Rather Raved for McCain; Clinton's Nuclear "Healing"; NRA Blamed for Killing
1) "The Straight Talk Express is still rolling," a
pleased Dan Rather claimed in using the CBS Evening News to plug an interview
with John McCain. Rather's news: McCain will back Bush whether he adopts
"McCain's way of thinking about reducing the corruptive influence of
money in presidential politics or not."
2) Mary Tyler Moore had hoped McCain would do well on Super
Tuesday. Newsweek's Evan Thomas fantasized about him going independent:
"If he could ever get Colin Powell to run with him..."
3) Tom Brokaw equated the Pope and Clinton: "Two of the
most powerful men in the world on separate missions of peace and
reconciliation." CBS's John Roberts described Clinton's goal:
"To set in motion a critical healing process between long-time
4) In India Peter Jennings allowed the locals to smear orange
stuff of his face and then, donning shades, he danced with them.
5) On Today Maria Shriver whined "we can't get
anywhere" on gun control because "the NRA keeps stopping anything
that would give us any progress." She blamed the NRA for preventing
compromise, without which "people will continue to be killed."
6) Time's Jack White suggested the Pope's apology
"could be a role model" for others to face their "historical
crimes," such as the U.S. government for slavery.
7) FNC's newsletter cited the MRC's op-ed to show how FNC,
unlike ABC, CBS and NBC, is staying on top of the LaBella memo. FNC's Brit
Hume picked up on a McCain item noted in Friday's CyberAlert.
>>> Notable Quotables now online. The
latest issue 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 Kristina Sewell and Andy Szul. Amongst the quote
headings in the March 20 edition: "Welcome to Campaign 2000: Bush
Nastiness v. Gore Outreach"; "Accusatory Bush v. Crafty Gore";
"Imus Zinged Brokaw"; "Jeb Bush = Selma Racist Thugs";
"Bush Sold His Soul to Hard Right"; "Far-Right Bush vs.
Moderate Al" and "Larry King's Kiss and Tell." For this
issue, go to: And for the archive
of issues going back to 1988, go to:
For earlier issues from this year, go to:
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remains enthralled with John McCain. Teasing Monday's CBS Evening News
before the show opening music, he enthused: "John McCain says he backs
the Bush candidacy completely. An exclusive interview with the Arizona Senator
shows the Straight Talk Express is still rolling."
Though it revealed nothing new, Rather then began the
March 20 show by making his taped interview the top story of the day. As
transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth, he breathlessly announced:
John McCain told CBS News today he supports the Bush for President ticket but
has absolutely no interest in being on it. McCain talked about this and
what's next for him in a one on one exclusive sit down interview for
tomorrow night's 60 Minutes II. We'll give you some excerpts tonight. It
was McCain's first such interview since he suspended his campaign. I spoke
with him in Washington as he returned to the U.S. Senate today."
Going to his taped piece, Rather continued: "McCain
was upbeat on his arrival back to Capitol Hill, back with his agenda, and back
with thoughts on the Republican ticket."
McCain: "I think
that we will have discussions, and I think there's no doubt that I would
support the nominee of the party. Exactly how that happens and under what
circumstances and my degree of enthusiasm obviously are questions that are yet
to be resolved."
you have said to me, as well as others, on a number of occasions that you're
not interested in the vice presidential nomination."
McCain: "I will
say that again, yes indeed. I think I can serve the country far better in the
United States Senate than I can as the Vice President of the United States. It
would be a great honor obviously, but I think I have to assess where I can
best serve the country, and I think that's in the United States
Rather offered up this
probing inquiry: "What do you want the person sitting in the living room
to think where things are going?"
always be grateful for the opportunity. I will never ever forget the wonderful
people that supported me, and I will never forget the obligation and contract
I entered into with them, and that is to pursue this reform agenda, and that
will be my highest priority.
"Back at the anchor
desk Rather adopted McCain's language as his own about campaign money as
corruptive: "McCain repeatedly said he is backing Bush with no strings
attached and no demands, whether Bush, as he hopes, comes around to McCain's
way of thinking about reducing the corruptive influence of money in
presidential politics or not."
Quite the news breaking interview, and those were the
Next, the CBS Evening News, which has yet to air a story
on the LaBella memo, dedicated a whole piece to another scandal as Rather
asked about a possible "Nixonian coverup at the FDA." Over a graphic
announcing "FDA-gate," Rather introduced a two-minute report by
Sharyl Attkisson about a FDA doctor who claims his agency intimidated doctors
who raised questions about Rezulin, an anti-diabetes drug.
enthusiasm for John McCain, he won over Mary Tyler Moore and Newsweek's Evan
Thomas dreamed about what would happen if he went independent with Colin
Powell as his running mate.
-- On Saturday night C-SPAN played a tape of a panel
discussion under the heading of "Women's Achievement and Role in
Society." The March 6 event, sponsored by the Girl Scouts of America, was
moderated by NBC's Katie Couric with panelists Gloria Steinem, Christie Todd
Whitman, Mary Tyler Moore and Donna Shalala.
Since the event at the Kennedy Center took place the
night before Super Tuesday, Couric asked if they'd like to see McCain do
well the next day. Mary Tyler Moore responded affirmatively:
"I would like to
see that happen. I would like to see McCain come forward and be our next
-- With McCain now
out of the GOP race, on Inside Washington over the weekend Newsweek Assistant
Managing Editor Evan Thomas could only long for an independent run.
Thomas ruminated: "I wonder if McCain is sitting on
some desert island wondering about a third party or an independent run. It's
NPR's Nina Totenberg
cut in: "I don't think so. I think he's going to prove his Republican
credentials in this election, and I think he, after all, he's the only person
in the United States Senate on the Republican side who has a national
constituency. And if I were Trent Lott, I'd be a little worried."
Thomas yearned: "I
don't think this is likely but if he could ever get Colin Powell to run with
him, they'd win in a lay-down."
ABC and NBC,
unlike CBS, led Monday night with what actually occurred during the day with
both shows starting with President Clinton's visit to Bangladesh and
previews of his planned stops this week in the new nuclear powers of India and
Pakistan. Each followed with a report on the Pope's visit to Jordan as part
of a Middle East sojourn.
ABC's Peter Jennings anchored from New Delhi, India,
while NBC's Tom Brokaw as well as CBS's Dan Rather stayed in New York,
though both promised to be in Israel for the Pope for Tuesday night's
Brokaw combined the travel of the two world leaders into
his show opening in which he equated their causes: "In South Asia and in
the Middle East tonight two of the most powerful men in the world on separate
missions of peace and reconciliation." On ABC's World News Tonight
Peter Jennings warned that "this is surely the most controversial visit
that Pope John Paul has ever made anywhere."
From India, CBS's John Roberts portrayed Clinton, not
the Pope, as the healer: "Mr. Clinton came to this region with a
self-appointed goal: to set in motion a critical healing process between
long-time foes India and Pakistan."
That's what will convince a nation to disarm,
Clinton's charms as a healer.
Back again to ABC, from a place called
Thiruvananthapuram in the state of Kerala, Lynn Sherr praised the Indian
region's successful population control efforts which she credited to having
literate women and HillaryCare: "Here, even the poorest, enjoy a wide
range of free medical services. Kerala spends 15 percent of its budget on
health. The federal government spends under two percent."
feel like smearing some crap on Peter Jennings' face and then embarrassing
him by making him dance? Well, some Indians did it for you on Monday in New
Delhi. And ABC even showed it.
Wrapping up the March 20 World News Tonight, Jennings
told viewers how Indians celebrate the arrival of Spring by smearing orange
and green-colored powders on their faces and dancing. He
then showed himself with some top India officials as all got their faces
smeared. Jennings even showed a bit of video of himself sporting shades as he
danced with the crowd, clapping his hands above his head.
Back on camera in a suit and sans the colored powder on
his face, Jennings assured viewers the powder is removable, "though for
several days, we are told, millions of us will have that slight magenta
++ See an orange Jennings dance. Tuesday morning the
MRC's Andy Szul and Kristina Sewell will post a RealPlayer clip of what ABC
showed of Jennings getting his face painted and of him dancing. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
The NRA has
certainly succeeded in getting itself back into the media's sights. Monday
morning on Today substitute co-host Maria Shriver pounded away at NRA
President Charlton Heston for his TV ads and the comments from Executive Vice
President Wayne LaPierre critical of Bill Clinton. Though Clinton rejected a
compromise gun control bill last year, Shriver complained about how many think
"we can't get anywhere here...because the NRA keeps stopping anything
that would give us any progress."
She put the burden entirely on the NRA:
"Words do hurt
people because they prevent compromise. And people have said unless we get
compromise on this issue nothing will get done and people will continue to be
killed on a daily basis."
In other words, Shriver accused the NRA of allowing
killings in order to advance its political interests, just the charge she
spent the interview condemning the NRA for making about Clinton.
To show the one-sided
nature of Shriver's interview, here are all of her questions/statements to
Heston in order, as transcribed by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens:
-- "You know that Mr. LaPierre's comments raised a
firestorm and you yourself even called them extreme. Do you agree with
-- Heston, put up sign,
Shriver read it: "'Other countries have a lower gun death
rate...because they don't have an NRA in their country.' But regardless
whether he said that or not do you agree with Mr. LaPierre's comments?"
-- "Well Mr.
Heston it's not just the media that's beaten up on Mr. LaPierre, even Governor
Bush said that he thought it was over the line, too extreme and he thinks
there's a way to have this debate without it being so personal. Isn't there a
way to have this debate that furthers the debate without it being about
-- "You think the
media owes Mr. LaPierre an apology?"
-- "And you think
that his comments were accurate in the way he described President Clinton were
-- "You, yourself
have just taped some ads and let's, I want to just put one up on the, because
we unfortunately don't have the ad. But in the ad you ask, 'So does Bill
Clinton tolerate a level of gun deaths to further his political agenda? You
decide.' You ask the American people. What do you, yourself think Mr. Heston?"
-- "But Mr. Heston,
in due respect, getting back to the ads. When you ask to the American people
to decide whether they think that about President Clinton what do you
personally think is the answer to that question, since you're posing that
-- "Well in fact
the White House says prosecution is up at least 16 percent. And many of the
cases are state prosecution matters."
inexplicable to some people is the hard line that the NRA takes in fact that I
have heard and read and I would like you to address whether this increased
rhetoric by the NRA has in fact increased membership, increased funds to the
organization. Is that correct?"
-- "Well words do
hurt people because they prevent compromise. And people have said unless we
get compromise on this issue nothing will get done and people will continue to
be killed on a daily basis. Even Gerald Ford weighed in on this debate
recently, saying that the hard-line of the NRA is a complete loser. Where do
you find compromise? Where is the end going to come here Mr. Heston?"
-- "But the
President wants 72 hours....Well he said that because in fact they need two
days, two extra days from the 24 hours to complete these background checks.
And what's the difference if the extra two days in fact save lives. Why not go
along with that?"
-- "But what's the
difference in agreeing to the 72 hour background check if in fact it will save
lives? What is the problem with that? Why can't you meet halfway there?"
-- "Well you keep
talking about prosecution and many people believe that the fact that we can't
get anywhere here is because the NRA keeps stopping anything that would give
us any progress."
-- "We should
reiterate once again that the White House maintains that prosecutions are up.
Charlton Heston thank you so much for joining us this morning."
Jack White, an Al Sharpton Democrat. When the Inside Washington panel over the
past weekend decided to assess the Pope's apology for what Catholics have
done over the centuries, Time magazine national correspondent Jack White
decided to use the forum to bemoan how the U.S. government has never
apologized for slavery.
Here's how the exchange went on the program, carried
by PBS stations around the country and by the CBS affiliate in Washington, DC
where it's taped, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brian Boyd:
White: "I believe it could be a role model for
other institutions like the United States government to start facing up to
some of the historical crimes that have been committed in its name. Number one
Peterson: "John Conyers year after year has-"
been a bill up there that never gets seriously, seriously considered. It's
never going anywhere."
Thomas: "Was this the reparations bill? It's one thing to apologize, it's
another to pay."
White: "Well, we
haven't had an apology yet either."
Krauthammer: "The Civil War was a pretty good apology."
that's just not true. The civic society constantly apologizes for slavery in
White: "Where was
school kid today is going to get a pretty strong lesson about the evils of
White: "OK, but I
still haven't heard the apology."
Everyone who was a slave or owned one is now dead, so
there's no one to issue an apology and no to apologize to. But Bill Clinton
could still come through for White.
You read it
here first. FNC's newsletter cited my Wall Street Journal op-ed for how FNC,
unlike ABC, CBS and NBC, is staying on top of the LaBella memo and Monday
night FNC's Brit Hume picked up on an item detailed in Friday's CyberAlert.
-- Here's the text of the March 17 edition of The
Balance Sheet, the Fox News viewer newsletter distributed via e-mail each
THE LABELLA MEMO...
The story the networks won't talk about
As reported by media watchdog Brent H. Baker in an editorial in the Wall
Street Journal, ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC all completely ignored leaks of the
now infamous "LaBella memo" on Friday, and have given the story
short shrift since. The scandal revolves around a memo, long held secret by
the Justice Department, that was prepared by Former campaign-finance
investigator Charles LaBella. In it he concludes that Bill and Hillary
Clinton, Al Gore and Harold Ickes all received special treatment from Justice.
FNC has been on top of this story from the moment the memo came to light.
In fact, Hannity & Colmes interviewed Mr. LaBella himself in August of
'99, after he quit the Justice Department because his findings about
campaign-finance abuses were being ignored.
Mr. LaBella felt that a special prosecutor should be named to investigate
the abuses: "The very low threshold in the (now defunct) Independent
Counsel Act had been met, and I know that the director of the FBI came to the
The Attorney General continues to ignore a congressional subpoena which
calls for her to release LaBella's findings. Congressman
Asa Hutchinson, speaking Wednesday night on The Edge with Paula Zahn,
called Reno's actions a flagrant abuse of her position: "We're trying not
to cast judgements in advance, but without the information,
it's very difficult not to do so."
Is all this a sign of Justice Department corruption? Fox News Channel was
out front on this story. We'll pursue it until we get the truth.
Until Friday you can see this entire issue, in full
color, online at: http://www.foxnews.com/channel/foxfan/newsletter.sml
To read the March 15 Wall Street Journal op-ed,
"The LaBella Memo: Not Ready For Prime Time?", go to:
-- Just after 6:30pm ET on
Monday's Special Report with Brit Hume the anchor of the same name passed on
millions of new voters John McCain was said to have brought into the
Republican primaries? Well an analysis of the exit polls by the ABC News
election unit concludes that about one voter in five in the GOP contest was
new and with McCain getting about 55 percent of them, he would have brought in
about one and a half million new voters through Super Tuesday."
CyberAlert readers will recall that the March 17
CyberAlert conveyed the highlight's of ABC News polling director Gary
Langer's analysis, which was posted March 14 on abcnews.com. As CyberAlert
noted then, and remains true, ABC News has yet to mention Langer's analysis
on World News Tonight or GMA. It looks like FNC beat ABC News to its own
guy's discovery. --
Support the MRC, an educational foundation dependent upon contributions
which make CyberAlert possible, by providing a tax-deductible
donation. Use the secure donations page set up for CyberAlert
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