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CBS, CNN & NBC Skip Iraq Outreach to bin Laden Over Saudi Arabia
MRC ^ | 6/28/04 | Brent Baker

Posted on 06/28/2004 8:27:09 AM PDT by pookie18

Spiked by CBS, CNN and NBC again. Exactly a week after the CBS Evening News, CNN’s NewsNight and the NBC Nightly News ignored Russian President Vladimir Putin’s disclosure that Russian intelligence warned the Bush administration after 9-11 that Saddam Hussein planned to attack inside the U.S., the very same newscasts managed to skip over a Friday front page New York Times story about how top operatives in Hussein’s regime approached bin Laden in the mid-1990s about working together against the Saudi ruling family and foreigners in Saudi Arabia.

Friday’s CBS Evening News, however, had time for hyperventilation about how, as anchor John Roberts put it, “partisan bickering in Washington” supposedly reached “a new low as the Vice President lets loose with...'the' four-letter word." Bob Orr concluded the subsequent story by lecturing: "But the Vice President's profanity, uttered on the same day the Senate passed a bill requiring broadcasters to clean up the public airwaves, clearly shows that a lot needs to be done to raise the tone here in Washington."

CBS also had time for a story blaming the war in Iraq for a polio outbreak in Nigeria. Roberts plugged that story: "Coming up next on tonight's CBS Evening News, polio, it's making a comeback, and the war in Iraq may have something to do with it.” Reporter Gretchen Carlson related how “the local government stopped administering polio part, health officials say, out of distrust of the United States." A UNICEF spokeswoman claimed: "There was a concern that there was sterilization elements in it, some growing resistance and a concern that this was an effort to basically depopulate the Muslim population."

Carlson added: "According to UNICEF, the U.S.-led war in Iraq inadvertently inflamed a public health crisis." The spokeswoman elaborated: "We did some interviews with some community members who explicitly said, 'We've seen the news on Iraq, we've seen the news on the Middle East, we know what's going on. And we're supposed to take these vaccines?'"

As with the Putin story from a week earlier, only ABC’s World News Tonight, of the broadcast networks, picked up on the latest revelation about the friendly working relationship between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. “ABC News has obtained a document which shows some contact between Iraq and bin Laden's al-Qaeda network back in the mid-1990s,” anchor Elizabeth Vargas touted.

FNC’s Special Report with Brit Hume reported the outreach to bin Laden and discussed it during a panel segment on Friday night.

The Saturday, June 19 CyberAlert recounted: At a press conference on Friday [June 18], Russian President Vladimir Putin disclosed that “after Sept. 11, 2001...the Russian Special Services” passed along to the U.S. how it had “received information that officials from Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States...” Friday’s CBS Evening News didn’t mention Putin’s revelation even though it devoted over two minutes to the debate over any Iraq-al-Qaeda relationship. Dan Rather found more newsworthy how Bill Clinton, in one of “the more compelling passages” in his new book, claimed to have warned President-elect Bush about Osama bin laden, but Bush didn’t care. NBC Nighty News skipped Putin and instead dedicated a story to undermining President Bush’s contention that Musab Abu al-Zarqawi’s is linked to al-Qaeda. Of the broadcast networks on Friday night, only ABC found Putin newsworthy. On CNN, American Morning jumped on Putin’s revelation, but by the evening CNN had moved on. CBS’s Saturday Early Show skipped Putin and NBC’s Today didn’t get to Putin until the last news update, after audio clips from Clinton’s book and how he warned an apathetic Bush about terrorism, and an interview session with Harry Thomason about The Hunting of the President, which Campbell Brown described as a film about “the case that there was a well-funded right-wing conspiracy to destroy the President and First Lady Hillary Clinton.” See:

On Wednesday night, June 16, the networks eagerly hyped and distorted one paragraph in a report from the 9-11 Commission. On World News Tonight, ABC’s Peter Jennings had insisted the commission had “unequivocally” contradicted what the administration had maintained, on the CBS Evening News John Roberts asserted that the commission had “directly contradicted one of President Bush’s justifications for going to war against Iraq” and on the NBC Nightly News Tom Brokaw characterized the commission as “sharply at odds with what leading members of the administration continue to claim.”

For more about that coverage, see the June 17 CyberAlert:

The next night, after the Chairman and Vice Chairman made clear that the media had distorted their finding, CBS ignored the scolding while ABC and NBC buried it. See:

Back to Friday, June 25, the front page New York Times headline read: “Iraqis, Seeking Foes of Saudis, Contacted bin Laden, File Says.” Thom Shanker reported how a Defense Department “task force concluded that the document 'appeared authentic,’ and that it 'corroborates and expands on previous reporting’ about contacts between Iraqi intelligence and Mr. bin Laden in Sudan, according to the task force's analysis....The document, which asserts that Mr. bin Laden 'was approached by our side,’ states that Mr. bin Laden previously 'had some reservations about being labeled an Iraqi operative,’ but was now willing to meet in Sudan, and that 'presidential approval’ was granted to the Iraqi security service to proceed.”

For the New York Times article in full:

ABC’s World News Tonight, unlike CBS and NBC, MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth observed, picked up on the same subject explored by the New York Times article.

Anchor Elizabeth Vargas introduced the June 25 story: "In Washington today, the fight over the Bush administration's case for war in Iraq continues. The administration maintains that there was a strong connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Today, ABC News has obtained a document which shows some contact between Iraq and bin Laden's al-Qaeda network back in the mid-1990s. ABC's Martha Raddatz is at the Pentagon. Martha, just what does the document say?"

Raddatz explained: "Elizabeth, these are the documents obtained by ABC News. It's nine pages, all in Arabic, detailing these alleged contacts. This is one of millions of documents discovered in Iraq after the U.S. invasion. Defense and intelligence analysts say the document appears to be authentic and shows Saddam Hussein's efforts to cooperate with Saudi Arabian opposition groups, including Osama bin Laden and Hezbollah. The contacts allegedly occurred in Sudan where bin Laden lived at the time, and before he was widely known as an international terrorist. The document says the Iraqis requested the meeting with the approval of Saddam Hussein. Bin Laden, says the report, 'had some reservations about being labeled an Iraqi operative' but ultimately agreed to meet. According to the document, bin Laden requested that the Iraqis rebroadcast sermons by an anti-Saudi cleric, which was approved. Also requested, joint operations against foreign forces in Saudi Arabia. The document makes no indication that request was ever approved or carried out." Michael O'Hanlon, Brookings Institution: "It makes sense at one level that Saddam would have wanted to explore options for collaboration with this new terrorist group that, for all he knew, could have been very useful to him and accomplished some of his goals." Raddatz concluded by downplaying the significance: "Now, there are additional documents that the U.S. is trying to authenticate but nothing, Elizabeth, that shows any more recent contacts between bin Laden and Iraq."

TOPICS: News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons
KEYWORDS: alqaedaandiraq; mediabias

1 posted on 06/28/2004 8:27:10 AM PDT by pookie18
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To: pookie18

Good thing we have FOX and the Washington Times

2 posted on 06/28/2004 8:30:36 AM PDT by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1/5 1st Mar Div. Nam 69&70 Semper Fi
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To: pookie18

This is why I don't watch this slop any more. They just refuse to tell the truth about anything!

3 posted on 06/28/2004 8:31:35 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: kellynla
Good thing we have FOX and the Washington Times

...& Free Republic!!

4 posted on 06/28/2004 8:32:35 AM PDT by pookie18
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To: pookie18
The network "war" is against BUSH, it's more obvious every day.

I watched Brokaw trying to throw cold water on today's news.

I think it's hysterical that Rather and Brokaw are in Baghdad for the transfer but they MISSED it.

They didn't bother showing up at Bremer's "background briefing" that turned out to be the transfer.

They were probably getting their nails done or something equally important. :


5 posted on 06/28/2004 8:36:41 AM PDT by Mister Baredog ((Part of the Reagan legacy is to re-elect G.W. Bush))
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To: pookie18

Ignore CBS. Most people already do.

6 posted on 06/28/2004 8:37:23 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (STAGMIRE !)
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To: pookie18

This is so under-reported that I keep forgetting about it. It is entirely possible that the attack Saddam planned for America came in the form of the anthrax attacks.

7 posted on 06/28/2004 8:38:12 AM PDT by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: pookie18
Good thing we have FOX and the Washington Times

...& Free Republic!!

Don't forget RUSH is back today and HANNITY will be back in a week. Talk radio is vital.IMHO

8 posted on 06/28/2004 8:38:19 AM PDT by Mister Baredog ((Part of the Reagan legacy is to re-elect G.W. Bush))
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To: Mister Baredog

LOL.....I can just see them fuming now. Getting their nails done is probably more accurate than we will ever know.

9 posted on 06/28/2004 8:39:52 AM PDT by OldFriend (IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THANK A TEACHER.......AND SINCE IT'S IN ENGLISH, THANK A SOLDIER)
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To: pookie18
Another view of the bias spewed by CNN and other media - and yes, thank heavens we have Fox!

We all have our favorite news casting network; however, this one is unbelievable!

Bert Kinzey is a former Army officer who became an expert in military aviation and has authored literally dozens of books, principally aimed at the aviation enthusiast and scale modeler, and that are definitely apolitical. However, with his research efforts on military subjects he has gained a wealth of contacts within the U.S. Military, and is one of the premier authorities on military subjects in this country.
Please read what Bert has to say about CNN.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As many of you know, although some do not, I wrote a book about the Gulf War shortly after it ended in 1991. It was published by McGraw Hill, and was titled, "The Fury of Desert Storm, the Air Campaign." While that book's primary focus was on the air war, much of it also addressed the news coverage of the war. I pointed out how there were two big losers during that war; Iraq and the news media.

Both the news media and Iraq had many things in common, one of which was that they brought their problems on themselves. I explained how the news media, particularly CNN, inaccurately reported the war, misstating the facts, and in many cases deliberately telling outright lies. I dedicated an entire chapter to a dishonest CNN report about the B-1 bomber and evaluated its inaccuracies line by line. I illustrated that the report was full of lies, and these were about clearly established facts and not about someone's opinion. I spoke in person to the people in the Pentagon that CNN had interviewed and filmed for that report, and they told me how CNN edited what they said to make it seem like they were saying exactly the opposite of what they actually said. I spoke with CNN's people here in Atlanta and at the Pentagon, including Wolf Blitzer, and he admitted he knew nothing about the military. A CNN employee in Atlanta admitted to me that they did not care if they got their reporting accurate. They only wanted to get it on the air first and in the most dramatic manner possible. Their primary purpose was to make money by selling ad space, not reporting the news. The story goes on and on.

Unfortunately, twelve years later, the situation has not improved at CNN. I have watched them as well as other news sources recently, and their lies and inaccuracies are even more common than they were in 1991. Their bias is also beyond belief. They are showing almost exclusively an anti-war stance by people who are so delusional that they believe that peace is merely the absence of war. While everyone, including news organizations, has their own bias, it is neither professional nor honest to concentrate almost exclusively on one side of an issue, particularly one so important as this. To do so presents an inaccurate and dishonest view of what is actually happening, and this does not allow viewers to form informed and valid opinions.

For example, CNN concentrates almost exclusively on those few nations that are against us in this effort and makes almost no mention of the many more that are supporting us. They ignore and do not report on our success in Afghanistan where we have returned women to classrooms and professional occupations and where people are returning to that country with expectations for a bright future free of terror, all thanks to America. Before we drove out the Taliban, people were fleeing Afghanistan.

CNN also makes the viewer believe that those who protest the war are in far greater numbers than those who are supporting it. This is clearly not the case, and even CNN's own surveys show that 66% of Americans support military action to disarm Iraq. (ABC and FOX surveys place that percentage in the upper 70s.) For example, this past Saturday, over 3,000 people turned out in Atlanta, the home of CNN, to support the war on a dreary and rainy day. At the same time, there was an anti-war rally in Atlanta that was attended by twenty-two, that's right TWENTY-TWO protesters. Anyone care to guess how CNN covered it? I recently heard the percentage of students that protested the war at universities across America, and in almost every case, it was less than one percent. That means that ninety-nine percent did not protest against the war, and in many cases the number gathering to support President Bush and our troops far exceed the number who protested against it. But who does CNN report? Clearly, all sides need to be presented in a balanced manner, and CNN skews their coverage extremely in one direction. In my view, their coverage with its inaccuracies, lies, distortions, and blame America first bias is nothing short of criminal.

CNN has seldom reported much about the continuing atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein throughout his time in power. Here is a man who has attacked his neighbor to the east and his neighbor to the southeast. Here is a man who has fired missiles at his neighbors to the southwest and the west. Hussein has gassed his own people and habitually tortures those that disagree with him. He has had the wives and children of dissidents brought in and tortured, raped, and killed those family members before their very eyes. Here is a man who would destroy oil wells and dams to create ecological disasters and kill the Iraqi people. On the other side of the coin are the Americans who will bring freedom from this oppression to the Iraqis, who will bring food and medicine to them, who will protect Iraq's infrastructure, and who will treat Iraqi prisoners who surrender in a humane way. But CNN makes America out to be the bad guy! How does that work?

If you are like me and believe that the freedom of the press carries with it an obligation to be accurate, fair, balanced, and honest, I ask you to do two things. First, please pass this e-mail on to everyone you know so that they may realize what CNN is doing. Second, I ask you to stop the lies, turn off CNN, and send them a e-mail that you are doing so. I ask you to look elsewhere for your news coverage. I find the FOX News Network, The News Hour on PBS, and MSNBC to be far more fair. Sure, there is some bias anywhere, but it is not so extreme nor calculated. On these networks I hear both sides about equally. I hear about France like I do on CNN, but I also hear about Japan and Australia as well as the many other countries that are backing us in so many ways. As of today, three countries in Europe are against us, and twenty-two have come out in support of us. Most of the twenty-two have never been mentioned on CNN, but representatives of France and Germany are on CNN almost hourly. So please take a look at several news choices and find one that is accurate, fair, and balanced. It is only that way that you will get an honest view of what is going on. I am not telling you which one to choose, I'm only asking you to turn off CNN.

It is not in my present plans to write another book for the general public on this war. But that may change. I am so sickened by the reporting of CNN that I may just do so. If I do, I will not focus on the air war this time. Instead I will simply state the facts that clearly prove that CNN is lying and distorting the news about our country, our leaders, and our military.

Finally, I would like to remind you to do a third thing. As most of you know, I have a son who is a Navy pilot and who has been flying missions in the Middle East since last November. So, as the father of one of our deployed military personnel, and as a former Army officer myself, I ask all of you to remember our troops, support them, and pray for them even more than you usually do in these critical days ahead. I know many of you also have family members or friends who are over there ready to do their jobs in support of our country. It is those troops who keep us free, and who are ready to lay down their lives to protect our country. It is not the movie stars nor the news reporters that have ever protected us.

For those of you who pass this on to your friends, I thank you for your help in spreading the word about CNN.

God bless America,
Bert Kinzey

10 posted on 06/28/2004 8:43:30 AM PDT by yoe (Organized crime and the name Clinton are synonymous........)
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To: Mister Baredog
Talk radio is vital.IMHO

And enjoyable to listen to also, I might add....

11 posted on 06/28/2004 8:45:01 AM PDT by b4its2late (John Kerry changes positions more often than a Nevada prostitute!!!)
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To: pookie18

bump for lunch

12 posted on 06/28/2004 8:47:30 AM PDT by Wilum
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To: pookie18


13 posted on 06/28/2004 8:51:23 AM PDT by T. Buzzard Trueblood ("I stood up and fought against Ronald Reagan's illegal war in Central America." -John Kerry)
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To: yoe
CNN has seldom reported much about the continuing atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein throughout his time in power

Because they were complicite in them. In order to keep their Baghdad Bureau open.


14 posted on 06/28/2004 8:52:11 AM PDT by Mister Baredog ((Part of the Reagan legacy is to re-elect G.W. Bush))
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To: Stillwaters


15 posted on 06/28/2004 8:55:26 AM PDT by lonevoice (Some things have to be believed to be seen)
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To: Mister Baredog

Fox got a special invite. Greg Palkot was told, "Don't go anywhere, big news happening in a few minutes, wanna come?"

There were only about 6 other people in the room when the transfer occurred.

I love that.

16 posted on 06/28/2004 9:06:30 AM PDT by RinaseaofDs (War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. And I say let us give them all they want; not a word of a)
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