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CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
| July 31, 1996 (Vol. One; No. 54) |

More MSNBC; Veterans for Clinton

Two items today:

1) More on MSNBC's liberal agenda. Tom Brokaw and Bill Moyers take on Clinton -- from the left, in interviews with the Carters and a union boss.

2) Bill Clinton addressed a group a disabled veterans and NBC reports that they all love him and have forgiven his draft avoidance because he's the only thing stopping Bob Dole from cutting off their Medicare payments.


Cal Thomas wrote a column a few days ago (it ran in The Washington Times on July 28) noting that NBC's Olympic coverage is tailored to women, downplaying "manly" sports like baseball, in order to attract more female viewers. So why, he asked, "doesn't MSNBC go after the huge disaffected audience who believe the media, especially news, is incredibly slanted in a liberal direction?" To show how MSNBC has missed this opportunity Thomas offered some quotes from MSNBC's InterNight that were sent in earlier MRC e-mails.
     Well, the policy of letting InterNight hosts use their position as a platform for liberal views continues. (In the case of Tom Brokaw, MSNBC is giving him enough time so that personal political views come through.) Here are a few more examples from the 8pm ET interview show.

     -- Last Thursday, July 25, Tom Brokaw interviewed Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter. As transcribed by MRC intern Jessica Anderson, here's how he began: "Good evening on a soft, summer evening here in Atlanta. Whether it's hammering together agreements in Haiti or homes in South Dakota, monitoring elections in Latin America or fighting disease in Africa, it seems there's nowhere that Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn won't go if there's a job that needs to be done. Jimmy Carter is arguably the influential former President in history, his profile and his popularity just keep growing."
     Talking about the welfare reform bill, Brokaw queried from the left: "Mrs. Carter are you concerned about the nation's children? You know, there are some estimates that a million may go below the poverty line if this bill is signed."
     And later after Mrs. Carter explains that "one thing, though, that has happened to Hillary is that one of the best ways to get to a President, or really hurt a President, is to criticize the First Lady, so I think a lot of it is politics," Brokaw asked: "Some of it, obviously, has to do with some legal questions, as well, obviously. She's had to testify before a grand jury, but all that aside, and those are serious issues, do you think that this country is not as far along as we'd like to believe when it comes to dealing with gender equality?"

     -- The next night, July 26, Bill Moyers talked with AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. In true PBS fashion, he also came at Clinton from the left, portraying him as no better than any Republican controlled by corporate interests. Here are a few of his questions as transcribed by MRC intern Jonathan Stuart:
     Moyers: "There's an anomaly here. During the years when family real wages were eroding, when inequalities were growing, when corporations were getting increased power and sending jobs to out-sourcing and overseas, the Democrats controlled the Congress, both the Senate and the House. What makes you think there's much difference in the two parties these days in Congress given the fact that both parties are very heavily beholden to the power of financial contributions from big business?"
     Moyers: "[Clinton] hasn't stopped wage erosion and inequality. He hasn't stopped the huge lay-offs of the corporations, we get them almost weekly now. There's a real sense that he is as comfortable with big business as he is with you, and that big business has the upper hand there."
     Moyers: "When you and I were growing up, and we are the same age by the way, we had a sense of the social contract. If you worked hard, you got rewarded. Labor, business, and government were working together for common purposes. What's your own estimate of what's happened to that idea of a social contract?"
     Moyers: "Workers are up against corporate power, up against an unregulated market economy globally, and they're up against big money domination of politics. What can a union do for workers in that environment?"


On Sunday President Clinton addressed the Disabled American Veterans. ABC and CBS did stories on Clinton and Dole comments about the terrorism bill in the wake of the Olympic bombing, but only NBC did a full piece on the DAV visit. I was alerted to NBC's story by an e-mail recipient who pointed out how Clinton escaped any criticism in it. Indeed, it reads like a campaign video with all of Clinton's points hit. Here's the full story by John Palmer on the July 28 NBC Nightly News:

Tom Brokaw: "President Clinton went campaigning today at the annual convention of Disabled American Veterans, and his message was well received. Here's NBC's John Palmer."
John Palmer: "Security was especially tight for the President's appearance reflecting higher security concerns following the Atlanta bombing. Today's appearance gave the President the chance to stress the need for a stronger defense, a high priority issue with veterans. He also touted his commitment to quality health care, especially for veterans and the disabled."
[Bill Clinton: "We are committed to keeping the VA health care system strong into the twenty-first century, and we know that requires us to carry out a dramatic restructuring that will improve the quality of care and make our hospitals more patient centered and less bureaucratic."]
Palmer: "This group represents a natural constituency for Bob Dole, partially disabled from injuries during World War II. But many, including influential members, of the DAV have expressed concern about Dole commitment to protect federal programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. The President got a warm reception."
[Donald Sios, Disabled American veteran: "He's done a lot. He's been there to support us, his programs. We are appreciative of that."]
[John McCoy, Disabled American veteran: "Even though I disagree on some of his policies and his past, you know, on Vietnam, him not going. That carries a hard spot with me, but he has been there for the vets."]
Palmer: "In his remarks, Mr. Clinton also addressed the issue of terrorism saying, it must be fought on a global basis."
[Bill Clinton: "We all have to say we can not live with this. It is wrong. People must seek to resolve their differences by ways other than killing innocent civilians."]
Palmer: "The President said he asked congressional leaders to meet with him tomorrow at the White House to discuss new legislation to fight terrorism. He mentioned expanding wire-tapping authority and reconsideration of a law that would require manufacturers to chemically tag explosives, so they can be traced. John Palmer, NBC News, with the President in New Orleans."

There you have it. Bill Clinton is pro-defense and even disabled veterans have turned to him for protection against extremist GOP budget cutting plans. -- Brent Baker



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