Bush's "Conservative Agenda...Ended Up Alienating" Jeffords
3. Bush Pushing "Deeply" & "Strongly Conservative" Judges
4. Schieffer: Frost a "Moderate"
5. Public Wants Government Doing Less, But Chafee in Way
Dems Too Shy for Fear of Having Patriotism Questioned
Helen Thomas's Liberal Rant in Form of a Question
Alter: "Mondale Will Win Going Away"
Web Update: The November 5 CyberAlert relayed how the New York Post's "Page Six" column reported that Barbra Streisand "is privately saying that Senator Paul Wellstone's plane crash was 'no accident.'" In a "Truth Alert" posted by BarbraStreisand.com on November 5, Streisand denied the substance of the New York Post story: http://www.barbrastreisand.com/news_truth.html
ABC came closest as Linda Douglass led into a soundbite from the American Enterprise Institute's Norman Ornstein: "Analysts say Mr. Bush's success in this campaign was historic." Ornstein then observed: "We have not before seen a President who actually in a mid-term election had what we call a coattail effect."
NBC's Tom Brokaw noted that "the President has more power than any Republican President since Dwight Eisenhower."
How the ABC, CBS and NBC anchors summarized the election results on their November 6 newscasts as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Peter Jennings opened the broadcast: "Good evening, everyone. It's been said many times since last night what a night for the Republicans, what a good day for President Bush. There are still a few contests in the country too close to call, but the headlines are resounding. The Republicans have the power in the House of Representatives, and while they may not have the power to do everything they want, they are now the majority in the Senate. The ballot balance next year will be at least 51 Republicans to 46 Democrats and one independent. Two Senate seats are still undecided. The race in South Dakota is still too close to call, and there will be a runoff in Louisiana because the incumbent Democratic candidate facing three Republicans did not get 50 percent of the vote. The Republicans staggered the Democrats in some places. In Georgia, where Republican Saxby Chambliss defeated Senator Max Cleland, in Missouri where Congressman Jim Talent beat Senator Jean Carnahan, and in Minnesota where former Mayor Norm Coleman defeated Walter Mondale."
-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather first went with the Fed's interest rate cut before getting to the election results: "The big impressive win for President Bush's Republicans in the midterm elections had a major political impact tonight on the House Democratic leadership. Longtime Minority Leader Dick Gephardt said he will not seek reelection to that post. This comes just hours after Republicans increased their majority in the House, picking up at least four seats. The Republicans also retook control of the Senate. They'll have at least 51 seats. CBS's Bob Schieffer has more now about the results and what they mean."
Schieffer began with some interesting comments about the winners and losers in three Senate victories for Republicans: "It was a Republican romp from Minnesota where a Democratic icon fell to Norm Coleman, to Georgia where Saxby Chambliss defeated a war hero, to North Carolina where Elizabeth Dole won a Senate seat in a state where she hadn't lived in 40 years. How did they do it? Republicans and Democrats agree that it was a popular President who campaigned long and hard in 35 states that turned the tide."
Introducing a later story by David Axelrod, Rather conceded GOP success, but dampened it with a shot at Democratic strategy: "It's clear the Republicans won so convincingly in part because they have a popular wartime President and because their message came through loud and clear to voters from the deep South to the high Northern Plains. But as CBS's Jim Axelrod reports, they were aided by the Democrats' failure to come up with a vote-getting message they could call their own."
-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw announced at the top of the program: "Good evening. Two years ago at this time, George W. Bush wasn't sure he would even get to the White House, but tonight the President has more power than any Republican President since Dwight Eisenhower, clear control of the Senate and House to go with the Executive Branch and an opposition party in confusion after a stunning defeat in midterm elections. The Republicans took back control of the Senate with a master plan that produced some major upsets and gains. And the Republicans have still another chance in early December in a runoff between the Democratic incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu in Louisiana and Republican Suzanne Terrell. In the House, the GOP actually strengthened its majority, controlling now at least 228 seats, perhaps more once all the races are settled."
ABC's Terry Moran on Wednesday night tried to steer President Bush away from pursuing conservative policies, claiming that the last time Bush had a majority in the Senate he lost it because "he pushed a conservative agenda...that ended up alienating Vermont Republican Senator Jim Jeffords."
Moran was mimicking the liberal spin on why Jeffords, 20 years after the election of Ronald Reagan on a conservative platform and a year after spending time on the campaign trail with President Bush as Bush advocated the very policies Jeffords suddenly found so distasteful, made his switch when he could be a king maker and get himself a committee chairmanship.
Moran concluded his November 6 World News Tonight story from the White House lawn: "There's a lot of talk about bipartisanship and compromise here tonight, but that was also true in 2001 when President Bush came into office and when he pushed a conservative agenda, Peter, that ended up alienating Vermont Republican Senator Jim Jeffords who switched parties and lost the Republicans control of the Senate."
President Bush doesn't just want to use his Senate majority to get "conservative" judges confirmed, "he wants to stock the federal judiciary with strongly conservative judges" and "deeply conservative" ones, ABC's Terry Moran maintained on Wednesday.
Listing items the White House will pursue now that Republicans will have a majority in the Senate, on World News Tonight Terry Moran asserted, "Judicial nominations: Several deeply conservative nominees blocked by Democrats will now make it to the bench."
Earlier in the day, on Good Morning America, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson noticed that Moran recalled that when out campaigning "Mr. Bush made crystal clear he wants to stock the federal judiciary with strongly conservative judges." ABC then played a clip of Bush: "I'll put good, honest honorable people who understand that their job is to interpret the Constitution, not use the bench from which to legislate."
So not legislating from the bench makes you "strongly conservative" in Moran's mind?
During Tuesday night prime time election coverage, Schieffer insisted that the slightly right of center Georgia Democratic Senator Zell Miller is "very, very conservative." For details and Miller's actual vote ratings: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20021106.asp#7
Last Friday, on Imus in the Morning, 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." For more about Bowles' views and what Schieffer claimed: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20021004.asp#2
Now back to the Wednesday night, November 6, CBS Evening News. Schieffer told viewers: "Tom Daschle is expected to remain leader of Senate Democrats, but we've confirmed that House Leader Gephardt will announce tomorrow he is stepping down. That will set off a contest to replace him between liberal Democrat Nancy Pelosi and the moderate Martin Frost."
Pelosi of California certainly is on the left, earning a mere 2 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union (ACU): http://www.acuratings.com/acu_doc.cgi?ACT=3&STATE=CA&YEAR=2001
And the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) has approved of 94 percent of her votes during her House career: http://adaction.org/lifetimehocalifornia.html
But Texan Frost is not all that much less liberal and is far from a moderate. The ACU gave him a 16 percent lifetime rating: http://www.acuratings.com/acu_doc.cgi?ACT=3&STATE=TX&YEAR=2001
And he's earned 74 percent approval over his lifetime in Congress from the ADA: http://adaction.org/ho00046.htm
NBC Nightly News highlighted on Wednesday night a NBC News poll, taken just before the election, which discovered that by 55 to 36 percent the public prefers the government "doing less" to "doing more." But before conservatives get too excited, on the same show Lisa Myers showcased how "moderate" Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee warned "his party not to overreach." Chafee admonished: "If we get off on a, on a hard-core, hardball agenda, such as making the tax cuts permanent and taking apart clean water and clean air, I think we're gonna be in trouble as Republicans."
NBC brought aboard Tim Russert for some post-election analysis. Brokaw raised the NBC poll finding: "Tim, let's take a look at a poll. We asked a number of questions. This one was quite striking, I thought, especially given the Democrats' approach about what the government could do for you in prescription drugs and health care and other issues. 'The government's role in your life, should it be doing more or doing less?' -- 55 to 36, it should be doing less. The President and Republicans in the last several election cycles have really stuck that on the Democrats."
In a story earlier in the show, Lisa Myers cautioned: "The slim Republican majority gives moderates like Lincoln Chafee considerable influence. He warns his party not to overreach."
Chafee is more of a mild liberal than a moderate. His ADA rating during his first two years in the Senate: 70 percent. See: http://adaction.org/lifetimesenrhodeisland.html
And from the ACU, a fairly low 28 percent: http://www.acuratings.com/acu_doc.cgi?ACT=3&STATE=RI&YEAR=2001
Time magazine's Margaret Carlson blamed Democratic losses on how Republican insidiously questioned the "patriotism" of anyone who strayed from the Bush policy on Iraq.
During a CNN Capital Gang segment at about 12:40am EST on Tuesday election night/Wednesday morning, MRC analyst Patrick Gregory noticed, Carlson whined:
In fact, Cleland voted in favor of the Iraq war resolution. His decision to put protecting unionized federal workers from any performance or competence scrutiny ahead of national security is what gave his Republican opponent an opening to attack him.
Helen Thomas was back in form at the White House press briefing on Wednesday, showing she wasn't too pleased with the election results.
Brit Hume ended his FNC program on Wednesday night by playing a clip of this exchange with Thomas, the former UPI White House reporter who now
writes a column for Hearst Newspapers, forwarding liberal talking points in the form of her question:
"Civil Service Commission"? I think during the Carter years that was re-named the Office of Personnel Management.
Appearing during the 10am EST hour on MSNBC on October 27, Alter argued: "This race was fairly close, I was out in Minnesota last week, and Wellstone was moving ahead but it was still close. I don't think that this is going to be close now. I don't think that the absentee ballots, for instance, will be decisive. I think Mondale will win going away."
So much for Alter's prognosticating ability.
In the next CyberAlert I'll compare the predictions made by members of the media, which were listed in the November 5 CyberAlert, to who really won.
> Tom Brokaw is scheduled to appear tonight on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman. -- Brent Baker