Clinton Warned Us; "Intelligent Catholics" Like Dung; Clinton Avoided Sex
1) More Americans without
health insurance. NBC's Tom Brokaw called it a "national
emergency" and Jim Avila recalled that's "a flaw in the
booming economy President Clinton said today he warned America about five
years ago, when health care reform was killed."
2) A State Department report
detailed financial improprieties by Tony Coelho, chairman of Gore's
campaign. CBS gave it a full story while ABC only allocated a few seconds
and NBC ignored it.
3) Months after Gore hired
Carter Eskew, CBS's Bob Schieffer bit on the hypocrisy: "This year
you hired as your top media advisor a man who was the chief strategist for
the tobacco companies."
4) MSNBC's Brian Williams
suggested that in hitting Republicans with liberal rhetoric George W. Bush
made a triangulation play "right out of the Clinton playbook."
5) Steve Roberts claimed
"intelligent Catholics" want to see the Brooklyn Museum show.
FNC's Brit Hume exposed the skewed wording of the a poll about how most
oppose Mayor Giuliani's decision.
6) When Bill Clinton saw a
risque sex scene in a movie being shown in Air Force One's press area he
burst out laughing: "I gotta get out of here. I don't want to be
photographed watching that."
online, the October 4 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly
compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the
liberal media. Quote topics, in the issue posted by the MRC's Kristina
Sewell and Sean Henry, include: Reagan the Airhead; Gun Down the 2nd
Amendment; The Heartless Idiot Genius; We Still Despise Linda Tripp; Raisa
as Jackie and Hillary; and I'm Vice President and I'm Horny. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1999/nq19991004.html
now online: the October 1 Media Reality Check fax report by Tim Graham,
titled "Anita Hill's Army AWOL Again on Baucus: Montana Democrat's
Chief of Staff Charges Him With Sexual Harassment, But Where Are the
Media?" To read the issue, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19991001.html
"Without a net, a national emergency," Tom Brokaw alarmingly
announced at the top of Monday's NBC Nightly News: "No health
insurance for one in six Americans." NBC reporter Jim Avila recalled
how President Clinton tried to warn us all of this inevitability when his
plan was rejected five years ago, concluding: "An I told you so from
the President tonight, but little comfort for millions of the unprotected
without insurance in prosperous America." Over on CBS reporter John
Roberts asserted that while new plans will not be as bold as Clinton's,
"there will be some radical surgery to remedy what many people call a
By treating as a
national crisis the Census Bureau report of a slight increase (less than
three percent) in the number of Americans without health insurance, the
networks played into the hands of liberal activists who want a
"crisis" to drive a government-based solution. None of the
broadcast network stories considered how current government regulations
are exacerbating the problem.
Here's how they
handled the story Monday night, October 4. Only NBC led with it as ABC and
CBS went first with the Illinois jury awarding $456 million to plaintiffs
against State Farm for supplying imitation auto parts.
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Rebecca Chase provided the health insurance story and
avoided the dire exaggerations featured on CBS and NBC. She looked at
three individuals without insurance, including a legal secretary who
"makes good money" but chooses to pay for her own health care.
Chase concluded by noting that when hospitals take care of the uninsured
that ultimately "taxpayers foot the bill."
-- CBS Evening News featured two stories prompted
by the health insurance numbers. First, Sandra Hughes reported that many
without insurance coverage hold jobs, lamenting: "This at a time of
unprecedented prosperity. More Americans than ever are working, yet the
study finds that nearly half of the uninsured are employed."
Second, CBS looked
at the political angle. Anchor Dan Rather intoned: "Elected officials
from President Clinton on down reacted today to this latest reminder of
the growing and widespread lack of health insurance. CBS News Chief White
House correspondent John Roberts reports on a medical issue that's
re-emerging as a political issue in campaign 2000."
Roberts began with Bill Clinton's "I told
you so" comment about what would happen if his plan were rejected.
Roberts allowed Stuart Butler, formerly with the Heritage Foundation, to
marvel at the problem when so many are employed. After running a soundbite
of White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart blaming the problem on too
many businesses not providing health coverage, Roberts took up the
"The battle to provide health care for the
uninsured will now be fought on the campaign trail with Democrat and
Republican candidates for President all putting forward their own plans.
And while none have proposed the same top to bottom overhaul the Clinton
administration did, there will be some radical surgery to remedy what many
people call a national disgrace."
-- NBC Nightly News. Teasing the show, Tom Brokaw
declared: "Without a net: A national emergency. No health insurance
for one in six Americans. You might be surprised who's at risk."
Brokaw then opened the program: "In the
midst of the greatest wave of prosperity in American history, more people
making more money than ever before, there's a ticking time bomb: Health
care and how to pay for it. The percentage of Americans without health
insurance went up sharply last year so now one in six is
From Chicago Jim
Avila looked at how owners of a restaurant and a flower shop can't
afford the high insurance costs for their employees. Avila then warned:
"Hardest hit by the rising medical costs, minorities, women, the
working poor. But the new study also reports that even those making
$50,000 are no longer guaranteed health insurance."
After a clip of a florist saying the cost
prohibits him from providing it for his staff, Avila ended his story by
recalling how Clinton warned us this would happen:
"A flaw in the booming economy President
Clinton said today he warned America about five years ago, when health
care reform was killed."
Clinton: "We told you in 1994 that if this
were voted down the insurance companies would continue to drop
Avila: "An I told you so from the President
tonight, but little comfort for millions of the unprotected without
insurance in prosperous America."
On FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume Monday
night Robert Moffit of Heritage Foundation told Hume about two ways the
government raises the cost of health insurance for individuals: First,
federal tax policy means it costs individuals twice what it costs
group-covered people since employees are not taxed for the cost of group
health insurance and individuals must buy it with already taxed dollars.
Second, mandates for things like psychological counseling and
chiropractors raise prices and make people pay for coverage they don't
A State Department audit questioning the financial decisions by Tony
Coelho, now Chairman of Al Gore's campaign, when he ran the U.S.
pavilion at the World Exposition, generated various levels of media
interest. CBS led with it Sunday night while CNN and ABC gave it just a
few seconds, but NBC ignored it.
In a Sunday
Washington Post story Charles R. Babcock and John Mintz explained:
As head of the U.S. pavilion at last year's
World Exposition in Portugal, Vice President Gore's campaign chairman,
Tony Coelho, approved "questionable payments" to contractors and
oversaw an operation marked by overspending, lax management, and hiring of
relatives, according to a State Department audit.
A report by the Office of Inspector General
cites improper use of free airline tickets, luxury cars and apartments
provided for the taxpayer-funded exposition; the hiring of Coelho's niece
and of two stepsons of Ambassador to Portugal Gerald McGowan; and approval
of excessive payments on contracts.
The Center for Public Integrity, a
non-profit watchdog group, released both the audit and its own report on
Coelho's tenure. The center said, for example, that Coelho stayed in an
apartment in Portugal that cost $18,000 a month.
Coelho is not mentioned by name in the IG
audit, which refers to him instead as the "commissioner
general," a title that gave him rank as an ambassador. On one
occasion, the audit says, the commissioner general spent $800 for a
chauffeur-driven Mercedes-Benz for himself -- an "especially
troublesome" expenditure, the report said, because "the U.S.
pavilion had a fleet of six vans, which were underutilized."
It detailed how Coelho pressed to have a
contractor reimbursed $26,000 for travel, relocation, and other expenses
even though the contract didn't call for such payment and government
officials found no basis for the reimbursement....
Gore was the only guest on CBS's Face he Nation and host Bob Schieffer
posed one question about Coelho which the CBS Evening News used as the
hook for its lead story that night. Anchor John Roberts, as transcribed by
MRC analyst Brian Boyd, began the show:
"Vice President Al Gore is coming to the
defense of his embattled campaign chairman. Tony Coelho has been named in
an Inspector General's report detailing possible financial misconduct in
his previous job when he directed the U.S. pavilion at the 1998 World's
Fair in Portugal. In a wide ranging interview on the campaign trail with
CBS's Bob Schieffer, the Vice President said he's standing by his
Bob Schieffer elaborated: "It was Al Gore
the new look who came out swinging on all fronts here in Portland, Maine.
No more suit and tie, it was a sweater and Jimmy Carter style work shoes
as he toured a public market then lit into challenger Bill Bradley and
defended his embattled campaign chairman, Tony Coelho, who State
Department investigators say may have cut financial corners while he ran a
U.S. trade exhibit."
Nightly News skipped the development as did Today on Monday morning, but
MRC analyst Jessica Anderson noted that ABC gave it a few seconds Sunday
night and Monday morning. On World News Tonight anchor Carole Simpson took
32 seconds to relay: "A show of loyalty today from Vice President Al
Gore for his embattled campaign chairman. A government report surfaced
yesterdayaccusing Tony Coelho of financial improprieties while
representing the United States overseas. [Clip of Gore's comments]
Coelho's attorney said his client did not violate any laws in a job that
did not pay him a salary."
On Monday's Good
Morning America news reader Antonio Mora read short items during his 7am
and 8am news updates.
Politics on CNN ran a full report, but Sunday night the network offered
only a passing reference. MRC analyst Paul Smith caught this in the midst
of a piece by Beth Fouhy on the 8pm ET CNN WorldView of October 3:
"Still the new Gore campaign is facing some new controversy. Campaign
chairman Tony Coelho is criticized in a preliminary State Department
report allegedly for misusing public money when he was in charge of the
U.S. expo during the 1998 world's fair in Portugal. But Gore says Coelho
is staying with the campaign."
Until now none of
the networks showed any interest in Coelho's ethics, as documented in a
May 20 Media Reality Check fax report issued after Coelho's appointment
by Gore to chair his campaign failed to generate media scrutiny of the
activities which led him to resign from his House seat. To read "Is
Tony Coelho Still Immune from Scrutiny? Gore Names Ex-Congressman Who
Resigned Over Ethics To Head Campaign, But Reporters Go Soft," go to:
He eased in softly, but on Sunday's Face the Nation Bob Schieffer became
the first network reporter to press Al Gore about the hypocrisy of hiring
as his ad man the same guy who produced ads to kill the
Clinton-Gore-McCain cigarette tax hike plan, euphemistically called
"anti-smoking legislation" by Schieffer.
In the same
interview cited in item #2 above, Schieffer inquired of Gore:
"I was very touched when you made a speech
at the Democratic convention when you talked about your sister dying of
lung cancer, and you said you intended to pour your heart into stopping
people from smoking, words to that affect. And then this year you hired as
your top media advisor a man who was the chief strategist for the tobacco
companies and designed their campaign ad, the purpose of which was to kill
the anti-smoking legislation. Why did you do that."
Al Gore: "He severed all connections with
that firm, and he's moving to Nashville, and you know, again this is
Schieffer: "If I may interrupt Mr. Vice
President, as a matter of fact, I understand that he didn't severe all
connections until last week..."
Gore, jumping in: "No, he severed all
Schieffer: "When the New York Times asked
him if he was still connected with it..."
Gore: "No, no."
Schieffer: "That he had been making
commercials that could be used to try and dissuade the government from
filing suit against the tobacco companies."
Gore: "That was long in the past, and he
severed any connection with those clients immediately when I hired him and
now he's severed the last connection with the company. But see this is all
Schieffer: "Well, not really. I mean that's
not really. Because does that mean you might put someone from the tobacco
industry in your cabinet?"
Gore: "No, no it doesn't. You know people
who are professionals in helping you with accounting or helping you with
some other professional task, what clients they had in the past, I mean
people don't care about that."
Not if they
don't know about it. This portion of the interview didn't make it onto
the CBS Evening News and this subject didn't make network news back in
July when Gore hired Eskew. Days later Gore appeared on ABC's Good
Morning America and CBS's This Morning, but was not asked about Eskew, a
July 14 Media Reality Check fax report by Tim Graham recounted. To read
"Another Gore Tobacco Gaffe, Up in Smoke: Few Reports Touch on Gore's
New Tobacco-Paid Consultant Carter Eskew, And Fewer Find Hypocrisy,"
go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990714.html
Approaching George W. Bush from the right by pointing out that his hit on
congressional Republicans "is a play, make no mistake, right out of
the Clinton playbook." MRC intern Ken Shepherd noticed that last
Thursday night MSNBC anchor Brian Williams suggested Bush was playing a
Clinton-like triangulation game in employing Democratic rhetoric to
criticize congressional Republicans.
Near the end of
the September 30 News with Brian Williams the anchor of the same name
"We're going to take our first look at the
morning papers in just a moment after the break including why George W.
Bush is sounding like a Democrat..."
After the ads,
Williams picked up: "Well, tomorrow morning's Washington Times has
George W. Bush sounding like a liberal and being chased across the country
by John McCain. This story is also prominent on the wire services tonight.
Republican presidential candidate Bush of Texas criticized the
Republican-led U.S. Congress today for trying to balance the budget 'on
the backs of the poor' by squeezing money from a program for the working
poor in order to meet budget targets. That is a play, make no mistake,
right out of the Clinton playbook."
"Intelligent Catholics" want to see the Brooklyn Museum show,
with the elephant dung and vaginally sprinkled Virgin Mary, and Mayor Rudy
Giuliani's decision to withdraw funding for the exhibit is
"insulting to Catholics," Steve Roberts opined Sunday on CNN's
Late Edition. Doing some actual reporting, Monday on FNC Brit Hume
divulged the skewed wording of a much-cited poll about how by two-to-one
New Yorkers oppose Giuliani's decision.
-- Steve Roberts
of U.S. News & World Report, in the roundtable portion of the October
3 Late Edition on CNN, as transcribed by MRC analyst Paul Smith:
"And I think Giuliani is insulting to
Catholics. I think this is kind of a pander to the Catholic vote. It is
going to feed this notion of Catholics live by a dogma when in fact a lot
of very intelligent Catholics have said I might not agree with this but I
want the right to see it. I think that's the right position and I think
Giuliani is taking the wrong position."
Roberts, who is Jewish, is married to the former Cokie Boggs, now known as
Cokie Roberts, who is Catholic, could his reference to "very
intelligent Catholics" be a hint as to where his wife stands?
-- A New York
Daily News poll published last Friday found that by 60 percent to 30
percent New Yorkers oppose Mayor Giuliani's decision to withdraw funding
for a city-funded museum featuring a show with artworks that denigrate
religious symbols, specifically a Virgin Mary plastered with elephant dung
and surrounded by small pictures of vaginas.
But on Monday's
Special Report with Brit Hume the FNC host of the same name disclosed that
the poll question was hardly fair and balanced. Hume said it asked those
"The Brooklyn Museum of Art is planning a
show that includes a controversial portrait of the Virgin Mary that Mayor
Giuliani finds offensive. The Mayor wants the city to withdraw funding for
the museum if it goes through with the show. The museum says withdrawing
the city funds would violate the museum's First Amendment right to
exhibit works of art it finds appropriate."
"No mention there of elephant dung on the Virgin Mary, female body
parts displayed as part of this so-called 'portrait.'"
Amongst the media
figures promoting this poll: Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press. He
told Giuliani: "The Daily News went out and talked to New Yorkers,
interviewed them for a poll. This is what they found: that 30 percent of
New Yorkers agree with you, 60 percent agree with the museum, the exhibit
should be open. And even amongst Catholics, only 42 percent agree with
you, 48 percent agree with the museum."
Thanks to FNC we know that on Air Force One early Monday morning, when
President Clinton saw a risque sex scene in a movie being shown in the
press compartment, he burst out laughing, exclaiming: "I gotta get
out of here. I don't want to be photographed watching that."
Monday's Special Report, Brit Hume showed video of Clinton in jeans and
sneakers deplaning at Andrews from his overnight flight from California
where he headlined some fundraising events. Hume added that during the
trip Clinton went back to the press cabin to talk about football, during
which time, as Hume put it, "there appeared, from the latest Austin
Powers movie, in a TV monitor over his shoulder, a woman who was, well,
the picture you'll see here is a little too bright but you'll get the
In the video you
could make out some sexually suggestive scenes in the movie, involving a
woman and some cylindrical objects, before Clinton realized what was on
screen, started laughing, said "I gotta get out of here. I don't
want to be photographed watching that," turned and left.
+++ While you
won't be able to make out what is on the movie screen, so you can see
Clinton's reaction. Tuesday morning MRC Webmaster Sean Henry will post a
RealPlayer clip of Hume's video. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
Finally, a viewing tip: MSNBC, which devotes two
of its three prime time hours to clip shows, is following the same path in
the daytime. This week the re-run network began re-running that
morning's Today show at 1pm ET/12pm CT/11am MT/10am PT. You'll see the
same interview segments as aired earlier on NBC, but with live news
updates. So, if you miss Today or will get an uplift from seeing Katie
Couric's face in the middle of the day, now you have that opportunity. --
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