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Margaret Carlson "Afraid" GOP Will Hold House -- 11/04/2002 CyberAlert


1.
Margaret Carlson "Afraid" GOP Will Hold House
Time's Margaret Carlson is "afraid" that Republicans will maintain control of the House after Tuesday's elections. Suggesting appointed Senator Jean Carnahan, who had never won election to anything before she was appointed to replace her husband, is "not up to the job," is a "smear" Republicans "use against women," Carlson also charged on CNN's Capital Gang.

2. Erskine Bowles a "Conservative" to CBS's Bob Schieffer
CBS's strange definition of a "conservative." Bob Schieffer described North Carolina Senate candidate Erskine Bowles, who opposes school vouchers, supports the most expansive prescription drug welfare entitlement program, wants to impose family leave mandates on business and raise the minimum wage as...both
"pro-business" and "fairly conservative."

3. CBS Resurrects Bush's "Conduct as a Businessman"
Just four days before the election the CBS Evening News decided to pick up on newspaper stories resurrecting "the President's conduct as a businessman" as Bill Plante raised vague charges of wrongdoing in how President Bush sold Harken stock in 1990. As Dan Rather put it, "there are new questions about Mr. Bush's sale of stock before he became President."

4. ABC: Wellstone Rally Boosted Mondale, No We Mean Coleman
Which way is it? ABC News can't decide. John Donvan on Thursday's Nightline: Wellstone's "memorial service this week turned into a political rally, giving a likely boost to Walter Mondale." John Cochran on Sunday's World News Tonight: "Both campaigns believe Coleman got a huge boost when a televised memorial service for Wellstone Tuesday night turned into a Democratic political rally."

5. Alter Hopes Wellstone Death Inspires Liberals
CNN's Judy Woodruff and Newsweek's Jonathan Alter both admired liberal Democrats for how they behaved at the "memorial service" for Paul Wellstone. Woodruff: "This was an exuberant and, and Wellstone was a rowdy guy, he was proudly a Democrat and, you know, why should anybody expect what, a balanced, Jim Lehrer NewsHour kind of event?" Alter defended the tone of the event, enthused about the "passion" the service had instilled in liberals and hoped "it hobbles what for more than 20 years...has been the Republicans' best strategy for winning campaigns: to use the dreaded L word to destroy Democrats."

6. Giuliani Notes Media Double Standard on Anti-Gay Bigotry
On ABC's This Week Rudy Giuliani suggested that if a Republican had uttered the same kind of prejudiced anti-gay remark at a debate as had Democratic South Carolina Senate candidate Alex Sanders in a comment the national media didn't find newsworthy, it would have been "absolute major news."

7. "Gruff-Talking Conservative" vs. "Cheerful Bear of a Man"
The Washington Post described how a House race in Maryland "matches a gruff-talking conservative, who has remained an icon for Reagan Democrats since stepping down in 1994, against a cheerful bear of a man, who has led Maryland's third-largest jurisdiction for eight years -- sweeping every precinct in the last election."

8. Jennings Highlights Desecration of Statue of Liberty
Leave it to Peter Jennings to highlight a Palestinian insult of the United States. On Friday's World News Tonight Jennings showed video of how two Palestinians, who he described as "artists," had created a mock up of the Statue of Liberty with the torch pointed downward in order to "symbolize," Jennings helpfully explained, "how the U.S. was inverting its own values by supporting Israel."

9. Maher: U.S. Not Good, We Kill for Cheap Gas
When Larry King suggested to Bill Maher on Friday night that Americans "try to do good, don't we? I mean we're basically good," the former host of ABC's Politically Incorrect rejected the notion: "No. Not for the rest of the world." Maher proceeded to charge: "Iraqis, I think, feel that if we drove smaller cars, maybe we wouldn't have to kill them for their oil because certainly the first Gulf War was about cheap gas."


Margaret Carlson "Afraid" GOP Will Hold House

Suggesting appointed Senator Jean Carnahan, who had never won election to anything before she was appointed to replace her husband, is "not up to the job," is a "smear" Republicans "use against women," Time's Margaret Carlson charged on CNN's Capital Gang. Carlson also expressed how she is "afraid" that Republicans will maintain control of the House after Tuesday's elections.

On the November 2 Capital Gang Carlson, in a discussion about the Missouri Senate race, Carlson alleged: "I think the sympathy factor actually has passed by and now she [Jean Carnhan] is running on her own merits. I think she's been a good candidate. But Talent and the Republicans keep saying she's 'not up to the job' -- a smear they use against women. I think it's been somewhat effective and I think Talent is going to win."

On the overall composition of the House, Carlson's hopes were raised, but now she's "afraid" Republicans will stay in control: "The shift in the consumer confidence, that drop, made me think that, you know, people would be sour going into the booth and it might work for Democrats but I'm afraid that the Republicans maintain a five seat lead."

Erskine Bowles a "Conservative"
to CBS's Bob Schieffer

Would you describe a Senate candidate as liberal, moderate or conservative whose Web site declares his support for Ted Kennedy's version of a prescription drug welfare entitlement and opposition to school vouchers and in a soundbite, on Friday's CBS Evening News, who proclaimed: "Think about family and medical leave and being able to take time off from work. Think about who's going to raise the minimum wage."

If you're like most people you'd say liberal. But if you were CBS News reporter Bob Schieffer you'd describe that candidate, who wants to impose the family leave burden on business and raise the amount they must pay their staffs, as "pro-business," a "conservative kind of Democrat" and just plain "fairly conservative."

Friday morning on Imus in the Morning on MSNBC, Schieffer declared of the Democratic Senate candidate in North Carolina: "Erskine Bowles would also, he would be, he would be the kind of Democrat that would be a great asset to Democrats across the South in that he is pro-business, he is, he is fairly conservative."

The MRC's Rich Noyes noticed Schieffer's strange definition of a conservative and MRC analyst Patrick Gregory took down his words from the November 1 show. Schieffer contended about the North Carolina Senate race:
"You know that race has gotten much closer than people thought it was. Most people kind of the political class, the political consultants and all of that thought that Elizabeth Dole could just go down there and win that race because she was, you know sort of nationally known, but it's close right here at the end. She's a very strong candidate and that is a very conservative state. But Erskine Bowles is well known throughout the state. He's a very good candidate, and you know the fact that he could in North Carolina sort of overcome the fact that he was Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff and get as far as he has shows how much support he has around the state. He's from a very well known family there. His father by the way was a very good friend of Jesse Helms. He's a conservative kind of Democrat. I think he's run a good campaign, and Republicans are actually a little worried about that. I would have to say at this point that Elizabeth Dole probably, you'd have to give her the edge, but this is not going to be a runaway."
Imus: "She'd probably be a pretty good Senator, you know."
Schieffer: "Well, she would, she'd be very articulate I think and her husband is well-liked among the Senate establishment, but Erskine Bowles would also, he would be, he would be the kind of Democrat that would be a great asset to Democrats across the South in that he is pro-business, he is, he is fairly conservative. If North Carolina should choose to elect a Democrat, it would be a Democrat like Erskine Bowles."

For a rundown of how Bowles is to the left of the very un-conservative Dole, see a Web site his campaign set up: http://bowlesvsdole.com

CBS Resurrects Bush's
"Conduct as a Businessman"

Just four days before the election the CBS Evening News decided to pick up on newspaper stories resurrecting "the President's conduct as a businessman" as Bill Plante raised vague charges of wrongdoing in how President Bush sold Harken stock in 1990. As Dan Rather put it, "there are new questions about Mr. Bush's sale of stock before he became President."

The subject arose in a November 1 story about SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt as CBS contrasted his troubles and Bush's personal behavior with how Bush, on the campaign trail, "slammed corporate greed."

Dan Rather set up the story, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "President Bush now finds himself dealing with two potentially damaging problems in what he says is his fight to clean up the corporate corruption mess. There are the multiplying difficulties for the man he appointed to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, Harvey Pitt, and there are new questions about Mr. Bush's sale of stock before he became President. White House correspondent Bill Plante reports."

Plante began: "With new details emerging about the President's personal financial history and his chief financial enforcer under mounting scrutiny, Mr. Bush today slammed corporate greed with renewed zeal."
George W. Bush: "There isn't any easy money in America. There's only jail time when we catch you fudging the books."
Plante: "But it may be a while before the government's corporate watchdogs send anybody to jail. They're too busy investigating themselves. SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt didn't bother to tell anyone that his choice to head the new accounting board, William Webster, had disclosed that he'd been on the board of a small company accused of fraud, and had overseen its audit committee. Former SEC Chief Accountant Lynn Turner says that's a bad start."
Lynn Turner, former SEC accountant: "I think at this point in time, if this board's gonna have any credibility, they're gonna have to go find themselves a new chairman."
Plante: "And, says a Wall Street veteran, the market already figure that SEC Chairman Pitt is history."
Jim Grant, Grant's Interest Rate Observer: "He is no longer a factor. Either he will be wholly ineffectual or he will be unemployed. In either case, I think he is no longer relevant to this thing called confidence."
Plante: "And with the election just four days away, the President's conduct as a businessman has also resurfaced. In 1990 when Mr. Bush was a director of Harken Energy, he received this memo from company lawyers warning directors not to sell stock if they had unfavorable information about the company. One week later, he sold $848,000 worth of Harken stock. Two months later, Harken announced losses of more than $23 million. But Mr. Bush's personal attorney didn't forward the warning memo to the SEC until they had finished their investigation. The White House says Mr. Bush did consult the lawyers before he made his stock sale and got their blessing. They also say that the SEC could have reopened the investigation at any time they wished but never did so."

ABC: Wellstone Rally Boosted Mondale,
No We Mean Coleman

Did Democrats turning the Wellstone memorial service into a crass political rally help the election prospects for Democratic Senate candidate Walter Mondale or Republican candidate Norm Coleman? Depends which day you watch ABC News.

-- John Donvan, as caught by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson, on Thursday's Nightline: "In Minnesota an emotional and political upheaval when Paul Wellstone, the incumbent Democrat, died Friday in a plane crash. His memorial service this week turned into a political rally, giving a likely boost to Walter Mondale, the retired Senator and former Vice President who today began his campaign for Senate in Wellstone's place."

-- John Cochran on Sunday's World News Tonight: "Both campaigns believe Coleman got a huge boost when a televised memorial service for Wellstone Tuesday night turned into a Democratic political rally."

Alter Hopes Wellstone Death Inspires Liberals


CNN's Judy Woodruff and Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, a contributor to NBC News and MSNBC, both admired liberal Democrats for how they behaved at the "memorial service" for Paul Wellstone.

On Thursday's Imus in the Morning on MSNBC, Woodruff rationalized the booing and exhortations to vote Republicans out of office: "This was an exuberant and, and Wellstone was a rowdy guy, he was proudly a Democrat and, you know, why should anybody expect what, a balanced, Jim Lehrer NewsHour kind of event? I mean, we're talking -- Paul Wellstone was somebody who was passionate."

The MRC's Rich Noyes observed that in an MSNBC.com piece posted the day before, October 30, Alter defended the tone of the event and enthused about the "passion" the service had instilled in liberals. Alter maintained: "The Wellstone memorial service was in perfect keeping with the man: a warm celebration of his life -- and the lives of those, including his wife and daughter, who died with him -- that was also a political rally."

In addition to instilling passion, Alter hoped "there's another reason Wellstone's death could help his party nationally. It hobbles what for more than 20 years -- election after election -- has been the Republicans' best strategy for winning campaigns: to use the dreaded L word to destroy Democrats."

An excerpt from Alter's October 30 "Between the Lines" piece headlined, "The Wellstone Effect: If only a marginal number of Democrats work harder because of the death of the senator, it will have an effect in the trenches where elections are won and lost."

Before long, Democrats may view Paul Wellstone's death in a plane crash as the beginning of their resurrection.

From the shattering news last Friday up to last night's boisterous memorial rally in Minneapolis, there was a deep, despairing sense among the party faithful that something more than the senator and the seven others on board his plane may have been lost. Liberals around the country called one another up and, after exchanging appreciation of Wellstone's passion and principles, asked: What has happened to us? Have we all become careful trimmers? Have we forgotten how to dream and fight?...

Passion is a key ingredient in any political contest, especially a close one. Say you're a liberal Democratic voter living in close-fought New Hampshire or Colorado. You were intending to vote for Jeanne Shaheen or Tom Strickland, the Democratic candidates for the Senate, but not work for them over the weekend or next Tuesday. But now an emotional fuse has been lit. If only a marginal number of Democrats work harder because of Wellstone, it will have an effect in the trenches, where elections are won and lost.

But there's another reason Wellstone's death could help his party nationally. It hobbles what for more than 20 years -- election after election -- has been the Republicans' best strategy for winning campaigns: to use the dreaded L word to destroy Democrats.

The strategy was first employed in the 1970s by GOP consultant Arthur Finkelstein, who cut ads where the word "liberal" was spit out with contempt....

By 1998, Finkelstein's specific kind of frying-pan ad -- "He's Liberal, Liberal, Liberal" or "He's dangerously liberal" -- weren't playing quite as well. But the basic approach of the GOP hasn't changed. The goal this year has been to stigmatize Tom Daschle and the Senate Democrats and tie Democratic candidates to them....

This dog still hunts in Georgia, where Republican Saxby Chambliss is actually having some success making triple-amputee Vietnam vet Sen. Max Cleland look liberal on defense. But is it so crazy to think that such ads are going to be less effective in less conservative states after Wellstone's death?

Over the weekend, the airwaves were filled with conservative senators all talking about how much they admired their colleague, even if they disagreed with him. It seemed sincere, and, for the first time in years, they actually used the word "liberal" without sneering.

Now they will have to turn on a dime and say: keep that dangerous liberal so-and-so out of Washington. They'll do it, but it won't have the old passion behind it.

The Wellstone Effect isn't likely to win the House back for the Democrats, but in a closely-divided country, it should help hold the Senate for them. Voters like a balance in Washington, a healthy debate. They liked seeing that Wellstone voted against the war resolution, even if they favored it. In recent years they have been reluctant to hand the White House, Senate and House to the same party. This year shouldn't be any different, thanks in part to Paul Wellstone. It wouldn't be the crowning legacy he'd have chosen, but he'd have been happy about it.

END of Excerpt

For Alter's polemic in full: http://www.msnbc.com/news/828177.asp

Giuliani Notes Media Double Standard
on Anti-Gay Bigotry


On This Week Rudy Giuliani suggested that if a Republican had uttered the same kind of bigoted anti-gay remark at a debate as had Democratic South Carolina Senate candidate Alex Sanders in a swipe at Giuliani the national media didn't find newsworthy, it would have been "absolute major news."

During an appearance on the November 3 show, host George Stephanopoulos played a clip of this outburst from Sanders at a debate a couple of weeks ago in which Sanders blasted opponent Lindsey Graham for accepting support from Giuliani:
"He is an ultra-liberal. He supports gay rights. He supports banning all handguns, he supports abortion, his wife kicked him out and he moved in with two gay men and a Shih Tzu. Is that South Carolina values? I don't think so."

Stephanopoulos wondered: "Do you think there's a double standard here? If a Republican ever brought up an issue of gay rights"
Giuliani agreed: "Sure. If a Republican did that in a major race it would be major news for four or five days. Absolute major news. And the issue would have been calling Republicans small-minded, petty, they're prejudiced. They don't embrace the rights of other people. In this particular case, a Democrat did it. There was a small item, kind of like I think a gossip item in some of the newspapers, but it didn't have the significance. And I do think there's a double standard."

One night last week the panel on FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume also marveled at the national media's lack of interest in highlighting such prejudice from a Democrat when they certainly would have pounced on any such outburst from a Republican. Recall the media furor over Dick Armey insulting Barney Frank.

A Shih Tzu is a puny dog.

"Gruff-Talking Conservative"
vs.
"Cheerful Bear of a Man"

Nice labeling. From my "pending" file something to squeeze in before election day, evidence that before Washington Post national political reporters are liberal national political reporters they are liberal political reporters for the "Metro" section.

Check out the descriptions of the two candidates in this October 29 Washington Post "Metro" story headlined, "Maryland's 2nd District Key Partisan Battleground." The subhead: "Outcome Could Affect Control of Congress." With 2nd district incumbent Republican Bob Ehrlich running for Governor, the race to replace him features the Republican he replaced versus a local Democrat.

Picking up the story with the third paragraph, after referring to the race in the 8th district bordering Washington, DC, reporter Spencer Hsu wrote:
"Barely a half-hour north on Interstate 95, an equally pitched battle is being fought between former representative Helen Delich Bentley and Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger. The contest matches a gruff-talking conservative, who has remained an icon for Reagan Democrats since stepping down in 1994, against a cheerful bear of a man, who has led Maryland's third-largest jurisdiction for eight years -- sweeping every precinct in the last election."

"Gruff-talking conservative" against a non-ideological "cheerful bear of a man."

I think it's safe to predict that Hsu should rise fast through the Washington Post newsroom.

Jennings Highlights Desecration of
Statue of Liberty


Leave it to Peter Jennings to highlight a Palestinian insult of the United States. On Friday's World News Tonight Jennings showed video of how two Palestinians, who he described as "artists," had created a mock up of the Statue of Liberty with the torch pointed downward in order to "symbolize," Jennings helpfully explained, "how the U.S. was inverting its own values by supporting Israel."

As the video zoomed in on the fake statue, Jennings explained on November 1: "In the West Bank city of Ramallah, two Palestinian artists have created their own version of the Statue of Liberty at Mr. Arafat's headquarters, which the Israelis destroyed. You can see the torch is pointed down. That, they say, is intended to symbolize how the U.S. was inverting its own values by supporting Israel."

Maher: U.S. Not Good, We Kill for Cheap Gas


When Larry King suggested to Bill Maher on Friday night that Americans "try to do good, don't we? I mean we're basically good," the former host of ABC's Politically Incorrect rejected the notion: "No. Not for the rest of the world." Maher proceeded to charge: "Iraqis, I think, feel that if we drove smaller cars, maybe we wouldn't have to kill them for their oil because certainly the first Gulf War was about cheap gas."

On the November 1 Larry King Live on CNN Maher espoused the now standard left-wing view that President Bush is only pursuing Iraq in order to distract attention from the economy. Maher also said "I never understand middle class people cheering when George Bush talks about tax cuts" since "it's politicians like him who fought campaign finance reform. That's the reason why business has not been held to the highest ethical standards" and thus caused massive stock market losses.

Maher appeared in order to plug his new picture book of posters he'd like to see exhorting the public to do what he wants in the aftermath of terrorism, take-offs of actual World War II posters, "When You Ride Alone, You Ride With Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism." Naturally, the posters focus on things like buying a hybrid car.

The three most interesting exchanges:

-- Maher: "As I said to my friend Mr. Leno the other night, when he was pilfering me about it -- I said, you know, Iraq is a case of herpes that is now suddenly being treated like it was cancer. I don't think in the last 12 years it became cancer. It was a disease we were containing. And it smells awfully funny that just after an election issue is needed -- you know, the Bushes, excuse me, are very good at creating an issue when an election comes around. You remember the American flag issue, the pledge, that nonsense that George Bush won on in 1988? OK, so three months ago the issue was going to be the fact in the last two and a half years the American economy has lost $8 trillion of wealth, which is going to run into real money, Larry."
King: "Keep counting up."
Maher: "And suddenly that issue got thrown away because -- because we're going to get mustard gassed by Satan."

-- "I never understand middle class people cheering when George Bush talks about tax cuts and how it's your money. But they're not going to really see much of their money. It's also their money that's been lost in the stock market. And the reason why that stock market money was lost was because somebody was not watching over the thieves. When George Bush says we're going to hold business to the highest ethical standards, well, it's politicians like him who fought campaign finance reform. That's the reason why business has not been held to the highest ethical standards. He's championing people like Harvey Pitt and William Webster. So he talks a good game about it, but really, as I say, they work on two tracks. Here's what we're going to do, here's what we're going to sell them."

-- King: "Why do so many countries hate us? And you write about that."
Maher: "Yes. There's a few posters that have that theme because I think it's important. Because I think-"
King: "We try to do good, don't we? I mean we're basically good."
Maher: "No. Not for the rest of the world. We take pride in being big charity givers. We're in fact dead last among the industrialized nations. We give an infinitesimal amount of our money to people around the world. I think what people around the world would say is it would take so little for this rich country to help and alleviate so much misery and even that is too much for them. We're oblivious to suffering."
King: "And so we are hated because of this?"
Maher: "Yes, I think so. Iraqis, I think, feel that if we drove smaller cars, maybe we wouldn't have to kill them for their oil because certainly the first Gulf War was about cheap gas. There's no doubt about that in my mind. It was about keeping gas under $2 a gallon. So I understand why that would make people feel like this is a country that doesn't care."

And a country I hope that isn't upset that ABC is no longer providing a broadcast network forum for Maher to spew his venom. -- Brent Baker


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