CBS Pushed Gun Control Again; Gumbel Denounced Entrepreneural "Greed"
1) Wednesday night CBS's Diana
Olick lamented: "In the year of Columbine and Conyers, Georgia is
there a very strong possibility that this Congress will not pass any new
2) Bob Dotson on NBC Nightly
News on Tuesday: "Workplace homicides are steadily declining."
Tom Brokaw on Wednesday night: "It seems that no place is safe from
3) Millionaire Bryant Gumbel
bemoaned "greed" amongst Internet entrepreneurs for whom money
"doesn't mean the same thing to them as it does to you and me."
About one he queried: "Is he Gordon Gekko? Is he greed is good?"
Seattle and Houston escape Gumbel?
4) Letterman's "Top Ten
Ways George W. Bush Can Squander His Lead."
>>> The November 1 edition of
Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest
outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media, is now up on
the MRC Web site thanks to Eric Pairel. Quote topics include "So
Never Cut a Cent, Ever"; "Ken Starr: McCarthy or Booth?";
"Dole Folds: Blame the System"; Schieffer Warned
Conservatives"; "GOP Embarrasses America"; "Ten-Foot
Pole for Pro-Life Terms" and "Clinton Will Be Happy with
Hugh." To read the quotes, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1999/nq19991101.html
Corrections: The November 2 CyberAlert
quoted Mark McEwen on CBS's The Early Show asking actor Mel Gibson:
"You're anti-abortion, pro-capital punishment, do you ever feel like
your hollowing in a hurricane?" Like the first "you're,"
the second "your" should have been "you're." And
"hollowing" should have been "howling" as it was
correctly spelled in Gibson's reply. Later, the same CyberAlert stated
"NBC Nightly News devoted over its newscast" to the EgyptAir
crash. That should have read "over half..."
Wednesday night, without showing how any of the proposed new rules would
have prevented the latest two workplace shootings, CBS Evening News anchor
Dan Rather used them as a hook to lament the lack of congressional action
on gun control: "We've also been digging into what ever happened to
even modest gun control measures in the U.S. Congress."
While CBS and NBC
led with the workplace shooting in Seattle, ABC strangely did not mention
it at all, at least not in the 6:30pm ET first feed of World News Tonight.
Instead, ABC began with the EPA's lawsuit against utilities with coal
plants for over-polluting.
It's been a quiet
few nights for political news on the broadcast networks. Neither ABC or
NBC had any political-related stories Wednesday night and on Tuesday night
neither did CBS. ABC had a brief mention of a presidential poll. Only NBC
mentioned George W. Bush's education speech, barely. David Bloom used
Bush's advocacy of "character education" to look at how it has
succeeded at a Miami school, but gave Bush little more than a sentence and
one brief soundbite. After outlining criticism of the movement, Bloom
returned to the Miami principal: "The kids can have the same choices.
If we believe in them, they can believe in themselves. We may not save
them all, but we can sure as hell save most of them." Bloom
concluded: "And George W. Bush hopes this is the future face of
public education in America."
Afer stories on
the Seattle shooting, Hawaii shooting, and workplace violence trends, for
its fourth story Wednesday's CBS Evening News jumped on gun control.
Rather introduced the November 3 story: "We've also been digging into
what ever happened to even modest gun control measures in the U.S.
Congress. Apparently not much. CBS's Diana Olick has that part of the
Olick began with
some history: "Dan, last Spring the Senate passed a juvenile justice
bill that included gun control, but the House took guns out of its bill.
Now, months later, lawmakers still have no final compromise bill and
leaders are telling CBS News gun control is essentially dead."
soundbite of Republican Henry Hyde saying neither side wants to yield and
a clip of Democrat Dick Gephardt asserting that his side can't back a
watered down bill full of loopholes, Olick listed recent shootings, but
failed to say how any of the new proposed controls would have prevented
any of them:
"There have been four mass shootings since
the final bill went into conference. One at a Los Angeles day care center,
one at a church in Texas, and then two in two days in Hawaii and Seattle,
but Democrats say they're still waiting for a compromise while Republicans
claim Democrats are too busy playing politics to listen."
Displaying seeming balance, Olick then posed a
question each to Gephardt and Hyde, but she was far from balanced as each
question probed why a gun control bill hasn't passed, thus assuming it's
as desirable goal.
Olick to Gephardt:
"They charge that Democrats don't want gun control because it's a
good issue and they want to use it for Campaign 2000."
Gephardt: "That's just a cover up I'm afraid
for their failure to get the bill done."
Olick to Hyde: "In the year of Columbine,
and Conyers Georgia is there a very strong possibility that this Congress
will not pass any new gun legislation?"
Hyde: "Well if we can't agree. The perfect
is the enemy of the good as the old saying goes and that's true. If
they're going to hold out for a perfect bill we won't have one."
"And with only a week or so left in the legislative session, that may
just be the case. Dan."
A more interesting
topic: If gun control is the answer to preventing school and workplace
shootings, how could one happen in Hawaii, an island with very tough laws?
Don't count on CBS to explore evidence that their vaunted solution may not
NBC Nightly News versus NBC Nightly News. "Are American employees now
safe at work?" Tom Brokaw ominously asked in hyping workplace
violence on Wednesday night. But the night before a reporter on the same
show noted that "workplace homicides are steadily declining."
Wrapping up his
top of the show report on the Hawaii shooting on November 2 NBC's Bob
Dotson tried to put the event in context:
"The scene seems all too familiar, but
across the country workplace homicides are steadily declining. Eleven
hundred five years ago [on screen: 1,080], around 700 now [on screen:
709]. Still, murder on the job is the second leading cause of death at
The next night,
however, Brokaw flipped which half of those two pints to stress: "NBC
News In Depth tonight: When violence strikes on the job. Two workplace
shootings in two days. Are American employees now safe at work or are they
in greater danger? What causes someone to lose it on the job?"
story from Kelly O'Donnell, Brokaw did what he could to instill fear in
viewers: "It seems that no place is safe from workplace violence,
even tranquil Hawaii..."
Without citing her
source, O'Donnell emphasized increasing violence, though she added a
sentence that contradicted what most viewers assumed from NBC's hype about
"violence," that deaths are rising:
"Across America the question: What is
happening in the workplace? A survey out today shows violence at the
office going up. 57 percent of companies responding say violence occurred
in their workplace during the last three years, a nine percent jump over
the last poll. But deadly violence remains rare, most of the trouble far
Bryant Gumbel, who is reportedly paid $5 million a year by CBS and who got
that money for a year while having nothing to do at CBS after the network
canceled Public Eye last fall, Wednesday morning bemoaned how Internet
entrepreneurs are motivated by "greed." On the November 3 The
Early Show Gumbel asked about a Netscape founder: "Is he Gordon Gekko?"
But Gumbel maintained he's just an everyday guy, asking a book author if
for those who made it big in Silicon Valley money "doesn't mean the
same thing to them as it does to you and me?"
Earlier in the
show he pushed Al Gore from the left, demanding: "What are you
prepared to do for the uninsured adults and children?" But he also
recalled a Gore assertion he's usually not asked about by the media:
"Last December, as Vice President, on the day that Bill Clinton was
impeached, you said he'd be remembered as one of this country's greatest
Presidents. You're now a candidate, do you still believe that?" When
Gore avoided either agreeing or disagreeing, Gumbel pressed again:
"So do you still think he's going to go down as one of the country's
Back to the
"greed" interview, MRC analyst Brian Boyd noticed that in
interviewing Michael Lewis, author of a book about Silicon Valley success
stories, The New New Thing, Gumbel prompted Lewis:
"And so it is that you revolve your story
around one Jim Clark. A most unusual and successful businessman, but a
strange guy, yeah?"
how he helped launch Netscape as "he was a great starter of
things." Gumbel shot back: "But underneath it all, I mean, is he
Gordon Gekko? Is he greed is good?"
Lewis tried to dissuade Gumbel: "No, it's a
much different kind of person."
Gumbel persisted: "But he is in love with
Lewis explained: "Well he does pursue money,
money is the measure, money is never just money. That's something that's
really important to understand, that they never love money just for its
own sake. It's money because it's a way of keeping score, it's a way of
measuring yourself against other people who are doing what you are doing.
It's the scoreboard, the money is the scoreboard. So they become obsessed
Gumbel, who it could be argued made the
scoreboard when CBS put him into the big league pay-wise, acted as if he's
just like everyone else: "It doesn't mean the same thing to them as
it does to you and me?"
Lewis: "We tend to view it as, you know,
what we need to live on, which is fine. In the case of Clark, he has a
billion and he still wants to make a second billion dollars. And it's
because that's the way you keep score."
Lewis went on to
tell Gumbel about how Clark created the world's largest single-mast
sailboat, a boat which is controlled by computer systems and which Clark
sees as a model of how software could control functions in people's homes.
the interview by incredulously asking: "So you're going to sit there
and tell me that the next great idea is what drives Silicon Valley and not
Lewis: "I think that's right. I think it's
the ambition to be the man of the moment. Because to have done in the
Valley means nothing. The newer the money, the better."
+++ Watch this
exchange. Thursday morning the MRC's Eric Pairel will post a RealPlayer
clip of Gumbel's interview with Lewis. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
While on The Early
Show, the MRC's Brian Boyd took down more complete transcripts of two
November 2 exchanges recited only partially in the November 2 CyberAlert:
-- Jane Clayson to
George W. Bush, asking why the drug question has "dogged" him as
she dogged him about it:
"Let me ask you about a question that's
dogged you for many weeks. This question of your alleged drug use. How do
you make this issue go away, Governor, or at least answer the question and
resolve this once and for all?"
-- Gumbel lamenting the failure to pass more gun
Diana Olick ended a story: "Gephardt blames
the lack of communication on the NRA, pressuring Republicans to just kill
the bill, and with little time left in the legislative session, the year
that saw Columbine, will probably not see new gun control."
Gumbel: "Diana, given the amount of juvenile
bloodshed we've seen over the past year, why aren't legislators feeling
more pressure to at least get something down during this session?"
Olick: "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: "So it's easier for them to just
pass on it?"
Gumbel: "It's unfortunate."
A final note about
Gumbel for today: Lucky in Houston and Seattle. Monday's USA Today noted
that only 75 percent of CBS affiliates are carrying the full two hours of
The Early Show as the rest are still only running an hour at 8am as they
did for CBS's This Morning. Amongst the holdouts, two top 20 affiliates:
KHOU, channel 11, in Houston, and KIRO, channel 7, in Seattle.
A question for
CyberAlert readers in Houston and Seattle: Eastern time zone affiliates
have no choice, but Central, Mountain and Pacific time zone affiliates
could carry either the first or second hour of the show at 8am local time.
So, do the Houston and Seattle (and other non-ET affiliates carrying only
one hour) run the 7am hour with all of Gumbel's big "newsmaker"
interviews or the softer 8am second hour at 8am local time and thus people
in those cities didn't see Gumbel's Clinton interview on Monday?
This morning Bill
Bradley was on in the 7am half hour. Tomorrow I believe his wife will be
interviewed in the 7am first hour. If you are in one of these cities and
know, please let me know by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the November 3 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Ways
George W. Bush Can Squander His Lead." Copyright 1999 by Worldwide
10. Develop rockin' alter ego, "Chris
9. Instead of speeches, off-tune renditions of that "Mambo #5"
8. Vomiting on son of Japanese Prime Minister
7. Kiss baby at campaign stop; refuse to give it back
6. Vowing to personally rid country of cocaine one kilo at a time
5. Promising to cut spending by using leftover "From the Desk of
President Bush" notepads
4. During speech to Sierra Club, slapping condor to death
3. This year's Christmas card: entire Bush family in leather catsuits
2. New campaign slogan: "It's time for a President who's only broken
7 of the 10 commandments."
1. Promising to put inflatable woman on the moon by 2002
And, from the Late
Show Web site, some of "the extra jokes that didn't quite make it
into the Top Ten."
-- "Read my lips: lots and lots of new
-- Listening to Al Gore's policy proposal and saying, "Whoa -- that
just about blows away anything I got."
-- Calling press conference to announce he hasn't done cocaine in nearly
-- During speech, looking up and saying, "Yes, Master, the humans are
about to make me their ruler"
-- Admitting he wants to live in White House just to retrieve pocket knife
he left there when dad was President
-- During visit with Liddy Dole to ask for her endorsement, ending up
making out with her on camera
-- His new running mate -- Bill Clinton
-- Getting arrested while playing the bongos naked
-- Promising to hand country back over to the British if elected
CyberAlert HQ is moving Friday and over the weekend to a new building, so
there won't be an issue Friday and I'm not sure how early next week I'll
be able to produce another edition. Just a temporary break for Gumbel. --
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