1) All the
networks featured stories Thursday night (April 17) on the Dole loan to
Gingrich to pay the Speaker's $300,000 penalty, but only the CBS Evening
News led with the development.
In his story CBS
reporter Bob Schieffer noted: "It set off a row on the House floor
when Democrats noticed a newspaper story that Dole was joining a law firm
that works for tobacco companies."
showed a soundbite from Democratic U.S. Rep. George Miller of California
as he held up the front page of Thursday's USA Today: "We now have
the chief lobbyist for big tobacco financing the payoff of the Speaker's
fine for lying to the Congress."
without commenting on the charge, continued: "Ignoring that
allegation, Dole called it a personal gesture."
completed his story, substitute anchor Paula Zahn introduced the next
report: "The suggestion of some kind of tobacco connection to the
Gingrich-Dole loan deal comes as the tobacco industry is reportedly
working on a $300 billion deal to settle government and private health
No wonder so many
people buy into wild conspiracy theories. Here you have a major network
forwarding as credible the flimsiest of links between two facts: a) Dole
is hired by a huge law firm that represents, according to The Washington
Post, 90 Fortune 500 companies. Among them, some companies that produce
cigarettes. b) Dole loans money to Gingrich.
Gingrich will follow tobacco's marching orders.
connection" did not make the ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News
or CNN World Today stories. But on CNN's Inside Politics, Candy Crowley
also featured the Miller bite. But she added a key bit of information to
put the partisan charge in context.
"A source close to Dole says he was against the speaker getting a
bank loan, arguing that every time a banking bill came up, Democrats would
raise a stink. Still, where there is politics, there is uproar of one kind
"We now have the chief lobbyist for big tobacco financing the payoff
of the Speaker's fine for lying to Congress."
"Dole has just joined a law firm, and while there are tobacco
accounts, the point people are former Senator George Mitchell, former
Governor Ann Richards, who are both Democrats."
Richards aren't the only Democrats at the law firm, it's dominated by
them. In an April 10 Washington Post story on Dole's new job, reporter
Saundra Torry noted that Dole "agreed to join" a firm "that
is stocked with several heavy-hitting Democrats -- Verner, Liipfert,
Bernhard, McPherson & Hand." Later, Torry added: "Dole will
give Republican balance to Verner, Liipfert's Democratic bench. It
includes former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (Maine), who joined
the firm in 1994, and former vice presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen"
2) Sit back,
relax, watch a little history unfold on cable and you can avoid liberal
bias. Not so with MSNBC's Time & Again, the cable channel's 10pm/2am
ET, 7pm/11pm PT show hosted by Jane Pauley which uses old NBC News video
to recount past news events.
The April 10
edition reviewed the assassination attempt on President Reagan. Near the
end, MSNBC showed a clip from Reagan's address to Congress in which he
outlined his economic proposals. Jane Pauley then asserted:
though controlled by Democrats, passed Reagan's plan less than four months
later. The bill, as passed, provided for almost $38 billion in tax cuts,
but because there were insufficient corresponding spending cuts,
Reaganomics meant unprecedented deficits for years to come."
As any student of
the 1980s knows, federal revenue grew faster than inflation (an average of
8 percent from 1982 to 1989), but social spending was not only not cut, it
soared much faster. As noted by Ed Rubenstein in his Right Data book for
aggregate federal tax revenues have grown 111 percent. Had revenues grown
at the rate of inflation, the government would have collected $225 billion
fewer dollars in 1992. Congress spent the additional money, and then
some....The Republican record 1980-92: Social welfare spending rose 44
percent. Defense spending rose 30 percent."
3) The April 21
edition of Notable Quotables, the Media Research Center's bi-weekly
compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the
Of this edition's
14 quotes, nine have not previously run in CyberAlerts, so there's a lot
of fresh material here. Two quotes make my must read list: 1) Under
"Happy Band of Whitewater Whitewashers," we run a quote caught
by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens in which Mortimer Zuckerman refers to
Clintonistas as "a happy band of brothers." 2) Under "How
About a 100 Percent Tax on Ink for Moronic Columns," we run a quote
noticed by MRC analyst Clay Waters from a former New York Times Editor who
advocates a 100 percent tax on political ads. Quite the First Amendment
advocate. I'd suggest a 100 percent tax on Macy's ads in his newspaper in
order to buy ads for store owners who cannot afford advertising. The NQ
issue follows below. -- Brent Baker
April 21, 1997 (Vol. Ten; No. 8)
Discredit Investigations in Advance
"When we come back, two investigations of fundraising abuse, two of
them on Capitol Hill. Is it a waste of time and money?"
"....But they don't want to get together. The easy-going Thompson,
who may have presidential aspirations, says it's important to be as tough
on Republicans as Democrats....But Dan Burton is a hard-charging partisan
and has resisted investigating anyone but Democrats....So although
Congress complains a lot about too much duplication in government, we'll
be seeing double when the House and Senate begin months of dueling
hearings into campaign fundraising." -- ABC's April 10 World News
comparison is apt in his case. He is considered flaky and a bit of a
crackpot, even though a nice guy. Some crackpots are nice." -- Time
columnist Margaret Carlson on House Government Operations Committee
Chairman Dan Burton, referring to Hillary Clinton's comment that attention
to Whitewater "reminds me of some people's obsession with UFO's and
the Hale-Bopp comet." April 12 CNN Capital Gang.
it's an interesting juxtaposition between Representative Burton, a
Republican from Indiana, who is sort of like the Republicans' wacky aunt
stuck down in the basement. You don't want to let her out in front of the
guests." -- Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren,
CNN's Capital Gang, April 13.
"Burton is a
car wreck waiting to happen. He's got real problems himself on campaign
fundraising. Some lobbyist accused him of trying to extort money from him.
The Justice Department's on the case. Burton is, shall we say, a
complicated guy. He once, I think, said he wanted to nuke Iraq to avoid
the Kuwait War. I mean, he's got all sorts of problems. It's great for the
White House to take the press attention away from a serious, sober
congressional hearing and put it on Burton." -- Newsweek's Evan
Thomas, April 12 Inside Washington.
to Point Out China's Communist
call this money `a direct slap at those brave young Americans who spilled
their blood defending freedom.' China is referred to as 'Red China.' Why
not just call it 'China'? Why 'Red China'?" -- Reporter Phil Jones to
the National Republican Senatorial Committee's Steve Law, Apr. 4 CBS
fundraising letter that your organization has put out, raising what was
described as a Red scare, making the accusation that the Clinton White
House, quote, 'sold for illegal foreign cash,' was sold for illegal
foreign cash...and that included money from 'Red China, which still
considers itself a communist country.' You were criticized by the
Democrats for raising this Red scare. Any second thoughts about this kind
of letter, which apparently was very successful, though, in raising funds
for your Senatorial Campaign Committee?" -- CNN's Wolf Blitzer to
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Inside Politics, April 5.
Caricature Will Remain -- We Keep Reinforcing It
the Speaker will forever remain his own caricature -- a Dennis the Menace
meets Darth Vader kind of guy. A fellow who, for instance, wants to give
all children in America laptops but take away their free school
lunches." -- U.S. News & World Report Assistant Managing Editor
Gloria Borger, April 7.
Republicans in Congress had shown a nasty streak about Medicare and
Medicaid that most Americans wanted no part of; Gingrich was no longer
amusing as Newt the Menace, and was now seen as the Bad Seed...Clinton
thus positioned himself not so much against Dole as against Gingrich, now
viewed by the public as the blistering ideologue who had gleefully shut
down the government twice in the budget battles of late 1995 and early
1996." -- Unbylined dispatches from Time's 1996 Year in Review book.
Hayden: Nasty As He Wants to Be
[be] easy to poke fun at the gonzo tactics of this former '60s radical,
former husband of Jane Fonda, former comrade of Cesar Chavez turned
15-year veteran of the state assembly, where he has crusaded on behalf of
gun control, the environment, and his view of social justice. But it would
also be wrong." -- New York Times reporter Todd Purdum, after noting
Hayden accused his opponent, Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, of being a
"racist" and being complicit in the death of a subway worker,
Band of Whitewater Whitewashers
"I think we
really have to look at the context. A lot of the so-called FOBs, Friends
of Bill's, were really getting their clocks cleaned. And there was perhaps
his closest friend and one of Hillary's closest associates who is now
really out on the street. I mean he resigned. He had no law practice. He
had no income. And these are people who really, you know, these are people
who go back years and decades, and I think there is at least as much
reason to believe that compassion motivated them as much as anything
else...this is sort of a group of people who came here as a happy band of
brothers and were getting, you know, knocked off one by one." -- U.S.
News Editor-in-Chief Mortimer Zuckerman on CNBC's Hardball, April 7.
you know, I think there's a real chance that there's less there than meets
the eye. At least nothing illegal. A) Hubbell at the time was only accused
of some kind of billing impropriety with this law firm which that then
didn't seem like a big deal. We didn't know he was a congenital cheat back
then. Secondly, there were a dozen people or more who tried to help him.
If it was a hush money conspiracy as Ken Starr, the special counsel,
suggests, that's too many people to have involved. Moreover, the effort by
[Erskine] Bowles was pretty passive. He didn't even succeed. And see, no
one has adequately explained what Hubbell was trying, was being hushed up
from saying." -- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al
Hunt on CNN's Capital Gang, April 5.
Diatribes Okay, If They're on Liberal NPR
Cambridge was calling from his car phone this morning to tell two United
States Senators just how mad he was about the latest campaign fundraising
mess....'We're in danger of losing our democracy or even our liberty
unless we take action to correct it.' Rush Limbaugh it wasn't. The callers
to WBUR, a National Public Radio affiliate here, sounded more like
articulate university professors rather than angry citizens ready to take
on the system." -- New York Times reporter Eric Schmitt, March 26.
About a 100 Percent Tax on Ink for Moronic Columns
way to fairness is to impose a hefty tax on political TV advertising. Paul
Taylor, an energetic reformer, urges a tax of 50 percent. He would use the
proceeds to underwrite vouchers, to be distributed among political parties
and candidates for the purchase of TV time in any market. That's a halfway
measure. Better yet, in my view, would be a 100 percent surcharge on every
political TV and radio commercial to pay for an opponent's immediate
response in the same market, to the same audience. A stiff tax would
assure that the more a candidate spent on TV, the greater the subsidy for
his or her rivals." -- Former New York Times Executive Editor Max
Frankel in The New York Times Magazine, March 30.
America Loves Liberals
Cuomo was a rare combination: an intellectual and a spellbinding orator. I
would have bet that he could have won the Democratic nomination and been
elected to the presidency. He had electrified the 1984 Democratic
convention with his keynote speech, and I never saw him fail to excite
those who shared his liberal vision of America's future. Despite the
pollsters and political operators' contrary opinions, I remain convinced
that the public was ready for a leader who could restore that vision after
the selfish eighties. I don't believe the public has rejected liberalism;
it simply has not heard a candidate persuasively advocate its humane and
deeply democratic principles." -- Walter Cronkite in his book A
Brent Bozell III, Publisher
Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham, Editors
Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters;
Kathleen Ruff, Marketing Director
Kristina Sewell, Research Associate
Carey Evans, Circulation Manager
Brian Schmisek, Intern