Sawyer Presses Mrs. Reagan on Variance with Bush on Stem Cells --5/12/2005
2. NBC's Favorite Historian Frets that Gorbachev Underappreciated
3. NYPost & FNC Pick Up on CyberAlert Item on Rather's Speaking Fee
Correction: The May 9 CyberAlert recounted how, on the May 7 World News Tonight/Saturday on ABC, anchor Bob Woodruff brought aboard left-wing professor Stephen Cohen who saw "truth" in both views of the plight of the Baltic nations after Word War II: "It's true as the Balkans complain, that they suffered around Soviet occupation. But it's also true, as Moscow points out, that the Balkan countries when they were under German occupation, collaborated with the Germans against the Russians. So who can say whose truth is truer?" Some inaccurate closed-caption text sneaked through. Though Cohen mispronounced "Baltics" the first time, as he said something close to BALK-ACKS, his two "Balkans" should have been transcribed as the accurate "Baltics."
Before Diane Sawyer served as Mistress of Ceremonies Wednesday night at a $1,500-per seat tribute to Nancy Reagan to raise funds for a transportation pavilion at the Reagan Library, to feature a 707 Air Force One, she wanted to know how the former First Lady could stomach staying overnight at the White House when her host disagrees with her on stem cell research. On Wednesday's Good Morning America, plugging an upcoming interview segment, Sawyer fretted: "We also have a chance to ask her how she feels now about her public opposition to President Bush on stem cells, sleeping under that roof last night." Sawyer told her: "You spoke out about stem cells and there's an occupant in this house who has a very different opinion about it." Mrs. Reagan asserted that "you could save millions of people's lives if you really charged ahead with stem cells. Hopefully we will." That prompted a grinning Sawyer to yearn: "Still hoping to persuade him?"
Nancy Reagan stayed overnight at the White House Tuesday night before the dinner fundraiser featuring Tony Bennet held Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan building.
Wednesday's Good Morning America carried two taped segments with Sawyer's exclusive interview with Nancy Reagan, conducted in the White House with a portrait of Mrs. Reagan on the wall in the background. In the first segment, run during the 7:30am half hour, Sawyer touted how it was Mrs. Reagan's first interview since her husband passed away and asked her what memories have come back during her return to the White House, about how she handled Ronnie's passing and now feels lonely.
Back live on GMA from Times Square, Sawyer, the MRC's Jessica Barnes noticed, previewed the next segment: "And you're going to hear more from the First Lady Nancy Reagan later in the broadcast, in our next half-hour, talking about loss and the lessons learned from grief. And we also have a chance to ask her how she feels now about her public opposition to President Bush on stem cells, sleeping under that roof last night. And I should also let you know that I'm going to be on stage at the tribute [to Mrs. Reagan] tonight, making some introductions."
In the 8am half hour segment, Sawyer sympathized with how the short Reagan needs steps to get into the high bed in the Queen's bedroom and the memories of Ronnie brought back by returning to the White House. Asked if she still talks to him, Mrs. Reagan replied: "Sometimes."
But Sawyer did bring up the media's obsession, stem cell research, without, naturally, pointing out that nothing President Bush has done has prevented privately-funded research. After Mrs. Reagan recalled how she learned so much from Ronnie in seeing how he handled his declining years, Sawyer pounced:
ABCNews.com's short synopsis of the interview includes the stem cell topic: "Back at the White House, as a guest of President Bush, Mrs. Reagan also spoke of being on the other side of the stem cell debate as her host, who continues to rally against it. 'I just think that you could save so many millions of people's lives if you really charged ahead with stem cells. And hopefully, we will.'" See: abcnews.go.com
For the press release, from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, announcing the May 11 event: www.reaganfoundation.org
For a post-event AP story about it, go to: news.yahoo.com
Gorby: The Most underappreciated communist dictator of the last century? Appearing on Wednesday's Imus in the Morning on MSNBC, NBC's favorite historian/author, Doris Kearns Goodwin, reminisced that in contrast to Vladimir Putin "we were so lucky to have Gorbachev in so many ways, and the fact that he's not honored in his own country, more honored in the world at large is a very sad thing, but hopefully history will give him the legacy that he deserves."
The MRC's Jessica Barnes caught Goodwin's contention expressed over the phone at about 6:42am EDT. After a discussion about the atrocities of Stalin, Don Imus wondered: "And then we have the current little thug, Putin. Now, what's his story?"
For a picture and bio of Goodwin: www.achievement.org
You read it here first. On Monday, the New York Post's "Page Six" and the Fox Report on FNC picked up on CyberAlert's revelation that the speakers' bureau which signed Dan Rather set his fee at $75,000.
The May 9 "Page Six" in the New York Post included this item:
For the posted version: www.nypost.com
I believe that's the first time CyberAlert has been used as a source for New York City-insider gossip.
That night, the MRC's Megan McCormack noticed, FNC's Fox Report picked up on the Post item. Over file footage of Dan Rather, Shepard Smith briefly relayed: "Big and deep for Dan. According to the Media Research Center's Web site, if you want Dan Rather for a speaking engagement, now write this down, it'll cost you $75,000 and two first-class plane tickets."
The May 5 CyberAlert had reported: Dan Rather has signed on with the Newton, Massachusetts-based speakers' service, the American Program Bureau (APB), which, CyberAlert has learned, has set his fee per appearance at $75,000, plus two first-class airline seats. See: www.mediaresearch.org
-- Brent Baker