Schieffer Overlooks MN Democratic Post-Crash Maneuvering -- 11/01/2002 CyberAlert
Scant Network Attention to New GDP Growth Rate
3. Gray Davis Campaign Web Site Features Martin Sheen
4. Update on Coleman/Rather and Lutefisk
5. "Top Ten Things a Drill Instructor Would Never Say"
Corrections: The October 30 CyberAlert Extra referred to Minnesota's Governor as "Rick Ventura." That should have read Jesse Ventura.
Democrats turning the Wellstone memorial service into a political rally was no worse than how "even before they had separated and identified the remains in the plane crash that took Paul Wellstone's life, you had Republicans running polls and attacking Walter Mondale," CBS's Bob Schieffer contended on Thursday's The Early Show.
But in trying to show a moral equivalence between the two, Schieffer had to deliberately overlook how Minnesota and national liberals spent the hours after the deadly crash playing politics behind the scenes in order to get the strongest candidate to ensure victory, maneuvering, columnist Bob Novak reported on Thursday which included rejecting as a candidate, because he is black, the highest vote-getting liberal in the state.
On the October 31 Early Show, MRC analyst Brian Boyd noticed,
But Democratic political maneuvering before Wellstone's body was removed was not news to Schieffer since it was prominently displayed in his hometown paper, the Washington Post. "Minn. Democrats Look to Mondale" declared a front page headline the morning after the crash. The next day, the Sunday Post recounted Democratic politicking on Saturday, the day after the crash: "In Washington, Senate Majority Whip Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) was encouraging labor leaders and party activists close to Mondale to contact him and urge him to run. 'We're puling out all the stops,' a Democratic leadership aide said. 'We'd like to have him in Sunday.'"
In his latest column, Robert Novak reported:
The mourning for Paul Wellstone had barely begun last Friday when the coolly crafted plan to return Walter F. Mondale to the Senate after an absence of 26 years was already in place....
Strategists of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party envisioned a five-day non-campaign in which Mondale would sail into the Senate after Republican candidate Norm Coleman was constrained from saying anything substantive, even though control of the U.S. Senate may be at stake....
DFL chieftains immediately decided on Mondale, and quickly talked him into it. "I wonder whether there is such a dearth of new material that we have to recycle these old men," one veteran Democratic national operative told me. There was one other possibility: Alan Page, the 57-year-old former Notre Dame and Minnesota Vikings football star who has been an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court since 1993. A law-and-order liberal, Page has led the state Democratic ticket in recent elections. According to Minnesota sources, he was eager to seek the Senate seat. But the DFL apparently did not want to risk running the African-American Page in an overwhelmingly Caucasian state, and Page was swiftly discouraged....
END of Excerpt
Don't expect to hear anything about that in the mainstream media. But can you imagine the media outcry if Republicans had rejected to desires of a high-ranking black official when a national seat came open?
To read Novak's column in full:
What if the economy roared back but no one knew about it? That could happen given the scant attention the broadcast networks offered Thursday night to the news of a strong third quarter Gross Domestic Product annual growth rate of 3.1 percent, more than double the rate in the second quarter.
NBC's Tom Brokaw, a night after lamenting poor consumer confidence, ignored the number on the NBC Nightly News. ABC's Peter Jennings, two nights after highlighting how consumer confidence "is at a nine-year low," treated the good GDP number as nothing new or different: "The economy is still growing."
Only CBS's Dan Rather, about 20 minutes into the October 31 CBS Evening News and just before another story marveling at how the poor economy is not a bigger campaign issue, gave a brief yet complete rundown of the GDP trend:
On Tuesday's World News Tonight, Jennings intoned: "In the national briefing tonight, consumer confidence at a nine-year low, down for the fifth straight month. Economists say a lot of people are worried about the weak job market and the threat of war with Iraq. Well, it is exactly a week before election day, and control of the House of Representatives and the Senate is very much at stake. As it turns out, when we look at all sorts of races all over the country, it is hard to grasp one dominant issue, including, to many people's surprise, very much, the economy. ABC's Betsy Stark is here to explain us, explain to us why that is."
But on Thursday's World News Tonight Jennings didn't see the new number as contradicting his gloomy outlook: "The economy is still growing. The Gross Domestic Product, considered the broadest measure of economic growth, was up three percent in the third quarter of the year."
No consideration, of course, about how maybe that demonstrates people aren't so worried about the threat of war with Iraq.
On Thursday night, NBC's Brokaw simply ignored the new upbeat GDP number, but the night before, on the October 30 NBC Nightly News, Brokaw showcased the impact of low consumer confidence: "The consumer confidence numbers out this week showing consumer sentiment at its lowest level in nine years. That has retailers understandably worried about the coming holiday season. They are already taking unusual measures to get people to buy more. Here's NBC's Anne Thompson."
California Governor Gray Davis has signed up the West Wing's President, actor Martin Sheen, for his re-election effort. Sheen's image appears at the top of the Gray Davis campaign Web site, James Taranto noted on Thursday in his "Best of the Web" column for opinionjournal.com
To see it: http://www.gray-davis.com/
As Taranto pointed out, "the picture alternates with one of basketball great Magic Johnson," but you can alternate between the two by hitting "reload" in your browser. The direct address for the photo of Sheen's image next to a picture of Davis:
Update on Coleman/Rather and Lutefisk
Two updates to items in the October 31 CyberAlert:
-- For October 31 item #1, about after noting how the Wellstone memorial service "was made into a partisan Democratic rally," Dan Rather added, as if it deserved equal condemnation, "and the Republican candidate poses for interviews in front of a plane like the one in which the Senator died."
The update: Dan Rather should have been upset at Matt Lauer and NBC News producers, not Norm Coleman. The Coleman interview
was done in front of the plane in order to accommodate NBC's Today show, Hotline reported on Wednesday. The MRC's Liz Swasey alerted me to this item in the October 30 Hotline about Coleman's appearance that morning on Today:
I have reviewed the interview and learned that the backdrop did not bother Lauer since he didn't make any mention of it. And on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Kelly O'Donnell, in the story quoted above, also made no mention of what Dan Rather considered so sinister.
To illustrate, the MRC's Mez Djouadi has added a still shot of Coleman being interviewed in front of the plane on Wednesday's Today on NBC. To see it:
-- For October 31 CyberAlert item #2, about how CNN's Aaron Brown referred to Minnesotans eating "lutefisk":
The update: Several CyberAlert readers have kindly described "lutefisk" for me. It's a fish after it has been soaked in lye. One sent along this definition from dictionary.com's citation from the American Heritage Dictionary:
Sounds disgusting, but if you want to whip some up, another reader passed along a Web page describing how to make lutefisk: http://www.geocities.com/NapaValley/3227/recipes/luteing.htm
But don't on tasting it anytime soon. It takes two weeks.
"Top Ten Things a Drill Instructor
From the October 31 Late Show with David Letterman, as read by Marine drill sergeants, the "Top Ten Things a Drill Instructor Would Never Say." Late Show Web page: http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow
10. "Screw the 0400 crap -- I'm getting up at noon"
9. "I'd be lost without my yoga"
8. "For a zestier tuna salad, add a pinch of dill"
7. "I'm yelling because I have self-esteem issues"
6. "Dude, you're getting a Dell"
5. "Marine, you have the piercing blue eyes of a young Paul Newman"
4. "With Pert Plus, I just wash...and go"
3. "When are the Tony Awards?"
2. "Dr. Phil has changed my life"
1. "I still live with my parents"