Confounded by Gore's Troubles; Bay State Not Liberal; Kerry Not Labeled; Gumbel Not Impressed by Bush
1) Time's Margaret Carlson
confounded by "how Monica could attach to Al Gore and not
2) Talking about Sen. John Kerry,
Newsweek's Evan Thomas scoffed at how the public "still thinks" of
Massachusetts "as being Northeastern liberal." He insisted it's
"moved to the middle."
3) The Washington Post described
Dick Cheney's "bedrock conservatism...in step with militants" and
referred to his "hard-right votes," but applied no ideological tag
to the left-wing John Kerry, calling him only "a handsome, decorated war
4) George W. Bush's actual
record contradicts any claims about compassionate conservatism, Time's Jack
White and The Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt maintained. White insisted that
Cheney "was straight out of the red meat, right-wing part of the
5) Friday morning Bryant Gumbel
was not impressed with Bush's speech, claiming it earned "mixed
grades"; ABC's Michel Martin whined again about how many delegates were
millionaires; George Stephanopoulos claimed voters at home were turned off by
attacks on Gore and were saying "oh come on. Let's move on to the
issues"; Charles Gibson referred to Gore as a "straight-arrow."
6) Last Wednesday night Newt
Gingrich took Tom Brokaw to task for his bias after Brokaw kept complaining
about the GOP's lack of inclusion or tolerance.
7) NBC will be repeating the first
five episodes of West Wing this week, starting with the premiere in which
actor Martin Sheen, as the President, told leaders of the Religious Right to
get their "fat asses out of my White House."
Chairman Brent Bozell discussed convention coverage Friday afternoon on
the Fox News Channel with anchor David Asman. Watch a clip of the
interview via RealPlayer after MRC Webmaster Andy Szul has posted it
Monday morning. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
of the Weekend: Time's Margaret Carlson on CNN's Capital Gang on
Saturday: "One of the mysteries of this campaign is how Monica could
attach to Al Gore and not prosperity. It just confounds me."
of the Weekend runner-up: Massachusetts is no longer a liberal state,
Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas preposterously claimed on
Inside Washington over the weekend.
In a discussion about
possible VP picks for Gore, the name of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry
came up, prompting this from Thomas: "Kerry, he's a Massachusetts
Democrat, which yes Massachusetts has moved to the middle, but the country
doesn't know that, the country still thinks of that as being
Northeastern liberal, the Republic of Taxachusetts and all of that kind of
Imagine, the people
across the country are so clueless that they still think a state with two
left-wing Democratic Senators and all ten House seats held by liberal
Democrats is a liberal state. What naifs! The state which has supposedly
"moved to the middle" ousted its two moderate GOP Congressmen
who won seats in 1994 (Blute and Torkildsen). Sure Massachusetts has a
Republican Governor, hardly a conservative guy, but the state House and
Senate are overwhelmingly controlled by liberal Democrats who also hold
the other key statewide offices: Attorney General and Secretary of State.
example of the bias which awaits if Al Gore chooses John Kerry as his
running mate, this time from the Washington Post. As noted in the August 4
Media Reality Check distributed as a CyberAlert, Kerry has earned a
lifetime rating of 93 percent from the liberal Americans with Democratic
Action while Dick Cheney got a lifetime 91 percent from the American
Conservative Union. Yet it's Cheney who gets the extremist-sounding
Here's the second
paragraph of an August 5 front page story by Matthew Vita and Dan Morgan,
headlined "A Hard-Liner With a Soft Touch." I've put in ALL
CAPS the relevant labels:
"A STAUNCH ANTI-COMMUNIST who shared the BEDROCK
CONSERVATISM of his Wyoming constituents, Cheney was philosophically in
step with MILITANTS such as fellow freshman Newt Gingrich (Ga.). With
them, and sometimes even without them, he cast a series of HARD-RIGHT
votes that have been seized on by Democrats as evidence that Cheney, the
Republican vice presidential nominee, is at odds with the 'compassionate
conservatism' of his running mate, George W. Bush."
Now compare that to the
description of Kerry provided by reporter Ceci Connolly in a story the day
"Kerry, a handsome, decorated war hero, is a
fierce campaigner with an appealing story to tell."
ABC's Linda Douglass
offered a similar ideologically-bereft description in an August 6 World
News Tonight/Sunday story: "Gore campaign sources say the other
leading contender is Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, a decorated Vietnam
vet, a three-term Senator who considered running for President
liberal reporters/pundits weren't fooled by the convention facade of
compassion and inclusion as both maintained that George W. Bush's
conservative record contradicts the ideas of inclusion and compassion.
-- Jack White complained
on Inside Washington:
"Every time he's had a choice, he has gone in
the opposite direction of what you're talking about. When he picked a
running mate he picked a running mate who was straight out of the red
meat, right-wing part of the party. When he was asked about who he wants,
everybody's talking about how he's not making a litmus test about
abortion for Supreme Court nominees, but he says his two favorite Supreme
Court nominees are Scalia and Clarence Tomas, hardly people that most
blacks or Hispanics think are ideal candidates for the court. There's
still some kind of a disconnect between this wonderful public face,
comfortable with Hispanics or whatever, and the decision's this guy has
-- Al Hunt declared on
Saturday's CNN Capital Gang:
"This was a guy who tried to deny health care
coverage to people, for children of working people making between $25 and
$33,000 a year. That is not compassionate conservatism. Some of his ideas
are interesting, but there's no public policy framework behind them and
that's a problem."
up his week as Afternoon Editor of the MRC's "Conventions 2000
Media Reality Check" newsletters, Rich Noyes filed a report on the
Friday morning shows which generally offered positive reviews of George W.
Bush's Thursday night convention speech. But...
-- The only naysayer
about Bush's speech was CBS's Bryant Gumbel, who told Early Show viewers
that the speech was "getting mixed grades coming out of there."
Here's the exchange between Gumbel and substitute co-host Thalia Assuras
at the start of Friday's Early Show, as taken down by MRC analyst Brian
Bryant Gumbel: "Did
you watch W. last night?"
Thalia Assuras: "I certainly did, most of it,
almost got right to the end. I missed the balloons falling."
Assuras: "And, um, he appears potentially more
presidential than I've ever seen him before."
Gumbel: "Well that's good."
Assuras: "Missing a bit of pizzazz. What did you
Gumbel: "Getting mixed grades coming out of there,
getting mixed grades. He didn't have to do much, and he did about as
-- Greedy Republicans.
Meanwhile, ABC's Michel Martin took one last crack at the demographics of
the GOP convention delegates, telling Charles Gibson:
"The biggest applause line of the night for that
delegation was not the line about abortion, it was the line about taxes.
Just a reminder that this audience is not representative of the country on
a whole. The delegates out here, one survey said that 25 percent of them
are millionaires and this is a very big deal to them. But what plays in
the hall isn't always what plays in the living room. I'll be very
interested to see whether the rest of the country is as excited about
cutting estate taxes as this crowd was last night."
-- Anti-Gore cracks not
appreciated, insisted former Clinton-Gore adviser turned ABC News analyst
George Stephanopoulos during the same GMA segment. He argued: "The
crowd loved all the jokes about Al Gore. My guess is that most voters
watching at home said 'oh come on. Let's move on to the
Gore." ABC's Gibson also seemed to declare that Gore was
scandal-free. In an interview with Bush strategist Karl Rove, Gibson --
apparently trying to be helpful -- suggested that Republican speeches
about honesty and character were unnecessary since Clinton wasn't running.
He asked: "Karl,
one other thing, though. Your lines are directed at Clinton, you know I
hear that from every other speaker that, you know, 'we'll bring
integrity back to the White House,' but you're not running against Bill
Clinton. You're running against Al Gore -- Mr. Straight Arrow."
More like "Mr.
up with one of the many events I did not have room to fit into Media
Reality Check last week, on Wednesday night Newt Gingrich took Tom Brokaw
to task for bias after Brokaw kept complaining about the GOP's lack of
inclusion or tolerance.
Here are the August 2
questions from Brokaw and an answer from Gingrich during an interview
which took place just past 8:40pm ET on MSNBC as transcribed by MRC
analyst Geoffrey Dickens, only a clause of which made it into the August 3
Media Reality Check:
from right beside me right now is the former Speaker of the House of
Representatives, a man who has been pivotal in Republican Party politics
for a long time: Newt Gingrich. But you will not be appearing at this
podium this year and we've seen almost no members of the so-called
Republican Revolution who will be up there in prominent roles as
Brokaw: "Well let
the record show we're not hearing from Tom DeLay who's the Whip or
Dick Armey who have been really out front..."
Brokaw: "You've always loved
a vigorous exchange of ideas in this setting or in the House or wherever
you are. Do you think that the country is poorer for the fact that we've
had so little dialogue this time about the issues that divide many of the
delegates on this floor to say nothing of the country. They're there in
the platform but the platform got wrapped up and put away and it was never
talked about again."
speaking of inclusiveness, in the platform it tolerates no other point of
view except anti-abortion. There were people who tried to say that we
welcome other points of view. When an openly gay of member Congress spoke
here last night members of the Texas delegation decided that they would
bow their heads and turn away."
Gingrich: "Oh you guys! C'mon. I mean the whole
country, I just want the whole country to understand the difference
between your view of reality and normalcy. You had 20 people in Texas bow
their head in prayer out of a convention of 2000 delegates, the rest of
whom applauded Kolbe. Now we're not a police state. If 20 people want to
pray, unlike the Democrats, we let 'em pray. I mean what's the big
deal here? Kolbe spoke. He spoke exactly as most Republicans would think
he should without regard to his sexual preferences, without any kind of
quota. Jim Kolbe is a great trade person and yet you're not gonna find
any news interview today that lets him talk about trade."
Wing West Wing All Week. NBC will be repeating the first five episodes of
West Wing this week, starting with the premiere in which actor Martin
Sheen, as the President, told leaders of the Religious Right, who are
called anti-Semitic, to get their "fat asses out of my White
That episode airs at
10pm ET/PT, 9pm CT/MT on Monday night. Additional episodes will air at
10pm ET/PT Tuesday, back-to-back at 9pm and 10pm ET/PT Wednesday and at
10pm ET/PT on Friday.
To see a RealPlayer clip
of the "fat asses" scene, go to:
Very telling that NBC
decided to run West Wing five times in the week leading up to the
Democratic convention. -- Brent Baker
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