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 Media Reality Check

For Immediate Release: Katie Wright (703) 683-5004 - Thursday, July 29, 2004

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Democratic Convention, Day 3: Edwards Is So Nice, ABC's Jennings Frets, Who'll Attack Bush/Cheney?

Network Reporters Swoon
Over Edwards' Speech

    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 CyberAlerts. For more detail, come to our Web site at The following items are a sampling of the latest findings of notable convention media coverage:

Pitts Swoons Over Edwards    • In Love with John Edwards. The moment the Democratic VP nominee's speech was over, you could feel the love some network reporters have for John Edwards. On CBS, Dan Rather and Bob Schieffer glowed with satisfaction after Edwards finished, with Schieffer praising Edwards' "high road approach." Reporter Byron Pitts could not suppress his adoration of Edwards. (See box.)

    • More Edwards Love. "Bingo!" exclaimed MSNBC's Chris Matthews after Edwards' speech. Also on MSNBC, Newsweek's Jon Meacham favorably compared Edwards to Ronald Reagan: "He talks about the best and the bravest who won't be left behind. He talks about 'this great shining light.' He says, 'tomorrow is better than today.' Those are all Ronald Reagan's lines."

    • But Who'll Bash the Bushies? ABC's Peter Jennings had one worry after Edwards speech: "If John Edwards is going to go around the country talking enthusiastically, optimistically even blithely about the Democratic Party, who's going to attack the President and Vice President Cheney?" he asked ABC News Political Director Mark Halperin.

    • Nasty Speech or Convention Energizer? Even though Al Sharpton implied President Bush would have been a racist segregationist 50 years ago, Peter Jennings began ABC's 10pm EDT coverage by hailing the enthusiasm that met Sharpton's rant: "This convention hall tonight has been a truly turned-on preacher....The crowd absolutely loved it." But journalists on cable identified the speech as harsh: "Probably scared the hell out of a lot of people," MSNBC's Chris Matthews suggested.

    • Overjoyed at Obama, Tepid for Teresa. Wednesday's morning shows continued Tuesday night's praise for Barack Obama's keynote address. ABC's Charles Gibson gushed that Obama had "brought down the house." He giddily predicted: "Last night, a political star may have been born." But as for Teresa Heinz Kerry, journalists struggled to find kind words. NBC's Tim Russert was lukewarm: "I think they did the best they could."

    • ABC Finds Yet Another "Rock Star." Wednesday morning, ABC's Jake Tapper profiled the left-wing crank Michael Moore, who he said was getting a "rock star reception" at the Democratic convention. But Tapper at least labeled Moore as a "liberal," something NBC's Carl Quintanilla failed to do in his glowing profile: "Forget the flags, forget the balloons. The one thing you can't avoid at this convention sits under a green Michigan State baseball cap. Michael Moore is everywhere."

    • More, More, More! On Wednesday's Inside Politics, CNN's Judy Woodruff asked George McGovern if the GOP would "get away" with calling Democrats liberal this year. And MSNBC's Chris Matthews told Howard Dean his "happiest moment" was watching his son campaign for Dean. Like father, like son? Full details at

- Tim Graham, Brent Baker, and Rich Noyes



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