This is a partial transcript from "The Beltway Boys", May 29, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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FRED BARNES, CO-HOST: Let's go to this week's ups and downs.
UP: World War II
Whether it's books, movies, or a brand-new memorial, World War II and the people who fought it are America's new fascination. And you know why that's the case, Mort? I think it's because, one, World War II was a period in which Americans were united as a people and behind that war, and secondly, the press was nonpartisan and patriotic.
Just imagine if we had the press back then that we have today, for instance, I mean, D-Day would have been declared a failure, the Battle of the Bulge (search) a loss for the Americans.
MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST: Yes, the Battle of the Bulge would have been compared to Vietnam, which hadn't happened yet.
The greatest generation deserves all the accolades it's getting. It is the generation that saved us from the worst ... despotisms in history.
I have to say, though, just to, to set things straight, that now that I've visited the World War II memorial, I think it's a disappointment and not worthy of the people that it's supposed to honor. I don't think it's particularly a awe-inspiring, and it doesn't say why the war was worth fighting.
BARNES: Well, you didn't have to say that, you know, on the weekend, when the, when the memorial's open and inaugurated and all the veterans are all over Washington ... have to say it. But you have been down and actually walked around and visited.
KONDRACKE: I have, I, I actually have ... I actually have, and I was disappointed.
BARNES: ... and your awe was not inspired.
KONDRACKE: That's exactly right.
DOWN: John Kerry
His campaign's trial balloon delaying his acceptance of the Democratic nomination in order to raise more money landed with a big-time thud. Here's Kerry on Wednesday explaining his change of heart.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KERRY: I've made the decision based on my own gut that I think the right thing to do is accept the nomination in Boston. I think the right thing to do is to showcase Boston and Massachusetts and our vision for the country. And the best way to do that is by accepting the nomination in Boston.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KONDRACKE: I don't think it was his gut, I think it was the fact that he was ... for the idea, and also for the fact that the media would not have covered the convention the way it normally does, and therefore Kerry, at the end of the convention, would not have gotten his normal post-convention boost. That's why he changed his mind.
BARNES: Mort, I agree with you. But it's just amazing to me that he would treat the fact that he's going to show up at the convention and accept the nomination, which is what's been happening for the winning candidate for either party for decades now, that he would treat that as a profile in courage that he's going to show up there.
What I wanted to know, if he didn't show up, if he didn't exactly accept the nomination, what would he have called his speech, which is normally known as the acceptance speech? The I'll accept later speech, or the pre-acceptance speech? It just, it amazes me that he even considered that. All right.
DOWN: The Mainstream Press
And here's why. These are the results from a survey of both national and local members of the media by the respected Pew Research Center for the People in the Press. When asked what the top problems facing journalism are today, only 5 percent say objectivity and fairness is a concern. That's down from five years ago.
And that same percentage, a mere 5 percent, say ethics and standards are, are a top concern, only 5 percent, after all these scandals in the press. And the mainstream press is, surprise, surprise, dominated by liberals, nearly five times more journalists are liberal than conservative, and just look at the trend since 1976. It's a pretty significant repetitive trend that shows that only recently, however, some of these liberals have decided to call themselves moderates.
So I think the case is closed. The media is dominated by liberals. Inevitably, you're going to have a liberal bias. And I think we see a lot of it today.
KONDRACKE: Well, the figure that struck me most was that 54 percent of all the journalists in the national media ... regard themselves as moderates now. Let, than regard themselves ... as liberals. But if you check out their attitudes ... their attitudes are distinctly liberal ... which means that this bias is unconscious. I mean, they don't even know they're biased.
And, the most striking example of it, which I don't think was quite unconscious, is, when John Ashcroft and Bob Mueller announced this, this terrorist threat, what The New York Times did with the thing, everybody else played it on page one, first, first, first page ... A-16, down at the bottom ... of the page. What was that all about?
BARNES: No, I think the, the liberalism is conscious, and those reporter, those reporters ... consciously call themselves moderates. OK.
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