For Immediate Release: Keith Appell (703) 683-5004 - Thursday, June 10, 1999
Vol. 3, No. 22
Will Giuliani or Lazio Get a Matching 45 Minutes of Air Time to Sell Their Empathy With the Children?
ABC Meows Instead of Roars at Clintons
ABC signaled the kind of week it would display on Good Morning America last
week by replacing ill co-host Charles Gibson on Tuesday with George
can only imagine the liberal spit takes if ABC's conservative pundits George Will or
William Kristol filled in as the "objective" co-host.)
But the highlight
of the week was the Friday morning show, which featured 45 minutes of air time for Bill
and Hillary Clinton's live town meeting with teens on the topic of school shootings --
without commercial interruption. If Hillary Clinton runs for Senate, would ABC be willing
to allow Mayor Rudy Giuliani or Rep. Rick Lazio a matching 45 minutes to demonstrate their
empathy with the children?
On Thursday morning, Gibson promoted it: "We'll be interviewing the President, and
then Mrs. Clinton is going to join us, along with the real experts on teen violence. We're
going to bring in a number of students across the country and we're going to talk with
them and with the President and Mrs. Clinton about what's on everyone's mind since the
school shootings in Littleton, Conyers, Jonesboro, and unfortunately, so many other
cities." Diane Sawyer added: "I assume that the teens are going to be a kind of
reality check, asking some tough questions of the President and the First Lady about
violent video games, movies, parents, the challenges of growing up today."
Notice Sawyer left out that teens would ask tough questions on gun control. While one
teen defended video games, none opposed gun control. Many of the teens were students at
the schools where shootings had occurred, and the group was very supportive of crackdowns,
including metal detectors. One student advocated raising the price of all guns to a level
where kids can't afford them. The only balance on guns came when Sawyer asked one question
about lax enforcement of current gun laws.
the interview with the President, Gibson hit Clinton from the left (see box). He preached:
"But let me come back to you on that, the polls, I agree on that, the polls have
shown that this country would accept registration of firearms and yet we don't do that and
we're not fighting about regulation of guns. We regulate every other consumer product out
When Clinton responded with long, feisty answers, protesting that some Democrats
supporting the Brady Bill "which the polls showed the voters support," got beat
anyway, Gibson fussed: "But hasn't the NRA won the debate at that point? Once we say
it's politically impossible, we can't do it, we won't propose it, hasn't the NRA basically
framed the debate at that point?"
Gibson promoted mandatory safety devices on Thursday morning: "I think it's fair
to say that every consumer product on the market, we expect it to undergo vigorous safety
tests for our protection and the protection of our children. This is after all, the age of
the childproof safety device on almost every product. So in the wake of repeated incidents
of youth gun violence, a lot of people are asking shouldn't the same apply to guns?"
Michael Guillen filed a report on kids killed in gun accidents and how their parents are
now campaigning for mandatory safety devices.
ABCNews.com is currently matching Good Morning America's gun focus, with a
notable difference. Opponents of gun control, including experts like academic John Lott,
were awarded an opportunity to respond. -- Tim Graham
L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher; Brent Baker, Tim Graham, Editors;
Jessica Anderson, Brian Boyd, Geoffrey
Dickens, Mark Drake, Paul Smith, Brad
Wilmouth, Media Analysts; Kristina Sewell, Research
Associate. For the latest liberal media bias, read the
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