To watch "The Talking Points Memo" in the Screening Room click here.
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching us tonight.
Slanting the war coverage... That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
Most military experts are saying the campaign in Iraq is an unprecedented success. The war is now six days old. The USA has losses of 20 dead and 14 captured or missing according to the Associated Press. The allies control most of the country and are knocking on the door of Saddam's bunker. But if you read The New York Times today, you might think Iraq was winning. The front page of the "Times" was full of ominous headlines. "Iraqis Repel Copters; One Goes Down." "GIs Regroup After Setback --Two Prisoners on Iraqi TV." "Hussein Rallies Iraqi Defenders." "The Goal Is Baghdad, but at What Cost?" All these headlines were on just one page. Unbelievable.
Contrast that to page one of the The Boston Globe, also a very liberal newspaper. "Coalition nearing Baghdad." "War plan on course." "Hunt for banned weapons." "Strategy aims at heart of Hussein's rule." Quite a difference. The Globe giving straight and honest war coverage.
So why is the "New York Times" spinning its coverage to the negative side? Well, there's a big reason. Everybody knows the USA will win the war, but if the victory is too overwhelming, the Bush administration wins big too. The Times definitely does not want that to happen. So its editorial position is shading its news coverage, and that's flat-out wrong.
The Times wants a pyrrhic victory, that's a win with consequences, so we can say that more diplomacy should have been tried. This kind of a game, playing with vital information makes me extremely angry. There's no question that today's front page of the nation's most powerful newspaper does not reflect the truth of the battlefield.
Here's how absurd the whole thing is. 20 Americans are dead. Nine of them were killed by cowardly Iraqis who faked a surrender. And the majority of those captured made a wrong turn, driving right into the Iraqi forces. There have been few major engagements between Iraqi units and American combat troops. The Iraqis are killing coalition soldiers by dressing up in civilian clothes, shooting from mosques and child care centers, and generally violating every rule of warfare in the book. Yet the Times calls the resistance "fierce." Well, I call that kind of coverage farce. And I can back up my description with the facts, not misleading headlines.
There may indeed be vicious fighting before this war is over, but right now American troops have done incredibly well. Fighting against cowardly thugs, not using much of its arsenal in order to protect Iraqi civilians. So now you know the truth from the battlefield. Somebody call The New York Times and tell them. That's the The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
Actor Tim Robbins, who's living with actress Susan Sarandon, is angry at The Washington Post. It seems gossip writer Lloyd Grove talked to Ms. Sarandon's mother-- who's a conservative. Lenora Tomalin apparently told Mr. Grove that her daughter is kind of misguided in her opinion [of President Bush and the war].
Anyway, according to Grove, Robbins confronted him at an Oscar party in Hollywood and threatened to do him some harm. Wow. Which might be ridiculous, but I can't say I wouldn't have done the same thing if somebody bothered my mother. So I kind of sympathize with Robbins.