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October 28, 2004
Tim Scheiderer at (703) 683-5004, ext. 126

Media Research Center Releases
“The Ten Worst Media Distortions
of Campaign 2004”

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“The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. … And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards – I’m talking about the establishment media, not Fox – but they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and opportunistic and all. There’s going to be this glow about them … that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.” Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas, “Inside Washington,” WUSA-TV, 7/10/04.

     ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Media Research Center today released a special report, “The Ten Worst Media Distortions of Campaign 2004,” as compiled and ranked by MRC analysts.

     “The liberal ‘news’ media have been as big an issue in this campaign as anything else. It is a fact: The media chose sides early and have acted as extensions of the Democratic National Committee and the Kerry-Edwards campaign,” said MRC President Brent Bozell.

The Ten Worst Media Distortions of Campaign 2004

  1. Dan Rather’s Forgery Fiasco
  2. Ignoring, Then Attacking, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
  3. Pounding the Bush National Guard Story
  4. Spinning a Good Economy into Bad News
  5. The Networks’ Outrageous Convention Double-Standard
  6. Swooning Over Edwards’ Image, Ignoring His Liberalism
  7. CBS’s Byron Pitts Promotional Kerry Coverage
  8. CBS Promotes Fears of a New Military Draft
  9. Misrepresenting the 9/11 Commission on Iraq/al-Qaeda Links
  10. Equating New Terrorism Warning to LBJ’s “Gulf of Tonkin”

     Rathergate … CBS News had to appoint an outside two-member investigating committee to find out how and why a) Dan Rather aired a hatchet job on President Bush based on forged documents that CBS was warned about and b) CBS Producer Mary Mapes coordinated with senior Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart concerning the discredited source of those documents.

     The Attack On The Swift Boat Vets … Last spring, over 250 Vietnam War contemporaries, including veterans who served with him when he was a Swift Boat commander and his entire chain of command, came forward to publicly challenge Kerry’s version of Vietnam and his anti-war activities. After being ignored for several weeks the media turned on these honorable men with a vengeance, rather than give them a shred of credibility.

     Good Economic Numbers = Bad News? … When Bill Clinton ran for re-election in 1996, unemployment was at 5.2 percent, inflation 3 percent, and economic growth 2.2 percent. Today, as Bush stands for re-election, unemployment is at 5.4 percent, inflation 2.7 percent and economists’ consensus forecast for economic growth this quarter is 3.7 percent. Coverage of the Clinton economic data was overwhelmingly favorable (35 positive, 6 negative stories). Under Bush, it’s literally reversed to 6 positive, 38 negative. Numbers don’t lie. Bias is the only explanation.

     The Networks’ Convention Double-Standard … Democratic speakers who savaged Republicans in Boston were touted by network journalists as “rock stars.” But journalists turned sour when covering the Republicans in New York. CNN’s Bill Schneider on the GOP: “This is a very angry convention, it’s a very belligerent convention.” TIME’s Joe Klein, a CNN contributor: “I’ve been doing this for a fair number of years and I don’t think I’ve seen anything as angry or as ugly as [Sen. Zell] Miller’s speech.”

     CBS’s Byron Pitts, in a Pro-Kerry Class of His Own … Pitts, on the day Kerry accepted the Democratic nomination: “Tonight’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination is more than merely a day, it’s [Kerry’s] destiny.” Pitts, attacking the leader of the Swift Boat Veterans instead of addressing their charges: “Their leader, John O’Neill, was also Richard Nixon’s point man in attacks on John Kerry’s protest of the Vietnam War 30 years ago.” Pitts, on Teresa Heinz Kerry: “Both rich and reachable.”

     CBS Cooks Up Fictitious Draft Story … CBS correspondent Richard Schlesinger focused this story around Beverly Cocco, portraying her as a mom “petrified about a military draft.” He never mentioned she is the activist leader of a group called “People Against the Draft.” He never mentioned that the Pentagon, the Republican Party, and the Bush campaign all oppose a new draft. Dan Rather introduced the segment this way: “A mother worries her son will be drafted. Does she have good reason?” Both Schlesinger and Producer Linda Karas cited erroneous email chatter about the draft as justification for doing an Evening News segment. Karas incredulously intoned: “The truth of the e-mails were absolutely irrelevant to the piece.”

     “The major media are doing all they can to help elect Kerry, just as Newsweek’s Evan Thomas indicated,” said Bozell. “This report presents some of the worst media distortions this year, and proves beyond all doubt that the elite media are not objective or fair or balanced. They are liberal partisans who are sacrificing any remaining credibility in an effort to defeat President Bush.”


Related Items:
The Ten Worst Media Distortions of Campaign 2004



To schedule an interview with Mr. Bozell, or another MRC spokesperson,
contact Tim Scheiderer at (703)-683-5004, ext. 126.



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