The MRC@25: The Worst Media Bias of 2002
For the past two weeks, the MRC has been showcasing the most egregious bias we've uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala September 27.
If you’ve missed a previous blog, recounting the worst of 1988 through 2001, they are here. Today, the worst bias of 2002: Bill Moyers gets the vapors after Republicans win control of Congress; ABC’s Barbara Walters champions Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s dedication to “freedom;” and Reuters charges that “human rights around the world have been a casualty of the U.S. ‘war on terror.’”
“The entire federal government — the Congress, the executive, the courts – is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate. That agenda includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to surrender control over their own lives. It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich. It includes giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable. And it includes secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine.
“Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you like the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what’s coming. And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture....
“So it’s a heady time in Washington, a heady time for piety, profits and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money. Don’t forget the money....Republicans out-raised Democrats by $184 million and they came up with the big prize: monopoly control of the American government and the power of the state to turn their radical ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price.”
— Bill Moyers’ commentary at the end of his PBS show Now on November 8, 2002, the Friday after Republicans won control of the Senate in midterm elections.
“Seven years ago, when the last referendum took place, Saddam Hussein won 99.96 percent of the vote. Of course, it is impossible to say whether that’s a true measure of the Iraqi people’s feelings.”
— ABC’s David Wright, World News Tonight, October 15, 2002.
“For Castro, freedom starts with education. And if literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on Earth. The literacy rate is 96 percent.”
— Barbara Walters narrating her interview with Fidel Castro on ABC’s 20/20, October 11, 2002.
“Recovery and debris removal work continues at the site of the World Trade Center known as ‘ground zero’ in New York, March 25, 2002. Human rights around the world have been a casualty of the U.S. ‘war on terror’ since September 11.”
— Reuters News Service caption for a photo of the destroyed World Trade Center site which was distributed with a September 3, 2002 story by Richard Waddington headlined, “Rights the first victim of ‘war on terror.’”
Check back each morning for more classic bias quotes, or visit our “25th Anniversary” section for the entire collection.