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CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
| Monday April 2, 2001 (Vol. Six; No. 54) |
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McCain’s "Monumental" Triumph; ABC Mocked Bush’s "Energy Crisis" Then Used Same Term; Bill Maher: Bush "a Lying Sack of..."

1) In the stupidest question of the Sunday talk interview shows, on Fox News Sunday the Washington Post’s Ceci Connolly equated the overseas abortion counseling "gag rule" with the free speech impediments imposed by McCain-Feingold. In a Freudian slip NBC’s Tim Russert asked John McCain about his "fellow Democrat."

2) Margaret Carlson offered John McCain "congratulations" and Al Hunt trumpeted how "McCain and Feingold deserve enormous credit" for "a rare, monumental legislative achievement." Hunt also characterized the National Right to Life Committee as the "biggest hypocrites around."

3) NPR’s Nina Totenberg conceded that a friend turned to her for advice as to which liberal environmental group she should donate $1,000 to fight Bush’s policies.

4) ABC mocked Bush’s use of the term "energy crisis" only to use it the next night to plug a story. On Thursday night Terry Moran scolded Bush for referring to an "energy crisis" since "there are no gas lines and the price of crude oil is actually declining." The very next night, Charles Gibson promised: "When we come back, America’s energy crisis. Gas prices are soaring..."

5) ABC’s Bill Maher denigrated President Bush, whom he has dubbed "Drinking McDumb Ass" as a "lying bag of manure after what he did today with the Kyoto protocol." Maher hurled another insult: "I mean, he never ceases to disappoint me in what a lying sack of shit he is."

6) Actress Janine Turner, star of Lifetime’s Strong Medicine, proclaimed: "I’m a Texan and a Republican." She hopes to "be of service" to President Bush.

7) Letterman’s "Top Ten Other Ways Mayor Giuliani is Cleaning Up New York."


     >>> April Fools warning: The April 1 edition of Notable Quotables sent to CyberAlert subscribers on Sunday was indeed an "April Fools Edition" as it was so labeled. We made up the quotes and hope they gave you a good chuckle. Those writing the all too believable quotes in addition to myself: Brent Bozell, Rich Noyes, Geoffrey Dickens, Jessica Anderson, Liz Swasey, Brian Boyd, Brad Wilmouth, Ken Shepherd and Tim Graham. <<<

1
Stupidest question of the Sunday talk interview shows as a Washington Post reporter equated the overseas abortion counseling "gag rule" with the free speech impediments imposed by McCain-Feingold and in a Freudian slip NBC’s Tim Russert asked John McCain about his "fellow Democrat."

     -- On Fox News Sunday, Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly adopted liberal spin in referring to the "gag rule" as she tried to get Senator Mitch McConnell to concede an inconsistency in his reasoning: "Senator, may I ask you a consistency question? You’ve been speaking a lot about the First Amendment, something everyone on this panel’s going to agree with you on and that this is a free speech issue. But your party and President Bush have also returned to the gag rule with respect to abortion counseling overseas. Is that not a similar free speech issue?"
     McConnell tried to set her straight: "I don’t think so. I think it’s apples and oranges. That’s a question of whether you want to use tax dollars, American tax dollars, to provide abortion counseling overseas. I don’t see a First Amendment issue in that."

     -- Tim Russert to Senator John McCain on Meet the Press as he read from a Washington Post story [ellipses as shown on screen]: "There’s a lot of concern amongst Democrats in the House now that the bill is coming their way. They had supported the bill in the past because they always knew it wouldn’t become law. Let me show you a comment from Martin Frost, Chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the House: ‘What we are doing is destroying the party system in America....The political parties will be neutered, and third-party groups would run the show.’ What do you say to your fellow, uh, well not fellow Democrat, a Democrat, Martin Frost?"

     Later in the segment Russert relayed a Zogby/Reuters poll finding which showed he’s not alone in confusing McCain with a Democrat. The survey question: "In the event of a dispute between Bush and McCain, who would you say is more likely to represent your views?" Amongst Democrats, 69 percent said McCain, just 17 percent named Bush. But with Republicans, while 72 percent answered Bush, only 21 percent named McCain.

     That result prompted Russert to wonder: "Senator, are you in the wrong party?"

2

CNN Capital Gang’s liberals, Margaret Carlson and Al Hunt, cheered McCain’s impending success in campaign finance "reform." Carlson offered McCain "congratulations" for winning against the odds and Hunt trumpeted how "McCain and Feingold deserve enormous credit" for "a rare, monumental legislative achievement." Hunt also characterized the National Right to Life Committee as the "biggest hypocrites around."

     On the March 31 edition of the CNN show, Time columnist and reporter Margaret Carlson told Democratic Senator John Edwards, the guest panelist: "Congratulations to Tom Daschle and to John McCain, said not to be a legislator, a maverick that couldn’t get along with his colleagues. He took the most difficult change, that might be political suicide for some of your colleagues, and got it through."

     Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt chimed in with his admiration: "I think that McCain and Feingold deserve enormous credit. This is a rare, monumental legislative achievement. I think there are other people, including our guest who I think was very involved in this, the lobbyists like Fred Wertheimer who’s been at this for 15 years, but there was one person who was absolutely critical to success, it was Thad Cochran. When they got a conservative Republican from Mississippi that assured. And the biggest hypocrites around are the National Right to Life, who just assailed John McCain last year, with a pro-life voting record, for campaign finance reform. They brought up a mischievous amendment. Bob Smith, Rick Santorum voted for it. That would take Right to Life out of every campaign and it aint going to be done because they care more about money.

     Not sure I follow his attack on the National Right to Life Committee, but that’s what he said.

3

When someone is enraged by a conservative policy decision, to whom do they turn for advice on which left wing group they should help financially to fight back? National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg, as she recounted on Inside Washington over the weekend.

     During a discussion about the political wiseness of President Bush’s decisions on Kyoto and arsenic in water, Totenberg volunteered: "I had somebody call me up this week, a business person, I never had any idea she has any interest in the environment whatsoever and she said ‘who do I give a thousand bucks to, what environmental organization do I give a thousand bucks to?’ I mean, it’s sort of, it’s striking, the enviro groups ought to be raking it in hand over fist at the moment."

     Thanks to distorted reporting on Kyoto and the arsenic standard I’m sure they already are.

4

ABC mocked Bush’s use of the term "energy crisis" only to employ it the next night to plug a story. On Thursday’s World News Tonight White House reporter Terry Moran scolded President Bush for using the term "energy crisis," arguing that since "there are no gas lines and the price of crude oil is actually declining," he only engaged the term "in order to sell his energy agenda." The very next night, fill-in anchor Charles Gibson plugged an upcoming story: "When we come back, America’s energy crisis. Gas prices are soaring and they’ll get even worse this summer."

     The MRC’s Rich Noyes alerted me to ABC’s inconsistency. As reported in the March 30 CyberAlert, this exchange about Bush’s press conference earlier in the day took place on the March 29 World News Tonight:

     Anchor Elizabeth Vargas: "Terry, some were surprised to hear President Bush say he thinks we’re in the midst of an energy crisis."
     Moran: "He did Elizabeth. Just as President Bush used what he called the sputtering economy, what some people called talking down the economy as a way to sell his tax cut, he is now saying that the country is in an energy crisis even though there are no gas lines and the price of crude oil is actually declining, in order to sell his energy agenda, most particularly the controversial proposal to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It is something that critics say he’s exaggerating."

     Exactly 24 hours later, the March 30 World News Tonight featured this plug from anchor Charles Gibson: "When we come back, America’s energy crisis. Gas prices are soaring and they’ll get even worse this summer."

     The real "crisis" is a crisis of consistency at ABC News.

5

Bill Maher, host of ABC’s very politically correct Politically Incorrect, once again went over the line on this post-Nightline show in hurling derogatory insults. He denounced President Bush as a "lying bag of manure after what he did today with the Kyoto protocol," before adding: "I mean, he never ceases to disappoint me in what a lying sack of [bleep] he is." Though bleeped by ABC, any viewer could easily tell the bleeped word was "shit."

     Prompted by an e-mailed tip, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson found how Maher opened the Thursday night, March 29, program:

     Maher: "Well, listen, I certainly had planned to talk about the Internet, and I want to do that, however, a brief apology. Last week I called George Bush a bad name. I compared him to a bag of manure -- I did. I said the only difference between George Bush and a bag of manure is the bag."
     Bill Engvall, comedian: "I’m still trying to figure out what the bad name was."
     Maher: "I’m sorry, I should have said that he’s a lying bag of manure after what he did today with the Kyoto protocol and global warming. This guy, okay, we don’t have to talk about it, but I just had to get it off my chest. I mean, he never ceases to disappoint me in what a lying sack of [bleep] shit he is."
     Steven Weber, star of the NBC sit-com The Weber Show: "But during the election, what was your -- my favorite name for him was one that you coined, which was Drinky McDumb Ass."
     Maher:: "Thank you very much."
     Weber: "It was fantastic."
     Maher: "Drinking McDumb Ass, yes, alright."
     Engvall: "Feel better now?"
     Maher: "I do. I got that off my chest -- while I can still breathe."

     Sounds like he’s a "Bush hater." Will we soon be hearing journalists dismiss such attacks on Bush as coming from "Bush haters" as they tried to undermine the credibility of Clinton’s opponents by tagging them as "Clinton haters"?

     Maher’s disdain for Bush hasn’t been contained to his ABC forum. MRC accountant Cheryl Michener, who serves as our celebrity magazine analyst, noticed that a March 19 People magazine "Chatter" column asked Maher and several others to name the "luxury item" they’d take with them if they were one of the contestants on CBS’s Survivor. Maher’s reply: "A calendar, so I’d know when the Bush administration is over and it’s safe to come back."

     Thursday’s Politically Incorrect wasn’t the first time Maher had abused his position and gone over the line. Back on November 30 he told this "joke" about murdering someone he dislikes:
     "Now earlier today, a rental truck carried a half a million ballots from Palm Beach to the Florida Supreme Court there in Tallahassee. CNN had live helicopter coverage from the truck making its way up the Florida highway, and for a few brief moments, America held the hope that O.J. Simpson had murdered Katherine Harris."

     To watch a video clip of Maher telling it, go to: http://www.mrc.org/news/reality/2000/Fax20001201qt.html

     A few months later Maher boasted that he was "proud" of that "joke" since it "hurt" Katherine Harris. The February 8 CyberAlert reported:

During a January 11 Prime Time Thursday interview, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris told ABC’s Diane Sawyer: "Perhaps the most difficult moment was when one person said they were disappointed the Ryder truck, that everyone was watching on TV, that O.J. Simpson hadn’t murdered me, or something like that." Sawyer then played a partial clip of Maher’s joke: "And for a few brief moments, America held the hope that O.J. Simpson had murdered Katherine Harris." Harris commented: "That was not pleasant."

Now to CNN last Friday night [February 2]. Wolf Blitzer asked Maher [on Wolf Blitzer Reports]: "Is it ever, do you ever go too far in your jokes on Politically Incorrect and you say to yourself: 'Well, maybe I pushed the envelop a little bit too much?'"

Maher replied: "Yes. But, you know, that's what being on the edge means. Unless you fall off a little once in a while, how do you know where the edge is? I don't know if you're referring to, I saw Katherine Harris on some, I think it was an ABC show a couple of weeks ago, complaining that what hurt her most about the whole ordeal that she went through, never mind that most of it was self-inflicted, was a joke that we did here. And I must say I was proud."
Blitzer: "What was that joke?"
Maher: "Well, it was something to do with when that Ryder truck, remember, was going up the highway to Tallahassee, and it was like the slow speed chase that we watched a few years ago with you-know-who."
Blitzer: "With O.J."
Maher: "Yeah. And it was something along the lines of hoping O.J. was gonna kill her."
Blitzer: "Oh, well, that sounds pretty rough."
Maher: "Well, Wolf, if you'd like me to come over there and hold your hand, I can. You'll get over it."

     END CyberAlert Excerpt

6

Bill Maher tapes his ABC show at CBS Television City in Hollywood, but not all in the Hollywood community are "Bush haters." An item in the "Who’s Who" column by Lorrie Lynch in this past weekend’s (March 30-April 1) edition of Gannett’s USA Weekend newspaper supplement highlighted how one current cable TV series star is a proud Republican, though there was no hint of whether she’s conservative.

     Answering a question about whatever happened to Janine Turner, star of CBS’s no longer airing Northern Exposure series, Lynch explained that the 37-year-old actress is now starring as a doctor in Lifetime’s Strong Medicine and lives with her three-year-old daughter on a ranch in Texas. Lynch then outlined her political affiliation:
     "She flew to Washington for inauguration activities and tells us she went to all the balls: ‘I loved it. I’m a Texan and a Republican. I met with President Bush, when he was Governor, about children’s issues. I’m hoping I can be of service.’"

     Northern Exposure, the series about odd characters in an Alaskan town in which Turner played the part of a pilot, is re-run on A&E weekdays at 8am and 2pm EDT. Her new series, Strong Medicine, airs at 8pm Sunday EDT/PDT and 12am midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning EDT/PDT. To see if you recognize Janine Turner in a photo, go to:
http://www.lifetimetv.com/shows/strongmedicine/index.html

     She’s the one on the right.

     I don’t recall ever seeing Turner on Politically Incorrect. Now I know why.

7

From the March 30 Late Show with David Letterman, inspired by New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to get rid of porno video stores, the "Top Ten Other Ways Mayor Giuliani is Cleaning Up New York." Copyright 2001 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.

10. Fake Rolex salesmen must offer fake warranty information
9. New rule for cabbies: driving naps should not exceed 15 minutes
8. Only 7 Starbucks per block
7. Hire Martha Stewart to "spruce up" local crack dens
6. Getting rats out of subway and putting them back in the restaurants where they belong
5. Change meaning of middle finger gesture to "lookin' good, friend"
4. Shine Bat Signal into night sky; when Batman shows up, hand the sum'bitch a mop
3. All drive-by gunmen must carpool
2. If Yankees win the World Series again they can clean up the damn ticker tape themselves
1. Forming task force to get Clinton to move his ass to New Jersey

     New Jersey already has enough problems. -- Brent Baker


 

 


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