2. CNN Gives Garofalo Liberal
Crossfire Chair from Which to Rant
3. USA Today Claims Lauer and Couric "Avoid Revealing Their Biases"
4. Cronkite Uses New Column to Defend Liberalism, Advise Democrats
Apparently, even pointing out a candidate's policy position on taxes is somehow "nasty" and suggests "down and dirty" campaigning. At least when it comes to any conservative who dares to point out the pro-tax hike advocacy of an adviser to California recall candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger.
On Monday's Early Show, quad-host Rene Syler, the MRC's Brian Boyd noticed, posed this question to Phil Bronstein, Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Meanwhile, on Today, NBC's Mat Lauer actually suggested that the ACLU, which is trying to delay the recall election, has a "vested interest in a more liberal Democratic Governor" for California.
Lauer: "However, your critics are gonna say that delay gives Governor Gray Davis more opportunity to defend himself and run against some of these upstart Republicans and that the ACLU has a vested interested in Gray Davis withstanding this challenge."
Left-wing activist/actress Janeane Garofalo assumed the liberal chair on Monday's Crossfire, a seat she'll hold all week on the CNN show, and proceeded to contend that "the majority of people in Iraq and Afghanistan no longer see us as liberators, but as occupiers and trespassers." The now-blonde Garofalo also held the Bush administration "responsible" for the blackout, complaining that "the Bush administration claims that states don't need the federal government telling them what to do, unless it involves religion, sex or covert surveillance."
Garofalo's Crossfire appearance reminded me of a diatribe she delivered back in June, her pre-blonde days, which I had not yet cited. In comments at New York City's 92nd Street Y, which MSNBC's Scarborough Country played, Garofalo charged that "the dumb and the mean love patriotism." She claimed: "The Republican Party, their message and their politics of exclusion and, and the tilted playing field appeals to the dumb and the mean. There is no shortage of dumb and mean people in this culture. So therefore their message, the dumb and the mean find a nice home in the GOP."
Below, more extensive citations of her outbursts on CNN on Monday night and from back in June:
During the political wrap-up at the top of Monday's 4:30pm EDT Crossfire, Garofalo opined: "Over the weekend, saboteurs blew up a Baghdad water main and cut off water to about two-thirds of the city. Two of Iraq's oil pipelines were also set on fire. This destruction was supposedly the work of pro-Saddam loyalists, but I disagree. This is the work of anti-occupation resistance. The majority of people in Iraq and Afghanistan no longer see us as liberators, but as occupiers and trespassers. It's time for the Bush administration to be honest about the resistance, the $5-billion-a-month price tag, and the duration of this largely unwelcome occupation."
On the power outages, Garofalo argued: "Now that New York, Cleveland, Detroit and countless other towns and cities have electricity again, people will better understand who's responsible for the blackout. The Republican Party voted down money to upgrade the power grid three times and Republicans never reacted to multiple recommendations by the Hart-Rudman Commission that the grid be updated. And during that long, hot walk home, maybe people wondered why the Bush administration supports a three-year delay for a proposal to establish national standards for managing the flow of electricity.
For CNN's Crossfire page, with a picture of Garofalo with dark hair, not the blonde look she now sports: www.cnn.com
Back on June 20, MSNBC's Scarborough Country played clips from Garofalo's talk at the 92nd Street Y which took place a few days earlier. The MRC's Geoffrey Dickens took down her rants:
-- "The Republican Party, their message and their politics of exclusion and, and the tilted playing field appeals to the dumb and the mean. There is no shortage of dumb and mean people in this culture. So therefore their message, the dumb and the mean find a nice home in the GOP."
-- "This dumbing down and this pseudo-patriotism which is very conveniently partisan."
-- "The dumb and the mean love patriotism. Now the dumb cleave onto patriotism 'cause it's really, when it's, it's as unexamined as it is for the dumb it's merely narcissism. [In country-accent] You know it's, 'My country right or wrong.' Well, these colors don't run. What do you mean? 'I don't know.'"
-- "They use the word evil-doer with a straight face."
-- "Knee-jerk reactionary phrases that go down well from the Republican party with the dumb and the mean. And then the mean pretend that it's unpatriotic to be critical of your government."
-- "You don't let the facts get in the way of your, of your arrogance and belligerence. You just keep saying, 'No it doesn't,' or you just lie about everything."
-- "What you have now is people that are closet racists, misogynists, homophobes and people who love tilted playing field and the politics of exclusion identifying as conservative. They have hijacked that name and somehow they're proud of it. I don't understand that, why they're proud of being conservative but that is, seems to be the case."
-- "There is no liberal media."
-- "If there was a liberal media that would be good and our culture would reflect it."
-- "We can no longer tolerate anti-intellectualism, we can no longer tolerate liberal bashing and we can no longer tolerate the politics of the dumb and the mean. Thank you."
If we shouldn't tolerate "anti-intellectualism," then we shouldn't tolerate Janeane Garofalo.
For the Internet Movie Database's page on Garofalo with an old photo of her and a rundown of her roles, see: us.imdb.com
In a look Monday at FNC's Fox and Friends morning show, which beats CNN and MSNBC, USA Today reporter Peter Johnson contended that the hosts of NBC's competing Today show, Katie Couric and Matt Lauer, "keep things light and fun," but unlike the FNC morning team, "assiduously avoid revealing their biases."
In his August 18 "Life" section cover story, Johnson examined the success of E.D. Hill, whose real first name is Edith, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade.
Johnson noted they "have miles to go before they become news stars like Katie, Matt, Diane or Charlie," but "in the ever-changing world of television news -- one day you're a peacock, next day a feather duster -- and with cable viewership rising fast, F&F's success in just five years is remarkable: It is trouncing its cable competition, CNN's American Morning and MSNBC's Imus in the Morning.
(The broadcast networks, however, still own the morning with Today attracting 5,443,000 viewers, GMA 4,807,000 and the Early Show 2,736,000, according to numbers in a chart which accompanied the printed version of Johnson's piece.)
Johnson soon contended: "Executives at Fox News like to call F&F 'the anti-Today show.' Though the morning banter is always polite between NBC's Katie Couric and Matt Lauer, on Today they keep things light and fun but assiduously avoid revealing their biases.
For Johnson's August 18 USA Today story in full: www.usatoday.com
For the Couric quote collection: www.mediaresearch.org
A couple of weeks ago Walter Cronkite, the anchor of the CBS Evening News for about 20 years ending in 1981, started writing his new weekly column for King Features. In the first one, he claimed that "basically I'm a fiscal conservative and a social liberal" and went on to rationalize why journalists are liberals. In the second one, he outlined his recommended "basic goals" for the Democrats, ten liberal agenda items made to seen as innocuous as possible.
As for why reporters are liberal, Cronkite argued: "We reached our intellectual adulthood with daily close-ups of the inequality in a nation that was founded on the commitment to equality for all. So we are inclined to side with the powerless rather than the powerful."
But that doesn't really explain favoring powerful teachers' unions over poor students or favoring powerful environmentalists over hard-working loggers and farmers or favoring big government bureaucracies over letting lower-income people keep more of their money.
Cronkite added this nice little shot at anyone who dares to suggest liberals are anything less than pure in their motives: "Incidentally, I looked up the definition of 'liberal' in a Random House dictionary. It gave the synonyms for 'liberal' as 'progressive,' 'broad-minded,' 'unprejudiced,' 'beneficent.' The antonyms it offered: 'reactionary' and 'intolerant.'"
In his second column, after advocating higher taxes on the rich and nationalized health care, Cronkite hoped "that Democrats will lock the door against the naysayers, pessimists and political cowards who will maintain that these Democratic goals are only the dreams of idealists."
Left-wing idealists like Cronkite.
Cronkite made clear that he thinks President Bush has lessened America's standing in the world, as argued why Democrats should follow his advice: "There is nothing impractical about seeking the best for this nation's people, and the restoration of America as a beacon of freedom for the world."
For the King Features page on the Cronkite column, with the first one up as a sample: www.kingfeatures.com
-- Cronkite's August 6 column:
....When the nation was deeply divided over the Vietnam War, we at CBS got a lot of mail complaining about our coverage. I was disturbed until we found out that the number of letters condemning us as being government lackeys in support of the war almost precisely balanced those condemning us as being sympathetic to the war protesters. I relaxed with the simple philosophy that if you are being shot at from both sides, you must be in the middle of the road.
Let's face this one down right now: I'm neither Republican nor Democrat. I'm a registered independent because I find that I cast my votes not on the basis of party loyalty but on the issues of the moment and my assessment of the candidates.
Basically I'm a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, but those who rabidly support those positions will be more often disappointed in my views than otherwise.
I believe that most of us reporters are liberal, but not because we consciously have chosen that particular color in the political spectrum. More likely it is because most of us served our journalistic apprenticeships as reporters covering the seamier side of our cities -- the crimes, the tenement fires, the homeless and the hungry, the underclothed and undereducated.
We reached our intellectual adulthood with daily close-ups of the inequality in a nation that was founded on the commitment to equality for all. So we are inclined to side with the powerless rather than the powerful. If that is what makes us liberals, so be it, just as long as in reporting the news we adhere to the first ideals of good journalism -- that news reports must be fair, accurate and unbiased. That clearly doesn't apply when one deserts the front page for the editorial page and the columns to which opinion should be isolated.
The perceived liberalism of television reporters, I am convinced, is a product of the limited time given for any particular item. The reporter desperately tries to get all the important facts and essential viewpoints into his or her piece but, against a fast-approaching deadline, he or she must summarize in a sentence the complicated story. That is where the slippage occurs and the summary too frequently, without intention, seems to emphasize one side or the other....
Incidentally, I looked up the definition of "liberal" in a Random House dictionary. It gave the synonyms for "liberal" as "progressive," "broad-minded," "unprejudiced," "beneficent." The antonyms it offered: "reactionary" and "intolerant."
I've always suspected those fine folks at Random House of being liberals. You just can't trust anybody these days.
END of Excerpt
For that column in full, as published in the August 10 Salt Lake Tribune: www.sltrib.com
-- An excerpt from Cronkite's August 13 column:
Not the least of the Democratic Party's problems in the presidential election ahead is the electorate's confusion as to just what the party stands for....
If the Democratic Party is to have hope of recapturing the White House, it will be helpful if its candidates for the presidential nomination agree on some basic objectives that will clearly define the principal policies and goals of their party....
Let me dare suggest 10 propositions to be put before the candidates. The proportion by which they accept, reject or modify these basic programs would help define the party and presumably, therefore, a Democratic administration.
1. That the purpose of a powerful military and a huge defense budget is not to wage war but to preserve the peace -- on our own shores and abroad....
2. That we would match defense dollars with peace dollars to promote democracy abroad, and that we would conduct our foreign affairs in such a manner that other nations would wish to emulate our example and need not be bludgeoned into accepting our leadership.
3. That deficit financing is bad business, and that taxes must be fairly imposed, with the heavier burden placed on those most able to contribute.
4. That our Social Security and health services would be reformed so that no American need fear that mismanagement in Washington will bankrupt his or her pension funds, and equally that every American is guaranteed not just adequate health care but care worthy of this nation's medical profession....
6. That we realize that the success, indeed the preservation, of a democracy depends on an educated citizenry, and that teachers, on education's front lines, must be paid commensurate with their responsibilities.
7. That "no child must be left behind" is a commitment, not a campaign slogan.
8. That our environment shall be fully protected, and that the fortunes of no industry or special interest shall interfere with that mission.
9. That in the pursuit of a cleaner environment and a more rational economy, the government will undertake the massive program required to develop substitute fuels that will relieve our dependence on foreign oil and diminish the environmental danger from the byproducts of fossil fuels....
END of Excerpt
For the column in full, as published in the August 17 Salt Lake Tribune: www.sltrib.com
-- Brent Baker