CyberAlert -- 05/31/1997 -- MRC on CNN

MRC on CNN; Clinton & Blair Both to Center?

  1. MRC Chairman to appear on CNN on Sunday to debate media coverage of the CIA/cocaine conspiracy.
  2. NBC and CBS contend that Clinton and Blair "took their political parties from the left to the center." The Weekly Standard proves only one did.

1) L. Brent Bozell, Chairman of the Media Research Center, will appear Sunday on CNN's Both Sides with Jesse Jackson. The topic: media coverage of the CIA-crack conspiracy theory promoted in a San Jose Mercury News series last summer of which the editor of the paper earlier this month admitted was misleading and "fell short of my standards." Bozell will be debating Joe Madison, a Washington, DC radio talk show host and a leading proponent of the CIA/Contras/drug smuggling/get every black person addicted to crack cocaine conspiracy.

Both Sides airs at 5:30pm ET on Sunday, June 1. That's 4:30 CT, 3:30 MT and 2:30 PT. And 6:30pm AT.

2) A common theme of Thursday coverage of the meeting between Bill Clinton and Tony Blair: They have much in common, such as how both have moved their political parties to the center. Blair, yes, but not Clinton.

Reporting from London on Thursday's (May 29) NBC Nightly News, David Bloom insisted: "Tony Blair, the new British Prime Minister, and Bill Clinton are two peas in a pod." Bloom elaborated: "It was clear the new British Prime Minister and American President are indeed soulmates. Both Oxford educated, married to high-powered lawyer wives, they took their political parties from the left to the center, winning elections and today winning each other's admiration."

Earlier in the day, on This Morning, CBS News reporter Bill Plante asserted: "Blair has been often compared to Clinton for changing his party's ideology."

Only one has really moved his party, the American Enterprise Institute's Irwin Stelzer demonstrated in a May 19 Weekly Standard piece, "Why Tony Blair Isn't Like Clinton." Stelzer contended:

"Start with the efforts of the two leaders to rebuild their parties. Blair has actually done it. The voting procedures that permitted the trade unions to dominate policy and select candidates are gone, replaced by a one-member, one-vote rule. The party's election manifesto -- its platform -- was approved directly by the membership, rather than by a small group of left-wing ideologues. This has institutionalized and made permanent -- or at least as permanent as these things can be in politics -- the party's shift to the center.

"Clinton, meanwhile, has tacked this way and that. After his first election, he deferred to the Old Democrat grandees in Congress and to the Left in his party on everything from tax increases to gays in the military. And in order to assure his re-election he signed an Old Democrat pact with the trade unions, promising, among other things, to deny jobs to workers who choose not to join a unions, in return for a $35 million trade-union television campaign attacking Republicans. The result is that the Democratic Party remains in thrall to its unreconstructed wing on trade policy, environmental policy, abortion and a host of other issues."

Another example of the networks conveying an image they created over substance. -- Brent Baker (NQ follows)

-- Brent Baker