Today co-host Matt Lauer
chided New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the "tone" he was setting in his
potential Senate bid against Hillary Rodham Clinton in a remarkably
pro-Clinton interview April 1.
After demanding Giuliani
acknowledge he had "a difficult time connecting with minorities," Lauer
castigated Giuliani for his connection to a Web site called
HillaryNo.com. "Is this the kind of tone...She’s a carpetbagger, she’s
someone who failed in her health care experience."
Giuliani pointed out these were
"all very fair issues about somebody that’s never run for public office,
[and] wants to win a state that they have absolutely no connection to."
Lauer would have none of it, lecturing Giuliani: "Is this the tone of
the campaign we might expect?"
The HillaryNo.com site is
innocuous and contains only three options: signing a petition urging
Giuliani to run, making a donation and reading a page explaining how to
place the HillaryNo.com banner on the viewer’s web page. The site’s two
paragraphs of text also contained these less than incendiary statements:
"It is a website dedicated to the notion that we should expect more from
someone who aspires to the U.S. Senate. That the U.S. Senate is a place
for proven leaders, not a proving ground."
After a year in which Clinton’s
closest advisers declared "war" on their opponents and the First Lady
charged a "vast right-wing conspiracy" on Today, Lauer’s sudden
disdain for negative tone is an interesting development.
If the April 3 nightly newscasts are any indicator, it only takes a few
liberals protesting to generate a TV news story.
The CBS Evening News
gave a few seconds to a small rally in Washington, D.C. protesting
police brutality, but NBC portrayed it as a major event. Reporter Rick
Davis began: "They came from cities and towns across the country,
holding names and photographs high, victims they say of abuse of power.
One killing in New York caused them to join in grief and anger." NBC
only used close-up shots so one could not determine how many protesters
there actually were. The April 4 Washington Post reported
"hundreds" attended. Not exactly the Million Man March.
Next up that night was the
issue of rising gas prices in California. The CBS Evening News
ran a story pegged to about a dozen people on a Los Angeles sidewalk
complaining about California’s escalating gas prices. Reporter Vince
Gonzalez opened by featuring a clip of a woman shouting, "How are you
going to buy milk for your children and gas for your car to go to work
on?" Gonzalez promoted the protesters’ call for a "national gas out day"
and allowed a gas station owner to denounce oil company "greed," but
ignored two key factors in California’s gas prices: environmental rules
and high state taxes.
NRDC: All Wet
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the liberal group behind
the bogus 1989 Alar-on-apples scare promoted by 60 Minutes,
released a report on March 30 about how they supposedly discovered
excessive bacteria and chemicals in one-third of the bottled water they
ABC’s World News Tonight,
the CBS Evening News and FNC’s Fox Report all jumped on
it, airing full stories. None labeled the NRDC as liberal. ABC’s Peter
Jennings underlined their credibility: "A serious environmental
monitoring group has released a report about bottled water today that
certainly flies in the face of the advertising."
In an April 8 Washington
Times column, Michael Fumento quoted Yale professor Stephen Edberg,
who sat on many of the EPA panels that regulate drinking water, saying
the report was "completely fallacious...There’s absolutely no risk to
the population. This is extremely alarmist and has great detrimental
The International Bottled Water
Association countered the NRDC: "There have been no confirmed reports in
the US of illness or diseases linked to bottled water." The NRDC claimed
they found evidence in the medical literature they surveyed. Fumento
noted they located just two instances: one in the Mariana Islands and
one in Portugal.
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