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CyberAlert -- 05/10/2001 -- No Way to Bankroll Big Tax Cuts

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"No Way to Bankroll Big Tax Cuts"; "Staunch Conservative" Nominees; Drugs from the Left; "Democrats" Vs. "Conservatives"

1) Dan Rather opened the CBS Evening News by conveying only how "critics say" Bush's budget "doesn't add up" because "there's no way to bankroll big tax cuts while at the same time saving Social Security, providing prescription drug coverage for seniors, and spending more on education, defense and other programs."

2) Despite the inclusion of two Clinton judges, Wednesday's morning shows insisted all eleven of Bush's judicial picks were "conservative." CBS's Julie Chen identified them as "all staunch conservatives." Dan Rather put the best face on liberal opponents: "Senate Democrats say they'll oppose confirming anyone selected primarily for ideology instead of qualifications."

3) CBS took on Bush's drug policy from the left. Dan Rather rued how Bush had selected "two tough-minded conservatives to command the long-running war on drugs," a choice "some suspect that will mean less help for Americans, mostly young ones, trying to kick addiction." John Roberts focused on "new concerns among the treatment community."

4)Looking at a possible deal on the tax cut ABC's Linda Douglass saw no liberal players, just "Democrats" offering compromise and "conservatives" who are "unhappy" about a smaller cut in the top rate and "don't like" the idea of a new ten percent rate.

5) An unusual view aired by CBS. Cynthia Bowers noted how "some" believe higher gas prices are "mostly the result of regulation run amok. This country now runs on more than forty blends of fuel. The energy industry says the fix would be to simplify the rules and let every car burn essentially the same unleaded."

6) FNC's Brit Hume highlighted the MRC's study which found that in 51 global warming stories "only seven made any reference to global warming skeptics and six of those references were here on the Fox News Channel" while "ABC, CBS and NBC completely excluded the views of skeptics of global warming theories."

7) Interviewing Florida Governor Jeb Bush, CBS's Jane Clayson wouldn't let go of the idea that Al Gore really won the state and NBC's Katie Couric took another shot at Katherine Harris: "Many people questioned her objectivity last November."

8) Letterman's "Top Ten Things Never Before Said By a United States Senator."

9) Job openings at the MRC for a News Analyst and a Writer/Researcher.


1

Not even a pretense of balance from Dan Rather as he opened Wednesday's CBS Evening News by leading only with how "critics say" Bush's budget which passed in the House "doesn't add up" because "there's no way to bankroll big tax cuts while at the same time saving Social Security, providing prescription drug coverage for seniors, and spending more on education, defense and other programs." Rather referred to it as "a blueprint that leaves out the fine print."

In full, here's how Rather began the May 9 CBS Evening News, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
"Good evening. Congress is pushing toward final passage of a slightly modified version of President Bush's budget and tax cut plan. Now comes the hard part -- actually putting the tax cuts into effect while making the numbers add up and holding down spending. Many critics say this plan doesn't add up, that there's no way to bankroll big tax cuts while at the same time saving Social Security, providing prescription drug coverage for seniors, and spending more on education, defense and other programs. CBS's Bob Schieffer on Capitol Hill has more tonight about a blueprint that leaves out the fine print."

Not surprisingly, Schieffer's story was no more balanced.

2

Despite the fact that President Bush on Wednesday, as expected, nominated for judgeships two blacks who were previously nominated by President Clinton, Wednesday's morning shows insisted all eleven to be named were "conservative." CBS's Julie Chen identified them as "all staunch conservatives" while NBC's Ann Curry referred to "eleven conservative judges."

Wednesday evening, on the broadcast networks, only the NBC Nightly News outlined how while the group is "mostly conservative," it includes two Clinton nominees and is also diverse by racial, ethnic and gender standards. Instead, while Dan Rather avoided the conservative label, he put the best face on liberal opposition: "Senate Democrats say they'll oppose confirming anyone selected primarily for ideology instead of qualifications."

-- On the May 9 Good Morning America, ABC news reader Antonio Mora maintained Bush's list "is dominated by conservatives," but he conceded it also includes "two judges first nominated by President Clinton."

-- Julie Chen on CBS's The Early Show: "President Bush makes his first federal judicial appointments today, 11 judges in all. All staunch conservatives. Senate Democrats are threatening to block some of the nominees."

-- Ann Curry on NBC's Today: "President Bush sends his first judicial nominations to Congress today and he is expected to name 11 conservative judges to federal appeals court posts."

-- ABC's World News Tonight, which ran a full story the night before (see the May 9 CyberAlert), held itself on May 9 to this short item read by Peter Jennings: "At the White House today President Bush nominated eleven men and women to become federal judges. It is a mostly conservative group of lawyers and judges who must all be approved by the Senate. Democrats are expected to oppose some of the nominees."

-- Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News: "President Bush today named his first eleven choices to be federal appeals court judges. Most of the nominees are little known outside judicial circles. Senate Democrats say they'll oppose confirming anyone selected primarily for ideology instead of qualifications. They already object to Terrence Boyle, a former aide to Republican Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina."

-- Only the NBC Nightly News aired a full report on Wednesday night. David Gregory pointed out how Bush had held out an "olive branch" to Democrats by choosing two Clinton names. He described the group: "The eleven make up a mostly conservative but diverse, and experts say, highly qualified group. Three women, one Hispanic and two African-Americans."

3

Dan Rather bemoaned how President Bush selected "two tough-minded conservatives to command the long-running war on drugs," a choice "some suspect that will mean less help for Americans, mostly young ones, trying to kick addiction."

Immediately after his short item on Bush's judicial nominations, Rather intoned on the May 9 CBS Evening News: "Also today, the White House said the President has chosen what he considers to be two tough-minded conservatives to command the long-running war on drugs. As CBS News White House correspondent John Roberts reports, some suspect that will mean less help for Americans, mostly young ones, trying to kick addiction."

Roberts took on the issue from the liberal point view, worrying: "On this day, there are new concerns among the treatment community that the President's pick of Congressman Asa Hutchinson, a central figure in the Clinton impeachment trial, to head the DEA, and conservative John Walters as Drug Czar, indicate a hard-line drug policy where rehabilitation will clearly take a back seat to enforcement."
Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Foundation Director: "The two of them firmly represent the belief that drug policy should have nothing to do with science or public health. It's all about punishing people for their sins."
Roberts: "The White House today declared that the President is committed to fighting the war on drugs. Officials point out he has proposed to increase by almost $200 million next year, funding for treatment and education. But Mr. Bush would spend five times that for new counter-narcotics operations to target supply."

Roberts did go on to give a soundbite to Hutchinson, but that did not balance the overall one-sidedness of his piece.

4

On Capitol Hill, as seen through the prism of ABC News reporter Linda Douglass, there are only "Democrats" and "conservatives." In a Wednesday night look at a possible compromise on the tax cut she saw no liberal players, just "Democrats" offering compromise and "conservatives" who are "unhappy" about a smaller reduction in the top rate and "don't like" the idea of creating a new ten percent rate.

From Capitol Hill on the May 9 World News Tonight, Douglass told anchor Peter Jennings:
"Sources from both parties are telling us that President Bush will not get what he wants when it comes to cutting the top income tax rate. Now he wants to cut that top rate from 39.6 percent down to 33 percent. Democrats have been saying that gives too much money to the rich and a compromise is emerging that would bring it down to about 36 percent. Conservatives are very unhappy about that. There also appears Peter to be agreement on expanding the amount, increasing the amount of income covered by the 15 percent tax bracket, that's the lowest tax bracket right now. But Democrats are also pushing to add a new lower bracket, ten percent. Some Republicans are supporting that. Conservatives don't like that either. They are saying in the House and the Senate they don't want a tax cut that's tilted toward the low income scale. They want the people who pay the most to get the biggest tax cut."

(ABC should get some credit for leading Wednesday night with an issue that's under the radar: How President Bush, to the anger of normal allies in the property rights movement, plans to push a policy to allow the federal government to expropriate private land through eminent domain to allow for the construction of new inter-state power lines.)

5

Surprise of the night: CBS gave air time to the view that all the environmental rules requiring special gasoline formulas for different regions are what is fueling higher pump prices.

After offering anecdotal evidence about higher gas pump prices and how a refinery fire in Philadelphia spiked the wholesale price, on Wednesday's CBS Evening News reporter Cynthia Bowers observed, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Some groups, including the oil industry, believe the problem is mostly the result of regulation run amok. This country now runs on more than forty blends of fuel. The energy industry says the fix would be to simplify the rules and let every car burn essentially the same unleaded."
Ed Murphy, American Petroleum Institute: "The answer to the boutique fuel problem is to eliminate oxygenate mandate in the law."
Bowers elaborated: "Government rules mandate that in big cities with big air pollution problems the gasoline must contain an additive, or oxygenate, to keep the air cleaner. Most of the country chose the chemical MTBE, but the corn belt uses ethanol. Still other cities like Atlanta use different mixtures, all of which isolates certain regions to certain refineries and means a problem like the one in Philadelphia or the recent fire in California can cause immediate price hikes."

6

Liberal uniformity on the environment is much more common than CBS's unusual take detailed in item #5 above, a recent MRC study found. Wednesday night on FNC Brit Hume relayed the key findings of the MRC's study.

During the "Grapevine" segment on the May 9 Special Report with Brit Hume he informed FNC viewers: "The Media Research Center looked at the coverage of global warming from Inauguration Day to Earth Day, April 22nd, and found of the 51 stories only seven made any reference to global warming skeptics and six of those references were here on the Fox News Channel, one on CNN. The Center said ABC, CBS and NBC completely excluded the views of skeptics of global warming theories advanced by environmentalists."

Hume was citing the Special Report released earlier this week by the MRC's Free Market Project, titled, "Clamoring for Kyoto: The Networks' One-Sided Coverage of Global Warming."

To read the executive summary of the report written by Rich Noyes, go to:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/specialreports/fmp/2001/globalwarmingexec.html

To read the complete report online with graphs and illustrative RealPlayer video clips, go to:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/specialreports/fmp/2001/globalwarming.html

7

The networks won't let go of the idea that Al Gore really won in Florida and that Katherine Harris's integrity is suspect.

Interviewing Florida Governor Jeb Bush on Wednesday morning about his state's new law to reform the voting system and eliminate punch card machines, CBS's Jane Clayson wanted to know if the reforms had been in effect last year "do you think that Al Gore would be President today?" NBC's Katie Couric noted how Harris is will drafting new rules and then asserted: "Many people questioned her objectivity last November."

-- Jane Clayson to Bush on the Early Show, as noted by MRC analyst Brian Boyd: "Taken as a whole a lot of these reforms are ones that Democrats wanted during the recount process. I know it's a touchy question, but had these, if these reforms had been in effect do you think that Al Gore would be President today?"

When Bush pointed out how media recounts this year disprove that, Clayson countered: "Well, he came out ahead in the under-votes and there's still the over-votes to be counted which will be done."

-- Katie Couric to Bush on Today, as caught by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens: "The bill also requires a machine recount if the margin of victory is half of one percent or less and a manual recount if it's a fourth of a percent or less. Now the person who will be drafting the rules for those hand counts is Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Many people questioned her objectivity last November. Why do you think she's the right person to do this?"

8

From the May 9 Late Show with David Letterman, as read on tape in a Senate office by actual Senators, the "Top Ten Things Never Before Said By a United States Senator." Copyright 2001 by Worldwide Pants. Inc.

10. "Wake me when Senator Windbag is finished"
(From Connecticut, Senator Christopher Dodd)

9. "Last night Strom Thurmond and I got absolutely wrecked at the Eminem concert"
(From Indiana, Senator Evan Bayh)

8. "All press inquiries should go to my pet chimpanzee, Ricky"
(From Pennsylvania, Senator Arlen Specter)

7. "I promise to be the best senator I can be for the next 6 years...or 4 years...or however many years a Senator serves"
(From Maine, Senator Olympia Snowe)

6. "Mr. President -- I yield the floor to the honorable Senator Sock"
(From New York, Senator Charles Schumer)

5. "President Bush is always using a lot of big words that I just don't understand"
(From Delaware, Senator Joseph Biden)

4. "I'm honest, bright, a hard worker, and I served my country honorably in the military -- guess I'm never going to be President"
(From Indiana, Senator Richard Lugar)

3. "I'm going to raise your taxes so I can buy myself a sweet Camaro"
(From Connecticut, Senator Joseph Lieberman)

2. "My day breaks up like this: 10 minutes doing Senator stuff, 9 hours Sony Playstation"
(From New York, Senator Hillary Clinton)

1. "The House of Representatives is a bunch of dorks"
(From Iowa, Senator Tom Harkin)

Other than Harkin, what happened to all the Senators from West of Terre Haute?

9

Help write CyberAlerts. Join the MRC news analysis team. Two job openings at the Media Research Center in Alexandria, Virginia:

-- News Analyst. The Media Research Center (MRC), a non-profit foundation in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia which is the leading conservative group documenting liberal media bias, has an opening for a News Analyst in its News Division. News analysts review magazines and newspapers for biased stories and monitor television network news, entering summaries of news stories into a computerized database. News analysts also perform research tasks and contribute writing to the MRC's publications, including a weekly fax report and daily e-mail dispatch.

Candidates must have a thorough knowledge of current events, display a solid understanding of conservative reasoning on political issues, have an interest in the news media and demonstrate an ability to write clearly and concisely. A current events and news media personality identification quiz will be given to candidates at the time of an interview.

Candidates must work at the MRC's Alexandria, Virginia offices which are eight blocks from the King Street Metro stop on the Yellow and Blue lines. This is an entry-level position. Salary: Low $20s.

To apply, fax resume to the attention of Brent Baker, the MRC's Vice President: (703) 683-9736. Or, e-mail your resume to: bbaker@mediaresearch.org

- Writer/Researcher. The Media Research Center (MRC), a non-profit foundation in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia which is the leading conservative group documenting liberal media bias, has an opening for a Writer/Researcher in its News Division.

This position entails researching and writing columns and op-ed pieces for senior level staff, contributing to a daily e-mail report, writing a monthly membership newsletter, researching and writing reports documenting media bias as well as writing and editing major reports and books. Depending on ability, may also serve as a MRC spokesman in radio and TV interviews.

Candidates must closely follow current events, display a solid knowledge of conservative reasoning on political issues, have a thorough understanding of liberal media bias and an ability to recognize it. In addition, candidates must be self-starters who are able to develop topic ideas own their own. Candidate should have several years of experience in a position which required daily or near-daily writing and should be able to produce quality pieces which need little editing. A current events and news media personality identification quiz will be given to candidates at the time of an interview.

Candidates must work at the MRC's Alexandria, Virginia offices which are eight blocks from the King Street Metro stop on the Yellow and Blue lines. This is a mid-level position with a salary starting in the low to mid- $30s, but a higher salary will be considered for candidates with additional experience and a demonstrated ability to excel in the position.

To apply, fax resume to the attention of Brent Baker, the MRC's Vice President: (703) 683-9736. Or, e-mail your resume to: bbaker@mediaresearch.org.

-- Brent Baker


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