6/02: NBC Suggests Bill O'Reilly Fueled Murder of Dr. George Tiller
  6/01: NBC's Williams Cues Up Obama: 'That's One She'd Rather Have Back'
  5/29: Nets Push 'Abortion Rights' Advocates' Concerns on Sotomayor
  5/28: CBS on Sotomayor: 'Can't Be Easily Defined by Political Labels'

  Notable Quotables
  Media Reality Check
  Press Releases
  Media Bias Videos
  Special Reports
  30-Day Archive
  Take Action
  Gala and DisHonors
  Best of NQ Archive
  The Watchdog
  About the MRC
  MRC in the News
  Support the MRC
  Planned Giving
  What Others Say
MRC Resources
  Site Search
  Media Addresses
  Contact MRC
  MRC Bookstore
  Job Openings
  News Division
  NewsBusters Blog
  Business & Media Institute

Support the MRC



CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
| April 28, 1997 (Vol. Two; No. 58) |


Brokaw Volunteers More Spending; Ellen Endorses Quayle

1.  A million children will be thrown on the streets because of a welfare bill that lacks any reason. Comments from a far-left commentator? Well no, or maybe yes. It's Tom Brokaw.

2.  NBC's Scott Simon explains the bright side of the volunteer summit: It will create demand for more government spending.

3.  CNN's soon to depart reporter tosses softballs at Gore, wondering if he's "frustrated" about how fundraising is hurting his popularity.

4.  Bill Clinton lied about Whitewater? That's "far-fetched, that is so ludicrous," insists Al Hunt.

5.  Ellen DeGeneres agrees with Dan Quayle's idea for a TV plot.

1) The volunteer summit in Philadelphia may be advertised as an effort to get more Americans to volunteer, but for NBC's Tom Brokaw on Sunday the core problem facing the country is not a lack of volunteering but a lack of government spending. With two big-name guests scheduled, Brokaw imposed himself on Tim Russert's Meet the Press, broadcast from the summit in Philadelphia.

Russert and Brokaw questioned Colin Powell and then Jimmy Carter for the April 27 edition. In the midst of discussing with Powell the effectiveness of AmeriCorps and how to get people to volunteer to go into "tough neighborhoods," Brokaw asserted:

"Are some current policies in Washington, however, exacerbating the problem. For example, the new welfare reform bill is going to put about a million kids on the street without a safety net beneath them. We're also now pulling back from the benefits that we've provided in the past to legal immigrants in this country and it's putting a big burden on a lot of the states out there. You come from an immigrant experience yourself. Do you think that the welfare reform bill went too far in just those two areas?"

Note Brokaw's statement that the welfare bill "IS going to put about a million kids on the street." Talk about putting hyperbole and exaggeration ahead of reporting. Oh, and "Republican" Powell answered yes.

Up next, Jimmy Carter. Brokaw used the opportunity as a platform to explain how locking up drug dealers and slightly decreasing the growth in the rate above inflation at which the government takes money from the productive and gives it to the unproductive, aka welfare, is not reasonable. Brokaw demanded:

"You raised earlier the problem of a growing prison population in this country and the consequences of welfare reform. In both instances there would be people who would say well, we had to do something about this terrible drug problem that we have in America and about crime and violence and the only way to do it was drop the jail door, sort of speak and also welfare had gotten out of control. But the pendulum seems to have swung all the way across now and the question is how do we get back to a kind of centered place and so we can have set of priorities for dealing with these problems in a more reasoned way?"

2) If Brokaw had seen Sunday's Today a little earlier he would have been reassured. National Public Radio's Scott Simon, NBC's resident essayist, told liberals, in effect, to relax. He argued that the President's volunteer scheme is really great because it will lead to more people advocating government spending.

Simon began: "There's actually been much non-partisan modesty over this volunteer summit because these days both major parties believe that American just won't support massive assistance programs and they hope volunteers can make a virtue out of this political necessity. But I'm not sure politicians understand the potential power of the movement they're endorsing..."

Simon proceeded to report how companies are helping (Lens Crafters giving glasses to poor children, Kimberly Clark building playgrounds, and AT&T connecting schools to the Internet) but, he cautioned, corporations will follow through only if they have the profits to afford it. Then, he noted senior citizens are really the only reliable volunteers.

As the music of the Clinton-Gore campaign song of 1992 (the one with "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" as the lyrics) increased in volume in the background, Simon hoped:

"But although this summit is being hailed at a time of pinched expectations, all this volunteerism may eventually, actually, spur more government activism. When we build community playgrounds it makes us feel more of a stake in making the homes and streets safer for the children who play there, and that's not just a job for volunteers. When we help a child to see, we help ourselves to see too what else that child needs to live a better life."

At this point the song is at full volume and Simon stopped as viewers heard the chorus "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow."

The song faded as Simon concluded: "I've seen the people being helped as actual human faces rather than statistics, as the kind of experience that can transform a nation of volunteers into a nation of activists."

Sign him up for AmeriCorps!

3) CNN White House reporter may soon replace Jim Miklaszewski at the White House for NBC. In Friday's Washington Post John Carmody reported that "Shipman is telling friends that she has decided to leave when her contract is up in June to join David Bloom as an NBC White House correspondent." If she moves, don't count on much tough reporting if her interview on Friday with VP Al Gore is any guide. Shipman served as substitute host for CNN's Inside Politics.

The April 25 show opened with a clip of Gore at the 1996 Democratic convention: "I will pour my heart and soul into the cause of protecting our children from the dangers of smoking."

Shipman plugged the upcoming interview: "Vice President Gore helped make smoking an emotional campaign issue. We'll ask him about a new legal blow to the tobacco industry." (On Friday, a federal judge ruled that the FDA could regulate tobacco as a drug but cannot control advertising.)

Here are all of the questions Shipman posed to Gore:

  -- Brent Baker





Home | News Division | Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts 
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact the MRC | Subscribe

Founded in 1987, the MRC is a 501(c) (3) non-profit research and education foundation
 that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate for office.

Privacy Statement

Media Research Center
325 S. Patrick Street
Alexandria, VA 22314