MRC Alert: Today's Gore Journey; ABC Exec on Bias; Latest NQ1. The Today show finally presses Al Gore about his tobacco hypocrisy, but Katie Couric contradicts some 1996 NBC reporting.
2. ABC News political editor Hal Bruno on the public perceiving liberal bias: "The truth is that I don't care anymore."
4. January 27 edition of Notable Quotables. Dick Armey spews "hot-headed rhetoric," but Al Gore "aspires to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters."
[Correction: The January 27 CyberAlert twice quoted members of the media citing Nellie Bligh as a model for undercover reporting. It's Bly, not Bligh. Nellie Bly was the byline for Elizabeth Cochrane, a crusading reporter in the late 1800s for Joseph Pulitzer's The World newspaper in New York City.]
NBC's Today on Friday (January 24) devoted the first half hour to a
glowing profile of Vice President Al Gore, concentrating on his humor and
dancing skills. In an interview segment, however, Katie Couric got serious
and recalled how Gore had cited his sister's death from lung cancer as why
he is so opposed to smoking:
This is quite a U-turn for Today which repeatedly heaped praise on Gore's speech last summer and fall. First, some background. The New York Times reported July 3, 1996 that in 1988, Al Gore told an audience of tobacco farmers: "Throughout most of my life, I raised tobacco. I want you to know that with my own hands, all of my life, I put it in the plant beds and transferred it. I've hoed it. I've dug in it. I've sprayed it, I've chopped it, I've shredded it, spiked it, put it in the barn and stripped it and sold it."
Now, fast forward
to Chicago. The morning after Al Gore's convention speech Bryant Gumbel
opened the August 29 Today:
A few minutes
later reporter Jim Miklaszewski asserted: "Gore was most effective in
his shot at Dole's record on tobacco. Political but poignant, Gore invoked
the memory of his sister, a cigarette smoker who had died of lung cancer.
With his parents looking on, Gore recounted her agonizing death."
Then, on October 9, Today featured an interview with Gore. But interviewer Ed Gordon of MSNBC did not broach the tobacco hypocrisy topic. Instead, he posed questions such as: "Many can see that you have indeed been the most powerful Vice President in our history. You satisfied with the role that you played for four years?"
The January issue of Dateline, the newsletter published by the Washington
chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recounted the comments
by Hal Bruno at the SPJ's Christmas party. Bruno, political editor for ABC
News, dismissed concern that the lack of excitement in the election fueled
talk about liberal bias:
But Bruno is no fan of the Clinton Administration. Dateline newsletter editor Willie Schatz quoted Bruno: "I've never seen anything like the Clinton White House. It's got the arrogance of JFK and the meanness of Nixon with none of the charm and incompetence of Carter."
First, writing a
point/counterpoint column (with Washington Times Managing Editor Josette
Shiner) Bonnie Erbe of NBC Radio/Westwood One news and host of To the
Contrary on PBS declared:
Second, MRC news
analyst Clay Waters noticed a bit of a contradiction in two New York Times
stories. In a January 7 story headlined "Clinton Seeks Help for the
Nation's Spirit," reporter Alison Mitchell wrote: "Mr. Clinton
noted that recent statistics showed crime rates falling, pregnancy rates
among teenagers dropping and wage inequalities narrowing."
But I thought Clinton already solved the income gap problem.
-- Brent Baker (Notable Quotables below)
4) The latest edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. Many of these quotes have already appeared in previous CyberAlerts, but I urge you to check out the quotes beneath the "U.S. News Under Jim Fallows: More Liberal Bias More Often" heading. It's a very illuminating contrast caught by MRC news analyst Jim Forbes.
January 27, 1997 (Vol. Ten; No. 2)
Spoiled Spin on Tainted Meat
jury in North Carolina ordered ABC television today to pay the Food Lion
supermarkets five and a half million dollars in punitive damages. That's
in connection with an undercover news investigation that proved to be
true...Important to note that the truth of the report was never at issue
in the lawsuit, not even challenged, only the journalistic
U.S. News Under Jim Fallows: More Liberal Bias More Often
another reason why all but nine of the 225 House Republicans backed
Gingrich: deep reservations about the man next in line, the hard-right
majority leader, Dick Armey. Just as Dan Quayle's lack of gravitas led
many Republicans to pray for the health of George Bush, Armey's
ideological stubbornness and hot-headed rhetoric inspire in his colleagues
protective optimism about Gingrich....In a House brimming with
mean-spirited rhetoric, Armey stands out."
been a lot of talk lately, as you know, printed and so forth, about the
Lincoln Bedroom and the people who stay here. And obviously a lot of them
are your friends. And I don't think anybody would begrudge somebody having
guests in their own house. Some of them, though, it seems apparently you
didn't know quite as well. And we're wondering if you might feel let down
a little bit by your staff or by the DNC in their zeal to raise
Hillary's White House Hell
Martha Teichner: "Health care was just the beginning. She has been
the subject of a non-stop, ceaseless litany of investigations. Three at
the moment being conducted by Whitewater special counsel Kenneth Starr.
Speculation she may be indicted continues."
Illegal Taping? Don't Let It Distract from Nailing Newt
trying to minimize the offense here, though I would have to suggest that
the ones of Speaker Gingrich look considerably more severe than Mr.
political matter, the Republicans managed brilliantly on the last two
weekends of television talk shows to keep the focus where they
wanted....Of course, they could not have done it without the Democrats'
giving them a clear field. The first weekend the Democrats had available a
Time magazine article suggesting that the leadership, possibly waving
campaign money, put pressure on two ethics committee members to write an
extraordinary letter telling colleagues to vote for Mr. Gingrich for
Speaker. The Democrats hardly brought it up. Then last weekend the
Democrats effectively failed to make their case that the taped
conversation, whatever its ancestry, showed that Mr. Gingrich had broken
his promises to the ethics committee."
Republic points out this week that the book [To Renew America] leans
heavily on copyrighted materials developed for Newt's college course by
the tax-exempt group that is at the center of his current problems. That
could well be a violation of IRS rules that prohibit tax-exempt
organizations from transferring assets to private individuals. It also
calls into question Gingrich's claim that he's no Jim Wright -- the
Democratic Speaker whose ouster he spearheaded -- because he never sought
to line his own pockets. After taxes, his royalties would have stuffed his
pockets with something like $300,000 -- the amount of his fine. Maybe he
should hand it over. If nothing else, it would prove that even when you
can't count on the rule of law in Washington, there's always poetic
very special day for this President when you recall that four years ago he
came to this city, he was expecting so much. His mother was at his side
there at the Inaugural. She passed away a year later. And when you look at
what was besetting the United States, a four trillion dollar deficit,
budget problems, foreign policy problems. The budget deficit now has
decreased. There seems to be relative peace in Bosnia. The Middle East,
the breakthrough of the Hebron agreement, a lot has gone on in four short
God, I Admire You
detractors think his arrogance is finally catching up with him. 'He was
his usual glib self,' one veteran practitioner sniffed after the argument.
But Tribe has a lot to be arrogant and glib about. There is still no one
better on his feet, no one better able to respond to questions from the
justices with a fully developed and usually persuasive response. But
sometimes he seems too nimble, too cerebral, too able to see contradiction
and ironies and nuances light-years before the justices and other mere
mortals are able to. Especially coming in the last quarter of a two-hour
argument, he seemed to make the justices' heads hurt. Baryshnikov probably
has had the same effect on dance aficionados -- too much dazzle to take
all at once. Maybe Tribe needs to slow down and simplify his routine the
next time out -- and dance the macarena instead of Swan Lake."
CBS: Clueless Broadcasting System
"I'm told by our producers, that a lot of calls, so rather than make
it microscopic here, are complaining about advocates being hired by
television stations. [Robert] Shapiro was on one side in the Simpson
trial, he's hired. [George] Stephanopoulos is now at ABC -- that we're not
-- L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher; Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham, Editors
-- Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
-- Kathy Ruff, Marketing Director; Carey Evans, Circulation Manager; Brian Schmisek, Intern
-- Brent Baker