6/02: NBC Suggests Bill O'Reilly Fueled Murder of Dr. George Tiller
  6/01: NBC's Williams Cues Up Obama: 'That's One She'd Rather Have Back'
  5/29: Nets Push 'Abortion Rights' Advocates' Concerns on Sotomayor
  5/28: CBS on Sotomayor: 'Can't Be Easily Defined by Political Labels'

  Notable Quotables
  Media Reality Check
  Press Releases
  Media Bias Videos
  Special Reports
  30-Day Archive
  Take Action
  Gala and DisHonors
  Best of NQ Archive
  The Watchdog
  About the MRC
  MRC in the News
  Support the MRC
  Planned Giving
  What Others Say
MRC Resources
  Site Search
  Media Addresses
  Contact MRC
  MRC Bookstore
  Job Openings
  News Division
  NewsBusters Blog
  Business & Media Institute

Support the MRC



CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
Thursday July 15, 1999 (Vol. Four; No. 123)

GOP Killing Patient Rights; NBC: Sports Bra = Title IX Success

1) Network coverage of the "patient's bill of rights" has stressed how Republicans are killing all the wonderful "rights" Democrats want to provide. CBS attributed the GOP position to insurance money but ignored how trial lawyers will reward Democrats.

2) Bushwacked. MSNBC jumped on a George W. Bush "slip-up" but couldn't find it. CNN highlighted the racial covenant in his deed.

3) Those paying more in taxes would get a bigger tax cut than those paying less, complained CNN's Brooks Jackson in compliantly relaying numbers from an unlabeled Citizens for Tax Justice.

4) On Today Jonathan Alter credited Title IX for the sports bra and Katie Couric marveled: "The importance of the sports bra to American women really cannot be overestimated can it?" Washington Post: "The sports bra is the cloth symbol of Title IX's success."

5) FNC the first network to report how William Kennedy's ex-wife alleged that he "brought FBI files to their home and spent hours entering information onto a laptop computer."

6) FNC's Carl Cameron among the guests Thursday night when MRC Chairman Brent Bozell hosts Mike Reagan's national talk show.

     >>> "Another Gore Tobacco Gaffe, Up in Smoke: Few Reports Touch on Gore's New Tobacco-Paid Consultant Carter Eskew, And Fewer Find Hypocrisy." The latest Media Reality Check fax report by Tim Graham is now online. It begins: "On August 28, 1996, Al Gore shared with the Democratic convention and the nation the tragic story of his sister's 1984 death from smoking. He tremulously pledged: 'Until I draw my last breath, I will pour my heart and soul into the cause of protecting our children from the dangers of smoking.' So what would Gore say when his campaign hired Carter Eskew, a consultant who created ads against Sen. John McCain's $1.10-a-pack cigarette tax? Ads Bill Clinton claimed could be 'fatal to young children who continue to be seduced and sold illegally cigarettes that will shorten their lives'? He didn't have to say anything. It's another Gore tobacco gaffe the media have barely touched."
     To read the report or to view a complete video clip, in RealPlayer format, of Gore's emotional talk at the 1996 Democratic convention about his supposed turn against tobacco, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990714.html <<<


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) It would help if Republicans were pushing a true conservative, individually-empowering, market-based alternative to the liberal "patient's bill of rights" instead of the "yes, but" approach they are taking -- a strategy to show they too care which certainly isn't earning them any media credit for caring.

     Network coverage Tuesday and Wednesday night stressed how Republicans are killing all the wonderful "rights" and "protections" Democrats want to provide. CBS's Bob Schieffer attributed the GOP position to crass fundraising concerns: "Pushed by the big insurance companies, the Republican majority stuck together as expected and killed the Democrat's HMO reform plan plank by plank." Without a counter-comment Schieffer highlighted how the AMA denounced those who voted no, claiming for them "insurance company profits come first and patients come last." NBC's Gwen Ifill relayed a complaint from an HMO victim without giving equal time to a business perspective.

     Check out how Republicans are on the downside of this spin from Dan Rather in a 24-second item on the July 13 CBS Evening News:
     "In the U.S. Senate the first key vote on the so-called and bitterly fought over patient's bill of rights. It's supposed to help patients challenge decisions by their HMOs. Late today Republicans defeated proposals that would have protected women from being forced to leave the hospital just hours after breast cancer surgery. Also defeated: a proposal to let women choose gynecologists as their primary care doctor."

     FNC and CNN aired full stories Tuesday night with CNN presenting separate pieces on HMO victims and the burden the Democratic plan will impose on small businesses. That night ABC and NBC skipped the subject, but they caught up on Wednesday night as did CBS with a full report which castigated a Republican leader for getting "personal" in ridiculing Ted Kennedy. Here's how the broadcast networks handled the Senate votes on Wednesday night, July 14:

     -- CBS Evening News. Bob Schieffer began: "The Democrat's plan to overhaul HMOs with that patient's bill of rights is dying a slow, but certain death in one of the most partisan debates ever."
     Ted Kennedy shouting: "We're glad to have protections for our children, and we refuse to provide it for the other children."
     Schieffer: "Senate debates often get this loud, seldom do they turn this personal."
     Don Nickles: "I'm glad my colleague is settling down. I was getting ready to call Doctor Frist again. I was afraid we might need him, might have a heart attack on the floor."
     Schieffer: "In fact, the hoo-ha really didn't matter. Pushed by the big insurance companies, the Republican majority stuck together as expected and killed the Democrat's HMO reform plan plank by plank. On near party line votes Republicans killed the Democratic proposal to give doctors, not insurance companies, the final say on treatment. Too costly, Republicans said, and by the same logic killed plans to let women designate gynecologists as their primary doctors, guarantee access to emergency rooms and allow HMO patients access to experimental treatment. The new President of the American Medical Association, the group that speaks for doctors, was furious."
     Dr. Thomas Reardon, President AMA: "The Senate has now said that insurance company profits come first and patients come last. This is a real setback to patients."
     Schieffer: "Republicans did push through proposals requiring HMOs to pay for hospital stays after mastectomies and allowing the self-employed to deduct the cost of health insurance from their tax bills. And they will offer additional reforms tomorrow, but since the President has promised to veto all the Republican proposals, this is ending as many predicted: Both sides will have an issue to take into next year's campaign. But as for HMOs, not much is going to change."

     Nice balance from Schieffer: Two pro-Democratic plan soundbites versus one soundbite from someone against the plan, but only to demonstrate his personal tone, so really 2-to-0. While Schieffer attributed the Republican position to getting insurance money he failed to suggest that maybe Democrats are salivating over pleasing trial lawyers by pushing a provision to allow more lawsuits against HMOs.

     -- ABC's World News Tonight. Linda Douglass presented a less biased piece than Schieffer but one which still stressed what Republicans opposed:
     "For the second day Republicans closed ranks to defeat one of the Democrat's most sweeping proposals, to apply HMO reforms to all insured Americans. Frustrated Democrats cried foul."
     After a bite from Kennedy about how Republicans are bought and paid for by the insurance industry, Douglass continued:
     "Republicans argued most Americans are covered by at least some state insurance protections."
     Rick Santorum noted the arrogance of assuming bureaucrats in Washington have the solution, before Douglass ran through the OB-GYN and emergency room provisions that were defeated. She then got to the Democrat-lite plan forwarded by Republicans: "But Republicans scrambled to deflect criticism that they are insensitive to consumer complaints, especially complaints from women. They approved a measure to permit longer hospital stays for mastectomy and they are also pushing their own plan to offer greater access to OB-GYN care, but it would not apply to everyone."
     Barbara Boxer got to emphasize that point before Douglass concluded by noting Republicans plan to pass their plan on Thursday.

     -- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw opened the broadcast: 
     "If you're not happy with your HMO you're not alone, but stayed tuned. Changes are coming. The U.S. Senate is in the closing stages of a pitched debate on a patient's bill of rights. The Democrats are losing their battle to institute a massive overhaul which Republicans claim would be too expensive. The Republican version does include some change but not enough to satisfy President Clinton who already is talking veto."

     Gwen Ifill went through the amendments defeated by Republicans and ran competing soundbites from Kennedy and Nickles before concluding with an HMO victim's tale:
     "Beth Gross, a nurse from Virginia, brought her own story to the Capitol, saying her HMO denied her son access to a needed specialist."
     Gross: "I cannot believe that I lived in a country that allowed an insurance company to be so ruthless with a child."
     Without a counter soundbite or emotional anecdote from a businessman, Ifill concluded with the White House spin: "But government fixes, Republicans maintain, are not the solution. Democrats are prepared to lose tomorrow's final vote and White House officials, who call the Republican bill an absolute sham, are already predicting a presidential veto."


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) George W. Bush has remained largely unscathed by the media, but some are trying to nail him with stories that are quite a stretch. Last Thursday night MSNBC's Brian Williams highlighted how "one of the first slip-ups might have been committed by Bush." But there was no slip-up, something Williams conceded minutes later. On Tuesday night CNN's The World Today highlighted how Bush once bought a house with a restrictive covenant.

     -- July 8 News with Brian Williams on MSNBC. Williams intoned:
     "Now, to politics in this country. And today in Seattle, Washington one of the first slip-ups might have been committed on the campaign trail by Texas Governor George W. Bush."
     The error? By phone Newsweek's Howard Fineman urgently reported, as transcribed by MRC analyst Mark Drake:
     "Well, Brian, this was the first unscripted moment of the campaign. I love it because so far it has had all the excitement of watching paint dry. I'm here at a big convention of minority journalists, 6,000 African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians all here to talk about race and politics and so forth. Al Gore was long scheduled in here. Bill Bradley was here today, also long scheduled to appear but Governor George Bush of Texas was in town to fund-raise but wasn't going to come to the convention but at last minute this morning, he decided the better part of wisdom was to make a stop at the convention center here in Seattle to stop by and talk to the journalists here. And it was quite a scene because he came in pretty much unannounced and was immediately surrounded by a group of college journalists who began asking him all kinds of questions about affirmative action so on. He gave his standard answers that he's for affirmative access, not for quotas and so forth.
     "But it was really quite a scene and I think it was the first moment when George W. Bush had to decide something on the spur of the moment and he decided he couldn't be in the great Pacific Northwest without stopping by this meeting. Meanwhile, having heard that George W. Bush was going to come one of his rivals for the Republican nomination, John McCain, said hey, I can do one better than that. I'll come and hold a full scale press conference. So not long after George W. Bush had departed, John McCain showed up and held a big conference outside. Meanwhile, Bill Bradley gave an hour long detailing his history of involvement with the race and his support of affirmative action. And Al Gore will be here too tomorrow. So all and all, it's been quite an event and probably a little more news than the people at the Unity Conference were expecting."

     Wow. But where's the "slip-up"? Williams conceded: "Howard Fineman on the road in Seattle with the Bradley campaign. And while perhaps not a slip-up by George W., a hungry press corps is given something at that gathering today."

     -- CNN's The World Today on July 13 allocated about a minute to an item narrated by anchor Jim Moret:
     "Today's campaign 2000 news includes information about a frontrunner's real estate past. CNN has obtained copies of the deed for a Dallas home once owned by GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush. It includes a covenant allowing white residents only. Bush bought the house in 1988. He sold it in 1995 five days after being sworn in as Governor of Texas. Bush was asked tonight about the clause at a multimillion dollar fundraiser in New Jersey."

     Viewers then saw and heard some back and forth between Bush and a reporter, but MRC analyst Paul Smith found it hard to make out all the words over the crowd noise:
     Bush: "You understand those covenants are against the law.... It's against the law. They're non binding."
     Reporter: "But still, it is a covenant."
     Bush: "I didn't know it was a covenant because it is not the law. Listen, the neighborhoods are mixed neighborhoods so obviously it is not the law. It is non-binding.
     Reporter: "Are you concerned about that at all though as being legal at one time?"
     Bush: "Yeah, I don't like those kinds of covenants at all. That's why they struck them down."
     Moret added: "Texas outlawed racial covenants in 1984."

     Earlier in the day Inside Politics spent several minutes on the topic. Bill Schneider pointed out that Democrats such as Dianne Feinstein and John Kennedy owned homes with a racial covenant. Anchor Bernard Shaw asked Dallas Morning News editorial writer Lee Cullum: "Is this a case of journalists making too much about something that's not really that significant?"

     She said yes but, nonetheless, CNN went with it a few hours later in prime time.


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) People who earn more and pay more in taxes will get a bigger tax reduction dollar-wise than those who pay less in taxes. Sounds logical, but to CNN's Brooks Jackson, who is usually above passing along shoddy rhetorical arguments, it shows how the Republican tax cut plan unfairly benefits the rich.

     Reviewing the House GOP proposal on the July 13 The World Today, Jackson asserted:
     "The top capital gains tax rate would drop five percentage points to 15 percent, but that's not worth much to most taxpayers. Those making roughly $38,000 to $63,000 a year would get an average cut of $17. Those making more than $300,000 a year would get a cut of more than $8,300, according to a study by Citizens for Tax Justice."

     He didn't label the group as liberal before continuing: "There would be help for many working couples." After a bite of Bill Archer explaining how the plan would eliminate the marriage penalty," Jackson complained:
     "Couples would get a larger standard deduction, but that's no help to the working couples who itemize deductions. The 55 percent tax on big estates would be phased out, repealed entirely by the year 2009. But only the richest two percent of estates are taxed now, so 98 percent would see no benefit."

     Amongst those two percent, a group Jackson did not mention: Thousands of small businesses passed along every year to heirs at an owner's death. But with an onerous 55 percent rate on the value of the business's property and equipment often exceeding the revenue flow of the business, heirs are forced to sell just to pay the huge tax on a paper gain.


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes) A bra world on Today. Tuesday morning Jonathan Alter used soccer player Brandi Chastain's display of her Nike sports bra as an excuse to curve an argument about how women have moved from burning their bras as a "sign of defiance" in the 1960s to showing their bras in the 1990s as "the most visible sign of achievement." Alter credited Title IX with making the sports bra possible. Afterward, Katie Couric marveled: "The importance of the sports bra to American women really cannot be overestimated can it?"

     In a piece carried on the July 12 News with Brian Williams on MSNBC and then again on the July 13 Today, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter asserted, as transcribed by the MRC's Mark Drake:
     "Women' liberation in the early 1970s: The most visible sign of defiance against male oppression was burning your bra. Women's liberation in the late 1990s: The most visible sign of achievement is showing your bra, well your sports bra anyway..."
     "Many American are learning this week that the triumph of women's team sports is the result of something called Title IX. That was an obscure provision in an education bill signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1972 that said women should have the same access to educational resources, including high school and college sports budgets, as men. Sometimes the fine print in Washington bills, widely discounted as boring or irrelevant to our lives, turns out to be central to social change. Title IX made women's team sports, indirectly producing everything from the WNBA to World Cup champions to the sports bras that helped them play. Women's undergarments are still often about selling sex. That's Victoria's Secret. But for now on, thanks to Brandi Chastain's little gesture, they also represent strength, success and a new comfortable place for the women's movement, one of the great social movements of the 20th century."

     Immediately after Alter's taped piece Katie Couric asked guest Lucy Danziger of Women's Sports & Fitness magazine: "When I got this assignment I thought whoa, slow news day. But the importance of the sports bra to American women really cannot be overestimated can it?"

     Washington Post reporter Ann Gerhart also saw the sports bra as a symbol of Title IX's success. In a July 14 Style section article titled "Cashing In on the World Cups," Gerhart wrote than Chastain's jersey removal "has brought instant attention to a piece of clothing that is humble and practical -- not a traditional bra of shine and lace and cleavage, but a sturdy compression garment. The sports bra is the cloth symbol of Title IX's success."


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes) Wednesday night FNC became the first network to pick up on fresh evidence that former White House Associate Counsel William Kennedy took FBI files home to enter data from them into his portable computer and that a judge may soon order Hillary Clinton to be deposed. As noted in the July 9 CyberAlert, a July 8 column by Bob Novak suggested Filegate "might yet be broken open with political implications for Hillary Rodham Clinton" as Judicial Watch revealed what Kennedy's former wife said she witnessed. To read more, go to the July 9 CyberAlert: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990709.html#4

     In a piece run on the July 14 Special Report with Brit Hume and Fox Report, David Shuster put on screen text from an affidavit recently filed by Hillary Clinton: "I have never obtained or ordered nor requested anyone to...to obtain any FBI file, FBI background investigation summary...of any former government employee employed by either the Bush or Reagan administration."

     Shuster noted that the affidavit "still leaves open other allegations that the First Lady somehow benefitted. 'I have never seen the FBI investigative summary' of Republicans. The conservative group Judicial Watch says the word 'seen' is the key."
     Larry Klayman, Judicial Watch: "Did she have this information provided to her orally? Did she see it on her laptop computer and therefore she didn't see the original but she saw a recordation. Did she have the information summarized and given to her in other forms?"
     Shuster: "Klayman is convinced the courts will soon grant his request to question Mrs. Clinton face to face. A lawsuit has been building for nearly three years and Klayman recently obtained potentially explosive testimony about the man with the moustache [video of Kennedy walking with another man], William Kennedy, a key figure in the case. Kennedy is a former law partner of Mrs. Clinton and worked briefly as a White House aide. His ex-wife has now alleged that on several occasions Kennedy brought FBI files to their home and spent hours entering information onto a laptop computer."

     Shuster concluded by passing along how "legal observers" think a federal judge will order the First Lady to testify.


cyberno6.gif (1129 bytes) Hear from and talk to Fox's Carl Cameron, the leading television reporter on the Chinese espionage beat. He's scheduled to be amongst MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell's guests Thursday night when he hosts the Mike Reagan talk show on the Premiere Radio Network. Plus, Steve Forbes, Tony Snow and Jackie Mason. To see a partial list of the many Chinagate scoops delivered by Cameron on FNC check out the MRC's Special Report: "The Cox Report versus The Iran-Contra Report." Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/specialreports/news/sr19990706.html
     Or, for a condensed version, go to:  http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/FAX19990624.html

     The Reagan show is distributed live from 6 to 10pm ET, 5 to 9pm CT, 4 to 8pm MT and 3 to 7pm PT, but many stations carry it on a delayed basis. To see a list of the cities, dial positions and times 180 stations carry the Mike Reagan Show, listed by state, go to: http://www.webforums.com/forums/t-read/msa21.261.html

     To listen live during the above listed hours via either RealAudio or Windows Media Player, go to Broadcast.com's site: http://www.broadcast.com/shows/reagan/

     Among the stations in larger markets or with strong signals that cover a wide area (all times local):
Montgomery, Alabama: WACV 1170-AM, 6-8pm
Los Angeles: KIEV 870-AM, 8pm-12am
San Diego: KSDO 1130-AM, 7-10pm
San Francisco: KSFO 560-AM, 3-6am
Ft. Myers: WINK 1240-AM, 8pm-12am
Des Moines: WHO 1040-AM, 9pm-1am
Boise: KBOI 670-AM, 6-9pm
Ft. Wayne: WOWO 1190-AM, 8pm-12am
Kansas City: KCMO 810-AM, 6-9pm
Las Vegas: KDWN 720-AM, 3-6pm
Reno: KKOH 780-AM, 7-10pm
Houston: KPRC 950-AM, 10pm-1am
San Antonio: KTSA 550-AM, 8pm-12am
Salt Lake City: KALL 910-AM, 6-9pm
Norfolk: WNIS 850-AM, 8pm-12am
Spokane: KGA 1510-AM, 6-9pm
Milwaukee: WISN 1130-AM, 12-3am
Washington, DC: WMAL 630-AM, 3-5am

     As you can see, many stations do not carry the full four hours, so you may not be able to hear all the guests, but Bozell's assistant/producer, Deborah Bilyeu, passed along this planned guest schedule to lure you in:
First hour: Steve Forbes and possibly Paul Weyrich
Second hour: Steve Allen
Third hour: Carl Cameron
Fourth hour: Jackie Mason and Tony Snow

     Jackie Mason and Tony Snow back-to-back. You can't say conservatives don't believe in diversity. -- 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: mrccyberalert-subscribe
. Or, you can go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters. Either way you will receive a confirmation message titled: "RESPONSE REQUIRED: Confirm your subscription to mrccyberalert@topica.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 DO NOT have to do this; at that point you are already subscribed to CyberAlert.
     To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to: cybercomment@mrc.org.
     Send problems and comments to: cybercomment@mrc.org.

     >>>You 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: cybercomment@mrc.org. Or, go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters.<<<


Home | News Division | Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts 
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact the MRC | Subscribe

Founded in 1987, the MRC is a 501(c) (3) non-profit research and education foundation
 that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate for office.

Privacy Statement

Media Research Center
325 S. Patrick Street
Alexandria, VA 22314