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The 1,249th CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
| Monday March 25, 2002 (Vol. Seven; No. 48) |
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A Britís "God Bless America"; Clintonite Candidates Celebrated; Global Warming Blamed; On JAG a Reporter Ruins a Secret Mission

1) The Oscar Awards lasted four hours and twenty-three minutes, but just one participant proclaimed "Good Bless America." And heís not even an American. Julian Fellowes: "I think you must be the most generous nation on Earth. So thank you very much and God Bless America." He worked on Gosford Park with Robert Altman, who recently went on an anti-U.S. rant.

2) MSNBC showcased Stuyvesant High School students who are angered by "hate speech" as epitomized by T-shirts proclaiming "bomb them," and are disgusted at how "weíre taking our God, and itís not my God, and weíre sticking it over the United States and...I didnít like seeing huge billboards which said ĎGod Bless America.í" Plus, they oppose more military spending and are disturbed by "the really false sense of patriotism that exists" with "people waving flags all of a sudden."

3) ABCís This Week celebrated the victory of former Clinton aide Rahm Emanuel in an Illinois congressional primary as Claire Shipman tossed softball questions to him and to pro-Clinton author Joe Klein who came aboard to discuss the several Clintonites running for office. Klein assured Shipman: "Bill Clinton in some ways is the ultimate test of their humanity."

4) How can global warming be responsible for something in 2002 when the same thing occurred 29 years ago? Donít ask ABCís Peter Jennings who expressed that convoluted logic in a short item he read Friday night.

5) CBSís JAG takes on whether reporters are Americans first or journalists first when a "ZNN" reporter forces a commando operation in Afghanistan to be aborted. A promo for Tuesdayís episode asks: "Did this combat reporter cause a front line ambush?"

6) Lettermanís "Top Ten Signs Michael Bloomberg Doesn't Like Being Mayor."


1

ABC ended the longest Oscar Awards show ever at 12:53am EST, four hours and twenty-three minutes after it began, but in all the talk and tributes, what struck me when it occurred about three hours into the show is that viewers only heard one "God Bless America." And that came from someone who is not even American.

     The producers of the annual Hollywood extravaganza certainly did not ignore what happened six months ago. A few acceptors made passing remarks about their appreciation for artistic freedom in America, Woody Allen was brought out to showcase movies filmed in New York City, Kevin Spacey asked the audience to observe a moment of silence for all those killed on September 11th and host Whoopi Goldberg concluded the show by turning around to display logos on her back of the New York City Fire Department and the police departments of New York City and the Port Authority.

     Accepting the Oscar for the "Best Original Screenplay" for the movie Gosford Park, Julian Fellowes, who I assume is British, ended his thank you remarks: "Finally, I want to thank the Academy and all of you for your tradition of kindness to foreigners like myself. I think you must be the most generous nation on Earth. So thank you very much and God Bless America."

     Ironically, the director of Gosford Park, Robert Altman, just two months ago denounced the United States. Altman charged in a Times of London interview: "When I see an American flag flying, itís a joke." As for moving to London permanently, the Kansas City-born Altman declared: "Thereís nothing in America that I would miss at all." He added: "This present government in America I just find disgusting, the idea that George Bush could run a baseball team successfully -- he canít even speak! I just find him an embarrassment." For details:
http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020123.asp#5

     (I should note that Iím pretty confident that only Fellowes said "God Bless America," or anything close to that, but the over four-hour-long program did not fully hold my attention and so I was flipping around to other shows, though Iím pretty confident I caught all the relevant portions of the awards show.)

2

Maybe New York City really isnít like the rest of the country. After 9-11 a lot people said, "weíre all New Yorkers now" as those in the heartland who had suspected the values of Manhattanites found new reason respect New Yorkers for how they reacted with patriotism after the terrorists attacks.

     Well, in a probably little-watched story which aired Saturday afternoon, MSNBC showcased the side of New York City we havenít seen too much of, its Blame America First leftism.

     Just before 3pm EST on March 23, in a package which probably also aired at other times, MSNBC ran a taped interview with three students from Stuyvesant High School who are upset by supposed limits on "free speech," angered by "hate speech" as epitomized by T-shirts proclaiming "bomb them," and disgusted at how "weíre taking our God, and itís not my God, and weíre sticking it over the United States and that annoyed me and I didnít like seeing huge billboards which said ĎGod Bless Americaí and nothing else." Plus, President Bushís push for more military spending. Oh, and "the really false sense of patriotism that exists" with "people waving flags all of a sudden because they think thatís what theyíre supposed to do," especially guys "drinking beer and holding flags and signs that say, that said, Ďhonk if you hate Afghanistan.í"

     The MSNBC anchor set up the taped piece by explaining that the students at the high school just a few blocks form Ground Zero have seen "disrespectful behavior around the viewing platform." But the segment didnít seem to match the set up and throughout it MSNBC ran this across the bottom of the screen: "Tired of Tourists?"

     MSNBCís Jim Bunn began the segment, with him sitting across from three students in chairs, one male and two female, by wondering: "What is it that you guys see, what is it thatís happened since and peopleís reaction to it that bugs you?"
     Student Dan Blackman responded: "I was freaked about free speech. I was really bothered by all that. Iím much more scared of losing a lot of those civil rights than I was."
     Bunn to the two high school girls: "What about you guys?"
     Kate Garaufis complained: "Well, I remember, like, one of the things that was just like most difficult to accept for me was seeing the like T-shirts that said like, like Ďbomb themí or like Ďkill the,í like I donít know, all this like hate speech that like seemed really just unnecessary in such like a difficult time for everyone."
     Bunn: "You donít understand the anger that people would feel?"
     Garaufis: "I donít know like, I definitely could understand anger, but they just like, like my friend told me that she was walking down the street and she saw a guy with like a screen-printed jacket that said on it like ĎNuke the Arabs.í And it was just like what are you talking about? Like thatís not what this is about. This is about like remembering the people who died and like."
     MSNBC cut to student Alexandra Rosenberg: "There were two things that really bugged me about what happened after. One, when I was watching the State of the Union address and all Bush would talk about, President Bush, would talk about was the military and taking all this money and giving it to the military."
     Bush in State of the Union: "My budget includes the largest increase in defense spending in two decades. [edit jump] Whatever it costs to defend our country we will pay."
     MSNBC didnít show Rosenbergís second point, jumping instead back to Blackman: "I think by the end the thing that bugged me about Bushís State of the Union also after was God, I couldnít stand that. And everything, it was like, yes ĎGod, the Judeo-Christian God Bless America.í You know, weíre now going to quote from the Judeo-Christian Bible. And that [unintelligible, could be "annoyed me"] so much because weíre having this war, weíre having this ideology conflict that weíre in some degree tracing to Islam, weíre saying itís a religion thing, but yet now weíre taking our God, and itís not my God, and weíre sticking it over the United States and that annoyed me and I didnít like seeing huge billboards which said ĎGod Bless Americaí and nothing else."
     Then Rosenberg got in her second lament: "The really false sense of patriotism that exists. People waving flags all of a sudden because they think thatís what theyíre supposed to do. And I remember for the two weeks after September 11th until four in the morning, these guys would stand on the overpass that went over the Long Island Expressway, and they were drinking beer and holding flags and signs that say, that said, Ďhonk if you hate Afghanistan.í"

     Makes you fondly recall the slogan, "I love New York." Maybe not.

     As students at one of New York Cityís premiere high schools, like these could be, like, the future journalists of, like, America.

     Letís hope these students are in the minority with their hostility to pro-American patriotism and their lack of understanding that military might is needed to win this war and that saying "God Bless America" isnít anything embarrassed by.

     Stuyvesant High Schoolís Web page: http://www.stuy.edu

     ++ Watch the whining students highlighted by MSNBC. When this CyberAlert is posted, the MRCís Mez Djouadi will include a RealPlayer clip of a portion of the above-quoted exchanges. Check: http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020325.asp#2

3

ABCís This Week celebrated the victory in an Illinois congressional primary of former Clinton White House domestic policy advisor Rahm Emanuel as the show featured a friendly interview with him followed by a discussion with pro-Clinton author Joe Klein about Clintonites running for office.

     Amongst those cited at the top of the segment: Bill Richardson for Governor of New Mexico, Janet Reno going for Governor of Florida, Steve Grossman and Robert Reich running for Governor of Massachusetts and Erskine Bowles as a candidate for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina.

     Claire Shipman, the expected replacement for Cokie Roberts this fall, handled the segment. Shipmanís first question to Emanuel: "Do you owe your primary victory to Bill Clinton?" She soon let him prattle on about "the health care crisis."

     Shipman moved on to Klein, a former Newsweek reporter who is the author of The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton. Klein assured her: "Bill Clinton in some ways is the ultimate test of their humanity." Shipman oozed in her first: "You wrote recently about this phenomenon. All of the Clintonites on the stump. How are they doing? Could any of them be called a Ďnaturalí?"

     Klein said none are as good as Clinton.

     Shipman next set up Klein to outline the advantages of being tied to Clinton and how Gore blew it: "A lot of people are still arguing whether Clinton was an asset or a liability for Al Gore. What do ties to Clinton do for these candidates?"
     Klein: "Well Al Gore is the living example of how not to do this. Al Gore made it into a liability because he seemed so uncomfortable about Clinton. He never talked about peace and prosperity, never talked about the record of the eight years and as a result he seemed devious and he seemed constricted. I think that the way to handle any political problem is try to seem natural and comfortable and maybe a little humor helps too."
     Shipman: "You have said that itís Clintonian that many of these people are running, that they have Clinton-like chutzpah."
     Klein: "Almost everything associated with Bill Clinton is larger than life and the notion that so many people would choose to run, so many people who have had no political experience -- at least Rahm is starting at a reasonable stage -- those who are running for Governor and United States Senator who have never run for anything before, you got to figure itís kind of excessive."
     Shipman: "Almost all of them, without exception, would say this isnít about Bill Clinton, this is about my record. Are they right? Can they avoid the shadow of Bill Clinton?"
     Klein: "No way they can avoid him. Itís about their records, but canít avoid it. I mean, you know, Bill Clinton in some ways is the ultimate test of their humanity. The public is going to look at them and itís going to see how they respond to this problem, this huge elephant, or maybe huge donkey, lurking behind their campaign. And the way they deal with that is going to tell the public a lot about what kind of people they are."

     Shipmanís last question: "If a few of them win, will they carry on the Clinton legacy in office and what is, aside from scandal, the Clinton legacy?"
     Klein enthused: "Well Clinton changed the way Democrats looked at social policy, moving it from bureaucracy toward the use of tax credits, and did it very, very successfully, very substantively...."

     They wonít have to address their connections to Clintonís scandals if the rest of the media take the fawning approach followed by Shipman.

4

How can global warming be responsible for something in 2002 when the same thing occurred 29 years ago? Donít ask ABCís Peter Jennings who expressed that convoluted logic in a short item he read Friday night.

     On the March 22 World News Tonight, Jennings announced: "In Japan today the cherry blossoms are blooming and they are two weeks ahead of schedule. The last time they flowered this early was in 1973 and scientists are suggesting global warming."

     I guess we had 29 years of less warming.

5

Tuesday nightís episode of JAG: Judge Advocate General, the CBS show about Navy lawyers, takes on the hot media issue of whether reporters are Americans first or journalists first when a reporter forces a commando operation in Afghanistan to be aborted.

     In promo CBS is now running, the announcer asks: "Did this combat reporter cause a front line ambush?" The "ZNN" reporter threatens: "Never attack the guy with microphone. He always gets the last word."

     Maybe not on a prime time entertainment show.

     "ZNN," an obvious play off of CNN, is the network news operation regularly featured on TVs in the background of scenes on JAG.

     CBSís JAG Web site offers this plot summary for the March 26 episode: "When Harm and Mac are called in to investigate an aborted SEAL operation in Afghanistan, Harm accuses a television news reporter accompanying the SEALs for disobeying orders and causing the error."

     To watch a video of the promo for the show, go to: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/jag/

     JAG airs Tuesdays at 8pm EST/PST, 7pm CST/MST.

6

From the March 20 Late Show with David Letterman (http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/), the "Top Ten Signs Michael Bloomberg Doesn't Like Being Mayor."

10. Often begins press conferences by saying, "Holy crap did I make a mistake!"
9. Demanded a recount to see if maybe Mark Green won after all
8. He's gobbling Prozac like M&Ms
7. Missed most recent city council meeting to watch "Baby Bob" on CBS
6. Asked advisors, "How many interns would I have to sleep with to get impeached?"
5. Heard muttering, "I spent $70 million for this?"
4. Wants to move mayor's office to the Bahamas
3. Keeps asking, "Is it 2006 yet?"
2. Called Knicks' coach offering to swap jobs
1. Answers every policy question with, "Why are you bothering me with this bullsh**?"

     Iíd add, "Heís realized heís the Mayor for the ungrateful students at Stuyvesant High School."

     While Iím citing a late night show, Iíd note that Janet Reno is scheduled to appear Tuesday night on NBCís Tonight Show with Jay Leno. -- Brent Baker


 

 


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