CBS's Non-Levy Salaciousness; Crack Down on "Gas-Guzzling SUVs"; Condit and His Enemies Both "Conservative" to ABC; No ID in Time
1) CBS and NBC pushed President Bush to hike fuel
standards for "gas-guzzling SUVs." Dan Rather rued how
"it's been years since the U.S. government last set fuel efficiency
standards" but, he hoped, "that could soon change." NBC's
Brian Williams steered Bush: "With increasing numbers of Americans
telling opinion pollsters the President needs to get tougher on
environmental protection, tonight the White House may have its
2) Peter Jennings picked up on how "Henry Waxman has
asked the Justice Department to investigate the President's main
political adviser for conflict of interest."
3) ABC's Ann Compton hoped that Vice President
Cheney's defibrillator implant would have led "to a change of
heart" in his energy policy, but she regretted how he still favors a
"hard line on finding more oil" over "conservation."
4) CBS's Bob Schieffer admitted to Don Imus: "I
think anti-ballistic missile defense systems are a bad idea."
Schieffer also repeated his refrain about how the defeat of "campaign
finance reform" gives John McCain a presidential platform to
"talk about corruption in both parties."
5) The weekday CBS Evening News with Dan Rather once again
ignored the Chandra Levy/Gary Condit story on Tuesday night, but CBS
can't claim their news judgment is based upon avoiding salacious
material since a soundbite in a story on another topic included the slang
6) From ABC's viewpoint, Gary Condit, his district and
his enemies are all "conservative." Tuesday's World News
Tonight failed to identify Condit as a Democrat, but made sure viewers
realized he's being attacked by "conservatives" as people in
his "conservative" district "still relate to Condit's
7) In over 1600 words the latest Time magazine couldn't
find room to inform its readers of Gary Condit's party affiliation. U.S.
News waited until the 16th paragraph of an 18 paragraph story and then
labeled him a "conservative Democrat."
8) The New York Times painted Gary Condit as a victim
"caught in the middle," of the controversy over a missing
intern, who "has few financial resources with which to deal with the
personal and political crisis building around him."
9) "How about slamming a Republican?" Washington
Post reporter Rita Kemply suggested to actor John Cusack, who naturally
10) Not everyone is Hollywood is a left-winger. Patricia
Heaton, co-star of CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond sit-com, admitted to
Craig Kilborn that she voted for Bush, boasts to her friends about the
coming tax cut and is "pro-life." (And: FNC spinning?)
CBS and NBC
pushed President Bush from the left on Tuesday night, encouraging his
consideration of hiking the fuel efficiency standards for
Dan Rather lamented how "it's been
years since the U.S. government last set fuel efficiency standards for
American automobiles" but, he hoped, "that could soon
change." CBS reporter John Roberts dismissed as inadequate a one mile
per gallon increase proposed by House Republicans: "A drop in the
bucket say Democrats compared to the trillions of gallons those vehicles
will burn in the same time." NBC anchor Brian Williams directed Bush
to his preferred policy of new regulation: "With increasing numbers
of Americans telling opinion pollsters the President needs to get tougher
on environmental protection, tonight the White House may have its
Rather announced on the July 17 CBS Evening
News: "It's been years since the U.S. government last set fuel
efficiency standards for American automobiles, but that could soon change.
With America's highways bumper to bumper in gas-guzzling SUVs, President
Bush is about to get a recommendation from a federal advisory panel that
cars and light trucks get more miles per gallon of gasoline."
Roberts then outlined how a draft report from
the National Academies of Science, which called for increasing the
Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFé) standards by several miles per
gallon (now 27.5 miles per gallon for cars and 20.7 for light trucks),
"gave proponents hope." After soundbites from the Sierra Club
and an auto industry spokeswoman, Roberts brushed aside the effectiveness
of a Republican congressional proposal:
"The new recommendations come as Congress
considers its own proposals on fuel efficiency. Tomorrow Republicans will
move to increase standards for SUVs and minivans by a mile per gallon, a
measure they say would save six billion gallons of gasoline over five
years. A drop in the bucket say Democrats compared to the trillions of
gallons those vehicles will burn in the same time."
Congressman Henry Waxman: "It pretends to be
doing something when it really is not. And in fact, we think it is riddled
with loopholes so it may even set us back rather than take a small step
Roberts concluded by ruing how the final NAS
report may not be so strong: "Supporters of tougher standards were
hoping that the national academy's recommendations would put pressure on
Congress, but late today sources told CBS News the panel is making
substantial changes to the draft report and that the final report due out
in a couple of weeks may look remarkably different than what we learned
How fortunate that someone gave CBS News the
draft report so they could campaign for its more extreme recommendations.
Over on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor
Brian Williams offered some cheerleading for the more liberal policy
direction: "With increasing numbers of Americans telling opinion
pollsters the President needs to get tougher on environmental protection,
tonight the White House may have its chance. The President soon has to
decide whether or not to toughen fuel mileage standards for those popular
and thirsty SUVs on the road, but it may not be that easy."
Reporter Campbell Brown began her subsequent
piece: "America's gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles are the
target. President Bush first pitches his energy plan as a way to drum up
the country's oil supply to feed the SUV frenzy, but now he's changing
course. To fight an anti-environment image, he's putting a new emphasis
Of course, he wouldn't have "an
anti-environment image" if it were not for this kind of distorted
reporting which paints adherence to further regulation proposed by
liberals as the yardstick by which to measure concern for the environment.
air time for liberal Democrat Henry Waxman's crusade against White House
adviser Karl Rove. On Tuesday night ABC picked up on a topic covered with
a couple of full stories on the CBS Evening News last week. Peter Jennings
relayed on the July 17 World News Tonight:
"Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman has
asked the Justice Department to investigate the President's main
political adviser for conflict of interest. The Congressman wants to know
whether Karl Rove discussed federal policies with companies in which he
versus a "hard line on finding more oil." ABC's Ann Compton
hoped Tuesday morning that Vice President Cheney's defibrillator implant
would have led "to a change of heart" with his energy policy.
On the July 17 Good Morning America Compton
played a clip of Lynne Cheney delivering a speech for her husband because
he had laryngitis: "New technologies are proving that we can save
energy without sacrificing our standard of living, and we're going to
encourage these technologies in every way possible. Conservation is a
Compton followed up, MRC analyst Jessica
Anderson observed: "But the original Cheney mandate on energy had
little tolerance for conservation. A change of heart, two weeks after
Cheney had another coronary scare and a defibrillator implant? Apparently
not. By evening, Cheney's voice was back and so was his hard-line on
finding more oil....The Vice President insisted the U.S. will never be
completely free from its dependence on oil."
think anti-ballistic missile defense systems are a bad idea and this is
something I've thought for 20 years," CBS News veteran Bob
Schieffer conceded on Tuesday's Imus in the Morning radio show simulcast
MRC analyst Ken Shepherd also noticed that
Schieffer repeated his refrain from Sunday's Face the Nation, as quoted
in the July 16 CyberAlert, about how the defeat of "campaign finance
reform" gives John McCain a presidential platform to "talk about
corruption in both parties."
Schieffer told Imus: "I think a lot of
the Bush administration's problems these days is sort of in the
presentation. For example, on a missile defense system, which I'll tell
you, I'll lay my cards on the table. I think anti-ballistic missile
defense systems are a bad idea and this is something I've thought for 20
years, because they were debating this when I came to Washington 30 years
ago. But what I find somewhat surprising is that, all of the testing --
and I think we should continue testing and I think we should continue to
develop the technology on this system -- all of this could be done for the
next year without violating the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in any way.
They just don't need to do that. They can do this testing and not
violate the treaty. And yet you see members of the administration saying,
'we're going to bump right up against this treaty. We've got to get
rid of this treaty.' Well, you know, it's just kind of provocative.
It's being provocative when you don't need to and I don't think
that's good politics."
It's clear Schieffer is more upset with the
policy than its "presentation."
On McCain, he opined: "I think the House
did John McCain, if John McCain has in the back of his mind the idea of
running for president, I think the House did him an enormous favor by
killing this, in this sense that, if John McCain decides to run for
President, I'm gonna kind of revise my previous statements on that. In
the beginning, I thought that if he ran, he would have the best chance to
run as a Democrat. I'm beginning to think that his best chance to run
for President would be as an independent. And if he does that, he's got
to have an issue. And I know that campaign finance reform is not a good
enough issue to run on. But you can take that and talk about corruption in
both parties, and both parties not having the gumption; that both parties
have now sold out to the big party interests and they can't clean up
their own mess and it's going to take somebody that comes from someplace
else to do that. I think that's the way that John McCain could run for
President. And my guess is that in the back of his mind, John McCain has
decided that if he runs for President, it would be to get 34 percent of
McCain starts with journalists and editorial
writers as his base.
weekday CBS Evening News with Dan Rather once again ignored the Chandra
Levy/Gary Condit story on Tuesday night (ABC and NBC each ran pieces), but
CBS can't claim their news judgment is based upon avoiding salacious
material since they aired a soundbite in a story on another topic which
included the slang term "tit."
The July 17 CBS Evening News also found more
newsworthy than Levy questions about "gun safety," specifically
a Remington rifle which supposedly fires prematurely. That got over three
minutes. And Dan Rather ended his program with this 15 second item:
"A well-fed spirit may be another secret to longevity. Augusta Watts
loved listening to spiritual music. It turns out when she died this month
in Pensacola Florida, her family says she was 124. Swing low, sweet
Earlier, in a story by Bob Schieffer on the
passing away of long-time Washington Post Publisher Katharine Graham, he
included this 1992 soundbite from her on 60 Minutes reciting the threat
then-Attorney General John Mitchell uttered to reporters Carl Bernstein
and Bob Woodward during Watergate: "He said, 'well are you going to
run this? And if you are Katie Graham's tit is going to get caught in a
Condit, his district and his enemies are all "conservative"
according to ABC News. Tuesday's World News Tonight failed to identify
Condit as a Democrat, but made sure viewers realized he's being attacked
by "conservatives" as "many constituents" in his
"conservative" district "still relate to Condit's
Peter Jennings set up the July 17 story:
"In Washington today Congressman Gary Condit's Chief-of-Staff
issued a statement to say that Mr. Condit will be forthcoming with his
constituents about the case of Chandra Levy in good time. But in the
meantime, the statement went on, conservative political groups should not
exploit Miss Levy's disappearance for their own purposes. Mr. Condit may
have been referring to groups in his California district who are calling
for his resignation. He has always been enormously popular there. But the
scrutiny is taking a toll."
David Wright began from Modesto: "Deep in
California's heartland the 18th congressional district is farm country
-- conservative, mostly white, small town America. This region has the
highest proportion of families in all of California..."
If it's so "conservative" why did
it elect liberal Democrat Tony Coelho followed by the more moderate but
not conservative Condit?
Wright outlined Condit's career without
mentioning his party: "In his 30 year career representing this
community Gary Condit has never lost an election. His most recent race,
back in November, he won by 67 percent, that's better than two out of
every three votes. His seat was thought to be one of the safest in
California. No longer. Outside his office today a protest rally. Local
Republicans see an opportunity."
That note about Republican opposition was the
only hint that Condit might be a Democrat.
After a soundbite from a local GOP leader and
clips of some constituents defending Condit from media attacks, Wright
played a soundbite from a woman not so sure she would vote again for
Condit. Wright then concluded: "Many constituents still relate to
Condit's conservative politics, just not to his family values."
His "conservative policies"? He's
earned a lifetime 48 percent rating from the American Conservative Union,
which hardly makes him conservative. The liberal Americans for democratic
Action has approved of just over half, 52 percent, of his votes since he
took his House seat in 1989. Those ratings put him in the middle of the
spectrum, voting liberal half the time and voting conservative half the
time -- the very definition of a moderate.
Amongst his liberal votes, in Clinton's
first term he opposed welfare reform. In 2000 he favored hiking the
minimum wage, voted against spending caps, opposed an amendment to require
congressional approval for presidential designations of national monuments
and favored overturning the denial of federal funds for abortions funded
by international groups. In 1999 he voted against requiring background
checks at gun shows be completed within 24 hours, voted nay on a
"sense of the House" resolution against clemency for the Puerto
Rican terrorists given by President Clinton and opposed expanding access
to Medical Savings Accounts. For more on his votes, check this ACU page
which has a link to details on the votes they assessed: http://www.conservative.org/rating2000/ca.htm
Tuesday morning on Today, MRC analyst Geoffrey
Dickens noticed, Newsweek's Howard Fineman claimed Condit is a
"strong conservative both on economic policy and on cultural
1600 words the latest Time magazine couldn't find room to inform its
readers of Gary Condit's party affiliation, not even in any one of
several photo captions. (Last week, a short item up front in the magazine
also failed to identify him as a Democrat.)
In fact, a form the word Democrat only
appeared once in the July 23 edition piece by Karen Tumulty headlined,
"Sex, Lies, And Polygraphs: As the Chandra Levy frenzy intensifies,
GARY CONDIT fights back and submits to a lie-detector test. But does it
come too late to save his career?" The term popped up in the fourth
"Even if Condit had nothing to do with
Chandra Levy's disappearance -- police continue to insist that he's not a
suspect -- his painstakingly tended image has been shattered and his
political career declared dead. Democrats and Republicans are already
scheming how to carve his conservative district to maximum advantage, or
reapportion it out of existence. 'If he's smart, he won't even run for
re-election,' says A.G. Block, executive editor of California Journal, a
magazine on state politics."
To see for yourself how Time refused to list
Condit's party, check out the article, Time's only piece this week on
the case: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101010723-167563,00.html
This week's U.S. News & World Report
waited until the 16th paragraph of a 18 paragraph story to identify
Condit's party, but then with the caveat that he's a
"conservative Democrat," the MRC's Rich Noyes observed. In
that paragraph of the story headlined, "Chasing Chandra: A summer sex
scandal has a woman missing and a congressman on the run," Michael
Schaffer of U.S. News wrote:
"Condit, who took office in a 1989 special
election after scandal-plagued House Democratic Whip Tony Coehlo resigned,
played the role of provincial politician brilliantly. Though his district
supported President Bush in last fall's election, Condit -- a conservative
Democrat -- won re-election by a 2-to-1 margin."
victim "caught in the middle" of the controversy over a missing
intern? That's how Tuesday's New York Times portrayed him in a story
about his financial situation brought to my attention by an alert
"Condit Facing Bills in Inquiry With Few
Financial Resources," bemoaned the July 17 story by James Risen and
Raymond Bonner. They began: "Representative Gary A. Condit, the
California Democrat caught in the middle of the controversy surrounding
the disappearance of the government intern Chandra Ann Levy, has few
financial resources with which to deal with the personal and political
crisis building around him, his congressional financial disclosure records
"Mr. Condit is facing big expenses for his
team of lawyers and public relations advisers and it is unclear what
resources he has to pay them. Mr. Condit reported no outside income
besides his $145,100 Congressional salary in his most recent disclosure
statements, which are required of all House members, the records
No one made him choose a high-priced lawyer or
bring aboard pricey PR advisers.
To read the entire New York Times story, go
a Hollywood celebrity to bash Republicans. In a Sunday "Arts"
section profile of actor John Cusack, star of the upcoming movie American
Sweethearts, Washington Post film reviewer Rita Kemply suggested he offer
some "slamming of a Republican." He complied, National
Review's Washington Bulletin e-mail noted on Monday, denigrating
Bush's global warming policy and tax cut.
For the July 15 piece Kempley took on the role
of a person in a New York City hotel room with Cusack prompting his
reactions. Here's an excerpt:
This interview isn't really working out.
"You bear some responsibility, don't you think?" he says.
You could say something of substance.
"Hmm. What can I say that's worthy of The Washington Post?"
How about slamming a Republican?
"I've done that already. I have an honest difference of opinion
with them. I think they're dishonest," says Cusack, whose parents'
liberal politics remain an obvious influence on his life.
"'There's no conclusive science on the Kyoto accord.' That means
they paid some scientist to say there's no global warming," he rants.
"But there is no science that says the missile defense shield can
work. We can spend billions on that, but scrimp on education and the
How do you feel about the tax cut?
"My parents did get that $300. They're going to pay off the
mortgage, and all the grandchildren will be well looked after."
To read the entire profile and to see a
picture of Cusack to see if he looks familiar to you, go to:
everyone in Hollywood is a left-winger. On Monday's Late Late Show with
Craig Kilborn on CBS, Patricia Heaton, co-star of Everybody Loves Raymond
sit-com, admitted she voted for Bush, boasts to her friends about the
coming tax cut and is "pro-life."
Heaton plays "Debra Barone," wife of
Ray Romano's lead character "Ray Barone" on the 9pm EDT/PDT,
8pm CDT/MDT CBS sit-com produced by Worldwide Pants, David Letterman's
production company which also owns Kilborn's show.
During her appearance on Kilborn's July 16
late night/early morning show this exchange occurred, as taken down by MRC
analyst Brian Boyd:
Craig Kilborn: "So you're actually, I didn't
know this, even though I've interviewed you a number of times, I didn't
know that you are a Republican and you actually aren't shy about saying
Patricia Heaton: "Well, and you can all
thank me for your tax refund, right?"
Kilborn: "That's right, we got a tax
Heaton: "Yeah, and all these Democratic
friends who, you know, are like 'I can't believe you voted for Bush' and I
was like, hey, I get a tax refund, thank you very much."
Kilborn: "You're taking credit,
Heaton: "I'm taking credit myself."
Kilborn: "There aren't many celebrities,
aren't many Hollywood people who are Republicans."
Heaton: "No, I was, you know what, I hate to
say I am a Republican because there are some issues that I'm very
Democratic on and some issues, I'm against the death penalty, so that's
more of a Democratic Party thing. Pro-life so that's more Republican, so,
it's hard, but, but I'm like the only celebrity they could get to come to
this thing in Washington. Like no one else would go, it was like me and a
Kilborn: "Is that right? That's funny. There
are no Republicans around."
Heaton: "I know, no, no one will admit to
Kilborn: "That's funny."
Heaton: "It's too bad that we live in a
country where people would feel ashamed to be in one party or
Heaton: "It's just that's what makes-"
Kilborn: "You're very carefree, you're very
open with this stuff unless you're on a plane where they're not giving you
a sandwich you're pretty easy going."
Heaton: "This is the thing, if someone, I'm
the kind of person that if someone tells me I can't do something or
shouldn't be something then I would automatically do that, because someone
told me I couldn't."
Kilborn: "Oh, one of those."
Heaton: "So it's kind of, in Hollywood it's
almost like because everybody is Democratic-"
Kilborn: "It's so irritating."
Heaton: "It's irritating. You know, I don't
feel like a lemming."
Kilborn: "Right, right."
Heaton: "You know, so I will just sort
Kilborn: "Well, I guess that's a good reason
to be a Republican."
Okay, a less than enthusiastic endorsement of
conservative policies, but not bad for Hollywood.
For a mini-bio and a photo of Heaton, go to:
Wednesday afternoon the MRC Web team will post
a RealPlayer clip of the above-recited exchange. Go to: http://archive.mrc.org
My final riddle for the day. Am I
subconsciously walking in circles around my TV, or is the "Fox News
Channel" logo now spinning in slow motion in the corner? -- Brent Baker
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