CyberAlert -- 04/19/2002 -- Credence to "Massacre" Claims
Credence to "Massacre" Claims; CNN's Brown Scolded Ashcroft; This Week with George Stephanopoulos; From CyberAlert Readers: "Top Ten Reasons Bryant Gumbel is Leaving The Early Show."
1) Despite the lack of evidence of any massacre, CBS's Mark Phillips highlighted claims of atrocities by Israeli soldiers as he relayed how Jenin "residents say noncombatant civilians were trapped in the buildings as they collapsed. They put the death toll in the hundreds and call it a massacre."
2) CNN's Aaron Brown scolded John Ashcroft for opposing Oregon's assisted suicide law: "Why would a conservative administration, a conservative Attorney General, tell the people of a state how to run their lives this way? Conservatives believe in less government intrusion." Brown argued: "In this case, the conservative position sounds awfully liberal to me, a judgment that Washington knows what's best for the people in Oregon."
3) Coming soon, according to TV Guide and USA Today: This Week with George Stephanopoulos. But having as the solo host a liberal political operative isn't what concerned USA Today's Peter Johnson. He was most upset that Stephanopoulos is male: "If Stephanopoulos is tapped, every Sunday public affairs show on network and cable will once again be hosted by white men, reinforcing what many women have complained about for years: Power in this country rests with white men."
4) The probable new news anchor on Good Morning America: Robin Roberts. Last year at the opening of Bill Clinton's Harlem office, she maintained that there are two Bill Clintons, "the one who loves glamour, the one who wants to make the world a better place." And she raved: "Today, by public relations design, he becomes an honorary homeboy."
Corrections: The April 18 CyberAlert stated: "A 1990 MRC study of
the Washington Post, New York Times, Newsweek, Time and U.S. News found
that during 1988-89 Concerned Women for America was tagged conservative 41
percent of the time, but the National Organization for Women was called
liberal just 2 percent of the time. Now that's a real disparity."
That was actually a 1989 study and it covered 1987-88. To read the entire
study, go to:
Though only 23 Palestinian bodies have been recovered from the Jenin refuge camp, the same number as Israeli soldiers killed in the battle there, the CBS Evening News on Thursday night gave credibility to the unsupported contention of a massacre committed by the Israelis.
While reporter Mark Phillips opened his piece with Israeli denials and how they suffered 23 deaths, he relayed as equally as believable: "The residents say noncombatant civilians were trapped in the buildings as they collapsed. They put the death toll in the hundreds and call it a massacre." He didn't relate any agonizing anecdotes from the Israeli point of view, but did illustrate Palestinian suffering by passing along their claims of mistreatment. After giving legitimacy to one side over the other, Phillips concluded by suggesting the truth is really irrelevant: "Did a wholesale massacre take place here? In terms of the hostility between Palestinians and Israelis, it almost doesn't matter. Perceptions are what count, and Jenin has already become another reason for mistrust, hatred, and revenge."
Dan Rather set up the April 18 story as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "In the Middle East this day, Israel's army commander said his forces will complete their pullback from the West Bank town of Jenin and its adjacent refugee camp by tomorrow morning. Israel says its troops did their best to minimize civilian casualties there during the worst fighting of the nearly three-week operation, but as CBS's Mark Phillips reports, one United Nations official calls Jenin, quote, 'a sad and disgraceful chapter in Israel's history.'"
Mark Phillips began: "The miserable refugee camp at Jenin was never a pretty sight. As the Israelis pulled out, the residents have begun to emerge to see what's left of it. Not much. The Israelis say the fiercest resistance to their incursion was put up here by Palestinian gunmen who had booby trapped buildings and taken up sniper positions, that 23 Israeli soldiers were killed here. Their response was to flatten the center of the camp with bulldozers and tank fire. It looks like an earthquake hit it."
After showing a man pointing to his destroyed house, Phillips continued: "The residents say noncombatant civilians were trapped in the buildings as they collapsed. They put the death toll in the hundreds and call it a massacre."
A man claimed many were buried in the rubble
before Phillips picked up: "But how many people might have been
buried here is impossible to know until the heavy lifting equipment clears
the rubble. Judging by the stench of decaying flesh hanging over Jenin,
there are some. And the survivors here are now facing other threats."
No mention, naturally, of how Palestinian authorities have deliberately kept their people in the refuge camps in order to maximize their suffering and thus anger at Israel.
In his "Best of the Web" column for
OpinionJournal.com on Thursday (www.opinionjournal.com/best),
James Taranto pointed out the dangers posed the terrorists who hid behind
Taranto then cited this excerpt from a
Jerusalem Post story:
For the entire story: http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2002/04/18/News/News.47164.html
John Ashcroft is very "liberal" to CNN's Aaron Brown who opened Wednesday's NewsNight by scolding the Attorney General for violating conservative principles by appealing to a federal judge to interfere with local control by overturning Oregon's assisted suicide law.
Brown asked: "Why would a conservative administration, a conservative Attorney General, tell the people of a state how to run their lives this way? Conservatives believe in less government intrusion." Brown argued: "In this case, the conservative position sounds awfully liberal to me, a judgment that Washington knows what's best for the people in Oregon."
Libertarian conservatives support assisted suicide laws while more traditional conservatives oppose them and not all liberals are in favor of them, so Brown's liberal bias is not so much in opposing Ashcroft's action, but in how he chose this as the topic on which to complain about the federal government interfering with a state's decision. The federal government does that all the time and yet I don't recall Brown, or any other media liberals, complaining about it on such issues as school testing mandates, clean water rules, controls on the use of land, tying road funds to lowering the blood alcohol limit for drivers, etc.
Brown opened the April 17 NewsNight, MRC analyst Ken Shepherd observed, with this "Page Two" lecture:
"Good evening again. I'm Aaron Brown. For
the first time in a couple of weeks, this page is not about the Middle
East. It could have been. There is still plenty to say and a lot happened
or didn't happen that's newsworthy today, and we'll spend plenty of time
in the Middle East tonight.
The fact that Aaron Brown delivered this lecture makes him sound awfully liberal to me.
Coming soon: This Week with George Stephanopoulos. As noted on Monday's CyberAlert, on Sunday Stephanopoulos served as the solo host of ABC's This Week. Articles in TV Guide and USA Today late this week confirmed that it was indeed a try-out and that ABC executives were pleased with what they saw.
But having as the solo host a liberal political operative who could very well end up interviewing former political colleagues and officials he fought to keep out of office isn't what concerned USA Today's Peter Johnson. No, he was most upset that Stephanopoulos is male: "If Stephanopoulos is tapped, every Sunday public affairs show on network and cable will once again be hosted by white men, reinforcing what many women have complained about for years: Power in this country rests with white men."
I trust Johnson will soon be resigning so a woman can have his job since 100 percent of the TV reviewers and reporters at nationally-distributed general interest newspapers are white men.
An excerpt from the April 18 TV Guide story by J. Max Robins:
....According to ABC News insiders, a solo Stephanopoulos outing on the April 14 This Week was purposely engineered: Donaldson was out of town, and ABC News executives told Roberts to stay home, a decision viewed inside the news division as a trial run.
Speculation about a shake-up at This Week has been afoot for almost two years, as the show has slipped further in the ratings behind NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert. Changes appeared imminent last March, after a report in USA Today speculated that Stephanopoulos -- a top aide to President Clinton before joining ABC News in 1996 -- might be paired with ABC News senior national correspondent Claire Shipman on This Week. On the heels of that report, the 58-year-old Roberts announced she would leave the show come November.
Meanwhile, the 68-year-old Donaldson made statements in the press that indicated he also knew his days co-hosting This Week were numbered, and he's been actively seeking to expand the reach of his ABC Radio talk show....
END of excerpt
For the complete story: http://www.tvguide.com/magazine/robins/020415.asp
Indeed, since last fall Donaldson has been hosting a two-hour long daily radio talk show. I believe it's done live from 10am to noon ET. In the Washington, DC area you can hear it tape-delayed weeknights at midnight on WMAL.
An excerpt from Peter Johnson's April 18 USA Today story:
George Stephanopoulos' big tryout was this past Sunday. And by all accounts, it went just fine....
But coupled with the fact that Stephanopoulos is planning to sell his New York apartment and has been spotted talking to real estate agents in Washington, D.C., it's no wonder insiders at ABC News are predicting that the former Clinton White House aide will become anchor of This Week in the fall....
If Stephanopoulos is tapped, every Sunday public affairs show on network and cable will once again be hosted by white men, reinforcing what many women have complained about for years: Power in this country rests with white men.
60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl once hosted CBS' Face the Nation, but currently Tim Russert hosts NBC's Meet the Press; Bob Schieffer hosts Face; Tony Snow hosts Fox News Sunday; and Wolf Blitzer hosts CNN's Late Edition....
Donaldson, 68, who has been trying to pump up his ABC radio show and ABC Webcast, has indicated he is resigned to changes on the show. He has been off at his ranch in New Mexico.
With him away, ABC News executives -- knowing they had a chance to test-drive Stephanopoulos alone -- took the unprecedented step of asking Roberts to take the day off. Word is she didn't like that....
Producers had a rehearsal with Stephanopoulos on Saturday. One of the first things Stephanopoulos did was invite conservative commentator Bill Kristol to be a guest on Sunday. ABC fired Kristol from the This Week roundtable in 1999.
Insiders say it's unlikely that Kristol will be asked to return because executives want to stick with resident conservative George Will....
END of Excerpt
For the story in full: http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20020418/4038450s.htm
George Stephanopoulos may not be the only liberal ABC News will promote to a more prominent role. In addition to his report about Stephanopoulos taking over This Week cited in item #3 above, TV Guide's J. Max Robins revealed that Robin Roberts is "close to signing a deal that would make her GMA's news anchor."
CyberAlert readers best know Roberts for how she covered the opening last July of Bill Clinton's Harlem office. As recounted in the July 31, 2001 CyberAlert, Roberts maintained that there are two Bill Clintons, "the one who loves glamour, the one who wants to make the world a better place." Later, she raved: "Today, by public relations design, he becomes an honorary homeboy."
The host of GMA that day who interviewed his former White House colleague, Joe Lockhart, about the celebration: George Stephanopoulos. For details about his easy questions and Roberts' gushing, check: http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2001/cyb20010731.asp#2
Robins reported in the April 18 TV Guide:
And she soon could be co-hosting the morning show. Robins speculated: "News division executives were impressed with her performance when she sat in for GMA co-host Charlie Gibson last March. They decided she was the best available choice for the newsreader slot, a move that places Roberts on a shortlist of possible successors to GMA co-host Diane Sawyer."
From the Late Show's "Top Ten Contest" page, the list posted April 15 based on Web submissions from the previous week, for the "Top Ten Reasons Bryant Gumbel is Leaving The Early Show." Plus, the best entries suggested by CyberAlert readers but not picked by the Late Show staff.
The winners as selected by the Late Show:
10. No more fighting Greg for the "Gumbel" parking spot
9. Wants to spend more free time making obscene gestures in front of
Today show window
8. Wants to get choice place in line for Star Wars: Episode II
7. So he can spend more "quality time" with himself
6. Three words: "Good Morning, Tuscaloosa"
5. Oprah's book club is gone, what's the point of continuing?
4. Work schedule interferes with watching Good Morning, America
3. Starting work on his upcoming CBS smash comedy, "Baby
2. Heard Letterman was staying at CBS
1. Doesn't feel "Gumbel-riffic" anymore
The Late Show posts a new Top Ten topic each
week for which you can contribute entries:
About a dozen CyberAlert readers sent me their suggested entries for "the Top Ten Reasons Bryant Gumbel is Leaving the Early Show." Some were ingenious and demonstrated that those CyberAlert readers could have a career in comedy writing. Others, frankly, were not quite as good. Several submitters displayed an impressive knowledge of Late Show attitude and verbiage. Here's my selection of the best ones:
> From Jim Stewart, probably not the CBS News reporter of the same name:
-- Running out of smirks
> From Derrick Tanner, whose familiarity with "psychic sandwich" shows he's a Late Show viewer, a whole list:
10. Early Show staffers took none of his memos seriously.
I hope #4 is really true.
> From Jeff Houser, another complete list:
10. Jane Clayson's breath.
Yes, he long ago achieved and surpassed #9
> From John P. Gobinski:
10. Memorized names of all 12 Viewers
Probably should have stopped at #10
> From Shawn Lerch, one line: Nobody Likes Me
> Finally, an anonymous suggestion:
Not bad. That one is growing on me.
> Scheduled to appear tonight, Friday April 19, on NBC's Tonight Show: Katie Couric. -- Brent Baker