Esquire's "Monica's View" of Bill; CBS's Clayson Pleaded for Nader to Drop Out; NBC's Prime Time Dramas Advanced Gore's Agenda
-- Back to today's CyberAlert
1) George Bush on tonight's
Tonight, Gore on Tuesday night and on Queen Latifah's daytime show on
2) On Sunday morning NBC's Meet the Press and Fox News
Sunday showed the Esquire cover photo of Bill Clinton which Rush Limbaugh
dubbed "Monica's view," but both avoided pointing out the
significance of the angle of the photo.
3) CBS's Jane Clayson pleaded this morning with Ralph
Nader's campaign manager: "Mr. Nader doesn't want Governor Bush to win
the White House, why doesn't he work with Al Gore for change within the
4) "NBC's Triple-Play: In Two Days, Three Dramas Pushed
Plot Lines Which Echoed Gore Campaign Themes." A fresh MediaNomics
article documented the in-kind contributions last week to Gore by The West
Wing, Law & Order and ER in showcasing plots with greedy pharmaceutical
companies, an uncaring HMO which led to a murder and a doctor fired for caring
for an uninsured patient.
>>> New video
now up on the MRC home page of Fox News Sunday showing clips and evaluating
media interest in the "Daisy II" ad versus the NAACP ad. Juan
Williams denounced the NAACP ad: "That is playing to the lowest common
denominator." Brit Hume took on the media's bias: "The New York
Times critiqued that Daisy ad, ignored the NAACP ad. That's a wonderful
example of the kind of bias you see, particularly in the late stages of a
campaign like this." To view a portion of the discussion via RealPlayer
as posted by MRC Webmaster Andy Szul, go to:
and Bush making more non-news interview show appearances this week, starting
-- George W. Bush will be a guest on tonight's, October 30, Tonight Show
with Jay Leno on NBC at 11:35pm ET/PT, 10:35pm CT/MT.
-- Al Gore will appear Tuesday night on NBC's Tonight
Show and on Wednesday the Queen Latifah daytime talk show will run her
interview with him taped last week. She asked him whether he preferred women
in "leather or lace" and he recounted how he once fled the police on
a motorcycle. Check local listings for Queen Latifah. In Washington, DC her
hour-long show airs at noon on WRC-TV, channel 4.
showed what Rush Limbaugh dubbed as the "Monica's view" Esquire
cover photo of Bill Clinton, but Russert described it in more diplomatic
During the Meet the Press roundtable segment on Sunday,
Russert raised how in the Esquire interview Clinton argued that Republicans
who impeached him owe him an apology. He showed the cover, which he described:
"There's the President of the United States posing in a way that some
would question whether it's presidential or not."
On Fox News Sunday Tony Snow also displayed the cover of
the December Esquire and asked Senator Don Nickles if he plans to apologize.
Nickles turned down the opportunity. Cokie Roberts, on ABC's This Week,
asked Senator Trent Lott to respond to the President's apology demand, but
she did not show ABC viewers the cover of the magazine.
To see the cover for yourself and/or to read the Clinton
interview in the December issue of Esquire, go to:
For Rush Limbaugh's assessment of it, as well as a
picture of the cover, go to:
fear this morning on CBS that Ralph Nader could cost Al Gore the presidency.
Following the lead of ABC's Charles Gibson on Friday and Sam Donaldson on
Sunday with Nader himself, on Monday's The Early Show on CBS Jane Clayson
took on Nader campaign manager Theresa Amato.
MRC analyst Brian Boyd took down Jane Clayson's
October 30 pleadings in the form of questions:
-- "Ralph Nader can't win the White House himself,
but perhaps is in a position now to decide who will, is that satisfying to
-- "Well, Mr. Nader
doesn't want Governor Bush to win the White House, why doesn't he work with Al
Gore for change within the Democratic Party?"
-- "So he's not out
here to hurt Al Gore in this election, because it appears he is at this
-- "Well, polls
show that Ralph Nader has between 5 and 10 percent support in states like
Oregon, Washington state, Michigan excuse me in Wisconsin. Let's listen to
part of an ad that the Republican Leadership Council is running in those
states....The GOP believes that a vote for Nader is a vote for, for Bush, is
that your goal here?"
-- "But how do you
feel about being used essentially by the Republicans to elect their
-- "Let me run this
by you, Ms. Amato. The New York Times, an editorial in that newspaper called
Mr. Nader's run a 'disservice' to the electorate and said that the country
deserves a clear up and down vote between Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore. Calling Mr.
Nader's wrecking ball candidacy a matter of principle, it says it looks like
ego run amok. Is it?"
-- "Well is there a
lesser of two evils, now with the election just days away? Would he support,
drop out of this race to support one of the candidates?"
pro-Gore prime time agenda documented in a fresh MediaNomics article by
Rich Noyes, Director of the MRC's Free Market Project. It's titled,
"NBC's Triple-Play: In Two Days, Three Dramas Pushed Plot Lines
Which Echoed Gore Campaign Themes."
In the analysis below Rich documented how The West
Wing, Law & Order and ER last week featured plot lines which matched
liberal Gore-Lieberman campaign concerns.
To read this article online, go to:
For other recent MediaNomics analysis, go to:
Now, the text of the October 30 MediaNomics article:
As the campaign clock counts down to Election Day, some prime time
entertainment programs seem as if they're trying to help influence the
outcome. In just over 24 hours, NBC viewers could have seen three
different drama series pushing plot lines which reinforced some of the
Gore campaign's favorite themes, including the notion that profiteering
and exploding health care costs are enriching private business while
putting the public at risk.
On The West Wing, U.S. drug companies were painted as an obstacle to
successfully treating the AIDS epidemic in Africa. On Law & Order, an
HMO executive whose company was in charge of administering a prison clinic
was prosecuted for his cost-conscious policy against referring patients to
outside specialists, which in this case meant a psychologically-disturbed
inmate was released from prison only to murder a woman for her reading
glasses. And on ER, a doctor who blew the whistle against a superior who
was trying to deny treatment to an uninsured patient found himself out of
Here's a run-down of last week's NBC shows:
-- The West Wing (Wednesday, October 25, 9:00 pm ET/PT, 8:00 pm CT/MT)
President Bartlett held a summit with the president of a fictional
African nation and the corporate leaders of American drug companies to try
and find a way that would cut the costs of AIDS treatments. Bartlett's
Communications Director, Toby Ziegler, was one of the main participants in
the substance of the negotiations, and he provided some of the most
liberal lines of the show, including twice pointing out that the anti-AIDS
drugs are cheaper in Norway than in Africa where the need is greater.
During a meeting, the drug company executives were arguing that they
are doing as much as they possibly can, at which point the African
president asked about the profits on a different drug. One of the
executives questioned the point of bringing up that other drug, which is
apparently a treatment for impotence. Toby interjected, "I think
President Nabala is saying there's more money in giving a white guy an
erection than curing a black guy of AIDS."
Outraged, the executive responded that "My company has given away
over $120 million worth of free drugs a year, including free doses of
Zyclocents (sp?), which is one of two drugs in your country curing eye
infections right now."
Toby, again speaking on behalf of the African president, retorted:
"They're not dying from eye infections, Alan."
"Well, they're not dying 'cause of me either, Toby, and I'd
like not to be talked to this way," the executive defended himself.
"Alan, if it was 26 million Europeans dying, we'd have had a
solution yesterday," declared Toby.
At this point, Josh Lyman, another White House aide, interrupted to ask
one of the drug company executives how much it would cost to distribute
the medicine to patients in three countries. The executive said he did not
know. Incredulous, Josh asked, "Why not? We're talking about
130,000 patients, 200 milligram pills, three times a day, every day.
What's the x factor?"
"We don't know how long they'll live," the executive
answered, reinforcing the cynical interpretation that the corporate
leaders were solely interested in the bottom line. The meeting is
adjourned, without reaching a resolution.
In the corridor later, Josh warned Toby to take a more tactful approach
with the executives. Toby, disagreed, pointing out that "the pills
cost them four cents per unit to make." Josh corrects him: "You
know that's not true. The second pill costs them four cents; the first
pill costs them $400 million," referring to the research costs that
each company must recoup.
But Toby was undeterred: "They also enjoy unprecedented tax
breaks: foreign tax credits, research and experimentation exemptions, and
expensing of research expenditures, to say nothing of the fact that
business is pretty good."
Toby tried to put together an arrangement in which the three African
countries which this one president is representing at the summit will
receive discounted medicine if they promise to help protect the patent
rights of the U.S. companies involved. The African president mournfully
explained how demeaning it was for him to plead for help from the Western
business leaders. "It's a terrible thing to beg for your life,
terrible," he told Toby. "My father was a proud man. He built
homes. He wouldn't like what I came here to do."
Toby assured him that he's doing the right thing, but the show
concluded with the African president returning home to his country despite
a military coup, and the White House staff receiving the news that he was
shot to death at the airport when he arrived.
-- Law & Order (Wednesday, October 25, 10:00 pm ET/PT, 9:00 pm
A woman was slain on the New York subway, and the detectives spent the
first half-hour of the show discovering that her killer was a recently
released inmate with psychological problems. The killer claimed that his
name was Regis Philbin, and that he killed the woman for her eyeglasses
because he couldn't see who was talking to him. The prosecutors, Abbie
Carmichael and Jack McCoy, however, used the fact that the suspect (whose
actual name was Brian Gallant) fled from the scene of the crime as an
indication that he understood right from wrong, and successfully persuaded
his defense attorney to accept a plea agreement that would mean a 10 to 20
year prison sentence.
At the court proceeding, however, the dead woman's husband angrily
stood up in the courtroom, outraged that no one else was being held liable
for his wife's death. "You say the one and only person responsible
for Steph getting killed is this lunatic?" he asked indignantly. The
judge told him that while she understood his view, the court proceeding
was not the right place to make his argument.
"Tell me when you're going to hold someone accountable for
turning him loose on Steph, and I'll be there," the husband
challenged the others before sitting back down.
Abbie and Jack, informed their boss, the new District Attorney Nora
Lewin, that the man was released from prison only days before with a
subway token and a dollar and a half, and that he had logged numerous
visits to the prison's clinic. Further investigation showed that the
city had recently privatized its prison clinic, placing the clinic in the
hands of a managed care company called SMJ Medical Services. Abbie told
Jack that the company was awarded monthly bonuses when it held down costs.
"Which it does by not sending inmates to hospitals," Jack
"Which is why Brian Gallant was never referred," concluded
The killer's doctor then told Jack and Abbie that he wasn't allowed
to have the inmate properly evaluated by outside specialists. Gallant's
doctor related that another doctor was fired by SMJ for making too many
outside referrals, and that the chief executive had made it clear that he,
too, would be fired if he increased bottom line costs. "Look, I did
the best I could. I was paying off medical school loans, a mortgage. I
have two kids," the doctor explained to the prosecutors.
Jack McCoy agreed not to prosecute the doctor if he cooperates, but
ordered that he must lose his medical license for a year. When the
doctor's lawyer protested, Jack insisted, "He took an oath, and it
wasn't to an HMO."
They decided to prosecute the chief executive of the HMO, but only
after Nora Lewin warned them to "be sure and differentiate the
conduct of this HMO from the conduct of HMOs in general. That said,"
she added, "I'd like nothing better than to hang their heads on our
At the trial, the CEO declared that hospital referrals were lower since
his company assumed control of the prison clinic because they had improved
the clinic's efficiency. He also argued that he had no oversight role of
Gallant's treatment, or any other individual patient.
As he began his cross-examination, Jack McCoy began flipping through
patient files. "Inmates diagnosed with heartburn would turn out to
have coronaries. HIV patients left untreated. Psych patients left
unevaluated. Is that your idea of improved medical services, Mr.
Andrews?" he challenged.
The CEO declared, "Like it or not, medical care is a business
today. No HMO can survive without conducting a realistic cost-benefit
analysis of its treatment protocols."
In his summation, the CEO's lawyer offered this defense: "The
big, bad HMO -- uncaring, unfeeling, placing profits before people in its
savage quest to make money -- a convenient political target if ever there
was one." He then argued that the executive did his job properly and
wasn't negligent. "Don't let the political ambitions of a
district attorney pervert this court of law," the defense lawyer
admonished the jury.
The jury acquitted the CEO of the main charge, second-degree
manslaughter, but convicted him of a lesser included charge, criminal
negligent homicide. Afterwards, the D.A. told Jack and Abbie that she's
going to appear on Dateline to talk about the verdict. Jack told
his boss, "They'll probably try to get you to say it opens the door
to massive malpractice claims."
"Well, it's worth it if it changes the way HMOs do business in
this city," Nora declared. Noting that the CEO will serve his time in
the same jail in which his company provides health services, she acidly
commented: "Let's hope he's got a good immune system."
-- ER (Thursday, October 26, 10:00 pm ET/PT, 9:00 pm CT/MT)
On a previous week's episode, Dr. Peter Benton sought permission to
treat an indigent patient who required regular kidney dialysis treatments
but who did a relatively poor job of taking care of himself between
treatments, a fact which meant he frequently arrived in the ER in need of
more costly emergency care. Dr. Robert Romano, the hospital's prickly
chief of staff, told Benton that he wouldn't give his permission for the
operation, instead telling Benton to give the man bus fare to a different
city so that he would no longer be a drain on the Chicago hospital.
Unwilling to deprive the man of care, Benton anonymously called a
government investigator and related the facts of the case to her. When
Romano found out that the investigator was visiting the patient, he raced
to the ER and told the investigator that it was all a misunderstanding,
and the patient received the needed operation.
In this week's episode, Dr. Benton arrived to work and found that the
key card he normally used to get into the parking garage no longer worked.
Benton then discovers that he can't log onto the computer system. He
asks Dr. Romano what the problem is, and Romano tells him that he should
be getting a letter saying his privileges have been revoked.
Romano tells Benton that his "tattle-taling to the Inspector
General cost me a $50,000 fine, which my malpractice insurance doesn't
"Look, I was just looking out for my patient," Benton
Romano said the hospital also had to pay a substantial fine. "Now,
I had to recoup those moneys from somewhere, so I was forced to eliminate
the attending position. It's all in the letter," Romano informed
"We can't talk about this in private?" Benton asked.
"Why, Peter?" Romano said smirking. "You didn't seem
to feel the need to talk in private about our problem. You just decided to
go off on your own."
Benton then asked, "So what is my position here?"
"You have no position here, Peter" Romano coolly replied.
"You're firing me?" Benton asked.
"No, no, no, no," Romano answered. "You fired
yourself." Benton spent the rest of the episode playing with his
young son, and hiding from his sister the fact that he was fired for
trying to ensure that a patient received necessary medical attention.
END Reprint of MediaNomics article.
Starting tonight, the last full week before the
election, all week NBC will air all new episodes of its prime time dramas.
How many more will promote Al Gore's liberal political agenda
illustrated by a nation victimized by greedy drug companies and HMOs? -- Brent Baker
Support the MRC, an educational foundation dependent upon contributions
which make CyberAlert possible, by providing a tax-deductible
donation. Use the secure donations page set up for CyberAlert
readers and subscribers:
>>>To subscribe to CyberAlert, send a
blank e-mail to:
@topica.com. Or, you can go to:
Either way you will receive a confirmation message titled: "RESPONSE
REQUIRED: Confirm your subscription to email@example.com."
After you reply, either by going to the listed Web page link or by simply
hitting reply, you will receive a message confirming that you have been
added to the MRC CyberAlert list. If you confirm by using the Web page
link you will be given a chance to "register" with Topica. You
NOT have to do this; at that point you are already subscribed to
To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to:
Send problems and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
can learn what has been posted each day on the MRC's Web site by
subscribing to the "MRC Web Site News" distributed every weekday
afternoon. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: email@example.com.
Or, go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters.<<<
Home | News Division
| Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact
the MRC | Subscribe