2. AP, AFP, Reuters: French Supporters of Pope on 'Far-Right'
3. Local DC Fox Reporter Jumps to Terry McAuliffe's Campaign
4. Hume's Remarks in Accepting MRC's 'Award for Media Excellence'
On Monday night, Katie Couric teased the CBS Evening News by trumpeting how "the stock market soars as the Treasury rolls out a new plan to rescue America's banks," and then leading: "The Treasury put out the details today of a plan to rescue America's banks and Wall Street responded with two thumbs up and a triple-digit rally." Six weeks ago, however, when the Dow plunged 382 points in reaction to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's vague plan for banks, Couric didn't mention the stock market in her tease as she instead giddily announced:
COURIC: Tonight, attacking the economic crisis from every angle: The Treasury Secretary rolls out a new bailout plan, the Senate passes the stimulus package and the President gets a little help selling it.
In setting up the lead story, on the Tuesday, February 10 newscast, Couric did get to Wall Street's negative reaction to Geithner's plan, but she played it as less important than the Obama administration's efforts to fix the economy:
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Compare that to her approach on Monday night, March 23:
Couric's tease: "Tonight, the stock market soars as the Treasury rolls out a new plan to rescue America's banks. And get them lending again."
Couric's open: "Good evening, everyone. The Treasury put out the details today of a plan to rescue America's banks and Wall Street responded with two thumbs up and a triple-digit rally. The Dow gained nearly 500 points or nearly seven percent. That is the fifth-largest point gain ever. The Dow closed at its highest level in more than five weeks. Bank stocks led the rally. The rescue plan will relieve them of the bad assets they're stuck with, and the hope is get them back into business of lending money..."
ACT-UP Paris, joined by communists and "green" activists, protested in front of the famed Gothic cathedral to voice opposition to the pontiff's recent remarks against condom use during his visit to Africa. In addition to holding signs which labeled Benedict XVI an "assassin," they threw condoms on the ground while giving others to passers-by as people were leaving Mass. The radical left-wing activists skirmished with the supporters of the Pope, leading to the arrest of eleven people by police.
[This item, by the MRC's Matthew Balan, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
For the AP's report, see the unsigned March 22 item, "Police arrest eleven people near Paris' Notre Dame in condom clash," at: www.jpost.com
None of the press reports went into any detail as to why the pro-Benedict demonstrators would be given the "right-wing" or "far-right" label. The Reuters story only cited an unidentified "police source" which apparently identified them as being "associated with the far-right." The AP reported that the "about 20 'right-wing' youth" were chanting "lay off my Pope." One of the AFP reports apparently cited the same police source, that the Catholics were "associated with the far-right and who were carrying placards saying 'Leave my Pope alone.'" These three reports agreed that those who were criticizing the pontiff were merely "left-wing" or "leftist."
For the Reuters story, see the unsigned March 22 item, "Pope protesters, supporters clash in France," at: in.reuters.com
For the first report from AFP, see the March 22 item "Youths clash in Notre-Dame condom protest," at: www.france24.com
The other AFP report, after labeling the papal supporters as "far-right militants," gave an additional detail:
Eleven people were arrested after skirmishes pitted two dozen far-right militants against a group of green and communist activists handing out condoms outside the cathedral after Sunday mass, police said.....
Held back by a police cordon, the Catholics chanted in Latin and hurled eggs and water at the activists, an AFP correspondent reported.
The assorted anti-Benedict XVI protesters were initially described in the report as being "anti-AIDS activists." Bizarrely, there was no label describing them as being from the political left, despite the mention of the greens and the communists.
An official with the French Young Greens, cited in a French-only report (roughly translated here), gave a statement about the papal supporters: "Clearly, they were extreme right-wing activists: they sang in Latin and shouted traditional anti left-wing slogans." By using the "far-right" label, the three press agencies are showing their tacit agreement with the take of this leftist activist. Go figure.
For the French-only report, see the March 23, 2009 item "Distribution de préservatifs: interpellations sur le parvis de Notre-Dame:" tempsreel.nouvelobs.com
For the English rough translation, see the March 22, 2009 posting by "Catholic Observer," "'Serious clashes' in Paris between Traditionalists and Leftists:" ulstertaig.blogspot.com
Normally I wouldn't find a local market television reporter joining a gubernatorial campaign worth a CyberAlert article, but in this case the candidate is a very well-known national figure: Terry McAuliffe, the former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee who also chaired Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign last year and is a long-time Friend of Bill.
Dave Hughes reported Monday, on his DCRTV blog, that Allyson Wilson, a reporter and sometime anchor on Washington, DC's Fox-owned WTTG-TV/DT, "is leaving to join Democrat Terry McAuliffe's campaign for governor of Virginia. She'll be his deputy press secretary. Wilson is a native Washingtonian and a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts."
[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted late Monday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
McAuliffe is one of three Democrats vying to win the June 9 Democratic primary to face Republican Bob McDonnell (an ex-Attorney General) in November. Virginia's gubernatorial elections are in odd years every four years and governors cannot run for re-election, so current Governor Tim Kaine, who is now also running the DNC, will not be on the ballot.
The McAuliffe campaign site: www.terrymcauliffe.com
Thank you all so much. Well, I think we all may recall where that music came from, I certainly remember that program, Firing Line. So many years on the air. I'm humbled and honored to stand here before you to receive this award in the name of someone whom I admired so much; and thought, as you heard Brent say, was such a remarkably nice person for someone whose wit was so -- and intellect -- were so utterly penetrating.
I wanted to tell you -- the hour is late, and I promise not to be long. You know, one of the first rules of speaking is always be brief. And when you speak last, the idea is to be really brief. I want to say a word, however, of thanks to Brent and to the team at the Media Research Center and all of the contributors who make that work there possible. Not just for this wonderfully, this wonderfully fine award in the name of someone who, as I say, I admire so much -- but also for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report. I don't know what we would've done without them. It was a daily, sort of, buffet of material to work from, and we certainly made tremendous use of it.
I guess I have two things to be thankful for tonight. One is the receipt of this award, and the second is that I'm not Tim Geithner. I make no judgment here about whether he has done a good job or a bad job, but I think that he is one who seems to be the man in the middle of the spotlight which is shining rather brightly on the Obama administration; which I think, to give a shout out to Joe the Plumber, Joe, you asked a great question last year, and I think, buddy, you've got your answer! Yes sir, your taxes are going up! And so are all the rest of ours.
Let me just reflect for a moment, if I can, on Bill Buckley and how I remember him. Years ago, I used to work for the late syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, and a couple of years after I left -- I worked for him from 1970 through 1973 -- and several years after I had left him -- and I was always very fond of Jack, he was a lovely man -- and he landed an interview during our bicentennial year with then-President Ford. And he went over to the White House and did the interview -- and I guess he had it privately produced -- and he had the idea, I think, that this interview, this exclusive interview with the President of the United States in the middle of our bicentennial year would be, would be a great coup and that any of the broadcast networks would be eager to have it. Well boy, was he wrong.
And Bill Buckley saw this spectacle of Jack, kind of, sort of peddle this interview around the broadcast row and getting no takers, and in his generous way, invited Jack on Firing Line. And he interviewed him on Firing Line and he said, he asked Jack for his thoughts on what might be the reasons why the networks would turn him down. Well, I'm sure Bill Buckley had his ideas about the reasons this Republican President would not be of any interest to them, but Jack was saying how he thought, he thought that anything the President of the United States had to say about America in our bicentennial year ought to be news and interesting to the networks. Well, this was too much for even Bill Buckley, who said, "Well, what if the President were to say, 'Baa baa, black sheep?'" Much as I loved Jack Anderson, I thought "oh, boy!" And Jack said, "Well I'd put that right up at the top of the evening news!" and Buckley said, "Yes, I suppose you would, wouldn't you?"
I'd just like to add one further point, you know, as we sit here tonight, the news industry, and the newspaper business in particular, are in pretty serious trouble. And it is possible to imagine a day where the news landscape won't look anything like what it does today, and these organs of the media that we look at, particularly the newspapers will be transformed, if not gone. And some of you might be wondering, well, what will that leave for the Media Research Center to do? And it's worth recalling that the tradition of neutral reporting, which I was kind of brought up in, from the days I went to work for the old Hartford Times back in 1965, was not arrived at out of any great sense of propriety or honor or integrity by the news business; it was arrived at because newspapers, as they grew as an industry, as the industry grew, needed to appeal to as large a cross-section of the readership, of the public as possible.
And of course, if you recall, you know, a great many of the newspapers in this country were originally party press. You see the names of one party or another reflected in, in newspapers to this day -- the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Waterbury, Connecticut Republican, if it's still around. That was the tradition, they were partisan organs. And you see in the British newspapers these days, most of them have a very clear identity and the news is slanted in one direction or another, and everybody knows it, and everybody expects it -- and to some extent, I guess, respects it. Well that has not been the tradition here, for very sound business reasons.
What is happening now, to all these old organs that once observed this tradition, and I think sadly, to an increasingly lesser extent have followed it in recent years, is that they're going away, they're dying, they're dying for all kinds of reasons; I wish I could stand here tonight and say they're dying because they're unbalanced, but I think there are a lot of other reasons for that. But, what are we getting? We're getting, we're getting bloggers, and Web sites, and all sorts of individual entrepreneurism. We have a vaster menu of choices today than we've ever had. But, I think that we also have the danger that everything will be presented from one political viewpoint or the other and that the media that confront us are going to be more partisan than ever. Which means that the Media Research Center will have a mission for many years to come, and a good thing that is.
So, that's just a final thought from me. The hour is late, I'm honored to be here, honored to be among you. Thanks to the Media Research Center for all it does. Good night.
-- Brent Baker