Schieffer: Repubs Anti-McCain Because He Challenges Authority --1/16/2008
2. AP: McCain 'Deserved Better' in Michigan, Romney 'Least Credible'
3. CNN Analyst Gergen: Romney 'Very Dangerous' on Climate Change
4. ABC's Race Expert: Woman Who Longed for Death of Clarence Thomas
Asked by Katie Couric Tuesday night why having Republicans dominate the Michigan GOP primary, as opposed to independents and Democrats, is bad for John McCain, CBS's Bob Schieffer didn't cite any of McCain's views -- such as on immigration, tax cuts and freedom of speech -- where he's out of sync with most Republicans. Instead of realizing how McCain is too liberal for many conservatives who are the majority in the GOP, Schieffer contended Republicans just don't like him because he's "willing to challenge the authority," insisting: "John McCain has always been sort of a maverick. He's always been willing to challenge the authority and a lot of Republicans just have not forgiven him for that."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Tuesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
During the 6:30 PM EST feed of the CBS Evening News, Schieffer, CBS's chief Washington correspondent, and Jeff Greenfield, the network's chief political correspondent, discussed the Michigan exit polls with anchor Katie Couric. After Greenfield noted how in 2000 the majority of voters in the Michigan Republican primary were independents or Democrats, but this year most are Republicans (68 percent Republicans, 25 percent independent and 7 percent Democrats), this exchange occurred:
KATIE COURIC: John McCain can't be all that jazzed about the breakdowns so far.
The ink was barely dry on the Michigan primary results when the Associated Press circulated an "On Deadline" column, from political reporter/editor Ron Fournier, headlined: "Mitt Won, Authenticity Lost." Fournier savaged Mitt Romney for pandering to Michigan voters and demonstrating he is "the most malleable -- and least credible -- major presidential candidate." Fournier complained that John McCain "deserved a better result" as "the man who spoke hard truths to Michigan lost." So much for journalists not taking sides.
Fournier's anti-Romney diatribe in which he castigated Romney ("Rather than running on his record as a can-do pragmatist in an era of government incompetence, Romney listened to advisers who said there was a tactical advantage in turning himself into the field's social conservative"), appeared barely a week after the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes noted the antipathy for Romney's social conservative positions amongst the press corps. The January 15 CyberAlert item, "Barnes: Press 'Loathes Romney for Moving Right on Social Issues,'" recounted: In last week's Weekly Standard, veteran Washington journalist Fred Barnes, a regular panelist on FNC's Special Report, asserted that the press corps "loathes Romney for moving to the right on social issues." In "The All-Too-Resistible Romney: He has everything going for him but voters," Barnes, Executive Editor of the magazine, marveled: "I've been amazed at the raw antipathy that so many otherwise reasonable people in the media feel toward Romney. The word they use is 'inauthentic.' But all presidential candidates are inauthentic to one degree or another. Even Mr. Straight Talk, Senator John McCain, talks differently today about tax cuts and immigration than he used to, but the press doesn't hector him about it. There's something unique about Romney that repels the press..."
For the Tuesday CyberAlert article in full: www.mrc.org
[This item is adapted from a Tuesday night posting, by the MRC's Tim Graham, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Here's how the January 15 Fournier news analysis began:
WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney's victory in Michigan was a defeat for authenticity in politics.
The former Massachusetts governor pandered to voters, distorted his opponents' record and continued to show why he's the most malleable -- and least credible -- major presidential candidate.
And it worked.
The man who spoke hard truths to Michigan lost. Of all the reasons John McCain deserved a better result Tuesday night, his gamble on the economy stands out. The Arizona senator had the temerity to tell voters that a candidate who says traditional auto manufacturing jobs "are coming back is either naive or is not talking straight with the people of Michigan and America."
Instead of pandering, McCain said political leaders must "embrace green technologies," adding: "That's the future. That's what we want."
But wait. When "green technologies" -- like, say gasoline with ethanol -- are pitched in a state like Iowa, that's not pandering?
Fournier's article seems like drop-dead proof of the Fred Barnes theory that reporters loathe Romney because he switched his "smart" and "moderate" positions for conservative (read: dumb, heartless) positions:
This is a man who campaigned for governor of Democratic stronghold Massachusetts as a supporter of abortion rights, gay rights and gun control -- only to switch sides on those and other issues in time for the GOP presidential race. The first thing he did as a presidential contender in January was sign the same no-tax pledge an aide dismissed as "government by gimmickry" during the 2002 campaign.
He was a political independent who voted for Democrat Paul Tsongas in the 1992 Massachusetts presidential primary; now he is a Reagan conservative. He was for embryonic stem cell research; now he favors restrictions on it.
Here's the puzzling part: Romney is a smart man who succeeded in both business and politics, by all accounts a solid family man who won over Democrats and independents in Massachusetts with his breezy charm and political moderation. He tackled one of the nation's most vexing issues -- the cost and accessibility of health care -- and helped devise a system in Massachusetts that requires both personal responsibility and government empathy.
Rather than running on his record as a can-do pragmatist in an era of government incompetence, Romney listened to advisers who said there was a tactical advantage in turning himself into the field's social conservative.
Fournier concluded that he still thinks at the end of the day, Romney is too phony to win the GOP nomination:
And don't assume McCain is above it all; he shamelessly courted social conservatives last year and has vastly overstated progress in Iraq. In fact, all leaders pander, but Romney is taking the tactic to new heights.
This still looks to be an authenticity election. First, voters are tired of being spun by politicians who aren't getting their jobs done. From the Vietnam War and Watergate to the Iraq war and Katrina, politicians have failed the people they presume to lead, and often lied about it to boot.
Second, the Internet and other technological advances make it nearly impossible to hide a miscue or a shift of position. Can a candidate like Romney win in the YouTube era? Sure. He just did.
But to go all the way, Romney must overcome the original sin of his campaign -- his choice to do whatever it takes to be president. The smart money says he can't.
END of Excerpt
For Fournier's piece in full, as posted by Yahoo: news.yahoo.com
CNN senior political analyst (and U.S. News & World Report editor-at-large) David Gergen scolded GOP candidate Mitt Romney, on Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, for daring to suggest that the health of the American economy is as important as fighting climate change. Gergen called that a "very dangerous" argument for Republicans to make: "If Romney wins, and that becomes the message of the Republican Party, we are going to have two huge clashes in this country between needs on the economy vs. needs to deal with climate change. And it's a very dangerous place for the Republican Party to go."
[This item, by the MRC's Rich Noyes, was posted Tuesday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Romney's chief rival in Tuesday's Michigan primary, Arizona Senator John McCain, has pushed the liberal side of the climate change argument. In a speech in Kalamazoo on Monday, McCain sounded a lot like Al Gore: "I believe there's scientific evidence that drastic things are happening to our planet. If I'm wrong and we move ahead with green technology, the only downside is leaving a cleaner world for our children." See: www.mlive.com
Instead of scolding McCain for embracing a liberal position in a Republican primary, Gergen faulted Romney for not following suit. Because of his past service in the Reagan and Ford administrations, Gergen is often presented as a conservative counter-balance in roundtables. On CNN, for example, he appeared with reporter Candy Crowley and liberal CNN contributor Roland Martin. But with Gergen making liberal points, too, there's no conservative to offer an alternative opinion.
Gergen's Web site: www.davidgergen.com
Here's the full exchange as it took place at about 10:18pm EST on CNN, beginning with Cooper's question about what was likely to happen in Tuesday's primary:
ANDERSON COOPER: David, John McCain won the Michigan primary back in 2000, largely by drawing the support from Democrats and independents. Does he have that same level of support this time?
On Saturday's Good Morning America, Kate Snow chatted with a woman, who once wished death on Clarence Thomas, and highlighted her as an expert on racial politics in America. The weekend GMA co-host interviewed Julianne Malveaux on the subject of racial overtones in the conflict between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Back in 1994, Malveaux infamously wished of Supreme Court Justice Thomas: "I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease....He is an absolutely reprehensible person." Of course, Snow made no mention of this. She simply introduced the well-known liberal as "a noted commentator on American politics." Snow also skipped over the fact that Malveaux is also a former talk show host for the leftist Pacifica Radio network.
For video of Malveaux's hate speech on the November 4, 1994 edition of PBS's To the Contrary, scroll down to the "Damn Those Conservatives" category in the MRC's 20th Anniversary issue of our Notable Quotables newsletter: www.mrc.org
[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Tuesday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Snow began the segment by offering a look into the politically correct world of a network newsroom. The ABC host and her guest were discussing former President Clinton's use of the word "fairy tale" in relation to Senator Barack Obama and also Hillary Clinton's assertion that it took President Lyndon Johnson to fulfill Martin Luther King's goals in relation to civil rights. Snow confessed: "I have to tell you, we had raging debates yesterday in our newsrooms where people were talking, myself included, very carefully, about this issue. Race and politics, we all get a little nervous talking about all this."
And although the ABC journalist never described Malveaux, who is now the President of Bennett College, as a leftist, that didn't stop her guest from gushing over the greatness of the Democratic Party. Malveaux enthused: "We have an embarrassment of riches in Hillary, in Barack and in John Edwards. I wouldn't be unhappy if any of them were in the White House."
It should also be noted that in 2001, Malveaux defended the inclusion of Syria into the UN Security Council, despite the fact that it harbored Hezbollah. For more, see the October 10, 2001 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
A transcript of the January 12 segment:
KATE SNOW: And joining us now from Charlotte, North Carolina is Julianne Malveaux. She is president of the Bennett College for Women. She's also a noted commentator on American politics. Good morning, Julianne.
-- Brent Baker