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9/11 Update: Inconceivable!

The MRC says something nice about Dan Rather. Plus: Falwell apologizes, prime cuts of whacked-out commentary, and guess who criticized Bush and escaped the NewsMax treatment?

By Terry Krepel
Posted 9/20/2001

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have interpreted by some as a sign of the End Times. If that's true, here's another sign: the Media Research Center actually being complementary to Dan Rather.

"Dan Rather has done plenty over his career to earn the suspicions of conservatives, but Monday night, on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, Rather displayed emotion and patriotic fervor which all Americans should respect," the MRC's Brent Baker reported in his Sept. 18 CyberAlert. "Rather twice broke down into tears, and had to stop speaking, in what certainly appeared to be genuine outpourings of emotion as he recalled the heroic work of the firefighters and later recited lines from 'America the Beautiful.'"

Baker also proudly noted that "Rather later sounded ready to sign-up for the war effort as he declared: 'George Bush is the President. He makes the decisions, and, you know, it’s just one American, wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where. And he’ll make the call.'"

But lest you think that this means the MRC has fundamentally changed, Baker reminds his readers that Rather's comments "was quite a contrast to the standard liberal political carping which Bill Maher espoused at the top of ABC’s 'Politically Incorrect' as Maher pivoted off the attacks to rail against missile defense, religious believers of all faiths and drug laws."

Even NewsMax was a bit giddy about Rather's remarks, reproducing the MRC item on its site. Giddy enough to drop its hypocritical "Buckwheat" war? Maybe. Meanwhile, it's found a new target in Bill Maher.

Elsewhere in the CyberAlert, Baker passes on the frightening news that "In the week since the attacks the MRC has kept 16 VCRs going nearly around the clock to tape the three cable news networks 24 hours a day and the three broadcast networks nearly as much, with some double taping of key hours. Plus, approximately 16 hours a day of C-SPAN and CNBC, not to mention PBS at night.So far we’ve used 210 six and eight-hour VHS videotapes. That totals about 1,400 hours of broadcast and cable network news coverage." This means that the MRC will be sharing every picayune alleged slight of Bush and conservatism with us all over the coming weeks. You have been warned.

Baker concludes his newsletter by noting:

    It’s a new media world. "God Bless America" proclaims the headline on the cover of Newsweek over the now famous photo, taken by Bergen Record photographer Thomas Franklin, of firemen raising a flag at the site of the World Trade Center rubble. Let’s hope that kind of media attitude endures.

In other words, journalistic bias is OK as long as it's conservative -- the flawed mantra MRC has been preaching all along.

* * *

NewsMax on Sept. 18 ran the complete text of the Rev. Jerry Falwell apology for recent comments he made. There's just two things wrong with it:

First, Falwell never explicitly says just what it is he's apologizing for -- which, in case you missed it, was blaming homosexuals, abortion-rights supporters and the American Civil Liberties Union for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Second, NewsMax never ran a story on Falwell's original comments, so it makes little sense to run the apology without having told its readers what he said originally. And since Falwell doesn't repeat his original remarks, his apology is just hanging there without explanation or context.

As usual, NewsMax misses (or refuses to acknowledge) the larger, more interesting story, which the Washington Post picked up on. That would be the backpedaling by the Rev. Pat Robertson, on whose "700 Club" TV show Falwell made his remarks. On the show, Robertson responded to Falwell's remarks by saying things like "Amen," "I totally concur" and "Jerry, that's my feeling," but he's now calling the remarks "totally inappropriate" and "severe and harsh in tone."

* * *

Speaking of NewsMax refusing to acknowledge a story: Guess whose criticism of President Bush for allowing the terrorist attacks to happen NewsMax has ignored?

Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch attacked "the first eight months of the Bush Administration" (along with, of course, the Clinton administration) because "little to nothing was done to secure our nation’s airports and transportation systems as a whole – despite warnings. ... Instead of telling the truth so the problems could be addressed, politicians painted a rosy picture in order to be elected and re-elected."

Where's NewsMax's xenophobic army to denounce Klayman for criticizing Bush? Oh, wait -- any criticism of a Republican by Klayman doesn't exist as far as NewsMax is concerned.

* * *

And the award for the most whacked-out commentary on the terrorist attacks goes to ... WorldNetDaily's Anthony LoBaido, whose Sept. 13 article starts off by declaring "America has killed over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5 years old with our anti-Saddam sanctions" and proceeds to make the argument that America deserved to be attacked and suffer massive loss of life. Why? LoBaido enlightens us:

    All that is evil in the world can be found in New York: MTV, the United Nations, the U.N. abortion programs, the Council on Foreign Relations, New Age Church of St. John the Divine, WallStreet greed, Madison Avenue manipulation and of course more confirmed AIDS cases than the rest of America combined. Let's remember the filthy sodomite gay parade last summer in New York.

LoBaido earns extra points for his reference to "the openly Marxist, treasonous and abortion-mongering, occultic Hillary."

Even the Wall Street Journal was appalled. "WND's honcho, Joseph Farah, ought to hang his head in shame for publishing this obscene anti-American screed," wrote James Taranto in his Sept. 16 "Best of the Web" column.

Farah won't, considering that WorldNetDaily also ran a commentary by Gary Aldrich (of "Unlimited Access" fame) on Sept. 18 that's almost as whacked-out as LoBaido's. It concludes: "My job and the job of all conservatives now, is to keep liberals out of power as long as humanly possible."

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