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The 1,229th CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
| Friday February 15, 2002 (Vol. Seven; No. 28) |
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Only Goreís Take Relevant; McCain As CBSís Expert; Hsiaís Light Penalty; Powell Hit by MTV with Anti-U.S. Views; Lay Worse

1) Liberals and conservatives are opposed to President Bushís plan to combat global warming through tax credits and the trading of emission allotments, but ABC News only conveyed the liberal arguments, making special note of Al Goreís concerns.

2) CBSís Bob Schieffer turned to Senator John McCain to answer the question of what awful things will occur if the campaign finance reform effort "fails." McCain promised "thereíll be more scandals because thereís too much money washing around making good people do bad things." Schieffer went to Ted Kennedy for confirmation as he proclaimed the House victory as "a big" step "in the long march toward campaign reform."

3) Columnist Michelle Malkin discovered that Maria Hsia, the woman who used Buddhist monks to funnel illegal foreign money to Al Goreís campaign, received no jail time and a very small fine, despite multiple felony convictions.

4) During MTVís forum with Secretary of State Colin Powell aired Thursday night he was hit with several anti-U.S. questions. One woman wondered: "How do you feel about representing a country commonly perceived as the Satan of contemporary politics?" A man asked about the U.S. "killing thousands of Iraqi children by depriving them of food?" A woman charged that it is "hypocritical to refuse" Geneva Convention rights to Al Qaeda prisoners "while expecting U.S. personnel to be covered."

5) Add CBSís Dan Rather to the list of network anchors who trumpeted an anti-U.S. march in Iran as emblematic of how the Iranian people are mad at President Bush: "It was the biggest anti-American demonstration there in years. Ruling mullahs and some others said it was sparked by anger over President Bush labeling Iran part of an 'axis of evil.'"

6) PBSís Bill Moyers: "It concerns me more that Kenneth Lay is meeting secretly with the Vice President than it concerned me that President Clinton was meeting secretly with Monica Lewinsky."


1

Both liberals and conservatives are disturbed by President Bushís plan to combat global warming, but ABC News only conveyed the liberal arguments. Liberals oppose the Bush proposal because it lacks mandates as it only gives incentives to reduce so-called "greenhouse gasses" and conservatives are against it because it buys into the premise that industrial emissions are causing global warming.

     On Thursdayís World News Tonight, ABCís Terry Moran noted how "many environmentalists attacked this plan right away. They called it toothless," as he relayed how Al Gore castigated it.

     NBC Nightly News didnít utter a word about the topic Thursday night and nether did the CBS Evening News, though on Wednesday night Dan Rather offered a very brief item summarizing the expected policy proposal. CNNís NewsNight on Thursday held itself to a short item read by anchor Aaron Brown.

     The only glimpse of conservative opposition came from FNCís Brit Hume who raised, during an interview with Senator Joe Lieberman on Special Report with Brit Hume, how conservatives are concerned that Bushís emissions trading system sets up targets which could be made into mandates.

     Peter Jennings announced on the February 14 World News Tonight, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
     "President Bush has put forward his proposals to reduce global warming. It is the Presidentís response to an international treaty which sets limits on Greenhouse gas emissions, which the President refused to sign. ABCís Terry Moran is at the White House tonight. Terry, quite simply, the Presidentís proposals are actually suggestions."
     From the White House, Moran confirmed: "Thatís right, Peter, there is nothing mandatory in this plan. Thatís because Mr. Bush made clear he will not support global warming policies that harm American businesses. He argues that economic growth is necessary to develop new clean technology. So the Bush plan requires businesses not to do anything. Instead, it sets up a completely voluntary system to encourage companies to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions through tax credits and other incentives, and it doesnít set a hard limit on the Greenhouse gases. Instead, it sets a goal to reduce the amount of pollution generated by every dollar of economic growth. Thatís a so-called Ďeconomic intensityí measure."
     Jennings prompted Moran to summarize liberal criticism: "And, Terry, to no oneís surprise, the President has been quite harshly criticized by some, including former Vice President Gore."
     Moran elaborated: "Absolutely. Many environmentalists attacked this plan right away. They called it toothless. They said a voluntary plan wonít work. Former Vice President Gore echoed those complaints. He also said that as Governor, Mr. Bush had tried a plan like this; it didnít work. And he said that this plan would continue American dependence on foreign oil."

     The Competitive Enterprise Institute outlined conservative opposition in a February 14 press release headlined, "Misguided Global Warming Plan Released: Bush Administrationís Concessions to Alarmism Overshadow Funding for Research." An excerpt:

...."While the Presidentís commitment to sound science is a welcome change from the Clinton-Gore Administration, the substance of the proposal is a misguided concession to environmental alarmism," said Myron Ebell, CEIís director of global warming and international environmental policy.

The introduction of limits on carbon dioxide emissions, even in the technically "voluntary" form envisioned by the Administration, starts the nation down a dark path. While the effect on carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will be minuscule and undetectable, the White House will create the framework for energy rationing, which will lead to greater pressure to expand the program and make its emissions goals mandatory. There is clearly no scientific imperative for limiting carbon dioxide levels at this time. Even a small concession to those who favor energy suppression will make pursuing the right policies in the future more difficult....

     END of Excerpt

     For the entire press release: http://www.cei.org/gencon/003,02395.cfm

2

CBSís Bob Schieffer on Thursday night lamented how thereís too much money in politics. He turned to campaign speech regulation advocate John McCain to answer the question of what awful things will occur if the campaign finance "reform" effort "fails." McCain promised "thereíll be more scandals because thereís too much money washing around making good people do bad things." For bi-partisan confirmation, Schieffer went to Ted Kennedy before he celebrated the struggle for the liberal bill as he characterized the House victory as "a big" step "in the long march toward campaign reform."

     But thereís actually very little spent each year on campaigning.

     In a February 14 CBS Evening News piece on the fallout from the early Thursday morning win in the House for the Shays-Meehan bill, Schieffer noted how Senator John McCain was quite pleased and that Senator Mitch McConnell, an opponent, conceded campaign finance reform could win in the Senate.

     Viewers then saw Schieffer treating the self-interested McCain as the expert on what will happen if he loses. Schieffer asked him: "If this fails, what happens?"
     McCain warned: "If it fails, thereíll be more scandals because thereís too much money washing around making good people do bad things."
     Schieffer substantiated McCainís thesis: "More money for sure. Just check the new figures. In 1999, as the two parties prepared for a presidential election year, they raised a combined total of $240 million. But for this cycle, when there is no presidential race, theyíve already raised $321 million. Kennedy of Massachusetts says it leaves all politicians concentrating on the wrong things."
     Senator Ted Kennedy: "You find that the two years, anyway, before youíre up for election youíre gone constantly on the weekends instead of doing what youíre elected to do and thatís being a good United States Senator."
     Schieffer then concluded: "So, one more step, but a big one, in the long march toward campaign reform. Next stop the Senate later this month."

     As for all that money in politics, Robert J. Samuelson pointed out in a column run in the February 13 Washington Post:
     "Is campaign spending too high? No. In 2000, all campaigns -- including state and local elections and ballot referendums -- cost about $3.9 billion, according to the forthcoming book Financing the 2000 Election from the Brookings Institution. This is less than four one-hundredths of 1 percent of our national income. It's less than Americans spend annually on flowers ($6.6 billion in 1997)."

     The $321 million raised in 2001 for federal campaigns, which Schieffer found so disturbing, is less than ten percent of how much is spent buying flowers each year.

3

Forget the effectiveness of new campaign finance laws. We donít even punish the violators of current ones. Columnist Michelle Malkin discovered -- in a development that I and the MRC analysts have not seen reported anywhere else -- that Maria Hsia, the woman who used Buddhist monks to funnel illegal foreign money to Al Goreís campaign, received a very light sentence last week.

     The MRCís Rich Noyes alerted me to Malkinís February 13 column as posted on TownHall.com. An excerpt:

Newsflash: The woman who helped launder Al Gore's Buddhist temple money has not served a single day in jail. And she probably never will. The hidden story of how funny money honey Maria Hsia escaped any meaningful punishment for corrupting our election system shows just how empty all of this week's sound and fury over campaign finance reform really is.

In the spring of 2000, Hsia was convicted by a federal jury in Washington, D.C., of five felony counts related to more than $100,000 in illegal contributions to Democratic candidates. The stash included $65,000 in straw donations, which Hsia had funneled through clueless, non-English-speaking monks and nuns the day after Vice President Al Gore's 1996 visit to the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple in Southern California. Hsia, a Taiwan-born immigration consultant, faced up to 25 years in prison for causing false statements about the pass-through contributions to be made in Federal Election Commission reports.

That was two years ago. Where is Hsia now?

Here's the rest of the story that the mainstream media has yet to report. On Feb. 6, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman finally handed Hsia her sentence: a puny 90 days of home detention and three years of probation, along with a fine and assessment of $5,300.

Judge Friedman's slap on the wrist is no surprise. A Clinton appointee, he was assigned to the Hsia case by Norma Holloway Johnson -- another Clinton appointee who serves as the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Johnson bypassed the court's usual computer-randomized assignment system and somehow miraculously ended up assigning fellow Clinton judicial appointees to oversee six criminal cases involving Democratic fund-raisers and Clinton crony Webster Hubbell.

When he first got the Hsia case, Judge Friedman immediately dismissed all but one felony count against the Clinton-Gore rainmaker. A higher appeals court overruled him. Then, during trial, he disallowed crucial grand-jury testimony to be introduced. After the jury reached its guilty verdict, he dallied before entering a judgment of conviction (which usually follows a verdict immediately). And according to the BNA Money & Politics Report, a D.C.-based daily newsletter that first reported news of Hsia's reduced sentence, Friedman blocked prosecutors from securing tougher penalties....

     END of Excerpt

     To read Malkinís entire column, go to:
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/mm20020213.shtml

     The TownHall Web site: http://www.townhall.com

4

During MTVís forum with Secretary of State Colin Powell aired Thursday night he was hit with several questions from an anti-U.S., far-left perspective posed by young adults around the world. "How do you feel about representing a country commonly perceived as the Satan of contemporary politics," wondered a woman in London.

     A man in Cairo demanded: "How can you explain to us, the youth of Egypt, that you are punishing regime but killing thousands of Iraqi children by depriving them of food and aid?" In the one and only e-mail MTV chose to read to Powell the writer wanted to know "what is being done to address the root causes of terrorism and anti-American sentiment in the Islamic world, such as poverty, lack of education...?"

     Another woman in London challenged Powell: "Do you not think itís hypocritical to refuse prisoners of war the same rights that the Al Qaeda fighters donít have while expecting U.S. personnel to be covered under the Geneva conference?"

     A woman in Milan wanted to know how AIDS can be prevented when the Catholic Church opposes condom use and a woman in Sao Paolo demanded to know why the "U.S. is more interested in protecting patents" of makers of AIDS drugs "than the lives of those who canít afford these drugs?"

     The 90-minute MTV program, Be Heard: A Global Discussion with Colin Powell, was taped Thursday morning before an audience in Washington, DC with groups of young adults contributing questions from studios in six other capitals: London, Sao Paolo, Moscow, Milan, Cairo and New Delhi. MTV aired the show from 8 to 9:30pm EST and will run it three more times.

     Interspersed with the anti-U.S. questions were some more reasonable ones, though some also had an edge. The event started with a Muslim woman in the DC studio upset by anti-Muslim discrimination in the U.S. Other questioners wanted Powell to define terrorism, an Afghan man in New Delhi wished to know why before September 11 the U.S. didnít pay attention to Afghanistan?; a Swedish woman in London wondered if the U.S. would go it alone on Iraq; a Palestinian women in Cairo wanted to know why her people had no "right to return" to Israeli land; and an Israeli woman in London talked about the fear of terrorism her nation must endure every day.

     Plus, a man in New Delhi noted that 35,000 have been killed in the battle over Kashmir, yet the U.S. asks India to show restraint when the U.S. did not when far fewer were killed in the U.S.; a woman in the same studio wished to know why is U.S. is "hand and glove with the military dictatorship" of Pakistan and doesnít that mean the U.S. placing self interest ahead of its values?; a woman in Brazil feared her country will be left out of the battle against poverty because it has nothing to do with terrorism; and the show ended with a woman in DC wanting to know what Powell meant when he once said of himself: "I ainít that black"?

     Now to the hostile anti-American questions that MTV showcased. All quotes are accurate, even though they sometimes ainít no good like English -- either because the questioners do not have English as a first language or because the question went through an interpreter:

     -- A woman from Norway, named something like "Ada," asked from the London studio: "Hi, hello Mr. Secretary. Iím wondering, when I talk to my friends about the U.S., we think about how do you feel about representing a country commonly perceived as the Satan of contemporary politics."

     To be fair to the young lady, it was a bit unclear whether she thinks the U.S. is Satan or if sheís genuinely soliciting a retort she could use when she hears that line of thinking from her fellow Europeans.

     Either way, Powell delivered his best response of the night: "Well I reject the characterization. Quite the contrary. I think the American people, the United States of America, presents a values system to the rest of the world that is based on democracy, based on economic freedom, based on the individual rights of men and women. Thatís what has fueled this country of ours for the last 225 years. I think thatís what makes us such a draw for nations around the world. People come to the United States, they come to be educated, they come to become Americans. We are a country of countries and we touch every country and every country in the world touches us. So far from being the Great Satan I would say that we are the great protector. We have sent men and women from the armed forces of the United States to other parts of the world throughout the last century to put down oppression. We defeated fascism, we defeated communism, we saved Europe in World War One and World War Two..."

     Powell proceeded to note that the U.S. did not stay and conquer Japan or German. Instead we built them up and gave them democratic systems. Powell added: "Did we ask for any land? No, the only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead. Thatís the kind of nation we are."

     -- A man in Cairo, through an interpreter: "What are the evidence that the U.S. government hold against bin Laden and Al Qaeda and that makes bin Laden and Al Qaeda the first suspects after the September 11th attacks?"

     -- Another man in Cairo, through an interpreter: "Mr. Secretary, it is against the principles in international community, how can you explain to us, the youth of Egypt, that you are punishing regime but killing thousands of Iraqi children by depriving them of food and aid?"

     -- An e-mail from Logan in Washington State, the single e-mail inquiry MTV decided to pose to Powell: "Beyond military action, what is being done to address the root causes of terrorism and anti-American sentiment in the Islamic world, such as poverty, lack of education, lack of economic opportunity, and the absence of democracy?"

     Here, Powell gave his worst answer as he didnít question the premise also espoused by Ted Turner: "I truly fully believe that the root cause of terrorism does come from situations where there is poverty, where there is ignorance, where people see no hope in their lives and we understand that."

     -- A Canadian women in London: "Given that the U.S. supports Saudi Arabia while it condemns the Taliban for the same actions against human rights, do you not think itís hypocritical to refuse prisoners of war the same rights that the Al Qaeda fighters donít have while expecting U.S. personnel to be covered under the Geneva conference?"

     -- A young lady in Milan, through an interpreter, referring to AIDS: "Hi to everyone. My name is Daniella. As a young Catholic woman, I would like to know from the Secretary of State what he thinks of the Catholic positions on condoms, which is prohibited, and, therefore, this condemns anyone who might be exposed to the virus."

     -- A woman in Sao Paolo Brazil, through an interpreter: "Iíve actually been HIV positive for nine years. And for almost six years Iíve been in daily treatment with the so-called AIDS drug cocktail. But Iím very proud to be from a country bold enough to break the patent stranglehold for AIDS medications. And Iíd like to know why is the U.S. more interested in protecting patents than the lives of those who canít afford these drugs?"

     -- A dude, and youíll soon understand why I used that term, in the Washington, DC studio: "My question is, do you think the attacks on September 11th are being trivialized by government propaganda campaigns, like those commercials during the Super Bowl, which blamed drug users for funding terrorist operations?"

     All brought to you by Viacom, part of the media empire which also owns CBS News.

     If you want to watch the 90-minute MTV forum with Powell yourself, it is scheduled to air three more times, all times EST as listed on the MTV Web site:
     -- Today, Friday February 15 at 11am
     -- Today, Friday February 15 at 6:30pm
     -- Sunday, February 17 at 2pm

5

Add CBSís Dan Rather to the list of network anchors and newspapers which portrayed an anti-U.S. march in Iran as emblematic of how the Iranian people are mad at President Bush for labeling heir regime as "evil."

     As detailed in the February 14 CyberAlert, NBCís Tom Brokaw trumpeted an anti-U.S. mob in Iran: "The crowds were reportedly much larger than last year because people are upset at President Bush calling Iran part of an 'axis of evil.'" ABCís Peter Jennings claimed Bush had called the people of Iran "evil," not the regime: "Millions of people do not like being referred to as evil." But as Michael Ledeen noted, the crowd was "appallingly small by historical standards." For more: http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020214.asp#3

     MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth checked the CBS Evening News for the same night, February 11, and found this from Dan Rather: "This is the 23rd anniversary of Iran's radical Islamic revolution, and in Tehran's main square today hundreds of thousands of Iranians chanted 'death to America.' It was the biggest anti-American demonstration there in years. Ruling mullahs and some others said it was sparked by anger over President Bush labeling Iran part of an 'axis of evil.'"

     "Sparked"? As Ledeen explained, the regime used threats to force people to show up.

6

"It concerns me more that Kenneth Lay is meeting secretly with the Vice President than it concerned me that President Clinton was meeting secretly with Monica Lewinsky," Bill Moyers declared last week on his PBS show, Now.

     His comment, to which a CyberAlert reader alerted me, came in the midst of an interview with contrarian feminist author Katie Roiphe about how pornography has become a big business supported by large corporations.

     We join the conversation in progress to catch the relevant exchange:

     Roiphe: "People were so shocked by in my first book, namely that we shouldn't constantly portray women as victims to the male sexual threat, that idea has become very mainstream. And my point that you can take the obsession with sexual harassment too far has become accepted by the larger culture. If you look at the Clinton scandal -- that was to me the logical conclusion of this feminist idea, you know, co-opted by the Republicans that the personal is political, that anything that goes on in someone's private life is relevant to, you know, politics, to the world. I think the entire country showed, reacted against that idea and said, you know what? We don't want to hear about this.
     Moyers piped up: "It concerns me more that Kenneth Lay is meeting secretly with the Vice President than it concerned me that President Clinton was meeting secretly with Monica Lewinsky. There's more of public policy at stake in that it seems to me. The conservatives would disagree with both of us."
     Roiphe reassured him: "Well I think the country agrees with you in that, you know, I think the country-"
     Moyers: "Whew. I'm sure glad to hear that."
     Roiphe: "The country clearly showed that in the end the contents of the Starr Report ended up hurting the Republicans, you know, more than the Democrats, ended up hurting Ken Starr more than it hurt Clinton."

     For a transcript of the entire interview:
http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript104_full.html

     Another episode of Now, the weekly PBS showcase of the liberal whinings of Moyers, airs tonight at 9pm EST/PST, 8pm CST/MST on most PBS stations.

     Iíll refrain from any quips about how Bill Clinton also had a "Lay" in the Oval Office. -- Brent Baker


 

 


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