BiasAlerts

Tainted Harris v. Independent Judge; Homeless Votes Bought; Non-Voters Back Gore; Dan Rather's Unmet Promise -- Extra Edition 1) ABC and CBS focused on the partisan GOP political activities of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, but neither uttered a word about how the federal judge who turned down the request to halt the hand-counts donated to the Clinton-Gore campaign. NBC detailed the judge's politics, but promised that he's "really known as an independent-minded thinker." 2) Tom Brokaw denounced a Democratic operative as "nasty,' but avoided telling viewers his name in relaying how a Gore staffer claimed Katherine Harris was... continue reading
Harangue Over Harris's Politics; NBC Called It a "Smear" as They Publicized the Democratic Character Attack -- Back to today's CyberAlert 1) ABC and NBC were obsessed Tuesday morning with the political background of Katherine Harris, but not state judge Terry Lewis who is a Democrat. Lewis's affiliation came up on ABC, but only because Bob Dole pointed it out as an example of media bias. 2) NBC's Matt Lauer asked Bill Daley about the Harris decision: "Do you think...that her decision does not pass the smell test?" But Lauer also suggested she's the victim of a Democratic "smear." Katie... continue reading
Counted "Fairly," Gore Won Florida; Hanging with Hillary on the Hill; Saturday Night Live Parodied Dan Rather's Goofiness -- Extra Edition 1) "If this race is counted fairly, Al Gore won more votes in Florida," declared ABC's George Stephanopoulos. On CNN Steve Roberts blasted the GOP effort to stop the selective hand-count to add Gore votes in Democratic areas: "I must say the going into court by Bush took hypocrisy to a new level." FNC's Brit Hume predicted Gore's Florida tally will come out ahead. 2) "It's gonna be a media circus up there 24-7," Newsweek's Howard Fineman boasted about... continue reading
Harris Blocking People's Will?; Democrats Now Have "Moral High Ground"?; Did Nixon Really Win Popular Vote Because of Alabama? -- Back to today's CyberAlert 1) GMA's Diane Sawyer argued with a member of Florida's electoral board about the Secretary of State affirming 5pm Tuesday as the vote submission deadline for counties. She cited how Joe Lieberman "says it would be shocking basically to block the will of the counties who want to re-vote, that you have to trust the people." 2) "Seems like a real escalation this morning," George Stephanopoulos declared of the Secretary of State's announcement. "Have the Democrats,"... continue reading
Media Pundits Back Gore Strategy; No "Wacko Right-Wing" Justices; Germond Told "Confused" Voters to Get a Life; Carlson Apologized 1) Three media liberals on the weekend talk shows took Al Gore's side and defended his decision to pursue hand counts in selected Democratic counties: Eleanor Clift, Margaret Carlson and Al Hunt. Hunt advocated a "re-vote" for the entire state of Florida. 2) Now we can get around those right-wingers. Newsweek's Evan Thomas wondered of George Bush: "Will he be brave enough" to "sack the right wing leadership" in Congress? James Warren of the Chicago Tribune effused that the divided Senate... continue reading
"Softer" Daley, "Harsher" Baker; "Kennedyesque Photo-Op"; Rather Pressed Lieberman; Alec Baldwin Condemned GOP Hypocrisy 1) Friday night NBC's Claire Shipman referred to how Gore's team was "using a softer tone" while David Gregory described Bush's James Baker as delivering a "harsher tone." CBS's John Roberts dubbed the video of Al Gore playing touch football a "Kennedyesque photo-op." Plus, Dan Rather: "Lawyers and lawsuits popping up like toadstools after a thunderstorm." 2) Dan Rather, surprisingly, pressed Joe Lieberman about pressure on him and Al Gore to concede the race and under what scenarios they might decide to drop their delaying tactics... continue reading
Gibson Argued with Dole; Lawsuit Plaintiffs Praised; Military Personnel Voting Via Absentee Ballot Denounced as "Tax Dodgers" -- Back to today's CyberAlert 1) Good Morning America's Diane Sawyer posed challenging questions to Bill Daley but didn't follow up. With Bob Dole minutes later, however, Charles Gibson argued with him. "Well, now wait a minute, Senator," Gibson demanded, "I mean, isn't saying Mr. Gore should step aside pretty premature?" 2) Media Reality Check. "No Media Skepticism of Florida Ballot Challengers: So Far, National Reporters Haven't Examined the Background of Palm Beach Trio Suing For a Re-Vote." On ABC's GMA the co-hosts... continue reading
Gore's "Moral High Ground" vs. Bush's "Hardball"; Voter Victim: "My Arrows Didn't Line Up to My Buttons"; Franken: Bush "An Idiot" -- Weekend Edition 1) Peter Jennings asserted: "It is a war out there. The presidential campaign only paused for election day." The networks suddenly found Pat Buchanan newsworthy as he made prime time. 2) CBS put the Gore camp on the moral and tonal high ground. John Roberts asserted that "leading in the popular vote, the Gore campaign believes it has the moral high ground." But Bill Whitaker asserted that though "the Bush camp wants to be seen as... continue reading
Disenfranchised Voter Idea Pushed; Rather Reminded Viewers of DWI; Ratherisms; Hillary's Name Booed by Letterman Audience -- Back to today's CyberAlert 1) Morning and night the networks are advancing the Democratic agenda by focusing attention on complaints of "irregularities" and putting the burden on Bush surrogates to defend not counting improperly filled-out ballots. NBC's Matt Lauer: "Should the election stand if those people didn't have a chance to have their voices heard?" Bryant Gumbel asked Bill Daley if he was "disappointed" by George W. Bush's attitude. 2) In the midst of Bush's short-lived time of victory announced by the networks,... continue reading
Gore Aide: "We've Won the Election"; Florida "Irregularities"; Impact of Bad Exit Polls Ignored; Scrap Electoral College -- Extra Edition 1) The presidential election consumed all but a few seconds of the ABC and CBS evening shows and nearly all of NBC's. Tom Brokaw stressed up front "the confusing lineup of candidates" on one county's ballot. 2) "We've won the election. Whether we get inaugurated is another deal," NBC's Claire Shipman quoted a Gore campaign aide in defining a win based on popular vote over the Electoral College. 3) The networks furthered the Democratic camp's effort to undermine the legitimacy... continue reading