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Newsweek's Thomas: GOP 'Their Extremists Take Them Straight Down' --5/4/2009


1. Newsweek's Thomas: GOP 'Their Extremists Take Them Straight Down'
Commenting on Senator Arlen Specter's switch from the Republican to Democratic Party, Newsweek's Evan Thomas declared Republicans are now "exactly like the Labor Party in England in the 1970s. They're letting their extremists take them straight down." As if that would upset Thomas and the Washington press corps -- whose very characterization of conservatives as "extremists" is only helping uninformed Americans to see Republicans and conservatives as outside the mainstream.

2. CNN: If McCain Won, SCOTUS 'Would Be Changing in Extreme Ways'
Friday afternoon, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez observed that since "Obama is essentially replacing...a more liberal judge with what will eventually probably be a liberal judge doesn't really change things a lot," but, he contended, a President McCain would have caused an "extreme" shift, as if one more non-liberal on the court would cause an "extreme" change: "If John McCain were the President of the United States today, this court would be changing in extreme ways, wouldn't it?" Of course, if McCain were President there wouldn't now be an opening on the court and it presumes McCain would nominate a conservative.

3. MSNBC's Guthrie: Seeing Obama in Press Room Like 'Dream Sequence'
During the 3PM EDT hour of live coverage on MSNBC on Friday, anchor Norah O'Donnell turned to White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie for reaction to President Obama's surprise appearance at the daily press briefing to discuss the retirement of Supreme Court Justice David Souter: "Savannah, let me just start with you, the shock factor. I mean, you've got that seat right there by where the President walked out. Were you surprised?" Guthrie replied: "Shocked is more like it, Norah. I felt a little bit like I was having a dream sequence minus the pink unicorn. I have to say, we attend those briefings every day, they are rarely so exciting."

4. Gingrich: 'Press Corps Has Taken Such a Pathetic Dive' with Obama
Reacting to the questions posed during Wednesday's presidential news conference, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich expressed disappointment with the White House press corps, telling FNC's Greta Van Susteren the journalists have "taken such a pathetic dive with this President that they ought to be part of his PR firm. I mean it's embarrassing to watch." Gingrich cited a series of subjects on which reporters failed to press Obama, such as "So why are you releasing these terrorists in the United States?" and "Why are you so confused about whether or not you want to in fact go after and prosecute people who've never historically been prosecuted before?" Plus, "Doesn't it worry you to have $9 trillion in debt being projected under your administration?" In the interview conducted at Mount Vernon, Gingrich quipped: "If you didn't know better, you'd think that he was practicing with his own public affairs people for the future press conference."

5. David Shuster Loves 'Brilliant' Obama; Hates 'Atrocious' Fox News
MSNBC anchor David Shuster appeared on Stephanie Miller's left-wing radio show on Thursday to praise the "brilliant," "informed," and "articulate" President Obama and trash the "atrocious" Fox News Channel. Shuster, who is on the same network as the extremely liberal Keith Olbermann, complained, "I mean, look, if Fox wants to consider themselves the GOP house organ, that's fine. They completely backed it up."

6. ABC Ignores Own Role In 'Myth' of 'Perfect' Edwards Couple
Good Morning America weekend anchor Kate Snow on Friday filed a report on Elizabeth Edwards' new book about her husband's infidelity. The ABC journalist ignored the media's role in creating a "myth" about the marriage between Elizabeth and John Edwards, the former Senator. Snow noted that Mrs. Edwards knew of her husband's affair prior to his 2008 Democratic presidential campaign and discouraged him from running. She explained, "Last fall in a rare interview, Elizabeth Edwards told the Detroit Free Press the idea the Edwards were a perfect couple was a myth." However, in 2007, as the Democratic primary race began to heat up, GMA hosts were only two happy to tout the happy marriage of the Edwards. On August 9, reporter David Muir cooed, "...We have the very first photos of a very personal backyard ceremony for John Edwards and his wife." He then proceeded to show pictures of the couple renewing their wedding vows. Muir was wowed by "an incredibly personal photograph" that somehow ended up in People magazine. On July 31, 2007, only nine days earlier, co-hosts Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer featured pictures of the two as they celebrated their wedding anniversary at Wendy's.

7. Flashback: In Backhanded Bias, Kemp Choice Spurred 'Haters' Talk
Sad news Saturday night of the passing, at age 73 following a battle with cancer, of Jack Kemp. Back in 1996, Bob Dole picked him as his vice presidential running mate, and some in the news media exploited the selection of Kemp to deliver backhanded insults about the "haters" who comprised the rest of the Republican Party. CNN's Bill Schneider: "He is a rare combination -- a nice conservative. These days conservatives are supposed to be mean. They're supposed to be haters." And: "Most conservatives these days come across as mean [video of Newt Gingrich] or intolerant [video of Pat Buchanan] or grouchy [video of Bob Dole]. Kemp is tolerant and inclusive. He has an excellent relationship with minorities. He showed real courage two years ago when he came out against Proposition 187, the punitive anti-illegal immigration measure in California. Kemp is not a hater." ABC's Cokie Roberts: "He's also very inclusive, reaching out to minorities, to women, being for immigration, for affirmative action. And I think that's very important for this particular convention, Peter, and this party, which is seen somewhat dour, and somewhat mean in its ways."


Newsweek's Thomas: GOP 'Their Extremists
Take Them Straight Down'

Commenting on Senator Arlen Specter's switch from the Republican to Democratic Party, Newsweek's Evan Thomas declared Republicans are now "exactly like the Labor Party in England in the 1970s. They're letting their extremists take them straight down." As if that would upset Thomas and the Washington press corps -- whose very characterization of conservatives as "extremists" is only helping uninformed Americans to see Republicans and conservatives as outside the mainstream.

The assessment from Thomas about how conservatives are "extremists" came on Inside Washington, a weekly show produced and aired over the weekend by Washington, DC's ABC affiliate, but first broadcast Friday night on the local PBS station, Thomas, Editor at Large with Newsweek after stints as Assistant Managing Editor and Washington bureau chief, proposed: "I don't think the Republicans would appreciate the comparison, but they're exactly like the Labor Party in England in the 1970s. They're letting their extremists take them straight down. The same thing as going to happen -- they had to disappear for a while and when they reinvented themselves they did it with moderates, they did it with Tony Blair."

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Will we see that formulation in the magazine?

Newsweek's bio for Thomas: www.newsweek.com

CNN: If McCain Won, SCOTUS 'Would Be
Changing in Extreme Ways'

Friday afternoon, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez observed that since "Obama is essentially replacing...a more liberal judge with what will eventually probably be a liberal judge doesn't really change things a lot," but, he contended, a President McCain would have caused an "extreme" shift, as if one more non-liberal on the court would cause an "extreme" change: "If John McCain were the President of the United States today, this court would be changing in extreme ways, wouldn't it?" Of course, if McCain were President there wouldn't now be an opening on the court and it presumes McCain would nominate a conservative.

Sanchez's formulation, in which had cited RNC Chairman Michael Steele's point that Supreme Court openings are why conservatives should have supported McCain, came just after CNN's legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, described the court's current make up as consisting of "four very conservative justices" and four just plain "liberal justices" -- apparently not "very" liberal.

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

From about 3:38 PM EDT on the Friday, May 1 CNN Newsroom:

RICK SANCHEZ: Jeff, let me ask you a question about balance on the court, because that seems to be the one issue that fascinates most Americans. Which way will the court go? To the left, the right, more to the middle? Does this change things at all or will it?
JEFFREY TOOBIN: Well, probably not immediately. The court is very polarized now. There are four very conservative justices: Chief Justice Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito. There are four liberal justices: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Bryer. Anthony Kennedy is in the middle. So Souter's departure, he will almost certainly be replaced by someone who shares, generally, his judicial philosophy. So in the short term the results of the cases probably won't change that much. But the Supreme Court's not about the short term. It's the long term. And Obama may well have many appointments, so the fact that there's not going to be a change right away doesn't mean that if, over the course of his four or eight years, he could completely reshape the Supreme Court.
SANCHEZ: So, you know, A.B. [Stoddard of The Hill] Michael Steele, when I heard him this morning on the Bill Bennett Show, he was correct. I mean, the fact that Obama is essentially replacing -- and I'm going to use these terms loosely -- but a more liberal judge with what will eventually probably be a liberal judge doesn't really change things a lot, but if John McCain were the President of the United States today, this court would be changing in extreme ways, wouldn't it?

MSNBC's Guthrie: Seeing Obama in Press
Room Like 'Dream Sequence'

During the 3PM EDT hour of live coverage on MSNBC on Friday, anchor Norah O'Donnell turned to White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie for reaction to President Obama's surprise appearance at the daily press briefing to discuss the retirement of Supreme Court Justice David Souter: "Savannah, let me just start with you, the shock factor. I mean, you've got that seat right there by where the President walked out. Were you surprised?" Guthrie replied: "Shocked is more like it, Norah. I felt a little bit like I was having a dream sequence minus the pink unicorn. I have to say, we attend those briefings every day, they are rarely so exciting."

[This item, by the MRC's Kyle Drennen, was posted Friday afternoon, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Guthrie went on to explain: "I had kind of been giving Gibbs a little bit of a hard time, saying, 'look, why does everyone in Washington know this and you're telling us there's been no communication between Justice Souter, the Supreme Court, and the White House?' And sure enough, the President walks in and said 'I just got off the phone with Justice Souter.'" O'Donnell asked: "Are you suggesting, Savannah, it was your questions that were the reason the President walked out? Because that sounds like where you're going with this." Guthrie humbly replied: "Well, I'm not quite that self-centered. But all I'm saying is I'm very happy to have my question answered, and certainly, personally by the President."

Here is the full transcript of the May 1 exchange:

3:36PM SEGMENT:
NORAH O'DONNELL: And there you have, of course, the President surprising everyone in the briefing room. We've got a lot to talk about, so let's introduce everyone we're going to talk to in the next few minutes. Savannah Guthrie, of course, is our White House correspondent. We're also joined by John Podesta, who is the CEO for the Center for American Progress, also headed up President Barack Obama's transition team and former Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton. Richard Wolffe, MSNBC political analyst. And Jonathan Alter with Newsweek and an NBC News analyst as well. Savannah, let me just start with you, the shock factor. I mean, you've got that seat right there by where the President walked out. Were you surprised?
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Shocked is more like it, Norah. I felt a little bit like I was having a dream sequence minus the pink unicorn. I have to say, we attend those briefings every day, they are rarely so exciting. You know, I don't know if you heard, I asked Robert Gibbs right after the President left, 'did you know he was coming?' And he said, 'no, I didn't know.' So we were very surprised. And in fact, in the briefing I had kind of been giving Gibbs a little bit of a hard time, saying, 'look, why does everyone in Washington know this and you're telling us there's been no communication between Justice Souter, the Supreme Court, and the White House?' And sure enough, the President walks in and said 'I just got off the phone with Justice Souter.' And I should mention, by the way-
O'DONNELL: Are you suggesting, Savannah, it was your questions that were the reason the President walked out? Because that sounds like where you're going with this.
GUTHRIE: Well, I'm not quite that self-centered. But all I'm saying is I'm very happy to have my question answered, and certainly, personally by the President.
O'DONNELL: Alright, Savannah, I'd love to talk to you more, this is on your topic, but we've got a whole panel here. Thanks very much, Savannah, I appreciate it.
GUTHRIE: Sure.

Gingrich: 'Press Corps Has Taken Such
a Pathetic Dive' with Obama

Reacting to the questions posed during Wednesday's presidential news conference, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich expressed disappointment with the White House press corps, telling FNC's Greta Van Susteren the journalists have "taken such a pathetic dive with this President that they ought to be part of his PR firm. I mean it's embarrassing to watch." Gingrich cited a series of subjects on which reporters failed to press Obama, such as "So why are you releasing these terrorists in the United States?" and "Why are you so confused about whether or not you want to in fact go after and prosecute people who've never historically been prosecuted before?" Plus, "Doesn't it worry you to have $9 trillion in debt being projected under your administration?"

In the interview conducted at Mount Vernon, Gingrich quipped: "If you didn't know better, you'd think that he was practicing with his own public affairs people for the future press conference."

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Saturday morning, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

From an interview excerpt run at the end of the Friday, May 1 On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:

I think the Washington White House press corps has taken such a pathetic dive with this President that they ought to be part of his PR firm. I mean it's embarrassing to watch. How many reporters have said to him, you know, "so why are you releasing these terrorists in the United States?" How many reporters have said to him, you know, "why are you so confused about whether or not you want to in fact go after and prosecute people who've never historically been prosecuted before?" Why are so few of them saying to him: "Gosh, doesn't it worry you to have $9 trillion in debt being projected under your administration?"

I mean, there is no tough, serious engagement. It's like watching a collection of, you know -- if you didn't know better, you'd think that he was practicing with his own public affairs people for the future press conference. These look like practice sessions. They don't look like real press conferences.

David Shuster Loves 'Brilliant' Obama;
Hates 'Atrocious' Fox News

MSNBC anchor David Shuster appeared on Stephanie Miller's left-wing radio show on Thursday to praise the "brilliant," "informed," and "articulate" President Obama and trash the "atrocious" Fox News Channel. Shuster, who is on the same network as the extremely liberal Keith Olbermann, complained, "I mean, look, if Fox wants to consider themselves the GOP house organ, that's fine. They completely backed it up."

Just getting warmed up, he continued: "When Fox starts describing themselves as journalists or a news organization, that's where I think it's appropriate to describe Fox as disgraceful." Shuster attacked the cable network, where he was a correspondent at from 1996 to 2002, for its "insanity." Getting around to the personalities on FNC, he derided, "The stuff that comes out of Sean Hannity's mouth has been infuriating. The stuff that Bill O'Reilly says has been illogical."

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday afternoon, with audio, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

As angry as Shuster was towards Fox, he appeared thrilled with the performance, thus far, of Obama. The MSNBC host, who saw his program, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, cancelled a few weeks ago, said of the President's April 29 news conference: "I thought Obama was brilliant." Shuster rhapsodized, "He's so informed. He's circumspect. He's articulate. He's thoughtful." Later in the interview, Shuster told Miller, "Well, I think in my lifetime...there's never been anything like it."

On April 6, the MRC released a Media Reality Check on Shuster that examined a segment on his now-defunct program called "Hypocrisy Watch" The concept of the near-daily feature was allegedly to point out hypocrisy emanating from politicians. The results of the study found that 71 percent of the so-called hypocrites were conservative or Republican and only eight percent were liberal or Democrat. See Media Reality Check: www.mrc.org

So, Shuster deriding FNC as unfair and "disgraceful" is rather hard to believe.

The MSNBC anchor attacked the MRC study in the pages of the April 13 Washington Post, calling this organization "funded and run by die-hard conservatives with a clear partisan agenda." He went on to seriously claim that "Hypocrisy Watch" "was hard hitting on both parties." See an April 14 CyberAlert posting for more: www.mrc.org

However, as both the MRC's study and his latest radio appearance prove, that just isn't so.

A transcript of the April 30 segment, which aired on The Stephanie Miller Show at 10:35am EDT:

DAVID SHUSTER: You know, I think every time Michele Bachmann opens her mouth, we've got something to report on. I guess, my question is, is she just an idiot or if [sic] she intends to be nuts. I don't know.
STEPHANIE MILLER: I don't know.
...
10:35
MILLER: So, what was your take on the press conference last night?
SHUSTER: You know, I actually thought- I thought Obama was brilliant. I mean, it's just- We're starting to hear from so many historians and people say this is one of the brightest Presidents, one of the most adept that we've had, perhaps, in our lifetime. And I think we see evidence of that every time he has one of these events. It's almost like the more varied the questions are, the tougher the questions are, he just- he- it's like he hits them back even harder. And he does it in sort of a friendly nature. He's so informed. He's circumspect. He's articulate. He's thoughtful. And I think, even for my friends who disagree, say with a particular policy, they at least acknowledge, well, there's an intellectual basis, there's a rationale to why he's saying what he does. Now, you may disagree with that, but at least you have to respect the fact that he's thought it through and he's logical and he's got a basis for his argument.

10:37
SHUSTER: You know Fox is, I mean, I can go on and on and on about Fox. I mean, I think their approach to this has been- I mean, look, if Fox wants to consider themselves the GOP house organ, that's fine. They completely backed it up. When Fox starts describing themselves as journalists or a news organization, that's where I think it's appropriate to describe Fox as disgraceful. I mean, the set of rules, the set of standards that Fox pretends to try to follow. I mean, I don't even know where to begin with Fox. It's just insanity. If you want to make an argument that, look, President Obama is socialist, prove it. Taking the tax rate for the wealthy from 36 to 39 percent, it that socialist?
MILLER: Right.
SHUSTER: Trying to save the banks by giving them more capital, money that the government is going to get back, is that socialist? Trying to lower health care, I mean, it doesn't make any sense.
MILLER: Yeah.
...

10:38
SHUSTER: No, I was just going to say, Fox has just been brutal. I mean, their coverage on the Fox News Channel has been atrocious. The stuff that comes out of Sean Hannity's mouth has been infuriating. The stuff that Bill O'Reilly says has been illogical. You go up and down the schedule and its insanity over there. And, you know, you can say, the American people, maybe the American people deserve some of the blame for being not so well informed about the issues of the day, and that's fine. But there's a problem when news organizations deliberately or intentionally mislead people or misinform the public and get them to think, "Oh, Iraq was part of 9/11" when, no. I mean, you go up and down the list at the number of lies, perpetuated, promoted by Fox News is just shameful and it hurts everybody.

10:41
MILLER: David, having covered a lot of Presidents, how would you rate the first 100 days? I know it's an arbitrary measure, but-
SHUSTER: Well, I think in my lifetime, there's never been anything- there's never been anything like it. I mean, when you think about what he's been able to pass, what he's been able to get done. $800 billion stimulus plan, dealing with a number of crises, I mean, as a journalist you just look up and say, these are historic times. I mean, not just that it's the first African American President, it's historic for all that. But, we've never had a set of challenges face one President in the first 100 days, I think, in my lifetime. I think you have to go back to the Great Depression and FDR to look at a time when there was so much pressure on a White House and so much danger, whether it's foreign policy dangers in Afghanistan and Pakistan or whether it's economic dangers with the recession and things possibly getting worse and the banking crisis.

ABC Ignores Own Role In 'Myth' of 'Perfect'
Edwards Couple

Good Morning America weekend anchor Kate Snow on Friday filed a report on Elizabeth Edwards' new book about her husband's infidelity. The ABC journalist ignored the media's role in creating a "myth" about the marriage between Elizabeth and John Edwards, the former Senator. Snow noted that Mrs. Edwards knew of her husband's affair prior to his 2008 Democratic presidential campaign and discouraged him from running. She explained, "Last fall in a rare interview, Elizabeth Edwards told the Detroit Free Press the idea the Edwards were a perfect couple was a myth."

However, in 2007, as the Democratic primary race began to heat up, GMA hosts were only two happy to tout the happy marriage of the Edwards. On August 9, reporter David Muir cooed, "...We have the very first photos of a very personal backyard ceremony for John Edwards and his wife." He then proceeded to show pictures of the couple renewing their wedding vows. Muir was wowed by "an incredibly personal photograph" that somehow ended up in People magazine. On July 31, 2007, only nine days earlier, co-hosts Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer featured pictures of the two as they celebrated their wedding anniversary at Wendy's. (The photo is from the visit to the fast food restaurant.) For more, see an August 10, 2007 CyberAlert posting: www.mrc.org

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

None of these GMA-hyped stories or images, which obviously perpetuated the "myth" that Elizabeth Edwards referred to, made it into the May 1 story. (The picture at right is from the July 2007 segment) Wouldn't it be healthy to have some self examination from journalists as to their own role in promoting these types of campaign stunts?

A transcript of the May 1 segment, which aired at 7:32am, follows:

CHRIS CUOMO: But first this morning, throughout the 2008 political campaign, Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of then-Senator John Edwards, was keeping a secret. A secret voters would learn more than a year later and that was that her husband had an affair. Now, Elizabeth Edwards is sharing new details about that painful episode and making some surprising statements about her husband's run for the White House. Kate Snow is here, has the story for us.
ABC GRAPHIC: Elizabeth Edwards Opens Up: What She Knew About Husband's Affair
KATE SNOW: Chris, In her new memoir, it's called "Resilience," Elizabeth Edwards lashes out at the woman with whom her husband had that affair. She calls Rielle Hunter's life pathetic. But she also says her husband, the senator, should never have run for president. Aside from a hearing on health care, Elizabeth Edwards has barely been seen in public since last summer. But, she's about to be about the center of a publicity storm. In her new book, according to the New York Daily News, she spills all about the moment she learned of her husband's affair. "I cried and screamed. I went to the bathroom and threw-up." Mrs. Edwards suggests, according to he Daily News, that Rielle Hunter, whose daughter recently turned one-year-old, seduced John Edwards with the pickup line, "You're so hot."
JOHN EDWARDS: It was a huge judgment- mistake in judgment. But, yeah. I didn't think anyone would ever know about it. I didn't.
SNOW John Edwards first publicly admitted the affair last summer in an interview with ABC's Bob Woodruff. At that time, he described coming clean to his wife in 2006.
EDWARDS: And it was painful for her. Hard and painful for her But she responded exactly like the kind of woman she is. I mean, she forgave me. And we went to work on it.
SNOW: Mrs. Edwards' account is a little messier. She says in the book, when her husband admitted the adultery, he, quote, "left most of the truth out." And said it was a one-time fling. Still, even when she knew the full truth, Mrs. Edwards threw herself behind her husband's campaign. When her cancer returned in March 2007, Elizabeth was the one urging the senator to continue running.
ELIZABETH EDWARDS: One of the reasons it's important from my perspective, to move forward with this, is that I'm immensely proud of John's campaign.
SNOW: But now Elizabeth Edwards writes, according to the Daily News, that she had wanted her husband to quit the race for a different reason. Because she was afraid the affair would raise destructive questions for her family. He should not have run, she says in the book. And those would-of, could- have, might have changed everything in the Democratic primary.

MARK PENN (Democratic strategist): If he had dropped out of the race particularly early, I think a lot of voters would have taken a good, fresh look at Hillary Clinton. Remember, that they supported Edwards because they thought he was honest and trustworthy.
SNOW: Last fall, in a rare interview, Elizabeth Edwards told the Detroit Free Press the idea the Edwards were a perfect couple was a myth.
ELIZABETH EDWARDS: There is no perfection out there.
SNOW: But their marriage continues. "I lie in bed, circles under my eyes, my sparse hair sticking in too many directions," Elizabeth Edwards reportedly writes, "and he looks at me as if I am the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. It matters." Elizabeth Edwards, apparently, does not address the issue of who fathered Rielle Hunter's child. John Edwards has said both he and Elizabeth know that he is not the father of that child. Now, because of the leaks, the publisher is now releasing Elizabeth Edwards' memoir "Resilience" earlier than planned. It will be out, we believe it will be out next week. Elizabeth Edwards is due now to appear on Oprah, on her show, next week. And that's actually being advertised on Oprah's website this morning.
CUOMO: "Resilience" is a perfect word, given what she's been through. Kate, thank you very much.

Flashback: In Backhanded Bias, Kemp Choice
Spurred 'Haters' Talk

Sad news Saturday night of the passing, at age 73 following a battle with cancer, of Jack Kemp.

Back in 1996, Bob Dole picked him as his vice presidential running mate, and some in the news media exploited the selection of Kemp to deliver backhanded insults about the "haters" who comprised the rest of the Republican Party. CNN's Bill Schneider: "He is a rare combination -- a nice conservative. These days conservatives are supposed to be mean. They're supposed to be haters." And: "Most conservatives these days come across as mean [video of Newt Gingrich] or intolerant [video of Pat Buchanan] or grouchy [video of Bob Dole]. Kemp is tolerant and inclusive. He has an excellent relationship with minorities. He showed real courage two years ago when he came out against Proposition 187, the punitive anti-illegal immigration measure in California. Kemp is not a hater."

ABC's Cokie Roberts: "He's also very inclusive, reaching out to minorities, to women, being for immigration, for affirmative action. And I think that's very important for this particular convention, Peter, and this party, which is seen somewhat dour, and somewhat mean in its ways."

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Saturday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

From the August 1996 edition of the Media Research Center's now defunct MediaWatch newsletter:

Bob Dole's choice of Jack Kemp as a running mate drew praise from a number of reporters and analysts, but sometimes that praise accompanied backhanded insults about the "haters" who comprise the rest of the Republican Party.

CNN polling analyst Bill Schneider touted the choice on the August 9 Inside Politics, praising Kemp as he impugned other conservatives: "He is a rare combination -- a nice conservative. These days conservatives are supposed to be mean. They're supposed to be haters. Bob Novak talked a minute ago about the frowning face of the Republican Party. Jack Kemp is buoyant, he's effusive, he's inclusive of everybody in the country, not just in the Republican Party. He puts a different face on that ticket."

On the August 9 World News Tonight, ABC's Cokie Roberts also played backhand with Kemp: "He's very optimistic, but he's also very inclusive, reaching out to minorities, to women, being for immigration, for affirmative action. And I think that's very important for this particular convention, Peter, and this party, which is seen somewhat dour, and somewhat mean in its ways to have someone with a big smile on his face saying 'you all come,' and 'I'm going to cut your taxes' while you're at it, is not a bad thing for the Republicans."

During live coverage August 10 of Kemp's vice presidential announcement in Russell, Kansas, CNN anchor Judy Woodruff declared: "On welfare, up through the last few years, he's advocated more moderate policies than those that were passed this month by the Republican-controlled Congress. Jack Kemp does not like the idea of taking money -- yanking money away from welfare mothers with small children."

Hours later on CNN's Capital Gang, Woodruff's husband, Al Hunt, Executive Washington Editor of The Wall Street Journal, disparaged the platform while praising the Kemp pick: "Jack Kemp is gonna not only excite this convention, but he cuts across regional, racial and generational lines, across all of America, and I think that he and his incredibly attractive family are going to add lustre and intellectual firepower. Now there are some risks. He has a few flaky views, the gold standard for one, and more important, Jack Kemp is a can-do optimist who cares about all people and that s going to put him at odds with a platform that is protectionist, mean-spirited, anti-immigration, insensitive to racial minorities."

On that day's Inside Politics, Bill Schneider proceeded to repeat the previous day's slur: "Kemp also has a rare combination of qualities. He s a nice conservative. There haven't been too many of those since Ronald Reagan. Most conservatives these days come across as mean [video of Newt Gingrich] or intolerant [video of Pat Buchanan] or grouchy [video of Bob Dole]. Kemp is tolerant and inclusive. He has an excellent relationship with minorities. He showed real courage two years ago when he came out against Proposition 187, the punitive anti-illegal immigration measure in California. Kemp is not a hater."

END of Excerpt

-- Brent Baker