More Moyers; Liberal Editor
for U.S. News
Two items today:
1) MSNBC again shows
that instead of offering an alternative it's just providing more of the
same, specifically another platform for Bill Moyers. Just four day after
Tom Brokaw came at President Clinton from the left on welfare reform, on
Friday night Moyers hosted InterNight and posed questions from the left to
Steve Forbes, Gary Franks and Kay Bailey Hutchison.
2) U.S. News &
World Report owner Mort Zuckerman has selected a new Editor: former Jimmy
Carter speechwriter and liberal media critic James Fallows. In his recent
book Fallows urged the media to be more liberal. Excerpts below from a
On Friday night (July 19) Bill Moyers took his turn as host of MSNBC's
InterNight, the cable channel's 8-9pm ET/PT interview show. But he offered
more liberal arguments than straight forward questions. Here are some of
his questions as transcribed by MRC intern Jonathan Stuart.
To Steve Forbes:
-- "I was thinking about you driving in this
morning from New Jersey. I don't live too far from you out there. The
traffic was very heavy, and I was thinking of a piece that an economist
from Stanford University, Paul Krugman, wrote recently in which he said,
why don't these Republicans talk more about doing something to eliminate
traffic jams than they do talking about tax reform, because traffic jams,
he said, cost us 80 billion hours a year and 80 billion dollars, and there
are inventive ways to create market systems to deal with traffic. But I
never hear Republicans talking about these very practical issues, why is
"I don't know anything about your religious preferences, but you
strike me as a very modern Republican and a very tolerant fellow. And I'm
wondering, are you comfortable with your party being so driven these days
by the Christian Coalition and the Christian Right?"
"I was just looking at draft platforms, Republican platforms, from
South Carolina, Kansas, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Michigan, Kentucky, Texas,
and Mississippi, and all of them are uncompromising, all of them written
by the religious Right, all of them uncompromising on this and other
issues. Are you really comfortable in a party where there are a lot of
theological imperatives being imposed upon a political platform?"
"If Republicans are the party of opportunity for most Americans, the
fact of the matter is that you Republicans have occupied the White House
for 20 out of the last 24 years and the economic inequalities in this
country have grown. There seems to be a failure of correspondence
Republican Congressman Gary Franks of Connecticut:
-- "You're a Baptist, and I'm a Baptist, and
my people have been historically uncomfortable with close intertwining of
church and state. Are you comfortable in a Republican Party where there
are so many people who are trying to press upon the platform their own
theological and Christian interpretations of social policies?"
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas:
-- "But if that platform in San Diego
contains the very strong anti-abortion plank that it presently contains,
aren't women still going to feel, despite all you've just said, that
there's a not for welcome sign out?"
like a good preview of the angle the media will take during the San Diego
On Saturday (July 20) The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reported that
Mort Zuckerman had chosen James Fallows to be Editor of U.S. News,
replacing current co-editors Michael Ruby and Merrill McLoughlin who had
decided to step down. In an October 3, 1994 back page editorial, Ruby
dismissed the Contract with America, calling it "A cheap-trick wish
list written by Republican members of the House."
Fallows was chief speechwriter to President
Carter and earlier this year President Clinton appointed him to the
Commission on United States-Pacific Trade and Investment Policy. Fallows
generated some publicity a few months ago for his book, "Breaking
News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy." The April American
Spectator ran a review by Robert Novak. Here are a few choice quotes from
"Breaking the News has been celebrated by
liberal politicians and, oddly, by many journalists for launching an
assault on the news media from the left....
"Fallows spends a long chapter blaming the
news media for killing the Clinton health plan 'What [the Clintons] lost
legislatively,' he writes, 'was trivial compared to the damage to public
life.' If a working definition of a 1996 liberal is somebody who still
believes that government is the solution rather than the problem, then
Fallows surely qualifies. The desire to drum his conviction into the
hearts and minds of Americans explains his enthusiasm for 'public
journalism' -- a relatively new phenomenon that calls for newspaper
editors to collaborate with citizens in deciding what news is fit to
"He would have a reporter say 'whether a
Medicare proposal makes sense or not,' heedless that doing so would engage
the reporter in opinion, not fact. Thus he clumsily confuses good
journalism with a liberal agenda....
"On those rare occasions when Fallows
expresses admiration for a fellow journalist, it is always for an
unabashed liberal. When it comes to 'helping readers understand what
current trends mean,' Garry Wills 'is well-suited to this challenge.
Michael Kinsley 'is by most accounts the most talented policy writer of
his generation.' It's not surprising, then, that Fallows never deigns to
even consider the following proposition: the reason so many people hate
the news media is that journalists like Fallows are outrageously biased in
the liberal direction, and never bother to identify their true position on
the political spectrum in the first place."
example of one of those "conservative" media owners in action.