Done' to Fix Problems 'Since '65 Civil Rights Bill' --3/5/2008
2. Couric Scolds Voter Disturbed by Clinton's 'Emotional Outbursts'
3. Nets Turn on McCain: Just 30% Positive; Obama: 67% Good Press
4. CBS's Pelley: U.S. Health Care as Bad as a Third World Country
5. NBC Casts Ex-POW Arizona Politician as Murdering Cannibal
In a moment of excess hyperbole, even for Chris Matthews, at about 7:33 PM EST Tuesday night, Matthews claimed "nothing's done since '65, when we did the civil rights bill," to fix the nation's problems. Fretting about how the country cannot afford a prolonged Clinton-Obama battle in Pennsylvania because "this country's in a rut" with "everything" from the war to the economy, Matthews ridiculously asserted: "We can't fix anything, whether it's Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, we can't fix our health care system. Nothing's done since '65, when we did the civil rights bill."
We did "fix" the Soviet empire since 1965 and Ronald Reagan managed to fix an economy in a rut under the direction of Matthews' former employer, Jimmy Carter. And, of course, most of the welfare state was created and expanded greatly since 1965, including Medicare and Medicaid. But, naturally, Matthews failed to recognize that maybe the creation and expansion of these massive government entitlement programs is part of the problem.
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, after a tip from the MRC's Rich Noyes, was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Complete transcript of the rant delivered by Matthews, to co-host Keith Olbermann, during MSNBC's Super Tuesday II coverage at about 7:33 PM EST:
On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, in a taped piece in which Katie Couric spoke with Columbus, Ohio-area "blue-collar" voters, she talked to the husband and wife owners of a restaurant and scolded the husband when he cited Hillary Clinton's "emotional outbursts" as a reason to not vote for her. The man observed that "Hillary's made emotional outbursts" and worried what would happen "if she's put in a tragic situation where, God forbid, we have another terrorist attack or something like that." To which, Couric retorted: "But some of the male candidates, like Mitt Romney, have gotten misty eyed as well."
And as she walked inside a Honda plant, Couric described Ohio's "working class" voters as "often culturally conservative -- against abortion rights, gun control, and hawkish on defense." Of course, she could just as easily have phrased that as "against abortion rights and for gun rights" or "pro-life and pro-gun."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
A transcript of a portion of Couric's March 4 CBS Evening News story:
KATIE COURIC: Outside Columbus, the owners of a popular lunch spot seem to reflect the views of many blue-collar voters we talked to. An African-American candidate may be more acceptable than a woman.
No real surprise here: A new study of positive versus negative campaign coverage found, as reported Tuesday night by FNC's Brit Hume, that John McCain's coverage grew more negative as he got closer to winning the GOP presidential nomination. Meanwhile, while ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscast treatment of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has become less positive, unlike McCain's mostly negative coverage the two Democrats continue to benefit from a much more upbeat approach: Pre-Super Tuesday Obama had 84 percent positive coverage and Clinton stood at 53 percent, but since March 4, Obama's good press fell to a still solid 67 percent -- more than twice as positive as McCain's -- while Clinton was off a bit to 50 percent. (Factoring in neutral coverage, Clinton earned more good than bad press.)
Citing the numbers from the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA), Hume reported how "McCain's media fortunes have taken a dramatic turn for the worse since early January," plummeting from "97 percent positive...before the New Hampshire primary" to "just 30 percent positive since."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted late Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
CMPA has not yet posted its findings and I can't find any mention of them elsewhere, so I don't know any more than what Hume provided. CMPA's home page: www.cmpa.com
Hume's lead item in his March 4 "Grapevine" segment:
"A study of the three broadcast network evening news programs indicates John McCain's media fortunes have taken a dramatic turn for the worse since early January. The Center for Media and Public Affairs says the amount of McCain coverage it deemed positive was 46 percent from mid-December through mid-February. But look at the contrast between his 97 percent positive number before the New Hampshire primary on January eighth -- and just 30 percent positive since.
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley plunged into the presidential campaign with a story supporting the liberal issue agenda: "One of the decisive issues in the presidential campaign is likely to be health insurance. Texas and Ohio vote on Tuesday, and those states alone have nearly 7 million uninsured residents. Nationwide, 47 million have no health insurance. But that's just the start, because millions more are underinsured..." He proceeded to profile a charity called Remote Area Medical and its efforts to provide free health care in the United States: "Recently, we heard about an American relief organization that air drops doctors and medicine into the jungles of the Amazon. Its called Remote Area Medical, or RAM for short. Remote Area Medical sets up emergency clinics where the needs are greatest. But these days, that's not the Amazon -- this charity founded to help people who can't reach medical care now finds itself throwing America a lifeline."
Later, Pelley asked the charity's founder, Stan Brock, about this: "You've created this medical organization that was designed to go into third world countries, to go into remote places, and you're now doing 60 percent of your work in urban and rural America. What are we supposed to make of that?"
[This item is adapted from a Tuesday posting by the MRC's Kyle Drennen on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Pelley was shocked by the number of people who arrived at a RAM free clinic set up in Knoxville, Tennessee: "The clinic wouldn't open for seven hours, but people in pain didn't want to chance being left out. State guardsmen came in for crowd control. They handed out what would become precious slips of paper -- numbered tickets to board what amounted to a medical lifeboat...It was 27 degrees. The young and the old would spend the night in their cars, running the engine for heat, but not too much -- not at three dollars a gallon."
Of course this was not the first time that Pelley was shocked by people in America receiving charitable care. In January of 2003 Pelley did a story on food banks in America: "The lines we found looked like they'd been taken from the pages of the Great Depression. It's not just the unemployed, we found plenty of people working full-time but still not able to earn enough to keep hunger out the house. If you think you have a good idea of who's hungry in America today, come join the line. You'd never guess who you'd meet there."
See the January 10, 2003 CyberAlert on Pelley's food bank story: www.mediaresearch.org
In Sunday's story Pelley highlighted one elderly woman in particular, Joanna Ford, who needed a new pair of glasses: "Late on Sunday, Joanne Ford's number was among the last to be called. We found her sitting by a stairwell. She's retired, living on disability, with no insurance, and her glasses don't work anymore. She got in only to find out that the vision care line had closed. How is your vision?" Ford replied: "I bet in my left eye, it's probably, I couldn't see your face. The Lord will take care of me, the Lord will provide, the Lord will provide." Pelley then observed: "But not today."
Ford went on to explain why she likes the free clinic: "I just hate to ask. I've worked all my life. I hate to ask. That's why things like this are so wonderful." Pelley replied: "There is no shame in seeking healthcare." Ford concluded: "No, you're right. You know, it really...I am sad that we are the wealthiest nation in the world, and we don't take care of our own, so...but it will be okay."
Earlier in the segment Pelley asked Brock about the number of people who use RAM's free clinics: "When you set up the first expedition in the United States, were you surprised at the number of people who came?" Brock responded: "Yes. Yes, I was. And the numbers are getting higher. And I don't know if it's because we're getting better known, or that the health care in this country is getting worse."
NBC's page for Medium: www.nbc.com
[This item, by the MRC's Kristen Fyfe, was posted Tuesday, with a video clip, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
In the March 3 episode, titled "Aftertaste," the medium ("Allison DuBois," played by Patricia Arquette) suspects an ex-POW Arizona Senator is involved in a murder she sees in her dreams. Through a series of psychic flashbacks, she discovers that the Senator ("Jed Garrity," played by Gregory Itzin), as a young Army Captain held by the North Vietnamese, proposed to his cellmates that they kill and eat a dying American soldier rather than starve to death. "Garrity" drew the short straw and committed the actual murder himself by strangling the dying soldier.
In the present day, "Garrity" and three of his ex-comrades become nervous that another survivor, "Gordon LaRoche," is going to go to the media and reveal their dark secret, so "Garrity" again convinces the group that they have to kill him. The group kills "LaRoche" and dismembers his corpse, with each burying a piece of him. One of the other men is confronted by police, and confesses that he committed the murder by himself, so "Senator Garrity" is not held accountable, although in the final scene "Allison DuBois" does confront him about his guilt.
When confronted "Garrity" spins the story back to "DuBois" stating that all of the men involved in the murder were actually better men than "LaRoche" because, unlike "LaRoche" they had all made something of their lives, and by so doing honored the "legacy" of the man they ate while prisoners of war. "Garrity" then turns on his heel and goes to give a speech. "DuBois" is left looking completely bamboozled, which is the visual the viewer is left with as well: bamboozled by the Arizona Senator and former POW.
-- Brent Baker