Time and Newsweek Use Lott to Smear GOP as Race-Baiters
Both parties have used race at times to attract votes, but this week’s Time and Newsweek magazines smeared only Republicans, and especially conservatives, as the ones exploiting white resentments against blacks. Newsweek declared: “Trent Lott and the GOP grew up together in the South. They both have a painful secret.” Time argued: “When the Democratic Party embrace the civil rights movement, many alienated Southerners turned to the Republicans. The effects are still being felt today.” It only took 40 years. Time even portrayed the Contract with America as racist.
Jack White: Reagan Just Like Wallace
Republicans and conservatives as race exploiters, part 2. “Grand Old Segregationists” announced the headline over an online-only piece by Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift who contended: “With one stupid and thoughtless attempt at humor, Lott stripped away the carefully constructed facade the Bush team erected at the GOP convention in 2000 and revealed the party’s true colors.” Jack White charged in an online posting for Time that Ronald Reagan “set a standard for exploiting white anger and resentment rarely seen since George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door.”
3. Clooney Calls Bush “Dim” and Has Carter Photo in His Bathroom
President George Bush “is just dim," actor George Clooney claims in the upcoming February issue of GQ magazine, the New York Post’s “Page Six” revealed on Wednesday. The Post writers relayed how GQ reports that Clooney believes Mario Cuomo should be President, keeps a photo of Jimmy Carter's ER set visit on display in his bathroom and “likens Newt Gingrich to a 'dinosaur,’ laughing, 'the man has no arms.’"
PBS Airs Uncritical Promotional Show About Muslim Religion
You can’t imagine PBS airing a missionary film promoting the wonders of Christianity or treating basic elements of the Christian faith as fact, but that apparently is just what PBS did with a two-hour look at the Muslim faith aired Wednesday night on most PBS stations, "Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet." Human Events Online has posted a critical look by Daniel Pipes at the PBS show: “PBS ignores an ongoing scholarly reassessment of Muhammad's life that disputes every detail...of its film. This silence is especially odd when contrasted” with a 1998 PBS documentary which focused “almost exclusively on the work of cutting-edge scholars and presents the latest in critical thinking on Jesus.”
MRC Announces Winners of Annual Awards for Worst Reporting
The results are in for the "Best Notable Quotables of 2002, the 15th Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." A panel of 52 leading media observers judged 17 award categories and the winning quotes and top runners-up have been posted on the MRC’s home page.
Newsweek Use Lott to Smear GOP
Though the Democratic Party was the party of segregation since federal troops left the South in the 1870s and Democrats suppressed blacks for the next century, a legacy reenforced a couple of weeks ago when Louisiana maintained its near-130 year refusal to elect a Republican to the U.S. Senate, this week’s Time and Newsweek magazines smeared Republicans, and especially conservatives, as the ones exploiting white resentments against blacks.
Clearly, the record of both parties is not clean as operatives and candidates for both at various times have tried to pit one race against the other, but the magazines used the Trent Lott situation to malign only Republicans and conservatives. A headline in Newsweek declared: “Trent Lott and the GOP grew up together in the South. They both have a painful secret.”
Both magazines cited the 1988 Willie Horton ad as an example of GOP race-baiting, but neither bothered to point out what would have ruined their impugning of President George H.W. Bush, that the case of Horton, a rapist and murderer paroled by the Dukakis administration in Massachusetts only to attack again, was first raised in the Democratic primary against Michael Dukakis by Al Gore.
The December 23 Time magazine featured a two-page spread headlined, “Race and the G.O.P.” The subhead maintained: “When the Democratic Party embrace the civil rights movement, many alienated Southerners turned to the Republicans. The effects are still being felt today.”
The first item on the timeline: Democrat Strom Thurmond becoming the Dixiecrat candidate in 1948, but Time failed to point out how Southern Democratic whites hardly fled to the Republican Party. Thurmond didn’t become a Republican until 1964 and whites kept Democrats in control in the South well into the 1980s -- another 40 years -- as segregationist Democrats kept getting re-elected cycle after cycle in beating Republicans.
For 1980 the timeline had: “Ronald Reagan opens his campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., and creates a furor when he uses the code words states’ rights to appeal to white conservatives.”
Of course, it could have just been that he wanted to launch his campaign in the heart of his opponents region to show how much he wanted the votes of Southerners. And with blacks voting in block for the Democrat, what’s wrong with trying to rally voters who by then thought they didn’t need federal intervention into their lives when electoral wrongdoing in the north did not bring such intervention.
For 1988, under photo of Lee Atwater playing guitar with George H.W. Bush: “Lee Atwater, above, runs George Bush’s presidential campaign. An infamous ad attacked Democratic contender Michael Dukakis for granting a furlough to murderer Willie Horton. While the campaign and Atwater denied responsibility for the ad, they reaped its benefits.”
As if Dukakis would have won if not for the little-seen ad which continues to obsess the media.
For 1995: “Talking tough on welfare and racial quotas, Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich leads a Republican sweep of Congress in midterm elections, delivering a rebuke to President Bill Clinton.”
Quite a smear on at least two fronts. First, it assumes advocating self-worth and responsibility is somehow anti-black and that calling for an end to preferences by race is somehow racist. Second, it ignores how Gingrich got into office in the first place so he’d be around in 1994 to supposedly exploit race: He had to run twice against an incumbent segregationist Democratic Congressman and after nearly beating him in 1976 the incumbent, Jack Flynt, retired in 1978.
The timeline is a graphic you can access from the cover story:
Over in Newsweek, Jon Meacham and Eleanor Clift contended:
“Lott’s effusive birthday remark has cast a stark light on the grimy engine room of the post-World War II GOP and inadvertently drawn attention to his own history, one marked by nods to a neo-South of Confederate and 'separate but equal’ sentimentalists.” At least Newsweek did acknowledge that Democrats were “long the main bulwark of segregation in the South.”
An excerpt from the December 23 cover story by Meacham with Clift, Julia Reed, Howard Fineman and Arian Campo-Flores:
....The power of Southern Republicanism is a political reality that Bush and his guru Karl Rove understand very well. The painful legacy on which it is built, however, is something they would just as soon we all forget. Lott’s effusive birthday remark has cast a stark light on the grimy engine room of the post-World War II GOP and inadvertently drawn attention to his own history, one marked by nods to a neo-South of Confederate and “separate but equal” sentimentalists....
Race was not the only element in the Republican resurgence in the late 1960s. The Democrats -- long the main bulwark of segregation in the South -- were in the midst of running off the left side of the road with a cultural liberalism that alienated many Americans. The war in Vietnam remained more popular in the old Confederacy than in other regions, and many Southerners had respectable and legitimate grievances against big government that had absolutely nothing to do with civil rights. But race was there in the beginning, and lingers still. When Nixon talked about “law and order,” it was not hard to figure out what he meant; Thurmond had tested similar themes two decades before. If Truman’s civil-rights program was to be enforced, Thurmond said at a campaign stop in Cherryville, N.C., “the results of civil strife may be horrible beyond imagination. Lawlessness will be rampant. Chaos will prevail. And there will be the greatest breakdown of law enforcement in the history of the nation.”...
Don’t forget, as Newsweek did, that it was Richard Nixon’s Justice Department which, along with federal judges, came up with the forced school busing in many cities. That liberal policy prescription only exacerbated white anger at blacks in such northern cities as Boston, an example of where liberal policies did exactly what Newsweek only blames conservatives for doing.
....On racial issues, though, there was a rightward pattern of votes and statements that unfolded in plain sight but did not attract much attention until now. Lott talked last week about his work on jobs and infrastructure and trade with Africa, but he voted against extending the Voting Rights Act; against the federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; against tracking racial hate crimes. And he twice—not once but twice—averred that Strom Thurmond’s America would have been preferable to Harry Truman’s, or, presumably, Dwight Eisenhower’s or John Kennedy’s.
Of course, Lott was not the only modern Republican to play the race card. In 1980 Reagan talked about states’ rights in Philadelphia, Miss., and his well-worn anecdote about a Chicago “welfare queen” was not a particularly subtle allusion to African-Americans. In 1988 a group sympathetic to George Bush’s presidential campaign produced the “Willie Horton ad” attacking Michael Dukakis’s furlough program. And when George W. Bush was on the run from John McCain in the early 2000 presidential race, he went to the fundamentalist Bob Jones University in South Carolina to shore up his base....
END of Excerpt
That’s online at:
Jack White: Reagan Just Like Wallace
In addition to the material in the hard copy magazines this week detailed above in item #1, the Newsweek and Time Web sites feature pieces using the Lott comments as a segue to impugn Republicans and conservatives as race exploiters. “Grand Old Segregationists” announced the headline over an online-only piece by Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift, who contended: “With one stupid and thoughtless attempt at humor, Lott stripped away the carefully constructed façade the Bush team erected at the GOP convention in 2000 and revealed the party’s true colors.”
Ronald Reagan left a “legacy” of “race-baiting,” Jack White charged in an online posting for Time.com. White castigated Reagan for setting “a standard for exploiting white anger and resentment rarely seen since George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door.”
That’s quite a level of hyperbole. And quite a smear since Reagan never used the power of the state to physically block blacks from entering a college.
An excerpt from Clift’s December 13 posting which matched the comments she made on the McLaughlin Group last weekend:
Not one Republican member in the next Congress is African-American, and that’s not surprising. The modern GOP is built on a legacy of racism. Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” set the poisonous tone, and Republican candidates continue to exploit racial fears for political gain....
Most people are uncomfortable talking about race so politicians convey messages in code. Standing up for state’s rights has long been a favorite cover for racist impulses. When Lott stepped out of that polite way of speaking about race, he exposed the GOP’s double game: the lip service the party gives to reaching out to blacks and the winks and nods to whites assuring them nothing fundamental will change. With one stupid and thoughtless attempt at humor, Lott stripped away the carefully constructed façade the Bush team erected at the GOP convention in 2000 and revealed the party’s true colors. “We’re on the hook now,” says a Republican strategist, who hopes his party understands the depth of the damage and the need to do more to contain the fallout. Keeping Lott in place is tantamount to raising the Confederate flag over the Capitol. No matter how many times he apologies, he has become a visible symbol of the country’s racist past, and the ongoing hypocrisy of the Republican Party.
END of Excerpt
For Clift’s diatribe in full:
The next day, Saturday December 14, Time posted a piece headlined, “Lott, Reagan and Republican Racism.” The subhead: “If the GOP wants to attract black voters, argues TIME's Jack White, it must confront the legacy not only of Trent Lott, but also of former President Reagan.”
An excerpt from White’s polemic:
....The sad truth is that many Republican leaders remain in a massive state of denial about the party's four-decade-long addiction to race-baiting. They won't make any headway with blacks by bashing Lott if they persist in giving Ronald Reagan a pass for his racial policies.
The same could be said, of course, about such Republican heroes as, Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon or George Bush the elder, all of whom used coded racial messages to lure disaffected blue collar and Southern white voters away from the Democrats. Yet it's with Reagan, who set a standard for exploiting white anger and resentment rarely seen since George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door, that the Republican's selective memory about its race-baiting habit really stands out.
Space doesn't permit a complete list of the Gipper's signals to angry white folks that Republicans prefer to ignore, so two incidents in which Lott was deeply involved will have to suffice. As a young congressman, Lott was among those who urged Reagan to deliver his first major campaign speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were murdered in one of the 1960s' ugliest cases of racist violence. It was a ringing declaration of his support for "states' rights" -- a code word for resistance to black advances clearly understood by white Southern voters.
Then there was Reagan's attempt, once he reached the White House in 1981, to reverse a long-standing policy of denying tax-exempt status to private schools that practice racial discrimination and grant an exemption to Bob Jones University....
Republican leaders and their apologists tend to go into a frenzy of denial when members of the liberal media cabal bring up these inconvenient facts. It's that lack of candor, of course, that presents the biggest obstacle to George W. Bush's commendable and long overdue campaign to persuade more African-Americans to defect from the Democrats to the Republicans. It's doomed to fail until the GOP fesses up its past addiction to race-baiting, and makes a sincere attempt to kick the habit.
END of Excerpt
For White’s take in full:
Conservatives had a non-racist reason for favoring having Bob Jones University treated like all other colleges: They wanted to keep the government out of regulating the practices of religion institutions, seeing such interference as leading down a dangerous path, one with which liberals, who wave the banner of “separation of church and state,” normally agree.
As for the “liberal media cabal,” maybe it hasn’t been beaten. On C-SPAN in November, White said the MRC should “declare victory” over liberal media bias. White claimed that he’s “constantly amazed” that “there are still people making a living complaining about the liberal bias in the press, our good friends, Brent Bozell and company for example, who run the Media Research Center.” White added: “I keep wondering 'When are you gonna declare victory fellas?’ I mean, Fox News is about as blatant, blatantly biased as you possibly could get.”
For more of what he said, a picture of him and a rundown of some of White’s liberal and anti-conservative pronouncements in Time magazine over the years:
Clooney Calls Bush “Dim” and Has
Carter Photo in His Bathroom
President George Bush “is just dim," actor George Clooney claims in the upcoming February issue of GQ magazine, the New York Post’s “Page Six” revealed on Wednesday. The Post writers relayed how GQ reports that Clooney, probably best known for playing a doctor on ER and as the star of the Oceans Eleven movie, believes Mario Cuomo should be President, keeps a photo of Jimmy Carter's ER set visit on display in his bathroom and “likens Newt Gingrich to a 'dinosaur,’ laughing, 'the man has no arms.’"
An excerpt from the December 18 item brought to my attention by the MRC’s Liz Swasey who saw it highlighted by Hotline. “Page Six” is collated by Richard Johnson with Paula Froelich and Chris Wilson:
....[I]n the upcoming issue of GQ, the Hollywood heartthrob takes on President Bush.
"The problem is we elected a manager, and we need a leader," Clooney tells the magazine. "Let's face it: Bush is just dim."
GQ describes the star as "a liberal's liberal who believes Mario Cuomo should be our president, and he keeps a photo of Jimmy Carter's 'ER' set visit on display in his bathroom." Clooney also likens Newt Gingrich to a "dinosaur," laughing, "The man has no arms."...
He also revisits his feud with Bill O'Reilly, who criticized Clooney and other celebs who fail to use due diligence when they lend their names to dubious charities.
The actor, who refused to go on O'Reilly's show on Fox News Channel, claims O'Reilly declined to debate him on "Larry King Live," but O'Reilly says he was never asked.
"It makes me mad when O'Reilly [bleeps] with something that's good and done for the right reasons," Clooney complains in
"Once again Mr. Clooney is either stretching the truth or is misinformed," O'Reilly retorts. "I'm getting a little annoyed."
END of Excerpt
Page Six is online at:
For a picture of Clooney and a rundown of his roles, see the Internet Movie Database’s page for him:
PBS Airs Uncritical Promotional Show
About Muslim Religion
You can’t imagine PBS airing a missionary film promoting the wonders of Christianity or treating basic elements of the Christian faith, such as the virgin birth of Christ or his rising into heaven, as fact, but that apparently is just what PBS did with a two-hour look at the Muslim faith aired Wednesday night on most PBS stations.
Human Events Online has posted a critical look by Daniel Pipes at the PBS show, "Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet." I watched much of it last night and what I saw matched what Pipes described. Pipes, Director of the Middle East Forum, complained: “PBS ignores an ongoing scholarly reassessment of Muhammad's life that disputes every detail -- down to the century and region Muhammad lived in -- of its film. This silence is especially odd when contrasted with the 1998 PBS documentary, 'From Jesus to Christ,’ which focuses almost exclusively on the work of cutting-edge scholars and presents the latest in critical thinking on Jesus.”
An excerpt from the Pipes critique:
PBS: Missionary for Islam?
....The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) will show this two-hour documentary across the United States initially on Wednesday, Dec. 18th, in the evening, then repeat it in most areas. The film's largest tranche of funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, "a private, non-profit corporation created by Congress" which in fiscal 2002 received $350 million in taxpayers' funds.
The heart of the film consists of nine talking heads competing with each other to praise Muhammad the most extravagantly. As a result, not one of them criticizes him. Some of their efforts are laughable, as when one commentator states that allegations about Muhammad contracting a marriage of convenience with a rich, older woman named Khadija are wrong for "he deeply, deeply loved Khadija." Oh, and his many marriages were "an act of faith, not of lust."
Other apologetics are more consequential. What Muhammad did for women, viewers learn, was "amazing" -- his condemning female infanticide, giving legal rights to wives, permitting divorce, and protecting their inheritance rights. But no commentator is so impolite as to note that however admirable this was in the seventh century, Muslim women today suffer widely from genital mutilation, forced marriages, purdah, illiteracy, sexual apartheid, polygamy, and honor killings.
The film treats religious beliefs -- such as Muhammad's "Night Journey," when the Qur'an says he went to heaven and entered the divine presence -- as historical facts. Muslim wars are presented as only defensive and reluctant. All this smacks of a film shown by missionaries, not a prime-time documentary.
Move to the present and the political correctness is stifling. Hostility is said to be "hurled" at American Muslims since 9/11 - but there's no mention about the prior and vastly greater Muslim hostility "hurled" at Americans, killing several thousand. The narrator exaggerates the number of American Muslims, overestimates their rate of growth, and wrongly states they are the country's "most diverse" religious community....
"Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet" is an outrage....PBS has betrayed its viewers by presenting an air-brushed and uncritical documentary of a topic that has both world historical and contemporary significance. Its patronizing film might be fine for an Islamic Sunday school class (the Philadelphia Inquirer calls the film a "blessed opportunity for rest and reflection"), but not for a national audience....
END of Excerpt
To read the piece in full:
Pipes’ Web site:
PBS’s page for the program:
If you missed it, it should be repeated in most markets next week sometime. Check local listings, as they say. I saw it last night because Maryland Public Television, which is on local cable around DC, carried it, but Washington, DC’s PBS affiliate, WETA, is not scheduled to air it for the first time until December 26.
MRC Announces Winners of Annual Awards
for Worst Reporting
The results are in for the "Best Notable Quotables of 2002, the 15th Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." A panel of 52 leading media observers judged 17 award categories for the
We’ve been working over the past several days to tabulate the votes and squeeze as many quotes as we could into the eight-page hard copy version. It went off to the printer on Monday night. A press release announcing the results went out on Wednesday and the issue is now featured on the MRC’s home page where it is posted along with RealPlayer clips for many of the quotes uttered on television. Go to:
The direct address:
You'll also see a link to an Adobe Acrobat PDF that matches the eight-page hard copy version. Direct address for the PDF:
For the list of judges, with links to their Web pages for those who have one:
The award categories:
Media Hero Award
Bill Moyers (Subsidized) Sanctimony Award
General Phil “Cheap Shot” Donahue Award
Carve Clinton into Mount Rushmore Award
Fourth Reich Award
Barbra Streisand Political IQ Award
Ashamed of the Red, White & Blue Award
Mount St. Helen Award for Helen Thomas Eruptions
Give Appeasement a Chance Award
Good Morning Morons Award
Begala & Carville War Room Award for Bush Bashing
Damn Those Conservatives Award
Media Millionaires for Smaller Paychecks Award
Politics of Meaninglessness Award
Blame America First Award
See No Liberal Media Bias Award
Quote of the Year
So everyone gets proper credit, Mez Djouadi posted the issue, Kristina Sewell and Amanda Monson distributed the ballots to the judges, tabulated the results and cued up the tapes for clip posting. Jessica Anderson re-checked the numbers so we didn’t have any Florida type problem and Geoffrey Dickens, Patrick Gregory, Brad Wilmouth and Ken Shepherd proofread the issue.
Rich Noyes handled laying it out in PageMaker and I sat back and watched it all happen after Rich, Liz Swasey, Geoff, Jessica and I all chose the quotes for the ballot and came up with award title ideas which we hashed out with MRC President Brent
To find out who won in each category, for now you’ll have to go online. Keeping with tradition, on the day after Christmas CyberAlert will feature the winning quotes. Then on the 27th the first runners-up followed by the second runners-up on the 30th and the third runners-up on the 31st.
But I will give you one scoop: Bill Moyers won Quote of the Year.
-- Brent Baker
Sign up for
Keep track of the latest instances of media bias and alerts to stories the major media are ignoring. Sign up to receive
CyberAlerts via e-mail.
questions and comments about
You can also learn what has been posted each day on the MRC’s Web site by subscribing to the “MRC Web Site News” distributed every weekday afternoon. To subscribe, go to: