Media Pundits Back Gore Strategy; No "Wacko Right-Wing" Justices; Germond Told "Confused" Voters to Get a Life; Carlson Apologized
1) Three media liberals on the
weekend talk shows took Al Gore's side and defended his decision to pursue
hand counts in selected Democratic counties: Eleanor Clift, Margaret Carlson
and Al Hunt. Hunt advocated a "re-vote" for the entire state of
2) Now we can get around those right-wingers. Newsweek's Evan
Thomas wondered of George Bush: "Will he be brave enough" to
"sack the right wing leadership" in Congress? James Warren of the
Chicago Tribune effused that the divided Senate means no "wacko
right-wing Supreme Court nominees."
3) Jack Germond about the confused old folk voters: "If
they can't figure it out, get a life. They had plenty of time to figure it
4) "Did the media act responsibly on election
night?", no said 79 percent. Dan Rather claimed that instead of being
"inaccurate about anything," he'd....
5) The McLaughlin Group's predictions for who will take office
on January 20: None picked Gore, but two declined to say and one suggested
6) Time's Margaret Carlson made herself her own "Outrage
of the Week" on CNN's Capital Gang as she apologized for "a flippant
remark about the military which offended many people." She didn't repeat
it, but she had deplored how Florida absentee ballots from military personnel
from the no income tax state will mean "we will have possibly a bunch of
tax dodgers deciding the election."
7) ABC spotlighted complaints fueled by Jesse Jackson about
blacks in Miami's "Little Haiti" turned away because they were not
registered. But a Fox reporter heard in the same neighborhood that people were
"intimidated" into voting for Gore.
of the most prominent media liberals on the weekend talk shows took Al Gore's
side and defended his decision to pursue hand counts in selected Democratic
counties. Eleanor Clift maintained "he is raising legitimate
questions" as the courts are where the issues should be settled, Margaret
Carlson saw nothing wrong with going to court to force more re-counts and Al
Hunt blasted the idea that Gore is cheating and Hunt advocated the idea of a
"re-vote" for the entire state of Florida.
In contrast, from the top of the show, Nina
Totenberg, Evan Thomas and Jack Germond on Inside Washington condemned the
hand counts in just Democratic counties and recommended that if hand counts
are completed they must be done in all counties.
-- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on the McLaughlin
Group: "The Republicans are acting as though Al Gore is trying to steal
the election when he is raising legitimate questions about the ballot process
in Florida. And it seems to me it is in every bit as much Governor Bush's
interest to resolve this in a way so that people feel confident that the right
person has been elected. And the notion that this is somehow unfair, the
courts are our system of replay in this country. It's the sports equivalent
when you get the replay maybe the losing side doesn't like it. But we have
every right, I think, as Americans to see this process play out in the court
-- Time columnist Margaret Carlson on CNN's
hour-long special live Capital Gang on Saturday night: "There's been a
prima-facie case made that there have been mistakes in the ballot in Florida.
Asking, even if you have to go to court, for a re-count is not a
constitutional crisis. We have a close election. They're looking at the
-- Al Hunt, Executive Washington Editor of the
Wall Street Journal, in an angry retort on CNN's Capital Gang to Bob Novak's
assertion that Al Gore's team is cheating Bush out of his win: "There's
an equal number of Americans right now who worry that they're being cheated on
the other side and to suggest that one side is culpable here and not the
other. There is no difference between what Bill Daley said and what Jim Baker
said. Both have declared an end to this election before the process is
finished. And Karl Rove is going out lying about various things and somehow
that's acceptable. I'm sorry, you cannot say there's a difference in behavior
"Hunt added later: "I think we'd be much
better off to have Florida re-vote."
On the up
side, now we can get around those right-wingers. Newsweek's Evan Thomas
wondered of George Bush: "Will he be brave enough" to "sack the
right wing leadership" in Congress? James Warren of the Chicago Tribune
effused that "one good thing about" the close election is it means
no "wacko right-wing Supreme Court nominees" as "any nominee is
going to have to be distinctly mainstream."
-- Evan Thomas, Assistant Managing Editor of
Newsweek, on Inside Washington: "Here's the thing that I'm interested in.
If Bush gets in, will he be brave enough either to sack the right wing
leadership or try to run a coup against them, or find a way around them using
-- Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James
Warren on the McLaughlin Group on how neither Bush or Gore will get major new
tax cut or spending programs through the divided Congress: "If Bush is
elected President some of the notions that have scared liberals about wacko
right-wing Supreme Court nominees going through, it'll never happen. One good
thing about this is it guarantees that any nominee is going to have to be
-- Al Hunt delighted on Capital Gang in telling
Bob Novak: "On any mandate for that tax cut, there may be a tax
reduction, but Bob listen to me, read my lips: no big tax cut for you."
sympathy from the old curmudgeon Jack Germond for the small number of voters
supposedly confused by the ballot in Palm Beach County. On Inside Washington,
syndicated columnist Germond argued: "On the business about the
victimized old folks. The thing is, they're my age, so I can say this. If they
can't figure it out, get a life. They had plenty of time to figure it out.
They had all day, election officials would help them. They put the voting
place right in the condo. Figure it out."
Later, in a discussion about how the networks called Florida for Gore at
6:50pm CT, Germond expressed the view that in Florida's panhandle, where polls
were still open, "I'm sure it cost them [Bush] some votes."
Reliable Sources on Saturday dedicated its live half hour to network stars and
producers discussing their miss-calls on election night. Two noteworthy items
-- Asked in a new CNN/Time poll, "Did the
media act responsibly on election night?", no said 79 percent, yes
replied a mere 17 percent.
-- CBS News anchor Dan Rather claimed: "I
would rather walk through a furnace in a gasoline suit than be inaccurate
Rather must have a lot of burned skin.
McLaughlin Group's predictions for who will take office on January 20:
-- Lawrence Kudlow: Bush
-- Eleanor Clift: "Too close to call."
-- Tony Blankley: "Either Bush or Speaker Denny Hastert."
-- James Warren: "I don't know...playing neutral journalist."
-- John McLaughlin: Bush
Margaret Carlson made herself her own "Outrage of the Week" on CNN's
Capital Gang as she apologized for "a flippant remark about the military
which offended many people," but she didn't tell CNN viewers exactly what
she had said. As quoted in the November 10 CyberAlert Extra, on Imus in the
Morning the day after the election, she deplored how, in reference to Florida
absentee ballots from military personnel claiming residency in the state
without an income tax, "we will have possibly a bunch of tax dodgers
deciding the election."
Saturday night on CNN she admonished herself:
"My 'Outrage of the Week,' sadly, is me. I made a flippant remark about
the military which offended many people, and I regret it. Whatever tax breaks
people who risk their lives get, it's not enough. The military, the police and
teachers should get paid the most, lawyers, investment bankers and pundits the
least. My older brother worked for the Navy for 25 years, my father served in
World War II and worked for the Navy for 30 years. I can't apologize to him,
but I apologize to everyone else."
To read in full what Carlson argued by phone on
the November 8 Imus in the Morning radio show simulcast on MSNBC, go to:
highlighted on Thursday night complaints fueled by Jesse Jackson about how
blacks in Miami's "Little Haiti" who tried to vote but were turned
away because they were not registered. The next night, however, a Fox reporter
went to the same neighborhood to hear complaints about how residents were
"intimidated" into voting for Gore as his supporters were improperly
inside voting locations "telling voters what holes to punch, giving them
sheets of paper with numbers to punch for a straight Democratic ticket."
On ABC's Primetime Thursday on November 9, Chris
Wallace, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson observed, gave credibility to a Jesse
Jackson publicity stunt:
"In Miami-Dade County, at a popular Creole radio
show, the phones have been ringing off the hook with hundreds of
Haitian-Americans telling stories of how they tried to vote and couldn't.
There was a rally in this church to complain about irregularities. The
Reverend Jesse Jackson believes there should not only be a re-count, but that
these people should be able to vote again."
Jackson: "The playing field was not even. The
rules were not public and the goals were unclear."
Wallace continued: "Marlene Bastien has been
an activist in the growing Haitian community for the past 15 years."
Bastien: "Some of them stood in line for two
hours trying to vote and they were prevented from voting."
Wallace: "She and her staff were busy gathering
stories from people who say they were turned away at the voting booth because
they supposedly were not on the registration rolls. Jacques Marzan is one of
the many registered voters who have come forward."
Marzan: "The clerk looked at that list and said
I'm not registered. They said, I don't have mine in there."
Bastien: "It's not a question of who should be
the next President. It's a question of respecting people's rights."
Wallace: "The whole world may be watching
Florida, and the history of the country will depend on what happens
But on Friday night's Special Report with Brit
Hume on FNC, reporter William LaJeunesse cited evidence of voter intimidation
by Democrats. He noted how Gore had captured 93 percent of Florida's black
vote, six points higher that Clinton got in 1996, a gain possibly attributable
to Democrats making sure poor immigrant blacks knew for whom to vote.
LaJeunesse highlighted "questions that some
voters were unfairly and illegally influenced, even intimidated at certain
precincts in Little Haiti." LaJeunesse talked to local minister
Phipps St. Hilaire and relayed his concerns:
"This prominent Haitian minister says he alone
received about three dozen complaints from constituents that Democratic
campaign workers violated the 50 foot rule around some precincts in Little
Haiti. Some Gore supporters actually inside, telling voters what holes to
punch, giving them sheets of paper with numbers to punch for a straight
Who do you believe? A local minister or Jesse
Jackson who parachuted in to land in front of network TV cameras? -- Brent Baker
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