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CyberAlert -- 06/05/2001 -- Bush Policies Losing Support

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Bush Policies Losing Support; "Need" for Moderates; Bar Owners Republican or Democratic?; First Lady Smoking Not "Family Values"

1) ABC led Monday night with how, as reporter Terry Moran put it, "the more people learn about this President, his policies, our poll suggests, the less they're likely to support him.."

2) CBS's Jane Clayson falsely asserted that Senator Jean Carnahan voted against the tax cut bill "because you didn't think there was enough education money there." Clayson oozed over the "need" for more people in the "sensible center" like Jim Jeffords: "Do you think we will need to see more attention placed on the moderates, the centrists in both parties?"

3) While evidence mounts, CNN's Reliable Sources dedicated a segment to how the media were fooled by Bush operatives. Howard Kurtz announced: "The trashing of the White House. Was the press taken for a ride by the Bush team? And have journalists buried the news clearing the Clinton staff of vandalism?"

4) "In England, the guy who gets the most votes wins," Washington Post reporter T.R. Reid quipped on CNN's Capital Gang. But, of course, that's not necessarily true.

5) Workers at the restaurant where Jenna and Barbara Bush were caught called 911 to report them, an unusual move, and then alerted the local newspaper. The Houston Chronicle also reported that the owner is a "minor Democratic player in Travis County politics." But ABCNews.com insisted he's a Republican donor, though another restaurant officer donated to Democrats.

6) Al Gore's son was caught with marijuana at 13 and his daughter was cited for drinking at 16, National Review's Jonah Goldberg recalled.

7) Monday night on MSNBC former CBS News reporter Bernard Goldberg discussed his op-ed in which he asserted that "Rather, Brokaw and Jennings don't even know what liberal bias is." He disclosed that "for many years at CBS I used to have these discussions privately. I was a good soldier and nobody paid any attention."

8) Underage drinking by the Bush daughters combined with, horror of horrors, a report that Laura Bush smokes in the White House, undermines the GOP criticism of the Clintons for lacking "family values," Time national correspondent Jack White maintained.


>>> Now online, a new MediaNomics article by Rich Noyes of the MRC's Free Market Project: "Networks' Embrace of Price Caps Reveals Reporters' Economic Illiteracy." Go to:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/fmp/medianomics/2001/mn20010601.html <<<

Correction: Item #4 in the June 4 CyberAlert referred to how the Supreme Court ruling in the Casey Martin case "said the PGA must allow him to walk between holes because he has a degenerative circulatory problem." Got that backwards. The court ruled the PGA cannot make him follow the rules and he must be allowed to use a golf cart.

1

ABC's World News Tonight led Monday night with new poll numbers on how President Bush's policies are losing support. Suggesting media coverage might have something to do with the downward trend, reporter Terry Moran observed that "the more people learn about this President, his policies, our poll suggests, the less they're likely to support him.."

Anchor Charles Gibson announced at the top of the June 4 show:
"A new ABC News/Washington Post poll says the President's policies are not selling as well as he might hope; that those polled don't like his energy policy, give him no particular credit for the coming tax cut and by a large margin think the change of control in the Senate is a good thing."

Moran elaborated: "Well, Charlie, the really ominous thing in this poll for the Bush team is the movement it shows in public attitudes. The more people learn about this President, his policies, our poll suggests, the less they're likely to support him. Take energy, which is one of his signature issues: 58 percent disapprove of the way the President is handling the energy situation. That's up 15 percent since he announced his comprehensive energy policy last month. His overall job approval rating is at 55 percent, relatively weak for a President so early in his term, and that's down 8 percent since our last check on it in late April. Of course, the big political news since then is the Democratic takeover of the Senate, and 41 percent of the respondents in our poll think that's a good thing. Only 20 percent think the Democrats taking over the Senate is bad, and the reason the Democrats did, one of them, is they've got a signature issue -- the environment. And on that issue, on the question, 'Whom do you trust to handle the environment?', the Democrats wallop Mr. Bush 54 percent to 35 percent."

Bush's approval may be low, but Tuesday's Washington post summary of the same poll noted it's still higher than where President Clinton stood at the same point in his first term.

2

Jean Carnahan may be a U.S. Senator, but on Monday morning CBS displayed some sexist treatment, approaching her as a fragile little thing. Jane Clayson never challenged her on any policy view and wanted to know "how would you say you've been accepted within the Senate itself?" After asking her about carrying on her late husband's policies, Clayson falsely asserted that she voted against the tax cut bill "because you didn't think there was enough education money there."

An appropriation in a tax cut bill?

Clayson soon oozed over the need for more people in the "sensible center" like Jim Jeffords: "Before you took office you talked about the importance of what you called the Sensible Center. And with people like Senator Jim Jeffords defection from the Republican Party do you think we will need to see more attention placed on the moderates, the centrists in both parties?"

MRC analyst Brian Boyd took down Clayson's questions to Carnahan on the June 4 Early Show:

-- "The last six months have been an emotional whirlwind for Jean Carnahan. In October, she lost her husband of 46 years, Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan, as well as her 44 year old son, Randy. Both were killed in a plane crash while the Governor was campaigning for a Senate seat, which he actually won posthumously. Jean Carnahan was appointed to fill the seat and is now one of thirteen women in the U.S. Senate. Senator Carnahan, good morning, nice to meet you...You showed such incredible courage and strength through such a difficult and sad time. I wonder where that strength came from."

-- "Your children supported your effort."

-- "How would you say you've been accepted, obviously you say by your family and people at home, how would you say you've been accepted within the Senate itself?"

-- "I know you feel especially close with the women that are in the Senate, you lunch every month, you talk about issues."

-- "Your husband of course considered you to be a partner in life but he also considered you in many ways to be a partner in his political career. What would you say he taught you about how to serve, about being a Senator which you are now. What did you learn from him?"

-- "Do you think you're the same kind of politician, I mean how would you describe him as a politician and the kind of politician that you are?"

-- "You talk about some of the issues that were important to him. He campaigned on education, which was especially important to you. You carried that into your campaign and into your Senate role."

-- "You've seen some progress with that act, but you opposed President Bush's tax plan because you didn't think there was enough education money there."
Carnahan: "Well, actually I voted for the tax plan."

-- "Well talk about the centrists, because before you took office you talked about the importance of what you called the Sensible Center. And with people like Senator Jim Jeffords defection from the Republican Party do you think we will need to see more attention placed on the moderates, the centrists in both parties?"

-- "What's the biggest surprise of being a new Senator?"

-- "You were appointed for a two year term, are you going to run again in 2002?"

3

Add CNN's Reliable Sources to the list of news outlets which condemned the media for buying the White House claims about Clinton staff vandalism, a charge that very well may be true. Howard Kurtz opened the June 2 show: "The trashing of the White House. Was the press taken for a ride by the Bush team? And have journalists buried the news clearing the Clinton staff of vandalism?"

As noted in the June 4 CyberAlert, Sunday's Washington Post carried a story about how Bush officials renewed their vandalism of the Old Executive Office Building charge on Saturday, listing specific acts, a day after NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw relayed Clinton staff demands for an apology. The Sunday Post also carried a piece by the Ombudsman scolding the paper for not giving enough prominence to a supposed "investigation" which found no vandalism.

In fact, as FNC reported Friday night, neither the GSA or GAO conducted any "investigation" which determined there was no vandalism.

For details, see these two CyberAlert items:
http://www.mrc.org/news/cyberalert/2001/cyb20010604.asp#1
http://www.mrc.org/news/cyberalert/2001/cyb20010604.asp#2

MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth compiled some excerpts from Reliable Sources, run a 6:30pm EDT Saturday and 11:30am EDT Sunday.

Kurtz misrepresented the depth of the GSA probe, which was nothing more than a letter which said only that the structure of the building is still intact, nothing about cut phone lines or obscene messages scrawled on a wall since painted over: "Now, four months later, the General Services Administration found, apart from a couple of minor pranks, the condition of the White House was quote, 'consistent with what we would expect to encounter when tenants vacate office space after extended occupancy.' Since this report came out, some news outlets have run brief stories. Others simply ignored the findings. But did the original charges, based on unnamed Bush administration sources, get too much play? And did the corrections and clarifications get way too little? Marie Cocco, was the press basically used by these unnamed sources, these Bush sources, in reporting what turned out to be trumped up charges?"
Marie Cocco of Newsday agreed: "No question. I recently did a column on this subject, and I looked through pretty much everything that was written in the print press and got the transcripts of a lot of the broadcasts that were done. And there isn't a single named source in any of these allegations nor is there a single element of proof ever offered. And the journalists just ran away with just an army of unnamed sources, you know, sort of exploding this into 'Animal House Trashes the White House.' And, in fact, fairly early on, the White House started gingerly backing away but never ever coming out and saying, 'Hey, folks, this really didn't happen.'"

4

"In England, the guy who gets the most votes wins," Washington Post reporter T.R. Reid quipped from London on Saturday's Capital Gang. But, of course, that's no more accurate for England than it is for the U.S.

Reid asserted on the June 2 CNN show: "I think you're right to say that Blair is going to win. He's way ahead in all the polls, and in this country they have this funny system. In England, the guy who gets the most votes wins, and so he's going to win the thing."

Actually, in a parliamentary system, whichever party wins the most seats takes control of the government, so you can win the popular vote and not win the most seats in parliament. Sort of like our own electoral college with states. And with an active Liberal Party, many governments over the years have won the most votes but only earned a plurality of the vote.

5

Workers at the restaurant where Jenna and Barbara Bush were caught consuming alcohol called the emergency 911 number to report them and then called the local newspaper to tip them off, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday in a story which came to my attention thanks to a short item on it on Monday night's Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC. "It may be the first time a restaurant has considered underage drinking worthy of an emergency call in the home of the state's biggest university," the Chronicle noted.

The newspaper also reported that the owner of the restaurant "is a laid-back Austin denizen and minor Democratic player in Travis County politics." But ABCNews.com insisted he "has shared more than $11,000 with Republican Senate candidates since 1998," though another restaurant officer is a Democratic donor.

An excerpt from the June 4 Houston Chronicle story by John Williams, who may be a columnist, but it's hard to tell on their retro Web site:

The first call from Chuy's restaurant at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday went to the 911 dispatcher in Austin.

The emergency? Two underage women wanted alcoholic beverages. One had an I.D. of another person old enough to drink. It may be the first time a restaurant has considered underage drinking worthy of an emergency call in the home of the state's biggest university, said Becky Stewart, emergency services director for the Capital Area Planning Council. CAPCO manages Austin's regional 911 system.

But the two in question had familiar names. They were Jenna and Barbara Bush, the president's 19-year-old twin daughters.

Perhaps the call is understandable. No big-dollar restaurant wants to risk its liquor license by serving alcohol to someone under 21.

The second call from Chuy's management, however, is harder to defend.

Chuy's tipped the Austin American-Statesman to the scoop about the president's partying scofflaws. Amid deadline pressure and ethical questions, the newspaper didn't print a report until Thursday.

By then, the Bush family affair, rightly or wrongly, was everybody's business. It went international. Chuy's was mentioned in newspapers worldwide.

"That can't be bad for business," mused an Austin political consultant and frequent Chuy's diner.

The success story of the restaurant chain may shed a little more light.

Chuy's was started by Michael Young and John Zapp in a city that loves its Mexican food. Young has been the main mover and shaker, helping expand the restaurant chain to Houston, Dallas, Arlington and San Antonio, and starting other profitable businesses.

Described by one friend as having a Willie Nelson grin, Young is a laid-back Austin denizen and minor Democratic player in Travis County politics.

Young has strong opinions and occasionally attends party fund-raisers, though acquaintances said he has not taken front-line positions on any major issues....

Perhaps the restaurant management, with its Democratic ties, is privately reveling in the Republican first family's public embarrassment....

END Excerpt

To read the entire piece, go to:
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/metropolitan/929367

The same day, ABCNews.com delivered an opposite assessment about the politics involved. An excerpt:

....At least one senior administration official intimated to reporters that Chuy's, the restaurant in Austin, Texas, where Jenna and Barbara Bush allegedly were trying to drink, "is owned and operated by liberals."

After all, the restaurant had called 911 and even some reporters to inform them of the situation.

But while the owner of Chuy's is certainly a partisan, he's no liberal.

In fact, Michael Young, co-founder and president of Central Texas Chuy's Inc., has shared more than $11,000 with Republican Senate candidates since 1998.

Young, who has steadfastly refused to talk to the media about the Bush matter, describes himself as a "free-market capitalist."

"Anyone who knows me wouldn't say that I'm a liberal," Young said.

Perhaps the senior Republicans were thinking of John Zapp, another senior officer of Chuy's Inc. Federal Election Commission records show Zapp gave $1,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Zapp helped Young found Chuy's in 1982. The pair turned a broken-down Austin barbecue joint into a successful Tex-Mex chain with locations in Texas' largest cities....

END excerpt

For the whole report, go to:
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/DailyNews/chuys010604.html

6

National Review Online's Jonah Goldberg filled in the details of past problems involving Al Gore's kids to which FNC's Brit Hume had cryptically referred last week. In discussing coverage of Jenna and Barbara Bush, Hume recalled on May 31 how there was an incident "involving a member of one of the first families of the land in recent years, who was in serious trouble at school, it involved drugs, it was a serious matter. Nobody reported it."

An excerpt of Goldberg's June 1 National Review Online piece:

....First, there is the case of Al Gore's son, Albert III. Al Gore, you may remember, was the Vice President of the United States. Now, I don't want to violate the very tactics I'm criticizing the press for violating, but this is a matter of public record. When he was 13 years old, Albert Gore III was suspended from school for smoking pot.

Everyone, and I really do mean everyone, in Washington knew about this within days; high-school kids do not keep such secrets. But the Washington Post did keep such a secret, at the explicit request of the vice president. As James Adams of the London Times wrote in 1996, "A tearful phone call by Gore to senior editors ensured the story was never published." The press was never "all over" this story (nor the story about his reckless driving arrest during last year's presidential campaign)....

You might say, well, poor Albert was just 13 when he was cozying up with his bud, his earl, his skunk, skif, or chronic. And hypocrisy about the drug war notwithstanding, no charges were ever filed against Albert.

Fair enough. So, what about Al Gore's daughter Sarah, who was cited by Maryland cops for alcohol possession at the age of 16? Again, without recounting the very dull details, this was a story that was buried in the metro section of the Washington Post and barely surfaced anywhere else. The press was hardly "all over" that. Etc., etc....

END Excerpt

For a full read of Goldberg's take, go to:
http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg060101.shtml

7

Monday night on MSNBC former CBS News reporter Bernard Goldberg discussed his May 25 Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he asserted that "Rather, Brokaw and Jennings don't even know what liberal bias is" since "liberal bias is the result of how they see the world."

Goldberg told MSNBC's Mike Barnicle during the 6pm EDT program that the media elite are not out to get conservatives, but for them "positions to the right of center are called conservative, and they are. But positions to the left of center, in their minds, are simply reasonable." Goldberg disclosed that before he became "radioactive" at CBS when he charged them, in a previous Wall Street Journal op-ed, with liberal bias, "for many years at CBS I used to have these discussions privately. I was a good soldier and nobody paid any attention."

A RealPlayer clip of a portion of Goldberg's June 4 appearance is now up on the MRC home page, thanks to MRC Webmaster Andy Szul and deputy Mez Djouadi. To watch the video and for an excerpt of his latest op-ed, go:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/2001/cyb20010525.asp#5

8

Underage drinking by the Bush daughters combined with, horror of horrors, a report that Laura Bush smokes in the White House, hypocritically undermines the GOP criticism of the Clintons for lacking "family values," Time magazine national correspondent Jack White maintained on Inside Washington over the weekend.

(Last week, Lloyd Grove, who writes the "Reliable Sources" column for the Washington Post, reported that the First Lady had been seen smoking a cigarette.)

White rued: "The larger question to me is how Republicans had a great, jolly-good time during the previous administration talking about the lack of family values. Rudy Giuliani, now these two and we also read in Lloyd Grove's column this week that maybe the First Lady sneaks a cigarette in the White House once in a while. Shame, shame, shame."

At least she's using the tobacco product for its intended purpose. -- Brent Baker


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