"Arrogant" Bush at Fault on China; Nets Focused on Harm of Budget Cuts; "Slaughterhouses Over Schoolchildren"; Whoopi for Tax Cut
1) CBS’s Barry Petersen blamed Bush’s policies and
words for prolonging the situation as the Chinese "military is
especially angry with tough-talking policies from the Bush
administration," including "the U.S. abandoning a policy of
partnership." Petersen featured a Chinese expert who maintained that
if Bush’s first words were not a "demand," the U.S. personnel
would be home.
2) Newsweek’s Howard Fineman asserted on Monday’s
Today that "there was some criticism early on in the first day or
two" of the China situation that Bush "was too much the Texas
3) The broadcast networks all focused on the supposed pain
caused by Bush’s budget cuts. ABC’s Linda Douglass highlighted
"the cuts in children’s health, cuts in health care for the
poor." CBS’s Bob Schieffer labeled the $2 trillion budget
"really spare." Dan Rather complained: "Bush is warning of
a looming energy crisis, but at the same time his budget would slash more
than $200 million from solar and other alternative energy programs."
4) "What happened to the compassion that was supposed
to go with Bush's conservatism?" a bewildered Margaret Carlson
wondered in Time magazine. "No one thought his team would choose
slaughterhouses over schoolchildren."
5) Sam Donaldson came at George Stephanopoulos from the
left on CNN, demanding: "Do you then now believe that the Holocaust
survivors in West Palm Beach, who voted apparently for Pat Buchanan,
really meant to?"
6) Left wing actress Whoopi Goldberg now all for Bush’s
tax cut: "This may be all Bush is really good for for me. I want some
money back. I would like a little bit of it....I think it’s okay to say
it’s alright to get some money back. I don’t think that’s a bad
thing. I don’t think that’s Republican or Democratic."
insisting upon blaming President Bush for prolonging the spy plane hostage
situation. This time it’s the fault not only of his "arrogant"
words but of changing Clinton’s policies.
Last Thursday, as detailed in the April 9
CyberAlert, reporter Barry Petersen claimed China was about to end the
situation when Bush demanded the plane and personnel be returned, thus
offending the Chinese.
On Monday night Petersen warned that "the
military is especially angry with tough-talking policies from the Bush
administration," including "the U.S. abandoning a policy of
partnership" and looking at selling weapons to Taiwan. Petersen
featured "a well-placed director of a prestigious Beijing think
tank" who maintained that if Bush’s first words were not a
"demand," the military personnel would be home already.
Petersen opened his piece from Beijing by
explaining how the military in China makes or breaks politicians and
"the military is especially angry with tough-talking policies from
the Bush administration. For instance, the U.S. abandoning a policy of
partnership, now calling China strategic competitor, the U.S. backing off
efforts to bring North Korea out of isolation; and worst of all, the U.S.
thinking of selling Taiwan advanced weapons. And hurting the process at
the outset, some here say, the President’s first words a week ago were a
Bush on April 2: "The prompt and safe return
of the crew."
Petersen: "So even Secretary of State
Powell’s statement over the weekend which seemed designed to satisfy
China’s demand for an apology-"
Powell on Face the Nation: "-and we’re
sorry that that happened-"
Petersen: "-may be too little too late, says
a well-placed director of a prestigious Beijing think tank."
Yan Xue Tong, Qinghua University: "If at the
very beginning Powell said this, said the same wording before Bush jumped
out to give that kind of arrogant statement, I think that the problem may
already be solved."
Petersen: "So the Americans would be home by
Yan Xue Tong: "Quite possible."
Petersen snidely concluded: "And watching
America’s frustration about getting its crew back, the hard-liners may
well be saying ‘it’s payback time.’"
A bit later in the show Dan Rather did include
a conservative viewpoint by playing clips of his interview with
Congressman Henry Hyde about the situation.
"since then I think most critics would say that the administration
has done a fairly good job," Newsweek’s Howard Fineman asserted on
Monday’s Today that "there was some criticism early on in the first
day or two that he was too much the Texas gunslinger."
On the April 9 Today, MRC analyst Geoffrey
Dickens noticed, Fineman of Newsweek’s Washington bureau told NBC’s
"This would be a very tough test for even
the most experienced and knowledgeable President in foreign policy. But
for President Bush this is like taking final exams on the first day of
classes. There is no tougher dilemma to deal with. The Chinese have the
plane, they have the Americans and George Bush has to maneuver very, very
carefully. There was some criticism early on in the first day or two that
he was too much the Texas gunslinger, issuing the threats first, not
following the dictum to walk softly and carry a big stick. But since then
I think most critics would say that the administration has done a fairly
good job of playing a very difficult hand. And the American public, at
least for now, and that's an important qualification is very much behind
Couric: "And yet in that second phase, after
the so-called gunslinger phase, when he came out talking tough. It was a
bit of jockeying in terms of calibrating the response by having Colin
Powell come forward issuing the regret, not the apology and sort of having
the President retreat into the background, at least, momentarily."
Fineman: "It was jarring, Katie. At first it
was George Bush alone in the Rose Garden issuing the threats. Then he
retreats. Then it isn't quite clear at least at the beginning who's
speaking for the administration. Is it Colin Powell talking about regrets
and sorrows? Is it Donald Rumsfeld behind the scenes being quiet but how
much is he maneuvering for a tougher line. Is it Dick Cheney and so forth?
Now on the Sunday shows yesterday as your report pointed out it was a
unified line. Talking about the sorrow, the personal sorrow for the loss
of the pilot. But beginning to ratchet up the rhetoric again. Although now
it's not President Bush whose doing it. It's his spokespeople who are
doing it and this is the third phase that we are entering now. We are only
in Day 9 of this crisis."
Bush told reporters on Monday that he aimed his budget at relief for
taxpayers, but the broadcast networks on Monday night all focused on the
supposed pain caused by budget cuts.
ABC’s Linda Douglass highlighted "the
cuts in children’s health, cuts in health care for the poor. And the
Democrats are betting the people will not want to cut funding for those
programs just in order to get a tax cut." CBS’s Bob Schieffer
labeled the $2 trillion budget "really spare."
While NBC’s Tom Brokaw noted up front that
"in the boom years before the economy went into a dive, Congress was
on a spending binge, and the President wants to force some
reductions," reporter Campbell Brown warned that "Bush slashes
popular government programs. Cuts for 10 of 25 government agencies....On
the chopping block, community policing, the program championed by Clinton
to hire new officers, a 17 percent cut; money to train health
professionals at children’s hospitals, a $35 million cut...."
ABC and CBS assumed more government spending
will solve the energy crisis as both saw a contradiction in Bush’s
priorities. ABC’s Terry Moran highlighted how "a $186 million cut,
50 percent, would fall on solar and renewable energy programs even though
the President has declared the nation faces an energy crisis." Over
on CBS Dan Rather complained: "President Bush is warning of a looming
energy crisis, but at the same time his budget would slash more than $200
million from solar and other alternative energy programs."
Here’s how the three broadcast network
evening shows on Monday night, April 9, approached the release of Bush’s
-- ABC’s World News Tonight led with the
budget as Peter Jennings sat behind a pile of budget books and held some
up as he explained:
"We’re going to begin tonight with this.
This is the federal budget which President Bush sent to the Congress
today, though Congress just happens to be out of town. This is the
analytical perspectives on the budget and this little thing here is the
citizen’s guide. But here are the details of how Mr. Bush would like to
spend $1.9 trillion dollars in the next fiscal year, if he has his way.
But it’s a much more important document because all of these numbers
represent what the new President thinks about the size of the government
and the importance of what it does. In other words, it’s also a very
political document as well."
Terry Moran then argued: "It reveals his
basic fiscal conservatism as well as his willingness to pick a fight or
two on some very popular programs. It was George W. Bush the budget hawk
on full display at a cabinet meeting to roll out his plan."
After a clip of Bush, Moran noted that
Democrats will fight Bush over several of his proposed cuts: "A $186
million cut, 50 percent, would fall on solar and renewable energy programs
even though the President has declared the nation faces an energy crisis.
Cut by $25 million or 15 percent, funding for training pediatricians in
hospitals and the COPS program, a favorite of President Clinton’s, which
provides money to communities to hire police, faces a $270 million or 46
Following a soundbite of Congressman John
Spratt, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, Moran pointed
out how the administration say they are trying "to restrain out of
control spending from the Clinton years" since spending soared eight
percent last year and they want to hold it to four percent. Moran did
allow OMB Director Mitchell Daniels to note that the COPS program was
never meant to be permanent, running this clip from Daniels: "It was
entirely explicit at the beginning that this was to be a three year
Next, instead of portraying Bush as heroic for
taking on corporate welfare, John Cochran looked at how business interests
are upset with cuts in their pet programs: "The U.S. Chamber of
Commerce is livid that the budget cuts subsidies to American companies
trying to compete with foreign outfits."
Willard Workman, U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
"I would say one man’s welfare is another man’s livelihood.
Without these kinds of supports from our government we simply will not be
able to compete."
Cochran proceeded to outline how Bush also wants
to eliminate federal loan guarantees for buyers of U.S.-made ships before
he concluded: "Big business provides big campaign donations to both
Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill and the lobbyists we talked to
said, ‘Look, we love this President on most issues, but when it come to
cutting corporate welfare, we can and will stop him.’"
So much for the idea that donations from
business control Bush policy.
Following Cochran, Peter Jennings turned to
Linda Douglass on Capitol Hill for an assessment. She informed Jennings:
"There’s already some howling going on here, specifically about the
cuts in the environment that Terry was just talking about, cuts in every
agency, they are focusing on that. The environment is popular with the
public. Also the cuts in children’s health, cuts in health care for the
poor. And the Democrats are betting the people will not want to cut
funding for those programs just in order to get a tax cut."
As for Republicans, Douglass maintained they
are caught between supporting their President and the interests of their
constituents who want money for pet projects.
-- CBS Evening News. After a series of stories
on China, Dan Rather announced, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad
Wilmouth: "President Bush sent Congress the details today of his
budget plan for fiscal year 2002. The 2500-page document outlines a wide
range of cuts the President wants in government programs, but it also
provides new ammunition for his opponents, and there’s a long way to go
with this whole thing. Bob Schieffer’s on Capitol Hill with the real
deal on the budget battle ahead."
Schieffer began: "Dan, it is the annual
Washington ritual. The President proposes, the Congress disposes. As
always, has started with the President calling in the Cabinet to give the
budget plan a big send off."
After the Bush soundbite, Schieffer portrayed
the budget as frugal: "In fact, as big as it is, this budget is
really spare. It contains nothing radically new, but to make room for the
President’s tax cut, it limits growth to no more than 4 percent next
year, barely above the inflation rate for all programs except mandatory
benefits. Democrats found little to like."
Congressman John Spratt: "Every account that
deals with the environment is cut. EPA is cut. Interior is cut."
Schieffer: "For sure, few programs escape
the knife. Favorite Democratic programs like money to train children’s
doctors are cut. So is the old Clinton program to put more cops on the
streets. Business lobbyists are upset about plans to eliminate subsidies
for buyers of American built ships. Cuts in funds to build public housing.
And reducing subsidies to the Export-Import Bank, which helps foreign
companies buy U.S. products. As the document was released, officials did
seem more upbeat about the economy....In truth, none of this should be
taken too seriously. Senators have already said they’ll scale back the
President’s tax cut, and with the Senate evenly divided now between
Republicans and Democrats, it is impossible to say which programs really
will get cut and which ones won’t, but there will be a fight over
Rather followed up by trying to show a Bush
contradiction: "President Bush is warning of a looming energy crisis,
but at the same time his budget would slash more than $200 million from
solar and other alternative energy programs. The budget would, however,
spend $150 million to develop what are called less polluting coal
-- NBC Nightly News made the budget its top
story as Tom Brokaw explained: "President Bush has decided how he
wants to spend your money -- almost $2 trillion. That’s a lot of money.
But in the boom years before the economy went into a dive, Congress was on
a spending binge, and the President wants to force some reductions. As you
might expect, that’s bringing immediate protest, especially from
Democrats who think that he’s hurting social and environmental programs
way too much. But, as NBC’s Campbell Brown reports from the White House
tonight, the President is aiming his budget at tax cuts, not at
Brown claimed the public would have to
sacrifice to get a tax cut: "Tom, this is when the battle with
Congress really begins and when Americans find out what they’ll have to
give up to get the biggest tax cut in 20 years. Dozens lining up today for
a first look at the details of the President’s nearly $2 trillion
budget, a plan even he says it designed around giving Americans a $1.6
trillion tax cut."
Following a soundbite of Bush saying his
budget puts taxpayers first, Brown cautioned: "But to give taxpayers
relief, Bush slashes popular government programs. Cuts for 10 of 25
government agencies. Bush’s goal: Limiting much of government spending
to just a 4 percent increase, half of what President Clinton got last
year. On the chopping block, community policing, the program championed by
Clinton to hire new officers, a 17 percent cut; money to train health
professionals at children’s hospitals, a $35 million cut; a more than $2
billion cut in environmental programs; and the President abandons a
campaign promise on the environment -- a pledge to spend $100 million to
help poor countries protect their environment and reduce debt, a decision
some political analysts say could galvanize environmentalists for an all
out war with the Bush White House."
Prof. Alan Lichtman, American University:
"They believe that George W. Bush has directly targeted for the big
knife the programs that they hold most near and dear."
Brown uniquely pointed out some proposed spending
hikes: "But the President insists this is a compassionate
conservative budget that includes an 11.5 percent increase for education,
just over $150 million to help seniors buy prescription drugs, and new tax
credits to help low income Americans buy health insurance. Democrats argue
Bush is throwing away a rare chance to save Social Security and Medicare
on a tax cut that’s too big."
Congressman John Spratt: "It’s
unconscionable for us to simply look at the problem and say we’ll let
our children solve it. We’ll go ahead and have tax cuts now."
Brown concluded: "Now advisors say the
President will be firm on limiting spending, but this budget is now in the
hands of Congress, and lawmakers will be spending the weeks ahead trying
to add in the money for their favorite programs."
Next, Lisa Myers looked at how on pork
programs always come back even after they are cut, using mohair and honey
subsidies as examples as she reported that farm subsidies have
"exploded" from $4.6 billion in 1996 to $32 billion in 2000.
I guess that’s what CBS’s Bob Schieffer
would call "spare."
As for how accurate all these "cut"
numbers really are, scroll back up and you’ll notice that ABC’s Terry
Moran reported Bush’s budget will "cut" Clinton’s COPS
program by 46 percent while NBC’s Campbell Brown stated it will be
"cut" by 17 percent.
week’s Time features a column by Margaret Carlson which matched her
ridiculous outburst on Saturday’s Capital Gang, in which charged that if
"the Bush administration keeps trying to kill health and safety
regulations at this pace, soon we won’t be able to eat, drink or
breathe." While her Time piece complained about "decisions
pouring out of the Bush administration that favor American business at the
expense of American people," it did not repeat her false connection
between not testing meat for salmonella and exposing kids to Mad Cow
As quoted in full in the April 9 CyberAlert,
on the April 7 Capital Gang Carlson argued: "Remember when Ronald
Reagan tried to save a few pennies on the school lunch program by
classifying ketchup as a vegetable? Last week the Bush administration went
further, axing a regulation that forced the meat industry to test
hamburgers served in school for salmonella. Imagine, Mad Cow Disease among
children, K through 12."
A CyberAlert reader, who wishes to remain
anonymous, pointed out that there is no relation between not testing for
salmonella and missing Mad Cow infected meat: "Salmonella is a
bacteria that can cause a severe, sometime fatal intestinal infection.
Contamination by salmonella can be determined by several test methods. The
risk associated with contaminated meat can be essentially eliminated by
proper food handling procedures and thorough cooking. The onset of
symptoms is within days, and the disease is often treated successfully
with antibiotics." But what causes Mad Cow, on the other hand, has no
test to detect it "and conventional sterilization techniques, such as
cooking, are useless."
Carlson’s Time magazine piece demonstrated
neither she nor the magazine will let facts get in the way of a good
anti-conservative anecdote as she began her diatribe by repeating the
false liberal tale about Reagan and ketchup:
"What is it with Republicans and school
lunches? In 1981 Ronald Reagan looked both callous and politically
ham-handed when he tried to save a few pennies on school lunches by
classifying catsup as a vegetable. Last week the Bush Administration went
beyond condiments, proposing to ax a Clinton Administration regulation
that forces the meat industry to perform salmonella tests on hamburger
served in school cafeterias. Given the heightened interest in the health
of cattle right now, the move wasn't exactly well timed."
After rattling off a bunch of Bush’s other
supposed terrible deeds, Carlson asked: "What happened to the
compassion that was supposed to go with Bush's conservatism? The campaign
prepared us for some of this -- candidate Bush made plain his intention to
drill in the Arctic wildlife refuge, not a bad political calculus given
America's preference for SUVs over caribou. But no one thought his team
would choose slaughterhouses over schoolchildren, even if only for a day.
What connects these decisions is a preference for folks he knows: his
oil-field buddies (mirrors of himself), corporate executives and captains
of industry, from the Halliburton honcho to the Terminix franchisee."
To read Carlson’s entire April 16
"Public Eye" column, go to:
Thursday on CNN’s Larry King Live, ABC’s Sam Donaldson came at George
Stephanopoulos from the left, demanding: "Do you then now believe
that the Holocaust survivors in West Palm Beach, who voted apparently for
Pat Buchanan, really meant to?" Both insisted more voters intended to
vote for Gore than Bush.
The April 5 CNN show had the ABC This Week
team as the guests. MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed this exchange about
the Miami Herald/USA Today recount which determined that Bush would have
won by an even bigger margin if the Florida Supreme Court-ordered hand
count, which was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court, had proceeded:
George Stephanopoulos: "I do think this
was a blow to the Democrats. Listen, a lot of Democrats had the suspicion,
I think I had a suspicion that when the Supreme Court stopped the counting
in December, they were denying Gore a count, a recount, that would give
him a victory. I think if you look at the, at the weight of the evidence
that The Miami Herald reported, it clearly shows that Bush, under most
reasonable standards, would have won."
Sam Donaldson: "Now, George
Stephanopoulos, may I just interrupt and ask you a question, which is, do
you then now believe that the Holocaust survivors in West Palm Beach, who
voted apparently for Pat Buchanan, really meant to?"
Stephanopoulos: "No, no, that’s a
separate issue, Sam. That’s a completely separate issue. I believe that
more people in the state of Florida went to polls intending to vote for Al
Gore than went to the polls intending to vote for George Bush."
Donaldson: "Okay, I agree with
Stephanopoulos: That’s separate from
saying, listen, the Florida Supreme Court ordered a count, the United
States Supreme Court stopped it, that denied Gore victory. I don't think
you can say that anymore."
does Jay Leno do to left-wing celebrities? Last week, as detailed in the
April 4 CyberAlert, Martin Sheen, who in February had denounced George
Bush as a "moron," told Leno: "I support whoever is in that
office." Now, last night on the Tonight Show, Whoopi Goldberg, who
campaigned for Al Gore, informed Leno that she’s all for Bush’s tax
Goldberg recounted on the April 9 NBC show
how, after she won $10,000 with a Las Vegas slot machine, casino officials
took half of it for the IRS. Goldberg then remarked: "This may be all
Bush is really good for for me. I want some money back. I would like a
little bit of it."
Leno: "We become Republican real fast,
Goldberg: "No, no, no. I feel like if I’m
going to pay for a stealth bomber I would like some of my programs
serviced. I don’t mind paying taxes, but I’ve paid a lot of taxes,
[pointing at audience] as have most of you, you paying a lot of money out
and every now and then-"
Leno: "But they didn’t win the jackpot in
Goldberg: "No, but 50 percent of that went
to him. But no, I think it’s okay to say it’s alright to get some
money back. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I don’t think that’s
Republican or Democratic. That’s just greedy humanity."
I’m guessing at that next to last word
as she actually says what sounds like "gree."
As for a tax cut not being Republican or
Democratic, what happened to Gore’s mantra about Bush’s "risky
tax cut scheme"? If anyone is amongst the undeserving rich as
espoused in liberal spin it’s someone as wealthy as Goldberg.