Bush "Lying" About Enron?; Rather Tied Cheney to Enron Shafting Staff; Couric Rebuked O'Connor on Bush v. Gore; Susteren's Whining
1) President Bush and his policies enjoy overwhelming
support in network polls, but ABC and CBS on Monday evening stressed
doubts about the administration's relationship with Enron. ABC's Terry
Moran noted how "barely over half of Americans" think "the
administration acted 'properly' in its dealings with Enron."
CBS's John Roberts distorted a CBS poll, asserting it "finds 67
percent of Americans think the White House is hiding something, even lying
about it." The percent who said "lying"? Nine.
2) Adopting the hostile terminology of Bush opponents,
both CBS's Dan Rather and NBC's Campbell Brown referred to how the
Bush team wants to keep "secret" details about the energy task
force. Rather went so far as to associate Cheney with Enron's nefarious
actions, referring to "Cheney's secret meetings last year with
officials of the now bankrupt energy company, some of whose executives
made millions while trapping employees into losing money."
3) NBC's Ann Curry couldn't resist the opportunity to
get former Senator John Glenn to agree with her that campaign finance
"reform" is the answer to Enron.
4) When Justice Sandra Day O'Connor told Katie Couric
that it was "inappropriate" for her to comment on the Bush vs.
Gore decision, Couric lectured: "That's exactly the word some
critics used to describe the decision. Critics who charged the Court had
succumbed to politics, forever tarnishing its image and reputation for
5) On CNN's Reliable Sources Howard Kurtz pointed out
how President Bush was holding Bernard Goldberg's book, Bias. On Inside
Politics, Judy Woodruff asked Bush aide Karen Hughes: "Does that mean
the President thinks the press is biased?"
6) Greta Van "Whining" Susteren. Her husband
told CNN that she left, the New York Times disclosed, because
"network promotions featured" Paula Zahn, Aaron Brown and Larry
King, "but not her." Her husband also complained that Van
Susteren "was treated as a 'second-class citizen,'" citing
as an example how CNN didn't get her invited to the White House
Katherine Harris accept at the MRC's "Dishonor Awards," on
behalf of Dan Rather, the "Sore Losers Award for Refusing to Concede
Bush's Victory in Florida." MRC Webmaster Mez Djouadi has posted a
RealPlayer clip of it as shown Saturday night in C-SPAN's replay of the
MRC's January 17 event. It's now up on the MRC's home page: http://www.mediaresearch.org
Rather won for his discrediting of Harris:
"Nineteen days after the presidential election, Florida's
Republican Secretary of State is about to announce the winner -- as she
sees it and she decrees it....The believed certification -- as the
Republican Secretary of State sees it -- is coming just hours after a
court ordered deadline for counties to submit their hand count and recount
totals....She will certify -- as she sees it -- who gets Florida's 25
electoral votes....What's happening here is the certification -- as the
Florida Secretary of State sees it and decrees it -- is being
signed....And after this, it will be, at least in the opinion of the
Secretary of State, that the results will be final..." <<<
Correction: The January 28 CyberAlert
misspelled the last name of the actress whose book, "Satisfaction:
The Art of the Female Orgasm," was featured on the January 27
Dateline NBC. Her name is correctly spelled Kim Catrall. For a picture,
access her Internet Movie Database page: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Cattrall,+Kim
Bush and his policies enjoy overwhelming support in network polls
conducted shortly before his State of the Union address, but ABC and CBS
on Monday evening stressed doubts about the administration's
relationship with Enron.
While ABC's Peter Jennings acknowledged that
Bush has the highest approval rating for any President since 1945 after a
year in office, Terry Moran stressed how "barely over half of
Americans, 52 percent, are prepared to say the administration acted
'properly' in its dealings with Enron." Moran found it
"startling" that "61 percent now say they think Mr. Bush
understands the problems of people like them." More below on ABC.
On the January 28 CBS Evening News reporter
John Roberts, in a piece on the administration resisting the GAO's
demand for energy task force records, asserted: "The battle over
documents has taken on new life in the wake of the Enron collapse and
revelations about White House ties to the energy giant. A new CBS News/New
York Times poll finds 67 percent of Americans think the White House is
hiding something, even lying about it, but administration officials today
argued there has been no evidence of impropriety."
"For all these reports of drip, drip, drip, everything seems to keep
coming up dry, dry, dry."
"Even lying about it?" In fact, the
on-screen graphic showed the statement: "Bush administration
statements about Enron." The answers: "Hiding something"
replied 58 percent, "lying" answered just 9 percent.
Earlier in the day, during the first day back
for CNN's Inside Politics since September 10, now aired at 4pm EST,
anchor Judy Woodruff asked Bush aide Karen Hughes: "Karen, as we
know, Enron is a story that is getting a great deal of coverage these
days. A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll out today shows, while the President is
enjoying very high popularity, 84 percent of the people approving of the
job he's doing, it also shows that a total of 47 percent of the people
think that the Bush administration did something either illegal or
unethical, with regard to Enron. How do you deal with that?"
Jennings teased Monday night: "On World
News Tonight, the President has the high approval of a wartime leader. But
an ABC News poll finds that Enron threatens."
Jennings opened the show from Washington, DC:
"Today, in an ABC News/Washington Post poll, we find Mr. Bush with an
83 percent approval rating -- the highest for any President one year after
his election since 1945. There are some warning signs for the President,
and one of them is the Enron scandal."
Terry Moran soon explained: "Barely over
half of Americans, 52 percent, are prepared to say the administration
acted 'properly' in its dealings with Enron, a quarter say not.
Democrats are accusing the administration of including secret favors for
Enron in the Bush energy plan. The President had a blunt answer to that
Bush: "Well Enron went bust. Shortly after the report came out Enron
"But 70 percent of those polled are demanding the administration
fully 'disclose' all its contacts with Enron. The Vice President has
refused requests by the General Accounting Office for more information
about his energy task force's contacts with Enron and other companies
and the President is backing him to the hilt."
order for me to be able to get good sound opinions, those who offer me
opinions or offer the Vice President opinions, must know that every word
they say is not going to be put into the public record."
"The President's no-nonsense rhetoric may help explain one of the
more startling findings in the ABC poll: 61 percent now say they think Mr.
Bush understands the problems of people like them, a stunning turnaround
from last summer."
Last July 45 percent thought Bush understood
the problems of people like them.
"Democrats are accusing the
administration of including secret favors for Enron in the Bush energy
plan"? But the plan has been made public, so how "secret"
can its provisions be?
the hostile terminology of Bush administration opponents, both CBS's Dan
Rather and NBC's Campbell Brown referred to how the administration wants
to keep "secret," as opposed to keeping "private,"
details about who offered advice to the energy policy task force headed by
Vice President Dick Cheney.
Rather used the word "secret" twice
as he went so far as to link Cheney to Enron's shafting of its
employees, referring to "Cheney's secret meetings last year with
officials of the now bankrupt energy company, some of whose executives
made millions while trapping employees into losing money."
Rather introduced the January 28 CBS Evening
News story: "Turning to the Enron
energy company debacle, there's an unprecedented court battle shaping up
over access to possibly key information that's being kept secret by the
Vice President. President Bush today backed Vice President Cheney's
refusal to give investigators details of Cheney's secret meetings last
year with officials of the now bankrupt energy company, some of whose
executives made millions while trapping employees into losing money."
During an excerpt from an interview with
Cheney shown on the NBC Nightly News, Campbell Brown relayed: "Today
the President made it clear he is prepared to go to court to try to keep
secret what took place in meetings between the Vice President's energy
task force and executives from energy companies, including Enron."
Brown to Cheney: "This is the reality.
You are a former oil man, the President's a former oil man, Don Evans,
Commerce Secretary, former oil man. So, to a lot of people, it may appear
that your friends at the energy companies may have had undue influence
when you were developing this."
Cheney noted that the Sierra Club put out 12
recommendations, 11 of which are included in the energy plan. He also
pointed out how Enron pushed liberal policies which his task force
rejected: "Enron wanted us to support the Kyoto treaty, we said
Today brought aboard former Senator John Glenn on Monday to discuss a
study he fronted which advocated community service programs for kids in
school, but NBC's Ann Curry couldn't resist the opportunity to get the
liberal Democrat to agree with her that campaign finance
"reform" is the answer to Enron.
MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens caught Curry's
advocacy, which took place during the very last segment of the three-hour
show, as she changed subjects on Glenn:
me switch gears for just a moment because I need to ask you about
something that's currently in the news today. You know you retired from
the Senate after what, four terms, and you said that in a later interview
that one of your greatest regrets was not having instituted campaign
finance reform. Now in the wake of what we're seeing with the Enron
debacle, first of all do you think the chances, do you agree the chances
are greater now that we will see that kind of reform?"
He agreed and Curry sought reassurance that
the moment for liberal victory would not escape: "Any question though
that we can get away without having some kind of reform in the wake of
what we've seen with Enron?"
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor for Friday's Dateline NBC,
Katie Couric devoted the interview to O'Connor's struggle to rise
through the male-dominated legal profession and tales from her upbringing
on a ranch, such as her father getting her fiancé to eat bull testicles.
Couric deviated into controversial politics just once -- to take a shot at
the Supreme Court's Bush vs. Gore decision.
O'Connor sat down with Couric to promote a
new book which she wrote with her brother, Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle
Ranch in America's Southwest.
After mentioning how abortion has been a
volatile issue before the Court during O'Connor's tenure, but without
passing judgment on court rulings, Couric asserted: "Passions ran
high again when the Supreme Court found itself casting the deciding vote
on the 2000 presidential election."
Couric pressed O'Connor: "Bush versus
Gore. I know you don't want to get into details at all but you did join
the 5-4 vote to stop the Florida recount and that in essence delivered the
White House to George Bush. Can you describe the atmosphere at all,
"I just think that's inappropriate."
"That's exactly the word some critics used to describe the
decision. Critics who charged the Court had succumbed to politics, forever
tarnishing its image and reputation for impartiality."
No more so than Couric long before did to her
own image and reputation for impartiality.
didn't catch President Bush live as he walked across the South Lawn on
Friday morning to Marine One carrying Bernard Goldberg's book, Bias: A
CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News. But over the weekend
and on Monday afternoon a couple of shows picked up on it as Howard Kurtz
pointed it out on Reliable Sources and, on Inside Politics, Judy Woodruff
asked Karen Hughes if Bush thinks the media are biased.
Kurtz ended the Januar7 26 Reliable Sources,
MRC analyst Patrick Gregory noticed, by showing video of Bush with the
book: "Before we go, I want to
take a look at the current President of the United States, recently
photographed -- have we got that picture -- carrying a certain book under
his arm. Yes, it's Bias by Bernard Goldberg. Bill Press, I'm going to give
you the last word. Does this mean that George W. Bush buys the theory that
media are way liberal?"
co-host of CNN's Crossfire, dismissed the concept of liberal bias as a
"myth" Bush is using to intimidate reporters: "I think he's
sending a message to the media, 'Watch out, because I know you're all
liberals. I know you're all against me, and I buy that myth,' which is the
oldest myth in the business. There's not a word of truth to it."
Monday afternoon on Inside Politics, Judy
Woodruff raised the subject with White House counselor Karen Hughes:
"One last question, Karen Hughes, about the press. It was noted by
everyone, I think, that the President was carrying a book by former CBS
correspondent Bernard Goldberg, Bias, when he left the White House the
other day. Does that mean the President thinks the press is biased?"
Hughes demurred from upsetting any
journalists: "Well, I think he was -- I think some of stories
recounted in that book feel a little familiar to him and to those of us in
the administration. We were laughing about some of the choices of words
that the media sometimes use. But you know, the President has a good
relationship with members of the media. He likes to tease the media. He
enjoys the jousting and jesting with them. And over all, I think our
administration has a good relationship with members of the news
Van "Whining" Susteren. Citing a letter written to CNN by Van
Susteren's husband, the New York Times on Monday exposed how she decided
to leave CNN for FNC because the network didn't stroke her ego enough.
She was upset by more promotion for other CNN stars and how CNN didn't
get her invited to the White House Christmas party.
New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg relayed
how the letter "expressed her distress that general network
promotions featured" Paula Zahn, Aaron Brown and Larry King,
"but not her." The letter also complained that Van Susteren
"was treated as a 'second-class citizen.' As an example, it
points to the network's failure to secure an invitation for her to the
White House Christmas party."
Why send producers, who actually cover the
White House, to the party when you could send your egomaniacal prime time
Jim Romenesko's MediaNews (http://www.poynter.org/medianews/) highlighted the January 28 New York Times
story by Jim Rutenberg. An excerpt:
Just why did Greta Van Susteren leave CNN for the Fox News Channel when
CNN had offered her more money to stay?
The answers might be found in an angry letter sent by Ms. Van
Susteren's husband and lawyer, John Coale, to CNN's chairman, Walter
Isaacson, before she announced her move earlier this month....
CNN executives were surprised when Ms. Van Susteren decided to leave
the network and did not want her to go. But they had paved the way, in
part, by showering attention on the network's new star anchors, Paula Zahn
and Aaron Brown, while depriving Ms. Van Susteren of the care and feeding
top anchors expect, people close to the situation said....
In the end, Mr. Coale wrote, Ms. Van Susteren decided to leave CNN as a
"wake-up call" to its managers, "so that CNN will
re-evaluate its new environment before it's too late."...
The letter begins with complaints that CNN had done little to promote
Ms. Van Susteren's 8 p.m. program, "The Point," though it was
the network's second-highest-rated program behind "Larry King
It also expressed her distress that general network promotions featured
Ms. Zahn, Mr. Brown and Mr. King, but not her. CNN executives said they
gave Ms. Van Susteren ample promotion.
The letter said Ms. Van Susteren was treated as a "second-class
citizen." As an example, it points to the the network's failure to
secure an invitation for her to the White House Christmas party, which,
Mr. Coale wrote, is an important gathering for forging relationships with
administration officials. (A CNN executive said
the network had concentrated on securing invitations for those who
exclusively cover the White House.)...
Mr. Coale wrote, Ms. Van Susteren "has also been troubled about
the lack of diversity on the air in terms of anchors and
correspondents" and that she was upset that CNN let Bernard Shaw, who
is African-American, and Joie Chen, who is Asian-American, leave the
The letter was written before CNN hired Connie Chung, an
Asian-American, for a new prime-time program, and announced the hiring of
Fredricka Whitfield, who is African-American.
The question now is how comfortable Ms. Van Susteren will be at Fox
News, whose commentators often rail against "affirmative action
police" and "hiring quotas." But Ms. Van Susteren was said
to have been wooed by Fox News's promise to give her program the attention
and promotion it needs. Besides, the letter said, she just could not bear
to stay at CNN.
"She finds this new CNN environment inconsistent with the quality
journalism to which she is both accustomed and dedicated," Mr. Coale
wrote. "Greta just can't watch anymore."
END of Excerpt
For the full article, those registered with
the New York Times can access it at:
And I count myself
amongst those who long ago just couldn't bear to watch Van Susteren
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