Frigid Weather: Blame Global Warming; Hyping Liberal Class Warfare
1) Warm winter days earlier this month: Dan Rather blamed
global warming. Record low temperatures in the Northeast this week, guess what
2) Two liberal groups released a report on, as NBC put it,
"a widening gap between rich and poor." ABC also pounced and Peter
Jennings referred to them as "two public policy think tanks."
3) Dan Rather attributed Bill Clinton's plan for more money
for gun law enforcement to pressure from the "ammunition maker's
lobby." Peter Jennings won't say "partial-birth abortion" but
he will use the term "Star Wars."
4) MSNBC's Greg Jarrett asked Philadelphia's Mayor:
"If a Governor Bush is elected, or any of the GOP candidates, will that
strike a blow to further civil rights advances in America?"
5) Today show focused attention on complaints Bush is allowing
too many to be put to death in Texas, including a mentally ill man.
6) The MRC's Free Market Project has re-launched MediaNomics
as on online publication. In the first edition, the media's bias in favor of
global warming and against tax cuts. Plus, a kudos to Today for admiring two
capitalist pioneers of the century.
7) Republicans received almost the same treatment as had the
Democrats from the moderator of the two debates sponsored by the Des Moines
>>> MagazineWatch, about the January 24 editions, is now
online thanks to the MRC's Andy Szul. The topics explored in the issue put
together by MRC analyst Mark Drake:
1. Newsweek's Michael Isikoff portrayed George W. Bush's unprecedented
fundraising success as somehow sinister by implying that the Texas governor
was a pawn of big business and "successful middle-aged white men."
2. In Time, James Carney found Bush to be sometimes "scripted, or just
bored" with the rigors of a presidential campaign, and hypocritical on
media questions about the South Carolina flag.
3. U.S. News & World Report found something new about the First Lady
running for the Senate. Are big donors shoveling soft-money dollars her way to
influence the President on their business?
4. To observe Martin Luther King's birthday, Newsweek invited radical black
professor Michael Eric Dyson to complain about how King's views have been
watered down. As for today's alleged racial healers, Newsweek columnist
George Will thought someone should correct Bill Bradley.
To read these items, go to:
unusually warm temperatures in early January Dan Rather saw global warming.
With temperature plummeting to record lows in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
Monday and Tuesday, guess what Dan Rather blamed? That's right, global
Back on the January 10 CBS Evening News Rather intoned:
"U.S. government climate experts tell CBS News that they now believe
global warming is real and underway."
Tuesday night, January 18, he blamed the same thing for
cold weather, opening the Evening News with this announcement: "Good
evening. A sudden severe and spreading cold blast in the Northeast could be a
foretaste of what's coming a lot of places in this unusual winter, namely,
more frequent, more extreme rapid-fire weather shifts up and down. U.S.
climate experts say global warming and a sustained La Nina may be generating
and NBC jumped Tuesday night to publicize a press release jointly issued by
two liberal groups about a supposed growing income gap between rich and poor.
Neither network bothered to inform viewers of the ideological drive behind the
"study" as ABC's Peter Jennings referred to them as simply
"two public policy think tanks," and neither aired any soundbites
from a conservative expert who could have pointed out major flaws in the
liberal reasoning, such as how the numbers didn't count non-cash aid to the
poor, like Medicaid, or account for taxes taken from the wealthy.
On ABC's World News Tonight, anchor Peter Jennings
introduced the story: "According to a new report from two public policy
think tanks today, the rising economic tide has not lifted all boats."
The two unlabeled think tanks: The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).
As transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth, reporter
Betsy Stark began her one-sided advocacy piece: "Today's study reveals
that during the economic boom of the 1990s, the rich got a lot richer, and the
middle class and poor stayed pretty much where they were."
Jared Bernstein, Economic Policy Institute:
"Even with unemployment at its lowest rate in thirty years and economic
growth clearly quite strong by most indicators, the gap between those at the
top and the bottom of the income scale expanded considerably over this
Stark, over an on screen identification of Economic Policy
Institute and Center on Budget & Policy Priorities as the source, relayed
the numbers: "From 1988 to 1998, earnings for the poorest fifth of
American families rose less than one percent to just under $13,000 a year,
while earnings for the richest fifth rose 15 percent to more than $137,000 a
year. The reason for the pay gap lies primarily in the kinds of jobs this
booming economy has created. New York, the state with the widest income gap,
is a good example."
Bernstein: "In a state like New York, we've created
many high end jobs for bond traders, but when that trader goes home, the woman
who comes in and cleans the office has a very low quality job, and we've
created both those types of jobs in this decade."
Stark concluded without any contrasting points of view:
"As for the middle class, one reason it has not
prospered more is that millions of American manufacturing jobs offering good
pay and benefits have been lost -- lost to cheaper workers abroad. The one bit
of good news in today's study: Over the last three years of the decade, with
the job market so tight, paychecks are finally growing for the poorest
American families, which means the income gap is still widening, just not as
Over on the NBC Nightly News Mike Jensen gave the
liberal press release less time, but just as uncritical coverage. Jensen set
out to show contrasts in how people are faring in the economy. He began by
outlining how reports have shown that Christmas spending was way up while
credit cards are being paid off sooner as bankruptcies are way down, all signs
many are doing well. Then he turned dour:
"So all is well with the U.S. economy? Not quite.
Another new study out today shows a widening gap between rich and poor. How
wide? The top twenty percent of American families now earn almost $140,000 a
year, but the bottom twenty percent average just one tenth of that, $13,000 a
Jared Bernstein, Economic Policy Institute: "Wealthy
families have been benefitting from the booming stock market while low income
families have had difficulty finding decent quality jobs, primarily due to the
loss of manufacturing employment."
Jensen reaffirmed: "So the rich get much richer in
this sizzling economy, while the poor make only small gains overall, actually
falling in some states."
The EPI/CBPP numbers are just regurgitated Census Bureau
numbers which have serious flaws as detailed last September by Robert Rector
and Rea Hederman in a Heritage Foundation report carrying the dynamic title,
"Income Inequality: How Census Data Misrepresent Income
In the analysis of the most recent Census numbers,
Rector and Hederman explained:
....The Census analysis appears lucid and straightforward. However, the
Census data are marred by four problems that lead to an overstatement of the
level of economic inequality. These problems are:
-- The conventional Census income figures are incomplete and omit many
types of cash and non-cash income.
-- The conventional Census figures do not take into account the equalizing
effects of taxation.
-- The Census quintiles actually contain unequal numbers of persons, a fact
that greatly magnifies the apparent level of economic inequality.
-- Differences in income are affected substantially by large differences in
the amount of work performed in each quintile, yet these differences in work
effort are not acknowledged in Census publications....
Comparison of the Top and Bottom Quintiles. These adjustments make a great
difference in the measure of apparent income inequality. For example, under
conventional Census figures, the top "quintile" accounts for some
$2.5 trillion in income in 1997, while the bottom quintile has only $181
billion. Thus, the top quintile is shown as receiving $13.86 in income for
every $1.00 in the bottom. However, once incomes are more completely counted
and taxes are considered, the ratio drops considerably -- to $8.05 for every
$1.00 of income.
But even this lower ratio continues to reflect the fact that the Census
data's top "quintile" is seriously overpopulated, while the bottom
is underpopulated. Once the quintiles are adjusted to contain equal numbers of
persons, the ratio of incomes of the top to the bottom quintile drops to $4.23
Moreover, even this difference is due in large part to the fact that
working age adults in the top quintile work twice as many hours as those in
the bottom. If such adults worked the same number of hours, the income ratio
would fall to around $3.07 to $1.00....
To read the full report, which is full of charts and
tables, go to:
other fronts Tuesday night, ABC led with President Clinton's plan to propose
more money for gun law enforcement, an idea CBS's Dan Rather weirdly
attributed to his caving in to the heretofore under-appreciated
"ammunition maker's lobby." ABC's Peter Jennings and Cokie
Roberts refuse to employ the term "partial birth abortion," but
Tuesday night Jennings had no reluctance using the derogatory liberal term for
missile defense, "Star Wars."
-- Clinton's gun enforcement plan. Jennings opened the
January 18 World News Tonight by noting: "Today President Clinton took a
significant step in the direction of his most persistent critics, including
his nemesis, the National Rifle Association."
But over on the CBS Evening News Dan Rather saw evil
forces behind the policy shift:
"The President is borrowing a page from the gun and
ammunition maker's lobby. He proposed hiring hundreds more federal agents
and prosecutors to enforce existing gun laws."
-- Using terms. Introducing a Tuesday night piece, Peter
Jennings declared: "The Pentagon is going to conduct a very expensive
test of a national missile defense system tonight. The plan is to launch a
missile, without a warhead, over the Pacific Ocean and try to shoot it down.
Tonight's test will cost about a hundred million dollars and overall system
$13 billion, which means an old debate -- you remember Star Wars -- is coming
As noted in the January 18 CyberAlert, Jennings
refused to use the term "partial-birth abortion" last Friday.
Instead, he said: "The justices are going to decide on the
constitutionality of a Nebraska law banning a controversial procedure involved
in late term abortions."
Monday night ABC's Cokie Roberts almost messed up and
uttered the term before warning viewers it's a phrase employed by abortion
opponents. MRC analyst Jessica Anderson noted her near-slip up from in a
January 17 Nightline look at the Brown-Black debate. After George
Stephanopoulos asserted that abortion is a question "that's bedeviled the
Republican candidates in their debate" so "the Democrats can't wait
to bring that up in the general election even though they might be more
vulnerable on these other issues," Roberts piped in:
"Particularly now that the Supreme Court has decided
to agree to hear and decide par -- what's called 'partial-birth abortion,'
right smack-dab in the middle of this campaign, it could get very hot
much for the media treating a "compassionate conservative" any
better than they do the previous incarnation. MRC analyst Mark Drake caught
this question from MSNBC's Greg Jarrett to Philadelphia's Democratic Mayor
John Street as Jarret filled in as anchor Monday night on The News with Brian
"Mr. Street, since 1964 Democrats have received on
average 83 percent of the vote in elections. One might reasonably conclude
that is because the GOP as a party and their candidates are simply less
sensitive to minority issues. So if a Governor Bush is elected, or any of the
GOP candidates, will that strike a blow to further civil rights advances in
Bush-bashing from the left. Tuesday morning NBC's Today featured a story
from reporter Jim Cummins on how a political scientist "believes the high
rate of executions in Texas could eventually become a problem for Bush on the
presidential trail." Cummins tried to fuel outrage at the policy by
focusing on one condemned man who is mentally ill.
In the piece, observed by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens,
Cummins set up the premise:
"While Governor Bush runs for President stumping for
votes in Iowa and New Hampshire it's business as usual on death row here in
his home state of Texas. Beginning today the state has scheduled six
executions over the next 10 days and dozens more for the rest of the year.
This is the Texas execution chamber. By far the busiest in America since the
Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Last year 35 men were put
to death on this gurney by lethal injection. More than a third of all the
executions nationwide. In five years as Governor, Bush has presided over 112
executions. The most of any governor by far. And running for President as a
compassionate conservative Bush has made it clear he's not ashamed of his
record on the death penalty."
After a soundbite from Bush, Cummins warned: "But
political scientist Richard Murray believes the high rate of executions in
Texas could eventually become a problem for Bush on the presidential
Following a clip of Murray, Cummins emphasized:
"Especially when high profile cases like Larry Robison's come up. Robison
was one of eight kids raised by a couple of Sunday school teachers in a good
home. But he had severe mental problems and in 1982 he savagely murdered five
people in Ft Worth, Texas. Robison pleaded innocent by reason of insanity but
was convicted of murder and sentenced to die. It's a case fraught with
outrage. Gloria Windham's mother, sister and nephew were among Robison's
victims, murdered by a man they didn't even know....
"Robison's mother has spent the past 17 years trying
to save her son's life. The board of pardons and paroles appointed by Bush has
denied her appeals for clemency. So Robison has asked to be put to death this
coming Friday because there will be a full moon."
Cummins soon moved an to a more famous case: "Karla
Faye Tucker, the born again Christian ax-murderer who was the first woman
executed in Texas since the Civil War. Bush refused to stay her execution
despite appeals from all over the world including the Pope. Later in a
magazine interview Bush is quoted ridiculing Tucker. The author writes that
Bush imitates Tucker in an interview saying, "Please,' Bush whimpers,
his lips pursed in mock desperation, 'don't kill me.'" Murray says
that kind of swagger could backfire on the Texas Governor in the general
Cummins ran soundbites from Murray and Bush before
concluding: "In the meantime another of the many executions scheduled in
Texas will be carried out tonight."
I'm sure we'll hear about all of them.
is back. The MRC's new Director of the Free Market Project (FMP), Rich
Noyes, has just completed the first edition of a new online edition of FMP's
formerly printed newsletter, MediaNomics. Rich intends to have new
editions posted every other week, or more often whenever rabid bias against
free enterprise breaks out.
MRC Web workers Andy Szul and Eric Pairel set up the new
page designs for the section of the MRC Web site which will relay "what
the media tell Americans about free enterprise."
Here are summaries of the three articles posted in the
January 17 edition:
-- CBS Rings Alarm Bells on Global Warming. It's
always interesting when one of the three broadcast evening news programs parts
company with its competitors and champions a story that the others ignore.
Among other things, this raises the nettlesome question of exactly whose news
judgment is out of kilter. One case in point: even as ABC's World News
Tonight and the NBC Nightly News were taking a pass, the CBS Evening News
broadcast four reports last week about what anchor Dan Rather hyped as
"the strongest evidence yet that the Earth is in an accelerated phase of
-- There They Go Again -- Media's Bias Against Tax Cuts
Was Much In Evidence In 1999. Throughout Campaign 2000, TV's talking heads
will pass judgment on the presidential candidates' economic programs,
including their positions on tax cuts. But if last year's coverage is
predictive of this year's spin, journalists will once again portray tax cuts
as little more than vote-getting schemes that risk renewed budget deficits and
threaten the long term solvency of expensive government programs.
-- Kudos to NBC's Today. In recollecting the
nearly-departed 20th Century, NBC's Today show last month featured "a
series of profiles, celebrating figures we believe made a special contribution
during the course of the century," according to anchor Katie Couric's
introduction on December 3. Joining the likes of polio-buster Dr. Jonas Salk,
tennis superstar Arthur Ashe and entertainment legend Julie Andrews were a
couple of capitalists: Henry Ford and Fred Smith.
To read these items in full, go to:
to Des Moines Register Editor Dennis Ryerson for treating Republican
presidential candidates during Saturday's debate almost the same way he
treated the Democrats the week before.
The January 14 CyberAlert
noted how with one exception he posed only issue set-up questions, which
lacked an explicit hostile agenda, to the Democrats at the Des Moines
Register-sponsored debate on January 8. He avoided controversies harmful to
either Democrat and allowed two questions from the left which suggested they
were too conservative: An audience members pressed the candidates about too
much defense spending and Ryerson asked them about the gender gap in pay.
A week later, at his paper's January 15 Republican
debate carried live nationally at 2pm ET by CNN, C-SPAN, FNC and PBS, Ryerson
turned in an almost identical performance.
Matching the student who hit the Democrats from the
left, Republicans got this question from the right (implying they might be too
liberal) from a college student in the audience: "I've been watching the
debates. And I've been hearing some candidates talking about increasing the
federal role in state-funded education. And I'm very concerned about the
government over-stepping it's constitutional bounds. And I was wondering how
much power do you think the federal government should have over state
education, within the frame of the Constitution, of course?"
And, while moderator Ryserson didn't hit the
Republicans at all from the right, he posed just two relatively mild liberal
agenda questions to the candidates: "How do you post the Ten Commandments
in schools without telling children who are not in the Judeo-Christian
heritage that their form of religious expression is invalid?" And,
relaying a question from a reader, he asked: "Do you think tougher laws
are needed to protect our environment?"
Not perfectly balanced, but for what we normally get on
network TV he deserves at least a B for near-balance.
+++ See actor Richard Belzer, in NBC's Law &
Order: Special Victims Unit, bash Newt Gingrich in the episode, detailed in
the January 18 CyberAlert, about conservative bigotry and advocacy of
gay left themes. MRC Webmaster Any Szul has posted a video clip in RealPlayer
format. To watch it, go to:
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