Judging Gingrich; Scumbag vs. Nazi; Jennings' Denouncements Upset NY Post
1) Newt Gingrich's comments
about Clintonites abusing the political system were either ignored or
condemned. NBC's Today tagged them as "harsh." CNN emphasized
how Gingrich had ruined his "warm and fuzzy" image by going for
the "political jugular."
2) The ABC and NBC morning
shows jumped on Dan Burton's "scumbag" comment but where were
they when a liberal said Independent Counsel Donald Smaltz reminded him of
3) The Senate's IRS
hearings: a cheap Republican political ploy?
4) Sam Donaldson argued
against education IRAs, declaring of public schools: "We should pour
money into those rotten schools."
5) A CNN VP's response to
the last CyberAlert: Rick Kaplan "did not say he regretted
airing" the video of Clinton hugging Lewinsky.
6) Peter Jennings "made
an ass of himself." The New York Post picked up on his comments about
starvation in the U.S. and looking at the homeless, suggesting he's a
Amplification: The last CyberAlert failed
to identify Tony Blankley. He's the former Press Secretary to Newt
Gingrich who now writes for George magazine and appears regularly on
CNN's Late Edition.
networks either condemned or ignored Newt Gingrich's Monday night speech
to GOPAC in which he pointed out how the administration is covering up and
urged President Clinton to respect the political system by ensuring his
operative cease undermining Ken Starr. Only FNC played it as a straight
news story, treating the substance of his comments as newsworthy in
-- Tuesday morning (April 28) during the
8am news update on Today NBC's Ann Curry, MRC news analyst Geoffrey
Dickens noticed, characterized Gingrich as "harsh." She
announced: "House Speaker Newt Gingrich had harsh words last night
about President Clinton. Speaking to GOPAC, the political action group he
once led, Gingrich called the last two-and-a half years the most
systematic, deliberate obstruction of justice and coverup in U.S.
-- In the evening the CBS Evening News, NBC
Nightly News and CNN's The World Today at 8pm ET ignored Gingrich's
strong statements highlighting presidential wrongdoing, but his comments
led CNN's Inside Politics. CNN considered Gingrich's temperament and
image more relevant than what he said. Co-anchor Bernard Shaw began:
"Thanks for joining us. Perhaps Newt
Gingrich is demonstrating one of his 'lessons learned the hard way.'
Just when your book tour has made you look almost warm and fuzzy, stop
and go for the political jugular. As our Bob Franken reports, the House
Speaker has done just that, offering his strongest words yet about the
investigation of President Clinton."
Franken elaborated: "He may be
cultivating the image of the new mellow Newt, but House Speaker Newt
Gingrich can still throw out the partisan red meat. Witness his GOPAC
speech last night where he trashed the White House for its attacks on
Independent Counsel Ken Starr..."
-- ABC's World News Tonight also
emphasized polemical style instead of exploring the substance. Peter
"Sam Donaldson's with us this
evening to report on what appears to be a serious attack on the
President's character by the Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Sam,
he was pretty outspoken."
Donaldson did note that Clinton had
criticized Gingrich last week, but didn't relay what was said. After a
soundbite from the GOPAC speech and a clip of Clinton declining to
respond, Donaldson concluded by arguing that the attacks are getting in
the way of real substantive work:
"All this may just be so much
political shadow boxing but the danger in such high decibel name calling
is that it will make it difficult to reach agreement on important
legislation now stuck on Capitol Hill."
-- FNC's 7pm ET Fox Report provided quite
a contrast, actually relaying Gingrich's comments without condemning its
tone or analyzing how it reinforces his negative image. FNC's Carl
Cameron began: "House Speaker Newt Gingrich, fed up Monday night,
blasted White House spin doctors and challenged the President to call off
the attacks on Independent Counsel Ken Starr."
Following a clip of Gingrich, Cameron
added: "Gingrich and the GOP are also declaring war on what they call
an orchestrated White House and Democratic attempt to thwart the
investigation of Clinton campaign fundraising abuse."
on the subject of harsh Republican rhetoric, conservative Congressman Dan
Burton calling President Clinton a "scumbag" generated a lot
more network coverage than a liberal Congressman analogizing an
Independent Counsel to a Nazi. MRC news analyst Eric Darbe noticed the
contrast and wrote up a Newsbite about it for the upcoming issue of
When Congressman Dan Burton called
President Clinton a "scumbag," both ABC and NBC reported on his
controversial comment and the reaction of Democratic Congressman Henry
Waxman to it. On the other hand, when Democrat Tom Lantos compared
Independent Counsel Donald Smaltz forgetting to mention that he is a
Republican to Kurt Waldheim who "conveniently forgot several years
when he was a Nazi," not one of the broadcast networks touched it.
Smaltz is handling the Espy probe.
On April 23 Today's Ann Curry introduced
a Gwen Ifill story on Burton's comments: "On Capitol Hill the
Congressman who heads the House committee investigating campaign financing
is in trouble. This after some remarks he made about President
Clinton." Ifill continued: "It's not the most dignified why to
describe a fellow lawmaker." ABC's Asha Blake introduced a Good
Morning America story on the comment the same morning: "...a
controversy has erupted over some unusually caustic comments made by a top
Republican about President Clinton....Ann, things appear to be getting
personal." Ann Compton reported: "Such personal name calling is
forbidden on the floor of the House, where the President's defenders
called Burton words outrageous and vile."
Last December 10 during a House hearing
Lantos scolded Smaltz for glossing over his Republican past: "You
remind me of the late and unlamented Secretary General of the United
Nations, Kurt Waldheim, who also had a lapse in memory. He conveniently
forgot several years when he was a Nazi."
All three major broadcast networks ignored
three broadcast network evening shows all led on April 28 with the Senate
hearings on IRS abuses followed by pieces on how the good economy has
supposedly bought Social Security another three years so the transfer
program won't collapse until 2032.
Two network correspondents reported how the
DNC put out a press release claiming the Republican Senators were using
the hearings for political gain, but while one bought it another countered
it. On the NBC Nightly News reporter Gwen Ifill asserted:
"But is all this IRS bashing just
politics? Democrats say yes, distributing this four-page fundraising
letter sent by Republican leader Trent Lott vowing to 'end the IRS as
we know it.'"
Over on the CBS Evening News Bob Schieffer
added some information that put the matter in a different light: "The
Democratic National Committee tried to brush off the hearings as just a
Republican ploy to build support in an election year, but several of the
Democrats at the hearings seemed to take the charges seriously."
money is the answer to everything it seems for Sam Donaldson. On
Sunday's This Week he argued against the conservative bill to create
tax-free education savings accounts to help parents afford to escape
public schools. At one point in the discussion, as transcribed by MRC
analyst Gene Eliasen, Cokie Roberts noted how parochial schools are very
popular: "In the Catholic schools in the District of Columbia the
majority of the students aren't Catholic because these are poor families
that are trying to get their kids out of rotten public schools."
Donaldson jumped in: "Well, we should
maintain the rotten public schools better then. We should pour money into
those rotten schools and make them better."
George Will did point out that the
District's public schools are already among highest in per student
Haworth, VP for public relations at CNN, has taken issue with the April 27
CyberAlert item on CNN President Rick Kaplan. We relayed that the May
George magazine reported that
"Kaplan recently admitted it was a
'big mistake' to have aired exclusive footage of the now infamous
hug between Clinton and a beret-headed Monica Lewinsky. 'Clinton
probably gave 79 other hugs on that line,' says a contrite Kaplan,
adding that Al Gore 'also gave God knows how many hugs -- not that
anyone would care.'"
Haworth explained in an e-mail message that
he gave permission to cite: "You're usually better than this -- Rick
Kaplan did not say he regretted airing the exclusive video CNN obtained of
President Clinton hugging Monica Lewinsky. It was the first video
discovered of the two together and was, therefore, newsworthy. What Rick
did say was that, in retrospect, we probably aired the video too much --
making it the story and not what the special counsel was reported to be
investigating. He also said we probably should have aired more than the
snippet we aired, so viewers could have a better understanding of the
context of those few seconds."
I should have known better than to trust a
magazine run by a Kennedy.
quotes from the Peter Jennings interview detailed in the April 24
CyberAlert, the April 27 New York Post featured his liberal comments,
about U.S. poverty and the evils of moving the homeless, in a cutting
editorial. You may have heard Rush Limbaugh read from it on Monday's
show. Here's how it played in New York, where Peter Jennings probably
saw it, as made available on the New York Post's Web site: http://www.nypostonline.com
Peter Jennings, Superbrain
Early Friday morning on CBS, one of the
nation's most respected newsmen made an ass of himself. It wasn't just
that ABC anchorman Peter Jennings praised Jane Fonda for her recent idiocy
about people starving to death in the great state of Georgia; he actually
complained that Rudy Giuliani's policies have brought an end to the city's
homeless shanty town.
Liberal media bias?
Appearing on CBS's "Late Late Show
with Tom Snyder" on April 24, Jennings described the kind of poverty
he has seen abroad and then went into this spiel: "I was thinking
about what Jane Fonda said the other night about North Georgia and how she
North Georgia was not unlike parts of the
developing world and some politicians in Georgia jumped all over
Snyder: "When was she in North
Georgia? Well yes she lives in Atlanta."
Jennings: "She lives in Atlanta. And
the truth of the matter is there are parts of America which are just as
bad as some of the worst parts in the rest of the world and that's
Oh? How about Rwanda? North Korea? Does
Jennings really believe this, or is he just preening?
He might really believe it. After all,
here's what he said about Giuliani's effort to get the homeless off the
streets of New York City, but that has hardly pleased Jennings.
"There are none of those little shanty towns anymore, they've all
been pushed away. Some people may think that's a good thing but I always
thought it was sad that we hide the homeless because, because it's a fact
of life and I also think it's incumbent upon the rest of us to recognize
the homeless and see the homeless and look the homeless in the eye because
there's no lower status in life than to be without a place to live."
It's nice to know that, as Jennings
frantically tries to hide his bald spot with shoe polish (see Tom
Rosenstiel's book, "Strange Bedfellows," for the details), he's
busy worrying that other people aren't looking the homeless in the eye.
We've heard of limousine liberals before.
But limousine morons?
Wow. New York City is a tough place. -- Brent Baker
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