Bush "Not Qualified?"; Untrue Not "False" Skipped; West Wing's Left Wing
1) McCain's endorsement of Bush
topped ABC and NBC Tuesday night. Tom Brokaw asked McCain if he were
disappointed that Bush failed to "condemn" Pat Robertson and if he
had now "endorsed somebody who's not qualified to be President in terms
of foreign policy?"
2) The broadcast networks managed
to avoid mentioning the party affiliation of Louisiana's Edwin Edwards in
noting the corruption convictions of "the state's colorful former
3) Bill Clinton's argument that
though his testimony implied "facts that are not true," it was not
"false," and so he should not be disbarred, generated a few seconds
on ABC's GMA and full stories on FNC, but zilch on the other morning and
4) Bryant Gumbel played David
Letterman's "love interest" on Monday's Late Show, striding across
the stage to kiss Letterman.
5) A presidential aide on NBC's
The West Wing to a Senator opposed to liberal campaign finance reform:
"Why don't you take your legislative agenda and shove it up your
ass." Plus: "mandatory minimums" are "racist" and
should be replaced by "drug treatment."
6) Network "town
meetings" to push liberal causes. Hillary to get an hour on Thursday's
Today; GMA to promote the Million Mom March by bringing moms to the White
House who "can make a difference."
7) Letterman's "Top Ten
Reasons John McCain Endorsed George W. Bush."
Corrections. Three errors in the May 5 CyberAlert:
"Dan Rather noted how O'Connor had did after a battle with cancer"
should have read "had died." The item on the e-mail hearing referred
to the "Wahite House" instead of the "White House." And
American Investigator's Marc Morano reported that a) the first name of the
wife of Chevy Chase is spelled "Jayni," not "Jayne," and
b) the Chase's did not hop "out of their limousine," but got out of
a sedan. Though by Clintonian definition any motor vehicle driven by a hired
driver is a limousine, so maybe I was accurate in thee first place.
McCain's grudging endorsement of George W. Bush topped the ABC and NBC evening
newscasts Tuesday night while CBS ran a piece on it after leading with the
National Weather Service's announcement that La Nina is "fading."
NBC Nightly News
featured an interview with McCain in which Tom Brokaw asked if he were
disappointed that Bush failed to "condemn" Pat Robertson for
saying McCain's temper would make him a "dangerous" President
and, recalling how McCain had said he was "the only one running for
President who knows the military and understands the world," had he
now "endorsed somebody who's not qualified to be President in terms
of foreign policy?"
Brokaw opened the
May 9 NBC Nightly News, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
"It may not be love, but in politics it's the next best thing. Today
Texas Governor George W. Bush was formally endorsed by his strongest
opponent, Arizona Senator John McCain. They met for ninety minutes in
Pittsburgh, and later I talked to McCain in his Washington office. The
Pittsburgh meeting had been on the calendar for some time, but it was only
recently that McCain decided to endorse. What one reporter called, 'taking
your medicine now, not later.'"
After a soundbite
from McCain at the Westin William Penn hotel, saying he's "taking his
medicine," NBC went to Brokaw's taped interview. Brokaw's first
inquiry: "You described what you did today as, 'taking your medicine
now, rather than later.' That doesn't sound to me like a ringing and
enthusiastic endorsement." McCain called it a joking response before
Brokaw next asked: "Was the office of Vice President mentioned in any
form?" and "I asked the Senator about his differences with
Governor Bush over campaign finance reform."
Brokaw then brought up Pat Robertson: "On
NBC's Meet the Press last Sunday, the evangelist and political activist
Pat Robertson questioned McCain's stability."
Robertson in a clip from Meet the Press:
"Can you imagine dealing with our foreign powers and you get mad and
you fly off the handle. It could be very dangerous."
Brokaw to McCain: "When given a chance to
condemn those remarks today, Governor Bush failed to do so. Did that
Brokaw: "What did you think when you heard
Pat Robertson's remarks?"
McCain called them vicious and bad for the
Republican Party before Brokaw helpfully reminded viewers: "During
the campaign McCain attacked Robertson as an 'agent of intolerance' who
hurts the Republican Party."
inquired: "During the course of your campaign against George Bush,
you also said you're the only one running for President who knows the
military and understands the world, the only one. Have you endorsed
somebody who's not qualified to be President in terms of foreign
McCain replied that he's the best qualified, but
Bush is very well versed on foreign policy.
question: "Is it fair to say that you and George W. Bush have a good
professional understanding but not a very close personal
McCain answered: "I think that's fair to say
because I don't know him very well."
NBC then went to
David Gregory for a summary of the Pittsburgh meeting and what led to it.
He opened his piece:
"However forced McCain's endorsement is,
Bush will take it. And what he gets is a bridge to the independent swing
voters McCain courted and attracted along the way..."
Over on ABC's
World News Tonight, Peter Jennings began the show by announcing: "We
begin tonight with the presidential campaign. The Republican Party got its
ducks in a row today. Senator John McCain, who almost derailed the
best-financed campaign in history a few months ago, that of George W.
Bush, took his medicine today and said, 'I do.'"
ABC's Aaron Brown
explained: "John McCain arrived to the meeting exactly two months
after he gave up his campaign against Governor Bush, and after the
ninety-minute private meeting Governor Bush got exactly what he
wanted." After some soundbites from McCain, Brown suggested:
"Set aside, if not forgotten, were those nasty days of winter, when
McCain all but called Bush a liar or something worse." Brown then
showed a clip of the McCain ad saying Bush "twists the truth like
Clinton." Brown concluded: "Politics is a pragmatic business,
and today was proof of that. Republicans can now say they are united for
the fall, the McCain problem solved."
introduced the CBS Evening News story: "In the long presidential
campaign John McCain did the expected today. He said yes he is endorsing
Bush for President and no he doesn't want to be his running mate. This
came at the end of the much ballyhooed and hyped Bush-McCain summit in
asserted before running old clips of the two candidates attacking each
other: "Bush flew in knowing he needed McCain to woo independents,
but in truth both men dreaded this meeting and why not. Remember: They
once promised never to go negative and shook on it."
The corrupt man without a party. CBS and NBC managed to run items Tuesday
night on the corruption convictions against former Louisiana Governor
Edwin Edwards, a Democrat, without mentioning his party affiliation. ABC's
Peter Jennings also failed to explicitly note it, but made an indirect
viewers of the May 9 CBS Evening News heard from Dan Rather: "The
odds caught up today with former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards. After
years of beating government investigations and charges, Edwards and his
son were found guilty of federal racketeering charges and other crimes.
The case involved alleged payoffs for river boat gambling licenses. The
stunned Edwards says he faces a long, large prison term and he will
NBC Nightly News
anchor Tom Brokaw announced: "In Louisiana tonight the state's
colorful former Governor, Edwin Edwards, has been found guilty on 17
counts of fraud and racketeering. Edwards, who is 72-years-old, was
convicted of extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from businessmen
eager to get licenses to run river boat casinos. Edwards was acquitted on
ABC's World News
Tonight similarly avoided party identification in citing his conviction,
but anchor Peter Jennings went on to offer some background history on
Edwards and offered this hint as to which party he belonged: "Edwards
is equal parts polished politician and classic rogue. He was a consummate
wheeler-dealer, he got support from old line white Democrats, blacks and
Cajuns. He was one of them."
Louisiana may have
open primaries, but I bet if the corrupt politician were a conservative
Republican the network anchors would have found that bit of biographical
information to be worth highlighting.
Depends what your definition of "false" is. Bill Clinton's
argument that though his Paula Jones grand jury testimony was
"misleading" and implied "facts that are not true," it
was nonetheless not false and so he should not be disbarred, generated
little network interest.
Morning America ran a short item on the Southeastern Legal Foundation's
revelation of Clinton's response to their complaint to the ethics
committee of the Arkansas Supreme Court. FNC's Special Report with Brit
Hume and Fox Report aired full stories the night before, but ABC, CBS,
MSNBC and NBC skipped it in the evening as did CBS and NBC in the morning.
In a front page
story in the May 9 Washington Times reporter Andrew Cain relayed Clinton's
reasoning. To lessen quote mark confusion, this is the paragraph as it
appeared in the Times story, sans any quote marks which would normally be
added by me to show it's a quote:
"Many categories of responses which are
misleading, evasive, nonresponsive or frustrating are nevertheless not
legally 'false'" such as "literally truthful answers that imply
facts that are not true," his attorneys say in an 80-page legal brief
under seal since it was filed last month.
Jessica Anderson noticed that Tuesday morning, May 9, GMA viewers heard
this short item from Antonio Mora at 7:30am in which he found time to add
an ideological label:
"A conservative group that wants President
Clinton to lose his law license says the President is arguing that he
didn't lie in the Lewinsky scandal. The Southeastern Legal Foundation says
the President has filed still sealed court papers arguing that he deserves
no worse than a reprimand."
The night before
FNC's Brit Hume zoomed in on Clinton's argument about what "false
means," topping his 6pm ET, 9pm PT show by marveling:
"It was one of the most memorable lines from
the Clinton investigations. Asked about his relationship with Monica
Lewinsky, the President responded, quote 'it depends on what the
definition of is is.' Now, in an effort to keep from being disbarred in
Arkansas, Mr. Clinton is arguing over what the definition of 'false'
Shuster explained, in also tagging the group involved: "According to
a conservative group that is trying to have his law license revoked,
President Clinton argues in court papers that his testimony about Monica
Lewinsky was not false, as he defines that term. The President has refused
to make public his definition of 'false' or release his arguments against
a possible disbarment. But the Southeastern Legal Foundation is using
Matthew Glavin of the Southeastern Legal
Foundation at a National Press Club press conference: "He responded
with an 85 page attempt, pathetic attempt, to defend the
Shuster elaborated: "According to Glavin,
the President argued that his testimony in the Paula Jones lawsuit was not
a crime and therefore no sanction should be imposed stronger than a
reprimand. But in a response to Clinton's filing, Glavin's foundation
notes that the threshold for disbarment in Arkansas is lower than the
threshold for finding somebody guilty of perjury. The foundation charges
that under rules of the Arkansas bar, it is professional misconduct to be
dishonest. And the group says Mr. Clinton clearly violated those standards
through his verbal gymnastics over Monica Lewinsky."
Clinton, January 17th, 1999: "I have never
had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I've never had an affair with
Shuster: "The President was asked if he was
ever alone with her in the hallway near the Oval Office."
Clinton in same testimony: "I don't believe
so unless we were walking back to the back dining room with the pizza. I
just -- I don't remember. I don't believe we were alone in the hallway,
Shuster reminded viewers: "That response was
one of several cited last summer by Judge Susan Webber Wright when she
held the President in contempt. She ruled that he gave 'false, misleading
and evasive answers' that were designed to obstruct the judicial process.
That's enough, according to the Southeastern Legal Foundation, to conclude
Mr. Clinton violated Arkansas rules and made a mockery of the guidelines
established by the American Bar Association."
soundbite from Glavin, Shuster concluded by noting how Clinton attorney
David Kendall issued a "statement suggesting the Southeastern Legal
Foundation is part of the so-called 'right-wing conspiracy' and is only
interested in slinging mud."
Depends on your
definition of "mud."
Bryant Gumbel planted a big kiss on David Letterman on Monday's Late Show,
a clip The Early Show replayed Tuesday morning to Gumbel's seeming
On the May 8
edition of his CBS program, Letterman ran through some items under the
heading of "What's New at the Late Show." Here's the eighth and
final item, as recounted by Michael Z. McIntee on the Late Show's Web page
report, The Wahoo Gazette:
"Ah, a love interest. What better way to
pump up excitement than to create the sexual tension of a love interest
and so that's just what the suits at CBS decided to do. They've given Dave
a love interest. CBS morning man Bryant Gumbel then made an entrance,
walked over to Dave and planted the biggest, longest, and wettest kiss on
the cheek of our host. OK, OK, so it was only a peck but it was a big step
for CBS. Not only was it two men but it was interracial too! So risque! If
they weren't already asleep for two hours, the Matlock crowd would have
been up in arms."
Tuesday's Early Show ended, at about 8:52am, as Mark McEwen sat with
Gumbel and news reader Julie Chen, he cut Gumbel off: "Before you
talk I have to do something. Last night-" Gumbel jumped in,
exclaiming "Oh, c'mon!" as he tossed his pen. Viewers then saw a
Late Show clip in which Letterman announced how "the network had this
idea, they're providing me on the show with a love interest." On
sauntered Gumbel, walking across the stage to Letterman's desk where he
kissed Letterman on the cheek, then looked longingly toward Letterman
before walking away.
+++ Watch Gumbel
kiss Letterman. Wednesday morning the MRC's acting Webmaster, Eric Pairel,
will post a RealPlayer clip of what Early Show viewers saw -- McEwen's set
up, the Letterman show clip, and laughter afterward amongst the Early Show
team. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
Another new episode of The West Wing airs tonight, Wednesday May 10, on
NBC and should continue the show's liberal crusading as it approaches the
season-ending episode. As noted in the May 3 CyberAlert, the week before
the 9pm ET/PT, 8pm CT/MT show unveiled plot lines having "President
Josiah Bartlet," played by Martin Sheen, launch a quest to push for
liberal campaign finance reform and allow gays to serve openly in the
Last week the show
continued the campaign finance reform cause and added replacing
"mandatory minimums" for drug convictions, which were repeatedly
called "racist," with more funding for drug
As transcribed by
MRC intern Michael Ferguson, the May 3 episode opened with President
Bartlet making a speech in a hotel room: "I get nervous around laws
that fundamentally assume that Americans can't be trusted. You'd better
have mandatory sentencing because judges can't be trusted to disperse even
handed justice. You'd better have term limits because voters can't be
trusted to recognize corruption. Oh, and by the way, I say by the way,
when the playing field is level and the process is fair and open, it turns
out we have term limits. They're called elections."
The show then
jumped to the office of a Senator played by Bruce Weitz, who was "Belker"
on Hill Street Blues. He and some staff watch Bartlet on TV and hear him
announce: "Tomorrow morning we're going to begin to change the way
elections are supervised."
aide, "Steve," informs the Senator: "He's going to name two
finance reformers to the FEC."
The Senator, turning angry: "What the hell
are you talking about?"
Senator: "You said it wasn't going to
Steve: "I was wrong."
The Senator, in an angry growl: "You were
Steve: "He's going to name -- damn it,
Female aide: "Jon Bacon and Patty
Senator: "You told him they take on campaign
finance reform, I roll out a legislative agenda that'll make his boys sit
down and cry?"
Steve: "I made it very clear."
Bartlet, on TV: "I am proud to nominate
Jonathan Bacon and Patricia Calhoun to the Federal Election
The Senator demanded: "Get him on the
The Senator, very angry: "Josh Lyman. Get
him on the phone. I'm going to reach down his throat and take out his
lungs with an ice cream scoop."
As if an FEC
appointment would so anger a Senator.
Cutting to the
back of the room where the President is giving the speech, Bartlet's
Deputy Communications Director "Sam Seaborn," played by Rob
Lowe, reminds Deputy Chief-of-Staff "Josh Lyman," played by
Bradley Whitford, that the Senator's staff had warned that they'd bring up
popular legislation opposed by the President if the President dared to
name liberal reformers to the FEC. Josh is then handed a cell phone and
says into it: "Hi Senator. Why don't you take your legislative agenda
and shove it up your ass."
That missed the
family hour by about three minutes.
Later, in an
effort to head off opposition to "mandatory minimums," which are
called "racist," and to ensure support for more money for
"treatment," Chief-of-Staff "Leo" pulls a big stunt.
He gathers seven staff members who works for Congressmen who have had
close relatives escape tough sentencing for drug crimes. Leo threatens
them, warning that the President is "not going to stomach hypocrisy.
If we start hearing soft on crime, soft on drugs from any of the people
you work for, we've got seven stories ready for page one."
President Bartlet later in the day, Communications Director "Toby
Ziegler," played by Richard Schiff, tells him: "Mandatory
minimums are considerably higher for crack than for powder cocaine."
Toby: "The vast majority of crack users are
black. The vast majority of drug users are white. Mandatory minimums are
Bartlet: "Yes they are."
Toby: "It should be part of the
Bartlet: "And it will be."
summaries/quotes from past West Wing plot lines, check out these
CyberAlert articles, which also feature RealPlayer clips from the program:
-- May 3
CyberAlert: After some dialogue backing school vouchers, NBC's West Wing
went left wing on campaign finance and gays in the military. Go to:
-- March 22
CyberAlert: Left and Right West Wing. NBC's The West Wing delivered scenes
linking census sampling opponents to the Constitution's definition of
blacks as 3/5ths a person and aired a candid admission that liberals don't
trust people to spend their money correctly. Go to:
-- January 27
CyberAlert: NBC's liberal dream State of the Union. On The West Wing the
President abandons "the era of big government is over" theme and
agrees "government can be a place where people come together and
where no one gets left behind....an instrument of good." Go to:
Two network "town meetings" scheduled this week to promote
-- The first hour
of Thursday's Today on NBC will be devoted to a "town meeting"
with Hillary Rodham Clinton.
-- Friday morning,
tied to the so-called "Million Mom March" set for Sunday, ABC's
Good Morning America will return to the White House for a broadcast
devoted to gun control, the same theme examined in a White House visit
back in June. GMA Executive Producer Shelly Ross conceded to USA Today
that the last White House town meeting with high school kids "gave me
goose bumps. It was an incredible example of free speech and
This week instead
of kids, USA Today's Peter Johnson reported Tuesday, ABC will feature
"moms who are for and against gun control -- women Ross says 'can
make a difference' in the national debate on the issue."
balanced presentation, ABC used its June 4 White House broadcast to push
gun control. Charles Gibson, for instance, lectured Bill Clinton from the
left: "But when you went to Littleton, a friend of yours, who
supports you on gun control, said to me in the last 48 hours, the
President, because as he said Littleton has seared the national
conscience, the President had a chance to roar on gun control and he
meowed, and that was a friend of yours. There are very basic measures that
could be taken that people agree on. We register every automobile in
America. We don't register guns. That's a step that would make a
For more on that
show, go to:
From the May 9 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Reasons
John McCain Endorsed George W. Bush." Copyright 2000 by Worldwide
10. Setting record -- "Endorsing most
dumb rich white guys"
9. The fact that people who don't endorse him often end up in the electric
8. Bush hinted might be able to bring back "Beverly Hills 90210"
7. George W. has videotape of McCain partying with him in 80s
6. Figured, "What's the difference -- Gore's gonna whip him like a
gimp donkey anyway"
5. The skip in his step, the twinkle in the eye...the man's in love!
4. Bush vowed to brush up on foreign leaders, like that French
3. Four horrendous years with Bush equals President McCain in 2004
2. Very persuasive argument presented by Bush's drug kingpin friends
1. Tired of Bush calling in middle of night screaming, "Pleeeeease!"
Bush may have won
over McCain, but he certainly hasn't won over the late night comedians.
-- Brent Baker
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