at the appropriateness of the word “deafness.” Isn’t that a bit extreme? Actually, if there were a stronger expression, I would resort to that. Yes, our generation has become deaf – no matter how thunderous the call of Hashem.

But still you might ask, Is our generation really so much different from those that preceded us? To be sure, in every generation we’ve had problems hearing that “still small voice” that comes in many shapes and forms. But in our generation that blockage has become even more acute. There are so many sounds that divert us from hearing.

Nowadays, it is rare to see anyone take even a moment to think. There was a time when people took walks for contemplation or secluded themselves to review their lives. Today, this hardly (if ever) occurs. Today, when you see people walking in the street they are almost always involved in some activity, be it talking on their cell phones, text messaging, scrolling through e-mail on their Blackberry, or listening to their iPod. And should they steal some moments to seclude themselves, there are other diversions vying for their attention – the Internet, TV, video games, etc.

In the interim, time relentlessly passes – and with every moment events unfold that we neither hear nor see. Not only have we lost our ability to hear, we have lost our ability to talk, to hold a conversation. People communicate through e-mail, texting or Twitter. This has become so prevalent that children no longer speak with parents, couples no longer speak with each other. They find it much easier to text or resort to other technological means of communication, because by doing so they don’t have to hear a response, another voice that might question or negate their message. Nor are they obliged to hear expressions of love that might make them feel guilty or indebted.

Regardless of our reaction (or non-reaction), the messages continue and the sounds become louder, demanding a response. But how can we respond if we no longer know how to hear? Deaf, dumb, and blind, we continue to march on to the sound of our own music and congratulate ourselves on our open-mindedness and ready acceptance of all lifestyles.

So it is that we never learn. Even the most world-shaking events go unheeded. Neither the Holocaust nor the rebirth of Israel after two thousand years of exile has made us stop and rethink our lives.

I could go through a number of other examples, but I’ll skip to 9/11 – a tragedy that spoke thunderously to everyone in our country. Remarkably, even then we continued to remain deaf, and chose to view its message through a politically correct lens.

We have become so inured that we see nothing unusual in the constant escalation of natural disasters – tsunamis, floods, tornados, earthquakes, nuclear spills, etc. Nor do we see anything remarkable about dead birds falling from the skies or dead fish washing ashore in uncountable numbers. Nor did we wake up when financial disaster overtook us. Overnight, we witnessed the collapse of giant corporations and industries, the meltdown of Wall Street and the devaluation of the dollar, which we once believed to be invincible.

Our inability to hear rendered us deaf and blind to the messages behind the toppling of powerful governments that for years were controlled by dictators who ruled with iron fists. We delude ourselves into believing that what we are witnessing is the dawn of freedom, peace and democracy in the dark world of the Middle East. We refuse to consider that the mobs are the precursors of even more tyrannical dictatorships.

Look at Egypt. In our blindness and deafness we refused to pay heed to the heinous shouts of “Jew! Jew” as CBS correspondent Lara Logan was barbarously attacked by the mob in the streets (though Logan is in fact not a Jew).

Nor has the world paid heed to the destruction of churches and the killing of Christians. Yes, all this is unfolding in the “new”Egypt, as the world responds with a deafening silence. Why? We dismiss that question as well. We have our own problems. We can’t really get involved in world events. It won’t help anyway, so the call continues to be sounded and we continue to remain blind, dumb and deaf.

(To Be Continued)

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Osama’s Controversial Aftermath

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

It’s inevitable that the joy and national unity over the killing of that monster bin Laden would cool. Already we’re debating the journalistic and political ramifications. President Obama told CBS he wouldn’t “spike the football” by releasing photos proving Osama is dead.

I agree with the president, as much as that pains my friend Sean Hannity and other conservatives (and non-conservatives like Juan Williams). Some argue that it will put to rest any conspiracy theories that this is but a hoax. No, it won’t.

Let’s go back to the American killing of Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay in 2003. To deal with the paranoia and disbelief of Iraqis, the military allowed access to the bodies – after they did facial reconstructions to make the sons look more like they did before their faces were shot off.

Guess what? None of that helped with many Iraqis, who continued to express skepticism. The failure of the Hussein sons to reappear (and now Osama) should be proof for the doubters, but not so for fanatics. Before he had birthers; now we’ll have deathers.

Is the inherent risk of greater violence by the release of the pictures worth it? Reuters gained access to some grisly pictures of dead men at Osama’s compound. I look at them and see pictures of dead killers, murderers of innocent men, women and children – and I’m glad they’re dead. Many millions of Muslims will see pictures of what appear to be defenseless, innocent men – and will be outraged. Perception is everything. Why fuel it?

Why not just say – proclaim – Osama bin Laden’s dead, and we’re happy with the result? On the broader question, we can ask our media to please develop a consistent standard for these things. Why aren’t they going nuclear against Obama’s (correct) decision? Whatever happened to their “right to know”?

On August 4, 2005, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press proclaimed that a coalition of 14 media organizations and public interest groups they organized – including CBS, NBC, and The New York Times – had filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the ACLU in U.S. District Court in New York urging the release of Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse photos.

The RCFP also filed an amicus brief for the release of detainee-abuse photos in prisons other than Abu Ghraib, which the Obama administration agreed to release in April 2009.

“The government has taken the position in this case that the more outrageous the behavior exhibited by American troops, the less the public has a right to know about it,” complained RCFP executive director Lucy Dalglish.

So far, in the days since the White House announced it would not release the Osama photos, there’s been no objection from the RCFP.

Liberal journalists have favored gruesome images when the dead are American troops. In both wars with Iraq, in 1991 and in 2003, former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite insisted it was terrible (even “criminal”) that “we’re still not seeing the bloodletting.”

In 2006, CNN chose to show video, apparently made by Iraqi insurgents, of American soldiers being shot by a sniper. I don’t recall the liberal journalists or Senator Barack Obama raising objections to that.

Under the liberal standard here, it seems political: the “right to know” matches neatly with the need to embarrass (or “hold accountable”) the Bush administration. Embarrassment or accountability isn’t so urgent at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in the Osama case.

Team Obama also faces a curious controversy over Osama’s quick burial at sea, achieved so as to satisfy Muslim religious traditions. Once again, unlike many conservatives, I didn’t have an early objection to showing that respect – not to Osama, but to the faith he supposedly upheld. A quick glance at American military procedures for the burial of internees suggests a burial according to the religious rites of the deceased. That’s simple American decency.

But if it will help, upset conservatives can go to al-Jazeera and discover they’ve found Muslims who think the burial at sea was horrendous. Yahya Hendi, Muslim chaplain of Georgetown University, called the sea burial an “absolute violation” of Islamic traditions, and an unwise decision that (naturally) mars America’s image.

“Islamic law traditionally allows disposing of a corpse at sea only if the person dies on board ship and there is no possibility of getting the body to dry land before it decomposes,” added Marion Katz, professor of “Islamic law, gender and ritual” at New York University.

L. Brent Bozell

2011 May Bring Changes Here

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
I’ve been thinking for some time now of giving the column a facelift if not a complete makeover and would appreciate reader input.
I’ve long felt the title “Media Monitor” doesn’t accurately reflect the range of topics covered here. Regular readers know I often use this space to review books, compile recommended reading lists, and vent about politics and pretty much whatever else comes to mind.
I’ve tried whenever possible to use the media as a backdrop for anything I cover in a given week, though on many occasions it’s been impossible to do so.
Back in 2002, for example, I undertook a 14-part series on why Jews vote for Democrats in such overwhelming numbers.
I’ve also done columns looking back on historical events such as Rudy Giuliani’s throwing Yasir Arafat out of a 1995 UN event at Lincoln Center; deconstructing the myths surrounding John Kennedy’s Camelot; and explaining why it was Richard Nixon and not Henry Kissinger who saved Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
So there’s good reason for my discomfort with the limiting and not quite accurate title “Media Monitor.”
Also, the media landscape itself has changed radically in the 12-and-a-half years since this column was launched. The Internet was then still in its early stages and blogging was a few years away from taking off and becoming such a ubiquitous presence in our lives.
As websites and blogs have proliferated in a manner that would have been unimaginable in 1998, traditional print and electronic media have seen their monopolistic grip on the news smashed to pieces and, as a result, been forced to be more cognizant of their biases and of the need to be accountable to the general public.
The most striking example of this new brake on the mainstream media occurred a few weeks before the 2004 presidential election when Dan Rather, a dinosaur of old-time media who thought the news was still whatever CBS said it was (his predecessor, Walter Cronkite, would smugly and condescendingly proclaim “And that’s the way it is” every weekday evening after presenting 22 minutes of carefully edited and filtered news) did his bit for the John Kerry campaign by running a detrimental story bout President Bush’s National Guard service.
In the old days, it would have been difficult if not impossible for pro-Bush forces to counter a story like this one, which turned out to be full of holes and peddled to CBS by dubious sources. But immediately after the story aired, websites and blogs were on it round the clock until Rather, who at first treated his critics with disdain, was forced to make an on-air apology and accept a premature retirement ultimatum from his superiors at what was once billed the “Tiffany network.”
The fact is, in a world of constantly updated websites and blogs and 24/7 news coverage and analysis on cable TV, a weekly media column can get stale and fall behind the curve pretty quickly.
And then there’s the matter of coverage of Israel, which since 1998 has improved to a considerable degree in the mainstream media, no doubt thanks to the increasingly potent efforts of media watchdog groups like CAMERA and websites like HonestReporting.com.
The New York Times, for example, while still more than capable of framing news stories in manner guaranteed to aggravate the pro-Israel community, is nowhere near as bad as it was back in the late 1990s when Deborah Sontag served as the paper’s Jerusalem bureau chief and filed reports on a near daily basis that read as though they’d been prepared under the watchful eye of the Palestinian Authority.
There was a period when probably a third of the Monitor’s columns concerned Sontag’s outrageously slanted coverage.
At any rate, I know this column has some fiercely devoted readers who never hesitate to let me know when I’ve hit the right chord – and even more frequently when I’ve missed the mark. I felt the need, therefore, to offer some reasons why the column’s focus may move even further away from media coverage and take on an ever more eclectic range of subjects.

For now we’ll still call it “Media Monitor,” but I’m open to suggestions for a new name.

 

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Jason Maoz

Summer Reading

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Last year the Monitor proffered readers a list of books for summer reading that was, it must be said, several intellectual notches above the usual beach-and-bungalow fare. The theme of that list was U.S. presidents. This year’s theme, naturally, is especially close to the Monitor’s heart – the news media.

The Paper: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune (Alfred A. Knopf, 1986) by Richard Kluger: Massive, award-winning book tells the story of the newspaper that for decades ranked right up there with The New York Times in the scope of its news coverage – and was widely acknowledged to have been a better-written, livelier read than the Times.

Media Circus: The Trouble With America’s Newspapers (Times Books, 1993) by Howard Kurtz: An anecdote-filled look at a troubled industry by the Washington Post’s ubiquitous media critic. Kurtz focuses on a number of problems that have been eating away at the credibility and economic viability of the nation’s daily newspapers, from the incessant focus on sleaze and scandal to the ultimately destructive demands of labor unions. Written before the Internet revolution, the book is somewhat dated but worth reading nonetheless.

A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures (Simon & Schuster, 1995) by Ben Bradlee: Top-notch autobiography and insider’s view of Washington from the former executive editor of the Washington Post. Bradlee’s most revealing admission is that had it not been for the press (himself prominently included) covering up John Kennedy’s personal and political sordidness, Kennedy probably would have been impeached or forced to resign the presidency.

The Great American Newspaper: The Rise and Fall of the Village Voice (Scribner, 1978) by Kevin McAuliffe: Whatever one thinks of the Village Voice’s politics, there’s no denying the important place the weekly holds in the history of 20th century American journalism. This crisp account covers the Voice from its founding in the 1950’s to the beginning of its slow, steady (and still ongoing) decline in the mid-70’s.

Read All About It! The Collected Adventures of a Maverick Reporter (Summit Books, 1982) by Sidney Zion: More than a collection of essays and columns, the first part of the book is a hard-boiled memoir of the newspaper business in the 1960’s and 70’s, when Zion worked as a reporter in New York for the Post and the Times. The story of Zion’s role in the Pentagon Papers controversy – and the shabby treatment he experienced at the hands of A.M. Rosenthal and other Times executives – is worthy of a book in itself.

Theirs Was the Kingdom: Lila and Dewitt Wallace and the Story of the Reader’s Digest (W.W. Norton, 1993) by John Heidenry: With its blend of political conservatism, non-denominational religious inspiration, down-home humor and old-fashioned patriotism, Reader’s Digest was long scorned by the literary and academic establishments but loved by millions of readers around the world. This finely written yet exhaustively detailed account traces the Digest’s fortunes and tells the not always flattering truth about the people behind the publication.

Feeding Frenzy: How Attack Journalism Has Transformed American Politics (Free Press, 1991) by Larry Sabato: Examines all the major (and some not so major) political scandals of the seventies and eighties and how they were covered by the news media. Sabato, a professor of government, interviewed more than 200 reporters and politicians in the course of his research.

Hot Air: All Talk, All the Time (Times Books, 1996) by Howard Kurtz: One of the surprisingly few good books to trace the growth of talk radio and TV shoutfests – and the best of the lot. Kurtz zeroes in on such phenomena as “The McLaughlin Group,” Phil Donahue and his ever-shriller television progeny, radio shock jocks, and household names like Larry King, Rush Limbaugh and Ted Koppel.

Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way (Random House, 1991) by Ken Auletta: The 1980’s were a time of turmoil for CBS, NBC and ABC, what with corporate takeovers, the rise of cable and the revolutionary impact on the nation’s viewing habits of a little contraption called the VCR. Auletta’s detailed recounting of those years makes this arguably one of the two or three most important books ever written about television.

The Powers That Be (Knopf, 1979) by David Halberstam: Twenty-eight years after publication, this still ranks as one of the best all-around histories of the American news media. Halberstam, whose writing style could be leaden at times – especially in a book exceeding 700 pages – compensates with an abundance of interesting anecdotes and insightful observations.

The House That Roone Built: The Inside Story of ABC News (Little Brown, 1994) by Marc Gunther: For decades ABC was an industry joke, a distant third to CBS and NBC in both prime-time programming and news coverage. Then the late Roone Arledge, who’d already made ABC into a sports powerhouse, took over the news operation in 1977 and took it to the top. A lively and insightful telling of that transformation.

Jason Maoz

A Study In Selective Indignation

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Political hypocrisy was raised to a new standard in recent weeks by Democrats who successfully pushed ABC to purge a docudrama of certain scenes and dialogue that reflected poorly on the anti-terror efforts, such as they were, of the Clinton administration.

One can sympathize with the outrage voiced by former Clinton secretary of state Madeleine Albright, and even feel the pain of former Clinton national security adviser Sandy Berger (who, as National Review’s John J. Miller reminds us, was “last seen trying to sneak classified documents out of the National Archives”), at the prospect of having wholly invented dialogue and actions attributed to them in the two-part miniseries “The Path to 9/11,” which ran earlier this week.

But the Democrats’ full-court press to have ABC either make extensive changes or, as Bill Clinton himself put it in a letter to ABC executives, “pull the drama entirely,” served to confirm the old adage about anger and outrage being dependent on whose ox is being gored. (No, the former vice president wasn’t a factor in the film.)

ABC aired the movie but removed some of the more problematic material and ran a disclaimer advising viewers that what they were watching was a “dramatization” with “fictionalized scenes.” Given the furor among Democratic partisans in the days leading up to the scheduled airing, the smart money had been on ABC caving completely.

For example, the Democratic National Committee posted an online petition to “Keep ‘Path to 9/11’ Propaganda Film Off The Air,” calling the movie “a conservative attempt to rewrite the history of September 11 to blame Democrats, just in time for the election.”

The Senate Democratic leadership, in a letter to Robert Iger, CEO of ABC’s parent Walt Disney Company, warned that showing the film “would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility” and urged Iger “to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program.”

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party house organ known as The New York Times, in a Sept. 12 editorial, archly lectured filmmakers that “when attempting to recreate real events on screen, you do not show real people doing things they never did.”

But the reaction from Democrats and their media acolytes was markedly different back in November 2003, when CBS moved a docudrama about Ronald and Nancy Reagan off its network schedule and relegated it instead to the lightly viewed Showtime cable channel after Republicans complained about fictitious, mean-spirited remarks inserted by screenwriters into the mouth of Mr. Reagan.

The Senate’s top Democrat at the time, South Dakota’s Tom Daschle (defeated in his bid for reelection in 2004), called the CBS decision “appalling” and said the network had “totally collapsed” in the face of Republican criticism.

The Democratic National Committee – the same folks with the online petition to keep the 9/11 miniseries off the air – issued a press release after the Reagan film was pulled saying that “CBS’s decision is – to put it mildly – disturbing. Essentially the network has given [Republicans] veto power over the content it puts on the air … the decision makes it very easy to imagine a future where representatives for the Bush administration have the power to disapprove of any content that touches politics, policy, or history – including news programs.”

Ever faithful to their Democratic leash-holders, the lapdog editorialists at The New York Times, while acknowledging that “people close to Mr. Reagan” had reason to be angry at the film’s portrayal of the former president, saved their opprobrium for the real villains – “conservatives, protective of Mr. Reagan’s image at all times,” who “launch[ed] one of the fierce assaults that have become so familiar whenever the right wants to scare the media on an ideological question.”

In the Times’s judgment, “CBS was wrong to yield to conservative pressure and yank [the Reagan film].”

It’s not exactly a mystery why the Times was far less concerned about political attempts to suppress artistic freedom in the case of the 9/11 miniseries. As the Sept. 12 Times editorial lamented, “The second episode was wrapped around a live speech by President Bush, so it was especially unfortunate that the most questionable scenes all seemed to make the Clinton administration look worse, and Mr. Bush look better, than the record indicates.”

Jason Maoz

Dan Departs

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Dan Rather is finally out at CBS News, nearly two years after his shoddy and discredited reporting – in the midst of a very tight presidential campaign – on President Bush’s National Guard service, and more than a decade after his CBS Evening News settled into last place among the network newscasts, where it’s remained ever since.

It wasn’t just Rather’s cloddish liberal bias or his laughable attempts at denying it – his colleague Andy Rooney has described Rather as “transparently liberal” – that earned Rather an unusually high negative rating among the viewing public. There was always a certain weirdness factor, cogently summed up by journalist Peter Boyer:

“There was to Dan Rather a kind of innate vehemence, a quality that tempted crackpots to stalk him, prompted strangers to accost him, and urged cabbies to drive wildly through city streets with him screaming for help in the back seat. Things happened to Dan Rather, odd things, mysterious things, sometimes frightening things. And through the years Rather’s actions caused embarrassments and controversies that baffled those around him….”

But it was Rather’s political partisanship, which served as Exhibit A in former CBS correspondent Bernard Goldberg’s 2001 bestseller “Bias,” that enraged his conservative critics. It’s not hard to see why when one considers the following small sampling of a quite extensive list compiled by the Media Research Center (mediaresearch.org):

● “Nineteen days after the presidential election, Florida’s Republican secretary of state is about to announce the winner – as she sees it and she decrees it – of the state’s potentially decisive 25 electoral votes. Katherine Harris will officially certify the states election returns…. The believed certification – as the Republican secretary of state sees it – is coming just hours after a court-ordered deadline…. The certification – as the Florida secretary of state sees it and decrees it – is being signed [emphasis added].”  – During CBS News live coverage, Nov. 26, 2000.

● “Tonight, savagery in the streets of Iraq. Ten Americans die in a single day, four of them civilians murdered, mutilated and dragged through the streets…. What drives American civilians to risk death in Iraq? In this economy it may be, for some, the only job they can find.”  – Leading off the CBS Evening News, March 31, 2004.

● “The Republican convention opens in New York to re-nominate George W. Bush and showcase the party’s, quote, ‘moderate side.’ Will voters buy it?”  – Leading off the CBS Evening News, Aug. 30, 2004.

● “If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we’d take it right now and walk away winners…. Tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her and are pulling for her.”  – During satellite interview with President Clinton, CBS affiliates meeting, May 27, 1993.

● “Is or is there not some concern of the public perception, in some quarters, not all of them Democratic, that this is, in fact, a kind of effort at a, quote, ‘coup’ – that is, you have a twice-elected, popularly elected president of the United States, and so those that you mention in the Republican Party who dislike him and what he stands for, having been unable to beat him at the polls, have found another way to get him out of office?”  – Interviewing former Republican senator Warren Rudman at start of Clinton impeachment trial, Jan. 7, 1999.

● “Ken Starr drops another load on President Clinton…. Good evening. Just as President Clinton was enjoying a day talking up the economy, officially announcing the first U.S. budget surplus in three decdes, Ken Starr hit him again. The Republican independent counsel and special prosecutor decided….”  – CBS Evening News, May 26, 1998.

Ironically, CBS may have picked the worst possible successor to Rather for the CBS Evening News. Referring to the Performer Q Scores tabulated twice a year by Marketing Evaluations Inc., media writer Ken Auletta noted in The New Yorker last year that “The only prominent news person with a higher negative rating than Rather is Katie Couric.”

Jason Maoz

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