Conventions 2000: Media Reality Check, Thursday PM Edition
-- Visit Convention 2000 Media Bias (More) --
1) Russert Impressed By Senator
"Regular Joe" Matt Lauer: Gore Was "Very Successful" as
2) Today Shows Off Tipper's Photo
Album; Laura Bush Was Quizzed About Husband's Wild Side
3) ABC's Gibson Played Gore's
"Home Movies": "Made By a Professional Movie Director, But They
4) Stuck on Celebrities. Whoopi
Goldberg, Chris Rock and Tommy Lee Jones probed for political insight.
5) Quote of the Morning: For the
third straight day Bryant Gumbel worried Democrats might be going to the
right: "What about this turn towards what's called family values? The
right turn doesn't seem to concern you?"
page story. Russert Impressed By Senator "Regular Joe" Matt
Lauer: Gore Was "Very Successful" as Vice President
nominee Joe Lieberman's speech to the Democratic convention got a mere 48
seconds on CBS's The Early Show, which spent nearly 19 minutes recapping
last night's episode of Survivor. But ABC and NBC loved Lieberman; Today's
Tim Russert said, "He came across as a regular Joe, had a
conversation with the American people. His low-key style, I think, is a
winning one and one that people respond to."
On Good Morning
America, host Charles Gibson allowed while "the Senator did take a
swipe or two at Republicans...for the most part, he talked of the American
Dream, for he has lived it." On FNC last night, political analyst
Michael Barone counted "30 lines of negative attack on the
"I think he
did a great job," ABC's George Stephanopoulos beamed. "Listen,
maybe I'm a sucker because I'm a first-generation immigrant for all the
'only in America' stuff, but it was quite moving to the people in the
[speech was] more spontaneous, more humorous," NBC's Russert
asserted, while "Cheney's [was] more workmanlike, and I think
Cheney's had a little bit more of an edge to it -- but that's pretty much
who Dick Cheney is."
he was with Lieberman, Matt Lauer was concerned about Gore. "If Joe
Lieberman did a good job last night," he asked Russert, "is the
downside to that that Al Gore has a difficult act to follow?" Russert
gravely responded that, "the bar couldn't be higher."
asserted that Gore "has been very successful, some would say the most
successful number two in the history of vice presidents," but he
worried, "Can he step forward?"
"Delegates...say his campaign speeches in '92 and '96 were good
and solid performances," Russert reassured him, "his debates
with Dan Quayle, Jack Kemp, Ross Perot, he stepped up. Don't be surprised
tonight, they say, if he hits a home run."
of page two story. Today Shows Off Tipper's Photo Album; Laura Bush Was
Quizzed About Husband's Wild Side
after 7:00 this morning, NBC's Tim Russert reported that Gore's advisors
"want him to be seen as a loving, caring man of faith, [a] man of
character, and not a robot." An hour later, Today aired an interview
with Tipper Gore about photos she will display at the convention tonight.
The interview was pre-taped, which allowed editors to insert numerous
still photos of Al Gore taken by his wife.
"I wanted [voters] to know that he's got a sense of humor, that he
clowns around at home, that he's a prankster. I wanted them to know that
he's thoughtful, that he's loving. I want them to know that family and
faith really are at the center of his life," Mrs. Gore told NBC's
Jamie Gangel, hitting most of the points that Russert said Gore's advisors
thought were important
contrast, Today interviewed Laura Bush live, precluding the heavy use of
sympathetic images of her husband. "How did you tame the wild animal
in George W. Bush?" asked Katie Couric on July 31. "What was
on bottom half of page two. ABC's Gibson Plays Gore's "Home
Movies": "Made By a Professional Movie Director, But They Seem
ABC's Ted Koppel left the GOP convention in San Diego, huffing that it was
"more of an infomercial than a news event." This morning, ABC's
Charles Gibson presented an Al Gore infomercial as if it was a news event.
On four separate occasions, within an air time of two minutes and 19
seconds, Gibson aired "home movies" of the Gores made by movie
director Spike Jonze.
began, "There's one seemingly frivolous but very important piece of
film that was played at the convention last night, and it sort of caught
us by surprise...obviously they want this movie to counteract the image of
Al Gore as being too stiff, or too formal. We're going to show you a big
chunk of this, and then we'll talk to George about it. Take a look."
He showed a 57-second clip (labeled "Home Video" in the corner
of the screen), and then George Stephanopoulos predicted, "I bet
you're going to see an awful lot of this film over the next three
months." Gibson replied: "Well, you're going to see an awful lot
of it in our next half hour as well."
next half hour, Gibson introduced "a fascinating film...you get a
sense that it's home movies of the Gores....This film to humanize Al Gore
and change his image a bit." ABC ran a 43-second clip, this time
labeled "DNC Video" in the corner. Then, a few minutes later,
Gibson told ABC's political panel: "These quote, home movies. They
were made by a professional movie director, but they seem candid. And it's
obvious as we looked at this as it was played for the convention in
non-prime time, sort of slipped it in, but it has gotten a lot of
attention, and as George said, we are going to see a lot of it replayed, I
think." He showed another 25-second clip of Gore joking that he can't
be stiff with Tipper walking around barefoot. "That's my job,"
Tipper joked. Gibson replied, "It seems too pat, but it's good."
on page two. Stuck on Celebrities
Early Show wasn't focused on Survivor, it covered the convention -- with a
collection of celebrities. First, Bryant Gumbel asked actress Whoopi
Goldberg if she was disturbed by the Democrats "trying to strike a
moral tone" about entertainment. Gumbel also inquired, "What
about this turn towards what's called family values? The right turn
doesn't seem to concern you?" She asked Gumbel, "What's wrong
with family values?" and he replied, "It's generally been a code
word for less inclusion."
Gumbel also asked what
Goldberg thought of the GOP convention, and she said Bush "didn't do
anything for me." He put the same question to comedian Chris Rock:
"Diversity was the watchword. Inclusion....Did you buy it?" Rock
laughed, "No." Rock also said he couldn't make fun of Joe
Lieberman's Jewishness on his HBO show: "The people that write my
check are that sensitive."
All three networks
featured actor Tommy Lee Jones, Al Gore's college roommate at Harvard. He
told ABC he remembered Al as "a guy sitting in a dorm in a pair of
bib coveralls with a yellow ball cap on that says Golden Acres
Seeds." NBC's David Bloom stated, "You described him as
'honest, smart, funny, and one of the coolest people in America.' That
description might surprise people who don't know him as well as you."
of the Morning: "What about this turn toward what's called family
values? The right turn doesn't seem to concern you?" -- CBS's Bryant
Gumbel, interviewing Whoopi Goldberg, Early Show, August 17. When she
asked what's wrong with family values, he said, "It's generally been
a code word for less inclusion."
2000: Media Reality Check" compiled by Rich Noyes and Tim Graham with
the assistance of daytime shift analysts Brian Boyd, Ken Shepherd and Ted
King. Plus, Kristina Sewell sending the fax and taping the coverage with
Eric Pairel and Brandon Rytting loading up the Web page and Liz Swasey
spreading the word to the media. -- Brent Baker
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