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NBC News: "Any Recovery in This Country is a Work in Progress" --7/6/2004


1. NBC News: "Any Recovery in This Country is a Work in Progress"
NBC emphasized the negative on Friday night on the unemployment level while CBS found an upbeat angle, but still ended on a downbeat note. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams acknowledged "good news" in how "the economy added jobs -- 112,000 of them in June -- and while unemployment did not rise last month, holding steady at 5.6 percent," he stressed the "bad news," that "the experts tonight say there's reason to worry because the job numbers came in below what they were expecting. And it is fair to say tonight that any recovery in this country is a work in progress." In contrast, on the CBS Evening News, Anthony Mason saw "another sign the economy is taking off. FedEx, the Memphis-based shipping company, has hired nearly 6,000 workers this year." He trumpeted how "the surging U.S. economy has now gained back more than half of the 2.7 million jobs lost in the recession."

2. ABC Lets Willey Call BC a Liar, But Raises Right-Wing Conspiracy
In the wake of Bill Clinton dismissing, in his new book, the cases of the women he presumably accosted, ABC on Thursday night provided a platform for some of Clinton's victims to denounce him. Kathleen Willey, for instance, declared on Prime Time Thursday that "he and his wife don't care who they step on as they're climbing to the top. They don't care. They never will. Time will prove that he's the liar. You don't think he stopped lying, do you? His whole life is a lie." ABC's Cynthia McFadden, however, couldn't let the Clinton-bashing go unchallenged as she offered some anti-conservative mock indignation, "We were shocked about one surprising point: Paula Jones believes there was a right-wing conspiracy against the President." But it was McFadden who gave that idea to Jones: "They used you, essentially, to try to impeach him to try to discredit him. What do you make of that?"

3. Bias Flashback: Dan Rather Blasted Cheney & Praised Lieberman
Biased Blast from the Past. Back in 2000, when George Bush picked Dick Cheney as his running mate, Dan Rather relayed the derisive and negative Democratic spin against the GOP ticket, noting how "Democrats were quick to portray the ticket as quote 'two Texas oilmen' because Cheney was chief of a big Dallas-based oil supply conglomerate. They also blast Cheney's voting record in Congress as again quote, 'outside the American mainstream' because of Cheney's votes against the Equal Rights for Women Amendment, against a woman's right to choose abortion..." But two weeks later on the night of the official unveiling of Joe Lieberman as Al Gore's number two, Rather relayed not Republican criticism of the new Democratic team but the Democratic ticket's boasts about themselves: "In their first joint appearance they gave a preview of the Gore-Lieberman fight-back, come-back strategy. Their message: They represent the future, not the past, and they are the ticket of high moral standards most in tune with real mainstream America."

4. "Top Ten Things Overheard at Saddam Hussein's Court Appearance"
Letterman's "Top Ten Things Overheard at Saddam Hussein's Court Appearance."


NBC News: "Any Recovery in This Country
is a Work in Progress"

NBC's Brian Williams NBC emphasized the negative on Friday night on the unemployment level while CBS found an upbeat angle, but still ended on a downbeat note. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams acknowledged "good news" in how "the economy added jobs -- 112,000 of them in June -- and while unemployment did not rise last month, holding steady at 5.6 percent," he stressed the "bad news," that "the experts tonight say there's reason to worry because the job numbers came in below what they were expecting. And it is fair to say tonight that any recovery in this country is a work in progress." In contrast, on the CBS Evening News, Anthony Mason saw "another sign the economy is taking off. FedEx, the Memphis-based shipping company, has hired nearly 6,000 workers this year." He trumpeted how "the surging U.S. economy has now gained back more than half of the 2.7 million jobs lost in the recession."

Yet over video of a McDonald's counter, Mason concluded his story: "The U.S. economy is creating jobs again, but for many they're still not as good as the jobs they lost."

Williams teased the July 2 NBC Nightly News: "The economy: The good news, more jobs created again last month. The bad news, far fewer than before. Is there reason to worry?"

Williams opened the broadcast, as taken down by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth: "Good evening. As Americans prepare to head into perhaps the signature weekend of summer, there is indeed good news and bad news on the U.S. economy tonight. While the economy added jobs -- 112,000 of them in June -- and while unemployment did not rise last month, holding steady at 5.6 percent, the experts tonight say there's reason to worry because the job numbers came in below what they were expecting. And it is fair to say tonight that any recovery in this country is a work in progress. We begin tonight with NBC's Anne Thompson."

Thompson began: "After three months of spectacular growth, the nation's labor market did a June swoon."
Mark Zandi, economist: "The job market, the broader economy are moving forward, just not at the red hot pace we saw earlier this spring. It's moving forward, but at a more tepid pace."
Thompson laid out the bad news, but got to a good news case: "The numbers were less than half of what economists expected. Manufacturers reversed course, losing jobs. Construction hiring was flat. The growth came in health, transportation and professional services, like Helene Sullivan's public relations firm in Boston. She hired three new employees last month and is looking for three more, and not just entry-level workers."
Helen Sullivan: "And so I'm totally surprised that we're able to also fill in at the more senior level."
Thompson went negative again: "But economists now worry the recovery is not creating enough high-paying jobs. Since last August, 62 percent of the new positions pay below the national average."
Zandi: "We need to see better quality jobs because we need more income, more wages. That's the fodder for continued consumer spending, and consumers are obviously key to the healthy economy going forward."
Thompson: "And one of the keys to the presidential election, when the Democrats meet here in Boston later this month to nominate John Kerry, you can expect to hear a lot of debate about job quality. Kerry in Minnesota today."
John Kerry: "Don't tell the people working two or three jobs at a time that we can't do better."
Thompson: "The Bush campaign accuses Kerry of being negative about what the President says is a strong recovery."
George W. Bush: "We don't need a boom or bust type growth. We want just steady, consistent growth so that our fellow citizens will be able to find a job."
Thompson concluded: "A pivotal issue in the race for the White House and the future of the recovery. Anne Thompson, NBC News, Boston."

Over on the CBS Evening News, anchor John Roberts announced: "The number is looking mighty familiar. The government says the unemployment rate in June, for the third straight month, was 5.6 percent. The economy created 112,000 jobs, but that was less than half the number that economists were expecting. John Kerry says not good enough. President Bush says steady growth is what's important and the economy's been creating job for ten straight months."

Anthony Mason began on an upbeat note: "It's another sign the economy is taking off. FedEx, the Memphis-based shipping company, has hired nearly 6,000 workers this year half of them package handlers, 50 of them pilots."

Mason, walking by a conveyor belt carrying packages: "When the economy picks up, FedEx senses it here immediately. Its earnings are up more than 40 percent not only because the volume of shipping is up but so is the weight of these packages. The surging U.S. economy has now gained back more than half of the 2.7 million jobs lost in the recession."

After a soundbite of Lyle Gramley of the Schwab Washington Research Group predicting payrolls will be back to the 2001 level withing six months, Mason cautioned: "But most of those new jobs are not high-paying jobs. The median national hourly wage is $15.35 and nearly two thirds of the jobs created since last summer pay less than that [63 percent]."

Mason focused on a Connecticut woman who lost her job and now has four jobs: She designs Web sites, recruits nurses for research projects, sells make-up freelance and runs the National Receptionists Association. But she makes less than before. Over video of a McDonald's counter, Mason ominously concluded: "The U.S. economy is creating jobs again, but for many they're still not as good as the jobs they lost."

ABC Lets Willey Call BC a Liar, But Raises
Right-Wing Conspiracy

In the wake of Bill Clinton dismissing, in his new book, the cases of the women he presumably accosted, ABC on Thursday night provided a platform for some of Clinton's victims to denounce him. Kathleen Willey, for instance, declared on Prime Time Thursday that "he and his wife don't care who they step on as they're climbing to the top. They don't care. They never will. Time will prove that he's the liar. You don't think he stopped lying, do you? His whole life is a lie." ABC's Cynthia McFadden, however, couldn't let the Clinton-bashing go unchallenged as she offered some anti-conservative mock indignation, "We were shocked about one surprising point: Paula Jones believes there was a right-wing conspiracy against the President." But it was McFadden who gave that idea to Jones: "They used you, essentially, to try to impeach him to try to discredit him. What do you make of that?"

McFadden began her July 1 piece with clips of Monica Lewinsky, commenting on Bill Clinton, as made in a paid interview with Britain's ITV.

McFadden jumped to Willey, who McFadden reminded viewers, said she was "groped" by Clinton. Willey charged, from what looked to be her Richmond, Virginia-area home: "The mere fact that our President could take time out of his day and do the kinds of things that he did in that house, in that office, because he could, because he could? It's absolutely offensive to hear that."

In mock indignation, McFadden then claimed: "We were shocked about one surprising point: Paula Jones believes there was a right-wing conspiracy against the President."

But the subsequent video, in which McFadden interviewed Jones in Arkansas via satellite, suggested McFadden planted that idea, which Jones never explicitly endorsed.

McFadden to Jones: "They used you, essentially, to try to impeach him to try to discredit him. What do you make of that?"
Jones: "I was a small little entity in this big vast whatever you want to call it that got erupted and it started with me and they did use me for their own agendas and I do believe that from both sides people that did not like Bill Clinton used me as a pawn to help bring down the man that they hated."

McFadden returned to Willey: "There were only three mentions of Kathleen Willey in the Clinton book. He dismisses her story in a single line: 'It wasn't true.'"
Willey: "He did call me a liar. And I have a response top that: He's a liar. He's lied about all of it."
McFadden: "She has a few more lines for him."
ABC ran a series of comments from Willey: "He's a serial philanderer and I'm sure it hasn't stopped."
"I will not buy the book. I will not read the book."
"Yes, I think he's re-writing history."

Over video of Bill and Hillary waving to a crowd, Willey charged: "And he doesn't care. He and his wife don't care who they step on as they're climbing to the top. They don't care. They never will. Time will prove that he's the liar. You don't think he stopped lying, do you? His whole life is a lie. He blames his failures and he blames his obsessions on his alcoholic step father and his birth father who died before he was born. I mean, we all deal with what happens in our lives."

And ABC ran another clip from Willey: "You have to take personal responsibility. And you're never going to convince me that what happened to me in the White House was in direct relation to his alcoholic step father. It's not going to work."

McFadden moved on to Gennifer Flowers, showing the 1992 60 Minutes interview in which Bill Clinton denied having a multi-year affair with her as he does in his book. Without citing a source, McFadden put on screen the text of a comment from Flowers, which included this shot: "I am sickened by his continued disregard for the truth."

ABCNews.com features an online version of the story, but sans the most damning quotes against Clinton: abcnews.go.com

Bias Flashback: Dan Rather Blasted Cheney
& Praised Lieberman

Biased Blast from the Past, a comparison of how Dan Rather introduced the Democratic and Republican running mates in 2000. From the August 9, 2000 CyberAlert:

The night of the official announcement of Dick Cheney as George Bush's VP Rather relayed the derisive and negative Democratic spin against the GOP ticket. Exactly two weeks later on the night of the official unveiling of Joe Lieberman as Al Gore's number two, Rather relayed not Republican criticism of the new Democratic team but the Democratic ticket's boasts about themselves which included a sly dig at Bush-Cheney.

Compare the two quotes below. Bias doesn't get much more obvious or easy to see than this:

-- Here's Rather on the July 25 CBS Evening News introducing that night's story on the Bush-Cheney debut:
"In the presidential campaign, the official announcement and first photo-op today of Republican George Bush and his running mate Richard Cheney. Democrats were quick to portray the ticket as quote 'two Texas oilmen' because Cheney was chief of a big Dallas-based oil supply conglomerate. They also blast Cheney's voting record in Congress as again quote, 'outside the American mainstream' because of Cheney's votes against the Equal Rights for Women Amendment, against a woman's right to choose abortion -- against abortion as Cheney prefers to put it -- and Cheney's votes against gun control. Republicans see it all differently, most of them hailing Bush's choice and Cheney's experience."

-- Rather introducing the August 8 CBS Evening News piece on the Gore-Lieberman announcement event:
"Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore officially introduced his history-making running mate today, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. History-making because Lieberman is of Jewish heritage and faith. The two started running right away. In their first joint appearance they gave a preview of the Gore-Lieberman fight-back, come-back strategy. Their message: They represent the future, not the past, and they are the ticket of high moral standards most in tune with real mainstream America."

In a few hours we'll know how glowingly positive Rather will be about John Edwards.

"Top Ten Things Overheard at Saddam Hussein's Court Appearance"

From the July 1 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Things Overheard at Saddam Hussein's Court Appearance." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

10. If the mustache don't fit, you must acquit

9. Rather than 'murderous dictator,' I'd prefer 'genocidal maniac'

8. Is it me or is Saddam just the most adorable thing you've ever seen?

7. He's obviously had a queer makeover

6. If you wanted a lawyer, Mr. Hussein, maybe you should've thought about that before you had them all killed

5. You think prison scares me? I lived in a damn spider-hole

4. I'll be released as soon as Kerry takes over

3. Wow, Saddam sort of looks like Robert Wagner

2. Saddam is the most evil man the world has ever known -- not counting Dick Cheney

1. That's cute -- out of habit, Courtney Love showed up

-- Brent Baker