CBS Champions S-CHIP Expansion, But When People Know Facts... --10/18/2007
2. Hillary-Backing Carole Simpson Just as Liberal at ABC News
3. CNN's The Situation Room Wheels Out Aging Rockers Against Bush
4. ABC 'Sexual Educator' Won't Rule Out Elementary Age Birth Control
5. NBC's Ann Curry Cites 'Climate Change' As Cause of Tween Stress
A day after a USA Today/Gallup Poll discovered the majority of Americans, when provided with basic facts about the scope and impact of the plan to expand the S-CHIP program, agree with President Bush's concerns which led to his veto, on Wednesday's CBS Evening News Katie Couric trumpeted how a new CBS News poll found 81 percent favor "expanding this health insurance program for poor children." Couric also highlighted how "four out of five say it should be expanded to cover children in middle income families" and "of those who favor expansion, three out of four are willing to pay higher taxes to get it done." Bob Schieffer assured Couric that Democrats are not worried about Bush's veto since it means "having the President in the position that they can go out in the campaign next year and say this President vetoed health insurance for little children. That sounds pretty good on the stump." And it sounds just like how the media have framed the topic.
Richard Wolf reported in Tuesday's USA Today: "Slim majorities back two positions at the core of the President's opposition to the expansion: 52% agree with Bush that most benefits should go to children in families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level -- about $41,000 for a family of four. Only 40% say benefits should go to such families earning up to $62,000, as the bill written by Democrats and some Republicans would allow. 55% are very or somewhat concerned that the program would create an incentive for families to drop private insurance."
For the October 16 USA Today article: www.usatoday.com
[This item was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The PollingReport.com has posted the actual questions in the USA Today/Gallup Poll conducted October 12-14, and that shows that when respondents hear the points made by President Bush, but given short-shrift in the news media, the majority agree with the reasons advanced by conservatives and Bush for opposing the bill:
# "As you may know, the Democrats want to allow a family of four earning about $62,000 to qualify for the program. President Bush wants most of the increases to go to families earning less than $41,000. Whose side do you favor?" [Bush: 52%, Dems: 40%]
# "How concerned are you that expanding this program would create an incentive for middle class Americans to drop private health insurance for a public program, which some consider to be a step toward socialized medicine? Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not concerned at all?" [Very: 22%, Somewhat: 33%, Not Too: 25%, Not at All: 17%]
For the PollingReport page: www.pollingreport.com
CBS News, however, generated the 81 percent favorable response by posing a vague question -- about covering "some" uninsured children in the "middle class" -- without citing the $62,000 income level which Gallup provided those they surveyed. Question 67 in the PDF of the full results of the CBS News poll conducted October 12-16: "Currently, a government program provides health insurance for some children in low-income families. Would you favor or oppose expanding this program to include some middle-class uninsured children?"
For the PDF of the poll results: www.cbsnews.com
CBSNews.com summary of the poll: www.cbsnews.com
Back on August 2, CyberAlert recounted Couric's promotion of the proposal to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program:
Couric introduced a look at "getting medical coverage for the millions of American children who don't have it." Thalia Assuras touted how a proposed expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) "boosts funding by $50 billion over five years, almost doubling the number of uninsured kids covered from the current six million children to about 11 million." Sinking to the all too common media technique of exploiting a victim to push a liberal policy, Assuras cited "children like seven-year-old Pilar Edwards whose ear ache was so severe her mother brought her to this mobile medical clinic where she could get help even though Pilar is uninsured." Assuras did pass along how critics contend "the legislation is a slippery slope toward a universal health care plan," but against two negative soundbites, viewers heard from four advocates as Assuras concluded with a Senator's charge that "it would be a travesty if the President vetoed this legislation," followed by these final words from Assuras: "With kids caught in the middle."
For the entire CyberAlert posting: www.mrc.org
Two weeks ago ABC touted how their poll found 72 percent want higher spending on S-CHIP. The October 2 CyberAlert item, "ABC Highlights 'Guns Versus Butter' Poll that Matches Media's Agenda," recounted:
Just over a week after ABC News exploited a crying mother to push an expansion of federal health insurance "for kids," a story which matched the media's overall emotion over facts reporting on the topic, on Monday's [October 1] World News anchor Charles Gibson highlighted how "a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds opposition to more money for Iraq and support for more money for children's health insurance." Citing a "guns versus butter debate," Gibson noted how "fewer than three in ten Americans back the President's request for another $190 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while seven in ten Americans support the increased funding for children's health insurance that the President says he'll veto."
That's online at: www.mediaresearch.org
The September 21 CyberAlert item, "ABC Exploits Kids and Crying Mom to Push Higher Federal Health Spending," detailed how ABC earlier pushed expansion of the program: www.mrc.org
Couric's reporting on the poll and her first exchange with Bob Schieffer on the October 17 CBS Evening News:
KATIE COURIC, OVER VIDEO OF KIDS: Also at his news conference today, the President expressed confidence that Congress will not be able to override his veto of the so-called S-CHIP bill. But a CBS News poll out tonight finds Americans overwhelmingly side with Congress on expanding this health insurance program for poor children. Four out of five say it should be expanded to cover children in middle income families. And of those who favor expansion, three out of four are willing to pay higher taxes to get it done.
Endorsing Hillary Clinton for President at a Tuesday night rally in New Hampshire, former ABC News anchor/reporter Carole Simpson exclaimed, an NBC News blog reported, that "it's very freeing now that I'm not a journalist, that I'm able to speak my own mind." But Simpson hardly hid her liberal political views during her years at ABC. "Long Live Hillary" read the headline over an online tribute from Simpson, then anchor of World News Tonight/Sunday, following Clinton's 2000 senatorial victory. At about the same time, she denounced Clarence Thomas as the "cruelest" Supreme Court justice "because he has consistently voted against human rights." If Bush names more like him, she groused, "God help us." The 1994 GOP congressional victories upset her: "I would like to think that the American people care about poor people, about sick people, about homeless people, and about poor children. I am shocked by the new mean-spiritedness."
Most infamously, in a 1999 interview with President Bill Clinton at an Arkansas tomato processing plant, Simpson made the story all about herself and her glory: "I have to bask in this moment, for a moment, because I am here talking to the most powerful man on the planet, who was a poor boy from Arkansas....I am an African-American woman, grew up working class on the south side of Chicago, and this is a pretty special moment for me to be here talking to you. How does it feel talking to me? That I made it, too, when people said I wouldn't be able to?" Clinton: "It's a great country."
[This item was posted, with video, late Wednesday night on the MRC's blog. To watch the video of the exchange with Clinton on the November 7, 1999 World News Tonight/Sunday, go to: newsbusters.org ]
The 2004 election results didn't please her any more than the Republican takeover of the House did ten years earlier. Simpson, then an ABC News senior correspondent, used a post-election forum at the National Press Club to rail about how Bush's states matched those of slave states:
For Real video or MP3 audio of those November 8, 2004 comments, go to the NewsBusters posting linked above, or to the "Best Notable Quotables of 2004" online at: www.mrc.org
The endorsement from Simpson, who now teaches journalism at Emerson College in Boston, was reported in the "First Read" blog on MSNBC.com written by the NBC News political team. The October 17 entry disclosed:
Here's a fascinating endorsement for Clinton. Former ABC News veteran Carole Simpson surprised the campaign last night when she showed up in New Hampshire to endorse her, according to NBC/NJ's Athena Jones. "For 40 years I've been a journalist, and I have covered our national leaders from Lyndon Johnson to President George W. Bush," said Simpson, who was there with her class. "I endorse you for president of the United States. It's very freeing now that I'm not a journalist, that I'm able to speak my own mind and free expression, but I just wanted you to know that I had a dream that before I died I would see a woman as president of the United States. I think you are the woman and I think this is the time."
"That means a lot to me, Carole," Clinton said. "Thank you very much."
For the "First Read" posting: firstread.msnbc.msn.com
In an October 17 story in the New Hampshire Union Leader on Clinton's event at
the Salem High School the night before, Jim Devine relayed:
"It's very freeing now that I'm not a journalist and I can speak my mind," she said to the former first lady.
Simpson said she had dreamed that there would be woman president in her lifetime.
"I think you are the woman, and I think this is the time," she said.
For the news article in full: unionleader.com
# January 10, 2001 CyberAlert:
"Long Live Hillary" read the headline over a tribute to Hillary Clinton by ABC's Carole Simpson. She revealed how a dinner with Hillary turned into "a discussion among the reporters on whether she could do more good on the international stage speaking on behalf of women and children" or as a Senator. She gushed about Hillary's great work: "Just wait. You ain't seen nothin' yet." See: www.mrc.org
Clarence Thomas viciously denounced by ABC's Carole Simpson for voting "against black voting rights." In her online column she endorsed the attacks on him as "the beneficiary of the biggest example of unmerited affirmative action" and the "cruelest" justice "because he has consistently voted against human rights." If Bush names more like him, she groused, "God help us." See: www.mrc.org
Earlier, Simpson, who is black, had told Clinton: "You're the first black President. How does that make you feel?" And, she worried: "Aren't you going to suffer great post-partum depression after you leave office?"
Simpson's November 7 piece was pegged to Clinton's visits to poor areas. Simpson explained: "For millions of Americans the booming economy and bull market have been all but meaningless, because they've had no share in the prosperity. This past week President Clinton called attention to this gap in his second New Markets tour."
Simpson explained his proposal and allowed Clinton to promote it before showing excerpts from her interview aboard Air Force One. Simpson complained: "The poverty issue is, of course, tied somewhat to race. And blacks are still disproportionately poorer, Latinos are. Today we were in Newark, and we saw Latinos in Hartford. Your race commission was to come out with a report. Where is it?"
Clinton answered: "Of all the issues that I deal with, this is one that I have perhaps the strongest feelings about, and the longest years of experience with, and the, and the clearest ideas about the future of our country and the future of our world."
To that, Simpson responded: "You want to do it right. You joke about it, so I don't see why I can't joke about it: You're the first black President. How does that make you feel?"
Clinton began a long answer by saying "I think it's a compliment, and I take it as such."
Simpson's piece then moved to a new venue and the sucking up moved up a notch. "Later, in an Arkansas tomato factory, I chatted with President Clinton about his future." She told him: "I've watched you the past few days and how the crowd responds to you, and how you respond to them." And: "You've got the big plane, you've got the big house, you've got the cars, the protection. Aren't you going to suffer great post-partum depression after you leave office?"
Clinton answered: "I don't know, I hope not. I'll hate to give up Air Force One. You know, air traffic has gotten a lot tougher since, in the last eight years. And I've really tried to help other airline passengers get a better deal, so I kind of dread that. And I'll miss the job. The work is what I'll miss. I love living in the White House. I love Camp David. I love working in the Oval Office." (What has he ever done to "help other airline passengers get a better deal?")
Now we get to the hard to believe part. But this is all accurate. Simpson then showed video of her standing in front of Clinton as she proclaimed: "I have to bask in this moment, for a moment, because I am here talking to the most powerful man on the planet, who was a poor boy from Arkansas..."
Clinton jumped in: "A place like this."
Simpson continued: "Place like this. I am an African-American woman, grew up working class on the south side of Chicago, and this is a pretty special moment for me to be here talking to you. How does it feel talking to me? That I made it, too, when people said I wouldn't be able to?"
Clinton: "It's a great country. You know, we should never get discouraged, we should never give up on America, we should never, it's okay to be mad at things that happen, it's okay to be frustrated. But, just look at it, I mean, both of us, yeah we worked hard to get here, but we had a lot of help along the way. And we had a country capable of continuing improvement. The founders were smart people, and we have been very lucky for over 200 years now, and I would hope the American people would always believe that."
For the 1999 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org
Here's a quote that we weren't able to squeeze into Notable Quotables last week but is still pretty good. It's from ABC reporter and World News Sunday anchor Carole Simpson when she appeared on CNN's Larry King Live on May 10: "I have been hoping that America and corporations were moving to more family-friendly policies. I think the Family Leave Act is a step in the right direction. But it is incredible to me that the family is not elevated to cabinet-level status in this country the way it is in many Western European countries. I go to France. Everything is built around making sure the family can survive."
"This was an issue about voting rights. Yet, Justice Thomas voted with the conservative majority. His vote could have changed history. But it was not to be. He is firmly entrenched on the Court's right....In five major cases involving civil rights and liberties, he voted against minorities every time, including rulings against job discrimination and voting rights. He's only 52 years old and could conceivably spend another 30 years on the Supreme Court. If, during his tenure, President-elect Bush ends up making a couple of more appointments like Justice Thomas to the Supreme Court, I have heard many women and minorities say, 'God help us.'" -- ABCNews.com online column by World News Tonight/Sunday anchor Carole Simpson, Dec. 17, 2000, after the Supreme Court's Bush vs. Gore ruling.
ABC News Washington reporter and anchor Carole Simpson: "I fear that the Contract with America, if enacted, may be detrimental to the family, especially those of single women and their children....But my fear is that Mr. Gingrich, given his history, may increase what I see as a new mean-spiritedness in this country....I would like to think that the American people care about poor people, about sick people, about homeless people, and about poor children. I am shocked by the new mean-spiritedness."
Reporter Carole Simpson: "Here we are at 1991 worrying about war, worrying about a recession, four-fifths of the American people think we're on the wrong track. I think this recession comes at the worst time..." Sam Donaldson: "Well, now does everyone agree with me this is a result of Reaganomics?" Simpson: "I do." -- Exchange on This Week with David Brinkley, December 30, 1990.
Tuesday's The Situation Room on CNN featured two segments with aging rockers who voiced their opposition to Bush administration policies -- the first with Crosby and Nash (but not Stills), and the second with Paul Simon. In the first segment, CNN correspondent Carol Costello interviewed the two hippie icons and they maintained the Bush administration uses the "same techniques" as a "dictatorship or junta or" an "emperor." In the second, host Wolf Blitzer asked Simon about his opposition to President Bush's veto of the expanded SCHIP program. Both the Crosby/Nash segment and the Simon segment aired in the 5pm Eastern hour. While Crosby and Nash used fiery rhetoric against Bush, Simon used subdued language. All three wore coats and business shirts, compared to the "rocker garb" of their youth.
[This item is adapted from a Wednesday posting, by Matthew Balan, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The October 16 CyberAlert item, "Chris Matthews Riffs With Anti-War Rockers Crosby & Nash," recounted:
Chris Matthews joined anti-war rockers David Crosby and Graham Nash as they pined for the good old days of Vietnam war era campus activism and hoped it would rise up again to oppose the "shameless liars" in the Bush administration. Invited on Monday night's Hardball to promote their appearance at a peace concert at the National Cathedral, Crosby and Nash riffed with the Hardball host about everything from the trashing of the Dixie Chicks and Bill Maher to how Big Oil has made "obscene" profits off the Iraq war.
For the previous CyberAlert in full: www.mrc.org
Costello interviewed Crosby and Nash at Washington National Cathedral, where the two were to perform at a "peace concert." In their rant against President Bush, Crosby and Nash completed each other's thoughts, as if they were telepathically-linked.
A partial transcript of the October 16 segment:
COSTELLO: Graham Nash along with David Crosby at the National Cathedral. Veterans of the antiwar movement, they're singing for peace, again. They worry what the president calls the war on terror, especially Iraq, has taken the power out of protest, because of what they call Bush's 'brainwashing.' They say the administration has conned Americans into thinking it's unpatriotic to criticize the war.
At the conclusion of the segment, Blitzer thanked Costello, and added: "It brings back some memories, watching that piece of yours. Appreciate it."
In Blitzer's segment with Simon, Irwin Redlener, who runs an organization called the Children's Health Fund with Simon, appeared with the musician. Simon tried to pull at viewers' heartstrings, while Redlener got more specific about health care and SCHIP.
A full transcript of the Simon/Redlener segment:
WOLF BLITZER: Just two weeks ago President Bush vetoed a bill that would have dramatically expanded a popular children's health insurance program. The music legend Paul Simon is joining the effort to persuade Congress to override that veto. Another showdown vote is planned for Thursday. And joining us now, the artist Paul Simon and Irwin Redlener. He's the co-founder together with Paul of the Children's Health Fund, himself a pediatrician. Guys, thanks very much for coming in. It's not every day where Paul Simon says it's important enough to come to Washington, go up to Capitol Hill and get involved in an issue. Tell us why you're here.
Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer hosted a serious debate on Wednesday about whether Maine middle school students, children as young as 11, should have access to birth control pills. The ABC program engaged in a classic example of labeling bias with a graphic that identified talk show host Glenn Beck as a "conservative commentator." In contrast, Sawyer referred to the other guest, Logan Levkoff, not as a liberal, but simply a "sexual educator." This is despite the fact that the "educator" advocated not only for birth control for 11-year-olds, but wouldn't rule out giving it to elementary-aged children. Additionally, Levkoff has blogged about her distaste for President Bush and joy that the Democrats won Congress in 2006.
Despite a few tough questions to Levkoff, Sawyer clearly sympathized with her position. After explaining that a middle school in Portland is considering distributing the pill as well as the patch, she opened the debate by lecturing Beck: "You may not like it. You may want parents to go in and take care of their own children and make sure that they're not sexually active that young, but it's happening. It's happening." When Beck asserted that state law made sex under the age of 14 a crime, the GMA host retorted: "Well, but that's a legislative issue, what about these actual girls?"
[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Wednesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Levkoff, it should also be noted, blogs on the Trojan Elexa website. Her topics have included celebrating "Blog for Choice Day," bashing President Bush and enthusing how "psyched" she was about the Democrats taking control of Congress in 2006. According to ABC, however, that's not enough to describe someone as a liberal. For a list of Levkoff's blogs, see Trojan Elexa: sexysmart.typepad.com
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:31am on October 17:
DIANE SAWYER: But first, we turn to this debate about contraception and middle schools. Did you know that two percent of middle schools and junior high schools are already making condoms available? But now, one school, tonight, educators are going to consider whether they're going to add the pill and the patch to that as well. And we're talking about for children as young as 11 to 13 years old. By and large, these will be distributed in health clinics which are generally in neighborhoods which need help with health care. They are caught in the changing worlds of early puberty and sexual messages everywhere. And a middle school in Portland, Maine, today, some students say they are sexually active.
SAWYER: "So I think we've got a preview of the debate that is going on tonight. Joining us now is Glenn Beck. As you know, he is 'The Glenn Beck Show,' the same name, 'The Glenn Beck Show.' Also, sexual educator, Logan Levkoff. And we thank you for joining us."
It's bad enough that NBC News is spending hours of coverage devoted strictly to the global warming cause, but now they're even squeezing their green indoctrination into stories on tween stress. On Wednesday's Today show, Ann curry highlighted some of the reasons kids today are more stressed than ever and cited "climate change" as one of them.
[This item, by Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Wednesday afternoon, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The following occurred in the 9am half-hour of the October 17, Today show:
ANN CURRY: Feeling a little stressed out these days? Well you're not the only one. A new report out says that today's tweens, that's children between the ages of 7 and 11, may be feeling more stress than ever. It may not be a surprise when you consider some of the reasons why. From the senseless violence in the news-
To read more about NBC's devotion to the global warming cause see: www.mrc.org
-- Brent Baker