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CyberAlert -- 08/24/2001 -- Chung: Condit "Conservative"

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Chung: Condit "Conservative"; Weekday CBS Evening News Aired Second Mention of Condit/Levy

1) Connie Chung identified Gary Condit as a "conservative Democrat." But his congressional voting record puts him in the middle of the spectrum.

2) The weekday edition of the CBS Evening News on Thursday aired its second mention ever of the Chandra Levy/Gary Condit case.


>>> MRC on MSNBC: Rich Noyes, the MRC's Director of Media Analysis, is scheduled to appear repeatedly during the daytime today, between 11am and 3pm EDT, on MSNBC as part of rotating panels which will assess ABC's interview with Gary Condit. <<<

1

With Connie Chung having done a pretty good job of posing tough questions to Congressman Gary Condit (D-CA), and with massive amounts of TV analysis and punditry concentrating on Condit's answers, I hesitated to do anything this morning about the interview on ABC's Primetime Thursday.

But, I did want to point out one misleading statement from Chung. While she did once identify Condit as a Democrat, she described him as "a little-known six-term conservative Democrat."

A bit later, Condit contended: "I voted four times not to impeach President Clinton." Assuming that assertion has more credibility than the rest of what he claimed, it shows he's hardly all that "conservative."

Indeed, from 1989 through 2000 Condit has a career 52 percent average rating from the Americans with Democratic Action and a 48 percent career rating from the American Conservative Union. So he's hardly a flaming liberal, but he's significantly more liberal than several House Democrats from the South and West and many Republicans. "Moderate Democrat" would be a more accurate description.

2

Last night, before the Condit interview aired on ABC, the weekday edition of the CBS Evening News uttered its second mention ever of the Chandra Levy/Gary Condit scandal. Back on July 18 Dan Rather made the first and until now only mention on his weekday show. (Several stories have aired on the Saturday and Sunday editions of the CBS Evening News.)

On Thursday's CBS Evening News, anchor John Roberts took about 35 seconds to summarize Condit's letter to constituents and stress that Condit is not a suspect in Levy's disappearance.

Will CBS return tonight to its attitude that none of this is news?

-- Brent Baker


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