Shooting Prompted Gun Control Talk; ABC Hyped Hillary & French Day Care
1) NBC didn't hesitate to
promote a Jonesboro mother's view that the Colorado school shooting
shows the need for gun control. MSNBC's Brian Williams argued that
"if we stopped giving guns as Christmas gifts...this wouldn't be as
pervasive a problem." CNN's Wolf Blitzer contended school shootings
are an "epidemic."
2) CBS viewers were told
Tuesday night that Milosevic is "slowly losing his war against
NATO" while NBC viewers heard that "Milosevic and his
regime...remain firmly in power."
3) Today featured
Geraldo Rivera's recounting of his travels with the KLA, which he thinks
NATO should aid, lamenting: "They have a checkered past, but so many
of us do."
4) Senator Hillary and
the French day care system, that's how to solve America's day care
"crisis," two actresses claimed on GMA in promoting their
Lifetime show. Charles Gibson asserted Hillary's Senate bid
"fascinates everyone." No, just liberals/the media.
5) Arnett axed. It's now
official: Peter Arnett is no longer employed by CNN.
6) A new biography of Hillary
Clinton reveals that she banned Barbra Streisand from overnight stays,
arranged for John Huang to get his Commerce position and that Vince Foster
had "a romantic attachment." Amazingly, the author is scheduled
for today's Today.
>>> Now online, the latest Media
Reality Check fax report by the MRC's Tim Graham which was distributed
on Monday. "TV's Great Stonewall of China Continues: Energy
Department Misleads Congress, Delays Release of Report to the Public, But
Where Are the Nets?" To read the report posted by the MRC's Eric
Pairel, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990419.html
ABC and CBS managed to avoid preaching gun control on Tuesday night in
reporting on the tragic shooting at a Colorado high school. But not NBC
Nightly News which featured a piece by Anne Thompson about Suzann Wilson,
the mother of a girl killed 13 months ago at a school shooting in
Jonesboro, Arkansas who is now a gun control crusader. Thompson asserted:
"Suzann has used her hurt and anger to campaign
for laws to hold gun owners responsible when children use those weapons to
hurt others, taking on gun rights advocates on the front steps of the
Wilson, yelling: "This is not about the Second
Amendment. This is about parents burying children."
Thompson: "Accepting the President's praise at
this year's State of the Union address."
Clinton during State of the Union address: "I'd
like to thank her for her courage and for her commitment."
MSNBC brought Wilson
aboard for some live advocacy, but she didn't have to say anything as
the network's anchor was already on her team. At about 7:33pm ET/5:33pm
MT Brian Williams opined:
"I know you happen to believe that if we got the
guns out of schools and out of the hands of younger Americans, say nothing
of their parents and older Americans, if we stopped giving guns as
Christmas gifts in some families in some parts of the country then perhaps
this wouldn't be as pervasive a problem."
Minutes later, just
after President Clinton finished his 7:45pm ET/5:45pm MT remarks from the
White House press room, Wolf Blitzer put hype before reality in proposing
to him: "There seems to be an epidemic of these kinds of incidents
now. There was Paducah Kentucky, Jonesboro Arkansas, Springfield Oregon
and several others. Would you characterize this as an epidemic affecting
the nation's schools systems?"
(CNN's Larry King Live gave a guest spot to Sarah
Brady of Handgun Control, Inc. but did not give time to anyone with a
pro-gun rights viewpoint.)
"Pervasive problem" and an "epidemic"? Not at all.
I'm sure that statistically an American high schooler has a better
chance of dying on the way to school in a school bus accident than in
getting killed at school. In a NBC Nightly News story run just before
Thompson's piece with Wilson, Pete Williams looked at how there are
fewer deaths at schools the last few years than six or seven years ago.
Viewers saw this unsourced table on-screen:
Add 13 or 15 from
Tuesday and this school year's total is still well under the number
killed at schools in 1992-93.
You can count on this
shooting generating more gun control advocacy. That's certainly what
happened after the March, 1998 shooting in Jonesboro as documented in an
April 6, 1998 MediaWatch article, "Jonesboro Ambush: Who's To
Blame? Media Blame Southern Gun Culture, Push for Gun Control." To
read the piece, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/mediawatch/1998/mw19980406p1.html
On the Kosovo front, CBS viewers were told that Milosevic is "slowly
losing his war against NATO" while NBC viewers heard that "Milosevic
and his regime...remain firmly in power."
Tuesday night, April 20,
ABC and CBS devoted a whole story, and NBC part of one, to the Pentagon
and British presentation of evidence that Yugoslav forces have committed
atrocities, including shooting groups of men and using men as human
shields around tanks. CBS's Tom Fenton provided a piece on how human
rights workers cannot locate 100,000 refugees seen in Kosovo just a few
As for appraising the war effort, the CBS and NBC
Pentagon reporters delivered contrasting assessments. On the CBS Evening
News David Martin concluded:
"As the war enters its second month NATO troops
are already in Macedonia, Albania and Bosnia. NATO hopes to complete the
encirclement of Yugoslavia by basing planes in Hungary and using Romanian
and Bulgarian air space to attack from every direction. Milosevic would
seem to be in a no win position and while he is slowly losing his war
against NATO, he is rapidly winning his war against the people of Kosovo."
Over on the NBC Nightly
News Jim Miklaszewski offered a more downbeat judgment:
"There's no sign tonight that Milosevic himself
is about to crack. The latest U.S. intelligence says that Milosevic and
his regime, despite NATO bombing, remain firmly in power."
Geraldo Rivera made the jump Tuesday morning from CNBC host to reporter on
Today, the reason why CyberAlert tracks his cable comments. He may be a
liberal crusader on CNBC, but he remains part of the NBC News team.
Rivera spent a few days
traveling with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and during the 7:30am half
hour on Tuesday checked in live from Tirana, Albania with a summary of his
experience. He showed video of Serb shelling that almost hit him, and
delivered the requisite dramatically staged video of himself whispering to
the camera as he lay on his back behind a bush as shells fell nearby.
Rivera complained about the Serb-KLA armament mismatch and lamented the
lack of NATO bombing on behalf of the KLA in the battle area.
Katie Couric asked why the West isn't helping the KLA,
prompting this answer from Rivera noticed by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens:
"I just don't think we're going to support the KLA. I don't
think we can have a Kosovo without KLA involved in a coalition government.
But for reasons that I've described, and I think a lot of it has to do
with just this bad experience we had in Afghanistan [with Muslims who
later turned anti-West terrorists], I don't think we're going to be
very eager to help the KLA. They have a checkered past, but so many of us
Only Rivera could
personalize the situation in such a way.
If only Hillary would run things, guests given an unchallenged platform on
Good Morning America suggested, we could solve the supposed child care
problem by modeling a new U.S. system after the French, who know best how
to take care of kids.
One guest, an actress, hoped "Hillary's gonna make
her bid in this area" for Senate since "I think that we should
vote for people who are, obviously, going to do something about this
"Confronting the Crisis: Childcare in America," a Lifetime cable
TV special set to air at 10pm ET Tuesday night, on the April 20 Good
Morning America co-host Charles Gibson gabbed with its director, actress
Lee Grant, and the host, actress Kyra Sedgwick. (I recognize Sedgwick, but
couldn't tell you what she's starred in to help identify her.)
As picked up and
transcribed by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson, Gibson relayed without
question the liberal premise about how there is a crisis that must be
"We're going to
talk in this half-hour about a dilemma that most families face everyday,
and it's the question of who's going to care for the kids while mom and
dad are at work. Nearly two-thirds of mothers with children under age six
work outside the home. We talk about it all the time, but it's a startling
statistic, and it makes child care an unrelenting worry that is pushing
many parents to the brink, emotionally and financially. In this morning's
American Family, a look at what some parents have to say in a new
documentary on the subject, which airs tonight on Lifetime
"I think what surprised me was how difficult it is to make ends meet
for most people, how they have to work extra hours to make the money to
send their kids to day care, so that they can spend less time with them
before they go to school, and less time with them after. But that's what
they have to do in order to make ends meet, and I, I felt so terribly sad
that we in America, we're constantly talking about how children are our
future, and our -- when we talk about the future, we're only talking about
children. And yet we don't put them first, and it's not a priority and
there's no help in this area for most parents."
Gibson soon asked
"What's the solution to all this? Is there any country that's found a
way out of this?" Grant advocated a government-run system modeled
after socialist France:
"Well, you know that we went to France, Charlie,
and we studied their system. And it's really kind of painful when you go
there and you see how their children are taken care of from the age of two
and a half to three. They are given the kind of care and education and
they're taken care of for whole time that their parents are at work. And
the corporations and the government pay higher taxes for this, but their
philosophy is that a well-educated child is a civilized adult, and they
feel safe with their neighbors. And this is the way I think we have to
Gibson helped her clarify the wondrous French system:
"You said from the ages of two and a half to three, you mean starting
at two and a half to three, all the way up, they get that kind of
Grant: "Yeah, starting at two and a half to three,
all the way up, and before that, they have an infant program where parents
can put their child in on a sliding scale. The couple that we met had to
pay about eight dollars a day."
Gibson then recalled: "I remember when I was
looking day care 25 years ago when my first daughter was very young, and I
didn't have two dimes to rub together, and we couldn't find day care that
we could afford. And I kept thinking if a politician would just run on the
issue of day care, and maybe throw in education, a politician could win,
if they could come up with a solution. The problem is, what's the
Sedgwick, nodding her head: "Right."
Gibson: "So, what is it? What do you think? What
do we do?"
Sedgwick: "I think that, I think that we should
vote for people who are, obviously, going to do something about this
issue. I mean, hopefully, Hillary's gonna make her bid in this area."
Gibson, laughing: "Little plug, little plug from a
New York resident who's looking for a Senate candidate. I see."
Sedgwick: "Right, exactly, absolutely, I'm going
to do my part in voting, that's the only thing I really can do. And I also
think that, I think to let your voices be heard, I think to somehow write
to your constituents I think to, to talk with your neighbors, to get
angry, to get loud is always really helpful in these situations."
Not a word, of course,
about how government regulations are making whatever problem exists worse
by raising the costs and hassles that neighbors, churches and synagogues
must overcome before they can take care of any kids.
In praising Hillary the
two liberal guests had a sympathetic ear in Gibson. In the first half hour
on Tuesday's program, Jessica noticed, GMA dedicated a whole segment to
Hillary Clinton's day in New York. Afterward, Gibson remarked:
"Will she run, won't she run? It is the political soap opera question
that fascinates everyone. We'll take a break and be right back."
No, it doe not fascinate
"everyone." It animates liberals. The fact that GMA finds her
every utterance and appearance in New York worth tracking shows where the
GMA staff falls on the ideological spectrum.
Arnett Axed. The April 19 CyberAlert noted how USA Today and the
Washington Post reported that CNN would not renew Peter Arnett's
contract. Now it's official.
The AP reported:
"CNN and Arnett issued a terse statement Monday saying Arnett was
leaving after 18 years effective immediately. 'We are grateful for
Peter's contributions to CNN and we wish him the very best in the
future,' said Cable News Network chairman Tom Johnson, declining further
"Arnett said that 'I've had a long and wonderful
relationship with CNN and have been proud to be part of this great news
Speculation about his
departure centered around his work on the discredited Tailwind story. See
the April 19 CyberAlert for more.
An author of a new biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals that the
First Lady banned Barbra Streisand from overnight stays at the White House
because the singer had sex of some sort with Bill Clinton, that Hillary
Clinton arranged for John Huang to get the job at the Commerce Department
where he had access to secret information, and that Vince Foster, who had
"a romantic attachment to the First Lady," never got an FBI
background check or permanent pass.
Amazingly, the author,
Joyce Milton, is scheduled to appear Wednesday morning, April 21, on
A front page piece in
Tuesday's Washington Times summarized the book's revelations. Here's
an excerpt of the April 20 story by reporter Jennifer Harper:
Biographies have followed Hillary Rodham
Clinton around for years. There are 25 of them out there, ranging from
crabby political tomes to prim accounts for young ladies. Now comes one
more. "The First Partner: Hillary Rodham Clinton" by historian
Joyce Milton will be in bookstores tomorrow.
It has arresting moments. Miss Milton
contends that the First Lady hired detectives to tail her husband as early
as the 1980s and later banned Barbra Streisand from overnight White House
stays upon hearing that the chanteuse had dallied with the President.
The author names a dozen other presidential
paramours and calls Mrs. Clinton a "connection" for various
questionable campaign donations. "I was surprised the entire time I
was writing this book," Miss Milton said from her Brooklyn home
yesterday. "Whenever something surfaced which I thought was merely
some canard set forth by the Clintons' enemies, it turned out to be
The book sets the pace for Hillary bios to
come. Neither gush nor bash, it approaches the First Lady as a canny media
entity who gained insight even through the death of Princess Diana.
It "crystallized Hillary's
appreciation of the power of celebrity. It was Diana's face on the cover
of a thousand magazines, not her resume, that had been the source of her
Miss Milton is already in the fast lane.
Tomorrow, she'll be on NBC's "Today" show. William Morrow, her
publisher, said they were "swamped" with interview requests.
The book itself is a complex and
scrupulously documented odyssey, with 13 pages of footnotes. Campaign
finance gets a thorough going over. The author calls longtime Clinton ally
John Huang "a spy" for either the Riady family or China; says
his job at the Department of Commerce was courtesy of Mrs. Clinton
The book offers detailed connections
between Mrs. Clinton and Mark Jimenez, a campaign contributor now under
indictment, the Riady family, Johnny Chung and government officials in
Guam, among other places....
All is not negative, though. There is young
Hillary Rodham courting Bill in his purple Gremlin; later she is an
anguished daughter, tending her father, Hugh, on his deathbed.
Miss Milton offers some blasts out of the
past. "The established facts were shocking enough," she wrote of
White House aide and longtime friend Vincent W. Foster Jr., who committed
suicide in 1993. "A presidential counselor, one who apparently had a
romantic attachment to the First Lady, had worked in the White House for
six months without an FBI background check or a permanent pass."....
Given the television
fascination with school shootings I expect all the morning shows to
broadcast live from Colorado and go wall-to-wall with the shooting, so I
suspect there's a fairly good chance Today's interview with Milton
will be bumped. But whenever it airs it will be interesting to see how
hostile Katie Couric or Matt Lauer is toward Milton.
Final Note: I had
planned to update readers about ABC's Monday night movie, Swing Vote,
which the April 19 CyberAlert predicted would deliver a pro-abortion
rights message. But space today only permits a sentence or two: It
actually was pretty balanced for the first hour and 45 minutes, but then
went left with a ruling restoring unfettered access to abortion for the
first 20 weeks of pregnancy as the court -- in a twist only Hollywood
could dream up -- decided every state must provide day care to every child
that is not aborted. So, a liberal's dream: Abortion rights and
Hillary-like day care. More in the next CyberAlert. --
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