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CyberAlert -- 01/21/2002 -- Moyers: Polluter-Bush Alliance

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Moyers: Polluter-Bush Alliance; "Outrageous" Corporate Tax Dodge; Jennings Realizes Enron Bi-Partisan; "Excessive Hatred" of Clinton

1) PBS delivered the same old pontificating Bill Moyers in his new weekly Friday night hour. He provided a liberal lecture about how "America's richest and most polluting companies" are "sitting pretty" thanks to the Bush team they bought and paid for while the environment is suffering. Moyers found "a staunch conservative" he could use to advance his cause: Larry Klayman.

2) CBS on Friday night used Enron's non-payment of taxes as an excuse to push the liberal agenda of Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), which it failed to label. "Legal or not," groused Dan Rather about corporations which avoid taxes, "critics say it is outrageous." Reporter Mark Strassmann featured this shot at GE from CTJ's Bob McIntyre: "Sometimes I think their most important product is tax avoidance, and then they make a few refrigerators on the side."

3) Peter Jennings has adjusted his thinking. On January 10 he declared: "Enron was a company with deep political connections to the Bush administration." Eight days later, Jennings broadened his scope: "Enron's connections to politicians in both parties, and in every part of the country, are, as we have reported before, deep and wide."

4) When a woman on the Today show equated with "terrorism" her experience in losing money with her Enron stock, instead of questioning the over-hyped analogy, Katie Couric pressed her to expand: "Can you elaborate for me...how your life has been devastated?"

5) CNN's Aaron Brown revealed last week that he thinks Bill Clinton was the victim of "excessive hatred."

6) The Washington Post put the burden for raising race on those who wanted an accurate memorial in New York of firefighters raising the flag, not on those pushing a politically correct alteration: "As the nation watched the firefighters...struggle to raise the flag over the smoldering disaster site, did it matter at that moment that they were three white men? Apparently it does.... the fire department has been inundated with the outcry of its angry and predominantly white force."

7) Media Reality Check. "Afghanistan's Murderous Taliban = U.S.A.'s 'Religious Conservatives.' Post Reporter Bends over Backwards to Slam Conservatives."

8) Via the MRC Web site, you can now watch the videos the audience saw Thursday night at the MRC's "Dishonor Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2001." Plus, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review ran an editorial about the event, "See, hear, speak no balance: Harris gets her 'due.'"

9) Letterman's "Top Ten Ways to Make Military Life More Fun," as read by members of the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell.


>>> C-SPAN Update: A C-SPAN video camera was at the MRC's "Dishonor Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2001," but the network has not yet shown it. And the schedule for C-SPAN and C-SPAN2, as of early Monday morning, did not list it, though nothing has been scheduled more than 18 hours out and most of Monday is unscheduled on C-SPAN2. When I know more, I'll let you know. <<<

1

A new PBS venue, but the same old pontificating Bill Moyers. On Friday night PBS debuted its new weekly news program, Now with Bill Moyers. He used it as a platform for a liberal lecture about how "America's richest and most polluting companies" are "sitting pretty" thanks to the Bush administration they bought and paid for while the environment is suffering.

"Even some Washington conservatives are outraged" at Vice President Cheney's "adamant secrecy" in not divulging who his energy policy task force consulted, Moyers maintained as he showcased a "staunch conservative" on his side: Larry Klayman.

Moyers set up the segment on the January 18 show: "Congress returns to Washington next week and one of the first priorities for the Senate is to consider the President's energy program. In both the President's plan, and the bill that's already passed the House, H.R. 4, the fossil fuel industry is sitting pretty, with the promise of more than $35 billion in tax breaks and economic subsidies for some of America's richest and most polluting companies. For the environment it's a different story."

Over video of birds in a waterway, Moyers continued his polemic by portraying a series of liberal claims as facts, preceding each by insisting "we know." Moyers opined: "The beauty and health of our environment matters to most of us. We know our dependence on oil, coal and gas drives global climate change. We know that moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy would serve our needs forever. But the President's energy plan is all about fossil fuel and the industries that helped elect him."

Following a lengthy soundbite from Dan Becker of the Sierra Club blasting Bush policies, Moyers claimed: "From the beginning it's been a happy marriage of money and politics. The fossil fuel interests spent $55 million to help elect candidates to advance their goals and the Bush administration became practically a mirror of the energy industry. It's that old fraternity of oil and gas men, automotive and utility interests. There were no strangers here."

Becker explained how a "a procession of big polluting companies" is getting what they want because the Bush administration is packed with those formerly employed by "big polluting companies."

After a shot from Tom Smith of Public Citizen at Bush's close ties to the evil energy industry while Governor of Texas, Moyers arrived at the energy policy task force overseen by Vice President Cheney. Moyers asserted that Cheney "asked executives from Enron Energy, Anadarko Petroleum and Peabody Coal to help him write the report, plus other industry insiders whom Cheney refuses to identify. Even some Washington conservatives are outraged at his adamant secrecy."

Yes, now that one is on his side, Moyers has suddenly discovered the insight of a conservative, this time Judicial Watch's Larry Klayman, whom he dubbed "a staunch conservative."

Much of the rest of the piece was devoted to Klayman laying out his case against Cheney, mixed with a few more blasts at Bush from Becker.

This was the only Now story without a transcript up on its Web site, as of Sunday evening, and I didn't get any further in transcribing it myself, but I think I've adequately conveyed the one-sided agenda reflected in the story.

For the Now Web site, go to: http://www.pbs.org/now/

For the page on the January 18 program, go to:
http://www.pbs.org/now/thisweek/011802/index.html

Moyers followed-up his piece with an interview with L. Hunter Lovins, an alternative energy advocate. Moyers admired how she was one of Time magazine's "Heroes of the Planet." That's all you need to know to peg her political agenda.

2

CBS on Friday night used the Enron case as an excuse to publicize a report from a liberal interest group about how some big companies don't pay corporate income taxes, a report highlighted earlier last week by the New York Times. But CBS neither credited the newspaper or applied the proper ideological tag to Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ).

Instead, the CBS Evening News promoted the anti-business agenda as Dan Rather groused that "legal or not, critics say it is outrageous." CBS reporter Mark Strassmann featured two soundbites from CTJ's Bob McIntyre, before even getting to any other viewpoint. CBS featured this cheap shot at GE from McIntyre: "Sometimes I think their most important product is tax avoidance, and then they make a few refrigerators on the side."

Strassmann's "Eye on America" piece drew deep meaning from how Enron avoided taxes in recent years, as he hoped: "America's mightiest companies are paying less and less in taxes. One of the repercussions from Enron's fall may be a new call for tax reform."

In all of Strassmann's whining, however, he never pointed out how even a corporation which does not pay taxes generates a lot of tax revenue for the federal government from things such as capital gains taxes paid by stock and mutual fund holders and income taxes paid by employees.

Rather intoned on the January 18 CBS Evening News: "The Enron scandal is encouraging new looks at a growing trend in corporate America: Using legal loopholes, including offshore hideouts, to avoid federal income taxes altogether. But legal or not, critics say it is outrageous, as CBS's Mark Strassmann reports for tonight's Eye on America."

Mark Strassmann began: "Enron was America's seventh-largest corporation, but four of the last five years the company paid not one dime in federal income taxes. To many Americans, that in itself is a scandal."
Bob McIntyre, Director, Citizens for Tax Justice: "Whether it's a big corporation or a rich person, if they avoid paying their fair share of taxes, the rest of us get stuck with the bill."
Strassmann: "Yet many of America's marquis corporate names pay no federal taxes. Some even get millions in tax rebates. According to a study by the Citizens for Tax Justice, in 1998 from the Fortune 500, 24 corporations reported a total of $12 billion in pre-tax profits. With tax breaks, not only did they avoid the usual 35 percent tax rate and paid nothing, together they earned another $1.2 billion in tax rebates. That's a difference of $5.5 billion, equal to the total 1998 federal taxes paid by everyone living in these four states. [on screen map: Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and Vermont or New Hampshire, hard to tell?] Even in pro-business Atlanta, that disparity hits home."
Man: "I think big business ought to pay taxes just like the rest of us do."
Woman: "I pay taxes, and I feel they have a whole lot of money that could contribute to the country."
Strassmann: "General Electric tops the study's list of corporate tax avoiders: nearly $7 billion in tax breaks over three years."
McIntyre: "Sometimes I think their most important product is tax avoidance, and then they make a few refrigerators on the side."
Strassmann: "The numbers are startling, but the tax work is typically legal."
Pinney Allen, a federal tax lawyer: "If I were the man on the street, I wouldn't worry."
Strassmann: "Pinney Allen is a corporate tax lawyer. She says the U.S. tax code designs tax breaks to encourage certain corporate behavior, when Pfizer invests in research for pharmaceuticals or Microsoft offers tax options to recruit talented people."
Allen: "Just because someone, some company is paying less in tax than somebody else doesn't mean that we necessarily have something heinous going on."
Strassmann concluded by dismissing her point: "Whatever is going on, America's mightiest companies are paying less and less in taxes. One of the repercussions from Enron's fall may be a new call for tax reform."

3

What a difference eight days makes in how one network anchor adjusted his characterization of which party is tied to Enron. On January 10 and January 18 ABC's Peter Jennings used the same phraseology about Enron's connections being "deep and wide," but on the matter of to whom, Jennings has grown.

Jennings on the January 10 World News Tonight as he teased the show and set up the first two stories:
-- "Enron's connections to the Bush administration, wide and deep."
-- "Enron was a company with deep political connections to the Bush administration, and so there are political issues to be dealt with."
-- "Enron has very extensive connections to the President and other officials in his administration."

Eight days later, Jennings introduced a January 18 look at how politicians and political party groups are giving to charity donations they received from Enron: "Enron's connections to politicians in both parties, and in every part of the country, are, as we have reported before, deep and wide. But now that Enron is in collapse and in disgrace, politicians are running."

"As we have reported before." A nice bit of re-writing history.

4

When a woman on the Today show last week equated with "terrorism" her experience in losing money with her Enron stock, instead of questioning the over-hyped analogy, Katie Couric pressed her to expand on her claim: "Tell me how, can you elaborate for me...how your life has been devastated?"

MRC analyst Ken Shepherd caught on the January 16 Today the ridiculous misuse of the term "terrorism" in a discussion with a woman who lost her life savings when she couldn't sell her Enron stock.

Couric asked Janice Farmer: "You did not work directly for Enron, you worked for a gas company in Florida that was owned by Enron and all of your life savings, nearly $700,000 were in Enron stock. You're retired now, tell me what you're facing personally."
Farmer: "Katie, I feel like I've been a victim of corporate terrorism, except my date is 10-22, because that was the date I found out that I was locked out of my 401(k) savings plan and could not sell my Enron stock and my life has been devastated."
Couric: "Tell me how, can you elaborate for me, Janice, how your life has been devastated?"

5

CNN's Aaron Brown revealed last week that he thinks Bill Clinton was the victim of "excessive hatred." Brown's admission came during a segment in which he made the reasonable point that some of the anger directed at Clinton was fueled by a dislike of the culture and morals of the 1960s.

On the January 16 NewsNight, MRC analyst Ken Shepherd observed, during an interview with essayist Anne Taylor Fleming, Brown offered up his explanation for why Bill Clinton was so loathed by some Americans:
"You can start sending the e-mails now, okay...on this point I'm about to make that, I've always believed that some of, what I think it was the excessive hatred, if you will, for Bill Clinton, former President Clinton, was rooted not in anything that he did as Governor or President or any of those other things but goes back to what he did or didn't do or thought or didn't think in the 60s."

6

Those behind using the photo of three New York City firefighters raising a flag at Ground Zero as the model for a memorial sculpture, decided to alter reality by having two of the three white firefighters replaced by a black one and a Hispanic one. In framing the issue in the Washington Post on Friday, however, reporter Lynne Duke led not by worrying about the altering of reality to suit political correctness, but about how the "outcry" from the fire department's "angry and predominantly white force," shows how their race really did matter.

Duke, the Post's New York City reporter, opened her January 18 "Style" section story:
When firefighters George Johnson, Dan McWilliams and Bill Eisengrein hoisted the Stars and Stripes atop the monstrous rubble of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, it was one of the most moving and enduring images of the national crisis. Terrorists could hit us but not defeat us. They could kill us, deeply wound us, but not take away a nation's will. As the nation watched the firefighters -- who lost 343 comrades in the attack -- struggle to raise the flag over the smoldering disaster site, did it matter at that moment that they were three white men?

Apparently it does. In the week since the fire department revealed it would memorialize the flag-raising with a bronze statue depicting one black, one white and one Latino firefighter raising that flag together, the fire department has been inundated with the outcry of its angry and predominantly white force. The debate has been over race and remembering, over historical accuracy and symbolic rendering....

END of Excerpt

To read the entire story, go to:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac3/ContentServer?articleid=A64604-
2002Jan17&pagename=article

7

Text of a Media Reality Check "Quick Take" fax by the MRC's Rich Noyes which was distributed Thursday afternoon. It was titled, "Afghanistan's Murderous Taliban = U.S.A.'s 'Religious Conservatives.' Post Reporter Bends over Backwards to Slam Conservatives."

To access the Adobe Acrobat version, go to:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/realitycheck/2002/pdf/quick0117.pdf

The text of the January 17 Media Reality Check:

Today's [January 17] Washington Post (page A21) included a news article by reporter Rick Weiss, ostensibly about the first meetings of President Bush's new Council on Bioethics. Weiss accurately stated that the immediate mission of the Council is to examine "the ethics of human cloning and of experimentation on cloned human embryos -- contentious topics that will be the focus of a Senate hearing next Thursday and are due for a full-blown debate by March."

But Weiss then went out of his way to equate religious Americans who are troubled by the laboratory manipulation of human life with Afghanistan's Taliban regime which -- as the Post has reported elsewhere -- maimed and killed numerous citizens during its five-year reign of terror.

Weiss wrote: "The council will be navigating a scientific and ethical landscape significantly more complex than the one that existed when the House became embroiled in the topic last summer. In November, researchers announced that they had made the first human embryo clones, giving immediacy to warnings by religious conservatives and others that science is no longer serving the nation's moral will. At the same time, the United States was fighting a war to free a faraway nation from the grip of religious conservatives who were denounced for imposing their moral code on others."

After a front-page Washington Post article on February 1, 1993 matter-of-factly described religious conservatives as "largely poor, uneducated and easy to command," the Post's Howard Kurtz reported that then-managing editor Robert Kaiser "said he and other editors failed to catch the 'profoundly opinionated assertion' before publication. 'We really screwed up....One of the sins we commit from time to time is insensitivity,' he said."

Apparently the Post's "sensitivity" to religious conservatives has not grown with the years.

END Reprint of Media Reality Check "Quick Take"

8

Watch all the videos roast attendees saw Thursday night at the MRC's "Dishonor Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2001." Plus, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review ran an editorial about the MRC allowing Katherine Harris to accept an award on behalf of Dan Rather for belittling her.

-- MRC Webmaster Mez Djouadi worked most of Friday to create a Web page with all of the video clips of biased comments and stories, as produced by Horizons Television, shown at the Thursday night dinner. Go to:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/dishonor2002/dishonor2002a.html

-- An editorial in the January 18 Pittsburgh Tribune Review:

See, hear, speak no balance: Harris gets her 'due'

WASHINGTON. Big doings here Thursday night in the nation's capital. But we doubt you'll read or hear much -- anything? -- about it in the mainstream liberal media this morning.

As "official Washington" enjoyed the last full week of the holiday recess (the second session of the 107th Congress bows Wednesday), conservatives gathered in the atrium of the Reagan International Trade Center for the 2002 Dishonors Awards.

The brainchild of Sunday Trib columnist L. Brent Bozell III and his Media Research Center, the event roasted "the most outrageously biased liberal reporters of the year."

Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris was on hand to accept the "Sore Loser Award" for refusing to "concede" Al Gore's "victory" in Florida. Of course, she couldn't have been bestowed such an honor without a lot of help from CBS News anchor Dan Rather. To wit, a few of the Ratherisms featured at last night's festivities:

- "Nineteen days after the presidential election, Florida's Republican secretary of state is about to announce the winner -- as she sees it and she decrees it...."
- "The believed certification -- as the Republican secretary of state sees it -- is coming just hours after a court-ordered deadline for counties to submit their hand count and recount totals...."
- "The reason we're on the air right across the board nationally right now is because Florida's secretary of state -- a Republican, as we've mentioned before -- campaigned actively for George Bush, well-connected to Gov. Bush's governor brother Jeb Bush of Florida...."
- "What's happening here is the certification -- as the Florida secretary of state sees it and decrees it -- is being signed.... After this, it will be, at least in the opinion of the secretary of state, that the results will be final...."

It was a night recognizing how bad the see-, hear- and speak-no-balance liberal media really is. How refreshing it would be if the 2003 Dishonors Awards had to be canceled for lack of nominees. But we're not holding our breath.

END of Reprint

To read the editorial online:
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/opinion/s_12956.html

9

From the January 18 Late Show with David Letterman, as read by members of the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, the "Top Ten Ways to Make Military Life More Fun." Copyright 2002 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.

10. Forget Reveille, let us wake up to Regis and Kelly
9. The higher your rank, the larger your hat
8. Humvees with novelty horns that play "La Cucaracha"
7. Three words: magic finger cots
6. Casual Fridays when you're allowed to wear a different shade of khaki
5. Every night, first Sergeant required to put mint on your pillow
4. Only go to war in a country where you can get a decent cappuccino
3. Just once, let me take an Apache helicopter home for the weekend
2. How about some camouflage uniforms that don't make me look fat?
1. More fun? I don't think that's possible

#7 lost me. -- Brent Baker


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