ABC Relayed Castro Propaganda; Century of "Red-Baiting"; Hang Gingrich
1) ABC 2000: Cokie Roberts talked to "mommy"; Cynthia McFadden relayed how Cuban school kids fear the U.S. because it's "a place where they kidnap children"; Peter Jennings talked to a professor about the continuing problem of "heterosexism"; and John Quinones griped that Cuban-Americans are "viciously anti-communist."
3) After "decades of Red-hunting, Red-baiting," asserted PBS's Gwen Ifill, "all of a sudden the Berlin Wall...fell." Another veteran journalist complained that the U.S. is 130 years behind Germany in enacting national health insurance.
4) "We broke from England to escape the class system," Time's Margaret Carlson asserted in bizarrely claiming "the opportunity that a kid like me used to have," to go to college, "may be a thing of the past."
ABC News delivered liberal bias all the way to the last hours of the century, at least the end of the century as defined by the networks.
During ABC's 23 hours of continuous coverage of celebrations marking the beginning of a new year, viewers heard Cokie Roberts talk to "mommy" in Rome; Cynthia McFadden in Havana seriously relay how Cuban school kids fear the U.S. because it's "a place where they kidnap children" and because they are free of Western influences "their role models are engineers and teachers and librarians"; McFadden ask a Cuban official "what do you see as the greatest accomplishment of the revolution?"; Peter Jennings talking with a professor about how the greatest trend of the century was "decolonization" and a continuing problem is "heterosexism"; and John Quinones complaining about how Cubans in Miami are "viciously anti-communist."
Plus, Peter Jennings pulled a Dan Rather and cried on the air.
From Friday morning through Monday morning the MRC set a weekend taping record, recording over 300 hours of ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, FNC, MSNBC, NBC and PBS special millennium coverage as well as regular shows. So I obviously wasn't able to see it all quite yet, but I did manage to view nearly all of ABC's 23 hours and ten minutes of coverage and caught some quoteworthy material.
(One item I noticed in CNN's still-going 100 hours, "Jeff Greenfield's Millennium Roundtable: Media." It should have been named "Jeff Greenfield's All Liberal Roundtable." The panel on the one-hour discussion about the future of the media aired at 9pm ET Sunday night: Time Managing Editor Walter Isaacson, Time-Warner Chairman Gerald Levin, author Kurt Anderson, The New Yorker's Ken Auletta, and professor Robert McChesney. CNN's 100 hours includes a lot of repeats and this one-sided panel will run again at 1am ET Tuesday morning.)
Now to what I found most worth highlighting in ABC's 4:50am ET Friday, December 31 through 4am ET Saturday, January 1 "ABC 2000" coverage. (This is not a complete listing, just what I had time to take down):
-- 11:40am ET: Cokie Roberts in Rome interviewed her mother, Lindy Boggs, who is Clinton's Ambassador to the Holy See. Roberts put on quite the unprofessional performance, referring to her mother as "momma" and ending by saying: "Thank you mommy."
-- 2pm ET. Peter Jennings talked to Robin Roberts of ABC Sports about the wonders of Title IX. At one point Jennings got a bit carried away, assuming a law can overcome genetics: "Do you foresee a time when men and women are going to compete in some sports on an equal footing?"
-- 2:08pm ET. Live from Havana Cynthia McFadden relayed
what she learned from her visit to a Cuban school. From the video the kids
looked to be about 7 or 8 years old. McFadden announced:
Maybe that's because the good baseball players flee to the U.S. where we have paper on which to write contracts.
Jennings helpfully passed along more pro-Castro propaganda: "From the Cuban point of view, as everybody knows I guess, education and participation in the Third World are very much what Cuba has stood for, at least in the developing world."
McFadden then interviewed Ricardo Alarcon, President
of National Assembly. After asking him about Yeltsin's resignation, she
toughly inquired: "As you reflect back on the years since the
revolution here, what do you see as the greatest accomplishment of the
McFadden later passed along: "Peter, one of the things you had said to me before coming to Cuba was to look at the billboards for what the Cuban people were thinking. The billboards here in Havana and throughout the countryside have Elian Gonzalez, the six-year-old young boy who is in Miami, have his picture plastered across them saying 'Free Elian.'"
Of course, "the Cuban people" don't decide what goes on billboards. One wonders if Jennings used to tell correspondents assigned to Moscow to read Pravda in order to learn what "the Russian people were thinking."
-- 5:37pm ET. Harvard University professor Cornel West
appeared in ABC's Times Square studio to tell Peter Jennings how "decolonization"
was the most important event of the century, and to whine about income
disparity. Here's one illuminating exchange:
-- 8:31pm ET. Once a media analyst, always a media
analyst. Former MRC analyst Steve Kaminski passed along how he noticed a
hit on Cuban-Americans for their "vicious anti-communism." ABC
News reporter John Quinones appeared live from Miami's South Beach at
about 8:30pm ET. Peter Jennings, apparently referring to Cubans living in
South Florida, suggested: "It's sometimes said the Latino
population in Miami lives a life apart from everybody else. Is there any
truth to that as far as you're concerned?"
-- 3:40am ET, January 1. Wrapping us his 23-hour broadcast, Peter Jennings began crying briefly as he thanked an assistant nearby in the studio.
Like most of the media which gave in to public misperception, ABC News portrayed Saturday as the start of a new century and millennium. But not only did ABC News act as if there are only 999 years in a millennium and 99 years in this century, which began on January 1, 1901, the network also passed off 23 hours as the same as 24 hours.
ABC advertising for its "ABC 2000" programming promised 24 hours of coverage. A full page ad in Friday's USA Today, for instance, proclaimed: "The biggest live global event in television history!" Beneath that appeared: "24 Hours 7 Continents 1 Network."
Reality Check: ABC News began its "ABC 2000" coverage at 4:50am ET on Friday, December 31. Twenty-four hours later would be: 4:50am ET or so on Saturday, January 1. But, ABC ended coverage at just before 4am ET, 3:58am to be precise, or about 23 hours and ten minutes after it began.
Decades of Red-baiting, and then communism magically disappeared. Sixty years before Nazism Germany was ahead of the U.S. in providing health care. Those are two "century-end" thoughts expressed by veteran journalists on Friday's Washington Week in Review on PBS.
Introducing comments from Gloria Borger of U.S.
News, moderator Gwen Ifill, a former NBC News reporter who now reports for
the Lehrer NewsHour, reviewed the history of communism -- portraying its
opponents as the bad guys:
Amazing. After years of evil anti-communists abusing people's civil rights, one morning the Berlin Wall just went away.
A few minutes later, Paul Duke, the former moderator
of the show and a network news veteran, identified on-screen as
"journalist," opined in the midst of a discussion of medical
And Germany beat us to installing a Nazi regime too.
People "used to have" the opportunity to go to college, but no more. With so many millionaires, income inequality is denying people the chance to go to college.
That's what Time magazine columnist, sometime
reporter and former Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Margaret Carlson
seriously contended in naming her "outrage of the American
century" on Saturday's Capital Gang. After naming her former
employer Ralph Nader as one of her "heroes," on the January 1
CNN show she announced her outrage for the century:
A little hate speech from the left. Heard the controversy over a columnist, four days before Christmas, calling for the killing of Newt Gingrich? If not, neither have I though that's just what liberal columnist Richard Cohen urged in an op-ed which appeared, amongst other places, in the December 21 Washington Post. In a year-end round-up of liberal hate speech on December 30, Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby cited Cohen's comment, but I've not seen it cited elsewhere.
In the column, headlined by the Post "In
Defense of Linda Tripp," Cohen reluctantly came to Linda Tripp's
In the next paragraph Cohen got to Gingrich:
Imagine the outrage if a conservative columnist had written such a sentence about Bill Clinton or Dick Gephardt.
Think the Washington DC media see the world from the left? The Hollywood media consider Elizabeth Dole and anyone supporting her to be an "ultraconservative." Steve Allen of conservativehq.com alerted me to a preposterous sentence which ended a TV Guide "Insider" profile of actress Emma Caulfield, who plays the "demon 'Anyanka, patron saint of scorned women," in the WB show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Hey, don't ask me what that means. Like most people, I don't watch WB.)
Here's how TV Guide's Michael Logan ended his
piece in the December 25-31 issue (brackets as they appear in TV Guide):
If Y2K glitches happen, will the New York Times notice? I subscribe to the New York Times's daily e-mail listing the headlines for all its front page stories. Here is the complete e-mail I received at 4am January 2 from the New York Times, with the inter-line spacing and line break dashes as delivered:
Here are summaries of today's top news from the front page of The New York Times. -----
To view today's articles with your personal search terms or to sign up
for personal search, see:
You received these headlines because you requested The New York Times Direct daily e-mail service. To cancel delivery or change delivery options, see: http://www.nytimes.com/nytdirect-----
END reprint of e-mail
Guess I'll have to look at the actual printed version of the newspaper -- Brent Baker
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