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May 8, 2006
 A Hollywood star from Wisconsin is apparently less embarrassed by Canada than by the United States. On Friday night's Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, actor Bradley Whitford, who plays "Josh Lyman" on NBC's The West Wing, related how he "just had a friend who went to Europe and I gave her a Canadian flag to put on her bag." Whitford declared that the U.S. policy in Iraq "has desecrated" the American flag since we are "treating the rest of the world with contempt, dropping bombs on people who don't need bombs dropped on them" and "killing civilians...based on an assumption that an Iraqi life is worth less than ours. It's obscene." Earlier, Whitford contended: "There's no military, conventional military solution to terrorism. If there were, Israel would be the safest country in the world." (But if Israel didn't use their military, would Israel still exist?) Turning his anger on the Bush administration, the actor who on The West Wing plays the Chief-of-Staff to "Democratic President-elect Matt Santos," charged: "I think the whole approach by these bungling, violent, violence-addicted people in this administration, it's like the Polish joke: You lose your ring in the dark and so you look for it where there's light, where you know how to do it."
     [This item was posted late Friday night, with video and audio, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. The video/audio will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert, but in the meantime, go to the NewsBusters version to play the Real or Windows Media video, as well as MP3 audio, clip of Whitford on how Bush's "obscene" war has "desecrated" the U.S. flag: newsbusters.org ]

     HBO's page for Real Time with Bill Maher: www.hbo.com

     NBC's page on Whitford: www.nbc.com

     Whitford was born and raised in Wisconsin. The Internet Movie Database's page with a bio and career highlights for him: www.imdb.com

     On the hour-long Friday night at 11pm EDT show, Whitford appeared on Maher's panel with Kim Campbell, the former Prime Minister of Canada, and Jim Gilmore, the former Governor of Virginia.

     A few of Whitford's outbursts on the May 5 HBO program produced before an audience in Los Angeles:

     # No military solution to terrorism and the Bush team is "addicted" to violence:
     "There's no military, conventional military solution to terrorism. If there were, Israel would be the safest country in the world. It's not (applause). It's not immune to terrorism and it feels -- I think the whole approach by these bungling, violent, violence-addicted people in this administration, it's like the Polish joke: You lose your ring in the dark and so you look for it where there's light, where you know how to do it."

     # To audience applause, Whitford denounced President Bush for linking Iraq with al-Qaeda and 9/11:
     "He knew that they had nothing to do with it. And that's obscene."

     # Whitford, after Bill Maher asserted that the only World Soccer Cup team without its flag on the side of its bus is the U.S. one, and then former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell quipped they should follow what American tourists do in Europe and put a Canadian flag on the bus (video is of these remarks):
     "The reason you can't put a flag -- and I just had a friend who went to Europe and I gave her a Canadian flag to put on her bag -- and I explained that to my children. The flag-"
     Kim Campbell: "Did you sing the anthem in both languages?"
     Whitford, singing a couple of syllables: "Oh, Can -- But this, our policy has desecrated this flag. Treating the rest of the world with contempt, dropping bombs on people who don't need bombs dropped on them, killing civilians who have nothing to do -- in a policy based on an assumption that an Iraqi life is worth less than ours. It's obscene." (applause)






NBC Lauds Bill Clinton, Statesman with
"Landmark Soda Agreement"
     While President Bush battles the international Islamic jihad, and the networks warn almost daily that his approval ratings are terrible, President Clinton draws coos and congrats for solving the really big issues -- like making sure your kids can't destroy their lives by purchasing a Cherry Coke at school. On Wednesday, CNN was hyping live coverage of the Miniature-Issues President taking on school soft-drink policies and that night the three broadcast network evening newscasts all ran full stories about it. By Thursday, MRC's Geoff Dickens informed me that NBC was so impressed by his life-saving prowess as ex-president that they were wondering if it outclassed his presidency, slapping "Landmark Soda Agreement" on screen.

     [This item, by the MRC's Tim Graham, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     Ann Curry set up the May 4 report: "And former President Clinton is speaking out about his mission to end childhood obesity and the plan to eliminate sugary soft drinks from schools. He spoke to NBC's science correspondent Robert Bazell."

     Robert Bazell: "Bill Clinton's foundation hammered out the agreement with the beverage industry. He says it is the first step in his major campaign to fight childhood obesity."
     On-Screen Graphic: "Fighting Childhood Obesity, Landmark Soda Agreement".
     Bill Clinton: "I see the consequences among young adults with exploding rates of diabetes and other complications. And if we don't turn this around this group of young people in the public schools could be the first generation of Americans to live shorter lives than their parents."
     Bazell: "Under the agreement, which is backed by consumer groups, soda pop will be eliminated from schools and portions will be limited for juice and milk over the next several years. Consumer groups have long argued that sugared drinks are a major factor in childhood obesity and Clinton says the industry took a big risk. Isn't this a sort of admission that they are part of the problem?"
     Clinton: "They may have admitted it but the point is they're the first industry group up to bat to do something about it."
     Bazell: "Clinton says he decided to work on HIV/AIDS while he was still president but decided to take on obesity while he was recovering from heart surgery. If you could make a significant difference for obesity in America and a significant difference for HIV in the world would that be a legacy beyond what you accomplished as president?"
     Clinton: "Oh it would be in addition to it. Would it be greater? I don't necessarily think so. I think, you know when, we did a lot of good for a lot of people in the world when I was president and a lot of good for Americans but it, it would make a difference."
     Bazell: "Robert Bazell, NBC News, New York."

     By this measure, when the Bush administration captures or kills an al-Qaeda terrorist, would NBC give him credit for many lives not shortened by future terrorist attacks, just as cutting off the school soda will apparently impair future heart attacks?


-- Brent Baker

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Posted: May 8, 2006 1:42pm

 

 
 
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