Elizabeth Dole, "a social
conservative" and "darling" of the right? That’s how ABC and MSNBC
described her as she resigned from the American Red Cross on January 4,
hinting at a run for President.
ABC World News Tonight
reporter John Cochran asserted: "She could be a strong contender: a
social conservative who can appeal to the party’s core voters, but one
who might also attract women turned off by the Republican Party in
recent years." Cochran didn’t explain how she’d appeal to the right and
overcome the media mantra that women reject the GOP’s social
Later, on his MSNBC show The
News with Brian Williams, Williams asked New York Times
reporter Richard Berke: "She is, after all, a Harvard law graduate, a
Duke University graduate, a formidable woman, a darling of some on the
right. Why should Elizabeth Dole not mix it up at this early stage and
get in the race?"
"Darling" of whom? As Cal
Thomas noted on FNC’s Fox Report, "nobody knows what she really
believes" and "she does have a liberal streak. She has been all over the
place on the abortion issue, for example, which is a litmus test as it
is for liberals. It certainly is for conservatives."
CBS reporter Phil Jones was
able to identify an accomplishment, a regulatory expansion: "That
stoplight in the middle of your back car window, that’s known as the
‘Dole light,’ one of her safety legacies as President Reagan’s
Fight Fiercely, Bill!
As the clock ran out, the White
House press corps was upset that the Clinton team wasn’t doing enough to
fight impeachment. So revealed ABC’s Sam Donaldson in a report from
Jerusalem aired on the December 13 This Week.
Donaldson announced at the top
of the show’s roundtable discussion that "Many reporters who’ve covered
the President all during the scandal, and who may have been pretty tough
on him, are almost today beseeching the White House to get out there and
fight, or wondering why at least he doesn’t. For instance, the President
says he will talk to any of these moderates who want to talk to him, but
he’s not going to call them. What’s wrong with calling as long as you
don’t threaten them or do anything improper?"
He wanted Clinton to leave the
Middle East: "Why not leave after the Gaza occasion and get back home so
you can continue to fight impeachment? Well they say to us, this is very
important. Is it more important than keeping your seat?" Sam also
disputed White House claims that going on CNN was good enough: "I like
Larry King but he’s got a small audience, no offense. The President, why
not go on all the television networks and reach millions of people and
say ‘Let me just say that I need your help.’"
No Dissent on Iraq.
When Bill Clinton went to war against Iraq on December 16, the night
before the House’s impeachment debate was scheduled, the networks
suggested Republicans should rally around the President. On ABC, Peter
Jennings bemoaned how "there was not the traditional rally around the
leader support that usually results while American forces are in action
ABC reporter John Cochran
allowed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss to complain
about not getting briefed on Iraq in advance, but contrasted him with
the rest of the country: "And yet, go outside Washington and most
Americans find it inconceivable that the President would order
airstrikes to gain nothing more than a short delay in an inevitable
The other networks highlighted
instant polls. On CBS, Dan Rather announced that 79 percent favored the
strike. Second, when asked "Clinton’s timing has more to do with...", 61
percent replied "need to respond immediately" while only 26 percent
believed "scheduled impeachment vote."
Over at NBC, Claire Shipman
touted "an NBC News overnight poll which shows that 75 percent of
Americans approve of President Clinton’s decision to order military
strikes. When asked whether the military action was timed to delay the
impeachment vote, 59 percent said no, 27 percent said yes."
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