Moyers: Polluter-Bush Alliance; "Outrageous" Corporate Tax Dodge; Jennings Realizes Enron Bi-Partisan; "Excessive Hatred" of Clinton
1) PBS delivered the same old pontificating Bill Moyers in
his new weekly Friday night hour. He provided a liberal lecture about how
"America’s richest and most polluting companies" are
"sitting pretty" thanks to the Bush team they bought and paid
for while the environment is suffering. Moyers found "a staunch
conservative" he could use to advance his cause: Larry Klayman.
2) CBS on Friday night used Enron’s non-payment of taxes
as an excuse to push the liberal agenda of Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ),
which it failed to label. "Legal or not," groused Dan Rather
about corporations which avoid taxes, "critics say it is
outrageous." Reporter Mark Strassmann featured this shot at GE from
CTJ’s Bob McIntyre: "Sometimes I think their most important product
is tax avoidance, and then they make a few refrigerators on the
3) Peter Jennings has adjusted his thinking. On January 10
he declared: "Enron was a company with deep political connections to
the Bush administration." Eight days later, Jennings broadened his
scope: "Enron’s connections to politicians in both parties, and in
every part of the country, are, as we have reported before, deep and
4) When a woman on the Today show equated with
"terrorism" her experience in losing money with her Enron stock,
instead of questioning the over-hyped analogy, Katie Couric pressed her to
expand: "Can you elaborate for me...how your life has been
5) CNN’s Aaron Brown revealed last week that he thinks
Bill Clinton was the victim of "excessive hatred."
6) The Washington Post put the burden for raising race on
those who wanted an accurate memorial in New York of firefighters raising
the flag, not on those pushing a politically correct alteration: "As
the nation watched the firefighters...struggle to raise the flag over the
smoldering disaster site, did it matter at that moment that they were
three white men? Apparently it does.... the fire department has been
inundated with the outcry of its angry and predominantly white
7) Media Reality Check. "Afghanistan’s Murderous
Taliban = U.S.A.’s ‘Religious Conservatives.’ Post Reporter Bends
over Backwards to Slam Conservatives."
8) Via the MRC Web site, you can now watch the videos the
audience saw Thursday night at the MRC’s "Dishonor Awards: Roasting
the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2001." Plus, the
Pittsburgh Tribune Review ran an editorial about the event, "See,
hear, speak no balance: Harris gets her ‘due.’"
9) Letterman’s "Top Ten Ways to Make Military Life
More Fun," as read by members of the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell.
Update: A C-SPAN video camera was at the MRC’s "Dishonor Awards:
Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2001," but
the network has not yet shown it. And the schedule for C-SPAN and C-SPAN2,
as of early Monday morning, did not list it, though nothing has been
scheduled more than 18 hours out and most of Monday is unscheduled on
C-SPAN2. When I know more, I’ll let you know. <<<
new PBS venue, but the same old pontificating Bill Moyers. On Friday night
PBS debuted its new weekly news program, Now with Bill Moyers. He used it
as a platform for a liberal lecture about how "America’s richest
and most polluting companies" are "sitting pretty" thanks
to the Bush administration they bought and paid for while the environment
"Even some Washington conservatives are
outraged" at Vice President Cheney’s "adamant secrecy" in
not divulging who his energy policy task force consulted, Moyers
maintained as he showcased a "staunch conservative" on his side:
Moyers set up the segment on the January 18
show: "Congress returns to Washington next week and one of the first
priorities for the Senate is to consider the President’s energy program.
In both the President’s plan, and the bill that’s already passed the
House, H.R. 4, the fossil fuel industry is sitting pretty, with the
promise of more than $35 billion in tax breaks and economic subsidies for
some of America’s richest and most polluting companies. For the
environment it’s a different story."
Over video of birds in a waterway, Moyers
continued his polemic by portraying a series of liberal claims as facts,
preceding each by insisting "we know." Moyers opined: "The
beauty and health of our environment matters to most of us. We know our
dependence on oil, coal and gas drives global climate change. We know that
moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy would serve our needs
forever. But the President’s energy plan is all about fossil fuel and
the industries that helped elect him."
Following a lengthy soundbite from Dan Becker
of the Sierra Club blasting Bush policies, Moyers claimed: "From the
beginning it’s been a happy marriage of money and politics. The fossil
fuel interests spent $55 million to help elect candidates to advance their
goals and the Bush administration became practically a mirror of the
energy industry. It’s that old fraternity of oil and gas men, automotive
and utility interests. There were no strangers here."
Becker explained how a "a procession of
big polluting companies" is getting what they want because the Bush
administration is packed with those formerly employed by "big
After a shot from Tom Smith of Public Citizen
at Bush’s close ties to the evil energy industry while Governor of
Texas, Moyers arrived at the energy policy task force overseen by Vice
President Cheney. Moyers asserted that Cheney "asked executives from
Enron Energy, Anadarko Petroleum and Peabody Coal to help him write the
report, plus other industry insiders whom Cheney refuses to identify. Even
some Washington conservatives are outraged at his adamant secrecy."
Yes, now that one is on his side, Moyers has
suddenly discovered the insight of a conservative, this time Judicial
Watch’s Larry Klayman, whom he dubbed "a staunch
Much of the rest of the piece was devoted to
Klayman laying out his case against Cheney, mixed with a few more blasts
at Bush from Becker.
This was the only Now story without a
transcript up on its Web site, as of Sunday evening, and I didn’t get
any further in transcribing it myself, but I think I’ve adequately
conveyed the one-sided agenda reflected in the story.
For the Now Web site, go to: http://www.pbs.org/now/
For the page on the January 18 program, go to:
Moyers followed-up his piece with an interview
with L. Hunter Lovins, an alternative energy advocate. Moyers admired how
she was one of Time magazine’s "Heroes of the Planet."
That’s all you need to know to peg her political agenda.
Friday night used the Enron case as an excuse to publicize a report from a
liberal interest group about how some big companies don’t pay corporate
income taxes, a report highlighted earlier last week by the New York
Times. But CBS neither credited the newspaper or applied the proper
ideological tag to Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ).
Instead, the CBS Evening News promoted the
anti-business agenda as Dan Rather groused that "legal or not,
critics say it is outrageous." CBS reporter Mark Strassmann featured
two soundbites from CTJ’s Bob McIntyre, before even getting to any other
viewpoint. CBS featured this cheap shot at GE from McIntyre:
"Sometimes I think their most important product is tax avoidance, and
then they make a few refrigerators on the side."
Strassmann’s "Eye on America"
piece drew deep meaning from how Enron avoided taxes in recent years, as
he hoped: "America's mightiest companies are paying less and less in
taxes. One of the repercussions from Enron's fall may be a new call for
In all of Strassmann’s whining, however, he
never pointed out how even a corporation which does not pay taxes
generates a lot of tax revenue for the federal government from things such
as capital gains taxes paid by stock and mutual fund holders and income
taxes paid by employees.
Rather intoned on the January 18 CBS Evening
News: "The Enron scandal is encouraging new looks at a growing trend
in corporate America: Using legal loopholes, including offshore hideouts,
to avoid federal income taxes altogether. But legal or not, critics say it
is outrageous, as CBS's Mark Strassmann reports for tonight's Eye on
Mark Strassmann began: "Enron was
America's seventh-largest corporation, but four of the last five years the
company paid not one dime in federal income taxes. To many Americans, that
in itself is a scandal."
Director, Citizens for Tax Justice: "Whether it's a big corporation
or a rich person, if they avoid paying their fair share of taxes, the rest
of us get stuck with the bill."
"Yet many of America's marquis corporate names pay no federal taxes.
Some even get millions in tax rebates. According to a study by the
Citizens for Tax Justice, in 1998 from the Fortune 500, 24 corporations
reported a total of $12 billion in pre-tax profits. With tax breaks, not
only did they avoid the usual 35 percent tax rate and paid nothing,
together they earned another $1.2 billion in tax rebates. That's a
difference of $5.5 billion, equal to the total 1998 federal taxes paid by
everyone living in these four states. [on screen map: Montana, Wyoming,
North Dakota and Vermont or New Hampshire, hard to tell?] Even in
pro-business Atlanta, that disparity hits home."
think big business ought to pay taxes just like the rest of us do."
pay taxes, and I feel they have a whole lot of money that could contribute
to the country."
"General Electric tops the study's list of corporate tax avoiders:
nearly $7 billion in tax breaks over three years."
"Sometimes I think their most important product is tax avoidance, and
then they make a few refrigerators on the side."
"The numbers are startling, but the tax work is typically
a federal tax lawyer: "If I were the man on the street, I wouldn't
"Pinney Allen is a corporate tax lawyer. She says the U.S. tax code
designs tax breaks to encourage certain corporate behavior, when Pfizer
invests in research for pharmaceuticals or Microsoft offers tax options to
recruit talented people."
"Just because someone, some company is paying less in tax than
somebody else doesn't mean that we necessarily have something heinous
concluded by dismissing her point: "Whatever is going on, America's
mightiest companies are paying less and less in taxes. One of the
repercussions from Enron's fall may be a new call for tax reform."
difference eight days makes in how one network anchor adjusted his
characterization of which party is tied to Enron. On January 10 and
January 18 ABC’s Peter Jennings used the same phraseology about
Enron’s connections being "deep and wide," but on the matter
of to whom, Jennings has grown.
Jennings on the January 10 World News Tonight
as he teased the show and set up the first two stories:
"Enron’s connections to the Bush administration, wide and
was a company with deep political connections to the Bush administration,
and so there are political issues to be dealt with."
has very extensive connections to the President and other officials in his
Eight days later, Jennings introduced a
January 18 look at how politicians and political party groups are giving
to charity donations they received from Enron: "Enron’s connections
to politicians in both parties, and in every part of the country, are, as
we have reported before, deep and wide. But now that Enron is in collapse
and in disgrace, politicians are running."
"As we have reported before." A nice
bit of re-writing history.
woman on the Today show last week equated with "terrorism" her
experience in losing money with her Enron stock, instead of questioning
the over-hyped analogy, Katie Couric pressed her to expand on her claim:
"Tell me how, can you elaborate for me...how your life has been
MRC analyst Ken Shepherd caught on the January
16 Today the ridiculous misuse of the term "terrorism" in a
discussion with a woman who lost her life savings when she couldn't sell
her Enron stock.
Couric asked Janice Farmer: "You did not
work directly for Enron, you worked for a gas company in Florida that was
owned by Enron and all of your life savings, nearly $700,000 were in Enron
stock. You're retired now, tell me what you're facing personally."
"Katie, I feel like I've been a victim of corporate terrorism, except
my date is 10-22, because that was the date I found out that I was locked
out of my 401(k) savings plan and could not sell my Enron stock and my
life has been devastated."
"Tell me how, can you elaborate for me, Janice, how your life has
Aaron Brown revealed last week that he thinks Bill Clinton was the victim
of "excessive hatred." Brown’s admission came during a segment
in which he made the reasonable point that some of the anger directed at
Clinton was fueled by a dislike of the culture and morals of the 1960s.
On the January 16 NewsNight, MRC analyst Ken
Shepherd observed, during an interview with essayist Anne Taylor Fleming,
Brown offered up his explanation for why Bill Clinton was so loathed by
start sending the e-mails now, okay...on this point I'm about to make
that, I've always believed that some of, what I think it was the excessive
hatred, if you will, for Bill Clinton, former President Clinton, was
rooted not in anything that he did as Governor or President or any of
those other things but goes back to what he did or didn't do or thought or
didn't think in the 60s."
behind using the photo of three New York City firefighters raising a flag
at Ground Zero as the model for a memorial sculpture, decided to alter
reality by having two of the three white firefighters replaced by a black
one and a Hispanic one. In framing the issue in the Washington Post on
Friday, however, reporter Lynne Duke led not by worrying about the
altering of reality to suit political correctness, but about how the
"outcry" from the fire department’s "angry and
predominantly white force," shows how their race really did matter.
Duke, the Post’s New York City reporter,
opened her January 18 "Style" section story:
When firefighters George Johnson, Dan McWilliams and Bill Eisengrein
hoisted the Stars and Stripes atop the monstrous rubble of the World Trade
Center on Sept. 11, it was one of the most moving and enduring images of
the national crisis. Terrorists could hit us but not defeat us. They could
kill us, deeply wound us, but not take away a nation's will. As the nation
watched the firefighters -- who lost 343 comrades in the attack --
struggle to raise the flag over the smoldering disaster site, did it
matter at that moment that they were three white men?
Apparently it does. In the week since the fire department revealed it
would memorialize the flag-raising with a bronze statue depicting one
black, one white and one Latino firefighter raising that flag together,
the fire department has been inundated with the outcry of its angry and
predominantly white force. The debate has been over race and remembering,
over historical accuracy and symbolic
END of Excerpt
To read the entire story, go to:
a Media Reality Check "Quick Take" fax by the MRC’s Rich Noyes
which was distributed Thursday afternoon. It was titled,
"Afghanistan’s Murderous Taliban = U.S.A.’s ‘Religious
Conservatives.’ Post Reporter Bends over Backwards to Slam
To access the Adobe Acrobat version, go to:
The text of the January 17 Media Reality
Today’s [January 17] Washington Post (page A21) included a news
article by reporter Rick Weiss, ostensibly about the first meetings of
President Bush’s new Council on Bioethics. Weiss accurately stated that
the immediate mission of the Council is to examine "the ethics of
human cloning and of experimentation on cloned human embryos --
contentious topics that will be the focus of a Senate hearing next
Thursday and are due for a full-blown debate by March."
But Weiss then went out of his way to equate religious Americans who
are troubled by the laboratory manipulation of human life with
Afghanistan’s Taliban regime which -- as the Post has reported
elsewhere -- maimed and killed numerous citizens during its five-year
reign of terror.
Weiss wrote: "The council will be navigating a scientific and
ethical landscape significantly more complex than the one that existed
when the House became embroiled in the topic last summer. In November,
researchers announced that they had made the first human embryo clones,
giving immediacy to warnings by religious conservatives and others that
science is no longer serving the nation's moral will. At the same time,
the United States was fighting a war to free a faraway nation from the
grip of religious conservatives who were denounced for imposing their
moral code on others."
After a front-page Washington Post article on February 1, 1993
matter-of-factly described religious conservatives as "largely poor,
uneducated and easy to command," the Post’s Howard Kurtz
reported that then-managing editor Robert Kaiser "said he and other
editors failed to catch the ‘profoundly opinionated assertion’ before
publication. ‘We really screwed up....One of the sins we commit from
time to time is insensitivity,’ he said."
Apparently the Post’s "sensitivity" to religious
conservatives has not grown with the years.
END Reprint of Media Reality Check "Quick
all the videos roast attendees saw Thursday night at the MRC’s
"Dishonor Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal
Reporters of 2001." Plus, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review ran an
editorial about the MRC allowing Katherine Harris to accept an award on
behalf of Dan Rather for belittling her.
-- MRC Webmaster Mez Djouadi worked most of
Friday to create a Web page with all of the video clips of biased comments
and stories, as produced by Horizons Television, shown at the Thursday
night dinner. Go to:
-- An editorial in the January 18 Pittsburgh
See, hear, speak no balance: Harris gets her ‘due'
WASHINGTON. Big doings here Thursday night in the nation's capital. But
we doubt you'll read or hear much -- anything? -- about it in the
mainstream liberal media this morning.
As "official Washington" enjoyed the last full week of the
holiday recess (the second session of the 107th Congress bows Wednesday),
conservatives gathered in the atrium of the Reagan International Trade
Center for the 2002 Dishonors Awards.
The brainchild of Sunday Trib columnist L. Brent Bozell III and his
Media Research Center, the event roasted "the most outrageously
biased liberal reporters of the year."
Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris was on hand to accept the
"Sore Loser Award" for refusing to "concede" Al Gore's
"victory" in Florida. Of course, she
couldn't have been bestowed such an honor without a lot of help from CBS
News anchor Dan Rather. To wit, a few of the Ratherisms featured at last
- "Nineteen days after the presidential election, Florida's
Republican secretary of state is about to announce the winner -- as she
sees it and she decrees it...."
- "The believed certification -- as the Republican secretary of state
sees it -- is coming just hours after a court-ordered deadline for
counties to submit their hand count and recount totals...."
- "The reason we're on the air right across the board nationally
right now is because Florida's secretary of state -- a Republican, as
we've mentioned before -- campaigned actively for George Bush,
well-connected to Gov. Bush's governor brother Jeb Bush of Florida...."
- "What's happening here is the certification -- as the Florida
secretary of state sees it and decrees it -- is being signed.... After
this, it will be, at least in the opinion of the secretary of state, that
the results will be final...."
It was a night recognizing how bad the see-, hear- and speak-no-balance
liberal media really is. How refreshing it would be if the 2003 Dishonors
Awards had to be canceled for lack of nominees. But we're not holding our
END of Reprint
To read the editorial online:
January 18 Late Show with David Letterman, as read by members of the 101st
Airborne at Fort Campbell, the "Top Ten Ways to Make Military Life
More Fun." Copyright 2002 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. Forget Reveille, let us wake up to Regis and Kelly
9. The higher your rank, the larger your hat
8. Humvees with novelty horns that play "La Cucaracha"
7. Three words: magic finger cots
6. Casual Fridays when you're allowed to wear a different shade of khaki
5. Every night, first Sergeant required to put mint on your pillow
4. Only go to war in a country where you can get a decent cappuccino
3. Just once, let me take an Apache helicopter home for the weekend
2. How about some camouflage uniforms that don't make me look fat?
1. More fun? I don't think that's possible
#7 lost me.