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CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
| Friday June 8, 2001 (Vol. Six; No. 93) |
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Rather: "Uncle Cheney" in Charge; No Taxes, No Rebate; Human-Induced Warming Causing Droughts & Floods; McVeigh Blamed on Right

1) Dan Rather twice joked to David Letterman about how "Uncle Cheney" is really running things, declared that Bush has governed "further to the right than most people expected" and brought up a new global warming study. Plus, he threw in a new Ratherism about trailing a bleeding elephant in six feet of snow.

2) The tax cut bill, as only Dan Rather could portray it: Describe its features and then relay the left-wing class warfare attack on it: "Democratic opponents say the cuts are fiscally irresponsible and dangerous and unfairly heavily favor high income Americans."

3) ABC focused on $21,000 and $18,000 salary people and delivered the shocker that if you donít pay income taxes you donít get an income tax rebate and if you pay little in income tax you get less than the maximum rebate. ABCís John Cochran warned that "millions" of people are in for "some nasty surprises."

4) "Global warming is real, the new report declares, and humans are helping to cause it," ABCís John Cochran asserted. Skipping any science, CBSís John Roberts went straight to the liberal activists: "In Florida, the worst drought in a hundred years has cracked the land. In Europe, a record winter of rain and flood. More evidence of global warming, say environmentalists who plan to meet President Bush with a storm of protest in Europe." But the National Academy of Sciences report is far more nuanced.

5) "Maverick Republican" is CNN anchor Wolf Blitzerís favorite term as he attaches it to any Republican who has decidedly liberal views. On Monday night he labeled not only John McCain as "maverick," but also Rudy Giuliani and Jim Jeffords.

6) With Tim McVeigh about to die, a Media Reality Check looking back at 1995 media spin. "Smears & Partisan Innuendo in Wake of Ď95 Bombing. First Reaction: Liberal Journalists Blamed Conservative Pols and Talk Radio for Oklahoma Mass Murder."


1

Appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday night, Dan Rather twice joked about how "Uncle Cheney" is really running things, declared that Bush has governed "further to the right than most people expected," brought up how a new global warming study says "that global warming is further advanced than even they thought it was," but that Cheney will take care of it, and falsely implied that the CBS Evening News "hasnít touched" the story of under-aged drinking by the Bush daughters. Plus, he threw in Ratherisms about Fidel Castro and a giraffe as well as trailing a bleeding elephant.

     Some of Dan Ratherís comments I took down from the June 7 show:

     -- Rather: "I think by any reasonable analysis that George Bush is off to a pretty good start with his presidency."
     Letterman: "You were pleased with how he handled the situation in China, you thought that went alright?"
     Rather: "Iím pausing only because you said Ďthe way he handled it.í Iím not sure he handled it because remember you have Uncle Cheney who runs an awful lot of things around there. No, I think that was handled very steadily. He pulled some good people around him. But now comes the difficult part, the stands heís taken on the environment, his tax program, the details of which we do not yet know, all of these things have gotten him a reputation, justifiably or not, of running an administration thatís further to the right than most people expected."

     -- Rather volunteered: "This new global warming study, if you read the paper today, saying that global warming is further advanced than even they thought it was. But I wouldnít worry about that because you remember when you studied the legends of history, King Canute just walked out on the beaches of Britain and commanded the waves to stop? I have every reason to believe that President Bush will just turn to Dick Cheney and say, ĎDick, take care of it.í And he will say Ďclose that hole.í We have nothing to worry about."

     -- Asked about Jenna and Barbara Bush, Rather retreated: "I really donít think itís fair to talk about the Bush girls, so, you know, on the news we havenít touched that story."

     Really? Maybe not on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather aired Monday through Friday, but last Saturday the CBS Evening News with Thalia Assuras did run a full story on the subject.

     -- Ratherism #1: In response to Letterman asking whatís wrong with Bush setting a Kennedy-like go to the moon goal of making solar and wind power viable by the end of the decade, Rather retorted: "I think youíre more likely to see Fidel Castro come riding through here on a giraffe than you are to see that happen."

     -- Ratherism #2: "For some years now, this is not my judgment, but critics of the FBI have been saying it had become too bureaucratic and that the FBI couldnít track an elephant in six feet of snow if he were bleeding."

2

The tax cut bill, as only Dan Rather could portray it: Describe its features and then relay the left-wing class warfare attack on it. From Thursdayís CBS Evening News:
     "President Bush today celebrated his first major legislative victory. In a White House ceremony Mr. Bush signed a $1.35 trillion federal income tax cut. This includes lower tax rates and a rebate. The checks go out next month. Democratic opponents say the cuts are fiscally irresponsible and dangerous and unfairly heavily favor high income Americans."

     Youíd never know that many conservatives consider the tax cut to be pretty small and not very stimulative since itís spread over so many years.

3

ABC on Thursday night delivered the shocking news that if you donít pay income taxes you donít get an income tax rebate and if you pay very little in income tax you get less than the maximum rebate amount, as if the people had been fooled by President Bush and other politicians. ABC News reporter John Cochran warned that "millions" of people are in for "some nasty surprises."

     Cochran began his June 7 World News Tonight piece by showcasing some lower income workers: "The tax bill is good news for millions of Americans, but for millions of others, there are some nasty surprises. In Philadelphia, the government started printing tax rebate checks today. At the Unadyne plastics factory in Virginia, new father Mike Baldovino makes $21,000 a year and is looking forward to his check. But tax accountants tell us he does not pay enough income taxes to get a full rebate. How big a tax rebate are you expecting?"
     Mike Baldovino: "Iíd say, married with one children, expecting at least six hundred."
     Cochran: "Six hundred?"
     Baldovino: "Yes."
     Cochran: "Iím sorry. The number is $263."
     Baldovino: "Wow, thatís pretty low."
     Cochran: "Even worse news for single mom Fran Montemayor, who earns $18,000. She is one of more than 30 million Americans who probably will not get any rebate."
     Fran Montemayor: "Thatís kind of shocking for me because thatís not what I understood on TV."
     Cochran: "Fran and her fellow workers thought they heard the President promising rebates to every worker. They should have listened more closely."
     George W. Bush, May 26: "Every single American who pays incomes taxes will receive a check."
     Cochran: "But millions of workers do not earn enough to pay federal income taxes, so no rebate."

     Cochran proceeded to outline how marriage penalty relief does not occur until 2005 and that the inheritance tax is not eliminated until 2010, but is reinstated in 2011, as are all the present tax rates.

4

ABC and CBS pounced Thursday night on a new report on global warming from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), using it to push President Bush to take action, after the New York Times showcased the report at the top of its front page under the headline: "Panel Tells Bush Global Warming Is Getting Worse."

     "Global warming is real, the new report declares, and humans are helping to cause it," ABCís Terry Moran asserted. Skipping any science, CBS went straight to the liberal activists. John Roberts ominously intoned on the CBS Evening News: "In Florida, the worst drought in a hundred years has cracked the land. In Europe, a record winter of rain and flood. More evidence of global warming, say environmentalists who plan to meet President Bush with a storm of protest in Europe." Roberts even featured this blast from a member of Britainís far-left Green Party: "Itís bloody enough that heís flying in the face of international agreement when heís not even got a mandate from the American people to do so. Itís totally outrageous."

     But unlike ABCís Moran, at least Roberts conceded that the White House pointed out "that the report was unclear about the degree to which humans have stoked the fires of global warming."

     Other than that point, overlooked amongst the ABC and CBS hype: the specific nuances of the report. It acknowledged how in the midst of industrial development, from 1946 to 1975, temperatures actually fell; that climate models have over-predicted temperature rises and that "over long time scales, outside the time period in which humans could have a substantive effect on global climate (e.g., prior to the Industrial Revolution), proxy data (information derived from the content of tree rings, cores from marine sediments, pollens, etc.)....indicate that the range of natural climate variability is in excess of several degrees C on local and regional space scales over periods as short as a decade." In other words, global temperature change may just be part of natural cycles that have nothing or little to do with CO2 emissions.

     CNNís Inside Politics ran two stories on the report, but neither NBCís Today or Nightly News touched it. Thursday morning ABCís Good Morning America ran two short items during news updates. At 7:30am, Antonio Mora announced: "A panel of leading scientists has told President Bush that global warming is real and may be getting worse. The White House requested the report to prepare Mr. Bush for talks with other world leaders."

     More on the June 7 ABC and CBS stories which failed to include anything from the conservative point of view that manís contribution to global warming is being overstated or that he Bush administration is caving in to what seems popular instead of debunking the myth that industry causes warming. And, of course, the subject was never broached of how the environmentalists are just using the issue to bash capitalism.

     -- ABCís World News Tonight. Peter Jennings asserted, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "The White House has had a busy time today dealing with an environmental report that it actually commissioned. The administration is trying to develop a strategy to contend with global warming. Mr. Bush had asked the National Academy of Science to tell him how bad it was, and the academy said: ĎBad,í and Mr. Bush can do something about it. ABCís Terry Moran is at the White House. Difficult day on this subject, Terry."
     Moran: "It was, Peter. The White House asked for this report, as you mentioned, at about the same time that the President decided to withdraw from the Kyoto treaty on global warming, but the scientists may have given Mr. Bush more than he bargained for. Sweltering summers, rising sea levels, more droughts, more violent storms. Global warming is real, the new report declares, and humans are helping to cause it. A scientist who helped write the report says humans, through government policy, can determine how hot the planet gets."
     John Wallace, National Academy of Sciences: "The biggest single factor that contributes to whether weíre in the lower end of that range or the upper end of that range a century from now is the emissions. And the emissions are a policy question."
     Moran: "Environmental activists claim that puts the administration in a bind."
     Philip Clapp, National Environmental Trust President: "This report blows their cover. There is no cover anymore for not taking aggressive action to improve energy efficiency in the U.S. economy and to clean up dirty coal-fired power plants. Thatís the only way we will address global warming."
     Moran: "President Bush ignited a storm of controversy when he decided to abandon the Kyoto protocol, which sets caps on the emissions of Greenhouse gases in developed nations. Top officials now admit the President stumbled."

     ABC played a clip of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice conceding the administration could have done a better job of preparing allies for its Kyoto decision. Moran then concluded:
     "The President is going to see many of those allies next week on his first European trip there, angry about the administrationís unilateral action on this, and so Mr. Bush will be making a statement on Monday outlining his approach to the problem. But Peter, donít expect many details. The specifics are to be decided by yet another task force headed by Vice President Cheney."

     -- CBS Evening News. For the second night in a row, CBS led with the report. Dan Rather teased up top: "The temperature is rising, and the pressure is building on President Bush for action on global warming as the Midwest sees what may be a dramatic early sign of climate changes to come."

     Rather then opened his broadcast, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Good evening. We begin with a follow-up to our exclusive report about global warming. As first reported here last night, an expert assessment requested by President Bush found global warming is real and getting worse and air pollution caused by humans is a factor. Because of what he has said, what he has done and not done, President Bush now faces new fire about all this at home and when he meets world leaders in Europe next week. Tonight CBSís John Roberts reports what President Bush is and is not doing, even as some people point to signs that climate changes are already here."
     John Roberts: "Along the Gulf Coast today, Allison becomes the earliest tropical storm to dump this much rain. In Florida, the worst drought in a hundred years has cracked the land. In Europe, a record winter of rain and flood. More evidence of global warming, say environmentalists who plan to meet President Bush with a storm of protest in Europe."
     Phil Clapp, National Environmental Trust: "Heís already insulted the Europeans by walking away from the treaty that took years to negotiate, and now his own scientific body has said global warming is real and we have to take action on it."
     Roberts: "Mr. Bush has been taking heat in Europe for abandoning the Kyoto treaty to limit production of Greenhouse gases, but a panel of leading climatologists reported to the White House this week be a prime contributor to global warming."
     Darren Johnson, British Green Party: "Itís bloody enough that heís flying in the face of international agreement when heís not even got a mandate from the American people to do so. Itís totally outrageous."
     Roberts then conceded a point of view which if true would undermine Ratherís ominous warning: "Even now, the White House is moving slowly, pointing out that the report was unclear about the degree to which humans have stoked the fires of global warming and how much is a natural cycle. Republicans on Capitol Hill want more certainty."
     Senator Chuck Hagel: "If weíre going to disrupt our economy, if weíre going to change our entire energy use pattern we better have a little better information than what we have right now."
     Roberts, who didnít bother balancing either environmentalist, found a counterpoint to Hagel: "But Democrats are already using the reportís findings to undercut the Presidentís energy plan, calling into question his central focus on coal to generate electricity."
     Senator John Kerry: "I think that the Congress of the United States is going to significantly change the Presidentís proposal, pushing new technology, and really trying to end Americaís dependency on fossil fuels."
     Roberts concluded: "The White House today rushed to defend its stance on global warming, declaring that the President takes the matter seriously. And while he will outline some ideas to combat the problem, Mr. Bush will take with him to Europe next week no specific recommendations."

     Rather then set up the next story about flooding in Illinois and Indiana by linking it to global warming: "As for global warming in the United States, this new report says coastal areas, home to more than half the U.S. population, are at risk from rising sea levels and storms. For the Pacific Northwest, itís reduced snow pack and a speed-up in spring melt-off. The Great Plains could face greater drought in the long run. As CBSís Cynthia Bowers reports, the threat to American Midwest farms right now isnít drought, itís flood."

     Funny how when a region is in a deep freeze Dan Rather doesnít point out how that might contradict global warming.

     The whole NAS report can be read online via two places. The HTML version is at: http://books.nap.edu/html/climatechange/

     The full text of each chapter as typeset in chapter by chapter sections presented in some sort of online book reading software: http://books.nap.edu/books/0309075742/html/

     Rich Noyes, the MRCís Director of Media Analysis, plowed through the report and passed along these noteworthy excerpts. In addition to the quote from page 8 of the report quoted above:

     -- One paragraph points out that it's not known why the Northern Hemisphere cooled from 1946-1975, which would indicate that there remain some mysteries in the mechanics of global climate change. From page 16:
     "The rate of warming has not been uniform over the 20th century. Most of it occurred prior to 1940 and during the past few decades. The Northern Hemisphere as a whole experienced a slight cooling from 1946-75, and the cooling during that period was quite marked over the eastern United States. The cause of this hiatus in the warming is still under debate. The hiatus is evident in averages over both Northern and Southern Hemispheres, but it is more pronounced in the Northern Hemisphere. One possible cause of this feature is the buildup of sulfate aerosols due to the widespread burning of high sulfur coal during the middle of the century, followed by a decline indicated by surface sulfate deposition measurements. It is also possible that at least part of the rapid warming of the Northern Hemisphere during the first part of the 20th century and the subsequent cooling were of natural origin and a remote response to changes in the oceanic circulation at subarctic latitudes in the Atlantic sector, as evidenced by the large local temperature trends over this region."

     -- Politely pointing out that the UN's Summary for Policymakers (SPM), written by governmental representatives and which formed the basis of much of the media's coverage of the United Nations IPCC report back in January and February, expressed the issue of climate change with more certainty than the main report written by scientists. From page 22:
     "After analysis, the committee finds that the conclusions presented in the SPM and the Technical Summary (TS) are consistent with the main body of the report. There are, however, differences. The primary differences reflect the manner in which uncertainties are communicated in the SPM. The SPM frequently uses terms (e.g., likely, very likely, unlikely) that convey levels of uncertainty; however, the text less frequently includes either their basis or their caveats....Climate projections will always be far from perfect. Confidence limits and probabilistic information, with their basis, should always be considered as an integral part of the information that climate scientists provide to policy- and decision-makers. Without them, the IPCC SPM could give an impression that the science of global warming is 'settled,' even though many certainties remain."

     And for a point of view far from the minds of the media, check out Steve Milloyís piece on the Fox News Web site in which he urges the Bush team to debunk the liberal global warming theories. Heís with the Cato Institute and junkscience.com. Go to: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,26665,00.html

5

"Maverick" mania. "Maverick" is clearly the new favorite term of reporters to describe Senator John McCain -- earlier this week both ABCís Terry Moran and CBSís John Roberts applied the label -- but CNNís Wolf Blitzer seems to attach it to any Republican who has decidedly liberal views. On Monday night, MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed, he labeled not only McCain as "maverick," but also Rudy Giuliani and Jim Jeffords, whom he dubbed as a "moderate."

     Blitzer on the June 4 Wolf Blitzer Reports, with his uses of MAVERICK in all caps:

     -- "In other news tonight, CNN has learned that at least two MAVERICK Republicans are expected to meet with the President this week. Tomorrow, Senator Jim Jeffords will go to the White House as part of a bipartisan group discussing pending education bills. That's just one day before Jeffords officially leaves the Republican Party. And also this week, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona is expected to attend a private dinner with the President at the White House."

     -- "Another MAVERICK Republican has a reputation as a battler. I'll discuss his battle with cancer and politics in a rare national interview with New York's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani."

     -- Blitzer to Giuliani: "And one of the reputations you have, of course, is a MAVERICK Republican. Jim Jeffords, another MAVERICK Republican, is leaving the Republican Party to become an independent. Can you understand why he thinks he doesn't really have a place as a moderate Republican within the GOP?"

     When did you last hear Senators Zell Miller or John Breaux dubbed as "maverick" Democrats?

6

The text of a Media Reality Check "Quick Take," by the MRC Rich Noyes, distributed by fax on Thursday afternoon after it became clear Tim McVeigh will be put to death on Monday. It provided examples of how just after his 1995 bombing some liberal journalists used it "as an opportunity to take cheap political shots at mainstream conservatives and talk radio hosts" for implying their rhetoric fueled the anti-government attitude which led to the terrorism.

     You can view this Quick Take as an Adobe Acrobat PDF: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/2001/pdf/quick0607.pdf

     Now the text of the June 7 Media Reality Check Quick Take:

SMEARS & PARTISAN INNUENDO IN WAKE OF Ď95 BOMBING
FIRST REACTION: LIBERAL JOURNALISTS BLAMED CONSERVATIVE POLS AND TALK RADIO FOR OKLAHOMA MASS MURDER

Barring a last-minute court win, Timothy McVeigh will die Monday because he killed 168 men, women and children on April 19, 1995. In the days and weeks after McVeighís murderous attack, some liberal journalists used his Oklahoma City bombing as an opportunity to take cheap political shots at mainstream conservatives and talk radio hosts. Recall:

++ "In a nation that has entertained and appalled itself for years with hot talk on radio and the campaign trail, the inflamed rhetoric of the Ď90s is suddenly an unindicted co-conspirator in the blast."
-- Time senior writer Richard Lacayo, May 8, 1995.

++ "The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on the rhetoric thatís been coming from the right and those who cater to angry white men. While no oneís suggesting right-wing radio jocks approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence is being questioned by many observers, including the President....The list of those the President may have had in mind is at once long and familiar. Right-wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Bob Grant, Oliver North, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan and others take to the air every day with basically the same format: detail a problem, blame the government or a group, and invite invective from like-minded people. Never do most of the radio hosts encourage outright violence, but the extent to which their attitudes may embolden and encourage some extremists has clearly become an issue."
-- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, April 25, 1995.

++ "Even after Oklahoma City, you can turn on your radio in any city and still dial up hate talk: extremists, racist and violent rhetoric from the hosts and those who call in."
-- Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, April 27, 1995.

++ "Public antagonism toward government has been one of the principal themes of American political discourse for nearly two decades, growing in shrillness in the past year. This sentiment has been voiced and amplified by the new Republican House, which just this month completed its 100 days of action, much of it aimed at paring back the growth of the federal government. But now that an attack on a government building has left scores dead, including children, the allure is coming off the anti-government rhetoric." 
-- Boston Globe Washington Bureau Chief David Shribman, in a front-page "news analysis," April 25, 1995.

     END Reprint of Quick Take fax

     For more of this kind of spin in April 1995, check out these articles:

     -- May 1995 MediaWatch: "Use of ĎFar Rightí and ĎExtremeí Labels Link Conservatives and Terrorists; McVeigh: Newt's Protege?" Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/mediawatch/1995/mw19950501p1.html

     -- Another May 1995 MediaWatch article: "Hosts Blamed For Bombing; Blasting Talk Radio." Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/mediawatch/1995/mw19950501p3.html

     -- A four-page "SPECIAL PURVEYORS OF HATE & DIVISION ISSUE" of Notable Quotables. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1995/nq19950508.html

     Go back and experience some retro liberal bias -- from the days before CyberAlert. -- Brent Baker


 

 


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