Clinton Warned Us; "Intelligent Catholics" Like Dung; Clinton Avoided Sex
1) More Americans without health insurance. NBC's Tom Brokaw called it a "national emergency" and Jim Avila recalled that's "a flaw in the booming economy President Clinton said today he warned America about five years ago, when health care reform was killed."
>>> Now online, the October 4 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. Quote topics, in the issue posted by the MRC's Kristina Sewell and Sean Henry, include: Reagan the Airhead; Gun Down the 2nd Amendment; The Heartless Idiot Genius; We Still Despise Linda Tripp; Raisa as Jackie and Hillary; and I'm Vice President and I'm Horny. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1999/nq19991004.html
>>> Also now online: the October 1 Media Reality Check fax report by Tim Graham, titled "Anita Hill's Army AWOL Again on Baucus: Montana Democrat's Chief of Staff Charges Him With Sexual Harassment, But Where Are the Media?" To read the issue, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19991001.html
"Without a net, a national emergency," Tom Brokaw alarmingly announced at the top of Monday's NBC Nightly News: "No health insurance for one in six Americans." NBC reporter Jim Avila recalled how President Clinton tried to warn us all of this inevitability when his plan was rejected five years ago, concluding: "An I told you so from the President tonight, but little comfort for millions of the unprotected without insurance in prosperous America." Over on CBS reporter John Roberts asserted that while new plans will not be as bold as Clinton's, "there will be some radical surgery to remedy what many people call a national disgrace."
By treating as a national crisis the Census Bureau report of a slight increase (less than three percent) in the number of Americans without health insurance, the networks played into the hands of liberal activists who want a "crisis" to drive a government-based solution. None of the broadcast network stories considered how current government regulations are exacerbating the problem.
Here's how they handled the story Monday night, October 4. Only NBC led with it as ABC and CBS went first with the Illinois jury awarding $456 million to plaintiffs against State Farm for supplying imitation auto parts.
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Rebecca Chase provided the health insurance story and avoided the dire exaggerations featured on CBS and NBC. She looked at three individuals without insurance, including a legal secretary who "makes good money" but chooses to pay for her own health care. Chase concluded by noting that when hospitals take care of the uninsured that ultimately "taxpayers foot the bill."
Second, CBS looked
at the political angle. Anchor Dan Rather intoned: "Elected officials
from President Clinton on down reacted today to this latest reminder of
the growing and widespread lack of health insurance. CBS News Chief White
House correspondent John Roberts reports on a medical issue that's
re-emerging as a political issue in campaign 2000."
From Chicago Jim
Avila looked at how owners of a restaurant and a flower shop can't
afford the high insurance costs for their employees. Avila then warned:
"Hardest hit by the rising medical costs, minorities, women, the
working poor. But the new study also reports that even those making
$50,000 are no longer guaranteed health insurance."
A State Department audit questioning the financial decisions by Tony Coelho, now Chairman of Al Gore's campaign, when he ran the U.S. pavilion at the World Exposition, generated various levels of media interest. CBS led with it Sunday night while CNN and ABC gave it just a few seconds, but NBC ignored it.
In a Sunday Washington Post story Charles R. Babcock and John Mintz explained:
As head of the U.S. pavilion at last year's World Exposition in Portugal, Vice President Gore's campaign chairman, Tony Coelho, approved "questionable payments" to contractors and oversaw an operation marked by overspending, lax management, and hiring of relatives, according to a State Department audit.
A report by the Office of Inspector General cites improper use of free airline tickets, luxury cars and apartments provided for the taxpayer-funded exposition; the hiring of Coelho's niece and of two stepsons of Ambassador to Portugal Gerald McGowan; and approval of excessive payments on contracts.
The Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit watchdog group, released both the audit and its own report on Coelho's tenure. The center said, for example, that Coelho stayed in an apartment in Portugal that cost $18,000 a month.
Coelho is not mentioned by name in the IG audit, which refers to him instead as the "commissioner general," a title that gave him rank as an ambassador. On one occasion, the audit says, the commissioner general spent $800 for a chauffeur-driven Mercedes-Benz for himself -- an "especially troublesome" expenditure, the report said, because "the U.S. pavilion had a fleet of six vans, which were underutilized."
It detailed how Coelho pressed to have a contractor reimbursed $26,000 for travel, relocation, and other expenses even though the contract didn't call for such payment and government officials found no basis for the reimbursement....
Gore was the only guest on CBS's Face he Nation and host Bob Schieffer
posed one question about Coelho which the CBS Evening News used as the
hook for its lead story that night. Anchor John Roberts, as transcribed by
MRC analyst Brian Boyd, began the show:
Sunday's NBC Nightly News skipped the development as did Today on Monday morning, but MRC analyst Jessica Anderson noted that ABC gave it a few seconds Sunday night and Monday morning. On World News Tonight anchor Carole Simpson took 32 seconds to relay: "A show of loyalty today from Vice President Al Gore for his embattled campaign chairman. A government report surfaced yesterdayaccusing Tony Coelho of financial improprieties while representing the United States overseas. [Clip of Gore's comments] Coelho's attorney said his client did not violate any laws in a job that did not pay him a salary."
On Monday's Good Morning America news reader Antonio Mora read short items during his 7am and 8am news updates.
Monday's Inside Politics on CNN ran a full report, but Sunday night the network offered only a passing reference. MRC analyst Paul Smith caught this in the midst of a piece by Beth Fouhy on the 8pm ET CNN WorldView of October 3: "Still the new Gore campaign is facing some new controversy. Campaign chairman Tony Coelho is criticized in a preliminary State Department report allegedly for misusing public money when he was in charge of the U.S. expo during the 1998 world's fair in Portugal. But Gore says Coelho is staying with the campaign."
Until now none of the networks showed any interest in Coelho's ethics, as documented in a May 20 Media Reality Check fax report issued after Coelho's appointment by Gore to chair his campaign failed to generate media scrutiny of the activities which led him to resign from his House seat. To read "Is Tony Coelho Still Immune from Scrutiny? Gore Names Ex-Congressman Who Resigned Over Ethics To Head Campaign, But Reporters Go Soft," go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990520.html
He eased in softly, but on Sunday's Face the Nation Bob Schieffer became the first network reporter to press Al Gore about the hypocrisy of hiring as his ad man the same guy who produced ads to kill the Clinton-Gore-McCain cigarette tax hike plan, euphemistically called "anti-smoking legislation" by Schieffer.
In the same
interview cited in item #2 above, Schieffer inquired of Gore:
Not if they don't know about it. This portion of the interview didn't make it onto the CBS Evening News and this subject didn't make network news back in July when Gore hired Eskew. Days later Gore appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's This Morning, but was not asked about Eskew, a July 14 Media Reality Check fax report by Tim Graham recounted. To read "Another Gore Tobacco Gaffe, Up in Smoke: Few Reports Touch on Gore's New Tobacco-Paid Consultant Carter Eskew, And Fewer Find Hypocrisy," go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990714.html
Approaching George W. Bush from the right by pointing out that his hit on congressional Republicans "is a play, make no mistake, right out of the Clinton playbook." MRC intern Ken Shepherd noticed that last Thursday night MSNBC anchor Brian Williams suggested Bush was playing a Clinton-like triangulation game in employing Democratic rhetoric to criticize congressional Republicans.
Near the end of
the September 30 News with Brian Williams the anchor of the same name
After the ads, Williams picked up: "Well, tomorrow morning's Washington Times has George W. Bush sounding like a liberal and being chased across the country by John McCain. This story is also prominent on the wire services tonight. Republican presidential candidate Bush of Texas criticized the Republican-led U.S. Congress today for trying to balance the budget 'on the backs of the poor' by squeezing money from a program for the working poor in order to meet budget targets. That is a play, make no mistake, right out of the Clinton playbook."
"Intelligent Catholics" want to see the Brooklyn Museum show, with the elephant dung and vaginally sprinkled Virgin Mary, and Mayor Rudy Giuliani's decision to withdraw funding for the exhibit is "insulting to Catholics," Steve Roberts opined Sunday on CNN's Late Edition. Doing some actual reporting, Monday on FNC Brit Hume divulged the skewed wording of a much-cited poll about how by two-to-one New Yorkers oppose Giuliani's decision.
-- Steve Roberts
of U.S. News & World Report, in the roundtable portion of the October
3 Late Edition on CNN, as transcribed by MRC analyst Paul Smith:
Since Steve Roberts, who is Jewish, is married to the former Cokie Boggs, now known as Cokie Roberts, who is Catholic, could his reference to "very intelligent Catholics" be a hint as to where his wife stands?
-- A New York Daily News poll published last Friday found that by 60 percent to 30 percent New Yorkers oppose Mayor Giuliani's decision to withdraw funding for a city-funded museum featuring a show with artworks that denigrate religious symbols, specifically a Virgin Mary plastered with elephant dung and surrounded by small pictures of vaginas.
But on Monday's
Special Report with Brit Hume the FNC host of the same name disclosed that
the poll question was hardly fair and balanced. Hume said it asked those
Hume noted: "No mention there of elephant dung on the Virgin Mary, female body parts displayed as part of this so-called 'portrait.'"
Amongst the media figures promoting this poll: Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press. He told Giuliani: "The Daily News went out and talked to New Yorkers, interviewed them for a poll. This is what they found: that 30 percent of New Yorkers agree with you, 60 percent agree with the museum, the exhibit should be open. And even amongst Catholics, only 42 percent agree with you, 48 percent agree with the museum."
Thanks to FNC we know that on Air Force One early Monday morning, when President Clinton saw a risque sex scene in a movie being shown in the press compartment, he burst out laughing, exclaiming: "I gotta get out of here. I don't want to be photographed watching that."
Wrapping up Monday's Special Report, Brit Hume showed video of Clinton in jeans and sneakers deplaning at Andrews from his overnight flight from California where he headlined some fundraising events. Hume added that during the trip Clinton went back to the press cabin to talk about football, during which time, as Hume put it, "there appeared, from the latest Austin Powers movie, in a TV monitor over his shoulder, a woman who was, well, the picture you'll see here is a little too bright but you'll get the idea."
In the video you could make out some sexually suggestive scenes in the movie, involving a woman and some cylindrical objects, before Clinton realized what was on screen, started laughing, said "I gotta get out of here. I don't want to be photographed watching that," turned and left.
+++ While you won't be able to make out what is on the movie screen, so you can see Clinton's reaction. Tuesday morning MRC Webmaster Sean Henry will post a RealPlayer clip of Hume's video. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
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