"Huge" Tax Cut for Rich Denounced; Gumbel: Clinton a Victim; CBS Stressed Bush's Attack on "Women's Reproductive Health Rights"
1) Previewing media reaction this week to Bush's tax cut proposal, on CNN's Capital Gang Al Hunt declared: "The worst thing we can do now is give huge tax cuts to people who least need it." Margaret Carlson complained "the huge preponderance of this goes to wealthy people" and urged it be skewed toward "the working class."
2) NBC's David Gregory claimed that President Bush described his own tax cut plan as "massive." Gregory relayed how "some Democrats wonder who is the real George Bush: A Republican more conservative than he seems, who nominates the very conservative John Ashcroft ...or a true centrist."
4) Bryant Gumbel portrayed Bill Clinton as a victim of cheap Republican attack politics as he denigrated concern about the high cost of Bill Clinton's office space as "predictable Republican fire for his spending habits."
5) "President George W. Bush has wasted no time coming out against women's reproductive health rights with both fists swinging," declared a CBS e-mail previewing Friday's The Early Show. As promised, Jane Clayson set up the one-sided segment: "We're not here to debate the right and wrong of abortion, just different generations' commitment to reproductive rights."
6) In stark contrast to CBS's approach, on Sunday's Meet the Press NBC's Tim Russert actually pressed new RNC Chairman Jim Gilmore from the right on abortion. He asked whether the party and the Bush administration will work "as promised" to ban abortion, to "keep your word on your platform?"
7) When Tim Russert asked Terry McAuliffe to promise $1 million to a charity if Hillary Clinton runs for President in 2004, McAuliffe quickly backed off his "guaranteed" assurance she would not run. "Wow," he gulped after a long pause. "Wow."
(Monday morning ABC's Charles Gibson, CBS's Jane Clayson and NBC's Matt Lauer pounded away at Bush economic adviser Larry Lindsey about the size of the cut and how it supposedly favors the rich.)
From the February 3 Capital Gang:
-- Al Hunt, Washington Executive Editor of the Wall Street Journal: "I think in fact Alan Greenspan and the '93 budget deficit reduction act with tax increases are primarily responsible for the best economy we've had in our lifetime and I would just say I still think there's a better than even chance, at least an even chance, you can avoid a recession. The worst thing we can do now is give huge tax cuts to people who least need it."
-- Margaret Carlson, Washington bureau columnist and reporter for Time magazine: "Now that Saint Alan has blessed the tax cut there will be a tax cut. But remember even Al Gore was proposing some tax cut. Now the tax cut we're talking about, if it's for the recession now, which Bush is pushing, it has to be different than the one Bush has put out there because when wealthy people get a tax cut -- and the huge preponderance of this goes to wealthy people -- they put it somewhere, wherever wealthy people put their money. If you want people to buy a Chevy or a refrigerator you've got to reduce the FICA or tilt that tax cut back towards the middle class, the working class."
Yes, the wealthy put all their money into their mattresses and don't buy or invest in anything. Sounds like Carlson is even less qualified to teach economics than Al Gore is to teach journalism.
Friday night NBC Nightly News focused on how Bush, in Tom Brokaw's words, is using slowdown to push for a "big tax cut." Reporter David Gregory claimed: "Preparing for a week-long campaign style promotion of his tax cut plan, today the President declares that massive tax relief would provide this slowing economy with a quote 'second wind.'"
I doubt Bush ever used the term "massive" for his tax cut.
Reviewing Bush's first two weeks in office,
Gregory looked at him from the point of view of liberal Democrats:
"Privately some Democrats wonder who is the real George Bush: A
Republican more conservative than he seems, who nominates the very
conservative John Ashcroft, today showing up for work at the Justice
Department, or a true centrist who courts the Congressional Black Caucus
this week and leading liberal Ted Kennedy, inviting him and other family
members to the White House to watch 13 Days, a film based on the Cuban
Former President Clinton's and Senator Clinton's promise to pay for half the year-end gifts, given in a manner to circumvent the Senate gift plan, topped the broadcast network evening shows on Saturday night. On Friday night, only ABC's World News Tonight led with Bill Clinton's announcement that he would have his foundation pay for about half the lease on his office in a Manhattan skyscraper.
Friday's CBS Evening News carried a short item by Dan Rather followed by a soundbite from Clinton defending his pardon for Marc Rich while the NBC Nightly News ran an uncontested "In Their Own Words" segment featuring Clinton's sidewalk comments about the lease and Rich. Clinton falsely claimed that taxpayers would now only have to pay "per square foot about what President Reagan pays."
Peter Jennings opened the February 2 World News
Tonight by stressing how Clinton "is being dogged" by what he
did in office:
After a report from Aaron Brown, ABC aired a preview of a then upcoming Friday night 20/20 piece by Brian Ross, who tracked down Rich living the good life in a Swiss village. Rich wouldn't talk to Ross, so viewers only saw video of him in the back of a car. Ross suggested he hasn't returned to the U.S. because of his tax liability for the past 17 years and Ross reported that Rich does not consider himself to be a U.S. citizen anymore.
Bryant Gumbel portrayed Bill Clinton as a victim of cheap Republican attack politics on Friday morning as he dismissed concern about the high cost of Bill Clinton's office space as "predictable Republican fire for his spending habits," MRC analyst Brian Boyd observed. When reporter Bill Plante suggested Clinton could have decided to work out of his new home in Washington, DC, Gumbel whined: "And I'm sure they'd cause a ruckus about that, too."
Gumbel introduced the February 2 Early Show piece by
Plante explained: "No doubt about it, Carnegie Hall Tower on West 57th Street in Manhattan is a great location, but space like this doesn't come cheap. And that has the former President's critics seething....The price tag for the entire 56th floor with a great view of Central Park is about $650,000 a year. All former presidents are entitled to office space, but Mr. Clinton's digs would cost more than those of the other four ex-Presidents combined. Congressman Ernest Istook says that he's asking the federal agency which oversees this to take another look before they sign the lease."
After a matching soundbite, Plante suggested: "The rent dispute is only the latest flap since Mr. Clinton left office trailing controversy over the pardons he granted and the gifts he took. He's been laying low at home in Chappaqua outside New York City but is now beginning to speak and grant interviews, this one to Israeli TV. Of course Mr. Clinton could have made his home base here in this house which the Clinton's bought just off Embassy Row in Washington, DC. But there's a little problem, it's only about a mile and a half from the White House and people would be sure to get the wrong idea, Bryant."
Gumbel sarcastically remarked: "And I'm sure
they'd cause a ruckus about that, too. Bill, do you actually see Congress
getting involved in this thing."
Thanks to liberals like Gumbel who live there and vote for higher taxes.
CBS promised a one-sided look at an issue from the left and it delivered a one-sided look at an issue from the left. The issue: abortion. Or in CBS's vernacular: "women's reproductive health rights" which "President George W. Bush has wasted no time coming out against" with "both fists swinging." Friday's The Early Show featured a whole segment with two left-wing guests discussing how women should best fight back against President Bush's threat to their rights.
The segment matched the loaded language used in
CBS's daily e-mail plugging upcoming programming, "Inside Scoop@CBSNews.com."
The MRC's Rich Noyes caught this in the February 1 preview of the
February 2 Early Show:
During Friday's promised segment, co-host Jane Clayson conceded: "We're not here to debate the right and wrong of abortion, just different generations' commitment to reproductive rights."
And CyberAlert is not here to debate the balance or imbalance of CBS News, just its commitment to the liberal agenda.
In the interview session Clayson worried: "Is there a gradual erosion of a woman's right to choose and are women not noticing it?" And she rued: "The 20 and 30-something generation though never had to fight for these rights like you did, like your generation did."
Clayson set up the 7:30am segment, as taken down by MRC analyst Brian Boyd: "During the campaign President Bush barely mentioned the word abortion, but pro-choice advocates fear Thursday's confirmation of John Ashcroft as U.S. Attorney General marked the beginning of this administration's attempt to chip away at a woman's right to choose. Activists also fear that today's young women are not prepared to go to battle to protect their reproductive rights."
Clayson then made clear her agenda: "First off, we should say we're not here to debate the right and wrong of abortion, just different generations' commitment to reproductive rights. So having said that, Faye, let me start with you. Do you believe that Roe v. Wade is really in danger of being overturned?"
Faye Wattleton, President of the Center for Gender
Equality, responded: "Well, Roe v. Wade as it was handed down by the
Supreme Court no longer exists. It has been restricted and many of the
basic principles of Roe v. Wade have been undermined so that it really is
already a significantly restricted right."
After Wattleton claimed that only the poor get hurt
when abortion is restricted since the rich can circumvent the rules,
Clayson turned to her other guest: "Debbie, is there a gradual
erosion of a woman's right to choose and are women not noticing it?"
The segment soon broke down into a gabfest between Wattleton and Stoller without intervention from Clayson as both guests discussed how to best fight back and bemoaned how despite their efforts people like Clarence Thomas got confirmed.
Clayson eventually jumped back in: "In our last
30 seconds let me ask you where you see, in the next four years, abortion
On the Bright Side. In stark contrast to CBS's Friday morning approach, in a very unusual angle for a major media figure, on Sunday's Meet the Press NBC's Tim Russert actually approached a Republican guest from the right on abortion. Russert pressed new RNC Chairman Jim Gilmore about whether the party and the Bush administration will work "as promised" to ban abortion, to "keep your word on your platform?"
Gilmore appeared along side new DNC Chairman Terry
McAuliffe. At one point during the February 4 show, Tim Russert put text
on screen from the GOP platform as he inquired of Virginia Governor
Now that's a network first: A reporter actually pursuing a Republican official not to repudiate the party's pro-life position but to defend failure to enact it.
In the midst of McAuliffe insisting Al Gore will
soon be the party's frontrunner for 2004 when everyone realizes he
really won Florida, Russert interjected: "You haven't mentioned
Hillary Rodham Clinton running for President in 2004."
Now that's an approach reporters should have tried with President Clinton. How many of his answers would have changed if he had to put money behind them? Probably depends on your definition of money.
From the February 1 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Chapter Titles in Rudy Giuliani's Memoirs." Copyright 2001 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. "New York On 41 Bullets A Day"
But he'll be replaced by the Bill Clinton crime wave. -- Brent Baker
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