CNN's You Tube Debate Delivers Questions from the Left --7/24/2007
2. Rudy the Racist? The NY Times' Slanted Take on Rudy's Mayoralty
3. Nets Can't Resist Blaming Global Warming for Flooding in Britain
4. Matthews Cues Up Moore: Put Bush in Prison 'for War Crimes?'
5. ABC's Snow Touts How Africa's on a First-Name Basis with Clinton
Amongst the questions from the left at Monday night's event, one about reparations ("African-Americans ever going to get reparations for slavery?"), Katrina ("Do you believe the response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina would have been different if the storm hit an affluent, predominantly white city?"), getting out of Iraq ("How many more soldiers must die while these political games continue in our government? Is the reason that we are still in Iraq and seemingly will be for some time due to the Democrats' fear that blame for the loss of the war will be placed on them by the Republican spin machine?"), "free" health care ("What would you, as President, do to make low-cost or free preventative medicine available for everybody in this country?") and two advocating same-sex marriage.
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth collected some of the clearly liberal questions posed during the two-hour plus (7-9:10pm EDT) July 23 forum live from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina:
# "Hello, America. Hello, presidential candidates. This is Will from Boston, Massachusetts. And I hope, you know, they put this question on. It's a question in the back of everybody's head, you know, some people further back than others, collecting cob webs, but is African-Americans ever going to get reparations for slavery? I know y'all gonna run around this question, dipping and dodging, so let's see how far y'all can get."
# "Do you believe the response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina would have been different if the storm hit an affluent, predominantly white city? What roles do you believe race and class played in the storm's aftermath? And if you do acknowledge that race and class affected the response efforts, what can you do to ensure that this won't happen in the future? And what can you do to ensure this nation's most needy people in times of crisis and always something will be done to help them, too?"
# "The 2006 election gave the Democrats in office a mandate to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Since that time, 800 of our military service members have died there. As a mother of an American soldier deploying to Iraq for a second time, I would like to know if the perception is true that the Democrats are putting politics before conscience. How many more soldiers must die while these political games continue in our government? Is the reason that we are still in Iraq and seemingly will be for some time due to the Democrats' fear that blame for the loss of the war will be placed on them by the Republican spin machine?"
# Squeaky voice of a snowman: "Hello, Democratic candidates. I have been growing concerned that global warming, the single most important issue to the snowmen of this country, is being neglected. As President, what will you do to ensure that my son will live a full and happy life? Thank you."
# "Hi my name is Kim. I'm 36 years old and hope to be a future breast cancer survivor from Long Island. My chances for survival aren't as good as they might be, however, because, like millions of Americans, I've gone for years without health insurance that would have allowed me to take preventative medicine. What would you, as President, do to make low-cost or free preventative medicine available for everybody in this country? Thank you." Host Anderson Cooper helpfully added: "Senator Obama, 45 million uninsured Americans. Senator Edwards had said your health plan doesn't really provide universal coverage. Does it?"
# "Good evening. My name is Stephen Marsh from Thousand Oaks, California, proud citizen of the United States of America, that does not believe in God. However, the former President Bush said this statement was an oxymoron. Now, I am worried about the amount of time given to evangelical concerns while secular voters are more or less getting snubbed. Faith in politics forum. So my question is this: Am I wrong in fearing a Democratic administration that may pay lip service to the extremely religious as much as the current one? And if so, why? Thank you for your time."
Ken Shepherd, Managing Editor of the MRC's NewsBusters blog, Monday night put together a six-minute compilation of several of the liberal questions (some of the above and others) which will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert. In the meantime, to watch or listen to the questions, go to: newsbusters.org
In the lead-up to Monday night's YouTube debate with the Democratic presidential candidates, CNN ran prime-time specials previewing videos that might be featured during the debate, and most of those featured came from the liberal side. It should be no surprise then that video clips featured left-wing clips by almost a 3-to-1 margin versus the conservative clips -- 17 liberal clips to 6 conservative clips, out of a total of 38 video question clips.
In the 7 pm hour, the first left-wing question came 17 minutes in, and asked the Democrats where they stood on reparations to blacks for slavery. This was followed by a questions on how race and class affected the response to Hurricane Katrina; and how Obama and Clinton address criticisms that they're not "black enough" or "feminine enough."
Two question clips in a row at the bottom of the 7 pm hour dealt with the question of "gay marriage," one of them from a Reverend Reggie Longcrier from North Carolina, who got to ask his question through his video clip, and in person at the debate. This was the first "gotcha" moment of the debate, which was directed towards John Edwards. Two liberal questions on the timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq, whether women should have to register for Selective Service, closed the 7 pm hour.
Only two conservative questions were asked during the 7 pm hour. The first came 46 minutes into the hour, and the questioner asked how we could pull out of Iraq, when it would likely get worse after we pulled out. The second, which came immediately afterwards, asked from Senator Gravel from Alaska to defend his statement that members of the military who died in Vietnam died in vain.
At the top of the second hour of the debate, a Stephen from California (and was actually present for the debate as well) asked the Democrat presidential candidates if they would be willing to meet with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea in the first year of their administrations. This was the second "gotcha" moment, as Stephen was in the audience as well. Host Anderson Cooper first directed the question to Barack Obama, and Stephen himself directed it to Hillary Clinton. Another question about troop withdrawal from Iraq followed.
Twenty-four minutes into the second hour, one of the most egregious question clips of the Democrat debate featured a woman who self-identified as someone who worked for Planned Parenthood, and asked the candidates about sex education. A crudely-animated snowman asked a question about global warming, followed by a "Bay Area" woman, specifically in Berkeley, California, who asked the candidates how they would decrease energy consumption. While a third question clip related to "climate change" followed (the producer agreed with the "scientific consensus" on man-made global warming), the questioner asked the candidates about their stance on nuclear energy, which he supported.
In the last half-hour of the debate, the main issues shifted to the benefit programs of the government, such as Social Security and health care. Two women from Pennsylvania asked the candidates if they would accept a minimum wage salary if they were elected president, in an attempt to get the candidates to see how the minimum wage needs to be increased. In the following clip, a woman from Wilmington, DE asked what was up with people who make more than $97, 500 stop paying into the Social Security system (she obviously saw this as problematic).
The big question of the last half-hour was a question clip that came from four individuals, each with a health problem or disability (a son who has a mother with Alzheimer's; a woman with three relatives who have diabetes; a woman whose breast cancer treatment made her bald; and a man in a wheelchair), who asked the candidates what they were going to do to help their problems. As a follow-up, a young woman asked whether the candidates' health care plans covered "undocumented workers." The last left-wing question came from a young atheist man who worried about the Democrats paying lip service to religious Americans.
The first conservative question of the 8 pm hour, which some might consider to be ambiguous (though it was asked by a member of the military), asked Hillary Clinton how could people in the Middle East could take her seriously as President when they treat women as second-class citizens. The next conservative question did not come until 45 minutes later, when a widely-publicized question on taxes, set to country music, was played. Another conservative question, which pointed out how taxes go up under Democrat administrations, followed immediately afterwards. The final conservative question, which was played as the debate went slightly over into the 9 pm hour, asked the candidates where they stood on the issue of gun control, as he proudly showed-off one of his guns.
The Republicans' YouTube debate isn't until September, but the public shouldn't act surprised if CNN starts showing a number of clips that are mostly liberal in the lead-up to that debate.
Apparently, racist police brutality began and ended in New York City with Mayor Rudy Giuliani. And when did hatemonger Al Sharpton earn the right to comment on anyone else's failures to attain racial harmony? Veteran New York Times reporter Michael Powell's Sunday front-page story, "In a Volatile City, a Stern Line On Race and Politics," is the first article in what the Times promises is "a series on the lives and careers of the 2008 presidential contenders." One of the critics of Giuliani quoted by Powell was race-baiting hatemonger (and Times favorite) Al Sharpton, which makes one wonder how committed the Times itself is to racial harmony. Proposing that "what is less certain is whether a man raised and schooled in a white world understood the force with which his harshest words rained down on black New Yorkers," Powell let other black leaders suggest Rudy made racial appeals.
[This item is adapted from a Monday posting, by Clay Waters, on the MRC's TimesWatch site: www.timeswatch.org ]
An excerpt from Powell's July 22 article:
Those were grim days for race relations in New York City, the early 1990s. There were nearly 2,000 murders each year, blacks and whites died in high-profile racial killings, and a riot held a divided Brooklyn neighborhood in thrall for three dangerous nights.
On Jan. 9, 1994, another match landed in this tinderbox: a caller reported a burglary at a Harlem mosque. The police ran in, and Nation of Islam guards threw punches and broke an officer's nose.
The mosque's minister, accompanied by the Rev. Al Sharpton, drove downtown to register their outrage with the police commissioner, a street theater ritual grudgingly tolerated by past mayors.
Except the new mayor -- Rudolph W. Giuliani, fresh off his November victory over the city's first black mayor, David N. Dinkins -- decreed that no one would meet with Mr. Sharpton. No more antics, no more provocations.
"I've taken a golden opportunity to act like a sensible mayor rather than a mayor who will be moved in any direction," he said. "I'm an observer of the last 10 years of this city, and I hope to God we don't continue in that direction."
More than any other Republican running for president, Mr. Giuliani has confronted the question of race, that most torturous of American legacies.
His 1993 mayoral campaign slogan, often repeated, of "one city, one standard," emphasized his view that no ethnic or racial group should expect special treatment. And he spoke with a stunning bluntness about what he saw as the failings of the city's black leadership."
One of the critics of Giuliani quoted by Powell is race-baiting hatemonger (and Times favorite) Al Sharpton, which makes one wonder how committed the Times itself is to racial harmony. Reporter Powell let other black leaders suggest Rudy made racial appeals.
Certainly he knew such words resonated with white voters who formed the backbone of his electoral coalition. What is less certain is whether a man raised and schooled in a white world understood the force with which his harshest words rained down on black New Yorkers.
New York City is 45 percent white and 27 percent black, according to 2000 Census figures.
"He was not patronizing, he was not naïve and I admired that," said Michael Meyers, president of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, who once advised him. "But he could play on the edge of old racial antipathies."
Mr. Giuliani's policies, too, stirred anger. His decision to drive down the welfare rolls by cutting benefits and tightening eligibility standards and his deep cuts in social agencies infuriated many. Black voters applauded the drop in crime, but rough police tactics often inflamed tensions.
On his successful campaign against Mayor David Dinkins, Powell wrote: "Most of that good will evaporated in the heat of the campaign. Mr. Dinkins became the Democratic nominee; his candidacy was laden with black aspiration and the promise of racial peace. Mr. Giuliani steered right and attacked hard.
When Mr. Dinkins called Mr. Giuliani, who served in the Justice Department, a "Reagan Republican," he fired back. His campaign ran an ad in a Jewish newspaper with a photo of Mr. Dinkins and Mr. Jackson, a year after Mr. Jackson made a comment widely seen as anti-Semitic. Mr. Giuliani began calling Mr. Dinkins "a Jesse Jackson Democrat."
Sounds more like a "counterattack" than an attack.
Still, Mr. Giuliani took a fateful step that would for years prompt questions about his racial sensitivities. In September 1992, he spoke to a rally of police officers protesting Mr. Dinkins's proposal for a civilian board to review police misconduct.
It was a rowdy, often threatening, crowd. Hundreds of white off-duty officers drank heavily, and a few waved signs like "Dump the Washroom Attendant," a reference to Mr. Dinkins. A block away from City Hall, Mr. Giuliani gave a fiery address, twice calling Mr. Dinkins's proposal "bullshit." The crowd cheered. Mr. Giuliani was jubilant.
Powell briefly acknowledged the undeniable positives of Giuliani's mayoralty:
A record plunge in homicides earned the mayor a larger measure of good will. Black New Yorkers appreciated safer neighborhoods and applauded that thousands more of their young men remained alive.
"Rudy's gift is that he could identify with people who felt trapped by crime," Mr. Meyers said.
By 1997, Mr. Giuliani's job approval rating in the black community stood at 42 percent, according to a New York Times poll.
But within these victories lay the seed of a problem. Even as crime dropped by 60 percent, officers with the street crime unit stopped and frisked 16 black males for every one who was arrested, according to a report by the state attorney general. Then came three terrible episodes that raised a pointed question for black New Yorkers: Was crime reduction worth any cost?
Powell dug into the cases of Abner Louima, Amadou Diallo, and Patrick Dorismond. Louima survived his assault, a genuine victim of possibly racist police brutality. Diallo and Dorismond both died of gunfire, two victims of improper (but not racist) police procedure.
Reading those paragraphs, one would think police problems in New York City began and ended under Rudy Giuliani. But what about police shootings under black mayor David Dinkins?
As David Horowitz wrote in 2000 in Salon Magazine: "In 1993, the last year that David Dinkins was mayor of New York, there were 212 intentional police shootings of civilians (many of them African-Americans). This compares to only 73 shootings by the Giuliani police force in the past year. In 1991, during Dinkins' reign, there were 41 fatalities resulting from police shootings. In 1999, under Giuliani there were only 11." See: archive.salon.com
The question lingers in conversation with black officials: Did Mr. Giuliani have a black problem, or did blacks just not get him?
He dueled with no end of white officials. Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato, a fellow Republican? He's "running a protection racket." Gov. George E. Pataki? "Needs his head examined." The Manhattan borough president, Ruth W. Messinger? She has "really jerky" ideas.
But Ms. Reiter, the former deputy mayor, said a mayor could not assume words register the same for every group. "One city, one standard is fine but unrealistic," she said. "There are groups, for reasons of history, treated differently, and it happens every day." Ignore that, she says, and a leader risks tone-deafness.
So the Times wanted Giuliani to apply a double standard to whites and blacks?
For Powell's story: www.nytimes.com
Those who insist man and industry are exacerbating global warming ridicule detractors when they cite a cold day or a Spring snowstorm as evidence undermining global warming, but those same global warming believers can't resist portraying every cataclysmic event as evidence of warming. Case in point: Media coverage Monday of the flooding in Britain. Checking in from England on the Today show, NBC's Keith Miller asserted: "The damage from the flood waters is already estimated to be more than $100 million. Roads are out, the electricity supply has failed and the water supply is now contaminated. The people of Britain are all asking the same question today, could this be global warming?" Then, on Monday's CBS Evening News, Elizabeth Palmer insisted in a story on the flooding: "Britain is going to have to get used to it. Research published today suggests human activity is warming the planet and changing rainfall patterns."
[This item is based on a NewsBusters posting, by Geoffrey Dickens, along with a quote caught by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth. For the Dickens blog entry on NBC's Today show: newsbusters.org ]
[This item is adapted from a posting, by Geoffrey Dickens, Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The following are some of the more over-the-top moments from the July 23rd edition of "Hardball:"
# Moore charges Bush and Cheney with war crimes:
Chris Matthews: "Michael Moore. Let's make some news."
Matthews: "Let me ask you about health care. Hillary Clinton tried it in 1994, she had a Democratic congress, both houses. She had John Dingle there, Pat Moynihan, the key committees. All the power levers were controlled by her party and the President's party and nothing happened. It never came to a vote. And that wasn't socialized medicine."
Matthews: "Okay suppose we went past the Congress, past the President whoever it is, Hillary or Rudy or whoever it is and you had a national election on whether we should have a national health care system? Would it pass? Just a vote, up or down?"
Matthews: "Michael, I don't want to build this movie up beyond what it is, although it is probably the most successful doc ever done. But Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin and that inspired, two million copies of that book went out, and, and really got people feeling abolitionist feelings and, and, and of course Rachel Carson did Silent Spring and got people all excited about ecology and pesticides, is, this, is this movie of yours gonna take a second step? Besides having people go see it, eat popcorn, drink a Coke and after it's all over go home and, and talk about it. But what's the next step here that you envision? What's gonna happen here?"
Matthews: "We're, we're back here with Hardball, on "Hardball Plaza" with our special guest for this hour, movie-maker Michael Moore who brought you Roger and Me, of course about the auto industry, "Fahrenheit 9/11" about the war in Iraq. And I loved it when you went up here and interviewed these members of Congress a couple blocks from here. And tried to pass out brochures on how their kids could join the military. They, they, it was like you're giving them a radioactive materials, these, these guys were pulling back."
Matthews: "And late today anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and about two-dozen fellow anti-war activists were arrested for refusing to leave the office of Democratic congressman John Conyers after calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Michael Moore where do you stand on these various degrees of punishment? Should the President be punished through a censure for his, for the, for the, for the bad intel we got going into war?"
Matthews: "I just saw the movie. Amazing film-making!"
Brian Smith from the audience: "Hi, I'm Brian Smith from Alexandria, Virginia. I was just wondering what you thought about the possibility of illegal immigrants getting this government financed health care?"
After Diane Sawyer's fawning interview last Thursday morning hailing his work to "save a continent" (see: www.mrc.org ), ABC's Good Morning America returned to praising the African philanthropy of former President Bill Clinton on Monday. Traveling with him, ABC's Kate Snow sounded less like a reporter and more like an overnight infomercial spokeswoman: "In Africa, they seem to be on a first-name basis with the former President, shouting 'Bill! Bill!'"
Every soundbite in the July 23 story was from Clinton or Clinton's supporters explaining all the wonderful things Clinton is trying to accomplish, how he's impatient in his struggle to save lives. Without any skeptical note that his private foundation might create a thicket of conflicts of interest, Snow simply relayed without questioning that Clinton would continue his foundation activities if his wife won the White House. Snow could only coo: "He may redefine the role of first spouse in America."
Supposedly skeptical journalists have been slow to recognize that it would be a subject of political controversy if major players in policy debates -- including foreign donors -- tried to curry favor with President Hillary by lavishing millions of dollars on her husband's foundation. It's not a campaign contribution, but it certainly counts as influence-peddling. A skeptical journalist would at least note that Clinton continuing his foundation work could be politically troublesome. Snow's lack of skepticism underlined how her story sounded more like a commercial than a news story.
[This item, by Tim Graham, was posted Tuesday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Obviously, it would be hard for Snow to look for critics who thought that fighting AIDS in Africa was an unworthy cause, but it's not hard to notice out loud that there are many other players in the "continent-saving" business than just the Clinton Foundation, and some may feel Clinton is hogging the credit. It unfolded like this:
Robin Roberts: "And Hillary Clinton may be the frontrunner in that political horse race, but her husband, showing no signs of slowing down either. This morning, the former president, Bill Clinton, continues his tour in Africa to raise awareness about AIDS and malaria. And with him there is GMA weekend anchor Kate Snow."
Kate Snow: "In Africa, they seem to be on a first-name basis with the former President, shouting Bill, Bill."
Apparently, Tony Snow is not the only Snow who speaks professionally on behalf of a President.
-- Brent Baker