Accuracy in Media

WALTER CRONKITE PROMOTES U.N. SEA TREATY

Dan Rather is making headlines suing his former employer, but Rather’s predecessor, Walter Cronkite, is busy promoting world government. Cronkite surfaced as one of the 101 “prominent leaders” signing a letter urging Senate passage of the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Treaty. His CBS affiliation is listed on the letter, making it seem as though the media giant is taking sides in the debate over the pact. This would not be surprising; media coverage has been overwhelmingly pro-treaty.

In a press release dated October 5, Accuracy in Media accused the national news media of dereliction of duty for ignoring the story of how passage of the treaty would affect the national security and sovereignty of the United States. AIM editor Cliff Kincaid challenged the media to ignore Britney Spears for a while and cover the growing controversy over the treaty.

“Our so-called adversary press has become a lapdog media that allows Democrats and Republicans to conspire to damage the sovereignty of the United States,” Kincaid said.

Kincaid said that the treaty, backed by the Bush Administration and liberal Senate Democrats, was being rushed through the Senate in the same way that these same forces tried to ram through the illegal alien amnesty bill. And he said the impact will be the same?erosion of American sovereignty. “It is time for talk radio and the new media to fill the void and inform the people before it is too late,” the AIM editor said.

A critic of the treaty who has written extensively about its serious flaws, Kincaid covered both of the Senate hearings that have been held and which featured dramatic exchanges over its provisions. “The hearings have given Senator David Vitter of Louisiana a platform to demonstrate not only his knowledge of the treaty but his ability to expose holes and flaws in the testimony of those in favor of it,” Kincaid said. The AIM editor said Vitter’s performance was so effective that State Department Legal Adviser John B. Bellinger was caught saying things about the treaty which were demonstrably untrue.

“When our government lies to us,” said Kincaid, “we should expect our media to report that to the American people. Tragically, most of our media have been AWOL on the matter of how U.S. officials are attempting to deceive the Senate and the public about the Law of the Sea Treaty.”

It is significant that Cronkite was on the list of treaty supporters because he has been a fundraiser for many years for the World Federalists, who have declared that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), by creating an independent source of revenue for the U.N. through a global tax, signals the emergence of a world government.

The Lawyers

Convinced by inter-national lawyers in their JAG offices that the treaty somehow guarantees freedom of navigation on the high seas, U.S. military leaders backing UNCLOS have no awareness of the real agenda behind UNCLOS. Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, the Vice Chief of Naval Operations for the Department of the Navy, was one of three witnesses before Senator Joe Biden’s Foreign Relations Committee on September 27 promoting the pact.  But what do you think will be going through Admiral Walsh’s mind when he finally discovers that some of those on his side of the issue want to prosecute him and other U.S. military leaders for “war crimes” in Iraq and elsewhere?

The “strange bedfellows” aspect of this controversy demonstrates how out-of-place our military leaders are in backing UNCLOS. This is a treaty written and promoted by those who want to restrict U.S. military power. Strangely, Admiral Walsh and other Navy and Coast Guard officials are on the same side of the issue as Citizens for Global Solutions, the group pushing the International Criminal Court treaty that could land our military leaders in foreign jails.

Don Kraus, the Executive Vice President of Citizens for Global Solutions and the director of the organization’s Government Relations Department and Political Action Committee, has written on a blog that it is absolutely imperative for the liberal Senate to pass UNCLOS because that is the only way to pave the way for accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty. The ICC is a U.N.-sponsored international court that could prosecute and put Americans in foreign jails. The most frequently mentioned American targets are U.S. soldiers and their military and civilian leaders, who could be prosecuted and sentenced for “war crimes” without Bill of Rights protections.  

But that’s not all. Kraus says that, if the Senate passes UNCLOS, then he and his fellow “progressives” can anticipate Senate action on several other treaties in addition to the ICC. 

The Global Assault

In his own words, this is what Kraus says: “If the Senate will not accede to this convention, how can we expect them to support the ratification of the backlog of multilateral treaties waiting for a vote including:, the International Criminal Court treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Women’s Convention (CEDAW), the Rights of the Child, the Biodiversity Treaty, and many others. What will happen when it is time for the Senate to consider the successor to the Kyoto protocol, which runs out in 2012?”

There you have the secret agenda behind this treaty, in the words of one of those vigorously promoting it. UNCLOS is supposed to set the stage for passage of other U.N. treaties, including the ICC and one on “children’s rights.” The latter will prohibit parents from spanking their children. The so-called women’s rights treaty known as CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) will mandate abortion on demand and other feminist “rights” on a global level. 

Kraus tells his fellow “progressives” that the fight for UNCLOS will also set the stage for Senate action and passage of more treaties on “climate change.” By that he presumably means higher taxes, perhaps on a global basis, to combat alleged man-made global warming. “One senate staffer I talked to recently has been yelling at groups coming to talk with him about climate change,” writes Kraus. “He’s been telling them that he doesn’t want to talk to them unless the first words out of their mouth is ‘Law of the Sea,’ because if we can’t get this one through, none of the others agreements are going to get through.'”

So UNCLOS is a foot-in-the-door for a wide-ranging international agenda. Of course, Kraus should know. His group, Citizens for Global Solutions, used to be known as the World Federalist Association, which openly supported world government financed by global taxes. On October 19, 1999, Walter Cronkite accepted the group’s Global Governance Award and declared, “Today we must develop federal structures on a global level. We need a system of enforceable world law?a democratic federal world government?to deal with world problems.”

Cronkite also urged Senate ratification of a list of treaties. He declared, “Ratify the Treaty to Ban Land Mines, the Law of the Sea Treaty, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Most important, we should sign and ratify the Treaty for a Permanent International Criminal Court.”

Doesn’t this sound like the list offered by Don Kraus? Could there be an agenda behind Biden’s push to ratify UNCLOS? We do know that Biden’s chief of staff, Antony Blinken, is a former Clinton Administration official.

Charles J. Brown, the president of Citizens for Global Solutions, joined Cronkite as another of the 101 “prominent leaders” signing the letter urging the U.S. Senate to approve U.S. accession to the Law of the Sea Treaty. A video message was delivered to that 1999 World Federalist Association event featuring Cronkite from then-First Lady Hillary Clinton.

The implication behind Kraus’s concern is that liberal Democrats better get UNCLOS passed now, with Bush Administration support, because it’s going to be much tougher to ratify the measure under a Democratic President such as Hillary when Republican Senators are most likely to come together in opposition.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping Republican Senators from opposing Biden AND Bush when it comes to UNCLOS. But do they have the courage to tell their President that he is seriously wrong and off-course?

Senator McConnell’s Role

All eyes are on the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Back in 1994, when Senator McConnell was leading the effort against so-called campaign finance reform, on the grounds that it was an unconstitutional abridgement of free speech rights, he declared that “I am a proud guardian of gridlock.” He did everything possible to stop this measure from passing.  

Many conservatives are hoping that McConnell once again assumes the role of “guardian of gridlock” on the issue of American sovereignty and UNCLOS. McConnell is going to have to decide if he is with Bush, who was maneuvered by the State Department into backing UNCLOS, or with President Reagan, who rejected it. McConnell has such clout and credibility that he alone can save or sink this treaty. His decision will help determine the future direction of the Republican Party on the most critical issue of our time. More importantly, America’s survival as a sovereign nation hangs in the balance.

 

CBS CAN AND SHOULD BEAT DAN RATHER
By Roger Aronoff

Former CBS News anchor and reporter Dan Rather sent shockwaves through CBS and the mainstream media with his dramatic lawsuit against his former employer. On CNN’s Larry King Live, Rather seemed shaken and very emotional, fighting back tears on several occasions. His legal claims are even shakier.

The suit involves how Rather was treated before, during and after the scandal that badly damaged the network back in 2004 and 2005 when it made explosive but false charges, based on phony documents, against President Bush just two months before the presidential election. The story backfired on the network, reconfirming to millions of people the existence of a liberal media bias. 

The story line was that President Bush had political connections that got him in to the Texas Air National Guard so that he could avoid going to the Vietnam War, and that he shirked his duties and responsibilities in the Guard. Rather featured alleged Texas Air National Guard documents on the air as proof of these charges. 

In fact, the story was bogus almost from start to finish. As AIM Editor Cliff Kincaid noted in a 2005 AIM Report, the investigation into the scandal, commissioned by CBS, found that Rather’s producer Mary Mapes had documented information in her possession before the broadcast that Bush, while in the Texas Air National Guard, “did volunteer for service in Vietnam but was turned down in favor of more experienced pilots.” This information was critical because Rather, in the broadcast, insinuated that Bush was among the “many well-connected young men [who tried to] pull strings and avoid service in Vietnam.”

In addition, the report confirms that Bush didn’t need any help getting into the Guard. He went in for training as a fighter pilot and learned how to fly on F-102s, which were used in Vietnam during the first part of the war. There was no waiting list and there were immediate openings. Candidates had to meet stringent requirements, and training was intense and lasted more than a year. Bush was rated very highly by the people who trained him, in the top 10% of those in his group. 

Shakedown

Could the Rather suit be an attempt to emulate Don Imus, also fired from CBS for his controversial words, who sued the network and reportedly collected about $20 million to make the lawsuit go away? Rather claims that it is not about the money and that, if he wins, he will give most of it to journalism causes. 

In the lawsuit, Rather accused CBS of making him a “scapegoat” for the story because CBS wanted to “pacify the White House.” He claimed that CBS executives “coerced” him “into publicly apologizing and taking personal blame for alleged journalistic errors in the broadcast.”

Rather invoked conspiratorial themes in defending the lawsuit, saying, “The most important reason is somebody sometime has got to take a stand and say democracy cannot survive, much less thrive, with the level of big corporate and big government interference and intimidation in news.”

But almost no one believes this. The GE-owned NBC and MSNBC networks employ Bush-bashers full-time. MSNBC, for example, sticks with liberals such as Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, despite their openly partisan bias and relatively low ratings. 

The New Media

If anything, the “Rathergate” incident demonstrated the health of our democracy, as elements of the new media, led by bloggers, were quick to point out major discrepancies in Rather’s anti-Bush on-air diatribe. In 2005, AIM honored the Internet bloggers and posters who were in the forefront of detecting some of the fraudulent aspects of the story.

They started an avalanche of media attention on the story, especially Rather’s use of alleged National Guard documents said to be incriminating toward Bush. Questions about their authenticity eventually forced Rather to make an on-air apology and CBS established a commission to examine how the network got taken in.  

Rather now claims that this commission was a “fraud” and a “set-up.” However, it was headed by two very respected individuals, former Republican Attorney General and governor of Pennsylvania Richard Thornburgh, and the former head of the Associated Press Louis Boccardi. If anything, their 224-page report was not strong enough in its condemnation of Rather’s misconduct. It failed, for example, to definitively conclude that the alleged National Guard documents Rather used on the air were fakes. Or that there was political bias involved. Instead they argued that it was “haste” and a rush to get the story on the air. 

Although he is a multi-millionaire, Rather may be betting that CBS will want to pay him off. A lawsuit with testimony and discovery could prove highly damaging to the low-rated and long-suffering CBS News. Neil Cavuto of the Fox News Channel says this is why CBS will find a way to settle with Rather, instead of letting this drag on and on through the courts. Ripping off the network through a lawsuit could provide some form of “vindication” for Rather, at least in his mind. 

Trying to rewrite history, Rather and one of his fired producers, Mary Mapes, have been putting forth the untenable position that the story that was exposed as false was essentially true. Turning the burden of proof around, in order to try to get himself off the hook, Rather says no one proved the documents were not authentic. But this is not how journalism is supposed to work. Journalists are not supposed to base their work on material that may or may not be true. Putting forward this “defense” of their story is extremely embarrassing. 

Liberal Pans Mapes

Liberal commentator Jonathan Alter reviewed Mapes’ book, Truth and Duty, noting her sloppy work and failure to take into account the motives of “anti-Bush zealot” Bill Burkett, who provided her with the now-famous documents on which the story was based. Burkett lied about where he got them, and still no one has been able to determine their source. On that basis, there is no other valid conclusion than that they were fake. 

Rather Shifts Blame

In now trying to blame others, Rather was confronted by CNN’s Larry King with his June 2, 2005, statement that “I’m not a victim of anything except my own shortcomings.” Rather said he has since learned that Sumner Redstone, the head of then-CBS parent Viacom, had stated that “this story had cost Viacom and CBS in Washington.” Rather claimed that Redstone, as a result of the fiasco, “wanted Dan Rather and everybody connected with it out. So that’s an example of the kind of thing that a year ago that I didn’t know.”

But why shouldn’t the head of a company want those responsible for this story out? This was a major embarrassment to the network and Viacom. Indeed, Rather’s history as a partisan journalist should have been grounds for getting him out sooner. His poor ratings alone should have gotten him canned. 

In another effort to shift blame to others, Rather is also now claiming that his role in the Bush National Guard story was overblown. He now insists that it was being put together while he was covering a hurricane, Bill Clinton’s heart surgery, and Iraq. He doesn’t seem to realize that this “defense” of the story boils down to making him out to be a superficial talking head. On Larry King Live on CNN he added that corporate suits at CBS wrote most of the apology, though some of the words were his own.

Off The Deep End

Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz quotes a former colleague of Rather as saying he has gone off the deep end, and that he had been deeply involved in all aspects of the story 

Asked by King to respond, Rather said: “I’ve never been clearer in my mind about anything?I can’t recall being clearer. And this is the right stand at the right time about the right issue.”

In fact, it’s the wrong stand on the wrong issue at the wrong time, and CBS should easily win this case. The corporate suits at CBS should not back away from this one. It should be entertaining to watch Dan Rather sweating profusely on the witness stand. Such a spectacle will be embarrassing to CBS News but it is the only way to expose Rather’s misconduct and make him pay for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

What You Can Do

Please send the enclosed cards or cards and letters of your own choosing to Senators Norm Coleman, John Sununu and David Vitter.




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