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 Media Reality Check

For Immediate Release: Katie Wright (703) 683-5004 - Tuesday, July 27, 2004

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Democratic Convention, Day 1: CBS's "Shove It" Story Skips Teresa's Calling GOP "Un-American"

Clever Bill, Honest Jimmy,
but No Bush-Bashing?

    To document the heights (or depths) of liberal media bias during the week of the Democratic convention in Boston, the Media Research Center staff is preparing twice-daily Cyber Alerts. For more detail, come to our Web site at The following items are a sampling of the latest findings of notable convention media coverage:

    • Clinton's Cleverness. Wrapping up NBC's coverage last night, Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw were enthralled by Bill Clinton's convention speech. Noting how Clinton drew attention to how he avoided serving in Vietnam, Russert admired how Clinton's "personal weaknesses...only reinforced the uniqueness of John Kerry. Very clever speech.

    • Admiring Jimmy Carter. After last night's speeches, CNN NewsNight anchor Aaron Brown and reporter Joe Johns both gushed about the greatness of the former President who used his appearance to bash U.S. foreign policy as "extremist" and alienating. "To many people, he has improved with age," Brown beamed. Johns recounted how Georgia Rep. John Lewis "said Jimmy Carter is simply the elder statesman of the party, an honest man, truthful."

    • No Bush-Bashing? NBC's Andrea Mitchell worried on MSNBC that the "Kerry and DNC people have been trying to take all the red meat out of the speeches. They want to be kinder and gentler." So she asked Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to use on MSNBC the lines that were cut from his speech as too harshly attacking Bush.

Error Free Teresa    • Ignoring Teresa's Un-American Swipe. All three evening newscasts last night discussed the controversy of Teresa Heinz Kerry telling a reporter to "shove it" when he asked Mrs. Kerry about her accusation that Republicans were "un-American," a quote caught on video tape. But CBS's Byron Pitts never let on that the journalist, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Colin McNickle, had accurately quoted Mrs. Kerry saying "un-American." Pitts sidestepped Mrs. Kerry's evident error but branded the journalist as an ideologue. (See the Worst of the Day.)

    • Shy On "Shove It!" Coverage. Of the three broadcast Monday morning shows, only ABC's Good Morning America showed enough videotape for viewers to see how Mrs. Kerry first decried the "un-American traits" of Kerry opponents, only to deny she said "un-American." CBS held itself to just playing the words "shove it," while NBC's Campbell Brown would only say that "she reportedly told the reporter to, quote, 'Shove it!'"

    • Teddy's Next Tirade? Liberal Senator Ted Kennedy made the rounds on (almost) all the Monday network morning shows. CBS asked only softballs, calling Teddy the "grand marshal" of the convention. ABC aired a treacly tribute to the Kennedy "dynasty," but Diane Sawyer asked Ted if his rhetoric would be "reined in" by Team Kerry.

    • We Can't Wait for '08! Like the Kennedys, Hillary Rodham Clinton skipped FNC's Fox & Friends on Monday, with ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC reporters all worried that she may not get to run for President herself someday. None asked about other potential problems for Kerry: whether he's too liberal, soft on national security, or a flip-flopper.


- Tim Graham, Brent Baker, and Rich Noyes



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