China's Communist Success; Socialist Turner; Morris's "Cockamamie" Story
1) ABC News picked up on
George W. Bush's very liberal sounding attack on the House GOP for
balancing the budget "on the backs of the poor." Peter Jennings
urged that the rich should pay more in Social Security taxes, complaining
Bill Gates is under-taxed.
2) With free college, medicine
and funerals, as well as TVs, VCRs and apples for all, CBS's Barry
Petersen marveled at how the PRC village of Nanjie "is a glimpse of
what all China might have been had communism succeeded."
3) CNN founder Ted Turner
declared at a media conference in Shanghai: "I'm a socialist at
4) The morning after CBS and
NBC failed to label Warren Beatty as liberal their morning shows
acknowledged the obvious.
5) Today's Matt Lauer
didn't raise Al Gore's past actions, such as the Buddhist temple, when
Gore boasted on the show that his campaign is "abiding strictly"
by campaign finance rules.
6) "That is a complete,
cockamamie story," Lou Cannon told FNC's Brit Hume of Edmund
Morris's claim, repeated on 60 Minutes and Today, that Reagan tried to
join the Communist Party in 1938.
7) In response to IBD's Paul
Sperry daring to ask Clinton about Chinese fundraising, which prompted
Clinton to erupt in anger, Joe Lockhart has banned him and called him as a
"Class A shithead."
8) Who insisted Bill Bradley
is "not that liberal, Gore is not that liberal"? Margaret
Carlson? Judy Woodruff? Tucker Carlson? It wasn't Margaret Carlson or
The September 29 CyberAlert item about Paul Sperry's encounter with Bill
Clinton stated: "Pressed by O'Reilly, Sperry confirmed Clinton
'was shouting' and so he was therefore getting hit in the face with
'spiddle, if you will.'" It sounded like "spiddle," but
it should have been transcribed as "spittle."
The media love it when Republicans shoot their own, so naturally ABC News
highlighted how George W. Bush, using the type of language employed by
liberal Democrats, castigated Republicans for trying to balance the budget
"on the backs of the poor." Minutes later on Thursday night ABC
anchor Peter Jennings suggested the rich should pay more into the Social
-- John Cochran
began his September 30 World News Tonight story by showing Bill Clinton
denouncing the gimmick to move spending to another fiscal year, and then
"A few hours later Governor George Bush
joined the President in lashing out at congressional Republicans."
Bush, sounding like Paul Wellstone, declared:
"I don't think they ought to balance their budget on the backs of
Cochran: "This is just the latest of several
budget gimmicks that has Republicans in trouble in their attempt to appear
to save money..."
Republican proposal would simply spread out EITC payments over 12 months,
instead of making one payment all at once. No recipient would get any less
-- After a piece
on the Social Security Administration's plan to send forms to everyone
listing how much money they should expect to receive in retirement,
"The government is being pretty clear with
people: They will need an extra source of savings. But for so many people
the burden of paying Social Security taxes makes that difficult. Eighty
percent of Americans now pay more in payroll taxes for Social Security and
Medicare than they do in income taxes. And it is suggested the rich could
pay more. For example, it is often cited that the software billionaire
Bill Gates pays the same Social Security tax as someone making $75,000 a
And Gates will get
same amount from Social Security when he retires.
"Nanjie is a glimpse of what all China might have been had communism
succeeded," CBS reporter Barry Petersen declared on Thursday night in
imagining the self-contradicting situation.
Republic of China has over a billion people living in over 3.7 million
square miles, yet a day apart ABC and CBS picked the same Chinese village
to profile to mark the communist nation's 50th anniversary. As noted in
the September 30 CyberAlert, the September 29 World News Tonight featured
a story looking at two villages, one very capitalistic and one, Nanjie,
which follows communist rules.
CBS Evening News Barry Petersen traveled to the village of Nanjie,
"where thoughts of Chairman Mao have risen again." Petersen
showed a large statute of Mao in the square, noting that Mao's
collectivism and ban on private property starved 30 million. Petersen then
explained that "Nanjie tried the new ways, capitalist ideas like
private farms, but they failed here. So, the 3400 villagers decided they
would rather be what they once were: a communist collective."
Now, the village
pays for locals to go to college and provides free medical care and
funerals. Petersen marveled:
"Nanjie is a glimpse of what all China might
have been had communism succeeded. At the Lee family household daughter
Mung's [phonetic spelling] piano is about all that's privately owned.
The apartment, the TV, VCR, the apples -- all supplied by the commune. We
feel safe here says Mrs. Lee and my husband and I will never lose our
Over video of kids
dancing on stage, Petersen concluded:
"At the local opera school, paid for by the
village, children sing communism's praises. Today, Mao wouldn't
recognize the China he took over fifty years ago. But Nanjie teaches its
children that at least in this village communism had it right and that
would be music to Mao's ears."
Speaking of discredited and failed economic models, "I'm a
socialist at heart," proclaimed CNN founder Ted Turner in a comment
picked up Wednesday by the Drudge Report. Speaking at a Time-Warner
conference in Shanghai earlier this week, the Vice Chairman of Time
Warner, which bought Turner's cable channels a few years ago, complained
about how other billionaires aren't spending their money properly.
Though he's worth $7.8 billion and keeps buying up most of the land in
New Mexico, he doesn't approve of a computer industry leader buying
excerpt from the only story I could find on the speech before Time
Warner's "Fortune Global Forum," a Reuters dispatch from
Shanghai that I located via Yahoo!:
Forbes magazine recently listed Turner as
the world's 38th richest person, with assets of roughly $7.8 billion which
were greatly increased by Turner Broadcasting's merger with Time Warner.
"I think I'm the richest man in the
world ever to work for someone else," Turner said. "I've had to
make the most of it. It's not always easy."
Turner took a jab at the next generation of
media entrepreneurs -- those in the Internet -- saying many were too
extravagant with their newfound wealth.
"The Internet guys have gotten so rich
so fast, they've lost respect for it," he said. He singled out Oracle
Corp Chairman Larry Ellison for his yachts.
Turner said it took him so long to get
wealthy he would rather give his fortune away. "I'd rather use it for
the benefit of mankind rather than spend it selfishly. I'm a socialist at
heart," he said.
He has promised to donate $1 billion to the
Realizing Beatty really is a liberal. Wednesday night, as detailed in the
September 30 CyberAlert, CBS Jerry Bowen and NBC's Bob Faw refused to
apply an ideological label to Warren Beatty, but in their stories on his
potential presidential bid they both tagged columnist Arianna Huffington
as conservative. Thursday morning, the networks acknowledged Beatty's
MRC analyst Brian
Boyd alerted me that on the September 30 This Morning CBS's Jerry Bowen
filled in what his story the night before overlooked. Reporting on
Beatty's Beverly Hills speech, Bowen reported that "the
self-proclaimed unrepentant liberal has been pondering what he considers a
Democratic party adrift from its roots....Beatty blasted both announced
Democratic candidates, Al Gore and Bill Bradley, for speaking of economic
prosperity while ignoring the growing disparity between America's rich and
NBC's Today did
not air an updated piece from Faw, but did run a story by Kelly
O'Donnell who acknowledged Beatty's ideology:
"Embracing the term liberal, Beatty
criticized Democratic presidential contenders Al Gore and Bill Bradley as
too centrist, too similar to give voters a choice."
Morning America sent Clinton/Gore enabler George Stephanopoulos to Beverly
Hills to cover Beatty's address before a conference sponsored by the
very liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA). Stephanopoulos, MRC
analyst Mark Drake observed, failed to label Beatty as liberal but did say
Beatty spoke before the "liberal" ADA.
During a GMA news
update, however, news reader JuJu Chang did tag Beatty: "Will he or
won't he? Actor Warren Beatty still isn't saying if he'll run for
president but he is pledging to speak up for liberal causes as the
campaign heats up. Beatty addressed a gathering of Hollywood's liberal
elite in Beverly Hills. He made no apologies when he described his
Beatty: "Old time, unrepentant,
unreconstructed tax and spend, bleeding heart, tax and spend liberal, a
Democrat. So I believe in the value of social programs. I believe in a
safety net. I believe in regulations. I believe in active
Breezing right by Al Gore's history of violating campaign finance laws.
Thursday morning Al Gore appeared on Today, but MRC analyst Geoffrey
Dickens noticed that Matt Lauer failed to challenge him when Gore boasted
of "abiding strictly" by campaign finance rules.
On the September
30 Today co-host Lauer suggested the FCC reports to be released in a few
hours might show Gore has "less money on hand than Bill Bradley does
Gore replied: "Oh I don't know. I have no
idea. We're gonna raise the maximum amount that we can under the reform
limits. I'm abiding strictly by the reform limits. I'm for campaign
finance reform. I go farther than what the law requires now. I don't
accept any PAC contributions."
Instead of recalling Gore's role in raising
illegal foreign money at the Buddhist temple, Lauer moved on: "Bill
Bradley said when he heard about your challenge to the debates he said for
ten months the Gore campaign has been ignoring us and now they're
challenging us to debates. I think we're making progress."
Later, Lauer did
press Gore about clemency for the Puerto Ricans and when Gore avoided two
questions about it, Lauer asserted: "But don't you think we would
value you opinion on that subject."
Gore oddly answered: "Well I'm out here
shaking hands with voters, asking them for their opinion on the future not
the past. I'm asking about where our country should go in the 21st
century, not about the controversies in the 20th century."
Of course, that
would mean he can't deal with anything next year either since the 21st
century does not begin until 2001.
Edmund Morris's "cockamamie" story. On Sunday's 60 Minutes
and again Friday morning on Today, Reagan biographer Morris claimed that
in 1938 Reagan tried to join the Communist Party, but a local official in
Southern California turned him away because he considered Reagan to be a
Not true at all,
former Washington Post reporter and Reagan biographer Lou Cannon told
FNC's Brit Hume on Thursday night's Special Report with Brit Hume.
"Now Morris has this story that Reagan tried to join the Communist
Party. Is that a true story?"
Cannon replied: "That is a complete,
cockamamie story. I would be a couple of years younger if I could have
back all the time I wasted chasing down various Reagan rumors, but that
was one that never came my way. The particular episode you talk about,
however, is shoddy for another reason. The story is told to Mr. Morris,
according to Mr. Morris, by Howard Fast, the popular writer and former
communist. Mr. Fast tells him this 52 years after it supposedly happened
and he gives him the names of two people who Mr. Fast says will confirm
it, this story. Mr. Morris goes to them, one of the few instances where he
seems to have done some reporting, and they do not confirm it and he puts
it in the book anyway. You don't casually accuse somebody, whether
it's the President of the United States or the bellman, of being a
communist or wanting to be a communist unless you can prove it."
The Clinton administration has banned Investor's Business Daily
Washington Bureau Chief Paul Sperry from future social events at the White
House after he had the guts to ask Clinton last Friday night, at a South
Lawn party, about claims by FBI agents that their probe of his fundraising
from China was subverted. Press Secretary Joe Lockhart called Sperry a
"Class A shithead."
For details about
the encounter, in which Clinton went into a ten minute tirade against
Sperry and accused the FBI of just trying to divert attention from their
Waco screw-up, go to the September 30 CyberAlert which features a
RealPlayer clip of Sperry on FNC recounting the experience: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990930.html#4
In a September 30
item, which unusually credited the Drudge Report for a rundown of the
encounter, Washington Post Reliable Source columnist Lloyd Grove reported:
"Lockhart told us Sperry was 'badgering'
Clinton at an 'off the record' party. 'He can cover this building,
but he shouldn't expect to be invited yo any more parties here.'"
In an editorial on
Thursday, Investor's Business Daily theorized that Clinton's angry
eruption at the questions "suggests a fear of tough but reasonable
questions about key issues. Is this the inevitable result of seven years
of coddling by the Washington press corps?"
I'd say yes.
Here's a reprint
of the September 30 IBD editorial which relayed some information gathered
by Matt Drudge and ran through the incident and the White House's
Many readers and others have asked us what
happened last Friday evening at the White House between President Clinton
and our Washington bureau chief, Paul Sperry. We're happy to comply, for
it says a lot about our President.
The incident occurred at a barbecue for the
press held on the South Lawn.
"It began innocently enough," is
how third-person accounts of the incident start.
"When are you going to have your next
formal press conference, Mr. President?" Sperry casually asked
Clinton while he was shaking hands and socializing with reporters and
Clinton: "I don't know. I'll have
The President replied: "Why?"
Sperry: "The American people have a lot of questions about illegal
money from China and the campaign-finance scandal."
At that point, according to observers,
Clinton began to lose his temper.
"Who are you with?" he demanded
to know of Sperry. "I don't like your accusatory tone. It sounds like
you've already got the story written."
Sperry gave the President his business card
and said the public wanted answers about the allegations of illegal
contributions from China.
"Suddenly," according to one
account, which did not differ from other versions, "Clinton's mood
changed, his face turned red and he launched into an argument that lasted
nearly 10 minutes as he defended himself and the Democratic Party against
allegations of Chinese attempts to influence the 1996 U.S. presidential
"During the exchange, Clinton
suggested that Republicans were hypocrites on the subject of
campaign-finance violations. He complained about the length and cost of
the investigation and suggested that the FBI would prefer that the news
media report on political-funding irregularities rather than questions
about the April 19, 1993, federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in
A story written by Sperry and detailing the
president's criticism of the FBI appeared as a "National Issue"
on IBD's front page Tuesday.
As for campaign-finance violations, Clinton
told Sperry at the barbecue: "We've spent $4 million and gave the
(campaign-finance) task force millions of records and every shred of
evidence, and they haven't found a thing."
He also said: "I've been all around
this country, and you are the first person to ask me about it. Not one
person has brought that up."
Sperry noted that FBI agents who testified
before Congress this month raised serious allegations of Department of
Justice stonewalling on the campaign-finance matter and reminded Clinton
that FBI Director Louis Freeh thought enough evidence existed to call for
an independent counsel.
"It turned out to be a real shouting
match on the South Lawn," one eyewitness was quoted as saying in one
Photos taken during the incident show a
red-faced Clinton wagging his finger in Sperry's face.
"At one point during the
argument," said the Internet account, "President Clinton put his
hands up to both sides of his head, wiggled them, rolled his eyes and gave
Sperry a funny face.
"'Make sure that guy never gets
close to me again!' the President ordered one of his aides after the
White House spokesman Joe Lockhart was
quoted as telling an associate that Sperry is a "Class A shithead."
An aide to Lockhart told Sperry by phone
late Monday that he would never be invited back to the White House.
"The only regret we have is inviting
you -- and we won't make that mistake again," Lockhart warned Sperry.
Such reactions are, sadly, not unusual for
this White House, which is known for personally attacking those it sees as
The President's response suggests a fear of
tough but reasonable questions about key issues. Is this the inevitable
result of seven years of coddling by the Washington press corps?
We stand behind our bureau chief's right to
ask basic questions on important issues the American people want to know
Sperry was doing what every reporter should
do. And judging from the hundreds of e-mails we got on this matter, a
sampling of which appear below, many others would concur.
As odd as we find Clinton's response to
Sperry, the behavior of the White House press office can only be described
Rather than answering Sperry's questions in
a straight way -- or even giving the standard "no comment" -- it
tried to bully our bureau chief into silence, as it's done with other
journalists over the years.
By disinviting him from all future White
House functions, it has also disinvited IBD's readers.
The intimidation won't work. We'll keep
asking questions, even hard ones, as long as they beg to be asked. That's
In a discussion about the ideological positions of Democratic presidential
candidates amongst CNN anchor Judy Woodruff, Time magazine's Margaret
Carlson, who serves as a liberal panelist on the Capital Gang, and Tucker
Carlson, who serves as the conservative on Late Edition's roundtable,
whom do you think said Warren Beatty would be the first liberal in the
race as Bradley is "not that liberal, Gore is not that liberal."
Carlson, right? Wrong. Okay, it must be Woodruff. Wrong again.
Check out this
exchange from Wednesday's Inside Politics on CNN caught by MRC analyst
Woodruff: "Last but not least -- Warren Beatty. Margaret, we don't
know what he's going to say tonight."
Margaret Carlson: "Please come in. We're
hoping. We need one more sideshow here. Donald Trump is not enough,
please. I don't -- he's probably not going to announce tonight. It's a
little bit of a tease. Maybe he's on a listening tour. He's going to join
people on the listening tour and ask them for their life story. But he's
showing a little bit of ankle, and he wrote an op-ed piece."
Tucker Carlson: "Good for him. I feel so
sorry for him. My heart goes out to all honest liberals out there, people
who are upset about welfare reform and have a really legitimate beef with
this administration. I know it's true."
Woodruff: "Well, does he have a point, that
his point of view is not represented by Bradley and Gore?"
Margaret Carlson: "Bradley is pretty much
representing his point of view, unless your -- because Bradley has moved
so far to the left, there might be this little bit of space here for
Tucker Carlson: "Really? Because I think if
you listen to what Bradley says, I mean, Republican talking points aside,
he's side he's not that liberal. Gore is not that liberal.
Margaret Carlson: "He's against welfare
reform, and he wants a massive health care plan."
Tucker Carlson: "Well, I think that's just
stupid, but I'm not sure it's liberal. I don't think anybody is
Margaret Carlson, jumping in: "The
government is not liberal? Wasn't Hillary's health care plan like just the
epitome of liberalism run amok?"
Tucker Carlson: "Well, it was kind of wacky.
But nobody is articulating the idea that the Democratic Party should stand
for transferring wealth from the wealthy to the poor. And I think that
Beatty represents a legitimate and sort of now forgotten point of
Woodruff: "But Bradley just advocated a $65
billion health care plan."
Margaret Carlson: "Tucker, I say to you
again, what kind of redistribution of wealth do you need other than this
health care plan and let's do away with welfare reform?"
Tucker Carlson: "Well, no, I'm getting more
radical every year."
Margaret Carlson: "I've infected you."
Woodruff: "You're a closet liberal."
Tucker Carlson: "You know, I must be. You
know, but I just feel sorry for all good-hearted liberals out there, I
On the bright side, at least even a liberal like
Margaret Carlson realizes that Bradley is over on the left. --
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