NBC's Expert: On Schiavo, Republicans Have Soured Swing Voters --3/29/2005
2. Mitchell Scolds DeLay for Schiavo Publicity to Mask Ethics Issues
Globe/NPR Journalist Tags Novak a "Mendacious Lycanthrope"
4. "Top Ten Things Overheard at the White House Easter Egg Hunt"
NBC's David Gregory on Monday night utilized the media's favorite tactic, using a liberal Republican to chide conservatives for taking a position in opposition to what the Washington press corps believes. Leading into a soundbite from Congressman Chris Shays of Connecticut, Gregory highlighted how "even some Republicans don't like" the "new political landscape" where Congress has intervened in deciding when a life should end. Gregory noted how "a Time magazine survey over the weekend found that 75 percent disagreed with the idea that Congress was right to intervene" and then turned to a professor who saw dire days ahead for the GOP: "There is the real danger...that if the Republican party angers a large number of Americans that it will reduce the party's appeal, so they'll still have a coalition, it just won't be as broad of one as they would like."
Brian Williams introduced the March 28 NBC Nightly News story, as corrected against the closed-captioning by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth: "And now to the politics of this Schiavo case. There's been some fallout from it already with opinion polls showing a lot of Americans are angry over the involvement of Washington politicians. From the White House tonight, here is NBC's David Gregory."
Gregory began: "The political fight over Terri Schiavo will likely extend well past her death. The events of the past two weeks indicate the question of who decides when a life should end is no longer just an issue for families and the courts, but for Congress and even the White House. It's a new political landscape even some Republicans don't like."
NBC did not identify Green, but he's a professor at the University of Akron. The university's bio page for him: www3.uakron.edu
NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell seemed angry, on the Chris Matthews Show over the weekend, at Congress for daring to ask a federal court to review the Schiavo case -- and she took a shot at House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Mitchell asserted: "I'm left with a profound sense that this is a national craziness over a case that should be a very painful, private decision for the family." Later, she took on DeLay, complaining that the DeLay so interested in Schiavo had "refused to appear anywhere near a camera during weeks when he was manipulating the ethics committee composition so that he could not be brought up on charges for a raft of issues. And all of a sudden, he is everywhere on camera this week talking about the Terry Schiavo case."
The MRC's Geoff Dickens caught Mitchell's comments on the program carried, in most markets, on March 27.
-- Mitchell: "But I'm left with a profound sense that this is a national craziness over a case that should be a very painful, private decision for the family."
-- Mitchell: "But when you asked that question, Chris, legally the husband does have that custodial right to make that decision. That's what every court ruled, and I think the American public should accept what the judiciary rules if you believe in the separation of powers and if you believe in, in the legal system."
-- After playing a soundbite of Tom DeLay to the Family Research Council.
In the midst of a Sports Illustrated/CNN Sports blog entry about the NCAA men's basketball tournament, Boston Globe Magazine writer Charles Pierce, who in a 2003 article touted how if Mary Jo Kopechne had lived, "Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age," denounced columnist and CNN commentator Robert Novak. Pierce castigated Novak as "a mendacious lycanthrope" and warned CBS, which is carrying the tournament: "If you use him as a talking-head anywhere on your network, you've sacrificed credibility for celebrity in a big way."
Novak is a big college basketball fan.
Mendacious means untruthful and the Oxford dictionary defines lycanthrope as "a werewolf." It defines "lycanthropy" as "the mythical transformation of a person into a wolf. Archaic, a form of madness involving the delusion of being an animal, usually a wolf."
Clay Waters, Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch.org site (www.TimesWatch.org), caught the remark in a Monday "e-mail conversation about the NCAA tournament" with back-to-back entries from Pierce, identified as a Boston Globe Magazine writer who also "appears regularly on National Public Radio," and Sports Illustrated senior writer Alex Wolff, "author of Big Game, Small World: A Basketball Adventure."
The entry in question was headed:
"From: Charles Pierce
An excerpt from the second half of Pierce's entry:
....Sometimes, I think CBS's memory hole must be the size of Mauna Kea.
Which reminds me. You probably missed it, but CBS ran a pre-game special about the arc of the Maryland program from the death of Len Bias in 1986 to the national championship back in 2002. It was a mixed bag, even if you grant the fact that it's Easter, and that television sports just loves redemption stories even at less appropriate moments on the liturgical calendar. Anyway, it was nice to see Gary Williams get some props, and there was the expected revisionism concerning Lefty Driesell, who still has his fans in our biz, apparently.
But what was missing was a larger context. As author Dan Baum has pointed out, through the efforts of (among others) Celtics fan Tip O'Neill, Bias's death set off the anti-drug frenzy of the mid-1980s, which generally used the Bill of Rights for a bathmat, prompted a series of Draconian new laws, and spawned some godawful Pinochet Lite rhetoric that's been dusted off recently by our hysterical Steroid Apocalyptics. We learn nothing from our own mistakes except to make them all over again.
And, also, CBS? I don't care if he once wore the Terrapin costume and danced through the upper deck. Bob Novak is at all times a mendacious lycanthrope and, if you use him as a talking-head anywhere on your network, you've sacrificed credibility for celebrity in a big way.
Pierce, who has yet to Get Over It.
END of Excerpt
For the blog entry in full: sportsillustrated.cnn.com
Kopechne drowned in Kennedy's submerged car off Chappaquiddick Island in July 1969, an accident Kennedy did not report for several hours.
Pierce's personal home page: www.charlespierce.net
From the March 28 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Things Overheard at the White House Easter Egg Hunt." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com
10. "Doctor needs to know how much egg dye the President drank."
9. "Instead of eggs, shouldn't we be looking for Osama?"
8. "The CIA is picking up a lot of yolk-related chatter."
7. "Unfortunately the Easter Bunny's been detained at Gitmo."
6. "Cheney's eating ham? Better fire up the defibrillator."
5. "Mr.President, is this your Easter recess, your spring break or are you still on your President's Day vacation?"
4. "No eggs, but here are thousands of votes for John Kerry."
3. "We also found a gun with Robert Blake's fingerprints."
2. "Should we get a Kosher bunny for the Jewish kids?"
1. "One of the kids found a pair of Clinton's pants."
-- Brent Baker