Bush's Fault Blacks Opposed Him; No Disenfranchisement Found; Pressure From "the Far Right"; Silence Over Hillary Book Deal
1) ABC and CBS put the
burden on Bush for black aversion to him, citing his visit to Bob Jones
University as well as stands on the death penalty and affirmative
action. CBS showcased a black Republican woman who left the GOP over
2) FNC's Brit Hume picked up on newspaper reports
about how there's no evidence of any black disenfranchisement in
Florida but in Philadelphia, "in some precincts, 100 percent of
those registered were recorded as having voted, with 99 percent of the
votes going to Al Gore."
3) ABC and NBC pointed out how Bush's Treasury
Secretary nominee, Paul O'Neill, backed raising energy taxes. CBS's
John Roberts instead stressed how Bush "may need to capitalize on
O'Neill's friendship with Alan Greenspan" since he "has
spared few words in his criticism of the President-elect's plan to cut
4) Spin you won't hear on other networks. Fred Barnes
on FNC: "You
have a Secretary of State who opposed...Desert Storm. You have a White
House Chief-of-Staff...who endorsed the Clinton health care plan...you
have a Treasury Secretary who was in favor of the carbon tax that Al
5) CNN's Wolf Blitzer characterized Republicans
opposed to gun control, affirmative action and abortion as "the far
right" of the party.
6) "How Democrats howled when the issue was Newt
Gingrich's book deal," CNN's Brooks Jackson reminded viewers in
noting silence over Hillary's deal. Media silence too. Back in 1994/95
27 network stories. This time hardly a peep. Time's Margaret Carlson
excused Hillary's deal since "the independent counsel
impoverished her," so "let her trick some publisher into
paying her legal bills."
7) Letterman's "Top Ten Chapter Titles In Hillary
Clinton's New Book."
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and CBS tried to explain Wednesday night why blacks rejected George W.
Bush at the polls by 9-to-1. Both networks put the burden on Bush for
being on the wrong side of the issues. CBS focused on how his visit to Bob
Jones University was the "last straw" for many, including a
woman who left the Republican Party over the event. ABC's Carole Simpson
simply listed all of Bush's supposed transgressions, from Bob Jones to
favoring capital punishment to opposing affirmative action, before she
concluded: "The majority of African-Americans are worried about what
the next four years will bring. Their biggest fear: that they will lose
under President Bush what they gained under President Clinton."
Other than one soundbite on CBS from Republican
Congressman J.C. Watts, neither network raised any points from
conservatives who could have argued it's simply a liberal-conservative
split that won't change as long as the vast majority of blacks feel
dependent on government programs, though ABC's Peter Jennings did point
out how more blacks than whites want government to solve problems. Of
course, neither story mentioned how the NAACP ran scare-mongering TV ads
which clearly implied Bush was a racist.
-- CBS Evening News. Jim Axelrod picked up on how
Bush met earlier in the day with ministers, many of them black, about the
role of faith-based groups in solving problems. Noting how he's already
picked two blacks for top jobs, he allowed J.C. Watts to suggest people
will measure Bush against his performance. Axelrod reported, however, that
87 percent of blacks don't think Bush won legitimately. Axelrod than had
two liberals attack Bush: Amos Brown of the San Francisco Board of
Supervisors and Faye Anderson, who "was a Republican for 16 years, a
member of the first Bush administration before growing disenchanted. Bob
Jones was her last straw too. She, and many blacks she says, will watch
carefully well beyond this first flurry of appointments and
"It's not about the first week or two. I don't think anyone is
saying that he's off to a bad start. What he has done to date does not
address how we got to this point."
with a shot at Bush's "faith-based" efforts: "She says
many blacks are willing to see what changes may come, just don't ask
anyone to take it on faith."
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Anchor Peter Jennings
pointed out how blacks rejected Bush by 9-to-1 and an exit poll which
asked whether "government should do more to solve problems"
found 72 percent of blacks said yes compared to just 37 percent of whites. Jennings acknowledged: "While some
significant change in America has occurred under Republican Presidents,
some of today's most outspoken black leaders have an aversion to the
Carole Simpson then laid out the Democratic case for
how Republicans are wrong on every important issue, as transcribed by MRC
analyst Brad Wilmouth: "No matter that he calls himself
'compassionate' and 'inclusive,' George W. Bush has not made any
headway with African-Americans."
Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee: "We did not hear our voice being
spoken or our words or our desires being articulated by the Republican
candidate, now President-elect."
voters are quick to point out things he did during the campaign which they
say show he was not really serious about winning their allegiance.
Speaking at Bob Jones University, which forbids inter-racial dating,
refusing to take a stand on flying the Confederate flag over South
Carolina's state Capitol, and authorizing the executions of more
convicts, many of them black, than any other Governor in the country. On
top of all this, George W. Bush is opposed to affirmative action. That's
the policy many blacks say is responsible for their advancement in
Tavis Smiley, BET
Tonight: "When you come down on the wrong side of the death penalty
question, when you come down on the wrong side of the affirmative action
question, when you come down on the wrong side of the education question,
I could go on and on, there's clearly a divide between what Mr. Bush
thinks is best for black America and what black America thinks is best for
Woman on the street:
"I don't really believe that he really is concerned for the
Man on the street:
"Most African-Americans feel as though if the Republicans are in,
that they're not getting a fair shake."
Simpson: "Then you remind black voters that
Bush's first appointments to powerful administration jobs were blacks --
Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice."
Woman: "We are
not foolish people, and we know that he is using them as tokens."
Man: "The issue
isn't what people he puts in there. The issue is the policies."
in Texas, only five percent of black voters, fewer than anywhere else,
voted for their two-term Governor."
Woman: "Well, I
just don't trust him."
"And so the majority of African-Americans are worried about what the
next four years will bring. Their biggest fear: that they will lose under
President Bush what they gained under President Clinton."
Jennings introduced a follow up story: "How
will it be when he takes office definitively. One writer asked in the Wall
Street Journal today, will black Americans be eternal victims. Will Mr.
Bush and millions of blacks be permanently estranged?"
John Martin then provided a brief story on how Bush
wants to build bridges to blacks and with 38 black Democrats in the House
he'll have to learn to address their concerns.
ABC and CBS were passing along complaints about Bush's policies from
liberal blacks, FNC's Brit Hume let his viewers know that charges
reported by all three broadcast networks, about how blacks in Florida were
discriminated against at the voting booth, have come up baseless.
During his December 20 Special Report with Brit Hume
program, Hume summarized a Washington Times story:
officials looking into charges by Jesse Jackson and others that black
voters were systematically disenfranchised on election day are finding no
evidence of that. The Washington Times quotes a spokesman for Florida's
Democratic attorney general Bob Butterworth as saying a roadblock near
Tallahassee that some blacks have complained was an effort to intimidate
them was in fact a routine law enforcement effort that led to the issuance
of 18 traffic warnings, two thirds of them to white motorists.
that police blocked access to a polling place in an African-American
precinct in Tampa turned up only police looking for a robbery suspect.
Only one man was detained. The statistics suggest that voting problems in
Florida were likely the result of an unprecedented turnout of first-time
black voters, encouraged by the NAACP
in a massive get-out-the vote effort. More than 900 thousand
African-Americans voted in Florida on November
7th, which represented a 65 percent increase over 1996.
blacks represented 15 percent of the voting population in Florida, which
is two percent more than their percentage of the population at large.
Many, apparently unfamiliar with voting procedures, mismarked, or
double-marked their ballots."
To read the Washington Times story by Jerry Seper,
"Florida probe finding no evidence of black disenfranchisement,"
go to: http://www.washtimes.com/national/default-20001220225948.htm
Hume proceeded to pick up on another newspaper
report about some over-voting in Pennsylvania and a little fun fact about
the St. Louis polls which stayed open late:
turnout in other areas has raised questions of fraud.
In Philadelphia, The New York Post notes that nearly every single
eligible citizen -- 1,250,000 people -- registered to vote, an
astonishingly high number. In some precincts, 100 percent of those
registered were recorded as having voted, with 99 percent of the votes
going to Al Gore.
"In St. Louis,
which had the highest black turnout in the country, polls were kept open
an extra hour by a court in response to a Democratic lawsuit filed by two
voters who, it was claimed, did not have enough time to vote. It turned
out that one of the two was dead and the other was not registered to
Hume was citing a December 20 New York Post column
by Stephen Bronars of the University of Texas and John Lott of the Yale
University Law School. To read their discoveries, go to:
NBC on Wednesday night pointed out how conservatives are concerned that
Bush's Treasury Secretary nominee, Paul O'Neill, backed raising energy
taxes. CBS didn't mention the subject as John Roberts instead stressed
how Bush "may need to capitalize on O'Neill's friendship with
Alan Greenspan. The Fed Chairman has spared few words in his criticism of
the President-elect's plan to cut taxes."
On ABC's World News
Tonight Terry Moran alerted viewers: "Conservatives may have
concerns. In 1992 O'Neill advocated a tax on gasoline, an idea Bush has
long scorned. Today O'Neill tried to make clear he knew who would make
policy in the new administration."
Viewers then saw a
soundbite of O'Neill saying Bush has the right ideas on the economy.
Over on the NBC Nightly News, David Gregory
reported: "O'Neill, the 65-year-old chairman of aluminum maker
Alcoa, and deputy budget director under President Ford, says he's a
strong proponent of Bush's $1.3 trillion tax cut plan, though he's
been criticized by Republicans for supporting President Clinton's 1992
proposal to impose a gasoline tax."
Dan Rather opened the CBS Evening News with this
loaded set up: "Good evening. President-elect Bush talked again today
about what he sees as a U.S. economy in trouble, possibly headed for a
recession. Mr. Bush says the sweeping tax cut plan he ran on is what's
needed to head it off. This is part of the Bush strategy aimed at
absolving himself from any blame for a possible downturn, saying in effect
it didn't start on my watch. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has
not favored a big tax cut. Democrats call Bush's talk of a recession
unwise and his tax plan a windfall mostly for the wealthy."
John Roberts didn't mention O'Neill's tax hike
advocacy and concluded his story on O'Neill's selection: "The
appointment of O'Neill to Treasury was met with mixed reviews in the
financial world. Many people would have preferred that Bush pick a Wall
Street insider for the job, but the President-elect may need to capitalize
on O'Neill's friendship with Alan Greenspan. The Fed Chairman has
spared few words in his criticism of the President-elect's plan to cut
you won't hear elsewhere. Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard on FNC's
FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume on Wednesday night:
"This is kind of a funny cabinet. You have a Secretary of State who
opposed, at least in the beginning, Desert Storm. You have a White House
Chief-of-Staff, Andy Card, who endorsed the Clinton health care plan. And
now you have a Treasury Secretary who was in favor of the carbon tax that
Al Gore wanted and that Bill Clinton wouldn't even go along with.
And the networks spent all year warning of Bush's
"hard right" stands.
who oppose affirmative action, gun control and abortion, positions taken
by George W. Bush, represent the "far right" of the party
CNN's Wolf Blitzer declared in a Monday night interview with Dick
MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth caught this question
from Blitzer to Cheney in a taped interview played during the December 18
premiere of CNN's new 8pm ET show, Wolf Blitzer Reports:
know, some conservatives, and you're a conservative, a proud conservative,
but some conservatives are already, you know, expressing some concern that
Governor Christine Todd Whitman or Governor George Pataki, you know,
people who support abortion rights, affirmative action, gun control, that
they may have prominent roles in the Cabinet. Do you take that kind of
criticism or concern seriously from, let's say, the far right of your
Hillary Clinton book deal has a generated a few network stories, but
nothing like the media apoplexy Newt Gingrich's book deal fueled back in
late 1994/early 1995. A MRC Media Reality Check fax report earlier this
week reviewed the network outrage back then over the Gingrich book.
Wednesday night on
CNN's Inside Politics Brooks Jackson noticed the contrast in outrage
from Democratic politicians: "How Democrats howled when the issue was
Newt Gingrich's book deal."
Bonior at the time: "But this latest $4 million book deal wades ten
feet deep into the ethical swamp."
Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton is nailing down a book deal worth $8
million. But this time, the only questions are coming from the
conservative Landmark Legal Foundation, which filed a complaint with the
Senate Ethics Committee and from Ralph Nader's Congressional
(I guess Ralph Nader isn't liberal.)
Jackson could have added the media to the contrast
as they too have been comparatively silent. FNC and CNN have done stories
and interview segments and ABC's World News Tonight ran one story Friday
night while GMA interviewed a publishing expert about the deal on Friday
morning. But that's about it from the networks that I've seen, though
I have not completed an exhaustive check.
But I do know CBS News has spiked the Hillary book
deal (nothing on The Early Show or the CBS Evening News as aired in the
east where it was bumped by sports on Saturday and Sunday night) and
that's relevant since it is to be published by Simon and Schuster, part
of CBS's parent Viacom. The alleged ethical problem with Gingrich's
book, you'll recall, was that it was to be published by HarperCollins,
owned by Rupert Murdoch whose media empire had regulatory policy dealings
with Congress. Well, so does Viacom.
Nonetheless, Time's Margaret Carlson was blind to
the nearly identical set of conflict of interest questions. On
Saturday's Capital Gang on CNN she actually rationalized Hillary's
deal since "the independent counsel impoverished her," so
"let her trick some publisher into paying her legal bills." Her
December 16 spin in full:
Gingrich and his book deal, Hillary Clinton isn't getting her $8 million
advance from Rupert Murdoch with his billions of dollars worth of
legislation before the House, which unlike the Senate banned such deals.
If Hillary were to utter her first spontaneous word and answer the burning
question, is the Senate worth all you had to put up with, the book might
be worth it. Anyway, since the independent counsel impoverished her, let's
let her trick some publisher into paying her legal bills. It takes a
Now the text of a Media
Reality Check distributed by fax on Tuesday titled, "Nets
Neuter Newt, Puff and Enrich Hillary: CBS News Demanded Gingrich Scuttle
His Book Deal, But CBS Made Book Deal with Sen. Hillary." The MRC's
Tim Graham went into the MRC's archive to demonstrate how the networks
pounced on Newt Gingrich's book deal. To view this as an Adobe Acrobat
PDF, go to: http://archive.mrc.org/realitycheck/2000/pdf/fax1219.pdf
But first, the pull-out quote in the middle of the
CBS Hammered Newt's Deal for Months
"Until the Ethics Committee announced on Friday that they were indeed
going to call you and Rupert Murdoch, there had been charges, most of them
from Democrats, that the whole thing was being dragged out, that the
Ethics Committee had taken no testimony under oath, that they had
subpoenaed no documents. Eric Engberg, of CBS, had reported that they
hadn't even gotten a briefing from any relevant agencies. Do you think the
Ethics Committee has been dragging its feet on this? And would you like to
tell them to speed up to at least clear up all of this?"
-- CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer to Newt Gingrich, July 9, 1995.
Here's the text of the Media Reality Check:
On February 1, 1995, CBS reporter Eric Engberg attacked Newt
Gingrich's $4.5 million book deal with HarperCollins. Engberg suggested
the embattled new Speaker ought to surrender: "Speaker Gingrich, who
could end the controversy by scuttling the book deal, is standing
Gingrich had already given away his advance, but that didn't stop
Engberg: "When Gingrich tried to end the controversy by turning down
the advance, he failed to disclose he had met with Murdoch. When that came
out, Gingrich did not reveal that Murdoch's top lobbyist was also at the
courtesy call and that they discussed a big regulatory problem facing
Murdoch's Fox TV network, the jewel of his media empire. It's a
Dan Rather introduced that story: "More tonight about whether
Australian-born-and-centered communications billionaire Rupert Murdoch is
trying to buy influence with politically connected authors."
A February 1995 MediaWatch study found 27 network evening news stories
on the Gingrich book deal from December 22, 1994 to February 2, 1995 --
seven each for ABC, CBS, and NBC, and six on CNN's World News. The
networks first reported the book deal on December 22. "We'll hear
more about this one," CBS reporter Bob Schieffer promised. Schieffer
was still hammering Gingrich about it in July. (See pull out quote above)
Now Simon and Schuster has announced an $8 million book deal with
Senator-elect Hillary Clinton. Simon and Schuster is now an arm of the CBS
conglomerate. Will CBS and the other networks show the same ethical ardor
in suggesting that Hillary's book deal looks like "buying influence
with politically connected authors," and demand she forego any
advance, and then despite that move, continue to demand more congressional
investigations until every conversation between Mrs. Clinton and her
corporate benefactors is parsed for every possible political impact?
Don't count on it.
CBS Early Show news reader Julie Chen touched tangentially on the topic
on December 15: "Book publishers are lining up to pay millions for
Hillary Clinton's White House memoirs. Some say that creates an ethics
problem for the future senator. Members of the House were barred from
accepting book advances after then Speaker Newt Gingrich got a big money
book deal six years ago."
Reporters pounced on the Gingrich deal because he tried for months to
get the media to cover a September 24, 1997 Washington Post story on
Speaker Jim Wright's book deal, which led to Wright's resignation in
Of the 27 Gingrich book deal stories, six mentioned the case of Speaker
Wright, either by comparing Democratic attacks on Gingrich to Gingrich's
attacks on Wright, or by noting that both stories involved book deals.
Gingrich's comparison of his deal to Al Gore's $100,000 advance for Earth
in the Balance made it into only two stories.
For CBS, what goes around comes around. When Gingrich gave up his
advance, CBS Face the Nation fill-in host Rita Braver asked Bob Dole on
January 1, 1995: "You don't think he'll be called The
Four-and-a-Half-Million Dollar Man anymore?" The man behind
Hillary's book deal is agent Bob Barnett, Braver's husband.
END reprint of Media Reality Check
may not be interested in the Hillary book deal, but their late night
comedy show gave it some publicity Monday night. From the December 18 Late
Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Chapter Titles In Hillary
Clinton's New Book." Copyright 2000 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. "1, 2, 3, 5-8 and 10 -- A Look At The Commandments I Broke
During The Past 8 Years"
9. "Alaska and Jupiter -- The Only Things Bigger Than My Husband's
8. "Deciding Which State Is Best For You To Pretend To Be From"
7. "Priceless White House Antiques I've Thrown At Bill's Head"
6. "Sweet Revenge: My Evening In A Windowless Corridor With a Hefty
5. "God Bless The Execu-Craft Model 5000 Paper Shredder"
4. "Roger Clinton: The Real Brains Behind The Whole Operation"
3. "Arafat's Wife: So-So Kisser"
2. "I Never Figured Out Who The Hell Rick Lazio Was Either"
1. Chapter 1: "Bill's A Jerk. The End. Now Where's My $8 Mil?"
And, from the Late
Show Web site, some of the Top Ten "Extras," the
"also-rans" that didn't make the final cut:
-- "July 17, 1996: The Day Bill Didn't Cheat On Me!"
-- "How To Get Some Dumb Ass To Pay $8 Million For Your Book"
-- "Pictures of Bill and Me That I Was Able To Tape Back
-- "Vince Foster, Jimmy Stewart and Other People I Had Killed"
-- "Thank God I'm Back in D.C.: My Four Horrifying Months In New
-- "Since I Feel Kinda Bad For Him, Maybe I'll Let Al Gore Be Vice
President Again When I Run In 2004"
-- "Alan Greenspan: The Man Who Made Me Feel Like A Woman Again"
-- "'I'm A New Yorker,' 'I Didn't Kill Vince Foster' And Other Huge Lies I Told"
The news media may have forgotten Vince Foster, but
not one late night show, though his name didn't make it onto the air.
Maybe Letterman has a conservative writer or two. --
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