Bush Belied "Unite" Message; Bush "Obscured" His Pro-Life Stand; Wall Street Wins with Bush or Gore; Clinton Posed Like Lincoln
-- Extra Edition
1) NBC's David Gregory
contrasted how while Bush "promises to unite the country," he
accused Gore "of appealing to people's quote, 'darker
impulses.'" But NBC failed to rebuke the Gore campaign's attacks on
Bush's ability to be President and NBC dedicated a whole story to how
Bush's "critics say he's done his best to obscure his anti-abortion
2) "Now almost no one thinks Bush can truly win" in
California, pronounced Bill Whitaker on the CBS Evening News. CBS decided to
devote a story to how Delaware GOP Senator William Roth "may be a
tradition the state can no longer afford."
3) ABC's Terry Moran used Gore's own rhetoric to tag as a
"risky strategy" his plan to take on Bush's capacity to govern.
Dean Reynolds decried Bush for not conceding "Republicans in Congress may
share the blame for the gridlock." Betsy Stark found that "no matter
who wins...there is money to be made" by Wall Street.
4) The author of the Esquire interview of Bill Clinton, with
the "Monica's view" cover, told Today's Katie Couric the photo
"most resembles Lincoln sitting in the chair" at the Lincoln
5) Jay Leno gave George Bush a far friendlier forum than did
David Letterman. Leno wondered: "You think if you get elected Gore will
try to take credit for it?"
6) Letterman's "Top Ten Signs George W. Bush Is Getting
W. Bush is wrong in tone and substance, NBC Nightly News conveyed Monday
night. David Gregory contrasted how while Bush "promises to unite the
country," he accused Gore "of appealing to people's quote,
'darker impulses.'" But seconds later Claire Shipman, without
negative judgment, relayed how the Gore team's attacks on Bush as too
inexperienced is "a theme the Gore campaign thinks is resonating with
voters." Instead of castigating Gore's negative tone, Tom Brokaw
noted how his campaign was "raising real questions about Governor
Bush's ability to lead the nation" and then asked: "Do you
think that next week that this will be settled more on personalities than
it will be on policies?"
Later in the show NBC devoted an entire story not to
how Gore is hiding his extreme pro-abortion views or trying to conceal his
anti-gun positions as he boasts about protecting the rights of hunters,
but to how Bush's "critics say he's done his best to obscure his
Tom Brokaw opened the October 30 newscast by pegging
Bush with 209 electoral votes compared to 175 solid for Gore and 154 in
From Burbank, California where Bush was set to tape
the Tonight Show, David Gregory pointed out how a poll put Bush down 10
points, so "most people don't believe the Texas Governor can
actually win here, he just wants to make Al Gore think he can."
Gregory chastised Bush as a hypocrite: "Also
today, as Governor Bush in these final days promises to unite the country,
Bush accuses his opponent, the Vice President, of appealing to people's
quote, 'darker impulses.'"
Bush in Albuquerque:
"If you try to win at any cost, the price is high. You lose your
ability to inspire our people and lead a nation."
Gregory moved on how Bush and Republicans plan to
spend $2.5 million on TV ads in California.
Up next, Claire Shipman checked in from Wisconsin
with Gore. Without judgment, she relayed their plans to ridicule Bush's
abilities: "Sources tell us that the Democrats are ready to spend the
bulk of their advertising dollars in the final week, almost $12 million
dollar's worth, on a series of commercials targeting Bush on the issue
of experience. It's a theme the Gore campaign thinks is resonating with
voters and Joe Lieberman was unusually blunt about it today."
Lieberman in Green
Bay: "Let me tell you honestly, George Bush is not ready to be
President of the United States."
Brokaw then explained how NBC had extended
invitations to Gore and Bush to appear every night this week on NBC
Nightly News and "after a due deliberation, the Bush campaign
declined, the Vice President accepted."
Brokaw's first two questions focused on education
in interviewing Gore who appeared via satellite from Fond Du Lac,
Wisconsin. Brokaw's third inquiry raised his campaign's attacks on
Bush, but Brokaw did not castigate their tone:
President, today you were talking about health and prosperity, but the
rest of your team were raising real questions about Governor Bush's
ability to lead the nation as President of the United States, and your
wife Tipper said this is not the Dating Game that we're talking about
here. Do you think that next week that this will be settled more on
personalities than it will be on policies? Is that why your team is out
there attacking George Bush's record?"
His first two questions took on Gore from the right:
-- "Mr. Vice
President, one of the major issues separating you and the Governor in the
area of education, which we'll be talking about tonight, is this whole
issue of vouchers. In Milwaukee, a Democratic mayor has successfully led
the fight for vouchers that are financed with public money. You and the
teachers groups that support you are opposed to that idea. How do you
explain your position to a Milwaukee parent who has taken a child out of a
failing school and put that child in a safe, secure learning center?"
-- "Mr. Vice President, the head of the NEA,
before it gave its endorsement to you, said the core issue for you:
vouchers. No wavering, no wobbling. Does that mean that you'll remain
opposed to vouchers during the four years if you're elected President of
the United States?"
Following an ad break, the NBC Nightly News "In
Depth" segment looked at the presidential election's impact on the
Supreme Court and how Bush is hiding his true abortion position. First,
Pete Williams examined how a Gore or Bush win might change the Supreme
Court as Ralph Neas of the People for the American Way, which Williams
failed to label offered his prediction after which Williams noted how
"conservative groups" disagreed before he ran a clip from Clint
Bolick of the Institute for Justice.
Second, Brokaw highlighted Bush's secret agenda:
"Abortion is one of the topics that divides the court. As NBC's
Lisa Myers tells us now, it is an issue that Governor Bush is not eager to
raise. His critics say he's done his best to obscure his anti-abortion
Of course, NBC came at the issue not from the right
to explore how solid pro-life advocates find Bush far too accommodating of
the media in soft-pedaling pro-life arguments and refusing to commit to
appoint only pro-life judges, as Gore has done in the opposite direction,
but from the left for how he's hidden his anti-abortion agenda.
Lisa Myers began, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad
Wilmouth: "Governor Bush rarely brings up the subject of abortion
himself. Today he doesn't mention it at all. But when he does talk about
this hot-button issue, Bush chooses his words and tone carefully --
critics say, trying to have it both ways."
George W. Bush:
"In terms of the abortion issue, I am pro-life. I recognize that this
is an issue that is divisive in America. Good people disagree on the
he push a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion"
George W. Bush,
November 21, 1999: "I would support a constitutional amendment with
the exceptions of life, incest and rape. I wanna tell you something,
though. The country is not ready for a constitutional amendment."
instead Bush says he'd focus on reducing abortions by banning so-called
partial birth abortion, requiring parental notification for minors, and
making adoption easier. Beyond Bush's words, observers say there are
other atmospherics designed to signal women need not worry. His popular
mother Barbara is openly pro-choice, and his wife Laura hints she is,
Myers to Laura:
"Do you believe that a woman should have the right to choose an
"This is what I believe. I agree with George that we should try to do
what we can to reduce the number of abortions."
Myers to Laura:
"It sounds like you agree with mother-in-law Barbara Bush, that
"Well, that's what you said, Lisa."
impact of all this."
Collins: "He is sending a reassuring signal to those of us who are
pro-choice. I am confident that Governor Bush, as President, would not
mount any kind of attack on a woman's right to choose."
"Abortion rights advocates say Bush is trying to fool voters."
Clip of NARAL ad:
"Bush's goal: ending legal abortion."
Gore, who cast some anti-abortion votes himself twenty years ago, also
accuses Bush of trying to fuzz the issue and today warns the stakes for
women are high."
Al Gore: "I
believe in a woman's right to choose. I think it ought to be
"But pollsters say so far Bush's strategy seems to be working,
blunting abortion as a campaign issue. Though many voters say they trust
Gore more on the issue, polls show it's not a deciding factor in their
What an assumption by Myers that "many voters
say they trust Gore more on the issue" -- yeah, pro-abortion voters,
not those who share Bush's reservations about abortion being too common.
almost no one thinks Bush can truly win here in California,"
pronounced Bill Whitaker on Monday's CBS Evening News. John Roberts
relayed, without negative judgment on its tone, the Gore campaign's
strategy "to paint George Bush as not ready for prime time." Out
of the blue, CBS decided to devote a whole story to how Delaware
Republican Senator William Roth "may be a tradition the state can no
Dan Rather opened the October 30 show by asserting
that 14 states are considered toss-ups with four more in play: Washington,
California, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Rather set up a look at Bush's day: "The Bush
campaign, on themes of lower taxes, better schools and a better military,
is now feeling so confident elsewhere it's making a last minute bid for
outlined how Bush is so confident that he's pumped $5 million into
ads in California and is reaching out to Latino voters, but Nader's
support is what is actually making the Bush-Gore contest close.
Whitaker put a damper on Bush's prospects: "Now almost no one
thinks Bush can truly win here in California, but he has so much money
and so much confidence, he's making Gore fight down to the wire for
a state that should be his. And making the Vice President divert time
and money away from those hotly contested battleground states."
John Roberts in Wisconsin reviewed Gore's day
and observed: "The strategy is to paint George Bush as not ready
for prime time, but the Vice President was careful not to say that. He
left it to running mate Joe Lieberman."
"George Bush is not ready to be President of the United
Roberts added that to attract Nader voters Gore
has "adopted a more combative, populist tone."
Next, Bob Schieffer narrated a story on the
Delaware Senate race. He claimed Delaware likes tradition so many
voters like Senator Roth and his 30 years of Senate seniority which
allow him to chair the influential Senate Finance Committee, "but
critics say he's lost a step in recent years, that he may be a
tradition the state can no longer afford."
Schieffer allowed Democratic candidate Tom
Carper to tout his greater energy before showing a clip of the
80-year-old Roth fainting. Schieffer concluded: "Bill Roth, a
Delaware tradition, but has he stayed too long at the party?"
CBS ended its broadcast with a glowing profile
by Rita Braver of Tipper Gore, but since CBS promised a profile
tonight of Laura Bush I'll withhold any scrutiny unless there's a
contrast between the tone and substance of the day apart profiles.
Terry Moran actually offered a negative take on Gore's attacks on
Bush as he recounted how "the rhetoric was sharp, as when Gore
portrayed Bush as a double-barreled threat to the environment and the
economy." On Monday's World News Tonight he used Gore's own
rhetoric to tag as a "risky strategy" Gore's plan to take
on Bush's capacity to govern.
Dean Reynolds excoriated Bush for blaming
Washington gridlock on Gore, while not mentioning "that
Republicans in Congress may share the blame for the gridlock."
Betsy Stark probed who Wall Street hopes will
win and decided that "no matter who wins the race for President,
there is money to be made." She relayed how Wall Street experts
say "the best way to ensure" the booming economy continues
and to "keep any new administration in check, is to elect a
Peter Jennings opened the October 30 World News
Tonight by relaying how the latest ABC News poll found a tie between
Gore and Bush at 47 percent with Nader at 3 percent. He added that 10
percent said they do not feel strongly about either Bush or Gore.
Over video of Al and Tipper walking hand-in-hand
along a lake front, Terry Moran observed: "In picturesque and
strategic Muskegon, Michigan, Al and Tipper Gore headed into the
campaign's final eight days hand in hand. But while the pictures
were soft-edged, the rhetoric was sharp, as when Gore portrayed Bush
as a double-barreled threat to the environment and the economy."
don't believe we can build and sustain prosperity by spoiling our
environment any more than we can balance the budget by giving massive
tax cuts primarily to those at the top."
"Then, across Lake Michigan in Green Bay Wisconsin, running mate
Joe Lieberman bluntly raised the question of Bush's capacity to be
"Let me tell you honestly, George Bush is not ready to be
President of the United States. Maybe sometime."
Moran stressed how Gore remains "above
attacks on George Bush" as others make them for him while he
denied NRA claims he's a threat to hunters. Moran concluded:
Vice President's stump speeches are still loaded up with specific
policy proposals, his campaign has clearly decided to wage war in
these last days on the issue of personal qualities. That's a risky
strategy given that many voters seem to find Al Gore as well as George
From Burbank, California, Dean Reynolds checked
in: "In this final chapter of the campaign the Governor is
distilling his message into one overriding theme, that America is a
nation divided, beset by problems that have been ignored by the
current administration and that only he can solve."
Moran scolded Bush:
"Bush lays much of the blame at the doorstep of Washington, where
he rails against partisan stalemates. But today he did not mention,
nor does he ever mention, that Republicans in Congress may share the
blame for the gridlock. Instead he told his audience that Vice
President Gore is the roadblock."
Next, Peter Jennings credited Bush for an
upsurge in the Dow, but soon dismissed the theory: "Analysts say
that one reason the Dow was up was because George Bush was appearing
to have a slight edge in many of the polls and Wall Street managers
prefer Republican policies historically, though in this particular
race, for Mr. Bush or Mr. Gore, many money managers believe there is
money to be made."
Betsy Stark explained: "From Wall
Street's point of view, no matter who wins the race for President,
there is money to be made."
She outlined how analysts told her a Bush win
would be good for Microsoft, tobacco and pharmaceutical stocks while a
Gore victory would means opportunities in environmental services and
clean energy as well as with computer companies because of his plans
to put more computers in classrooms.
Stark decided who wins, however, is not what's
most important: "Whomever wins, what Wall Street most wants from
Washington is a continuation of the budget surpluses, low interest
rates, and fiscal discipline that have helped drive the economy and
the stock market into the record books. And the view here is that the
best way to ensure that status quo and keep any new administration in
check, is to elect a divided government. Which is why professional
investors hope whichever party wins the White House loses the
And, Stark concluded, they want 4 more years of
view" or like the Abraham Lincoln pose inside the Lincoln
Monday morning during Today's expanded 9am hour, MRC analyst
Geoffrey Dickens noticed, Katie Couric interviewed Michael Paterniti,
writer of the December Esquire magazine interview inside the magazine
which features a cover photo that Rush Limbaugh dubbed
As noted in the October 30 CyberAlert
Extra, both Fox News Sunday and Meet the Press displayed the cover
photo over the weekend. Like Russert, Couric tip-toed around what
comes to mind when you see the angle of the photo: "Let me ask
you about the photo on the cover. It's been, uh, sort of the subject
of much discussion. Sort of, well people can see for themselves, and,
and draw their own conclusions. What do you think of that photo?"
Paterniti responded that he was
"surprised" the photo has made as much news as it has since
in the photo Clinton "most resembles Lincoln sitting in the
chair" at Lincoln Memorial.
With that upsetting thought, you'll never be
able to look at the Lincoln Memorial the same way again.
To read Paterniti's interview and/or to view
the Esquire cover, go to:
W. Bush received a more friendly forum from Jay Leno and his Burbank
audience Monday night than he got a week and a half ago from David
Letterman in New York City.
The show opened with brief skit in which Bush
repeatedly mispronounced the word "flammable" in warning
Leno about a pumpkin with a candle inside, but then Bush pointed to a
sign which read, "Warning: Highly Flammablebablebable."
Later, during the actual interview appearance,
when Bush told Leno that "the less time you spent in Washington,
the more qualified you are," the Tonight Show audience erupted in
applause as they did when Bush said that, other than his father,
Reagan is his favorite President.
Leno avoided any policy questions and offered up
agreeable inquiries and quips. Leno asked Bush why Republicans are not
making a bigger issue of Joe Lieberman running simultaneously for VP
and for the Senate and wondered: "You think if you get elected
Gore will try to take credit for it?"
To refresh your memory about the issue grilling
from the left Bush got from David Letterman, go to:
Al Gore is scheduled to appear tonight, October
31, on NBC's Tonight Show.
of Letterman, from the October 30 Late Show with David Letterman the
"Top Ten Signs George W. Bush Is Getting Cocky." Copyright
2000 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. Begins each rally by electrocuting one lucky audience member
9. Sent first warning letter to "Saddam Hussein, President of
8. At press conference yesterday, deliberately pronounced
"possible" as "possima-mossima-bullible"
7. Has started referring to all foreigners as "Chinese"
6. Spent last several days "campaigning" in Acapulco
5. For Halloween, he's dressing up as Al Gore's concession speech
4. He's already predicting that his dumbest son will someday become
3. His tour schedule now suspiciously coincides with Korn's tour
2. On to-do list: November 7th -- "Win election"; November
8th -- "Start nailing interns"
1. Now swearing when he knows the microphone is on
And from the Late Show Web page, some of the
"Top Ten Extras" -- proposed items that didn't make the
-- Running ads in Massachusetts saying, "Go ahead and vote for
Gore -- we don't need you commies anyway"
-- Offered to donate 5% of his votes to Pat Buchanan "to make him
-- Called Gore and said, "Send me a resume, I'll see what I can
-- Five minutes into speech says, "Oh what the hell. It's not
like I need any more votes"
-- This morning's campaign speech was just a long list of people he
thinks are major-league assholes
-- Latest speech: "Remember what I promised I'd do in the
debates? Well, I'm only gonna do about half that crap"
As #2 in the aired list shows, even to the
Bush-bashing Letterman writers Bill Clinton jokes trump all others. -- Brent Baker
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