Campaign 2000; Black Panther for a Gun Ban; Roche Trumps Dirkhising
1. Campaign 2000: U.S. News went all gushy interviewing Bradley,
Newsweek noted a possible Bush front, and everyone ignored Bradley’s Joe Camel problem.
2. Newsweek managed to take a shot against guns by highlighting former Black Panther and current Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush’s crusade to stop the violence upon the shooting death of his son.
3. All three news magazines which ignored the killing of Jesse Dirkhising by two gay men covered the adultery charges against longtime President of conservative Hillsdale College, George Roche III, after his daughter-in-law’s suicide. Why? Time quoted one student: "He’s made this school and the whole conservative movement laughable."
4. Newsweek’s Michael Hirsh actually assigned the "liberal" label to some Democrats but couldn’t just label Republicans as merely conservative. "Hard right" must be added.
Newsweek had the only-time sensitive cover with its EgyptAir scoop, "The Inside Story of Flight 990." Time featured "The Simple New Year’s Eve," while U.S. News & World Report chronicled "The Rise of the Stepfamily." Our favorite gaffe this week comes from Newsweek’s Jared Sandberg, who dismissed Matt Drudge’s departure from the Fox News Channel: "But Drudge would never have claimed he was ‘professional’ in the sense that TV-network news divisions use the term—even Fox." A few lines later, Sandberg’s snob routine over accuracy tripped over this sentence: "His flair for self-promotion took him and his black fedora even further." Drudge’s fedora is routinely beige, not black.
In an article entitled "The levels of his game," U.S. News and World Report writer Roger Simon became the latest infatuated magazine writer to spin Bradley’s dullness into a strength. "Everything about Bradley reeks of authenticity, which is an especially useful attribute because it turns minuses into pluses. Is Bradley's speaking style somewhere between that of a dentist's drill and the hum of a refrigerator? That's authenticity. Are his clothes more easily deplored than described? That's genuineness. Is he sometimes so low-key that you wonder if he has painted eyeballs on his eyelids and is really sleeping? That's the real deal."
Simon continued: "Bradley knows all about performance. He has studied his own stage fright, his speaking style...and while he attracts a load of ‘L’ words from the press (laconic, languid, laid-back), this very much depends on how much Bradley decides to invest of himself in any given event." The one L word conspicuously missing was liberal. No where in the story did Simon mention the former Knick’s very liberal legislative record. That held true in Simon’s excerpted questions to Gore where he asked such far-from-cutting queries as, "You’re supposed to be ‘authentic,’ but what does that mean?And is it sufficient reason to vote for you?’ and ‘Are you having fun?’
Simon concluded by asking: "You wrote of Robert Kennedy, ‘He seemed different, more truth-teller than politician, and truth-tellers rarely win the political prize.’Is that what you still believe today?" Bradley, taking the question as a compliment, replied: "Yes, I believe that. But when they do win, it’s wonderful."
In his article "Hunkering Down for the Mean Season," Newsweek ’s Howard Fineman underlined how an "independent" group looks a lot like a Bush front:"One rival, Lamar Alexander, protested [Bush’s massive fundraising], and went up with an ad over the summer in Iowa complaining—without mentioning Bush—that no one should be allowed to buy the GOP nomination. Swiftly an independent group called the Republican Leadership Council (RLC) attacked Lamar for his ‘negative TV bean ball.’ It was soon off the air, and Alexander quit the race a few months later. No one accused the Bush campaign of ordering the hit. But most RLC officials were, or have since become, leading Bush contributors or supporters."
Fineman added: "The group was back in the news last week, carrying out a pre-emptive strike against Steve Forbes. The billionaire publisher had purchased air time for a new series of ads in New Hampshire—and they were rumored to be tough ‘comparative’ spots. Lo and behold, the RLC bought time on the same stations to air a spot admonishing him to play nice, and not go after this year's front runner (Bush) the way he went after Bob Dole in 1996. The Bush campaign and the RLC denied any collusion, but leading RLC figures include members of Bush's executive committee and New York Gov. George Pataki, who wouldn't mind being chosen as Bush's running mate."
None of the magazines mentioned that Bradley ad guru Alex Kroll helped promote Joe Camel as head of the Young & Rubicam agency, even as CNN’s Jeff Greenfield analyzed new campaign ads for Time. Greenfield also ignored what The Washington Post called a "highly misleading" claim in a Bradley ad that he had saved the life of a woman’s child by supporting longer hospital stays after childbirth.
Newsweek managed to take a shot against guns by highlighting former Black Panther and current Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush’s crusade to stop the violence upon the shooting death of his son. Writers John McCormick and Peter Annin explained: "The loss has political implications, too, hardening Rush, a religious man who holds a master's degree in theological studies, for his new mission: a rededicated war against the cheap guns and street violence that his fellow young radicals long ago glorified. In a long, anguished talk with Newsweek in his Chicago office, Rush argued as militantly against the urban gun culture as he had once argued for it."
They touted his liberal record: "In Congress he has already sponsored or cosponsored 31 bills to regulate assault rifles and other firearms. He wants handguns banned, except for those carried by law officers and the military. He is sure to repeat the story of his own loss in House debates. ‘We have got to do something,’ he says. [Italics theirs.] ‘Our responsibility—my responsibility—is to eliminate violence from our neighborhoods, and from our nation.’"
All three news magazines which ignored the killing of Jesse Dirkhising by two gay men covered the adultery charges against longtime President of conservative Hillsdale College, George Roche III, after his daughter-in-law’s suicide. Why? Because exposing conservative hypocrisy aids the liberal cause, while highlighting gay murderers hinders the hate-crimes push?
Whatever their reasons for the unanimous discrepancy, Time’s Nichole Christian came down the hardest, noting that a kiosk at Hillsdale quotes St. Paul: "Let us behave properly...not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality." Christian wrote, "students can’t bear to go near the kiosk anymore, not since it became a gathering point for reporters who have gone to Hillsdale to find out if Roche, campus patriarch, truculent moralist, really did carry on a 19-year affair with the wife of his son." Christian quoted 20-year-old history student Chris Ratliff: "He’s made this school and the whole conservative movement laughable."
All three news magazines celebrated China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. But in his article on the WTO agreement, Newsweek’s Michael Hirsh actually assigned the ‘liberal’ label to some Democrats but couldn’t just label Republicans as merely conservative. "Organized labor, which fears a loss of U.S. jobs to low-paid Chinese workers, plans to mount a vigorous campaign against normalized trade relations. This week major manufacturing unions will meet in the capital to map out a coordinated strategy." In the next sentence Hirsh called Dems liberal but kicked it up a notch for conservatives. "They’ll be joined by elements of the coalition of liberal Democrats and hard-right Conservatives that defeated fast-track, the broad trade negotiating authority, in 1997."
In the same paragraph, Hirsh simply addressed David Bonior as the Democratic Whip but attached a label to Tom DeLay. "Meanwhile, Bonior’s conservative GOP counterpart, Tom DeLay, may try to inflict Clinton with another humiliating defeat." Hirsh did it again in analyzing negotiations, "And Sperling and Barshefsky threw tantrums in Beijing last week to get the Chinese to grant concessions to labor and right-wingers."
-- Geoffrey Dickens
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