Four items today:
1. On Good
Morning America, Elizabeth Vargas asked Jack Kemp about Bob Dole's
hypocrisy in opposing Whitewater pardons after having supported the
pardoning of Casper Weinberger. But Vargas and others in the media have
ignored some key differences.
2. To CNN's
Bernard Shaw, raising ethics isn't a valid concern worthy of
discussion. It's either an "attack" or an "insult."
co-host of CBS This Morning, however, offered a contrarian view
Thursday. He suggested that the media are wrong to consider negative
campaigning off limits.
4. The text
of the October 21 edition of Notable Quotables, jammed with the
most biased quotes of the past two weeks, including many examples of
reporters calling Dole mean and nasty.
MRC analyst Gene Eliasen caught a couple of interesting questions posed
during Thursday's Good Morning America. Interviewing Jack Kemp and Leon
Panetta, Elizabeth Vargas asked Kemp:
Dole had pledged to keep this campaign on a positive note. You, in your
debate said yourself that negative attacks are, quote, 'beneath Bob
Dole.' Why then the decision to launch specific, some would say
negative, attacks last night?"
Her next question: "Mr. Kemp, you do know that Senator Dole also
fought to get a pardon for Casper Weinberger several years ago. It would
seem that many, in the eyes of some, it's a bit hypocritical to
criticize the President for, for possibly considering pardons this
reporters over the past couple of days who have highlighted the Dole
pardon hypocrisy theme, Vargas failed to note some key differences between
Weinberger and Whitewater. Former independent counsel Lawrence Walsh
raised the issue Tuesday. But the October 16 USA Today noted that
Walsh claimed that Dole had "urged pardons for crimes of
constitutional dimension." Whitewater crimes hardly raise
constitutional balance of power issues. There is a difference between a
President pardoning business associates who committed crimes to make money
for themselves and a cabinet member indicted for carrying out policies
while in office.
After Wednesday night's debate, MRC analyst Clay Waters noticed, CNN's
Bernard Shaw concluded the post-debate analysis by posing this question to
the audience: "I only leave you with this question: Is a question
about character and ethics a quote 'insult,' or an 'attack'?"
On the bright side, the media's attitude that anything negative or
critical said of Clinton is "nasty" or "harsh," was
noted by the co-host of CBS This Morning. Thursday morning (October 17)
Jose Diaz-Balart asked CBS analyst Kevin Phillips:
like everywhere else in the world, where there is a democracy, people
are allowed to talk about the other candidate's failures as a
politician. Here, it seems, that many in the media call that name
calling and personal attacks. Are we in the media making too much of
pointing out what seemed to be just inconsistencies in a
The October 21 Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation
of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media.
To subscribe by snail mail, send a check for $19 to the Media Research
Center, 113 South West. St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.
Mean and Harsh
morning, everyone. The last debate of the national political campaign is
on tap for tonight in San Diego. Bob Dole is not waiting for that debate
to attack Bill Clinton's ethics. With more on a campaign that is now
getting meaner, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell is standing by live in San
Diego." -- Matt Lauer leading off his October 16 Today newscast.
true or untrue that they're preparing for a kind of carpet bombing on
character?" -- Dan Rather to Rita Braver on what the White House
faced from Bob Dole in that night's debate, Oct. 16 Evening News.
borrowing the words of an over-enthusiastic supporter, or did Bob Dole
lower the level of civility a notch in his contest with Bill
Clinton?" -- Bernard Shaw on the "Bozo" comment, October
8 Inside Politics.
that was a major goal of the Dole campaign [in the debate], to make sure
people saw this compassionate side of Bob Dole. Do you think that he is
in some ways paying the price for a Republican Congress that enacted, or
tried to enact measures, in the views of many were simply too harsh or
too draconian?" -- Katie Couric to Elizabeth Dole, October 8 Today.
just turn to the presidential campaign very quickly. As you've heard,
Tim, it turned decidedly nastier in the Dole camp yesterday. He was
talking about a moral crisis. He refused to answer a question if
President Clinton was morally and ethically capable of being President.
You heard that Bozo exchange. Effective strategy or is this going to
come back to haunt him?" -- Katie Couric to Tim Russert, Oct. 9
harshest, most personal attack yet on the President, Bob Dole today
charged that the Clinton Administration is unethical, that Bill Clinton
himself is slipping and sliding away from questions about possible
illegal campaign contributions." -- NBC reporter David Bloom,
October 14 Nightly News.
Dole said he wasn't going to mention Whitewater, then Whitewater did
rear its ugly head last night." -- CBS This Morning co-host Mark
McEwen to Fred Barnes the morning after the first debate, Oct. 7.
Jones: CBS Hatchet Man
to explain how his campaign centerpiece, the 15 percent tax cut, can be
paid for without draconian cuts in social programs. He wants to talk
about the character issue, but he can't get personal or look
mean-spirited doing it." -- Phil Jones on what Dole needed to do in
the upcoming debate, October 4 CBS Evening News.
that if I had to say probably where he was the weakest and where he
really needed to score was, he needed to explain to the American people
how this country can afford that 15 percent tax cut, the centerpiece of
his campaign, without these draconian cuts. I don't think he has done
that yet." -- Reporter Phil Jones on CBS after the October 6
tough speech for him to make because he runs the risk of looking
desperate and mean-spirited." -- Phil Jones on Dole raising
Clinton's "public ethics," October 15 CBS Evening News.
the President could be risky for Mr. Dole because of the debate format.
The candidates will be facing voters who are asking the questions, not a
reporter. Mr. Dole has never been able to shed that image of a hatchet
man that he got back in his 1976 vice presidential debate and the last
thing he needs tonight is a boo, a hiss, or a gasp from one of the
questioners who thinks he's being too mean." -- Phil Jones, October
16 CBS Evening News.
It's Clinton Over Reagan
first two years this is a man [Clinton] who tried his best to balance
the budget, to reform health care, to fight for gay rights, to support
personal freedoms. Couldn't those be considered doing the right things,
evidence of true character?" -- Bryant Gumbel to David Maraniss,
MSNBC's InterNight, October 10.
know you feel as if Reagan had few, if any, character flaws. But let me
ask you this. When one sidesteps, or refuses to acknowledge the
consequences of their policies or actions, why shouldn't that be viewed
as a character flaw? Or when one lies. For example, let me roll a clip
and then we'll come back. This one deals with Iran-Contra." --
Gumbel to Washington Post reporter Lou Cannon, same show.
appeared to be empathetic, his policies caused enormous suffering for
those who were least able to afford it?" -- Gumbel to Cannon in
discussion about Ronald Reagan, same show.
like actions, have consequences. Sometimes it's hard to know what they
might be. Did Americans know that electing Ronald Reagan would send the
deficit through the roof? Do we know that electing Bob Dole would lessen
drug use?" -- CNN reporter Bruce Morton on Late Edition, September
Hunt Hates Conservatives, Loves Liberals
North Carolina is a test in the great divide in the Republican
conservative movement. There's the politics of hope personified by Jack
Kemp and there's the politics of hate personified by Jesse Helms."
-- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt, October 5
Capital Gang on CNN.
Starr, the supposedly non-partisan independent counsel investigating the
Clintons, was the featured speaker yesterday at a luncheon sponsored by
right wing hatemonger Pat Robertson [who runs the] Christian
Broadcasting Network and Regent Law School. By pandering to
Clinton-haters, Mr. Starr appears to be abandoning all pretenses of
impartiality. He went into this job with a reputation as a fair-minded
conservative. He now looks more like a political hit man desperately
eager for a future Supreme Court appointment." -- Al Hunt's Outrage
of the Week, October 5 Capital Gang.
you thought of Jimmy Carter as President, he has been a great
ex-President, helping to avoid bloodshed from North Korea to Haiti,
bringing health care to children in Africa and Latin America. Even Bob
Novak has lauded some of these efforts. The outrage? The Nobel Peace
prize for years has given President Carter the back of its hand. It can
make amends next week and give him what he deserves: the 1996 Nobel
Peace Prize." -- Al Hunt, September 28 Capital Gang.
Tell What Peter Thinks
a study released at Penn State University today that you may hear a lot
about this weekend. It purports to show a connection between women who
have had abortions and the risk of developing breast cancer. And if you
see it around, remember this. It is not original research, but an
analysis of 23 earlier studies. And the National Cancer Institute says
those individual studies were actually inconclusive, and because of
that, various other scientists say today the Penn State report is
flawed." -- Peter Jennings "reporting" a study which
appeared in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health showing
that abortion is responsible for 5,000 cases of breast cancer each year,
October 11 World News Tonight.
They Say Dole is Harsh and Nasty
watching his acceptance speech in San Diego, which was really the speech
of his life, it was a very dramatic event. And I'm standing there with
one of our younger producers at MSNBC. She's 24 or something and I said
`What do you think?' She said, `You know, he scares me.' And I said,
`What do you mean he scares you?' She said `It doesn't matter what he's
trying to say, it doesn't matter what the speech says or how well he's
doing it, all I hear him say is GET OFF MY LAWN! I have this mental
image. I'm playing with my friends on the rich guy's lawn and the guy
comes to the door, with his little pen, you know, and says GET OFF MY
LAWN!'" -- NBC and MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on the Tonight Show,
L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher;
-- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
-- Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay
Waters; Media Analysts
-- Peter Reichel, Circulation Manager; Kathy Ruff, Marketing Director