China Enraged by "Militant" Bush; "Historic" Win for "Landmark" McCain Bill to Ban "Attack Ads"; Bush "Poisoning" the Air & Water
1) "Militant" Bush's anti-communism at fault.
ABC's Peter Jennings warned about a "backlash" fueled by how
the Bush administration has "been very militant rhetorically with the
Chinese government." Terry Moran insisted the Bush stand had
"raised mutual suspicions" and thus made a "resolution of
this much more difficult."
2) Tom Brokaw celebrated "a historic moment in the
United States Senate" with the passage of McCain-Feingold, which Dan
Rather dubbed a "landmark measure." NBC's Lisa Myers relayed
as fact the premise of the bill's promoters: "This is a huge step
toward reducing the power of big money in politics." CBS's Bob
Schieffer promised "attack ads" would be banned.
3) In a memo urging Democrats to fight back against
President Bush, Barbra Streisand accused Bush of "poisoning our air
and water" and she declared that "we have a President who stole
the presidency" by "by disenfranchising thousands of blacks,
elderly Jews and other minorities." She insisted: "Clinton's
pardons have no impact on the health and welfare of the American
4) 60 Minutes Executive Producer Don Hewitt disclosed he
voted for Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and Gore, conceded he knew at the time
that Bill Clinton was lying on his show in denying an affair with Gennifer
Flowers, revealed James Carville sobbed during the taping: "Oh I love
them, I love those people, I love them so much." And he noted how Dan
Rather "likes" Bill Clinton.
5) A prosecutor to a car-jacker on ABC's The Practice:
"George W. Bush is your worst nightmare at this moment. Know why? He
proposed legislation to bring back the death penalty in every state, and
it's about three weeks from passing here in Massachusetts."
>>> Maher video clip now online. On
Monday MRC Webmaster Andy Szul posted a RealPlayer video clip from Bill
Maher on ABC's Politically Incorrect, as detailed in the April 2
CyberAlert, insulting President Bush as a "lying bag of manure after
what he did today with the Kyoto protocol....I mean, he never ceases to
disappoint me in what a lying sack of shit he is." To view the video
with the expletive bleeped and for a full transcript, go to:
Correction: The April 2 CyberAlert quoted comedian Bill Engvall as
asking Bill Maher on Politically Incorrect: "Feel better know?"
That "know" should have been a letter shorter: "now."
Bush at fault? The Bush administration's tougher stand toward China than
the position projected by the Clinton team has exacerbated the potential
danger of the U.S.-China plane collision, ABC's Peter Jennings and Terry
Moran implied Monday night. On World News Tonight Jennings worried about a
"backlash" fueled by how the Bush administration has "been
very militant rhetorically with the Chinese government." Moran
insisted the Bush stand had "raised mutual suspicions" and,
therefore, made a "resolution of this much more difficult."
The blaming of the end of Clinton's
accommodationist position for making things worse occurred on the April 2
show after White House reporter Moran told Jennings that the Bush team is
playing the current crisis "low key and non-confrontational" in
order to give China room do the right thing. Moran added: "As one
senior administration official said to me recently, 'we're trying to
keep this accident from becoming an incident.'"
Jennings then inquired of Moran: "But
Terry, before this incident the Bush administration had been very militant
rhetorically with the Chinese government. Any fear there there might be a
Moran confirmed Jennings's spin about the
downside to taking a tough line toward communists: "Well,
administration officials say no, that the direct contacts between the
governments they say are going just swimmingly, that they've had great
meetings with Chinese officials and exchanges of letters. But there's no
question that a series of stances that the Bush administration has taken
to toughen U.S. posture toward China may have raised mutual suspicions
here, making resolution of this much more difficult."
"Just swimmingly"? When's the last
time you heard that phrase from a network news reporter?
historic moment in the United States Senate tonight," NBC Nightly
News anchor Tom Brokaw announced in trumpeting the triumph for McCain-Feingold.
A "landmark measure," announced CBS anchor Dan Rather. NBC
reporter Lisa Myers relayed as fact the premise of the bill's promoters:
"This is a huge step toward reducing the power of big money in
The U.S.-China plane collision overshadowed
the McCain-Feingold vote in the Senate, but all three broadcast network
evening shows found time to celebrate the win for campaign finance
"reform" as all three adopted some portion of the spin pushed by
In addition to the spin from Myers on NBC,
ABC's Peter Jennings warned that it now "faces a number of
obstacles, not to mention traps," before he raised the specter of the
rise again of the Senator the media most despise: "Does that bring
forth Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky again?" CBS's Bob
Schieffer stated not that the bill bans issue ads 60 days before an
election, but that it bans "attack ads."
Who could be against stopping those awful
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Peter Jennings
announced: "Campaign finance reform has passed in the U.S. Senate
after years of political battle. If it becomes law, the legislation would
be the most significant reform of the system since just after Watergate.
But it faces a number of obstacles, not to mention traps, and we're
joined by ABC's Linda Douglass on Capitol Hill."
Douglass explained how Republicans in the
House will delay bringing the bill to a vote while Democrats who have
voted for campaign finance reform in the past don't like the hike in the
hard money limit and so can't be counted on.
Jennings then said "doesn't" when
he meant "does," but what worried him remained clear: "Now
what happens if it doesn't get changed in the House of Representatives?
Does that bring forth Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky again?"
Douglass confirmed: "Absolutely. If it does
get changed in the House, substantially changed, then you have what you
call a conference, Senators and House members. Mitch McConnell, the
biggest opponent of campaign reform, would no doubt be in there trying to
Jennings: "Thanks very much Linda Douglass.
Conferences are always trouble -- and long."
Yes, anything that impedes further government
regulation is considered "trouble" by journalists.
-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather told viewers:
"On Capitol Hill tonight, victory for the McCain-Feingold campaign
finance reform bill. The Senate voted 59 to 41 to approve the landmark
measure designed to put serious limits on special interest money."
Bob Schieffer began his piece: "It was a
very sweet moment, long time coming, for John McCain who has fought this
fight for five years now."
In providing an overview of the bill which
passed Schieffer used loaded language to describe the type of ad the
legislation intends to inhibit: "The bill outlaws so-called soft
money, the unrestricted backdoor contributions to political parties. It
raises the limit on direct contributions to candidates from $1,000 to
$2,000 and bans unions, corporations and private groups from running
attack ads 60 days before elections."
-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw proclaimed:
"A historic moment in the United States Senate tonight. Senators
approved a bill making it much more difficult for them to get their hands
on campaign money. This is a triumph for Senators John McCain, a
Republican, and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, a Democrat, after a six-year
crusade to reform campaign finance. NBC's Lisa Myers joins me now from
Capitol Hill with tonight's vote and the new battle lines still ahead.
Myers began by delivering the liberal line:
"Tom, this is a huge step toward reducing the power of big money in
politics. Reformers now believe they have so much momentum, they'll be
tough to stop, even as opponents vow to fight with every weapon they've
Streisand is back and she's bashing President Bush as she urges
Democrats to fight Bush's "lies." If you hoped Bill
Clinton's departure from the White House meant Streisand would fade
away, you were wrong.
In a memo to Democratic Congressman and
Senators, Streisand accused Bush of not only "poisoning our air and
water by withdrawing his promise to enforce emissions standards and
arsenic regulations, but he's poisoning our political system as
well." She declared that "we have a President who stole the
presidency" by "intimidation" and "by disenfranchising
thousands of blacks, elderly Jews and other minorities." She urged
Democrats to protect Clinton's legacy and his "gains" by
reminding people how George H. W. Bush "pardoned a heroin drug
trafficker and a terrorist who was responsible for 73 deaths." She
insisted: "Clinton's pardons have no impact on the health and welfare
of the American people."
Someone gave the memo to Roll Call, a
twice-weekly newspaper which covers Capitol Hill. The "Heard on the
Hill" (HOH) column by Ed Henry recounted the memo's message,
leading to items Monday night on CNN's Inside Politics and FNC's
Special Report with Brit Hume about Streisand's missive. Here's an
excerpt from the April 2 Roll Call story:
Hollywood diva Barbra Streisand has fired off a three-page memo to key
Democrats on Capitol Hill, urging them to quit their whining and start
hammering the GOP.
"What has happened to the Democrats since the November election?
Some of you seem paralyzed, demoralized and depressed," the
"Funny Girl" wrote in the memo obtained by HOH.
"I hope you're through arguing among yourselves and distancing
yourselves from President [Bill] Clinton. Let's not let them divert
attention from the success of his administration over the past eight
years. Let's not allow the Republicans to take away the gains we've
The memo, which was delivered to insiders about a week ago, carried the
title "Nice Guys Finish Last or Where Do We Go From Here: A Case for
Streisand blasted President Bush, while expressing grudging respect for
his Reagan-esque ability to project an image of "strength."
"Look at his ratings -- how could such a destructive man be so
popular with the American people? Not only is he poisoning our air and
water by withdrawing his promise to enforce emissions standards and
arsenic regulations, but he's poisoning our political system as well.
Bipartisanship only works if you can trust the other side. As we have
learned in the past weeks, we cannot trust George W. Bush."
Streisand alleged that Bush stole the White House and that the GOP-led
Congress has sold out to corporate interests.
"We have a President who stole the presidency through family ties,
arrogance and intimidation, employing Republican operatives to exercise
the tactics of voter fraud by disenfranchising thousands of blacks,
elderly Jews and other minorities. We have a Congress passing laws that
benefit corporations and the privileged few at the expense of the working
men and women of this country."...
After listing a litany of special interests that are benefiting from
Bush's policies, Streisand rushed to Clinton's defense -- and urged
Democrats to fight back.
"Talk about Republican pardons. George Bush protected himself by
pardoning those linked to him in the Iran-Contra scandal. He pardoned a
heroin drug trafficker and a terrorist who was responsible for 73 deaths.
Clinton's pardons have no impact on the health and welfare of the American
Streisand wrapped up the fiery missive by tweaking Democrats for being
more concerned about self-preservation. "Why be afraid to speak out
and remind the public of what happened last November? Maybe it's because
some of you are up for reelection and, therefore, might be afraid to rock
the boat. Well, I disagree. Rocking the boat is what wins elections!"
The letter was signed, simply, "Barbra."
END Excerpt from Roll Call
For the entire story, go to: http://www.rollcall.com/pages/columns/hoh/
For an Adobe Acrobat PDF of a photocopy of
Streisand's three-page memo, go to: http://www.rollcall.com/pages/columns/hoh/streisand.pdf
on C-SPAN's Booknotes on Sunday night his new book about his career, 60
Minutes Executive Producer Don Hewitt disclosed he voted for Nixon,
Reagan, Clinton and Gore, conceded that he and correspondent Steve Kroft
knew Bill and Hillary Clinton "were lying" about Gennifer
Flowers during the Super Bowl night 60 Minutes appearance and, that in the
midst of the 1992 interview, James Carville arrived and began sobbing:
"Oh I love them, I love those people, I love them so much, I love
them." Plus: Hewitt acknowledged that Dan Rather "likes"
Hewitt appeared on the April 1 Booknotes to
talk with Brian Lamb about his book, Tell Me a Story: 50 Years & 60
Minutes in Television. MRC intern Julie Hall took down the comments from
Hewitt which I found noteworthy.
-- Hewitt's presidential voting record.
Brian Lamb pointed out: "You tell us in the book that you voted for
Eisenhower, you voted for Humphrey, then you voted for Nixon over
McGovern. You tell us that you voted for Ronald Reagan twice, Clinton
first; the first time around. You voted for Bush,"
Don Hewitt interrupted: "No, I voted for
Bush, and then I voted for Clinton over I guess Dole."
Lamb: "And you voted for Bush over Dukakis."
Hewitt: "Yeah, sure."
Lamb: "But then in the end you voted for
Hewitt: "But I wasn't too sure."
-- CBS knew the Clintons were lying while
James Carville was crying. Hewitt recounted how he first encountered
Carville during the famous 60 Minutes interview with Bill and Hillary
aired after the 1992 Super Bowl:
"James Carville, to show you how down the
middle I am, I have never heard James Carville, on this side, or Robert
Novak on that side, say anything I agree with. So you know where I am.
Neither one of them has ever said one word that I agreed with.
"Carville. Carville comes, we're doing an
obscure Governor named Bill Clinton from Arkansas and his wife Hillary who
nobody had ever heard of, at the Ritz hotel in Boston because he wants
time to explain Gennifer Flowers. Which, he came there to set the record
straight, and he set the record crooked. And we're in that room about an
hour, and I knew he was lying and she knew he was lying, and Steve Kroft
knew they were lying, and in the middle of it, this Carville, this funny
looking duck arrives, and he plunks himself down in the control room, like
a groupie following a couple of rock stars, and he starts nattering to
himself and actually sobbing, 'Oh I love them, I love those people, I
love them so much, I love them,' and I said, 'will somebody shut this
guy up, or get him the hell out of here?' I tried to get a cop to throw
him out. I think he reported me to Hillary. I think I've been on report
ever since. I am persona non-grata with Hillary Clinton, as all 60 Minutes
is, and quasi persona non-grata with Bill Clinton."
That's nothing to be ashamed of.
-- Dan Rather's affection for Bill Clinton.
Asked by Lamb if he'd provide 60 Minutes air time for a Clinton
interview, Hewitt deferred: "He's going to do something with
somebody. My guess is he may do it with Dan Rather. He likes Dan, and Dan
likes him I think."
Rather's record confirms Hewitt's
all-powerful George Bush, spreading the death penalty across America by
"proposing legislation" in every state. The ABC drama The
Practice on Sunday worked Bush's reputation as a death penalty advocate
into a show plot about a suspect gullible enough to believe that Bush had
convinced the Massachusetts legislature to enact the death penalty.
The Practice, which airs at 10pm ET/PT, 9pm
CT/MT on Sunday nights, revolves around a criminal defense law firm set in
The April 1 episode opened with the horrific
crime of a woman dragged to death after a car-jacker jumped into her car
while her young child sat in the back seat. The Boston Police soon
captured a suspect, but upon learning they had no witnesses who could tie
him to the crime, Suffolk County prosecutor "Helen Gamble"
decided she must lie to him in order to scare him into confessing.
MRC intern Julie Hall transcribed how in a
police interview room "Gamble" threatened the man: "Who did
you vote for Eddy? Did you vote for George W. Bush? George W. Bush is your
worst nightmare at this moment. Know why? He proposed legislation to bring
back the death penalty in every state, and it's about three weeks from
passing here in Massachusetts. And I can tell you my office is jumping for
that first chance. Here we have a car-jacking, every citizen's biggest
fear; a dead mother with a three-year-old child. The husband is a city
councilman. You're going to die Eddy."
After a detective walked in and whispered in
her ear, Gamble pretended he just told her that the Governor had arrived
at the police station: "Do you know who Paul Cellucci is? He's the
Governor of Massachusetts and he's out there. He's a friend of George
W. Bush. Excuse me a second."
Gamble then left the interrogation to talk to
the suspect's lawyer. After promising the lawyer she would cease
interviewing the suspect, she returned to the suspect and, made-up having
just talked with Cellucci, ominously intoned: "Governor Cellucci saw
the news. He's not just George W. Bush's friend, but also councilman
The stupid suspect bought the deception and
confessed, leading to 50 minutes of the defense lawyers trying to get the
confession thrown out and the charges therefore dropped. Even though the
defense lawyers conceded he was guilty, they were successful.
For a picture of the "Helen Gamble"
character played by actress Lara Flynn Boyle, to see if you recognize her,
go to: http://abc.go.com/primetime/thepractice/bios/lara_flynn_boyle.html
Only on a TV show could someone be scared of
the new U.S. Ambassador to Canada. (Bush has nominated Cellucci for the
In the last CyberAlert, in listing those who
contributed to the April Fools edition of Notable Quotables, I neglected
to include Liz Swasey. --Brent Baker
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