1. Russert and Couric Assume Kerry Ignored Swift Vets Ad in August The morning after President Bush's speech before the Republican National Convention, the three broadcast network morning shows led off with explosions and gunfire at a Russian school seized two days earlier by terrorists and a major hurricane threatening Florida. But when they finally got around to politics, NBC's Katie Couric and Tim Russert seemed more interested in John Kerry's midnight rally in Ohio, where Kerry blasted Bush and Cheney as "unfit" for office. Russert claimed Kerry had been "silent through the month of August," when in fact Kerry... continue reading
1. CBS Belittles Bush's Convention Speech After Fawning Over Kerry CBS News, which fawned over John Kerry's convention appearance, belittled George W. Bush's effort. Just before Kerry emerged into the hall in July, Byron Pitts passed along sycophantic spin points from Kerry operatives about how before every important event Kerry will "make a sign of the cross, then kiss the St. Christopher's medallion his mother gave him as a child." Plus, Kerry always keeps with him his "Vietnam dog tags" as a reminder he's "been down, but he always finds a way to get up." Thursday night before Bush emerged,... continue reading
1. Network Morning Shows Offended by Zell Miller's Negativity On Thursday morning's Good Morning America, ABC's Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos seemed the most offended by the Wednesday night convention speeches delivered by Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic Senator Zell Miller. Gibson complained that "the Vice President and Senator Miller pounded and pounded and pounded. It may have been very effective politics; it was not subtle." Stephanopoulos characterized Miller as out of control: "The Vice President was very, very tough, but Zell Miller was on a tirade. I mean, he was red faced, red meat for the red states."... continue reading
1. Zell Miller "Angry," "Harsh" and "Ugly," Reminiscent of Buchanan Zell Miller's speech reminded ABC and CNN reporters of Pat Buchanan's 1992 address -- and they didn't mean it as a compliment. ABC's George Stephanopoulos related how "as he was talking I was getting e-mails saying, you know, this reminds me of Houston, 1992 -- Pat Buchanan." CNN's Bill Schneider saw Miller as symbolic of a "very angry convention" and contended that "I've never heard such an angry speech." Aaron Brown inquired: "Do you think this was angrier than the Buchanan speech?" Schneider answered: "In a way, yes, I do."... continue reading
1. Networks Rougher on Lynne Cheney than Elizabeth Edwards In Boston, ABC, CBS, and NBC interviewed Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of vice presidential nominee John Edwards, and their daughter Cate. Each asked one question about Teresa's "shove it" remark, and a pile of softballs. But on Wednesday's morning shows the three networks pounded Vice President Cheney's wife Lynne and daughter Liz with a total of ten questions about lesbian daughter Mary and Cheney's opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. CBS's Early Show even played an entire 30-second anti-Bush ad by the liberal Human Rights Campaign. 2. Wondering If Bush-Backing Zell... continue reading
1. Brokaw Rues Missing Bad News, Shriver Shows "Clenched Teeth" Republican schedulers, by filling virtually all of the 10pm EDT hour with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Bush daughters and Laura Bush, allowed the broadcast networks barely three minutes for end of the hour analysis. ABC used it to heap praise on Schwarzenegger's performance before Peter Jennings reminded viewers that Rudy Giuliani had likened the GOP's future to the Yankees which, Jennings pointed out, lost 22 to 0 on Tuesday night. NBC's Tom Brokaw ended on a sour note as he stressed how "things are not going well in many parts of... continue reading
1. CNN and ABC Aghast Over Purple Heart Band-Aids Mocking Kerry CNN reporters, and George Stephanopoulos on the limited distribution ABC News Now network, acted aghast Monday night over how some delegates wore band-aids displaying a heart shape in the color purple, meant to make light of John Kerry earning purple hearts in Vietnam for superficial wounds. Just before 9pm EDT, CNN's Candy Crowley confronted one woman: "This is a man who went and served his country. Do you feel as though you're making fun of him?" She reminded the delegate of those serving in Iraq and asked: "Is this... continue reading
1. July's "Electrifying" Democrats vs. Nasty Republicans of August "Electrifying" Democrats vs. nasty Republicans. Even though Republican delegates enthusiastically cheered both John McCain and Rudy Giuliani's speeches Monday night, the Tuesday morning shows on ABC and CBS provided bland summaries of GOP convention activities, at least compared with their take on the opening night of the Democratic convention five weeks ago. And while the reporters complained about Giuliani's attacks on John Kerry Monday night, ABC and CBS did not complain about the negativity from Al Gore, Bill Clinton and especially Jimmy Carter on the first night of the Democratic convention... continue reading
1. NBC's Matt Lauer Presses President Bush to Raise Taxes In an interview taped over the weekend and shown Monday morning on Today, NBC's Matt Lauer implored President Bush to consider raising taxes in a second term and asserted that pro-American feelings since 9/11 have degenerated. "After 9/11 there was never a greater outpouring of support and compassion," Lauer lectured. "Here we are three years later and, as I mentioned, in parts of the Arab world we have never been more hated. We've separated ourselves from some traditional allies." Bush tried to correct him: "Actually, that's not a necessarily true... continue reading
1. Brokaw Warns GOP Playing "Con Game" in Its Showcased Speakers In a likely preview of a media obsession this week, Tom Brokaw ended Sunday's NBC Nightly News by complaining that the decision to feature three "middle of the road" speakers, in contrast to the party's "hard right" positions, may be seen by "streetwise New Yorkers" as "the political equivalent of a popular con game in this tough town -- three-card monte." But, Brokaw lamented, "that's a game in which the dealer almost always wins." 2. No GOP Stars on Sunday Shows Before Democratic Conclave, But... Inequitable Sunday show guest... continue reading