And now the most intriguing two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Busting on Bush in Baghdad
Democratic Congressmen Jim McDermott and David Bonior, now on a trip to Baghdad from which they are criticizing Bush administration policy toward Iraq, were also opposed to the first President's Bush's policy toward Iraq. In January 1991, Michigan Democrat Bonior said on the House floor that "the sanctions against Iraq are working. Now is too soon to declare this policy a failure and rush to war." McDermott said he rejected what he called "the new era of the Holy War," adding, "I will not vote to create another generation of grieving families, wondering if their sacrifices might have been spared." Both men also joined an unsuccessful lawsuit brought by 45 House Democrats to block the war.
A survey of news coverage of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle's outraged speech on the Senate floor last Wednesday suggests that Daschle got exactly the kind of coverage he was hoping for. The Senator, you will recall, bitterly complained that President Bush had said the Senate was "not interested in the security of the American people." Daschle did not mention, if he even knew, that the president had immediately gone on to say that Republicans and Democrats were working hard on homeland security, which he said was not a partisan issue. John Lott of the American Enterprise Institute examined 178 stories on the networks and major newspapers over the next three days and found that only three mentioned those subsequent comments by Bush either, despite an AP dispatch that included them.
Fair and Balanced Reporting
Lott, writing in National Review, said the three were FOX News, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and the Milwaukee Journal. And he said the New York Times, which printed a transcript of Daschle's entire speech, ran only excerpts of the president's comments — excerpts that stopped just short of where he praised the work of "Democrats and Republicans." And the Los Angeles Times reported that Republicans claimed the president's comments were “taken out of context,” but never reported what that context was.