Bush "Voodoo" or "Far Right"?; "We're Tired" of Gore Probes; Clinton Hit from Left
1) Barbara Walters asked George W.
Bush if his tax cut plan is reminiscent of Reagan's which his father denounced
as "voodoo," and wondered "which is the real George W,"
the "man who spoke at the very far-right Bob Jones University" or
who met with gays.
2) Friday night ABC caught up with
CBS, CNN, FNC and NBC and ran a piece on the Handgun Control attack ad on
Bush. ABC also aired a positive profile of a woman who lobbied to allow
concealed weapons, but failed to point out that Bush signed the new law.
3) "We're tired" too of
investigations into Gore's fundraising and have no "taste" for any
more, Boston Globe Washington Bureau Chief David Shribman assured a journalism
student upset by too many investigations of the Clinton administration.
4) Unlike the broadcast networks
the night before or Friday's Today and The Early Show, ABC's GMA ran a story
on the appearance by Charles Ruff before a House committee probing missing
5) Thirteen days after the Elian
raid NBC's Tom Brokaw finally got around to mentioning how an NBC video crew
were roughed up.
6) Dan Rather pushed from the
left: "The Clinton White House is being accused of siding with big
business on an issue that could have wide implications for consumers."
But NBC's Robert Hager decided: "Today's rule means air bags of the
future must be made safer for children, small women and the frail
7) MediaNomics: "ABC News
Sends Leonardo DiCaprio to High School" by distributing the left-wing
environmental special, in which he starred, to 12,000 middle and high schools.
Plus: "CBS's Ray Brady, Always the Bear."
>>> Now online,
actually online for the past week, the May 1 edition of Notable Quotables, the
MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous,
quotes in the liberal media. Amongst the quote headings: "Principled
Reno, Paranoid Family"; "Heartwarming Gun Photo"; "Rather's
Raid Rants"; "Bryant vs. Cuban-Americans"; "Only the
Brainwashed Prefer U.S"; "Elian's Awaiting Cuban Mansion";
"Can Bush Care Like a Democrat?"; "Cuba: Not a Simple
Tyranny" and "Dictatorship is Safer for Kids." Go to:
"far right," always "far right." The interview by Barbara
Walters of George W. Bush shown on Friday's 20/20 demonstrated how network
stars just won't let go of the myth they built about how Bush went "far
right" in the primaries.
During the interview
which topped the May 5 edition of ABC's prime time news magazine, Walters
suggested his economic plan is as awful of the one proposed by Ronald Reagan
which his father denounced as "voodoo," asked him if it were a
mistake for his father to promise no new taxes, a question which Bush answered
by saying the mistake was not in raising taxes but in making the promise, and
wondered "which is the real George W," the "man who spoke at
the very far-right Bob Jones University, or the George W. who met with
Here's the matching
excerpt from the interview:
have proposed $86 billion in new spending and $483 billion in tax cuts. In
1980, your father derided Ronald Reagan's plan to cut taxes and increase
spending and balance the budget. Remember what he called it? 'Voodoo
economics.' Could someone say that about your plan?"
Walters: "Why not?"
Bush: "Because it is a well-thought out plan
that's necessary to serve as a stimulus to the economy."
Walters: "To increase spending and still have a
tax cut of that magnitude?"
Bush: "Of course. We've got a surplus of $4
trillion over a 10-year period of time. That's, and, you know, if we want a
President who wants to spend it all, I'm the wrong person. I want to share
some of it with the people who pay the bills."
Walters: "Do you think that your father made a
mistake in raising taxes after pledging not to?"
Bush: "Yeah, I think the mistake was to say
'Read my lips,' and then raise the taxes. I think, I think it undermined some
of his credibility, particularly with Republicans and fiscal
Walters: "You know, it's been said and you hear
it all the time, that in order for you to have won the primaries you had to
move to the far right. And now to win the general election you must move to
the center. So which is the real George W.? The man who spoke at the very
far-right, Bob Jones University, or the George W. who met with homosexuals and
said, 'I'm a better man for it'?"
Bush: "Let me talk about Bob Jones University.
You know, had I to do it over again, I would have said, 'We're all God's
children.' I missed an opportunity, yeah."
Walters: "You would have still gone, but you
would have said something about integration and relationships?"
Bush: "Absolutely, I would have said that --
well, I would said that -- I would have said that, you know, the Catholic
religion is a great religion, Judaism is a great religion. We're all God's
children. That's all I would have had to have said. I missed a golden
opportunity to have done that."
Walters: "When you met recently with a group of
gay Republicans and pronounced yourself to be a better man for the meeting, in
what sense are you now a better man?"
Bush: "I think you can always be a better person
if you sit and listen. And I spend a lot of my time talking. But when I
listen, I learn."
Friday night ABC's World News Tonight caught up with CBS, CNN, FNC and NBC,
which had all run stories Thursday night, and featured a piece on the Handgun
Control Inc. attack ad on Bush featuring a video clip of a top NRA official
boasting about working out of Bush's office if he were to win. (For details
about the May 4 CBS and NBC stories, see the May 5 CyberAlert.)
Later in Friday's
show, ABC featured a positive profile piece on Suzanna Hupp, the Texas woman
who crusaded to allow concealed weapons after she was unable to defend herself
or others during the 1991 Luby's massacre. But after running a story
portraying Bush as out of touch on the gun issue, ABC failed to point out that
it was Bush, as Governor of Texas, who signed the concealed weapons law that
Hupp thinks makes people safer.
Before getting to
Friday's ABC's story, a little catch up on something reported Thursday night
by CNN after a piece on the liberal group's ad. World Today anchor Wolf
Blitzer uniquely pointed out: "Handgun Control says the new ad will air
in seven states over the next week. The Associated Press reports a tracking of
the ad buy shows the group is spending less than $100,000 and is limited
mostly to Washington." In other words, there really is no ad campaign,
just an ad produced to generate news coverage on the networks. And all
Reynolds gave a fresh
opening to his day-old news: "In Michigan today, the Vice President
stoked the gun control debate, pledging to support the right of cities to sue
gunmakers for gun violence and challenging Governor Bush to take a stand. Mr.
Bush did take a stand in Texas. He barred those kind of lawsuits in his
Al Gore: "I'm calling upon Governor Bush to make
his position known. Would he do the same thing nationally?"
Reynolds: "Campaigning in California, Bush
suggested his answer is yes, he would do the same."
Bush: "You can get a feel for my position by
looking at what I've done in office, and what I did in office was sign a bill
that made it -- made it very difficult for local municipalities to sue
manufacturers of a legal product."
Reynolds: "Some 31 cities and counties
nationwide are currently suing the gunmakers, but the industry broke off
settlement talks earlier this year, clearly hoping for a less hostile Bush
presidency. This video of a February National Rifle Association meeting shows
the group yearns for a President Bush and a less-hostile legal climate."
Kayne Robinson in video shown in the Handgun Control
ad: "If we win, we will have a president where we will work out of their
office. Unbelievably friendly relations. If we win, we'll have a Supreme Court
that will back us to the hilt."
Reynolds bolstered the attack on Bush: "Bush has
no interest in being seen as a lapdog for the gun lobby, but the current
occupant of the White House said today the NRA has it just right."
Clinton: "They will have unprecedented influence
here if the American people should decide that that's what they want."
Reynolds concluded: "With polls showing six out
of ten Americans want tougher gun laws, the Rifle Association is embarking on
a $30 million media campaign to change their minds. It stars NRA President
Charlton Heston, and it promises the group's opponents the fight of their
Actually, as noted by
CNN's Candy Crowley on May 4: "As recently as Monday a poll showed when
asked who is best able to handle the gun issue, Americans favored George Bush
over Al Gore by six percentage points."
ABC wrapped up
Friday's show by inaugurating a new feature, "A 21st Century Life."
Keying off the upcoming "Million Mom March," Peter Jennings profiled
Suzanna Hupp, who got the first words of the story: "I don't have any
affinity for guns. It's a tool that can be used to kill a family. It's a tool
that can be used to protect a family. But it's merely a tool."
Over video of her
walking with a horse, Jennings observed: "It is difficult to imagine
violence in such a peaceful place. Suzanna Hupp has no trouble doing so."
Hupp: "I can't begin to get across to you what
it's like to sit there and simply have to wait for it to be your turn."
Jennings explained: "Suzanna Hupp's passions are
her family and her horses. It was the violence in her life which changed her.
On October the 16th, 1991, Suzanna Hupp was having lunch with her parents at
Luby's Restaurant in Killeen, Texas. A deranged man drove a truck right
through the front window, running over diners at their tables. Then he pulled
out a gun and started shooting people. Suzanna's father intervened."
Hupp: "The guy
had complete control of the situation. He saw my father coming, the guy turned
and shot him in the chest."
Jennings: "Suzanna Hupp had a gun that day, but
it wasn't in her purse. In Texas in 1991, a concealed weapon was against the
law. It was in her car, 100 feet away."
Hupp: "I was mad as hell at my legislators,
because they had legislated me out of the right to protect myself and my
viewers of how changing this situation is one of the Bush decisions Handgun
Control and Gore cited in attacking Bush as an extremist on gun laws, Jennings
moved ahead: "Suzanna Hupp's mother was also killed. Twenty-three people
died before the man killed himself. On that day in Killeen, Mrs. Hupp decided
that Texas' gun laws needed changing, and she worked to change them. In Texas
today, if you take a 15-hour course about the law and about conflict
resolution, and if you have a permit, you can carry a concealed firearm. There
are similar laws in 28 other states."
As if it signed itself
into law without any action by a Governor now running for President.
"Suzanna Hupp is a state representative now. Next weekend, when something
called the Million Mothers March [sic] for even tougher gun laws descends on
Washington, Suzanna Hupp will also be there to see that another point of view
Hupp: "To let the world at large know that
these, bless their hearts, well-intentioned but completely misguided women do
not represent American women."
"Today Representative Hupp carries a gun with her all the time. Can we
see it? No. She says she doesn't want to look like some kind of gun nut. She
and her husband Greg, who is a professor, teach their children that guns are
for adults. They have a child safety lock on every one they own, and owning
one, she says, is still her right."
Hupp: "It's a hunk of metal. And I will say
again, it merely depends on who is behind it."
Probably not a
viewpoint we'll hear a lot of as the media hype builds for this Sunday's
Million Mom March.
Future journalists are just as uninterested in doing their job as are current
ones, at least when it comes to exploring Gore's past fundraising activities.
So revealed a telling question and answer exchange on Friday's Washington Week
in Review. The May 5 edition of the PBS show originated from an auditorium at
Northeastern University in Boston.
The second half of the
show was devoted to questions from the audience. A woman stood up and asked:
"I'm Anna Crowley. I'm studying broadcast journalism. The Clinton
administration may have been one of the most investigated administration's in
our history, costing the taxpayers millions of dollars. If Gore is elected
will his alleged involvement in fundraising scandals play out in lengthy and
David Shribman, Washington Bureau Chief for the
Boston Globe, reassured her: "I think the answer will depend upon what
kind of Congress is elected. If Gore is elected with a Democratic Congress
it's exceedingly unlikely there will be a lot of investigations. With a
Republican Congress, far more likely. But I want to assure you, you may have
no taste for that, if you think we do we don't either. We're tired of it and I
think the public's tired of it, so I think the momentum is against that sort
Most reporters avoided
the subject before enough time had passed when they could employ the
"tired of it" excuse.
Speaking of lack of media interest in a Clinton scandal, Friday morning only
ABC's Good Morning America mentioned the Thursday testimony of Charles Ruff,
the highest ranking official yet to appear before a House committee to discuss
missing e-mail. As detailed in the May 5 CyberAlert, on Thursday night ABC,
CNN, CBS and NBC all skipped the hearing which led the May 4 Special Report
with Brit Hume on FNC.
Nothing appeared on
Friday's Today on NBC or The Early Show on CBS, but ABC's GMA surprisingly
picked up on the hearing. ABC's John Cochran reported during the 7am news
update: "While it's true that much of the country has been roaring about
the new Love Bug virus, this House committee on Capitol Hill was investigating
the disappearance of White House e-mails from years past, e-mails the
committee had subpoenaed. Testifying, two former White House counsels who
defended President Clinton during the impeachment crisis."
Charles Ruff, former White House counsel:
"Never, not once did anyone on my staff seek to conceal, delay production
of, or otherwise cover up any document production, whether it be electronic or
Cochran: "His former deputy Cheryl Mills said
she did not remember much about the e-mails and accused the committee of
Cheryl Mills, former White House lawyer:
"Nothing you discover today will feed one person, give shelter to someone
who is homeless, educate one child, provide health care for one family, or
justice to an African-American or Hispanic juvenile."
Cochran: "Committee Chairman Dan Burton was
Representative Dan Burton: "I hope whoever is
paying attention to this realizes we have a lot of people in the White House
that simply don't remember anything."
Cochran concluded: "Another Republican said that
although he voted against impeaching the President two years ago, he might
have voted differently if he'd been able to see those missing White House
Thirteen days after it happened, Tom Brokaw finally got around to telling
viewers, vaguely, about how an NBC video team was prevented from capturing on
tape the April 22 Elian raid. Just before the last ad break on the Friday, May
5 Nightly News, Brokaw announced:
"Another note tonight. The Commissioner of the
Immigration and Naturalization Service, Doris Meissner, has told NBC News
she's now ordered an independent review of how INS agents treated an NBC News
camera crew during the Elian Gonzalez raid. The NBC crew, making its way into
the Miami house as agents burst in, reported being struck and threatened by
the agents and prevented from doing their work. The agents deny that, thus
there will be an independent review."
Doesn't Brokaw believe
his own guys? Given the nearly two weeks it took him to report it he and NBC
aren't acting very upset by how their employees were denied the ability to
cover a live news event. Through Friday morning the plight of NBC camera man
Tony Zumbado and sound man Gustavo Moller had not yet been mentioned on Today.
In fact, the assault
on Zumbado and Moller has received little media attention. CBS did run a
soundbite from Zumbado, but only about what he saw of the raid, not what
occurred to him. He was interviewed live on MSNBC the day of the raid about
what INS agents did to him and he got a few seconds that night on a special
News with Brian Williams as well as on Dateline NBC the next night. As
detailed by Deroy Murdock in an April 28 piece for National Review Online:
"'We got Maced, we got kicked, we got roughed
up,' Cuban-born Zumbado told MSNBC. He said that as the incursion began,
federal agents kicked him in the stomach and yelled, 'Don't move or we'll
shoot.' Zumbado added on NBC's Dateline: 'My sound man got hit with a shotgun
butt on the head, dragged outside -- he was halfway in -- and he was dragged
out to the fence and left there and they told him if he moved they'd
To read Murdock's
piece, go to:
For the second night in a row, the CBS Evening News bemoaned Thursday night
how "for the second time this week," the Clinton administration
"is being accused of siding with big business" by not going far
enough in advocating more regulation. (Wednesday night, as noted in the May 4
CyberAlert, Dan Rather complained about how new FDA rules "still do not
call for mandatory labels on gene-altered foods.")
Friday night Dan
Rather again stressed how "the U.S. Transportation Department went ahead
today with new standards for airbags, allowing them to be less powerful. This
reduces the risk to children and small adults. Critics say the new airbags may
off less protection to other people and they accuse the Clinton White House of
caving in to the automobile industry on consumer safety." But the same
night NBC's Robert Hager led with how "Today's rule means air bags of the
future must be made safer for children, small women and the frail
Thursday night, May 4,
Rather hit the Clinton team from the left, highlighting an attack by liberals,
but he naturally did not accurately label them: "For the second time this
week, the Clinton White House is being accused of siding with big business on
an issue that could have wide implications for consumers. CBS News Chief White
House correspondent John Roberts reports the decision and whether it's a
Roberts explained how
a department of Transportation (DOT) decision to impose a 25 mph instead of a
30 mph air bag crash standard, has "some consumer group's claiming the
administration is caving to industry." After soundbites from a woman at
Consumer's Union and a DOT official, Roberts focused on the liberal view:
"To consumer advocates, this is just the latest
example of what they say is a pattern of White House capitulation to industry
on issues from new rules on genetically modified foods to less strict fuel
efficiency standards to oil development in Alaska and the Gulf of
Jane Claybrook, President, Public Citizen: "The
special interests and the lobbyists are in full bloom in Bill Clinton's
Washington and in his White House."
Roberts: "No administration is immune to special
interests, but the disappointment with the Clinton White House is that the
President said from the beginning that he would evict them."
After a clip of Larry Makinson of the Center for
Responsive Politics, who recalled how Clinton promised to remove the
stranglehold of lobbyists, Roberts concluded:
"The White House is being extremely defensive
about tomorrow's air bag announcement. The President's Chief of Staff told me
today that while plenty of decisions are made with political considerations in
mind, this was not one of them. However, the Department of Transport [sic] has
not ruled out making the standard more strict in the future if accident data
proves that it would save more lives."
The next night, Friday
May 5, the NBC Nightly News stressed instead how the new rules would add to
safety, but just like CBS had the previous night, misleadingly labeled a
liberal proponent of regulation as just an "auto safety advocate."
Tom Brokaw set up the
story: "Air bags, which were designed to save lives in cars are going
back to the drawing board after a series of fatalities. There are new rules
tonight the government says will make the cars of the future safer for you and
explained: "Today's rule means air bags of the future must be made safer
for children, small women and the frail elderly. Why, if they've saved about
5,500 lives in the decade they've been used? Because 158 others have been
killed by the force of the bags themselves, 92 of those children. While they
could be protected by sensors that would slow or stop a bag's deployment in
front of a small person. So now air bags of the future will be tested using
not only the traditional dummy representing an average-sized male, but also,
for the first time, a dummy representing a very small female as well as
dummies representing children age six, three and one to make sure the bags
don't do more harm than good. And some crash tests will be slowed to 25 miles
an hour, instead of the normal 30, so less powerful air bags can pass."
After running a
soundbite from a pleased mother, Hager countered: "But not everyone
agrees slowing down the crash test is wise. Auto safety advocate Joan
Joan Claybrook: "Fifty-five percent of the lives
saved by airbags to date have been in crashes over 25 miles an hour. So,
that's where the air bag is needed the most."
The May 5 edition of MediaNomics, from the MRC's Free Market Project (FMP), is
now online. The articles written by FMP Director Rich Noyes:
-- ABC News Sends
Leonardo DiCaprio to High School.
Despite all of the controversy that preceded it,
Planet Earth 2000 -- the ABC News special that dispatched actor-turned-
activist-turned-TV reporter Leonardo DiCaprio to interview President Clinton
-- was a ratings flop with teens only a minuscule 168,000 tuned in. No matter.
Since most kids wouldn't watch it on their own, ABC made it available to
teachers via Channel One, a classroom news service, on May 1. According to the
New York Times, 12,000 high school and middle schools would receive the
program. Here's a summary of what the program will teach teens.
-- Risky Business.
Texas Governor George W. Bush has yet to formally
announced his plan to reform the Social Security system, but journalists are
already voicing skepticism. Their argument that Bush plans to recklessly
gamble with citizens' retirement money was, perhaps coincidentally, also the
theme of Gore's attacks on the not-yet-released plan. "Risky ideas that
look good in good times don't look so good when times change," Gore told
NBC's Claire Shipman on May 1.
-- CBS's Ray Brady,
Always the Bear.
Longtime Economics Correspondent Ray Brady retired
Wednesday after 23 years at the CBS Evening News. During that time, inflation
has been tamed, unemployment has been reduced to record low levels, growth has
been robust and the stock market has soared. Yet as Americans' incomes, wealth
and standard of living steadily rose, Brady consistently tried to turn a good
economy into bad news.
To read these
articles, go to:
For a free e-mail
notification of the latest Free Market Project articles and special reports,
send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just type "subscribe" as the subject. Rich has surpassed 175
subscribers and if he can hit 200 this week he'll earn a CyberAlert decoder
-- Finally, the MRC
Web department was a bit shorthanded Friday and Eric Pairel did not get to the
posting of the Chevy Chase video in RealPlayer format as promised in Friday's
CyberAlert. He should get to it Monday morning. Check the MRC home page to see
and hear Chase declare that "sometimes socialism works" to get
people out of poverty. On Earth Day he also insisted that free markets and
socialism can work together and "I think Cuba might prove that." --