The News Wars Continue

You may remember New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley, a committed liberal, attacking Geraldo Rivera during the Hurricane Katrina coverage. Ms. Stanley accused Geraldo of pushing aside a rescue worker in order to put himself in front of the camera.

Well, that was not true and videotape proved it. But Stanley refused to correct the record even though she was scolded in print by The Times ombudsman.

There is no question Alessandra Stanley despises FOX News and consistently uses her television column to push her secular progressive agenda.

Thursday, she proved that once again.

In a blatant attempt to prop up the fading "NBC Nightly News," Stanley attacked ABC News anchor Charles Gibson, calling him lazy, and saying he got his anchor job by default. Stanley writes, "Mr. Gibson hasn't exactly overexerted himself in his new job. This week, while [Brian] Williams is in Iraq, Mr. Gibson is on vacation."

Is Ms. Stanley desperate or what? Charles Gibson is not entitled to take a vacation? Completely absurd.

Stanley is denigrating Gibson because he is beating Williams and because The New York Times and NBC News are ideological soul mates — sympathetic to the far left and hostile to people with whom they disagree.

Talking Points has no problem with Brian Williams, but NBC's coverage remains dubious. Listen to this:


RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: On the ground, the situation does look very dire. I was out today in western Baghdad on a street they call "Phone Card." And there were — all the shops were closed. They were burned out cars in the middle of the road. And the situation is very severe. And U.S. commanders have said we're at a turning point. And unfortunately, that hasn't been the case.


Well, what Richard Engel and Brian Williams did not report last night is that violence has dropped about 80 percent in Baghdad since the surge, according to the Army. Mr. Engel is a brave man, but has consistently taken an anti-war position in general. That's not what correspondents are supposed to do.

The alliance between The New York Times and NBC News becomes even more troubling with the announcement Thursday that CBS News has hired a committed liberal to run the Katie Couric broadcast. Producer Richard Kaplan is a close friend of the Clintons and has a long history of left-wing activism. At CNN, he oversaw a bogus Vietnam report designed to make the American military look bad.

After that at NBC, Kaplan allowed elements over there to use far-left Web sites as primary sources — basically presenting propaganda as fact.

Kaplan was fired from both jobs.

If CBS News allows Kaplan to imitate NBC News, the nation will then have two networks actively rooting for the Democrats to win the White House in 2008. We hope the management at CBS will prevent that from happening.

In this very confusing time in history, America needs tough honest reporting, not slanted unfair presentations, the kind that have caused NBC News to dramatically decline.

Summing up, there are some very disturbing things going on in American journalism these days. My thanks to Alessandra Stanley for making that quite obvious.

And that's The Memo.

Most Ridiculous Item

We're here in Washington because FOX News President Roger Ailes is being honored by the Radio and Television News Directors Association this evening.

Also receiving awards, ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff and CBS reporter Kimberly Dozier, both severely wounded in Iraq. We salute and congratulate our colleagues and Roger, as well as New England Cable News President Phil Balboni, also getting a well-deserved award.

Even though I have to wear a tux, and I hate that, I am pleased to be going to this event. Nothing ridiculous about it, except the tux. I never get the tie. You know the tie?