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For the second time in a week, Katie Couric illustrates the right-wing bias in the media.  This AM in her interview with Howard Dean, she adamantly repeated Rove & Co.'s assertion that Democrats as well as Republicans have taken Abramoff money.  When Dean protested, she got tense and said it would have to be looked into and shared with all the Today Show viewers.  
Write to Today and tell them that they need to do that, fairly and objectively, and present the truth on the air, along with her retraction and apology for slandering all the Democrats with charges of corruption. Contact her at msnbc.msn.com or Today@NBC.com. Or you can call 212-664-4249. (You can also watch a video clip at msnbc.msn.com.)

The Today Show is important, because it has the highest ratings of any show on tv, and it is watched by people who otherwise pay little attention to what the news networks are saying. Also, people trust Katie Couric.  She's betraying their trust by repeating lies, and needs to be called on it.  
The corporate media and the major news networks have become incredibly biased, and no one except bloggers and certain liberal publications (The Nation is excellent) are speaking up about it.  They are a huge part of the problem liberal Democrats are having in getting their message out.  When they must spend the precious little air time they receive answering baseless charges, how can they help but appear defensive and hapless?
This bias needs to be slammed whenever it appears, until the media realizes that "we, the people" are tired of being manipulated and misled.  It's time to take our country back, and that starts with insisting those with the incredibly crucial role of reporting what's going on do so with integrity and respect for the truth. UPDATE: This morning, January 27, on Today, NBC news put Tim Russert on to speak about the controversy over the Abramoff scandal. Matt Lauer handled the interview, not Katie Couric. Russert stated that Democrats become "raging mad" when it is stated that it is a Republican scandal. They aired a film clip taken from yesterday's show, in which Dean states the Democrats did not take a dime from Abramoff. Then Russert goes on to undercut the point Dean made by saying he was only "technically" accurate. Translation: Dean was right, completely, irrefutably, but let's not come out and say that. It would seem to most people that whether Abramoff gave money to some Democrat, for the purpose of influencing that Congressman's vote or not, is in fact a crucial distinction. But not, I guess, to the folks at NBC. Russert goes on to say that Abramoff's "associates" gave money to Democrats and then they helpfully put up a graphic with an elephant on one side and a donkey on the other, with arrows pointing to both. See folks, the subtext is, they're both guilty as sin. And that was the end of it. The Republicans must have been cheering. No background, no context, just a conclusion Tim Russert has drawn from his examination of "the facts." And this is how the corporate media operates. Because we let it.

Originally posted to CarolynC967 on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:11 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The important thing is that Dean kicked (4.00)
    her ass.  She looked so uncomfortable when he said, "And we've looked at the FEC records that prove it."  The "we'll have to look into it" was just an attempt at a face-saving cut and run.  

    I thought Dean was very good this morning.  Clear, concise, no "well, you have to realize...."  Just yes, no, you've got it wrong.

    I was not a big fan of Dean the presidential candidate, but except for a few minor missteps here and there, he's turning out to be a damn good DNC chair -- leagues ahead of the last one!

    Sometimes you cover your ass with the lame excuses you have, instead of the lame excuses you wish you had. (-3.00, -5.49)

    by litigatormom on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:12:49 AM PST

    •  You're right (3.98)
      I forgot to mention Dean was great.  
      •  I'm considering this your tip jar.... (4.00)
        ....and giving you a 4!!!!
        •  I second that. (4.00)
          NBC is owned by General Electric (80%). That should tell you right there who is paying Katie to lie.

          GE has some of the largest and well funded lobbyists in the world. They pour in billions to lobby for their toxic crap.  They also fund predominately Republican candidates. (Oh, I am sure Lieberman gets some too.)

          In 2004 they contributed $1.9 billion to campaigns.

          In return they get all kinds of perks like $2.8 billion in defense contracts in 2003.

          http://www.corpwatch.org/...

          "Those that would give up essential liberty in pursuit of a little temporary
          security deserve neither liberty nor security."

          Benjamin Franklin

          •  well, katie and matt (and al) are not journalists (none)
            or reporters... they are infotainment all the way.  not that i think that much of barbara walters one way or the other, but at least she drew a line!  matt was on will and grace's live episode and katie has i believe been on stuff before...  kinda 'taints' them if you ask me.  i do watch the today show....  but that's because of the fluff stuff... i don't take their 'serious' seriously frankly.  
            •  Yes, and if you watched Jon Stewart (none)
              then we all know where the Republican taint is.
              Just between the Washington Monument and the Pentagon.

              "Soon the time will come to choose between what is easy, and what is right." - A. Dumbledore

              by epluribus on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:55:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Capital Eye uses faulty methodology (none)
            and admits that there may be no connection to Abramoff in many of the "contributions" they list. They have removed a number of names from their list, mostly Democrats, but it looks like they won't make a correction unless someone who stands "accused" gets in touch with them to explain the error. This means that every Democrat on their list who accepted a legal campaign contribution from an Indian tribe that Abramoff robbed will remain on that blasted list unless they do something about it themselves. The Capital Eye FAQ page makes this pretty clear, and if Couric's staff didn't look any further than the summary of contributions, which is very misleading, and didn't even read the FAQ page for clarification, then it was easy to misstate the case. Howard Dean needs to address this problem with Capital Eye, and so do the Dems who who have been tainted by this sloppy methodology.

            It also doesn't help that one has to click under a name to see who actually gave that person a contribution, and that every Democrat they listed received legal campaign contributions from Indian Tribes, none from Abramoff. This is the worst case of glib and massive guilt by association I have ever seen. They just took the raw data that they received from the FEC and melded it into one summary report, without checking anything. I wrote to Capital Eye (parent organization is the Center for Responsive Politics) yesterday (copy here) to complain, and I hope others will keep up the pressure to have them revise their methodology. If they don't, these same erroneous messages will continue to go out through the media. Write to them here: editor@capitaleye.org.

            "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

            by martyc35 on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 06:43:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  CarolynC, you did a good job (4.00)
        explaining why people should really respond to "reporters" like Katie Couric when they make blatant attempts to defy the truth of the matter.

        Katie is either very checked out where it comes to the facts or she is on the payroll.  Either way she should be called out because she is considered a "trusted source" for a great many Americans.

        •  Overpaid and lazy.. (4.00)
          is more like it.
          •  Ironic (4.00)
            Overpaid, sure, but Couric asked tough and sometimes hostile questions -- which Dean was mostly very effective at batting back -- and asked followup questions to boot that were based on Dean's responses.

            In other words, she looks great compared to Tim Russert, who exploits "gotcha" moments, lamely tried to tie Harry Belafonte to Obama (skin color alert!) and blithely let Dick Cheney claim that Iraq had nuclear weapons without batting an eye or asking for a clarifiation.

            Her tone was fairly hostile, but I'd rather that be the case than blithely letting comments slide unchallenged. In my view, because she actively questioned the point about the Abramoff money, it helped Dean state more strongly that Democrats didn't take any dough -- "Not one dime!" -- from the slush funds.  (I kept saying that to myself all morning: "Not one dime!")

            If we could just get all journalists to parry with politicians of all parties like that, I'd be a more satisfied man.

            •  Yep.. (4.00)
              I agree. She got flustered because she clearly had not taken the time to be informed on the issue.  Lazy.

              But, philosophically, if a good idea always needs to be best appreciated in juxtaposition to a bad one - or in this case laying out the Republican charge for Dean to effectively sweep away, then that's a positive.

            •  working the refs (4.00)
              It doesn't matter if she is better than someone else.  We need to adopt the GOP's strategy of making the lives of reporters miserable under they are so afraid of us they start playing by our rules.  The goal isn't to ensure that our activism is equitably distributed.  The goal is to win.
              •  truth (3.96)
                "We need to adopt the GOP's strategy of making the lives of reporters miserable under they are so afraid of us they start playing by our rules. "

                Nail, meet the hammer.  

                Although I know it's a tiny thing, I've been visiting companies that advertise on Chicago's Salem Radio Network (Bennett, Savage, Medved, Ingraham, Hewitt, etc).  I calmly explain to them that as long as they support hate speech and outright lies, not only will I never buy their products, but I will make every effort to convince everyone I know not to use their products.  It all started when one of WIND-AM radio's salesmen called me to see if a company in which I'm  involved wanted to advertise on their station.  At first, I just said "no" and ended the call, but later I called the salesman back and gave him a thorough explanation of why I could never buy an ad on his station.  I don't know if he ever had that kind of response before, but he sounded stunned, and told me it sounded as if I was advocating censorship.  I didn't want to have to explain life to this guy, so I just pointed out that on various shows on his network, his hosts have advocated boycotting everything from newspapers to CNN to movies, other radio shows, even Google stock.  I also explained that if he was going to sucessfully sell ads on that station he was going to have to get used to a significant percentage of his potential customers feeling the same way I do.

                The media is afraid of the Right, and it's time to let them know that we have muscle, too.

              •  How correct you are! (none)
                 Our goal is to win.
            •  Katie Couric is a first class hack... (4.00)
              ...and the reason we have to push back against her is that CBS is courting her to become the new anchor for CBS Evening News.

              I think she probably doesn't do any of her own research or writing anymore.  She just parrots what's put in front of her, unquestioningly.  

              I'm sorry, I'm not buying her "tough" act.  Has she been that tough with the Republicans?  She probably just lets them spin their "but everyone is doing it" storyline.

              I saw this live this morning, and was praying someone would make a stink about it.

              NBC will be hearing from me, that's for sure.

              The Moral Majority is neither.

              by Exurban Mom on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:19:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  & that's the issue (4.00)
                do you slap her back down & hope she'll retreat & apolgize or stay quiet (former ain't happen i think)?

                or do you push her to stay agressive but to be agressive to everyone?

                i'd rather have the latter but i'm with on cussing her out if she deserves it.

                i don't watch her enough (or american news) to know if she's a hack or just another photogenic face for the camera who reads what's in front of her.

                well, i suppose that's a hack but much more diplomatically stated.

                i still wonder if we can't convince her to be agressive with everybody.  

              •  asdf (4.00)
                Don't forget her infamous "Navy Seals rule!" moment in Farenheit 9/11.

                I can't believe that the person who uttered that bit of chirpy cheerleading might be occupying  Cronkite's seat.

                Jeez.

                Of science and the human heart, there is no limit. -- Bono

                by saucy monkey on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:33:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  A 4 .. (4.00)
                  for "chirpy cheerleading"! Absolute dead-on characterization of Ms. Couric. If journalism students want to know why the credibility of their future profession is careening to levels below those historically reserved for used car sales reps, they only need to take a look at the male (Matt Lauer) and female (Katie Couric) bobble-heads on the Today Show to know why.

                  "Conservatives hate Pooh because he reminds children to 'think, think, think.'"

                  by dicta on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:47:31 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Parallel Thoughts (4.00)

                    My email to Today (entire thing printed in some comment below) says almost word-for-word what you just wrote -- only you applied it to journalism students, and I applied it to the "major networks and newspapers."  Great minds think alike.

                    I wrote:


                    "The major networks and papers wonder why their integrity and trustworthiness are increasingly coming under fire.  It's people like Ms. Couric who are the answer to your own question."

                     BenGoshi
                    ___________________

                    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

                    by BenGoshi on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:23:34 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  My Email to Today (4.00)
                      FACT:
                      Indian tribes LEGALLY donate money to political representatives and lobbyists, both Democrat and Republican.  

                      FACT:
                      Jack Abramoff, as a paid political lobbyist for some Indian tribes, has embezzled money from and wrongly used that position to illegally launder money for Republicans ONLY, increased the amount of Indian donations to Republicans ONLY, PERSONALLY sent money to Republicans ONLY, and has pled guilty to such acts in federal court.  

                      FACT:
                      Abramoff also REDUCED the amount of money these Indian tribes LEGALLY provided to Democratic Congress members.

                      FACT:
                      Katie Couric is wrong and uninformed to say that Jack Abramoff has "provided money to Democrats as well as Republicans" and owes her viewers a clear and distinct retraction, correction, and apology.

                      And those of you in the traditional, corporate media (newspapers, radio, and television) wonder why you've lost the Trust of the American Public.  It's because entirely too many of the most prominent spokespersons for said media are either blatant Republican shills, and are lazy and/or incompetent and/or unwilling to do the necessary research and fact-finding.

                      Name and address

                      "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking." -George S. Patton

                      by vmibran on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:41:09 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Jeepers. (none)
                      I haven't blushed so much since Jodi Johnson kissed me on the cheek in 4th grade. Anyway, thanks for the compliment and here's an electronic pat on the back for you too ... 'pat, pat'

                      "Conservatives hate Pooh because he reminds children to 'think, think, think.'"

                      by dicta on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:59:40 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  hackery, that makes NBC look like a student cable (none)
                production. But wait, that's an insult to student cable productions. She's made the show unwatchable.

                I know the show is geared towards women, but I know that women actually need factual information, too.

                I would like to see Media Matters put together the Katie Couric montage of nasty to lefties, and only lefties. She nearly spat venom at Micheal Moore. This tough guy act she puts on is pure BS. I was done looking forward to finding out something new on the Today Show years ago.

              •  Here's where to write: (none)
                Today@nbc.com

                The Moral Majority is neither.

                by Exurban Mom on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:38:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yes (none)
                And she seemed downright hostile to Howard Dean.

                Is it fair to assume that Katie is a Republican?

                •  I don't know about her. (none)
                  But her sister, Emily Couric, was a Democratic Party stalwart in Virginia until she died in 2001.
                •  I doubt she votes at all (none)
                  too confusing!

                  Just because you're self-righteous doesn't mean you're not a hypocrite.

                  by AMcG826 on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 12:01:36 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No, I think Katie's a Democrat (none)
                  Remember all the nasty things Barbara Bush has said about "that Katie Couric"? (like her name is a dirty word)

                  I think that in this day and age news anchors and especially show hosts are told what to say and how to convey it.  

                  The big dogs tell them who the guests will be, they tell them what the guest will say, and they "suggest" a line of questioning to pursue.  Katie and her ilk are mere magpies.  She doesn't have much leeway as long as she chooses to collect her $13 mil a year paycheck.  I think she does her best to get in her swipes at the Republicans when she can, but she's just not all that deep.  She's perky instead.  

                  And from the street gossip, I hear she's a real terror behind the scenes, going through aides, assistants, and hair/makeup people at a breakneck pace.  With a boss like that, I'd not be surprised if someone deliberately chose to provide her with less than complete talking points for her interview with Howard Dean.

              •  My Email to Today (4.00)
                Dear Today:

                Whatever happened to just interviewing someone?  Or, in other words, is Ms. Couric capable of conducting any interview without wearing her Right Wing politics on her sleeve?  If she cannot resist the temptation to repeat Rovian Lying Points (to wit:  "Well, Democrats took Abramoff money, too!"), then do you think she could be shown the door and given an application for Fox "News"?  Just a thought.

                The major networks and papers wonder why their integrity and trustworthiness are increasingly coming under fire.  It's people like Ms. Couric who are the answer to your own question.

                Sincerely,

                BenGoshi's Real Name
                Address
                Phone
                _________________

                We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

                by BenGoshi on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:16:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Worse than mere hack. (4.00)
                Several years ago interviewing a man about genealogies:

                Man: For example, your relatives come from France.

                Couric: No, my relatives come from from Brittany.

                Cut to man looking like, what the hell am I talking to?

                She replaced Deborah Norville who was the dumb blond. But Norville, like most TV hosts of either sex, was passively dumb. Couric is aggressive-in-your-face-dumb. Reallly unbearable.

                Plus she looks like Ceasar Romero as the Joker on the Batman TV show.

                And then 2/27/33 happened, and that changed everything.

                by Julian on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:44:00 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Brittany is IN France, (none)
                  but natives of Brittany are as French as Basques are Spanish. Brittany is Celtic, with strong cultural and linguistic ties to the Welsh.

                  France may have swallowed up Brittany, as the United States swallowed up Native American land, but Brittany is culturally and linguistically distinct from France.

                  Not defending Couric on the larger issues, but I can totally understand why someone whose family is from Brittany would take exception to being told that their relatives are from "France."

                  But we'll shout from the bow "Your days are numbered" / And like Pharaoh's tribe they'll be drownded in the tide / And like Goliath they'll be conquered

                  by zerocrossing on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:50:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Buut the sentance began (none)
                    "for example".... he could have siad from MARs and she would have said, "no, I'm from VENUS"! Obviously there was a communication problem with a reporter who's major was most likely.... COMMUNICATION.

                    "Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance (liberally)" Jude 2 Brother of Jesus

                    by pinkpanther on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:33:41 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So it was a hypothetical? (none)
                      I didn't gather that from your original post. You wrote:

                      "Man: For example, your relatives come from France.
                      Couric: No, my relatives come from from Brittany."

                      Even with the "For example," it sounds (given no other context) as if he's stating a fact about her family, not a hypothetical.

                      But I take it that he was actually saying: "For example, let's say that your relatives come from France." Is that a fair recap of the exchange?

                      But we'll shout from the bow "Your days are numbered" / And like Pharaoh's tribe they'll be drownded in the tide / And like Goliath they'll be conquered

                      by zerocrossing on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 12:16:09 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Nothing wrong with that (none)
                      She's not incorrect.  If you said, "for example, your family's from Mars", she wouldn't be incorrect in saying, "no, my family's from Earth".  It's not a hypothetical without using something like "if".

                      Also, I think the correction is valid.  I have ancestors from Alsace-Lorraine.  Depending on the time, that part of Europe belonged to either France or Germany.  If you were speaking of the lineage from that area, it would actually be inaccurate to refer to the people there as Germans since at some point they were politically part of France (and later, vice-versa) and are ethnically some mixture of Northern European.  It would be different if you selected a particular time period or were referring to their ethnicity.

                •  I agree with your characterization... (none)
                  of Katie's response, since he did indeed say, "For example, ...".

                  For her to just interrupt, as if correcting him, although he made it clear that this was merely an example, just makes her look clueless and ridiculous.  (I would have made a face, too!)

                  (I mean, for me, an appropriate back-and-forth might have been something along the lines of: "For example, let's say your relatives come from France..."  Then, she would (I hope) interject: "But, of course, my family comes from Brittany."  
                  Then, he could say something like: "Yes, of course"...
                  Granted, I would have definitely added the "let's say..." after "for example" for precision's sake, but that's just me.)

                  Jim
                  Seattle

            •  excellent comment (4.00)
              i was ready to rant at Couric but I think I agree with your point.

              we DO need an agressive press & it's that lack of one that has aided the degeneration of politicians of both parties.

              Dick Cheney knows he can push these guys around & make them parrot his talking points.  If someone would JUST CHALLENGE the fucker once, maybe we wouldn't have a crook for VP & better people in government.

              i've been thinking about our press since reading The Daou Report yesterday.  living in canada I was used to agressive, sound journalism.

              the parrots that we have today are not only repugnant - but they fail their central function in democracy - a function that the founding fathers found so important that they codified it in the Constitution:

              The Press is failing its duty to investigate & give the people the truth - whatever the political impact of that truth

              I frankly have no problem with Couric challenging Dean & Democrats.  If it makes them better public officials, then good.  Challenge the F*** out of them!

              I'm a Darwinist.  It'll weed out the weaker politicians.  

              instead of attacking Katie Couric & thereby alienating her, I'm wondering about the whole "guide their aggressiveness" approach.

              honey rather than the stick (altho ya keep the stick just in case)?

              •  "Aggressiveness" is not the issue (4.00)
                Most of us on this website don't object to agressiveness if it's fair-minded.  What passes for media these days is anything but.  I see it over and over and over again.  This adminstration's apologists are never seriously confronted with their contradictions or misstatement of fact.  When they spew personal invective it is almost never challenged.
                 BTW, Ms. Couric resorted to making a statement about both sides slinging mud and the American people being tired of that.  Excuse me?  Hello?  The Democrats can't wipe the mud off fast enough to grab any to throw back.  And most of them are too decent to do so.  Unlike the other side, who appear to know no shame whatsoever.  
                •  i agree with ya (4.00)
                  there's definitely been a double standard.

                  as for being to decent, i don't think it's about decency.

                  it's not indecent to challenge someone (GOPers or journalists) to check the facts & we Dems haven't done that enough.

                  we've allowed people to Swiftboat us & we need to sharpen ourselves & fight back effectively.

                  i definitely think Couric was out of her league & speaking stuff fed to her by her staff (who are these guys btw?  they have alot of power).

                  if we can pounce on their statements, we can turn the interview from something negative to a chance for us to show the american people that we've got the backbone & facts to led.

                •  Slinging mud (none)
                  Yeah, Couric's framing of the question came out of right field, so to speak.  Lame.  Unless, of course, she was basically inviting Dean to point out that concerns about the spying program run across the political spectrum -- from Gore and Feingold to Barr and Specter -- which I wish Dean had done (though he did a good job on the "obeying the law is not partisan" angle).

                  Since I rarely watch the morning lose-weight 'n' fashion blabfests, I've no idea if Couric is an administration apologist or a Republican -- but then, as Tweety sadly demonstrates, you can be a Dem and still be an apologist boot-licker.

              •  I'd be fine with that (none)
                If only she were being equally aggressive to Republican guests. She only unsheaths her claws when she's interviewing Democrats.

                But then again, one of America's largest defense contractors signs her paychecks.

                Of science and the human heart, there is no limit. -- Bono

                by saucy monkey on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:05:49 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  What was worse about Russert (4.00)
              was it took him 9 months to call Cheney on that lie.  Cheney's reply was "Yeah, I mis-spoke" and he let it go at that.  How about, "You mis-spoke, and had 9 frickin' months to set the record straight, but you didn't.  Care to explain that, Dick?"

              "Don't blame me, I voted for the smart guy."

              by frsbdg on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:43:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Just proves Rove's point (none)
                I have a deck of cards I got in Sante Fe at the Hemp store which puts the faces of the Bush Administration on them with a comment or quote, Rove's quote; "As people do better, they vote like republicans_unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing."

                Cheney, Rove et al think that the majority of Americans are too lazy or dumb to pay any attention to when or what they say long term. That's why they will say something today and next week are caught in a lie they will deny they ever made the original statement or claim it was taken out of context. And for the most part they get away with it (except here and MediaMatters etc.).

                "A man who chooses not to read, is just as ignorant as the man who cannot read."

                by TexDem on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:30:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  WRONG! (4.00)
            You are wrong if you think Couric did this just because she's lazy.

            NBC is owned by GE.  GE is a major defense contractor, and has made a lot of money from the Republican wars of the last few years.

            Back during the 2004 campaigns, reports showing the bias of the various networks usually had NBC as second only to FOX in their bias towards the Republican campaign.

            When spokespeople on a network favor the Republicans over the Democratics, IT IS NOT ACCIDENTAL.  And its not just "laziness" on the part of the on-air-personality.

            Also, its not accidental that the most biased and slanted Sunday morning news show is also Tim Russert on MSNBC.

            Also, its not accidental that Chris Mathews and his anti-Democrat, anti-Bush-opponent slanders are on MSNBC.

            I see Democrats making this mistake over and over again.  They keep thinking that the pro-Republican bias in the media is somehow an accident, or a mistake.  Its not!  Take a look at who owns the media and the patterns of this across lots of shows and you'll see very plainly its not accidental.

            Now, I'm not against pointing out the bias.  I think that's vitally important.  That's a key education job that the opponents to the Republicans need to do.  They need to do it because you can be sure this same bias will be very clearly in view in the last week before the fall elections (especially if the Democrats look like they are taking control of a house).  And we need to innoculate as many of our supporters as we can to be immune from that when the time comes.  

            And we do need to write to NBC and call them on it.  I don't expect them to be fair.  But they want to project the illusion of fairness, so we need to call them on it.  Also, one of their excuses for unfairness is all the complaints they get from the right, so we need to balance it when we can.

            But don't make the mistake of thinking this was just laziness on the part of Couric.  She wouldn't be in that chair if she couldn't be counted on to project the views that GE wants on the air.


            "Everyone should go back to Africa, especially black people." -- Richard Pryor

            by COBear on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:11:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  ..well... (none)
              ..maybe.  Now I did write to Today, but I still think part of the problem with the traditional media - including Couric - is that they enjoy being celebrities and quasi-entertainers, and don't work hard enough at being journalists.  When they actually are fair - they get hit hard from the Right.  So, they are perpetually caught trying to react in a way that rebalances them between fair and Right, rather than just being fair.
            •  Exactly, and it's not just NBC and MSNBC (4.00)
              Here's a list of media owned by General Electric:
              NBC Universal (80%-owned by GE, 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal)

              Television
              NBC Stations:

              WNBC - New York
              KNBC - Los Angeles
              WMAQ - Chicago
              WCAU - Philadelphia
              KNTV - San Jose/San Francisco
              KXAS - Dallas/Fort Worth
              WRC - Washington
              WTVJ - Miami
              KNSD - San Diego
              WVIT - Hartford
              WNCN - Raleigh
              WCMH - Columbus
              WVTM - Birmingham
              WJAR - Providence

              Telemundo Stations:

              KVEA/KWHY - Los Angeles
              WNJU - New York
              WSCV - Miami
              KTMD - Houston
              WSNS - Chicago
              KXTX - Dallas/Fort Worth
              KVDA - San Antonio
              KSTS - San Jose/San Francisco
              KDRX - Phoenix
              KNSO - Fresno
              KMAS - Denver
              WNEU - Boston/Merrimack
              KHRR - Tucson
              WKAQ - Puerto Rico

              NBC Universal Television Studio
              NBC Universal Television Distribution

              CNBC
              MSNBC
              Bravo
              Mun2TV
              Sci-Fi
              Trio
              USA

              Film
              Universal Pictures

              Parks
              Universal Parks & Resorts

              Other
              Paxson Communications (30%)

              Especially noteworthy are the flagship NBC stations in so many large cities, and the Spanish-language Telemundo stations in so many large cities.

              Source http://www.cjr.org/...

              For a third-party investors views on GE and war profits, see "If You Believe In War Buy GE" at the Prudent Investor. A quote:

              As long as the Pentagon is supplied with government monies to keep the guns in Iraq red hot, GE can expect to pipeline a good share of it into its cash register. Remember the phrase computer wars the Pentagon likes so much. Remotely controlled war machines are the rage of the war-future. The Pentagon is believed to have awarded research contracts for war-robots at an amount of 127 billion $, making it the biggest-funded research project ever. NASA research figures look like the collection in a beggar's hat in comparison.

              Right now, GE is the most egregious example of corporate control over large media outlets resulting in viewpoints that benefit that corporation rather than the American public. And seeing what' happening right now, over the last few weeks, it's getting even worse.

              "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

              by bewert on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:46:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  You're so RIGHT, COBear (none)
              Watched the clip on Crooks and Liars -- she's reading the questions, not just blithering away happy morning chat style.  The questions were prepared in advance.  Scripted.  Work went into what NBC chose to do this morning.

              If she didn't write the script, she certainly looked it over before air time because she's not surprised by what she finds herself saying.  She's forceful and deliberate.  Belligerent, even.

              Fairly far along, she stops looking down, takes off her glasses, and shakes out her hair.  She thinks she's moving in for the kill.  But no, Dean stands his ground, one crisply delivered fact after another and another and another.  When her questions are based on Republican strawmen, he uses them as springboards to the real issue behind them and just keeps laying down the truth instead of taking her bait.

              Hugely funny that she actually says to that man, Well, Carville and Begala, and they're such Dems, right?, even they say Dems need to get some spine.  What do you say about THAT, fella?

              At that point, Dean's spine had been much in evidence already, so it comes off as a weird question as phrased.  If she had not been just reading the script she might have cooed, Well, you've got a rep for being a pretty fiesty fella, but Carville and Begala think the Dems need more spine.  Who's too spineless for you and what are you doing about Lieber--, ummm, I mean, doing about them?  

              But no, she reads him a question that implies he's spineless as though she was unaware of the obviously spiney answers he'd already given to her other questions.  She's not listening to his side of the interview, she's just energetically performing her side of the interview.  

              And hers were not probing or tough questions -- they were more like hollow insults, sneers.  She seemed to expect him to crumble before her bluster, which again is a little weird, given how Dean took down Blitzer the other day on that same "Dems took Abramoff money too" crap (never mind Deborah Howell's howls of "genteel" indignation when the same GOP talking point blew the om off her budsman).  

              Whether Couric wrote the script or someone else did, they sure as hell didn't have NBC's best interests as a news provider at heart.  Put me in mind of GE CEO (and big-time GOP contributor) Jack Welch's having ordered NBC News to retract its initial announcement that Gore had carried Florida, making NBC the second network (after Fox) to declare a Bush win in 2000.

              Welch's move was good for the Rovians, but not for NBC.  Though he's retired (with a mountain of goodies), his spirit lingers.

              "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

              by KateCrashes on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:07:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Sent a Letter (4.00)
          laying out some facts for them, expressing my disappointment in her obvious lack of preparation, and asking, with the Abramoff Cabal's total dedication to electing Republicans, how she and others could think for a moment that they would do anything--anything whatsoever-to help elect a Dem.  Goes to motive, Your Honor.  

          Problem w/ol' Turdblossom is, he doesn't seem to always think through his lies to their ultimate conclusion, so, while they seem ok to some at first, they ultimately have about the shelf-life of a bucket of warm spit.  

          Maybe he's just a little distracted by all of that indictment stuff....

          •  My letter to Katie (3.96)
            Katie-

            I've watched the Today Show since the days of Jane Pauley, and Katie, you're no Jane Pauley.

            I was embarrassed for you during your interview with Howard Dean.  I was pretty surprised that you parroted the same tired spin Wolf Blitzer tried when he repeated the false GOP claim that Democrats took Abramoff money.

            As a longtime Today show viewer, I fully support your plan to "investigate" whether this is true.  Of course, had you done your homework by looking at FEC records  before the show, you would KNOW this was true and have no need to look into it.

            Disappointing.  Are you lacking for research assistants?  My son (very smart kid) is graduating from college and needs a job.  Just let me know.

            A fan of the show

            Paul R
            Queens, NY

            "I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords..."

            by pawlr on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:16:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  and mine: (4.00)
              I must tell you that my wife is an avid Today Show watcher - we have watched it every single morning for at least the past 4-5 years or so.  However, in recent months, Katie Couric has become sloppy, arrogant, disingenuous and erroneous in her stories and reporting.  She is the sole reason that, starting with 2 weeks ago, we have switched to watching Good Morning America instead of the Today Show.

              I must say that the reporting there is much less biased and more accurate than Katie's sensationalism and bias against Democrats and the truth.

              Once again, I happened to switch channels and caught her "interview" with Howard Dean and her mindless parroting of Republican lies and talking points absolutely ruined her credibility, made your network look foolish for not reporting facts, and basically cemented my never watching the Today Show again.  In fact, this type of reporting and repeating of lies without any semblance of research makes me reconsider whether to watch your network at all anymore.

              If you don't report unbiased truth, you can expect a continued decline in your already declining viewership.

              Adam L.

              *******

              On a side note, I hate Katie and have for quite some time.  Finally convinced the missus to watch GMA instead (and Katie was the sole reason why), and while it is pretty boring, at least I don't have to hear Katie's sanctimonius crap.  I'd rather eat glass than listen to her.

              •  Interesting (4.00)
                I switched from GMA to Today Show because I found them to be even worse with the 'conservative' pandering. What settled it for me was Diane Sawyer's interview of the Dixie Chicks. Granted, it wasn't on GMA, but an evening show, but her whole demeanor made it obvious that she felt that we shouldn't question the President. Made me sick to the point where I couldn't stand watching GMA anymore.

                While it pissed me off that Katie repeated the 'Dems are involved too' line, I've watched her enough to see that she's asked tough questions to Republicans as well. And sometimes it actually seemed to strike home. So I give her some credit.

                Sad, though, that this time we were left with a "We'll look into it." How many viewers are going to wait around and remember a follow-up? And how are they going to try to explain the difference between Abramov's tribes, Abramov's money, and other tribes? Badly, I'm sure.

              •  And mine... (4.00)
                Dear Today Show;

                As a morning staple, almost like a hearty breakfast, Americans welcome you into their homes and their trust on a daily basis. Because of NBC's unique position of being in more homes every morning than any other morning show, NBC also has a much larger responsibility; to insure that the information disseminated through your program is accurate and up to date.

                To my dismay, NBC left star anchor Katie Couric holding fallacious, previously debunked partisan talking points in her interview with Howard Dean. The pressures put on news organizations are at an all time high from both divides of the political aisle, however, the media in a functioning democracy has to withstand the partisan assaults and provide the public the best information available, NBC failed this morning.

                Less than a month ago, CNN's Wolf Blitzer made the same mistake as Ms. Couric. And, like Ms. Couric, had the humility to suggest that he may have not come to the interview with the correct facts. Mr. Blitzer a few days latter, when interviewing Republican Party chair Ken Mehlman, set the record straight; there is no direct or indirect cash or illegal donations given to any Democrat from Jack Abrahamoff (not to mention Jack Abrahamoff is not a bi-partisan scandal, Deborah Howell corrected the record on that fact with her revisions this past week). I would suggest that Ms. Couric should do the same as soon as tomorrow morning's show, to not correct the message publicly and in person, would not only be a blemish on Ms.Couric's ability to garner her viewers trust, but it would also be a tacit support of a political party's spin, rather than the pursuit of truth that has been a hallmark of American news organizations.

                Sincerely,

                D. Patrick Sprouse

                I've killed people for less...

                by patsprouseyo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:18:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Excellent, excellent job (none)
                  I like your letter's straight-forward tone.  And I especially like the way you phrased your demand for a prompt on-air correction.

                  "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

                  by KateCrashes on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:14:21 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  My Letter (4.00)
                Dear Today Show,

                I have seen enough bias against Democrats in the MSM to last me a lifetime, but when Katie Couric wastes Howard Dean's time on The Today Show making him defend outright lies about Democrats being a part of the Abramhoff scandal, it perpetuates a disservice to the public that the MSM has been party to for the duration of the Bush administration. The Republicans may be in power now, and they have most definitely been corrupted by that power, but it's very sad to know that Karl Rove and Company's tactics have been picked up by one of the most viewed morning shows on network TV. Perhaps your people should research the facts before they waste the precious little time that Democrats have to share their message. The American people deserve to know what the Democrat's message is, and most of America doesn't watch C-Span, which is where you can find the facts as they happen. There are also publications such as "The Nation" that might help you understand the truth about Democrats and their message. Please don't forget that in November of '04 half of American voters voted against this administration, and according to polls, if the election were held today, Democrats would be in power and your message would be for the minority.

                A Former Viewer,

                Kim Owen

              •  go with c-span!! (none)
                no commercials and high marks for objectivity

                corporate ethics: VERY organized crime

                by the basque on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:44:18 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ah, but... (none)
                  The point is not for us to see what we wish to see.  I've been reduced to getting my news mostly from this site and others like it.  Not something I care for, to be frank.

                  The point is to get the media to do their freaking jobs and not just be shills for the party in power (not that I expect it, but I'd not want them to do this for a Democrat either!  I want the media to be a questioning voice and not a talking point vendor)

                  Remember, most people watching Couric don't REALIZE that she is spouting anything other than truth, and since they by default distrust politicians less than the media, guess who they will believe in that interview, no matter how well Dean comes off?

                  "There's no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead." - GWB, 5/11/01

                  by Stymnus on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:15:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  trust me on this-- (none)
                    watch c-span in the morning for a week.  It cleanses the palate and lets you go back to the bullshit buffet of commercial news with a sense of mission: revamp the media and take it back from the corporate world.

                    corporate ethics: VERY organized crime

                    by the basque on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:37:59 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Good letter.... (4.00)
              Finally got around to sending mine:

              Dear Today Show:

              This morning Katie Couric incorrectly stated that Democrats received Abramoff contributions. When corrected by Howard Dean, she amended this characterization somewhat by stating that Abramoff associates gave money to Democrats. If by "Abramoff associates" she is referring to the Indian tribes who were duped and cheated by Abramoff, I am troubled by the fact that the victims of Abramoff's misconduct and alleged crimes are being victimized again by this type of labeling by the media. If Ms.Couric was not referring to the Indian tribes and has credible information about other "Abramoff associates" who were directed by him to give money to Democrats, please share that with the viewing public. I realize that the issue can seem complicated, but your audience is very poorly served by these misrepresentations whereas Republicans who want to muddy the waters regarding Abramoff's ac
              tivities are very well served indeed.

            •  One of my letters (4.00)
              Thank you Katie for showing your viewers what a talking head is. You made it quite clear that many people will smear Democrats without having a clue what they are talking about.  It may not have been your intention, but you pulled it off magnificiently.
          •  Repugs' Political Cleansing (3.91)
             My letter went as follows:

            Good Morning--I am very disappointed that, in her interview with DNC Chair Howard Dean this morning, Katie Couric was not well-informed, and seemed to have bought into the Republican spin that the Abramoff affair is a bipartisan scandal.

            Jack Abramoff, it would seem obvious, was (and probably still is), along with Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, Tom DeLay, and others, a very loyal Movement Republican, totally dedicated to their party's dominance of the political scene.  He, in fact, got to know Rove in college, when they both served as Presidents of the College Republicans.  What the Democrats call a "culture of corruption" is, in fact, what this group and others (think Ralph Reed), with their fundraising machine and "political-cleansing" K Street Project devised and executed in an attempt to create what they called a "permanent Republican majority" in Washington.  

            Do you think for a moment that Jack Abramoff et.al. would do anything--anything to help a single elected Democrat???  This assertion simply defies logic.  

            Again, I am disappointed by Katie's false assertion that Democrats benefitted from Abramoff (in fact, his client tribes donated less to Democrats after he came on the scene), and I certainly hope that she will correct the record soon.  

            Thanks for your attention and consideration.  

            •  Dismiss and Deride (4.00)
              I recently saw Deedee Myers on w/a Repug robot, and when he started talking about political attacks, she got a bemused look on her face and chuckled, "Oh, I'm just glad you guys don't attack anybody!"  She instantly slapped his lyin' weak-ass shit into the backcourt.  

              As with the old Clinton days, it's time to stand up to, dismiss and deride the ludicrous hypocrisy these talking-points bots spew.  If u allow a charge to stand, some may accept it.  When u just matter-of-factly retort, as she did, that obviously what you are peddling is ridiculous, you instantly take the air out of their balloon.  

              She was much more impressive than she was years ago.  You go, DeeDee!!!

          •  Great Diary - I sent the following to the show (4.00)
            I've been watching the Today Show since the mid-70s, and I have to say that I'm appauled to see that Katie Couric is still perpetuating the lie that Democrats took money from Jack Abramoff.  This is a flat-out lie.  Her interview with Howard Dean this morning was just another example of her failure to check the facts.

            She said she'd look in to this and share what she found with your viewers.  I thought I'd help her out by passing along this link from the Center for Responsive Politics, which clearly shows that not one single Democrat took even a dime from Abramoff...

            http://www.opensecrets.org/...

            This information is easy to dig up and is all a part of the public record.  Abramoff's crimes have been in the news for months - at this late date, there's absolutely no excuse for the lazy reporting style of your so-called journalists.

            Couric owes Dr. Dean - and Democrats an on-air apology.  And until that happens, I will tune in to other morning programs for the news.  It's becoming clear that your program and it's producers have no interest in digging up the facts on important stories like this.
             

            www.savedarfur.org www.afterdowningstreet.com

            by Alegre on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:27:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Short and sweet - (4.00)
            Here;s mine:

            Katie's performance today was shameful, and typical of the continued attack of the right-wing, corporate-owned, traditional media aganst the truth. I'm sure that dozens of other former viewers have provided you wtih links to enough sources to provide that in-depth investigation you promised, and show that Abram-off himself DID NOT donate a dime to Democratic politicians. An immediate retraction and apology are required, and necessary. See if you can fit it into tonight's evening news.

            For me, I certainly now have better things to do than watch someone as misinformed as she is, I think that Washington Journal deserves more of my time - there's also the added benefit that THERE'S NO COMMERCIALS.

            Thanks for helping to undermine our country-
            [etc]

            -5.25, -2.26 "Free your mind, and the rest will follow..."

            by KilljoyTXinMI on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:38:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  re: Katie is either very checked out... (none)
          Katie is a registered Republican.  She writes her own questions to ask the people she interviews, and she can instill in them whatever lean she feels is in the best interest of her viewing public.  Whenever a Democrat is on the show, they try to have her do the interview so it won't look like the interviewer is siding with them.
          Also Matt Lauer who is a Democrat will be asked to interview people in the Administration.

          NBC is not a right wing media puppet for the White House or the Administration.

          •  That does make sense (none)
            but don't I remember Katie interviewing O'Reilly?

            Technically, he's not in the administration, but still, he's a powerful enough figure that they should have had him interviewed by an opposing view.

            "I'll tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn " -Jim Morrison

            by Easy B Oven on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:04:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Oh no? (4.00)
            Then, full disclosure: tell your viewers that. If interviewers are going to play partisan politics and insert their own views into their interviews-- as they all do!-- then say it!

            Katie Couric, a republican? Hello...?

            Face it,the impartial interviewer has vanished from journalism.  Okay, if "fairness" means anything-- anything at all!-- then clue the viewer in.

            Enough Chris Matthews, Tim Russert, Katie Couric setting traps for the people who come on their shows-- it's not journalism, it's not even infotainment, it's partisan politics-- it's sabotage.

            If you're not ashamed of it-- and I assume from your post that you work for NBC-- then just say it publicly.

            Fair's fair.

            •  Setting traps (4.00)
              well, part of the blame has to go to the interviewees...they should know by now the modus operandi of Couric and Russert potato head by now...Dean is quick and clever enough to shoot back, and I think that Harry Reid is too.  

              Those who allow Russert and his ilk to spout his fake data need to hold them accountable, e.g. "I really don't know where you're getting your data from, because according to.....your facts are all wrong," etc.

              And when Katie Couric says she'll check into it, ask her when and if she's going to make a retraction!

              Your concepts are a stake to which a donkey can be tethered for 10 million years ~Zen saying

              by wry twinger on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:22:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  reply to Tulip (none)
              Actually I work for the most RED, conservative, white male over 50, Republican place to ever host an editorial page -- The Wall Street Journal.  Yet they hired me, a Kerry fundraiser, last year.  So go figure.  But I don't report to the editorial page editor; my dept. is research.  And I research both sides.  And I vote Democratic.
              •  The WSJ is a bit unusual (none)
                They have a strong separation between their news department and their editorial page.  The news in the rest of the paper, while pro-business, is put together with some integrity.  The editorial page is from another planet.
            •  Fat little POS (none)
              The Today show should kick her fat ass off the air.  Send her to Fox Where she belongs.  It's POS's like her that confuse the issues.  Can't this fat turd read?

              Off the air and soon!

          •  None of Which, (none)
            even if u accept the premise, gives her the right to lie, mislead, or assert her own "facts"!!!

            Presenting another point of view is one thing.  Presenting untruths in order to obfuscate or confuse is dishonest and wrong!!!

          •  actually (none)
            Katie is a big liberal....
            while this interview was bad, disappointing and it showed her lack of preparation

            i kind of think she was trying to WAY overcompensate her liberal bias and it just all fell apart.

            He may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot. Send him back to his father and brothers...

            by distributorcap on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:16:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  LACK of preparation? (none)
              It was scripted.  She was reading.  Go watch it again -- she's reading the questions.  She was as prepared as it can get.

              And the questions aren't tough, probing journalistic questions, they're just GOP talking points replete with strawmen.  

              She rarely follows up, doesn't even seem to take in his answers.  She just goes back to her script -- and finally gets snippy when he doesn't cave on her stupid assertions that Abramoff gave money to Dems.  

              It was a lame job of journalism, but not at all a performance lacking in preparation.

              "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

              by KateCrashes on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:27:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (none)
            I was under the impression that Lauer is a repuglican, too.

            "Never separate the words you speak from the life you live" - Paul Wellstone

            by vome minnesota on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:36:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (4.00)
            Are you sure that Lauer is a Democrat?

            I remember during the 2004 when he interviewed Michael Moore. He was hostile and openly dripping with contempt. It was one of the most biased, nasty things I've ever seen.

            Of science and the human heart, there is no limit. -- Bono

            by saucy monkey on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:36:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Lauer a Democrat?! (none)
            That certainly wasn't the impression I got the day he interviewed Al Franken, when Franken's last book came out.

            That's the day I sent my mad letter to the Today Show.  I haven't watched their morning show since.

            And I'm not particularly an Al Franken fan.

            But it was one damn republican talking point out of his (Lauer's) mouth after another. Made me sick.  They do not treat the right wing like that.

            •  In 2004 (none)
              Lauer said in 2004 that he wasn't going to vote - to avoid partisanship, or so a Rethug news site reported.

              I remember seeing so many attacks in past years on Katie Couric from the right. And she still carries water for them? What's wrong with these people?

              "I am Joe's raging bile duct."

              by Floja Roja on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:21:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Perky Katie a Republican? (none)
            Interesting in that the freepers hate her more than any other TV personality now that Rather is off the evening news.

            I knew there was a reason why I depise the bitch and rarely watch Today.

          •  I was leaving the judgement to history re (none)
            Katie being checked in or out.  In fact, she would have to be checked out not to have heard anything about this debate and thus if I were not to leave it to history to judge, I would say that she was trying to further GOP mythology rather than trying to uncover facts.

            Her deceased husband Jay Monahan was quite a powerful Democratic lobbyist and she was once a Democrat as far as anyone could tell.  I don't know what her current political affiliation is.  I am not sure you know for sure either unless she has shared that with you personally or has declared publicly.  I seriously doubt that she has gone on record regarding her political affiliation as she is a reporter - however good or bad.

            In any case, she blew it in either over simplifying a topic that she of all people would have great insight into (lobbyist's wife) or she deliberately attempted to cover for the administration.

      •  He was spot-on (4.00)
        As angered as I was by Katie's stupid regurgitation of the right's talking points, I was very impressed with how Dean handled it -- in fact, when she started into her "Democrats took Abramoff money too" bit, I was pleased, for I saw what he did to Sheep Blitzer a couple of weeks ago and thus knew what was coming.

        Clear and concise is right. She even had to praise him for staying within her arbitrary time parameters.

        And did anyone catch their follow-up piece about how women can choose the right jeans to look "bootylicious?" That says all that one needs to know about the TODAY show. Official corruption, bootylicious jeans, it's all the same to them -- just brain candy to keep the listless fingers of the masses from reaching for the remote.

        •  For that reason, I avoid Katie and Matt (none)
          because of the hop-skip to various unrelated stories-all of which are done too briefly anyway.
          "Brain Candy" is the right phrase; unfortunately, your IQ goes down with each show!!
        •  Wikipedia article says 2 Democrats got Abramoff $ (4.00)
          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          "Documents showed that Abramoff and his firm paid travel bills not only for Republicans like DeLay, but also for Southern Democrats like James Clyburn of South Carolina and Bennie Thompson of Mississippi."

          This seems to me like Democrats got money from Abramoff.  I was all adamant to a neo-con at work, and we usually fall back on wikipedia since it's more objective than my blogs and his blogs, and I was disappointed to see this.  What's up with this?  What's "the rest of the story?"  Why are we still insisting that Democrats did not get anything?  

          The excessive use of television and automobiles can be hazardous to your health.

          by Greenkermie in AZ on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:05:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Another source? (4.00)
            I'm sorry, do you have any other source besides Wikipedia? Does Wikipedia give a citation? Wikipedia is not the best place to look for current highly political issues, so I will continue insisting that Democrats did not get any money until you can back that up.

            We also can realize the dream of a world without war, but only by stubborn persistence, only by a refusal to surrender that dream -Howard Zinn

            by Jawis on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:13:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  WaPo is another source (none)
              s'truth, sadly:
              check it out
              •  as always (none)
                the devil is in the details:

                Clyburn and Thompson were invited to the islands by the National Security Caucus Foundation, a nonprofit group, in a letter dated Dec. 17, 1996, according to a copy Clyburn supplied. The letter said the trip would "not involve any cost to the U.S. government."

                Greg Hilton, who directed the group at the time, said he understood at the outset that the expenses would be covered by "the private sector" -- meaning island businesses. "As we came closer to the trip, a check had not arrived," he said in a written statement. But Hilton said he received a call from Preston Gates, which depicted itself as legal counsel for the island government.

                "What happened was airline tickets were sent to our offices," he said. "I was assured that they had been paid for entirely by the . . . government, and the government would pay for all of the lawmakers' expenses."

                He also said that "if I did not inform Rep. Clyburn and Thompson of the funding situation, it was a mistake" that he now regrets.

                Clyburn said in an interview yesterday that he responded to the letter of invitation and had no idea that Abramoff or Preston Gates paid at the outset

                weather forecast

                The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

                by Cedwyn on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 12:48:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Links are included here (none)
              When was the last time someone paid $5,000 for you to travel across the world while you had no clue who paid for it?

              http://www.dailykos.com/...

          •  Because (none)
            We're insisting Democrats didn't get money because--as far as I know--they didn't.  

            This scandal is a big deal, and if WE let the Republicans set the tone and educate the people, we won't see any change.  

            This whole event is a Republican problem, brought on by their tactics to raise money and win elections.  Simple.

            He not busy being born is busy dying.

            by jarrrettg on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:14:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Dean reference is to campaign contributions (4.00)
            The FEC mention is the key.  He is asserting that neither Abramoff or his wife gave any campaign contributions to Democrats, and the records I have seen support that.

            Thompson and Clyburn may have taken trips paid for by Abramoff clients, but that is outside the category of payments that Gov. Dean was talking about.

            •  Aha. (none)
              So the distinction is campaign contributions.

              Another so-called liberal friend of mine would sweep it all into one pile.  Six of one, half dozen of another.  The problem is that Joe Popcorn would too.

              The excessive use of television and automobiles can be hazardous to your health.

              by Greenkermie in AZ on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:28:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  more than that... (4.00)
                No, the major distinction is that no Democrate took ANY money from Jack Abramoff.  Some Indian tribes have made contributions to Democrats, but why would you assume that is Jack Abramoff money?  It doesn't make any sense.  They (the Indian tribes)were paying Abramoff money, not the other way around.

                NO DEMOCRAT TOOK ANY MONEY FROM JACK ABRAMOFF. PERIOD.  Unless you can prove otherwise, I don't see why we should just sit silently and let these people make these false accusations.

                •  look at his username (none)
                  some green party people are determined to paint the two parties as the same.
                  •  I didn't think so (none)
                    I thought he was just saying that even some of his liberal friends are falling for the Republican talking points (lies).

                    And hence, the power of the TV (propoganda system).

                    And hence, why we must put all the pressure we have on them to report the truth, not Republican propaganda.

                    However, Dean knows how this game is played.  When someone tries to smear you, don't get upset, just view it as an opportunity to set the record straight.  Dean knows how to do this, Biden can stay at home.

                    In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

                    by yet another liberal on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:53:53 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  reply to TerryinSF (none)
                  It's on the record that both Hillary Clinton and Charles Rangel (D, NY) took money , and donated it back to charity -- and Harry Reid did, too but he's keeping his check.
              •  The distinction... (none)
                is crime! No democrats as far as I know have been tied to any pay-to-play issues. If democrats get swept up in the criminal investigations then they can get the hell out too, but as it is this completely a republican scandal. All Jack Abramoff money wasn't necessarily tainted, and you now don't have a single source that implicates democrats. Also, I didn't like how you ignored the other critiques of your source, but pounced with an "Aha!" at the first post that showed any vulnerability.

                We also can realize the dream of a world without war, but only by stubborn persistence, only by a refusal to surrender that dream -Howard Zinn

                by Jawis on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:08:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Dispute this (none)
            Better raise a dispute flag on wiki if its not already there.

            "I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords..."

            by pawlr on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:20:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That article (4.00)
            has been freeped, as have all politically-oriented articles on Wikipedia.
          •  can't always trust the wiki (4.00)
            I love Wikipedia and use it daily. However, you do need to take it with a grain of salt. Since anyone can edit the articles, people with political biases help shape the articles.

            There was recently a lot of news coverage about the wikipedia entry for John Seigenthaler Sr describing his Nazi past which apparently was absolutely untrue. Here's
             Siegenthaler's USA Today commentary
             about it.

          •  Didn't find the reference... (4.00)
            ...in wikipedia.

            Actually, it says this:

            "Abramoff has a reputation for largesse considered exceptional even by Washington standards. In addition to offering many Republican members of Congress expensive free meals at his restaurant, Signatures, Abramoff maintained four skyboxes at major sports arenas for political entertaining at a cost of over $1 million a year. Abramoff hosted many fundraisers at these skyboxes including events for politicians publicly opposed to gambling, such as U.S. Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA). [19] Jack Abramoff never made a campaign contribution to a Democrat, and there is no evidence that he directed his clients to contribute to Democrats."

    •  Isn't this (4.00)
      like 2 weeks after Dean's smackdown on Wolf ("Heil Bush") Bleetzar?

      What the hell?!

      This is simply inexecusable.

      "We'll look into it"?

      "We'll look into it"?!!!

      She had how many weeks to look into it before the Dean interview?!!!!

      What do these anchors do on their off-time?  Sniff glue?!!

      Can we wait even a SECOND longer? SEE GRAPHIC...

      by STOP George on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:55:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  inexusable (none)

        Can we wait even a SECOND longer? SEE GRAPHIC...

        by STOP George on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:56:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Believe me - (4.00)
        they don't spend time "looking into things" except maybe their navel.

        -4.63,-3.54 If the people will lead the leaders will follow

        by calebfaux on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:56:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Howard ought to be getting good at this (3.86)
        Doesn't Howard Dean have better things to do than go around acting as an after-the-fact checker for our leading media lights?  I wonder how much time he's going to have to waste stomping out this particular lie from the various stenography pools in DC and New York?

        Katie Couric, shame on you.  Why don't you stick to promoting colonoscopies and doing fluff interviews with starlets, and leave the real news to Gregory and Shuster?

        -4.50, -5.85 Lies are the new Truth.

        by Dallasdoc on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:10:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed (3.25)
          I've thought this for a while now.  Why do we even bother?  We should just ignore the media.  As Kos has noted, this site gets more viewers than many corporate media outlets.

          The game is rigged, the only way to win is to refuse to play.

          Create alternate outlets, let them hurl baseless accusations at themselves.  Eventually the public will find us......

          Can't be any worse than having Biden on Meet The Press...

          •  Yes, you should bother (4.00)
            While this site may get more viewers that many media outlets, it gets viewers who for the most part already understand the truth.

            If you allow Katie Couric to provide misinformation without challenge, you contribute to the Republican lie-spreading machinery.

            •  Bardy, I couldn't agree more (4.00)
              We cannot sit by and let the lies go unchallenged.  That's what got us into this mess.  The time has come to hold them accountable and demand retractions and/or corrections.

              Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

              by Susan S on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:43:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Amazing you should even have to say this (4.00)
              people- there is a whole wide world beyond blogland, and it's a lot bigger, and a whole lot less informed.
            •  target their advertisers (none)
              Not for the entire network...just for the 'news'shows of the drooling offenders.  And send them e-mails that we've made the lists.  And let the advertisers know why they will now be shunned.  They'll cry.

              Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night.

              by Glorfindel on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:07:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Absolutely! (none)
              I am so sick of reading posts from neo-luddite popcultphobics that say, essentially, who cares what the bobbleheads say? Turn off your TV!

              Beyond beyond revoltingly smug and self-righteous, it's just plain dumb. The vast majority of folks in this country get their news from either a local daily or TV or bits and pieces from both. They don't have the luxury of hanging out on blogs or reading about political issues and if they do have the luxury of time they're not interested. This hardly makes them lazy or stupid or morally bankrupt; it simply means they are either working their butts off trying to take care of their families and when they do have down time they prefer to watch football or a movie or play video games or whatever.

              So keeping the likes of Katie Couric or Matt Lauer or whomever straight on the issues is vitally important. Letting them get away with "well this is a bipartisan scandal" will cost the Democrats Congress in 2006. And only the most deluded Naderite can possibly think that the two parties are equally bad at this point.

          •  Why Bother? (4.00)
            Guyute16, with all due respect, I couldn't disagree more. If we "refuse to play", we lose! The Republican Noise Machine with their media accomplices continue to spread their lies to all of mainstream America.

            This has been going on for way too long. We need to engage and we need to put a stop to it.

            Now is the time to pile on. Now is the time to be relentless. Join the efforts to straighten out Chris Matthews...

            http://openlettertochrismatthews.blogspot.com/

            (If you haven't checked this site lately, you're in for a surprise!)

          •  You should bother. (none)
            Why do you think right-wing slimes go on the Daily Show to push their garbage books?

            Unitary Executive is just a nice way of saying Dictatorship.

            by voltayre on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:46:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Refusing to play (4.00)
            still equals a loss...

            Even in peewee soccer you learn that lesson!

            I've killed people for less...

            by patsprouseyo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:48:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Refusing to play (none)
            is what has got us into the sorry position we're in now. By "refusing to play" I mean of course "refusing to fight."
            •  Fair enough... (4.00)
              ...but can we at LEAST get some sort of Democratic media center going?  You know, so that the Liebermans and Bidens of the world can be taken to task for selling out Dems on worthless shows like Meet the Press?

              To the person that troll rated me - you are a sad sad sad individual.

          •  Because the majority (none)
            of those supporting the Bush bunch are the ones
            generally getting all their news from NBC and Fox
            along with that other right wing supporter CNN.

            Most of them wouln't know how to look up real news
            and facts on a compurter.

            We must demand fair treatment from the media, even
            though that does not mean we will get it.

            America Needs Gore 2008

            by eaglecries on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:49:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Good role for Dean (4.00)
          Actually, exposing the lies of the right-wing, corporate media is a good role for Dean.  He gets his facts straight he is assertive without being confrontational or impolite.  Democrats have ignored this bias long enough.  I hate that he has to do it, but I am glad Dean is out there calling it like it is.
          •  Howard can walk and chew gum (4.00)
            I realize that Howard Dean is our best spokesman for getting the truth out there through the propaganda tidal wave.  Anybody who saw his WWF-style putdown of Blitzer the other Sunday can appreciate that.

            It's just a shame that someone so talented at party-building has to waste his time on what ought to be unnecessary, if we had anything resembling a journalistic profession in this country.  As it is, at least the corrections get his face out there, and show him standing up for the truth.  Gotta keep the liars and propagandists flat-footed, I guess.

            -4.50, -5.85 Lies are the new Truth.

            by Dallasdoc on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:38:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I agree - & corporate media is necessary evil (none)
            It has been great seeing Dean's last few appearances (at least that have been put up on crooks and liars) - he seems totally 'onto' the fact that the corporate media is out to crucify him and the Dems - and has figured out the best appraoch to counter their numbskull attacks.

            But in a majority-rules democracy, it is essential that politicians on the national stage retain visibility to the widest audience possible. As great as Kos or other forms of alternative media are - they - like 'traditional' right wing havens,  just do not have the access to variety of eyes and ears as the corporate media does.

            So - like it or not,  the Dems still need them. Howard Dean seems to realize that at this point, appearing on television news shows is like riding a shark - he has to get on the thing to get to where he needs to go...but unless he's REALLY careful he could get gobbled up at any minute.

            So far it looks like he's doing a great job.

        •  He is doing what it takes (4.00)
          Look, right now he's one of only two or three prominent dems that can get air time to counter the rw spin...

          Blitzer was a warm up we should expect to see Dean on any and all media outlets... Right now he's the only one swinging the hammer hard enough to beat back the rovian Bull Shit...

          •  If he keeps this up... (none)
            If Dean keeps smacking down the fodder put forth by the corporate owned media, all he will have left to do is raise money for the Democrats. They will quit asking him to show up for questions because they don't like his answers. Joe Leiberman is always available.

            A cat is a camel designed by lobbyists for the hump industry

            by bobinson on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:21:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  We could spend hours every day (none)
          calling the media on their inconsistancies, sloppiness and misinformation.
      •  Actually, this development works. (4.00)
        Couric's re-statement and Dean's retort were exactly what was needed to re-ignite the debate in a news-cycle culture. Couric played the perfect shill, according to what I'm reading. She had to re-make the mistake in order for Dean to respond to the entire right wing media machine, in a much-needed reiteration of truth-telling.

        If I were Dean, I'd keep coming back to Couric, who gives Dean the time to make his case, over and over.

        •  to Dean, this functioned like a softball (4.00)
          question, I agree.  He was on it but good, he saw it coming from a mile away and was ready.  I think he begins from a working assumption that they're playing for the other team and goes in with his game face on.  Cheers for you, Howard Dean, you did us proud.

          By the way, aren't Katie's 'smart glasses' getting a little old and a little too Geraldo?  I mean, c'mon.

          Be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble, for you are made of stars. Serbian Proverb

          by station wagon on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:01:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Smart glasses? (none)
            Look, I'm no Katie fan, and I'll be writing NBC as well, but anyone over the age of 40 (which she most definitely is -- born 1957) can have trouble with reading small type. It's a fact of life that we get more far-sighted as we age. I pull out my "smart glasses" all the time -- to read. It's a pain in the ass, and massively frustrating whether or not you've had good vision all your life. If you haven't experienced that yet, you will.
            •  Sad but true (none)
              For a while you tell yourself the print is small or the light is bad, and you hold the print farther away.  And then one day your arms are too short, and you have to buy the glasses.  And then you wind up with ten pairs because you keep forgetting them and leaving them places.

              Sometimes you cover your ass with the lame excuses you have, instead of the lame excuses you wish you had. (-3.00, -5.49)

              by litigatormom on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 03:38:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  not to mention the Howell thing (none)
        ...it's been all over everything!  
    •  please post her email address & phone # (none)

      "Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history". Abraham Lincoln, December 1862:

      by bluecayuga on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:49:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Correct email, phone and address HERE (none)
        CORRECT EMAIL IS Today@NBC.com

        IF YOUR EMAIL GOES THROUGH, YOU GET A ROBO RESPONSE WITH THIS INFO:

        "ADDRESS: Katie, Matt, and other Today show correspondents are not online yet. For any requests or comments, you can write to them at:
                30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

        For immediate help you can always call us at (212) 664-4249. "

        IF YOU ARE SENDING TO THE EMAIL IN THE DIARY, THERE IS NO GUARANTEE YOU ARE GETTING THROUGH AND YOUR CAREFULLY WORDED MESSAGES ARE WORTHLESS!

        I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

        by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:00:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Trying to get this posted near top of the thread.. (none)
      as Marjo has pointed out below, please send your emails to the following address:

      Today@NBC.com

      This email address gets a robo response which indicates that they have received your email. If it isn't too much trouble, those of you that have sent your email to the other address might want to consider resending it. Lots of great letters have been posted on this thread and we don't want any of them to get lost in the ether!

    •  WRONG EMAIL IN DIARY!!!! (none)
      I think it's the wrong email in the diary!  Hundreds of people sending comments to potentially the wrong email!  Why won't someone listen and UPDATE THE DAMN DIARY?

      Use: Today@NBC.com

      I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

      by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:52:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Link, please? (none)
      I've been searching the NBC Today Show web page, because I wanted to watch or listen, but I can't find it anywhere. Does anyone have a link to this? I don't like to send an e-mail protesting something that I haven't actually seen. I sure don't mind after I have seen it, though. This needs to be answered.

      Thanks

      "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

      by martyc35 on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:03:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He has certainly gotten better and better... (none)
      I was all about him in the primaries, but he hadn't quite figured out how to fight the media without being made to look insane.

      Well, i think he's figured it out more. Or he has come close, at least.

      The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

      by Shapeshifter on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:27:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  airhead katie. (4.00)
    just nod, smile and move on.  don't make her cry....

    "welcome to the monkey house" vonnegut

    by realheathen on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:14:08 AM PST

    •  The problem is (4.00)
      she sees herself as a "serious journalist" and more than a few others see her as reliable.  Can't just let these things pass anymore.  These people do real damage.  The media is largely responsible for the wretched state of public discourse in this country, and I see no sign that they are getting the message they need to change.
      •  having a hard time picturing (4.00)
        Edward R. Murrow taking a role as a prison guard in any "Austin Powers" style flick.
      •  Yet the problem (4.00)
        is not Katie Couric herself, or Blitzer or Matthews.
        Katie has somewhere in the region of a $60 million contract. For her to get her hands on that money, she does what she is told, bottom line. I think it's wrong for people to think that she is lazy, it takes alot of time to craft these questions implying that the Democratic position is out of the mainstream, and that is precisely what is being done here. She was probably groomed for this interview for quite a while, so it's all the more impressive that Dean dealt with her in the way that he did.
        In fact Katie Couric probably has left leaning tendencies as she seems to be a very independent and successful woman, yet those sentiments have to be left at the door in order to get that paycheck.
        The problem lies with the owners of the media companies, and this line of blatant republican bias will not change until the disadvantages vastly outweigh the advantages of shilling for the Bush administration. It will be up to us, through blogs like this one and other outlets to inform our Demaocratic leaders and the public in general as to what exactly is going on with the traditional media.

        Common sense isn't that common - Voltaire

        by obgynlover on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:55:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Vampires don't cry n/t (none)
  •  Katie is a ho (4.00)
    Any illusions of balance or objectivity on the Today show disappeared about when Matt Lauer's hair did.  Not that there's any causal connection.

    Peace in a world free of Religion, Peace in a world where everyone gets Heaven... -- Toni Halliday

    by Wintermute on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:20:24 AM PST

  •  Thank you for posting this diary (4.00)
    I've recommended it. Hopefully there is a transcript that can be added to this diary later.   Please do email NBC, it's particularly important because we can never win the war against Republican spin if we allow another media whore to pick up the lies after we have debunked them elsewhere. Couric is either a liar or a bad journalist if she doesn't know about the Howell hoopla at WAPO.

    Because I'm too lazy to repharase it I will finish this post I pasting something I posted at the end of BrVT thread about winning the war against MSM: Couric threw the old Democrats got Abramoff canard at Dean. He debunked it, but she continued to insist it was true and also tried to play this school marm game in which she seemed to be daring him to be concise... and well, her whole tone was just hostile IMHO. Dean basically said that what she was saying was completely false... no Democrats had received money from Abramoff and that he had the documents to prove it if she would care to see it. She huffed about well, we will continue to investigate this.

    I was livid. I mean really, woman, if you had been investigating this in any way shape or form you would already know that Abramoff didn't give money to Dems. That's what the whole WAPO flap was about and here was Katie Couric trying to re-establish the Republican spin!!!!!

    We need to help out Dr. Dean and provide to Katie Couric the documentation and analysis that she apparently requires in order to clear her brain of the programming that the GOP seems to have hardwired in there.

    •  Was some producer... (4.00)
      on the Today show feeding her the line? Katie and most of these talking head types are little more than telegenic marionettes that are adept at mimicry...feed them a line, any line, and they'll spout it out almost immediately.

      This is how they make the big bucks.

      So not only is Katie on the hook, but also the lead producer of this broadcast, as well.

      People in Eurasia on the brink of oppression: I hope it's gonna be alright... Pet Shop Boys: Introspective

      by rgilly on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:32:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I saw the exchange...have it on tivo (4.00)
      I, too, saw Katie Couric's interview with Howard Dean.   I thought he started out a bit weak ("It's not a good example to our kids for the president to break the law." WTF was that argument in there for?   He should have been quoting Franklin!) But after warming up on the domestic spying issue, he got better and better.   Obviously he and Katie had discussed some of the questions before hand, especially his 30 second summary of what Dems DO stand for.   (Which was good, but not great, IMO)

      But I loved the way he called her out on the Abramoff issue.   And he made strong points against the White House at the same time he defended the Dems when he said the Dems would actually go after Bin Laden and would actually provide the troops what they need to fight the war, etc.

      I am afraid Couric will be like Howell with her followup...unable or unwilling to admit that the tribes giving money is a TOTALLY different thing than Abramoff giving bribes, but who knows.   Whatever followup there is, if any, I  think that Couric did Dems a service by speaking the lie and sticking to it, so that Dean could get the truth out there and restate it several times.    "Not one dime of Abramoff money went to a single Democrat!"

      •  Careful - define 'Abramoff money' that way ... (none)
        ... and there's no Abramoff scandal.

        None Dare Call It Stupid!

        by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:59:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then that would be our fault (none)
          It's a one-two punch. The first punch n' dodge is just to get them off balance, if even momentarily.

          If we fail to follow up HARD and reframe it ["The Republicans OWN this scandal"] while they're off balance and regrouping then we deserve to get a knee to the balls while we contemplate our style points.

          The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, they tell us how the media is doing. And Diebold tells us who won.

          by Thumb on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:49:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What our 1-2 punch? And what's 3? (none)
            1. Lead with an obvious falsehood.
            2. They hit us over the head with it.
            3. ???
            4. Victory!!!

            None Dare Call It Stupid!

            by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:23:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well then, (none)
              1. Say this is a Republican scandal.
              2. Hammer Abramoff's bribery and fake charities.

              Of course we could always try the well worn tactic of saying the bully has a point and discussing the finer points of the inconsistencies of their arguments as their meme ["It's a bi-partisan scandal"] gets a foothold on the public consciousness.

              Personally I've gotten much better traction with the moderates and wingers I deal with to keep it simple; "Abramoff gave zero dollars to Dems and anyone who says otherwise is a liar or a shill." Any attempts by my winger "friends" to make a case that Dems still were connected somehow (they don't follow the details as well as you or remember the minutia of GOP talking points - the reason this "hit[ting] us over the head" you so fear won't materialize on the retail level) is lost in the dust when I move the frame to Abramoff's role with College Republicans, his Pioneer GOP donor status and the sham charities he set up to bribe congressmen. No one, not the first time, has anyone keep on the "But Dems are crooked too" theme after being put on the defensive with specifics of Abramoff's history of being a GOP activist. In other words, and as I tried to say originally, we're not going to get hit over the head unless we stand still for it.

              It's only an "obvious" falsehood to detail oriented wonks and pearl cluthers who want to give the GOP the benefit of the doubt, make sure our talking points are 100% airtight and squeaky clean (as if that has ever mattered in the Frame Wars), and are otherwise too afraid of the GOP response to stay ahead of the message. (Ever wonder why the public views the Dems as "soft?")

              Without meaning to be snarky, I would recommend you read this post from Chad Orzel called "Lying to Children: The pedagogical problems of trying to distill abstract theories down into comprehensible storylines.

              The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, they tell us how the media is doing. And Diebold tells us who won.

              by Thumb on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:46:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Oh yes there is (none)
          There is a big difference between (1) meeting with Abramoff, pushing specific legislation at his request, and then immediately receiving (by overnight mail) contributions from an Abramoff tribal client and (2) getting contributions from Indian tribes (who happen to be Abramoff clients) because you are a known supporter of legislation to fund tribal schools or a known proponent of limiting the expansion of gambling outside the state of Nevada.

          There's a big difference between having close ties with Abramoff and receiving both direct contributions and indirect favors from him vs. receiving small contributions from Indian tribes which you thought they made to you because you are a member of a party that has traditionally supported legislation that benefits Native Americans.

          I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

          by homeland observer on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:13:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Defining 'Abramoff money' as personal contrib's (none)
            Abramoff & spouse totalled ~35K/yr, which wouldn't even buy an incumbent senator in a tiny state like Mt.

            None Dare Call It Stupid!

            by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:20:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Republican only scandal (none)
              http://www.bloomberg.com/...
              "Between 2001 and 2004, Abramoff gave more than $127,000 to Republican candidates and committees and nothing to Democrats, federal records show. At the same time, his Indian clients were the only ones among the top 10 tribal donors in the U.S. to donate more money to Republicans than Democrats."
              ...
              "Abramoff's tribal clients continued to give money to Democrats even after he began representing them, although in smaller percentages than in the past.

              The Saginaw Chippewas gave $500,500 to Republicans between 2001 and 2004 and $277,210 to Democrats, according to a review of data compiled by Dwight L. Morris & Associates, a Bristow, Virginia-based company that tracks campaign-finance reports. Between 1997 and 2000, the tribe gave just $158,000 to Republicans and $279,000 to Democrats."

          •  Good Point (none)
            Dems should keep educating people on this issue.  The more people know about it, the worse the Republicans look.  They will try to simplify, but simple concrete talking points should help keep the public informed.  

            He not busy being born is busy dying.

            by jarrrettg on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:25:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Hope you don't mind, (none)
            homeland observer, that I quoted your comments in my letter re Couric. That was an excellent summary of what the differences are.

            Thanks

            Incompetent, dishonest, and corrupt--it chants well

            by bently on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:41:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Tribe money to DEMS went DOWN (none)
            after Abramoff got involved.

            THAT says it all.

            Yes, DEMS got tribe money, but less than before.

            How can that be considered a positive for DEMS?

      •  "example to our kids" (4.00)
        That's just Howard pitching his approach to the show's audience- many of whom are home with a young child.  It's actually a pretty good attempt at bridging the gap between his need to talk about hard political subjects and the "what about the children" kind of features that this show typically offers in this time slot.

        "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

        by histopresto on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:43:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  remember the audience.. (none)
        I think the "not a good example" argument is good for the Today audience.
      •  "example for our kids" (none)
        Possible reference to GOP rhetoric re: Bill Clinton lying about the Lewinsky affair?  The case against Clinton was allegedly all about lying.

        "If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?"

        by daria g on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:19:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  that's how I heard it , too (4.00)
      I'm sure the transcripts will be damning. I usually don't have the Today Show on the TV in the morning, but I needed to check the school delays and weather report. Her interview made me so angry it was scaring my 3 year old without my saying a word (or throwing things at the TV -- which is why I don't watch C-SPAN while he's awake...)!

      -4.63 -4.21 If Bush was moral or honest he'd turn himself in.

      by musicsleuth on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:50:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  c-span FYI (4.00)
        Molly Ivins will be on Washington Journal tomorrow morning so if anyone knows how to call in they might want to so it doesn't end up a bunch of Republicans saying she is the devil and real information or commentary might get some time....On the other hand they do just sound ridiculous and crazy.

        Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

        by strengthof10kmen on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:06:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  For all the good it will do (4.00)
      I just sent:

      Dear Sirs,

        I was alarmed to see host Katie Couric today make the assertion to Howard Dean that Democrats were part of the Abramoff scandal.  This is a Republican lie that has been long debunked - Gov Dean was quite specific to Wolf Blitzer more than a week ago - and it is incredible that a news organization could be so poorly informed.

        I can think of only 2 reasons why Ms Couric could have made such an ignorant statement.  One being that she is out of her depth, when it comes to political news coverage, or that she was poorly prepared for the interview by your staff.  In either case it reveals the Today Show to be a rather slipshod operation.

        The other reason, that I can think of for such a gross error on her part, is that it is another example of corporate media spinning the Republican line.  We really need only look to the atrocious performance of the US media, prior to the Iraq War, to see that they are all too eager to carry water for this administration.

        In either case, I sincerely hope that Ms Couric will in fact "look into it" and tomorrow make an on air correction.  Something along the lines of, "I looked into Gov Dean's statement that the Abramoff scandal was entirely a Republican problem and he was 100% correct.  Jack Abramoff never gave ANY money to Democrats.  I apologize to my viewers for yesterday's factual errors. "

        If I do not hear a correction/apology, then I will assume that it was an intentional spin on the Today Show's part, and will cease watching it.

      Sincerely,

      Joe Hatcher

      "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy" - James Madison

      by Hotspur18 on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:51:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been watching the Today (4.00)
    for nearly 30 years.  Its really out of control in so many ways -- the constant Natalee Holloway stories leading off instead of hard news, Katie's increasingly right wing take on interviews, Timmy Boy leering at the camera and talking inside baseball instead of real world politics.  Its really just habit.  I like having news on in the morning, and I've tried the alternatives and they all suck.  So I end up back at NBC by default.

    I really should just put on the Weather Channel.

    Sometimes you cover your ass with the lame excuses you have, instead of the lame excuses you wish you had. (-3.00, -5.49)

    by litigatormom on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:26:30 AM PST

    •  Just keep the damned thing off (none)
      Really, there's no excuse to watch that tripe to start your day. None whatsoever.
      •  If We Didn't Watch This Garbage (4.00)
        hwould we know the most popular morning news show was selling crap. Regrettably, we are all now watchdogs.
      •  NPR (none)
        I never watch the early morning talk shows.

        I listen to NPR. I want to know is actually happening the world.  

        I am glad someone is doing this, but have enough to be angry about to watch such crap.

        Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren. Brecht.

        by MoDem on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:08:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Air America or internet (none)
          I can't stomach NPR anymore, they seem to me the audiocast version of the Today show, IMHO.  In the mornings, my partner and I used to listen to Morning Sedition but now that that's been neutered, we listen to a). online radio steams - Tom Hartman, that guy in Detroit, anyone! or b). we listen to silence, the sound of the owl outside perched somewhere, the heating system roaring to life, the bathroom fan.  Better than Eno!

          Sturm und Drang -- poking at culture's soft underbelly since 2005.

          by magpie02141 on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:30:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  NPR sucks (none)
            I read a diary yesterday on this site, the correspondent did exactly the same thing. Even though they don't sell advertising (per se - actually they do have corporate sponsors) they do as all media must do in this day. Go easy on the Bush otherwise they'll have their funding cut.

            Ken Tomlinson anyone?

          •  NPR - an American Tragedy (none)
            I gave up on TV news YEARS ago and was a total NPR junkie.

            Not anymore - it only really hit me after Katrina hit that many if not most of these formerly perfectly fine, objective journalists had turned into spinless, unapologetic bushco hacks.

            I am still devistated by their betrayal of my trust.

            •  "spinless, unapologetic bushco hacks" (none)
              Love your typo! I have been complaining about the spineless NPR hacks (here and to NPR) regularly, with their newfound talent for simply accepting BushCo spin--so, spinless they are not, but definitely spineless. I just wrote to Steve Inskeep the other day, and I regularly call them on their gutless acquiescence whenever a Republican spokesperson calls up and says he wants to offer some "analysis" on--you name it. It won't be news, and it won't be analysis, either. It will be pure spin. I told Inskeep he would feel a lot more professional if he used the spin time to do some actual investigating and reporting. I don't think he's speaking to me, though, as I haven't received an answer:-).

              "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

              by martyc35 on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 08:37:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  absolutely right (none)
        I haven't watched morning TV in 15 or 20 years.  Occasionally I catch a glimpse of it while standing around in an airport, and it turns my stomach.

        The shows themselves are shitty, but the worst part is that they're mostly advertisements.  As on the rest of TV, the shows are only a vehicle for ads, so nobody cares much about their content.

        If people MUST watch moving figures on a box while getting ready for the day, I suggest popping in a video or DVD and watching a Fred Astaire movie.  Or something along those lines.

        Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

        by hrh on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:19:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's important to monitor "the tripe" (4.00)
        The Today Show has been highest rated show on television for ten years straight.  That matters big time. There are people who vote who are not political and are too bored by the news to really follow it.  They depend on these "news lite" shows for their information.  If the information is flat-out wrong, that's how they will vote.  Wrong.
        You don't have to watch the shows.  I can't bring myself to either most of the time.  Just like I can't bear to watch O'Reilly ever, even though I feel I should, so I can know what people are hearing.  
        So don't watch.  No one is asking you to.  Just understand what goes on on these shows impacts the direction of country, because it influences voters.  Some of us are becoming aware of this and want to make a serious response.  Yes, it's a crummy show.  So what?  Criticisms of the style and type of content are beside the point.
        •  Amen (none)
          You are exactly right. I can't stand to watch this stuff myself but I do occasionally just to see what the MSM is pumping out this week.

          I doubt anyone here watches this stuff for the reasons intended by its producers, owners, and advertisers. We watch to know what Americans are being told is going on, not to know what's going on.  

          But you don't know what's going on if you don't know what your fellow citizens think (incorrectly or not) is going on. Reality without the reality of your fellow citizens' perception is only one part of the story, and too frequently the least consequential part.

        •  Highest rated show on tv? (none)
          I really, really doubt that's the case. Maybe in it's time slot, but not all of tv.
    •  Today's News (4.00)
      I too am worn out by the nonsense that passes for news these days on the networks.  I too have resorted to the Weather Channel.  I have finally found substance with my bloggers.  I think it is time that is better spent.  It is a new day for news.  It is good that some folks still watch the network stuff to monitor how bad it really is.
      •  Like FORMER SOVIET UNION! (none)
        My gosh - forgive my shouting - but reading your post - it just hit me....NOW I realize why I keep feeing like one of those 'Kremlinologists' who virtually had to resort to reading tea leaves in order to figure out what was going on inside the Soviet government. back in the old days...

        WE HAVE NO OBJECTIVE MEDIA left in this country.

        Everyone with access to power has sold out and are now working under their rules - so the objective truth is for the time being and maybe for a long time to come - effectively invisible except for those in the WH.

        I guess 'freedom of the press' includes the freedom for them to sell out to the highest bidder.

        In any case, maybe we should just start calling the WHOLE corporate media (NY Times, WaPo, CNN, CBS, FOX, NBC, TIME, NEWSWEEK, etc., etc) PRAVDA and have done with it.

        As great as Kos, the Nation, Air America etc., are - they have no direct access to the white house - so are just tea leaves readers like the rest of us.

    •  If your habit is TV in the morning (4.00)
      why not just switch to Washington Journal on C-Span?

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:07:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I gave up on the Today Show (none)
        in 1992 when I discovered Washington Journal.  I like news and information and I find the traditional morning shows heavy on entertainment and about three days behind on the news.  I also couldn't stand watching the always-in-need-of-a-hairbrush Ann Coury emote during interviews.

        Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

        by Susan S on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:13:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I watch AMC's old movies (4.00)
      half the time.  At least if they are colorized I can tell.
    •  Keep your friends close (none)
      and your enemies closer.

      Not the church. Not the state. Women will decide their fate.

      by JaciCee on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:02:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Try this instead (4.00)
      Flip back and forth between Today Show and CNBC.

      The guys who are quite literally shaping the world aren't watching the Today Show; they're in front of CNBC or monitoring overnight trading activity to prep for market opening.

      There's an enormous disconnect between what you see on the Today Show and CNBC; when they actually converge on coverage, there's an issue.

      Like the NSA domestic spying story; last Friday's enormous dump of Google stock was directly related to the DoJ's request for search information, brought home to the entire upper decile that owns Google that the executive branch through DoJ and NSA is overreaching and that it's PERSONAL.  Coverage on NBC for once converged with that of CNBC, both of them talking about Iran as well as privacy/spying.  And the market took an overall dump.

      What we need to focus on is not just early morning shows, but impacting the folks who watch CNBC.  Follow the money, yes?

      •  For example: Davos, GM, earnings reports (none)
        and a tenative recovery from last week's losses, as well as oil prices.

        That's what CNBC is covering this morning.

        I don't recall the Today Show even mentioning Davos, and it's a HUGE event to the rest of the world; search term "davos" turned up 3,470 articles under news.google.com.  Very few articles were U.S.-based outlets, except for those that referred to the Hamas win in Israel and Davos in the same article.

        Says a lot about our nation's priorities and the nature of the media here; Today Show is typical.

      •  Shaping the world? (none)
        If that's true, what are people doing in a voting booth? People with zip money vote too.  We bemoan losing elections, and complain that liberal politicians don't get their point across.  But what venues are available to them to reach large numbers of people?  
        •  Gotta play more than one game (none)
          We've mistakenly viewed politics through the prism of (little d) democratic perspective; we believe one person, one vote.

          But we have to view this as a matrix, a multi-layered, multi-faceted game where the opposition views things through an entirely different prism.

          We continue to play to the popular vote, but we can't ignore the fact that all the folks who watch and use CNBC for their primary news source are the same people who've been gaming our legislative process by way of lobbyists and PAC donations.  They are buying access we don't have as individuals.

          There are ways to reach them; the Sinclair Broadcasting example tells us we need to follow the money, make it hurt in the pocket to the point where it shows up on CNBC.  

          Here's an emerging situation that we should be capitalizing on right now: one of the senior talking heads on CNBC actually said he believes the government is going to have to step in on the GM situation (4.8 BILLION loss announced today), and in the form of healthcare.

          Guess what the focus of Dubya's SOTU speech will be?  Healthcare savings accounts.

          We should be drafting aggressive proactive plans and responses to this situation right now, in advance of the SOTU; we should be working with the UAW so that they are aware they are going to be co-opted by the president as a political football.  

          And we write LTE's and post on financial forums well in advance of the SOTU about the limitations of healthcare savings accounts in addressing the healthcare crisis.  We also consider setting up an investment fund, buyin small lots of shares in subject companies, and then using the access for shareholder protests.

          This is how we play it on their end of the field.  We still have opportunities to reach them, we just have to get smarter and more committed about doing it.

    •  You want news in the morning... (none)
      I agree that morning news is a neccessity. But it really should be NEWS, and not corporate crap, fluff and silly bantering between overpaid shills.

      What you need is Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!

      You can get it on Free Speech TV on the Dish Network, or with high speed you can watch in online.

      If you don't have or can't get Dish, then cancel cable altogether, and spend the $ on high speed internet. You will feel so much better.

      In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.
               ~George Orwell

      by outragemeter on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:10:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My Letter to Today (4.00)
    Dear Today Show:

    I was appalled to hear Katie Couric tell a complete lie this morning regarding the Jack Abramoff scandal.  In an interview with Howard Dean, Couric stated taht Abramoff gave money to both Democrats and Republicans, but a simple look at the facts would show that this statement is blatantly false.  

    As FEC records clearly show, 100% of Abramoff's donations have gone to Republicans.  FEC records show that Abramoff gave $172,933 for Republican candidates, $88,985 to Republican causes and nothing to Democratic candidates or organizations. You can find his list of donations here:
    http://www.newsmeat.com/...

    Records show that some of Abramoff's casino clients gave money to both Democrats and Republicans (about 70% to Republicans and 30% to Democrats).  So the GOP talking points try to say that this shows that Abramoff directed his clients to give to Democrats as well as Republicans.  But at this point it is pure speculation that Abramoff "directed" his clients to give in this way, and there is no direct proof of this. In fact an analysis of the facts shows that these casinos actually REDUCED their donations to Democrats after becoming clients of Abramoff.

    It is amazing to me that a "news" organization like NBC will simply parrot GOP talking points without bothering to spend a few minutes looking at the facts.  I urge you to issue a correction of Couric's false statements.

    •  Great Letter (4.00)
      At this point in the game though, I get the feeling the lies are intentional. This lie has been debunked for weeks now. Maybe Katie goes to bed to early.
      •  Tweaked (none)
        It's really about a culture of intimidation.  Every time anyone on TV says something like, "This lobbying scandal is a Republican scandal," the servers at the news outlets fill up with poorly worded denunciations of the liberal media.  It's all orchestrated.  Instead of sticking to their facts and reporting them, the news has to be "responsive" to its viewers.  

        Kills me.

    •  Great letter (none)
      Great letter, David.   Hope you don't mind if mine ends up being a lot like yours?  

      Seriously, good job.

    •  Caution (2.50)
      1. Casino tribes increased their contributions to Democrats.

      2. There is compelling proof that this ws done at Abramoff's direction.

      None Dare Call It Stupid!

      by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:02:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Clarify (none)
        I don't understand your comments.
      •  what? (none)
        I'm pretty sure I saw evidence to the contrary...that their Dem contributions DECREASED...do you have any links for this?

        I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

        by condoleaser on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:10:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is the smokescreen (4.00)
        they've got up their sleeves.  Let's give a hypothetical example:

        In the years prior to a select number of tribes hiring Jack...off as their lobbyist, let's say that those tribes contributed a total of $300 million to politicians and political action committies.  Of that hypothetical number, 70% went to Dems and %30 went to  Repubs.  So we have $210 mill to Dems, and $90 mill to Repubs.

        After Jack...off gets hired, he convinces them that they need to kick out a LOT more to get noticed and to have some favorable legislation passed.  He encourages them to give to Repubs, since they hold the reins of power.  The tribes decide to accept his advice and raise their political contribution budget to $1 billion.  They flip flop the percentage, giving 70% to Repubs and 30% to Dems.  Now the figures are $700 million to Repubs and $300 million to Dems.  

        As you can see by this totally made up example, the tribes in question have technically increased their contribution to Dems from $210 million to $300 million - a 'fact' that Mehlman, Rove, Cheney, and the GOP shills in the media will cite as evidence of bipartisan complicity in the scandal.

        Now, I've not seen any of the data that proves that  the specific tribes Jack...off represented increased the dollar tota given to Dems, but one thing is crystal clear - the ratio of Dem to Repub contributions from these tribes switched to heavily Repub once Jack...off got his hooks into them.

        (Now,who can summarize this more concisely?)

        •  My understanding (none)
          Is that your example is exactly correct.  Well said, but if you don't watch out, you'll make Jack's daughter cry...

          Speaking of which, has anybody bothered to suggest that maybe she was crying because her father is a crook and he is so well known as a crook that even George Clooney jokes about it???  I remember being a teenager (vaguely) and that would kind of suck...

        •  It's actually worse than that (3.00)
          Dem %'s went up in some tribes, done in others.

          In the immediate pre-Abramoff conrtibution cycle (1999-2000) vs the Abramoff "Gimme Five" cycle (2001-2002), aggregate Dem % was practically unchanged. (38% vs 36%)

          None Dare Call It Stupid!

          by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:49:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  liar (none)
            not with the client list.
            •  Be Careful (4.00)
              And check out the link that RonK and others have provided.

              This is important. If all our facts, even in minutae are not correct, then they will use that to somehow knock down our entire argument.

              It seems to me the best tact at this point is to say that the victimized clients' OVERALL PERCENTAGE of money donated to Democrats declined. They may have in some cases given more to Democrats than they had before, but they still gave MORE to Republicans than they ever had before and much more than they ever gave to Democrats. At least this is how I understand it at this point.

              Keep it simple, factual, and on message.

              •  evidence (none)
                there remains no credible evidence abramoff directed a donation to a democrat- none. nothing objective, nothing even remotely unimpeachable.
                •  Right (4.00)
                  But there also is no evidence that he didn't direct a donation to a Demoocrat. I believe that he didn't but that is besides the point.

                  The point is that when we say "Abramoff clients' donations to Democrats DECREASED" the other side can call false because in some cases there is documented evidence that the actual amount of money increased. This is because the amount of money donated to both Dems and Repubs increased. But the PERCENTAGE of that money donated to Democrats DECREASED. Put simply more of the pot went to Repubs when Abramoff got involved.

                  This is important because if they can knock the accusation of the amount of money decreasing as not credible, then they can paint our whole argument as not credible (see TANG) and we get stuck debating the minutae (like we are here) which distracts from the overall message that THIS IS A REPUBLICAN SCANDAL.

                  All I'm saying is be careful and don't give them even the tiniest thread to pull. Cause they will pull it.

                  See the link in my previous comment.

                •  Wrong. *sigh*. Please do the readings. (none)

                  None Dare Call It Stupid!

                  by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 03:15:21 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  dude (none)
            The issue is not whether Ds got money too. And whether percentages went up or down and when is irrelevant as well. The issue is quid pro quos. I cannot even believe that this point is still needing to be articulated in this forum. It makes me wonder if you are just trying to needle. Smoke and mirrors don't fucking work here.

            This signature line confers blanket acknowledgment and correction of any tpyo's that may or may not exist in the above text.

            by oregon blue on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:13:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm trying to needle??? (none)
              I'm trying to keep us from taking stands on the issues you agree are not the issue (and are factually wrong and therefore vulnerable to blowback and diversion as well).

              None Dare Call It Stupid!

              by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:27:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  ok then! (none)
                I understand the need to be factually correct (though in this case, I had read that the % of $ to Ds had decreased, so I would have to revisit this before I could agree with you on the facts).

                My point is just that to focus on that question is to put emphasis on the story where it is not relevant and so distracts from the important point that in no donation scenario have Democrats been shown to havebeen bribed. The rest of it is just noise.

                This signature line confers blanket acknowledgment and correction of any tpyo's that may or may not exist in the above text.

                by oregon blue on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:33:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  From your own diary on the subject (none)
            Chief of the Choctaws of Mississippi says:

            "Our decisions on political contributions were made by us. They were not coerced or controlled by our former lobbyist, Mr. Jack Abramoff, with whom we have severed all our ties."

            THAT, to me, indicates that Abramoff (aka Jack...off) did NOT direct tribes to contribute to Dems - it was THEIR choice to do so.

      •  totally incorrect (none)
        Abramoff's Indian gaming clients gave more heavily to the Democrats PRIOR to hiring Jack to do their lobbying.

        It can only be surmised that if Abramoff was directing his clients' contributions, he was steering it increasingly away from Democrats.

        The below report was filed by the AP 12/22/05 (MUST READ)

        This week, President Bush said it seemed to him that Abramoff "was an equal money dispenser, that he was giving money to people in both political parties."

        Historically, tribal money had been going to Democrats almost exclusively. Abramoff changed that.

        The lobbyist ordered one tribal client to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations. A list, obtained by The Associated Press, earmarked $90,000 of the money for the Republican Party, none for Democrats.

        Of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Abramoff directed the tribe to donate to congressional campaigns, the Republican-Democrat breakdown was 11-to-1.

        •  If it's a must read, please cite (none)
          This apparently refers to the Tigua, who increased their (fedreal) giving to BOTH parties (but disproportionately to R's), whose tribal governor says Abramoff directed contributions to both parties (and says he has the emails to prove it), and who donated to Texas state D's even more massively.

          A lot more data has become available since 12/22/05.

          None Dare Call It Stupid!

          by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:33:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  p.s. Tigau fed contrib's in 2000 cycle total $2K (none)
          ... including $1K to Bingaman.

          Tigua fed contrib's for 2002 were over $200K, inlcuding ~$20K to D's.

          None Dare Call It Stupid!

          by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:34:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  .. including $1K to Bingaman (none)
            Update, please, Ron. I understand your needing to be accurate, but apparently Jeff Bingaman has been in touch with CapitalEye, and his name as a recipient of Abramoff-client contributions has been removed from their report. See their FAQ page explaining that they are making corrections as they become known to them. A number of Dems and a couple of Republicans have now been removed. Looks like it will take awhile to clear all those names.  

            "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

            by martyc35 on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 09:06:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Read more carefully please (none)
              My cite of this contribution clearly places it in the the pre-Abramoff baseline comparison period.

              Cited only to demonstrate that in this case, pre-Abramoff contrib's were de minimus, and hence the Democrats' percent (40% in this instance) is not a meaningful basis of %-to-% comparisons.

              Thx for your interest.

              None Dare Call It Stupid!

              by RonK Seattle on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 09:45:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for your reply, (none)
                and I get your point. Actually, I don't recall ever looking at the Bloomberg info, just the CapitalEye (CRP) source that Couric cited in the Dean interview. It is really screwy, because they took all the FEC data and lumped it into one summary report, which makes it look like a whole bunch of Dems are implicated in dealings with Abramoff, a conclusion that cannot fairly be drawn from the data alone. And, although they caution against drawing such conclusions, the format of their report leads readers in that direction, especially if they don't read the FAQ page. I certainly hope that enough flak will get them to refine their methodology, because I suspect that some Republicans have developed their talking points from skewed reports like this and will point to this report as authentication for their claims. If you all are working on further numbers crunching for future diaries, I hope you point this bit of inaccuracy out as well.

                "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

                by martyc35 on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 11:28:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Incidentally, on further review, Bloomberg #s ... (none)
              ... are off by nearly $100K. Investigations and discussions in progress.

              None Dare Call It Stupid!

              by RonK Seattle on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 10:48:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  liar (none)
        post a link to even one shred of evidence to back up point 2)
      •  I'm sorry people are saying Liar (none)
        It's my opinion that none of the talk about Dems is even necessary.  We have to deal with the public perception.  The courts have to deal with the legal issues.

        The public perception of this as a Republican scandal needs to be fostered.  We know it's a Republican scandal, the numbers show us that.  We know that it's an issue of corruption within one party.  

        Jack Abramoff was not friends with, nor an associate of any Democratic lawmakers.  The motives for Dem donations are a result of the Indian Tribes pushing their way into the political arena.  

      •  Some Facts on Tribes' Contributions to Dems (none)
        From Washington Monthly (via Brad DeLong):

        One of Abramoff's 3 main tribal clients, Saginaw Chippewa, gave $279,000 to Democrats over 1997-2000, and $277,000 over 2001-2004, after they had gotten into bed with Abramoff. By contrast, the Saginaw Chippewa gave $158,000 to Republicans in 1997-2000, and $500,000 to Republicans in 2001-2004, after they had gotten into bed with Abramoff.

        Also:

        Abramoff's 3 Indian clients were the only ones among the top 10 tribal donors in the U.S. to donate more money to Republicans than Democrats.

    •  Excellent. (4.00)
      I sent something shorter:

      Please bring this note to Ms. Couric's attention.

      In this time of partial-semi-quasi-war, it is vital that the media be accurate, truthful, and prepared.  Katie Couric was inaccurate, untruthful, and ill-prepared in her remarks with Howard Dean.  Please issue an on-air apology to Mr. Dean, and correct the record.  You must better serve the public in the future.  People are dying.

      BushAmerica -- Now killing 24/7/365. *Your tax dollars at work*.

      by Yellow Canary on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:10:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  WRONG EMAIL (none)
      TRY Today@NBC.com

      I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

      by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:02:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder how much of it's Katie... (4.00)
    and how much of it's NBC.  We all knew she was a ho years ago, but she's hoing herself in, I suspect, exactly the direction in which her network wants her to.  

    Most of us have heard the story about Jack Welch ordering NBC to call the 2000 election for W at about 2:30 am.  We'll obviously never know if that story is true, but it has the ring of truth for me.  GE certainly has benefitted from W taking office in a myriad of ways.

    If the network wanted her to play nice to Dean, she'd do a 180 in a heartbeat.  I don't like Charlene McCarthy any more than the rest of you, but let's not forget Edgar Bergen for a second.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:34:53 AM PST

    •  Good point (none)
      Like Matt having Bill O'Reilly on alone this week for some "straight shooting", and not having any progressive counterpoint, just agreeing with everything Bill said. Like Chris Mathews becoming increasingly shrill, to the point of watching a Democratic attack ad and immediately mis-stating what it said.

      Maybe the word is out at GE's NBC that you better toe the corporate/GOP line or your job may be in jeopardy. NBC is quickly becoming as bad as Fox.

      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

      by bewert on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:00:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Damn RFKlives.... (none)
      ...you must be old.  And don't leave out Mortimer Snerd.  But I do remember both very well.  It's always amazed me how a ventriloquist could be funny on a radio program.  I think you've pretty well nailed her character role on the Today Show.

      I've got a contract. I can't be fired

      by cheviteau on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:15:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some prefer Charlene... (none)
      ...I, however, much prefer her sister Jenny...

      "...and the ones that are lucky ones come home on the day after tomorrow..." -- Tom Waits

      by Newton Snookers on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:22:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  did she claim (none)
    That Abramoff gave money to Democrats, or that "Abramoff money" went to Democrats?

    The first claim is blatantly wrong, while the second claim is vague enough that it can't be disproven. Big difference.

    "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

    by CaptUnderpants on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:36:41 AM PST

    •  The second claim isn't even right.... (4.00)
      even if Abrahamoff directed his client's to donate to Democrat's, it wasn't "Abramhoff money", it was his client's money.

      His client's could have directed money to Democrats independently or they could have directed at the disgression of another lobbyist unconnected with Abramhoff.

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- "It Can't Happen Here", Sinclair Lewis, 1935.

      by WyldPirate on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:44:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can we call them "victims"? (4.00)
        Instead of clients?

        "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

        by RonV on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:04:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would certainly agree to calling them (none)
          VICTIMS instead of clients.  Abramoff didn't do anything for the groups he was engaged to serve that didn't first serve his own agenda.
        •  This is the best point yet (none)
          I don't understand why our main talking point isn't simply: "Jack Abramoff's Indian tribe clients--his VICTIMS--have not been indicted. It is not a crime to receive a campaign contribution from an Indian tribe. (Are you implying all Native Americans are criminals?) Any alleged or anticipated wrongdoing with regard to Jack Abramoff is ALL on the part of Republicans. Period."

          Something's happening here today -- a show of strength with your boys' brigade. Paul Weller

          by jamfan on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:17:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  sorry but THIS IS ME SCREAMING (none)
        The issue is whether the politician who received a donation did the donor a SPECIAL FAVOR.

        This is important! This argument is not a strone one. You could have a tribe represented by Abramoff that DID money to Ds, but if there was NO FAVOR DONE IN DIRECT RETURN it's not fucking illegal. Please let's understand that.

        This signature line confers blanket acknowledgment and correction of any tpyo's that may or may not exist in the above text.

        by oregon blue on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:20:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you! (none)
          It's about elected officials, who ALL happen to be republican, making the wheels of govt work for paying (bribing) interests.

          The focus on Abramof is absurd!  So what if he tried to BUY action in govt for anyone or any tribe. The issue is that republican elected officials were for sale.

          LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

          by letsfight on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:15:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  you and I know that (none)
        ...but that's a distinction that's going to be lost on the MSM.

        If they happen to have been a client of Abramoff's at the time that they contributed to a Democrat, whether or not that money came with strings attached, or whether or not Abramoff told his clients to make the contribution, it's a guilt-by-association window for GOP shills to claim that it's "Abramoff money".

        Of course, the burden of proof should be on said GOP shills to show that Abramoff actually had a hand in all of the "Abramoff money" donations. But the Katie Couric's of this world aren't all that interested in "proof" and "facts" and all that other icky stuff.

        "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

        by CaptUnderpants on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:18:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Abramoff and his associates" (4.00)
      She defended her statment that the scandal was bi-partisan with by reading (I don't recall what the title was) a statement that claimed money from "Abramoff and his associates"...gave money (specific amounts) to Republicans and Democrats.   She started to mention Reid by name and amounts.    This is exactly the WaPo Howell thing...confusing the tribes with Abramoff, which won't stand up to honest scrutiny.    But there's the rub....who wants to honestly look at the issue and who wants to mouth the Republican talking points.
      •  "Abramoff and his associattes": response (4.00)
        "Katie, that's like saying 'Osama bin Laden and the pharmaceutical industry gave money to the GOP.' It is $0 from Osama, and $0 from Abramoff. Is that too complicated?"
        •  Actually, I think Osama may have given... (none)
          When you think about how good Bush has been to Osama, why do you rule out any campaign contributions.   Certainly he gave him tapes, so why not money?    (Obviously, snark.)
      •  CRP (none)
        Just watched the clip. She cites as her "source" the center for responsive politics. CRP is a right-wing blog full of neocon spin, and hardly HARDLY a responsible news source.  What the hell is that about.  That is similar to citing a DailyKos poster with no independent backup research..  No offense to DK, but that means with this post, I could be an MSM source, unchallenged. OK then, report this Katie: conclusively, George and Laura Bush personally club baby seals for fun.  Now report that!  
        The word irresponsible rings out to me.

        Give me a break.  This is sick.

        •  I borrowed that for my letter :) (4.00)
          Hope you don't mind ;)

          As an avid watcher of the Today show, I am disgusted that Katie Couric seemed to be so misinformed when she bought into the Republican spin that the Abramoff affair is a bipartisan scandal.  She cites as her "source" the center for responsive politics. CRP is a right-wing blog full of neocon spin.  Is this kind of irresponsible journalism passing for "research" at NBC these days?  There is zero evidence that any Abramoff money went to Democrats.  This is a Republican scandal, and it would behoove you to quit repeating the Republican lie of "Everybody does it" in an effort to justify Republican congressmen taking bribes for favors.

          Sincerely,

          •  That's a different CRP ! ! ! (none)
            The CRP blog is an online presence for the Capital Region People radio program out of Albany, NY, and is not affiliated with the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, DC.

            The Center's major funders are the Ford Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Carnegie Corp., and the Joyce Foundation.

            Besides running the extremely useful opensecrets.org, the Center puts out the free "Capital Eye" newsletter on money in politics.  Excerpt from the January 9th issue:

            Jack Abramoff and his wife were not the only members of their family making political contributions to President Bush, who is giving away money that the disgraced Washington lobbyist and his spouse contributed to his 2004 re-election campaign. Jack Abramoff's parents, brother and sister-in-law gave at least $8,000 to President Bush's second campaign--all on the same day in June 2003--according to a review of federal campaign finance records by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

            The November 30 issue led with "Defense Contractors Haven't Just Doled to Duke," and names Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. (R-Va), Rep. Katherine Harris (R.-Fla), Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Tom DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority PAC, and George W. Bush himself.  

            Those stories weren't unusual for Capital Eye. And if you get into the Wayback Machine, go to January 20, 2001, and pick up a copy of the NY Times, you'll find an op-ed piece by the Center's executive director, Larry Noble, that leads off...

            We can tell a lot about ourselves and our political system by the things that no longer shock us. The lack of reaction to the money flowing to President-elect George W. Bush's inaugural celebrations suggests that the country has gotten far too used to the purchase of political influence through well-placed cash donations. While the incoming administration's active solicitation of big inaugural contributions has made the news, no one seems really surprised, and there is little noticeable protest. The Inaugural Committee itself seems to think it has shown real restraint by voluntarily limiting contributions to a mere $100,000 per donor.

            Not a lot of neocon spin coming from the Center for Responsive Politics, eh?

            "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

            by KateCrashes on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:12:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I stand corrected in part. (none)
              Yes, and if I could have taken down the post I should have on review.  I accessed a blog under the CRP mantle, and duped myself in part.  I thank you for your comments.
            •  But in this case (none)
              a trusted, nonpartisan site associated a whole lot of Dems with Abramoff money by using the sloppiest methodology I have ever seen to account for their FEC data. See my comments here and here.

              They are now slowly making changes, but a whole lot of damage has been done, and it was totally unnecessary, if such an amateurish reporting method had not been used. I think they have some apologizing to do.

              "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

              by martyc35 on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 09:26:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Doesn't CRP (none)
          run opensecrets.org? I've seen them listed by several progressive groups as a resource. Can you please tell me where you get this information? I don't even see a blog on their site.

          Nobody likes big government until they need something. -5.88, -6.82

          by Debby on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:14:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  sure like to see a transcript n/t (none)

        "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

        by CaptUnderpants on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:26:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's a transcript! (none)
          <div class="blockquote">
          COURIC: Hey, wait a second. Democrats took -- Democrats took money from Abramoff too, Mr. Dean.

          DEAN: That is absolutely false. That did not happen. Not one dime of money from Jack Abramoff went to any Democrat at any time.

          COURIC: Let me just tell you -- According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Abramoff and his associates gave $3 million to Republicans and $1.5 million to Democrats, including Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid.

          DEAN: Not one dime of Jack Abramoff money ever went to any Democrat. We can show you the FEC reports, we'd be very happy to do it. There's a lot of stuff in the press that the Republican National Committee's been spinning that this is a bipartisan scandal. It is a Republican-financed scandal. Not one dime of money from Jack Abramoff ever went to any Democrat, not one dime.

          COURIC: Well, we'll obviously have to look into that and clarify that for our viewers at a later date. Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Mr. Dean, Governor Dean, thanks so much for talking with us.

          DEAN: Thanks very much.
          </div>

          "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

          by CaptUnderpants on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:37:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  the 2nd doesn't need to be (none)
      disproven. Unless there is proof and NBC can supply it, then they owe an apology and it is up to us to get after them the way we did WaPo.
    •  As I recall.... (none)
      Just going on memory (which isn't as great as it used to be) she at first claimed Abramoff money and then switched to claim Abramoff associates. So either she doesn't see the differene (honest mistake of a lazy, misinformed journalist) or she knows the difference but was shilling for the GOP viewpoint.
  •  I am tired of the "liberal media" (4.00)
    They complain that the "democrats" do not have a voice, and when we speak they try to call us liars or ignore our leaders. When did she or anyone on the "liberal media" call Al Gore to give his side of the story?  Everytime some leader stands up to Bush they shut him/her down!
  •  Katie Couric asked Mike Moore on the Today show (4.00)
    "Mike, why do so many people think you're a jerk?"

    Moore then repeatedly asked Katie if she thought he

    is a jerk, and she made a complete ass of herself.

     This was just after FH911 won the Golden Palm award

    at the Cannes Film Festival, for the Best Picture of

    2005.

    How many people know she is a jerk?

    •  the state of journalism in this country (4.00)
      is an utter disgrace.

      Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

      by hrh on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:21:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He should have asked her why so many (4.00)
      people think she is a jerk diva.

      www.newyorker.com :

      "America's girl next door has morphed into the mercurial diva down the hall.". Some people who have worked with her have complained--always anonymously--that she can be self-absorbed, that she tries to hog the best interviews, and that she doesn't prepare the way Lauer does. Two of the show's former executive producers, Jonathan Wald and Tom Touchet, have privately told colleagues they thought that the program had become "too Katie-centric," with the staff too focussed on making her happy.

      [snip]

      That's why the industry pays close attention to the survey research of a Long Island firm called Marketing Evaluations; twice a year, the firm calculates "Q scores"--which measure the familiarity and appeal of news and entertainment figures. In the summer of 2004, Couric had a negative Q of twenty-four, which was not so different from Sawyer's negative Q of twenty-two (or Dan Rather's twenty-three). But Couric's negative Q had gone up twenty per cent in the previous four years, while Sawyer's rose half as quickly. It is not unusual for a personality's negative Q to rise as he or she becomes more familiar, but Couric's rise was unusually rapid. At the same time, ABC's research also showed that Couric's appeal was waning.

      The Republicans have a fundamental problem with telling the truth - Howard Dean.

      by NYC Sophia on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:22:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Couric is a comsumate (4.00)
        sorority girl. Anything interesting about her has been blow-dried, designer-labled, and signing-bonused out of her a long time ago.

        She is a like a cartoon character or a skit on Daily Show or someone posing as a serious 'journalist' but is really just a twit but doesn't know it and people are laughing at her.  Right down to the prop glasses she slowly takes off while waiting for an answer. That always reminds me of a Colbert move.

        Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

        by strengthof10kmen on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:33:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes...because history has shown (none)
          that consumate sorority girls make it to the top of their career path...

          So i guess Oprah, and Ellen, and Barbara Walters are all consumate sorority girls...

          Yeah, given, Couric was a tri-delt at UVA, the snootiest of sororities at a "Southern Ivy," but if wasnt at least moderately intelligent, with a work ethic that would put most people on DKos to shame, she wouldn't be on TV every AM in a plurality of American homes...

          giver he a break, this fuck up is probably a producer and a researcher's fault...she should be livid for their making her look like an ass, and i bet she is!

          I've killed people for less...

          by patsprouseyo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:37:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your statement - (none)
            "this fuck up is probably a producer and a researcher's fault...she should be livid for their making her look like an ass..."

            ...would perhaps have credibility if this little episudi was her first.  But as we all know she has displayed blatantly unacceptable biased "journalist" behavior for, oh, years now.

            And we know that if we have been paying attention.

            Her "work ethic" that so impresses you doesn't appear to embrace the journalists' standards of researching and reporting facts.

            I think she looked like an ass all by her little ole self.

            Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power. - Joan Didion

            by myeye on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:35:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um...again, Okay... (none)
              Considering the fact that on numerous occasion Katie has done the same exact thing to the other side...

              Posters like you are the equivelent of fair weather fans to professional sports...

              People screw up all the time, and sometimes the people they rely on screw up too, If you have a job then you are more than aware of how others you depend on can end up making you look like an ass, no matter how hard you work...

              Katie is actually a liberal, and just like a good portion of Americans, and especially people outside of the beltway culture, she probably has not been following this scandal like us politojunkies on DKos, does she deserve some firm e-mails correcting their mistake, absolutely.

              But you, and a number of other posters have forgotten about humanity, in your pursuit for progressive dominance of the political debate. It should be no surprise that journalists and media types make mistakes, I know it may come as a shock to you, but even bloggers make mistakes. Give her a chance to correct them, before you savage her!

              Deborah Howell had her chance, and fucked up again, she only barely made it the third time. But Katie Couric has not had any major flubs in recent memory, and more importantly, she has not publically taken sides agains our movement. Just like half the country she is hearing the GOP talking points, it is more than understandable how a morning variety show anchor would not have the same handle on a washington DC scandal as say...Tim Russert...if it were Timmy or Tweety who  made those comments to Dean, I think the reaction would be warranted, but with Katie, I think a firm e-mail demanding a correction and reminding them of their important possiton on TV will suffice.

              One screw-up doesnt equal a bias, and Katie Couric has never been labeled by our party as a GOP shill.

              Take panties, unbunch, and sit down...

              I've killed people for less...

              by patsprouseyo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:07:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  not one screw - up (as I stated) (none)
                +
                (your) False Assumptions = 0 Credibility.

                Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power. - Joan Didion

                by myeye on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:42:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ok smarty pants (none)
                  Lets get some examples from you of other screw ups that have revealed Katie Couric's Republican bias.

                  Put your money where your mouth is. Legit examples, not some crap like "she was soft on Republican X but real tough on Liberal Y"

                  I think you're blogging out of your ass!

                  I've killed people for less...

                  by patsprouseyo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:49:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  And how about also addressing the issues (none)
                  that I raise, opposed to just saying crap like:

                  not one screw - up (as I stated) (none / 0)+(your) False Assumptions = 0 Credibility.

                  What the fuck does that mean, all it did was solve to piss me off, and chances are you aren't much of a match for that!

                  What other screw ups? List them!

                  Stop being a typical poster who has plenty of critique but no substance. Anyone can post, "Katie Couric is a Republican shill" but without some fact to back it up, its worthless, so lets see if you are just a hack, or actually know what you're talking about.

                  Vegas Odds are 50-1 that you're a hack.

                  I've killed people for less...

                  by patsprouseyo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:55:37 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  From what I've heard (none)
            you don't become a member of a 'snootie southern sorority' by being an independent thinker who has a dedication to fact finding and an unwillingness to put what's 'best for the house' over personal beliefs or even what is true.  From what I've heard you get into 'snootie southern soroities' by being cute(able to attract men from popular fraternites)having a family that can afford all the dues and endless party clothes, no aversion to group-think and have a willingness to do as the sorority asks.   The same qualities that tend to get girls into sororities seem to be the same qualities Katie has used to make a career.  I'm not saying she is not rich or perky or even that she is not intelligent, I'm just saying she is not a good journalist/reporter. A dedication to superficiality doesn't leave a girl much time for intellectual pursuits.

            Seems to me to get to the top in morning TV, above all, you need to be 'cute/attractive' in a non-threatening way, 'likeable' to the sleepy American public, able to read a tele-promter, stay slim, and do the assignments your boss asks with a perky smile on your face(kinda like a sorority). This may be time consuming like staightening long, curly hair might be time consuming but is it really work?

            I don't have a problem with women who are good looking and perky trying to do news if they are competent. The fact that she didn't even know basic facts(even on her own, without a producer/researcher telling her about it on her way to her Family Circle photo shoot)on a really important story that has been brewing for about a year and a half shows what she has been working on.  And it doesn't appear to have been news journalism. If she can't make time for the most basic research, she should stick to things that are not too hard for her or her incompetent staff to learn about...bootylicious jeans, lip gloss, runaway brides and clothes for pets.(kinda like a sorority)

            I have no idea what Ellen, Oprah, and Barbara Walters have to do with what I perceive as Katie Couric's sorority girl-like way of living her life.  

            Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

            by strengthof10kmen on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:36:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Note (none)
              I said snootie sorority at a "souther ivy," not snootie souther sorority.

              Also note, my mother and my sister were both Tri-Delts, both attended UVA, both are independant thinkers, both are liberals...

              Also note, you get into snootie sororities by the size of your daddy's wallet, not so much cuteness, as I've known many a tri-delt that wasn't cute, so yes, status, but since when did status automatically make you a Republican shill? Since when did have wealthy parents make you automatically a drone? I think there is a logical disconnect in your reasoning there.

              Also, since when was Katie Couric known as a "socialite." She is not a Milf-Paris Hilton last time I checked. She may be a journalistic lightweight, but so is Oprah, I think calling Katie Couric and Matt Lauer journalists is a stretch. Granted, in recent years they have tried to branch more into journalism, but lets be honest, they are morning vareity show personalities. However, Katie was once a very fine journalist, pre-Today show. And I imagine if she went full swing back into journalism, she would probably be very sucessfull. But like a surgeon, would you feel that a "part-time" surgeon would do as good in the operation room as a full time surgeon? No! So I am not sure why the expectation for a TV personality to be a Robert Murrow is justified.

              Also the fact that you equate superficial with unintelligent is specious. I don't suggest that Katie is superficial (did you ever see here husband or boyfriends...none were brad pitt or someone), but to be superficial is not exclusive to unintellectualism, in fact, well reasoned positions can be taken to support one's being superficial!

              Seems to me to get to the top in morning TV, above all, you need to be 'cute/attractive' in a non-threatening way, 'likeable' to the sleepy American public, able to read a tele-promter, stay slim, and do the assignments your boss asks with a perky smile on your face(kinda like a sorority). This may be time consuming like staightening long, curly hair might be time consuming but is it really work?

              Who's being superficial here? Sounds like resentment too! I think Freud would have a field day with you! (ARGH...THE GREEN EYED MONSTER...) Also, needless to say, it sounds like you aren't greek, so I'm glad to get your valuable insight on what you think we greeks are like, and what an outsider sees of greek-life...lets just get be honest, its not actually hard to join a fraternity or sorority most people that don't join, either A) never wanted too, or B) were intimidated by greek-life because of preconcieve sterotypes

              I don't have a problem with women who are good looking and perky trying to do news if they are competent.

              Statements like that are typically found to be false, if you don't have a problem with women who are good looking and perky, then why have you continued to have an issue with Katie Couric's being good looking (which has deteriorated over the years) and perky? That is your biggest issue, you feel that she has unjustly risen to where she is on "superficial" qualities, that are more based on lucky jeans than talent. So that begs the question, Do you feel you are more talented than Katie Couric? Do you believe you could have done a better job? and with that question asked, it becomes obvious why you have not pursued  that career path, your obvious hangup and selfconfindce issues surrounding "good looking women, and perky women." Truth be told, Katie is rather average looking, she just has makeup and a trendy haircut, and chances are you are just as goodlooking, and with a cup of coffee (or 10) just as perky, but Katie does seem to intimidate you (and many many many other women for that matter...but the intimidation is unwarranted, it is just "star power")

              The fact that she didn't even know basic facts(even on her own, without a producer/researcher telling her about it on her way to her Family Circle photo shoot)on a really important story that has been brewing for about a year and a half shows what she has been working on.  And it doesn't appear to have been news journalism. If she can't make time for the most basic research, she should stick to things that are not too hard for her or her incompetent staff to learn about...bootylicious jeans, lip gloss, runaway brides and clothes for pets.(kinda like a sorority)

              True, and I think you'd have some traction there as an argument! And like I mentioned before, Today is not a news show, it is a morning variety show, they do cooking for God's sake! But also, the fact that she is not personally following the Abrahamoff case, is not a testiment to her lack intellect (or as your suggest, lack of it). Some people, believe it or not, just aren't into politics, its a big turnoff for most people. Surprise, Katie Couric isn't on DKos 8 hours a day finding out the latest GOP spin! So yes, she depends on others to keep her abrest of the current events, and yes, she has a responsibility to her viewers to correct what she and the Today show got wrong...but lets wait and see if they correct it before we crucify her (one cog in the Today show wheele, and believe it or not, a very replacable cog...very few of us are irreplacable)

              I have no idea what Ellen, Oprah, and Barbara Walters have to do with what I perceive as Katie Couric's sorority girl-like way of living her life.

              They are similar personallities to Katie Couric, and their function is similar (except Walters), and they are all sucessful, trendy, and designer label wearers. The fact that you don't put the same stereotype on them, or understand the comparison, illustrates two things. One, your predudice against Katie Couric, and two, my point that being trendy and cute is mutually exclusive to being intelligent, or a sucessful female tv personality.

              I've killed people for less...

              by patsprouseyo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 12:31:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry for the mis-quote (none)
                on snootie southern sorority and snootie sorority at southern ivy.  My northern non-ivy(went to UW-Madison)brain is not sure what the big distinction is but I was indeed inaccurate.  My apologies.

                You are right.  I was never in a sorority and never attempted to be. I had a job(no rich parents) a boyfriend and friends through work. was way too busy and couldn't see the point of joining other than you could get into frat beer parties even if you were underage so it was something to do.

                My sorority opinions/stereotypes come partly from my college dorm roomate (who was very smart and nice)who rushed the last semester I lived with her.  She spent an enormous amount of time fretting about clothes, hair, and make-up and will they like her.  She rarely went to class because she was too tired or had some 'critical' greek event that she had to go to and she sold her meal tickets so she could buy her 'big sister'or someone like that gifts.  Yes, I was mad at these girls for making this fabulous girl have sooo much self doubt and I was mad at her for letting them.  I was also a little freaked out because I had thought we were a lot alike and she seemed sooo different(and not in a good way)when she was rushing. Maybe it all turned out great, I don't know, we lost track of each other.

                Another resource for my sorority opinions is the book Pledged by Alexandra Robbins.  (We rented a cabin earlier this year and it was on the bookshelf)It was fascinating, depressing and a little scary. Lot's of clothes, parties(booze&drugs), boys and hair--not much effort on acedemics or accomplishments. Maybe your mom and sisters sorority experience was different.  I do not know.

                In a nutshell this is why I equate Katie Couric(present day)with the some of the most superficial qualities of what I perceive to be the reality of sororities; It's not that being in a sorority means you can't be smart, nice and talented (I'm sure your family members are all those things as was/is my college roomate and many others) it is just that those qualities are not the ones lauded, celebrated or most encouraged by sororities. So when Katie can do an OK job on the lipgloss or bootylicious jeans or cornfritter segments but can't seem to find the time in her busy days of being a celebrity to figure out enough facts so she doesn't sound like twit when the rare real news segements are on her show, it makes women all seem a little less capable, less worthy of being taken seriously. She should know better.

                Kinda like when smart, talented, good women make concerted efforts to join groups that can take up an enormous amount of their time, talents and money that on the whole don't value any of those qualities over, I guess, who their parents are, the money they may have, and their good looks.  

                To help Freud and yourself out... I'm probably, in many ways, a lot like girls who have joined sororities/Katie Couric(I'm sure she would never have this much outgrowth though :)) so it makes me a little angry and sad when she is that unprepared and comes off like a twit. I, rightly or wrongly, feel it sends a message that it is not important or to be expected for women/myself/my daughter to be very intelligent or use their intelligence in important ways.  Women will never get out of the hole that's been dug until we put the shovel down. That doesn't mean you can't be pretty/cute/perky but you should not suck when you need to be the tiniest bit smart too.  But maybe I'm just jealous.

                Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

                by strengthof10kmen on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 04:57:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Good parties, polite banter => favorable bias (none)
            Like many southern sorority girls, Couric is easily swayed by a good party and nice manners, even when it's a lying sack of shit that is offering them.

            I am increasingly convinced that the Bush cabal has completely co-opted the established media with access to high profile events and phoney southern charm.

  •  I pretty much quit watching TV news after 9/11. (4.00)
    I watched some of the Katrina coverage, but for the most part, I just can't take it anymore. In the runup to the Iraq War, it was just disgraceful. They don't even try any more.

    And I used to watch the Today Show fairly regularly. But I was watching one morning and they were doing one of those spots where they show ridiculously expensive consumer items. And Katie was all giggly, saying, "Oh, and blah, blah, blah who could do that?" And it hit me: "YOU, Katie. You could afford that. You are the intended buyer. Please stop being so fucking condescending and trying to persuade us you're average Jane."  

    I was a reporter, and I can summarize for you the attitude these people have with an anecdote from J-school. I wrote a story for a class in 1990 or so. In the lead, I compared the situation to Robert Bork (if you recall, the Bork hubub was in 1987.) We had peer reviews before we turned things in. So, this 18-year-old woman in my class looked at me and said, "Well, I understand this, but do you think the readers would know who Bork was?" And all I could think was that if an 18-year-old at a public university knew, then it'd probably be OK, but that's the way J-schools tell you to think -- always think you know way more than your audience, even if you just picked up the story that morning. The training itself encourages journalists to think that everyone reading or viewing their stuff is stupid beyond all living imagination. What's more, they're sure that you're too stupid to notice that's what they believe.

    Obviously, there are exceptions, but I don't see many on TV.

    •  Journalism school (none)
      Has any journalism school in recent years taught their students the ethical importance of objectivity or to quit and make a public stink if forced by their employers to compromise their journalistic ethics?

      Not to attack you personally or anything, but you said you went to Journalism schoo,l and surveying the current state of journalism in this country - I am wondering exactly what these people are taught in college.

      •  I think the New School (none)
        for Social Research still has a pretty good rep for journalism. I can't say that I know many others, except maybe Columbia U. A big problem seems to be that they aren't really journalism schools anymore, but Communication Studies depts, wherein media preparedness may include news anchors who can cry on cue (Anderson Cooper comes to mind), proper makeup before a news camera, and costumes, props, etc. You get the picture. It's drama. Reporters aren't on the beat so much these days as they are beaten on.

        "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

        by martyc35 on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 09:49:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  sent Katie mail (4.00)
    Absolutely no excuse for Katie since WaPo's Ombudsman just got taken to mat over this very wrong "reporting".

    Katie, Matt, Matthews and Russert are NBC's bullshit standard bearers.  Time to shake things up.

  •  Thanks for the heads up.... (4.00)
    I watched the clip at the following site under Today Show News Videos (Howard Dean discusses domestic spying):

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

    I found Katie very hostile throughout the interview. She sounded very sarcastic, especially when she asked a question concerning Carville/Begala's book -- that Democrats lack a spine. Dean definitely hit it out of the park, when he responded to her question what Democrats stand for.

    I don't watch the Today show too much, but I have to say that I was really surprised by Katie's nastiness today. I don't think I've ever seen her act like that before, but then again I don't watch the show too much (I prefer C-SPAN's Washington Journal) so I'm not an expert on Katie's behavior. Is this typical or abnormal for her to be so rude to a guest?

    •  Typical (4.00)
      She is a prima dona who is shooting for $10 mil to anchor CBS news for 30 minutes a night. Katie thinks rudeness is tough questioning...There are only 2 people at NBC who know how to ask tough questions David Gregory and Martin Savage. No longer cute Katie could certainly learn a thing or two about tough questions from them.
  •  My letter to Katie's email is shorter . . . (4.00)
    I know you'd love it if Democrats took "Abramoff money," but in fact his illegal contributions were made to Republicans only. It has never been illegal to accept donations from the Indian tribes, and that is what Democrats did. In terms of Abramoff's influence on those tribes--he tried to get them to STOP donating to Democrats.

    If you're going to pretend to play a responsible journalist on TV, please do your job like a responsible journalist. We're waiting for a correction.

    Economic Left/Right: -6.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.85 That makes me more Gandhi than Stalin

    by TomDuncombe on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:48:22 AM PST

    •  And isn't your well-equipped, well paid (none)
      staff supposed to "look into" stuff BEFORE you interview Howard Dean -- especially since it involves matters of such importance.

      The beneficiaries are likely to be...large corporations and development firms. (O'Connor, J. dissenting in Kelo). God bless you, J. O'Connor.

      by xanthe on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:05:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No illegal contributions (3.07)
      Ther's been no suggestion (yet, anyway) that Abramoff or his clients made any illegal conpaign contributions to anyone.

      Illegal contributions play no discernable role in the Abramoff scandals.

      None Dare Call It Stupid!

      by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:10:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  troll-rate this guy (none)
        out of here, somebody, please...!!!

        I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

        by condoleaser on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:15:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is a complex story...... (none)
          .....and this diary does a great job clarifying what is known, and what is not.  He's not a troll, and doesn't deserve a troll rating.
          •  I can't believe the arrogance (none)
            Of user id #74949 writing a comment like that.  What, he's been here a few weeks at most and he's already an expert how debate works (and sometimes doesn't) on dkos.  Jeeze.

            In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

            by yet another liberal on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:28:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  it's also good (none)
          to roll your cursor over someone's username, and you can see their userid. RonK's is in the 6000s while the newer ones are in the mid 70ks. While this doesn't mean he couldn't be a troll, it's less likely than someone with a higher userid.

          Republican politicians are not elephants. They're filthy, greedy pigs.

          by sadair on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:39:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Do not (none)
          We need facts...check the link...if the information can be refuted, it needs to be...but there is not reason to ignore facts...save that for the other side...The Abramoff scandal is a Republican Scandal period....but if framed incorrectly, the will be a bunch of hand-wringing and the substance of the story will be ignored.

          The facts are on our side...there is not need to exaggerate...Ron is helping may sure we stay in bounds from what I can tell...

          Chris Matthews must apologize! --- Join the Google Bomb

          by justmy2 on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:13:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  He's not a troll. (none)
          Sheesh. He's been here for a very, very long time and makes good comments. I'm sure it's very sad that his facts are messing with your story, but that doesn't make him a troll.

          Now, I'm not sure I agree with his interpretation on this, but he's clearly trying to make sure this is a bullet-proof argument against the GOP. That's not trolling.

          •  OK! (none)
            I sit corrected. Hope to see anything more than a blank assertion that Abramoff did any directing to Dems, though, and soon, if such exists.

            I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

            by condoleaser on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:29:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You're gonna have to do better than this (none)
        You've thrown out vague refutations of arguments, you need to clarify.

        Most people are basing their argument that Abramhoff clients gave LESS to Democrats after they hooked up with him on a Bloomberg article.

        What are you basing your assertions on?  Link something, explain yourself, ANYTHING.

        Until you do, you're coming off as trollish.

        •  See the diary cited by cici414 (none)
          ON careful review, the Blooberg numbers, BTW, are just flat wrong ... not that this is a key point in the larger picture.

          None Dare Call It Stupid!

          by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:54:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Also, it's up to you to produce evidence ... (none)
          ... of "illegal contributions". No illegal campaign contribution has been discussed in connection with the Abramoff scandals. Bribery, fraud, tax fraud, etc., yes. Illegal campaign contributions, no.

          None Dare Call It Stupid!

          by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:57:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bribery = illegal contributions [n/t] (none)
          •  Give RonK a break, folks. (none)
            All of the information on contributions came from FEC documents. Campaign contributions reported to the FEC are legal, not illegal. We will have to wait for the outcome of the Abramoff/Scanlon/Safavian/DeLay trials (sentencings) to see exactly what and which illegal activities can be accounted for. After all of the fuss we have been making, I sure hope no Dems get indicted. A couple of Dem. house members are alleged to have taken travel money from Abramoff in the 1990s, so we'll have to see if they can wiggle out of that. In the meantime, the Democrats who have been smeared with guilt by association need to step up and clear their names, as some have done already.  

            "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

            by martyc35 on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 10:10:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  bribery is illegal (none)
        From Wikipedia:

        On January 3, 2006, Abramoff pleaded guilty to three felony counts--conspiracy, fraud, and tax evasion--involving charges stemming principally from his lobbying activities in Washington on behalf of Native American tribes. [snip]

        The agreement alleges that Abramoff bribed public officials. One of the cases of bribery described in detail involves a person identified as "Representative #1," who was reported by the Washington Post to be Representative Bob Ney (R-OH). Ney's spokesman confirmed that Ney was the Representative identified, but denied any improper influence.[3] The agreement also details Abramoff's practice of hiring former congressional staffers. Abramoff used these persons' influence to lobby their former Congressional employers, in violation of a one-year federal ban on such lobbying.

        To read the entire Wikipedia article, follow this link.

        I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

        by homeland observer on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:39:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You have a point. (4.00)
        This is the thing that drives me crazy about ALL Abramof discussions.

        The main point to look at in the money trail is:

        1. X company/tribe wanted something to happen in govt.

        2. That something wasn't happening in govt.

        3. Letters go back and forth between Abramoff and the company/tribe and letters go back and forth between Abramoff and SPECIFIC ELECTED REPUBLICANS.

        4. Money gets sent from company/tribe or Abramoff directly to the SPECIFIC ELECTED REPUBLICAN.

        5. Wham,something gets done in govt for the company/tribe.

        A pattern. A pattern of BRIBERY.

        So the talking point is really: The republican elected official bribery scandal.

        There are no such patterns in re to any company/tribe via Abramof and any specific elected democrat.  How could there be? LIKE ANY DEM COULD MAKE ANY WHEEL TURN IN CONGRESS OR THE WHITE HOUSE?

        LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

        by letsfight on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:09:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's actually not true (none)
        What Abramoff, Scanlon, Reed, Norquist and others did do was launder money to various PACs similar to what Tom DeLay has been indicted for in Texas. The Abramoff crew would direct their foreign clients to pay them via a non-profit and then funnel the funds to the RNC who would later give it to, for instance, the Alabama Governor who was up for re-election. It was a system of defrauding their clients and using the funds, without their knowledge, to support Republicans who were up for re-election. While the contribution amount might not have been illegal, the source of the funds were ultimately fraudulently acquired and, hence, illegal.

        The real focus should be on the K Street Project and its influence on elections and legislation. If that becomes the point of Congressional reform interest, then a great deal of corruption and cronyism will be halted. It's by no means a silver bullet, but it's certainly part of the Congressional influence culture.

        'You can't begin to imagine how effective the Big Lie is.' N. Mailer 'TNatD'

        by jorndorff on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:52:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  WRONG EMAIL IN DIARY (none)
      TRY Today@NBC.com

      I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

      by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:03:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Katie (none)
    Serious journalists (anachronism) do not appear regularly on the pages of celeb mags as does Katie. I've read often that staffers consider here a prima donna despot. A solid morning news show should be available in all civilized countries - this thread hit on one of my pet peeves.

    BUT, I have faith in Howard Dean to display class and intelligence regardless of the playground he's in.

    •  I agree with you... (none)
      But quite a number of Americans get most of their early on information (read guidance) from shows like the Today Show and Good Morning America. And they get that just before they head off to work, groceries, or the doctor's office.

      What is their demographic? Soccer moms? Retirees? Others? I'll bet they want their news palatable and entertaining...not hard hitting. And that's what the sunshine in the morning shows provide...unfortunately.

      It may be fluff to regular news and politics junkies. But remember that most people spend more time thinking about the SuperBowl than they do about elections, nominations, and congressional votes.

      Seriously, the only one who might mention the Alito situation at pool tonight will be me.

      "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

      by kredwyn on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:06:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To be honest (none)
        I like "fluff" too - I love a cup of coffee, a sweet empty carb reward and glancing through a celeb mag after a hard day's work (which is how I know Katie graces the pages of those things :) ) But there's just no clear demarcation between news and entertainment these days. It's all infotainment. In MY world there would be either-or not a merging. Of course in my world, a bush would be...a bush. In my world, the Repubs would also have their own state, with proportional representation. Ah well...
  •  Pick up the remote and change to ABC (none)
    in the morning, seriously!Good Morning America is much better and they are neck-n-neck with NBC in the morning ratings. Imagine the power we Kossacks could yield, with networks and anchors, if we pushed The Today show & NBC out of the top spot.

    I read Time magazine for years and then switched to Newsweek. What a great magazine Newsweek is! You will find the switch to GMA from Today, very similar.

  •  get some perspective (none)
    katie is personally a leftie, she needs to ask tough questions and she got spanked by dean for it. when she has republicans on she puts them on the spot also. people on this site really don`t want the media to ask any questions that put democrats on the spot.
    ask a right winger what they think of katie and they will automatically say leftie, hell they even think chris matthews is a liberal.
    •  Couric is NOT remotely a liberal (4.00)
      She loves bush and she loves the war.

      She is a worthless blowhard who is too full of herself.

      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

      by bronte17 on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:07:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My perspective is this: (4.00)
      whatever her political leanings (and my take on her is that she is conservative, but no matter) she has a responsibility to tell the truth.  Facts are facts.  If she is going to repeat a slanderous charge that Democrats are as corrupt as the Republicans, she better be sure she has her facts straight.  And the lie that Abramoff gives to Democrats has been circling in the media for days; it has been challenged and it has been retracted by those responsible. People in powerful news organizations have an obligation to know this.
      These lies matter; people hear them; they repeat them.  Then they say both sides are alike, it doesn't matter, I won't vote.  So maybe we need to get a little riled up, and insist that people in the media, with such a huge public responsibility, start exercising it with some integrity.
      •  BINGO! (4.00)
        These lies matter; people hear them; they repeat them.  Then they say both sides are alike, it doesn't matter, I won't vote.

        This is a preemptive election strike.  While pinning the "culture of corruption" meme on the GOP will get people pissed enough to vote and vote against them, the "politicians are all crooked" meme diffuses outrage and gives people and excuse to continue to support the GOP or just sit home and sulk.

        Get Out The Vote starting now!  Don't wait until September.  Push the November elections as an opportunity, not a deadline.  Make people look forward to it, like a holiday.  It's action.  It's speaking out.  Call and write your congress and tell them NOW what you will be voting for in the fall.  The economy, civil rights, women's rights, the imperial presidency - whatever your issues are now.

        Don't let them get away with "business as usual".  Tell them the times are a'changing and they can either be leading the change or watching from the sidelines.  Every last one of my Congressmen are all men, all white and all Republican.  That doesn't mean that can't represent me.  That's their freaking JOB!

        <pant, pant...okay, folks the rant is over, you can go about your business.>

        We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

        by Fabian on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:29:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hrmmmm... (none)
          This is a preemptive election strike.  While pinning the "culture of corruption" meme on the GOP will get people pissed enough to vote and vote against them, the "politicians are all crooked" meme diffuses outrage and gives people and excuse to continue to support the GOP or just sit home and sulk.

          That makes a whole lot of sense...

          "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

          by kredwyn on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:30:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Only fools let their (4.00)
      opposition define their allies.

      Apart from that, Couric isn't supposed to be "leftie" or a "right winger" on the air, she's supposed to be informing her viewers without a personal/institutional narrative of any kind. I know that sounds crazy nowadays but we used to call it reporting.

      "[W]e'll have to look into it"? That's a great idea, and it should occur to Couric before she takes point "to kind of catapult the propaganda" on this or any issue.

      The soul that is within me no man can degrade. - Frederick Douglass

      by Kimberley on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:18:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  She did skewer Bob Dole... (none)
      when he was running for President. And the right will never forget her for it. If I'm not mistaken her sister was (is?) a Dem state leg. in Virginia.

      But with the mega-million dollar contracts and the millions in tax-cuts she got from Bush her personal bias might have changed.

      Also I think all her information is filtered by her producers. She brushes up in the limo at 4:30 in the morning on the ride into Manhattan. She probably doesn't do any personal research anymore.

      •  Couric's late sister (none)
        Emily Couric died of pancreatic cancer in 2001.  She was a definite rising star in the Virginia Democratic Party--there was talk of her running for Lt. Gov. until her diagnosis.

        Liberal: "I still think it's a respectable word. Its root is "liber," the Latin word for "free," and isn't that what we are all about?"--Mary McGrory

        by mini mum on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:32:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't care what you think her (4.00)
      political affiliation is. Her question was a statement and a false one. I don't care if she's a member of the communist party, she has a responsibility to check facts before she just goes off repeating republican lies.
    •  She's Absolutely Right Wing and it shows (4.00)
      When she fawningly "interviewed" Richard Pearle she treated him like the pope.  She never even asked him about that day's NYT headline "Pearle got $275,000 lobbying from China".  Pearle had to resign immediately after the interview, as I recall.
  •  I refuse to watch the Today Show since (none)
    the run-up to the war. She pissed me off so much one morning in early March 2003 I almost had a seizure.
    •  That's when I stopped watching , too (4.00)
      Today's show coverage of the run-up to the war defies description. "Jingoist" is too soft an adjective.  Katie and crew were absolutely salivating for the visuals of US bombs blowing Iraqui neighborhoods to hell, of US forces in shiny new uniforms streaking across the desert like Mad Max. That's all that matter. I decided right then and there that I would hold on to the memories of Today and its reasonable coverage of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, Watergate, the Iranian hostage crisis, and Iran-Contra and no longer watch morning news. I should add, the stupid viewer-planned weddings and the Today crew becoming cultural celebrities themselves also helped pushed me over the edge.

      I think the tipping point for traditional news divisions was the the OJ Simpson car chase. That is when traditional TV news took a really strong hit of tabloid, and like crack cocaine, got really hooked. Big time media can't get enough of the tabloid street drug, with its shocking visuals and brutal, bullying, unthinking emotions. I remember that night. Virtually every network was tuned in to that pathetic car chase. It's ratings were astronomical and the MSM has been mainlining this crap and vomiting it back on us ever since.

  •  The last straw (4.00)
    The last straw for me, the thing that made me turn off the Today Show once and for all, was when Katie had on a 9 year old girl to talk about Social Security 'reform.' 'Pweaze, Mr. President, pweaze make sure Social Security is fixed for me...."  What rot.
    •  my last straw as four years ago (4.00)
      when Matt Lauer had on kids who'd lost their parents in the Trade Towers. The point of the story was giving these kids a vacation, a fun time about six months after the tragedy.

      He had an 8 year old in his clutches whom he just asked, in more ways than one, until he got the money shot he was looking for "Do you miss your father? You must miss him a lot. Do you think of him often?" Until the kid burst into tears. Thanks, Matt; we all needed that. I literally stopped watching that day.

      I occasionally turn it on at 7:05 to see what they are leading with and I happened to catch Dean this morning. I thought he did a very good job.

  •  My father is a Repug turned Democrat (3.80)
    and he and my mother watch Katie Couric every day. He told me he has seen that Couric and Lauer are closet Republicans. He said he doesn't trust them to report objectively any more. He thinks they have an agenda and it comes out in their interviews.
  •  WHATS UP WITH MSNBC? (4.00)
    chris matthews
    katie couric
    tucker carlson
    joe scarborough
    Tim Russert

    what two things do these 5 idiots have in common

    1. they ALL repeat the gop lie that abramoff was an equal opportunity giver

    2. they ALL work for MSNBC

    "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

    by KnotIookin on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:57:19 AM PST

  •  Can we get a phone number (none)
    to the show?
    •  Today Show contact info: (4.00)
      TODAY
      NBC News, RM 1022 W
      30 Rockefeller Plaza
      New York, NY 10112

      NBC News Phone: (212) 664-4444
      NBC News Fax: (212) 664-5705;

      Today Show Phone: (212) 664-4249 or (202) 885-4231
      Today Show Fax: (212) 664-4426

      Email: today@nbc.com
      Margaret Pergler Today Show Producer
      30 Rockefeller Plaza, Room 568E-2
      New York, NY 10112

      -8.38, -8.00...in America the law is king. --Thomas Paine

      by hyperstation on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:42:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Everyone please call/fax (none)
        We can not let this go!!!
        •  Yes: Call, write, fax, email and don't let up (none)
          This is one of the tactics of the right that has consistently worked for them, and it is one of the few of theirs that we can appropriate easily and in good conscience.

          The WaPo/Howell incident shows there is the slightest chink in the Corporate Media's armor. Outrage and pressure on advertisers is the only way to get the giant to budge--we're not likely to make them wake up and think clearly, but they will be more hesitant to be shills for their masters when it hurts business.

          The problem is that in the end the media and the corporate masters are all part of the same thing, so the best we can do vis a vis big media is to get them off balance enough to awaken our fellow citizens and get them looking for answers, which they will find in the independent media and through their friends and family.

          Call now. Write now. Fax now. Don't let up.

          -8.38, -8.00...in America the law is king. --Thomas Paine

          by hyperstation on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:03:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And the NBC News Ombudsman (none)
      (Which I posted below in answer to another question, but if you're conatacting them, trying to get the ombudsman on the case is important, no matter how he treats the question: either he addresses it correctly and we have an ally, or he doesn't, in which case NBC's complicity is deepened.)

      David McCormick
      david.mccormick@nbc.com

      -8.38, -8.00...in America the law is king. --Thomas Paine

      by hyperstation on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:55:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the weird thing... (4.00)
    So you're Katie Couric, a national figure in broadcast journalism (deserved or not). You make millions, you've a got a staff, and they've gotten Howard Dean to come on the show. Dean has been saying the same things about Abramoff for a couple weeks now. How can you be unprepared when he says them again?

    Couric should have known Dean would say that no Abramoff money went to Democrats. She should have been ready either to concede the point or blow him out of the water. Or at least put a new spin on the discussion. Why wasn't she?

    OK, maybe I've gotten jaded to propaganda here in the era of King George. But why are we subjected to such incompetent propaganda? Can't we at least have propaganda that shows pride of workmanship? It's enough to make you lose faith in America.

    •  maybe she knew... (none)
      This gives them a chance to say:

      "Technically Dean is right, Abramoff himself did not give money to the Dems but his clients gave money to the Dems" without having Dean there to swat that down too.

  •  Here's what I wrote (4.00)
    Today, Katie Couric repeated the misinformation that Democrats have received money from Jack Abramoff.  This is patently untrue.  Jack Abramoff never made any personal donation to Democrats.  It is true that his clients gave money to Democratic members of Congress but not one Democrat received money from Jack Abramoff himself.  In fact, Abramoff directed some of his Native American clients to donate less money to Democrats and start donating money to Republicans, something many of them had never done.  It is disingenuous for Katie Couric to state that Democrats received the same sort of personal contribution that Republicans did.  They flat-out did not.  While it may be easy to conflate tribal and client donations with the money-laundered donations Abramoff gave out, it is absolutely false to do so.  Abramoff's clients are the victims in this story.  To blame Democrats for taking legal donations from the victimized clients is absurd.  It is wholly a Republican problem--a Republican lobbyist who stole and laundered money in order to build the coffers and war chests of and garner favors from Republican members of Congress.

    During her interview with former-Governor Dean, Katie indicated that his statements regarding the utter lack of donations from Abramoff to Democrats would need to be looked into and shared with the public.  Please ensure that the truth is shared with Katie and the public--not one Democrat received money from Abramoff.  Today show viewers deserve to hear the truth about what the politicians are up to.

    •  Abramoff clients donated more $$ to Dems ... (2.55)
      ... in every case. Numerous other errors above.

      A rebuttal based on false assertions will not back Couric off her false assertions (if any).

      None Dare Call It Stupid!

      by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:13:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dare call YOU stupid, though (none)
        who do you think you're trying to kid, here...?

        I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

        by condoleaser on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:17:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Links? (none)
        Links? Links? Links?

        Links?

      •  that's a lie Ron (none)
        but thanks for playing.
        •  The evidence has been brought to your att'n ... (none)
          ... early this week, vetted by Abramoff "hawks" like p.lukasiak, Armando, marky ... with some diehards retreating to a position against disclosure, or changing the subject.

          I cannot be held responsible for your reluctance to do the readings.

          None Dare Call It Stupid!

          by RonK Seattle on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:11:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Leave RonK alone! (none)
            Details of Abramoff's CLIENTS giving patterns.  

            I'm guessing that RonK doesn't want us to dive off the deep end and get slapped back by a fisking of our talking point.  The INDIAN TRIBES listed are the ones who gave more to Republicans.  The rest gave either close to equal or more to Dems.  The big deal here is Abramoff tapping into huge money amounts from Indians and their opponents and funneling ALL that money to Repubs so that the Republican caucus could play the sides against the middle and reap BILLIONS of dollars!

            It is amazing how much can be accomplished when you don't care who gets the credit - Harry Truman
            PoliticalCompass Scale: -2.13, -2.97

            by floundericiousMI on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:31:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  RonK knows facts matter (none)
            RonK is trying to make sure that the statements we make are factually correct.  The RWNM loves to jump on small factual errors, so we want to try to avoid such errors.  However, it's also important to be clear about the big picture, which is that Abramoff was engaged in various illegal activities that were designed to create a political machine for the Republican party.

            I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

            by homeland observer on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:17:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You've made some really startling statements here (none)
        and have given no proof.
        If you are not a troll, give us the links.
      •  Your logic is faulty. (none)
        If a person follows the law, and later breaks the law because his lawyer told him to, it does not follow that the person broke the law before hiring his lawyer.

        Here it is in simpler language for anyone else who is still confused by this Repiglican spin.

        "Out here in the middle, where the center's on the right, and the ghost of William Jennings Bryan preaches every night..."

        by Nineteen Kilo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:48:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  wrong email in diary! (none)
      TRY Today@NBC.com

      I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

      by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:04:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was in the gym when the interview was on... (none)
    ...no sound, but I did watch faces, and I did notice Miss Katie's face getting very tense at one point.  Must have been right after the Dean smackdown!

    Damn, I really, really, like this man.

    Andy
    Sarasota

    Remember New Orleans

    by AAbshier on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:00:11 AM PST

  •  my letter: (4.00)
    "I am eagerly awaiting your followup on Katie Couric's promise to investigate and report the TRUTH about whether any Democrats received money from Jack Abramoff, or whether any of the money any Democrats received from entities which were former Abramoff clients was directed to those Democrats by Jack Abramoff. I truly hope we don't have to wait very long."

    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

    by condoleaser on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:04:00 AM PST

  •  Here's my email (4.00)

    Please check the facts.  Democrats did not receive money from Jack Abramoff, as much as the GOP likes to spin it that way.  By failing to do the tiniest bit of research before making such claims, you are doing Karl Rove's work for him.  For heaven's sake, have you not been following the brou-ha-ha regarding Deborah Howell's false claims over at the Washington Post web site?

    In the past few years, our traditional media has been a willing partner in the Bush administration's destruction of our reputation around the world.  Even a cursory goggle search would provide reporters with enough information to dispel most of the information coming out of this White House and Republican Congress.  

    When will you start doing your job?

    Susan Smith

    Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

    by Susan S on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:04:02 AM PST

    •  Here's mine (4.00)
      Dear Today Show,

      Today on The Today Show Katie Couric made an incorrect statement, one proven to be wrong repeatedly in other news outlets prior to this, that Democrats had received money from Republican lobbyist Jack Abramhoff.

      Despite DNC Chair Howard Dean's truthful assertion to the contrary, she said that the Today show would have to look into it.

      Please do; because it will be important for your show's and Ms. Couric's credibility to admit its error publicly on such an important issue.  There can be plenty of debate over opinions, but there can be no debate over facts.  It is an established fact that no Democrat received money from Republican lobbyist Jack Abramhoff.

      Respectfully,
      XXXXX

      "A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government." - President-Elect Gore

      by Republic Not Empire on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:54:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  WRONG EMAIL (none)
      TRY Today@NBC.com

      I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

      by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:05:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not that my letter will matter, but ... (4.00)
    So, I inadvertently caught Katie's interview with Howard Dean, and realized again how inadequately prepared she is to cover politics. Her false assertions regarding Democrats taking Abramoff money are either spurred by a right wing agenda, or ... I suspect this is more likely the case ... her inability to do good, hard journalism.

    Please keep her assignments to interviews with pop stars and TV personalities.

    In the meantime, it sure would be appropriate for the Today Show to correct her false accusations.

  •  Dems have to stop calling her "Katie", (4.00)
    and "Wolf", and "Tim".

    Call them Ms. Couric, and Mr. Blitzer, and Mr. Russert. Show a disconnect, a distance.

    It makes a statement in itself.

    Let the Repugs call them by their first names

    Do you have a child? Will you send her to the war?... anon

    by andreww on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:10:15 AM PST

    •  My opponent (2.66)
      is how Dubya repeatedly referred to John Kerry in the last election cycle.

      Unimaginable that that was accidental. It was deliberately done to dehumanize Kerry, and then pile a lot of shit on top of him. Kerry, for his part, to too weak to call any such bullshit for what it was.

      Republicans have mastered the art of attaching whatever names they want to people, legislation, etc. all in order to feed their giant publicity machine that obscures reality.

      Our pols need to either start using the same playbook, or learn how to fight back. In the last few days, we've seen Dean and Slaughter pushing back. Bravo for them!

      He has oil. He tried to kill my daddy.

      by kensa on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:41:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My circular logic: (none)
        The press, as 4th Estate, is supposed to be adversary to the government.

        The press is not the government's adversary, but an enabler.

        Therefore, the Dems have to be an adversary to the press.

        Do you have a child? Will you send her to the war?... anon

        by andreww on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:30:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have never understood (none)
    the Katie Couric/Oprah Winfrey thing. Why in the world do people find them so believable and so necessary to the cultural debate?

    Still, I have always said that watching this crap or listening to wingnut talk radio is like cleaning the bathroom. It's a nasty job, but someone's got to do it or the shit just piles up without a fight.

    Thank God there are some of you out there who will do it so the rest of us don't have to.

    •  Well to extend Karl Popper a bit... (none)
      In his piece "Science, Pseudo-Science, and Falsifiability," Popper talks about how to go about differentiating scientific theory from pseudo-scientific theory. He's very clear that both sets of theories have their place...but some theories are just not scientific in nature. They don't have to be. It's a great essay...and one that I assign to my classes in order to form a foundation related to the role of evidence in argument.

      In the case of Katie and Oprah, I'd say that the focus is on intellectualism and pseudo-intellectualism. NPR once did a piece on the "Four Eyes" phenomena and why intellectuals are denigrated in popular culture. It centered around the fear factor...apparently we fear, or are suspicious of, people who are smarter than we are. I've run across that first hand this past week.

      However, many people know that it's important to have some form of education...just not too much or you scare the neighbors.

      I think that Katie and Oprah offer a path to more intellectualism that isn't threatening...and isn't y'know "too much" or the wrong sort of thing.

      Oprah's Book Club phenomena is a fascinating example of this. She's got women, who might not normally have the inclination to read, reading. That in and of itself is great! But where some of the books she picks are interesting, a huge chunk of them are inocuous at best.  

      I think that Oprah wants her audience to think and read and learn about the world around them. But in many ways she has to smoosh the aspirin up in honey to get them to ingest it.

      "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

      by kredwyn on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:50:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tweety Backlash (none)
    I wonder how much of this caused by the Chris Matthews flak?
  •  Broadcast News (4.00)
    Anyone else remember the William Hurt character in "Broadcast News"? That's essentially what Matt Lauer and Katie Couric are. They're entertainers. They read a prompter and know how to smile.

    They aren't journalists. They aren't thinkers. They just pimp for Republicans because it pays better than actually telling the truth and being an honest broker of information.

    I gave up on this show a couple of years ago. It's essentially turned into "Access Hollywood" with a weather segment. It used to be an important show. Now, it's just a joke.

    And the misinformation -- nearly all of it making Republicans look good and Democrats look bad -- will continue. Katie will not apologize for getting it wrong this morning. There will be no correction. There will be no retraction. That stuff is only for Dan Rather.

    All that's left is for Al Roker to blame the next hurricane on George Soros and MoveOn.org.

    I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn -- Ron Burgundy

    by IndyScott on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:19:07 AM PST

    •  Ted Baxter (4.00)
      on Mary Tyler Moore.  That's all most TV talking heads are.

      What do you mean that the Today show "used to be an important show"?  You mean back when Willard Scott dressed up as Carmen Miranda?  

      Morning shows have ALWAYS been fluff.

      Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

      by hrh on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:27:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The first "co-host" of the Today show (4.00)
        was J. Fredd Muggs.

        A chimpanzee.

        These days, the role of Muggs is played by [fill_in_the_blank].

        He has oil. He tried to kill my daddy.

        by kensa on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:47:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Baxterism of the day (none)
        Ted Baxter:
        I dreamt I was an old man, all wrinkled and shriveled, sitting alone on this park bench, and then this-this guy walked up to me, and he looked kind of familiar, and he just stood there, looking at me. And I said, "Who are you?" And he said, "I'm the son you never had." And then-then this woman appeared, and I said, "Who are you?", and she said, "I'm the daughter you never had." And then-then about twenty kids appeared, and I said, "Who are you?" And they said, "we're the children of the children you never had." Then a bunch of dogs and cats appeared, and I said, "Who are you?" And they said, "We're the pets of the children of the children you never had." And then a bunch of guys in white coats came up, and I said, "Who are you?" And they said, "We're the Veterinarians of the pets of the children of the children you never had." And then, and then...

        Lou Grant:
        Ted, just-just skip to the finish of the dream. Tell us how it ended.

        Ted Baxter:
        Oh like all my dreams end, with Marlon Thomas and Winston Churchill applauding me.

        •  A long time ago (none)
          I read an article "explaining" the morning news shows...HARD NEWS took up the first hour, while the Manly Husband was listening as he prepared for work and the Little Missus was getting breakfast for the family. The last hour of the show, once the Manly Husband had gone to work, was so the Little Missus could sit down with her cup of coffee and hear the things that were important to HER..Fashion and Celebrity Gossip.

          Interesting, if that was ever true, how the Little Missus part has become the bulk of the entire program these days!

          Illegitimi non carborundum-- Don't let the bastards wear ya down!

          by fireflynw on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:38:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fireflynw (none)
            I have an ashtray with your Latin motto printed on it. It was made as a special product by Gladding McBean Company, the makers of Franciscan china. Carborundum=grind, though. Sentiment is the same: Don't let the bastards grind you down.

            "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

            by martyc35 on Fri Jan 27, 2006 at 10:34:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think she's a conservative (none)
    I think she's uninformed like the majority of our country.

    I have very positive memories of both Katie Couric and Linda Vester (on leave from Faux) as reporters during Gulf War I.  Celebrity has ruined them as journalists.  At least Katie isn't a Rupert Murdoch tool.

    Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

    by Susan S on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:19:09 AM PST

  •  Howard was great (4.00)
    In fact, if I remember correctly -- we'll see in the transcripts -- I think Howard brought it up and made the point that the Abramoff scandals were Repubs only and that's what drew Katie's rapid assertion out. In a way, though probably subtle and probably influenced by my subjectively Dem eyes and ears, it made her look wrong and on the defensive.

    He got a lot of points across, though -- the things Dems stand for, etc. He's getting better and better at these annoying soundbite crapfests.

  •  Couric (none)
    Is there a "Today Show" link?

    Also, maybe instead of writing letters to Couric, we should let CBS know how we feel about their potential new anchorperson?

  •  I just wrote NBC as well (4.00)
    I saw the segment this morning and found myself yelling at the television. Not that I watch the Today Show that much, but I happened to tune in this morning. Everyone should send a comment to NBC, lets see if we can get a correction, a follow up story.

    My letter (I poached some of the stats from the above letter, sorry):

    Why is Katie Couric Lying on National Television?

    This morning (26 January 2006) as I tuned in to the Today Show I was so disappointed to hear Katie Couric demonstrate such an utter disregard for the truth as she challenged Howard Dean on the Abramoff scandal. She has done a disservice to her viewers, the journalistic profession and to our nation.

    The job of the news media is to report facts. Not to regurgitate partisan talking points. On this point, Couric and NBC news have failed miserably.

    As FEC records clearly show, 100% of Abramoff's donations have gone to Republicans.  FEC records show that Abramoff gave $172,933 for Republican candidates, $88,985 to Republican causes and nothing to Democratic candidates or organizations. You can find his list of donations here: http://www.newsmeat.com/

    I doubt that Couric's insistence that Abramoff did in fact give money to Democrats was mere oversight, given the tenacity with which she challenged Dean. She clearly had an agenda.

    What is heartening however, is that I can sort of laugh at this canard because it is SO blatantly false. The tide is absolutely turning and regular Americans are growing tired of the inaccuracies and intentional deceits they see on their network news stations.  The internet is abuzz with Couric's story this morning as people around the country are both outraged by and laughing at her pseudo-journalism. The old adage about not being able to fool all of the people all of the time seems particularly germane this morning.

    So feel free to continue to broadcast lies, but know that the more you do, the more you will lose viewers. You have lost one in me, and certainly all the people I forward the story to.  That said, I may tune in for comic relief, it is actually pretty funny to watch Couric parade around as a serious journalist when she is clearly nothing more than a hack.

    Disappointed,

  •  pretty sure she was a democrat (none)
    her late sister was a democratic representative in va and was going to run for lt gov. when she got cancer.i think she was getting a lot of flak about being a liberal so now  she tries to look like she is being tough on dems but i guess when you make 13 mil a year that can turn anyone into a republican.just think of all the taxes she is saving.
    i have to work so i rarely see the today show.seroiusly though the media slanders both sides of the aisle imo.the truth is they don`t have the facts most of the time.  
    •  That jillion dollar salary has some influence too (none)
      •  Ya do hang out with a (none)
        whole different crowd when you make that kind of money.  Your life becomes pretty insulated, and much easier to believe your/republican hype.

        I think she still thinks she is a 'normal' American with the same concerns and trials as the less than 50k/ year crowd.  So if things are OK for her and her friends they must be OK everywhere.  I think she needs a Nickled and Dimed type of reality check....Or maybe just to go away.

        Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

        by strengthof10kmen on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:07:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Normal like when she has to wait to be (none)
          seated at AppleBees? Or normal like when they find a table for her at <insert name of current popular NYC restaurant here> so that she doesn't have to wait?
    •  She has other relatives... (none)
      I remember that more recently she talked about another relative who was running for public office as a Republican. But as I recall, her sister was the exception to the rule and her family is more Republican than not. I think folks just assumed she was Dem because of her sister.
  •  Has anyone noticed that when these...so called (none)
    Journalists get ready to(attack)interview a Democrat they seem to get MEAN, TESTY, UGLY, OFF PUTTING, and HOSTILE when they have someone on their program.

    Katie Couric did just that this morning, something Kara Phillips, Daryn Kagan, Wolf Blitzer, MsGOPers, Matthews, The Fox Liars do when they have a quest from the Democratic side on. They RAISE UP and SPEW ugliness to our side. This has been going on tooooo long now.

    Couric acted like the Democrats should just go into a hole, that Dean and our party should just cave in and go away and let Bush, do what the hell he wants to do, you shut up! These shit has to stop!!!

    "These guys are biggest bunch of lying crooks I have ever seen" John Kerry

    by alnc on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:33:32 AM PST

    •  I agree (none)
      Why can't Dems simply ask the interviewer, "why are you getting so upset?"
    •  To me a bigger point is she should know better (none)
      She's not an idiot. She's reasonably well educated and literate in things like civics.

      Furthermore, she has a better view than most and what she should be able to see quite clearly is that the Neocon right is doing its damndest to dismantle the Republic.

      They undermine every, EVERY, every institution they never created and even some they created (prescription drug plan) From Internation to national to local: From the UN, to Nato, To Social Security and now even the constitution for crissakes. Every institution is created to fix a problem, institutions do age and need to be refitted from time to time, but all they want to do is undermine and destroy.  

      Crissakes: in less than four years two major metropolitan areas have had to been evacuated.

      How can she and her cohorts sit there and take potshots at Democrats, give a medium to O'Reilly of sexual harassement fame, while watching the nation go down the tubes.

      It is simply inexcusable and unfathonable. What do they think - that when this nation collapses that they and their children won't be affected by it?  Does she really think her millions will protect her if she can't get water supply to her building? Or electricity? or grocery store can't get restocked?  When you let the infrastructure and institutions crumble, all of a sudden stuff you took for granted just is no longer there.

      Thats what these people are condeming this nation to.

  •  I flamed her... (4.00)
    ...politely.

    I cannot stand these lightweight talking heads trying to impersonate a critical journalist.  Worse than ipecac.

    The text of my email:

    Shame on Couric and NBC...

    ...for continuing the media's assault on progressive causes and the Democratic Party.

    The fact remains, despite Couric's protestations to the contrary, that Jack Abramoff gave NO MONEY to any Democrats.  These "clients" of his who did give to Democrats were Indian tribes who routinely donate lobbying cash to both parties.  If Couric were a real journalist instead of a morning talking head, she would have done a bit of her own research before trying to distort the truth.  The Abramoff Indian tribes gave substantially LESS money to Democrats than they had before they associated with Abramoff and substantially less than tribes represented by someone other than Abramoff.

    Please try to digest that fact.  To do so will take more effort than talk show hosts like Couric usually expend--effort we might expect from, say, a high school sophomore.  Had someone other than Abramoff been representing these tribes, they would have given substantially MORE money to Democrats.  Can Couric now understand what Abramoff's ACTUAL influence on these tribes was?  Or, do we need to explain it even slower?

    Apologize now, and stop distorting the truth.

    Jeffrey C Lamkin

    jeffreylamkin@alltel.net

    •  "Lobbying Cash" (none)
      What exactly is "lobbying cash" once Lobbyist A donates to Client B?

      Does it go into a separate account in the bank of Client B?

      Does it go into a general account?

      Does it go into a generic political account?

      If the answer is anything other than the first, then the whole "Abramoff directed money to X" doesn't mean much.

      Can Abramoff actually "direct" a client to do anything with the money he gives them?

      Perhaps someone more in the know could inform us all of how these donations really work.

      Behind the dark veil of patriotism a nation mourns itself.

      by Espumoso on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:45:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Lobbying cash" (none)
        All I meant by lobbying cash is money (cash) being given to a legislator in exchange for an open ear and open mind regarding legislative interests (lobbying).

        I hope I wasn't too imprecise.  Sorry.

        •  no problem (none)
          When you wrote the words the thought popped into my head, "what is lobbying cash" vis-a-vis the current scandal?

          No critique was intended, just an observation.

          Behind the dark veil of patriotism a nation mourns itself.

          by Espumoso on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:23:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  WRONG EMAIL IN DIARY (none)
      TRY Today@NBC.com

      I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

      by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:08:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Add a link to Today show in your diary (none)

    Here is the link.  On top you will see E-mail us and click on that.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!! http://www.democrats.org/democracybonds.html

    by timber on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:34:54 AM PST

  •  This is the same thing Russert did with Schumer (4.00)
    And Russert is Katie's coach in these things.

    Russert knows that saying "Abramoff gave money to Democrats" is a LIE. He's fully aware, as should Katie be, since Russert coaches her on these things.

    When called on this LIE, the immediate fallback is to say, "Well, Abramoff and his associates/clients." Russert did it when Schumer called bullshit. Katie did it when Dean called bullshit.

    Chris Wallace did it when Reid called bullshit. And so on. (The Howell Woman Matter at the WaPo being another example.)

    The White House primarily seems to be the source of the initial misinformation statement ("Abramoff was an equal money dispenser.") And the Center for Responsive Politics is the source of the fallback distortion ("Abramoff and his associates/clients gave money to Democrats and Republicans.")

    This is an orchestrated campaign of misinformation designed to discredit Congress as a whole and to ensure that Democrats do not benefit in any way from the scandal. ALL of the Big Media is part of this campaign.

    They have plighted their troth with the Bush Imperium.

    Correcting the record is one thing. But given the fact that the record has been corrected numerous times on the air -- but almost solely by Democrats -- and the lies and distortions still pour forth, we have to understand the Big Media is not going to change its perspective any time soon, if ever. They have made their decision to present falsehoods and distortions as fact.

    --felix

    •  Yeah, even their "clarification"... (none)
      ... is a GOP talking point.

      Fuck 'em all.

      ModestNeeds.org Response For Hurricane Evacuees

      by socal on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 01:00:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Virtually no objective American MSM left in DC (none)
      I try to use the term 'corporate media' in most of the time - but in this case, I'm referring specifically to media outlets with a national audience that have DIRECT ACCESS to the WH.

      I wouldn't doubt there are some good reporters, but figure THEY have been neuteralized by their editors/ownership.

  •  Tomorrow (4.00)
    Yesterday we had Matt going in depth with Bill Oreilly. Today we had Katie. soon to be the new Dan Rather, Showing up Dr. Dean. Tomorrow let's have Al interview Ann Coulter on barbeque.
  •  i so rarely watch morning shows (none)
    only from time to time when someone else has it on.  

    i find couric terribly difficult to look at, altogether uninspiring, and lacking in her mental faculties.  she just strikes me as an airhead.  the fact that she's even being considered for an anchor position defies logic.  

    if someone could post a video of this dialogue, i would be forever indebted.

  •  Oh, it was awful.... (none)
    Or rather she was awful. I wouldn't have turned it on, except that the cat climbed into my lap and I said "oh, let's watch the news for a few minutes"! Yecch. So much for a few minutes of relaxation.

    Carolyn's right though--Dean's responses were measured and firm, and he didn't back down. But who's listening, I wonder, other than us?

  •  What hour of the Today show (none)
    is Gov. Dean's appearance?  I'm in MST, so it's still in the first hour right now.

    What the hell is it NOW?

    by TigerMom on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:47:33 AM PST

  •  RonK is not a troll (4.00)
    He wants to make sure we have accurate information.  That doesn't mean that Couric was correct.  It means we need to be prepared to defend our side in a way that doesn't open us up to claims that we are being dishonest or inaccurate.

    Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

    by Susan S on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:48:06 AM PST

    •  That may be (4.00)
      However, the contributions of concern are the ones that Abramoff made directly to pols, and on this matter there is no confusion.  He did not make any contributions to Dems.

      He may have directed the tribes to make contributions to Dems, and they may even have done so in the way he suggested, but there's no evidence that Tribe A gave to Pol B in the directed manner.  We can agree that Dems received money from tribes, which is not illegal or even shady.   What we can't allow is the Dems to be painted with the same brush as the Repubs.  Dems did not accept money from Republican felon Jack Abramoff; Repubs did.  

      I think it's important to note that for the vast majority of Americans, conflating the direct gifts to pols and the indirect Abramoff-tribe-pol connections is playing right into the repubs hands.  There's nothing illegal about tribes making contributions, no matter who recommended it.  

      The important news is that Republican felon Jack Abramoff attempted to influence legislation by contributing to Republicans, period.  That he worked with clients who made contributions to Dems has little to no bearing on the matter.  The rest is a slippery slope the Repubs would like us to go down with them.  I suggest we stay at the top.

  •  Watching Today (4.00)
    Many in these comments state that watching Today or listening to NPR is useless and counterproductive, because they perceive a rightward tilt. But that is a falsity for two reasons:
    1. It is important to know what is being said, so that reactions can be thoughtful and effective instead of reactionary and inflammatory.
    2. You never learn anything listening to a bunch of folks who already agree with you. Isn't that one of the primary complaints about the administration, that they are a bunch of yes people, so the President can comfortably execute without a contrary opinion to offer alternatives?

    Ban Intolerance Now!

    by brahma on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:50:46 AM PST

  •  buffy, heather, and skip (none)
    The girls always arrived at school hair properly coifed, makeup neatly done and wearing the proper attire. They always did the minimum neatly, but no more and tended to put hearts over their i's. For that they maintained a nice B average. The guys did a bit less and were solid C or C+ students and played a sports activity well. They lacked any intellectual curiosity, but had abundant social interests.

    They grew up to be our "journalists". feh

    fact does not require fiction for balance

    by mollyd on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:52:25 AM PST

  •  My letter (4.00)
    To the today show,

    I saw your program this morning where you challenged Governor Dean in his assertion that the Abramoff scandal was a Republican scandal. From my understanding, by doing extensive reading on this, Jack Abramoff only gave money to Republicans, and all the illegal behavior was done by republicans. If you have other evidence, then please bring it forward. It is true that democrats did accept legal contributions from clients of Jack Abramoff, some even at his direction, but there is to my knowledge, no quid-pro-quo involved. All the Indian tribes that worked with Mr. Abramoff, had always given money to these democrats, long before they started working with Mr. Abramoff, and they continued to do so afterward. The important distinction is two-fold,

    1. The amount of money directed to republicans was much larger.

    2. There were illegal contributions and a clear quid-pro-quo, certain legislative actions were taken in response to the money. All of this was done by republicans.

    I expect when the inditements come out, only republicans will be charged. Further research by your staff should clear this up, and if only republicans are charged, I think you own Governor Dean an apology.

    Impossible is nothing

    by DrSpike on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:54:42 AM PST

  •  Dean gave Couric an awesome smack down (4.00)
    When she smugly told him that "critics"  particularly "democrats" Carville & Begala (I think of them as hacktacular suckups)say that democrats are spineless and have no message, he blew her away with the democratic message. She expected him to whine and hand wring. She was blown away by his response and could not respond directly to it. She was left to comment about the time it took him to deliver it--30 seconds.

    His jujitsu of  the Clintonian talking point "what will we tell the children?" was brillant as well. Bush is setting a bad example for children by breaking the law. Indeedy.

    •  Carville and Begala (none)
      They are only shapers of Democratic opinion because the media says they are. Have they done anything lately that is motivated by activism and not money? I doubt it.
    •  Howard Dean (4.00)
      Is the best chairman in forty years.  He's a message and money machine.  The scream has only helped him in this task - the media is a little scared of the guy.  You can see it in their eyes.  

      He might turn over a table.  And if he turned over a table, 3 million Americans would immediately send $10.00 to the DNC.

      Again, the right man for the job!  

      No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

      by CrazyHorse on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:09:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree about Dean's jujitsu (none)
      Glad you mentioned the "bad example for the children" point.

      I had a little smile on my face when Dean responded with that. Didn't see it as lame at all. In fact, I thought it was subtle mockery of the GOP drivel "Oh lawd, President Clinton got a blowjob in the White House - whatever will we tell the children?"

      I had an even bigger smile when the Good Doctor disputed the accuracy of Ms. Couric's framing. She was clearly caught off guard. How telling. We've had two weeks of response to this Republican lie, yet somehow the truth hasn't sunk in for the "serious" journalists at the Today Show. Do they have no fact checkers or do they deliberately ignore the truth in the hope that it will just go away?

  •  Swift Boat Katie, reporting for doody (none)
    Is she on the right wing gravy train with right wing gigoloes and gigolettes like Ann Coulter and Jeff Gannon or in the the cocktail party division: media doofi who voluntarily debase themselves to seem down with the one-party turning the country into a trash heap?
    .
    I could care less about another set of chattering joke shop teeth with a hairdo. What bothers me is how she's helping a reckless regime that has obliterated oversight, checks and balances to keep doing it.
    .
    I hate the fact that independent media that should be watchdogging the public trust is being silenced by self-enriching twits like Katie Couric, happily gorging gorging on the people's airwaves by kissing this administration's ass so things won't or can't change.
    .
    Corrupt election, broken institutions, rampant cronyism and corruption and massive death. But hey, Chaty Katie's there covering up for the Worst. Administration. Ever. (Somewhere, Nixon is smiling. Creepily.)
    .

    If scAlito is mainstream, why lie about his record? Anyone? Bueller? scAlito?

    by Peanut on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:55:57 AM PST

  •  Magpie, Chem Bob, and ukexpat (none)
    Please remove your troll ratings from RonK's post.  He is an oldtime Kossack and only wants us to have correct information.  

    Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

    by Susan S on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:58:13 AM PST

    •  Why I did it... (none)
      I just got back on this thread. I put the 1s on RonK's posts earlier because he was making contrary statements for which he had neither linked to nor quoted any supporting documentation. I see that now RonK and others have provided links. I don't have time to go read them at this point but I will say that what he is saying remains contrary to what I've seen stated by other commentators on this, in other blogs and other media. I'm also not sure that his/her comments address the point of this diary. However, I'll remove the 1s as an act of good faith. I almost never give them and I don't like to do so. About the dKos ratings system. I wish it really meant something other than "troll" or "excellent." There are occasionally truly "excellent" posts followed by another extremely worthwhile one that should be rated "very good" (not quite as good as the previous post) or whatever, but it is considered a bad thing to give such a latter post a "3." That seems odd to me.
      •  Surprised (none)
        I'm new but am  disappointed that the choice of ratings might not mean what they say.  Maybe I'm too idealistic but I subscribed lifetime because I thought truth was most important here and I gave a "Good " rating and apparently offended someone.  This seems strange to me, and I was so excited that someone explained how I could rate at all.  Shouldn't this "Coded rating" thing be less secret?

        Those who sleep and dream do not know that they can wake up.

        by Gram E on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 03:22:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Really (none)
      Explaining his statements would have served that purpose, rather than making a couple sentence hit and run.  Thanks for little.  
  •  Molly Ivins on C-Span tomorrow (none)
    Molly will be on Washington Journal tomorrow.  Hooray!

    Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

    by Susan S on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:59:07 AM PST

  •  My Note (4.00)
    To: TodayShowViewerMail@NBC.com

    Good morning.

    I am a long time viewer of your show. It is a rare morning when our TV is not tuned to the Today Show while we're getting ready for our day. That said, I was extremely disappointed with Katie Couric's interview with Dr. Howard Dean this morning. Even though it has been debunked countless times in countless newspapers, blogs, radio programs and TV shows, Katie once again said that Democrats received money from Jack Abramoff. As Dr. Dean pointed out quite clearly, Mr. Abramoff is a lifelong Republican who has NEVER given a dime to Democrats. The Abramoff scandal is a Republican one. Period.

    When you are preparing the follow-up that Katie promised to Dr. Dean, be sure to clarify to your viewers that 1) Jack Abramoff is an integral part of the Republican funding machine. His ties to prominent Republicans stretch far and wide. And 2) the Indian Tribes that Mr. Abramoff represented were victims of his crimes, not conspirators. To claim that their contributions to Democrats (which were substantially reduced once they became Abramoff clients) are somehow tainted is disingenuous, if not outright slander.

    I look forward to watching your follow-up story.

    Regards,

    Ridgewood, NJ

  •  My letter to Today (4.00)
    Today, in her interview with Howard Dean, Katie repeated a now-ancient and discredited Republican lie - that Jack Abramoff gave money to BOTH Republicans and Democrats.  FEC records prove otherwise (not ONE cent to Democrats).

    Why did Katie repeat such an old lie?  Did she just mis-speak and really MEANT to say that Abramoff's clients gave money to both Republicans and Democrats (the updated Republican spin when the original lie was debunked).  It's tough to dig out from under the cascading piles of ever-changing spin (bs, lies), especially when our media spokespeople are not careful in the statements they make.

    Was Katie just repeating the dishonest WH talking points of the day to advance her personal political beliefs.  If so, this is reprehensible.  Was she careless, repeating dishonest lies just because they have already been repeated so many times that they seem like conventional wisdom to the truly uninformed.  If so, she was doing a disservice to her viewers.

    Don't you have a staff that can vet the questions to be asked of someone like Howard Dean?  The Republican spin is easy to find - they are efficient at getting Stepford pundits on the air, endlessly repeating the same phrases.  Since so many of the Republican talking points in the last few years have turned out to be complete lies, isn't is wise to have someone on the staff do the TINIEST bit of research into the facts before your anchor personalities mindless repeat the same dishonest garbage????

    Here's a newsflash and sanity check on the corruption issue (which looks like it will be with us for quite a while as the people Abramoff rats out get charged) - the REPUBLICANS are in charge of the levers of power in both the Executive and Legislative branch!!!!  If you want to bribe someone to make something happen (favorable regulation, nobid contracts, humongous tax breaks, etc), it would be STUPID to bribe Democrats, who have NO power to do anything for you.  The famous K-Street project was NOT about equal opportunity corruption - it was about packing the lobbying firms with hand-picked REPUBLICANS so the money and favors could flow more smoothly to REPUBLICAN coffers, in return for access and legislative goodies.

    But, enough with just using common sense, which Katie did not do today.  She should apologize to her viewers and state the clear facts: Abramoff did NOT give any money directly to Democrats.  And don't sleazily repeat the next lie in the series UNLESS YOU HAVE SOME INCONTROVERTIBLE PROOF (the claim that Abramoff "directed" his clients to contribute to politicians of both parties).  There is some indirect evidence of the OPPOSITE - tribes which retained Abramoff gave LESS money to Democrats after hiring Jack.  

    I don't doubt that if the Democrats were firmly entrenched in positions of power (like the Republicans are today), they would be tempted by (and some would succumb to) the same big money lure - campaign contributions in return for favorable treatment.  But NEVER IN OUR HISTORY has corruption been so entrenched and organized so efficiently - THIS is the big story about the corruption scandal (that and the horrific effects of the legislation that big money has bought).  It is a COMPLETE SMOKESCREEN & a PHONY STORY to claim that today's corruption involves both parties.

  •  I haven't watched NBC (none)
    I haven't watched NBC in over a year and a half and I must tell you it has been a great stress relief to me.  Not having to hear all of the hot air that General Electric generates, in order to please Bush and Cheney, has been wonderful.

    I suggested a boycott of NBC a year and a half ago.

    Is anyone game now?  

  •  I e-mailed her (4.00)
    as soon as the segment ended.  What a disgrace!!!! And this coming on the heels of three fucking days of Rethug spinmeisters on that segment with nary a peep from Lauer.
    And CBS is seriously considering this airhead for an anchor position?  I mean, damn, just damn.
  •  She reinforced RNC talking points to millions! (none)
    I wanted to take those glasses of hers and shove them up her ass! What a condescending beyatcth! Could you possibly be more biased!!

    Let's reinforce some RNC talking points for the viewers.

    1 - Democrats soft on Terror
    2 - Democrats spineless
    3 - Abramoff is a Bi-partisan scandal
    4 - Democrats don't want to spy on terrorists
    5 - Bush breaking the law is no big deal ("mudslinging")

    WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  •  Bush holding a presser (none)
    should be starting in a few minutes.  

    Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

    by Susan S on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:05:36 AM PST

  •  This is the fight we MUST fight! (none)
    I know Democrats want to foster debate and allow people to have their say.  That's what democracy is all about, right?  However, a key component of the Republican takeover of government has been their media "noise machine."  

    The Roots has the power to shut it down.  There's having one's say and then there's using the power of the media to stifle conversation - that's what's going on in this country.  

    Don't watch their shows.  Turn American Idol off.  Turn 24 off.  Turn Katie Couric off.  If you want quality entertainment go to www.channel101.com or www.homestarrunner.com.  That's stuff better than anything you'll see on Fox.  Or just, you know, read a book or watch a Kojak re-run from Netflicks.

    Don't buy their products.  Wildoats and Whole Foods brand colas taste better than Coke anyway - and they're a bit cheaper.  Plus it'd do your heart some good to quit eating and McNazis and Burger Tyrant anyway.

    And call the sons-a-bitches.  Light up their phone lines.  I called the Matthews show and told them I'd been a watcher for years - I even owned one of Tweety's books.  But he's gone too far.  He drank the Kool Aid and I was done with him.  And guess what - I told them I was in their target demographic and have a nice day.  

    And if you feel like you can't live without your Washington Post or your New York Times, read it at the library or at Starbucks.  Don't buy the damn things!  

    Hit 'em where it hurts.  We've got to demonstrate that liberals have economic clout and that "balance" is a two-way street.    

    No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

    by CrazyHorse on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:05:46 AM PST

  •  Here is my email: (4.00)
    Subject:  Media Bias

    I was very disappointed in the right-wing bias demonstrated by Katie Couric this morning in her argument with Howard Dean this morning.  This is nearly the same as her disrespect and rudeness to Joseph Biden recently.  I want facts, not bias and lies, from my morning news and coverage.  Fact is supposed to be the product of news.  I'm going to stop watching the Today Show if this doesn't straighten out.  Before I do, I will take note of all the Today Show's advertisers and stop buying their products, being sure to let them know why when I do.  The owners of NBC have the right to misrepresent the facts, and I have the right to change the channel.  Thank you for the opportunity to share my opinion.

  •  I can't watch those shows (none)
    Today is actually one of the more watchable shows when you compare it to total crap like Fox & Friends or the grumpy Cafferty File on CNN.

    Fox & Friends is the most unwatchable with their D squad idiots running their mouths with nervous laughter.  Their always like "hee hee Bush is great, oh look ten more soldiers died yesterday hee hee!" It's sick and makes you sick to witness it for more than a few seconds.  I saw it one morning where they were trying to give reasons for why certain deaths in Iraq shouldn't count towards the total.  Car accidents was one example.  They kept shrinking the number "oh he killed himself so he doesn't count, he was in a car wreck so he doesn't count".  By the time they were done it when from 2,000 down to 400.  It made me ill.

    Let's see how long it takes Media Matters to pick this up.  They already have Matt Lauer listed for not correcting statements that McCain made.

    (if by "criminalization of politics" you mean politics being taken over by criminals, you are absolutely correct)

    by Drezden on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:06:26 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the tip... and the opportunity (none)
    to send yet another 'get your story straight' e-mail to the traditional media.  My dominant arm is in a cast, but my other hand still functions albeit with lots 'o errors.  This need to type messages couldn't have come at a worse time for me!  

    "Who knows but that which seems omitted today, waits for tomorrow?" Kahlil Gibran

    by Bodean on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:07:21 AM PST

  •  My letter to NBC (4.00)
    I was disgusted this morning to tune in, as I always do, to the NBC Today Show.  Expecting to hear some jovial banter and light news content to help make a light-hearted start to the day, I noticed that Katie was going to have Howard Dean on for an interview.  I thought this might be interesting, so I stuck around longer (through a commercial break when I'd usually have just turned off the TV and headed to the shower).  

    I was appalled when Katie started repeating Karl Rove/George Bush talking points and attacking Democrats.  How am I supposed to take your show seriously when I hear an otherwise upstanding anchorperson so blithely repeat RNC framing and talking points while bringing NO NEW INFORMATION TO THE TABLE?  Questions about "Why are Democrats so weak on National Security?" "Aren't both parties to blame since both took Abramoff money?"  "Why are Democrats against the President's security efforts when XYZ poll says the American people support spying on terrorists?"

    Your "anchorperson" showed her mental fluff with those questions.  The Democrats have thoroughly debunked the "bipartisan Abramoff corruption" angle, the Democrats are not the ones who have wrecked our military's strength and quality on an unjustified war/morass, and the Democrats are not the ones who have violated laws on wiretapping.  The talking points Katie used are easily verified Republican National Committee propaganda.

    I'm sick to my stomach now.  This is ridiculous!  I'll have to think much harder about tuning in to the Today show if THIS is the kind of coverage I'll have spouting out of my television!  I hope you will either get the Today show crew to avoid politics entirely or get them better informed...because if you continue like this, I'll not continue as a viewer for any appreciable length of time.

    It is amazing how much can be accomplished when you don't care who gets the credit - Harry Truman
    PoliticalCompass Scale: -2.13, -2.97

    by floundericiousMI on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:08:09 AM PST

  •  Attention NYC Kos Readers (4.00)
    WE NEED TO PUSH THIS ISSUE AND FORCE KATIE TO ADMIT SHE MADE A MISTAKE.

    Can people please show up at the Today Show Tommorrow with Signs that say "KATIE COURIC LIED"  We need to make sure she doesn't blow this off.  This is an argument Democrats need to have.  Enough of letting Republicans push these false lies.  So lets get together, and have ourselves a little protest outside Today Show's HQ.

    Kos, can we organize this from the front page?

  •  just contacted the today show (4.00)
    Sent this note just now to today@nbc.com:

    Katie Couric "looking into" Abramoff donations?

    As irresponsible as it was of Katie Couric to be so unprepared for her interview with Governor Dean that she didn't realize Democrats received no (repeat, "no," as in "none," "nada," "zero," "zip") donations from Abramoff, it would be even more irresponsible of her and the Today show to leave it at that.  

    Katie's comment that it would have to be "looked into" should be followed up with some actual reporting to uncover the real facts.  Democrats took no money from Abramoff.  Abramoff's donations were geared entirely toward benefitting Republicans and the corrupt GOP machine that currently controls Washington.  

    Failing to follow up on this issue and correct Katie's misstatements concerning this issue would be a disservice to your viewers, and I urge you to set the record straight so people can make informed decisions about what's going on in our government today.  The truth is that our "representatives" are anything but representative in the current lobbyist-fueled GOP culture of corruption.

    I voted for Kerry and all I got was this stupid President.

    by grrtigger on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:11:15 AM PST

    •  Good letter, but I dread their response (none)
      Unfortunately, in the interest of "balance" and covering their ass, you know that any follow-up reporting will draw false equivalence between Katie's lie (that Abramoff gave to both parties) and  the fact that some of Abramoff's clients gave legal contributions to Democrats (in lower percentages than they did before they hired Abramoff).

      Moreover, a story that focuses on the fact of campaign contributions from Abramoff and tribes is one that doesn't focus on the real scandal:  that Abramoff was funnelling illegal money into the hands of Republican elected officials, their spouses, and key staffers.  He's already pleaded guilty to that.

      We can't let the Republican lie go unchallenged when Katie Couric, Deborah Howell, Wolf Blitzer or anyone else repeats it, but the whole thing sucks.

      The Republicans have a great tactic going:  tell a lie, force Democrats to debunk the lie, and get the media to cover the back and forth over the lie instead of the broader narrative that hurts them.

      It keeps up from being able to get a narrative out in the established media because we're forced to spend our time counteracting lies told in the furtherance of their own narrative.  I don't know what we do about it.

      •  The answer should be: (4.00)
        "Why is Jack Abramoff going to jail? Hint: it's not because some Native Americans made legal campaign donations, which seems to be what you're implying." And yes, the explanation as you laid it out defines the scandal perfectly, and yes, it is complicated, which works to the Repukes' advantage. But you know, two can play at that game; we can just as easily take advantage of the confusion inherent in this scandal. Fact is, "not a single Democrat took one dime from Jack Abramoff" is an effective counterpoint, because (a) it's true, and (2) Jack Abramoff is the name associated with the scandal.

        Something's happening here today -- a show of strength with your boys' brigade. Paul Weller

        by jamfan on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 02:12:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  my letter - (4.00)
    To Whom It May Concern:

    I was greatly saddened to hear one of my favorite morning show hosts doesn't have her facts straight regarding the Abramoff scandal.  Not a single Democrat received money directly from Jack Abramoff.    

    Before speaking with DNC Chairman Howard Dean, Ms. Couric should have done some background work.  Dean has previously stated (when on Wolf Blitzer's show) that, "There are no Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, not one, not one single Democrat. Every person named in this scandal is a Republican. Every person under investigation is a Republican. Every person indicted is a Republican. This is a Republican finance scandal. There is no evidence that Jack Abramoff ever gave any Democrat any money. And we've looked through all of those FEC reports to make sure that's true." http://transcripts.cnn.com/...

    While it's true that I don't know if Republican Jack Abramoff directed his clients to give to Democrats, it is easy to explain why, but ultimately irrelevant.

    The easy explanation is that his clients wanted to give to Democrats, and it just providing cover for his real intent, which was to redirect a net increase of money to Republicans, and into his illegal schemes.  You can check the records on that one -- Donations from Abramoff's clients to Republicans & Democrats alike did increase, but donations to the Republicans increased by a greater percentage.  

    It's irrelevant because it wasn't Jack Abramoff's money, the tribes were his victims, and there's no evidence any of those donations were illegal or ethically tainted, or that the Democrats did or should have had any reason to think they were tainted donations.

    I look forward to a correction by Ms. Couric on Today.  

    Thank you for your attention to this matter,
    **me**
    Ypsilanti, MI

    ----------------
    Full disclosure:  I stole (& slightly edited) some of the language from this diary by DHinMI....And I totally lied about Katie C. being one of my favorite morning show hosts.  I don't watch morning shows at all.

    "So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy." ~Roger Baldwin

    by spyral on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:12:15 AM PST

    •  NBC's canned response -- w/contact phone # ! (4.00)
      (First of all, let me just say their response was horribly formatted.  I fixed all the spacing weirdness...)

      Thank you for contacting TODAY with Katie Couric and Matt Lauer.

      We receive hundreds of E-mail messages a day, and while we read them all, we might not be able to reply to each one directly.  We do want you to know that we appreciate the mail you have sent and the comments you are making about our show.  We created this automated response to answer many of the frequently-asked-questions as quickly as possible.  We will try to answer all other questions directly when we can.
           For immediate help you can always call us at (212) 664-4249.
            For information regarding the WEEKEND TODAY show, please call (212)664-2937.
      _______________
      Here are some items for which you may want information:  

      WEB SITE:  A lot of information about our show can now be accessed through our Web site. Point your browser to: http://www.today.msnbc.com.
      You'll find recent story information, guest listings, bios, multimedia features and much more.

      ADDRESS: Katie, Matt, and other Today show correspondents are not online yet
      For any requests or comments, you can write to them at:  30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

      [...snipped the rest of the info, not relevant...] (my emphasis)

      "So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy." ~Roger Baldwin

      by spyral on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:22:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perspective (none)
    Let me preface my comment here by noting that I wrote NBC with a poison letter about today's interview.  Thanks for the heads up.

    Anyway, before we throw her to the dogs, recall that this is the woman he took Bush I to task over Iran-Gate during a White House tour.

    She is a journalist turned celebrity.  She doesn't have time to do her own research, and so she relies on memes and poorly collected crap from NYU interns.

    That is her fault.

  •  my letter... (4.00)
    I am disappointed that the Today Show has stooped to parrot Republican scripts defending the corruption that is endemic to their party.  Mr. Abramoff was a Republican operative and an avowed conservative.  He bought and sold Republican influence; the "K Street Project" that he was a part of was designed to close off lobbyists' relationships to Democrats and consolidate lobbying to Republicans only.  

    While some of his clients had donated money to Democrats legally in the past, he did his best to discourage any money to Democrats, who had no real power to control legislation anyway.  If he had, as the Republicans would like us to believe, "directed" money intentionally to Democrats, he would be working at cross-purposes to his own stated objectives.  The records show that the clients' donations to Democrats DECREASED while he worked for them.  Furthermore, there is no evidence that any money given to Democrats from the Indian tribes illegally influenced any legislative action.

    WHY is it that I have to explain the news to so-called newscasters?  Isn't it YOUR job to research and report the truth?  Please ask Ms. Couric to correct this mistake on the air.  Your program is too influential to perpetuate these intentionally misleading GOP talking points.  The public deserves the truth, which is that this is a Republican scandal exclusively.  The Republicans are attempting to hide behind Democrats to avoid their accountability to the American people.  

    I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

    by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:16:43 AM PST

  •  She's a right-wing militant stooge! (none)
    She interviews repugs and interogates Dems. In 2004 she would ask Bush something like, "How has your faith guided you during these trying times?". She would interupt Kerry during his "interview" to express her disbelief in what he had to say with, Are you telling me...?". GE owns NBC. They've made BILLIONS off of the war. She toes the line for them. It's just that simple. Do what I do. Don't watch it.

    And it is "We the people" who must now find once again the ability we once had to play an integral role in saving our Constitution. - Al Gore

    by kitebro on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:16:52 AM PST

  •  The Today Show (none)
    While extracting myself farther from the MSM I imagine seeing fear on the faces of those presenting these "news" pieces. I cannot watch any morning news broadcast without(possibly?) seeing a self-loathing grimace of personal betrayal as the underlying "game face" of these on air jounalists. This might be my own fiction but the lack of exciting and name making news stories being shown and or produced is in an inverse relationship to the groundbreaking stories that seem available. Why? Dan Rathers career ending story on the President? Does our wish for Katie Couric to be brave and speak the truth, trump her need for security. Those that have spoken out are not being led to the top of the mountain: Rather, Moyers, Amapour, etc. The question is how do we Kossaks help the Katie Couric's of America stand for a more critical truth?

    "Like Mohammad it's the truth." Pearl Jam

    by realalaric on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:23:57 AM PST

  •  She is a right wing cheerleader. (4.00)
    Here is my good deed of artistic satire for the day...enjoy:

  •  My email -- be sure to send yours! (4.00)
    On this morning's Today show, Katie Couric stated that Jack Abramoff had given money to Democrats.  This is not true.  Nor is it true that Mr. Abramoff had directed any of this clients to give money to Democrats, while there is evidence that Mr. Abramoff directed his clients to donate money to Republicans.  In fact, those clients (victims) of Mr. Abramoff whom he defrauded, Indian tribes, significantly DECREASED their contributions to Democrats after hiring him as a lobbyist.

    Unless NBC and Ms. Couric have any evidence that Mr. Abramoff directed or influenced his clients to donate money to Democrats, the statement that she made is unacceptable.

    Please have Ms. Couric make a public correction of these deliberately misleading statements and stop putting Republican talking points into your show as unbiased news.

    It's far better to uphold the Constitution and burn the flag than it is to hold up the flag and burn the Constitution.

    by beemer on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:24:29 AM PST

  •  Wrong email address? (none)
    The Today Show address you posted above isn't going through. If this address is incorrect, please give us the right one. It's a little hard to write them with the wrong address.
    •  Go to MSNBC website and scroll to the (none)
      bottom where it says Contact Us.  It gives links to all the e-mail addresses for every show. I write them on a daily basis and have the Contact MSNBC website bookmarked.  
      •  Uh, yeah-- (none)
        Since you have the address yourself, wouldn't it have been just as easy to post it in your response? I've already spent 15 minutes of a busy morning trying to navigate Micro-Empire's byzantine webways to find the damn thing. That's far too much time to spend on contacting a secretary for a pretty talking head who will in all likelihood neither retract nor apologize for anything she's lied about.

        Note to the poster of this diary: in the future, take the time to make it easy for your readers to carry out your suggestions.

    •  Email and snail mail (4.00)
      from the "How we doing - Send your comments to" part of the site: http://www.msnbc.com/...

      How do I contact NBC News or MSNBC TV?
             To reach the producers, anchors and correspondents of NBC News via e-mail, click on a show from the list below.
             Today
             Weekend Today
             Nightly News with Brian Williams
             Dateline NBC
             Meet the Press
             MSNBC TV.

             You can also mail a letter to:
             NBC News
             30 Rockefeller Plaza
             New York, N.Y. 10112

      When I clicked on "Today" I got:
      Today@NBC.com  
      as an email address.

      So I'm sending mine again to this address to be sure.

      I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

      by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:41:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Correct email: This time I got a response (4.00)
        so the previous email (in the diary) MUST be wrong.  Please resend your messages to
        Today@NBC.com  !!!!!!!!!

        This is the info that was in the canned response:

        Thank you for contacting TODAY with Katie Couric and Matt Lauer.

        We receive hundreds of E-mail messages a day, and while we read them all, we might not be able to reply to each one directly.  We do want you to know that we appreciate the mail you have sent and the comments you are making about our show.  We created this automated response to answer many of the frequently-asked-questions as quickly as possible.  We will try to answer all other questions directly when we can. For immediate help you can always call us at (212) 664-4249.
              For information regarding the WEEKEND TODAY show, please call (212) 664-2937.
              _______________
              Here are some items for which you may want information:

              WEB SITE:  A lot of information about our show can now be accessed through our Web site. Point your browser to:
                http://www.today.msnbc.com.

              You'll find recent story information, guest listings, bios, multimedia features and much more.

              ADDRESS: Katie, Matt, and other Today show correspondents are not online yet. For any requests or comments, you can write to them at:
                30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

              STORY IDEAS: Please send story ideas to Don Nash, Supervising Producer, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Rm. 374E, New York, NY 10112.

              If your story idea is accepted we will notify you. We do not have a general fax number.

              TRANSCRIPTS:  Contact Burrelle's Transcript Service by calling: (800) 777-TEXT. Burrelle's is not affiliated with NBC NEWS, but their Web address is:  http://www.burrelles.com/

              VIDEOTAPES: TODAY videotapes are available for purchase through NBC News archives (212) 664-6213.
                Mail written requests to NBC News Archives, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Rm 327W,
                New York, NY 10112. There is a minimum charge of $150.00 for up to five minutes of tape. Please include the date, subject and any other information that might help with your request. Once your letter is received, you will be sent an agreement form. Once the form is signed and returned to NBC with payment, your request will be filled.

              WILLARD SCOTT BIRTHDAY AND ANNIVERSARY ANNOUNCEMENTS: If someone you love is celebrating his or her l00th birthday or a 75th anniversary and over, Willard will try his best to announce it on TODAY.

              Please send us the following information in writing 3-4 weeks in advance.  Our system is not set up as yet to receive this information via E-mail: We need their full name and address, their birthday, age, and something personal about them.  Please be sure to include your daytime telephone number so that we can confirm the date it will air. Willard receives hundreds of requests and it is only possible for him to announce twelve each week, but he sends congratulatory notes to all those he isn't able to announce. Last, but not least, please include a photograph. It can be color or black and white of any size, but unfortunately it will NOT be returned to you, so make a copy.

              Send all of the above to: Willard Scott, TODAY RM 390S, NBC News, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112  

              VISITING THE SHOW: Anyone and everyone is invited to come out to the studio each morning at Rockefeller Plaza and 49th Street. Remember our show is live from 7 to 9am each weekday morning.

              Thanks,

              The staff of TODAY
                For more information, visit our Web site at: http://www.today.msnbc.com

        I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

        by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:50:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  CAROLYN, PLEASE UPDATE!!! (none)
      your diary with this email address:

      Today@NBC.com or

      When I sent a message to TodayShowViewerMail@NBC.com
      as directed in the diary, I did not receive a robo-response back.

      When I sent again to
      Today@NBC.com
      I did get an automated response (even though your address was included in brackets on the response).

      I would just hate for all the attention on the DKos recommended list and all those letters to Today might be wasted if they are falling into an incorrect address.  PLEASE CORRECT so that people will be assured of getting through!

      I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

      by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:04:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (none)
        Just revised the diary.  The first address noted worked for me.  (I got an acknowledgement from them.)  Anyway, I posted the newer addresses plus the phone number.  Sorry for the confusion.  I want this effort to succeed so needless to say, I was upset the first address is no longer working.
  •  On Katie (none)
    I emailed the today show this a.m.
    I don't watch the show but found the video on the msnbc/today site.
    go for it and write and ask for FACTS.
    do we still use facts anymore?
  •  These letters should include a statement (none)
    that explains why you do not watch their show anymore.
  •  Here's why progressives can't break through (none)
    This analysis lays it out nice and clear.

    Right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. -- MLK

    by nailmaker on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:33:59 AM PST

  •  ole katie is not the sweet, nice little thing (none)
    that some think she is. i consider her vapid, ignorant and not that great. paula zahn anyone?
  •  letter to today show (4.00)
    Here's the letter I just sent:

    In Ms. Couric's interview with Howard Dean, she repeatedly and incorrectly stated that Jack Abramoff gave money to Democrats as well as Republicans. Howard Dean tried to correct her, noting that Federal Election Commission records prove that Abramoff gave money ONLY to Republicans. She told viewers that the show's staff would look into it and get back to viewers. This is another example of the right-wing bias of corporate media. So, keep her promise, check the facts and then make a statement on the show that clearly states that Ms. Couric was wrong, and that Abramoff gave only to Republicans.

    And in the future, try to get the facts straight instead of repeating Republican talking points. Media should strive for accuracy, not a misguided notion of "balance" that simply throws the opponent's spin at an interviewee. Sometimes one side really is lying.

    So, this is how you make a signature.

    by nycdemocrat on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:42:04 AM PST

  •  Oh Well... (none)
    ...Did you really expect "fair and balanced" from a person whose analysis of the war in Iraq is "Navy SEALS Rock"?
  •  Katie vs. Chris Matthews (none)
    Katie is far more dangerous -- with her perky smile and 'good-nature'.... she is far more insidious than that blowhard Chris Matthews.

    I think instead of writing individual letters to NBC/Today Show that we should itemize all of her outrageous lies and distortions as we have seen done with Chris Matthews on many a blog of late, and PUT AN END TO HER RADICAL EVIL AGENDA.

    LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

    by letsfight on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:45:36 AM PST

  •  No Doubt That GE Is Running The Network (4.00)
    Let's face it folks, General Electric is running and controlling the NBC network, and that includes both NBC and MSNBC.  

    Does anyone have any earthly idea how many billions of dollars GE is making as the direct result of this Bush Crime Syndicate?  Look at every segment of GE's business and they are selling hundreds of millions of dollars to the Government --  everything from light bulbs and electrical construction material to jet engines and nuclear reactors.

    GE has a solid vested interest in the Republican party and their pro-business and pro-war policies.

    Does anyone remember who was in the studio the night that Al Gore beat George Bush and personally to Russet to go with the prediction that Bush would win?  Yes, none other than the the Chairman of GE, Jack Welch.  And who is running GE now?  Jack Welch's hand-picked successor, Jeff Immelt.

    Make no mistake about it, General Electric is calling the shots at NBC and if Tweetie, Timmie, and Katie, as well as any of the others, want to keep their multi-million-dollar-a-year jobs the will continue to do exactly what they are doing.

  •  My E-Mail (4.00)
    Greetings.

    On this morning's Today Show, Katie Couric promised that the show would look into the record of the Abramoff contributions.  The record will reveal that Abramoff personally did not give money to the Democrats.  It also will reveal that Abramoff's firm did not give money to the Democrat.  Not one dime.  Not one penny.  

    Deborah Howell, the ombudsman for The Washington Post, made the same mistake that Ms. Couric made, and she has retracted her error:

    As Ms. Howell observed:

    That column praised The Post for breaking the story on lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dealings, for which he has pleaded guilty to several felony counts . . . . I wrote that he gave campaign money to both parties and their members of Congress. He didn't. I should have said he directed his client Indian tribes to make campaign contributions to members of Congress from both parties.

    And in fairness, I think we may ask whether Indian tribes are now to be constituted as agents of Jack Abramoff.  A full exposition of this matter is in the interest of the republic.  Please set the record right.

    Best regards,

    <DCDemocrat>
    Washington, D.C.

    Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

    by DCDemocrat on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:46:46 AM PST

  •  Thank you so much (none)
    for posting the contact email address. In my busy life I am so happy when someone does this small favor. It makes it much more likely that I will really write since some of those contact addresses are buried so deeply at their sites.

    Incompetent, dishonest, and corrupt--it chants well

    by bently on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:49:49 AM PST

  •  NBC, MSNBC = GE-War Profiteering TV (none)
    We must make the connection very explicit between NBC/MSNBC's ownership being GE the defence contractor who is making a killing in Iraq and will continue making a killing in Bush and neocon plans for permanent war.

    "And you can dream--So dream out loud--And don't let the bastards grind you down." Bono, Acrobat, Achtung Baby

    by lecsmith on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:50:02 AM PST

  •  my letter (4.00)
    This morning host Katie Couric doubted Governor Dean's assertion that Democrats took no Abramoff money. She said she would look into it.

    My gosh! Has anyone ever heard of PREPARATION ? This is easy to look into, especially since Governor Dean has been saying this for weeks now. It's easy to check and confirm that Abramoff money went directly and only to Republicans. If you want to get into donations by clients, you will have to discuss the whole issue of donations to politicians and please be sure to mention that a recent study shows that Abramoff clients, after signing up with him, shifted the bulk of their donations at his recommendation from Democrats to Republicans.

    If Ms. Couric has other information, she should have brought that up with Governor Dean so he would have a chance to refute the charges.

    I am beginning to think that the only qualifications for being a talking head on television these days is the ability to parrot administration talking points. I have a friend with a parakeet who can do that quite well with a little training. I'm sure the bird would be available to replace Ms. Couric and your other hosts who don't seem interested in actually checking out facts.

    The parakeet would also work for birdfeed and be cuter.

    Please do have Ms. Couric do the research she should have done before her interview with Governor Dean and invite him back to discuss the matter again.

    Thank you.

  •  Open Letter to Katie Couric? (none)
    Maybe it would be too much of a good thing, but if Couric won't correct the record, maybe an Open Letter is in her future. Watch what the Today Show does next...
  •  VIDEO OF COURIC (none)
    It's available here: http://thinkprogress.org/...

    Carolyn, you may want to consider linking this up top so people will see it. It's even worse on video.  Couric is very indignant.

  •  Three words (none)
    Publicly owned airwaves.
  •  Email to NBC (4.00)
    Abramoff: Look into it AFTER the segment?

    Hey!  You are a NEWS organazation!  You are supposed to look into it before you make assertions on the air in front of millions of Americans.  Taking Rove's or the republican talking point's word for it does not constitute "looking into it".

    I hope you have the professionalism to issue a correction and an apology.

  •  My letter (none)
    for anybody who wants to use it:

    Dear Ms. Couric,

    The time comes in every modern "journalist's" career to look in the mirror and ask yourself:  "Am I an entertainer/pundit whose job is to stir up controversy (like the National Enquirer), even if based on untruths OR am I a journalist whose sole purpose is to find the truth."  Unfortunately, more "journalists" are tending toward the National Enquirer brand of "journalism."

    I am afraid that your show shaded far into the entertainment/pundit area today when it repeated a false rightwing talking point: that the Democrats received contributions from Abramoff.  As the rest of the truth/reality-based world knows, Abramoff did not give a red cent to the Democrats.  ALL of his contributions were to Republicans.  Although some of Abramoff's clients gave money to the Democrats, there has been no indication of any wrongdoing with respect to those funds.  In fact, most of Abramoff's clients gave LESS money to the Democrats than they had BEFORE Abramoff took them on as clients.

    You and your staff need to get your facts straight.  If you don't, your viewership will eventually suffer.  I am forwarding this e-mail to 50 of my friends and asking them to forward it to 10 of their friends each.  You can do the math.  The bottomline is that simply parroting rightwing talking points will not longer be tolerated.  You need to remembe that at least 50% of this country is made up of "liberals" -- all we want is the truth.  If we don't get it, you will suffer in the long run.

    Thank  you for your attention to this issue.

  •  Did Katie Couric take money from Abramoff? (4.00)
    that was my "re" on my letter. Thanks for this diary. As someone else said, Katie is more dangerous than Chris Matthews because people "believe" her.

    I told them I would no longer watch their show if they're going to lie to the American people.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

    by Dunbar on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:04:44 AM PST

  •  CAROLYN, PLEASE UPDATE!!! (none)
    Please update your diary with this email address:

    Today@NBC.com or

    When I sent a message to TodayShowViewerMail@NBC.com
    as directed in the diary, I did not receive a robo-response back.

    When I sent again to
    Today@NBC.com
    I did get an automated response (even though your address was included in brackets on the response).

    I would just hate for all the attention on the DKos recommended list and all those letters to Today might be wasted if they are falling into an incorrect address.  PLEASE CORRECT so that people will be assured of getting through!

    Also, the phone number is:
    (212) 664-4249.

    I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

    by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:10:32 AM PST

  •  Stand up and shout, or at least whimper ! (none)
    Madam, Sir,

    I am somewhat confused by Katie Couric's insistence that Democrats have taken Abramoff money, and are therefore tainted by this growing scandal.  I am not so innocent as to believe that the Democrats are particularly honest, but I think that someone as influential as Ms Couric should know all the facts before sharing biased views with her large and trusting audience.  The facts are Abramoff NEVER gave a dime to the democrats (not that they wouldn't have accepted if he had offered), and although he instructed his clients to do so from time to time, the amounts given to democrats are dwarfed by what was given to republicans.  

    This is a republican scandal, first and foremost, a terrible window into the workings of Washington in general second, but in no way indicative of Democratic Party taint by this particular scandal.  

    Ms Couric promised to look into this and share the outcome of her investigations with the Today show viewers.  I look forward to that segment.  It would only be fair that the Today show addresses the issues as they were argued during the interview, and does not go off into tangents of taint, which covers Washington as a whole.

    Regards,

  •  Facts? What need have we of facts? (none)
    These stupid "morning shows" are not about facts, they`re about people sitting around drinking coffee on couches and preaching propaganda.  At least, that`s how it seems based on FOX and Friends and the others I`ve seen.  If not straight Rethuglican propaganda, then at least blind chauvenistic generic US propaganda.

    I got Katie Couric`s coffee right here:
    http://img81.imageshack.us/...

    "Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization." - Eugene Debs

    by Smyslov on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:13:20 AM PST

  •  I just sent this to the address you provided: (none)
    Katie Couric, like so many in the media, is being what can only be seen as deliberately obtuse concerning Abramoff giving.

    Some of the groups Abramoff advised did give to Democrats.  But so what?  They had given to Democrats before (a higher percentage, it turns out, than when Abramoff advised them) and they did it legally.  That's never been under question or under dispute.  That's also not corrupt (though the laws do need changing, no politician can be chastised for accepting legal donations).

    What is in question is convicted-felon Abramoff's personal giving, not what he advised others to give.  By conflating the two, Couric gives a biased and dishonest view of the situation.  Even Abramoff's legal donations need to be scrutinized for the simple fact that he is a felon.  The groups he advised have not been accused of impropriety or felonious activity; the situation is not comparable.

    Yet Couric and others in the media continue to try to make it comparable.  Why?

    We can only surmise that it is because they are either corrupt themselves (or beholden to the right) or are so scared of the Republicans that they don't dare accuse them alone--even when it is clear that the fault--in this case--is solely that of Republicans.

    Corrupt or timid--which is it?

  •  My letter (none)
    Dear Sirs,

    Ms. Couric was obviously very unprepared for her interview
    with Mr. Dean this morning. Here are a couple of links for
    her to review, about Mr. Abramoff and the K Street Project:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Here is an overview of Mr. Abramoff's career:
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/...

    As you can see, Mr. Abramoff has been involved with the
    Republican Party for a long time, and was part of it's plan
    to freeze Democrats out of lobbying jobs via the K Street Project.

    While several of Mr. Abramoff's clients continued to give
    money to Democrats in reduced amounts, any such
    giving is dwarfed by the legal and illegal giving to Republicans
    and to the many charities other non-profits set up by
    Mr. Abramoff, Mr. Delay and others.

    Please research this subject more deeply and let us know
    what you find.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

    by bewert on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:25:05 AM PST

  •  My email to Today and the ombudsman (none)
    If Ms. Couric has evidence that Jack Abramoff gave money to Democrats it's big, big news---- let's see it.  If you have no evidence, then apologize for misleading your viewers and stop slandering my party.
  •  My email (4.00)
    Dear Sirs,

    I was surprised and disappointed to hear Katie Couric, a journalist whom I greatly respect, showing a considerable degree of ignorance this morning on a matter of great importance to our nation.  It is simply NOT TRUE that Democratic officials have been part of Jack Abramoff's corruption ring, and yet there was Katie conducting an interview with a major figure in the Democratic party, Howard Dean, and adamantly insisting that they have!

    Katie then says NBC will have to look into Howard Dean's assertion that no Democrats were involved.  Had you not "looked into it" BEFORE she did this interview?  Does NBC see no need to arm itself with the facts BEFORE presenting news journalism to millions of viewers?

    I'm afraid Katie looked idiotically uninformed this morning and I look forward to her follow-up interview with Howard Dean in which she acknowledges the truth of his statements, instead of simply presenting Republican party politics as if they're the facts and then getting testy when it becomes apparent that a journalist of her reputation and salary just hasn't researched the story.  NBC cannot maintain its reputation for quality news journalism by uncritically regurgitating RNC talking points.

    As a regular viewer, I was shocked to see this lapse of journalistic oversight by NBC.  Please do better.

    Yours, etc.

    •  not to be picky but (none)
      Couric is NOT a journalist. She is a talking head. She covers no stories, just does interviews. So let's be clear. It's one of the reasons that I was appalled to think that they might give her the CBS News gig.
  •  pressure (none)
    keep the pressure on these bastards. every day do something to force them to be more truthful.
     
  •  Remember the Parade (none)
    They see what they want to see.  And they watch the re-runs if they like the past better.

    They simply ignore what is happening and go with pretending.

    google

    Couric 2005 accident Macy's M&M balloon Thanksgiving day Parade

  •  My email (none)
    Here's my shot, trying to balance the FACTS--

    ............................

    I have never written before but I was appalled watching Katie Couric's "interview" with Howard Dean on "Today's" program.  The more I thought about it, the angrier I became.  Ms. Couric kept repeating the false statement that Democrat's took money from Jack Abramoff even after Mr. Dean tried to correct her.  Why can't your staff do its research and keep your "journalists" from repeating lies?  This has come up on other programs as well and I checked the FEC website (anyone can do so).  I learned that Jack Abramoff has never given a nickel to a Democrat.  How then is it possible, as Ms. Couric asserted, that Democrats took ANY money from Jack Abramoff?  I have done some further checking and it seems that SOME of Abramoff's clients either did or have in the past given to SOME  Democrats, but I have seen no evidence that any of these contributions were at Mr. Abramoff's request or direction.  I would certainly like to see some evidence if that was the case.  So, at best, Ms. Couric "reported" in a false light by attributing donations from clients as "Jack Abramoff's money."  I wonder if the Indian tribes he swindled like to think of themselves as Jack's "agents?"  Now THAT might be a story!

    The TRUTH (remember that?  democracy relies upon journalists to report truthfully.  or have we slid into Soviet Pravda and North Korean style journalism?) is that Ms. Couric spread a lie, repeating this falsehood several times.  I must wonder WHY?  Has she been directed to do so?  If there is ANY integrity in your network's news department, you will correct this error at every opportunity and try to do some research BEFORE spreading such false and misleading allegations.

    Angrily,

    When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

    by foolrex on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:37:55 AM PST

  •  transcript (none)
    Didn't see this anywhere upthread, so...

    <div class="blockquote">
    COURIC: Hey, wait a second. Democrats took -- Democrats took money from Abramoff too, Mr. Dean.

    DEAN: That is absolutely false. That did not happen. Not one dime of money from Jack Abramoff went to any Democrat at any time.

    COURIC: Let me just tell you -- According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Abramoff and his associates gave $3 million to Republicans and $1.5 million to Democrats, including Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid.

    DEAN: Not one dime of Jack Abramoff money ever went to any Democrat. We can show you the FEC reports, we'd be very happy to do it. There's a lot of stuff in the press that the Republican National Committee's been spinning that this is a bipartisan scandal. It is a Republican-financed scandal. Not one dime of money from Jack Abramoff ever went to any Democrat, not one dime.

    COURIC: Well, we'll obviously have to look into that and clarify that for our viewers at a later date. Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Mr. Dean, Governor Dean, thanks so much for talking with us.

    DEAN: Thanks very much.
    </div>

    "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

    by CaptUnderpants on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:38:39 AM PST

  •  Please check the nbc email you posted (none)
    because it didn't work for me.  I tried to send the following:

    How DARE you allow Katie Couric to keep repeating the ALREADY DISCREDITED  Republican talking point which incorrectly states that Democrats accepted donations from Jack Abramoff.  THE FACTS ARE, AS HOWARD DEAN HAS STATED MANY TIMES BEFORE, THAT NOT ONE DEMOCRAT HAS ACCEPTED SUCH A DONATION.

    Katie Couric obviously is either a very, very poor reporter, or is a liar.  Either way, you owe an apology/correction to your viewers.  Why don't you just change your name to FOX NEWS and be done with it.  

    •  Diary email is wrong! (none)
      should be: Today@NBC.com

      Please update the diary!!!!!!

      I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

      by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:58:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It took 412 comments (none)
        before someone realized the email address was wrong?  So what were all you posters doing???  Obviously, NOT sending the email which was the whole purpose of the diary.  Makes me wonder sometimes.  

        Thanks for the correction.

        •  I keep trying to get someone's attention (none)
          I'm sure the diary poster took the address in the diary from her return email if she used a contact from the NBC website.  But if you use that address, no return response is generated.

          You must use the email provided in the website, Today@NBC.com to get a response back!

          If you don't get a robo-response back, how do you know your email is being received???

          Doesn't anyone read the fucking comments?

          I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

          by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:49:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Something's fishy (none)
        The original email address worked for me (and perhaps, the others that posted upthread).  Don't know what to make of it.
        I was at the doctor's office getting my cholesteral and blood pressure checked (now in dangerously high range thanks to Bush & Co. -- just kidding) so I read these comments too long after posting.  I've corrected the problem.  Thank you.
  •  Link to Today Show Video (none)
    Katie Dean Video

    sorry if this a repeat...

    If they hate us for our freedom, they must really love us now!

    by FakeNews on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:48:00 AM PST

  •  Katie Couric (none)
    I have only been watching the "Today Show" for a few months now. So, I can't compare Couric's interviewing over the years to what has been happening over the last few months, but what I have seen is so obviously biased.  

    Is she on the White House payroll?

    I saw her "reporting" on the Alito nomination and was moved to write the show for what was obvious GOP spin.

     

  •  My Letter (4.00)
    You know, I am upset.
    Not because I want there to be a liberal bias in the media instead of a right wing one; but because I want the news presentation to have 2 things:

    1.  Research
    2.  Objectivity

    The truth has no politics. You first asserted that Democrats were taking money from Abramoff.  This has been debunked.  Then you get mad, like somehow he's lying.  Then, when Dean asserts again that dems didn't take money you say something like "We'll look into it".  What!?  You acted like you knew!

    You're acting like you know something and then can't back it up.  Is that what a reporter does?  I'm confused.

    You've been around long enough that somehow I can't believe you are lazy and stupid enough to fall for this?
    So, how much are they paying you?

  •  DOES ANYBODY REMEMBER WHEN ... (4.00)
    Dan Rather of CBS received all that flak from taking on then Vice President Bush Sr. regarding his role in Iran Contra? Conservatives referred to that as a seminal moment for Bush in the '88 campaign about he how he hit back against alleged liberal media bias (Rather was simply doing his job). Well now we have real ideological bias in the media and that was illustrated again this morning. Couric was clearing laying in the high weeds after Wolf Blitzer's experience with Dean. I'm surprised at how flummoxed she truly was and how little she learned from Blitzer's experience. Dean is not mealy mouthed. He knows what he means and means what he says. As a Presidential candidate that hurt him some because in that role one needs to have the fist in the velvet glove. As head of the DNC he is a terrific advocate for the Democratic Party because blunt talk is better served in his current role. The Democrats have all all kinds of problems because too many are resistant to Dean's methods. Dean is on the right track both in building up the state parties and his aggressive take no prisoners performances on the airways. Thank you Howard Dean.

    Intrepid Liberal Journal

  •  I wrote the Today Show Here's what I said (none)
    Get Your Facts Straight

    This morning Katie Couric interviewed Howard Dean, and repeated the false Republican talking points that both Republicans and Democrats are implicated in the Jack Abramoff scandal.  This simply is not the case.

    Please research the facts on this, and get the real story out to the American people.  

    I believe what you will find is that Democrats are not implicated in the Abramoff scandal in any way.   Jack Abramoff is a partisan Republican who channelled all his contributions to Republicans -- including illegally siphoning off charitable contributions to right-wing PACs.  The tribes made legal contributions to Democrats -- contributions that they have every right to make, and had been making for years before Jack Abramoff appeared on the scene.  In actual  fact, due to Abramoff's influence peddling, these tribes markedly decreased contributions to Democrats.  Republican talking points are an attempt to muddy instead of clarify the matter.

    By echoing them in your questioning without acknowleding their source and potential bias, you contribute to the misinforming of the American people.  This story deserves better than the typical "He said", "She said" reporting that passes for radio and television journalism these days.  In this case, there are facts to be chased down.

    The facts are that Republicans are indicted for breaking the law.  Democrats are not.  Republicans would like to mask this reality from the public, so they are blowing smoke, and you are helping them.  

    Please quit buying into fantasies that have nothing to do with the truth, and everything to do with hiding it.  

    You are on the verge of losing all credibility with about half of the American population.  My guess is this is a bad move for the corporate bottom line.  Republicans currently hold the strings of political power, but purchasing power is more widely distributed.  

    I believe in democracy, and think that trends in our country's national media are putting us perilously close to losing it.  

    I'm currently selling old Newsweek magazines from my mothers' house, and as a result I just read through about 20 issues of 1970 Look Magazines.  This was a standard weekly news and general interest magazine that was on every newstand.  There is no comparable publication available today.  

    If you haven't done so lately, go to the library, and read through 5 or 6  old issues of Look.  Then reflect on what is missing in contemporary journalism, and what NBC and the  Today show can do to stand in the gap.  

    Believe me what Katie Couric did in her interview with Howard Dean only widened it and puts you as a news source closer to being completely obsolete.

  •  WRONG EMAIL IN DIARY (none)
    Today@NBC.com

    Today@NBC.com

    Today@NBC.com

    Today@NBC.com

    Today@NBC.com

    Today@NBC.com

    This one garners a robo-response.  One in diary does not.  DON'T WASTE YOUR EMAILS to the WRONG address!

    I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

    by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:00:17 AM PST

  •  Here is my letter (4.00)
    Dear Ms. Couric:

    I have watched the Today show for over 15 years, but will not do so any longer.  After watching your hostile and ignorant confrontation with Howard Dean, I am both angry and dismayed with you.  As a reporter, you should have been able to do your homework on this one, but instead you  chose to perpetuate a lie.  This right wing propaganda you are spreading is doing a disservice to the media and the viewers.  As we all know you cannot un-ring a bell once you throw out lies and smears, it is difficult to correct this.  Shame on you, shame on NBC, I will no longer watch Today and when I am at the gym  or in other public places where the Today show is viewed , I will make sure I turn the station, so no one else has to listen to your false accusations.

    Sincerely,
    Sandy Lusk

  •  Here's my contribution (none)
    Re: Katie Couric's interview with Howard Dean

    I was deeply disappointed this morning to see Katie Couric harangue Howard Dean regarding the Abramoff scandal, using outdated, and already disproven allegations.

    Perhaps Ms. Couric should keep more abreast of current events; recently, Deborah Howell, the ombudsman for the Washington Post, was forced to issue a retraction wherein she stated that Jack Abramoff never donated money to Democrats or the Democratic Party.  Ms. Howell obviously did some homework, albeit after the fact; Ms. Couric should have thought to do the same before her interview, instead of embarrassing herself, maligning the Democratic Party, insulting Dr. Dean, and acting as a mouthpiece for the Republican spin machine.

    Ms. Couric stated that there would be further research done on the subject; I encourage her in this endeavor, and when - as Ms. Howell discovered in short order - she sees that the Abramoff scandal is a wholly Republican disgrace, she will have the integrity to issue an on-air retraction of her comments, as well as an apology to Dr. Dean and the Democratic Party.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    "'Tis the time's plague when madmen lead the blind." KING LEAR

    by Iwanna B French on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:04:52 AM PST

  •  my letter (4.00)
    I never write into shows, it always seemed futile.  But after reading BriVT's front-paged diary "we're winning the struggle," and then immediately finding out about this incident, I felt like I was called upon.  Anyway, here's my relatively tame letter:

    Hello,

    I don't usually write in to television shows, but in this case I have to make a complaint.  I was very dissapointed with Katie Couric's false assertion that Democrats had taken money from Jack Abramoff.  Dean correctly pointed out that there was no evidence of that at all.  Couric then inaccurately contradicted him again, eventually saying something like "well, we'll have to look into that."  Perhaps the Today Show could look into these matters before interviewing their guests.

    Couric has earned the repect and trust of her viewers, which makes it all the more important that she gets the story right.  As you must be aware, the Republicans have an interest in promoting the idea that this is a "bipartisan scandal," and they are doing everything in their power to spread that idea.  But at this point there is no evidence of corruption in the Democratic Party.  If it turns out that a Democrat has taken these bribes, then by all means put them through the ringer.  But until then, let's stick to the facts.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  •  Checked out CRP (none)
    and for "all donors" the Democrats are included.  When you ask the site to show only Abramoff (and Scanlon) donations it is ONLY Repubs.  The media needs to realize that tribes giving money is not the same thing as Abramoff.  Many of the tribes have Democratic Senators (my state has 2) and probably some have Democratic Congress people also.  Katie didn't do her homework, check the site she mentioned and it reports FEC info.  Has she been asleep for two weeks?  Between Wolf Blitzer and the Howell crap on the Post site....
    •  Right (none)
      only if you sort the donations by "donor" can you see that neither abrahamoff or scanlon gave any moulah,

      The only indirect contribution from abrahamoff was through sun cruz, and $2500 donation to a dem FL congressman...hmm, a florida business giving legally to a FL congressman...

      I've killed people for less...

      by patsprouseyo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:17:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fight the misinformation (none)
    at every turn.

    Props to Dean for being a badass.

    "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by Five of Diamonds on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:11:03 AM PST

  •  Put blame where it belongs with the pugs.. (none)
    It has always been my impression that dems took money legal....Pugs took money illegally..To me, if dems or pugs took money illegally. clean house...I am going to e mail katie , because we have to keep them on their toes..They cannot slander dems any more. They have to tell the truth and stop blaming everything on dems when we have no control on the congress and white house.Put blame where it belongs with republicans....No More
  •  Thank you for this post. (3.50)
    "The corporate media and the major news networks have become incredibly biased, and no one except bloggers and certain liberal publications (The Nation is excellent) are speaking up about it."

    Exactly.  I've written to the Today Show this morning.  I've done this several times in the past and often wonder if any message gets through to these people.  I'm hoping that more and more people are writing, expressing dislike (outrage, at least for me) of the medias ever-growing bias and the lack of real news reporting.  It's the only way we can get them to change.

  •  Be respectful, but firm (none)
    TodayShowViewerMail@NBC.com

    The records show that Jack Abramoff and wife and kids gave lots of campaign donations, but not one dime of it went to Democrats or Democratic organizations.  And there is no evidence that Abramoff "directed" any of his clients (or "associates," or whatever) to give to Democrats.

    •  this email does not appear to work (none)
      try 'Today@NBC.com' which generates an auto response.  the one in the diary does not.

      why isn't anyone noting this in the diary?

      I'm afraid all these good letters to NBC will fall in the memory hole.

      I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

      by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:46:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  thanks for the heads up (none)
    just sent an Email off to Katie
  •  Really, I had no doubt (none)
    Dkos would be all over this.  I rarely watch the today show, but I turned over just in time to see the exchange about the Abramhoff debacle.

    Couric was damned insistent that this was a bi-partisan problem.  She couldn't even admit she had the wrong information.  Has she been living in a cave?  Does she honestly not know where her figures came from and what they represent?  This "misinformation" has been corrected time and time again.  If she's still using it, it's because it was intentional.

    She seem so surprised that Dean refuted her claim.  But take her down, Dean certainly did.  Man, that guy is impressive.

    When she tried to insinuate that the Democrats don't have a clear and coherent message, Dean looked straight into the camera and rattled off the 5 priorities that the Democrats stand for, off the top of his head, without a stutter, without a break, without an 'uh'.

    Dean was impressive.  Couric exposed herself as a mouthpiece.  She's no journalist.

  •  Maybe I wrote too much... (4.00)
    but here's what I sent:
    I don't normally watch the Today Show. But since Dr. Dean has appealed to me as  outspoken and independent-minded, I thought it might be interesting to see the interview.

    Boy, Katie, Dr. Dean did great. However, your own contributions to the conversation about the GOP albatross known as Jack Abramoff were less than what I'd expected with regards to a serious discussion on that particular issue.

    Since when is it Today Show policy to blame the victims? In this case, the Native American tribes, who are traditional contributors to Democratic legislators long before Abramoff ever arrived on the political scene, are the victims. Indeed, if you'd actually paid attention to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearings re: Abramoff's defrauding of the tribes, you'd have heard from a number of different people--all of whom testified that Abramoff and his cohort of fraudsters incrementally over-charged the tribes for reverse-engineered computer databases, non-existent offices, phone banks disguised as boxes of cell phones, and so many other items. But then, if your staff did some real research instead of going to the first talking points blog, you'd have that information at hand.

    There are a number of issues raised by this Abramoff situation:

    The first being that Abramoff defrauded Native American tribes and used the profits to help his 'side' and further solidify an established GOP powerbase.

    Another issue is the influence that some lobbyists have with regards to writing legislation. Our elders are currently pulling their hair out with the confusion of Medicare D, which is part and parcel of that Drug Benefit Plan that Congress forced through with unprecedented extended hour voting to make sure that it passed. Indeed, Rep. Delay was brought up on ethics violations for some of the arm twisting that went on behind the scenes.

    A third? So far we've had two mine disasters as a result of revised mine safety guidelines. This year, this has resulted in the deaths of 14 miners even though the federal agency had recommendations about returning those guidelines to their earlier strength 2 years ago. Those guidelines appeard as part of an after action report re: the PA mine disaster where the miners were rescued.

    Another showed up in an effort to provide more financial breaks to the oil companies, who told Sen. Stevens--under oath--that it was the job of  government to provide any assistance to Americans to aleviate the rocketing costs of heating oil this winter.

    Yet another relates to the mistreatment that our troops face due to various things including inappropriate body armor and bad water. Here is a  link related to the armor: link.
    And as you know, AP has reported on the water issue: link.

    In one way or another, the instances listed above are related to the lobbying efforts of special interest groups who seek to influence government action in favor of their profit margin over the common welfare of "We the People."

    That you have opted to buy an easy way out by trying to implicate rather than report is disappointing to me. Given the gravity of the situation, it seems to me that it behooves you to get accurate information to the public. The public deserves it...America deserves it. And it is your reponsibility, as the Today Show, to provide it.


    "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

    by kredwyn on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:27:49 AM PST

  •  My letter... (4.00)
    feel free to copy/paste, etc.

    Today Show,

    It pains me that I have to send yet another letter to a major news show because they got the facts wrong.  Katie Couric was not prepared for Howard Dean's response that the Democratic party did not, in fact, recieve any money from Abramoff.  

    Couric's statement was incorrect.  Indian tribes tied to Abramoff gave money to Democrats.  It is absolutely incorrect to say that Abramoff himself gave money to Democrats.  If my clients gave money to you, it does not follow that I gave the Today Show money.  As to the accusations that Abramoff "directed" money to Democrats, those that made the accusations are unable to prove it, thus challenging the statements' "newsworthiness."

    It is well-established that many politicians and political voices will create distortions out of whole cloth in order to save their particular political party or person from scandal.  This is one of those instances.  Even more disturbing is the complacency of many national news shows to air these lies, not properly vetting an issue before repeating falsehoods.  We saw this before the 2004 election and we saw this before the invasion of Iraq.  Those malicious voices that would lie depend on the news media's complacency to create an aura of "truthiness" to the lie.  Please, for the sake of just presentation of the facts, utilize the special place ascribed to the media in the Constitution and fact-check before smearing a party that represents millions and millions of Americans.

    I don't believe Couric lied, just that she was woefully misinformed.  It is absolutely essential that you correct this mistake so that public opinion does not convict the innocent Democratic party on this issue.  Finally, I urge you to demand a higher level of fact awareness out of your anchors.  

    Sincerely,

    Jason XXXXXX

    "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by Five of Diamonds on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:28:52 AM PST

  •  All of NBC Needs to Get the Message (none)
    A local NBC reporter, Scott Budman, feels free to just make up the news he thinks people want to hear. He splices clips from interviews with new questions.  NBC did nothing about my complaints, which suggests to me that they not only condone this practice, they are sponsoring and encouraging it.

    Believe NOTHING you see on NBC news. It's about as real as any Reality TV Show.

  •  WRONG EMAIL IN DIARY!!!! (none)
    wrong email in diary!  Hundreds of people sending comments to potentially the wrong email!  Why won't someone listen and UPDATE THE DAMN DIARY?

    Use: Today@NBC.com

    I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

    by marjo on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:51:28 AM PST

  •  My letter (none)
    I used to watch the Today Show all the time.  The alternatives are boring.  But in the last few years it has become a slanted show in terms of politics.

    I like that Katie is a tough interviewer but it seems she only is a tough interviewer on people she disagrees with and then may not have all the facts.  Her interview with Howard Dean is a case in point. Dr. Dean was absolutely right in his statements that Katie had trouble believing.

    Simple preparation, say be reading the conservative Bloomberg News, would have shown that not only did Abramoff not give a dime to Democrats but when he was defrauding the Indian tribes out of tens of millions of dollars he had them reduce the money they gave to Democrats.

    I hope next time Ms. Couric is better prepared.

    Followed by my name, address and phone number.  

  •  I am at work and cant get on this but (none)
    Hope one of you can.  Current Yahoo/Rueters article: Bush refuses to release scandal-lobbyist pictures.  While I like the title, it contains the following sentence:

    Abramoff and his clients contributed to both Republicans and Democrats but appeared to send more money to Bush's party.
     

    Please, someone set them straight, they are getting closer, but not quite there yet.

    Midwest Center for American Values - Progressive ideas in an easy to swallow pill.

    by ETinKC on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:58:57 AM PST

  •  My email (none)
    This morning on the Today Show, Ms. Couric interviewed Howard Dean. In the
    course of this interview, she mentioned groundless, unsupported allegations
    that Democrats were also involved with the Abramoff scandal.

    Mr. Dean corrected her, with the facts: not one Democrat is implicated in this
    scandal. Ms. Couric responded that she and her staff 'would have to look into
    that'.

    Good. Once they've looked into that, and found that Mr. Dean is correct, I
    expect that Ms. Couric will step forward with a public retraction and an
    apology. On the exact same venue and time slot in which she first presented
    this groundless, unsupported allegation.

    People make mistakes, which is understandable. But fixing mistakes requires
    accountability and correction. Especially when an entire company's business is
    supposed to be based on presenting facts.

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 10:12:22 AM PST

  •  My sweet-as-sugar e-mail to Katie (4.00)
    Now, Katie.  We expect better from you.

    Why on earth were you telling Howard Dean that Jack Abramoff was giving money to Democrats?  That's plain ridiculous.  Jack Abramoff's job was to funnel money and power to the Republicans in any way possible -- including through illegal means like money laundering.  That was his job.  It would be like someone accusing you of doing half of your Today Show episodes for CBS!  You work for NBC, and Jack Abramoff has always worked for the GOP.

    You were raised better than that.  You need to tell the truth — and you owe Howard Dean and the Democratic party an apology.  Right now.  Or you're going to start losing a lot of folks who've been watching you forever.

    Sincerely,
    Alvin K

  •  Devil's Advocate (none)
    Maybe this has been said, if so sorry.  Watching Katie, it seemed as if she was giving Dean the chance to set the record straight and say clearly that no Dems accepted money from Abramoff.  A factual follow up report will show this to be true.  It was clear that when Dean got heated, she backed down.  Maybe I am naive, but this should play to the Democrats favor in many ways!
  •  ah... the smell of revolution in Springtime! (none)
    But...(just as a side note)could have Dean asked her to ask him about it? Afterall, the MSM has been saying for weeks that its bypartisan, this was possibly his way of refreshing the public's memory and laying it at the rethugs feet. Again and again we must drive home that the RNC is corrupt and bad for the USA....This may be getting lost in the Alitio and NSA debates. Keep the American public focused.

    All I'm saying is it possibly could have been Dean's idea. (Actually not a bad one at that.)

  •  Katie Couric is a jackass (none)

    She's the one who said, right on the air, that George Bush:  "was a stud and that he "looked like a hotie" because he pranced around an aircraft carrier in a make-believe, dress-up pilot suit after murdering tens of thousands of innocent people in a dishonest military attack.

    A real stud would've captured Osama Bin Laden by now....

  •  Gosh, kids, why not use the actual FEC data?! (none)
    The data you need is right here:

    http://www.capitaleye.org/...

    Wait--no, it's not. These FEC records clearly show Democrats taking Abramhoff's money.

    Oh well.

  •  Yet another letter to the NBC ombudsman (none)
    I was extremely disappointed in the lack of preparation that Ms. Couric showed today in her interview with Howard Dean. She really should not attempt to conduct interviews without a little bit of background research. It wouldn't have taken much work. The Abramoff issue has been discussed and vetted intensively on all sorts of print and electronic media over the past few weeks. She was clearly wrong in indicating that Abramoff gave money to Democrats. There is a lot that we don't know for sure yet about the nature of Abramoff's "under-the-table" dealings, but what she stated as fact was just plain wrong. He gave no money to Democrats, as Dr. Dean correctly stated.  Can't someone in the research staff help prepare her better for these things? She was embarrassingly slow to realize that something was wrong with her basic grasp of this issue and came across sounding quite hostile, which I found quite offensive considering that she was the one who was misinformed. It would be nice if she could offer some sort of retraction or correction, on-air or off.

    I used to be a regular Today show viewer but I don't watch as frequently as I used to because it feels like there has been a marked decline in the quality of the reporting and interviewing. There used to be a good half hour of hard news and relevant interviews before the show descended into fluff. Now we can't even depend on the "hard" news to be accurate or perceptive.

    This latest incident confirms my impression. Given what's also happening with Hardball and Chris Matthews these days,  I seem to have even less reason to watch your network or its affiliates.

    Also, as a basic courtesy, the head of the DNC should have been addressed as Dr. Dean, not "Mr.".

    •  What Now, Watching FOX Isn't Research? (none)
      Give the girl a break, she's got a cute nose. And she knows how to binge on republican pablum and burge it back out on live TV. You expect her to be a journalist?

      9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

      by NewDirection on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 03:04:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In my email I referred to her as she is: (none)
        On-screen personality.  Problem is, you can only get by for just so long by being cute.

        Let me get this straight: My father fought in WWII so George Bush could eavesdrop on my phone calls?

        by EeDan on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 07:36:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Election campaign fund problems (none)
    The whole issue of Ms. Couric being uninformed would not be there if there was no question of whether campaign funds were legal or not.

    The real answer to this and similar situations is for ALL campaign funding to be public funds, not private contributions or private money.

  •  Copy of letter to Today (4.00)
    Ms. Couric alleged that Democrats took money from Mr. Abramoff without having any proof of a factual basis.  Why would she do that?  Do you just take Republican talking points as gospel without checking them?  Jack Abramoff was and is widely known to be a REPUBLICAN bagman who supported Republican, and wanted to demolish the Democratic party.  Why don't you clearly speak that truth and quit treating the repeated Republican scandals and convictions and influence peddling as being somehow bi-partisan.  You should be ashamed of yourselves.  I have watched this show damn near since its inception, and the show deserves you to make an on-air apology to Mr. Dean, and to specifically state that only Republicans have gotten money from Mr. Abramoff.  And, don't equivocate by saying that some of his clients may have given money to Democrats unless you can specifically prove that they commenced their support of Democrats at Mr. Abramoff's urging.

    Thank you for your time, I hope that you will pay a little more attention to facts and less attention to Republican talking points.

    Stephen Pettit
    Calistoga, California

    "I felt as if I alone of all my townsmen had paid my tax." Thoreau

    by NearlyNormal on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:02:59 AM PST

  •  My Letter (4.00)
    To whom it may concern,
    I learned this morning after reading a transcript and then watching the video that Katie Couric this morning, in her conversation with Governor Howard Dean, stated that "Democrats took -- Democrats took money from Abramoff too, Mr. Dean."  When Governor Dean denied that was the case, Katie responded by stating "According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Abramoff and his associates gave $3 million to Republicans and $1.5 million to Democrats, including Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid."  Governor Dean again insisted that Katie was wrong on the facts.  

    I have reviewed the materials available at the Center for Responsive Politics' web site and cannot find any support for this assertion.  Perhaps Ms. Couric was confused and believed that all money donated by Native American tribes to politicians was controlled by Abramoff.  This is plainly not the case, as these tribes have longstanding relationships, independent of Mr. Abramoff, with certain Democratic lawmakers.  For instance, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma gave extensively to Democrats in Oklahoma, including Brad Carson, which makes sense, as he is an enrolled tribal member of the Cherokee Nation.  

    NBC and Ms. Couric owe their viewers a clarification of the facts surrounding this case:

    1. No Democrat has received any money from either Jack Abramoff nor Michael Scanlon, although both have personally given generously to Republicans and raised large sums of money from others for Republican candidates.
    2. Some of the Native American tribes that were defrauded by Abramoff, Scanlon, and their associates had pre-existing relationships with some Democratic lawmakers and continued to contribute to those members of Congress.  However, there is no evidence that Messrs. Abramoff or Scanlon directed any contributions to Democratic lawmakers, candidates. or entities through their connections to the Native American tribes.  

    This clarification should be made by Ms. Couric at the same time of day that she made her incorrect statements so that the viewers who were misled by her statements hear her clarification.

    Sincerely,

  •  Update title (none)
    Please please update your title of the diary to something like "Today's Show Katie Couric slanders Dem's - EMAIL FIXED" so that people who have already sent out emails know that they sent it to the wrong address, and to get the correct one.  Otherwise they might not read down to the 400th comment here to see that the email addy was wrong or that you updated your diary.
  •  Voicemail (none)
    the today show's voicemail box is full! nice job!
    •  Trying to get through to the general Switchboard (none)
      I just tried to call, the mailbox is full.

      I suggest people keep trying to call and leave a message.
      The number is 212-664-4249 and for general comments press 4

      Any sugestions as to other numbers to call?

  •  Be sure to demand she apologize on air (none)
    when you contact the show.

    Like I'm like Katie Couric and I'm so prissy and mainstream and inoffensive and adorable like okay didn't like dems like take oh my god abramoff money like I'm so sure...

    Check out my lte archive at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tomletters and feel free to use my ideas for your own lte's.

    by DemDachshund on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:36:32 AM PST

  •  We really need to start calling these people (none)
      on their lies. Couric needs to be held accountable every time she opens her mouth. We need to be "on her case" all the time! She accused democrats of being part of theis scandal. She really needs to "put up or shut up!"
      There are how many millions of democrats in this country? She claims she has seen the proof? Like I said, "She needs to put up or shut up"!
  •  Email GE as well!!!! (none)
    I got this idea from Media Matters (www.mediamatters.org)

    Below is a web feedback form:

    https://www.ge.com/ge/feedback.htm

  •  My Letter to NBC (none)

    Dear Katie and Company,

    Although Dr. Dean set the record straight, it's important to realize a few things with this scandal:

    1.  * Democrats have not taken ANY money from Mr. Abramoff. *  

    Political donations are transparent, and the records prove this point.

    2.  * Abramoff directed clients his clients AWAY from donating to Democrats. *    

    Indian tribes like the Saginaw Chippewa gave 50/50 to Democrats and Republicans before becoming associated with Abramoff.  After he began representing them, the tribes donated a much larger percentage to Republicans than Democrats.  

    Please do the research and report conclusions that are supported by the facts.  Yes, Abramoff clients gave to both Republicans and Democrats, but Abramoff gave personally only to Republicans, and directed his clients AWAY from Democrats.  

    Thank you,
    Steven Dreyer

  •  Couric opened her big mouth! (none)
    She needs to be held to it! Make her prove it!
  •  my email to the Today Show (4.00)
    Katie Couric needs to set the record straight NOW.  Jack Abramoff gave no political conrtibutions to Democrats, he only gave political contributions to Republicans.  It is true that some of Abramoff's clients gave legal political contributions to some Democrats, but Abramoff's clients are not Abramoff.  

    As Howard Dean said:  

    Not one dime of money from Jack Abramoff went to any Democrat at any time.

    You do a great disservice to your viewers by reporting without even a basic understanding of the facts.  Perhaps it would be best if Couric just did celebrity interviews and fashion commentary, as she appears to have no journalistic integrity.  

    --------------------

    We need to flood their email boxes with this message all day long.

    Just because you're self-righteous doesn't mean you're not a hypocrite.

    by AMcG826 on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 12:02:54 PM PST

  •  My email to NBC (none)
    I am writing to complain about Katie Couric's ill-informed performance during her interview this morning with Howard Dean. It was, frankly, the last straw.  After 8 years of watching NBC's Today Show, I will no longer be watching your program. While I have grown impatient with the frequency with which your reporters (especially Katie Couric whom I once liked quite a good deal)repeat 'spin' promoted by the Republican National Committee, today's factual error was the last straw.

    In her interview with Howard Dean, Couric stated the following: "Democrats took money from Abramoff, too." This is factually wrong, as Dean pointed out. Indeed, while the Republicans have been trying to lead people to believe that Abramoff was involved in funnelling money to both parties, the K Street project, as you should well know, was specifically designed to cut Democrats out of the  money schemes and, indeed, of even their jobs as lobbyists. While it is true that some of the Indian Tribes that were Abramoff's CLIENTS continued to donate to Democrats (including Harry Reid) it is misleading to the point of untruth to say that "Democrats took money from Abramoff." They did not take one red cent from him; they were not involved in his illegal money laundering schemes, nor any of his bribery scams. The Abramoff scandal is, categorically, a GOP scandal. He was a GOP lobbyist, siphoning privleges and money to his GOP buddies. To state otherwise is simply factually wrong. Indeed, to even imply otherwise without evidence (as if to show some appearance of 'balance') is irresponsible journalism.  Propaganda, not balance, is achieved by passing on inaccurate and misleading information. You shouldn't do it for either party, for the president or for any of his cronies.

    Since NBC's Today Show seems (at this point) incapable of actually reporting the news, since it has become increasingly clear that Couric in particular is more concerned with staying on the good side of the Republicans than with her ethical reponsibility as a journalist, I resolve simply. and every time, to turn Katie off.  I do, however, intend to watch the Today Show one final time: to determine which of your sponsors to contact with this exact letter, informing them of my resolve never to tune in again.

  •  voicemail is full... (none)
    ...after re-sending my email to the correct address, I tried calling the number for the Today Show (3:50 pm EST,) but it was full. Go figure... 8^D

    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

    by condoleaser on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 12:46:27 PM PST

  •  Does anyone know if any news sources are reporting (none)
    on the deluge of emails hitting NBC's mail box today over this issue?

    I just sent another one asking NBC to post the date of the show in which Couric will provide her corrected info on its website.

    Thanks to all who posted their letters. It's great to read them all.

  •  Curic / Dean Interview (none)
    It's been apparent that the shills who NBC passes off as journalists on the Today show have been media whores for the Bush Misadministration ever since Matt Lauer let the Cowardly Cowboy off the hook when W said the WOT couldn't be won. The following is the text of a letter I sent to NBC regarding Ms. Couric:

    I was wondering if the RNC talking points mindlessly parroted by Ms. Couric whenever she gets the chance are given to her the night before so she has time to prepare or does she get an e-mail right before the show like she must have today? Not ONE dime passed from Abramoff or his associates to any Democrat. The money received by Dems was directly from the Indian tribes themselves which were legitimate contributions. Maybe anything Ms. Couric says is accepted as truth by her legion of soccer mom fans but maybe people who are looking for legitimate news in the morning are going elsewhere. Good Morning America perhaps?

  •  May I Suggest? (4.00)
    I am the Program Director of a radio station. When someone sends me an email using accusatory language, or telling me that one of my staffers is lazy or stupid, I delete it instantly and never give it a moment's thought.

    When someone lays out factual errors clearly and without emotion, I correct it and thank the writer for pointing out.

    Something to think about when you send those messages to NBC.

    •  Good point. I agree (none)
      although it is tough sometimes.  

      If you want to be heard, be informative.  

    •  Kate Couric interview (none)
      So, you ignore the content if the content comes wrapped in what you consider to be insulting language.
      Do you do the same thing with politician's speeches where they accuse rivals of being unpatriotic, telling lies etc?
      •  I ignore the content (none)
        When it seems designed to be a spleen venting, rather than legitimate criticism.

        If you want NBC or any other media outlet to pay attention to what you say, point out any factual errors, back up what you say with facts and leave personalities out of it.

        Saying "you said this, the truth is this" might be effective. Saying "Your research department should get their heads out of Karl Rove's butt" probably will not be.

        As for politicians speeches, when one of my children attempts to minimize his misdeeds by pointing to those of his sibling, I am not convinced. Same thing with politicians.

        •  Spleen venting (none)
          You can vent your spleen and still engage in pertinent criticism. You have created a false dichotomy in an attempt to justify throwing out the message because you don't like the tone of the message.
  •  Just emailed everyone on the NBC website (none)
    Blind carbon copy is a great thing.

    Just emailed ALL of the NBC email addresses asking why no one is capable of calling Bushco out on their multiple diversions and continuous stonewalling.

    I was polite but asked if it was too much to ask for them to ask critical questions and not leave it up to the BBC and others who actually seem to cover more than the weather, and missing white girls.

    (if by "criminalization of politics" you mean politics being taken over by criminals, you are absolutely correct)

    by Drezden on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 01:47:19 PM PST

    •  Actually, it's pretty easy to see from the (none)
      empty To: and Cc: lines that the email is being sent to lots of people.

      Once someone realizes that, I'd say it's a lot more likely to be dismissed.  

      If that same email is sent direct to them without a bunch of cc's, I'd say chances they pay attention to it are quite a bit higher.

      In other words, it's worth personalizing your message.

    •  Blind CC not such a good idea (none)
      Many spam filters delete BCC messages. It's more work, but it's better to cut/paste multiple copies.

      Of course, the emails are still likely to be ignored in this case, but at least some low-level intern might actually see it.

      "What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite." - Bertrand Russell

      by Mad Dog Rackham on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 02:51:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We crashed their email (none)
    I just got auto replies on my latest email but I got a system administrator error for the today show.  Looks like they crashed, the box is full, or they pulled the plug.

    I hope they learn from this.

    (if by "criminalization of politics" you mean politics being taken over by criminals, you are absolutely correct)

    by Drezden on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 01:54:02 PM PST

    •  What email address did you use? (none)
      If you can let me know, I'll do whatever I can to make sure a working contact address, or phone number, is posted in the diary.  Feedback from anyone with problems or solutions will help.  There were so many fine letters, I hate to think that any of them didn't get through.
      (This is an incredible community.  The response to the diary has been fantastic.)
      •  Hmm (none)
        The reply is titled "Today Show Viewer Mail" but it might have bounced back from Weekend Today and not the regular Today.  Can't tell. I emailed a lot of people on that last one.

        We might want to send a test email to both and see which one bounces.

        (if by "criminalization of politics" you mean politics being taken over by criminals, you are absolutely correct)

        by Drezden on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 02:16:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  CJR (none)
    http://www.cjrdaily.org/...

    Couric Leads With Chin, Then With Butt
    Liz Cox Barrett
    This morning, NBC's Katie Couric conducted a five-minute interview with Howard Dean touching on a range of timely topics. At one point, Dean spoke about "corruption scandals in Congress" and Republicans getting money from Jack Abramoff. Couric -- no lefty, she -- interrupted Dean in a scolding tone and said, "Wait a second. Democrats took money from Abramoff, too."

    Has Couric learned nothing from DebbieGate? A little precision, please. From everything we know to date, Democrats did not receive money "from Abramoff," rather Abramoff's personal donations went exclusively to Republicans -- which is more or less what Dean then said to Couric. (What Dean did not say was that members of both parties received donations from some of Abramoff's clients -- with Republicans receiving the majority of these donations -- although it's not known if Abramoff "directed" any of this money or not.)

    •  The full CJR comment is priceless (none)
      http://www.cjrdaily.org/...

      Jan. 26, 2006 - 1:54 PM

      Giants of Journalism

      Couric Leads With Chin, Then With Butt

      Liz Cox Barrett

      This morning, NBC's Katie Couric conducted a five-minute interview with Howard Dean touching on a range of timely topics. At one point, Dean spoke about "corruption scandals in Congress" and Republicans getting money from Jack Abramoff. Couric -- no lefty, she -- interrupted Dean in a scolding tone and said, "Wait a second. Democrats took money from Abramoff, too."

      Has Couric learned nothing from DebbieGate? A little precision, please. From everything we know to date, Democrats did not receive money "from Abramoff," rather Abramoff's personal donations went exclusively to Republicans -- which is more or less what Dean then said to Couric. (What Dean did not say was that members of both parties received donations from some of Abramoff's clients -- with Republicans receiving the majority of these donations -- although it's not known if Abramoff "directed" any of this money or not.)

      Proving that Couric is at least aware of the distinction, she then quoted dollar figures, citing the Center for Responsive Politics, of what "Abramoff and associates" (emphasis ours) had supposedly given to Republicans and to Democrats. Dean continued to protest, calling it a "Republican finance scandal."

      To Couric we say: Republicans are working hard to push the "it's a bipartisan scandal" storyline and Democrats are eager to characterize it as "exclusively a Republican scandal." A reporter's job, supposedly, is to explain to her audience in precise language what is actually going on -- even if there is no convenient shorthand with which to do so. Instead, Couric ended the interview by telling Dean she would "look into" his claim that it is actually a "Republican finance scandal" and "clarify that at a later date."

      No clarification occurred on today's "Today." Couric did, however, spend over eight minutes of air time this morning searching for "the best pants for every behind," exploring "why some outfits make women's derrieres look too large," and letting female viewers know how to make the best of their butts.

      Sigh.

      Maybe the New York Observer was on to something yesterday when reporter Rebecca Dana fantasized that CBS was actually courting Couric's morning show rival, Diane Sawyer -- not Couric -- for its evening news anchor job. After all, you didn't see Sawyer this morning prattling on for a television eternity about big bottoms and what can be done to camouflage them.

      Nope. Sawyer was off "on assignment" this morning -- no doubt a serious assignment. Hard news. Something to atone, perhaps, for her four-minute segment yesterday on "what's inside my purse" and what it says about me.


  •  here's my letter to those today show bastards (4.00)
    Dear Today Show Producers,

    I saw your show today and I have to say that I was disgusted by the way co-host Katie Couric tried to ram a lie down the throat of Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Howard Dean.  Democrats did NOT take money from Jack Abramoff.  And let me repeat:  Democrats
    did NOT take money from Jack Abramoff.  Got it?  Katie cited a Center for Responsive Politics study as her evidence for her claim, but if
    you look a look at CRP's website you'll notice that it it says NOTHING to the effect that Democrats took money from Jack Abramoff.  So let me repeat a third time: Democrats did NOT take money from Jack Abramoff. This is a republican scandal and a republican scandal only.

    The fact that Couric so blithely pushed what is a right-wing talking point leads me to believe that either a) Couric and the staff at the
    Today show are too damn lazy to check their facts or b) you people are right wing shills.  Either way Couric and everyone else at the Today
    Show ought look into something called JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY,something which you very obviously lack.  Get with it and start acting
    like real journalists for a change.  You might start by apologizing for your mistake and telling your viewers what the facts really are.

    Sincerely,

  •  K Couric... (none)
    I alway think of Don Henly's Song Dirty Laundry, when I see these so-called impartial reporters/newmen.  Katie Couric is the perfect example of bubble-headed bleach blonde/mousy brown depending on her hair stylist.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    For Your Enjoyment

    ARTIST: Don Henley
    TITLE: Dirty Laundry
    Lyrics and Chords

    [Capo 3]

    I make my living off the evening news
    Just give me something, something I can use
    People love it when you lose
    They love dirty laundry

    / D7 - - - / G7 - - - / C - G - / D7 - - - /

    Well I could have been an actor but I wound up here
    I just have to look good, I don't have to be clear
    Come and whisper in my ear
    Give us dirty laundry

    Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down (3X)
    Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em all around

    / Am7 G / F C D7 - - - / :

    We got the bubble-headed bleach blonde comes on at five
    She can tell you 'bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye
    It's int'resting when people die
    Give us dirty laundry

    Can we film the operation, is the head dead yet
    Y'know the boys in the newsroom got a running bet
    Get the widow on the set
    We need dirty laundry

    You don't really need to find out what's going on
    You don't really want to know just how far it's gone
    Just leave well enough alone
    Eat your dirty laundry

    Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down (3X)
    Kick 'em where they sit, kick 'em all around

    Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down (3X)
    Kick 'em where they sit, kick 'em all around

    Dirty little secrets, dirty little lies
    We got our dirty little fingers in everybody's pies
    We love to cut you down to size
    We love dirty laundry

    We can do the innuendo, we can dance and sing
    When it's said and done we haven't told you a thing
    We all know that crap is king
    Give us dirty laundry

    Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down
    {Repeat to fade}

    •  Rita Cosby (none)
      I think of that song everytime KO is over and I don't switch the channel from MSNBC fast enough.

      We got the bubble-headed bleach blonde comes on at nine
      She can tell you 'bout Holloway with a gleam in her eye
      It's int'resting when people die
      Give us dirty laundry

  •  I sent this to CapitalEye.org, (4.00)
    with a copy to the Today show. This is where all those media people are getting the wrong info, so I am hoping that letting them know the damage they are doing will result in a correction. Couldn't hurt for others to let them know, politely, too. Their e-mail: info@capitaleye.org.

    Copy of my message:

    Dear Capitaleye.org:

    The information you have posted on your website regarding Jack Abramoff's political contributions is grossly misleading and needs to be corrected, because the commercial media are quoting you and passing along incorrect data. Here is a link to the FEC records of Abramoff contributions showing that only Republicans or Republican-related PACs received campaign contributions from Abramoff and his wife:

    http://www.newsmeat.com/....

    This is a Republican corruption scandal, and you are promulgating the wrong information by combining Abramoff's contributions with the contributions of the Indian tribes he bilked. Those tribes were not acting as agents for Abramoff when they made legal campaign contributions (no bribes and no quid pro quo arrangements) to some Democrats, who had long received untainted money from them. It is unfair of you to mix all this data together and make it appear that Democrats are part of the problem when they are not. This morning, Katie Couric of NBC's Today Show quoted you as a reliable source on this, and she was wrong because you are wrong. Senator Harry Reid never took any money from Jack Abramoff. The Native Americans who contribute to his campaign in Nevada were not "directed" by Abramoff to give money to Reid; they have long contributed independently and legally to Reid's campaigns in his home state, well before Abramoff arrived in K Street.

    In fact, once Abramoff made Native American groups his victims in his illegal financial schemes, Democrats received less and less money from them, while Republicans received more and more at his direction. If you can find any supportable information showing that Jack Abramoff directed campaign contributions to any Democrat, please document it and show that as evidence. A note for clarity: two Democrat members of the House of Representatives along with two aides of Rep. Tom DeLay are alleged to have received travel money to the Mariana Islands in the 1990s from Abramoff; all three congressmen have claimed, however, that they did not know of any connection to Abramoff at the time, and no proof has so far been offered to counter their claims. They said they thought the travel money came from a nonprofit organization, which is not illegal. (Reference: http://www.washingtonpost.com/...).

    Please correct your misleading web page information by clarifying that Indian tribes are not the same as Jack Abramoff and that Indian tribes who gave money to Democrats did so on their own, not as agents of the confessed felon Jack Abramoff. Look carefully at the direction of the flow of money, too; money from Indian tribes to Democrats is not Abramoff money, and money from Indian tribes to Abramoff has no connection to Democrats. Your incorrect information is possibly slanderous, is causing undo harm to innocent people, and must be corrected.

    Sincerely,

    (I gave my full name and address.)

    "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

    by martyc35 on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 04:07:01 PM PST

  •  Contact the sponsors, too? (none)
    NBC might not be as sensitive as the Today Show's sponsors and nothing puts me off sponsors like the bad contents of the shows they make possible.
    •  Do we have a list besides GE ? (4.00)
      Here is my e-mail:

      Dear Today Show Producers and Ms. Couric:

      I am 61 years old and I am one of the 50+ MILLION people who voted Democratic in 2004.

      Ms. Couric thinks I am spineless and disgusting.  Her face screws up when she speaks of me.

      I loved Jane Pauley and when she was tossed from the show, I stopped watching for a long time.  Sadly, I came back because I loved Katie.  The last few years have been too much, but the last few weeks have been the last I can stomach.  

      It makes me sick to watch and hear people who hate me.  I am turning off the TV.  It is toxic.

      I am going to find out all the products GE is a part of and try to do without as many as possible.  I understand that they make so much profit from the war that my little bit won't hurt them.

      To lie about Jack Abramoff and the Democrats after so much has been said to explain what he is about is sickening.
      Oh, Katie, HOW COULD YOU !!!

       But it isn't this one thing, it has been going on for years.  Just like Fox, the Today show has brought on Democrats just to make them look bad in the eyes of people who trust you.  Can any amount of money be worth that?

      We need truth from a free press to keep democracy.  We don't have it anymore.  May God help us ALL.  

      Sincerely,

      "The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries." Kurt Vonnegut

      by cfk on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 06:22:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you really want to piss off NBC... (none)
        tell them you are now watching GMA (Good Morning America) on ABC. NBC makes a ton of money from the ads on the Today show. GMA has been neck and neck in the morning show ratings war with Today.

        If all morning TV viewing Kossacks switched to GMA in the morning, we could boost their ratings to the top! Imagine the clout we would have with the media then :)

  •  fuck that crack whore (none)

    "i was always dreaming of very powerful people, dictators and things like that." -- arnold schwarzenegger in "pumping iron"

    by hoodoo meat bucket on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:32:06 PM PST

  •  I emailed... (none)
  •  I sent an email to Katie too. (none)
    I included the correct links and other info to show that she or her assistant did not dig deep enough for the correct information.

    I asked her what day she will publicly apologize to Howard Dean on the Today show so we can all be sure to watch.

    If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    by Mz Kleen on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 08:07:20 PM PST

  •  and if you call or (none)
    leave a voice mail for Katie, you will want to properly say the call letters.

    Now, I'm gonna teach you
    how to say them, all right?

    The way it's said
    properly is...

    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeN Bee See.

    Try it yourself right now.

    I'll wait.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .                  
    No. No. It's gotta be more like this.

    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeN Bee See.

    You hear that?

    Kinda lift,
    that N BC.

    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeN Bee See.

    You've gotta
    listen to Imus.

    Imus does it
    perfectly.

    He's on
    emm ess eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeN Bee See.

    Freedom does not march. I saw an invasion. I see an occupation. I don't see a war. "Constant war is not a family value." Cindy Sheehan 8/22/05

    by ex republican on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 11:14:17 PM PST

  •  Today Show & Couric's Dean Interview update (none)
    Matt Lauer just interviewed Tim Russert and at the end of the interview mentioned the Dean interview with Couric yesterday and questioned Russert.

    Lauer said that after investigating it (he stated where he researched it but I didn't catch it; hopefully someone can fill this in) stated that "Governor Dean may be technically correct."  Then Russert described the "technicality:"  That Abramoff directly gave money only to Republicans but that Abramoff clients gave money to both parties, roughly 1/3 of those monies to Democrats, 2/3 to Republicans.

    The implication, though not stated, is that Abramoff directed those donations.  This was not mentioned nor discussed but, rather, was left there.  

    Russert also stated something to the effect that members of both parties accept trips and other perks from lobbyists and that it will take a bipartisan effort to fix this issue so that it doesn't happen again.  He didn't say whether the trips he was discussing were just from Abramoff, in fact, I believe he meant trips & perks from all lobbyists, but I think the impression he left is that he was talking about Abramoff. You can disagree with this, it was just how I saw it.

    I agree that it'll take a bipartisan effort.

    We'll see.

    •  Yes, you're right (none)
      the implication is always that Abramoff directed the gifts from "his associates," read VICTIMS.  How do we know this?  Where is the proof?  Where is the quid pro quo?  
      This in at best sloppy journalism.  At worst, deliberate distortion.  Either way, it confuses the issue.  
  •  I just got this email! (none)
    We have received your e-mail concerning Verizon advertising on MSNBC's "Hardball."  Thank you for taking the time to convey your opinion to us.  Be assured that we appreciate your concerns.

    Verizon

    Hehe,
    And that was even when I stupidly confused Verizon with Toyota and told them I liked Toyota cars.  Do'h

    Send emails!

  •  Nobody's going to read this but (none)
    I'm going to add my outrage as well.  Couric's bullshit was one of the few times I literally shouted at the television.  I mean, the facts about Abramoff's contributions have been out for over a week, and she still pulls a question like that out of her ass? WTF?  

    That said, I also thought Dean was wonderfully composed and prepared.  He got a "right on" from me with his comparison of Bush to the government of Iran that thinks it "can do any damn thing it pleases."  Sic 'em, doc.

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