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CyberAlert -- 04/16/2001 -- Tax Cuts Over Fighting Cancer

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Tax Cuts Over Fighting Cancer; Bush "The Toxic Texan"; The Up Side to Rioting: Making People Address the Racial Divide

1) Since Lt. Shane Osborn had to use all his physical strength to save his plane, National Review's Kate O'Beirne professed she was "grateful that there wasn't a female pilot at the controls." But ABC's Cokie Roberts wasn't interested in that and instead celebrated how the navigator was a woman.

2) Bush "did do well here," ABC's George Stephanopoulos conceded before cavalierly asserting: "We'll never know if it could happened earlier if he hadn't been so hard line."

3) George Bush cut funds to fight cancer which afflicts kids in order to give "hundreds of millions of dollars of tax cuts to his cabinet," the Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt charged.

4) ABC's World News Tonight led into a piece on how the Bush administration has suspended adding anything to the endangered species list by highlighting a sign near President Bush's ranch which called him "the toxic Texan." Barry Serafin concluded that the rule change "has given critics one more reason to brand the Bush administration as anti-environment."

5) The up side to rioting. It's one of the "uncomfortable truths," declared ABC's Aaron Brown from Cincinnati, that "it took riots to make people here understand how deep are the racial divisions and it took rioting for people to feel the urgency required to close those divides."

6) Chris Matthews conceded on C-SPAN that his wife, WJLA-TV anchor Kathleen Matthews, has influenced their teenage sons to be politically liberal.

7) Don Hewitt of 60 Minutes refused to defend Dan Rather for attending a Democratic fundraiser, denied 60 Minutes is liberal and said he believes in "sense" and "nonsense." But he revealed that his view of "sense" follows the liberal line: "I have always believed that if you get the NRA out of the way..."


1
The EP-3 crew would probably all be dead if the pilot were a women, National Review's Kate O'Beirne daringly pointed out on CNN's Capital Gang, but ABC's Cokie Roberts was only interested in celebrating how the plane's navigator was a woman.

On Saturday's Capital Gang, National Review Washington Editor Kate O'Beirne observed: "I must remind some of my friends, who dream of a gender-blind military, what we've now learned is that Lieutenant Osborn had to use every ounce of his considerable strength to save that plane and crew. And I know I found myself grateful that there wasn't a female pilot at the controls who might not have been able to do it."

The next morning, on ABC's This Week, Cokie Roberts interviewed the plane's pilot, Lt. Shane Osborn, at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. He recounted his harrowing experience: "At that time we called up the navigator and said what's the closest field, maybe we'll be able to get this on the deck and it happened to be Lingshui in Haianan Island."
Roberts excitedly piped up: "Navigator's a woman!"
Osborn: "Yes. Lieutenant j.g. Kauffman."

2
For the second straight week, ABC News analysts and reporter George Stephanopoulos scolded President Bush for taking a "hard line" toward China. During the This Week roundtable Stephanopoulos conceded that Bush "did do well here" in getting the crewmen released, but then he added a caveat:
"He did do well here. Listen, he succeeded. It's Easter. Everyone is home, everyone is safe. It's a win no matter how it happened. We'll never know if it could happened earlier if he hadn't been so hard line."

3
Emotion ahead of reality as government spending equals caring. On Saturday's Capital Gang on CNN Al Hunt, Executive Washington Editor of the Wall Street Journal, took this cheap shot at George W. Bush's budget priorities to the groans of fellow panelists Bob Novak and Kate O'Beirne:
"George Bush goes to Atlanta last month and he gets teary-eyed, he cries because he's at a cancer ward with kids. And then he cuts the program. Now I'm sorry. He did, he did. He cut it by $55 million. At the same time he has a budget that gives hundreds of millions of dollars of tax cuts to his cabinet."

I'm sure the American Cancer Society would appreciate Hunt donating all of his tax cut to them.

While you can always pick out one program that may be cut, the big picture on health research is that Bush's budget hikes spending by the National Institutes of Health by 13.5 percent.

4
After highlighting how some people hung a sign near President Bush's Texas ranch which called him "the toxic Texan," ABC's Peter Jennings warned that "Mr. Bush wants to severely restrict the ability of environmental groups to get rare plants and animals put on the endangered species list." In the subsequent story, Barry Serafin acknowledged how the Clinton administration had stopped adding species to the list years ago and how the Bush team says "lawsuits are swamping science," but he nonetheless concluded: "The proposal to change the rules on vanishing species has given critics one more reason to brand the Bush administration as anti-environment."

On the April 13 show, Jennings explained over video of a banner hanging off a water tower: "Now some of the national news today. Environmental activists from Greenpeace hung a banner from a water tower near the President's ranch in Texas. It said, 'Bush, the Toxic Texan -- Don't Mess with Earth.'"

Jennings used that as a launching point: "We also learned this week that Mr. Bush wants to severely restrict the ability of environmental groups to get rare plants and animals put on the endangered species list."

Barry Serafin began his relatively brief story which did not feature any soundbites: "Most of the more than 1,200 species on the endangered list got there because of legal pressure by outside groups. But the Bush administration says lawsuits are swamping science, that biologists, not judges, should be setting priorities for protecting endangered species. The Fish and Wildlife Service faces 75 lawsuits involving 400 species. Officials say as of now, every cent of the service's $6.3 million endangered species budget this year will be spent on dealing with such suits.
"The same concerns were expressed within the Clinton administration, which stopped adding species to the list last year because of the time and money needed to address legal challenges.
"Environmental organizations say the change sought by the Bush administration would gut the Endangered Species Act and leave compliance to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, who has argued in the past that the act was unconstitutional. The proposal to change the rules on vanishing species has given critics one more reason to brand the Bush administration as anti-environment. Barry Serafin, ABC News, Washington."

Maybe the left-wing environmentalists wouldn't be so successful at branding Bush as "anti-environment" if ABC News refrained from publicizing their gimmicks and thus having viewers see Bush being labeled "toxic" before a story on a very rational policy decision.

5
Violence isn't great, but on the up side, ABC reporter Aaron Brown argued on This Week, it's making people "feel the urgency required to close" the racial "divides."

Before an interview segment with Kweise Mfume of the NAACP and Keith Fangman, head of the FOP in Cincinnati, ABC's This Week played a taped piece by Aaron Brown from the city rocked by rioting after a police officer shot and killed a black man. Brown rationalized the riots as he promoted the "uncomfortable truth" that they will make the community face racism, an "urgency" that he regretted had passed the last time there was up an uprising in the 1960s.

Brown asserted: "In a week of uncomfortable truths, none has been more uncomfortable than this: It took riots to make people here understand how deep are the racial divisions and it took rioting for people to feel the urgency required to close those divides. Three decades ago this city was also rocked by race riots. For a while then race was an important issue. But the neighborhoods destroyed then were remain scarred today, the urgency passed. And there are many people here, black and white, who worry that history again will repeat itself."

Brown delivered the same theme in his Friday, April 13 report for World News Tonight: "It has been three decades since this city has focused so much on race. It was not what happened Saturday night, the 15th black man killed by police in recent years, that has caused the attention here and from the Justice Department as well. Not the shooting, something else."
Reverend Damon Lynch: "I'm not sure that at 15 we would have had the attention to this that we now have. It took the violence."
Brown: "That violence sometimes works is an even more striking admission when it comes from the chief of police."
Brown to Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher: "Had there not been violence, would there be the same urgency to address the problems that there is now?"
Streicher: "Well, I think the obvious answer to that is no."

Brown didn't bother to note that 12 of the 15 were armed and in one incident the suspect had already killed an officer.

Before the April 15 This Week interview segment and Brown polemic, viewers heard the ABC announcer assert over a matching graphic on a pre-commercial bumper: "70 percent of routine traffic stops involve African-Americans, who only make up 17 percent of the driving population."

The on screen graphic featured this credit -- "Source: NAACP."

How gullible is ABC News? The statistic is preposterous. Traffic stops involving blacks may exceed their percentage of drivers, but 70 percent? Maybe in some cities with a high black population, but in much of America, where few blacks live, police officers could not pull over blacks if they wanted to and thus in many states whites must make up nearly 100 percent of all those stopped.

6
A liberal journalist is influencing two future reporters at home? Appearing on C-SPAN's Washington Journal on Friday morning, Chris Matthews of CNBC/MSNBC's Hardball, conceded that his wife, a Washington, DC TV reporter, has pushed his teenage sons to the left politically.

During the April 13 C-SPAN show, host Brian Lamb showed viewers snapshots of Matthews with his two sons, Michael 18 and Thomas 15, from their recent two-week trip to Asia with their father, which included stops in Thailand and Vietnam. As viewers looked at one photo, Matthews explained: "Michael, he's been the big liberal sort of in the family, although he went a little further than liberal in the last election. I can't give away how he voted, but you can guess. Thomas is just as liberal as he is now. I mean they are real, real, I mean, instinctive liberals."
Lamb revealed his personal knowledge of Chris Matthews's wife's politics, suggesting: "Mother's having an influence?"
Matthews: "I can't say what Kathy's politics are or I'll pay dearly, but you may be right."

Those who watched Hardball during Chris Matthews's absence for his trip may recall that Kathleen Matthews filled in for a couple of nights.

Kathleen Matthews is a reporter and anchor for the Allbritton Communications-owned ABC affiliate in Washington, DC, WJLA-TV channel 7.

To see what Kathleen Matthews looks like so you can learn if you recognize her, go to: http://www.wjla.com/wjla.hrb then click on "Kathleen Matthews" in the "ABC 7 News Team" list on the right.

7
Don Hewitt, Executive Producer of CBS's 60 Minutes, refused last week to defend Dan Rather for attending a Democratic fundraiser, denied 60 Minutes is liberal or conservative, argued that those two terms are "ridiculous" and that he believes in "sense" and "nonsense." But he revealed that his view of "sense" follows the liberal line: "It makes no sense to me that there are 200 million handguns in American cities. I have always believed that if you get the NRA out of the way, decent reasonable Americans would figure out a way to respect the Second Amendment and get guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them."

Hewitt's comments came during appearances to plug his new book about his years running 60 Minutes, Tell Me a Story: 50 Years & 60 Minutes in Television. The April 3 CyberAlert detailed how in a C-SPAN Booknotes interview 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. Go to:
http://www.mrc.org/news/cyberalert/2001/cyb20010403.asp#4

MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth caught Hewitt's latest appearances and comments.

-- From FNC's The O'Reilly Factor on April 12:

Bill O'Reilly: "Liberal bias, Dan Rather, Democratic fund-raiser."
Don Hewitt: "I'm not here to defend Dan Rather."
O'Reilly: "No, no, but there is a liberal, there is a perception on the part of millions of Americans that the network news is liberal."
Hewitt: "I'm not here as a PR guy for the network news."
O'Reilly: "But you think that's a bad perception, right?"
Hewitt: "I didn't, no, I think that they are what they are. You perceive it that way."
O'Reilly: "I don't."
Hewitt: "I'm not sure anybody else does. I think maybe you do. But I'm not here to defend that. Look, let me tell you about 'liberal' and 'conservative.' I finally decided those two words are ridiculous. I don't use them anymore. I don't know what's liberal and what's conservative. I know what makes sense to me and what doesn't make sense to me. It makes perfectly good sense to me that hunters should have rifles. It makes no sense to me that there are 200 million hand guns out in the streets of America right now you can't get rid of."
O'Reilly: "That's just common sense."
Hewitt: "Okay, that's sense. I only work on what's sensible and what's nonsensical."

-- On CNN's Larry King Live the night before, April 11, he elaborated on how he considers the NRA position to be "nonsense" after he insisted 60 Minutes is not liberal:

Larry King: "Is 60 Minutes a show with a point-of-view?"
Hewitt: "No, no point-of-view."
King: "So those who criticize that you're liberal or you're conservative-"
Hewitt: "We're not liberal. I'm not liberal. First of all, I finally decided to get rid of those two words, 'liberal' and 'conservative.' I don't know what they mean anymore. I mean, I've come down to 'sense' and 'nonsense.' It makes sense to me, it's got nothing to do with conservative or liberal, it makes sense to me that hunters be allowed to have rifles. It makes no sense to me that there are 200 million handguns in American cities. I have always believed that if you get the NRA out of the way, decent reasonable Americans would figure out a way to respect the Second Amendment and get guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them."

He's not liberal but the first "nonsense" that pops into his mind is the position of a conservative group. --Brent Baker


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