This is a partial transcript from The Beltway Boys, September 7, that has been edited for clarity. Click here to order the complete transcript.
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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Up and down time.
DOWN: The New York Times
BARNES: Its bias against military action in Iraq is showing. First, it misrepresents comments by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, for which the Times issued a correction this week, a controversial correction. And then prints an interview with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, one of the most vocal opponents against war in Iraq, but playing down Schroeder's tight re-election race.
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Well, the Times has the view, I think almost from the — from the top of the organization, that any American war, including the war in Afghanistan, they, the — is a Vietnam quagmire in the making, where in reality, and it is the duty of America's foremost newspaper to prevent this from, from happening.
Now, we do need aggressive and balanced reporting on the pros and cons of...
KONDRACKE: ... of going to war with Iraq...
KONDRACKE: ... but it's got to be accurate and it's got to be balanced, and the Times coverage has not been.
BARNES: No, I don't think so either. And Howell Raines, the editor, had said on PBS the other day that all they're doing is covering the debate over whether to go with Iraq or not.
Now, the — in Washington, the respected Center for Media and Public Affairs did a study of the New York Times coverage from August 1 to August — July 1 to August 25, all the front page stories that deal with the war, and got — and — and came to this. The stories with a conclusion about Bush's Iraq policy, 71 percent negative.
And then, just looking at Republicans who made statements about Bush Iraq policy, including everybody in the administration, obviously they were pro, but even so, Republicans were 58 percent of the comments quoting Republicans on Bush's Iraq … strategy were negative. I think that seals the case.
UP: Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y.
KONDRACKE: Rangel helps engineer Andrew Cuomo's departure from the New York governor's race, leaving Rangel's choice, Comptroller Carl McCall, uncontested for the Democratic nomination.
BARNES: Now, Mort, remember a couple of months ago when we had Charlie Rangel on our show...
KONDRACKE: I do.
BARNES: ... one of the greatest guests we have, and we talked to him before he actually went on the air, and he said then, Andrew Cuomo will withdraw from this race. And he didn't say it on the air, but we...
KONDRACKE: You, you tried to get him to...
BARNES: I tried to get him to say it...
KONDRACKE: ... say it on the air.
BARNES: ... on the air, he didn't. But, but he said it to us privately. He turned out, he's exactly right. And he played a role in that for sure, getting Andrew Cuomo out.
Now, think back earlier. Who was the first person in New York, the prominent Democrat, to say, Hillary Clinton, come to New York and run for the Senate? Who helped pave the way for her? Charlie Rangel. He is the new Democratic kingmaker in New York, not the Clintons.
KONDRACKE: Yes, well, he's not running for president. Hillary will be someday.
The Democrats in New York are already talking about who is going to be their candidate in 2006, will it be Cuomo? Cuomo obviously hopes so. Or will it be Eliot Spitzer, the attorney general? Or maybe...
KONDRACKE: ... maybe McCall.
KONDRACKE: What that means, of course, is that they're sort of acknowledging that George Pataki is probably going to get reelected.
BARNES: Yes, I agree.
DOWN: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy
BARNES: Leahy leads committee Democrats into killing the nomination of Priscilla Owen, President Bush's pick for a seat on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, even though she received a "well-qualified" rating from the American Bar Association, that's the highest rating they give.
Democrats say it's Bush's fault his nominee was rejected. Listen to Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer on exactly this point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: The White House has to understand that they cannot pack the courts with only conservative nominees and expect this committee to be a rubber stamp. Certainly their Constitution calls for advise and consent. There's no advice, we're not consulted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KONDRACKE: Well, on judicial nominations, what you've got between the Republicans and the Democrats in the Senate is a cycle of violence, Middle East-style. Priscilla Owen, and the Democrats just escalated that cycle of violence, the … — Priscilla Owen is not a right-wing activist, as she was accused of being. And the fact is that this is the first well-qualified nomination, which is the highest rating, as you pointed out, of the American Bar Association ever to be rejected by the Senate.
What's happening here is that the — every … with every turn, the judiciary, the judicial branch of government, is being hurt by this, this war that's going on between the Democrats and the Republicans. It's got to stop at some point.
BARNES: Yes, the Democrats claim she's an activist judge. She's not an activist judge. They claim they — they're trying to … keep balance on the court. We get balance on the court because we have different presidents from different parties with different nominees. Over time, you get balance.
KONDRACKE: I agree.
UP: Airline pilots
KONDRACKE: The Senate votes overwhelmingly this week to allow airline pilots to carry guns in the cockpit. The House approved a similar measure in July, and after initial opposition, even the White House is on board.
BARNES: Look, this passed because it made such sense, because it is a great deterrent to have … to have pilots armed. You're not going to get terrorists and hijackers on the plane. There was a great lobbying campaign by the pilots themselves and by some of their consultants, Craig Shirley and Diane Bannister.
But now we have to move on to something else. That is the ethnic profiling that's needed. Just today, our producer — a, a friend of our producer, Michelle Renelard, flew from New York to Washington. Two people were called out of line to be frisked and take their shoes off. You know who they were?
A 7-year-old boy and Larry King of CNN. I mean...
KONDRACKE: A dangerous man.
BARNES: ... it's absurd. Yes, yes, it's absurd.
KONDRACKE: OK. Well, look, this, this up should have been the Fred Barnes up, because you were the chief journalist and proponent of this idea. I just hope, the rule has got to be, the, the, the pilots stay in the, in their cockpit with their guns...
BARNES: Yes, yes.
KONDRACKE: ... they don't open the door and try to be Clint Eastwood and try to, you know, save the day. That's got to be the rule.
BARNES: Yes, yes, don't worry.
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