Gore's "Quick-Silver Intelligence"; Whitman's Racist Photo; Jennings Mocked Fear of Soviet Union
1) Al Gore jumping from issue to
issue trying to find a winning one? CNN relayed the spin from his aides that
he's really flaunting the "breadth" of his "quick-silver
2) CBS devoted a whole story to
the photo of NJ Governor Whitman frisking a black suspect during a ride-along.
Jim Axelrod lectured: "No matter how many speeches George Bush makes at
NAACP conventions...angry African-Americans in New Jersey say this is why they
have problems with Republicans."
3) The Washington Post complained
Bush refrained from "explicitly acknowledging his party's failure to
support much of the 1960s-era civil rights agenda." But National Review
pointed out how a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats backed civil
4) FNC's Brit Hume ran an item
Tuesday night on his show about the plight of conservative columnist Jeff
Jacoby who was suspended by the Boston Globe.
5) Helen Thomas on Bill Clinton:
"I think he is a man of peace" and as for all his scandal troubles,
"I feel that his heart was in the right place. He's done a lot of good
6) More on Gumbel's "What a
f***ing idiot" blast: FNC's Hannity & Colmes enlarged the video and
went frame by frame; Cal Thomas suggested "it reveals a deeply-held
perspective"; and Capitol Hill Blue insisted Mark McEwen was Gumbel's
7) FNC's Jim Angle uniquely
revealed that while Al Gore is denouncing ads by drug companies, he employs as
his ad guru a man who just months ago tried to land that corporate image
8) Peter Jennings used news that
the Soviet Union gave up on making gas-powered boots as a hook to mock Cold
War concern about the Soviet Union: "Ah, yes, we used to take the Soviet
Union so seriously."
online, thanks to the MRC's Andy Szul and Kristina Sewell, the July 10
edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the
latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media.
Amongst the quote headings: "Hillary Plus Bill's
'Expertise'"; "No Liberals on Supreme Court";
"Can't Spend Enough for ABC"; "Perhaps It's Jim Avila
Who Needs Deprogramming"; "Is Cuba Bad or Good? It's a
'Complicated Question'"; "Elian, Free at Last from
Miami"; "'Barbaric' Death of a Killer? And "Fighting
Cocks of Clinton High?"
To read this issue, go to:
To see it in PDF format which shows the layout of
the hard copy, go to:
You'll need Adobe's Acrobat Reader to view the
PDF, and the non-PDF address above features a link for the free download
from Adobe. <<<
Correction: The July 11 CyberAlert referred
to "Jim Romanescu's MediaNews." His name is spelled "Romenesko."
But the Web address was correct: http://www.poynter.org/medianews/
Spin of the Day, Week, Month....? On Tuesday's Inside Politics CNN
reporter Bill Delaney looked at the state of the Gore campaign. First he
gave the view of detractors: "What's really going on, say critics
of the Gore campaign, is that it continues to fragment, like mercury on a
table, with each shudder of an unsympathetic focus group."
At this point, after
that unusual science analogy, Delaney added what must be considered the
spin of the day, week, month and maybe even the quarter: "To which
Gore supporters respond, what you're seeing is the natural reach and
breadth of a candidate with a restless, quick-silver intelligence."
matter how many speeches George Bush makes at NAACP conventions,"
CBS's Jim Axelrod warned, "angry African-Americans in New Jersey
say this is why they have problems with Republicans." The
"this" was a four-year-old blurry photo of New Jersey Governor
Christie Todd Whitman patting down a black man during a ride-along with a
New Jersey state trooper.
ABC and CBS led Tuesday
night with the Middle East peace meetings at Camp David and both CBS and
NBC ran full stories, prompted by a Senate hearing, about downloading
music from Web sites. Other than CBS's piece on Whitman, no
campaign-related stories appeared. Progress on vaccines for AIDS and
Alzheimers topped the NBC Nightly News.
Axelrod began his July
11 piece: "It's a four-year-old picture now working its way
center-stage in America's debate about race." Axelrod led into a
soundbite from an ACLU lawyer by admonishing: "Tonight, one
person's photo-op is another's example of glaring insensitivity."
Kind of a strange
definition of a photo-op since the photo, obviously taken by an amateur,
did not become public until four years after it was taken. CBS did not
explain that the photo was released as part of discovery in a lawsuit.
Axelrod reminded viewers
of how New Jersey has had a problem with racial profiling, which he
defined in Al Sharpton-like terms: "The police practice of stopping
minorities for being minorities." Actually, it's more like
determining the age and race of those who commit the preponderance of
crime in a particular area and then checking matching people more closely.
A few years ago New
Jersey state troopers shot three unarmed black men, Axelrod recalled,
adding: "Whitman's probe ruled the troopers did engage in the
practice [of racial profiling], but now her critics say this picture sends
another message: Strong but wrong."
After a clip from
Democratic State Senator Wayne Bryant, Axelrod worried the revelation
could hurt the VP chances of the pro-choice Republican Governor. Over
video of Bush at the NAACP meeting Monday followed by a freeze-frame of
the still shot of Whitman behind the black suspect, Axelrod stressed:
"No matter how many speeches George Bush makes at
NAACP conventions, or how many black hands Whitman shakes, angry
African-Americans in New Jersey say this is why they have problems with
Bryant: "She would never have been in Somerset
County where she lives doing this in the white suburbs."
Whitman: "It didn't matter who that person was,
he was a suspect."
Axelrod concluded: "Maybe a picture is worth a
thousand words, but which story it tells depends on who's looking at
Washington Post reported Tuesday that during his NAACP address George W.
Bush refrained from "explicitly acknowledging his party's failure to
support much of the 1960s-era civil rights agenda." But as National
Review pointed out, there's nothing to "acknowledge" as a
higher percentage of Republican House and Senate members than Democratic
ones supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
In a July 11 front page
story, headlined "Bush Vows Better Ties to Blacks," reporters
Terry M. Neal and Michael A. Fletcher asserted:
"In his 15-minute address, Bush quoted Jackie
Robinson and W.E.B. DuBois and invoked his religious convictions to make
his case before the NAACP supporters. And without explicitly acknowledging
his party's failure to support much of the 1960s-era civil rights agenda,
he chastised the GOP, saying that 'there's no escaping the reality that
the party of Lincoln has not always carried the mantle of
In their July 11
Washington Bulletin, National Review's Internet update, John J. Miller and
Ramesh Ponnuru quoted the Post passage about failing to acknowledge, and
"Perhaps that's because there's no failure to
acknowledge. In fact, Republicans in both the House and Senate were more
likely than Democrats to favor, say, the 1964 Civil Rights Act. (In the
Senate, Republican support was 82 percent, compared to 69 percent among
Democrats; in the House, it was 80 percent and 63 percent, respectively.)
Many conservatives voted against the legislation on federalist or
libertarian grounds. And yes, many Southern Democrats who also opposed it
(Vice President Gore's father, for instance) later drifted toward the GOP.
But the truth of the matter, contra Neal and Fletcher, is that Republicans
did in fact support much of the 1960s-era civil rights agenda."
Miller and Ramesh
Ponnuru asked and answered their own question: "So why is that
Democrats never do the apologizing at NAACP conventions? Well, Bush
himself essentially asked for the Post's rebuff, however erroneous it is,
when he said that 'there's no escaping the reality that the party of
Lincoln has not always carried the mantle of Lincoln.' It's not clear
what this is supposed to mean."
Indeed, as noted in the
July 11 CyberAlert, ABC also picked up on that line from Bush as Dean
Reynolds suggested: "Bush's speech here today was, in many ways, a
political act of contrition."
Brit Hume ran an item Tuesday night about the plight of Jeff Jacoby.
During the "Political Grapevine" segment of the July 11 Special
Report with Brit Hume, he announced:
"Conservatives are outraged about the Boston
Globe's suspension of its only conservative columnist, Jeff Jacoby, over
a column he wrote based on material that had first appeared on the
Internet and elsewhere. Jacoby did some research of his own to check the
facts in his July 3rd column about the fates of those who signed the
Declaration of Independence. But because he failed to inform readers the
column was not entirely original, he was suspended without pay for four
months for what the paper called quote, 'serious journalistic
misconduct.' For the record, information in this item is not entirely
For the record, nothing
in this CyberAlert is entirely original.
think he is a man of peace" and as for all his scandal troubles,
"I feel that his heart was in the right place. He's done a lot of
good things." So declared former UPI White House reporter Helen
Thomas in a Monday night appearance on MSNBC's The News with Brian
Williams to promote her new gig as a columnist for Hearst Newspapers.
(Whichever ones are still left other than the Houston Chronicle and
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, though I'm sure her pieces will be
syndicated by Hearst's King Features.)
On the July 10 show
Williams got her assessments of several of the Presidents she covered.
After Kennedy, he asked: "What about his successor, Lyndon
Johnson?" She gushed: "Great. He was incredible on domestic
affairs. He got through more in his first two years of office than anyone
perhaps except for FDR, New Deal. He got through Medicare, the Civil
Rights Act, voting rights for blacks for the first time. Federal aid to
education at all levels, public housing, you name it."
Williams soon arrived at
Clinton, and MRC analyst Paul Smith picked up on her praise of his
policies too. Williams queried: "How much talent, pure political
talent, does this President have compared to others you've covered?"
Thomas showed her admiration for Clinton: "Well I
think he certainly has a lot of talent. I think that he gets no credit for
the prosperity but he certainly deserves a lot of credit along with
Greenspan and Rubin, Secretary Rubin, former and so forth. I think that
the President has really created an atmosphere, I think he is a man of
peace and I think the American people wanted him to remain in
"And yet others, especially his critics in the other party, say he's
cheapened the office you covered for seven Presidents."
Thomas deferred: "I don't, I don't say that."
Williams: "How do you feel about that
Thomas rejected it: "I feel that his heart was in
the right place. He's done a lot of good things."
Williams: "Do you think the news media were the
problem. Was it an overzealous prosecutor? Was it an overzealous news
media? Was it a combination of the two that made for his troubles in
Thomas then at least said Clinton had to blame himself:
"No, I think that he will have to admit that he was the cause of a
lot of his own troubles. I don't think the news media or his critics but
when, you ought to know where you are and you ought to know that you are
developments on the Bryant Gumbel vulgar slam front. [Warning, this item
contains a vulgarity. Skip to item #7 if you wish to avoid it.] First,
Monday night FNC's Hannity & Colmes brought aboard the Family
Research Council's Robert Knight, the presumed target of Gumbel's June
29 "What a fucking idiot" outburst, and went frame by frame so
viewers could read his lips. Second, last week the Capitol Hill Blue Web
site ran a story, based on unnamed sources, which insisted Gumbel's
comment was really aimed at weatherman Mark McEwen.
show on FNC first devoted a segment to the Gumbel outburst. Panelist Cal
Thomas argued: "It reveals a deeply-held perspective that is typical
of this man when it deals with Republicans, with moral issues, with
On the July 10 Hannity
& Colmes the FNC show enlarged the video clip as co-host Sean Hannity
narrated what Gumbel's lips showed him saying: "F-ing idiot. Watch.
There it is. There's the F-word, and now idiot, there's the I,
On the June 29 show you
could hear Gumbel say "What a" but then the audio dropped out as
he got out of his chair, which is why reading his lips is key.
Hannity and partner Alan
Colmes went on to discuss the incident with Knight and talk show host
Conrad Muhammad. As evidence of Gumbel's history of slamming
conservatives, Hannity read three Today-era quotes from Gumbel which
Hannity credited to the MRC.
+++ If you found the
MRC's original posting of the Gumbel video too small to be able to read
his lips, especially in the small RealPlayer screen size, check out
FNC's enlarged screen in which they zoomed in so it's easier to see.
Wednesday morning MRC Webmaster Andy Szul will post a RealPlayer clip of
the enhanced Hannity & Colmes version. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
For the original clip as
posted by the MRC, which includes a couple of minutes of hostility from
Gumbel toward Knight leading up to the slam, go to the June 30 CyberAlert
To see from where
Hannity culled his examples of Gumbel's bias, go to videos and text of
the Top Ten Gumbel Stumbles:
Or, an anthology of
Gumbel's bias gathered by the MRC's Liz Swasey:
Last Wednesday the
Capitol Hill Blue Webs site ran an item which claimed Mark McEwen was
Gumbel's real target. Here's an excerpt:
Gumbel uttered the insult on camera shortly
after finishing an interview with Family Research Council spokesman Robert
Knight about the Supreme Court decision upholding the right of the Boy
Scouts to exclude gays as members or scout leaders (a decision Gumbel
The FRC has demanded an apology from Gumbel
and CBS and wants the hotheaded morning host fired. CBS has, so far,
refused comment on the incident.
CBS insiders, however, tell us that neither
Gumbel nor the network has any intention of apologizing to Knight or the
FRC because those close to the turbulent morning show say Gumbel was not
hurling the epithet at Knight, but at Early Show weatherman Mark McEwen.
"Bryant considers Mark a lesser talent
and finds it harder and harder to hide his lack of respect for him,"
says one former Early Show insider. "He was upset over Mark's crowing
about picking one of the participants to be ousted in the Survivor
Gumbel has just finished a contentious
interview with Knight and had introduced McEwen's weather forecast. McEwen,
however, used the time to brag about correctly picking one of the ousted
contestants on the Survivor series.
The camera switched briefly back to Gumbel,
who apparently did not know he was on the air when he muttered "What
a f-----g idiot."
Most watchers who saw the gaffe thought the
host was referring to the interview with Knight, but Early Show staffers
knew immediately that the remark was directed at McEwen.
"It wasn't the first time Bryant used
that particular term to describe Mark and I suspect it won't be the
last," one CBS staffer said. "He considers everyone on the show
to be beneath him and shows nothing but contempt for everyone around
Some on the show belief the switch of the
camera back to Gumbel was anything but an accident.
"More than one person on the control
room would like the public to see just what a horse's ass Bryant Gumbel
really is," said the ex-producer. "What the public got to see
was just who the real f-----g idiot was on the Early Show."
To read the whole story,
heartwarming to think that those around Gumbel have such a lack of respect
for him, I don't buy this argument. I think that Gumbel threw the show
to McEwen, didn't even hear what he said, and then the camera cut back
to Gumbel as he was still focused on his just ended interview. But judge
for yourself. Read a transcript of what occurred including McEwen's
comment, as well as view the incident in context via RealPlayer:
Al Gore is denouncing ads by pharmaceutical companies fighting Medicare
prescription coverage, he employs as his advertising guru a man who just
months ago tried to land that corporate image account, FNC's Jim Angle
uniquely revealed last Friday night.
In a July 7 piece on
Special Report with Brit Hume, Angle pointed out: "For days, Al Gore
has been railing against the pharmaceutical industry and its lobbyists and
blasting an ad campaign sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies, which
he calls 'scurrilous and misleading.'"
Al Gore: "They're on TV, fighting against my
prescription drug benefit plan. And they say that these ads are funded by
Citizens for a Better Medicare.' Well, what a lot of baloney that
Angle then disclosed:
"Gore asked the group to make public where their money is coming
from, but Gore must already know the answer because Fox News has learned
that one of his closest advisers tried to get the contract to run the very
ad campaign Gore criticizes. Carter Eskew, the man in charge of Gore's
message, predicted ads would be needed to counter political attacks on the
drug industry. He didn't get the job, but that's what the current ad
"The group is running the ads, financed largely by drug companies,
out of fear the Democratic plan would lead to price controls. Ironically,
Gore adviser Eskew expressed the same concerns. His four-page pitch for
the ad campaign warned that a presidential candidate might make this an
issue. And the ads, he wrote, should create 'an understanding of the
down-side risks of price controls -- that would dampen enthusiasm for
making prescription drugs the spark used to ignite the 2000 elections.'
And Eskew wrote that, 'In whatever debate materializes, the industry's
most potent asset will be its deep reservoir of respect,' which Gore and
Eskew are now busy trying to tear down, a move that leaves campaign ethics
analysts shaking their heads."
Charles Lewis, Center for Public Integrity: "When
you're railing against an industry and you're found out that some of your
people were trying to work for that industry, it looks -- it looks stupid.
Let's be honest. You look really stupid. You look like you don't know what
you're doing, at the very least. And at the very most, you look like a
ha, all those fools who once worried about a threat from the Soviet Union.
What a joke.
Friday night ABC's
Peter Jennings used the revelation that the Soviet Union gave up on a
project to make gas-powered boots, which enabled the user to take huge
strides and move along at 25 miles per hour, as a hook to mock Cold War
fears of the Soviet Union: "Ah, yes, we used to take the Soviet Union
Jennings set up his
one-minute long July 7 item: "There are some of you, I'm sure, who
remember the days when we in the West were afraid that the Soviet Union
would outdo the West technologically. They had been first into space. The
CIA was pretty impressed, remember? And then the Soviet Union fell apart
and we discovered how far behind they really were -- not that they weren't
Then, over video of a
guy running as he wore big metal boots in which he stood on top of
foot-high pistons, Jennings mocked: "This is the latest example of
their top secret technology revealed: gas-powered boots, so the wearer
could take enormous strides and run up to 25 miles an hour. This way, of
course, Soviet soldiers could outrun tanks and police could outrun
criminals, provided criminals didn't have the boots. The project failed in
the 1980s, but we hear they're gearing up again. We did wonder how you
stop. Ah, yes, we used to take the Soviet Union so seriously."
Those in the nations the
Soviet Union invaded and then enslaved for 40-plus years while media
figures like Jennings undercut the Cold War effort, knew they had to take
the Soviet Army and nuclear weapons quite "seriously."-- Brent Baker
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