Kaplan's Clinton Claims; "Bravo" to Tax Hikers; Conking Connerly
- Rick Kaplan,
FOB and new head of CNN, insisted that he'll direct coverage as a
journalist, not a friend. But in 1992 he was a friend first.
- CNN's Bernard
Shaw literally yelled "Bravo" and applauded a story
praising those who have advocated or implemented tax hikes.
- ABC insulted
Ward Connerly ("You've been called an Uncle Tom, an Oreo
cookie"), but didn't challenge Jesse Jackson with such
condemnations from the right.
1) The August
6 CyberAlert detailed the close personal and working relationship
between Rick Kaplan, the new CNN President, and President Clinton. In
the August 6 USA Today, TV writer Peter Johnson noted that
"Kaplan has been friends with Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton for
20 years; he plays golf with the President and has stayed overnight at
the White House." But, Johnson failed to tell readers anything
about how Kaplan strategized with Clinton in 1992 about how the rescue
his candidacy from the Gennifer Flowers revelation or how Kaplan
arranged for a crucial pre-New York primary appearance on the Don Imus
Johnson relayed that Kaplan
"sees no conflict between being a friend of the President's and
running the country's top-rated cable news operation. 'I have 28 years
of making news judgments behind me,' Kaplan said. 'And I'm not the
first news executive to know a President.' He said he'd make news
calls about Clinton coverage as a journalist, not a friend. 'If your
job is to report, you report. Your business is your business.'"
Among Kaplan's 28 years of
news judgments: his February 1992 advice to Clinton to not appear on
ABC but go on a CBS show, 60 Minutes, in order to best help Clinton's
2) So, who is
really responsible for leading America to a balanced budget? Those who
advocated tax hikes, CNN political analyst Bill Schneider contended on
last Friday's Inside Politics. Schneider cited seven people or groups
he claimed made deficit reduction a priority: six of which advocated
tax hikes, but just one, Phil Gramm, who argued for spending cuts. He
failed to address the issue of how some of those he praised for urging
a tax hike also would have (Walter Mondale) or actually did (George
Bush) increase spending even faster.
Given the incredible
imbalance of this piece, I'm running the whole story for you to see,
as transcribed by MRC intern Jessica Anderson since it never made it
onto the CNN transcripts page.
Schneider's August 1
"Play of the Week" on Inside Politics:
"Bernie, who should get the credit for passing a balanced budget?
Not this President or this Congress -- they didn't do anything heroic.
The booming economy made it easy, so easy, they could cut taxes and
still balance the budget. The really difficult decisions got made
years ago, by politicians who took deficit reduction seriously and
paid for it with their own careers. So let's give credit where credit
is due, to those who fell on the battlefield fighting for the cause of
"This man certainly
belongs on the honor roll. Back in 1984, Walter Mondale warned
Americans that the deficit carried a price."
Mondale: "Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He
won't tell you, I just did."
did Americans want to listen? Not on your life. It was Mondale who
paid the price. George Bush learned a lesson from Mondale."
Bush: "Read my
lips: No new taxes."
when he was faced with a deficit crisis, President Bush delivered
what Mondale had promised, and opened himself up to ridicule."
campaign ad: "Can we afford four more years of broken
promises? Send a message."
"Let's give President Bush his due: the economic recovery that
made balancing the budget so easy began in 1991 while Bush was
President. It just didn't happen fast enough to save him. Other
candidates have fallen on their swords for the cause of deficit
reduction. Democrat Bruce Babbitt stood up for raising taxes in 1998
and got shot down. Republican Phil Gramm ran on the deficit issue in
the 1996 campaign."
Gramm: "I think
the best Christmas present that we can give America is a balanced
didn't even make it to New Hampshire. In 1992, Paul Tsongas proved
that even in the Democratic Party, there was a constituency for
not Santa Claus. I don't want to be Santa Claus."
"Unfortunately for Tsongas, Santa Claus had a bigger
constituency. Ross Perot spent his own money to make sure the
deficit got on the political agenda."
Perot : "It's
like the guy that went into the hospital, thought he had a sore arm
and found out he had gangrene. But here we are, we're tough people,
we can handle it. Look right here at the red. Seventy percent of
that $4 trillion debt is due and payable in the next five
he got called crazy. In 1993, congressional Democrats stuck their
necks out to support President Clinton's budget."
"It's going to constitute the largest deficit reduction program
year later, they got their heads chopped off. Two Senators and 34
Representatives, all Democrats who voted for President Clinton's tax
hike, joined the ranks of politically fallen. Martyrs to the cause.
[With Taps playing in the background] Let us pay homage to those who
gave the last full measure of devotion that the budget could be
balanced. They made the tough choices, and we owe them so much,
beginning with this week's political Play of the Week.
"President Bush, the
Democratic Congress, failed candidates for President -- they are the
unsung heroes of this week's budget deal. Martyrs to the deficit,
[salutes] we salute you."
Bernard Shaw, literally
applauding: "Bravo. Thank you, that's why I love this program.
In the Shaw/Schneider world
it's "tough" to vote to raise taxes. One could argue that
the media make it a lot tougher to vote to cut spending. If you want
to raise taxes you're "responsible." If you want to
slightly reduce the rate of growth of spending the media will paint
you as a mean-spirited "extremist."
Schneider didn't need to go
further than his own show to see how the media became an impediment
to adjusting soaring spending. Though the 1995 Republican plan
called for Medicare and Medicaid spending to rise twice the rate of
inflation, on the May 9, 1995 Inside Politics CNN reporter Bob
Franken colorfully, but falsely, asserted: "The House
Republican budget bloodletting will infuriate lots of people.
Besides the Medicare cuts, Medicaid, the government health plan for
the poor, loses $184 billion."
But no one at CNN could top
Dan Rather's scurrilous March 16, 1995 CBS Evening News declaration:
"The new Republican majority in Congress took a big step today
on its legislative agenda to demolish or damage government aid
programs, many of them designed to help children and the poor."
No wonder spending soars in
the balanced budget deal while taxpayers only got a piddling cut
equal to one percent of expected spending.
3) If you are
a liberal ABC News will give you a largely unchallenged
platform to spout your views. But if you are conservative you'll get
challenged and be portrayed as out of touch with your race. That's the
lesson you can take from how World News Tonight presented two
black men recently highlighted on its weekend "A Conversation
For the August 2 World News
Tonight/Saturday ABC's Carole Simpson talked with, well actually
argued with, Ward Connerly, leader of the effort which successfully
won passage of California's Proposition 209 to ban racial
discrimination by eliminating racial quotas and set-asides.
Simpson opened by
questioning his loyalty to his race: "May I ask you the question
that all black people have wanted me to ask you, all the black people
I know? Why you? Why you, leading an initiative against affirmative
demanded: "You've been called an Uncle Tom, an Oreo cookie. How
do you respond to that?"
"It concerns me that the average SAT of black students from the
highest income group, $60,000 and over, is less than the average SAT
of white and Asian students in the lowest income group, less than
$20,000 a year. These are not kids who have been subjected to
discrimination. These are not kids that are, that have been subjected
to poverty. Why is this? Why is this?"
To which Simpson shot
back in disgust: "You're trying to suggest to me Bell curve
blacks are just intellectually inferior."
Miss Simpson, no one can reach that conclusion, but this is precisely
why we haven't solved the problem because anytime someone throws back
at you the statistics that are real, there are those who say, 'Charles
Murray and the Bell curve, you're saying that we're not, that we're
Simpson kept up the
argument: "That's what you seem to be saying. You said you don't
Simpson's next question
revealed her bias: "I am an affirmative action baby. I say
that proudly. Someone had to open the door for me. Are you saying that
we no longer need those doors opened?"
last question kept Connerly on the defensive: "The reality of
America is there is still discrimination. How do we combat that?"
You'd never know that 40
percent of blacks in California voted for Proposition 209.
Now compare the treatment of
Connerly to how ABC approached Jesse Jackson on the February 23 World
News Tonight/Sunday earlier this year, a contrast tracked down thanks
to the database logging of MRC analyst Gene Eliasen. ABC pegged the
segment to Jackson's education "summit" in Chicago. ABC's
Erin Hayes did challenge Jackson, but mildly, without the
condescending attitude displayed by Simpson. And, Hayes gave Jackson
at least two promotional questions that served as cues for Jackson's
view. Here are all the questions posed, as transcribed by MRC intern
"You're convinced that
our crumbling schools are contributing to our overflowing prisons.
"Some people are
convinced that pouring money into it [education] won't, won't
"It's a tremendous
challenge. How do you think a three-day summit, even with some of the
top educators, can turn that around?"
"I was wondering what
you've seen that makes this a priority for you, I mean, what you've
been seeing in the last few years."
"Some might say, 'Why
you and why education?'"
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