War Incompetence; "Great Women" Judged by ABC: Hill, Fonda & Clinton
1) Not a word Monday or
Tuesday on the broadcast networks about Sunday's New York Times
revelation about Chinese espionage.
2) A retiring NATO General
denounced the incompetence of the war effort, but only ABC found his
critical analysis newsworthy.
3) ABC's Diane Sawyer gave
tribute to Jesse Jackson, describing him as a "maverick without
portfolio" who is "pushing for the rights of the poor and
4) Barbara Walters' special
on "Great Women" focused on liberals, featuring Anita Hill and
Jane Fonda. She praised Margaret Sanger without mentioning her racist
views and portrayed Hillary Clinton as a victim who "got in trouble
for speaking her mind."
5) A New Republic writer
observed: "Sony and Time-Warner eagerly market explicit depictions of
women being raped, sexually assaulted, and sexually murdered, while the
mainstream porn industry would never dream of doing so."
>>> Bryant's Coming Back. On
Tuesday CBS News announced that this fall Bryant Gumbel will co-host This
Morning from a street-side studio in the GM building Manhattan. CBS plans
to return the show to a regular two-hour format. Marking his departure
from Today as of January 3, 1997 the MRC produced a special edition of
Notable Quotables featuring his most biased comments from his years with
NBC. To remind yourself of the kind of analysis we'll soon hear each
morning on CBS, read what he said from 1989 to 1996 in "Bye-Bye
Bryant: Gumbel's Years of Liberal Advocacy." Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1996/nq19961230.html
None of the network morning or evening shows aired anything Monday or
Tuesday about Sunday's New York Times bombshell on how the Clinton
administration was informed in late 1998 about Chinese espionage efforts
and how they were ongoing well into his term, thus contradicting
Clinton's public position that it all happened before he took office.
That means the 40-second item read on Sunday's World News Tonight on
ABC, detailed in the May 3 CyberAlert, stands as the totality of coverage
offered by the broadcast networks.
-- Monday night,
May 3, all the networks led with the POW release and the visit to Clinton
by the Russian Foreign Minister, but all found time for some less than
pressing stories. The May 3 World News Tonight ran two pieces of how
technology is leading to "information overload," though
apparently not when it comes to delivering news about Chinese espionage.
Dan Rather reported from Belgrade and the CBS Evening News delivered a
full story about the mystery of who made it first to the peak of Mt.
Everest. NBC Nightly News devoted its "In Depth" segment to the
tourist boat sinking in Arkansas and later ran a full story on the
discovery of the underwater location of the Liberty Bell 7 space capsule.
morning and evening shows focused obsessively on the Oklahoma tornadoes.
Other than one story on Kosovo, that's all NBC Nightly News covered.
With all the networks moving their equipment southeast to Oklahoma the
Columbine shooting suddenly fell off the news agenda. For the first time
since the April 20 event neither ABC's World News Tonight or NBC Nightly
News mentioned it. CBS ran a short item and a full story about how parents
don't really know much about their children's lives.
-- The cable
networks haven't shown any more interest in the Sunday New York Times
disclosure. As noted in the May 3 CyberAlert, CNN's The World Today
skipped it Sunday night, though CNN did run two Chinese espionage pieces
on Friday night. CNN didn't catch up on the Times story Monday or
Tuesday night, MRC analyst Paul Smith informed me. FNC didn't mention
the story Monday or Tuesday night on the Fox Report.
A soon-to-retire NATO General dared to criticize the war effort, but only
ABC found it newsworthy. The May 4 evening shows on CBS, CNN, FNC and NBC
all skipped his candid assessment.
World News Tonight Peter Jennings noted: "Klaus Naumann, a German who
is retiring this week, made some remarkably critical comments about the
way the war is being conducted."
Reporter John McWethy then explained:
"General Naumann bared his frustrations at trying to wage a military
campaign while being held back by what he called 'coalition warfare'
in the sensitivities of NATO's 19 nations."
Klaus Naumann, Chairman, NATO military command:
"There are two principles of military operations and that is surprise
and overwhelming power. That of course is not possible as far as I can see
under the conditions of coalition warfare."
McWethy: "The General was especially
scathing on Europe's contribution of lack of one to the air campaign. He
said many countries are not buying first-rate electronics for their combat
planes. In an air war like this, he said, that means their planes cannot
be used for fear of being shot down....The way to fix these problems, he
said, is not another position paper or big meeting."
Naumann: "For something like this you
don't need a European summit. You need something like the will to
McWethy concluded: "U.S. military officials
say Naumann is not alone in his frustration with NATO but say only those
who are retiring dare to talk about it in public."
But one did talk
about it in public and yet CBS, CNN, FNC and NBC ignored it, so if others
were saying the same thing isn't there a good chance we would not learn
about it on television news?
Jesse Jackson, a hero to Good Morning America. Monday morning co-host
Diane Sawyer delivered a tribute to the liberal political activist after
his trip to Yugoslavia gave Slobodan Milosevic a chance for a PR coup when
he agreed to free the three U.S. POWs. She failed to include any criticism
of him for butting into the U.S. foreign policy set by our elected
leaders, instead praising his efforts and worthiness of his left-wing
activism back home. She described him as a "maverick without
portfolio" who is "pushing for the rights of the poor and
working class" by going "straight where the money is, trying to
persuade Wall Street and big corporations that to free people from the
prison of poverty serves everyone, everyone."
glowing soundbites from Congressmen Jesse Jackson Jr. and John Lewis, as
well as illustrative clips from Jackson himself, she provided a totally
positive look at his causes. As transcribed by MRC analyst Jessica
Anderson, here's what viewers heard in the 8:30am half hour feature
called "In Private," an occasional GMA profile of a newsmaker:
"Well, the release of the three U.S. soldiers held prisoner by Serbia
was a happy surprise this weekend, but it shouldn't have come as a
complete shock given the record of the man who was leading the religious
delegation to Belgrade, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who has done this
before. In fact, as you'll see in our In Private, he's made a career of
using personality, publicity and a little moral suasion to forge unlikely
alliances. His specialties: the bold gesture, the blizzard of words,
confusing natural enemies by engaging them in public....
"[His] technique has won victories for
prisoners before. In 1984, a personal appeal from Jackson prompted Syria
to release U.S. Navy pilot Robert Goodman Jr., shot down over Lebanon a
year before. In Cuba six months later, he persuaded Fidel Castro to grant
freedom to four dozen prison inmates, including more than 20 Americans.
And Jackson's visit to Iraq during the buildup to the Gulf War, widely
criticized as a publicity stunt, nevertheless led Saddam Hussein to free
500 foreigners Hussein had said he was keeping as human shields....
"Jackson learned the power of words from a
master. The protege of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Jackson worked
during the 1960s to improve economic conditions in poor black
neighborhoods. Ordained a Baptist minister in 1968, Jackson remained an
activist first, founding Operation PUSH, People United to Serve Humanity,
a few years later. He was raised in poverty in South Carolina, and Jackson
has said that the point of PUSH is to give political and economic
empowerment to the poor. His first attempt at international diplomacy came
in 1979, setting a pattern, stirring controversy at home, but widening the
stage for his activism, and just in time for the next presidential
primaries. Running as an outsider in 1984 and 1988, Jackson attacked both
Democrats and Republicans for ignoring the poor and dispossessed. With his
Rainbow Coalition behind him, Jackson won a full one-third of the
Democratic party delegates....
"Today the maverick without portfolio is
still pushing for the rights of the poor and working class, but the
techniques are more sophisticated....Today he goes straight where the
money is, trying to persuade Wall Street and big corporations that to free
people from the prison of poverty serves everyone, everyone."
Sawyer loves to
praise liberals. Her last "In Private" subject: Hillary Clinton
on March 12. She referred to her "political mastery, every bit as
dazzling as his" and how "her friends say she has really earned
this campaign, this moment...by standing, not by her man, but by
herself." To read more, go to the March 16 CyberAlert: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990316.html#4
A century of liberal women. Last Friday ABC allocated 90 minutes of prime
time to a special hosted by Barbara Walters, "A Celebration: 100
Years of Great Women." Based upon a list compiled by the Ladies Home
Journal, the April 30 special focused on the triumphs of liberal women
without mentioning any facts which might detract from their glory. Among
the women praised: Jane Fonda, Margaret Sanger, Marian Wright Edelman,
Hillary Clinton and Anita Hill. Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem, MRC analyst
Jessica Anderson noticed, served as the show's most popular experts
complete list of names under the heading of "Activists and
Politicians," with just one domestic conservative, Phyllis Schlafly:
Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Frances Perkins, Madeleine
Albright, Mary McLeod Bethune, Emma Goldman, Carrie Chapman Catt, Jane
Addams, Eva Peron, Alice Paul, Marian Wright Edelman, Rosa Parks, Golda
Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Jiang Qing, Rigoberta Menchu, Dolores Huerta,
Maggie Kuhn, Indira Gandhi, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Sandra Day O'Connor,
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anita Hill, Mother Teresa, Gloria Steinem, Phyllis
Schlafly, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Jane Fonda is on
the "artists" list. To see the entire list, go to: http://lhj.com/sfeatures/100women/
Here are some
clips from the show as culled from the ABC News transcript and corrected
for accuracy by the MRC's Jessica Anderson. Walters praised Margaret
Sanger without mentioning her racist views, applauded Jane Fonda for
having it all, "the sex kitten, to the activist, and fitness...and
now, the wife," and portrayed Hillary Clinton as a victim who
"got in trouble for speaking her mind."
Sanger. Barbara Walters: "To make a mark in this world in the early
1900s, women needed to be not only smart, but fearless. Margaret Sanger,
an outspoken activist who, when told to be quiet, staged this not so
subtle protest. [Photo of Sanger with her mouth gagged.] Perhaps the
century's first photo op."
Jane Fonda: "Margaret Sanger would be way at
the top if I had to choose the most important women of the twentieth
Walters: "She was the mother of
contraception. In 1916, Sanger opened the nation's first birth control
clinic. But after nine days and 500 patients, the clinic was shut down and
Margaret Sanger: "Many people are horrified
at the idea of birth control. Why, to me, it is simply the keynote of a
new moral program."
Fonda: "Women were having 10, 12 children,
one right after the other, and to great detriment to their health and
well-being. And she was the one that said women have a right to have a
say-so over their families and how those children are going to be
Reality Check: As
Steve Mosher pointed out in a May 5, 1997 Wall Street Journal op-ed:
"Sanger had little but contempt for the
'Asiatic races,' as she and her eugenicist friends called them. During
her lifetime, she proposed that their numbers be drastically reduced. But
Sanger's preferences went beyond race. In her 1922 book Pivot of
Civilization she unabashedly called for the extirpation of
'weeds....overrunning the human garden'; for the segregation of
'morons, misfits, and the maladjusted'; and for the sterilization of
'genetically inferior races.'...
"She often opined that 'the most merciful
thing that the large family does to one its infant members is to kill
it,' and that 'all our problems are the result of overbreeding among
the working class.'....
"Sanger's own racist views were scarcely
less opprobrious. In 1939 she and Clarence Gamble made an infamous
proposal called Birth Control and the Negro, which asserted that 'the
poorer areas, particularly in the South...are producing alarmingly more
than their share of future generations.'"
Those views may
have been popular then and weren't discredited until Hitler picked up on
them, but can you imagine a network not mentioning this kind of hateful
racism if a conservative magazine praised another historic figure of the
time? To read Mosher's piece, go to: http://www.prolife.org/ultimate/fact9.html
-- Marian Wright
Edelman. Walters: "What [Rosa Parks] sparked in Marian Wright Edelman
was a passion. 'If you don't like the way the world is,' she once
said, 'you change it.' And in 1963, there was plenty to change. The
segregated South was a battleground when Edelman first arrived in
Mississippi. The young law student had gone to register black voters, a
peaceful goal in a time of violence."
Marian Wright Edelman: "I was scared all the
time. But it was a sense that when you believe in something so deeply,
you're ready to die for that."
Walters: "She became the first
African-American woman admitted to the Mississippi bar. In 1973, she
founded the Children's Defense Fund."
Edelman, speaking at the Stand for Children
rally: "What will it take for us to stand up and stop the killing of
children in America?"
-- Anita Hill.
Walters: "...a woman on the list who brought a taboo subject out in
the open. Anita Hill -- she brought the issue of sexual harassment in the
workplace into our living rooms....In 1991, she went public with
accusations against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas."
-- Jane Fonda.
Walters: "But one woman on the list does seem to have it all, Jane
Fonda. She has the career, the children and marriage, though she's had
more than one. [To Fonda] Jane Fonda does represent so many of the changes
in this society. It's almost full circle, though, from the Barbarella."
Fonda, in movie clip: "Armed, like a naked
Walters: "The sex kitten, to the activist,
and fitness, right? And now, the wife."
Fonda: "You know what I've discovered is
that, yes, there's been lots of changes. And they've become very
noticeable depending on who I'm married to. But there's a leitmotif
through it all. And it's a leitmotif of strength. I've gone from
strength to strength."
Walters: "Fonda won her first Oscar in 1972,
playing a prostitute who is being stalked."
Jane Fonda: "When the killer confronts me,
and I hear the tape recording he's made of the voice of my friend who he
killed, I had prepared in the scene to play scared. And instead, I
Walters: "You're weeping now, Jane."
Fonda: "Well, it moves me so much. I, the
incredible brutality, physical brutality against women and girls."]
Walters: "In the '90s, Fonda stopped
acting and now spends much of her time on her favorite cause, preventing
Fonda, in a speech: "Over the past years,
we've learned that adolescent pregnancy is not so much a cause, but
rather a symptom. [To Walters] I've divided my life into three acts.
I'm in my third act. Very important, you know enough about books and
movies and plays. The third act has to pull it all together."
No mention of
Fonda's anti-American, pro-communist activities during the Vietnam War,
including a trip to North Vietnam to denounce U.S. soldiers.
Clinton. Walters: "And what of today's First Lady? Hillary Rodham
Clinton. From the start, she has been more of a politician than a
President Clinton: "My slogan might well be,
'Buy one, get one free.'"
Walters: "But early on, as we remember, she
got in trouble for speaking her mind."
Hillary Clinton: "I suppose I could have
stayed home and baked cookies and had teas."
Graham: "She should say what she thinks, and
if it means anything, she should be taken seriously. But I don't think
that she should act as co-President."
Hillary Clinton: "And to deal with the
problems that are affecting this country."
Ann Landers: "She's a real person, and it
comes across. She could be President."
Walters: "Perhaps, but there are those that
felt that even as First Lady, she expressed herself too often. I talked
with Mrs. Clinton about this in 1996. [To Hillary] Do you think the
American people are ready yet to have a First Lady who has strong opinions
and an agenda?"
Hillary Clinton: "I think so. I think some
are and some aren't. And I believe that this has been a learning
experience for me, coming here and not really understanding all the
expectations that people sort of put on this role."
Walters: "No First Lady has been more
investigated or scrutinized. But perhaps because of her handling of her
husband's troubles, Hillary Clinton has found her own approval ratings
soaring. [To Steinem] Now, there might have been a time, Gloria, when you
would have criticized Hillary Clinton for standing by her man no matter
what he did. How do you rationalize that?"
Steinem: "I don't. I mean, I think Hillary
Clinton is not a victim. She is very smart. She is a full partner. If you
see them together, you realize... it seems to me that they really like
each other. It's her choice. I respect her choice."
Walters: "Simple as that?"
Steinem: "Simple as that. I hope she's
having a sex life of her own."
Walters' tribute to Hillary Clinton. This clip has been posted on the
MRC home page in RealPlayer format, by MRC Webmaster Sean Henry. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
To read the entire
transcript of the ABC special, go to: http://abcnews.go.com/onair/abcnewsspecials/transcripts/sp990430_100women_trans1.html
In the wake of the school shooting the left blamed guns and the right
blamed the entertainment industry, but in a piece for usually-liberal New
Republic a writer argued the movie industry is most guilty and
interestingly suggested that the porno-video industry actually acts more
responsibly and respectfully than do mainstream studios.
In a May 17 piece
titled "Yes, the media do make us more violent," Senior Writer
Gregg Easterbrook detailed the amount of violence in movies and then made
a common point made by both liberals and conservatives which puts image
ahead of reality:
"One reason Hollywood keeps reaching for
ever-more-obscene levels of killing is that it must compete with
television, which today routinely airs the kind of violence once
considered shocking in theaters. According to studies conducted at Temple
University, prime-time network (non-news) shows now average up to five
violent acts per hour."
My comment: Eraser was a movie on one night.
Violence is way down in network prime time from where it was in the
'70s. Several studies by the MRC have documented how profanity and sex
are far more prevalent in prime time than violence. Just compare the near
non-existence of violence in today's police dramas, and focus on its
impact on victims, -- NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Homicide, etc. -- to the
level of violence in '70s shows like Starsky & Hutch, The Rookies,
Mannix etc with their non-stop car chases and shootouts. Even today's
violent shows, such as Walker, Texas Ranger and Martial Law, have
characters battle it out with karate chops, not bullets.
provocatively suggested how the movie industry could practice
"restraint without sacrificing profitability." Easterbrook
In this regard, the big Hollywood studios,
including Disney, look craven and exploitative compared to, of all things,
the porn-video industry. Repulsive material occurs in underground porn,
but, in the products sold by the mainstream triple-X distributors such as
Vivid Video (the MGM of the erotica business), violence is never, ever,
ever depicted -- because that would be irresponsible. Women and men
perform every conceivable explicit act in today's mainstream porn, but
what is shown is always consensual and almost sunnily friendly. Scenes of
rape or sexual menace never occur, and scenes of sexual murder are an
It is beyond irony that today Sony and
Time-Warner eagerly market explicit depictions of women being raped,
sexually assaulted, and sexually murdered, while the mainstream porn
industry would never dream of doing so. But, if money is all that matters,
the point here is that mainstream porn is violence-free and yet risque and
highly profitable. Surely this shows that Hollywood could voluntarily step
back from the abyss of glorifying violence and still retain its edge and
Easterbrook's entire piece, go to TNR's Web site: http://www.thenewrepublic.com.
The direct address for this piece: http://www.thenewrepublic.com/magazines/tnr/current/easterbrook051799.html
Final Note: Wednesday's NBC Nightly News will
feature an interview of President Clinton conducted on Air Force One by
Tom Brokaw as the anchor accompanied Clinton on his European trip. I bet
there's not one question about China. --
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