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 Media Reality Check

For Immediate Release: Katie Wright (703) 683-5004 - Friday, September 3, 2004

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Republican Convention, Day 4: "Compassionate Conservatism" Mantra Rings Hollow to CBS Reporter

CBS Belittles Bush but
Fawned Over Kerry

    To document the heights (or depths) of liberal media bias during the week of the Republican convention in New York City, the Media Research Center staff is preparing twice-daily CyberAlerts. The following items are a sampling of the latest findings of notable convention media coverage, with full details available at

Worst of the Day: Bush's Poor Record    • He's No John Kerry. CBS greeted President Bush's convention speech by sniping at his use of the phrase "compassionate conservatism" and regurgitating Democratic spin lines. "You're going to hear the words 'compassionate conservatism,'" White House reporter John Roberts warned his audience. "Some critics would probably say it's a mantra that rings pretty hollow considering some of the policies that his government has pursued in the last three and a half years." Roberts hit the same sour note earlier on the CBS Evening News, and groused after the speech that "he seems to have completely forgotten about Osama bin Laden."

    Five weeks ago in Boston, CBS fawned over John Kerry's speech, with reporter Byron Pitts touting the Vietnam dog tags Kerry keeps in his pocket and sycophantically relating a deathbed scene in which Kerry's mother urges her son to always show integrity. "John Kerry tried to show that integrity tonight," Pitts gushed back on July 29.

    • Past Bob's Bedtime. In Boston, CBS's Bob Schieffer enthused that Kerry's speech was "the best speech I have ever heard John Kerry give." Schieffer crabbed about Bush: "The last part of this speech was the best part of the speech, but it took him too long to get there. I think the speech, quite frankly, was too long." In contrast to CBS's dour reaction, pundits on ABC, FNC and MSNBC liked Bush's speech.

    • Take That, John Ashcroft! After Bush finished talking, ABC's Peter Jennings told viewers that the slight commotion they had heard around 10:45pm EDT was the result of two protesters who were quickly taken away by security: "What they could be charged with, other than political expression, I do not know."

    • Democrats "Never" Attacked Bush. Just before John Kerry's midnight tirade in Ohio, Time writer Joe Klein celebrated the Democrats' attack strategy on CNN. "It's about time they did something real," he griped, adding that at their convention "Democrats almost seemed lobotomized because they never made the case against George W. Bush."

    • Zell's Hateful Venom. On MSNBC last night, U.S. News & World Report's David Gergen weighed in on Zell Miller's anti-Kerry speech from Wednesday: "Zell Miller's speech was a speech of hate, it was a speech of venom."

    • Cheney As Soft as Kerry? ABC's World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News aped Democratic talking points as they attempted to equate then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney targeted cuts of the early 1990s with John Kerry's career-long hostility to a strong defense, including his support of a nuclear freeze at the height of the Cold War. CBS's John Roberts scolded Zell Miller's argument that Kerry's policies would leave America weaker: "The attack may have been entertaining, but was it true?"

    • For details on all these stories, go to, and for reports on how The New York Times has skewed its reporting, you can check out

- Brent Baker, Tim Graham and Rich Noyes



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