"Everybody's Up in Arms," Process Reminiscent of "Nazi Horrors" --01/06/2004
2. Matthews Panel Sees "Crony Capitalism" as Good Anti-Bush Issue
3. NRO: "Just Think of MRC as the Fourth Estate's Ombudsman"
"Everybody's up in arms" over the new procedure requiring foreign visitors arriving at airports from most countries to provide a fingerprint and get photographed, ABC's Diane Sawyer insisted at the top of Monday's Good Morning America. Everybody? On Monday night, CBS's Dan Rather referred to the policy as "controversial," as did NBC's Katie Couric on Today that morning before reminding Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge that "some countries...are furious at this new policy" with a judge in Brazil comparing "the new security plans to Nazi horrors saying, 'I consider the act absolutely brutal, threatening human rights, violating human dignity, xenophobic and worthy of the worst horrors committed by the Nazis.'"
-- Sawyer announced at the start of the January 5 GMA: "Foreign visitors are going to be fingerprinted at airports. It starts today. Everybody's up in arms. We're going to ask: Is it going to do any good?"
Later, setting up a segment with Tom Ridge, who appeared via satellite from the Atlanta airport, Sawyer called the new rules "controversial" as she asserted: "And now we turn to the terrorism threat against the United States. Will the alert level be lowered? And what about those controversial new security measures at the nation's airports. Starting today, as you've heard, foreign travelers, at least some of them, will be fingerprinted, photographed and then checked quickly for criminal history and terrorist affiliation."
-- Over on NBC's Today, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens noticed, Couric proclaimed: "Good morning. Welcome to the U.S.! Now get ready for your mugshot. The U.S. kicks off a new program today for foreign visitors."
Matt Lauer soon elaborated: "We should mention that a lot of foreign visitors traveling to the U.S. today are gonna have their fingerprints scanned and their photographs taken. This is all part of an effort to tighten U.S. borders."
News reader Ann Curry repeated the "controversial" mantra: "More now on the new security measures taking effect today. Starting this morning foreigners coming to the U.S. will be digitally fingerprinted and photographed to screen for potential terrorists. Exempt are citizens from 28, mostly European nations. A matter of controversy in countries not exempted. Brazil is photographing and fingerprinting U.S. citizens in retaliation."
Interviewing Ridge, Couric intoned: "Some countries, as you know Secretary Ridge, are furious at this new policy, specifically Brazil which has started to do the same to U.S. visitors to that country. A Brazilian judge said, compared the new security plans to Nazi horrors saying, 'I consider the act absolutely brutal, threatening human rights, violating human dignity, xenophobic and worthy of the worst horrors committed by the Nazis.' How do you respond to that?"
-- Dan Rather introduced the January 5 CBS Evening News story: "The United States is beginning to fingerprint and photograph some international travelers in an effort to prevent terrorists from entering the country. Starting today, when they arrived at U.S. airports from abroad, some foreigners are being required to submit to this new screening to determine whether they have a criminal background. CBS News correspondent Bob Orr has details of these controversial and unprecedented security measures."
The panel on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show over the weekend salivated about how Democrats should be able to use "crony capitalism" as an issue against President Bush with Chris Matthews regretting how Democrats are supposedly called "unpatriotic" when they raise the subject.
Time's Joe Klein recommended: "I think crony capitalism is gonna be a big issue. All of the connections between the Bush White House and companies like Haliburton and the deals on energy and the environment and so on, I think the Democrats are gonna use that." Klein insisted this is not just bashing the rich: "This is different. This is, this is different. You know bashing the rich is one thing but bashing the corrupt rich who are cutting sweetheart deals is another thing entirely." Klein asserted that "there is a new mood out there."
Matthews wanted to know how a Democrat can "use the issue of crony capitalism which has been a weakness of the Republican party....These questions are legitimate questions but every time Democrats raise the issue of crony capitalism or corruptions they are told, 'you guys are stink bomb, don't talk like that, that's unpatriotic.'"
NBC News White House reporter Norah O'Donnell insisted: "I think you can talk to Republican and Democratic strategists and both agree one of the weak points of the Bush campaign is tying him to special interests. It does resonate."
MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens took down the exchange on the program which aired on Sunday in most cities:
Gloria Borger of CNBC and U.S. News: "Well I'm, I'm shaking my head a little on the economy because while the numbers are good the people don't feel it. They feel like the jobs aren't coming back and I was out in the Midwest and people don't feel it. They say, 'Oh you folks talk about all this great growth on television but you know what? We lost 300,000 jobs in the state of Ohio or Michigan. And we don't feel that recovery. And our kids.' One woman said to me, 'My kid can't get married because he can't afford to propose to this young woman because he lost his job.'"
More coverage for the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2003: The Sixteenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
As noted in the December 31 CyberAlert, that day's New York Post devoted the entire editorial column to reciting their favorite quotes. See "HOIST ON THEIR OWN PETARD" at: nypost.com
Yahoo also featured the New York Post editorial: story.news.yahoo.com
And on Friday, December 26, Denver's Rocky Mountain News featured a column by Mike Rosen, "2003 media madness," in which he listed the quotes he found most obnoxious. See: www.rockymountainnews.com
Now, some new pick-ups:
-- National Review Online Editor Kathryn Jean Lopez penned a piece posted on December 31: "And the Dishonor Goes to...Unbelievable, but true, 2003 media sound bites."
Lopez concluded by using a Bernard Goldberg observation to heap some praise on the MRC's important role:
For the quotes Lopez found most indicative of media bias: www.nationalreview.com
-- Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial of January 5, "Media liberalism confirmed -- again." See: epaper.ardemgaz.com
-- The Arkansas News.com site posted a piece on December 28 by David Sanders, "That liberal media bias." See: www.arkansasnews.com
-- The Jewish Press, in a December 24 posting, put the byline of Brent Baker and Rich Noyes over their selectioon of highlights from the awards issue, "They Said That?!" The publication contended: "The following represents an extensive sampling of what passes for objective reporting and trenchant analysis in today's media culture." See: www.thejewishpress.com
-- In addition, the MRC's Tim Jones has come across examples of some newspapers which highlighted the Quote of the Year winner, including the Richmond Times Dispatch, Las Vegas Review Journal and Investor's Business Daily. That quote, from Charles Pierce in the Boston Globe: "If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age."
For the full results, with RealPlayer clips of many of the television quotes: www.mediaresearch.org
For an Adobe Acrobat PDF that matches the eight-page hard copy version: www.mediaresearch.org
For the list of judges, with links to Web pages for each judge, whether his or her own page or a page about their show or work created by their employer, check: www.mediaresearch.org
# Tom Brokaw is scheduled to appear tonight, Tuesday January 6, on Comedy Central's Daily Show airing at 11pm and 12:30am EST.
-- Brent Baker