CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
| Wednesday January 5, 2000 (Vol. Five; No. 2) |
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Welcome OSHA Into Our Homes; "Nasty," "Racist" & "Authoritarian" Giuliani

1) "The millions of Americans who work out of their homes are getting government protection," promised ABC's Antonio Mora. World News Tonight ran a story bolstering OSHA enforcement in homes.

2) CBS ignored the tax avoidance factor behind the NASDAQ sell-off. ABC looked at how the GOP "establishment" is fighting McCain, citing media support as proof he's gone left. Dan Rather praised him for trying to fix an "endangered part of the American Dream."

3) Profiling Rudy Giuliani Tuesday night Dan Rather stressed charges he's a racist and claims he's "nasty" and "mean-spirited" as Rather tagged him "authoritarian." Last May Rather delivered a glowingly positive piece on Hillary: "She is political lightning."

4) Bob Schieffer labeled as "nasty" this mild comment from Bill Bradley about Al Gore: "For only those who've never left Washington have missed the lessons of the last decade."

5) More network scaremongering about global warming. A few warm days prompted CBS to ominously ask if it's "part of an alarming trend?" NBC predicted an island will soon disappear.

6) ABC's freedom fighters: Harry Blackmun and "Soviet First Lady Raisa Gorbachev" who "helped her husband part the Iron Curtain."

     >>> Another one of the judges for the "Best Notable Quotables of 1999: The Twelfth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting," has written a column assessing the quotes on which he voted. Dick Williams, host of The Georgia Gang on the Fox station in Atlanta, has written a piece which runs in this week's Atlanta Business Chronicle. To read the column, titled "The liberal press is alive and leaning left of Massachusetts," go to:

     To see the awards issue online, with video clips of many of the TV quotes, go to:

     To read other columns and editorials about the quotes, go to a new page MRC Webmaster Andy Szul has set up with links to the pieces: <<<

     Correction: The January 3 CyberAlert quoted a TV Guide story which labeled actress Emma Caulfield an "ultraconservative" for supporting Liddy Dole. The item stated that Caulfield stars on the WB show Buffy the Dragon Slayer. In fact, the show's title is Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


cyberno1.gif The government might soon provide "protection" for us in our own homes from ourselves promised ABC News. The January 4 Washington Post story about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) informing a Texas company that they are responsible for enforcing safety rules in the homes of any employees who work at home, drew a positive mention on Good Morning America and full stories Tuesday night on ABC and CBS, but not NBC.

     ABC's World News Tonight, in fact, ran two stories. Introducing the second one, anchor Peter Jennings suggested "It is easy to poke fun at the idea of government regulating the lighting of your rec room or the height of your home computer table," as ABC focused on those who consider it an idea whose time has come. On the CBS Evening News Dan Rather stressed not invasion of people's homes by government inspectors, but how the "business lobby" opposes the OSHA rules. Reporter Diana Olick found a tele-commuter who would welcome OSHA into her house.

     Tuesday began with this welcoming news from Good Morning America news reader Antonio Mora who, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson noticed, stressed how the government will protect us:
     "The millions of Americans who work out of their homes are getting government protection. According to The Washington Post, the Labor Department is telling employers that they are responsible for health and safety violations in home workplaces."

     Later, on World News Tonight, Barry Serafin explained the OSHA advisory about how employers should make safety checks of employee's homes, noting the news "set off a firestorm of criticism." Serafin allowed a National Association of Manufacturers representative to attack the idea before playing a clip of Labor Secretary Alexis Herman backtracking as she emphasized how OSHA was just responding to a question from one company about how OSHA interprets current rules.

     Next, Peter Jennings intoned: "It is easy to poke fun at the idea of government regulating the lighting of your rec room or the height of your home computer table, but as Erin Hayes explains tonight it is more complicated and it is more serious than that."

     Hayes began her one-sided piece relaying the views of big government advocates: "The thought of government regulating our home offices may be unnerving, but workplace watchers caution it's time to start setting rules about working from home."

     After a soundbite from Professor Tom Juravich of U-Mass Amherst, Hayes warned that workplace rules don't apply at home, so if you get a repetitive stress injury or "sprain your ankle tripping over a computer cord," you are not covered by workers comp. She noted how the Manchester, NH Newspaper Guild demanded insurance coverage for home work and the company agreed after getting the right to inspect homes.
     Hayes concluded:
     "Companies, by shifting work to the home, are also shifting some of the risk there. It's time to start asking, many believe, just who should shoulder that risk."

     CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather skipped the potential intrusion into people's homes by OSHA and instead portrayed the controversy as just something which upset a special interest:
     "The U.S. Labor Department says employers are responsible for injuries to employees who work from their homes. The business lobby is not happy."

     Reporter Diana Olick began by showing Terry Rutherford, one of twenty million people who work at home. Olick explained how OSHA says the rules have been around since the 1970s, but came to light because of the advisory request from a Texas company. Olick elaborated: "One example OSHA gave: If an employee works in his or her basement, the employer is responsible for the safety of the staircase leading there."
     Olick played a clip of Pat Cleary of the National Association of Manufacturers pointing out the impossibility of having employers check every employee's home and suggested it might lead to employers saying workers cannot toil at home. Olick added: "And for those who do work at home the rules could open the way to limitless lawsuits as some employees try to cash in on problem they have while they're working."
     Olick showed Secretary Herman insisting there are no plans to have OSHA inspect homes. "As for Terry Ruthford," Olick said in setting up a soundbite from Rutherford, who decided: "I'll do whatever I have to, you know, if they need to come into my home that's fine with me."
     Olick concluded: "She only hopes the rules don't scare her boss and drive her back to the office."


cyberno2.gif The Dow fall and biggest one-day plunge on the NASDAQ led the three broadcast network evening shows Tuesday night, but while ABC and NBC suggested investors trying to delay capital gains tax payments fueled the sell off, CBS ignored the tax factor.

     On the campaign front, CBS briefly showed video of moving trucks in front of Hillary's new home in New Castle, New York while NBC Nightly News ran a full piece by Andrea Mitchell on her move north. NBC's David Bloom looked at how George W. Bush is fighting back against John McCain in New Hampshire and ABC's Linda Douglass provided a piece on how the "Republican establishment" is attacking McCain -- citing his support of the liberal media as evidence he's gone wrong.

     -- NASDAQ plunge. On the CBS Evening News Anthony Mason blamed interest rate fears and how many investors found it "time to take profits."

     While ABC's Bob Jamieson on World News Tonight also noted "fear of higher interest rates," he added that NASDAQ investors "were cashing in on the market's stunning 86 percent rise in 1999, but selling in January means the tax bill on those profits won't come due for more than a year." Appearing on NBC Nightly News, CNBC's Ron Insana cited worries about an interest rate hike, but added: "What else is behind today's sell-off? Many investors who made huge gains on tech stocks last year selling today to defer taxes into next year."

     -- Republicans versus "the maverick." Plugging an upcoming story on World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings promised: "When we come back: some stronger words in presidential politics. The establishment versus the maverick."

     Reporter Linda Douglass observed that McCain's challenge to Bush has "jolted the Republican establishment." After relaying how McCain has campaigned by promising an end to the status quo, Douglass asserted:
     "The latest establishment group to open fire on McCain is an anti-tax organization, Americans for Tax Reform (ATA). The group has launched an ad campaign against McCain, charging his plan to ban big political contributions would strip conservative groups of their power."
     Grover Norquist, President of ATA: "It would hurt and handicap conservative groups and all the conservative groups have told John McCain this. He knows it and he doesn't care."

     Given that ATA wants major tax reform, including the elimination of the IRS, it's hard to see them as "establishment."

     Douglass moved on to concerns about McCain's media support: "And many of McCain's fellow conservatives are pointing to the glowing media coverage he is getting, hinting that it shows he is really a liberal."
     Alex Castellanos, Republican media consultant: "They say you can get to know a person by the company he keeps, and John McCain is very popular with the liberal news media."
     Douglass concluded: "Conservatives are not alone in accusing McCain of sometimes blurring his conservative views to curry favor with independent voters, but McCain welcomes the attacks because they play into his image as a maverick."

     An image the media really are eager to paint, just as Jennings did in the plug minutes earlier.

     Indeed, in "Dan Rather's Notebook" for December 27 on the CBS Web page the network's anchor offered effusive praise for the Bradley-McCain effort to limit free speech. Rather asserted:
     "Democracy is at the very root of the American Dream. One person, one vote. Equality in selecting our leaders. Well, it's always been the case, however unjust, that some people and causes with money end up being more equal than others -- even in a democracy.
     "But now there's more money than ever going around and throwing money at candidates who will decide crucial issues if elected has become business as usual. Lobbying by special interest groups, at all levels, has reached a fever pitch that is seen by many as a danger to democracy."

     After noting the Bradley-McCain promise to not use soft money, Rather gushed in conclusion: "McCain and Bradley deserve credit for focusing attention on a crucial and endangered part of the American Dream."

     Of course, as Rather showed, the liberals will always have the media, sans spending restrictions, on their side.


cyberno3.gif What a difference the candidate makes: Dan Rather's May 60 Minutes II profile and interview of Hillary Clinton stayed positive and relayed praise as he tossed softball questions. Tuesday night, however, while Rather acknowledged Rudy Giuliani's success in improving living conditions in New York City, his 60 Minutes II profile piece stressed allegations that Giuliani is a "mean-spirited" and "nasty" egomaniac who is also a racist.

     Rather asserted his success came via "the Giuliani way, fighting, gloves off, with strong hostility toward anyone who criticizes, anyone who doesn't see things his way." In what Rather passed off as balance, he relayed this from an opponent: "He is not a racist....He is nasty, but he's nasty to everybody." Rather suggested: "He's an authoritarian."

     Here's how Rather opened the 13-minute long piece aired on January 4:
     "This New Year's Eve all eyes were on Times Square, once the very center of a crime and filth-ridden city, it's now the symbol of a new New York, a cleaner and much safer place. The leader is making it so is the Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani. He has done what many thought impossible: Turn a big city around in look, spirit and crime statistics. How he has done this is controversial because he has done it the Giuliani way, fighting, gloves off, with strong hostility toward anyone who criticizes, anyone who doesn't see things his way."

     Not too bad sounding and arguably a balanced opening with the views of his supporters and detractors -- though I'd note the same observation about attitude toward enemies could be made about Hillary Clinton. But compare that opening to how Rather set up his May 26 piece on the same show about Hillary Clinton, a story which consumed 24 minutes, nearly twice the time given to Giuliani:
    "She is a woman on a first name basis with the world. First Lady Hillary Clinton is a political superstar. She has a history of making history and tonight she's on vacation in Florida deciding whether to do it again, this time by making a run for the United States Senate in New York. We sat down together a few days ago and she talked about her future and her recent past. She outlined what she believes in, what she hopes for and how she's gotten through the hard times in the White House."

     Not a negative word there. And the Hillary story included no soundbites from critics while the piece on Giuliani was littered with critics on the attack.

     Rather's first question to Hillary: "And here's a tough question, one that you're going to be asked repeatedly time and again and you're eventually going to have to answer: For whom do you root, the Mets or the Yankees?"

     Now back to Rather's January 4 profile and interview of New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Rather explained how he has made New York City the safest big city in the country by making crime fighting a top priority and by doing so in an "unusual way" -- focusing on small crimes such as vandalism which fostered a bad atmosphere and led to bigger crimes. The results, Rather admitted, "were staggering" with crime down 50 percent and murder down 65 percent.

     So much for praise. Rather spent most of the rest of the piece maligning Giuliani. Recalling what happened after Time magazine put police commissioner William Bratton on its cover, Rather asserted: "This, to say the least, ticked off the Mayor. To his critics, and even some of his friends, this revealed Giuliani's greatest flaw: What they say is his uncontrollable ego."

     Rather turned to Giuliani opponent Ed Koch for expert analysis of how the Mayor drove Bratton from office. Setting Giuliani up for another hit, Rather conceded the city is now "widely hailed as well managed" as "Big Apple pride is back." Rather then lowered the boom:
     "But in the last few years, not only Democrats but some Republicans and other people, have increasingly raised questions about Giuliani and how he has allowed police to handle minorities."

     Rather cited the 1997 Louima case, where a man was rectally assaulted, and the 1999 case of an unarmed man being shot 41 times. Rather declared: "Black leaders accuse Giuliani of supporting, even encouraging, a ruthless, even racist, police force. Listen to what the Reverend Calvin Butts has to say, and he's considered a moderate."

     Considered a "moderate" by whom Rather did not say. Butts claimed the police feel they can do anything they want without fear of punishment.

     Rather proceeded to relay the complaints of leftists upset by how Giuliani refused to meet with black leaders after the 1999 shooting. Giuliani pointed out that he did, in fact, have a meeting, prompting Rather to counter that he waited seven weeks. At that point Giuliani said he waited until the meeting could be productive. Rather shot back: "And you don't agree it was divisive?" Butts then got a chance to comment on Giuliani's insistence that an earlier meeting would not have been helpful. Butts charged: "That's an uninformed, insensitive, brutal statement."

     Then, over video of protesters which included a shot of a poster showing Giuliani as Hitler, Rather argued: "It's true that some of the protests were the work of Giuliani political opponents, but by sticking so long to his hard line position the Mayor helped to focus attention on questions such as does he believe too strongly that the ends justify the means? Have the police become somewhat out of control on the street? And is the Mayor playing politics with, or at least too insensitive about, race relations?"
     Rather to Giuliani: "Mayor, are you frustrated that so many people, particularly in the African American community, consider you to be if not a racist, at least insensitive on race?"
     Giuliani replied that many are used to pandering and he treats all people the same.

     Returning to Koch, CBS viewers heard this from the former Democratic Mayor: "It is wrong, as some people do, to describe him as a racist. He is not a racist. It's just absolutely wrong. He is nasty, but he's nasty to everybody."
     Rather: "Ed Koch, the former Giuliani supporter, recently wrote a book called Giuliani: Nasty Man."
     Rather to Koch: "What's nasty about him?"
     Koch: "Well Nasty Man is intended to convey that he's mean-spirited, that's what it means. There's no question that he is. He treats every critic as though he were a mortal enemy to be destroyed on the spot."
     Rather: "Is it or is it not the case that he's an authoritarian in a city that's, perhaps above all cities, used to a high degree of democratic process?"

     Rather asked Giuliani about not tolerating "dissent" before noting that Hillary Clinton plans to make New York City's bad schools an issue. CBS played a soundbite of Giuliani on schools: "The whole system should be blown up and a new one should be put in its place."
     That prompted Rather to scold Giuliani: "Is or is not that not exactly the kind of dismissive rhetoric that gets you the reputation of being over the top?"
     Giuliani contended that strong rhetoric, like Reagan's "Evil Empire" comment, focuses attention on a subject and political leaders need attention on an issue in order to get political support for change.

     Keying off Giuliani's analogy, Rather evaluated Giuliani: "If New York was an Evil Empire of filth and crime when Giuliani took charge, it is certainly something else today. Prosperous, cleaner, even civil. Ironically, it took someone like Giuliani, with his tough talk and brash style, to tame it."

     Wrapping up the story, Rather noted how Giuliani is "trying to tone down his image" with a children's book and an ad which touts his compassion in getting people off welfare.

     Compare Rather's approach to Giuliani with how he treated Hillary Clinton last May. Here are a few excerpts from the May 26, 1999 edition of 60 Minutes II:
     -- "Once a political lightning rod, today she is political lightning."
     -- "It's hard to know what keeps her going through marital problems made public, political fights turned ugly, through triumphs, disasters and always the demands of her work."
     -- "The agenda she lays out seems downright old-fashioned. She sees her work as focusing on children and families..."
     -- "Let's pretend for a moment. It's 2050. There's an encyclopedia and it has a picture of Hillary Rodham Clinton, one time First Lady of the United States. What do you think the caption under that picture will be?"
     -- "We've talked about the possibility of you running for the Senate. You've said that you're obviously interested in it. What are the possibilities that one day, some day you'll run for President?"
     -- "Of all the allegations, accusations, charges made what do you consider to be the most unfair attack?"

     Rather didn't pose that last question to Giuliani since he might have answered "your story."

     For more quotes showing how Rather gushed over Hillary, as well as a RealPlayer video excerpt, go to the May 27 CyberAlert:

     As for Giuliani being an anti-black racist, columnist Deroy Murdock pointed out in a July 2, 1999 Washington Times op-ed that thousands of minorities are alive today because of the lower crime rate: "The New York Post estimated what would have happened had crime galloped at its dismal pre-Giuliani pace. Sixty-four more Asians, 308 more whites, 1,842 more Hispanics, and 2,299 more blacks would have been murdered."


cyberno4.gif It doesn't take much to earn a scolding from CBS News for being "nasty." Check out this from a January 3 CBS Evening News story by Bob Schieffer on the battle between Bill Bradley and Al Gore. After noting how 70 percent of delegates will be picked by the third week of March, Schieffer announced:
     "Which is why a fast start is more important than ever and why the campaign has already turned nasty. Democrat Bill Bradley, in an obvious reference to the Vice President, today."
     Bradley: "For only those who've never left Washington have missed the lessons of the last decade."
     Schieffer: "The Vice President then accused the cerebral Bradley of missing the boat on almost everything."
     Gore: "The presidency is not an academic exercise, it's not a seminar where you get to entertain a single grand theory."

     Wow. How "nasty." One can only imagine Schieffer's reaction if the campaign ever does really get nasty.


cyberno5.gif A little warm weather in winter and media thoughts turn to global warming. Two examples prompted by temperatures in the 60s in the Northeast:

     -- Jim Axelrod on the January 3 CBS Evening News: "This winter that wasn't has a lot of people asking: Just a mild one, or part of an alarming trend?"
     Ants Leetma, National Weather Service: "We have another winter without cold this year it's perhaps another piece of the puzzle of saying we're beginning to see the impacts of global warming."

     -- Robert Hager opening an "In Depth" story aired on the January 4 NBC Nightly News: "Millennium Island in the Pacific, first to greet the dawn of the new century. Looks like a coral paradise, but with wild weather patterns around the world in forty years, scientists say, global warming may raise the level of the sea and erase this island from the map."

     Naturally, neither story, not even NBC's "In Depth " piece, bothered to mention the views of the many scientists who don't buy the liberal global warming scaremongering.


cyberno6.gif Liberal remembrances of the century. Good Morning America news reader Antonio Mora reminded December 30 viewers of the accomplishments of some people who passed away during ABC's 99-year century. MRC analyst Jessica Anderson caught these slanted assessments from Mora of a two familiar names.

     "As the 20th century slips away," Mora stated, "we honor the memory of those who left us this year." Amongst those he listed:
     -- "Maverick Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun gave women the freedom to choose an abortion."
     -- "Soviet First Lady Raisa Gorbachev helped her husband part the Iron Curtain."

     There you have it from ABC News: Harry Blackmun and Raisa Gorbachev, Freedom Fighters of the Century. -- Brent Baker



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