CyberAlert -- 04/29/2002 -- U.S. Blamed for German School Shooting
U.S. Blamed for German School Shooting; CBS Discovered a New Threat: Global Cooling; Pay Cut for Peter Jennings?; GMA's New News Reader Raised Money for Bill Bradley
1) CNN anchor Daryn Kagan on Friday seemed to suggest a connection between the U.S. and a school shooting in Germany. She recoiled at the breaking news: "Not the kind of thing we want to export from this country."
2) Global warming? Never mind. The new danger: global cooling. Highlighting the belief of one man, reporter Randal Pinkston warned on Sunday's CBS Evening News that "he and other researchers are increasingly sounding a new alarm, a paradox, that global warming could produce an abrupt climate change and cooler temperatures, very soon."
4) ABC has picked as its GMA news reader a woman who helped raise money for the most liberal presidential candidate of 2000: Bill Bradley. She emceed a $1 million-plus fundraiser in November 1999. USA Today quoted Roberts as hopefully predicting at it that Bradley would be "going from Madison Square Garden to the Rose Garden."
U.S. to blame for the school shooting in Germany in which 17 were killed on Friday? Just after the news broke on CNN on Friday, anchor Daryn Kagan seemed to hold the people of the United States culpable: "Not the kind of thing we want to export from this country."
The MRC's Geoffrey Dickens tracked down the comment noticed by the MRC's Rich Noyes from about 10:25 EDT on Friday, April 26:
Kagan: "As that reporter was telling us, from Berlin, this isn't over. They're not sure if just the one gunman or there's other gunmen out there and so the search and the situation at the school still goes on."
Long before there was a mass media to hype school shootings in the U.S. I think Germans managed to launch unprovoked killing of Poles without any help from the U.S.
Global warming? Never mind. Twenty-five years ago the news media were warning of how global cooling could lead to a new ice age. Then, starting in the late 1980s, reporters began to focus ominously on how global warming would spread tropical diseases to the Northern Hemisphere and cause rising sea levels to swallow up coastal cities like New York.
But on Sunday night, CBS offered a new twist: Global warming will cause global cooling. Highlighting the belief of one man, reporter Randal Pinkston warned that "he and other researchers are increasingly sounding a new alarm, a paradox, that global warming could produce an abrupt climate change and cooler temperatures, very soon."
In other words, the Earth has solved its own problem.
Pinkston began his April 28 CBS Evening News story:
That was probably most of the story, but I missed the end because at that point Washington, DC's CBS affiliate, WUSA-TV, cut in for a weather update about a local tornado. Soon I learned about how one viewer called in to report seeing a "toaster flying."
A pay cut for Peter Jennings? On Saturday, the Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes picked up on speculation that the Disney Corporation wants the ABC News anchor to take a cut in his $10 million annual salary as the company tries to reduce costs at ABC News.
An excerpt from de Moraes' April 27 column:
ABC News wants evening anchor Peter Jennings to take a salary cut.
It's unclear how much the Mouse House would like its $10 million man to forgo in his next contract, according to a source at the network; his current pact with the Disney-owned network expires this summer, but he's already in talks about a new one.
The news division's tough stance is part of an ongoing effort to bring down costs.
Last May, Disney ordered ABC News to cut 10 percent of its workforce, or about 125 positions, through attrition and job cuts....
[T]he news division has been asking some of its correspondents to take pay cuts when their contracts are being renegotiated. But that development did not receive too much coverage until speculation surfaced that Jennings had come under the knife, which played big in the press this week.
That's partly because it immediately follows ABC's disastrous run at David Letterman for the "Nightline" time slot -- which prompted the second round of press speculation that Disney isn't serious about news.
Some recent reports speculated that Jennings would prevail because ABC wouldn't want a second black eye before its first had healed -- the one it got when it tried to replace Ted Koppel with stupid pet tricks. Other reports, however, suggested the hue and cry would be nowhere so loud over the salary of a guy who makes more in a month than many do in a lifetime.
To date, the latter camp has been accurate....
And on Friday, when things were winding down and newsies at various networks had ample time to play the Jennings speculation game, several forecast the two parties would reach some honorable truce, wherein ABC News could report back to Team Disney they'd hung tough and trimmed a mil, while Jennings got concessions of his own.
Jennings is in a somewhat difficult situation.
Though morning is now considered the sexiest news day-part -- NBC's Today show is said to be the most profitable news program on any network -- the evening news anchor job is still considered to be the top of the mountain, leaving Jennings nowhere to go but down....
And while Jennings's news program is profitable for the network, it's not nearly as profitable as GMA, an insider confirmed. On the other hand, Jennings's is the most improved of the broadcast evening newscasts, rating wise, since Sept. 11 -- up nearly 1 million viewers compared to last season, though he's still trailing NBC's Tom Brokaw by about a million.
And there are questions about the future viability of the broadcast evening news programs. More than half of Jennings's audience is over the age of 55, which is also true of Brokaw's newscast and Dan Rather's at CBS.
END of Excerpt
For the article in full:
Jennings' salary is bigger than the annual budget of the MRC, which has about 40 employees.
Democratic fundraiser to network news anchor. Last week ABC News made it official, with Charles Gibson announcing on Good Morning America that Robin Roberts, a veteran of ESPN, is the new permanent news reader on the ABC morning show, replacing Antonio Mora, who left the network a few months ago.
That November 15, 1999 USA Today story by Tom Weir reported: "The mix of Bradley's teammates, opponents, childhood idols and a few other sports and entertainment figures was the draw that allowed his campaign to sell tickets to the 'Back in the Garden' event for anywhere from $50 to $1,000, and raise at least $1 million. Campaign officials said the final figure might reach $1.5 million, making it the biggest sports-oriented fundraiser by a political candidate."
Weir added: "The two-hour string of testimonials was held on the arena's basketball court and was hosted by ESPN sportscaster Robin Roberts. She predicted Bradley would be 'going from Madison Square Garden to the Rose Garden.' Roberts assured the audience that the event was no 'stuffy black-tie' affair. 'No. We're going to have some fun.'"
Though by the fall of 1999 she had become a fill-in co-host of GMA, Roberts was supposedly surprised by the questions her Bradley role raised. Jim Shea reported in the January/February 2000 Columbia Journalism Review:
CyberAlert readers may recall 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."
Following a clip of Clinton saying he misses the job, Roberts asserted: "This is a latest installment of the Clinton story, a chance to reemerge as the ex-President he really wants to be, but once again it is the tale of two Clintons: the one who loves glamour, the one who wants to make the world a better place."
Back on live, Roberts concluded: "Now, I spent a lot of time here on Friday in Harlem, talking to the folks here, and they have mixed reaction to Clinton coming here, what his presence will truly mean. They are hopeful, though, that the former President coming here to Harlem will bring more people and more money to the most famous African-American neighborhood in the world."
For more about that morning's fawning coverage of Bill Clinton on ABC: http://secure.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/2001/cyb20010731.asp#2
From the April 25 Late Show with David Letterman, as read by soldiers in the Army's Third Armor Corps standing in front of a tank at Fort Hood in Texas, the "Top Ten Responses To 'How Big Is Your Army Base?'" Late Show Web site: http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/
10. "It's so big, you gotta pack a lunch just to get to the mess hall"
9. "It's so big, every day the barbershop produces enough hair trimmings to fill the Grand Canyon"
8. "It's so big, we're thinking of becoming our own country"
7. "It's so big, Larry King's wives could enlist and we'd still have room"
6. "It's so big, it has its own army base"
5. "It's so big, I often go AWOL for weeks at a time and nobody notices!"
4. "Let's just say -- big enough"
3. "It's so big, to get from your barracks to the PX is a half-hour ride in a blackhawk helicopter"
2. "Hey -- how big is your army base?"
1. "It's so big, we've got plenty of room for Osama if he wants to drop by"
> Tonight on NBC's Tonight Show: White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. He is scheduled to be a guest on Monday night, April 29. -- Brent Baker