CyberAlert -- 10/27/1998 -- Putzhead Pounce
Putzhead Pounce; Pro-Lifers "Incite...Murderous Violence"; Carville's Hate
2) ABC, CBS & CNBC gave validity to blaming conservatives for the doctor killing. "Critics charge rhetoric from the anti-abortion movement is helping to incite this kind of murderous violence," insisted Dan Rather. Geraldo: "Doesn't anti-abortion rhetoric... verge on almost a back-handed pat on the back" to killers?
Correction: The October 26 CyberAlert spelled "valet" as "vale."
The Putzhead Pounce. Network newscasts aren't all that different on some nights. Not only did all the networks lead Monday night with stories on the murder of the abortion doctor, but four of them decided to run pieces about the New York Senate race between incumbent Republican Alfonse D'Amato and Democrat Chuck Schumer. The ABC, CBS, FNC and NBC reports all offered the same spin -- how it's a dirty race. Just check these intros to stories which all highlighted how D'Amato called Schumer a "putzhead."
-- Peter Jennings on ABC's World News Tonight: "This is probably the meanest campaign in the country."
-- Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News: "This race is also down and dirty, negative and nasty."
-- Jane Skinner on FNC's Fox Report: "Here in New York the mud is getting very thick."
-- Tom Brokaw on NBC Nightly News: "One of the closest and nastiest Senate races of all is going on in the state of New York."
-- Even CNBC got into the act. On Upfront Tonight Jane Welles opened her piece: "They aren't talking issues much in this U.S. Senate race. They're too busy throwing mud. It's nasty. It's dirty. It's ugly and it's too close to call."
The murder of the abortion doctor in Amherst, New York topped the ABC, CBS, CNN, FNC and NBC evening shows Monday night, October 26. CNN and NBC refrained from blaming the "climate" created by pro-life groups, but not ABC, CBS or CNBC's Geraldo Rivera which also portrayed those advocating murder as part of the pro-life cause.
Dan Rather made a direct link between the right to life movement and the murder, declaring Dr. Barnett Slepian "the latest abortion-provider to be targeted by a violent, sometimes murderous, section of the anti-abortion movement." Later, CBS devoted a whole story to how "critics charge rhetoric from the anti-abortion movement is helping to incite this kind of murderous violence."
ABC's Peter Jennings fed the pro-life slogan "respect life" back to them by reciting a sign reading "Don't murder doctors." Seconds later reporter Bill Redeker demanded a Catholic priest defend his mock cemetery.
Every network highlighted the "Christian Gallery" Web site run by Neal Horsley which lists the addresses and phone numbers of abortion doctors, implicitly implying he's a legitimate part of the pro-life movement, but only CBS showed viewers the URL and only ABC aired a soundbite from a "Reverend" who tagged the killer "a hero." FNC anchor Jon Scott interviewed Horsley, who said he would not be sorry if the murderer got Slepian's address from his Web site.
Showing no more originality in soundbite picks than the New York Senate race stories show they made in topic selection, both ABC and CBS ran this same soundbite from a father with two kids in his arms: "This is what he was about right here, right here, children,. This is what he should be remembered for. Not abortions."
Geraldo Rivera raised an old canard, analogizing Jerry Falwell and pro-lifers to Netanyahu and allies whose rhetoric inspired the assassination of Rabin.
Here's a rundown of highlights from the Monday, October 26, evening shows:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Peter Jennings opened:
explained what happened and played the clip of the father cited above
before putting someone who did not murder anyone on the defensive:
Next, ABC's John
Miller told viewers about the pattern of attacks around Canada's
Remembrance Day and then moved to Neal Horsley's Christian Gallery and
how he quickly crossed out Slepian's name. Miller added: "Activists
on the most radical end of the pro-life camp make no apologies for the
Amazing how the Unabomer was never referred to as being on "the most radical end of the environmental movement."
Kofman's overview story which included the father's soundbite, Rather
acknowledged abortion opponents do not advocate murder, but then he gave
legitimacy to pro-abortion liberals who impugn those on the other side:
Did Al Gore's anti-business and technology rhetoric "incite" the Unabomer? I don't think CBS ever gave that theory airtime, nor should they have. But by giving airtime to claims of conservative culpability for nut cases CBS is showing its anti-conservative prejudice.
In the piece
introduced by Rather reporter Richard Schlesinger began by showing Neil
Horsley's web site of providers "he calls butchers."
Schlesinger read aloud its full name, up through "killers," as
viewers could read its address on-screen: "christiangallery.com/atrocity/killers.html."
-- FNC's Fox Report opened with Slepian followed by an interview with Horsley. David Shuster added a full report on the Jones case.
two interview segments. First, with Susan Hill of the National Women's
Health Organization in Raleigh, who is also on Horsley's list. Rivera
asked and answered his own question:
Next, to Jerry
Falwell, he forwarded this liberal theory impugning conservatives in
Israel and the U.S.:
NBC's Today provided James Carville with a platform to push his book disparaging Ken Starr. On Monday's show, MRC news analyst Geoffrey Dickens observed, co-host Matt Lauer opened the interview by wondering why anyone would read a book so obvious in its content and he ended with a challenging question about how White House operatives were "not fully informed," but in between he read some of Carville's diatribe and prompted Carville to sound off. At no point did he challenge any of the assertions in the book.
Here are all the questions Lauer posed on the October 26 Today:
Carville, one of the President's most unwavering and excitable defenders
is out with a new book today called, And the Horse He Rode In On: The
People vs. Kenneth Starr. It sets out point by point why the independent
counsel's investigation is in Carville's words, 'A fanatical plan to bring
down the President.' James Carville good morning, good to see you. Let me
read you something you write in the first two pages of the book. Quote, 'I
don't like Ken Starr. I think he's an abusive, privacy invading, sex
obsessed, right-wing, constitutionally insensitive, boring, obsequious,
and miserable little man who's risen further in his life by his
willingness to suck up to power than his meager talents and pitiful
judgement would have ever gotten him.' Strong letter to follow."
Ken Starr is Jezebel? Yes, suggested Keith Olbermann last week on MSNBC's The Big Show with Keith Olbermann. That's amongst the liberal pontificating from Olbermann collected from last week's shows by MRC news analyst Mark Drake:
-- October 19:
"Speaking of the former White House intern, Newsweek magazine reporting this week, that despite their cozy immunity deal, Lewinsky and the Independent Counsel, Mr. Starr have never met face to face. The reason: a source telling Newsweek 'you don't want to schedule an appointment between Jezebel and the Pope.' Wait, I'm confused. In this reference, Jezebel is who?"
-- October 20:
"When we come back: so far nearly two hundred newspapers around the nation have called for the President to resign. Were those calls premature?"
-- October 21:
How dense can you get? From CNN host Larry King's collection of
ramblings in Monday's USA Today:
Houston to Larry: Since many liberals don't care that Clinton lied but want Gates pursued, Limbaugh decided to parody the liberal position. He wasn't being serious. It's hard to imagine how clueless you must be to miss the mocking of your own position. -- Brent Baker
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.<<<