Clift & Carlson Reject "Liberal" Kerry Tag, Yet He's Left of Ted --10/18/2004
2. NBC Touts
Newsweek Poll with Kerry Lead, Skips When Bush Ahead
3. Couric Slobbers to Boies: "You've Done So Many Exciting Things"
4. Jon Stewart Backs Kerry, Blasts Bush Administration as "Absurd"
5. Al Hunt Praises
Nightline and Smears John O'Neill and Swifties
"Bush is out there flailing around with this liberal name-calling," Newsweek's Eleanor Clift complained on the McLaughlin Group over the weekend before she declared that "John Kerry is not Michael Dukakis" and so describing Kerry as liberal is "a very weak argument in the closing weeks of the campaign." Margaret Carlson, on CNN's Capital Gang, insisted that Kerry is "not a raving liberal." But as fellow CNN panelist Kate O'Beirne pointed out, "John Kerry's lifetime liberal ratings" from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action, "is even higher than Ted Kennedy's."
Clift fired back, on the McLaughlin Group, at the Bush description of Kerry: "The debates got Kerry back in the game and he turned in a consistently strong performance over the three of them and he belied the caricatures that the Bush campaign had drawn of him. And now Bush is out there flailing around with this liberal name-calling, trying to replay his father's campaign in 1988. After trying to do everything opposite from his father, he's now falling into the trap. John Kerry is not Michael Dukakis. And I think it's a very weak argument in the closing weeks of the campaign."
Saturday night on CNN's Capital Gang, Margaret Carlson maintained that Kerry showed in the debates that "he's not a raving liberal."
In a later segment looking back at Kerry's 1996 re-election to the Senate, Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor of National Review, countered Carlson's earlier contention: "My theory is they sent John Kerry back to Washington in order to make Ted Kennedy look a little more moderate, because John Kerry's lifetime liberal ratings in the ADA is even higher than Ted Kennedy's. So it worked.
Indeed, a check of the ratings from Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) shows that Ted Kennedy earned a 90 percent lifetime "Liberal Quotient" from the liberal group while Kerry voted their way 92 percent of the time through 2002. The ADA Web site also lists "pre-1990" average ratings. In that category, Kerry again came in to the left of Kennedy: 89 percent for Kerry compared to 85 percent for Kennedy.
For the ADA's ratings of Massachusetts Senators: adaction.org
When, on the Saturday after the first debate, a Newsweek poll put John Kerry ahead of George W. Bush by three points, 49 to 46 percent, the NBC Nightly News touted the poll. Reporter Pat Dawson asserted on October 2 that Kerry's debate "performance had sharply improved his standing with voters" and trumpeted Kerry's lead as "a big jump for the challenger after a month of trailing the President." But on this past Saturday, October 16, when a fresh Newsweek poll showed a Bush rebound with the President ahead of Kerry by two points, 48 to 46 percent, the NBC Nightly News didn't consider it newsworthy even though the newscast spent six-and-a-half minutes on campaign coverage.
Newsweek's online postings of its poll results reflected a disparity in enthusiasm for the conflicting results. "Too Close to Call" read the tag line over this headline on Saturday for the report on Bush's lead: "With the debates behind them, the contenders in the race for the White House remain locked in a dead heat in the latest Newsweek poll." For the story by Brian Braiker, on Newsweek's Web site buried inside MSNBC.com: www.msnbc.msn.com
"The Race is On" exclaimed Newsweek's tag line two weeks earlier over a poll rundown by Braiker. The headline: "With voters widely viewing Kerry as the debate's winner, Bush's lead in the Newsweek poll has evaporated." For the article originally posted on October 2, but updated on October 4: www.msnbc.msn.com
(ABC News does not produce World News Tonight on Saturdays in the fall college football season and the CBS Evening News does not air Saturdays in the fall in the Eastern or Central time zones.)
NBC Nightly News anchor John Seigenthaler pegged the October 2 campaign coverage to the Newsweek poll: "Now to Decision 2004 and new information on the race for President. A Newsweek poll that surveyed voters after the first presidential debate shows John Kerry making some headway. In fact, after losing ground against the President for weeks, now appears the two candidates are once again locked in a tight battle for the White House. We begin our election coverage with NBC's Pat Dawson."
Dawson recounted: "In Florida today, the Kerry campaign seemed to have new life."
The credibility of that October 2 Newsweek poll soon came into doubt. The October 5 CyberAlert related: Virtually every TV news show on Saturday and Sunday touted a new poll from Newsweek which showed Kerry had pulled ahead of Bush by 47 to 45 percent [without Nader], but FNC's Brit Hume pointed out Monday night that Newsweek's sample "turned out to be 36 percent Democrats, 34 percent Republicans" compared to "the previous Newsweek poll, which had 39 percent Republicans and only 30 percent Democrats," and which "gave the President an 11-point lead."
Katie Couric could not have slobbered any more over David Boies, the chief lawyer for the Gore team in Florida in 2000, when Friday's Today devoted a segment to promoting his new book. When Boies predicted more trouble this year since the state supposedly has "a very partisan Secretary of State who's using the power of her office to advantage the Republicans and disadvantage the Democrats," Couric helpfully reminded him of another source of unfair partisan advantage for Republicans: "You also have the President's brother as the Governor of the state." Couric soon moved on to his triumphs: "When you look back on your career, I mean you've done so many exciting things. Does one, does one case stand out more than others?" And in talking about how he has dyslexia, Couric oozed: "That is so inspiring for people out there who may be suffering from a learning disability to see how you have overcome it so brilliantly. How were you able to overcome it?"
In the 9am half hour of the October 15 Today, Couric set up the segment: "Celebrated attorney David Boies has been dubbed the Michael Jordan of the courtroom and premier litigator of his generation. But you can call also call him author. Boies is out with a new memoir. Courting Justice: From the New York Yankees v. Major League Baseball to Bush v. Gore."
The MRC's Geoff Dickens took down some highlights from the friendly session in which Boies preemptively accused Republicans of cheating in Florida.
-- Couric: "You know before we talk about some of the things that are in your book because you really had a fascinating childhood and pulled yourself up from the bootstraps so to speak. But many people probably recognize your name as representing Al Gore in the 2000 election and you believe things might even be worse in Florida, come November? Which is very upsetting news."
-- Couric: "Have you been asked to represent John Kerry if in fact there is a recount in the state of Florida?"
-- Couric: "When you look back on your career. I mean you've done so many exciting things. Does one, does one case stand out more than others?"
-- Couric: "And in closing just looking ahead once again to November. You talk about the Supreme Court's handling of, of Bush v. Gore. As somebody who's pretty much a legal scholar at this point were you surprised, I guess, not only that they got involved but with their ultimate decision?"
To no surprise to anyone who watches the Daily Show on Comedy Central, on Thursday its host, Jon Stewart, "said he expects to vote for Sen. John Kerry for President," CBS.MarketWatch.com's Jon Friedman reported. Friedman quoted Stewart: "I'd be stunned if something happened to change my mind."
On Friday, in a quite serious appearance on CNN's Crossfire in which Stewart lashed out at the show ("you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably"), co-host Tucker Carlson reminded Stewart of his kiss-up questions to Kerry, such as, "How are you holding up?," "Is it hard not to take the attacks personally?" and "Have you ever flip-flopped?" Carlson wondered if, given Stewart's support for Kerry, it will be "harder for you to mock his administration if he becomes President?" Stewart responded with a slam at Bush: "The only way it would be harder is if his administration is less absurd than this one. So, in that case, if it's less absurd, then, yes, I think it would be harder. But, I mean, it would be hard to top this group, quite frankly."
Stewart, at the Thursday breakfast event sponsored by the New Yorker magazine, also lashed out at columnist Bob Novak for his column which cited Valerie Plame. In Friday's New York Daily News, Lloyd Grove quoted Stewart as charging: "He leaked a CIA source for punitive reasons -- for ugly, partisan purposes." Stewart complained: "There's millions of dollars being spent on this investigation, and people are going to jail, but his evil is not allowed even in the darkened abyss of his soul -- some would say soul." Stewart grew even more vicious: "I would not have him on the show. I have standards. I wouldn't do it. He shouldn't be on television. CNN should not have him on the air. He should not be amongst civilized people."
For the October 15 "Lowdown' column by Grove: www.nydailynews.com
Stewart regularly uses his Monday through Thursday half hour comedy show to go outside of the comedy envelop to take liberal political shots at the Bush administration. Two examples:
-- As recounted in the June 22 CyberAlert: [WARNING: This paragraph includes an accurate quotation of a vulgarity] President Lyndon Johnson infamously lost CBS Evening News anchorman Walter Cronkite's support for the Vietnam war, and now President George W. Bush has lost support for the Iraq war from....Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show on the Comedy Central cable channel. During an interview on Monday's [June 21] show with Stephen Hayes, author of The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein has Endangered America, an unconvinced Stewart denounced the U.S. effort in Iraq as "a big clusterfuck." (Comedy Central bleeped fuck, but the word was pretty obvious since his pronunciation of the f and k came through clearly.) For more: www.mediaresearch.org
Saying "it looks like Kerry," Comedy Central host Jon Stewart said he expects to vote for Sen. John Kerry for president.
"I'd be stunned if something happened to change my mind," said the host of the popular Daily Show.
Stewart spoke with New Yorker media critic Ken Auletta at a breakfast sponsored by the magazine and by the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.
While saying that President Bush is a "decent" man, Stewart lampooned him for saying during a presidential debate that he couldn't name one of his mistakes.
"He can't think of one?" Stewart asked. "I got a list."
Stewart entertained an overflow audience Thursday morning at the Bryant Park Grill in New York. Wearing a casual black sweater, Stewart flashed the characteristic, understated wit that has amused viewers nightly and catapulted him to fame. He has been on the covers of such magazines as Newsweek and Rolling Stone, and his new book, "America (the book)" tops best-seller lists.
Commenting on the third and final Bush-Kerry debate, Stewart said "both men took rhetoric to another level. I was truly blown away."
He said the president's performance was memorable this time, noting: "He wasn't angry Bush from the second debate or retarded Bush from the first debate."...
Stewart might have been a bit disappointed by Kerry's performance in the third debate, held in Tempe, Ariz. "Kerry could've ended it last night -- but didn't," Stewart said....
Commenting on the debates, Stewart said his "favorite" part was observing Bush's "exasperation" with many of Kerry's comments and allegations about his record in the White House.
Stewart said Bush's occasionally pained look seems to be asking: "Is he allowed to bring up the war?"...
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Update. Saturday night on CNN's Capital Gang, Al Hunt smeared John O'Neill and praised the Thursday Nightline which set out to discredit O'Neill and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a Nightline which, as the Saturday CyberAlert documented, utterly failed to do so and only displayed Ted Koppel's bias.
The "Outrage of the Week" from Hunt, the Executive Washington Editor of the Wall Street Journal: "John O'Neill, who first appeared as a Chuck Colson pawn to discredit John Kerry 33 years ago, has reemerged, this time as the pawn of rich Bush backers. He's co-authored a book with a vicious bigot that tries to smear Kerry's Vietnam record again. ABC's Nightline sent a crew to Vietnam and actually found a few Vietnamese who corroborated some of the official counts and all first-hand witnesses of Kerry's heroism. Given a chance by Ted Koppel to respond, O'Neill just pouted, protested and dissembled."
For a reality check on what Nightline really did and O'Neill's reaction to it, see these Saturday CyberAlert items:
-- Brent Baker