Two items today:
RE: Copy of: MRC Alert:
"Nasty" Dole & Public Thinks Media Want Clinton to Win
- The Clinton-Gore campaign runs
a non-stop negative ad campaign against Bob Dole full of false claims
about "slashing" Medicare etc, so when Bob Dole reacts and
criticizes Clinton who do the networks say has made it a
"nasty" campaign? Bob Dole.
- A new poll finds that by a
wide margin the public thinks that reporters want
President Clinton to win re-election. Front
Bob Dole demanded that Bill Clinton release his medical records and
complained that Clinton's ads were little more than character
assassination. Instead of examining the tone of Clinton ads, ABC and CBS
portrayed Dole as the villain who has dirtied the until now clean
campaign. Only NBC looked at Clinton's role. On ABC's World News Tonight,
Peter Jennings announced: "The campaign for President took a nasty
turn today. First, Bob Dole departed from his standard stump speech in
Kentucky, lashing out at the Democrats for what he says they are saying
about him, and negative advertising was the kindest thing Mr. Dole had to
say." Reporter Jim Wooten showed clips of Dole complaining about
Clinton and of Dole raising the medical records issue. Then he explained:
"Press Secretary McCurry was
asked by reporters today if the records would show indication of a number
of diseases, including a sexually transmitted one. He said, no."
McCurry: "This has been put
into play no doubt by those who seek to destroy the President. The
President's physician reported on May 24th of this year he was in
excellent overall health. Shecould not have done that if any of the
allegations about diseases were true."
Wooten, concluding his piece:
"It was bound to come to this no doubt as Senator Dole has been under
considerable pressure from his campaign tacticians to begin attacking the
President on issues of personal character. So far he's resisted. Today may
have been a signal that he's changing his mind."
So Dole's to blame for a
reporter asking about a "sexually transmitted" disease.
Then, Peter Jennings got to the
second part of the how the campaign "took a nasty turn today"
premise. Immediately after Wooten finished he introduced the next story:
"The President is going to come under further Republican attack with
the release next week of the House Committee on Government Operations and
Oversight's report on the firings at the White House travel office."
On the CBS Evening News Dan
Rather followed the same Clinton as victim theme: "Now for his part,
Bob Dole re-opened one of his favorite lines of attack today about
President Clinton's health records. Phil Jones is our man with the Dole
campaign, Phil." Jones provided a very short piece which dealt only
with the medical records issue, and concluded: "Dan, this campaign is
headed exactly where everybody expected it to go: personal..." Only
NBC Nightly News bothered to show viewers what so upset Dole. Tom Brokaw
declared: "Bob Dole on the ropes and looking for a way to boost his
sagging campaign made it clear today he is taking off the gloves in the
war of the political airwaves." Reporter David Bloom began:
"Stung by a barrage of negative television advertising, Bob Dole
today accused Bill Clinton of running a campaign of fear, of engaging in
character assassination." After a clip of Dole, Bloom continued:
"At the Democratic National Convention two weeks ago the President
made this pledge:"
Clinton: "This must be a campaign of ideas, not a campaign of
insults. The American people deserve it." Bloom: "But since
then, the Dole camp claims the Democrats have run only 42 positive ads
with 4,200 negative ads running across the country."
Clips of Clinton ads, including:
"If Dole sits here [Oval Office] and Gingrich runs Congress what
could happen. Medicare slashed. A woman's right to choose gone."
Following another Dole soundbite
of Dole and reaction from the Clinton campaign, Bloom concluded:
"Dole aides say the campaign will double its ad budget next week,
unveiling new attack ads blaming Clinton for rising teen drug use, ads
even tougher than this one." Ad: "Bill Clinton said he'd lead
the war on drugs and change America. All he did was change his mind."
Bloom then ended his story by forwarding the "nasty" theme:
"At a Dole rally today the music blared 'get ready.' Get ready, that
is, for a very nasty campaign."
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press will be releasing the
results of their survey of 1,508 people. Here are some of the more
-- All in all, how would you rate the job the press has done in covering
the presidential campaign so far?
44% Good 29% Only fair 13%
Excellent 11% Poor
-- How much influence do you
think news organizations have on which candidate becomes President? (Posed
only to the 1,141 registered voters in the sample)
64% Too much 30% About the right
amount 4% Too little
-- Would you say the press has
been fair or unfair in the way it has covered Bill Clinton's election
campaign? (Again, registered voters only, but this time sample of 565)
67% Fair 24% Unfair
-- Would you say the press has
been fair or unfair in the way it has covered Bob Dole's election
campaign? (565 registered voters)
65% Fair 25% Unfair
-- Who do you think most
newspaper reporters and TV journalists want to see win the presidential
election -- Bill Clinton, Bob Dole or Ross Perot? (Posed to sample size of
59% Clinton 17% Dole 1% Perot
So, the media are fair in coverage of both candidates, but the public
thinks that the media have too much influence on who wins and perceives
that reporters hope Clinton will win. Very confusing. --
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