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August 10, 2000
Katie Wright (703) 683-5004, ext. 132

If The Networks Cover The Democratic Convention The Same Way They Covered the Republican Convention …

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     ALEXANDRIA, Va. --- Media Research Center Chairman Brent Bozell today released five guidelines for network television news coverage of next week’s Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. The guidelines were based on the networks’ coverage of last week’s Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.

     “If the networks are truly as fair and balanced as they claim, then they will cover both conventions exactly the same way,” Bozell said. “I’m not holding my breath.”

If The Networks Cover The Democratic Convention The Same Way They Covered The Republican Convention, Here’s What Americans Would See …

  • The Delegates … The networks will take media surveys of the Democratic delegates and note they are much more liberal than Democrats as a whole and much wealthier than most Americans. They will also suggest the delegates are more extreme and out of touch with regular people. They’ll report how the Democrats apply strict quotas to their delegations and therefore the convention will have more minorities than the country as a whole; the networks will also raise the question of why were minorities excluded from Al Gore’s short list of potential running mates. Also, any moderation from the podium speakers will be dismissed as unrepresentative of the hard core delegates.

  • Labeling … The networks will suggest that Democratic positions on racial quotas, hate crime laws and gun control are “hard-line” positions. Conservative Democrats will be asked to disagree with these “rigid left” positions as the networks pointed out the “rigid right” in Philadelphia.

  • Abortion … If the Democratic platform reflects the party’s traditional support for abortion on demand, reporters such as CNN’s Candy Crowley will pointedly ask why pro-life Democrats were “frozen out of the platform.” Dan Rather will describe the party’s “hard stand.” Reporters will wonder aloud where the Democratic “big tent” of inclusion has gone. And, considering the overwhelming majority of the public opposes partial-birth abortion, network anchors and reporters will repeatedly raise the question of whether or not the Gore-Lieberman position on the issue threatens their appeal to “moderate voters.”

  • Homosexuality … If the Democratic platform plank on homosexuality is diametrically opposed to the Republican platform plank – as it’s likely to be – network television anchors and reporters will declare the Democrats are not “inclusive” of party members with more traditional values. CNN will then invite members of that Democratic minority into its studio and ask them if they feel like “outcasts” in their party, as they asked GOP Rep. Jim Kolbe. The networks will press questions about Democratic “intolerance” of opposing views, witnessed by Bill Bradley’s primary-season support for the effort by homosexual activists to get Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s forthcoming TV show canceled.

  • Voting Record Microscope … The networks will pick through Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s voting record with a fine-toothed comb and report how several of his votes were “out of the mainstream.” As soon as Lieberman expresses reservations about certain votes he has cast or positions he has taken, the network anchors and reporters will immediately apply balance and charge that he is “running from his record.”

     “The networks have their own definitions of what is fair and balanced. If they lived in the real world, the above picture is exactly what the public would get next week of the Democrats at their convention. If the public doesn’t get the same coverage, the networks will be guilty of choosing sides in this election and misleading and misinforming the public in order to aid the side they have chosen,” Bozell said.

     To read MRC’s twice-daily reports on media coverage of the Republican National Convention, go to www.mrc.org/campaign2000.


Media Interviews
To schedule an interview with Mr. Bozell please contact Keith Appell at (703) 683-5004, ext. 112.



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