Four items today:
1) Walter Cronkite
dumps on Reagan; Charles Osgood calls him a hero and urges every
"aspiring journalist" to watch his special.
2) Only Republicans
lie, Dateline NBC story shows.
3) Poll of newspaper
executives reveals few think campaign coverage is unbiased.
4) Gumbel for Senate
The CBS News show "Sunday Morning" on May 19 showed an excerpt
of Walter Cronkite's upcoming CBS special. Host Charles Osgood introduced
the segment with this tribute to Cronkite as his hero:
"Here on Sunday Morning we like to celebrate
heroes of all sorts. Over the years I've been privileged here at CBS News
to have as my friends and colleagues some of the greatest of broadcast
journalists. Many have been heroes to me. But it takes nothing away from
any of them to tell you who is on top of my list, because I believe the
same person would be at the top of their lists too. His title was CBS News
correspondent. He never wanted or asked for any other. He has been called,
and this was not some public relations man's gimmick, but result of any
number of polls take time and again over the years, the 'most trusted man
in America.' He set the standard for the rest of us. I just wish there
were some way I could take every aspiring young journalist of today and
sit him or her down in front of a television set this Thursday night to
watch a special on CBS entitled 'Walter Cronkite Remembers.'"
And here's Cronkite on Ronald Reagan in a portion
of that excerpt: "Reagan was an exceedingly likeable guy, just a heck
of a nice fellow, despite his politics. He was funny and loved a good
joke, the dirtier, I'm afraid the more ethnic, the better. I don't think
he brought very much to the presidency, except charisma and success."
The special airs Thursday night (May 23) from
8-10pm ET, 7-9pm CT.
Sunday night, NBC's Dateline, aired a segment of NBC's week-long series
"Lie, Cheat & Steal: Dishonesty in America." Reporter Sara
James featured a professor who claimed he could tell when someone is
lying. At the top of the story James showed clips of three people lying:
Mark Fuhrman, "a notorious liar;" Susan Smith, "a monstrous
liar;" and Oliver North, "lies in the name of country."
Later in the story, James showed clips of Admiral Poindexter at the
Iran/Contra hearings as the professor explained how he could tell
Poindexter was lying. To show how difficult it is sometimes to tell when
someone is lying, James showed a Nixon speech.
Notably absent from the story: any Democrat (if
you don't count Kato Kaelin), and no video of Bill Clinton.
It's not only conservatives who don't think the media are unbiased:
Newspaper executives agree. The May 11 "Editor & Publisher"
magazine has a story on a poll of 888 publishers, editors and advertising
directors, "fewer than one in ten participants say the media are
doing an excellent job of reporting on the campaign thus far." The
poll was conducted by American Opinion Research for the annual State of
the Newspaper Industry study issued by the Foundation for American
The most interesting finding: "Grading the
media on providing fair, unbiased coverage of candidates, 14 percent of
the editors rate the media excellent, compared with 9 percent of the
presidents/publishers and 6 percent of the advertising/marketing
directors." The story didn't give a breakdown for "good,"
"fair" and "poor."
On Fox News Sunday on May 19, host Tony Snow asked Senator Al D'Amato
about rumors that Bryant Gumbel plans to run against him as a Democrat.
D'Amato just said it would be a "terrific race." Gumbel has
announced that he plans to leave Today at the end of this year. The May 20
New York Post reported only that "Sources close to Gumbel said he
laughs at the speculation."
Gumbel wins the Democratic primary, it will be interesting to see whether
he or D'Amato offers up more attacks on the Christian Coalition and
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