CyberAlert -- 05/14/2001 -- Couric's "Million Mom" Tribute
Couric's "Million Mom" Tribute; "Thank God" Democrats Blocking Conservative Judges; Newsweek's Thomas Pleased by Smaller Tax Cut
1) Million Mom March founder Donna Dees-Thomases made a "special contribution to motherhood and...to all of mankind," Katie Couric gushed in a pre-Mother's Day tribute to three women who demonstrated "how mothers can really be used as instruments of social change."
2) Best Question of the Weekend: Fox News Sunday host Tony Snow to Senator John Edwards, who voted against convicting Clinton for lying, on why Democrats would be upset if Solicitor General nominee Ted Olson lied in his hearing. "Why would a different standard apply to Ted Olson than to Bill Clinton?"
5) The "George Bush budget," Dan Rather bemoaned on Thursday night, does "not say" how it's possible to cut taxes while also launching new spending on education, defense and a program Rather clearly wants, "drug coverage for seniors."
6) CBS's The Early Show brought John McCain aboard to publicize his appearance in public service ads for Americans for Gun Safety. Bryant Gumbel prodded: "Could you see your position reaching the point where you might support registration, where you might support longer waiting periods?"
To Thomases, who organized the exaggerated "Million Mom March" last year, Couric gushed: "When that day arrived and you saw that sea of faces in that crowd you must have said to yourself I can't believe it."
MRC analyst Paul Smith, on his last day before
moving on to a new job, caught this segment aired during the third hour of
Friday's Today. Couric set up the panel of three guests:
To all of "mankind?" Don't feminists consider that an exclusionary term?
Couric's first question to Thomases, in the form of admiration: "We wanted to talk to some mother who had made a true difference in how mothers can really be used as instruments of social change...Donna, you organized the Million Mom March and really was such a grassroots movement of stroller moms right? Tell me how it came about."
Couric followed up, referring to the Mother's Day march in 2000: "When that day arrived and you saw that sea of faces in that crowd you must have said to yourself I can't believe it."
After Thomases rued how, "unfortunately,
we let a well financed, mean gun lobby dictate gun policy" and
recalled how "when I saw the sea of faces I knew there were people
who believed what I believed," Couric regretted how more had not been
See the end of today's last item for Thomases's answer.
Question of the Weekend: Fox News Sunday host Tony Snow to North Carolina
Democratic Senator John Edwards, about how Democrats delayed the
confirmation vote on Ted Olson for Solicitor General after the Washington
Post reported he had more involvement than he had claimed in the American
Spectator's "Arkansas Project." Snow inquired on the May 13
Edwards sidestepped the question and replied that Olson's answer must be evaluated "against the truth" so "we know what was inaccurate."
"Thank God" for how the Democrats are fighting to block conservatives from becoming federal judges, proclaimed Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on the McLaughlin Group: "The Democrats, thank God, have finally gotten some spine and they're going to fight" against the Republican effort "to pack the courts with their ideological favorites and accomplish on the courts what they can't do legislatively."
Her appreciation for the liberal Democratic
strategy came after Pat Buchanan urged President Bush to fight for
Anyone publicly thanking God for helping them do anything conservative would be condemned by Clift for mixing politics and religion.
cutting the top income tax rate as much as President Bush proposed is
"the right outcome," Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan
Thomas declared on Inside Washington over the weekend. Commenting on the
Senate Finance Committee deal, between Republican Chairman Chuck Grassley
and ranking Democrat Max Baucus, to lower the top rate of 39.6 percent
only to 36 percent instead of 33 percent, Thomas approved:
The "George Bush budget," Dan Rather bemoaned on Thursday night, does "not say" how it's possible to cut taxes while also launching new spending o education, defense and a program Rather clearly wants, "drug coverage for seniors."
On the May 10 CBS Evening News, Rather announced: "As expected the U.S. Senate today gave final approval to a George Bush budget that specifies $1.3 trillion in tax cuts over about 11 years. It does not say how it's possible to do that while also spending more for education, defense and other things including drug coverage for seniors."
The networks will use any excuse to give their favorite Republican, Senator John McCain, a forum. The latest example: Last Wednesday CBS's Early Show brought him aboard to publicize his appearance in public service ads from Americans for Gun Safety set to run in movie theaters before movies begin.
MRC analyst Brian Boyd took down Bryant Gumbel's gentle questioning which ended in Gumbel prodding the Arizona Senator to move further left: "Could you see your position reaching the point where you might support registration, where you might support longer waiting periods?"
Gumbel introduced the May 9 segment: "Starting next week Arizona Senator John McCain will appear on movie screens nationwide. He's the star of a new public service announcement urging people to be more responsible with guns."
-- "Why try to reach people through the movies, I mean, why use this vehicle?"
-- "No offense but you're not exactly Britney Spears to the younger set. (both laugh) You're much more recognizable to adults. Does that necessarily mean that this is aimed more at adults than kids?"
-- "It is a serious issue and yet the debate over gun control, would you allow, has changed considerably on Capitol Hill?"
-- "What about your views, Senator, have your views evolved?"
-- After McCain replied, "I believe we should close the gun show loophole. I don't believe in handgun registration, but I do believe that we can do a lot more. And if we don't, I'm afraid of the consequences," Gumbel nudged: "And if we don't and if PSA's like yours don't have the desired effect could you see your position reaching the point where you might support registration, where you might support longer waiting periods?"
McCain answered: "I don't think so. But I clearly would be open to any suggestions or ideas. It would have to be proven to me that those are effective, Bryant."
Coming full circle in today's CyberAlert, referring back to item #1, Million Mom March founder Donna Dees-Thomases told Katie Couric that her effort had accomplished something: It had convinced McCain to back a bill to close "the gun show loophole." -- Brent Baker
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