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
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
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: http://www.mediaresearch.org/bestofnq1999.html
To read other columns and editorials about the
quotes, go to a new page MRC Webmaster Andy Szul has set up with links to
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.
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
"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
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
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."
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
-- 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
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
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
"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
"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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
-- "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
-- "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
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
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
Wow. How "nasty." One can only
imagine Schieffer's reaction if the campaign ever does really get nasty.
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
-- 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.
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
"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.