China Enraged by "Militant" Bush; "Historic" Win for "Landmark" McCain Bill to Ban "Attack Ads"; Bush "Poisoning" the Air & Water
1) "Militant" Bush's anti-communism at fault. ABC's Peter Jennings warned about a "backlash" fueled by how the Bush administration has "been very militant rhetorically with the Chinese government." Terry Moran insisted the Bush stand had "raised mutual suspicions" and thus made a "resolution of this much more difficult."
2) Tom Brokaw celebrated "a historic moment in the United States Senate" with the passage of McCain-Feingold, which Dan Rather dubbed a "landmark measure." NBC's Lisa Myers relayed as fact the premise of the bill's promoters: "This is a huge step toward reducing the power of big money in politics." CBS's Bob Schieffer promised "attack ads" would be banned.
3) In a memo urging Democrats to fight back against President Bush, Barbra Streisand accused Bush of "poisoning our air and water" and she declared that "we have a President who stole the presidency" by "by disenfranchising thousands of blacks, elderly Jews and other minorities." She insisted: "Clinton's pardons have no impact on the health and welfare of the American people."
4) 60 Minutes Executive Producer Don Hewitt disclosed he voted for Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and Gore, conceded he knew at the time that Bill Clinton was lying on his show in denying an affair with Gennifer Flowers, revealed James Carville sobbed during the taping: "Oh I love them, I love those people, I love them so much." And he noted how Dan Rather "likes" Bill Clinton.
5) A prosecutor to a car-jacker on ABC's The Practice: "George W. Bush is your worst nightmare at this moment. Know why? He proposed legislation to bring back the death penalty in every state, and it's about three weeks from passing here in Massachusetts."
>>> Maher video clip now online. On
Monday MRC Webmaster Andy Szul posted a RealPlayer video clip from Bill
Maher on ABC's Politically Incorrect, as detailed in the April 2
CyberAlert, insulting President Bush as a "lying bag of manure after
what he did today with the Kyoto protocol....I mean, he never ceases to
disappoint me in what a lying sack of shit he is." To view the video
with the expletive bleeped and for a full transcript, go to:
Correction: The April 2 CyberAlert quoted comedian Bill Engvall as asking Bill Maher on Politically Incorrect: "Feel better know?" That "know" should have been a letter shorter: "now."
"Militant" Bush at fault? The Bush administration's tougher stand toward China than the position projected by the Clinton team has exacerbated the potential danger of the U.S.-China plane collision, ABC's Peter Jennings and Terry Moran implied Monday night. On World News Tonight Jennings worried about a "backlash" fueled by how the Bush administration has "been very militant rhetorically with the Chinese government." Moran insisted the Bush stand had "raised mutual suspicions" and, therefore, made a "resolution of this much more difficult."
The blaming of the end of Clinton's accommodationist position for making things worse occurred on the April 2 show after White House reporter Moran told Jennings that the Bush team is playing the current crisis "low key and non-confrontational" in order to give China room do the right thing. Moran added: "As one senior administration official said to me recently, 'we're trying to keep this accident from becoming an incident.'"
Jennings then inquired of Moran: "But
Terry, before this incident the Bush administration had been very militant
rhetorically with the Chinese government. Any fear there there might be a
"Just swimmingly"? When's the last time you heard that phrase from a network news reporter?
"A historic moment in the United States Senate tonight," NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw announced in trumpeting the triumph for McCain-Feingold. A "landmark measure," announced CBS anchor Dan Rather. NBC reporter Lisa Myers relayed as fact the premise of the bill's promoters: "This is a huge step toward reducing the power of big money in politics."
The U.S.-China plane collision overshadowed the McCain-Feingold vote in the Senate, but all three broadcast network evening shows found time to celebrate the win for campaign finance "reform" as all three adopted some portion of the spin pushed by liberal advocates.
In addition to the spin from Myers on NBC, ABC's Peter Jennings warned that it now "faces a number of obstacles, not to mention traps," before he raised the specter of the rise again of the Senator the media most despise: "Does that bring forth Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky again?" CBS's Bob Schieffer stated not that the bill bans issue ads 60 days before an election, but that it bans "attack ads."
Who could be against stopping those awful "attack ads"?
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Peter Jennings announced: "Campaign finance reform has passed in the U.S. Senate after years of political battle. If it becomes law, the legislation would be the most significant reform of the system since just after Watergate. But it faces a number of obstacles, not to mention traps, and we're joined by ABC's Linda Douglass on Capitol Hill."
Douglass explained how Republicans in the House will delay bringing the bill to a vote while Democrats who have voted for campaign finance reform in the past don't like the hike in the hard money limit and so can't be counted on.
Jennings then said "doesn't" when
he meant "does," but what worried him remained clear: "Now
what happens if it doesn't get changed in the House of Representatives?
Does that bring forth Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky again?"
Yes, anything that impedes further government regulation is considered "trouble" by journalists.
-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather told viewers: "On Capitol Hill tonight, victory for the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. The Senate voted 59 to 41 to approve the landmark measure designed to put serious limits on special interest money."
Bob Schieffer began his piece: "It was a very sweet moment, long time coming, for John McCain who has fought this fight for five years now."
In providing an overview of the bill which passed Schieffer used loaded language to describe the type of ad the legislation intends to inhibit: "The bill outlaws so-called soft money, the unrestricted backdoor contributions to political parties. It raises the limit on direct contributions to candidates from $1,000 to $2,000 and bans unions, corporations and private groups from running attack ads 60 days before elections."
-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw proclaimed: "A historic moment in the United States Senate tonight. Senators approved a bill making it much more difficult for them to get their hands on campaign money. This is a triumph for Senators John McCain, a Republican, and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, a Democrat, after a six-year crusade to reform campaign finance. NBC's Lisa Myers joins me now from Capitol Hill with tonight's vote and the new battle lines still ahead. Lisa?"
Myers began by delivering the liberal line: "Tom, this is a huge step toward reducing the power of big money in politics. Reformers now believe they have so much momentum, they'll be tough to stop, even as opponents vow to fight with every weapon they've got."
Barbra Streisand is back and she's bashing President Bush as she urges Democrats to fight Bush's "lies." If you hoped Bill Clinton's departure from the White House meant Streisand would fade away, you were wrong.
In a memo to Democratic Congressman and Senators, Streisand accused Bush of not only "poisoning our air and water by withdrawing his promise to enforce emissions standards and arsenic regulations, but he's poisoning our political system as well." She declared that "we have a President who stole the presidency" by "intimidation" and "by disenfranchising thousands of blacks, elderly Jews and other minorities." She urged Democrats to protect Clinton's legacy and his "gains" by reminding people how George H. W. Bush "pardoned a heroin drug trafficker and a terrorist who was responsible for 73 deaths." She insisted: "Clinton's pardons have no impact on the health and welfare of the American people."
Someone gave the memo to Roll Call, a twice-weekly newspaper which covers Capitol Hill. The "Heard on the Hill" (HOH) column by Ed Henry recounted the memo's message, leading to items Monday night on CNN's Inside Politics and FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume about Streisand's missive. Here's an excerpt from the April 2 Roll Call story:
Hollywood diva Barbra Streisand has fired off a three-page memo to key Democrats on Capitol Hill, urging them to quit their whining and start hammering the GOP.
"What has happened to the Democrats since the November election? Some of you seem paralyzed, demoralized and depressed," the "Funny Girl" wrote in the memo obtained by HOH.
"I hope you're through arguing among yourselves and distancing yourselves from President [Bill] Clinton. Let's not let them divert attention from the success of his administration over the past eight years. Let's not allow the Republicans to take away the gains we've made."
The memo, which was delivered to insiders about a week ago, carried the title "Nice Guys Finish Last or Where Do We Go From Here: A Case for the Democrats."...
Streisand blasted President Bush, while expressing grudging respect for his Reagan-esque ability to project an image of "strength."
"Look at his ratings -- how could such a destructive man be so popular with the American people? Not only is he poisoning our air and water by withdrawing his promise to enforce emissions standards and arsenic regulations, but he's poisoning our political system as well. Bipartisanship only works if you can trust the other side. As we have learned in the past weeks, we cannot trust George W. Bush."
Streisand alleged that Bush stole the White House and that the GOP-led Congress has sold out to corporate interests.
"We have a President who stole the presidency through family ties, arrogance and intimidation, employing Republican operatives to exercise the tactics of voter fraud by disenfranchising thousands of blacks, elderly Jews and other minorities. We have a Congress passing laws that benefit corporations and the privileged few at the expense of the working men and women of this country."...
After listing a litany of special interests that are benefiting from Bush's policies, Streisand rushed to Clinton's defense -- and urged Democrats to fight back.
"Talk about Republican pardons. George Bush protected himself by pardoning those linked to him in the Iran-Contra scandal. He pardoned a heroin drug trafficker and a terrorist who was responsible for 73 deaths. Clinton's pardons have no impact on the health and welfare of the American people."
Streisand wrapped up the fiery missive by tweaking Democrats for being more concerned about self-preservation. "Why be afraid to speak out and remind the public of what happened last November? Maybe it's because some of you are up for reelection and, therefore, might be afraid to rock the boat. Well, I disagree. Rocking the boat is what wins elections!"
The letter was signed, simply, "Barbra."
END Excerpt from Roll Call
For the entire story, go to: http://www.rollcall.com/pages/columns/hoh/
For an Adobe Acrobat PDF of a photocopy of Streisand's three-page memo, go to: http://www.rollcall.com/pages/columns/hoh/streisand.pdf
Discussing on C-SPAN's Booknotes on Sunday night his new book about his career, 60 Minutes Executive Producer Don Hewitt disclosed he voted for Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and Gore, conceded that he and correspondent Steve Kroft knew Bill and Hillary Clinton "were lying" about Gennifer Flowers during the Super Bowl night 60 Minutes appearance and, that in the midst of the 1992 interview, James Carville arrived and began sobbing: "Oh I love them, I love those people, I love them so much, I love them." Plus: Hewitt acknowledged that Dan Rather "likes" Bill Clinton.
Hewitt appeared on the April 1 Booknotes to talk with Brian Lamb about his book, Tell Me a Story: 50 Years & 60 Minutes in Television. MRC intern Julie Hall took down the comments from Hewitt which I found noteworthy.
-- Hewitt's presidential voting record.
Brian Lamb pointed out: "You tell us in the book that you voted for
Eisenhower, you voted for Humphrey, then you voted for Nixon over
McGovern. You tell us that you voted for Ronald Reagan twice, Clinton
first; the first time around. You voted for Bush,"
-- CBS knew the Clintons were lying while
James Carville was crying. Hewitt recounted how he first encountered
Carville during the famous 60 Minutes interview with Bill and Hillary
aired after the 1992 Super Bowl:
That's nothing to be ashamed of.
-- Dan Rather's affection for Bill Clinton. Asked by Lamb if he'd provide 60 Minutes air time for a Clinton interview, Hewitt deferred: "He's going to do something with somebody. My guess is he may do it with Dan Rather. He likes Dan, and Dan likes him I think."
Rather's record confirms Hewitt's observation.
The all-powerful George Bush, spreading the death penalty across America by "proposing legislation" in every state. The ABC drama The Practice on Sunday worked Bush's reputation as a death penalty advocate into a show plot about a suspect gullible enough to believe that Bush had convinced the Massachusetts legislature to enact the death penalty.
The Practice, which airs at 10pm ET/PT, 9pm CT/MT on Sunday nights, revolves around a criminal defense law firm set in Boston.
The April 1 episode opened with the horrific crime of a woman dragged to death after a car-jacker jumped into her car while her young child sat in the back seat. The Boston Police soon captured a suspect, but upon learning they had no witnesses who could tie him to the crime, Suffolk County prosecutor "Helen Gamble" decided she must lie to him in order to scare him into confessing.
MRC intern Julie Hall transcribed how in a police interview room "Gamble" threatened the man: "Who did you vote for Eddy? Did you vote for George W. Bush? George W. Bush is your worst nightmare at this moment. Know why? He proposed legislation to bring back the death penalty in every state, and it's about three weeks from passing here in Massachusetts. And I can tell you my office is jumping for that first chance. Here we have a car-jacking, every citizen's biggest fear; a dead mother with a three-year-old child. The husband is a city councilman. You're going to die Eddy."
After a detective walked in and whispered in her ear, Gamble pretended he just told her that the Governor had arrived at the police station: "Do you know who Paul Cellucci is? He's the Governor of Massachusetts and he's out there. He's a friend of George W. Bush. Excuse me a second."
Gamble then left the interrogation to talk to the suspect's lawyer. After promising the lawyer she would cease interviewing the suspect, she returned to the suspect and, made-up having just talked with Cellucci, ominously intoned: "Governor Cellucci saw the news. He's not just George W. Bush's friend, but also councilman Reed's."
The stupid suspect bought the deception and confessed, leading to 50 minutes of the defense lawyers trying to get the confession thrown out and the charges therefore dropped. Even though the defense lawyers conceded he was guilty, they were successful.
For a picture of the "Helen Gamble" character played by actress Lara Flynn Boyle, to see if you recognize her, go to: http://abc.go.com/primetime/thepractice/bios/lara_flynn_boyle.html
Only on a TV show could someone be scared of the new U.S. Ambassador to Canada. (Bush has nominated Cellucci for the Ottawa post.)
In the last CyberAlert, in listing those who contributed to the April Fools edition of Notable Quotables, I neglected to include Liz Swasey. --Brent Baker
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