Conventions 2000: Media Reality Check, Wednesday AM Edition
Party"? Networks Say No. Tom Brokaw: "Isn't It About
Intolerance?" Gerald Ford asked if "disappointed" by non
pro-choice VP. Tom Brokaw: "This is the convention of inclusion, so-called.
The platform, however, represents the ideology of these convention delegates.
It is very conservative."
2) Brokaw & Rather: McCain in
2004: McCain Offered "Honest Dialogue" on Campaign Finance Reform.
Dan Rather hoped: "If he [Bush] doesn't win, you'd make another run,
3) McCain Has Now
"Released" the Press? Rather, Brokaw & Jennings Attended Dinner
Hosted by McCain.
4) Back in 1992 Gore Tagged as
"Conservative": Will Labeling Cheney As An Extremist Continue
5) MSNBC Avoided Actual Speeches:
"I wanted to watch the convention but my TV only gets MSNBC."
6) Sidebar items: DNC Chief's Spin
Relayed By CBS's Schieffer; Become Transsexuals?; Clinton Backs Man Who Voted
Just Like Cheney -- on the resolution to recognize the ANC, aka in media
parlance, the vote against letting Mandela out of prison.
7) Quote of the Night: MSNBC asked
a "pro-choice" Governor if the GOP has an "inclusive
position" on abortion.
page story. "Inclusive Party"? Networks Say No. Tom Brokaw:
"Isn't It About Intolerance?"
organizers may have designed a conclave geared toward showing off an
inclusive party, but Tuesday night the networks made sure home viewers
realized the charade.
"Inclusive"? No way, CBS's Bill Whitaker assessed as he even
raised the ghost of Willie Horton. "When you see the faces on the
stage and hear the rhetoric," Whitaker asserted over video clips of
Bush on the campaign trail, "you get the message of a party of
inclusion, but turn the camera and the sea of faces sends a different
message." In his CBS Evening News piece, Whitaker contended:
rare crowd with more than a handful of faces of color and most of those
seem strategically placed within camera range." Whitaker suggested
Bush has taken "a page from President Bill Clinton's play book: seize
the middle and smooth the party's rough edges. So while his father ran on
Willie Horton...George W. Bush is reaching across the color line in words
and photo ops."
MSNBC's prime time
team, with a few exceptions from Lisa Myers, again pounded away at
interviewees from the left. See "Quote of the Night" below.
-- Andrea Mitchell
to Gerald Ford: "You had made a very public appeal to your party to
choose a pro_choice running mate. And Dick Cheney does not meet that test.
Are you at all disappointed on that score alone?"
-- Maria Shriver
to gay Congressman Jim Kolbe: "So many gays and lesbians in this
country find a better home, they say, in the Democratic Party. They think
it is more inclusive. They look at the platform...that the Republican
Party only views marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, and
they say that is not a home for me, that is not an inclusive party. Why do
you feel differently?" Back up in the booth Tom Brokaw scolded Jerry
Falwell: "But ultimately isn't it about intolerance, not about
-- Brokaw to Karl
Rove: "This is the convention of inclusion, so_called. The platform,
however, represents the ideology of these convention delegates. It is very
conservative. Especially on issues like abortion."
of page two article. Brokaw & Rather: McCain in 2004: McCain Offered
"Honest Dialogue" on Campaign Finance Reform.
made clear Tuesday night how they regret McCain's demise. On MSNBC Tom
Brokaw suggested: "John McCain is 62 years old. There are already
those who are speculating that if George W. Bush doesn't make it this
time, will John McCain be back in the hunt in four years? He certainly was
an electrifying figure in this campaign and a welcome addition in terms of
the honest dialogue that went on about campaign finance reform."
Earlier, on the
NBC Nightly News, Lisa Myers looked at how big corporations are
"paying to play" in Philadelphia. Myers concluded by ruing:
"Critics say it's hardly a surprise that campaign finance reform is
not high on the Republican agenda. Even the champion of reform, Senator
John McCain has fallen silent and has no plans to specifically mention it
in tonight's speech."
Evening News devoted a long segment to a panel of Dan Rather, Gloria
Borger and Bob Schieffer interviewing McCain. Instead of challenging
McCain's liberal proposal, they bemoaned his failure. Rather sighed:
"Senator, is campaign finance reform, for all practical purposes,
dead?" Borger charged: "Here you are at this convention that is
essentially bought and paid for by special interests. We see the signs all
over the convention hall, the parties that are going on... Do you find
Back to Rather, he
hoped: "Senator, you've made it very clear that you're supporting
George Bush, you've come full for him, and you expect him to win. If he
doesn't win, you'd make another run, wouldn't you?" Schieffer tried
to transfer his disappointment: "But won't you be a little wistful,
though, when George Bush is up there making that speech? Because after
all, I mean, you're a human being, that could be you, that could have been
you standing there."
Schieffer and his
colleagues certainly wished so.
on the bottom half of page two. McCain Has Now "Released" the
Press? Rather, Brokaw & Jennings Attended Dinner Hosted by McCain.
media stars attended a dinner over the weekend hosted by John McCain, Fred
Barnes reported in the August 1 The Daily Standard. Barnes recalled a
campaign bias anecdote: "When aides of George W. Bush groused last
winter about John McCain's habit of currying favor with the national
press, McCain strategist Mike Murphy delivered a half serious response.
'Look,' he said, 'Bush is playing to his base,' the Christian Right.
'We're playing to ours.'"
fresh evidence: "Now, his race for the Republican presidential
nomination over, McCain is still courting the media. Hours after arriving
at the Republican National Convention, he hosted a private dinner not for
his donors or advisers or family, but for national press bigwigs. The
guest list included TV anchors Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, and Peter Jennings,
Sunday talk show hosts Tim Russert and Bob Schieffer, writers (and talking
heads) Joe Klein, R.W. Apple, David Broder, Al Hunt, Mark Shields,
Margaret Carlson, and Anthony Lewis, and CNN honcho Rick Kaplan. 'Sunday
afternoon McCain released his delegates,' an aide said. 'Sunday night he
released the press.'"
But they don't
appear to be "released." To read the Barnes story from
Philadelphia about McCain's conversion to a Bush-backer, go to: http://www.theweeklystandard.com/2001conventions/index.html#story1
Top of page three story. Back in 1992 Gore Tagged as
"Conservative": Will Labeling Cheney As An Extremist Continue
The networks spent
much of last week making sure viewers realized how far out of the
mainstream Dick Cheney really is, but back in 1992 they not only avoided
labeling Clinton's VP pick, Al Gore, as a liberal, they described him as
"moderate" or even "conservative." Cheney earned a
lifetime 91 percent from the American Conservative Union while Gore was at
the opposite end of the spectrum at 15 percent.
Still, the night
Gore was announced in 1992, CBS reporter Richard Threlkeld claimed:
"Both Gore and Clinton are centrist, some would say conservative
Democrats, and white and male." Tom Brokaw announced on NBC:
"Today, Bill Clinton broke the rules. He chose someone from the same
gene pool: a fellow moderate Southerner of the same generation, Senator Al
Gore of Tennessee." During the convention, CBS's Susan Spencer found
delegates willing to accept "such a conservative pair in hopes of
Compare that to
how Cheney was described the day Bush made his selection official, July
-- ABC: Linda
Douglass referred to him as one of the "most conservative
members" of Congress who had "a very conservative voting
record." George Stephanopoulos dubbed him a "very hardline
-- CBS: Bill
Whitaker managed three different adjectives, tagging Cheney "a
bedrock conservative" and "a rock solid conservative" with
a "a solidly conservative voting record."Bryant Gumbel put
Cheney outside the mainstream: "Cheney's politics are of the hard
-- NBC: Anne
Thompson noted his "very conservative record." Lisa Myers
recalled his days in Congress: "His voting record? Very
of page three story. MSNBC Avoided Actual Speeches "I wanted to watch
the convention but my TV only gets MSNBC."
watching the Republican National Convention on MSNBC," an announcer
promised periodically Tuesday night on the cable channel. It would have
been more accurate to say you're watching NBC News staff talk amongst
themselves and with analysts. One could quip: "I wanted to watch the
convention but my TV only gets MSNBC."
CNN and FNC showed
some of Jim Kolbe's address, but not MSNBC. That, however, did not prevent
Maria Shriver from quizzing him afterward about the GOP's intolerance
MSNBC also shunned
other speeches shown by CNN and FNC, including Norman Schwarzkopf's
speech, only showed about three minutes of Bob Dole as they instead
interviewed Jesse Ventura, and talked to James Carville and Bill Bennett
during the video tribute to Gerald Ford, though they did play most of the
In the 10pm ET
hour MSNBC squeezed in a couple of minutes or so of Condoleeza Rice and
skipped over Elizabeth Dole. But NBC maximized exposure for John McCain,
showing his speech in full on MSNBC and cutting into Dateline NBC (as did
CBS to end 60 Minutes II), to broadcast it.
Three sidebars items run along the sides of pages two and three. DNC
Chief's Spin Relayed By CBS's Schieffer; Become Transsexuals?; Clinton
Backs Man Who Voted Just Like Cheney [on the resolution to recognize the
ANC, aka in media parlance, the vote against letting Mandela out of
DNC Chief's Spin
Relayed By CBS's Schieffer
DNC Chairman Joe Andrew on Tuesday's CNN Inside
Politics: "Americans of all races are very cynical about what's going
on here at the Republican National Convention because they recognize that
there's more Hispanic and African-American speakers on this stage than
there are delegates to this convention."
CBS News reporter
Bob Schieffer to John McCain in a taped interview shown an hour later on
the CBS Evening News: "Senator, one thing I was struck by last night,
there were more African American on the stage than there were among the
delegations that came to that convention last night. Did you think that
accurately reflects the Republican Party today, what we saw last
The GOP is not inclusive enough for Newsweek's
Jonathan Alter. At a "Shadow Convention" panel Tuesday night in
Philadelphia attended by MRC staffers, the moderator said the convention
displayed "political cross dressing."
"What they did last night with the cross dressing, I guess the best
face you could put on it, is that we really want them to be a more
rational party that actually embraces inclusiveness, of the practice as
opposed to just rhetorical. Over the years, cross dressers do sometimes
Clinton Backs Man
Who Voted Just Like Cheney
Network interviewers have bombarded Republicans
with demands they explain Dick Cheney's vote in the 1980s "against
releasing" Nelson Mandela from prison.
On Monday Bill
Clinton campaigned for Florida's Democratic Senate candidate, Bill Nelson,
whom, National Review Online disclosed, voted as a House member against
the very same resolution. Stephen F. Hayes reported how Clinton had
blasted Republicans: "An amazing vote cast by their vice-presidential
nominee when he was in Congress against letting Nelson
Mandela out of jail...That takes your
"If the Cheney vote took his breath away, Clinton might well be on
his knees, red-faced, clutching his throat and gasping for air when he
learns that 32 of his fellow Democrats voted with Cheney, against the
resolution. And he might be thoroughly asphyxiated if he knew he spent all
day Monday campaigning for someone who had cast the exact same vote."
offered no condemnation of Nelson. Instead, he gushed: "I know we
ought to have people in the Senate who have the values and the judgment,
and just the way of operating that Bill Nelson does."
FNC's Brit Hume on
Tuesday night noted Clinton's hypocrisy, but will anyone else in the
To read the piece
in full by Hayes, go to:
of the Night: "It's very clear that the Republican Party is trying to
and needs to reach out to women. Do you think that the party ought to have
a more inclusive position on abortion? Do you feel that's getting swept
under the rug?" -- NBC's Claire Shipman on MSNBC to NJ Gov. Christie
END Reprints of
Media Reality Check articles
certainly aren't letting it get "swept under the rug."
+++ Watch Shipman
on the convention floor challenge Whitman from the left instead of
approaching the representative of the GOP's moderate-liberal wing from
the right. Later this morning MRC Webmaster Andy Szul will post a
RealPlayer on the MRC's home page.
"Conventions 2000: Media Reality Check" compiled by me with the
late night work of MRC analysts Geoffrey Dickens, Jessica Anderson, Paul
Smith and Brad Wilmouth. Plus Andy Szul loading up the Web page at
sunrise. In Philadelphia: Tim Graham, Liz Swasey and Joyce Garczynski. -- Brent Baker
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