CyberAlert -- 07/26/1999 -- JFK Jr. a "Sun God"; ABC Wanted to Hire Him; Tax Cutters Have Low IQ
JFK Jr. a "Sun God"; ABC Wanted to Hire Him; Tax Cutters Have Low IQ
1) Jonathan Alter tagged JFK Jr. as a "Sun God," ABC's Cokie Roberts suggested the Kennedy family is full of "character," Steve Roberts claimed Ted is not liberal but "a very flexible, pragmatic person," and a JFK aide admitted "Camelot" was really a "joke."
4) "The torch now passes to a generation of strong women," NBC's Andrea Mitchell said in recalling how one was "so smart" that JFK Sr. said that if she "had been a man she'd have been President." Al Hunt: Maria Shriver "one of the three best TV journalists."
7) JFK Jr. as an ABC News reporter? Barbara Walters let slip that ABC News executives "were hoping" he'd become a TV reporter for them. The New York Post reported that "ABC is feverishly trying to turn" George Stephanopoulos "into a reporter or news personality."
>>> The July 26 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media," is now up on the MRC home page thanks to Kristina Sewell and Sean Henry. Topic headings for the quotes include: "Kennedys: Heroic Royal Family"; "Emoting Over Kennedy Mystique"; "Vanishing Camelot!"; "Poor, Brutalized Hillary"; "The GOP Protects Evil HMOs"; "ABC Pushes Gore Left"; "Gore and Bradley: Centrists": "Katie Couric, Feminist Killjoy" and "Glorious Sports-Bra Symbolism." To read this issue, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1999/nq19990726.html <<<
Corrections: The July 23 CyberAlert referred to "St. Thomas Moore." It's St. Thomas More church. The same issue also quoted NBC's Bob Kur as reporting how "The President and First Lady remember meeting John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Caroline Bessette many times." Bessette's first name is Carolyn.
Four noteworthy questions and assertions from over the weekend: Newsweek's Jonathan Alter characterized JFK Jr. as a "Sun God," ABC's Cokie Roberts suggested the Kennedy family is full of "character," Cokie's husband Steve maintained that calling Ted Kennedy liberal is just "Republican mythology" as he's really "a very flexible, pragmatic person," and a member of the Kennedy presidency admitted the idea of "Camelot" was really a self-promotional "joke."
-- JFK Jr. a
"Sun God." In a Friday, July 23 Dateline NBC look at who in the
Kennedy family will pick up the torch, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter found
JFK Jr. irreplaceable:
Jackson to respond to this assessment:
When thinking about the Kennedys the term "character" isn't the first which comes to mind.
So, by moving right to accommodate Orrin Hatch, if he had to at all, makes Kennedy a non-liberal "pragmatic" guy, but Hatch, who moved left to meet Kennedy, remains "very conservative."
adulation someone who was part of the imaginary "Camelot" was
awed at out how that Kennedy-promoting term has became accepted as fact.
Richard Goodwin, a speechwriter for President Kennedy, told Russert:
You can thank his wife and the media for that.
Indeed, in a
Friday night CBS Evening News piece reporter Eric Engberg embraced
"Camelot" as a reality, opening an exploration of why the public
cares so much about JFK Jr's death:
It was Jacqueline's fault because she made sure he treated with women with respect.
In a Saturday
Washington Post story about publishers re-issuing books about JFK Jr.,
reporter Linton Weeks passed along an unusual spin on what led to his
demise espoused by Wendy Leigh, author of the about to be re-released 1993
book, Prince Charming: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story. Linton wrote:
If only he were a woman-abusing lout like the rest of the Kennedy family he'd be alive today.
Peter Jennings suggested Friday night that it was time to move on from mourning, but ABC just couldn't move on quite yet.
Hours after playing, during ABC's three hours of live coverage from 10am to 1pm ET of the sidewalk outside the memorial service, a Bob Dylan song over a video retrospective of JFK Jr.'s life, Peter Jennings ended Friday's World News Tonight choking back tears at the completion of another video montage: "And now as someone said, outside the church today, time to move on."
ABC's lead story on Friday night's 20/20: More Kennedy news. ABC's lead story on Saturday's World News Tonight: The Lauren Bessette memorial service followed by a look at the investigation into Kennedy's crash. (The CBS Evening News opened Saturday with the massacre of Serbs in Kosovo, the first time all week a broadcast network began with a non-JFK Jr. story. WNBA overtime bumped Saturday's NBC Nightly News in the east.)
Sunday morning, as noted in item #1 above, ABC dedicated all but a few minutes of This Week to ruminating about JFK Jr.'s death and the Kennedy family.
Finally, on Sunday night, both ABC and NBC led with the Yosemite murder. (Golf bumped the CBS Evening News in the east.)
The women are the future stars of the Kennedy family, NBC's Andrea Mitchell asserted Friday night in claiming one is "so committed, so smart," that President Kennedy once said that if she "had been a man she'd have been President." And, Maria Shriver is "one of the three best TV journalists"?
For the July 23 In Depth segment on the NBC Nightly News Mitchell insisted the "torch now passes to a generation of strong women." Mitchell recalled how Kathleen Kennedy Townsend was told by the family to run for office from outside of Massachusetts because the state was reserved for Joe Kennedy, a sign of how Kennedy women have been expected to play supporting roles at home. But now in addition to the Maryland Lieutenant Governor the Kennedys have Kerry, a human rights activist, Rory, a filmmaker, Maria Shriver, a TV news star, and Caroline, a lawyer and author.
wistfully reminded viewers:
Speaking of Eunice
Shriver as smarter than even Hillary Clinton, Wall Street Journal
Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt delivered up dollop of praise last
Thursday for her daughter. In his July 22 Journal column titled
"America's Family," which he ended by asserting how
"America is a different place because of the Kennedys -- a much
better one," Hunt contended:
That kind of judgment may explain why Gartner is now back in Iowa editing a newspaper in the small city of Ames.
From the mind of Mike Barnicle: Ted Kennedy doesn't do anything religious, but he "has to be."
Just before 4pm ET
last Thursday, in a rare moment when he wasn't complaining about how the
media are intruding upon the Kennedy family's privacy, as he sat in
front of their houses, disgraced Boston Globe columnist turned NBC News
analyst Mike Barnicle told MSNBC viewers:
Well, whatever person, thing or symbol, God is, with Ted never seen going into a church -- outside of memorial services -- or receiving communion, it's hard to imagine why people would assume he's not religious.
Clinton was caught making a blatantly preposterous assertion about how he afforded JFK Jr. the first visit to the White House and the residential floors since 1963, but instead of scolding Clinton NBC's Matt Lauer blamed the dead guy: "It could have been just that John Kennedy Jr. was being especially gracious to his host, President Clinton, and made him feel as if this was a special visit."
As detailed in the July 23 CyberAlert, last Wednesday night MSNBC reported how Clinton had made the false claim at a press conference earlier in the day and CNBC's Hardball showed a clip of JFK Jr. talking about visiting with the Nixons in 1971, but Thursday's USA Today and NBC's Today fell for Clinton's misinformation. Friday's USA Today failed to correct Thursday's story by Susan Page, which began: "John F. Kennedy Jr. was 2 years old when his father was assassinated, and more than three decades would pass before he returned to the White House..."
In the 8:30am half hour on Friday, July 23, Today failed to remind viewers of its misreporting of the day before, but MRC analyst Mark Drake caught how the show did correct itself by bringing aboard Chris Matthews to recount what knew about the 1971 visit.
Co-host Matt Lauer
introduced Matthews: "John Kennedy Jr. moved out of the White House
with his mom and sister soon after his third birthday but returned several
times during his life. President Clinton this week remarked about what he
believed was Kennedy's first return since his father's
Matthews: "So a little bit of misinformation here. The visit with
President Clinton was not the first visit. So tell me what prompted the
visit back in 1971 with President Nixon?"
After some talk
about the relationship between the Kennedys and Nixon and how JFK Jr.
wrote a thank you note to Nixon, Lauer returned to Clinton's inaccurate
statement, but tried to shift the blame off of Clinton:
To learn what John F. Kennedy Jr. told Matthews in 1996 about his 1971 visit and to watch a RealPlayer clip of JFK Jr.'s recollections, go to the July 23 CyberAlert: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990723.html#3
"...John F. Kennedy Junior, ABC News, Washington." The sign-off ABC News executives once dreamed of? During Friday's ABC News coverage of the sidewalk outside the New York City memorial service, ABC's Barbara Walters disclosed that ABC News executives "were hoping" he'd become a television reporter. ABC seems to have a policy of recruiting Democratic Party-allied people as reporters. The New York Post reported that "ABC is feverishly trying to turn the young and handsome [George] Stephanopoulos into a reporter or news personality."
-- About 12:45pm
ET on Friday, July 23, Barbara Walters remarked to Peter Jennings:
Seconds later viewers heard analysis from George Stephanopoulos, but not any Republican or conservative analyst.
ABC News is actively grooming former White House advisor George Stephanonopoulos for a big-time TV job.
The only question is: which job? In recent weeks, the network has assigned a producer to work full time with Stephanopoulos to help him brush up his on-air skills.
Stephanopoulos signed on with ABC as an "on-air consultant" -- a fancy term for an expert the network can use when political news breaks out -- in 1996.
But his three-year contract with the network is expiring and ABC is feverishly trying to turn the young and handsome Stephanopoulos into a reporter or news personality.
"They're hoping that he will develop into a presence that you will see more of," a network source said. "Part of that means having the ability to do taped analytical pieces about politics and that's what they've assigned a producer to help him with."
Last month, Stephanopoulos turned in a couple of unenthusiastic turns as a co-host on "Good Morning America" when he sat-in for Charlie Gibson who was undergoing minor heart surgery.
Around the same time, ABC News asked Stephanopoulos to anchor an edition of the network's overnight newscast, "World News Now."
Within ABC, both jobs -- especially co-hosting the two-hour live morning broadcast -- are highly prized opportunities and assigning them is considered a huge vote of confidence by the network. The producer, who was not identified, is expected help Stephanopoulos beef-up his interviewing and reporting skills....
There are currently several high-profile on-air slots that ABC is expected to fill sooner or later, including an open Friday night anchor slot on "20/20" vacated by Hugh Downs, who is retiring.
Also, Ted Koppel may soon end his run with "Nightline" after nearly 20 years. And "GMA" co-hosts Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer are eventually expected to leave their "temporary" roles....
To watch RealPlayer video clips of Stephanopoulos co-anchoring World News Now and co-hosting GMA in June, go to he MRC's Media Bias Videos page and scroll down to the clips dated 6/25 and 6/16: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html
Squeezing in one non-Kennedy item today, Time magazine's Margaret Carlson compassionately asserted on Saturday that "the only thing that could explain this love of tax cuts is a lowered IQ."
Capital Gang on CNN, with Republican Congressman Bill Thomas as the guest,
Support the MRC, an educational foundation dependent upon contributions
which make CyberAlert possible, by providing a tax-deductible
donation. Use the secure donations page set up for CyberAlert
readers and subscribers:
>>>To subscribe to CyberAlert, send a
blank e-mail to:
>>>You can learn what has been posted each day on the MRC's Web site by subscribing to the "MRC Web Site News" distributed every weekday afternoon. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters.<<<