New Moyers PBS Show; Media-Generated Bush "Pakis" Hype; More Engberg Bias; Al Michaels Hit on Begala; ABC: President's Ranch in Scotland
1) While even MSNBC is hiring a conservative host, PBS
blithefully continues to program for liberals. Next week PBS will debut a
new weekly prime time show hosted by Bill Moyers.
2) The New York Times claimed on Tuesday that President
Bush "raised some eyebrows by using the term 'Pakis,'" which
is "considered an ethnic slur in Britain." But Reuters
inadvertently divulged it was a controversy self-generated by the
Washington press corps which kept calling the Pakistani embassy for
3) Media Reality Check. "Good Riddance to Two-Faced
Reality Checks: Hailed As 'Great Journalist' by Dan Rather, Eric
Engberg Was Poster Boy for CBS's Worst Liberal Bias." Quotes that
weren't in Monday's CyberAlert, plus links to fuller recitations of
4) During ABC's Monday Night Football, Al Micheals
awarded "a lifetime achievement award" to Clintonista Paul
Begala for, as Dennis Miller suggested, "the biggest fake of the
year, Paul Begala's last smile."
5) Peter Jennings set up a clip last week: "President
Clinton, of course, is on his ranch in Scotland." Actually, President
Bush was in a restaurant in Crawford, Texas.
6) "News media mainstream: clueless?" Another
column about the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2001: The
Fourteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." Plus, a
new page with reprints of other columns and editorials on the awards
7) Letterman's "Top Ten Signs Your Neighbor Is
Hiding Mullah Omar."
January 8 CyberAlert cited an October 5, 1992 story by Eric Engberg about
Bush campaign ties to the Willie Horton ad. The story actually ran nine
days later, on October 14, 1992.
reaction to FNC giving a prime time hour to liberal CNN veteran Greta van
Susteren, MSNBC has hired the conservative Alan Keyes to go up against her
at 10pm EST. (He'll start January 21, she in early February.) FNC has
been quite successful with programming which appeals to conservatives and
CNN's chief, Walter Isaacson, last year tried to reach out to learn why
conservatives distrust CNN.
But one network continues to ignore
conservatives as it offers programming only a liberal could like: PBS,
which will soon launch a new weekly Friday night prime time news show
hosted by far-left polemicist Bill Moyers.
At the press tour in Pasadena for TV
reporters, PBS also announced another Moyers-hosted special set for April
on PCBs in the Hudson River. Moyers betrayed his personal agenda in
damning former GE Chairman Jack Welch with faint praise, calling him a
"dynamic apologist for" GE.
The new hour-long Moyers show, titled NOW, in
all caps, will debut on Friday, January 18 on PBS at 9pm EST/PST following
Wall Street Week. "We believe this will be the best night of public
affairs television," PBS President and CEO Pat Mitchell gushed to USA
Today's Bill Keveney.
Keveney's January 8 story described the
show: "NOW will make use of the resources of NPR News, reflecting the
public TV system's effort to increase collaboration with public radio. The
hour-long program will generally consist of a 12- to 15-minute documentary
report, a one-on-one interview, NPR contributions and news analysis."
Keveney relayed: "Moyers, however, said
the analysis would steer clear of the usual-suspect punditry favored by
talk shows that have 'made rhetoric more important than argument.' He
said he will seek out analysts not often seen on TV, as he did with a
program on Sept. 11 that featured a minister and a professor who has
studied the notion of evil."
Previewing an upcoming special, Keveney noted:
"In April, the award-winning documentarian will take a literal look
downstream in America's First River: Bill Moyers on the Hudson, a
two-night look at the historical, cultural and environmental effects and
influence of the river.
interviewed former General Electric CEO Jack Welch for the documentary,
which looks at PCB pollution of the river and what responsibility GE has
for cleaning it up. Moyers described the highly regarded executive as 'a
vigorous, dynamic apologist for' GE."
For Keveney's story in full, go to:
York Times claimed on Tuesday that President Bush "raised some
eyebrows by using the term 'Pakis.' It is considered an ethnic slur in
Britain, which has a large Pakistani immigrant population." But as
James Taranto noted in his "Best of the Web" column, a Reuters
dispatch inadvertently divulged it was a controversy self-generated by the
Washington press corps.
An excerpt from Taranto's January 8 column:
Yesterday at the White House, President Bush discussed the
Indian-Pakistani conflict: "I don't believe the situation is defused
yet," he said, "but I do believe there is a way to do so, and we
are working hard to convince both the Indians and the Pakis there's a way
to deal with their problems without going to war."
The New York Times reports that "Mr. Bush raised some eyebrows by
using the term 'Pakis.' It is considered an ethnic slur in Britain,
which has a large Pakistani immigrant population."
Well, whose eyebrows exactly did Bush raise? The Times doesn't say. A
clue, however, can be found in this Reuters dispatch:
"Asad Hayauddin, spokesman at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington,
said he did not consider what Bush said to be an insult. 'I would give
him the benefit of the doubt and say it was said in passing. In all
fairness, I would say it's not a racial slur,' he said.
"He did, however, receive a number of phone calls from reporters
seeking the embassy's reaction."
The whole "controversy," in other words, seems to have been
an invention of the White House press corps.
END of Excerpt
To read the New York Times story by Todd
Purdum, also known as "Mr. Dee Dee Myers," go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/08/international/asia/08INDI.html
For Taranto's daily "Best of the
Web" columns: http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/
special Web-links enhanced version of a Media Reality Check by the MRC's
Rich Noyes, which was distributed by fax on Tuesday afternoon. The title,
"Good Riddance to Two-Faced Reality Checks: Hailed As 'Great
Journalist' by Dan Rather, Eric Engberg Was Poster Boy for CBS's Worst
Virtually all of this will be fresh material
to CyberAlert readers since the Media Reality Check cites historical
examples of Engberg's bias, all but one of which did not appear in the
January 7 or 8 CyberAlerts.
To access the Adobe Acrobat PDF version, go
Below is the text of the Media Reality Check,
enhanced with links to previous CyberAlerts and MediaWatch articles which
provide lengthier quotations of Engberg's reporting. The January 8
CBS News has been championing its retiring "Reality Check"
correspondent Eric Engberg as the very model of fair reporting. "We
will miss his professionalism, his humor, his style, his friendship and
his great journalism," mourned anchor Dan Rather on Friday's
Evening News. "Engberg's reporting and his approach to journalism
reflect many of the virtues of broadcast journalism at its best,"
gushed CBSNews.com editor Dick Meyer, Engberg's former producer, in an
[For excerpts from Myer's CBSNews.com
As Engberg would scream in his regular Evening News hit jobs on
conservatives, "Time out!" The idea that such a thoroughly
biased reporter symbolized "journalistic virtues" is a cruel
joke on objective scribes everywhere. It was one of Engberg's
outrageously slanted stories -- a mid-campaign slam on conservative Steve
Forbes's flat tax plan in '96 -- that so disgusted his CBS colleague
Bernard Goldberg that he cited it in a Wall Street Journal op-ed as proof
that the argument about "liberal bias is so blatantly true that
it's hardly worth discussing anymore."
[For a transcript and RealPlayer video of
Engberg's flat tax story:
[For a summary of Goldberg's 1996 Wall
Street Journal op-ed on the Engberg piece, go to:
But it's more than just one skewed story which makes Engberg the
poster boy for liberal bias. Engberg used his CBS pulpit to rant against
perceived conservative misbehavior while condemning critics of unethical
-- Before Bill Clinton, there was nothing worse than a President who
lied. On the May 4, 1989 CBS Evening News, at the end of the criminal
trials stemming from the Iran-contra scandal, Engberg lectured that
"secrecy leads to deception...Deception leads to lies. Lies tear
apart the rule of law...Could it happen again? Scholars say yes, until
Presidents accept the need to compromise with Congress."
-- Covering Clinton's scandals, there was nothing more frightening
than a subpoena. "It is now the one invitation in Washington no one
wants, a call to testify before Ken Starr's grand jury. It left some
near emotional collapse, others raging about police state tactics,"
he darkly declared on the March 2, 1998 Evening News. "Nearly all of
the witnesses, it is safe to say, felt the ominous chill that comes with
the arrival of a grand jury subpoena."
[For more on this 1998 story, go to:
-- According to his friend Dick Meyer, Engberg was "obsessed"
with a 1988 TV ad about Michael Dukakis's weekend furlough for murderer
Willie Horton, who then went on a crime spree. Four years later -- and
less than a month before the next election -- on the Oct. 14, 1992 Evening
News, Engberg resurrected his grudge against the ad he claimed
"raised questions about racism and dirty politics that still haunt
the electoral process like a ghost," adding that, "federal laws
may have been violated" if the GOP had coordinated with the ad's
[For more on this 1992 diatribe, go to:
-- When it came to Clinton's dirty campaign dealings -- including
proof the President personally reviewed scripts for supposedly
"independent" ads -- Engberg chose to beat up on the
investigators. He scolded the Senate's oversight committee, declaring on
the October 9, 1997 Evening News that "when it comes to sniffing out
the breakdown of a system created to police money in politics, this
committee...could easily start by setting up a great big mirror."
[For more on this 1997 report, go to:
-- After the bipartisan Cox commission determined in 1999 that the
Chinese had been stealing nuclear secrets right out from under Clinton's
nose, Engberg seemed to suggest on the May 27 Evening News that a few
H-bombs were nothing to get excited about. "There is a bottom
line," he snorted. "Unlike many of the things in the Cox report,
there's no argument here. Number of strategic nuclear weapons? U.S.,
6,000; China, less than two dozen."
[For more on this 1999 story, refer to:
Now that Engberg's finally gone, CBS viewers will be spared such
tendentious factoids. The airwaves feel less biased already.
END Reprint of Media Reality Check
hint of conservatism from Al Michaels of ABC Sports. During the last
Monday Night Football game of the season, Micheals awarded "a
lifetime achievement award" to Clintonista Paul Begala for, as
Michael's colleague in the booth, Dennis Miller, suggested, "the
biggest fake of the year, Paul Begala's last smile."
This is the third pro-conservative or
anti-liberal political comment from Michaels which the MRC has caught in
the last two NFL seasons. In November of 2000 Michaels let slip that he
considered Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris to be an
"American heroine." The week before, Miller had recommended
Peggy Noonan for President, leading Michaels to concede her writing gives
him "goose bumps."
For details about his Harris comment, plus a
RealPlayer video clip of it, go to:
For more about the Noonan exchange, go to:
This past Monday, January 7, the MRC's Tim
Jones, who inexplicably decided to watch Monday Night Football instead of
a 43rd showing of MSNBC Investigates, noticed the hit on Begala. MRC
analyst Jessica Anderson tracked down the exchange which took place just
after the beginning of the second quarter of the Minnesota Vikings vs.
Baltimore Ravens game in Baltimore. Over matching video clips of pass
fakes from the season, this exchange occurred:
"Last game of the year. Denny, it's a good time to do some, I think,
awards. It's been a wild year, some crazy stuff's happened this
"Yeah, we got the Oscar nods coming up, Al. We have our nominees for
the best fake. Let's watch Kordell [Stewart, Pittsburgh Steelers] here.
He's really good at it, I thought; Kordell sold that. Kurt Warner [St.
Louis Rams], not quite as good, but I think he's a Christian and he's
afraid to fake people like that. And then we have the [Miami] Dolphins.
Lamar Smith, one of the few guys in the league who can actually receive a
fake like that and still get less than three yards in the carry. But the
biggest fake of the year, Paul Begala's last smile, as always is the case,
Over a picture
on screen of a smiling Begala, Michaels endorsed Miller's sentiment:
"Unanimous, a lifetime achievement award, I think."
"Maybe Paul's here tonight. We're down in his neck of the
"There's a television camera -- he might be here."
Clinton's ranch in Scotland? Catching up on an item from last week, the
MRC's Brad Wilmouth located an incident several CyberAlert readers have
e-mailed me about: Peter Jennings setting up a clip of President George W.
Bush in Crawford as if it were a clip of President Clinton in Scotland.
About 18 minutes into the special ABC 2002
broadcast on December 31, at about 6:48pm EST when ABC was providing a
mini World News Tonight-like summary of the day's news, Jennings
Clinton, of course, is on his ranch in Scotland, and he talked a little
bit about the situation in Afghanistan today, and here's an excerpt from
what he had to say."
ABC then played video of George W. Bush
shaking hands in a restaurant in Crawford, Texas with patrons in a line
waiting to place or pick up an order. Viewers heard Bush saying such
things as, "happy new year to you all" and "welcome to
Jennings, apparently correcting for how ABC
failed to show the correct clip of Bush commenting on Afghanistan, but
without correcting his own goof, soon broke in: "He basically said
what he's said many times before, is that they're not sure exactly
where Osama bin Laden is but they're going to get him and they don't
know exactly where Mohammad Omar is, but they're going to try to get him
as well. The President still at his ranch. He'll return to Washington,
of course, after the new year."
After he makes the trans-Atlantic flight from
Clinton's ranch in Scotland?
[Web Update: On January 14 Jennings ended
ABC's World News Tonight by acknowledging his goof:
"Just one other thing before we go. As you
probably know, some of us do trip over our tongues on occasion without
even knowing about it. On New Year's Eve, on a broadcast, I referred to
'President Clinton's ranch in Scotland.' I don't even know where that came
column about the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2001: The
Fourteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." Saturday's
Daily Oklahoman carried a second column on the quotes by Patrick B.
McGuigan, editorial page editor for the Oklahoma City newspaper and one of
the 41 judges for the MRC awards issue.
Under the headline, "News media
mainstream: clueless?", McGuigan began his January 5 column:
years of my life -- every January from 1993 through 2001 -- I pondered the
gap between William Jefferson Clinton of Hope (the image manufactured for
his 1992 paid media campaign) and Boy Clinton of Hot Springs (the lad from
the most 'wide open' town west of the Mississippi and east of Reno).
With Clinton's presidency now a fading nightmare, visits to 'Hope and
Hot Springs' end.
annual visits to rarefied climes of liberal bias through the Media
Research Center's 'Notable Quotables' -- a competition 'honoring'
outrageous examples of mainstream news and commentary...."
To read the rest of the column, go to:
For reprints of other columns and editorials
about the awards quotes, including pieces in Investor's Business Daily,
the Denver Rocky Mountain News, Columbus Dispatch and Chattanooga Times
Free Press, go to a new page set up by the MRC's Mez Djouadi:
January 8 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top
Ten Signs Your Neighbor Is Hiding Mullah Omar." Copyright 2002 by
Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. In his garage are a 1997 Mazda Protege and a camel
9. His last name is Schmidt -- the mailbox reads "Schmidt/Omar"
8. You turn on CNN and see your house in green night vision
7. Has bumper sticker "Al Qaeda members do it in caves"
6. The place reeks of goat
5. Comes over and asks to borrow a cup of sand
4. Driveway sign reads "Don't even think about parking here" in
3. Claims the bearded, turbaned guy you saw is a Swedish exchange student
2. He declared a Jihad against crabgrass
1. His kitty is wearing a burqa
> One more, nearly last, plug for the
MRC's "Dishonor Awards" dinner in Washington, DC on Thursday,
January 17. For tickets, at $150 per seat, call Sue Engle at (703)
683-9733 ext. 163. Online:
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