Bill & Hillary: "Together... Emotionally"; Elian Photo Spiked; Helen's Liberal Legacy
1) EPA regulation night. All the
networks either led with or ran stories on the EPA's plan to reduce
diesel-fuel pollution because it causes cancer and a warning that Dioxin is
more dangerous than thought, but none questioned the accuracy of the EPA's
2) "Together again, Bill and
Hillary Clinton, the picture of harmony" Tom Brokaw trumpeted over video
of Hillary accepting the Senate nomination in Albany. Andrea Mitchell
compliantly relayed how they have "banded together...politically and
3) Last week all the networks
showcased photos of a happy Elian playing with friends and his father, but on
Wednesday only FNC showed viewers a new picture of Elian, at Wye, decked out
in the garb of the Pioneers, Cuba's communist youth indoctrination group.
4) Helen Thomas "was always
fair and never intimidated," insisted Tom Brokaw. She actually left a
legacy of liberalism, once arguing: "I don't know what a liberal bias is.
Do you mean do we care about the poor, the sick, and the maimed?"
5) An MSNBC segment on a Tennessee
focus group's assessment of Al Gore included a man's blast at
"liberal media bias."
6) Letterman's "Top Ten
Hillary Clinton Campaign Slogans."
7) Fox News Channel now viewable
in the CyberAlert overnight newsroom...and in your home too if you live in
Correction: Missing quote marks. Item #5 in the
May 17 CyberAlert began: "On the PBS public-affairs show To the Contrary
over the weekend, host Bonnie Erbe told panelist Linda Chavez that a woman of
her age doesn't need to worry about being raped. So National Review's John
J. Miller and Ramesh Ponnuru revealed in their Washington Bulletin e-mail on
Monday." The first sentence should have been in quote marks.
night on the networks on Wednesday evening. The agency's announcement of
a proposal to reduce pollution from diesel-fueled trucks topped ABC's
World News Tonight and earned full stories on CNN's The World Today,
MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams and the NBC Nightly News. All
focused almost exclusively on the EPA's points, allowing only a token
soundbite from the refinery industry about increased costs, but never
airing any soundbite from an expert questioning the science behind the
ABC followed up with a
second story dedicated entirely to dire warnings from the NRDC, though
reporter Brian Rooney acknowledged: "In truth, no one has drawn a
direct link between diesel fumes and the health of any one patient."
CBS ran a brief item on
the diesel fuel as well as a full story on another EPA report claiming
Dioxin is a "human carcinogen" which poses ten times the health
threat than thought. Dioxin also got full stories, without any doubters,
on CNN and NBC.
On another subject, Bob
Schieffer delivered a "Real Deal" report on the CBS Evening News
about the China trade deal: "Politics always makes strange
bedfellows, but the China trade bill has created a whole dormitory of
unlikely roommates." After noting how George Bush and Bill Clinton
favor the deal but House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt opposes it,
Schieffer rued: "Which leaves the President's arch-enemy,
Republican Tom DeLay, who is for it, as the President's key ally."
Back to the EPA stories,
the May 17 World News Tonight led with the EPA's plan to cut sulfur in
diesel fuel by 2006 and reduce tailpipe emissions by 95 percent in order
to eliminate particles which "may be linked to cancer and
asthma." ABC's Lisa Stark concluded: "It's still open for
public comment, but by year-end the EPA will issue new stringent standards
for vehicles that some say have long been given a free ride."
Up next, reporter Brian
Rooney highlighted how California grocery chains are warning neighbors
near their warehouses that diesel exhaust causes cancer. Focusing on a
Natural Resources Defense Council study, Rooney ran multiple soundbites
from the NRDC's Gail Ruderman Feuer, who claimed: "In this region
of Southern California a local agency found that more than 70 percent of
the risk of cancer in our air comes just from diesel exhaust."
Rooney then concluded by undercutting the entire
premise of his story: "In truth, no one has drawn a direct link
between diesel fumes and the health of any one patient. But the state
believes that the dangers of diesel fumes have generally been established
and the people who live near distributions centers like this deserve a
The CBS Evening News and
NBC Nightly News led with the indictments in Birmingham, Alabama of two
men for the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. CBS followed
up with a piece from Cynthia Bowers on how the Chicago city council passed
a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to give reparations to descendants
of slaves. On Dioxin, Dan Rather tagged it "a ticking toxic time bomb
in the U.S. food chain, a cancer risk, especially for children."
NBC's Robert Hager
handled the diesel fuel story, concluding: "Costly, but if it works,
finally ridding the air of those noxious odors and ugly black clouds that
plague streets and highways." Dan Lothian provided a full story on
the EPA's claims about the risk of cancer from Dioxin. His expert in
soundbites: Lois Gibbs, author of a book titled Dying from Dioxin.
hard-edged media skepticism. Bill and Hillary smile at each other and wave
-- and NBC News swoons. "Together again, Bill and Hillary Clinton,
the picture of harmony," heralded Tom Brokaw Wednesday evening over
video of the two as she accepted New York's Democratic Party Senate
nomination Tuesday night in Albany.
Andrea Mitchell, without
irony, asserted that Hillary accepted the nomination with "her loyal
husband at her side." Mitchell soon compliantly passed along how
"friends say he is his wife's best advisor." She also relayed
how friends say "that this couple has banded together once again,
politically and emotionally. It's her turn, the President believes, and
he's helping with every decision...knowing if she wins, it could be one
of the most historic parts of his legacy." Oh joy.
After Mitchell's piece
aired on MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams, the host of the same
wondered if Hillary's race will "truly resonate across the United
Brokaw set up the May 17
story, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "NBC News 'In
Depth' tonight. Together again, Bill and Hillary Clinton, the picture of
harmony last night as the First Lady was officially nominated to run for
the U.S. Senate from New York. Bill and Hillary first met back in their
law school days at Yale. They were married in 1975. That marriage appeared
to be close to coming apart after the Lewinsky scandal, but last night, as
Hillary took center stage, the President was there as well. NBC's Andrea
Mitchell on the re-invention, once again, of the Clintons, In Depth."
Mitchell celebrated: "Hillary Clinton nominated by
acclimation at the top of her game, her loyal husband at her side."
Hillary Clinton, at the podium: "I am delighted
that the President is here this evening, and I am so grateful, I am so
grateful for his support. I would not be standing here tonight were it not
for Bill, and were it not for all he has done for me."
Mitchell: "The same Bill Clinton who was impeached
after scandalizing the nation and his wife? How did they go from this [two
walking side-by-side sternly], less than two year ago, to this? [two on
stage in Albany smiling]"
Historian Doris Kearns
Goodwin supplied the answer: "It does suggest that she sees him as a
great resource now, and I suspect we'll see a lot more of him during
this campaign for her."
Mitchell passed along amazement from sycophants:
"Even long-time political associates concede it is an amazing story
of political re-invention. The ultimate power couple. The first First Lady
to run for office and the President who cancels two Washington fundraisers
at the last minute to be with her."
Bill Clinton, on the podium in Albany: "I said
I've been with you folks a long time. If you'll let me go hear my wife
give a speech, I'll do any event you want anywhere in America at any
time forever in the future."
Mitchell gushed: "In fact, the President jokes in
this White House video about Hillary's career taking off while he's
left behind [clip of spoof video of Bill Clinton, bag lunch in hand,
chasing after Hillary's car, saying she forgot her lunch]. But behind
the scenes, friends say he is his wife's best advisor."
Dee Dee Myers: "Not only is he great as the
candidate, he is a great political strategist. He understands the dynamics
of a race."
Mitchell: "Still associates say the Clintons
debated until the last moment whether he should show up for her nomination
worrying he would overshadow her...And when people ask where is the
outrage over the Clinton revival?"
Sally Quinn, Washington Post: "People are saying,
they're looking at Bill Clinton, they're saying he's gone, he's
history, stick a fork in him, he's done. It doesn't matter anymore.
Quinn certainly reflects
the attitude of political reporters.
Mitchell finally, sort
of, broached in one clause a negative, but still failed to suggest the
possibility it's all a big act, that Bill and Hillary are just acting
the way polls show the public wants them to be. Mitchell concluded:
"Critics may call it a power trip, but the bottom
line, friends say, is that this couple has banded together once again,
politically and emotionally. It's her turn, the President believes, and
he's helping with every decision -- message, polling, campaign events.
Showing up if it helps, knowing if she wins, it could be one of the most
historic parts of his legacy."
While probably still
under the spell of Mitchell's piece, after it ran on his MSNBC show
anchor Brian Williams wondered: "Will Hillary Rodham Clinton's race
truly resonate across the United States?"
Doris Kearns Goodwin answered: "I'm not so sure.
I mean I think that it will, mainly because the newspapers and the
television will make it resonate...."
NBC sure is trying. And
that's about the first sensible thing Goodwin has said in any of her
frequent NBC/MSNBC appearances.
playful Elian with his father showcased by the networks, but Elian decked
out in communist garb not considered newsworthy by any network but FNC.
Last Wednesday, May 10,
all the network evening programs showed new photos of Elian playing catch,
carousing with his playmates and laughing with his father. Exactly a week
later the Miami Herald showcased a photo of Elian, at the Wye River
Plantation, decked out in the uniform of the Pioneers, the communist youth
indoctrination group in Cuba. In the photo, displayed alongside the
Web-posted Herald story plugged by the Drudge Report, Elian is wearing a
blue neckerchief with a white shirt which is emblazoned with the image of
But not a word about how
Elian was wearing communist garb while still in the United States aired,
nor was the photo shown, on the ABC, CBS or NBC Wednesday morning shows.
Wednesday night ABC, CBS and NBC still refused to show viewers the photo,
as did CNN and MSNBC. ABC actually ran an item about Miami asking the
federal government for compensation for Elian costs, but still didn't
put up the photo. CBS, MSNBC and NBC did have time for stories on the
unveiling in Chicago of "Sue," a full-size dinosaur skeleton.
MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams devoted two segments to replaying a
Dateline story about the dangers of unregulated roller coasters.
[Web update: Thursday morning, May 18,
ABC's Good Morning America briefly showed the new Elian photo. NBC's Today
and CBS's The Early Show did not.]
Only FNC's May 17
Special Report with Brit Hume let non-Miami Herald readers see the photo.
Hume explained over the color picture:
"Elian Gonzalez's Miami relatives think there is
now evidence that the brainwashing that they feared awaited the
six-year-old back in Cuba has already begun. They're upset about this
new photo showing Elian wearing the blue kerchief, emblem of the so-called
Pioneers, which is Cuba's youth communist league. Miami Cubans told the
Miami Herald the league is an instrument of Castro's indoctrination and
that parents who do not enroll their children are ostracized and denied
+++ See the
network-suppressed photo as shown by FNC. Thursday morning MRC Webmaster
Andy Szul will post a shot of it as taken from Hume's story.
Later, in the
roundtable, Fred Barnes suggested: "If there were a comparable thing
that, if there were some Cuban-American thing or anti-Castro thing that
his relatives in Miami had put around him and that he was wearing, the
American press corps would have been in high dudgeon."
To be fair to the other
networks, I should note that not even FNC's own general interest news
show, the 7pm ET Fox Report, which began ten minutes after Barnes made his
comment, showed the Elian photo.
ABC worried about what
Elian cost Miami. On World News Tonight Peter Jennings announced: "In
Florida today, Miami-Dade County and the Miami police department have
asked the federal government for $5 million to make up money they spent
putting extra police on the street while Elian Gonzalez was staying with
his Miami relatives. They also want the government to pay for street
cleaning. They're not likely to get it."
For more on the photo,
one of five newly released pictures, and reaction to them, here's an
excerpt from the May 17 Miami Herald story by Marika Lynch and Frances
The latest pictures of Elian Gonzalez
showed the boy studying at the Wye Plantation and playing an instrument
typical in Caribbean bands. But what angered Cuban Americans on Tuesday
was the neckerchief the boy wore -- the uniform for the Pioneers, the
youth communist league.
Modeled after groups in the former Soviet
Union, the Pioneers instill communist ideals through songs, schedule
weekend trips to help with harvests in the countryside, and instruct
children to repeat the group allegiance 'Pioneers for communism, we will
be like Che [Guevara].'
Membership is expected for Cuban children,
who join in the first grade and wear the Pioneers uniform to school.
Parents of students who refuse to enroll are ostracized, labeled
counterrevolutionaries and denied promotions at work, said Jaime Suchlicki,
director of the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and
Cuban-American Studies. Pioneer members also are instructed to tell on
their parents if they make statements against the revolution.
The pictures, released in the Cuban daily
Granma, confirmed the worst fears of many Cuban exiles, who believed the
boy will be brainwashed by the Cuban government as long as he is with his
"Is Elian in Cuba?" a confused
Gladys Chong asked, when her husband, Ramon, burst through the door of
their Southwest Miami-Dade home with the news of the images.
"No," Ramon Chong, a security
guard who came to the United States four years ago, told her. "It
seems communism has penetrated the United States."....
The images also troubled Dr. Marta Molina,
a psychologist who in her 20-year career in Cuba said she treated 500
children with problems she said stemmed from communist indoctrination.
"The oppression has already started," Molina said.
The Pioneer uniform is part of a strategy
to ensure the boy's return, she said, by convincing Elian that he wants to
return to Cuba so he will tell the courts as much....
The pictures, five in all, did not have
captions explaining when they were taken. One showed an indoor classroom
scene, with Elian sitting in the front row, wearing the blue Pioneer scarf
and a white T-shirt with a picture of Cuban patriot Jose Marti. Wearing
the same outfit, he was seen reading at a desk and being supervised by a
woman, who presumably was his teacher, Agueda Fleitas. In another
close-up, Elian was apparently in a music class playing claves, hardwood
sticks that provide a beat for Caribbean music....
To read the entire
story, go to:
was always fair and never intimidated," declared Tom Brokaw in a May
16 NBC Nightly News tribute to UPI White House reporter Helen Thomas. But
as the MRC's Tim Graham demonstrated in browsing through the MRC's
quote archive, she left of legacy of liberalism. (Thomas quit this week
after decades at the White House because News World Communications,
affiliated with the Unification Church, bought UPI.)
For instance, on C-SPAN's
Journalists' Roundtable back on December 31, 1993, she argued reporters
are liberal because they care: "A liberal bias? I don't know what a
liberal bias is. Do you mean do we care about the poor, the sick, and the
maimed? Do we care whether people are being shot every day on the streets
of America? If that's liberal, so be it. I think it's everything that's
good in life, that we do care. And also for the solutions, we seek
solutions and we do think that we are all responsible for what happens in
Here's the text of the
rest of the May 17 Media Reality Check fax report compiled by Tim, titled,
"Helen Thomas, Legendary Liberal: Long-Time UPI White House
Correspondent Quits Rather Than Work for Conservative Owners."
Long-time UPI White House reporter Helen
Thomas quit yesterday, a day after the wire service was sold to News World
Communications, the owners of the Washington Times, affiliated with the
Unification Church. Thomas didn't say she was looking for a new gig
because UPI was now owned by conservatives.
But UPI International Editor Lee Michael
Katz also resigned, telling The New York Times "I cannot work for the
new owners." He was not surprised Thomas joined him: "Look at
the timing of this, and Helen's devotion." A look at a few quotes
shows Thomas's devotion to liberalism. At a Milwaukee lunch in March,
she announced George W. Bush and John McCain "are about as far right
as you could get without dropping off the edge."
-- Ronald Reagan. On December 30, 1988
Thomas recalled the Reagan era on the CBS show Nightwatch: "I think
there's a question mark on the domestic policy: I think he left an
uncaring society...a government that was not as concerned."
In the July 1993 Good Housekeeping, Thomas
elaborated: "All of us who covered the Reagans agreed that President
Reagan was personable and charming. But I'm not so certain he was nice.
It's hard for me to think of anyone as nice when I hear him say 'The
homeless are homeless because they want to be homeless.' To my mind, a
President should care about all people, and he didn't, which is why I will
always feel Reagan lacked soul."
-- Jimmy Carter. In the same interview,
Thomas stated: "In Plains, I saw Jimmy Carter as he really is - a
nice, decent man....in terms of compassionate contribution to society, he
certainly has proven to be our best past President."
-- The Kennedys. Thomas discussed the death
of JFK Jr. on CNN's Reliable Sources last July 18: "Everything that
happened to the First Family, they added a certain glamour everybody could
tie into in some way. And I think that's what happened. We think of the
family. We think of all of the tragedies and the glamour and the mischief
and so forth all wrapped up into one, but mostly hope."
-- Bill Clinton. Tom Brokaw declared,
"Helen was always fair and never intimidated." But Thomas
avoided asking about Juanita Broaddrick's rape charges in a press
briefing the day The Wall Street Journal broke the story on February 19,
1999. Instead she asked Clinton what was learned "from your 13 month
She did pose a vague Broaddrick question
days later. Then on March 5, 1999, she asked about Kosovo, and hit Clinton
from the left: "My other question is how can you justify chipping
away at the ABM treaty which helped keep the peace during the Cold War and
pour billions and billions into a Star Wars defense against the
possibility that starving North Korea may fire a missile at us?"
On October 14, 1999, she rued the defeat of
a nuclear test-ban treaty: "Mr. President, hasn't the treaty
rejection really wiped out our moral authority to ask other nations around
the world to stop testing? And was there -- do you think there was a
personal element in the Republican [vote], a personal vendetta against
this guy up as the CyberAlert Tennessee correspondent. The May 16 News
with Brian Williams on MSNBC featured a lengthy segment showing Republican
pollster Frank Luntz questioning a focus group in Tennessee about their
views of Al and Tipper Gore.
Somehow MSNBC failed to
edit out this comment, from a man named Tom, which MRC analyst Paul Smith
caught: "I hear the criticism all the time that George Bush is not
from Texas. Well, George Bush is a lot more from Texas than Al Gore ever
thought about being from Tennessee. And that's when this liberal media
bias seems to come in and they'll harp on something like that with a
Republican and they never bring it up, or these exaggerations. Had Dan
Quayle said the same things that Al Gore has said, like inventing the
Internet, you would have never heard the end of it and he would have been
tarred and feathered every night day in and day out."
Couldn't have said it
the May 17 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Hillary
Clinton Campaign Slogans." Copyright 2000 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. "Because No Clinton Has Ever
Disgraced The Office Of Senator"
9. "I'll Try Not To Misplace Or Shred Important Legislation"
8. "Endorsed By The CBS Jesus"
7. "If You Slept With My Husband, The Least You Can Do Is Vote For
6. "I've Loved Every One Of The 17 Days I've Spent Here In New
5. "Of The Two Insane Power-Hungry Candidates, I'm Better At
Pretending To Be Nice"
4. "Vote For Me Or I'll Have Bill Poison Your Water Supply"
3. "Never Indicted...Knock On Wood!"
2. "I Can Run New York -- Hell, I Ran The Whole Country"
1. "Wait'll You See The Scandals I'm Planning!"
And from the Late Show
Web page, some of the "also rans" that didn't make the final
cut because Letterman's writers produce "more brilliant jokes than
can fit in a Top Ten List."
-- "I Can Deal With Political Weasels
-- Hell, I Married One"
-- "Let's Nuke Jersey!"
-- "As You Can See By My Marriage, I'll Let You Do Whatever The Hell
-- "Fighting For Jobs, Education, and Whatever Else You Need To
Pretend To Care About These Days"
-- "Indictment-Free Since '93"
a disproportionate share of CyberAlert readers live in the Washington, DC
area I thought I'd alert readers to a significant addition to the Fox
News Channel distribution: The 275,000 customers of Cox Communications
cable in Fairfax County, Virginia, the overnight home base of the
CyberAlert newsroom. FNC is now on channel 28, but will move to channel 6
on June 1, a lot lower position than MSNBC, which is way up on channel
104. -- Brent Baker
Support the MRC, an educational foundation dependent upon contributions
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