Goldwater: Better With Age; Murphy Brown Says Quayle Was Right
1) Dan Rather insisted
that Barry Goldwater swung the GOP "hard to the right;" CBS
contended his "extremism" line "haunted him;" no
network condemned the "daisy" ad and only CNN noted Reagan's
2) Reporters liked how
Goldwater grew "a lot less unreasonable" in his later years; ABC
and A&E hinted at media bias against Goldwater; Time blasted social
conservatives for having "buried Goldwater years ago."
3) Dan Quayle was right,
concedes Murphy Brown. Actress Candice Bergen now describes his 1992
speech as "completely sound."
>>> "Reporters Cite Flawed
Campaign Numbers from Supposedly Nonpartisan Center for Responsive
Politics: Responsive to Questionable Data," the MRC's latest Media
Reality Check is now up at the top of the MRC home page thanks to Web
manager Sean Henry. Free Market Project Director Tim Lamer began the fax
report: "How much does corporate America compared to labor unions
spend on political campaigns? This question has become central to the
debate over California's Proposition 226, which would require labor unions
in the Golden State to receive written permission from members before
using their dues for political purposes. Many reporters have repeated the
claims of one study in particular, from the liberal Center for Responsive
Politics (which is regularly labeled 'nonpartisan'), purporting to
show that there is much more corporate money than labor money in politics.
But these reporters haven't mentioned the study's serious flaws, which
overstate corporate political contributions...." To read the rest, go
directly to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1998/fax0529.htm
Friday night network correspondents managed to condemn Barry Goldwater's
"extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" line, but not
the infamous "daisy" commercial that suggested he'd start a
nuclear war. The three broadcast networks and CNN all ran pieces reviewing
Goldwater's life and impact. Some observations:
-- Though ABC, CBS and CNN showed the
"daisy" ad, none denounced the sleazy Johnson ad created by Bill
-- Only CNN noted how Reagan's election eve
speech in support of Goldwater launched his political career.
-- ABC and CBS let viewers hear the first half of
Goldwater's convention line about extremism, which CBS reporter Richard
Schlesinger insisted "haunted him," but not the second half
about how "moderation in the defense of justice is no virtue."
-- 34 plus years after the 1964 election, but Dan
Rather couldn't resist applying a little extremist labeling, asserting
that Goldwater pulled the GOP "hard to the right."
(The daisy ad
featured a little girl plucking pedal from a daisy as an announcer counted
down to zero, followed by an atomic bomb explosion and Lyndon Johnson
announcing something like "we will learn to live together or we shall
-- From the May 29
World News Tonight piece narrated by Peter Jennings: "Goldwater won
the Republican nomination for President in 1964. To his conservative
political supporters he was a savior. In your heart, they said, you know
Goldwater, at 1964 convention: "Extremism in
the defense of liberty is no vice."
Jennings: "To his opponents, including
President Johnson who he ran against, he was a dangerous extremist. In
your heart, they said, you know he's nuts."
Jennings, over video of the "daisy" ad:
"With political ads like this one, that suggested Goldwater would get
the nation into war with the Soviets, President Johnson buried
-- On the CBS
Evening News Dan Rather declared: "Goldwater was born 89 years ago in
Arizona, before it was a state. CBS's Richard Schlesinger remembers the
man who turned the GOP hard to the right."
"....When Goldwater was nominated for President in 1964 his speech
defined him and haunted him for the rest of his career."
Goldwater: "I would remind you that
extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."
Schlesinger: "Lyndon Johnson jumped at the
chance to portray Goldwater as a loose cannon in the nuclear age. What
might have been the first negative TV ad in history hammered home the
Daisy ad: "Three, two, one, zero."
(Then atomic bomb exploding)
-- CNN's The
World Today at 8pm ET led with Bernard Shaw's look at Goldwater. Shaw,
as did NBC's Bob Faw, let viewers hear both halves of his
extremism/moderation quote. Leading into a clip of the "daisy"
ad Shaw stated: "...Vietnam became a campaign issue, but President
Johnson defended himself by successfully painting Goldwater as a
right-wing kook who couldn't be trusted to have his finger on the
nuclear button. This commercial ran once and voters got the message."
Next, CNN's John King examined the relationship
between Clinton and Goldwater. Almost an hour later, as the next to last
story, Charles Bierbauer collected recollections from conservatives, such
asVic Gold, Pat Buchanan and Paul Laxalt. Unlike ABC, CBS and NBC
Bierbauer noted that the 1964 campaign "introduced his eventual
inheritor, Ronald Reagan."
(The 10pm ET The
World Today opened with a story about how the Supreme Court had given the
White House until Monday afternoon to respond to Starr's request for an
expedited hearing on executive privilege and held Goldwater to one piece
by Bruce Morton about his liberal views on gays, abortion and school
Weekend media looks at Goldwater's career included Time and Wall Street
Journal reporters pleased by Goldwater's advocacy of liberal views in
later life as he grew "a lot less unreasonable;" a couple of
admissions that liberal bias generated unfair coverage of the 1964
campaign; and a reminder that the bias is still against conservatives as
Time magazine issued an angry diatribe from the left about how social
conservatives, "a radical faction," had hijacked the party and
thus "buried Barry Goldwater years ago."
-- Goldwater grew
more liberal, I mean less unreasonable, over time.
Washington Week in Review on PBS, this telling exchange:
Los Angeles Times reporter Robin Wright recalled
that Goldwater advocated using low yield nuclear weapons in Vietnam,
earning himself a "reputation as someone who operated on the
Moderator/CNN reporter Ken Bode: "Fast,
quick trigger-finger, yes, quick to shoot."
Robert Greenberger of the Wall Street Journal:
"But don't you think as Barry Goldwater aged, now maybe this is a
reflection on the country, maybe the country moved center or Barry
Goldwater moved left, but he seems, in his later years he seemed a lot
less unreasonable than some of the rhetoric you hear coming out of
contemporaries on Capitol Hill."
Capital Gang on CNN. Bob Novak asserted: "I covered Barry Goldwater
closely 40 years ago and he was a terrific guy. He became a hero for
conservatives, but in fact was a disorganized, ineffective politician who
set back the conservative movement by 16 years. He did not relate to blue
collar Americans or religious Americans and belonged to the establishment
secular society. Ironically, his pro-choice, pro-gay views of later years,
endeared him to the kind of people who vilified him in his prime."
Carlson fulfilled Novak's analysis: "That's me. Goldwater was
always honest, even when honesty didn't pay. My appreciation of Goldwater
came in his and my later years when he called on Nixon to resign and when
he said that Reagan was either a liar or incompetent for not knowing about
Iran-Contra. He told the party to let abortion alone and to quote 'boot
Jerry Falwell in the ass,' closed quote. He summed up gays in the
military brilliantly. 'You don't have to be straight to shoot
straight.' You don't get more honest than that."
-- Hints that
journalists now realize they were biased against Goldwater back then:
reminisced on Friday's World News Tonight: "Ted Koppel and I were
two of the young correspondents who covered his presidential campaign 35
years ago. It wasn't always easy for us to see the man through the
incendiary campaign rhetoric of the day. One of the old timers who had
covered the White House since Franklin Roosevelt's first term surprised
us one day when he said that if he was ever marooned on a desert island he
would like Goldwater as a companion. Goldwater, he said, would know how to
get us out of trouble and he would always make interesting conversation.
After seeing the Senator off and on through the intervening years Ted and
I agreed today if we were ever marooned on a desert island Barry Goldwater
would have been a perfect choice."
"Biography This Week" on Goldwater narrator Richard Schlesinger
of CBS News noted how liberal Republicans attacked Goldwater in '64,
adding: "The press joined the charge. There were insinuations that he
was a Nazi."
A&E showed an old CBS News clip of Daniel
Schorr, who is still with NPR: "Senator Goldwater has an invitation
from Lieutenant General William Quinn, the commander of the 7th Army, to
visit him for a vacation next weekend at Berchtesgaden, once Hitler's
stamping ground, but now an American army recreational center."
-- By taking the
liberal position on abortion and the religious right Goldwater may have
gained media admiration but those who still don't conform to the
media's perspective still come under media fire. MRC media analyst Clay
Waters caught an example on the time.com/pathfinder.com Web site. In a May
29 piece titled "The man that Republicans forgot dies in Arizona at
89," Time online writer Frank Pellegrini delivered this diatribe:
"Extremism in the defense of liberty
is no vice," he shot back at New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and the
establishment Republicans during the bruising 1964 Republican National
Convention. "Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."
Democrats coupled that comment with Goldwater's hawkishness on Vietnam and
used it to bury him in the ensuing campaign (remember the campaign
commercial with the daisy girl and the mushroom cloud?), but it was the
soul of the Goldwater psyche: know your philosophy, stick to it, and never
hesitate to speak your mind.
By 1980, however, Republicanism was taking
on a new face. The visage of Ronald Reagan was softer, gentler, and his
ideology more inclusive. Led by Reagan, the GOP began to welcome -- and
promote -- the the religious right. Reagan welcomed the anti-abortionists,
the prayer-in-public-school types, the virulent opponents of
homosexuality. Morality became acceptable ground for government policy,
and that was something that Goldwater despised. In 1992, Barry Goldwater
came out in favor of lifting the ban on gays in the military -- on the
exquisitely conservative grounds that sexuality was none of the
government's business. The tongue-clucking from the right was deafening.
Gary Bauer, the president of the Family Research Council and now a
kingmaker of the GOP's religious right, lamented publicly that "it's
sad...Sen. Goldwater was once the authentic voice of American
conservatism." Ah, but Goldwater didn't change his stripes, the GOP
did. Bauer is the "authentic voice" of something else entirely:
a radical faction that is fast taking over the party -- and trampling the
philosophy -- to which Goldwater dedicated his political life.
No doubt the Republican party will be well
represented at Barry Goldwater's funeral. No doubt there will be speeches
from the Senate floor, tributes, words of thanks. But if there is any
truth left in politics, there will be a lot of red faces. Because the
party that this week comes to praise the father of modern conservatism
--the Grand Old Party that owes him so much of the political power it
enjoys today -- buried Barry Goldwater years ago.
Dan Quayle was right about Murphy Brown. Says who? Murphy Brown. Steve
Allen, Washington correspondent for WorldNetDaily (http://www.worldnetdaily.com)
alerted me to a surprising admission by Candice Bergen, star of the
long-running CBS sit-com which ended this season, "Murphy
Brown." Marking the final episode of the series, the May 17-23
Washington Post "TV Week" picked up a Los Angeles Times profile
of Bergen by Judith Michaelson. Here's an excerpt of the illuminating
part of her story:
Asked about that flash point in May 1992,
when then-Vice President Dan Quayle attacked her TV character for having a
baby out of wedlock, Bergen said: "We were all kind of bushwhacked by
it." Yet she said it was "the right theme to hammer
home...family values...and I agreed with all of it except his reference to
the show, which he had not seen....It was an arrogant, uninformed posture,
but the body of the speech was completely sound."
Indeed for Bergen, family is key, and she
says she's "very different" from Murphy in that regard. "My
family has always come first -- by a mile," she insists, debunking
the notion of "quality time" as substitute for quantity.
"I had a very difficult time playing
Murphy the first year after the baby, as a distant second priority. It was
very distressing to me, and I couldn't get them to change it. Just hated
it, and even [daughter] Chloe hated it when she would watch certain
episodes. I didn't think it was a good message to be sending out.
Everybody saw the charming and likable side of Murphy, but I always try to
remind people that she paid a very high price."
Dan Quayle paid a high price in media
ridicule and attacks. Two examples pulled from the June 8, 1992 edition of
-- "The racial dimension flows naturally
into the political, where the uglier side of Quayle's mission begins to
become apparent. One of Quayle's amazing but unlikable feats last week
was metaphorically to transform old Willie Horton into a beautiful blond
fortyish WASP has-it-all knockout." -- Time Senior Writer
Lance Morrow, June 1.
-- "This was
not an accident. This was not a casual speech. This was a speech very much
a part of the White House game plan, a very deliberate attempt to use
these family values, which are an amorphous collection of ideas, but to
use them as a wedge issue to drive divisions in this country along
cultural lines, along social lines, and to some extent along racial
lines." -- U.S. News & World Report Senior Writer Steven
Roberts on Washington Week in Review, May 22.
Where was Bergen back then? -- Brent Baker
Support the MRC, an educational foundation dependent upon contributions
which make CyberAlert possible, by providing a tax-deductible
donation. Use the secure donations page set up for CyberAlert
readers and subscribers:
>>>To subscribe to CyberAlert, send a
blank e-mail to:
@topica.com. Or, you can go to:
Either way you will receive a confirmation message titled: "RESPONSE
REQUIRED: Confirm your subscription to firstname.lastname@example.org."
After you reply, either by going to the listed Web page link or by simply
hitting reply, you will receive a message confirming that you have been
added to the MRC CyberAlert list. If you confirm by using the Web page
link you will be given a chance to "register" with Topica. You DO
NOT have to do this; at that point you are already subscribed to
To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to:
Send problems and comments to: email@example.com.
can learn what has been posted each day on the MRC's Web site by
subscribing to the "MRC Web Site News" distributed every weekday
afternoon. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters.<<<
Home | News Division
| Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact
the MRC | Subscribe