ABC Relayed Castro Propaganda; Century of "Red-Baiting"; Hang Gingrich
1) ABC 2000: Cokie Roberts talked to "mommy";
Cynthia McFadden relayed how Cuban school kids fear the U.S. because
it's "a place where they kidnap children"; Peter Jennings
talked to a professor about the continuing problem of
"heterosexism"; and John Quinones griped that Cuban-Americans
are "viciously anti-communist."
2) At ABC News not only are there 999 years in a
millennium and 99 years in a century, but there are only 23 hours in a 24
3) After "decades of Red-hunting, Red-baiting,"
asserted PBS's Gwen Ifill, "all of a sudden the Berlin
Wall...fell." Another veteran journalist complained that the U.S. is
130 years behind Germany in enacting national health insurance.
4) "We broke from England to escape the class
system," Time's Margaret Carlson asserted in bizarrely claiming
"the opportunity that a kid like me used to have," to go to
college, "may be a thing of the past."
5) A major liberal columnist urged that Newt Gingrich be
killed: "For hypocrisy... Gingrich should be hanged."
6) TV Guide reported a TV actress is an
"ultraconservative" because she wants to work for....Liddy Dole.
7) New York Times daily e-mail listing its front page
headlines delivered everything but the headlines.
News delivered liberal bias all the way to the last hours of the century,
at least the end of the century as defined by the networks.
During ABC's 23 hours of continuous coverage of
celebrations marking the beginning of a new year, viewers heard Cokie
Roberts talk to "mommy" in Rome; Cynthia McFadden in Havana
seriously relay how Cuban school kids fear the U.S. because it's "a
place where they kidnap children" and because they are free of
Western influences "their role models are engineers and teachers and
librarians"; McFadden ask a Cuban official "what do you see as
the greatest accomplishment of the revolution?"; Peter Jennings
talking with a professor about how the greatest trend of the century was
"decolonization" and a continuing problem is
"heterosexism"; and John Quinones complaining about how Cubans
in Miami are "viciously anti-communist."
Plus, Peter Jennings pulled a Dan Rather and cried
on the air.
From Friday morning through Monday morning the MRC
set a weekend taping record, recording over 300 hours of ABC, CBS, CNN,
Fox, FNC, MSNBC, NBC and PBS special millennium coverage as well as
regular shows. So I obviously wasn't able to see it all quite yet, but I
did manage to view nearly all of ABC's 23 hours and ten minutes of
coverage and caught some quoteworthy material.
(One item I noticed in CNN's still-going 100
hours, "Jeff Greenfield's Millennium Roundtable: Media." It
should have been named "Jeff Greenfield's All Liberal
Roundtable." The panel on the one-hour discussion about the future of
the media aired at 9pm ET Sunday night: Time Managing Editor Walter
Isaacson, Time-Warner Chairman Gerald Levin, author Kurt Anderson, The New
Yorker's Ken Auletta, and professor Robert McChesney. CNN's 100 hours
includes a lot of repeats and this one-sided panel will run again at 1am
ET Tuesday morning.)
Now to what I found most worth highlighting in
ABC's 4:50am ET Friday, December 31 through 4am ET Saturday, January 1
"ABC 2000" coverage. (This is not a complete listing, just what
I had time to take down):
-- 11:40am ET: Cokie Roberts in Rome interviewed her
mother, Lindy Boggs, who is Clinton's Ambassador to the Holy See.
Roberts put on quite the unprofessional performance, referring to her
mother as "momma" and ending by saying: "Thank you
-- 2pm ET. Peter Jennings talked to Robin Roberts of
ABC Sports about the wonders of Title IX. At one point Jennings got a bit
carried away, assuming a law can overcome genetics: "Do you foresee a
time when men and women are going to compete in some sports on an equal
-- 2:08pm ET. Live from Havana Cynthia McFadden relayed
what she learned from her visit to a Cuban school. From the video the kids
looked to be about 7 or 8 years old. McFadden announced:
"Part of what the children talked about was their
fear of the United States and how they felt they didn't want to come to
the United States because it was a place where they kidnap children, a
direct reference, of course, to Elian Gonzalez. The children also said
that the United States was just a place where there was money and money
wasn't what was most important. I should mention Peter that, you know,
as you talk about the global community, Cuba is a place because of the
small number of computers here -- in the classrooms we visited yesterday
there was certainly no computers and almost no paper that we could see --
this is a place where the children's role models and their idols are not
the baseball players or Madonna or pop stars. Their role models are
engineers and teachers and librarians -- which is who all the children we
spoke to yesterday said they wanted to be."
Maybe that's because the good baseball players
flee to the U.S. where we have paper on which to write contracts.
Jennings helpfully passed along more pro-Castro
propaganda: "From the Cuban point of view, as everybody knows I
guess, education and participation in the Third World are very much what
Cuba has stood for, at least in the developing world."
McFadden then interviewed Ricardo Alarcon, President
of National Assembly. After asking him about Yeltsin's resignation, she
toughly inquired: "As you reflect back on the years since the
revolution here, what do you see as the greatest accomplishment of the
Alarcon: "The greatest accomplishment is the sense
of dignity and independence that our peoples now enjoys."
McFadden: "And what would you say is something you
hope to see achieved for Cuba in the years to come?"
McFadden later passed along: "Peter, one of the
things you had said to me before coming to Cuba was to look at the
billboards for what the Cuban people were thinking. The billboards here in
Havana and throughout the countryside have Elian Gonzalez, the
six-year-old young boy who is in Miami, have his picture plastered across
them saying 'Free Elian.'"
Of course, "the Cuban people" don't
decide what goes on billboards. One wonders if Jennings used to tell
correspondents assigned to Moscow to read Pravda in order to learn what
"the Russian people were thinking."
-- 5:37pm ET. Harvard University professor Cornel West
appeared in ABC's Times Square studio to tell Peter Jennings how "decolonization"
was the most important event of the century, and to whine about income
disparity. Here's one illuminating exchange:
Peter Jennings: "It's hard to live in America
and think that maybe race is the great unfinished piece of business for
the country." [He meant to say "not think that..."]
West: "I think that's true, but I think when you
talk about legacies of white supremacy it's inseparable from those of
male supremacy, it's inseparable from heterosexism and, most
importantly, it's inseparable from the increasing economic
-- 8:31pm ET. Once a media analyst, always a media
analyst. Former MRC analyst Steve Kaminski passed along how he noticed a
hit on Cuban-Americans for their "vicious anti-communism." ABC
News reporter John Quinones appeared live from Miami's South Beach at
about 8:30pm ET. Peter Jennings, apparently referring to Cubans living in
South Florida, suggested: "It's sometimes said the Latino
population in Miami lives a life apart from everybody else. Is there any
truth to that as far as you're concerned?"
Quinones replied: "Well because of where they come
from, and because of what they lost on the island, this is an incredibly
hardworking and aggressive community -- also viciously anti-communist,
sort of different from the Mexicans where I grew up and the Puerto Rican
community of New York...."
-- 3:40am ET, January 1. Wrapping us his 23-hour
broadcast, Peter Jennings began crying briefly as he thanked an assistant
nearby in the studio.
most of the media which gave in to public misperception, ABC News
portrayed Saturday as the start of a new century and millennium. But not
only did ABC News act as if there are only 999 years in a millennium and
99 years in this century, which began on January 1, 1901, the network also
passed off 23 hours as the same as 24 hours.
ABC advertising for its "ABC 2000"
programming promised 24 hours of coverage. A full page ad in Friday's
USA Today, for instance, proclaimed: "The biggest live global event
in television history!" Beneath that appeared: "24 Hours 7
Continents 1 Network."
Reality Check: ABC News began its "ABC
2000" coverage at 4:50am ET on Friday, December 31. Twenty-four hours
later would be: 4:50am ET or so on Saturday, January 1. But, ABC ended
coverage at just before 4am ET, 3:58am to be precise, or about 23 hours
and ten minutes after it began.
of Red-baiting, and then communism magically disappeared. Sixty years
before Nazism Germany was ahead of the U.S. in providing health care.
Those are two "century-end" thoughts expressed by veteran
journalists on Friday's Washington Week in Review on PBS.
Introducing comments from Gloria Borger of U.S.
News, moderator Gwen Ifill, a former NBC News reporter who now reports for
the Lehrer NewsHour, reviewed the history of communism -- portraying its
opponents as the bad guys:
"Gloria, after World War II then we went through
decades of Red-hunting, Red-baiting, fear of communists and then all of a
sudden the Berlin Wall, that symbol of everything that happened, Gloria,
Amazing. After years of evil anti-communists abusing
people's civil rights, one morning the Berlin Wall just went away.
A few minutes later, Paul Duke, the former moderator
of the show and a network news veteran, identified on-screen as
"journalist," opined in the midst of a discussion of medical
"We are making these tremendous strides and yet
there's a great gap, it seems to me, in this country in terms of helping
people cope with a lot of these things. We have 45 million Americans who
have no health insurance and we're the only Western country that still
has no health insurance program. Germany's had one since 1870."
Michel McQueen of ABC News agreed: "That's
remarkable. It's true."
And Germany beat us to installing a Nazi regime too.
"used to have" the opportunity to go to college, but no more.
With so many millionaires, income inequality is denying people the chance
to go to college.
That's what Time magazine columnist, sometime
reporter and former Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Margaret Carlson
seriously contended in naming her "outrage of the American
century" on Saturday's Capital Gang. After naming her former
employer Ralph Nader as one of her "heroes," on the January 1
CNN show she announced her outrage for the century:
"My Irish grandmother was a hotel maid, yet all
her grandchildren went to college. That was the promise of the last
century, but now as we create millionaires in the blink of an IPO, the gap
between the rich and the poor grows ever larger. We broke from England to
escape the class system, but now the opportunity that a kid like me used
to have may be a thing of the past."
little hate speech from the left. Heard the controversy over a columnist,
four days before Christmas, calling for the killing of Newt Gingrich? If
not, neither have I though that's just what liberal columnist Richard
Cohen urged in an op-ed which appeared, amongst other places, in the
December 21 Washington Post. In a year-end round-up of liberal hate speech
on December 30, Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby cited Cohen's
comment, but I've not seen it cited elsewhere.
In the column, headlined by the Post "In
Defense of Linda Tripp," Cohen reluctantly came to Linda Tripp's
"More troubling are the indications that Tripp has
been selectively prosecuted and that her selection was based on politics.
If that's the case -- and it sure looks like it -- then Linda Tripp, as
hard as this is to imagine, may well be the martyr she thinks she is.
"It is, of course, impossible to defend what Tripp
did. Her taping of Lewinsky was a reprehensible betrayal of her friend and
was clearly undertaken for political purposes and personal gain -- a book
deal....She seduced Lewinsky as surely as Clinton did and used her even
more callously. This woman is a skunk."
In the next paragraph Cohen got to Gingrich:
"But being a loathsome figure in this affair is
not a crime and not cause for prosecution. If it were, we would have to do
something about Starr himself, not to mention the gaggle of political
figures who waxed indignant about Clinton's affair while they, as it
turned out, did not exactly have a clean slate themselves. In this regard,
justice and history itself demand that I mention Newt Gingrich, who
unfailingly denounced the President for moral and legal transgressions
while carrying on his own extramarital affair. For hypocrisy, for sheer
gall, Gingrich should be hanged."
Imagine the outrage if a conservative columnist had
written such a sentence about Bill Clinton or Dick Gephardt.
the Washington DC media see the world from the left? The Hollywood media
consider Elizabeth Dole and anyone supporting her to be an
"ultraconservative." Steve Allen of conservativehq.com alerted
me to a preposterous sentence which ended a TV Guide "Insider"
profile of actress Emma Caulfield, who plays the "demon 'Anyanka,
patron saint of scorned women," in the WB show Buffy the Vampire
Slayer. (Hey, don't ask me what that means. Like most people, I don't
Here's how TV Guide's Michael Logan ended his
piece in the December 25-31 issue (brackets as they appear in TV Guide):
"The twenty-something Caulfield -- who, unlike
most young Tinseltown turks, is an ultraconservative -- also has her eye
on the chaotic world of politics: 'There's a part of me that would
totally drop out of the acting business and work for Liddy Dole.
Seriously. If she ever runs for office [again], I'm there!'"
Y2K glitches happen, will the New York Times notice? I subscribe to the
New York Times's daily e-mail listing the headlines for all its front
page stories. Here is the complete e-mail I received at 4am January 2 from
the New York Times, with the inter-line spacing and line break dashes as
Here are summaries of today's top news from the front page of The New
York Times. -----
To view today's articles with your personal search terms or to sign up
for personal search, see:
You received these headlines because you requested The New York Times
Direct daily e-mail service. To cancel delivery or change delivery
options, see: http://www.nytimes.com/nytdirect-----
END reprint of e-mail
Guess I'll have to
look at the actual printed version of the newspaper --
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