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The 1,824th CyberAlert. Tracking Liberal Media Bias Since 1996
10:45am EDT, Thursday September 30, 2004 (Vol. Nine; No. 187)
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1. ABC: Kerry Finally Fighting Back, Matching Bush's Fearmongering
The hapless Kerry campaign that has avoided tough attacks on President Bush is finally fighting back against the unfair attacks leveled by Bush operatives. That's the prism through which ABC portrayed the campaign in a Wednesday night debate preview story by ABC's Dan Harris who devoted a story to how, "until recently, Kerry and the Democrats" had supposedly "largely avoided the politics of fear. But as one Kerry advisor said today, the campaign has recently decided it is time to, quote, 'fight fire with fire.' Democrats are doing what the President and Republicans have been doing for months: pushing America's panic button." Harris went on to feature a Democratic operative who "concedes" that the "Democrats have been slow to react to the Bush campaign onslaught." Harris concluded: "As one Democrat said today, 'We're not gonna play touch football when they play tackle.'"

2. CBS's Duplicity: Average GOP Mom Really an Anti-Draft Activist
CBS's latest duplicity again uncovered by bloggers: CBS's average Republican, Bush-supporting mom is really an activist leader of a group called "People Against the Draft." Its Web page is packed with left-wing screeds and links to far-left groups. As recounted in the September 29 CyberAlert, on Tuesday's CBS Evening News Richard Schlesinger pegged a piece, on supposed fears that the draft will be imposed, to Beverly Cocco, identified on screen as a "Pennsylvania voter," whom Schlesinger showed working as a school crossing guard in the Philadelphia area. Schlesinger asserted: "She's a Republican, but she's also a single-issue voter. Would you vote for a Democrat?" Cocco replied: "Absolutely. I would vote for Howdy Doody if I thought it would keep my boys home and safe." On Wednesday, the NBC Nightly News took up the same subject as Tom Brokaw maintained that "the Internet is aflame with stories that the draft is coming back." But instead of exploiting the fear as did CBS to fire a warning shot a Bush, NBC's Jim Milkaszewski discredited the fears.

3. ABC Fails to Correct Kerry Claim to ABC About Time of $87B Gaffe
During his Tuesday interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer played on Wednesday's Good Morning America, John Kerry excused his statement, that "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it," as "one of those inarticulate moments late in the evening when I was dead tired in the primaries and I didn't say something very clearly." In fact, however, Kerry's March 16 remark at a West Virginia campaign event happened shortly after 1pm in the afternoon. FNC and CNN noted Kerry's misstatement of the time of day, but not ABC -- not on Wednesday morning nor even on Thursday's GMA before or after a second excerpt of Sawyer's sit-down with Kerry.

4. Stephanopoulos' This Week Falls Behind Fox News Sunday in DC Stephanopoulos crushed in Washington, DC market, beaten head-to-head by Fox News Sunday. "Viewership for This Week with George Stephanopoulos has plunged 61 percent in the Washington area since the local ABC affiliate moved the Sunday morning talk show to an earlier time slot," Washington Times reporter Chris Baker relayed in a September 29 story. As of Labor Day weekend, at ABC's request, WJLA-TV moved This Week from 11:30am to 9am, an hour when more watch Fox News Sunday. Both have fewer viewers in the Washington, DC area than the most-watched Meet the Press on NBC and number two Face the Nation on CBS, both of which air at 10:30am.


 

ABC: Kerry Finally Fighting Back, Matching
Bush's Fearmongering

     The hapless Kerry campaign that has avoided tough attacks on President Bush is finally fighting back against the unfair attacks leveled by Bush operatives. That's the prism through which ABC portrayed the campaign in a Wednesday night debate preview story by ABC's Dan Harris who devoted a story to how, "until recently, Kerry and the Democrats" had supposedly "largely avoided the politics of fear. But as one Kerry advisor said today, the campaign has recently decided it is time to, quote, 'fight fire with fire.' Democrats are doing what the President and Republicans have been doing for months: pushing America's panic button." Harris went on to feature a Democratic operative who "concedes" that the "Democrats have been slow to react to the Bush campaign onslaught." Harris concluded: "As one Democrat said today, 'We're not gonna play touch football when they play tackle.'"

     Looks like a sign that the media are already anticipating a Kerry loss and are laying out the same blame applied to the 1988 Dukakis loss: The Republicans played dirty, Willie Horton, while the Democrats failed to fight back.

     Any review of the past several months would find plenty of scaremongering attacks on Bush by Democrats and Kerry supporters -- from Michael Moore to Ted Kennedy to Kerry himself flailing about how the world is more dangerous thanks to Iraq and how Bush has left the U.S. vulnerable to terrorist attacks by not spending enough on homeland security.

     Jennings set up the September 29 World News Tonight story from Harris, which followed Terry Moran's look at how Bush is preparing for the debate:
     "That debate in Miami tomorrow night has a pretty stiff format. The White House particularly had many, many rules which the Democrats finally agreed to. But there is, nonetheless, always a lot to be learned when the two men appear together. For one thing, look for Mr. Kerry to be as aggressive on national security tomorrow as Mr. Bush has been for months. Here's ABC's Dan Harris."
    
     Harris began, as taken down by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth: "A flurry of new ads today from John Kerry and his allies show that the Democrats are now willing to dwell on America's security fears in new and more aggressive ways."
     Clip of ad, attributed in small text in the ad, not by ABC, to "thestakesaretoohigh.com," with video of Osama bin Laden: "Osama bin Laden, the murderer of thousands of innocent Americans, is still at large. Are we safer now than we were four years ago? The answer, Mr. President, is no."
     Harris, standing with an airplane in the background, asserted: "Until recently, Kerry and the Democrats had largely avoided the politics of fear. But as one Kerry advisor said today, the campaign has recently decided it is time to, quote, 'fight fire with fire.' Democrats are doing what the President and Republicans have been doing for months: pushing America's panic button."
     Cheney at campaign event: "It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today on November 2nd we make the right choice because if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again."
     Harris: "David Axelrod, who made this ad for the Democratic Party criticizing Mr. Bush for failing to find Osama bin Laden-"
     George W. Bush in ad: "I don't know where he is. I, I-"
     Harris: "-concedes Democrats have been slow to react to the Bush campaign onslaught."
     David Axelrod, Democratic Party strategist: "If we allow him to claim the mantle of fierce terrorist fighter, given his deficient record, then we are deficient."
     Harris: "Yesterday, Senator Ted Kennedy said Mr. Bush's actions had increased the potential of a nuclear attack. And this morning, in a radio interview, vice presidential candidate John Edwards agreed."
     John Edwards: "He certainly made us more vulnerable to the possibility of a nuclear attack."
     Harris concluded: "Neither side will admit to engaging in scare tactics, but both Democrats and Republicans have made unproven assertions. And voters can expect to see more of this. As one Democrat said today, 'We're not gonna play touch football when they play tackle.' Dan Harris, ABC News, Madison, Wisconsin."

     Go to www.thestakesaretoohigh.com and you'll be re-directed to: http://www.thenaderfactor.com/ which states: "Paid for by the National Progress Fund."

 

CBS's Duplicity: Average GOP Mom Really
an Anti-Draft Activist

     CBS's latest duplicity again uncovered by bloggers: CBS's average Republican, Bush-supporting mom is really an activist leader of a group called "People Against the Draft." Its Web page is packed with left-wing screeds and links to far-left groups. As recounted in the September 29 CyberAlert, on Tuesday's CBS Evening News Richard Schlesinger pegged a piece, on supposed fears that the draft will be imposed, to Beverly Cocco, identified on screen as a "Pennsylvania voter," whom Schlesinger showed working as a school crossing guard in the Philadelphia area. Schlesinger asserted: "She's a Republican, but she's also a single-issue voter. Would you vote for a Democrat?" Cocco replied: "Absolutely. I would vote for Howdy Doody if I thought it would keep my boys home and safe." Schlesinger concluded with a warning: "She's a Bush supporter today, but if she doesn't like what she hears between now and November, Beverly could easily cross over."

     On Wednesday evening, the NBC Nightly News took up the same subject as Tom Brokaw maintained that "the Internet is aflame with stories that the draft is coming back." But instead of exploiting the fear as did CBS to fire a warning shot a Bush, NBC's Jim Milkaszewski discredited the fears.

     CBS's Schlesinger had hyped how "the machinery for a draft is already in place, and the acting director of Selective Service believes he could start drafting people quickly." But Miklaszewski dismissed all the Internet claims that Selective Service is gearing up for a draft: "Pentagon officials call it 'bunk'" as he pointed out that the "two bills to reinstate the draft pending in the House and Senate" have "almost no political support. And both are sponsored by Democrats." Miklaszewski added: "If more soldiers are needed, the military says they'll increase incentives to volunteers like enlistment bonuses up to $20,000."

     More on Cocco, followed by a ful transcript of the Miklaszewski piece:

     A quick Google search for "Beverly Cocco" turned up her name, on the "People Against the Draft" Web site, as the contact person in the Philadelphia area. Check this page, www.nodraft.info, and you'll see: "Philadelphia Lancaster/Bucks County affiliate: Parents Against the Draft. Contact Beverly Cocco, babby61754@comcast.net"

     The home page for People Against the Draft: www.nodraft.info

     The Web site features a PDF of a flyer you can download, a flyer which presents their evidence a draft is imminent. Up top, a quote from Britain's left-wing Guardian newspaper, followed by:
     "How do we know a new draft is in the works? Nationwide, long-dormant draft boards -- local committees that decide who must fight and who is exempted -- have been quietly reactivated and restaffed (Lindorff, 'Oiling Up the Draft Machine,' Salon.com, Nov. 3, 2003)."

     The page also showcases this quote from "McGovern," maybe George: "While conceding that the Iraq war has been a military and political disaster, the US power elite -- from George Bush, to the New York Times editorial board, to Presidential candidate John Kerry -- agree that we must "stay the course" in Iraq. In plain language, that means crushing resistance to the occupation. To subdue a population that wants us to leave and is willing to fight for independence, will require many more troops as many as 500,000, say some Pentagon estimates (McGovern, 'Calling for Backup,' TomPaine.com, May 7, 2004)."

     For the flyer www.nodraft.info

     The links page is full of far-left and/or anti-American groups: www.nodraft.info

     CBS hinted at none of that activist political activity by Cocco, though, as Schlesinger stated that "Beverly is petrified about a military draft, and she's not alone. Mass e-mails are circulating among worried parents," on screen CBS briefly showed quick shots of a couple of Web pages, including a shot of a screen with "People Against the Draft" across the top. But Schlesinger made no connection to Cocco. Bloggers uncovered the connection, however, as FNC's Brit Hume noted in his "Grapevine" segment on Wednesday night.

     I don't know which blogger had it first or best, but a Freeper forwarded to me a thread about it which featured a reprint of my CyberAlert article about the CBS story, so I'll give that FreeRepublic discussion a plug in return, a thread which also reprinted a letter Cocco wrote to a local newspaper: www.freerepublic.com

     For the September 29 CyberAlert article about the September 28 CBS Evening News draft story, with a picture of Beverly Cocco: www.mediaresearch.org

     [Web Update: The InDCJournal.org blog features interviews, about the September 28 CBS Evening News story, with the correspondent, Richard Schlesinger, CBS News press representative Sandra Genelius, and the producer of the piece, Linda Karas. See: www.indcjournal.com]

     Now, a full transcript of the much more reasoned September 29 NBC Nightly News story. Anchor Tom Brokaw introduced it: "One issue that may come up tomorrow, tonight, the military draft. Senator Kerry has already suggested President Bush may be forced to re-institute the draft after the election to deal with the pressures on military manpower. The Bush campaign has persistently and vigorously denied that, but as NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports in our series 'Iraq: The Real Story,' the Internet is aflame with stories that the draft is coming back."

     Miklaszewski began, over video of a college student on a bike: "Twenty-year-old Jeremy Tor, a junior at the University of Arizona, got the scare of his life recently: an e-mail that said if George Bush is re-elected, he will reinstate the military draft."
     Jeremy Tor, University of Arizona student, sitting by his computer: "I thought this is incredible, you know, to suggest that a draft is going to be instituted, you know, harkening back to the days of Vietnam, which is a scary, scary thought."
     Miklaszewski: "Today, Vice President Dick Cheney strongly denied it."
     Dick Cheney at a campaign event: "The notion that somebody's peddling out there that there's a secret plan to reinstate the draft, hogwash, not true."
     Miklaszewski: "But college-aged students and their parents across the country are being bombarded with the draft warning [shots of Web pages and flyers, one with "You're Gonna Get Drafted"]. Internet postings claim the Selective Service system has been given $28 million to prepare for a draft and is secretly hiring 10,000 people for draft boards nationwide. Pentagon officials call it bunk. ["BUNK!" in red over Selective Service logo, shot of Web page and text at bottom of screen reading "Extra $28 million" and "10,000 Draft Board Members."]
     "The e-mails also highlight two bills to reinstate the draft pending in the House and Senate. But both have almost no political support. And both are sponsored by Democrats. Congressman Charlie Rangel admits he introduced his bill in part as a protest to the war in Iraq."
     Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): "I want to make it clear this war is stupid, it is unnecessary."
     Miklaszewski: "It may sound strange, but most Pentagon and military leaders actually oppose the draft because, they say, the all-volunteer Army is working. Generally, today's soldiers are in the Army because they want to be. Drafted soldiers would be forced to serve, and then for only two years, barely enough time to train them for today's high-tech force."
     Loren Thompson, military expert: "There are so many specific skills you need that you can't just bring somebody in, train them for six months, and send them to Iraq. They won't know what to do."
     Miklaszewski concluded by seeing an upside to the hoax: "If more soldiers are needed, the military says they'll increase incentives to volunteers like enlistment bonuses up to $20,000. After looking into it, Jeremy Tor decided the draft scare is a political hoax. But if anything, it still convinced him to vote in November. Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News, the Pentagon."

     The second hoax promoted by CBS News this month.

     [Web Update: Columnist Michelle Malkin discovered: "A December 2003 article in the Daily Wildcat, Tor's campus newspaper, reveals that Tor is a Democrat who supported John Edwards in the primary. His club, Students for Edwards, sprang up on campus at the same time as the Students for Dean group, led by student Jonna Lopez. The article notes that 'both Tor and Lopez agree that removing Bush from the White House is the biggest priority.'" For the student newspaper article: wildcat.arizona.edu

     For Malkin's September 30 posting: michellemalkin.com]

 

 

ABC Fails to Correct Kerry Claim to ABC
About Time of $87B Gaffe

     During his Tuesday interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer played on Wednesday's Good Morning America, John Kerry excused his statement, that "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it," as "one of those inarticulate moments late in the evening when I was dead tired in the primaries and I didn't say something very clearly." In fact, however, Kerry's March 16 remark at a West Virginia campaign event happened shortly after 1pm in the afternoon. FNC and CNN noted Kerry's misstatement of the time of day, but not ABC -- not on Wednesday morning nor even on Thursday's GMA before or after a second excerpt of Sawyer's sit-down with Kerry.

     GMA on Thursday, the MRC's Rich Noyes observed, led with full stories by Terry Moran and Claire Shipman about Bush and Kerry debate preparations and expected strategies, and after the Kerry interview excerpt George Stephanopoulos checked in with a look back at mistakes in past presidential debates, but none mentioned the erroneous "late in the evening" rationalization. (Sawyer conducted the interview Tuesday at a Wisconsin resort where she and Kerry sat by a row of large windows overlooking trees.)

     Though the Wednesday ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts all ran debate preview stories, none corrected Kerry's error.

     On FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume on Wednesday night, however, Carl Cameron pointed out: "Kerry knows he must better explain this infamous gaffe:"
     John Kerry at March event: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
     Kerry, in GMA interview: "I had one of those inarticulate moments late in the evening when I was dead tired in the primaries, and I didn't say something very clearly."
     Cameron noted: "Except it wasn't a late night rally. It was 1:20 in the afternoon."

     Similarly, later on CNN's NewsNight, as transcribed by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, Candy Crowley brought up the GMA error as she outlined Kerry's debate goals. Last on her list: "And finally, most importantly for Kerry, item three: Undo some of this damage."
     John Kerry in March: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
     Crowley: "In an interview with ABC, Kerry took another go at an explanation."
     Kerry on GMA: "It just was a very inarticulate way of saying something, and I had one of those inarticulate moments late in the evening when I was dead tired in the primaries, and I didn't say something very clearly."
     Crowley: "As the Bush campaign dutifully notes, it was one in the afternoon when Kerry made his remarks."

     Indeed, ABC has no ignorance excuse for skipping Kerry's misstatement since the Bush campaign and the RNC alerted reporters to it.

     "Kerry's Explanation of '$87 Billion' Comment Doesn't Wash, Says RNC," read an afternoon posting by Robert B. Bluey on the MRC's CNSNews.com site. An excerpt:

....Kerry's original remark concerned Senate action on the additional $87 billion the Pentagon had requested for troops in Iraq. "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it," Kerry said March 16, while speaking at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.

ABC's Diane Sawyer asked the Democrat presidential nominee about the quote during an interview aired Wednesday morning.

"It just was a very inarticulate way of saying something, and I had one of those inarticulate moments late in the evening when I was dead tired in the primaries and I didn't say something very clearly," Kerry told Sawyer.

But according to ABC's The Note from March 16, the Kerry rally at Marshall University was slated to begin at noon. It was to be followed by a meeting with local press in Huntington at 1:30 p.m....

In newspapers the following day, journalists repeated the comment. The Washington Post ran an article, "Campaign Gets More Personal," which specifically referenced the time of the Marshall University event. The Post's John F. Harris wrote:

"'I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it,' he told a group of veterans at a noontime appearance at Marshall University. He went on to explain that he preliminarily backed the request, so long as it was financed not by deficit spending but with a tax surcharge on the wealthy that Bush opposed."

Kerry spokesman Chad Clanton told CNSNews.com the candidate made a mistake in the interview with Sawyer.

"He simply got the time of day wrong," Clanton said. "Campaigns are long, grueling things. It's like one continuous blur."

The Republican National Committee documented Kerry's misstatement in an e-mail Wednesday. The RNC's message was titled, "Perhaps His Watch Was on Paris Time?"...

     END of Excerpt

     For Bluey's article in full: www.cnsnews.com

 

Stephanopoulos' This Week Falls Behind
Fox News Sunday in DC

     Stephanopoulos crushed in Washington, DC market, beaten head-to-head by Fox News Sunday. "Viewership for This Week with George Stephanopoulos has plunged 61 percent in the Washington area since the local ABC affiliate moved the Sunday morning talk show to an earlier time slot," Washington Times reporter Chris Baker relayed in a September 29 story. As of Labor Day weekend, at ABC's request, WJLA-TV moved This Week from 11:30am to 9am, an hour when more watch Fox News Sunday.

     Both have fewer viewers in the Washington, DC area than the most-watched Meet the Press on NBC and number two Face the Nation on CBS, both of which air at 10:30am.

     An excerpt from Baker's September 29 story:

....An average 26,000 households have tuned into "This Week" since Sept. 5, when WJLA-TV (Channel 7) moved it to 9 a.m. from its longtime 11:30 a.m. perch.

The show averaged 67,000 households in September 2003, according to Nielsen Media Research Inc....

"This is going to sound really strange, but we're genuinely elated," said Tom Bettag, the show's executive producer. "It's going to take awhile for people to find us at 9 o'clock, but in the long run, we believe this move is really good for us."...

WJLA moved "This Week" to 9 a.m. at ABC's request, said Frederick I. Ryan Jr., the station's general manager. Like Mr. Bettag, he predicted the shift will eventually pay off with higher ratings than the show was generating at 11:30 a.m.

NBC's "Meet the Press" still rules Washington's Sunday morning airwaves. It drew 114,000 households on WRC-TV (Channel 4) in September, a 20 percent spike from September 2003.

About 65,000 households tuned in to "Face the Nation" on CBS affiliate WUSA-TV (Channel 9), a 4 percent decline from a year ago.

The only Sunday show that airs directly opposite "This Week" at 9 a.m. -- "Fox News Sunday" on WTTG-TV (Channel 5) -- drew 37,000 households, up 6 percent from September 2003.

     END of Excerpt

     For Baker's article in full: www.washingtontimes.com

-- Brent Baker

 


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