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CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
| Wednesday September 13, 2000 (Vol. Five; No. 163) |

Networks Obsessed on "Rats"; Bush's Dyslexia; Tying in Willie Horton; Gore versus Bush GMA Contrast -- Back to today's CyberAlert

     Two afternoon items today:

1) Text of the MRC's Media Reality Check distributed by fax on Tuesday titled, "Why Gore Looks Good: Omit, Omit, Omit: Reporters Tout Democratic Momentum, but Few Report Stories That Might Ruin the Veep's Vibe." News skipped: Lieberman comparing Clinton to Moses; IRS audit for a woman who asked Gore about Broaddrick; Gore hit a baseball player; trouble for wheelchair-bound reporter.

2) Links to the posted version of this morning's CyberAlert.


The September 12 Media Reality Check compiled by the MRC's Tim Graham. To view it as fax recipients saw it, go to the Adobe Acrobat PDF version posted by MRC Webmaster Andy Szul:

    Here's the text:

As reporters take out the microscopes to scrutinize one-thirtieth of a second of GOP ads and hail Al Gore's great momentum, the public should note how the press is leaving the embarrassing Gore news stories behind, according to a review of ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC evening and morning news programs.

-- Let My People Go? In a front page article August 28, The Washington Post reported that Joe Lieberman declared in a black church that Clinton and Gore were comparable to Moses: "You might say the Red Sea finally parted, and more Americans than ever before walked through behind President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore." Did Moses have interns? President Bush was Pharaoh?
Network coverage? Nothing except a question on CBS's Face the Nation.

-- Revenge Audit? The Washington Times reported on page one August 30: "The woman who sharply questioned Vice President Al Gore at a town-hall meeting about Juanita Broaddrick's rape accusation against President Clinton" has become the subject of a tax inquiry by the IRS. "I find it very suspicious," said Katherine Prudhomme, who asked Gore the uncomfortable questions. "I feel like I'm being harassed."Network coverage? Zero.

The Times also reported on that day and the next day that black Secret Service agents charged that a ceiling was placed on the number of black agents assigned to Gore. "Attorney John P. Relman, who represents 38 black agents in a class-action discrimination suit, said Mr. Gore was aware of complaints of racial problems within the Secret Service and on his security detail, but made no effort to address the issue." Network coverage? Only FNC.

-- Missile-Secret Millionaire. The Washington Times reported on its front page September 6: "A top Democratic fundraiser targeted by the Justice Department's campaign finance task force on possible criminal charges in the sale of missile-related expertise to China has donated $734,500 to Democrats for the 2000 campaign." The Times found no Republican donations from Loral chairman Bernard Schwartz. Network coverage? Zero.

-- Beanball Al. While pitching batting practice to the Detroit Tigers September 6, Gore beaned a player on the hip. Network coverage? FNC and the CBS and NBC morning shows mentioned that briefly. On CBS, Jane Clayson said "Whoa, he got him," and Bryant Gumbel replied, "Well, he couldn't hurt him."

-- No Disabled or Veterans. Wheelchair-bound Flint, Michigan reporter Chris Swiatecki was told by the Gore staff that he would not be allowed to follow the motor pool in his car, or ride in the press van. Gore irked veterans by skipping the American Legion's national convention. (See how the media treated Dole for skipping the NAACP in 1996.) Network coverage? Only FNC on both. Two nights later, NBC Nightly News found "Another sign of progress... the American Legion voted to urge Congress to lift trade sanctions against Cuba."

-- No Mending Ending. "Gore's Negro tolerance level has never been too high," declared Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) on her congressional Web site about Gore's Secret Service quota, according to the September 8 Washington Times. "I've never known him to have more than one black person around him at any given time. I'm not shocked, but I am certainly saddened by this revelation." Network coverage? Only FNC.

    END Reprint of Media Reality Check.


AOL turned today's CyberAlert into an attached file, so for those who didn't dare open it or couldn't figure how to, here are links to all the articles as posted on the MRC's Web site:

1) The "rats" complaint by Gore elevated to news status by the New York Times topped ABC, CNN and MSNBC Tuesday night and earned full pieces on CBS and NBC. ABC seriously claimed that Gore was "taken aback" by it. CNN declared it "an effort to deceive the voters."
    Go to:

2) FNC reported the appearance of the word "rats" in the ad way back on August 28, but the New York Times only decided to make it front page news when the Gore campaign called them.
    Go to:

3) MSNBC anchor's first question to left-wing writer Gail Sheehy who claims Bush has dyslexia: "Calling it 'subblibimal' instead of subliminal. Is that dyslexia?" CNN and FNC also pointed out Bush's inept mispronunciation, but not ABC, CBS and NBC. (ABC did on GMA.)
    Go to:

4) Tying in Willie Horton. Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC claimed Lee Atwater coordinated that ad. Linking him to the "rats" ad, she asserted: "Atwater founded the company where Alex Castellanos is now creative director, so the tradition lives on."
    Go to:

5) Tuesday morning, all the shows focused on the "rats" ad. CBS's Bryant Gumbel claimed Republicans had "struck a new low." ABC's Charles Gibson claimed: "In all fairness, the Gore people didn't spot it. A voter out in Seattle called in."
    Go to:

6) Good Morning America treated Al Gore gently, even letting him suggest a "headline" for his economic plan. But six days later ABC demanded Bush respond to the charge that his tax cut "gives" more to the rich than Gore's prescription plan costs and raised the unsubstantiated charge that Bush has dyslexia.
    Go to:

7) Bill Clinton versus Bobby Knight in the "Top Ten Questions on the Indiana University Basketball Coach Application."
    Go to:
http://archive.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2000/cyb20000913.asp#7 -- Brent Baker


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