Rather: "Uncle Cheney" in Charge; No Taxes, No Rebate; Human-Induced Warming Causing Droughts & Floods; McVeigh Blamed on Right
1) Dan Rather twice joked to David Letterman about how
"Uncle Cheney" is really running things, declared that Bush has
governed "further to the right than most people expected" and
brought up a new global warming study. Plus, he threw in a new Ratherism
about trailing a bleeding elephant in six feet of snow.
2) The tax cut bill, as only Dan Rather could portray it:
Describe its features and then relay the left-wing class warfare attack on
it: "Democratic opponents say the cuts are fiscally irresponsible and
dangerous and unfairly heavily favor high income Americans."
3) ABC focused on $21,000 and $18,000 salary people and
delivered the shocker that if you don't pay income taxes you don't get
an income tax rebate and if you pay little in income tax you get less than
the maximum rebate. ABC's John Cochran warned that "millions"
of people are in for "some nasty surprises."
4) "Global warming is real, the new report declares,
and humans are helping to cause it," ABC's John Cochran asserted.
Skipping any science, CBS's John Roberts went straight to the liberal
activists: "In Florida, the worst drought in a hundred years has
cracked the land. In Europe, a record winter of rain and flood. More
evidence of global warming, say environmentalists who plan to meet
President Bush with a storm of protest in Europe." But the National
Academy of Sciences report is far more nuanced.
5) "Maverick Republican" is CNN anchor Wolf
Blitzer's favorite term as he attaches it to any Republican who has
decidedly liberal views. On Monday night he labeled not only John McCain
as "maverick," but also Rudy Giuliani and Jim Jeffords.
6) With Tim McVeigh about to die, a Media Reality Check
looking back at 1995 media spin. "Smears & Partisan Innuendo in
Wake of '95 Bombing. First Reaction: Liberal Journalists Blamed
Conservative Pols and Talk Radio for Oklahoma Mass Murder."
on the Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday night, Dan Rather twice
joked about how "Uncle Cheney" is really running things,
declared that Bush has governed "further to the right than most
people expected," brought up how a new global warming study says
"that global warming is further advanced than even they thought it
was," but that Cheney will take care of it, and falsely implied that
the CBS Evening News "hasn't touched" the story of under-aged
drinking by the Bush daughters. Plus, he threw in Ratherisms about Fidel
Castro and a giraffe as well as trailing a bleeding elephant.
Some of Dan Rather's comments I took down
from the June 7 show:
-- Rather: "I think by any reasonable
analysis that George Bush is off to a pretty good start with his
Letterman: "You were pleased with how he
handled the situation in China, you thought that went alright?"
Rather: "I'm pausing only because you said
'the way he handled it.' I'm not sure he handled it because remember
you have Uncle Cheney who runs an awful lot of things around there. No, I
think that was handled very steadily. He pulled some good people around
him. But now comes the difficult part, the stands he's taken on the
environment, his tax program, the details of which we do not yet know, all
of these things have gotten him a reputation, justifiably or not, of
running an administration that's further to the right than most people
-- Rather volunteered: "This new global
warming study, if you read the paper today, saying that global warming is
further advanced than even they thought it was. But I wouldn't worry
about that because you remember when you studied the legends of history,
King Canute just walked out on the beaches of Britain and commanded the
waves to stop? I have every reason to believe that President Bush will
just turn to Dick Cheney and say, 'Dick, take care of it.' And he will
say 'close that hole.' We have nothing to worry about."
-- Asked about Jenna and Barbara Bush, Rather
retreated: "I really don't think it's fair to talk about the Bush
girls, so, you know, on the news we haven't touched that story."
Really? Maybe not on the CBS Evening News with
Dan Rather aired Monday through Friday, but last Saturday the CBS Evening
News with Thalia Assuras did run a full story on the subject.
-- Ratherism #1: In response to Letterman
asking what's wrong with Bush setting a Kennedy-like go to the moon goal
of making solar and wind power viable by the end of the decade, Rather
retorted: "I think you're more likely to see Fidel Castro come
riding through here on a giraffe than you are to see that happen."
-- Ratherism #2: "For some years now,
this is not my judgment, but critics of the FBI have been saying it had
become too bureaucratic and that the FBI couldn't track an elephant in
six feet of snow if he were bleeding."
cut bill, as only Dan Rather could portray it: Describe its features and
then relay the left-wing class warfare attack on it. From Thursday's CBS
"President Bush today celebrated his first
major legislative victory. In a White House ceremony Mr. Bush signed a
$1.35 trillion federal income tax cut. This includes lower tax rates and a
rebate. The checks go out next month. Democratic opponents say the cuts
are fiscally irresponsible and dangerous and unfairly heavily favor high
You'd never know that many conservatives
consider the tax cut to be pretty small and not very stimulative since
it's spread over so many years.
Thursday night delivered the shocking news that if you don't pay income
taxes you don't get an income tax rebate and if you pay very little in
income tax you get less than the maximum rebate amount, as if the people
had been fooled by President Bush and other politicians. ABC News reporter
John Cochran warned that "millions" of people are in for
"some nasty surprises."
Cochran began his June 7 World News Tonight
piece by showcasing some lower income workers: "The tax bill is good
news for millions of Americans, but for millions of others, there are some
nasty surprises. In Philadelphia, the government started printing tax
rebate checks today. At the Unadyne plastics factory in Virginia, new
father Mike Baldovino makes $21,000 a year and is looking forward to his
check. But tax accountants tell us he does not pay enough income taxes to
get a full rebate. How big a tax rebate are you expecting?"
Mike Baldovino: "I'd say, married with one
children, expecting at least six hundred."
Cochran: "Six hundred?"
Cochran: "I'm sorry. The number is
Baldovino: "Wow, that's pretty low."
Cochran: "Even worse news for single mom
Fran Montemayor, who earns $18,000. She is one of more than 30 million
Americans who probably will not get any rebate."
Fran Montemayor: "That's kind of shocking
for me because that's not what I understood on TV."
Cochran: "Fran and her fellow workers
thought they heard the President promising rebates to every worker. They
should have listened more closely."
George W. Bush, May 26: "Every single
American who pays incomes taxes will receive a check."
Cochran: "But millions of workers do not
earn enough to pay federal income taxes, so no rebate."
Cochran proceeded to outline how marriage
penalty relief does not occur until 2005 and that the inheritance tax is
not eliminated until 2010, but is reinstated in 2011, as are all the
present tax rates.
CBS pounced Thursday night on a new report on global warming from the
National Academy of Sciences (NAS), using it to push President Bush to
take action, after the New York Times showcased the report at the top of
its front page under the headline: "Panel Tells Bush Global Warming
Is Getting Worse."
"Global warming is real, the new report
declares, and humans are helping to cause it," ABC's Terry Moran
asserted. Skipping any science, CBS went straight to the liberal
activists. John Roberts ominously intoned on the CBS Evening News:
"In Florida, the worst drought in a hundred years has cracked the
land. In Europe, a record winter of rain and flood. More evidence of
global warming, say environmentalists who plan to meet President Bush with
a storm of protest in Europe." Roberts even featured this blast from
a member of Britain's far-left Green Party: "It's bloody enough
that he's flying in the face of international agreement when he's not
even got a mandate from the American people to do so. It's totally
But unlike ABC's Moran, at least Roberts
conceded that the White House pointed out "that the report was
unclear about the degree to which humans have stoked the fires of global
Other than that point, overlooked amongst the
ABC and CBS hype: the specific nuances of the report. It acknowledged how
in the midst of industrial development, from 1946 to 1975, temperatures
actually fell; that climate models have over-predicted temperature rises
and that "over long time scales, outside the time period in which
humans could have a substantive effect on global climate (e.g., prior to
the Industrial Revolution), proxy data (information derived from the
content of tree rings, cores from marine sediments, pollens,
etc.)....indicate that the range of natural climate variability is in
excess of several degrees C on local and regional space scales over
periods as short as a decade." In other words, global temperature
change may just be part of natural cycles that have nothing or little to
do with CO2 emissions.
CNN's Inside Politics ran two stories on the
report, but neither NBC's Today or Nightly News touched it. Thursday
morning ABC's Good Morning America ran two short items during news
updates. At 7:30am, Antonio Mora announced: "A panel of leading
scientists has told President Bush that global warming is real and may be
getting worse. The White House requested the report to prepare Mr. Bush
for talks with other world leaders."
More on the June 7 ABC and CBS stories which
failed to include anything from the conservative point of view that
man's contribution to global warming is being overstated or that he Bush
administration is caving in to what seems popular instead of debunking the
myth that industry causes warming. And, of course, the subject was never
broached of how the environmentalists are just using the issue to bash
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Peter Jennings
asserted, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "The White
House has had a busy time today dealing with an environmental report that
it actually commissioned. The administration is trying to develop a
strategy to contend with global warming. Mr. Bush had asked the National
Academy of Science to tell him how bad it was, and the academy said:
'Bad,' and Mr. Bush can do something about it. ABC's Terry Moran is
at the White House. Difficult day on this subject, Terry."
Moran: "It was, Peter. The White House asked
for this report, as you mentioned, at about the same time that the
President decided to withdraw from the Kyoto treaty on global warming, but
the scientists may have given Mr. Bush more than he bargained for.
Sweltering summers, rising sea levels, more droughts, more violent storms.
Global warming is real, the new report declares, and humans are helping to
cause it. A scientist who helped write the report says humans, through
government policy, can determine how hot the planet gets."
John Wallace, National Academy of Sciences:
"The biggest single factor that contributes to whether we're in the
lower end of that range or the upper end of that range a century from now
is the emissions. And the emissions are a policy question."
Moran: "Environmental activists claim that
puts the administration in a bind."
Philip Clapp, National Environmental Trust
President: "This report blows their cover. There is no cover anymore
for not taking aggressive action to improve energy efficiency in the U.S.
economy and to clean up dirty coal-fired power plants. That's the only
way we will address global warming."
Moran: "President Bush ignited a storm of
controversy when he decided to abandon the Kyoto protocol, which sets caps
on the emissions of Greenhouse gases in developed nations. Top officials
now admit the President stumbled."
ABC played a clip of National Security Adviser
Condoleezza Rice conceding the administration could have done a better job
of preparing allies for its Kyoto decision. Moran then concluded:
"The President is going to see many of those
allies next week on his first European trip there, angry about the
administration's unilateral action on this, and so Mr. Bush will be
making a statement on Monday outlining his approach to the problem. But
Peter, don't expect many details. The specifics are to be decided by yet
another task force headed by Vice President Cheney."
-- CBS Evening News. For the second night in a
row, CBS led with the report. Dan Rather teased up top: "The
temperature is rising, and the pressure is building on President Bush for
action on global warming as the Midwest sees what may be a dramatic early
sign of climate changes to come."
Rather then opened his broadcast, as taken
down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Good evening. We begin with a
follow-up to our exclusive report about global warming. As first reported
here last night, an expert assessment requested by President Bush found
global warming is real and getting worse and air pollution caused by
humans is a factor. Because of what he has said, what he has done and not
done, President Bush now faces new fire about all this at home and when he
meets world leaders in Europe next week. Tonight CBS's John Roberts
reports what President Bush is and is not doing, even as some people point
to signs that climate changes are already here."
John Roberts: "Along the Gulf Coast today,
Allison becomes the earliest tropical storm to dump this much rain. In
Florida, the worst drought in a hundred years has cracked the land. In
Europe, a record winter of rain and flood. More evidence of global
warming, say environmentalists who plan to meet President Bush with a
storm of protest in Europe."
Phil Clapp, National Environmental Trust:
"He's already insulted the Europeans by walking away from the
treaty that took years to negotiate, and now his own scientific body has
said global warming is real and we have to take action on it."
Roberts: "Mr. Bush has been taking heat in
Europe for abandoning the Kyoto treaty to limit production of Greenhouse
gases, but a panel of leading climatologists reported to the White House
this week be a prime contributor to global warming."
Darren Johnson, British Green Party: "It's
bloody enough that he's flying in the face of international agreement
when he's not even got a mandate from the American people to do so.
It's totally outrageous."
Roberts then conceded a point of view which if
true would undermine Rather's ominous warning: "Even now, the White
House is moving slowly, pointing out that the report was unclear about the
degree to which humans have stoked the fires of global warming and how
much is a natural cycle. Republicans on Capitol Hill want more
Senator Chuck Hagel: "If we're going to
disrupt our economy, if we're going to change our entire energy use
pattern we better have a little better information than what we have right
Roberts, who didn't bother balancing either
environmentalist, found a counterpoint to Hagel: "But Democrats are
already using the report's findings to undercut the President's energy
plan, calling into question his central focus on coal to generate
Senator John Kerry: "I think that the
Congress of the United States is going to significantly change the
President's proposal, pushing new technology, and really trying to end
America's dependency on fossil fuels."
Roberts concluded: "The White House today
rushed to defend its stance on global warming, declaring that the
President takes the matter seriously. And while he will outline some ideas
to combat the problem, Mr. Bush will take with him to Europe next week no
Rather then set up the next story about
flooding in Illinois and Indiana by linking it to global warming: "As
for global warming in the United States, this new report says coastal
areas, home to more than half the U.S. population, are at risk from rising
sea levels and storms. For the Pacific Northwest, it's reduced snow pack
and a speed-up in spring melt-off. The Great Plains could face greater
drought in the long run. As CBS's Cynthia Bowers reports, the threat to
American Midwest farms right now isn't drought, it's flood."
Funny how when a region is in a deep freeze
Dan Rather doesn't point out how that might contradict global warming.
The whole NAS report can be read online via
two places. The HTML version is at: http://books.nap.edu/html/climatechange/
The full text of each chapter as typeset in
chapter by chapter sections presented in some sort of online book reading
Rich Noyes, the MRC's Director of Media
Analysis, plowed through the report and passed along these noteworthy
excerpts. In addition to the quote from page 8 of the report quoted above:
-- One paragraph points out that it's not
known why the Northern Hemisphere cooled from 1946-1975, which would
indicate that there remain some mysteries in the mechanics of global
climate change. From page 16:
"The rate of warming has not been uniform
over the 20th century. Most of it occurred prior to 1940 and during the
past few decades. The Northern Hemisphere as a whole experienced a slight
cooling from 1946-75, and the cooling during that period was quite marked
over the eastern United States. The cause of this hiatus in the warming is
still under debate. The hiatus is evident in averages over both Northern
and Southern Hemispheres, but it is more pronounced in the Northern
Hemisphere. One possible cause of this feature is the buildup of sulfate
aerosols due to the widespread burning of high sulfur coal during the
middle of the century, followed by a decline indicated by surface sulfate
deposition measurements. It is also possible that at least part of the
rapid warming of the Northern Hemisphere during the first part of the 20th
century and the subsequent cooling were of natural origin and a remote
response to changes in the oceanic circulation at subarctic latitudes in
the Atlantic sector, as evidenced by the large local temperature trends
over this region."
-- Politely pointing out that the UN's Summary
for Policymakers (SPM), written by governmental representatives and which
formed the basis of much of the media's coverage of the United Nations
IPCC report back in January and February, expressed the issue of climate
change with more certainty than the main report written by scientists.
From page 22:
"After analysis, the committee finds that
the conclusions presented in the SPM and the Technical Summary (TS) are
consistent with the main body of the report. There are, however,
differences. The primary differences reflect the manner in which
uncertainties are communicated in the SPM. The SPM frequently uses terms
(e.g., likely, very likely, unlikely) that convey levels of uncertainty;
however, the text less frequently includes either their basis or their
caveats....Climate projections will always be far from perfect. Confidence
limits and probabilistic information, with their basis, should always be
considered as an integral part of the information that climate scientists
provide to policy- and decision-makers. Without them, the IPCC SPM could
give an impression that the science of global warming is 'settled,' even
though many certainties remain."
And for a point of view far from the minds of
the media, check out Steve Milloy's piece on the Fox News Web site in
which he urges the Bush team to debunk the liberal global warming
theories. He's with the Cato Institute and junkscience.com. Go to: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,26665,00.html
mania. "Maverick" is clearly the new favorite term of reporters
to describe Senator John McCain -- earlier this week both ABC's Terry
Moran and CBS's John Roberts applied the label -- but CNN's Wolf
Blitzer seems to attach it to any Republican who has decidedly liberal
views. On Monday night, MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed, he labeled not
only McCain as "maverick," but also Rudy Giuliani and Jim
Jeffords, whom he dubbed as a "moderate."
Blitzer on the June 4 Wolf Blitzer Reports,
with his uses of MAVERICK in all caps:
-- "In other news tonight, CNN has
learned that at least two MAVERICK Republicans are expected to meet with
the President this week. Tomorrow, Senator Jim Jeffords will go to the
White House as part of a bipartisan group discussing pending education
bills. That's just one day before Jeffords officially leaves the
Republican Party. And also this week, Republican Senator John McCain of
Arizona is expected to attend a private dinner with the President at the
-- "Another MAVERICK Republican has a
reputation as a battler. I'll discuss his battle with cancer and politics
in a rare national interview with New York's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani."
-- Blitzer to Giuliani: "And one of the
reputations you have, of course, is a MAVERICK Republican. Jim Jeffords,
another MAVERICK Republican, is leaving the Republican Party to become an
independent. Can you understand why he thinks he doesn't really have a
place as a moderate Republican within the GOP?"
When did you last hear Senators Zell Miller or
John Breaux dubbed as "maverick" Democrats?
of a Media Reality Check "Quick Take," by the MRC Rich Noyes,
distributed by fax on Thursday afternoon after it became clear Tim McVeigh
will be put to death on Monday. It provided examples of how just after his
1995 bombing some liberal journalists used it "as an opportunity to
take cheap political shots at mainstream conservatives and talk radio
hosts" for implying their rhetoric fueled the anti-government
attitude which led to the terrorism.
You can view this Quick Take as an Adobe
Acrobat PDF: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/2001/pdf/quick0607.pdf
Now the text of the June 7 Media Reality Check
SMEARS & PARTISAN INNUENDO IN WAKE OF '95 BOMBING
FIRST REACTION: LIBERAL JOURNALISTS BLAMED CONSERVATIVE POLS AND TALK
RADIO FOR OKLAHOMA MASS MURDER
Barring a last-minute court win, Timothy McVeigh will die Monday
because he killed 168 men, women and children on April 19, 1995. In the
days and weeks after McVeigh's murderous attack, some liberal
journalists used his Oklahoma City bombing as an opportunity to take cheap
political shots at mainstream conservatives and talk radio hosts. Recall:
++ "In a nation that has entertained and appalled itself for years
with hot talk on radio and the campaign trail, the inflamed rhetoric of
the '90s is suddenly an unindicted co-conspirator in the blast."
-- Time senior writer Richard Lacayo, May 8, 1995.
++ "The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on
the rhetoric that's been coming from the right and those who cater to
angry white men. While no one's suggesting right-wing radio jocks
approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence
is being questioned by many observers, including the President....The list
of those the President may have had in mind is at once long and familiar.
Right-wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Bob Grant, Oliver North, G.
Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan and others take to the air every day with
basically the same format: detail a problem, blame the government or a
group, and invite invective from like-minded people. Never do most of the
radio hosts encourage outright violence, but the extent to which their
attitudes may embolden and encourage some extremists has clearly become an
-- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, April 25, 1995.
++ "Even after Oklahoma City, you can turn on your radio in any
city and still dial up hate talk: extremists, racist and violent rhetoric
from the hosts and those who call in."
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, April 27, 1995.
++ "Public antagonism toward government has been one of the
principal themes of American political discourse for nearly two decades,
growing in shrillness in the past year. This sentiment has been voiced and
amplified by the new Republican House, which just this month completed its
100 days of action, much of it aimed at paring back the growth of the
federal government. But now that an attack on a government building has
left scores dead, including children, the allure is coming off the
-- Boston Globe Washington Bureau Chief David Shribman, in a front-page
"news analysis," April 25, 1995.
END Reprint of Quick Take fax
For more of this kind of spin in April 1995,
check out these articles:
-- May 1995 MediaWatch: "Use of 'Far
Right' and 'Extreme' Labels Link Conservatives and Terrorists;
McVeigh: Newt's Protege?" Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/mediawatch/1995/mw19950501p1.html
-- Another May 1995 MediaWatch article:
"Hosts Blamed For Bombing; Blasting Talk Radio." Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/mediawatch/1995/mw19950501p3.html
-- A four-page "SPECIAL PURVEYORS OF HATE
& DIVISION ISSUE" of Notable Quotables. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1995/nq19950508.html
Go back and experience some retro liberal bias
-- from the days before CyberAlert.
-- Brent Baker
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