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The 2,551st CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
11:55am EST, Thursday December 20, 2007 (Vol. Twelve; No. 224)

 
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1. ABC: TheHillaryIKnow.com Illustrates She's Double-Standard Victim
Cuing up Hillary Clinton for an "I am Woman" moment, ABC's Cynthia McFadden on Wednesday's Nightline managed to turn the Clinton campaign's "TheHillaryIKnow" Web site, created to demonstrate her likeability, into evidence Hillary Clinton is the victim of a double-standard compared to men. McFadden oozed about how the site is "terribly sweet in so many ways, and yet, it sort of has this Sally Field quality to it. You know, 'they like me, they really like me.'" McFadden queried, without consideration for the possibility the other candidates really are nicer: "I wonder if there's not a double standard? I don't see the guys doing it. Are you judged differently, do you think, on the personal level?" Clinton, naturally, agreed and used the prompting to channel Helen Reddy: "I think that that's the world we live in. I understand that. I accept it, but I don't let it deter me. You know that wonderful old line about women do everything, it's like Ginger Rogers who did everything that Fred Astaire did only backwards and in high heels? Well, we just have to go out and do it."

2. Time Picks Putin Over Petraeus, Hails Gore's 'Moral Obligation'
Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel announced on Wednesday's Today show that the magazine selected Russian President Vladimir Putin as its "Person of the Year" over Iraqi surge commander General David Petraeus, who was at the bottom of the final five, but while Al Gore -- whom Stengel had touted Monday as a "superb choice" was the first-runner up -- lost out to Putin, the magazine still heartily hailed him. The December 31 issue features a tribute to Gore from Bono who trumpeted Gore's ability to lead a "spiritual revival" and Time's Bryan Walsh pleaded with Gore in an interview: "The President of the U.S. can better shape the response to climate change than any other person in the world. Given the importance of this issue and the fact that you have emerged as its global spokesman, don't you have a moral obligation to put yourself forward for the presidency?"

3. CBS's Early Show Celebrates 'Historic' Energy Bill
The Democrats were finally able to get something passed in Congress, a new energy bill that mandates car gas mileage and bans the incandescent light bulb, and on Wednesday's Early Show CBS co-host Julie Chen trumpeted it as "Congress's historic move to get rid of gas guzzlers." Co-host Harry Smith began the "historic" theme at the top of the show: "Later this morning, the President will sign a new energy bill, that will radically change the way we drive, the fuel we burn, and the way we light our homes...This morning for the first time in 32 years we will have a new energy bill. The Energy Independence and Security Act." No one on CBS objected to the idea that everyday light bulbs would be banned with this new legislation. Instead Smith joked holding up a light bulb: "So guess what, will we see the end of the incandescent light bulb? Remember, was it Uncle Fester who put it in and it lit up?"

4. Now Online: The Worst Quotes of the Year from the New York Times
Now online, from the MRC's TimesWatch site: "Quotes of Note 2007: The New York Times' Worst Quotes of the Year." The six categories of biased quotes from news stories and columns: "Oh, Those Awful Conservatives," "Left-Wing Love-Fest on 43rd Street," "Terror Threat? What Terror Threat?," "Loving the (Illegal) Alien," "Just Plain Goofy" and "Finally: Us, Biased?"

5. Olbermann Won't Support MRC, So We're Counting on Your Donation
Support CyberAlert and the work of the MRC with a tax-deductible year-end donation. We can provide CyberAlerts -- as well as all of the MRC's publications and sites -- as free services only because of the thousands of concerned conservatives who support the MRC financially each year and make possible the unique research operation behind the MRC's ongoing efforts to document, expose, and neutralize liberal media bias. Please consider a donation and demonstrate that CyberAlert readers are committed to the MRC's mission and value the products we provide and the impact of the evidence we gather. If you contribute $100 or more, we will send you a complimentary copy of MRC President Brent Bozell's new book, 'Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, but Conservatives Will.'


 

ABC: TheHillaryIKnow.com Illustrates
She's Double-Standard Victim

     Cuing up Hillary Clinton for an "I am Woman" moment, ABC's Cynthia McFadden on Wednesday's Nightline managed to turn the Clinton campaign's "TheHillaryIKnow" Web site, created to demonstrate her likeability, into evidence Hillary Clinton is the victim of a double-standard compared to men. McFadden oozed about how the site is "terribly sweet in so many ways, and yet, it sort of has this Sally Field quality to it. You know, 'they like me, they really like me.'" McFadden queried, without consideration for the possibility the other candidates really are nicer: "I wonder if there's not a double standard? I don't see the guys doing it. Are you judged differently, do you think, on the personal level?"

     Clinton, naturally, agreed and used the prompting to channel Helen Reddy: "I think that that's the world we live in. I understand that. I accept it, but I don't let it deter me. You know that wonderful old line about women do everything, it's like Ginger Rogers who did everything that Fred Astaire did only backwards and in high heels? Well, we just have to go out and do it."

     Earlier, in concurring with McFadden that she was "reluctant" to ask friends to praise her, Clinton humbly explained: "I don't want to go around bragging about myself or saying, oh, you know, I helped to get health care for six million children or I helped to, you know, reform the education system in Arkansas. I'd rather just let that speak for itself."

     [This item was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     TheHillaryIKnow site: www.thehillaryiknow.com

     From the Wednesday, December 19 Nightline segment on McFadden's day in Iowa following and interviewing Hillary Clinton:

     HILLARY CLINTON AT CAMPAIGN EVENT: I'm not really good at talking about me.
     CYNTHIA MCFADDEN: So last week the campaign launched and effort to showcase those people: friends, constituents, including many of them in a new Web site called "The Hillary I Know."
     VIDEO OF WOMAN ON THE WEB SITE: The Hillary that I know is a compassionate woman.
     MAN IN VIDEO ON THE SITE: The Hillary I know saved my life.
     MCFADDEN TO CLINTON: Were you reluctant to ask friends to do it?
     CLINTON: I was.
     MCFADDEN: I bet you were.
     CLINTON: I was, you know, because I mean, I just feel like, you know, I don't want to go around bragging about myself or saying, oh, you know, I helped to get health care for six million children or I helped to, you know, reform the education system in Arkansas. I'd rather just let that speak for itself. But in a presidential campaign, you don't have a luxury of that, which I have finally had to come to grips with because even in New York I could meet enough people, I could have a ripple effect of friends talking to friends and family talking to family and pretty soon a lot of people are creating a critical mass could say, hey I met her, I got to know her, she's not as bad as I thought.
     MCFADDEN: But there is that element. As you know, there are people who despite what they admit is leadership skills, just don't like you.
     CLINTON: Well, most of them have never met me. And most of them, I'm just going to keep getting up every day and telling my story. And talking about what I want to do.
     MCFADDEN: I just want to go back to the Web site for a minute though because as I looked at it, it's terribly sweet in so many ways, and yet, it sort of has this Sally Field quality to it. You know, "they like me, they really like me." And I wonder if there's not a double standard? I don't see the guys doing it. Are you judged differently, do you think, on the personal level?
     CLINTON: I think that that's the world we live in. I understand that. I accept it, but I don't let it deter me. You know that wonderful old line about women do everything, it's like Ginger Rogers who did everything that Fred Astaire did only backwards and in high heels? Well, we just have to go out and do it. There's no point, you know, in worrying about it.

 

Time Picks Putin Over Petraeus, Hails
Gore's 'Moral Obligation'

     Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel announced on Wednesday's Today show that the magazine selected Russian President Vladimir Putin as its "Person of the Year" over Iraqi surge commander General David Petraeus, who was at the bottom of the final five, but while Al Gore -- whom Stengel had touted Monday as a "superb choice" was the first-runner up -- lost out to Putin, the magazine still heartily hailed him. The December 31 issue features a tribute to Gore from Bono who trumpeted Gore's ability to lead a "spiritual revival" and Time's Bryan Walsh pleaded with Gore in an interview: "The President of the U.S. can better shape the response to climate change than any other person in the world. Given the importance of this issue and the fact that you have emerged as its global spokesman, don't you have a moral obligation to put yourself forward for the presidency?"

     For all the "questions" in that interview: www.time.com

     On the December 19 Today, Stengel explained that "it's the first time we've ranked the runners-up" and put Petraeus in the fifth slot, Chinese leader Hu Jintao fourth, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling third and Gore second. For the "Person of the Year" package: www.time.com

     An excerpt from Bono's tribute to Gore:

....Al Gore is the kind of leader these times require. Not as President -- God and the Electoral College have given him a different job. As it happens, Al is at work repositioning his country from the inside out as a leader in clean energy; and along the way restoring faith in the U.S. as a moral powerhouse that can lead a great, global spiritual revival as the temperature rises.

That's right, a spiritual revival. Because this apostle of all things digital is the first to admit that technology alone will not reverse the damage done. He says it's going to take "a shift in consciousness." This isn't loopy Sixties stuff, or I wouldn't tune in. Al is tough-minded. He marshals history to make his argument, and countless examples of civilizations changing course and attitudes midstream roll off his tongue.

For Al, 2008 is a rendezvous with destiny and an appointment with the enemy. The foe he sees is our own indifference to the future and a lack of faith in our ability to do anything about it....

     END of Excerpt

     For Bono's piece in full: www.time.com

     In a Wednesday posting on the MRC's NewsBusters blog, the MRC's Scott Whitlock recounted how Time magazine and NBC have championed Gore:

     In May, Time writer Eric Pooley lamented the 2000 candidate's decision not to enter the current presidential race and lovingly labeled him a "improbably charismatic, Academy Award winning, Nobel Prize" nominated environmental prophet." See the December 18 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

     And May 18 NewsBusters post for more on Gore coverage: newsbusters.org

     Appearing on Monday's show, Stengel called Gore a "superb choice" and exclaimed: "He's had an extraordinary year. He's had an extraordinary influence." The editor took sides in the global warming debate and told co-host Meredith Vieira on Monday: "There was a real tipping point this year in terms of people being conscious of the environment." See the above linked December 18 CyberAlert for a full rundown.

     NBC, which hosted the big announcement for Person of the Year, has also followed a similar environmental template. In July, the network and its various cable subsidiaries devoted 75 hours to the ex-VP's "Live Earth" concert. During a July 9 interview with Today reporter Ann Curry, Gore even thanked her for "what NBC has been doing." Curry then offered this softball plea for a 2008 run at the White House:

     Curry to Gore: "A lot of people want me to ask you tonight if you're running for President. And I know what you're answer is gonna be, believe me. I gotta ask you though. After fueling this grass roots movement if you become convinced that without you there will not be the political will in the White House to fight global warming to the level that is required, because the clock is ticking. Would you answer the call? Would you answer the call, yes or no?"

     See July the 10 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

     And June 6 CyberAlert for more: www.mrc.org

     In December of 2006, Today host Matt Lauer also asked Gore to accept his calling and declare as a candidate:

     Matt Lauer: "From your point of view, if you were to run for President you could take this issue [global warming] to the next level, even during just a campaign. And if you were fortunate enough to win the presidency, you'd sit in the most powerful office in the free world with a real chance to make €" you could be in a position to save the planet, without putting too much emphasis on it. Wouldn't that be enough of a reason to run for President for you?"
     Former Vice President Al Gore: "Well, I appreciate the impulse behind the question. I am not planning to run...."
     Lauer: "But as someone who feels as passionately about the subject as you do, and your documentary is evidence of that, why pass up the opportunity to have that world stage again?"

     For more glowing portrayals of Gore, be sure and check out the MRC's "O Great Goreacle Award" in our "Best Notable Quotables of 2007: The Twentieth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting," online at: www.mediaresearch.org

     This type of coverage has certainly not been limited to NBC. In April, a MRC study found that, through the first three months of 2007, 97 percent of all global warming stories on network morning shows suggested an oncoming global catastrophe. Only three percent expressed some doubt as to whether the problem is quite so serious. See "Morning TV's One-Sided Climate Crusade" for more: www.mrc.org

     So, Americans probably shouldn't be surprised that the very liberal Gore would be so highly placed in Time's contest. And there's no doubt that NBC's Today show has, in the past, supported the notion that Al Gore is both a prophet of the environment and a political superstar.

     A transcript of the Today segment with the "Person of the Year" announcement, which aired at 7:43am on December 19:

     MEREDITH VIEIRA: The moment has arrived. It is time for one of 2007's biggest announcements, Time magazine's pick for Person of the Year. Richard Stengel is Time's managing editor. Rick, good morning to you.
     RICHARD STENGEL (Time): Good morning.
     VIEIRA: Okay, we got it down to a list of the five top contenders. And let's go through them, all right? Before you name the one. First off, Petraeus, General Petraeus.
     STENGEL: Yes. It's the first time we've ranked the runners-up and General Petraeus is number five. He did an extraordinary job in Iraq by calming things down. He's number five. Hu Jintao, the president of China, who has really made China, of course, a great superpower into the 21st century, is number four. J.K. Rowling, the author, is number three. We have an extraordinary, exclusive interview with-
     VIEIRA: I'm angry.
     STENGEL: Well, a lot of people are, because she was number one on the Time.com poll.
     DAVID GREGORY: Yeah.
     STENGEL: But you can go to Time.com and read the whole interview with her, a great story by Nancy Gibbs about her.
     VIEIRA: Okay.
     STENGEL: Number two is Al Gore.
     VIEIRA: Oh! He wasn't -- oh, interesting.
     STENGEL: Of course, there was a tipping point this year in terms of people getting, caring about and interested in the environment. He really was the leadership, the person who led that.
     VIEIRA: Got the Nobel Peace Prize for it.
     STENGEL: Right. He won everything but the Heisman Trophy this year, I think.
     VIEIRA: But not the cover of Time. No.
     STENGEL: But not the Person of the Year.
     VIEIRA: Because the Person of the Year is-
     STENGEL: No. Because the Person of the Year for 2007 is Russian President Vladimir Putin for an extraordinary feat of leadership in taking a country that was in chaos and bringing it stability and making it important for the future of the 21st century, Vladimir Putin.
     GREGORY: You actually met with him and discussed this with him. And this shouldn't be seen as some sort of a popularity contest or reward.
     VIEIRA: No. There's no winner here.
     STENGEL: He's not a good guy.
     VIEIRA: Yeah.
     STENGEL: But he's done extraordinary things. We met with him last week in Moscow and, it was an extraordinary meeting. We went to his presidential dacha outside of Moscow. And, you know, all three of us have interviewed world leaders and, and presidential candidates. And you know how they're always ingratiating trying to win you over?
     VIEIRA: He was not?
     STENGEL: He is not at all. He has no charm. He is just pure force and pure force of will.
     VIEIRA: So, how did he react when you told him he was Person of the Year?
     STENGEL: Well, you don't actually tell the person, Meredith, that they're-
     VIEIRA: Oh, you don't? I thought you did.
     STENGEL: No. We say, we're considering you, you know, you're right up there. We really want to talk to you and find out.
     GREGORY: Then you say, watch the "Today" show to find out.
     STENGEL: Exactly. I think he's probably watching right now and finding out.
     GREGORY: But, what is his significance?
     STENGEL: His significance is that, look, we all grew up with Russia as this great superpower that was a rival to the U.S. And in the '90s when the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia became a basket case. It was a dangerous place. It has a 2,000 border with China. It has more nuclear weapons than any other country except the U.S. It exports more oil than any other country than Saudi Arabia. It is really critical to the future of 21st century.
     VIEIRA: I bet a lot of people think he is a dangerous man and he is going to be the power behind the power soon enough.
     STENGEL: Well, exactly. I mean, he's the new czar of Russia and he's dangerous in the sense that he doesn't care about civil liberties. He doesn't care about free speech. He cares about stability. But stability is what Russia needed. And that's why Russians adore him. I mean, he has a 70 percent popularity rating.
     GREGORY: And also in the chapter of U.S. relations with Russia, the President said famously back in 2001 that he looked into his soul and he found that he could trust him and, yet, that relationship has deteriorated. It's going to be a significant chapter in our relations with Russia.
     STENGEL: Absolutely. You know, it's very interesting. He was very bitter about the way Americans look at him and the way we treat him. I mean, he said, you Americans think that we still need to bathe and that we're still savages. He's an angry, angry man. And what we will see in the next few years is whether he becomes a kind of Stalin-like figure, which would be terrible, or more like Peter the Great, who is the person he admires, who modernized Russia.
     VIEIRA: But either way, he's very important. Richard Stengel, thank you very much.
     STENGEL: Absolutely.
     VIEIRA: You didn't reconsider, huh? Jamie-Lynn? No?
     STENGEL: I told you it wouldn't be you guys.
     VIEIRA: Well, I know you told us. You rubbed that one in. Time's Person of the Year issue hits newsstands on Friday. And for more go to our Web site at TodayShow.com.

 

CBS's Early Show Celebrates 'Historic'
Energy Bill

     The Democrats were finally able to get something passed in Congress, a new energy bill that mandates car gas mileage and bans the incandescent light bulb, and on Wednesday's Early Show CBS co-host Julie Chen trumpeted it as "Congress's historic move to get rid of gas guzzlers." Co-host Harry Smith began the "historic" theme at the top of the show: "Later this morning, the President will sign a new energy bill, that will radically change the way we drive, the fuel we burn, and the way we light our homes...This morning for the first time in 32 years we will have a new energy bill. The Energy Independence and Security Act."

     No one on CBS objected to the idea that everyday light bulbs would be banned with this new legislation. Instead Smith joked holding up a light bulb: "So guess what, will we see the end of the incandescent light bulb? Remember, was it Uncle Fester who put it in and it lit up?"

     In a later report, CBS correspondent Bill Plante once again depicted the bill as progress: "It's the first change in the mileage standards since bell bottoms and tie dye, 32 years ago. The bill requires automakers to increase fuel efficiency to an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Its sponsors claim that it will save motorists $700 to $1,000 a year and reduce U.S. oil consumption by four million barrels a day over the next 22 years."

     Plante also made mention of the fate of the light bulb: "New energy standards for buildings and appliances will mean that the old style incandescent light bulb will just about disappear by 2020."

     Plante also discussed the compromise involved in the legislation: "Democrats didn't get everything they wanted, like a rollback of tax breaks for Big Oil...But neither did the President get all that he wanted...Democrats wanted more money for wind and solar power, and for conservation. Republicans would have preferred to have more oil, and gas, and coal production in the U.S."

     Finally, at the end of Plante's report, Chen suggested for the first time that the legislation "sounds controversial."

     [This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Wednesday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

     Here is the full transcript of the December 19 coverage:

     7:00AM TEASER, HARRY SMITH: Later this morning, the president will sign a new energy bill, that will radically change the way we drive, the fuel we burn, and the way we light our homes.

     7:01AM TEASER, SMITH: This morning for the first time in 32 years we will have a new energy bill. The Energy Independence and Security Act. So guess what, will we see the end of the incandescent light bulb? Remember, was it Uncle Fester who put it in and it lit up?
     JULIE CHEN: I don't remember that episode, but I trust your knowledge. Dave Price says yes, so, we're going to go with yes.
     SMITH: Dave Price says yes and who would know better?
     CHEN: Watched too much TV as a kid, right?

     7:02AM SEGMENT, JULIE CHEN: But first, Congress's historic move to get rid of gas guzzlers. Here's CBS News Senior White House Correspondent, Bill Plante. Bill, good morning.

     BILL PLANTE: Good morning, Julie. The bill that the President will sign today says that you're supposed to be able to drive a lot farther on a gallon of gas by the year 2020. But it calls for so much ethanol that the price of corn and food could skyrocket. It's the first change in the mileage standards since bell bottoms and tie dye, 32 years ago. The bill requires automakers to increase fuel efficiency to an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Its sponsors claim that it will save motorists $700 to $1,000 a year and reduce U.S. oil consumption by four million barrels a day over the next 22 years. It calls for a huge increase in the use of ethanol. From 6 billion gallons a year now to 36 billion by 2022. Most of that is supposed to come from sources other than corn. But there's still concern that ethanol production has already driven corn and food prices to new highs. New energy standards for building and appliances will mean that the old style incandescent light bulb will just about disappear by 2020. Democrats didn't get everything they wanted, like a rollback of tax breaks for Big Oil.
     HARRY REID: By blocking tax incentives in renewable energy and standards to supply clean renewable electricity, Republicans missed a chance to grow our new clean energy industries and build new century jobs.
     PLANTE: But neither did the president get all that he wanted.
     DANA PERINO: While the President's alternative fuel standard and CAFE proposal would have gone farther and faster. We are pleased that Congress has worked together on a bipartisan way-
     PLANTE: Democrats wanted more money for wind and solar power, and for conservation. Republicans would have preferred to have more oil, and gas, and coal production in the U.S. And no one is sure just whether this huge increase in ethanol will actually work, or how much it will cost. Julie.
     JULIE CHEN: Sounds controversial. CBS's Bill Plante at the White House, thanks Bill.

 

Now Online: The Worst Quotes of the Year
from the New York Times

     Now online, from the MRC's TimesWatch site: "Quotes of Note 2007: The New York Times' Worst Quotes of the Year." The six categories of biased quotes from news stories and columns: "Oh, Those Awful Conservatives," "Left-Wing Love-Fest on 43rd Street," "Terror Threat? What Terror Threat?," "Loving the (Illegal) Alien," "Just Plain Goofy" and "Finally: Us, Biased?"

     TimesWatch Editor Clay Waters reported:

Last year, there was a clear favorite (Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.'s liberal rant at a college commencement address), but this year brings a split decision, with our three Times-dissecting judges choosing different quotes as their "favorite" from the Times in 2007.

Thomas Lifson, editor and publisher of The American Thinker blog, liked a "gem" from reporter Elaine Sciolino's slanted coverage of the French election, a vote that resulted in a win for right-of-center Nicolas Sarkozy ("In this election, authority apparently is deemed to be more important than compassion").

Donald Luskin, who publishes the blog The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid, had a clear favorite: former economics reporter Eduardo Porter's suggestion that "perhaps we should tax incomes more to force us to devote less time and energy to the endeavor and focus instead on the more satisfying pursuit of leisure."

Jason Maoz, senior editor of the Jewish Press newspaper, writes: "My choice is Frank Rich's comment about Americans who fail to see their republic morphing into the Fourth Reich before their very eyes resemble the 'good Germans; of the 1930's and 40's. That statement perfectly encapsulates the Times' weltanschauung (worldview)."

     To review the worst quotes of the year from the New York Times: www.timeswatch.org

 

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