Liberal Protesters Amplified; Gushing Over "Granny D"; Early Show Lamented Lack of Concern for Global Warming; "Reagan-Era Cynicism"
1) On Saturday night ABC and CBS amplified the influence of protesters. ABC's Terry Moran emphasized how trade divides leaders "from many of their own people." CBS's John Roberts cited how the Prime Minister of St. Lucia decided free trade "has destroyed the lives of others." CBS also devoted an entire story to "more than a hundred American protesters" standing along a roadside in Vermont, including a member of the Chicago Seven.
2) "You're not a granny who gives up," NBC's Ann Curry gushed in paying tribute to "Granny D" in yet another Today promotional spot celebrating the effort of the woman who walked across the country to promote McCain's "campaign finance reform."
3) Liberal uniformity at CBS. To Bryant Gumbel's question, "are you a believer in global warming?," Mark McEwen asserted "absolutely," Jane Clayson affirmed "of course" and Gumbel confirmed, "so am I." Gumbel lamented the public's lack of concern: "Is it gonna take some kind of a real catastrophe? I mean, does an iceberg have to come floating down the Hudson before somebody stands up and goes, 'Oh, yeah'?"
4) 60 Minutes chief Don Hewitt claimed Bill Clinton was saved by how "the guys on the other side made bigger damn fools of themselves than he did....They're up there getting their rocks off on Capitol Hill thinking about his getting his rocks off in the Oval Office."
Wrapping up an April 21 World News Tonight/Saturday story on the summit of leaders from the Americas, ABC's Terry Moran concluded over video of cars moving through cordoned off streets: "As the motorcades rolled through the empty streets of this old city, it was clear how much trade continues to divide these leaders from many of their own people."
"Some" of their own people would be more accurate. "Very few" would be even more accurate.
Over on the CBS Evening News on the same night, John Roberts was more optimistic about the influence of the left wing protesters than the protesters themselves. He ran a soundbite of President Bush: "I'm here to learn and to listen from voices to those inside this hall and to those outside this hall who want to join us in constructive dialogue."
Roberts rued: "But the 20,000
demonstrators who marched peacefully against free trade claim that no one
is listening to their concerns about labor and the environment, and they
doubted that leaders would heed their message today."
But Roberts was more impressed with their persuasion, concluding his piece from Quebec City: "And it may be that the effort is paying off. In a nod to the peaceful protesters, Mexico's President today agreed that while free trade can help economic growth, the poor are often left behind. The Prime Minister of tiny St. Lucia went even further, saying, 'While free trade has brought prosperity to some, we cannot deny it has destroyed the lives of others.'"
Next, anchor Thalia Assuras introduced a piece on scattered bunches of people protesting: "There were protests in this country as well, stretching from San Diego and Seattle in the West, through Detroit and into the East, to Maine and Vermont."
From New York City, Tracy Smith narrated the story which illustrated how if you're cause is on the left you don't need to do much to generate network publicity. Smith began: "Today, for more than a hundred American protesters Highgate, Vermont, became the next best thing to being there. Their cries were much the same as the crowds in Quebec-"
Group of protesters in unison: "Profits over people not okay."
Smith explained: "-though perhaps not
quite as loud. People also joined in protests ranging from Maine to
Washington, where demonstrations disrupted trade talks in 1999. These
rallies were for people who didn't want to go to Canada or weren't allowed
Smith sympathetically relayed: "At
crossings like this one in Derby Line, Vermont, Canadian officials refused
entry to those without proper ID, as well as those with arrest records or
an attitude. This morning, those waiting to cross at Derby included some
of the more seasoned in civil disobedience. Eighty-five-year-old David
Dellinger was one of the Chicago Seven, convicted and later acquitted of
starting a riot at the Democratic National Convention in 1968. Now he
wants to add Quebec to his personal history of protests."
Smith concluded: "Despite his arrest record, authorities let him through. Organizers in border states say they'll hold more protests throughout the weekend. But so far, they're still a whimper compared to the roar up north."
A "whimper" amplified by a compliant CBS News.
Not surprisingly, not once did ABC or CBS refer to the protesters as being on the left.
Doris Haddock, "Granny D," media hero for walking across the country to promote more government regulation. Last year Today and Good Morning America brought aboard the 90-year-old woman to help promote her publicity gimmick for McCain's anti-free speech effort labeled by the media as "campaign finance reform." With her walk over, NBC found another excuse for getting her onto its show. Last Wednesday, fill-in co-host Ann Curry excitedly announced: "This morning on our continuing series 'Forever Young: A Guide to Life after 50,' the incredible story of 91 year old Doris Haddock!"
Earlier on the April 18 show, Curry previewed:
"Also you know campaign finance reform has gotten a lot of people
riled up in Washington. Well a grandmother of 12 in her 90th year got so
riled up that she walked all the way across country to make her point that
something has to be done. And she wrote a book about this. And she's gonna
be joining us in this half hour."
And just about any journalist would qualify as President of McCain's fan club.
Curry set up the subsequent segment: "This morning on our continuing series Forever Young: A Guide to Life after 50, the incredible story of 91 year old Doris Haddock! Better known as Granny D. In January of 1999, this great grandmother of 12 began a crusade to gather support for campaign finance reform. She walked across the entire country, 10 miles a day, six days a week from Pasadena, California to Washington DC, 3200 miles in 14 months. Now she's compiled the tales of her adventure in a book appropriately titled, Granny D: Walking Across America in My 90th Year. Granny D good morning!"
Curry, naturally, did not pose a single challenging question as she instead celebrated Haddock's efforts, as you can see in the questions from Curry taken down by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens:
-- "My goodness! When you told your son
Jim that you were thinking about doing this, you were by your own
description, a wheezing arthritic mother and grandmother. And he just
went, 'Oh boy.' 'Cause he knew you were going to do it. Why did he know
this about you?"
-- "And if it doesn't pass? Or if it
looks like it's not going to pass, you gonna start working, walking
-- "You walked for nine days during the
Senate debate over this issue."
Gumbel lamented the public's lack of concern: "Is it gonna take some kind of a real catastrophe? I mean, does an iceberg have to come floating down the Hudson before somebody stands up and goes, 'Oh, yeah'?"
Very few Early Show viewers heard this exchange on the April 18 show since it occurred at 7:25am during "co-op" time, a time when all but the puniest affiliates run local news. Rich Noyes, the MRC's Director of Media Analysis, however, came across the transcript from Burrelle's on Nexis.
Below is the full transcript as provided by Nexis which shows the CBS team doesn't have a clue about how the climate models which predicted rising temperatures have been proven exaggerated and that there are many doubts by legitimate scientists about the impact of man and industry on the climate:
Bryant Gumbel: "Back now, 7:25. Mark just
asked, 'Do I have a cold?' I'm sure we will be all soon because..."
To see how Clayson's personal views impacted her approach the next morning with EPA chief Christie Whitman, go back to the April 20 CyberAlert which documented: "CBS's Jane Clayson asserted: "Since taking office President Bush has fashioned a somewhat shoddy environmental image." Introducing guest Christie Whitman, The Early Show's Clayson referred to "the latest in a series of unexpected environmentally friendly rulings to come from the White House." She demanded: "You say he believes there is a problem with global warming, but he has not supported" the Kyoto Treaty "which fights global warming." Go to: http://www.mrc.org/news/cyberalert/2001/cyb20010420.asp#3
60 Minutes Executive Producer Don Hewitt last week relayed the usual liberal line that Bill Clinton survived the impeachment not because Democrats lacked outrage at his actions, but because Republican leaders "made bigger damn fools of themselves that he did."
Hewitt, who is out promoting his new book
about his years running the CBS show, Tell Me a Story: 50 Years & 60
Minutes in Television, appeared on CNBC/MSNBC's Hardball on April 18.
MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens caught this comment:
But as Hewitt's attitude demonstrates, the networks sure did their part to discredit Clinton's opponents by framing the issue around private sexual activity instead of perjury.
A new take on the Reagan era. He wasn't a naive optimist who ruled during the self-indulgent "era of greed" during the "go-go '80s." No, to TV Guide reporter Janet Weeks President Reagan oversaw an era of "cynicism."
Tom Johnson of the Parents Television Council
alerted me to this passage from an April 21 TV Guide story by Weeks on
actor Paul Hogan prompted by the release of his new movie, Crocodile
Dundee in Los Angeles:
And I always thought the late '70s with Jimmy Carter was the era of cynicism.
-- Brent Baker
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