Ups and Downs for the Week of September 20 - 24

This is a partial transcript from "The Beltway Boys", Sept. 25, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Let's check out who's up and who's down this week.

DOWN: Once Again, CBS News

Not only did it fail to report thoroughly on memos involving President Bush's National Guard service (search), it also helped Kerry senior adviser Joe Lockhart get in contact with the source of the phony documents, Bill Burkett, a former Texas National Guard official and Bush hater. And the Republicans are crying foul. Watch.


ED GILLESPIE, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: And there are questions about what the Kerry campaign knew and when they knew it. Bill Burkett posted in an e-mail, an e-mail that he blasted out to people on August 21, that he had had conversations with the Kerry campaign on August 20.

JOE LOCKHART, KERRY CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: Certainly there was no discussion at all with Mr. Burkett about National Guard documents, and certainly there's no basis for any of the White House claims that somehow the Kerry campaign or the Democratic Party has anything to do with this.


BARNES: You know, Burkett has totally contradicted what Lockhart said there and said they did discuss these documents, which ... have turned out to be forgeries.

Now, CBS initially described Burkett as an unimpeachable source. So we should believe him, right, Mort?

MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: I don't think so necessarily.

BARNES: I, I think he has about zero credibility, that's for sure. Still, the tip to CBS that ... by CBS to the Democrats and the Kerry campaign that something was coming out that was going to harm Bush on the national issue, on his National Guard service, prompted your hero, Terry McAuliffe (search), the head of the Democratic National Committee, to crank up a campaign ... including a television ad attacking Bush for his National Guard service, or lack of services, as McAuliffe would say.

Now, McAuliffe did this just as the Kerry campaign was changing the subject. They didn't want the National Guard to be discussed. They were changing it to Iraq. You know, I'm just amazed once again, like CBS, Terry McAuliffe is that gift that's, that just keeps on giving to Republicans and to Bush.

KONDRACKE: Now, Burkett, has, I don't think, has any reason to lie, even though his credibility is low, to lie about the conversation with, with Lockhart, where he says that Lockhart and he talked about the, for these documents. He does have reason, because he was, he was outed for misleading...


KONDRACKE: ... CBS, to, to dislike CBS, but, but he now claims that what he told CBS when he handed the documents off was, Check these documents carefully...


KONDRACKE: ... because you're going to get attacked on them. But ... the bottom line here is that Mary Mapes (search), this producer, should never have served, if she's a professional journalist...


KONDRACKE: ... as a go-between between...

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: ... Burkett and the Bush campaign. It's totally unprofessional, and it really puts CBS in a bad light.

BARNES: All right.

UP: Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi

He may have gotten a polite reception at the United Nations Friday, but he was treated like a rock star before a joint session of Congress, and in a one-on-one meeting with President Bush. Here's Allawi speaking before Congress Thursday.


IYAD ALLAWI, INTERIM IRAQI PRIME MINISTER: The overwhelming majority of Iraqis are grateful, but there are the tiny minority who are despise -- to despise the very ideas of liberty, of peace, of tolerance, and who will kill anyone, to destroy anything, to prevent Iraq and its people from achieving this goal.


BARNES: You know, Allawi's speech was not only a brilliant and moving speech, but it was a political home run for Bush now that Kerry is spreading doom and gloom and about Iraq as the centerpiece in his campaign. Allawi made a strong case for optimism in Iraq, optimism about beating the terrorists, which has, is the first thing that has to happen, they're beating the terrorists, and moving on with reconstruction and democratic elections.

You know, Bush could not have asked for more from Allawi than he got.

KONDRACKE: Aren't you the one who said that Allawi should have stayed home and, and been, done his prime ministerial duties instead of coming here?

BARNES: Well, he did political duties pretty well too, yes.

KONDRACKE: Well, I think there were two reasons why he came. One was, one was political.


KONDRACKE: He all but explicitly endorsed George Bush. He said...


KONDRACKE: ... that toppling Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do, not the wrong war at the right time, wrong time, and, and he also said that the world is better off with Saddam Hussein gone, thereby, you know, playing into the Bush campaign.

Now, he also was trying to, I think, both he and Bush, portrayed the situation in Iraq more, in a more rosy manner than the facts merit. But it is not fantasy spin as, as Kerry claims, it is rather an attempt to boost morale on the part of both the Americans and the Iraqis at a time when the enemy is clearly trying to destroy morale and win this war psychologically.

UP: The American Indians

They have a brand-new museum on the National Mall. They were feted at the White House with an event this week, and years after being ignored, they're being recognized for their political power. The museum itself, the museum on the outside, is gorgeous. It, it is really an addition, a wonderful...

BARNES: Right.

KONDRACKE: ... addition to the Mall. The critics have all panned it on the inside. I haven't been in to see it...


KONDRACKE: ... but they say it, it's disorganized. But what, what's really interesting is, one, this is not the museum of Native Americans...

BARNES: Yes, good.

KONDRACKE: ... you know? It's now established that American Indian is the term that American Indians prefer to, to have, have themselves called. And in the second major cultural event, the Annenberg School conducted a survey of American Indians about whether they're offended that the, that the Washington Redskins...

BARNES: Yes, right.

KONDRACKE: ... are called the Redskins (search). Ninety percent ...are not.


KONDRACKE: Goodbye political correctness.

BARNES: ... Joe Gibbs and Dan Stein will be happy about that. You know, Governor Schwarzenegger in California vetoed a bill that would have forced high schools, I think there are five of them in California, who use the name Redskins. They can keep that name, as they should.

KONDRACKE: Right. Dartmouth can go back to being called the Dartmouth Indians.

BARNES: Yes, they're checking.


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