Daschle's Scurrilous Charges Against Limbaugh Skipped
3. Cable and ABC Swoon Over "What Would Jesus Drive?"
4. Nachman Decries Liberal Media "Pile-On" Over Ailes
5. Rooney: Journalists Liberal, I'm "Surprised" Conservatives Won
Gumbel to Host UFO Special
On Wednesday's World News Tonight ABC's Peter Jennings once again showed a hostility toward Bush's Iraq policy not displayed by the other networks. Jennings asked John McWethy about how "some of the President's critics" say the administration is "goading" the Iraqis into firing on planes enforcing the "no-fly" zone, a notion McWethy shot down as he relayed that "some U.S. officials believe, in fact, the Iraqis are trying to goad the U.S. in an effort to gain sympathy."
Jennings followed with a look at how "there has been rising anti-American sentiment in Saudi Arabia as there has been in many Arab countries," as if such sentiment in a nation which created most of the 9/11 terrorists should govern U.S. policy. Reporter Jim Sciutto proposed: "Across the Arab world, few would miss Saddam Hussein, but even fewer believe a U.S.-led war is the way to remove him."
After John McWethy finished his piece from the Pentagon about the latest firing upon and by Western planes enforcing the "no-fly" zone, Jennings asked him: "Jack, some of the President's critics take these encounters as a sign the President is not waiting for the weapons inspectors to do their jobs and that the U.S. may even be -- these are their words -- 'goading' the Iraqis to lighting up their air defense systems."
McWethy dismissed that theory: "I think there are some U.S. officials that believe, in fact, the Iraqis are trying to goad the U.S. in an effort to gain sympathy from much of the world because, as those U.S. bombs drop, especially in Moslem countries and Arab countries, it doesn't look that good for the U.S."
Next, Jennings warned on his November 20 broadcast: "In Saudi Arabia today, a man with a gun started a fire in a McDonald's restaurant near a U.S. military base south of the capital Riyad. Caused only minor damage. We don't know why he did it. But there has been rising anti-American sentiment in Saudi Arabia as there has been in many Arab countries. Just one of the ripple effects on the road to possible war with Iraq. Here's ABC's Jim Sciutto."
Sciutto began, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Across the Arab world, few would miss Saddam Hussein, but even fewer believe a U.S.-led war is the way to remove him. Even America's closest allies are reluctant."
Sciutto concluded from Saudi Arabia by warning that "many here see the U.S., not Iraq, as the greater threat to peace."
Just like liberals in Hollywood and Jim McDermott.
In his last press conference with reporters as Senate Majority Leader, late Wednesday morning Senator Tom Daschle lashed out at conservatives and Rush Limbaugh, ludicrously blaming Limbaugh for threats on the lives of public officials and blaming conservative rhetoric for "fomenting" physical violence. Noting how "religious fundamentalism" overseas has "become so violent," he credited the "same shrill rhetoric" to U.S. conservatives and warned that "pretty soon it's a foment that becomes physical in addition just verbal and that's happening in this country."
But instead of jumping on and condemning such irresponsible comments from a such a high-level public official, as they surely would have if uttered by a conservative about liberals (recall media revulsion in 1994 to Newt Gingrich linking the South Carolina mother who murdered her two small children to the rise of liberal values), the networks barely or did not even blink at all.
ABC's World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News and CNBC's The News with Brian Williams all ignored the mean-spirited remarks while the NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw read a short item which treated it as a case of Daschle expressing reasonable concern. On CNN's Inside Politics, anchor Judy Woodruff refused to offer any negative characterization as she referred to Daschle's comments as "memorable" and reporter Jonathan Karl called his remarks "fascinating."
Of evening newscasts, only FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume fully conveyed Daschle's vitriol as Carl Cameron highlighted how Daschle "singled out Rush Limbaugh, suggesting that conservative media are inciting violence."
During a wrap-up look at the 107th Congress on CNN's Inside Politics, Judy Woodruff prompted Jonathan Karl: "I understand Tom Daschle had some memorable comments on the Senate floor."
In fact, Daschle's comments were uttered not on the Senate floor but in the Majority Leader's suite, but Karl confirmed her basic point: "Yes. Fascinating. Daschle really took to task talk radio show host, conservative talk radio, blamed them for their shrill tone, a tone he acknowledged as being entertaining and making it harder for Democrats to get their message out. But he also said that talk radio show hosts and the attacks that they have made on him and on other Democrats have increased personal attacks and threats of physical violence against him and against his family. This is what he had to say."
Karl added: "And Senator Daschle said that the threats against him and against his family increased after Republicans labeled him an obstructionist and had the whole Republican campaign, Tom Daschle: obstructionist. Now there is a response from Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh actually went on his show this afternoon and talked about this. He said, in part, every time Democrat lose either elections or a major issue, they blame me, they blame talk radio and they blame you, Rush Limbaugh, told his listeners. So obviously, Rush Limbaugh dismissing that criticism from the Majority Leader."
Brokaw provided the only broadcast network mention Wednesday night of Daschle's scurrilous attack, but one Brokaw did not see that way: "As the 107th Congress came to a close today, outgoing Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle had some comments on the tone of political discourse in this country, saying that threats have increased against him and his family. He blames talk show host Rush Limbaugh and quote, 'all the Rush Limbaugh wannabees' for an increasingly negative tone in politics.' Daschle said 'some people don't seem to know the difference between entertainment and politics' and that they are then quote, 'energized to go out a hurt somebody,' he want on to say 'that troubles me about where politics in this country is going.' Limbaugh countered by saying that Daschle's comments are a Democratic Party strategy to undermine the power of his talk show."
Normally when religious leaders speak out on public policy matters the networks either ignore them or condemn them for suggesting their religious views should direct public policy. But not on Wednesday when the Evangelical Environmental Network publicized its "What Would Jesus Drive?" (WWJD) TV ad campaign against SUVs. The cable networks and ABC swooned, discovering newsworthiness in the views of the religious leaders who were on the side of liberal environmentalists, even if Peter Jennings called them "conservative Christians," as if all evangelicals are politically conservative.
CNN ran segments on the WWJD gimmick all day, including a full interview segment on Talk Back Live and Inside Politics. FNC got in on the action with a segment on the Big Show with John Gibson and probably more stuff that I missed. ABC's World News Tonight ran a story and on Thursday morning, I noticed a while ago, Good Morning America featured an interview with the minister leading the effort.
Both CNBC and ABC's World News Tonight played lengthy clips of the ad promoting the liberal cause, far lengthier clips than they ever play of political ads during campaigns.
Brian Williams announced on his November 20 CNBC show:
CNBC played a lengthy ad clip for free, joined in progress: "-saw that it was good, and Jesus says, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' Yet too many of the cars, trucks and SUVs that are made that we choose to drive are polluting our air, increasing global warming, changing the weather, and endangering our health, especially the health of our children. So, if we love our neighbor and we cherish God's creation, maybe we should ask, 'What would Jesus drive?'"
CNBC then ran a Bob Hager piece, which also aired on the NBC Nightly News, about renewed efforts by others to get the CAFé standard for SUVs/light trucks raised from its present 20.7 mpg.
Over on ABC on Wednesday night, Jennings plugged two upcoming stories: "We are going to take a closer look tonight at the latest pressure on car manufacturers to be more fuel efficient -- from the Bush administration and from, yes, conservative Christians."
There's little evidence those behind the effort are "conservatives," but I'll get to that in a few paragraphs.
Following a piece on how administration officials are considering raising the CAFé standard for SUVs, Jennings intoned:
Reynolds explained, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "It's a new voice joining the debate over the wisdom of America's love affair with gas-guzzling SUVs, minivans and pickups. The Reverend Jim Ball of a group called the Evangelical Environmental Network says it's time to reframe the issue and get people to think small."
Every time I try I cannot access the What Would Jesus Drive? Web page, but it is a project of the Evangelical Environmental Network and its Web page hardly conveys any sense that it is "conservative" as Jennings claimed. Check the EEN's home page: http://www.creationcare.org/
The page for their What Would Jesus Drive? anti-choice campaign: http://whatwouldjesusdrive.org
MSNBC's Jerry Nachman on Tuesday criticized the media "pile-on" against Roger Ailes for offering some post September 11th terrorist attack advice to President Bush when the media hardly reacted at all to revelations about how CNN President Rick Kaplan stayed overnight in Clinton's White House. And FNC's Greta Van Susteren lashed out at her old network for impugning FNC, declaring: "Shame on you, CNN."
During MSNBC's 4pm EST Lester Holt Live on Tuesday, MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed, Holt picked up on what Nachman was saying and asked Nachman, who was a guest on the show: "Well, let's cut to the chase. Is this the liberal media at work that Roger Ailes complains about?"
Earlier in the day, Nachman, who seems to sometimes appear on every MSNBC show, informed Pat Buchanan and Bill Press: "I can tell you from personal experience that other news division presidents' bosses were hanging out with Clinton in Hollywood and, believe me, it's human nature, as Pat and Bill will say, that if a guy in a job like that says, 'What do you think?' you answer."
Later Tuesday night, November 19, the MRC's Ken Shepherd observed that FNC's Greta Van Susteren, who moved from CNN to FNC at the start of the year, ended her On the Record show by insisting she had editorial independence at both CNN and FNC as she scolded CNN for trying to impugn FNC's integrity:
For more on this subject, see the November 19 CyberAlert: Displaying an amazing level of hypocrisy, on Monday CNN shows focused on the revelation that Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes sent a memo to Bush adviser Karl Rove just after the terrorist attacks. Treating this as newsworthy: CNN, a network run until two years ago by Rick Kaplan, who while President of CNN, played golf with President Clinton, stayed overnight in the Lincoln Bedroom and attended a mock debate session with Al Gore -- all after, while at ABC News, advising candidate Clinton on how to handle the Flowers situation and blocking anti-Clinton stories from ABC. Details: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20021119.asp#4
60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney, who expressed "surprise" at "how conservative America has gotten," nonetheless showed he is more aware of political ideology than is Phil Donahue. Appearing on Donahue's MSNBC show on Tuesday night, to Donahue's dismay, Rooney agreed with Bernard Goldberg's contention that most journalists view the world from the left: "I think most news people I know tend towards the liberal direction, yes." When Donahue disagreed, Rooney was taken aback: "You don't think that's true? Come on, Phil."
Later, before discounting FNC as "blatantly conservative," Rooney elaborated on his befuddlement over how people in labor unions could vote for conservatives: "I have always failed to understand how, why it is so many working people are conservative Republicans. I mean, a lot of people in labor unions are conservative Republicans. That always surprises me because, in many respects, the Republican Party does not represent their best interests quite often. It's a puzzle."
At the top of the November 19 Donahue, which MSNBC is broadcasting this week from a studio with an audience at Rockefeller Center in hopes of boosting the viewership, Rooney opined: "The election showed this. I am just surprised at how conservative America has gotten. You can't deny it."
I'm sure many of Rooney's CBS News colleagues are trying to.
Donahue set up a clip of Goldberg: "We had your former colleague, Bernie Goldberg, on the show, pushing me up against the wall. Liberal, nobody cares about you know, they marginalize you. The whole media's liberal. Everybody is liberal. To hear them talk, there would be nobody, there's nobody left to be conservative. Here's how he put it on our program. Bernie Goldberg, ex of CBS."
Donahue must not watch Peter Jennings.
But Rooney agreed with Donahue that going into Iraq is a bad idea: "Well, it's an urge. It's a male urge. I mean, I think all of us would like to see us go in there and straighten things out. But if you give it any thought, it's the wrong thing to do without complete international health. The thing about, there is a way of being liberal and not saying anything about it. Now, for instance, Cronkite, for years, I knew where he stood politically, but I don't think the American public had any impression of his being either liberal or a conservative."
Three earlier CyberAlert items about Goldberg and Donahue or Rooney and Goldberg:
-- Phil Donahue went on a lengthy harangue on his MSNBC show about how conservatives control the media and suppress liberal views because journalists have "white male Republican boardroom attitudes." To which Bernard Goldberg retorted that Donahue thinks that "because you're delusional on this matter." See the October 11 CyberAlert, with a RealPlayer clip: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20021011.asp#4
-- 60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney conceded that Bernard Goldberg is on target about liberal media bias. "I thought he made some very good points," Rooney told CNN's Larry King on Wednesday night. Rooney admitted he has "a liberal bias" since "I'm consistently liberal in my opinions," adding that he considers Dan Rather to be "transparently liberal." See the June 7 CyberAlert: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020607.asp#3
-- Picking up on the non-reaction to Andy Rooney's admission of liberal bias and how Dan Rather is "transparently liberal," Bernard Goldberg recalled in a Wall Street Journal op-ed how CBS News people condemned him for daring to suggest any liberal bias. See the June 14 CyberAlert: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020614.asp#4
Now back to the November 19 Donahue and how Rooney displayed his liberal, anti-conservative view of the world:
When Donahue raised the Ailes memo, Rooney opined: "Fox is just one network, and there's no question it is blatantly conservative. But I, after all, political bias should not show in a news broadcast, I mean, one way or the other. I don't care which way it is."
As if CBS News broadcasts are free from any liberal tilt.
The MRC's Liz Swasey alerted me to this announcement on the Sci Fi channel Web site (don't ask how she saw it) about Gumbel hosting a Friday night show about aliens landing in New Mexico:
Read all about it at: http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/art-main.html?2002-11/18/11.45.sfc
> Back on Earth, Tom Ridge is scheduled to appear tonight, Thursday, on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno. -- Brent Baker