CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
| Monday April 23, 2001 (Vol. Six; No. 66) |
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Liberal Protesters Amplified; Gushing Over "Granny D"; Early Show Lamented Lack of Concern for Global Warming; "Reagan-Era Cynicism"

1) On Saturday night ABC and CBS amplified the influence of protesters. ABC’s Terry Moran emphasized how trade divides leaders "from many of their own people." CBS’s John Roberts cited how the Prime Minister of St. Lucia decided free trade "has destroyed the lives of others." CBS also devoted an entire story to "more than a hundred American protesters" standing along a roadside in Vermont, including a member of the Chicago Seven.

2) "You're not a granny who gives up," NBC’s Ann Curry gushed in paying tribute to "Granny D" in yet another Today promotional spot celebrating the effort of the woman who walked across the country to promote McCain’s "campaign finance reform."

3) Liberal uniformity at CBS. To Bryant Gumbel’s question, "are you a believer in global warming?," Mark McEwen asserted "absolutely," Jane Clayson affirmed "of course" and Gumbel confirmed, "so am I." Gumbel lamented the public’s lack of concern: "Is it gonna take some kind of a real catastrophe? I mean, does an iceberg have to come floating down the Hudson before somebody stands up and goes, 'Oh, yeah'?"

4) 60 Minutes chief Don Hewitt claimed Bill Clinton was saved by how "the guys on the other side made bigger damn fools of themselves than he did....They’re up there getting their rocks off on Capitol Hill thinking about his getting his rocks off in the Oval Office."

5) Reagan the cynic? TV Guide on actor Paul Hogan’s character: "Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee, a genial outback rogue whose charming naivete sliced cleanly through Reagan-era cynicism."

Amplifying the cause of protesters and their influence. On Saturday night, from Quebec City, ABC’s Terry Moran emphasized how trade divides leaders "from many of their own people." CBS’s John Roberts cited the Prime Minister of St. Lucia as an authority, concluding a story by quoting him or her: "While free trade has brought prosperity to some, we cannot deny it has destroyed the lives of others." CBS followed up by devoting an entire story to "more than a hundred American protesters" standing along a roadside in Vermont.

     Wrapping up an April 21 World News Tonight/Saturday story on the summit of leaders from the Americas, ABC’s Terry Moran concluded over video of cars moving through cordoned off streets: "As the motorcades rolled through the empty streets of this old city, it was clear how much trade continues to divide these leaders from many of their own people."

     "Some" of their own people would be more accurate. "Very few" would be even more accurate.

     Over on the CBS Evening News on the same night, John Roberts was more optimistic about the influence of the left wing protesters than the protesters themselves. He ran a soundbite of President Bush: "I'm here to learn and to listen from voices to those inside this hall and to those outside this hall who want to join us in constructive dialogue."

     Roberts rued: "But the 20,000 demonstrators who marched peacefully against free trade claim that no one is listening to their concerns about labor and the environment, and they doubted that leaders would heed their message today."
     Lauren Dale, protester: "Well, I don't actually expect we will get across to them, but I think you can't just roll over and die, can you? You have to make an effort."

     But Roberts was more impressed with their persuasion, concluding his piece from Quebec City: "And it may be that the effort is paying off. In a nod to the peaceful protesters, Mexico's President today agreed that while free trade can help economic growth, the poor are often left behind. The Prime Minister of tiny St. Lucia went even further, saying, 'While free trade has brought prosperity to some, we cannot deny it has destroyed the lives of others.'"

     Next, anchor Thalia Assuras introduced a piece on scattered bunches of people protesting: "There were protests in this country as well, stretching from San Diego and Seattle in the West, through Detroit and into the East, to Maine and Vermont."

     From New York City, Tracy Smith narrated the story which illustrated how if you’re cause is on the left you don’t need to do much to generate network publicity. Smith began: "Today, for more than a hundred American protesters Highgate, Vermont, became the next best thing to being there. Their cries were much the same as the crowds in Quebec-"

     Group of protesters in unison: "Profits over people not okay."

     Smith explained: "-though perhaps not quite as loud. People also joined in protests ranging from Maine to Washington, where demonstrations disrupted trade talks in 1999. These rallies were for people who didn't want to go to Canada or weren't allowed in."
     S'ra DeSantis, protester: "We are very happy to be here. There's a lot of people here that have been turned away from the border, and we're here to say that free trade allows capital across borders and not people across borders."

     Smith sympathetically relayed: "At crossings like this one in Derby Line, Vermont, Canadian officials refused entry to those without proper ID, as well as those with arrest records or an attitude. This morning, those waiting to cross at Derby included some of the more seasoned in civil disobedience. Eighty-five-year-old David Dellinger was one of the Chicago Seven, convicted and later acquitted of starting a riot at the Democratic National Convention in 1968. Now he wants to add Quebec to his personal history of protests."
     David Dellinger, sitting in a van: "And I think that for the first time that we have an actual ability to change the system."

     Smith concluded: "Despite his arrest record, authorities let him through. Organizers in border states say they'll hold more protests throughout the weekend. But so far, they're still a whimper compared to the roar up north."

     A "whimper" amplified by a compliant CBS News.

     Not surprisingly, not once did ABC or CBS refer to the protesters as being on the left.


Doris Haddock, "Granny D," media hero for walking across the country to promote more government regulation. Last year Today and Good Morning America brought aboard the 90-year-old woman to help promote her publicity gimmick for McCain’s anti-free speech effort labeled by the media as "campaign finance reform." With her walk over, NBC found another excuse for getting her onto its show. Last Wednesday, fill-in co-host Ann Curry excitedly announced: "This morning on our continuing series ‘Forever Young: A Guide to Life after 50,’ the incredible story of 91 year old Doris Haddock!"

     Earlier on the April 18 show, Curry previewed: "Also you know campaign finance reform has gotten a lot of people riled up in Washington. Well a grandmother of 12 in her 90th year got so riled up that she walked all the way across country to make her point that something has to be done. And she wrote a book about this. And she's gonna be joining us in this half hour."
     Katie Couric: "Oh that's great! I'm sure John McCain is President of her fan club, right?"
     Curry: "I bet so!"

     And just about any journalist would qualify as President of McCain’s fan club.

     Curry set up the subsequent segment: "This morning on our continuing series Forever Young: A Guide to Life after 50, the incredible story of 91 year old Doris Haddock! Better known as Granny D. In January of 1999, this great grandmother of 12 began a crusade to gather support for campaign finance reform. She walked across the entire country, 10 miles a day, six days a week from Pasadena, California to Washington DC, 3200 miles in 14 months. Now she's compiled the tales of her adventure in a book appropriately titled, Granny D: Walking Across America in My 90th Year. Granny D good morning!"

     Curry, naturally, did not pose a single challenging question as she instead celebrated Haddock’s efforts, as you can see in the questions from Curry taken down by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens:

     -- "My goodness! When you told your son Jim that you were thinking about doing this, you were by your own description, a wheezing arthritic mother and grandmother. And he just went, 'Oh boy.' 'Cause he knew you were going to do it. Why did he know this about you?"
     -- "And he knew that you were a woman of determination. But what made you so determined to do so much on this issue of campaign finance reform that so many Americans really think, 'oh,' until actually relatively recently thought, 'Oh that'll never happen.'"
     -- "You walked in the heat of the summer. You walked in snowstorms. You wore out four pairs of shoes walking. You got sick at one point and had to be hospitalized. This was tough going. Doris, what made you not stop?"
     -- "Didn't you think even for a second though, being at the age that you were that you could die doing this Doris?"
     -- "And, and do you feel that it was all worth it, now?"
     Haddock: "Oh I know that it was. We had a great triumph last week. We had McCain-Feingold bill was signed in the Senate. And now if we can get everybody within the sound of my voice to call their United States Representative and beg them to pass the McCain-Feingold bill in the House."
     Curry: "Because it's, it's in real trouble there to be honest with you!"

     -- "And if it doesn't pass? Or if it looks like it's not going to pass, you gonna start working, walking again?"
     Haddock: "Oh yes!"
     Curry: "You will?"

     -- "You walked for nine days during the Senate debate over this issue."
     -- "You're, you're not a granny who gives up."
     -- "What, what have you learned? I guess I want to say what can we learn from you but I think that's obvious and that's, that's just sheer determination and, and will. But what have you learned from all of this?"
     -- "Well it obviously has done very good for you, done well for you. Doris Haddock, thank you so much for joining us. And if you'd like to read an excerpt from Walking Across America in My 90th Year, you can check out our website at"

Uniformity in the morning. During a portion of The Early Show last week seen by very few viewers, the CBS team of co-hosts Bryant Gumbel and Jane Clayson, along with news reader Julie Chen and weathercaster Mark McEwen, demonstrated their uniform liberal assumptions about global warming. To Gumbel’s question, "are you a believer in global warming?," McEwen asserted "absolutely," Clayson affirmed "of course," Chen blurted "yeah" and Gumbel confirmed: "So am I."

     Gumbel lamented the public’s lack of concern: "Is it gonna take some kind of a real catastrophe? I mean, does an iceberg have to come floating down the Hudson before somebody stands up and goes, 'Oh, yeah'?"

     Very few Early Show viewers heard this exchange on the April 18 show since it occurred at 7:25am during "co-op" time, a time when all but the puniest affiliates run local news. Rich Noyes, the MRC’s Director of Media Analysis, however, came across the transcript from Burrelle’s on Nexis.

     Below is the full transcript as provided by Nexis which shows the CBS team doesn’t have a clue about how the climate models which predicted rising temperatures have been proven exaggerated and that there are many doubts by legitimate scientists about the impact of man and industry on the climate:

     Bryant Gumbel: "Back now, 7:25. Mark just asked, 'Do I have a cold?' I'm sure we will be all soon because..."
     Julie Chen: "Because of the weather changes?"
     Gumbel: "...because of this stuff. This is really the occasion for it, right? The weather tends to do this."
     Mark McEwen: "Remember when we used to ease into spring and now I'll bet you it's going to lurch and before you know it it's gonna from like 50s and 60s to 80 degrees in a couple of days and that'll be it."
     Jane Clayson: "Well, that's what's happening up in Seattle. The wetter pa--the weather patterns are so strange. Everybody up there was saying, you know, usually at this time of year it's cold and now it's--I mean, it was very warm and sunny and bright."
     Gumbel: "Yeah."
     Clayson: "And it's just--all of a sudden, changes."
     Gumbel: "At--at the risk of starting an argument, are you a believer in global warming?"
     McEwen: "Absolutely."
     Clayson: "Of course."
     Chen: "Yeah."
     Gumbel: "So am I."
     McEwen: "So what argument?"
     Gumbel: "Well, hey, take it up with the Bush administration."
     McEwen: "Yeah, what argument?"
     Gumbel: "Evidently, the Bush administration doesn't believe..."
     McEwen: "Come on."
     Gumbel: "...we're--we have global warming."
     Clayson: "Did you see the cover story on Time magazine last--last..."
     Gumbel: "Yeah, I did. Did you read that thing?"
     Clayson: "Unbelievable."
     Gumbel: "That's pretty dangerous. That's pretty deadly. It really was."
     Clayson: "Yeah. Yeah, I know."
     Gumbel: "It was pretty damning, also..."
     Clayson: "Yeah, I know."
     Gumbel: "...of this administration. They worked out this accord, right, to deal with it. And..."
     McEwen: "Said, 'Forget it.'"
     Gumbel: "...Bush basically said..."
     Clayson: "Dead."
     Gumbel: "'Nah. Nah.'"
     Clayson: "'Forget about it.'"
     Gumbel: "'Forget about it.'"
     McEwen: "Ask Christie Todd Whitman about that."
     Gumbel: "Yeah."
     Clayson: "Well, she supported it."
     Gumbel: "Yeah. She supported it."
     Clayson: "She support--she'll be here tomorrow. We can talk to her about that."
     Gumbel: "And then he--yeah. And then he walked away from it. And we only contribute to, like, 25 percent of the problem."
     Clayson: "Right."
     Gumbel: "Even though we've got, I think, 5 percent of the world's people or something like that."
     Clayson: "That's right."
     Gumbel: "Yeah. I mean, it's a real problem."
     Clayson: "If you to other pl--if you go to other places around the world, you see how -- how bad it is. I mean, you don't think we're really as bad as we sound like we are when you go to other places like Indonesia and China and some other places where their air is so bad..."
     Gumbel: "It's horrible."
     Clayson: " cannot breathe. You need a mask just to..."
     Chen: "In Bangkok, yeah, they wear masks--the traffic cops."
     Clayson: "Yeah."
     Gumbel: "Oh, yeah?"
     Clayson: "Yeah."
     Chen: "I mean, it's just--you know, people riding on bicycles, you know, to get around."
     Clayson: "You can actually see it..."
     Chen: "Yeah."
     Clayson: " the air, it's so bad."
     Gumbel: "How about Mexico City?"
     Chen: "Oh, yeah."
     Clayson: "Oh, it's awful."
     Gumbel: "Mexico City's horrendous."
     Clayson: "Yeah."
     Gumbel: "I mean, you can almost cut it."
     McEwen: "How about way down in New Zealand, where the sheep are getting all these burns from the I..."
     Chen: "Oh!"
     McEwen: "...the--the--the IV, AV, whatever?"
     Unidentified Man: "UV."
     Gumbel: "UV."
     McEwen: "UV, yeah."
     Gumbel: "Is that right?"
     McEwen: "Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm, burning their eyes and things like that."
     Clayson: "Huh. Really?"
     Chen: ...(Unintelligible).
     Clayson: "Oh, my gosh. Huh."
     Gumbel: "See. And we always used to laugh at those movies when we were kids. Remember? They always used to have the one where the polar ice cap is melting..."
     McEwen: "That's right."
     Gumbel: "...and all these other things. It's really gonna happen."
     Chen: "They were on to something."
     McEwen: "Part of it is the fact that the--the people who can control that or -- or have influence on it are going to long--be dead long before you see the real results of it, I think."
     Gumbel: "That's right. There is no immediacy to it."
     McEwen: "Right."
     Gumbel: "And that's, in part, why--sorry. This may sound a little political. I don't mean it to. It--it's, in part, why the Bush administration can so calmly walk away from this, because they're not going to pay for it. It's not..."
     Clayson: "Well, how long--right."
     Gumbel: "It's--you know--the voters don't have any immediate concerns about it, so they're not going to hold them responsible for it."
     Clayson: "Well, how long before we do see the impact?"
     Chen: "But our kids?"
     McEwen: "I don't--I'm--I don't know. Our kids, maybe our kids' kids, you know."
     Clayson: "Two generations from now?"
     Gumbel: "There are people who would argue we're seeing the impact now..."
     McEwen: "We're seeing it right now."
     Gumbel: " know, I mean, with..."
     Chen: "Acid rain."
     Gumbel: "Also with exactly what we're talking about, these huge fluctuations going on with the melting of the--the ice cap. I mean, people would argue that you're--you're seeing it right now, but you're just--it's hard to see when you're in Manhattan, that's all."
     Clayson: "It's hard to see much when you're in Manhattan."
     Chen: "And the world revolves around you."
     McEwen: "You don't see anything when you're in Manhattan."
     Gumbel: "You know, and it's..."
     McEwen: "Just trying to get across the street..."
     Gumbel: "Yeah. And it's difficult to get voters to care about it because it is really long range and nobody wants to hear about problems that are going to be impacting..."
     Chen: "But voters with kids should care."
     Gumbel: "...their great-great-grandchildren."
     Clayson: "Yeah."
     Gumbel: "I know, but they don't."
     Clayson: "No."
     Gumbel: "They don't. And you wonder what it's gonna take. I mean, is it gonna take some kind of a real catastrophe? I mean, does an iceberg have to come floating down the Hudson before somebody stands up and goes, 'Oh, yeah'?"
     Clayson: "The problem is some of this is not fixable. Some of it's beyond repair."
     Gumbel: "Yeah."
     McEwen: "That's right."
     Gumbel: "And will only get worse."
     Clayson: "That's right."
     Gumbel: "On that happy note, station break."

     To see how Clayson’s personal views impacted her approach the next morning with EPA chief Christie Whitman, go back to the April 20 CyberAlert which documented: "CBS’s Jane Clayson asserted: "Since taking office President Bush has fashioned a somewhat shoddy environmental image." Introducing guest Christie Whitman, The Early Show’s Clayson referred to "the latest in a series of unexpected environmentally friendly rulings to come from the White House." She demanded: "You say he believes there is a problem with global warming, but he has not supported" the Kyoto Treaty "which fights global warming." Go to:


60 Minutes Executive Producer Don Hewitt last week relayed the usual liberal line that Bill Clinton survived the impeachment not because Democrats lacked outrage at his actions, but because Republican leaders "made bigger damn fools of themselves that he did."

     Hewitt, who is out promoting his new book about his years running the CBS show, Tell Me a Story: 50 Years & 60 Minutes in Television, appeared on CNBC/MSNBC’s Hardball on April 18. MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens caught this comment:
     "You know what saved Bill Clinton? The guys on the other side made bigger damn fools of themselves than he did. I mean, you know, Dick Armey and Livingston and Barr. They’re up there getting their rocks off on Capitol Hill thinking about his getting his rocks off in the Oval Office. It was a kind of a disgusting thing all around. There was, nobody got any credit on that one."

     But as Hewitt’s attitude demonstrates, the networks sure did their part to discredit Clinton’s opponents by framing the issue around private sexual activity instead of perjury.


A new take on the Reagan era. He wasn’t a naive optimist who ruled during the self-indulgent "era of greed" during the "go-go ‘80s." No, to TV Guide reporter Janet Weeks President Reagan oversaw an era of "cynicism."

     Tom Johnson of the Parents Television Council alerted me to this passage from an April 21 TV Guide story by Weeks on actor Paul Hogan prompted by the release of his new movie, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles:
     "Fifteen years ago, amiable Australian television star Paul Hogan introduced the world beyond Oz to Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee, a genial outback rogue whose charming naivete sliced cleanly through Reagan-era cynicism and made him a beloved ‘80s icon."

     And I always thought the late ‘70s with Jimmy Carter was the era of cynicism. -- Brent Baker



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