Clinton's Buddy Bryant Gumbel; CBS Pushed Bush Drug Question
1) In just two mornings Bryant
Gumbel has already raised Bush drug charges, tossed softballs to Clinton,
castigated a conservative actor for his views and bemoaned inaction on gun
2) No political news on the
broadcast networks Monday night. On the CBS Evening News Dan Rather
relayed ominous warnings about the dire consequences of global warming.
3) Last week the Washington
Post cut off a quote about what happens in a partial-birth abortion and
the week before, unlike ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC, FNC offered a rare, full
Correction: The November 1 CyberAlert
inaccurately carried a volume number of three. This year is volume four
A new network venue in the morning, but the same old liberal Bryant Gumbel
tossing in his personal views. It didn't take long for Gumbel to abandon
professionalism and expose his opinions to viewers of The Early Show on
CBS. On Monday's debut show he castigated the conservative views of actor
Mel Gibson, complaining: "He's said some pretty outrageous things
over the years and nobody seems to ever call him on it." This morning
he regretted the failure of gun control. And on Monday he tossed softballs
to Bill Clinton, following up only to press the President about George W.
Bush and cocaine, and ending by inviting Clinton to play golf with him.
co-host Jane Clayson handled a live interview with George W. Bush and
followed up on Gumbel's concern by asking Bush about cocaine charges that
are "dogging" him.
-- In the 8:30
half hour of the November 1 show CBS played a taped interview by Mark
McEwen with Mel Gibson on the set in South Carolina of his upcoming movie,
The Patriot. MRC analyst Brian Boyd noticed that McEwen told Gibson:
"You live in Hollywood, work in Hollywood -- liberal town. Some of
your views aren't as liberal as that town. You're anti-abortion,
pro-capital punishment, do you ever feel like you're howling in a
Gibson replied: "Some kind of a dinosaur?
No, you know you have to have these opinions about these things. I'm
pretty firm on stuff like that. I don't feel like I'm howling in a
hurricane. I just try to do my bit the way I think it should be
After the tape
ended Gumbel told McEwen: "I was glad to see you ask him about it,
because he's said some pretty outrageous things over the years and nobody
seems to ever call him on it. They kind of think oh that's cute, he's a
movie star. But some of the stuff he's said is..."
McEwen, jumping in: "Well he speaks his mind
and if you ask him, he backs up everything that he's said."
Gumbel: "But didn't he say something about
the homeless also one time, that was a little bit disturbing too."
McEwen: "Yeah. Sometimes you have to
remember also with him, he is a very tongue firmly in cheek half the time,
half the time what he's saying he means. So you have to go through and
figure out which is which."
Director Liz Swasey used Nexis to discover what homeless quote so upset
Gumbel. A "people in the news" type column in the Arizona
Republic back on August 27, 1998 relayed:
"Don't depend on Mel Gibson to be
politically correct. The actor was complimenting Rene Russo, his Lethal
Weapon 4 co-star, in an interview, describing how she feeds and takes care
of street people. When asked by Australia's New Weekly magazine what he
would do for the homeless, Gibson quipped: 'I kick 'em. Spit on them,
that's me!...And if I can, I try to set 'em on fire!' Advocates for the
homeless aren't laughing. 'Jest or not, it's such a despicable remark
under any guise,' Mary Ann Gleason, executive director of the National
Coalition for the Homeless, told TV Guide's Web site, TVgen.com. Gibson's
remarks were 'all very tongue-in-cheek,' counters his publicist, Alan
Gumbel doesn't like any jokes that make fun of his liberal causes.
-- Responding to
Gumbel's Tuesday question about congressional failure to pass
"something" in the wake of "the juvenile bloodshed we've
seen over the past year," CBS reporter Diana Olick answered from
Capitol Hill: "Well, believe it or not, they actually rank gun
control pretty low on the scale. Americans really are much more interested
in education, health care and Social Security."
Gumbel lamented: "So it's easier for them to
just pass on it?"
Gumbel: "It's unfortunate."
-- Other than one
reference to how polls show Clinton would be a liability on the campaign
trail to Al Gore, in Gumbel's interview with Bill Clinton taped Sunday and
shown Monday, Gumbel tossed a series of softballs and failed to follow-up
when Clinton claimed credit for just about everything good in the world.
interview occurred just days after it was revealed that John Huang
testified about how James Riady had told Clinton about raising money for
him and that then-White House aide Harold Ickes had asked Huang to raise
money for a Democratic congressional candidate, something that's illegal
for a federal official. (See the October 29 CyberAlert for details.) And
no reporter has yet asked Clinton about the late September testimony from
four FBI agents that their probe of 1996 Clinton and Democratic
fundraising was thwarted. Gumbel raised neither issue with Clinton.
Gumbel opened with
a couple questions about the plane crash and Oslo summit, including:
"Is it easier for you to feel a degree of optimism because it's Barak
involved right now instead of Netanyahu?"
Here are the other
questions/set up lines Gumbel offered:
> "Let's talk politics. The two people
who have been closest to you for seven years are about to get out there on
the campaign trail while you stay at home and deal with the issues. Is
that terribly frustrating?"
> "Are you going to miss being
> "President's generally get one line in
the history, if they get one line. JFK was shot. Nixon had Watergate.
Reagan beat communism. Clinton -- ?"
Clinton: "Turned the economy around and
prepared America for a new century."
Gumbel: "You'd be satisfied if your legacy
was erasing the nation's red ink?"
Clinton: "I think that's one of my legacies.
But I think the real legacy is -- America is genuinely transformed from
where it was seven years ago. Yes, we've got the strongest economy in
history. And yes, we're paying off the debt instead of being in debt. But
we also have cut our welfare rolls in half. We've got the lowest crime
rate in 30 years. We've got the lowest poverty rate in 30 years. We've
reversed this wage inequality. All groups are growing. A couple of million
children have been moved out of poverty. The air is cleaner. The water is
cleaner. We set aside more land to protect it than any other
administration except those of Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt. So I think
that I have been fortunate enough to serve as president at a time of
dramatic transformation, when we really have -- in the metaphor I used in
1996 -- built a bridge to the future. And now the American people are
going to have to decide how they want to walk over it."
No follow up to
that, such as suggesting maybe some will remember him for scandals,
Lewinsky or impeachment. Instead, CBS went to an ad break.
CBS resumed the
tape replay in the 7:30am half hour:
> "With an eye towards those poll numbers
and more, I talked politics with President Clinton Sunday afternoon. And
among other things, I got his thoughts on the Gore campaign."
> "What role do you see yourself playing
in their campaigns?"
> "How do you view the polls that have
suggested that if you're on the campaign trail with them you may be more
of a liability than a positive?"
> "Why do you think, turning to the Vice
President's campaign for a second if I might, why do you think the Vice
President is having such a difficult time opening up ground between
himself and Bill Bradley?"
> "It would seem that at this point that
whoever prevails will be going up against George W. Bush. In style and
personality Governor Bush has been characterized as the GOP's version of
you. Flattering? Offensive?"
maintains that Bill Clinton used cocaine, see the August 20 CyberAlert for
her recollections as made on FNC's Hannity & Colmes, but Gumbel didn't
broach that. Instead he asked about George W. Bush:
> "Before I leave the subject of Governor
Bush what's your take on the demarcation line he's drawing on past drug
use for his personal life?"
Clinton: "I'm going to leave that to --
that's up to the public really. The people are in the driver's seat now.
And the press will express their views and do what they think is right and
the politicians will express their views and do what they think is right.
But in the end the public has to be the judge of that."
Gumbel: "Let me rephrase. In your opinion,
do you believe previous cocaine use should disqualify someone from sitting
in this office?"
Clinton: "My opinion is that the public will
make a decision. That if -- most people think they ought to know if there
is some serious problem in someone's background, and if so, how that
person has dealt with it. The American people tend to be forgiving about
many things but there are some things they want to know and then there are
other things they don't want to know. And they may change their minds from
time to time. But I think that if I get in the middle of this debate, my
opinion would only be a distraction given the way -- the kind of treatment
I got from '91 forward from the Republicans and their allies. And I think
I should stay out of it and let the people make the right decision."
> Gumbel ended
by sharing a laugh with Clinton: "Final note. If my research is
correct you sign papers next week, final papers, on the house in
Chappaqua. Do you happen to know what's the closest golf course to your
house in Chappaqua?"
Clinton: "I don't, no."
Gumbel: "Whippoorwill Country Club in
Armonk. Do you know who is a member there?"
Clinton: "Are you?"
Gumbel, laughing: "Yes, sir."
Clinton, laughing: "I'd be happy to be your
guest, any time, I'm easy about that."
Gumbel: "Mr. President. Safe travels."
+++ Watch this
last exchange about cocaine and Gumbel and Clinton sharing a laugh about
cocaine. Tuesday morning the MRC's Eric Pairel will post a RealPlayer
clip. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
Tuesday, Jane Clayson bizarrely asked Bush, as if it's his fault:
"Hasn't your ability to raise so much money shut out other candidates
in the raise, other candidates with good ideas before they ever have a
chance to have people hear what they have to say?"
raised the drug issue, fulfilling her premise that it's "dogged"
him during the campaign: "How do you make this question go away
Governor or at least answer the question and resolve this once and for
Create a media
that apply the same standard to both sides.
originality, Clayson next posed to Bush the same question in reverse that
Gumbel had put to Clinton: "Some people call you, Governor, the GOP's
version of Bill Clinton. Is that flattering to you or offensive to
Bush replied: "I wouldn't call that a great
question Clinton endorsed the analogy: "It's certainly not offensive.
I think he's got -- he's a very accomplished political leader and he's got
good instincts for where the political center is."
Share your views
about Clinton. MRC Communications Director Liz Swasey reports The Early
Show Bulletin Board is running about three-to-one against Gumbel. Just
click on the Bulletin Board on The Early Show Web page:
Monday night none of the broadcast network evening shows found any
political news worth reporting other than a brief note about George W.
Bush's accident while jogging. Both FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume
and CNN's Inside Politics ran stories on the controversy over the
revelation in Time magazine that Al Gore has been paying feminist Naomi
Wolf $15,000 a month to offer him advice.
ABC, CBS and NBC
all featured profiles of the late Walter Payton and all led with multiple
stories on the EgyptAir plane crash. NBC Nightly News devoted over half
its newscast to the topic, including an exploration of the possibility of
terrorism or the involvement of Bin Laden. NBC added a full story on the
launch by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines of a "mega-ship," the
largest cruise ship ever built.
ABC's World News
Tonight ran a piece on a proposition on the ballot in San Francisco which
would bar banks from charging non-customers for using their ATM machines
and in introducing a two-part "A Closer Look" segment Peter
Jennings asked: "Has high school outlived its value?"
CBS Evening News
anchor Dan Rather delivered a one-sided and imbalanced panic piece about
impending doom in the next century from global warming. Focusing on the
small fishing community on Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay which is
growing smaller through soil erosion and rising water, Rather warned:
"Smith Island may seem an unimportant relic
of the past, but in fact it offers a disturbing glimpse into the next
Stephen Leatherman: "Smith Island's a look
ahead. It's a precursor of what we expect to happen to other islands in
the future, to other low-lying islands."
Rather: "Coastal scientist Stephen
Leatherman says the rising sea level that's engulfing the island is a
direct result of global warming. Within the coming century projections
call for the Earth to warm about six degrees, in turn melting polar ice
caps and expanding the Earth's ocean."
Jerry Mahlman, NOAA: "We expect the
possibility of as much sea level rise as three feet over the next
Rather, standing on a beach, intoned: "If
three feet doesn't sound like a big deal, maybe this will: For every one
foot the ocean rises 150 feet of the beach gets swallowed up. A three-foot
ocean rise means everything to that flag pole, 450 feet of Long Island's
Jones Beach, goes down the drain."
to pass along the usual forecasts of more intense hurricanes, more floods
and more heat waves, concluding: "If global warming seems unlikely
and remote to you, it doesn't to Jennings Evans. He wonders if his will be
the last of ten generations to live out their lives on Smith Island."
As usual, Rather
didn't bother with less ominous views from scientists who don't believe
the liberal global warming theory.
The Cato Institute's Patrick Michaels, for
instance, has just finished a new book titled, Sound and Fury: The Science
and Politics of Global Warming. Here's how it is described on the cato.org
"The popular vision of an approaching
apocalypse caused by global warming has no scientific foundation, says
Patrick J. Michaels. Those who warn of a catastrophic greenhouse effect --
such as Vice President Al Gore -- can justify neither their fears not
their blueprints for dramatically interfering with the U.S. and world
"Sound and Fury criticizes 'science by sound
and bite' and congressional show trials complete with testimony that has
not been peer-reviewed according to scientific standards. Among the
misconceptions exposed is the claim that most scientists subscribe to the
apocalyptic vision of global warming. Even Greenpeace's survey of
scientists who participated in the major United Nations study of climate
change found that only 13 percent of the respondents believed that failure
to change our energy use would result in a runaway greenhouse effect.
"Michaels shows that the slight warming over
the last century has been far less than the prophets of the apocalypse
would expect -- throwing the reliabitily of their computer climate models
into doubt -- that most of it happened before industry's massive carbon
dioxide emissions began, and that most of the warming is at night, when it
produces benign effects such as longer growing seasons. In other words,
the warming that has resulted from natural climatic processes is
That's an angle
you'll never see on the CBS Evening News.
Fearful of reality. Last week the New York Times was willing to run a full
quote describing what happens in a partial-birth abortion, but not the
Washington Post, and the week before while ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC refused
to describe what happens in what they dubbed a "late-term
abortion," FNC offered a rare, full description.
-- In their
October 28 Washington Bulletin e-mail report for National Review (http://www.nationalreview.com),
John J. Miller and Ramesh Ponnuru observed a contrast in two October 27
The Washington Post doesn't want you to know what partial-birth abortion
does to a baby. Consider how reporter Joan Biskupic quoted Douglas Johnson
of the National Right to Life Committee in her article on the Seventh
Circuit Court upholding Wisconsin's partial-birth abortion ban: "This
makes it likely that the Supreme Court will rule...on whether Roe v. Wade
covers pulling most of a living baby feet-first outside of the womb."
Here's how Jo Thomas of the New York Times
transcribed the same statement: Johnson expected "that the Supreme
Court will rule, perhaps next year, on whether Roe v. Wade covers pulling
most of a living baby feet-first outside of the womb, puncturing her
skull, and removing her brain."
Somehow the Post managed to chop off that
nasty bit about skulls and brains. Are the sensibilities of its readers
too delicate to handle this description, which, frankly, could have been
much more graphic than it was? Or does the Post resort to partial truth
when it comes to partial birth?
END Reprint of NR
-- While the
broadcast networks and CNN danced around what occurs in a partial-birth
abortion, even distancing themselves from the term, FNC uniquely offered
an accurate description. On the October 21 CBS Evening News anchor Dan
"For the third time in four years the U.S.
Senate tonight approved a measure to ban a type of late-term abortions.
President Clinton says he will veto it, just like the others, if and when
it gets to his desk. Supporters of the ban refer to these abortions as
quote 'partial-births.' Opponents say it's all really aimed at reversing a
woman's legal right to choose whether or not to have an abortion."
That same night,
MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed, FNC viewers heard this from Fox Report
anchor Shepard Smith:
"Late term abortions. Have you thought about
what that means exactly? Well, you're about to hear an unvarnished
description of the procedure. Some call them partial-birth abortions. At
any rate, here are the facts. It's a few months or a few weeks before the
fetus becomes a newborn. Toes and fingers, heartbeat, organs functioning.
And the doctor begins delivery feet first, and then the skull contents are
drained. That's what it is. The debate is over when life begins. Are you a
person when you take your first breath or some time between then and the
moment of conception?"
Not the kind of
disturbing details the other networks want to stress. --
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