CBS Movie Has Spy Hanssen Denouncing Gore
3. Unlike with GOP in '94, Not Tagging Democrats as "Extremist"
4. Media Writer: Outlets Should Cover GOP from the Left
Time's Jack White: MRC Should "Declare Victory" Over Liberal Bias
6. "Top Ten Responsibilities of
"Top Ten Signs Barbra Streisand Has Gone Nuts"
During her 20/20 interview with Al Gore shown on Friday night, Barbara Walters expressed exasperation with Al Gore's lack of outrage over not getting the presidency, wondering "why aren't you...bitter?," suggesting he declare "I won the popular vote!" and demanding: "How can you sit here this calmly now?" She also declared that "there are few things Al Gore cares more about than the state of the American family," and wanted know if he would "consider Hillary Clinton as a possible running mate" so "you could have a Gore-Clinton ticket?"
Some highlights from the interview taped a couple of weeks ago at the Gore's new home in Nashville and shown on the November 15 20/20 on ABC:
-- Walters disappointed by Al Gore's lack of adequate outage at being cheated out of the presidency:
-- The Gores as protectors of a champions for the American family: "There are few things Al Gore cares more about than the state of the American family. In fact, for the past eleven years Al and Tipper Gore have hosted a major conference at Vanderbilt University to dig into critical issues impacting the family today. As a result of their involvement in the family conference, their own family's experience and deeply held beliefs, Al and Tipper Gore have written a new book on the American family called, Joined at the Heart."
But separated by the higher taxes liberals like Gore love to impose and raise.
-- Urging Gore to elevate Senator Hillary Clinton:
Near the end of part two of the movie, written by left-winger Norman Mailer, aired on November 17, Hanssen and his family were sitting around his dining room table in January of 2001.
Actress Mary Louise-Parker, who played Hanssen's wife, relayed her pleasure at Bush's assumption of the presidency: "So thankful George W. Bush is going to our next President. Couldn't sleep all that terrible time in Florida when it looked like Gore might win."
Those certainly aren't the sentiments West Wing watchers identify with actress Mary Louise-Parker. On NBC's The West Wing she plays a left-wing feminist activist who thinks "President Bartlet" is too timid and not liberal enough.
Today's Matt Lauer on Friday morning recalled for new House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi how "when the Republicans chose a guy like Newt Gingrich several years ago to lead them in Congress, Democrats were very quick to say, 'Hey, the Republicans have gone full tilt to the right.' Why shouldn't the Republicans say the Democrats now have gone way to the left?"
Republicans may be saying that of Pelosi, but they don't have the media advancing the argument as Democrats did in 1994. Back then the media, especially NBC's Today show, were not only citing the Democratic argument that Gingrich was an extremist, they were making the case themselves.
Gathered from the archive of the MRC's Notable Quotables, here's a reminder of how the Today show greeted GOP guests in the days after the 1994 elections:
-- Bryant Gumbel to black Republican U.S. Rep.-elect J.C. Watts, November 9: "You're aligned to a party which owes many of its victories to the so-called religious right and other conservative extremists who are historically insensitive to minority concerns. That doesn't bother you?"
-- Gumbel to Jack Kemp, November 10: "The so-called Christian Coalition, as you know, is claiming a great deal of credit for GOP victories across the board. Are you not at all concerned about where their brand of, some would say, extremism or intolerance, may yet try to take your party?"
-- Exchange on November 18:
-- Gumbel, November 23: "With Republicans taking control of Congress in January, Senator Jesse Helms is slated to be the new chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, a prospect that is embarrassing to many Republicans. His two most recent outbursts against the President are just the latest in a long line of outrageous remarks that have earned Helms the disrespect and disgust of people from coast to coast."
I think I'll miss Jesse Helms more than Bryant Gumbel.
The media are just not liberal enough for some media observers. In the National Journal last week its media writer, William Powers, suggested that with Republicans controlling the White House, Senate and House that "every major media outlet designate one liberal reporter to cover this conservative government from a frankly liberal point of view."
"Designate one"? Wouldn't that be a reduction from the norm?
And leaving aside the questionable notion of "conservative government" when moderate to liberal Republican House members, and especially Senators, will fight conservative policies, I don't recall any media writers in 1992 or 1976, when elections put Democrats in charge of the White House and two congressional bodies, recommending that "every major media outlet designate one conservative reporter to cover this liberal government from a frankly conservative point of view."
Yet this year this concern for conservative bias seems to be taking hold with the quite a few in the media. For earlier examples, see the MRC's November 14 Media Reality Check, "Media Bias Destroyed Democratic Dreams? Blaming 'Conservative Media' for Democratic Losses, Pundits Demand Still More Liberal Media Bias." http://www.mediaresearch.org/realitycheck/2002/fax20021114.asp
Jim Romenesko's MediaNews (http://www.poynter.org/medianews) highlighted the November 15 column by Powers posted Friday by National Journal, a weekly magazine about the federal government and Congress which is owned by Tribune Media and costs about $800 a year to get. An excerpt from the piece in which Powers marveled at the lack of liberal advocacy in the media after the election:
It's been more than a week since the Republican sweep, and I've been waiting for the agony and indignation to bubble up from deep inside the U.S. news media. Most reporters vote Democratic, and many are quite passionate about their political convictions, at least in private. But according to the sacrosanct rules of big-league journalism, those convictions are not supposed to influence the news coverage....
Judging from the election reportage, newsies have gotten awfully good at keeping their political privates chastely hidden under their modest media cassocks. I woke up the morning after Election Day expecting a festival of grudging headlines and slanted ledes, a barrage of photos carefully selected to make the victors look like dangerous right-wing despots....
When I turned on ABC's Good Morning America, Diane Sawyer was posing a question to a famous political pundit who had been invited on to help the GMA millions make sense of the election. One of the usual suspects from the vast liberal mediaplex, perhaps? Nah, it was Ann Coulter, the best-selling conservative author and a proponent of the theory that a totalitarian Left controls the American news business.
I don't know how Coulter got on this show. Maybe she covertly joined the totalitarian Left, which then approved her appearance. Her reading of the political landscape: "September 11 reminds people we're not safe even once the Cold War is over. There are madmen out there, and you have to have a Republican in the White House." Pitted against Coulter was former Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart. Sawyer asked him why Bill Clinton didn't help the candidates for whom he campaigned -- a rather unliberal question, as these things go -- and the sheepish Lockhart said it wasn't Clinton's fault.
So it has gone. For days I have trawled the election post-mortems for blatant lib bias, and the pickings have been exceedingly slim....
Lately, the best place to see hard-core liberal-media bias is the conservative media. This week, The Weekly Standard has a hilarious parody of The New York Times . It's a front page with the banner headline GOP WINS SENATE, NATION GIRDS FOR BUSH JUDGES, END OF CIVILIZATION. Underneath is a photo of a Ku Klux Klan night rally. Of course, you'll never see anything this extreme in the real Times, though I'm sure more than a few Timesians view the Republican juggernaut in roughly this way.
Now that one ideological faction controls all three branches of the government, I find myself longing for some authentic liberal bias. Not the weasly, between-the-lines bias that we've grown used to, but open, crusading, unembarrassed bias. And not just in the opinion columns, but on the front page. Call me a hopeless independent, but I think both political parties have dangerous tendencies and need somebody to keep them honest. Who's going to keep the Republicans honest now? Not the donkey party -- they're a laughingstock. Who does that leave but the media?
When the president is a Democrat, liberal media bias is a genuine hazard. But when the Republicans are in power, a dose of the very same bias can be healthy. America's most powerful newsrooms are packed with people who oppose much of what the Republican Party stands for. Let's unleash a few of those Lefties from the shackles of journalistic convention and see what happens.
Of course, we can't turn the news columns wholesale over to ideologues. Instead, I propose that every major media outlet designate one liberal reporter to cover this conservative government from a frankly liberal point of view. Nothing tricky or snarky, just a steady stream of news openly based on a different set of assumptions from those of the regime. I've even got a title for the job: The Adversary. It comes from "adversarial journalism," an antique, somewhat discredited concept that just might be ready for a comeback.
END of Excerpt
For the Powers piece in full: http://nationaljournal.com/powers.htm
Just because Powers can't find liberal bias for a few days doesn't mean it's gone away.
As for Good Morning America the morning after the election, I'd suggest he check the MRC's Media Reality Check by Rich Noyes, "Media: Both Parties Should Shift to the Left; Conservatives Told to Dilute Their Agenda While Democrats Condemned for Downplaying Liberalism." It's online at: http://www.mediaresearch.org/realitycheck/2002/fax20021106.asp
We won. The MRC should "declare victory" over liberal media bias, former Time magazine national correspondent Jack White declared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal on Friday morning.
White insisted that CBS News is "awfully timid about displaying" any alleged bias so "sooner or later I think we're all going to have to acknowledge that the myth of liberal bias in the press is just that, it's a myth. May have been true at one time but it's been beaten out of 'em."
I'm sure we've made a lot of progress (Bryant Gumbel is off broadcast network television) and made many in the media more cognizant of their liberal assumptions, but I don't think liberal bias has been eliminated just because White can't see it on CBS and there's one cable news network he views as biased to the right. (And the MRC's goal is not conservatively biased news as White seemed to suggest, but balanced and fair coverage.)
Even if you accept White's premise, White himself is a case study in how easily liberal advocacy journalism can rebound. Last year White accepted a buyout from AOL Time Warner and he is now "Writer in Residence" at Howard University which means, he explained to C-SPAN's Brian Lamb, he mentors journalism students -- thus creating another generation of liberal reporters. But he'll soon be back in Time magazine, he informed C-SPAN watchers, since the magazine has asked him to start writing a column for it again once or twice a month.
And just what kind of viewpoints can we expect from White upon his return to Time magazine? Check out his past mean-spirited blaming of conservatives for spurring hate crimes and impugning of Clarence Thomas for daring to stray from liberal orthodoxy:
-- "Uncle Tom Justice" read the title for White's column in the June 26, 1995 Time: "These days Washington seems to be filled with white men who make black people uneasy, like Newt the slasher, Bill the waffler, and Jesse the crank -- Helms, that is, not Jackson. But the scariest of all the hobgoblins may well be a fellow African American, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. In the four years since George Bush chose him to fill the 'black seat' vacated by Thurgood Marshall, Thomas has emerged as the high court's most aggressive advocate of rolling back the gains Marshall fought so hard for. The maddening irony is that Thomas owes his seat to precisely the kind of racial preference he goes to such lengths to excoriate."
-- White in a March 18, 1996 Time column on the burning of black churches in the South: "In fact, all the conservative Republicans, from Newt Gingrich to Pete Wilson, who have sought political advantage by exploiting white resentment should come and stand in the charred ruins of the New Liberty Baptist Church in Tyler [Alabama]...and wonder if their coded phrases encouraged the arsonists. Over the past 18 months, while Republicans fulminated about welfare and affirmative action, more than 20 churches in Alabama and six other Southern and Border states have been torched....there is already enough evidence to indict the cynical conservatives who build their political careers, George Wallace-style, on a foundation of race-baiting. They may not start fires, but they fan the flames."
-- White in a June 12, 2000 column in Time on what will be lost with the demise of the liberal black magazine Emerge: "No matter what George Curry accomplishes during the remainder of his journalistic career, he will be remembered for one thing: he was the editor who slapped a portrait of Clarence Thomas wearing an Aunt Jemima-style handkerchief on a 1993 cover of Emerge magazine. That shocking image outraged Thomas supporters, of course, but it crystallized the disgust that many African-Americans had begun to feel about the ultraconservative legal philosophy of the U.S. Supreme Court's only black member....That's the uncompromising voice that made Emerge the nation's best black news magazine for the past seven years."
Now back what White said on the November 15 Washington Journal on C-SPAN. MRC analyst Patrick Gregory took down White's response to a caller who asked about pro-Republican and anti-Democratic media bias, comments caught by MRC Communications Director Liz Swasey:
We'll declare victory when there's no more liberal bias in major national media outlets -- and not a day before then.
While I do appreciate White's vote of confidence in the MRC's work, I suspect an ulterior motive: If the MRC shuts down White and all his liberal buddies in the media will be unfettered in their use of their media outlets for liberal advocacy and the denigration of conservatives.
For a picture of White, check the MRC home page later this morning where the MRC's Mez Djouadi will post of still shot of him: http://www.mrc.org
10. "In the middle of the night, crank-call Saddam"
9. "Give directions to confused tourists looking for Space Mountain"
8. "Defend all of North America, except Rhode Island"
7. "Can't say why, but we're building a 200-foot-tall Dick Cheney"
6. "Beats me. Today's my first day"
5. "Dreaming up exciting new appetizers for Applebee's, like zesty riblets"
4. "Watching Pamela Anderson's every move"
3. "Returning loose kites to their owners"
2. "Ensure Americans never pay too much for a muffler"
1. "Shoot and eat all the space aliens"
To view a RealPlayer clip of numbers 5, 4 and 3 being read in a snowstorm, click on it in the list of videos on the Late Show's "Big Show Highlights" page at: http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/dave_tv/ls_dtv_big_show_highlights.shtml
10. Endorsing Dr. Phil for President in 2004
9. Demanding a recount of results from the "West Wing" election
8. Tells Dick Gephardt the Democrats need to "get jiggy with it"
7. Demands that Immigration Service deport Celine Dion
6. Keeps asking husband James Brolin to "Take me to that hotel you used to work in"
5. Is now pissed off at her mother for misspelling "Barbara"
4. Insists people who need people ain't that lucky
3. Now claims Shakespeare wrote "Yentl"
2. Starts whining about lack of roads named after her
1. Got her transmission fixed at some place other than Aamco
The Late Show's "Top Ten Contest" page: http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/top_ten/contest/
She certainly wouldn't do #9 since on the NBC show last week the liberal "President Bartlet" won re-election by a wide margin over dumb Republican "Governor Ritchie" played by Streisand's husband, James Brolin. -- Brent Baker