Bush Policies Losing Support; "Need" for Moderates; Bar Owners Republican or Democratic?; First Lady Smoking Not "Family Values"
1) ABC led Monday night with how, as reporter Terry Moran
put it, "the more people learn about this President, his policies,
our poll suggests, the less they're likely to support him.."
2) CBS's Jane Clayson falsely asserted that Senator Jean
Carnahan voted against the tax cut bill "because you didn't think
there was enough education money there." Clayson oozed over the
"need" for more people in the "sensible center" like
Jim Jeffords: "Do you think we will need to see more attention placed
on the moderates, the centrists in both parties?"
3) While evidence mounts, CNN's Reliable Sources
dedicated a segment to how the media were fooled by Bush operatives.
Howard Kurtz announced: "The trashing of the White House. Was the
press taken for a ride by the Bush team? And have journalists buried the
news clearing the Clinton staff of vandalism?"
4) "In England, the guy who gets the most votes
wins," Washington Post reporter T.R. Reid quipped on CNN's Capital
Gang. But, of course, that's not necessarily true.
5) Workers at the restaurant where Jenna and Barbara Bush
were caught called 911 to report them, an unusual move, and then alerted
the local newspaper. The Houston Chronicle also reported that the owner is
a "minor Democratic player in Travis County politics." But
ABCNews.com insisted he's a Republican donor, though another restaurant
officer donated to Democrats.
6) Al Gore's son was caught with marijuana at 13 and his
daughter was cited for drinking at 16, National Review's Jonah Goldberg
7) Monday night on MSNBC former CBS News reporter Bernard
Goldberg discussed his op-ed in which he asserted that "Rather,
Brokaw and Jennings don't even know what liberal bias is." He
disclosed that "for many years at CBS I used to have these
discussions privately. I was a good soldier and nobody paid any
8) Underage drinking by the Bush daughters combined with,
horror of horrors, a report that Laura Bush smokes in the White House,
undermines the GOP criticism of the Clintons for lacking "family
values," Time national correspondent Jack White maintained.
Now online, a new MediaNomics article by Rich Noyes of the MRC's Free
Market Project: "Networks' Embrace of Price Caps Reveals Reporters'
Economic Illiteracy." Go to:
Correction: Item #4 in the June 4 CyberAlert referred to how the
Supreme Court ruling in the Casey Martin case "said the PGA must
allow him to walk between holes because he has a degenerative circulatory
problem." Got that backwards. The court ruled the PGA cannot make him
follow the rules and he must be allowed to use a golf cart.
World News Tonight led Monday night with new poll numbers on how President
Bush's policies are losing support. Suggesting media coverage might have
something to do with the downward trend, reporter Terry Moran observed
that "the more people learn about this President, his policies, our
poll suggests, the less they're likely to support him.."
Anchor Charles Gibson announced at the top of
the June 4 show:
"A new ABC News/Washington Post poll says
the President's policies are not selling as well as he might hope; that
those polled don't like his energy policy, give him no particular credit
for the coming tax cut and by a large margin think the change of control
in the Senate is a good thing."
Moran elaborated: "Well, Charlie, the
really ominous thing in this poll for the Bush team is the movement it
shows in public attitudes. The more people learn about this President, his
policies, our poll suggests, the less they're likely to support him.
Take energy, which is one of his signature issues: 58 percent disapprove
of the way the President is handling the energy situation. That's up 15
percent since he announced his comprehensive energy policy last month. His
overall job approval rating is at 55 percent, relatively weak for a
President so early in his term, and that's down 8 percent since our last
check on it in late April. Of course, the big political news since then is
the Democratic takeover of the Senate, and 41 percent of the respondents
in our poll think that's a good thing. Only 20 percent think the
Democrats taking over the Senate is bad, and the reason the Democrats did,
one of them, is they've got a signature issue -- the environment. And
on that issue, on the question, 'Whom do you trust to handle the
environment?', the Democrats wallop Mr. Bush 54 percent to 35
Bush's approval may be low, but Tuesday's
Washington post summary of the same poll noted it's still higher than
where President Clinton stood at the same point in his first term.
Carnahan may be a U.S. Senator, but on Monday morning CBS displayed some
sexist treatment, approaching her as a fragile little thing. Jane Clayson
never challenged her on any policy view and wanted to know "how would
you say you've been accepted within the Senate itself?" After asking
her about carrying on her late husband's policies, Clayson falsely
asserted that she voted against the tax cut bill "because you didn't
think there was enough education money there."
An appropriation in a tax cut bill?
Clayson soon oozed over the need for more
people in the "sensible center" like Jim Jeffords: "Before
you took office you talked about the importance of what you called the
Sensible Center. And with people like Senator Jim Jeffords defection from
the Republican Party do you think we will need to see more attention
placed on the moderates, the centrists in both parties?"
MRC analyst Brian Boyd took down Clayson's
questions to Carnahan on the June 4 Early Show:
-- "The last six months have been an
emotional whirlwind for Jean Carnahan. In October, she lost her husband of
46 years, Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan, as well as her 44 year old son,
Randy. Both were killed in a plane crash while the Governor was
campaigning for a Senate seat, which he actually won posthumously. Jean
Carnahan was appointed to fill the seat and is now one of thirteen women
in the U.S. Senate. Senator Carnahan, good morning, nice to meet you...You
showed such incredible courage and strength through such a difficult and
sad time. I wonder where that strength came from."
-- "Your children supported your
-- "How would you say you've been
accepted, obviously you say by your family and people at home, how would
you say you've been accepted within the Senate itself?"
-- "I know you feel especially close with
the women that are in the Senate, you lunch every month, you talk about
-- "Your husband of course considered you
to be a partner in life but he also considered you in many ways to be a
partner in his political career. What would you say he taught you about
how to serve, about being a Senator which you are now. What did you learn
-- "Do you think you're the same kind of
politician, I mean how would you describe him as a politician and the kind
of politician that you are?"
-- "You talk about some of the issues
that were important to him. He campaigned on education, which was
especially important to you. You carried that into your campaign and into
your Senate role."
-- "You've seen some progress with that
act, but you opposed President Bush's tax plan because you didn't think
there was enough education money there."
Carnahan: "Well, actually I voted for the
-- "Well talk about the centrists,
because before you took office you talked about the importance of what you
called the Sensible Center. And with people like Senator Jim Jeffords
defection from the Republican Party do you think we will need to see more
attention placed on the moderates, the centrists in both parties?"
-- "What's the biggest surprise of being
a new Senator?"
-- "You were appointed for a two year
term, are you going to run again in 2002?"
CNN's Reliable Sources to the list of news outlets which condemned the
media for buying the White House claims about Clinton staff vandalism, a
charge that very well may be true. Howard Kurtz opened the June 2 show:
"The trashing of the White House. Was the press taken for a ride by
the Bush team? And have journalists buried the news clearing the Clinton
staff of vandalism?"
As noted in the June 4 CyberAlert, Sunday's
Washington Post carried a story about how Bush officials renewed their
vandalism of the Old Executive Office Building charge on Saturday, listing
specific acts, a day after NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw relayed
Clinton staff demands for an apology. The Sunday Post also carried a piece
by the Ombudsman scolding the paper for not giving enough prominence to a
supposed "investigation" which found no vandalism.
In fact, as FNC reported Friday night, neither
the GSA or GAO conducted any "investigation" which determined
there was no vandalism.
For details, see these two CyberAlert items:
MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth compiled some
excerpts from Reliable Sources, run a 6:30pm EDT Saturday and 11:30am EDT
Kurtz misrepresented the depth of the GSA
probe, which was nothing more than a letter which said only that the
structure of the building is still intact, nothing about cut phone lines
or obscene messages scrawled on a wall since painted over: "Now, four
months later, the General Services Administration found, apart from a
couple of minor pranks, the condition of the White House was quote,
'consistent with what we would expect to encounter when tenants vacate
office space after extended occupancy.' Since this report came out, some
news outlets have run brief stories. Others simply ignored the findings.
But did the original charges, based on unnamed Bush administration
sources, get too much play? And did the corrections and clarifications get
way too little? Marie Cocco, was the press basically used by these unnamed
sources, these Bush sources, in reporting what turned out to be trumped up
Marie Cocco of Newsday agreed: "No question.
I recently did a column on this subject, and I looked through pretty much
everything that was written in the print press and got the transcripts of
a lot of the broadcasts that were done. And there isn't a single named
source in any of these allegations nor is there a single element of proof
ever offered. And the journalists just ran away with just an army of
unnamed sources, you know, sort of exploding this into 'Animal House
Trashes the White House.' And, in fact, fairly early on, the White House
started gingerly backing away but never ever coming out and saying, 'Hey,
folks, this really didn't happen.'"
England, the guy who gets the most votes wins," Washington Post
reporter T.R. Reid quipped from London on Saturday's Capital Gang. But,
of course, that's no more accurate for England than it is for the U.S.
Reid asserted on the June 2 CNN show: "I
think you're right to say that Blair is going to win. He's way ahead
in all the polls, and in this country they have this funny system. In
England, the guy who gets the most votes wins, and so he's going to win
Actually, in a parliamentary system, whichever
party wins the most seats takes control of the government, so you can win
the popular vote and not win the most seats in parliament. Sort of like
our own electoral college with states. And with an active Liberal Party,
many governments over the years have won the most votes but only earned a
plurality of the vote.
at the restaurant where Jenna and Barbara Bush were caught consuming
alcohol called the emergency 911 number to report them and then called the
local newspaper to tip them off, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday in
a story which came to my attention thanks to a short item on it on Monday
night's Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC. "It may be the first
time a restaurant has considered underage drinking worthy of an emergency
call in the home of the state's biggest university," the Chronicle
The newspaper also reported that the owner of
the restaurant "is a laid-back Austin denizen and minor Democratic
player in Travis County politics." But ABCNews.com insisted he
"has shared more than $11,000 with Republican Senate candidates since
1998," though another restaurant officer is a Democratic donor.
An excerpt from the June 4 Houston Chronicle
story by John Williams, who may be a columnist, but it's hard to tell on
their retro Web site:
The first call from Chuy's restaurant at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday went to the
911 dispatcher in Austin.
The emergency? Two underage women wanted alcoholic beverages. One had
an I.D. of another person old enough to drink. It may be the first time a
restaurant has considered underage drinking worthy of an emergency call in
the home of the state's biggest university, said Becky Stewart, emergency
services director for the Capital Area Planning Council. CAPCO manages
Austin's regional 911 system.
But the two in question had familiar names. They were Jenna and Barbara
Bush, the president's 19-year-old twin daughters.
Perhaps the call is understandable. No big-dollar restaurant wants to
risk its liquor license by serving alcohol to someone under 21.
The second call from Chuy's management, however, is harder to defend.
Chuy's tipped the Austin American-Statesman to the scoop about the
president's partying scofflaws. Amid deadline pressure and ethical
questions, the newspaper didn't print a report until Thursday.
By then, the Bush family affair, rightly or wrongly, was everybody's
business. It went international. Chuy's was mentioned in newspapers
"That can't be bad for business," mused an Austin political
consultant and frequent Chuy's diner.
The success story of the restaurant chain may shed a little more light.
Chuy's was started by Michael Young and John Zapp in a city that loves
its Mexican food. Young has been the main mover and shaker, helping expand
the restaurant chain to Houston, Dallas, Arlington and San Antonio, and
starting other profitable businesses.
Described by one friend as having a Willie Nelson grin, Young is a
laid-back Austin denizen and minor Democratic player in Travis County
Young has strong opinions and occasionally attends party fund-raisers,
though acquaintances said he has not taken front-line positions on any
Perhaps the restaurant management, with its Democratic ties, is
privately reveling in the Republican first family's public
To read the entire piece, go to:
The same day, ABCNews.com delivered an
opposite assessment about the politics involved. An excerpt:
....At least one senior administration official intimated to reporters
that Chuy's, the restaurant in Austin, Texas, where Jenna and Barbara Bush
allegedly were trying to drink, "is owned and operated by
After all, the restaurant had called 911 and even some reporters to
inform them of the situation.
But while the owner of Chuy's is certainly a partisan, he's no liberal.
In fact, Michael Young, co-founder and president of Central Texas
Chuy's Inc., has shared more than $11,000 with Republican Senate
candidates since 1998.
Young, who has steadfastly refused to talk to the media about the Bush
matter, describes himself as a "free-market capitalist."
"Anyone who knows me wouldn't say that I'm a liberal," Young
Perhaps the senior Republicans were thinking of John Zapp, another
senior officer of Chuy's Inc. Federal Election Commission records show
Zapp gave $1,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Zapp helped Young found Chuy's in 1982. The pair turned a broken-down
Austin barbecue joint into a successful Tex-Mex chain with locations in
Texas' largest cities....
For the whole report, go to:
Review Online's Jonah Goldberg filled in the details of past problems
involving Al Gore's kids to which FNC's Brit Hume had cryptically
referred last week. In discussing coverage of Jenna and Barbara Bush, Hume
recalled on May 31 how there was an incident "involving a member of
one of the first families of the land in recent years, who was in serious
trouble at school, it involved drugs, it was a serious matter. Nobody
An excerpt of Goldberg's June 1 National
Review Online piece:
....First, there is the case of Al Gore's son, Albert III. Al Gore, you
may remember, was the Vice President of the United States. Now, I don't
want to violate the very tactics I'm criticizing the press for violating,
but this is a matter of public record. When he was 13 years old, Albert
Gore III was suspended from school for smoking pot.
Everyone, and I really do mean everyone, in Washington knew about this
within days; high-school kids do not keep such secrets. But the Washington
Post did keep such a secret, at the explicit request of the vice
president. As James Adams of the London Times wrote in 1996, "A
tearful phone call by Gore to senior editors ensured the story was never
published." The press was never "all over" this story (nor
the story about his reckless driving arrest during last year's
You might say, well, poor Albert was just 13 when he was cozying up
with his bud, his earl, his skunk, skif, or chronic. And hypocrisy about
the drug war notwithstanding, no charges were ever filed against Albert.
Fair enough. So, what about Al Gore's daughter Sarah, who was cited by
Maryland cops for alcohol possession at the age of 16? Again, without
recounting the very dull details, this was a story that was buried in the
metro section of the Washington Post and barely surfaced anywhere else.
The press was hardly "all over" that. Etc., etc....
For a full read of Goldberg's take, go to:
night on MSNBC former CBS News reporter Bernard Goldberg discussed his May
25 Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he asserted that "Rather,
Brokaw and Jennings don't even know what liberal bias is" since
"liberal bias is the result of how they see the world."
Goldberg told MSNBC's Mike Barnicle during
the 6pm EDT program that the media elite are not out to get conservatives,
but for them "positions to the right of center are called
conservative, and they are. But positions to the left of center, in their
minds, are simply reasonable." Goldberg disclosed that before he
became "radioactive" at CBS when he charged them, in a previous
Wall Street Journal op-ed, with liberal bias, "for many years at CBS
I used to have these discussions privately. I was a good soldier and
nobody paid any attention."
A RealPlayer clip of a portion of Goldberg's
June 4 appearance is now up on the MRC home page, thanks to MRC Webmaster
Andy Szul and deputy Mez Djouadi. To watch the video and for an excerpt of
his latest op-ed, go:
drinking by the Bush daughters combined with, horror of horrors, a report
that Laura Bush smokes in the White House, hypocritically undermines the
GOP criticism of the Clintons for lacking "family values," Time
magazine national correspondent Jack White maintained on Inside Washington
over the weekend.
(Last week, Lloyd Grove, who writes the
"Reliable Sources" column for the Washington Post, reported that
the First Lady had been seen smoking a cigarette.)
White rued: "The larger question to me is
how Republicans had a great, jolly-good time during the previous
administration talking about the lack of family values. Rudy Giuliani, now
these two and we also read in Lloyd Grove's column this week that maybe
the First Lady sneaks a cigarette in the White House once in a while.
Shame, shame, shame."
At least she's using the tobacco product for
its intended purpose. -- Brent Baker
Support the MRC, an educational foundation dependent upon contributions
which make CyberAlert possible, by providing a tax-deductible
donation. Use the secure donations page set up for CyberAlert
readers and subscribers:
>>>To subscribe to CyberAlert, send a
blank e-mail to:
@topica.com. Or, you can go to:
Either way you will receive a confirmation message titled: "RESPONSE
REQUIRED: Confirm your subscription to email@example.com."
After you reply, either by going to the listed Web page link or by simply
hitting reply, you will receive a message confirming that you have been
added to the MRC CyberAlert list. If you confirm by using the Web page
link you will be given a chance to "register" with Topica. You DO
NOT have to do this; at that point you are already subscribed to
To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to:
Send problems and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
can learn what has been posted each day on the MRC's Web site by
subscribing to the "MRC Web Site News" distributed every weekday
afternoon. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: email@example.com.
Or, go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters.<<<
Home | News Division
| Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact
the MRC | Subscribe