Gore's Non-Negative Attack Ad; Rather Upbraided Bush; More of Clymer's Liberal Crusading
-- Read today's Extra edition
1) ABC referred to the DNC's
anti-Bush ad as "dirty work." CBS's Dan Rather hit both sides as
he complained about how the campaign "is growing more negative," but
NBC Nightly News, which tagged the RNC's anti-Gore ad as
"negative," didn't use the term last night.
2) Dan Rather, who has yet apologize for suggesting that Bush
operatives were behind a leak about the "Republican-backed special
prosecutor," Tuesday night upbraided George W. Bush for not apologizing
for the "meanness and nastiness" of the "gutter language"
in his "personal attack" on a reporter.
3) CBS's David Martin learned an IG report found lack of
training is hurting the Navy's ability, but Dan Rather didn't mention how
the report supports the assessment made by Bush and Cheney.
4) CBS put anecdotes ahead of facts. Just before letting a
liberal analyst assess both prescription plans, Bill Whitaker offered up an
anecdote about the needs of an elderly couple: "In this house it's not
a campaign issue, it's a matter of survival."
5) Only Fox News Channel bothered to look at whether Adam
Clymer may have an anti-Bush bias. They highlighted some examples of his
anti-conservative and pro-Ted Kennedy reporting. Investor's Business Daily
caught Clymer referred to conservative Congressmen as "the turkeys who
got elected in the '94 Gingrich sweep."
6) Dork, and proud of it. NBC's Lisa Myers found an
undecided woman voter proud of her ignorance and inability to assess:
"Quite frankly I'm going to be making my decision on November
>>> Now online, thanks to the MRC's Kristina Sewell and Andy
Szul, the September 4 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: "Gore Kiss: Way to Go,
Sexy Man"; "Clancy Out of Touch...or Lauer?"; "Bush
Tax Cut: Let's Repeat the Gore Press Release as 'News'";
"Kick the Killer Car Dealer"; "Post-Convention Liberal
Guilt"; "Red Meat Right Wing Bush"; "How Could Al Be
So Unlucky?" and "Geraldo's Premature Nostalgia."
To read these
quotes, go to:
To view it as
laid out in the hard copy version sent by snail mail, access the Adobe
Acrobat PDF version:
Acrobat 3.2 or newer to view it properly. To download a free copy of the
latest version from Adobe, go to:
You can also get
it on a CD for $14.95. Go to:
managed to refer to the DNC's new anti-Bush ad as "dirty work"
and CBS's Dan Rather hit both sides as he complained about how the
campaign "is growing more negative, punch and counter-punch, with use
of attack ads increasing." But NBC Nightly News, which tagged the RNC
ad against Gore released last week as "negative" and relayed how
Gore's team called it a "personal attack," offered no such
judgments last night.
All three broadcast network evening shows opened
Tuesday night with Bush's unveiling of his prescription drug plan and
all three also relayed Gore's retort and clips of the DNC's new ad
attacking Bush's record in Texas.
Here's how each addressed the new DNC ad on
Tuesday night, September 5:
-- NBC Nightly News. The show opened with David
Gregory's story on Bush's plan followed by Claire Shipman on Gore's
reaction. Here, in total, is how she handled the ad:
Shipman: "And a second line of attack on health
care from the Democratic Party, a new ad released today questioning
"Texas ranks 49th out of 50 in providing health coverage to kids.
It's so bad a federal judge just ruled Texas must take immediate
aides insist today that his prescription drug plan is much more
Now compare that to how the same program assessed
the RNC's ad last week. Anchor John Siegenthaler opened the September 1
NBC Nightly News by noting how a poll found Bush down ten points, so
"the Republican Party is out with a new TV ad to try to turn those
numbers around by going negative."
David Gregory proclaimed: "Today, in the face
of fresh evidence that Al Gore is widening his lead over Governor Bush as
Labor Day approaches, the Republican Party goes on the offensive,
unveiling an ad the Gore campaign labels a personal attack."
Clip from RNC ad:
"Who's he going to be today? The Al Gore who raises campaign money
at a Buddhist Temple or the one who now promises campaign finance reform?
advisers say the ad, which airs in 17 key states, is designed to remind
voters of what they don't like about the vice president. Specifically,
Bush says that Gore will say anything to get elected."
Bush: "Well, I
thought it was tongue-in-cheek. This ad came up after about $30 million in
advertisements that have been attacking me and my record."
"Today, the Vice President in a conference call with reporters
promises never to launch a personal attack, and his running mate tells NBC
Lieberman: "I'm afraid that it's a response to the fact that the
Bush-Cheney ticket has been having some trouble lately. But you know,
that's when our values are tested."
"Some question the ad's timing, saying it makes Bush appear defensive
after two weeks of missteps, aides admit, over issues like taxes and
prescription drugs for seniors."
-- ABC's World News Tonight, September 5. After
Dean Reynolds summarized the Bush plan, Terry Moran explained how Gore
claimed Bush would have no money left after his tax cuts to pay for the
plan and that it would still leave half of seniors uncovered.
Moran continued: "That was how the candidate
responded, but the real dirty work against Bush was left to this
Democratic Party TV ad which begins airing in nine battleground states
"George W. Bush says he has a plan for children's health care, but
why hasn't he done it in Texas?"
which seeks to undermine the Texas Governor on the whole issue of health
care by slamming what the Democrats say is his record in office."
"Texas failed to inform families of health coverage available to a
million children. The Bush record, it's becoming an issue."
-- CBS Evening News. Immediately after CBS's story
on Bush's plan, anchor Dan Rather intoned: "The context of real and
substantive differences between the Gore and Bush prescription drug plans
also includes the overall tone of the campaign. It is growing more
negative, punch and counter-punch, with use of attack ads
John Roberts relayed Gore's response, then got to
the ad: "Sensing an advantage on one of this fall's preeminent
issues, Gore is hammering the Governor mercifully. He even approved the
release today of an ad he'd held back, skewering the Governor's record
on children's health care."
"It's so bad a federal judge just ruled Texas must take immediate
Labor Day, the traditional kick-off to the fall campaign, Gore was happy
to let Bush do the attacking, hoping the Governor would look negative and
desperate. The tone changed when Bush mocked Gore for retreating on his
promise to debate anytime, anywhere."
Roberts concluded with an upbeat spin for Gore:
"Gore will take his substance over soundbites theme to a new level
tomorrow when he lays out the specifics of his economic plan, hoping his
command of the issues will dazzle voters and bury his opponent in
Rather, who has yet apologize for suggesting more than two weeks ago that
Bush operatives were behind the leak that "Republican-backed special
prosecutor" Robert Ray had empaneled a new grand jury, Tuesday night
upbraided George W. Bush for not apologizing for the "meanness and
nastiness" of the "gutter language" in his "personal
attack" on New York Times reporter Adam Clymer.
Just after the above quoted John Roberts piece
concluded, Rather lectured:
"On one bit of
campaign meanness and nastiness in particular, George Bush now says he's
sorry his gutter language and personal attack was picked up by a
microphone at a campaign stop yesterday, but he refuses to apologize for
the substance of his comment. Bush's remark was about Adam Clymer, a New
York Times reporter whose coverage he doesn't like."
Bush clip from
Monday: "There's Adam Clymer, a major league [bleep]hole from the
New York Times."
he is, big time."
On screen, viewers saw this text simultaneously:
"There's Adam Clymer, a major league ass**** from the New York
he is, big time.
Rather went on with his diatribe: "You may want
to note there's a long history of politicians attacking the press and
Bush did not apologize for what he said about the Times reporter.
Reactions to Bush's comment included this one today from Republican
Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa [with ellipses as shown on screen]: 'It
would be better if no person...spoke about others in that fashion.' By
the way, several major newspapers today quoted the Bush comment directly
[Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, USA Today logos on screen.]. The New
York Times itself did not, saying only that Bush quote, 'used an
obscenity to describe a New York Times correspondent.'"
End of Rather's item, but once again Grassley
demonstrated a lesson for any conservative: If you want to get quoted by
the mainstream media, say something the media can use against another
conservative. It would not surprise me, however, if Grassley's quote is
out of context.
Despite Rather's consternation over Bush's
remark and suggestion that it's improper to not have apologized, Rather
has yet to apologize for his false August 17 insinuations about
Republicans and a grand jury leak. In fact, a judge appointed by
Democratic President Jimmy Carter inadvertently leaked the development.
On the August 17 CBS Evening News, in a formulation
he repeated during CBS's prime time convention coverage, Rather intoned:
everything. Al Gore must stand and deliver here tonight as the Democratic
Party's presidential nominee. And now Gore must do so against the backdrop
of a potentially damaging, carefully orchestrated story leak about
President Clinton. The story is that Republican-backed special prosecutor
Robert Ray, Ken Starr's successor, has a new grand jury looking into
possible criminal charges against the president growing out of Mr.
Clinton's sex life. CBS' Jim Stewart in Washington has that story and the
In prime time and on the Evening News Gloria Borger
then passed along the Gore spin with a warning about Ken Starr: "One
top Gore adviser portrayed it as what he called a quote 'grand Republican
strategy to tie Al Gore to President Clinton.'" She added: "The
hope of the Gore campaign is that this leak will fire up their troops and
backfire against the Republicans. How? By tying
George W. Bush to Kenneth Starr."
The CBS News Web site featured Dan Rather's
Thursday "Notebook" essay titled "Low-Road Politics:
Clinton Grand Jury Leak Carefully Orchestrated"
Part of his diatribe:
For all the talk by both parties and major candidates about keeping this
presidential campaign on the high road, it seems low-road politics remain
very much in fashion. Once again, we are reminded that with politicians,
especially, you need to watch their feet as you listen to their words.
All of which comes to mind in light of the leak revealing that Ken Starr's successor, Independent Counsel Robert
Ray, has empaneled a new grand jury to look at evidence that President
Clinton broke the law while giving testimony on his relationship with
Monica Lewinsky in the Paula Jones lawsuit.
You don't have to be a cynic to note that this has all the earmarks of
a carefully orchestrated, politically motivated leak. The
Republican-backed Robert Ray is sponsored by a three-judge panel
that must periodically decide whether Ray's investigation should
continue. This panel features two federal judges backed by the
Jesse Helms wing of the Republican Party.
Any reporter who's spent time on the police beat learns to look for
motive. So you ask yourself -- what group has the motive to see that such
a leak would occur at such a time, hours before Gore is set to accept his
party's nomination in the most important speech of his political life?
None of which is to say that George W. Bush is behind the leak, directly
or indirectly. We certainly have no information that he is. But candidates
themselves hardly ever are, as their hands must remain clean and their
deniability plausible. (You may want to review some of the more unpleasant
tactics used by Bush backers against John McCain in South Carolina earlier
The day after this reporting Rather went on vacation
for two weeks. Tuesday night was his first night back, so now he has no
excuse to not issue an apology for his flawed reporting which falsely
+++ Watch Rather upbraid Bush. An hour after this
e-mail is sent, MRC Web master Andy Szul will post a RealPlayer clip of
Rather's harangue. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
Tuesday's CBS Evening News Rather introduced a David Martin exclusive on
how a Navy Inspector General's report found Navy aviators miss their
targets at a high rate because of a lack of training, but Rather didn't
mention which presidential candidate this fact supports: "There is no
disputing that the U.S. military is by far the most powerful force on
Earth, but there are new questions tonight about how well members of the
military are being trained and prepared for combat."
David Martin also never uttered the names Bush or
NBC Tuesday night pretty much stuck to the Bush and Gore claims about each
other's prescription drug plans, but CBS loaded up its story with a
standard anecdote about a desperate elderly couple.
Dan Rather opened the CBS Evening News:
"Sixty-three days now until the United States elects a new President.
With health care one of the top concerns of voters and under attack for
being too slow and vague, Republican George Bush today at last gave
details of his plan for shoring up Medicare and for helping older
Americans pay for prescription drugs. The Gore camp immediately branded it
too little too late and quote 'inadequate.'"
Bill Whitaker asserted: "....While Al Gore
proposes an expanding government plan, Bush turns to the private sector.
In this house it's not a campaign issue, it's a matter of survival.
David Welch, elderly
man: "We need help from somebody."
elderly woman: "Somebody better help us."
"Esther and David Welch spend more than $300, almost 20 percent of
their income each month on prescription drugs for his high blood pressure,
for her cancer treatment."
David: "If it
continues at this rate, nobody will be able to afford medication."
If ever-expanding government services continue at
this rate without any challenge from the media, it's taxpayers who
won't be able to afford anything.
Whitaker then had a liberal analyst, naturally
unlabeled, assess both plans: "One analyst says the basic difference
between the two plans: Gore's offers people like the Welch's few
choices but is likely to keep prices lower, the Bush plan:"
Marilyn Moon, Urban
Institute: "That sounds pretty good in terms of it allow people to
have choice, but the problem is that it makes the prescription drug option
very expensive and potentially prohibitively expensive over time."
"Now voters have a real choice, but no matter who wins it seems
America's seniors could finally get some relief from spiraling
prescription drug cost."
Marilyn Moon sure is popular with the networks. She
was also the only expert quoted by NBC's David Gregory: "Critics of
the Bush approach say seniors choosing private plans for prescriptions
could actually end up paying more than they do now."
Marilyn Moon, Urban
Institute: "If you cover the sickest folks, because they're the
ones who sign up for the high-option plans, it's going to be a very
expensive benefit and it's going to rise rapidly in costs over
Dan Rather scolded Bush over his "Major league asshole"
assessment of New York Times reporter Adam Clymer and the other
networks looked at the political implications of the comment, only Fox
News Channel bothered to consider if Clymer may have an anti-Bush or
anti-conservative bias. FNC highlighted some examples of biased
Today's Investor's Business Daily also
features an editorial recounting how at a panel discussion just on
Saturday Clymer referred to vulnerable Republican Congressmen as
"the turkeys who got elected in the '94 Gingrich sweep."
Clymer, who has praised Ted Kennedy in reporting and in a gushing
book, also took a shot at how GOP Congressman Phil Crane "has
finally dried out."
On Special Report with Brit Hume Tuesday night
Carl Cameron recounted an April New York Times story by Clymer, which
had one of the nation's worst public health records for decades. More
than a quarter of its residents have no health insurance.
Its Mexican border is a hotbed of contagion. The state ranks near the
top in the nation in rates of AIDS, diabetes, tuberculosis and teenage
pregnancy, and near the bottom in immunizations, mammograms and access
George W. Bush became governor in 1995, he has not made health a
priority, his aides acknowledge. He has never made a speech on the
subject, his press office says."
That April 11 story was among a few linked by
Jim Romenesko's MediaNews on Tuesday (http://www.poynter.org/medianews/)
To read it, go to:
Romenesko also provided a link to Clymer's
story from last August on Bush and past drug use:
And to Clymer's piece claiming Bush's ad on
prescription drugs had "zero" accuracy:
Back to FNC, Brit Hume later pointed out:
his reporting on the George W. Bush campaign, New York Times reporter
Adam Clymer may be best known for his quite favorable biography of
Sen. Edward Kennedy. In it Clymer said Kennedy's quote,
'achievements have towered over his time,' and he said that
Kennedy quote, 'deserves recognition not just as the leading Senator
of his time, but also as one of the greats in the history of this
John Berlau of Investor's Business Daily
alerted me to an editorial he researched for today's Investor's
Business Daily. It's based what he heard Clymer and other New York
Times reporters say on Saturday at a forum held at the American
Political Science Association's convention in Washington.
Here's an excerpt from the September 6
George Bush's vulgar remark about Adam Clymer, political reporter
for The New York Times, has roiled the pundit class into its usual
self-righteous frenzy. But intemperate as Bush's name-calling might
have been, it's understandable....
The panel started with political reporter Richard Berke, who talked
about Al Gore's recent surge in the polls. Berke said right now it was
hard to tell if Gore would win, and then said that later on "I
think I'll be more confident." Berke paused, and then quickly
added, "for him."
But Berke's colleague Clymer showed no such restraint. He referred
to vulnerable Republican Congress members as "the turkeys who got
elected in the '94 Gingrich sweep." This is objective analysis?
Then Clymer, in praising moderate Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., took a
left-handed jab at Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., the chairman of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and long a demon to the elite
press. "On a committee headed by Jesse Helms, he's (Lugar) the
soundest voice on foreign policy.".... [I]t was Clymer who went
the furthest. He showed not only bias but a lack of taste. On Rep.
Phil Crane, R-Ill., who revealed he was seeking treatment for
alcoholism, Clymer made this snide remark: "I've heard that Crane
has finally dried out."
This from a man who wrote a fawning biography of Sen. Edward
Kennedy, D-Mass., whose thirst is legendary in Washington circles. But
not only was alcoholism fair game for Clymer. So was gall-bladder
surgery. "Pat Buchanan just had his gall bladder removed, so Pat
Buchanan without bile will be interesting," Clymer smirked.
Clymer's bias is clear to others.
"Certainly I detected more criticism (at the forum) of
Republicans and conservatives than of Democrats, at least on the part
of Clymer," said David Conradt, a professor of political science
at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. "And I'm a
Democrat," he added.
The New Republic Contributing Editor Mickey Kaus, not a raging
right-winger, had this to say in his Sept. 4 online column:
"Clymer maintains a veneer of objectivity by using sympathetic
experts to make his point, but like the NYT's R.W. Apple he seems so
convinced that all civilized men would agree with him that he doesn't
really bother to hide his viewpoint."
Neither did Bush. But, given Clymer's open contempt for
Republicans, Bush's reaction is easy to see.
For the whole editorial, pick up a copy of
today's IBD. Their Web address, which does not include editorials:
and proud of it. On the September 5 NBC Nightly News Lisa Myers
explored how a mere one million undecided voters in ten battleground
states will determine the winner of the presidential race. At one
point Myers showed an example, a middle-aged woman in Ohio, noting:
"Many undecideds, like Kelly Mooney, who saw Gore speak at her
company today, pride themselves on being a tough sell."
boasted: "And quite frankly I'm going to be making my decision
on November 6th."
There you have it. People who are proud that
they can't figure out who would be a better President are the ones
who will decide who becomes President. A depressing thought. -- Brent Baker
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