Fear of New "Cold War Dynamic"; Momentum for Liberal Patients Bill Trumpeted by CBS; Rather's Refutable Claim About Bush Twins
1) Bush will "build a missile defense system whether
the allies like it or not," ABC's Charles Gibson asserted. NBC's
Tom Brokaw offered hostility: "It's very expensive and takes the
arms race in a whole new direction." Campbell Brown focused on how
"key allies" expressed "doubts" over whether it will
work as they fear setting aside the ABM treaty "will rekindle the
Cold War dynamic."
2) After running a bunch of mostly negative soundbites
about Bush from Europeans, such as "this is a man who, I mean, he
can't even control his daughters and he's got his finger on the nuclear
pulse," and "Al Gore would have been a hell of a lot
better," Good Morning America's Diane Sawyer gushed: "The
amazing thing is how much they know about America."
3) "Momentum is building in Congress for what's
called a patients' bill of rights," Dan Rather celebrated in making
a big deal out of how one Congressman decided to support the Democratic
version. Another Congressman is ignored when he fights abortion, but Bob
Schieffer held him up as a leading light: "It is stories like this
one from Republican Chris Smith, whose dying parents were denied HMO help,
that are driving support for HMO reform."
4) Introducing an excerpt from an interview with Laura
Bush, Dan Rather claimed that "this broadcast" had not
previously reported on "the problems her twin 19-year-old daughters
have had with the police." But that's not really accurate. It
depends on how you define "this broadcast."
5) Two media outlets this week have provided a
counterweight to the one-sided portrayal of the National Academy of
Sciences report as declaring as fact that humans are fueling global
warming and it posses a great danger. Not surprising, FNC was one outlet.
But the other was the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's editorial page.
6) Letterman's "Top Ten Other Television Shows
Produced By Saddam Hussein."
CBS reporters on Wednesday night grudgingly conceded that President Bush
made progress in convincing European allies to not oppose missile defense,
but NBC remained hostile as Tom Brokaw declared: "It's very
expensive and takes the arms race in a whole new direction." From
Brussels, Campbell Brown noted that "a senior White House adviser
insists Bush has the support of at least seven NATO countries," but
countered that "key allies, Germany and France, both express doubts
over whether missile defense will even work" and that they
"fear" setting aside the ABM treaty "will rekindle the Cold
War dynamic, fueling Russia's suspicions Bush's real aim is military
CBS's John Roberts admired how "Bush
effectively took control of the agenda today," but warned that
"tomorrow it will be more difficult" because on global warming
"Bush stands very much alone."
More details from the June 13 evening shows
about the assessments of Bush's progress on missile defense:
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Anchor Charles
Gibson teased the broadcast: "On World News Tonight, President Bush
overseas. He says he'll build a missile defense system whether the
allies like it or not."
Gibson opened the show: "Good evening.
President Bush brought the single most important component of his national
security policy to a very skeptical audience today. At NATO headquarters
Mr. Bush said he made real progress convincing our European allies that a
missile defense system is worth pursuing. But if they're not convinced,
he suggested, the U.S. would go it alone."
From Brussels, John Cochran ran clips of
Bush's comments at the NATO meeting before cautioning: "Although
the President believes he made great headway today, if a vote had been
taken he would have lost."
-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather set up CBS's
story: "At NATO headquarters in Brussels Belgium today President Bush
moved forward on one campaign pledge, but backed away from another."
John Roberts also began with some Bush
soundbites before assessing his success: "President Bush's bold
pitch paid off with some allies, but others remain opening skeptical,
whether the emerging threat is as serious as the White House
Lord George Robertson, NATO Secretary General:
"What the President asked for and what the President got was an open
mind by the other allied countries."
Not exactly a negative comment.
Roberts continued: "As he pressed ahead
with one campaign promise, President Bush backtracked on another, his vow
to pull American troops out of Bosnia and Kosovo and leave sole
responsibility for peacekeeping to the Europeans. Today the President said
the soldiers will stay put."
Roberts concluded with a warning:
"President Bush effectively took control of the agenda today, but
tomorrow it will be more difficult. High on the list of priorities for the
European Union summit will be global warming. And on that front, President
Bush stands very much alone."
-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw teased the
show before the theme music: "The hard sell. President Bush in Europe
fights for missile defense. It's very expensive and takes the arms race
in a whole new direction. Will he get his way?"
Brokaw then began the show with this lengthy
discourse: "Good evening. President Bush is on a crusade in Europe
tonight to change the character and the direction of the most deadly form
of warfare in history, nuclear war. He's selling hard the idea of a
controversial missile defense system to shoot down an incoming nuclear
attack. Now there is no defensive system by design. The operating theory
is that the best defense is an overwhelming offense. So far no missile
defense system has worked well in tests. But as NBC's Campbell Brown
reports from Brussels tonight, the President is convinced that will
Brown showed clips of Bush arguing the Cold
War is over and that the new threat is from rogue states. She countered:
"But Bush's stance prompts demonstrations at NATO headquarters
today, even a hang gliding protestor bearing the sign 'Stop Star
Wars.' A senior White House adviser insists Bush has the support of at
least seven NATO countries, yet today key allies, Germany and France, both
express doubts over whether missile defense will even work and Bush's
eagerness to set aside the anti-ballistic missile treaty with Russia, an
agreement that limits defensive missiles on both sides, a move some fear
will rekindle the Cold War dynamic, fueling Russia's suspicions Bush's
real aim is military superiority."
running a bunch of mostly negative soundbites about President Bush from
people on the streets of Europe, such as "Texas people are very
rude," "this is a man who, I mean, he can't even control his
daughters and he's got his finger on the nuclear pulse," and "Al
Gore would have been a hell of a lot better," Good Morning America
co-host Diane Sawyer gushed: "The amazing thing is how much they know
about America, period."
The comments really didn't show much
knowledge of America beyond a very basic understanding of the name of the
U.S, President and where he's from.
MRC analyst Jessica Anderson caught the 7:30am
half hour segment on the June 13 show. Sawyer set it up: "As we all
know, George W. Bush heading off to Europe -- big moment for him. So we
thought, we'd send people out on the street, what do men on the street
know about the American President?"
Viewers then saw a series of clips of people
on the streets. From their accents you could assume they were from various
nations, but none carried any such information on screen:
Man #1: "He's an American cowboy."
Man #2: "He's a typical American."
Man #3: "Typical American guy."
Man #4: "He's an interesting chap."
President Bush: "And our intent is to make
the world more peaceful."
Man #4: "He appears to have very little
knowledge of anything other than living and working in Texas."
Woman #1: "Texas people are very rude."
Man #5: "He comes across as sort of 'good ol'
Woman #2: "He's a very, very friendly man, a
very, very friendly man."
Man #2: "I'm not a really good person to
describe George Bush because I don't know him personally.
Man #6: "This is a man who, I mean, he can't
even control his daughters and he's got his finger on the nuclear
Woman #3: "He does not know a lot about
European history. He very much identifies with his father and tries to
fulfill what his father did not manage to fulfill."
Man #1: "Not a son of Bush, but like a bit
of Ronald Reagan."
Man #7: "Give the man a chance."
Man #8: "He's a good person. He seems like
he can run the country well."
Man #9: "If a person becomes the President
of the first nation in the world, he's not stupid."
Man #10: "Al Gore would have been a hell of
a lot better."
Back on live, Sawyer remarked: "The
amazing thing is how much they know about America, period."
Substitute co-host Terry Moran agreed: "I
don't know how many men on the street in America would know about the
Chancellor of Germany, but that is a, that's a reflection of what the
leaders in Europe have to deal with. The public opinion there is running
very high against George Bush, in a way."
Sawyer: "And he's got global warming to
contend with and the fact that we pulled out of the treaty in Kyoto, or
he's talking about it."
Evening News celebrated the decision by Republican Congressman Charlie
Norwood of Georgia to support the Democratic patients' rights bill,
treating it as a momentous event even though Norwood has long been hostile
to the GOP version. Remember Al Gore's repetition of "Dingell-Norwood"
during last year's presidential debates?
For years Republican Congressman Chris Smith
of New Jersey has been a leader against abortion here and around the
world, but how many times have you seen him on the network news? Well, now
that his agenda matches CBS's, Bob Schieffer suddenly considered him a
leading light: "But even Congressmen have HMO horror stories, and it
is stories like this one from Republican Chris Smith, whose dying parents
were denied HMO help, that are driving support for HMO reform."
Dan Rather introduced the June 13 story, as
transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Momentum is building in
Congress for what's called a patients' bill of rights, including a
strong provision that would give individual Americans the right to sue
their managed health care plans. President Bush threatens to veto this
version but, as CBS's Bob Schieffer reports tonight, it got a big boost
today from a Republican Congressman."
Bob Schieffer: "In a key development,
Georgia Republican Charlie Norwood broke with the White House and said
he'd push legislation to give patients the right to sue their
Rep. Charlie Norwood at an outdoor press event:
"They were obviously hoping that by intense lobbying they could
persuade me to see it their way. Neither of us were able to succeed."
Schieffer: "Norwood is a Republican dentist
who split with Republican House leaders over HMO reform last year. But the
President urged him to stand aside this time. When he said no, that gave a
big boost to reform backers and Democrats."
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle:
"Congressman Norwood's decision today is terrific news. We are
Schieffer: "The industry has spent millions
to block the legislation claiming it would drive up costs to employers and
Following a clip of the ad, Schieffer
proclaimed: "But even Congressmen have HMO horror stories, and it is
stories like this one from Republican Chris Smith, whose dying parents
were denied HMO help, that are driving support for HMO reform."
Chris Smith: "The ultimate insult was when
my father was told that the tracheotomy that he had, he had stomach cancer
and needed a tracheotomy, would not be covered, the anesthesia would not
Schieffer: "Norwood's support will help
backers, but it won't be a cakewalk. From Brussels, the President
leveled what sounded like a veto threat as he repeated previous
objections....The President wants these cases to be tried only in federal
court where critics say it will take longer to bring them to trial, and he
wants to limit the damages that patients can collect. This one could get
depends on the meaning of "this broadcast." Introducing a brief
excerpt from an interview with First Lady Laura Bush, Dan Rather on
Wednesday night claimed that "this broadcast" had not previously
reported on "the problems her twin 19-year-old daughters have had
with the police." But that's not accurate.
On the June 13 CBS Evening News Rather
intoned: "Laura Bush is speaking publicly for the first time about
the problems her twin 19-year-old daughters have had with the police. We
haven't reported this story on this broadcast, you're hearing about it
here for the first time tonight because the First Lady has now talked
publicly about it for the first time -- exclusively with CBS News White
House correspondent Bill Plante for tomorrow's CBS Early Show."
Well, what does "this broadcast"
mean? Such a claim is only accurate to someone inside CBS News who
considers the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" aired
Monday-Friday to be wholly separate from the CBS Evening News which runs
on weekends. While it is true that the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather
skipped the Barbara and Jenna under-aged drinking story, the Saturday,
June 2 edition of the CBS Evening News ran a full story on the matter.
media outlets this week have provided a counterweight to the one-sided
doom and gloom promotion of the National Academy of Sciences report as
declaring as fact that humans are fueling global warming and it poses a
great danger. One media outlet is one you'd expect, the Fox News
Channel, but the other is something of a surprise, the Atlanta
Constitution's editorial page under the direction of the liberal Cynthia
[WEB UPDATE: This
editorial ran in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but not on the
Constitution editorial page edited by the liberal Cynthia Tucker. The
paper has a separate conservative Journal editorial page edited by Jim
Wooten and it is on the Journal page that the below excerpted editorial
Fred Singer, President of the Science and
Environmental Policy Project and professor emeritus of environmental
sciences at the University of Virginia, informed FNC's Brit Hume:
"There are four data sets, and three of them say the climate is not
warming. One says the climate is warming." He added that "over
geologic history," greenhouse gasses "have been 20 times higher
than what they are today."
The Atlanta Constitution editorial pointed
out: "There's a whole lot of waffling over warming in the panel's
report: Its 24 pages include 48 uses of what is 'uncertain;' 33 of
what 'may' occur; 32 of 'could;' 25 of 'likely' and 21 of
'possible'" and that "humans are responsible for just 4.5
percent of the 173.1 billion tons of greenhouse gases produced annually.
The rest is nature."
-- Excerpts from the June 12 Special Report
with Brit Hume on FNC:
Hume set up the segment: "To read the
news coverage on last week's report on global warming from the National
Academy of Sciences, you might have thought the issue was settled: Global
warming is a serious threat, human behavior is responsible for it, and the
Kyoto treaty on the issue is the answer."
Singer explained why scientists cannot be sure
if the planet is experiencing unusual warming: "They cannot be sure.
But of course, you must have taken into account the fact that when they
say the climate is warming, which they claim, they only are looking at one
data set. There are four data sets, and three of them say the climate is
not warming. One says the climate is warming."
Hume: "Now, these four data sets all equally
scientifically valid and equal?"
Singer: "Yes, they are. And in fact, last
year, the same National Academy published a report in which they say that
the atmosphere is not warming, according to data from weather satellites
and according to data from weather balloons. So weather balloons and
weather satellites show no warming. Surface data show a warming. And then
what we call proxy data from tree rings and ice cores show no
Hume: "So what are we to conclude?"
Singer: "So it's three to one. Well,
unfortunately, you cannot conclude anything at the moment. What we need to
do is to have a proper debate. We need to find out why it is that the data
Hume soon wondered: "Now, wouldn't it,
though, I mean, it seems like the argument could be made that as a
precautionary matter, given the potential consequences of a warming of the
Earth -- and I want to ask you about that the prudent thing to do would
begin to take precautions now and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
Is that not a sensible course?"
Singer: "Well, we're doing this anyway,
whether there's warming or not. We're doing this because we're
always striving for greater energy efficiency. So per unit of GNP, per
unit of output, we are reducing our emissions and have been for the last
Singer later pointed out: "There's no
question that greenhouse gases have risen in the atmosphere as a result of
human activities. On the other hand, you have to take a geologic point of
view. The levels of greenhouse gases -- for example, carbon dioxide -- are
not as high as they were some time ago. For example, over geologic
history, they've been 20 times higher than what they are today -- 20
Singer explained C02 "was one of the
primordial gases. It comes out of volcanoes. So it's emitted from the
earth. It hasn't really upset the climate very much. We've had a
reasonably good climate for the last 600 million years, and I think we
will continue to have a good climate."
Hume: "Is it clear that if there were global
warming, that it is harmful?"
Singer: "No, not at all. It depends really
on how much, of course. A modest warming, which is all we're talking
about here, would, in fact, produce benefits. So economists tell us."
Hume: "What benefits?"
Singer: "Leading economists, led by a
professor from Yale University, have published a book. And they point out
that the United States would benefit from a higher level of carbon dioxide
and a warmer climate."
-- An editorial in the June 11 Atlanta
Constitution brought to my attention by the MRC's Rich Noyes. An excerpt
of the editorial headlined, "Turn off the alarms: Concerns about
global warming expressed in a hastily assembled report ignore statistics
that downplay the doomsday scenario."
"Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a
result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and
subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising.
The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due
to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of
these changes are also a reflection of natural variability. Human-induced
warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through
the 21st century."
With the opening paragraph of its global warming report, an 11-member
panel of the National Academy of Sciences also opened up a can of worms.
And we now have more hot air flowing from the global warming conspiracy
theorists than ever was produced by climate change....
The panel produced the report for President Bush within a month, a
tight deadline unwisely set by the administration. The hastiness is
obvious in the report; its sweeping introductory assertion hardly reflects
the scientific debate raging on the issue of climate change; and reading
beyond the introduction shows the panel's assertion is as solid as the
composition of Swiss cheese.
Consider this admission: "Because there is considerable
uncertainty in current understanding of how the climate system varies
naturally and reacts to emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols,
current estimates of the magnitude of future warming should be regarded as
tentative and subject to future adjustments."
And: "Reducing the wide range of uncertainty inherent in current
model predictions of global climate change will require major advances in
understanding and modeling...."
In fact, there's a whole lot of waffling over warming in the panel's
report: Its 24 pages include 48 uses of what is "uncertain;" 33
of what "may" occur; 32 of "could;" 25 of
"likely" and 21 of "possible." By contrast, its
response uses the word "science" four times....
Here's the truth: Humans are responsible for just 4.5 percent of the
173.1 billion tons of greenhouse gases produced annually. The rest is
nature -- volcanic eruptions, sea-water evaporation and decaying matter.
It's pure speculation to blame humans for global warming -- or cooling,
for that matter. Satellite data reveals no warming trend on the planet.
Interestingly, for all the global warming hysteria, "The
longer-term trend for the period since 1895 has shown a trend toward
slightly cooler annual temperatures across the Southeast," says
Georgia's assistant state climatologist, Pam Knox....
The most valuable contribution U.S. scientists can make is to
continually question basic assumptions and conclusions, promote clear and
careful appraisal and presentation of the uncertainties about climate
change as well as those areas in which science is leading to robust
conclusions, and work toward a significant improvement in the ability to
project the future. In the process, we will better define the nature of
the problems and ensure that the best possible information is available
for policy makers.
Incidentally, the previous paragraph wasn't ours. It was from the
National Academy of Sciences' report. But we couldn't have said it better.
June 12 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Other Television
Shows Produced By Saddam Hussein." Copyright 2001 by Worldwide Pants,
10. "Allah McBeal"
9. "Wheel of Torture"
8. "Temptation Bunker"
7. "Mustafa In The Middle"
6. "The Price Is Right If Saddam Says It's Right"
5. "As The Oil Rig Burns"
4. "World's Wildest Camel Chases"
3. "Live with Regis and Kelly"
2. "Touched By A Moustache"
1. "Everybody Knows That Raymond Is An Infidel and Must Be
-- Brent Baker
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