Couric Pushes GOP Candidates, Not Dems, to Denounce Each Other --2/5/2008
2. 'I'm Carole Simpson, It's My Honor to Introduce Hillary Clinton'
3. CBS and ABC Falsely Describe Medicare Spending Hike as a Cut
4. Behar Hits 'Extreme Right Wing Conservatives' Like Rush Limbaugh
5. NBC's Ann Curry Can't Find Illinois on a Map, Points to Minnesota
6. Attending CPAC? Meet Bozell, He'll Sign His Book Thursday Morning
On the eve of the Super Tuesday primaries, CBS anchor Katie Couric displayed remarkably different approaches to Democratic versus Republican presidential candidates, simply asking Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton about their poll standings while demanding that Mitt Romney, and John McCain himself, address whether McCain has the "temperament" to be President. She also pressed McCain to say something negative about Romney and Mike Huckabee: "What do you perceive as the biggest weakness of your opponents?" And: "What about Mike Huckabee? What do you think is his biggest weakness?"
Monday's CBS Evening News uniquely ran brief interviews with five presidential candidates, starting with Democrat Barack Obama. Couric wondered "how concerned" he was about CBS's poll showing him behind Clinton and then: "How critical is it for you to win the state of California?" Turning next to Clinton, Couric cited another aspect of the poll which "shows the two of you dead even. What happened?" With McCain, however, Couric raised former Senator Rick Santorum's charge that "I don't think he has the temperament and leadership ability to move the country in the right direction." Couric was even more direct with Romney: "Do you believe John McCain has the temperament to be President of the United States?"
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Tuesday morning on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide this list of the set-ups and questions posed by Couric in the excerpts aired on the February 4 CBS Evening News:
# To Obama:
"Senator Obama, our new CBS poll shows you and Senator Clinton running neck and neck nationally, but when it comes to the Super Tuesday states, currently, Senator Clinton is ahead of you by 18 points. Knowing that none of these polls has been omniscient, how concerned are you about that last figure?"
"How critical is it for you to win the state of California? And if so, why?"
"Do you need to win California tomorrow? And if so, why?"
# To Clinton:
"Just three weeks ago, our CBS News poll showed you 15 points ahead of Barack Obama nationally. Now our latest poll shows the two of you dead even. What happened?"
"Our poll also shows respondents evenly split about whether your husband, President Clinton, has been helpful or hurtful to your campaign. Was there a point in time, Senator Clinton, where you wanted to tell him, 'Back off'?"
# To McCain:
"Let me first start by asking you, Senator McCain, about some news of the day, if you will. Senator Rick Santorum, who has endorsed Mitt Romney, has done an automated call for the Romney campaign telling voters, quote, 'As a conservative, I don't agree with McCain on many issues, and I don't think he has the temperament and leadership ability to move the country in the right direction.' What do you think about Rick Santorum's use of the word 'temperament' in this automated call?"
"Rick Santorum said he had witnessed problems with your temperament, which he declined to detail, and he said, quote, 'I don't know anybody in the Senate who hasn't. Everybody has their McCain story.' What's your reaction to that?"
"As we approach Super Tuesday, and people get one final opportunity to make their choice, what do you perceive as the biggest weakness of your opponents?"
"What about Mike Huckabee? What do you think is his biggest weakness?"
"When I talked to Mitt Romney today, I asked him if he shares Santorum's concerns about Senator McCain."
"But, Governor Romney, I'm asking you about temperament. Do you believe John McCain has the temperament to be President of the United States?"
"Do you think that Mike Huckabee is hurting your campaign by taking conservative voters away from you in some key contests?"
"Mike Huckabee is a bit of a spoiler for you, though, isn't he, Governor? Particularly in some key races in the South?"
"As to the suggestion that Huckabee is somehow siphoning conservative votes away from Mitt Romney, here's what Huckabee had to say about that."
"What do you need to do tomorrow to keep your candidacy alive?"
Three months after former ABC News reporter and anchor Carole Simpson bounded on stage in New Hampshire to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, on Monday night she hosted a Hillary Clinton town meeting telecast from 9 to 10 PM EST on the Hallmark cable channel. At the top of the paid show, Simpson trumpeted "Voices Across America: A National Town Hall with Senator Hillary Clinton" as "an historic event bringing together voters from across America to discuss the issues that matter and the changes this country needs." Welcoming Clinton, Simpson enthused: "It's my honor to introduce Hillary Clinton."
[This item was posted Monday night, with video and audio, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The entire introduction narrated by Simpson:
"Welcome to 'Voices Across America: A National Town Hall with Senator Hillary Clinton.' Live from 22 states on the Hallmark channel and worldwide at HillaryClinton.com, an historic event bringing together voters from across America to discuss the issues that matter and the changes this country needs.
The October 18 CyberAlert item, "Hillary-Backing Carole Simpson Just as Liberal at ABC News," recounted:
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."...
For click and play Flash video of this, scroll down to "Just a Tad Self-Absorbed" in the MRC's 20th Anniversary edition of Notable Quotables: www.mrc.org
Check that posting for more on how she endorsed Clinton and several more examples of her liberal pontificating while at ABC News: www.mrc.org
President Bush's fiscal 2009 budget proposal calls for a 7.5 percent hike in Defense spending and a 5 percent jump in spending for Medicare and Medicaid, but while CBS anchor Katie Couric on Monday night correctly stated that Pentagon spending would "rise" in the Bush plan, she erroneously asserted "spending on Medicare and Medicaid would go down." Similarly, while ABC's Martha Raddatz cited the call for an "increase" in DOD's budget, she falsely reported: "Medicare and Medicaid would be cut by almost $200 billion."
On FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume, reporter James Rosen scolded the sloppy reporting of his journalistic colleagues, specifically how "the New York Times' lead article on the subject referred matter of factly to the 'trimming' of Medicare and Medicaid. In fact, Medicare will continue to see its budget grow, by 5 percent instead of 7.2 percent." The New York Times story: www.nytimes.com
Raddatz hinted at her distorted logic -- in which a hike greater than inflation is a "cut" just because it's less than a previously project level -- as she cited how "the President's budget slashes billions of dollars in the growth of federal health care programs." Yes, a reduction in the rate of growth in a program which has been soaring. The Heritage Foundation's Brian Reidl noted Monday that "Medicare spending has leapt by 51 percent over the past four years."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Couric's short item on the February 4 CBS Evening News:
Martha Raddatz in her piece on the February 4 World News on ABC:
Then, with "MEDICARE AND MEDICAID Cut by $200 billion" on screen, she insisted:
"But there are some losers here. The President's budget slashes billions of dollars in the growth of federal health care programs. Medicare and Medicaid would be cut by almost $200 billion, by freezing reimbursement rates for health care providers and limiting the money hospitals will receive for treating the uninsured. Even with these cuts the deficit would be about $407 billion."
Monday's NBC Nightly News didn't mention the budget proposal.
An excerpt from a Monday posting by the Heritage Foundation's Brian M. Riedl:
....The President's budget request increases total discretionary spending by a generous 4.9 percent. It balances larger increases for defense, homeland security, international programs, and veterans' programs by limiting the growth of domestic discretionary spending to just under 1 percent. Domestic discretionary spending--which has leapt by 48 percent (22 percent after inflation) from 2001 through 2008 -- can certainly afford this near-freeze for one year....
In what has become an annual ritual, the release of the President's budget has been followed by interest groups decrying alleged cuts to social and education spending. The facts do not match the rhetoric.
By any reasonable standard, President Bush is the biggest anti-poverty, health, and education spender in American history. Under President Bush, federal anti-poverty spending has topped 3 percent of GDP for the first time ever. Federal education spending has leapt 9.7 percent annually -- compared to 2 percent annually under President Clinton. Health research and regulation has grown by 9.5 percent annually.
Under the FY 2009 budget request, discretionary education funding would increase an additional 3.5 percent, health research spending would be approximately frozen, and antipoverty spending would increase 4.2 percent. Given how much these programs have already expanded in recent years, the President's proposal is more than sufficient.
The budget addresses Medicare overspending. Medicare spending has leapt by 51 percent over the past four years and is projected to continue growing at unsustainable rates for several decades. The President's proposal would lower Medicare's growth rate to 5 percent....
For the Heritage analysis in full: www.heritage.org
The View co-host Joy Behar offered her political expertise to explain the conservative opposition to John McCain: Conservatives support "torture" and are upset by McCain's opposition to it. On Monday's show Behar quoted how Ann Coulter "picked a predictably offensive reason to oppose McCain. Quote, from Ann, 'he has led the fight against torture at Guantanamo.' That's why she doesn't like him because he is against torture. I think that's fascinating." Behar soon cited Rush Limbaugh as one of the "extreme right wing conservatives are against McCain."
[This item is based on a Monday posting, by the MRC's Justin McCarthy, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
From the February 4 edition of the ABC daytime show:
JOY BEHAR: Ann Coulter, she says, Coulter, who makes a living by being provocative, picked a predictably offensive reason to oppose McCain. Quote, from Ann, "he has led the fight against torture at Guantanamo." That's why she doesn't like him because he is against torture. I think that's fascinating.
On the Monday Today show co-host Ann Curry was breaking down the delegate counts for each Super Tuesday state with NBC's political director Chuck Todd, but when it came to finding Barack Obama's home state of Illinois on the map, Curry pointed to Minnesota instead.
[This item, by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, was posted Monday, with video, on the MRC's blog: NewsBusters.org:newsbusters.org ]
ANN CURRY: Okay let's talk about the home states because we've got Illinois-
Special Invitation to CPAC 2008 Attendees: Visit the Exhibit Hall on Thursday, February 7th at 11:30am to meet L. Brent Bozell III, MRC President and author of the recently published book, Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will. Brent will be there in person to sign your copy of Whitewash and to answer your questions about what he and co-author Tim Graham uncover in the pages of their acclaimed book:
# Sean Hannity: "This is the defining book that needed to be written on Hillary Clinton, and anybody who votes in 2008 needs to examine this thoroughly."
# Phil Brennan of Newsmax: "With this invaluable expose, Brent Bozell has broken through the soft curtain the media has kept between Hillary Clinton and the American people."
If you are planning to attend CPAC 2008 in Washington, DC, don't miss this chance to meet Brent Bozell in person and get your autographed copy of this fast and fascinating read, Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will.
Amazon's page for the book: www.amazon.com
-- Brent Baker