September 29, 2004

CBS does it again

This time was last nights 'report' on the upcoming draft. As reported on Powerline: bq. (whose site is down now) and Little Green Footballs detail how CBS News last night used discredited documents to attack President Bush: bq. In a story that was a textbook example of slipshod reporting, CBS reporter Richard Schlesinger used debunked internet hoax emails and an unlabeled interest group member to scare viewers into believing that the U.S. government is poised to resume the draft. At the center of Schlesinger’s piece was a woman named Beverly Cocco, a Philadelphia woman who is 'sick to my stomach' that her two sons might be drafted. In his report, Schlesinger claimed that Cocco was a Republican and portrayed her as an apolitical (even Republican) mom worried about the future. Schlesinger did not disclose that Cocco is a chapter president of an advocacy group called People Against the Draft (PAD) which, in addition to opposing any federal conscription, seeks to establish a 'peaceful, rational foreign policy' by bringing all U.S. troops out of Iraq. Like Schlesinger’s Cocco, the group portrays itself as 'nonpartisan' although its leadership seems to be entirely bereft of any Republicans. The group’s domain is registered to a man named Jacob Levich, a left-wing activist who in a 2001 essay compared the Bush Administration to the totalitarian government portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984. CBS News also reported that there are two bills in Congress to reinstate the draft, but failed to mention that they were both introduced by Democrats. Charles at Little Green Footballs weighs in with this: bq. Here’s the transcript of last night’s CBS Evening News fear-mongering report about reinstating the draft, in which they cite hoax emails (without noting they had been debunked) and the testimony of a woman who is a chapter president of People Against the Draft (without identifying her as an advocate): CBS News - The Issues: Reviving The Draft. For more lunacy, the revival of the draft is being promoted as a current administration project but if you look at the two people who filed the bills in the house and the senate, you will see that they are both Democrat. From the FactCheck website cited above: bq. One bill is HR 163 , whose principal sponsor is Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York. It has 14 co-sponsors, all of them Democrats in a Congress controlled by Republicans. And the Senate: bq. The identical Senate bill, S. 89 , introduced by Democratic Sen. Ernest Hollings... CBS needs to learn that people out there have access to a lot of information and can fact-check their asses. UPDATE: Cox and Forkum's cartoon today deals with this same issue. They also post some additional links to other people using this story to promote Kerry. From the Michigan Daily: bq. Talk of draft factors into race Some of Kerry’s surrogates have been more explicit [than Kerry] in using the [draft] issue against Bush. Earlier this month, according to the Associated Press, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean told students at Brown University in Providence, R.I. that they would be in danger of being drafted in the event of Bush’s re-election. [...] Cox and Forkum also cite the link to RatherBiased but that site is still down. Overloaded. Posted by DaveH at September 29, 2004 12:03 PM