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MRC Research Director Rich Noyes on Fox Business Network at 5:55 p.m. ET

CBS: Could Fire Cause Schwarzenegger to Void No Tax Hike Pledge? --10/30/2003


1. CBS: Could Fire Cause Schwarzenegger to Void No Tax Hike Pledge?
As huge fires continued to sweep their destructive paths through Southern California, it meant one thing to CBS News reporter Sandra Hughes: Time to raise taxes. Narrating video of Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, she yearned for a tax hike as she asserted that "the question was asked: Could this be the major disaster Arnold Schwarzenegger, the candidate, said was the only way he'd raise taxes?"

2. Fineman: Newsweek's Bush "Wimp" Cover a "Mistake" & "Juvenile"
Better very late than never? Sixteen years after the infamous Newsweek cover with a "Fighting the 'Wimp Factor'" headline next to a picture of then-Vice President George H.W. Bush driving his boat, the magazine's chief political reporter, Howard Fineman, conceded to Don Imus on Wednesday morning that the cover "was a colossal mistake," "a bad mistake" and "an error in judgment" as the photo of "George Bush looking like an idiot, standing there in a yellow slicker aboard his powerboat," was "juvenile."

3. Young People Pro-Bush, So Are They "Optimistic or Ill-Informed?"
The kids aren't alright: They like President Bush! A new poll showing 18 to 29-year olds strongly favor President Bush's overall job performance and approve of his handling of post-war Iraq meant to CNN's Paula Zahn that today's college students and twenty-somethings are either naively optimistic or ignorant as she Zahn offered only these two options: "Are these potential voters optimistic or ill-informed?"

4. Olbermann Publicizes Left-Wing Hit on NRA, Calls MRC "Wacko"
Helping to promote a left-wing group's publicity and fundraising gimmick, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Wednesday night devoted a whole segment of his Countdown show on the top news of the day to a subject with no fresh new news hook, an anti-NRA Web site, "StoptheNRA.com," which is getting help from the media to publicize how the NRA supposedly has an "enemies list." Olbermann took the silliness seriously as he called it a "blacklist" and ominously raised comparisons to the Salem Witch Trials. He also impugned the MRC and CyberAlert as "wacko" for suggesting "that I personally should be added to it because I had mentioned the story of the list just here on television." Indeed, the October 21 CyberAlert reported on how Olbermann made fun of the NRA list and then offered this quip: "Add Olbermann to the list!"

5. Tina Brown Discounts the Right's "Predictable Flap" Over Reagans
CNBC's Tina Brown, during an interview with CBS President Leslie Moonves aired Wednesday night, dismissed concerns about CBS's upcoming The Reagans mini-series as a "predictable flap" from "right-wing pundits." Moonves called any criticism "rather odd" since "nobody's seen the film," though that's because CBS won't let anyone see it, but he conceded that at this late date, barely two weeks from its scheduled airing, CBS is still reviewing it, a sure sign they are reacting to the controversy over it. An AP story on Wednesday, "Critics Blast CBS' Reagan Miniseries," highlighted the MRC: "The watchdog Media Research Center decided to take action, calling on 100 major companies to review the script and consider avoiding buying ad time on the miniseries."


CBS: Could Fire Cause Schwarzenegger
to Void No Tax Hike Pledge?

As huge fires continued to sweep their destructive paths through Southern California, it meant one thing to CBS News reporter Sandra Hughes: Time to raise taxes. Narrating video of Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, she yearned for a tax hike as she asserted that "the question was asked: Could this be the major disaster Arnold Schwarzenegger, the candidate, said was the only way he'd raise taxes?"

Hughes, from Simi Valley, began her Wednesday CBS Evening News story on the financial implications of the big fires: "What does California need most right now? Money. With his state ablaze California's Governor-elect was in Washington today asking for federal relief and the question was asked: Could this be the major disaster Arnold Schwarzenegger, the candidate, said was the only way he'd raise taxes?"
Schwarzenegger in a chair next to Senator Dianne Feinstein: "I think we should let it play out and see really what the damage is."

Hughes moved on to other matters.

Fineman: Newsweek's Bush "Wimp" Cover
a "Mistake" & "Juvenile"

Better very late than never? Sixteen years after the infamous Newsweek cover with a "Fighting the 'Wimp Factor'" headline next to a picture of then-Vice President George H.W. Bush driving his boat, the magazine's chief political reporter, Howard Fineman, conceded to Don Imus on Wednesday morning that the cover "was a colossal mistake," "a bad mistake" and "an error in judgment" as the photo of "George Bush looking like an idiot, standing there in a yellow slicker aboard his powerboat," was "juvenile."

Appearing on the October 29 Imus in the Morning radio show simulcast on MSNBC, Fineman, a regular on MSNBC's Hardball, condemned the news judgment as he admitted that Newsweek had simply echoed a liberal campaign line: "Merely because something is an attack line of an opponent in a campaign doesn't mean that it should be elevated to the cover of the magazine."

The cover of the October 19, 1987 Newsweek, which we retrieved from the MRC's library of back issues, featured a squinting Vice President Bush wearing a yellow rain coat with one hand on his boat's steering wheel and the other on the throttle. To the left, in white letters over the blue sky background, Newsweek ran this headline beneath an underlined "George Bush":

"Fighting the 'Wimp Factor'"

MRC analyst Jessica Anderson caught how Don Imus quizzed Fineman about the old cover when Fineman appeared by phone on Wednesday morning:

Imus: "Anyway, did you want to apologize for calling President Bush, 41, a wimp, you and your liberal weenie communists there at Newsweek?"
Howard Fineman: "Can I answer?"
Imus: "Yes."
Fineman: "Technically, we didn't call him a wimp."
Imus: "Well, 'Wimp Factor."
Fineman: "We said that the campaign, his enemies in the campaign were going to go after him on that basis and the cover line was 'Fighting the,' quote, '"Wimp Factor,"' unquote. Now, that's the technical defense, okay?"
Imus: "But to be honest, you and I both know that you put the President's picture on the cover of your magazine with the word 'wimp' and that's all anybody takes away from it."
Fineman: "To be honest, to be honest, let me finish -- to paraphrase Ross Perot, can I please finish?"
Imus: "Yes, sir."
Fineman: "Okay."
Imus: "I apologize for being rude, by the way."
Fineman: "That's okay. I think it was a colossal mistake and I think we have apologized in one way or another over the years because, just because, merely because something is an attack line of an opponent in a campaign doesn't mean that it should be elevated to the cover of the magazine, number one. And number two, it wasn't really the core of what was at stake for George W., George H. W. Bush. Nobody ever would or should question his patriotism or his bravery in the war. He was the youngest Navy pilot in World War II, if I'm not mistaken -- one of the youngest, certainly, at the time he went in. So it was a bad mistake, it was an error in judgment. The story inside was, which I helped report and write, was I think a good one, but the cover line was over the top and the picture was mean. The picture was George Bush looking like an idiot, standing there in a yellow slicker aboard his powerboat. It was, it was -- what it was is less than mean, it was juvenile, you know, and I think we all recognize that and occasionally we make mistakes, and that was one."

Maybe in another 16 years he'll apologize for his story too.

Young People Pro-Bush, So Are They "Optimistic
or Ill-Informed?"

The kids aren't alright: They like President Bush! A new poll showing 18 to 29-year olds strongly favor President Bush's overall job performance and approve of his handling of post-war Iraq meant to CNN's Paula Zahn that today's college students and twenty-somethings are either naively optimistic or ignorant as she Zahn offered only these two options: "Are these potential voters optimistic or ill-informed?".

On Tuesday's Paula Zahn Now, anchor Paula Zahn interviewed Crossfire co-hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson about the political leanings of young voters and their potential impact on the 2004 presidential race. Zahn started off by citing a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll showing that 62 percent of 18 to 29 year old respondents polled approve of President Bush's overall job performance while 53 percent approve of his handling of post-war Iraq. (66 percent have a "favorable opinion" of Bush.)

[MRC analyst Ken Shepherd wrote up a draft of this item for CyberAlert.]

Zahn prompted Carlson's reaction, "Tucker, does any of this surprise you?"
Carlson offered: "It does surprise me. I mean, I think the theme throughout all of these numbers is hopefulness. People under 30 just are much more optimistic about America's future. They feel more secure in the job market with the economy. They think things are getting better. They think Iraq is going better than people over 30 do. It doesn't surprise me necessarily that they're going to vote or they say they're going to vote for Bush. How often they really do vote is an open question."
Zahn interrupted: "Well, that's a good question, because the last election, it was what, somewhere hovering around less than a third of them voting?"
Carlson replied: "Well, it's always much lower for younger people, but it doesn't surprise me that they gravitate towards the more positive candidate. Agree or disagree, I think we can all agree, [not] with the policies [but], we can all agree that Bush is the most optimistic candidate running right now."

Zahn then prompted Begala for his spin: "Alright, let me ask you this, Paul: Are these potential voters optimistic or ill-informed?"
Begala replied: "Uh, well, yeah, if ignorance is bliss, young people are the happiest folks in America, Paula. I mean, one of the things that comes out of the CNN poll here is that they are three times less likely than their older peers to be plugged into issues and ideas. In fact, Paula, they are our future and they are hopelessly ill-informed."

After finishing the interview, Zahn plugged an upcoming town hall forum which will subjecting the Democratic presidential candidates to questions from young voters: "And be sure to join Anderson Cooper next Tuesday for a 'Rock the Vote' special beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern. We will be following it up here with analysis at 8:30 where we will be standing by live in the spin room and I will have the opportunity to talk with most of the major Democratic candidates."

One doubts that Zahn will question if the predictably partisan audience eating up anti-Bush one liners is "ill-informed" on the economy or the war in Iraq.

For CNN's rundown of the poll findings: www.cnn.com

Olbermann Publicizes Left-Wing Hit on
NRA, Calls MRC "Wacko"

Helping to promote a left-wing group's publicity and fundraising gimmick, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Wednesday night devoted a whole segment of his Countdown show on the top news of the day to a subject with no fresh new news hook, an anti-NRA Web site, "StoptheNRA.com," which is getting help from the media to publicize how the NRA supposedly has an "enemies list."

Olbermann took the silly liberal anti-NRA publicity gimmick quite seriously as he ominously raised comparisons to the Salem Witch Trials in intoning about the NRA's posted list of those who have attacked the NRA or supported efforts to infringe upon 2nd amendment rights: "Few terms in the American language bring with them as much shuddering as does the word 'blacklist.' Since its first recorded use in 1692, defined as 'a list of persons who have incurred suspicion,' right through the McCarthy era it has always induced shudders."

Liberal groups also have lists of their opponents, but that hasn't yet bothered Olbermann.

But the MRC's CyberAlert really seems to bother him as he seemed to impugn the MRC's Web site, and by implication CyberAlert, as "wacko." MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed that Olbermann complained: "When the blacklist was revealed, one of the many widely written but not particularly widely read wacko Web sites suggested that I personally should be added to it because I had mentioned the story of the list just here on television on the show."

Indeed, he could be referring to us since an October 21 CyberAlert on how FNC's John Gibson had given air time to the liberal silliness, recalled a Today show piece from the week before and then added (an excerpt):

The night before the Today show story, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann made fun of the NRA list as he showed he agrees with those opposed to the NRA. On the October 14 Countdown, MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed, Olbermann opined: "First, what is tonight an easy transition to the sleazy and the journalistically unjustifiable, the segment we call Keeping Tabs. Britney Spears, Julia Roberts, Jerry Seinfeld, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Michael Moore, and baseball's Kansas City Royals, they're all together in one place. Where? The enemies list of the National Rifle Association, so reports MSNBC.com's Jeannette Walls, who offers no explanation as to what the Royals are doing on the list which is on the NRA Web site. The list goes on for 19 pages. Well, a lot of folks out there actually understand the context of which the Second Amendment was written and what the word militia meant in the 18th century. And people like that sure are enemies."

Add Olbermann to the list!

END of Excerpt from October 21 CyberAlert

Apparently Olbermann doesn't have much of a sense of humor.

Leading into that portion of the CyberAlert, the item had recounted:

Like his former employer, NBC News, did last week, FNC's John Gibson on Monday afternoon gave credence to silly left-wing complaints about how a page on the NRA's Web site listing the names of people, groups and institutions opposed to gun rights really is an insidious "enemies list." During his 5pm EDT show, the Big Story, Gibson brought aboard the NRA's Wayne LaPierre and asked him up front: "Wayne, are you shooting yourself in the foot with an enemies list? I mean, even Nixon figured out that's a bad idea."....

In focusing on the NRA's list as somehow a uniquely underhanded way to impugn critics, Gibson, like NBC last week, ignored how liberal groups also have lists which could be tagged as an "enemies list." People for the American Way, for instance, has a "Right Wing Watch" list of 30 conservative groups and even created a special list in October of those supporting Arnold Schwarzenegger. On that list: Gibson's very own Fox News Channel.

The October 16 CyberAlert recounted: Aiding the fundraising efforts of an anti-NRA group, Wednesday's NBC Today featured a hyperbolic and mocking look at an "enemies list" published on the National Rifle Association's Web site. Fred Francis relayed the political polemics of the NRA's opponents -- "too many people continue to be killed because a powerful NRA is constantly confronting Congress to ease gun laws" -- without offering any counterpoint about how many die because gun laws don't allow people to defend themselves. Nor did Francis alert viewers to how the Brady Campaign was using the very "enemies list," which Francis so helpfully publicized, to raise money.

For that CyberAlert item, with links to the original MSNBC.com gossip item, left-wing pages using the NRA list as a fundraising gimmick and to the actual NRA list, see: www.mediaresearch.org

END of Second Excerpt of October 21 CyberAlert

For the October 21 item with links to the People for the American Way's "enemies list' or "blacklist" which does not concern Olbermann: www.mediaresearch.org

Now, back to the October 29 Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. Olbermann set up the segment, the second one he's done on the same subject: "Few terms in the American language bring with them as much shuddering as does the word 'blacklist.' Since its first recorded use in 1692, defined as 'a list of persons who have incurred suspicion,' right through the McCarthy era it has always induced shudders. But in our number two story on tonight's Countdown, you'll meet blacklist volunteers. It's the NRA's not-so-secret-anymore blacklist found deep in the bowels of its Web site two weeks ago by anti-gun activists. The list, including such luminaries as Geraldo, identified only by that one name, 'Geraldo,' TV performer, could be some other Geraldo, I guess. Madonna, Matt Damon, Jerry Seinfeld, Britney Spears. By way of full disclosure, NBC is on the list -- I'm not. The sports franchises -- the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Rams -- are for some reason or another. The NRA's efforts appear to be, what else, backfiring. Celebrities are actually campaigning now to get on this list.
"Leading the effort to have people sign up is the Web site StopTheNRA.com. Richard Aborn works for that organization and is formerly the President of the Handgun Control Incorporated. Mr. Aborn, good evening to you."
Richard Aborn, Former President of Hangun Control Inc.: "Good evening."
Olbermann: "Have you managed to co-opt this list from the NRA?"
Aborn: "Well, I'm not sure. I mean, you know, people are signing up on this thing so quickly. We've had over 25,000 Americans sign up on this list in the two weeks that it's been out, and we're getting more names every day, and we haven't even started the full push of advertising that we intend to do."
Olbermann: "Has the organization, the NRA that is, responded in any way to this?"
Aborn: "Not really. Their normal tack is to avoid anything that criticizes them and just push with their legislative agenda in Washington. And I must say that legislative agenda is very, very serious and would do great harm in this country, and that is what this is all about. This is designed to stop that legislative agenda. It's a way of harnessing the power of the American people and delivering a message to Congress that will ring much louder than the message that the NRA is delivering."
Olbermann: "One of its executive, or maybe its only executive vice-president, Wayne LaPierre, said, 'Our members don't want to buy their songs,' this is speaking, of course, of the members of the people on their blacklist, 'don't want to go to their movies, don't want to support their careers.' Have you got any clue what the Kansas City Royals baseball team and players might have done to get the NRA to try to undermine their careers?"

"Undermine their careers"! Talk about wackos, Olbermann is embarrassing himself with such overwrought worry about the free exchange of information. And wasn't this whole segment devoted to undermining the NRA?

Aborn answered with a polemical lecture in which he tried and convicted the NRA: "You know, they probably dared to say at one point that they actually supported sensible gun control laws designed to save the lives of Americans. That will get you right to the top of the list. The NRA is sort of a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoner organization. If you utter a word in support of any gun control law, they will blacklist you immediately. And there, as you've read before, there are many, many people on that list. And you need to understand what their agenda is. They want to pass a bill that would immunize from civil lawsuits gun manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in this country. And who are those folks? People like Bull's Eye in Washington that supplied the Bush Master rifle that used in the DC sniper already. They had 238 guns missing. Somehow they didn't know about it. One of those guns was the Bush Master. They had nine violations of federal law. They were in the top two percent, top two percent of gun dealers with missing guns, and the top one percent of gun dealers selling crime guns. That's the kind of group that the NRA wants to protect against civil lawsuits, and we have got to stop this legislation."
Olbermann seemingly raised the MRC: "When, when the blacklist was revealed, one of the many widely written but not particularly widely read wacko Web sites suggested that I personally should be added to it because I had mentioned the story of the list just here on television on the show, so-"
Aborn: "That's how-"
Olbermann: "That's how it is."
Aborn: "Your words carry loudly."
Olbermann: "Alright, so, Richard Aborn, associated with StopTheNRA.com, thanks for your time."
Aborn: "My pleasure."
Olbermann: "And I guess I'll see you on the list."
Aborn: "You sure will."

Isn't impugning someone as "wacko" a form of the very same evil "blacklisting" which so upsets Olbermann when applied to liberals?

MSNBC's Web page for Olbermann, with a picture of him that you can print and add to your blacklist folder or bulletin board: www.msnbc.com

Oh, and speaking of "wacko," it was Olbermann who in 1998 expressed the view that "the person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was Heinrich Himmler" and wondered that if Starr continued to pursue President Clinton, "would not there be some sort of comparison to a persecutor as opposed to a prosecutor for Mr. Starr?"

Hmmm. Sounds like Olbermann had Starr on his "blacklist."

As host of the Big Show with Keith Olbermann in the very same time slot and channel as his current program, on August 18, 1998, Olbermann "asked" then-Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren shortly after President Clinton's non-apology apology speech:
"Can Ken Starr ignore the apparent breadth of the sympathetic response to the President's speech? Facially, it finally dawned on me that the person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was Heinrich Himmler, including the glasses. If he now pursues the President of the United States, who, however flawed his apology was, came out and invoked God, family, his daughter, a political conspiracy and everything but the kitchen sink, would not there be some sort of comparison to a persecutor as opposed to a prosecutor for Mr. Starr?"

That won the "I'm a Compassionate Liberal But I Wish You Were All Dead Award (for media hatred of conservatives)" in the MRC's very first DisHonors Awards. To enjoy a RealPlayer clip of it: www.mrc.org

Tina Brown Discounts the Right's "Predictable
Flap" Over Reagans

CBS President Leslie Moonves CNBC's Tina Brown, during an interview with CBS President Leslie Moonves aired Wednesday night, dismissed concerns about CBS's upcoming The Reagans mini-series as a "predictable flap" from "right-wing pundits." Moonves called any criticism "rather odd" since it isn't finished and "nobody's seen the film," though that's because CBS won't let anyone see it, but he conceded that at this late date, barely two weeks from its scheduled airing, CBS is still reviewing it, a sure sign they are reacting to the controversy over it.

Moonves told Brown: "There are things we like about the movie, there are things we don't like about the movie. There are things we think go too far, so there are some edits being made trying to present a more fair picture of the Reagans."

Meanwhile, a Wednesday AP story, "Critics Blast CBS' Reagan Miniseries," highlighted the MRC: "On Tuesday, the watchdog Media Research Center decided to take action, calling on 100 major companies to review the script and consider avoiding buying ad time on the miniseries."

From the October 29 Topic A with Tina Brown on CNBC, as taken down by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, the portion of the interview in which Brown raised the mini-series set to air on Sunday, November 16 and Tuesday, November 18:

Brown: "Was it your idea to cast James Brolin as Reagan?"
Moonves: "No, it was the producer's....There were a number of names bandied about and they came to us and they suggested it. Not having anything to do with his political bent or who he was married to. It was just, they felt it was a physical resemblance which, when you see the movie, is quite remarkable how much they look alike."
Brown: "So this is, this is the special that you're doing, the CBS miniseries which is coming in a few weeks, isn't it?"
Moonves: "That's right."
Brown: "And there has already been a sort of little predictable flap with sort of right-wing pundits saying that you've made the show way too liberal. And I gather it's being somewhat re-edited to accommodate some of those complaints."
Moonves: "Well, number one, nobody's seen the film. So any criticism now, in the middle of October, for a film that isn't finished, is rather odd, we think. There are, look, we've looked at, like we do with any movie, we've looked at the rough cut. There are things we like about the movie, there are things we don't like about the movie. There are things we think go too far, so there are some edits being made trying to present a more fair picture of the Reagans."

An excerpt from "Critics Blast CBS' Reagan Miniseries," an article by Los Angeles-based Lynn Elber which moved late Wednesday afternoon on the AP wire:

LOS ANGELES - The angry buzz over "The Reagans" has grown louder and more pointed. "Advertisers will bail on CBS' anti-Reagan movie," commentator Pat Buchanan predicted on The McLaughlin Group Sunday. Two days later, a conservative media watchdog group announced a boycott call-to-arms. But CBS isn't showing signs of regretting its excursion into political drama. Based on experience, observers say, it probably doesn't need to.

"The bottom line is, the more attention it (the miniseries) gets, the more people are going to watch it," said television analyst Marc Berman of Media Week Online. That spells opportunity for sponsors and ad dollars for CBS, he said....

CBS is serving up a new version of the Ronald Reagan story, just before Thanksgiving," host Robert Novak said last week on Crossfire. "That's appropriate. With all the Hollywood liberals involved, it could be a real turkey."

On Tuesday, the watchdog Media Research Center decided to take action, calling on 100 major companies to review the script and consider avoiding buying ad time on the miniseries.

'"The Reagans' appears to be a blatantly unfair assault on the legacy of one of America's greatest leaders," center President L. Brent Bozell III wrote in a letter Tuesday to potential sponsors.

"Reagan is being portrayed as a hateful, half-nut homophobe," he said in an interview. "It's not that the historical record is being distorted. It's that the makers of the movie are deliberately defaming him and lying about him."

He and others are largely basing their assessment on a brief CBS clip reel or a description published in an Oct. 20 article in The New York Times. The miniseries, from producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan ("Martin and Lewis," "The Music Man") is in post-production.

Especially troublesome, critics say, is how the script portrays Reagan's handling of the dawning AIDS crisis in the 1980s. He is depicted as uncaring and judgmental toward those with the disease, according to the Times.

"They that live in sin shall die in sin," he tells his wife in the script as she begs him to help AIDS victims. The author of the screenplay's final version, Elizabeth Egloff, told the Times there was no evidence such a conversation took place.

But "we know he ducked the issue over and over again, and we know she was the one who got him to deal with that," she said, a contention denied by Reagan White House insiders.

"I never saw an ounce of intolerance," said Ken Khachigian, a senior adviser in the Reagan administration.

Former Reagan speechwriter Peter Robinson, author of "How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life," said he's seen excerpts of the script: "It looks ridiculous."

Reagan's son Michael, a radio host, has railed publicly against the project and accused CBS of plunging a "dagger" into his father's heart....

Bozell said the fact that CBS isn't disputing the Times account "makes me think it's true."

In a statement, the network said its job was to create programming that "stirs meaningful discourse about the events of our time in a responsible and truthful manner."...

END of Excerpt

For the AP dispatch in full: story.news.yahoo.com

For the text of the MRC's press release: www.mediaresearch.org

For the text of the letter sent to potential advertisers: www.mediaresearch.org

CyberAlert items, from oldest to newest, about the CBS version of the Reagans:

-- October 22 CyberAlert: CBS's upcoming The Reagans mini-series starring James Brolin, aka Mr. Barbra Streisand, as Ronald Reagan, looks to be so slanted against Reagan from the left that even the New York Times has taken notice. In an October 21 story, Times reporter Jim Rutenberg revealed: "As snippets about the television movie circulate in Washington and Los Angeles, friends and relatives of the ailing Mr. Reagan are expressing growing concern that this deconstruction of his presidency is shot through a liberal lens, exaggerating his foibles and giving short shrift to his accomplishments."

For more on that as well as the liberal political orientation of the producers and screenwriter, see: www.mediaresearch.org

-- October 27 CyberAlert: Since the New York Times story last Tuesday, the DrudgeReport.com has been given more excerpts from the script of CBS's mid-November mini-series, The Reagans, in which Nancy Reagan slaps five-year-old daughter Patti, Ronald Reagan curses in the Oval Office and refers to himself as "the anti-Christ," and, in what Drudge dubs the "showcase line," Nancy Reagan argues: "Ketchup is a vegetable! It is not a meat, right? So IT IS a vegetable." See: www.mediaresearch.org

-- October 29 CyberAlert: Veteran television host and producer Merv Griffin, a long-time friend of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, appeared Tuesday night on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann and used the opportunity to blast CBS for "the most cowardly thing I've ever heard" over the reported tone and content of CBS's upcoming mini-series, The Reagans. "It's a cowardly act," he charged, asking: "Is that what the 'C' stands for in CBS?" Griffin laid into CBS for denigrating the Reagans when they "can't fight back" since Ronald Reagan is "on his deathbed" and Nancy Reagan is taking care of him all day. MSNBC delivered a cowardly act itself. As Griffin spoke, on-screen text, below some historic video of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, read: "30 Members of Reagan Admin. Spent Time in Prison." See: www.mediaresearch.org

-- Brent Baker