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CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
| October 16, 1996 (Vol. One; No. 93) |


Three items today:

1.  CBS Evening News led Tuesday's broadcast with a Defense Department report critical of the Clinton Administration's drug policy, but minutes later Bill Plante worried that Bob Dole's speech on character may appear "mean-spirited."

2.  Bill Clinton has saved America's cities, ABC reported Monday night. According to ABC's story, while dozens of housing developments have been built under Clinton, during Reagan's years "only one new house was built in the entire city" of Detroit.

3.  In a California House contest, CBS portrayed the race as between an "ultra-conservative" woman who is "pro-assault weapons" and "a soft-spoken" man who is just "liberal."

1) Back on September 25 Republican Congressman John Mica sent a letter to the drug czar demanding release of a Defense Department study which found Bush's interdiction policy was more effective than Clinton's emphasis on treatment. At the time, Mica's letter and GOP demands to see the study were not reported by the networks.

Tuesday night (October 15), the CBS Evening News led with the report, a copy of which was obtained by reporter David Martin.

Next, analyzing Bob Dole's speech criticizing the "public ethics" of President Clinton, reporter Bill Plante worried:"It's a tough speech for him to make because he runs the risk of looking desperate and mean-spirited."

2) For the Monday, October 14 World News Tonight, Peter Jennings and crew traveled to Detroit. They found a booming city and reported that under Clinton America's cities are on the rebound. Here's the introduction and beginning of their story of the state of cities this election year:

Peter Jennings: "Here in Detroit itself we've noticed a difference. It was impossible to come here in years past without the state of the city itself being an issue. Not this year, not here. And as ABC's Dean Reynolds reports tonight, not in many other places as well."

Dean Reynolds, over video of a building being torn down:

"In Detroit this morning it was down with the old. Down with the high-rise symbols of urban rot to be replaced by new neighborhoods. Twenty five housing developments have started here since the Clinton Administration took office." Mayor Dennis Archer: "There is a sense that there is a relationship between the city of Detroit and Washington and that it is positive."

Reynolds: "A decade ago during the Reagan era, according to the Mayor, only one new house was built in the entire city."

3) For the October 6 Sunday Morning, CBS reporter Jerry Bowen examined some hot House contests. As transcribed by MRC analyst Steve Kaminski, here's how Bowen described the choice voters face in a California district:

Jerry Bowen: "In the 22nd District along California's central coast, freshman incumbent Andrea Seastrand is in the fight of her political life. Challenged again by Democrat Walter Capps, the college professor she defeated by less than 1 percent of the vote last time. It is a contest of stark contrasts. The 55 year-old Seastrand: ultra-conservative, pro-life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay, anti-illegal immigrant."

After a soundbite from Republican Seastrand, Bowen continued:

"The soft spoken 62 year-old Capps, liberal down the line: abortion rights, gay rights, gun control, opposed to the death penalty."

Has CBS ever come across an "ultra-liberal"?

  -- Brent Baker



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