Appearance Alert!
MRC President Brent Bozell to appear on FNC's Kelly File at 9:40 p.m. EST

ABC: Did Lack of Insurance Drive Hillary Hostage-Taker to Crime? --12/4/2007


1. ABC: Did Lack of Insurance Drive Hillary Hostage-Taker to Crime?
Did the New Hampshire man who took several Hillary Clinton staffers hostage on Friday do so because of a lack of health insurance? That's what Good Morning America reporter David Kerley seemed to imply during a segment on Monday's show. First, he pointed out that the individual, Leeland Eisenberg, was turned away from a mental health support due to a lack of "money or insurance." Then, after playing a clip of a Clinton campaign ad in which a man lauds the New York Senator for helping to save his son's life by absorbing medical costs, Kerley revealed that Eisenberg targeted Clinton "because he saw this Clinton ad in which a New Hampshire supporter says the candidate helped him get health insurance." Kerley closed the segment by observing that the hostage-taker stormed the office and demanded to see Senator Clinton. The GMA correspondent intoned: "That didn't happen, but he may finally get the help he was pleading for."

2. Michael J. Fox Sticks to Old Beliefs on Embryo Destruction
Even as scientific advancements on stem cell research have vindicated George W. Bush's resistance to destroy actual embryos, Michael J. Fox refused to give the President any credit on Monday's Today show, instead choosing to indirectly insult him as he declared that after the next election "the chances are very good that there's gonna be a new attitude towards science."

3. CBS Seeks Environmental Reporter: Expertise 'Not a Requirement'
CBS News has posted a job listing on the JournalismJobs Web site seeking an correspondent on the environment beat. But while "a deep interest in the environment and sustainability issues will serve you well," actual "knowledge of the enviro beat is a big plus, but not a requirement." More important to CBS News, that "you are wicked smart, funny, irreverent and hip, oozing enthusiasm and creative energy. This position requires strong people, reporting, story telling and writing skills. Managing tight deadlines should be second nature."

4. In Muhammad Teddy Bear Incident, The View Crew Blame the Woman
All the co-hosts of The View, a show intended to advance women's voices, were not offended by women's persecution in the Islamic world. On Friday's show, in discussing the British woman in Sudan charged for naming a class teddy bear Muhammad, the co-hosts did not direct any anger at the Sudanese government, but rather blamed the woman for not adapting to that culture. Co-host Sherri Shepherd opined that "you would think that with her being in Sudan, she would know the rules and customs." Whoopi Goldberg fretted about how Europeans and Americans are "not as anxious to learn the customs before we go places." And, of course, that's "just one of the reasons we're called the ugly Americans."

5. With Writers on Strike, Submit Your Own "Top Ten" Ideas
Write your own Top Ten list. With writers for the late night shows on strike, there hasn't been a new "Top Ten" list for several weeks on the Late Show with David Letterman, but the Web site is still being updated and this week's "Top Ten Contest" deals with a political/media topic: "Top Ten Signs the Political Candidates are Tired of the Debates."


ABC: Did Lack of Insurance Drive Hillary
Hostage-Taker to Crime?

Did the New Hampshire man who took several Hillary Clinton staffers hostage on Friday do so because of a lack of health insurance? That's what Good Morning America reporter David Kerley seemed to imply during a segment on Monday's show. First, he pointed out that the individual, Leeland Eisenberg, was turned away from a mental health support due to a lack of "money or insurance." Then, after playing a clip of a Clinton campaign ad in which a man lauds the New York Senator for helping to save his son's life by absorbing medical costs, Kerley revealed that Eisenberg targeted Clinton "because he saw this Clinton ad in which a New Hampshire supporter says the candidate helped him get health insurance." Kerley closed the segment by observing that the hostage-taker stormed the office and demanded to see Senator Clinton. The GMA correspondent intoned: "That didn't happen, but he may finally get the help he was pleading for."

[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Co-host Diane Sawyer, interviewing the family of Mr. Eisenberg, appeared to be making a similar point. She asked the suspect's son, Ben Warren, this question about the root causes of the crime: "Ben, as we know, he's now facing serious felony charges, your step-dad, but there was a history. He was turned away by local hospitals, turned away by a psychiatrist, unable to get his medicine. You said this was an act of desperation. What kind of desperation do you see?"

A transcript of the segments, which aired at 7:32am on December 3:

DIANE SAWYER: First, we do want to go to the stunned family that is coming forward today, the family of the man who took those hostages at Hillary Clinton's campaign offices. As you know, he had strapped to his chest a fake bomb made of road flairs. Let's begin all of this though with David Kerley who has the very latest on all of it, this morning.
DAVID KERLEY: Peeling off his fake bomb, Leeland Eisenberg was no stranger to police. On this very day, he was supposed to be in court on a domestic dispute charge.
KITTY CARLSON (Suspect's neighbor) I told her if she got in trouble in the middle of the night with him, bang on my door. Someone would let her in.
KERLEY: Three days earlier, his wife filed for divorce against the out of work 47-year-old. His family says he was trying to get help for a drinking problem.
CECIL PLAISTED (Suspect's neighbor): When he's not drinking, he's the nicest guy you can meet. He doesn't bother anyone. But when he's drinking, he's altogether different.
KERLEY: Early last week, the family says Eisenberg, seeking mental health help, was turned away from a local hospital because he had no money or insurance. Here in Rochester, Barack Obama's offices are just a couple doors down from Hillary Clinton's, so why did Eisenberg target Clinton?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN [Brief clip of Hillary Clinton ad]: We called Senator Clinton and asked for help.
KERLEY: ABC News has learned it was because he saw this Clinton ad in which a New Hampshire supporter says the candidate helped him get health insurance.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN [From ad again]: I trusted this woman to save my son's life. And she did.
KERLEY: Eisenberg told a family member he was going to do something to get in the hospital. The next day, he walked into Clinton's office wearing what he said was a bomb, demanding to speak to the senator. That didn't happen, but he may finally get the help he was pleading for. David Kerley, ABC News, Rochester, New Hampshire.

DIANE SAWYER: And by the way, his family offered to go in and try to help defuse the situation, and now in a GMA exclusive, Lee Eisenberg's wife, Lisa, his step-children, Ben and Erin Warren. And we talk to them in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Ben, Lisa, Erin, thank you for being with us. I know this was a hard decision for you. And good morning to all of you.
ALL: Good morning.
SAWYER: Tell me, Ben, did you turn on the TV? Did someone tell you what was going on? How did you first know that your step-dad was involved in this?
BEN WARREN (Hostage taker's stepson): Well, we were in superior court and a bailiff came and told us said that they needed to go to Rochester to the scene where they had the emergency vehicles set up and stuff.
SAWYER: And when you were watching the scenes on the television, did you think at any point that he might really be going to hurt someone?
BEN WARREN: I didn't know, but I'm sure everybody else did.
SAWYER: Let me get a sense of that morning because I know that he had been drinking the night before. And as you're getting ready to leave, a couple of things, you knew a couple of things. That he was saying he wanted to get help. He was going to do something big to get help. What did that mean to you?
BEN WARREN: I honestly at the time, I didn't really pay it much attention 'cause, you know, he had been drinking all night. I wasn't really, you know -- I didn't really think there was much validity to it. But he -- I don't know. I figured if anything, it would be some kind of suicide attempt where somebody would see it so he would get attention and get some help. I didn't think it would be anything quite this extreme.
SAWYER: He had a message for your mom?
BEN WARREN: He told me to make sure I told her that he loved her and that it wasn't her fault.
SAWYER: When we read about his history, that he had said that he was sexually abused by a priest at one point, had a settlement, in fact, from the church. His mother died young, his father alcoholic and abusive. What was he like to live with? What was the difference on medication and off medication?
LISA WARREN: When he was on his medication, He was always making me laugh. He spoiled me. It was -- it was perfect in my eyes. But without the medication, and the use of the alcohol, he turned into a different person.
SAWYER: Did you see that video of him coming out, dropping to his knees, surrendering?
ERIN WARREN: Yes.
SAWYER: And in that moment, what did you say to each other?
ERIN WARREN: We just -- we really didn't say anything. It was just relief, I think, for all of us.
SAWYER: Ben, as we know, he's now facing serious felony charges, your step-dad, but there was a history. He was turned away by local hospitals, turned away by a psychiatrist, unable to get his medicine. You said this was an act of desperation. What kind of desperation do you see?
BEN WARREN: You know, what I remember most is he kept expressing that he was wanting help, he was wanting help with his problem and that he wasn't able to get it because he didn't have insurance and he didn't have money. And it was an act of desperation, to try to get help.
SAWYER: And Lisa, a final word from you to him, to the man you married.
LISA WARREN: Just that, I still -- I still love him. I'm still here, and I wish there was something I could have done, and that I'm sorry for -- that it ended up this way.
SAWYER: Again, I do know how difficult this decision was to come forward, the three of you, and we thank you so much.
LISA WARREN: Thank you.

Michael J. Fox Sticks to Old Beliefs
on Embryo Destruction

Even as scientific advancements on stem cell research have vindicated George W. Bush's resistance to destroy actual embryos, Michael J. Fox refused to give the President any credit on Monday's Today show, instead choosing to indirectly insult him as he declared that after the next election "the chances are very good that there's gonna be a new attitude towards science."

[This item, by Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Monday afternoon, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

When asked by NBC's Maria Menounos, whether the ability to reprogram ordinary cells to mimic those of embyronic stem cells changed his view on the issue, Fox refused to abandon the practice of embryo destruction as he warned: "At the same time too we don't want to discontinue the embryonic stem cell research that's being done because one begat the other and, and it all becomes part of a broad canvas that we want to continue to work on."

The following is the full segment as it aired on the December 3 edition of Today:

MEREDITH VIEIRA: With an engaging personality and enormous star power Michael J. Fox has emerged as the leader in the fight against Parkinson's Disease. Recently our West Coast contributor Maria Menenous caught up with Fox at his foundation's annual fundraiser to talk about his life and the latest discovery in stem cell research.
MARIA MENOUNOS: Scientists have now found a way to reprogram ordinary cells-
MICHAEL J. FOX: Right
MENOUNOS: -to mimic the same actions of, of an embryonic stem cell.
FOX: Embryonic stem cell, yeah.
MENOUNOS: Tell me what that does to Parkinson's and how exciting that was for you?
FOX: Well any of these breakthroughs are fantastic. And it's just thrilling. And at the same time too we don't want to discontinue the embryonic stem cell research that's being done because one begat the other and, and it all becomes part of a broad canvas that we want to continue to work on.
MENOUNOS: Do you think that this will end the whole hot button issue of stem cell research?
FOX: Well I want to make sure that we, that, that doesn't happen. But I think that the bottom line is whatever happens in the next election, the chances are very good that there's gonna be a new attitude towards science.
MENOUNOS: Does stem cell research affect who you're backing in the election this year?
FOX: Well just about everybody's in favor of it with the couple of exceptions on the, on the Republican side. But, but what I did in the last election in the midterm was not about parties but, but about who was in a race where they supported stem cell research and, and were, were opposed by someone who's not in favor of stem cell research.
MENOUNOS: Who are you backing this election?
FOX: Whoever the most pro-science candidate is that comes out of either primary.
MENOUNOS: What would be the one thing that would surprise people about your life?
FOX: Well I, I think that people focus on the fact that I have this condition might be surprised at how happy I am, how productive I am and how much enthusiasm I have for life. I mean it happened to be that, that it created an opportunity for me to do things that I might not have otherwise had done. And, and gave me a way to put the rest of my life in relief. So I, I say, yeah, this is a drag to have this. But put it against everything else and it's like a, it's like a pin in a haystack. I mean I have so many blessing and so much good stuff in my life that, that I just, I have an idiot grin on my face all the time.
VIEIRA: He is a great guy. You can see more of Maria's interview tonight on Access Hollywood.

CBS Seeks Environmental Reporter: Expertise
'Not a Requirement'

CBS News has posted a job listing on the JournalismJobs Web site seeking an correspondent on the environment beat. But while "a deep interest in the environment and sustainability issues will serve you well," actual "knowledge of the enviro beat is a big plus, but not a requirement." More important to CBS News, that "you are wicked smart, funny, irreverent and hip, oozing enthusiasm and creative energy. This position requires strong people, reporting, story telling and writing skills. Managing tight deadlines should be second nature."

Ironically, Jeff Poor of the MRC's Business and Media Institute pointed out in a Friday posting on the MRC's NewsBusters blog, the ad shows irreverence to what kind of carbon footprint the job duties might require since the ad included: "Be prepared to see America. Heavy domestic travel."

The job listing:

Company: CBS News
Position: Seeking Vibrant Reporter/Host for Eco Beat
Location: National, United States
Job Status: Freelance
Salary: Negotiable
Ad Expires: December 12, 2007

Description: CBS is expanding its coverage of the environment. We seek a talented reporter/host for Internet video broadcast. We are looking for smart, creative, hard working up and comers, who can bring great energy, creativity and a dash of humor to our coverage. A deep interest in the environment and sustainability issues will serve you well.

You are wicked smart, funny, irreverent and hip, oozing enthusiasm and creative energy. This position requires strong people, reporting, story telling and writing skills. Managing tight deadlines should be second nature. Knowledge of the enviro beat is a big plus, but not a requirement.

Responsibilities include reporting and hosting two to three news packages per week plus daily writing for our blog. You should be comfortable using a video camera and the Internet. Be prepared to see America. Heavy domestic travel.

That's online at: www.journalismjobs.com

In Muhammad Teddy Bear Incident, The
View Crew Blame the Woman

All the co-hosts of The View, a show intended to advance women's voices, were not offended by women's persecution in the Islamic world. On Friday's show, in discussing the British woman in Sudan charged for naming a class teddy bear Muhammad, the co-hosts did not direct any anger at the Sudanese government, but rather blamed the woman for not adapting to that culture. Co-host Sherri Shepherd opined that "you would think that with her being in Sudan, she would know the rules and customs." Whoopi Goldberg fretted about how Europeans and Americans are "not as anxious to learn the customs before we go places." And, of course, that's "just one of the reasons we're called the ugly Americans."

[This item was adopted from the NewsBusters post by Justin McCarthy: newsbusters.org ]

The show was recorded before news of the woman's 15 day sentence. The entire transcript of the November 30 discussion:

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Now in the Sudan, there's a British teacher who is possibly going to be stoned or lashed.
JOY BEHAR: A woman.
GOLDBERG: A woman, yeah. Because, in her class they had some teddy bears and she, one of the kids wanted to name his kid- his teddy bear Muhammad and she said "fine." Apparently, other children complained to their parents, which is how it ended up in the hands of the religious leaders, and the religious leaders are very very upset. Now, do you think that they're-
GLORIA ESTEFAN: They arrested her.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, they arrested her. It is a huge thing.
BEHAR: There are a lot of Muhammads, though, in that part of the world.
GOLDBERG: Yes, but they're people, and not animals.
BEHAR: Right, but this isn't even an animal. This is a stuffed toy.
GOLDBERG: Yes, it's a stuffed toy.
SHERRI SHEPHERD: I think it's like it's sacrilegious to name a stuffed toy Muhammad. But you know, you would think that with her being in Sudan, she would know the rules and customs. Because I know I performed stand up in Turkey, and they gave me a big thick packet on the customs, and what you could and could not do, and how you would offend people. So I'm surprised that she didn't know it might be offensive.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, because you'd think if you're going overseas, I mean, we had this discussion yesterday about people coming to America and learning the customs and knowing what is cool, and what isn't cool. But I find that maybe we are not, and I say we just as European and American, we're not as anxious to learn the customs before we go places. It's just one of the reasons we're called the ugly Americans.

With Writers on Strike, Submit Your Own
"Top Ten" Ideas

Write your own Top Ten list. With writers for the late night shows on strike, there hasn't been a new "Top Ten" list for several weeks on the Late Show with David Letterman, but the Web site is still being updated and this week's "Top Ten Contest" deals with a political/media topic: "Top Ten Signs the Political Candidates are Tired of the Debates." To submit your entry, go to: www.cbs.com

Come up with your ideas soon since the winners are picked by Friday and the winning entries will be posted on Saturday and sent to the Late Show Newsletter list on Monday. If yours is one of the ten they select, you'll get a free Late Show T-shirt.

-- Brent Baker