Implant Dangers Deflated; Brokaw Praised Quindlen; Unwelcome Bipartisanship
1) NBC noted a panel's
conclusion that breast implants are not dangerous "shows how the
courtroom is often not the best place to decide complex scientific
issues." Neither is the newsroom.
2) Last week ABC and NBC
ignored the Rudman Report. CNN previewed how "an unprecedented joint
hearing representing more than half the U.S. Senate" will examine the
3) Tom Brokaw's reaction to
Newsweek bringing aboard liberal columnist Anna Quindlen who just endorsed
Bill Bradley: "I think it's a great idea. I love hearing her voice
4) Last Thursday the CBS
Evening News dismissed the House vote in favor of allowing schools to
display the Ten Commandments as a delaying tactic to put off votes on
"fairly mild gun control."
5) "After months in which
the mainstream press bemoaned the excessive partisanship in
Washington," the Weekly Standard noted the bipartisan defeat of gun
control "went utterly unappreciated."
6) Dozens of celebrities, as
well as Walter Cronkite and Geraldo, endorsed a Handgun Control ad
advocating more gun control.
>>> Wolf Blitzer with Clinton on
the Yankees and Gore on inventing the Internet. A clip of Sunday's Late
Edition interview of Bill Clinton by Blitzer, in which the CNN star
avoided Chinese espionage but found time to ask when Hillary became a
Yankees fan and what Clinton will do when he leaves office, remains up on
the MRC home page. Or, go directly to the video posted at: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990621.html#1
Also still viewable: Blitzer not batting an eye
when Al Gore told him: "I took the initiative in creating the
Internet." That portion of Blitzer's March 9 Late Edition/Prime
Time interview showing how the claim didn't faze Blitzer, who just kept
tossing softball questions, is Gaffe #4 on the MRC's Gore Gaffes page: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/goregaffesvideo.html
All videos are in RealPlayer format and can be easily accessed by hitting
the Media Bias Videos icon in the upper right corner of the MRC's home
ABC and NBC led Monday night with a panel's report on how silicon breast
implants did not cause the diseases claimed by trial lawyers and much
media reporting over the years while CBS and CNN went first with Rafael
Resendez-Ramirez, suspected of spree of murders near railroad tracks,
being added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List.
The CNN and FNC
political shows earlier in the evening previewed, as CNN's Jonathan Karl
put it, how on Tuesday "an unprecedented joint hearing representing
more than half the U.S. Senate looks at the latest report on ways to
prevent espionage at the nation's nuclear labs." CBS Evening News
anchor Dan Rather gave 17 seconds to noting how lab scientists will soon
have to submit to lie detector tests. (See item #2 for details.)
On the June 21 NBC
Nightly News anchor Brian Williams opened with the findings from the
National Academy of Science panel which found no link between the silicon
breast implants and the immune diseases and other major illnesses blamed
on them. Williams recalled that "we were all led to believe some
years ago" that the implants "amounted to time bombs in the body
causing immune system problems, cancer, a whole long list of dangerous
Bazell concluded his piece: "Today's scientific conclusion cannot
change the decisions already made in the courts, but experts say it should
assure all the woman who still have silicon implants that they do not face
a great danger. And it shows how the courtroom is often not the best place
to decide complex scientific issues."
And neither is the
newsroom since for years the networks falsely trumpeted the dangers of the
implants, usually illustrated with an emotional look at the plight of a
dying or ill woman who blamed her implants. But this is all too late for
Dow Corning to recover its lost billions in emotion over fact lawsuits.
The decision to make government scientists take lie detector tests
generated a few seconds on the CBS Evening News as well as on NBC's
Today and both CNN's Inside Politics and FNC's Special Report with
Brit Hume included the development in larger stories about fallout over
the Rudman Report from the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Warren Rudman and
Bill Richardson are scheduled to testify this week in special Senate
hearings on Rudman's report starting Tuesday morning. Will the hearings
generate some network interest? A reminder: Last week when Rudman's
report was released ABC's World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News
ignored it. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today gave it 23
seconds each. Of the broadcast networks, only the CBS Evening News and
CBS's This Morning provided full stories. NBC Nightly News has not
mentioned Chinese espionage since May 25, the day the Cox Report was
released, and ABC's World News Tonight has not touched it since May 26.
Now back to
Monday, June 21. CBS Evening News viewers heard this 17-second item from
Dan Rather: "The U.S. Energy Department plans to give lie detector
tests, starting later this summer, to as many as five thousand scientists
at U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories. This comes in the wake of
disclosures that stolen U.S. nuclear weapons secrets leaked out of the
labs to China for twenty years."
Monday morning, MRC analyst Mark Drake observed,
Today news reader Sara James announced short items at 7 and 8am. At 7am
she told viewers: "There is more fallout from alleged Chinese spying
at U.S. nuclear weapons labs. According to the Washington Post, the
Department of Energy has begun giving lie detector tests to some 5,000
workers who handle classified nuclear secrets."
Inside Politics CNN's Jonathan Karl reported:
"Concern about America's nuclear secrets
takes center stage on Capitol Hill Tuesday. An unprecedented joint hearing
representing more than half the U.S. Senate looks at the latest report on
ways to prevent espionage at the nation's nuclear labs."
After going over how Energy Secretary Bill
Richardson opposes Rudman's idea of setting up an autonomous agency to
run the labs, Karl observed: "Creating a potential showdown, both
Rudman and Richardson will testify. The hearing will bring together the
Intelligence Committee, chaired by Richard Shelby; Government Reform,
chaired by Fred Thompson; Armed Services, chaired by John Warner; and
Energy, chaired by Frank Murkowski."
Tom Brokaw praised Newsweek's pick of liberal columnist Anna Quindlen,
who recently endorsed Bill Bradley for President by citing his "moral
authority," to replace the late Meg Greenfield as the
every-other-week columnist alternating with George Will. Appearing on the
Imus in the Morning radio show on June 17 the NBC anchor remarked:
"Well I think it's a great idea. I love
hearing her voice again. I miss Meg personally and professionally. I knew
her quite well and she was a strong voice and I can't think of a better
successor to her than Anna Quindlen. And it's time that we heard from
her again in that kind of a forum. I think it's a wonderful idea."
Quindlen, a former
New York Times columnist who quit in the mid-'90s to write novels,
earned effusive praise from Newsweek's Editor for her "passionate
voice." A June 16 press release relayed: "'It's not every day
that you can coax a legend out of retirement,' said Editor Mark
Whitaker....'In the years since Anna gave up her column, America has
sorely missed her wise and passionate voice on everything from politics to
the issues of work, family and education that are so crucial to our
future. We couldn't be more thrilled to have her back as a columnist, and
that Newsweek's back page will be her forum.'"
So, what kind of
"voice" are Newsweek and Brokaw so pleased about? In his June 21
Media Notes column the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz noted that "Quindlen
endorsed Bill Bradley for President, praising the Democrat for his
'moral authority' at a political breakfast." Indeed, in a June 4
story distributed by the Newhouse News Service John Hassell reported:
"Bradley also basked in the endorsement of
Quindlen, who has become an influential voice of modern feminism through
her novels and Pulitzer Prize-winning columns. She argued that in the wake
of the Clinton impeachment saga, the character of presidential aspirants
is more critical than ever.
"'I don't want to follow someone who I'm
not sure is leading,' she said to sustained applause from the 600 women
in attendance. 'I don't want to settle anymore. I want someone whose
moral authority is as stellar as his message.'"
A May 1992
Newsbite in MediaWatch on how NBC's Katie Couric praised Quindlen, the
MRC's Tim Graham reminded me, cited some profound "Quindlenisms"
such as, on January 24, 1991: "Sunday, the Super Bowl will be played
in Tampa and so, inevitably, my thoughts turn to abortion." Or, on
November 2, 1991: "This is what it is like to be a New Yorker, to
have to stop and constantly acknowledge pain." And from April 8,
1992, "Ronald Reagan needed TV to abet a fantasy. Mr. Clinton needs
it to communicate his reality."
"voice" Tom Brokaw missed and wants to hear again.
Catching up with some bias from last Thursday, the CBS Evening News
dismissed the House vote in favor of allowing schools to display the Ten
Commandments as a delaying tactic to put off votes on "fairly mild
gun control measures." As detailed in the June 21 CyberAlert, CBS on
Friday night June 18 failed to mention how Democrat John Dingell, joined
by 44 other Democrats, led the fight for the one day waiting period
denounced by Clinton. On Thursday night CBS didn't bother to mention how
45 Democrats backed the Ten Commandments amendment.
focused on how the amendment was a distraction from what really mattered.
Dan Rather opened the June 17 Evening News:
"Good evening. A rapid fire switch on
Capitol Hill today in legislation to reduce youth violence. The make or
break House debate on even limited measures to keep guns out of schools
suddenly turned into a vote to put copies of the Ten Commandments in the
Bob Schieffer began: "This really isn't
about the Ten Commandments at all. It's about gun control and background
checks at gun shows. Members of the House of Representatives know that
they're eventually going to have to vote on those fairly mild gun
control measures passed by the Senate. But with the gun lobby breathing
down their neck hard now they've been putting it off by talking about a
lot of other things for as long as they possibly could. During debate on
reducing school violence they managed to consider everything but
tightening the gun laws and this was the latest idea."
"Advocate said posting the commandments in schools would reduce
violence by reminding students of values. Opponents saw it as yet another
tactic to delay the vote on guns..."
Just like CBS
how the idea has no chance of surviving the Senate and the courts,
Schieffer concluded: "But in the meantime, and clearly by design, the
votes that really count on those gun laws probably won't come until late
tonight when most Americans are sleeping."
So the results
wouldn't be reported? Obviously they were, becoming big news on Friday.
Whatever happened to the media's appreciation of bipartisanship? House
Republicans and Democrats joined together in rejecting the most onerous
liberal gun regulations but instead of praising the bipartisanship the
networks castigated the NRA. A "Scrapbook" item in the June 28
Weekly Standard magazine, which Washington Times Inside Politics columnist
Greg Pierce picked up on June 22, noted the lack of appreciation amongst
the Washington media elite for this kind of bipartisanship.
After months in which the mainstream press
bemoaned the excessive partisanship in Washington, there were a couple of
strikingly bipartisan votes in the House last week. Funny thing, though:
this new spirit of bipartisanship went utterly unappreciated.
In one instance, Michigan's John D. Dingell,
the senior Democrat in the House, made common cause with supposed uber-partisan
Republican Tom DeLay of Texas to pass a gun control measure that was less
strict than the Senate's and, hence, deeply disappointing to the White
House, not to mention all the gun controllers in the media. Dingell
brought along with him a substantial contingent of 45 Democrats who joined
with 173 Republicans in passing the bill -- which is about as bipartisan
as it gets these days.
A second instance: 45 Democrats also joined
203 Republicans to pass the Ten Commandments Defense Act, which restores
to the states the freedom to post the Ten Commandments in government
buildings, including schools....
But again there was negligible praise for the spirit of comity that saw so
many Democrats crossing the aisle.
All of this is something to bear in mind
the next time you hear a lament about the 'death of bipartisanship.'
Apparently 'real' bipartisanship is when House Republicans join the
'Democratic' side, not when Democrats cross over.
Indeed, the cultural and media elite all favor more gun control as
demonstrated by a who's who list of celebrities and media stars who
signed a June 9 full page ad in USA Today from Handgun Control, Inc. This
is an item I've been meaning to run for days but it kept getting bumped
as I ran out of room.
signers of the "Open Letter to the National Rifle Association"
were Walter Cronkite, Geraldo Rivera and Time-Warner Chairman Gerald
Levin. Time-Warner owns Time magazine and CNN. Plus, Mike Nichols, husband
of Diane Sawyer.
MRC intern Joyce
Garczynski helpfully typed in the text of the ad which appeared on page
5D. The top third of the ad read:
"We are not
'gun haters.' But we hate what guns are doing to our communities, our
schools, our families and, most especially, our children. Guns do not
bleed. Children do. Everyday lose 13 children to gun violence in this
country. A classroom every other day.
"This debate is not about guns. It's about
children. Whatever you may think about the 2nd Amendment, our children do
not have a 'right to keep and bear arms.' In fact, it's not about
anyone's right to own a firearm. It's about everyone's right to
'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' It's about the
responsibility that we all have for keeping guns out of the hands of
criminals, children and other prohibited purchasers. It's about the
simple things that gun owners and non-gun owners alike can do to prevent
children and other prohibited purchasers from getting guns.
"We stand for these basic principles:
-- No child should have unsupervised access to a
-- No handgun should be sold without a child
-- No gun should be sold without a background
check. No exceptions.
-- There should be a minimum waiting period of 72
hours on all handgun purchases to provide for a 'cooling off' period
and to give police time to complete a thorough background check.
-- No one should be able to buy more than one
handgun per month. The only people who need to buy more than twelve
handguns per year are the professional gun traffickers who make a living
reselling guns to children and criminals.
-- No more semi-automatic assault weapons. No
more ammunition clips holding more than 10 rounds. We don't need more
killing power on our streets.
"If we do all
these things, not a single law-abiding adult would be denied a firearm for
self defense, for recreation or any other legitimate purpose. Not a single
one. But we might just save the life of a child and spare some family a
lifetime of sorrow. Is that too much to ask?"
hundreds of names listed below that text, here are some of the more
recognizable celebrities with news media figures highlighted with an *
Carol Bayer Sager
Jon Bon Jovi
Kathie Lee Gifford
David E. Kelley
Mary Tyler Moore
Sarah Jessica Parker
Elizabeth Bracco Quinn
Harry Dean Stanton
Dick Van Dyke
And, the Zappa quintet:
In a June 18 ad in
response in USA Today the NRA noted that the "'13 children lost to
gun violence every day' cited in their ad are in fact neither children
nor accidents, but 85% are suicides or murders committed by gangbangers
aged 15 to 19."
The NRA urged the
celebrities to support its Eddie Eagle gun accident prevention program for
Don't count on it. While I'm sure many of
these celebrities would maintain that the Handgun Control ad only
advocated mild measures to "protect kids," they would refuse to
help the NRA to further a non-political safety program because they are so
violently opposed to the NRA. So they are putting politics ahead of kids. --
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 email@example.com."
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
Or, go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters.<<<
Home | News Division
| Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact
the MRC | Subscribe