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CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
| Monday September 10, 2001 (Vol. Six; No. 144) |
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Bush "Taking from Granny"; Stephanopoulos Pushed Daschle to Repeal Tax Cuts; More Money = Better Schools; Condit Linked to Bush

1) "Bush being lukewarm on a capital gains tax cut shows that a man can grow in the presidency," Time magazineís Margaret Carlson congratulated on CNNís Capital Gang, adding: "Heís already taking from granny...to give a tax cut to the wealthy."

2) ABCís George Stephanopoulos doesnít think a capital gains tax cut would raise revenue as he declared that to restore the surplus "you either have to raise taxes or cut spending." He urged Tom Daschle to repeal the tax cuts, pushing Daschle: "If itís the right thing to do, if you believe itís the right thing to do, why not make the case, take it to the country and put pressure on the President?" NBCís Tom Brokaw reminded viewers that "Democrats have been warning the Bush tax cut was too big and too early."

3) Timeís Jack White expressed his pleasure at conservative retirements: "Strom Thurmond is leaving, Jesse Helms is leaving, Phil Gramm. I hope this trend continues." Newsweek Evan Thomas claimed Janet Reno can be seen as having "integrity."

4) As if spending equals quality, on Saturday night the CBS Evening News bemoaned how "in many communities taxpayers are unwilling to pay more for better schools." In CBSís example, classroom instruction was untouched as Lee Cowan devoted his piece to students and parents whining about having to pay to play athletics. Acting as an advocate, Cowan asked: "Is what happened to this school a wake-up call for the rest of the country?"

5) An acknowledgment in the Washington Post of how the public is ignorant of Gary Conditís party affiliation, a reason why offered on Fox News Sunday and a network reporter referred to Condit as having a "very conservative voting record and, in fact, has voted with the Bush White House on many key issues, such as the tax cut."


Clarification: Due to an inexplicable inaccuracy on the Web page of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), the September 5 and September 6 CyberAlerts passed along a slightly inaccurate ADA rating number for Congressman Harold Ford Jr., a Tennessee Democrat. But, the basic thrust of the items, that CNNís Wolf Blitzer was way off the mark in labeling Ford as a "conservative Democrat," is unaffected. Fordís career rating from the American Conservative Union is indeed a piddling 13 percent.
The CyberAlerts stated: "The liberal Americans for Democratic Action have approved of 84 percent of his votes through 2000." In fact, the ADA Web page "lifetime" numbers only go through 1999. More importantly, the ADA merged numbers for Harold Ford Jr., elected in 1996, with his long-serving father, whom he succeeded. Go to: http://adaction.org/ho00045.htm and youíll see just one line for "Ford, H" going back to 1990. In fact, Ford Jr. earned an 85 percent in 1997, 80 percent in 1998 and 100 percent in 1999, a perfect liberal score. He fell to 60 percent in 2000. His four-year average from 1997 through 2000: a respectably liberal 81 percent, just two points less than Dick Gephardtís career rating through 1999.

 

1

"Bush being lukewarm on a capital gains tax cut shows that a man can grow in the presidency," Time magazineís Margaret Carlson declared on CNNís Capital Gang, adding this spin from the liberal class warfare spin book: "Heís already taking from granny...to give a tax cut to the wealthy."

     Her comment in full from the September 8 Capital Gang:
     "Bush being lukewarm on a capital gains tax cut shows that a man can grow in the presidency. Heís already taking from granny, possibly, to give a tax cut to the wealthy. He would be in such a bad position if he were then to be in favor of a capital gains tax cut which sends further breaks to the wealthy while all the headlines are about dipping into the Social Security surplus."

2

In the world of ABC News reporter George Stephanopoulos, a capital gains tax cut wonít raise revenue to the government since, he declared as fact, that to restore the surplus "you either have to raise taxes or cut spending." Stephanopoulos pushed Daschle to press for repealing the upcoming tax cuts since, he quoted Daschle, the reality of how tax cuts were bad policy is "crashing down on all of us." When Daschle demurred, Stephanopoulos tried to rally Daschle to the cause: "But if itís the right thing to do, if you believe itís the right thing to do, why not make the case, take it to the country and put pressure on the President?"

     During the September 9 interview conducted by Stephanopoulos, who co-hosted ABCís This Week, Stephanopoulos handled the interview solo with Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Stephanopoulos lectured Daschle about how to restore the surplus as he reminded him of a comment from a few months ago:
     "There are only two ways to get out of it long term: You either have raise taxes or cut spending. Why donít you take a look at something you said on June 6th. You said: ĎI know were going to revisití this Bush tax cut at some point, ĎI just know that at some point the reality is going to come crashing down on all of us, and weíre going to have to deal with it.í Since then the Dow has dropped 1600 points, weíve had the lowest GDP numbers in eight years, the highest unemployment in four years and the non-Social Security surplus has all but vanished. Why isnít now the time to revisit that tax cut?"
     Daschle: "Well George, because the President has said unequivocally he wonít even consider looking at revising the tax cut. Our Republican colleagues in the House and Senate have said there is no way theyíre going to look at it. You canít go somewhere where there isnít any milage."
     Stephanopoulos wasnít dissuaded: "But if itís the right thing to do, if you believe itís the right thing to do, why not make the case, take it to the country and put pressure on the President?"

     On Fridayís NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw gave credence to the Democratic spin, as he set up a story about Bushís comments on the economy: "Here in Washington, todayís run of discouraging economic news only added to Republican anxiety as Democrats have been warning the Bush tax cut was too big and too early."

3

Timeís Jack White expressed his pleasure on Inside Washington over how Senator Phil Gramm was following Senators Helms and Thurmond in announcing their retirements: "I hope this trend continues." On the same show, Newsweekís Evan Thomas claimed Janet Reno can be seen to have "integrity."

     The quotes in full from Inside Washington over the weekend:

     -- Time national correspondent Jack White on the news that Republican Senator Phil Gramm of Texas will not run for re-election: "Strom Thurmond is leaving, Jesse Helms is leaving, Phil Gramm. I hope this trend continues. This is going in the right direction."

     -- Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas on Janet Reno, the former Attorney General who is now a Democratic candidate for Governor of Florida: "Sheís such a crazy old lady that there is a quality about her that can be seen as integrity."

4

Spending on public education continues to soar overall nationwide as Congress and the President debate not whether to increase federal spending on schools, but by how much to hike it in the face of disappointing student performance. But on Saturday night the CBS Evening News picked out the situation in one town as symbolic of how "in many communities taxpayers are unwilling to pay more for better schools." As if spending equals quality.

     And in the example picked by CBS the spending cuts had nothing to do with classroom instruction, just athletics. But that didnít stop CBS from devoting a whole story to whining from parents and students about how they must pay to play.

     Anchor Russ Mitchell set up the September 8 piece by offering a mini-lecture: "Every poll shows that education is an important issue to American voters, but in many communities, taxpayers are unwilling to pay more for better schools. As educators are forced to make budget cuts, Lee Cowan reports on one school's policy that has athletes crying foul."

     Reporter Lee Cowan began over scenes of high school football in Ashburnham, Massachusetts: "In this quiet New England town, you can hear fall coming a mile away: high school football. It's a rich tradition, but this season, students may have to be rich to play."
     Steve Bender, student: "Overall, it's probably gonna cost me around $2,044."
     Cowan to Bender: "Just this year?"
     Bender: "Just this year to play sports."
     Cowan explained: "It's that way for every student athlete at Oakmont High after taxpayers came up short, voting down a school funding proposal."
     Laura Nelson, a student, whined: "They don't care. That's basically what they're saying to me."
     Cowan, without considering of taxpayers may see a lot of waste or incompetence in the school system, asserted: "It left Oakmont with a $1 million shortfall and a choice: either cut athletics all together or ask families to pay in order to play."
     Student: "They don't have kids in the school system anymore, so they just don't want to pay the taxes."
     Cowan warned: "Education is a top priority in almost every national poll, but creeping concerns about the economy are starting to blow the whistle on funding for extras. Without taxpayer support, varsity football will now cost $1,029; girls' soccer and field hockey, more than $400 each. Varsity Football $1,029 Girls' Soccer $ 402 Girls' Field Hockey $ 421. Even cheerleading now has a price."

     Cowan, turning into an advocate, to a mother: "Is what happened to this school a wake-up call for the rest of the country?"
     Karen Harrington, mother of student: "I think it is."
     Cowan elaborated: "As a mother, Karen Harrington says she's seen a subtle shift."
     Harrington: "People are tax-weary, and they, there are a lot of expenses now, and the economy is, you know, is changing now."
     Cowan: "And the school's principal seems helpless to stop it."
     Bill Waight, principal: "There's lots of schools that have user fees, but I don't know if any of them have them as high as ours."
     Cowan to Waight: "And is that frustrating?"
     Waight: "It's embarrassing."
     Cowan: "For the school and for parents."
     Mike Catlin, father of student, complained: "We go to scrimmage some of the schools and they've got 100 kids show up for football, and we have 30 because of this."
     Cowan: "Already participation is down 20 percent just since the fees were announced. Any lower than that, some fear, and some programs may have to be scrapped all together."
     Bryan Brown, Athletic Director: "It affects everything, all sports. Our cross-country team loses six kids that ran last year that they're not gonna have this year. We won three straight league championships."
     Cowan lamented: "Not this year."
     Brown: "And not this year."
     Cowan concluded: "A school proud of its past is trying to forge a future, one that may be on the sidelines for good."

     Also on the sidelines at CBS, any pretense of balance in this NEA-pleasing one-sided story.

5

An acknowledgment of how the public is ignorant of Gary Conditís party affiliation, a reason why and a network reporter referred to Condit as having a "very conservative voting record and, in fact, has voted with the Bush White House on many key issues, such as the tax cut."

     -- In a September 7 Washington Post story on speculation that Condit will not run for re-election, reporter Juliet Eilperin, MRC Communications Director Liz Swasey observed, wrote: "House Democrats said that while voters are increasingly aware of the scandal surrounding Condit -- several recent participants mentioned it during a recent focus group on the economy conducted by House Democrats -- they were largely ignorant of the Congressmanís party affiliation and did not blame Democrats as a whole for his conduct."

     -- Why might they be so ignorant? During the roundtable segment on the September 9 Fox News Sunday Michael Barone of U.S. News picked up on an MRC study of how the networks hardly ever identify Conditís party: "The Democrats would hope that he would go away. The mainstream, old line networks almost never identify him as a Democrat. They want this albatross off their neck."

     That "they" referred to the Democrats, not the media, I believe, but it could apply to both.

     -- On MSNBC on Friday at just past 3pm EDT, Andrea Mitchell reported on how Condit will not run for re-election. She noted he is a Democrat, but quickly tried to tie him to the GOP : "One of the big factors here is that the people in his district will be very different after this coming election. When he goes to face the voters again it will be a new district and the new district will have more minority voters, more Democrats and fewer Republicans and the Republicans have been remarkably supportive of him because he has had a very conservative voting record and, in fact, has voted with the Bush White House on many key issues, such as the tax cut."

     As reported in previous CyberAlerts, from 1989 through 2000 Condit has a career 52 percent average rating from the Americans with Democratic Action and a 48 percent career rating from the American Conservative Union. So heís hardly a flaming liberal, but heís significantly more liberal than several House Democrats from the South and West and many Republicans. "Moderate Democrat" would be a more accurate description. -- Brent Baker


 

 


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