Vulgarity Unveiled; Disbarment Too Tough; Innocent Elian Move; Limbaugh = Rocker
1) The New York Daily News,
Washington Post and Fox News Sunday all picked up on the vulgarity employed by
Robin Williams during his comedy routine at the big Democratic fundraiser.
2) Disbarment would be too tough a
punishment for Bill Clinton, argued Eleanor Clift, since his lie "was
irrelevant to a case that was eventually thrown out."
3) The networks displayed no
skepticism about why Elian was moved to Washington, DC, where he is more
accessible to Cuban operatives. ABC, CBS and NBC cited convenience for his
father’s lawyer and his father’s "boredom" at Wye River.
4) "If Al Michaels gets Rush
Limbaugh, maybe, someday, Jon Miller could be lucky enough to team up with
John Rocker," a Washington Post columnist remarked about the Monday Night
Football analyst slot. A colleague suggested Limbaugh is a racist worth
5) Latest edition of Notable
Quotables, including "Million Mom Media March" and "Lazio:
Already Being Scolded."
vulgarity of comedian Robin Williams at last Wednesday’s big Democratic
fundraiser featuring Bill Clinton and Al Gore, quoted at length in the May
26 CyberAlert, was noticed on Friday in New York Daily News and Washington
Post gossip columns, as well as during the roundtable segment on FNC’s
Special Report with Brit Hume, and two days later by Fox News Sunday.
Robin" announced the headline over a May 26 Daily News item in the
Rush & Molloy column:
"Robin Williams had White House aides doing damage
control after his deep-blue routine at Wednesday night's Democratic Party
fundraiser in D.C.
"Clinton spinmeisters assured the event's
straighter fat cats that the Prez had no advance knowledge that the comic
would ape masturbation and let fly with enough expletives to cover all the
bathroom walls in Washington's MCI Center.
"All the same, jeans-clad President Clinton and
Vice President Gore roared with laughter."
-- Lloyd Grove picked up
on complaints in his Washington Post "Reliable Source" column:
"Not everyone appreciated Robin Williams's humor
at Wednesday night's $26.5 million Democratic National Committee
fundraiser in honor of President Clinton. Some folks were offended by the
comic's repeated use of dirty words -- none of which we can print here --
and his off-color jokes on such topics as drug use, masturbation and
bodily noises. Williams did own up to his potty-mouth ways. ‘Whoa,
there's a child in the front row. He's learning new words,’ he joked
during his act before 12,000 at MCI Center. But the bad words kept coming.
"‘As a tribute to the President, it just looked
appalling,’ said Bill Irvin, a 46-year-old marketing rep from Woodbridge
who caught Williams on C-SPAN and was so dismayed that he called us.
Irvin, who voted for Clinton in 1992 but not in '96, added: ‘I like
Robin Williams, but I thought this was grotesque. The Democrats have got
to be embarrassed by this. I'm just your boring regular average Joe. I'm
not Pat Robertson, but this seemed to be overboard.’"
"Meanwhile, Republican National Committee press
secretary Mike Collins told us yesterday: ‘It's no surprise that a
9-year-old kid who goes to see Al Gore and Bill Clinton would be exposed
to that kind of language. What we need is a President with the kind of
dignity that no entertainer would use that talk in his presence.’"
-- Of the broadcast
network Sunday interview shows, only Fox News Sunday raised the language
used by Williams. In the roundtable segment, host Tony Snow brought it up:
"Let me raise one other issue. A lot of what goes on in fundraising
behind the scenes people don’t see. Well, one of the things a lot people
haven’t seen is some of the entertainment from this week’s fundraiser.
We’ll take a really short snippet of Robin Williams and his shtick in
front of the group. Let’s take a really quick look."
Viewers then saw about
15 seconds of clips from Williams, with all the key words bleeped out.
Panelist Fred Barnes followed up: "I don’t think that enhances the
Democratic Party’s image unless it wants to be known as the permissive
For an unedited and
unbleeped text excerpt of what Williams said Wednesday, see the May 26
+++ Get a flavor of
Williams for yourself. Late Wednesday morning MRC Webmaster Andy Szul will
post, on the MRC home page, a RealPlayer clip of the sanitized Williams as
briefly shown on Fox News Sunday.
Eleanor Clift, no surprise, thinks disbarment would be overkill for Bill
Clinton’s harmless offense. In a discussion, on the McLaughlin Group
aired over the Memorial Day weekend, about the Arkansas Supreme Court
committee’s recommendation that Clinton be disbarred, host John
McLaughlin asked panelists to assess if the "punishment fits the
crime" on a "scale of zero to ten, zero meaning disbarment does
not fit Clinton at all, too tough, ten meaning it fits perfectly, how
fitting is disbarment for Clinton’s offense?"
After economist Lawrence
Kudlow maintained it earned a "ten," Clift argued: "It’s
a 1.5 and this was a so-called lie that didn’t harm anybody, that was
irrelevant to a case that was eventually thrown out and does not go to his
responsibility as a lawyer."
networks displayed an utter lack of skepticism late last week about the
motives behind Elian's move from the Wye River Plantation to a house in
the District of Columbia near the Cuban Interest Section.
At Wye River Elian was
outside the 25 mile travel zone to which Cuban operatives are limited
without obtaining special permission from the State Department, but in
Washington’s Cleveland Park neighborhood Cuban officials can drop by
anytime. But the thought of anything nefarious escaped ABC, CBS and NBC on
-- ABC's Good Morning
America, as observed by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson. News reader Antonio
Mora passed along: "In Washington, Elian and his family are settling
into their new home. They moved there from a Maryland estate late
yesterday. The lawyer for Elian's father says the move will make it easier
for him to consult with the family."
-- CBS’s The Early
Show. News reader Julie Chen relayed: "Elian and his family have
moved to a new home in Washington DC. The family arrived at their new
house Thursday. It's located not far from Vice President Al Gore's
residence. The family moved from their quarters in Maryland so that
Elian's father can be closer to his lawyers."
-- NBC’s Today, as
noted by MRC analyst Paul Smith. NBC News reporter Campbell Brown in a
full story on the move: "Those close to the family say the reason for
the move, boredom. Their new home is within walking distance of movies,
shops, and restaurants and just a few blocks from the home of Greg Craig,
Elian's father's attorney."
Who is more of a threat
to Elian’s freedom: Greg Craig or Cuban "diplomats"? Close
potential naming of Rush Limbaugh as a studio analyst for ABC's Monday
Night Football is not sitting well with the sports writers at the liberal
Washington Post, who have resorted to some mean-spirited name-association
and name-calling to discredit him, the MRC’s Tim Graham observed. A
white columnist compared him with John Rocker and a black columnist
ominously warned: "His views on people like me are well documented
and I would find it insulting and hypocritical to watch him do the
In a Wednesday, May 24
piece, columnist Thomas Boswell, who is widely syndicated, lamented the
Limbaugh tryout by comparing Limbaugh to racially-tinged, trash-talking
pitcher John Rocker:
"This week, our trend toward the
celebrity-as-universal-expert may have reached a comic peak. ABC thinks
maybe Rush Limbaugh can become the next Howard Cosell. The nation's most
listened-to radio talk show host has auditioned to be color commentator on
Monday Night Football. Maybe ABC heard Rush was a ‘shock jock,’ a kind
of right-wing Howard Stern, and mistook that for a sports term.
"Granted, Limbaugh is obnoxious and never forgets
that promoting himself is the real subject of discussion. Shades of the
late Howard? Rush even appeals to the right demographic: divorced,
couch-potato, gun-worshiping, angry white guys. Sorry, I mean patriotic
American males ages 25 to 34. But Limbaugh has never broadcast a game at
"If Limbaugh doesn't quite work out, ABC could
always look in-house at another Disney owned-network: ESPN. Could
baseball's game of the week use another voice in the booth? If Al Michaels
gets Rush Limbaugh, maybe, someday, Jon Miller could be lucky enough to
team up with John Rocker."
Then in Friday's weekly
washingtonpost.com chat session with sports writers Tony Kornheiser and
Michael Wilbon, a question arose from Bowie, Maryland: "What do you
guys think of Rush Limbaugh being in the MNF booth? Could he pull this
off? Or would he be a distraction from the game?"
Kornheiser, who also
hosts a daily ESPN Radio talk show, replied: "I think Rush is a
terrific broadcaster and I suspect he could be terrific on Monday Night
Football. He certainly knows sports. I don't share his politics even
slightly and there may be many people in the country who would be offended
by his presence in the booth. I am told, for example, by both Wilbon and
David DuPree of USA Today, who are both black, that Limbaugh is anathema
to blacks and that black people would not watch him. I suspect you'd want
to talk to Wilbon about that and hear his views...but he's in traffic. I
don't have the same visceral reaction to Limbaugh, but I respect my
friends who do."
Wilbon, who is black, a
fact which you need to know to understand his attack on Limbaugh, then
logged on. He called Limbaugh a racist and suggested a boycott would be
appropriate if Limbaugh were picked: "I have attended or watched all
but about 5 or 6 MNF games in 30 years. If Rush Limbaugh is put in that
booth, I will NOT listen to the broadcast. His views on people like me are
well documented and I would find it insulting and hypocritical to watch
him do the broadcast. And I'm sure, absolutely certain, there are tens of
thousands, probably hundreds of thousands who feel the same way I
Wilbon did not list any
examples of Rush's racist remarks, Tim Graham noted. Tim also passed along
the link for the full transcript of the chat session:
I catch-up from the holiday weekend, I thought I’d offer the benefit of
an e-mailed version of the entire text of the latest edition of Notable
Quotables, the MRC’s bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous,
sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media.
Thanks to the MRC’s
Kristina Sewell and Andy Szul, you can also read the May 29 edition
online. Go to:
Click on the PDF icon to see the two-page
newsletter as it appears in hard copy. You’ll need to have Adobe’s
"Acrobat Reader," which you download via a link on the side of
the NQ page, installed on your computer. If you print out the PDF version
on light blue paper, you’ll actually have a better than real copy this
time since our commercial printing company inexplicably decided to use the
wrong font in printing this issue.
All but one of these
quotes has already appeared in previous CyberAlerts, but NQ does present a
nice package of all the worst bias of two weeks compacted into two
Here’s the May 29 NQ,
Lazio: Already Being Scolded
"Have we seen the tenor of what this
campaign is going to be, because he [Rick Lazio] came out with all barrels
firing yesterday when he accused her, he said she’s no more a New
Democrat than she is a New Yorker. Is this what this campaign’s going to
-- Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer to New York Governor George Pataki,
"The Daily News today has a quotation
from one of yours, here it is, a fundraising letter of yours: ‘We cannot
allow Hillary Clinton and her friends to destroy everything we worked so
hard for.’ Is this going to be a nasty campaign against Hillary
-- ABC’s Cokie Roberts to Pataki, May 21 This Week.
"Mr. Lazio presents himself as a
moderate, and he has that reputation chiefly because he’s pro-choice,
but he voted with the Gingrich Congress to shut down the government. He
voted, I believe, to abolish the Department of Education. So she could tie
him to the Republicans in Washington in a way that she couldn’t tie Rudy
-- Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, May 20.
If They Can Fake It, We’ll Sell It
Tom Brokaw: "NBC News ‘In Depth’
tonight. Together again, Bill and Hillary Clinton, the picture of harmony
last night as the First Lady was officially nominated to run for the U.S.
Senate from New York..."
Andrea Mitchell: "....Even long-time political associates concede it
is an amazing story of political re-invention. The ultimate power couple.
The first First Lady to run for office and the President who cancels two
Washington fundraisers at the last minute to be with her....Critics may
call it a power trip, but the bottom line, friends say, is that this
couple has banded together once again, politically and emotionally."
-- May 17 NBC Nightly News.
More Reporters, More Bias
"Handgun Control. There are 200
million guns in this country and common sense leads you down to the path
irrevocably of deciding that more guns, more violence."
-- Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren answering the
question "Which side has the more defensible position on guns, the
NRA or Handgun Control Inc.?" on the May 20 McLaughlin Group.
Million Mom Media March
"I’ve got here a pile of all the gun
legislation that’s been proposed in the past year since we were here
before. None of it has passed. By my count, we have more states rejecting
new gun control legislation than have passed it. We have 15 states that
have passed prohibitions on cities suing gun manufacturers. That hardly
seems like progress."
-- ABC’s Charles Gibson to President Clinton during a May 12 Good
Morning America town meeting promoting the Million Mom March.
"Why are you only focusing on
licensing and registration? Why aren’t you going for more than that? Why
aren’t you going, for example, for a total ban?"
-- CBS’s Bryant Gumbel to march organizer Gail Powers of California, May
12 The Early Show.
"Following the tragedy in your
country, you were able to get a total ban on all handguns. How’d you do
-- Gumbel to a woman whose daughter was killed in the Dunblane, Scotland
shooting, May 12 The Early Show.
"The Million Mom Marcher’s platform
is admittedly moderate. Do you think it’s too moderate, that it
doesn’t go far enough? They will be the first to say we don’t want to
come into your home and remove your guns, we want sensible gun laws."
-- NBC’s Soledad O’Brien to Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen
Kennedy Townsend, May 14 MSNBC coverage of the march.
"Who are we? We are the mothers of
America. We are the people who ate protein during our
pregnancies....Don’t dare tell us that we don’t have the right to keep
those children safe. We are the people who put latches on the kitchen
cabinets, baby gates on the stairs, car seats in the back of a
minivan....Don’t dare tell us that we don’t have the right to keep our
children safe. But that is exactly what we’ve been told every time
common sense gun legislation has been defeated by the Congress of the
-- Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen speaking from the podium at the march
shown by C-SPAN, May 14.
"Yesterday’s turnout was impressive
by any standard and we may look back on this one as one of those
demonstrations that led to real change. The crowd was estimated between
half and three quarters of a million people, far beyond anyone’s
-- Bob Schieffer, May 15 CBS Evening News.
Nice Spin of the Wheelchair
Dan Rather: "On the face of it, it
might not seem very fair, a mismatch to say the least: a man who made a
name for himself pretending to punch out opponents taking on the
Bob Schieffer: "Well, Dan, you had to wonder why rich, popular movie
star Clint Eastwood would be at the Capitol today taking sides against
people in wheelchairs. But there he was, in a hearing room crowded with
-- Start of May 18 CBS Evening News story on the hotel-owning actor
testifying about lawyer-induced harassment lawsuits under the Americans
with Disabilities Act.
Less Sex, More Liberal Uplift
Matt Lauer to historian Doris Kearns
Goodwin: "You talk about the loss of opportunity which frustrates
Bill Clinton and also must frustrate the American people. So will the
lesson that will be learned out of all this, Doris, be that maybe we go
back to a time where we give less scrutiny to a President’s personal
life, back to the Kennedy and Eisenhower and Roosevelt years?"
Goodwin: "....I hope that the media does go back to that earlier
standard. I don’t want to talk about this. None of us do. Think about
how much more exciting it would be if we were talking about civil rights,
education, health care..."
Lauer: "Yeah, but I hope you’re right. I hope that the American
people would find it more exciting to talk about health care and Social
Security and not about these personal peccadilloes."
-- May 23 Today.
CBS’s Anecdotal Advocacy
CBS reporter John Roberts: "Rita
Butler is just the sort of person a new study shows gets hit most often by
the high cost of prescription drugs: older women above the poverty level
who pay more for drugs than any other group."
Butler: "America is the only country that is mean to their senior
citizens where medicine is concerned."
Roberts: "But for Rita and 15 million other seniors without
prescription drug coverage, relief may finally be on the way."
Bill Clinton: "There is absolutely no reason that we should force
seniors to make a choice between their health, their food, or their daily
Roberts: "The Democratic bill, introduced in the Senate today, puts
in motion the first attempt to add prescription benefits to Medicare.
Republicans recently announced that they too would pursue a drug plan for
-- CBS Evening News, May 10.
Blessed with Ridiculous Enemies
"There is luck, there is good luck,
and there is the luck of the Clintons. And we know they are lucky because
no first couple in history has been as blessed by their enemies as the
Clintons have. President Clinton went through an agonizing period of
scandal and impeachment in which the public was forced to choose between
him, Ken Starr, Newt Gingrich, and the House prosecutors. No wonder
Clinton's popularity soared."
-- U.S. News political reporter Roger Simon on Giuliani’s infidelity,
May 22 issue.
Jamie’s 11-Minute Valentine
"Ask almost anyone in Washington
who’d they call if they needed a lawyer who was smart, politically
connected and discreet and you’d get one name: Greg Craig....Craig is
also known for his passion. Friends describe him as an idealist who wears
his heart on his sleeve....Craig’s professionalism has also earned him
the respect of his fiercest opponents....And in the Elian case Craig is
credited with an amazing political balancing act: Working the Justice
Department, working the legal system, even working Fidel Castro. Craig has
also showed remarkable media savvy when within hours of these photos
appearing [raid pictures including gun pointed at Elian] he released these
photos [snapshots of Elian and father]. All of which, in this town, earns
you the reputation of Washington Super Lawyer. If you need the impossible,
call Greg Craig."
-- NBC reporter Jamie Gangel, May 10 Today.
If PBS Doesn’t Do It, Who Will?
Linda Chavez, Center for Equal Opportunity:
"If you’re someone like me, who lives out in a rural area – if
someone breaks into my house and wants to murder or rape me or steal all
of my property, it’ll take half an hour for a policeman to get to
me....Thousands of lives are saved by people being able to protect
Bonnie Erbe, host and former NBC Radio/Mutual reporter: "And if you
look at the statistics, I would bet that you have a greater chance of
being struck by lightning, Linda, than living where you live, and at your
age, being raped. Sorry."
-- PBS’s To the Contrary, May 13.
"I know and accept your insecurities.
And I expect insecure people and especially conservatives to lie and play
games....I suggest you get into therapy, otherwise you’re going to
continue to be miserable and in denial the rest of your life."
-- E-mail from Erbe to Chavez after Chavez quit the show, as reported in
the May 23 Washington Post by Howard Kurtz (ellipses in Post).
Publisher: L. Brent Bozell
Editors: Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham
Media Analysts: Jessica Anderson, Brian Boyd, Geoffrey Dickens, Ted
King, Paul Smith, Brad Wilmouth
Research Associate: Kristina Sewell
Communications Director: Liz Swasey
Circulation Manager: Kelly Dwyer
Intern: Ken Shepherd, Michael Ferguson
END Notable Quotables
For past issues of NQ
from this year, go to:
-- Brent Baker