Liberal Hit on Olson Advanced; "Drastically" Reduced Government?; "F" for Bush's Energy Plan; Should be "More" Solar and Wind Power
1) Howler of the Weekend. Margaret Carlson on CNN's
Capital Gang ludicrously claimed that because of the tax cut
"government is going to end as we know it....Government will be
2) ABC gave George Stephanopoulos his own segment to make
the case that Ted Olson should be disqualified because he's employed
"the kind of legalistic parsing" which Olson had
"criticized Clinton administration officials for" during the
Lewinsky and Whitewater scandals. Stephanopoulos insisted to Ken Starr:
"Isn't this record of failing to be forthcoming with the Congress
evidence that Mr. Olson might not be forthcoming with the Supreme
3) Geraldo Rivera launched a jihad against Ted Olson. He
revealed his bitterness about the Clinton years as he predicted the Senate
vote "could be payback for the grossly out-of-proportion impeachment
of Bill Clinton." He added: "Viewers of this program know my
personal views of this noxious scheme of character assassination and about
the man who funded it, the right wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife."
4) Al Hunt took a cheap shot at Richard Scaife for funding
the American Spectator, calling him, on Saturday's CNN Capital Gang,
"a right wing nut."
5) NBC's Matt Lauer hit Secretary of Energy Spencer
Abraham from the left on Friday morning over energy. Lauer cited how Jimmy
Carter "accused President Bush of using quote, 'scare tactics to
promote drilling on federal lands and other environmental
atrocities.'" Lauer also became an advocate, arguing "there
has to be more though" on wind and solar power.
6) An "F on substance" for Bush's energy plan
from Newsweek's Eleanor Clift.
7) Kelsey Grammer, star of the NBC sit-com Frasier,
admitted on CBS's Late Show that he attended President Bush's
inauguration and that he's "a little bit right of center."
8) Letterman's "Top Ten Reasons Mayor Giuliani
Loves Spring New York."
>>> Watch and hear Dan "Woo-Woo"
Rather. MRC Webmaster Andy Szul has posted a RealPlayer video clip of
Rather imitating a train whistle as he reported on why one was a runaway,
as quoted in the May 17 CyberAlert: "So it was woo-woo and good-bye
train." Go to: http://archive.mrc.org/news/cyberalert/2001/cyb20010517.asp#7
of the Weekend. Time reporter and columnist Margaret Carlson on Capital
Gang, lamenting how Democrats have lost the fight on taxation, made the
ludicrous claim that under the new budget plan "government will be
She asserted on the May 19 CNN show: "The
Democrats have not fought back as effectively. The Lexus and the muffler,
the wealth argument didn't work as well. I think what might have worked
is look, government is going to end as we know it. If the spending cuts
get passed that are going to have to to fund this tax cut, Republicans
will get their wish. Bob [Novak] will get his wish. Government will be
We wish. The argument is not over cutting
federal spending but by how much above inflation it will increase, as it
has every year since FDR.
to ABC News, a former Clinton operative who helped him deceive the public
about Gennifer Flowers and Whitewater in 1992, got air time on Sunday to
make the case that Bush's Solicitor General-nominee, Ted Olson, is
unqualified for the position because he's employed "the kind of
legalistic parsing" which Olson had "criticized Clinton
administration officials for" during the Lewinsky and Whitewater
Sunday's This Week gave George
Stephanopoulos a whole segment dedicated to the Democratic spin, as
outlined by Stephanopoulos:
"At issue: Did Olson tell the whole truth
about his ties to an anti-Clinton project of the right wing American
Spectator." Not once did Stephanopoulos raise the possibility that
Senate Democrats are just using the issue as a screen for payback over
Olson's role in the Florida recount court fights or as a warning shot
about how they will fight conservative judicial nominee. Instead, he
stated as fact: "Democrats voted against Olson because they're not
sure he's been a straight-shooter." He also painted their motives
as noble: "Isn't this record of failing to be forthcoming with the
Congress evidence that Mr. Olson might not be forthcoming with the Supreme
Not exactly a concern for truth Stephanopoulos
displayed during his White House years.
Stephanopoulos also suggested "that
perhaps Mr. Olson, because of his long record as a partisan, is simply too
partisan for this appointment and maybe that's what Democrats are upset
Stephanopoulos set up the May 20 This Week
segment by explaining how the Senate Judiciary Committee had tied 9-9 last
week on Olson but the White House had made a deal with Democrats to share
documents about the case before a full Senate vote. Launching a taped
piece, Stephanopoulos used disgruntled for Spectator writer David Brock as
an authority. Stephanopoulos asserted:
"Tensions are still high though on the
Judiciary Committee where the spotlight has been on Olson's credibility.
Democrats voted against Olson because they're not sure he's been a
straight-shooter....At issue: Did Olson tell the whole truth about his
ties to an anti-Clinton project of the right wing American Spectator. Best
know for arguing George W. Bush's case during the Florida recount, Olson
was a board member and lawyer for the magazine during the 1990s. And David
Brock, a former American Spectator writer turned conservative critic, has
testified that Olson is not being forthcoming."
Brock: "Ted Olson is a talented Washington
lawyer and I'm not and I'm not going to get into the kind of deceptive
word play that he has engaged in before the committee. As I said, I know
that those involved knew the Arkansas Project as the Arkansas Project and
Mr. Olson was involved."
Stephanopoulos: "For Olson's defense, I
sat down with his good friend and a former Solicitor General, Ken Starr,
who said the focus should be on Olson's whole career."
Viewers then a saw a taped one-on-one
interview with Starr. Stephanopoulos's second "question"
consumed 45 seconds, a time longer than many TV news stories:
"But the Democrats say credibility is
crucial because even as Mr. Olson said in his testimony absolute candor
and fair dealing have to be the hallmark of a Solicitor General and they
point to what they say is evolving answers in the committee. They say he
first said he didn't know about the Arkansas Project until 1988 as a
board member of the American Spectator. Then confronted with contradictory
evidence he says, 'oh yes I did know about it earlier when I was working
as a lawyer for the Spectator.' And he also said that he had nothing to
do, assist in the conduct of investigation of the Clintons, yet in 1994 he
was paid $14,000 by the Spectator to conduct legal research into the
criminal exposure of the Clintons that grew out of the magazine's
investigation. How does that square with absolute candor and fair
After Starr defended Olson's accuracy and
pointed out how Brock says Olson told the truth but could have been more
forthcoming to say he had attended dinners where the project was
discussed, Stephanopoulos countered: "What they say is it was
literally true but misleading. And what would you say to critics who say
that's just the kind of legalistic parsing that you and Mr. Olson
criticized Clinton administration officials for during the Monica Lewinsky
and Watergate investigations, Whitewater excuse me?"
The next question from Stephanopoulos took 36
seconds: "But Democrats say this isn't the first time that Mr.
Olson has misled Congress. They point to an incident when he was a Justice
Department official in the Reagan administration and an independent
counsel investigating his dealings with an Environmental Protection Agency
matter found that he had been less than forthcoming in his testimony.
Public integrity lawyers in the Justice Department were even more harsh,
saying there was 'significant evidence that Olson gave knowingly false
testimony' and President Reagan's own EPA Administrator Anne Burford
said Olson 'out and out lied to me.' Isn't this record of failing to
be forthcoming with the Congress evidence that Mr. Olson might not be
forthcoming with the Supreme Court?"
The fourth and last question from
Stephanopoulos offered up another justification for Democratic blockage:
"The Solicitor General is supposed to serve both the President who
appoints him and the Supreme Court, has this special role. Is it possible
then that perhaps Mr. Olson, because of his long record as a partisan, is
simply too partisan for this appointment and maybe that's what Democrats
are upset about?"
How about "perhaps Mr. Stephanopoulos,
because of his long record as a partisan, is simply too partisan for this
role as a reporter and maybe that's what ABC viewers are upset
Rivera launched his own jihad against Ted Olson on Thursday night, MRC
analyst Geoffrey Dickens noticed. "Tonight," he opened the May
17 Rivera Live on CNBC, "did the high profile attorney nominated to
be this country's top lawyer mislead Senators about his connection to an
extreme right wing effort to sabotage Bill and Hillary Clinton. We'll
Rivera referred to the America Spectator's
"viciously anti-Clinton effort called the Arkansas Project." He
revealed his bitterness about the Clinton years as he predicted the Senate
vote "could be payback for the grossly out-of-proportion impeachment
of Bill Clinton. Not to mention the Supreme Court's decision to hand the
presidency to George W. Bush." He added: "Viewers of this
program know my personal views of this noxious scheme of character
assassination and about the man who funded it, the right wing billionaire
Richard Mellon Scaife."
Before getting to guests Joe Conason, Joe
DiGenova and David Brock, Rivera delivered this lengthy diatribe:
"Hi everybody Geraldo Rivera. More on the
unrelenting chutzpah of America's best known acquitted killer [O.J.
Simpson] later in the program. But upfront tonight another kind of
killing, character assassination. This man Ted Olson could soon be at the
center of the most contentious and intensely partisan Senate confirmation
hearing in years. Based on whether he told the truth about his ties to a
viciously anti-Clinton effort called the Arkansas Project. The Senate
Judiciary committee deadlocked today. Nine votes to nine on Olson's
nomination to be this country's Solicitor General. That's the Justice
Department official who acts as the government's attorney before the
high court. Because the job is so important he's sometimes called the
Court's tenth justice. And the position is seen as a stepping stone
toward possibly becoming Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
"Today the tie vote on Olson split
right down party lines. And it foreshadows confirmation hearings in the
full Senate that many predict could be payback for the grossly
out-of-proportion impeachment of Bill Clinton. Not to mention the Supreme
Court's decision to hand the presidency to George W. Bush. Here's why:
Most Americans know Theodore Olson best for his very skillful
representation of President Bush's Florida election case before the U.S.
Supreme Court. But this highly competent attorney is described by
today's Washington Post as quote, 'not only an architect of the
conservative legal movement but a significant player as well, advising
Paula Jones's legal team when she sued President Clinton for sexual
harassment, and defending his friend Kenneth Starr during the Whitewater
"More relevant to the current
controversy however is Olson's involvement with the magazine that was at
the epicenter of the anti-Clinton movement during the past decade, The
American Spectator and the publication's so-called Arkansas Project.
We've told you about that one. That's the four year, $2.4 million
attempt to dig up and track down every filthy rumor about the Clinton's
lives. With big, bizarre allegations rather, ranging from cocaine
addiction to even murder. Viewers of this program know my personal views
of this noxious scheme of character assassination and about the man who
funded it the right wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. And last
week's Wall Street Journal reminded everyone saying quote, 'Various
Clinton acolytes from Geraldo Rivera to Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal
spun the Arkansas Project effort as something out of one of Robert
Ludlum's paranoid political thrillers.' Whatever. In any case here is
the crux of the matter. Ted Olson who was a lawyer for the magazine
American Spectator and on its board of directors first told the Senate
Judiciary committee he knew nothing specific about the magazine's pride
and joy, this Arkansas Project, at least until 1998. Then he revised that
answer to sometime in 1997. Here is an excerpt from his testimony."
Rivera soon continued: "So he had no role
in the origin or the management of the Arkansas Project and first knew
about it in general terms in 1997. But here's what The New York Observer
and The Washington Post and two of our guests who you will meet in a
moment, allege. Item: American Spectator financial records for 1994 show
payments of more than $14,000 to Olson's law firm for Arkansas Project
expenses. Item: Olson had dinner meetings in 1995 with American Spectator
editor Emmett Tyrrell, he later served as best man at Tyrrell's wedding
and with Arkansas Project head David Henderson, meetings at which the
Project was discussed. Item: The publisher of American Spectator put
Olson's name at the top of a list of people who regularly attended such
Project related meetings. Item: Olson testified he could not remember who
originally introduced him to his client David Hale. You remember David
Hale, he's the Little Rock con-man who was the key witness against
Clinton in the Whitewater investigation. But the same David Henderson who
headed the Arkansas Project has admitted that it was him who arranged the
representation of David Hale by Ted Olson."
took a cheap shot, on Saturday's CNN Capital Gang, at conservative
foundation head Richard Scaife over his funding of the American Spectator
in the early 1990s. The Executive Washington Editor of the Wall Street
Journal disparaged him as "a right wing nut."
Wrapping up a segment on the May 19 show about
the Ted Olson nomination, columnist Mark Shields charged: "Anybody
who went near the toxic, lousy American Spectator knew what it was about
the destruction of Bill Clinton. That's what is was."
Bob Novak: "You're just showing your
prejudice. Anything to do with the right you hate."
Shields: "Is that an objective reading of
Hunt: "That was a project that was not; that
was funded by a right wing nut. I think we all agree that was improper,
including Bob agrees with that."
I don't recall Hunt ever castigating anyone
as "a left wing nut."
Matt Lauer hit Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham from the left on Friday
morning over President Bush's energy plan. Lauer cited Jimmy Carter as
an authority, quoting how the former President "accused President
Bush of using quote, 'scare tactics to promote drilling on federal lands
and other environmental atrocities.'" Lauer also became an
advocate, arguing: "But you're gonna have to do something more in
terms of renewable sources of energy. Wind and solar power. I know the
President is offering tax incentives for people who use those sources of
energy. There has to be more though."
Here are all of Lauer's inquiries to Abraham
via satellite on the May 18 Today:
-- "On Close Up this morning the Bush
energy policy. With rolling blackouts in California and the price of gas
increasing every few weeks President Bush presented his controversial plan
for a national energy policy on Thursday. Spencer Abraham is Secretary of
Energy. Mr. Secretary good morning to you. Good to have you here. The
President painted a pretty dismal picture of our energy future in
outlining this plan. Do you think he was presenting a worst case scenario
to build support for this proposal?"
-- "Let me tell you what former President
Jimmy Carter had to say. As you know he had to deal with an energy crisis
of his own back in the 1970s. He's accused President Bush of using
quote, 'scare tactics to promote drilling on federal lands and other
environmental atrocities.' So you're saying these aren't scare
-- "Does this plan do anything, Mr.
Secretary, to ease the problems we are facing in the next couple of
months. Of course I'm talking about the short term here. High gas
prices, rolling blackouts, that sort of thing."
-- "Let me ask you a long term question.
The President in proposing this yesterday said that the environment and
exploration are not competing priorities. Environmentalists disagree with
that completely. How do you answer it?"
-- "Do, do you think, do you think that
environmentalists are being alarmist when they look at the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge and say if you go into that place and you start drilling
for natural gas and oil you are risking irreparable harm?"
-- "But you're gonna have to do
something more in terms of renewable sources of energy. Wind and solar
power. I know the President is offering tax incentives for people who use
those sources of energy. There has to be more though."
-- "Real quickly Secretary Abraham, I
know you're realist. Do you think it's gonna be a tough battle to get
some of these proposals through Congress?"
"F" for Bush's energy plan from Newsweek's Eleanor Clift.
Asked on the McLaughlin Group over the weekend to give it a grade on
substance and politics, she replied: "F on substance, D on politics
because the market may fix itself and he may proclaim victory in two years
when his policy had nothing to do with it."
everyone in Hollywood is a liberal Gore supporting, Bush-basher. On
Friday's Late Show on CBS, Kelsey Grammer, star of the NBC sit-com
Frasier, admitted he attended President Bush's inauguration and that
he's "a little bit right of center."
Grammer told David Letterman on the May 18
show: "I was there at the Inauguration in hopes of kind of lending
whatever support I could to the idea that bi-partisanship would be a good
thing and I am definitely, you know, a little bit right of center so I was
pleased about that, but we'll see how he does."
Not exactly a hard-core conservative
proclamation, but not bad for someone who must work in Hollywood.
May 16 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Reasons Mayor
Giuliani Loves Spring New York." Copyright 2001 by Worldwide Pants,
10. Seeing first robin of spring getting
mugged by a pigeon
9. When the buds finally bloom on New York City's
one and only tree
8. Melted snow means we finally solve a lot of
7. Sidewalk vendors replace their counterfeit
designer scarves with counterfeit designer sunglasses
6. When your cab careens out of control into the
East River, you can pretend it's a fun water park ride
5. Every spring, Governor Pataki and I rent a VW
bus and follow Blink 182 cross country
4. Just when you need him, a well-rested Batman
finally returns from his condo in Boca
3. Cutting to the front of line at Ben &
Jerry's because dammit I'm the mayor
2. Hot babes showing a little leg (video of
Giuliani as a Rockette)
1. You can go out to Yankee Stadium and be damn
sure you won't run into Hillary
And my favorite entry from the Late Show Web
site's list of he also-rans, the entries that didn't make the final
"When you wear sandals, your toes get
tickled by the cockroaches."
Keep that in mind if you visit New York City
this summer. -- Brent Baker
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