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June 9, 2006

Media Rains On Parade Of Good News From Iraq: Feature Nick Berg's Dad, Who Compared Bush to Zarqawi

Topics: Follies of the Mainstream Media

2006-06-08-MSNBCNW-berg.jpgIf you're like me and have been wondering about the cable network's fettish with commentary from Nick Berg's father today, wonder no more. At first I was awestruck with his comments accusing Bush of being a terrorist, among other leftwing dribble in his unfettered diatribe to get out everything against the war he could in the time allowed him. Then I was dumbfounded as to why they'd have the guy on in the first place since they had to have known that he was a total nutcase. After all, they picked this guy to come on and comment on the best news day about Iraq in a very long time. But of course that was their very intention in the first place!

Well, it turns out that Michael Berg, the father of Nick Berg who Zarqawi personally beheaded on video, then put it on the Internet, is an outspoken radical Leftist (and Green Party candidate for Congress) that is reportedly associated with the international A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition and the George Soros group. Michael Berg has made the rather bizarre public statement, "My son died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld", when in fact government officials attempted to ship Nick Berg back to the US in order to get him out of harm's way. Michael Berg also indicated that his son's killers, the terrorists, "killed their best friend". Who better to know Nick Berg than his own father?


And yes, the cable networks knew all about the guy. Here's what NewsBusters has to say about the interviews:

In May of 2004, Abu Musab Al Zarqawi participated in the beheading of Nicholas Berg, a businessman working in Iraq. His father, Michael, emerged in the aftermath of that crime as an outspoken liberal activist and is now running for Congress in Delaware on the Green Party ticket. So who better to bring on for a discussion about Zarqawi's death? Michael Berg appeared on all three cable channels this morning to spew hatred towards the United States Government and George W. Bush. Interestingly, only one network, MSNBC, found the time to mention that Mr. Berg is now a political candidate. Rather then cover the successful elimination of a significant terrorist threat, CNN, FNC, and MSNBC all gave time to someone who would make statements such as this one on CNN's American Morning at 7:50AM EDT:

Michael Berg: "Well, you know, I'm not saying Saddam Hussein was a good man, but he's no worse than George Bush. Saddam Hussein didn't commit the rapes, neither did George Bush, but both men are responsible under their reigns of, of terror....I don't get it. Why is it better to have George Bush be the king of Iraq rather than Saddam Hussein?"

All three networks expressed surprise that Mr. Berg would say such things. FNC's Brian Kilmeade, on Fox and Friends, reacted angrily:

Kilmeade: "Did you read the New York Times Sunday? Did you see the killing fields exposed, sir? I'm amazed that you don't want to feel any, uh- If you don't want to feel any relief that the person who beheaded your son is now dead and you want to blame George Bush-"

That segment aired at 6:20AM EDT. CNN's Soledad O'Brien seemed perplexed:

O'Brien: "I have to say sir, I'm surprised. I know how devastated you were, your family was, frankly, when Nick was, was killed..."

They shouldn't be surprised. Michael Berg has a long history of liberal activism and opposition to the war on terror.

As Tim Graham has already noted, the early media coverage tended to throw cold water on the significance of Zarqawi's death. Michael Berg's appearance allowed another opportunity for that sentiment to be expressed. FNC ended their interview, shortly after Berg stated, "Yeah, like George Bush didn't okay the torture and death and rape of people in the Abu Ghraib prison for which my son was killed in retaliation." MSNBC and CNN had longer segments in which Mr. Berg stated his thoughts on the death of Zarqawi.

Read the rest at NewsBusters...

Christopher Hitchens also noticed the media's hurry to "rain on the parade" of the good news about Zarqawi's demise, and writes:

The death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is excellent news in its own right and even more excellent if, as U.S. sources in Iraq are claiming, it resulted from information that derived from people who were or had been close to him. (And, if that claim is black propaganda, then it is clever black propaganda, which is also excellent news.)

It hasn't taken long for the rain to start falling on this parade. Nick Berg's father, a MoveOn type now running for Congress on the Green Party ticket, has already said that he blames President George Bush for the video-beheading of his own son (but of course) and mourned the passing of Zarqawi as he would the death of any man (but of course, again). The latest Atlantic has a brilliantly timed cover story by Mary Anne Weaver, which tends to the view that Zarqawi was essentially an American creation, but seems to undermine its own prominence by suggesting that, in addition to that, Zarqawi wasn't all that important.

And while on the subject of media coverage of the event, I couldn't help but notice that CNN and MSNBC both basically were following the Arab media line that "Zarqawi Was Made -- and Killed -- by the Media".

If you think any of this is going to change, forget it. For the real truth about Iraq, we're all going to have to continue to dig deep. But of course that's why God made conservative bloggers!!!

But before we leave this topic, one infamous member of cable media has actually undone themselves again. Making Michael Berg an expert on Zarqawi and war analysis was bad, but leave it to CBS to have a terrorism analyst come up with "Zarqawi's Death Good For Al Qaeda":

On a day when many in America are rejoicing at the death of the most wanted man in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, a man who is responsible for countless deaths in Iraq and who made it his mission to spark civil war, CBS brought in a long time Bush administration critic to discuss its implications on this morning's "Early Show." Co-host Harry Smith, utilizing spin that would make "Baghdad Bob" jealous, attempted to portray Zarqawi's death as being bad news for America, and his guest, CBS News Terrorism Analyst Michael Scheuer, was happy to back his assertions even going so far as to claim Zarqawi's death was good for Al Qaeda.
Simply incredible, as only CBS can do.

Posted by Richard at June 9, 2006 12:10 AM

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