see any of them talking about entitlement reform in any real way other
than to brand the other guy someone who's interested in cutting your own
reform, as in Medicare? Where has Ifill been? Isn't that an issue the
Republican Congress tried to "reform" in 1995 only to be
hammered by the media for non-existent "cuts"?
2) MRC analyst Steve Kaminski caught the loaded spin from Time magazine on
how Republican House members fared in Tuesday's election. Writing the
cover story for the November 18 issue that was released last week, Michael
Duffy and Nancy Gibbs asserted:
half the casualties came from Gingrich's militant class of 1994, who had
pushed the Speaker hardest to the right and demanded the deepest cuts in
popular domestic programs in their zeal for a balanced budget. Gone are
at least six of 71 GOP freshmen, including Dan Frisa of New York, who
was defeated by Carolyn McCarthy, the widow of a victim of the Long
Island Rail Road shooting, who ran on a single-issue platform: gun
I think 17 House
Republicans lost by the latest count, so really only about a third were
freshmen. But let's do a little math based upon Time's numbers. Six of 71
lost. That's 8.5 percent, meaning 91.5 percent of the House freshmen won.
Quite a repudiation of those "extremists."
Also among the
Republicans who lost on Tuesday: Peter Blute and Peter Torkildsen, two
moderates who abandoned Gingrich on some key votes and were gun control
3) As mentioned in the last CyberAlert, on Thursday's Larry King Live King
said David Brinkley's election night remarks reminded him of "wacko
talk radio." Here's the complete transcript of that November 7
exchange with guest Ted Koppel. (Diane Rehmm is host of a 10am to noon
talk show on a Washington public radio station and her show is heard on
NPR stations around the country.)
"How about the part where he said 'he's a bore, always will be a
bore.'? That sounds, someone called Diane Rehm's radio show the other
day, and this was the first I'd heard of it, and I was driving
"I was listening to the same show, heard the same call."
it was a lady."
"Very nice lady."
she was disappointed, very nice lady, a fan of David Brinkley. She was
very disappointed. And when I heard the quote it sounded to me like it
was Limbaugh or Liddy or Ollie North. It was like wacko talk radio. It
didn't sound like Brinkley. In other words, Brinkley's always been
irreverent, but always kind of classy."
learn that while both King and Koppel listen to a talk show, it's a
public radio talk show.
On Friday David
Brinkley taped an interview with Bill Clinton for airing on Sunday's
This Week, his last show as host. Brinkley, who had called Clinton
"a bore" and said his election night speech was full of
"goddamn nonsense," began the interview: "Before we begin
I am reminded of something I wrote years ago. 'It may be impossible to
be objective,' I said. 'But we must always be fair.' Well after a long
day election day, and seven hours on the set, what I said at the end of
our election night coverage was both impolite and unfair. And I'm sorry.
I regret it."
Brinkley had the
class to apologize for interjecting his opinion into a newscast. I await
Bryant Gumbels's apology for insults against Republicans over the years.
4) Reminding one of Nixonian thinking, last week Bill Clinton promised to
"cut out of American politics" his enemies. The comment has
hardly generated any media outrage. I've only seen it on one TV show:
CNN's Late Edition, and then only thanks to Bill Bennett. On Sunday,
November 10 host Frank Sesno raised it during an interview with Bennett
and Mario Cuomo:
Frank Sesno to
Mario Cuomo: "Mario Cuomo I need to ask you about this, because
amid all this hugging and this 'vital center' and this other nonsense
that we hear about that will soon fade away as we actually get down to
the reality, there is this item that Bill Bennett actually caught in USA
Today a couple of days back that's a pick up from the Associated Press
quoting Bill Clinton as telling political supporters in Arkansas that he
'will devote a lot of time,' I am quoting from the paper here, 'going
after detractors who pursued him on Whitewater and other ethical
questions.' He called political attackers, quote, 'a cancer,' and vowed,
quote 'to cut them out of American politics.'"
"Excuse me, that was President Clinton?"
"Yes. That is remarkable stuff. What do you make of that?"
observed, if the President were Republican such a remark would cause
"a firestorm" in the media.
5) Speaking of what Sesno termed "nonsense," on the Don Imus
radio show on Thursday, November 7, NBC anchor Tom Brokaw urged the
Congress to forget doing anything conservative and avoid investigations.
Here are some of Brokaw's comments, as transcribed by MRC intern Joe
kept the Congress in Republican hands Brokaw saw no endorsement of the
1994 switch: "I don't think it is a status quo election. I think
there is a kind of command, if you will, from the public to move to the
sensible center and let's get some things done....I don't think that you
can say that there's any ideological revolution as the Republicans
claimed two years ago nor do I think this President can now say that he
has this overwhelming mandate. I think what people have cried out for is
some return to common sense in American politics. And I think that you
see that reflected already in Alfonse D'Amato, his evil twin, Skippy,
apparently has vacated his body and now he says we no longer need these
investigations of Bill and Hillary. I mean it's really one of the
remarkable turnarounds in contemporary politics."
"Isn't that really from Senator D'Amato covering his own situation
because he's got to run for reelection here in '98 and a lot of these
exit polls here in New York suggest that people well, hate him.
"....I think that's what people want. I think that they want
politicians in Washington to solve the real problems that are going on
and when they make an assignment to a special prosecutor or to the
Justice Department, let them do that kind of investigation....
must remember, a lot of these new Republican leaders, Trent Lott and
others, have their own presidential aspirations four years from now.
They'll want to get things done because I think that's the underlying
message from the country here - solve the problems. And yes there are
some real problems within the administration that need to be
investigated, but there are agencies and ways of doing that without
tying up Congress in these expensive hearings."
6) Finally, on the humorous front, here's a bit of what Senator John Kerry
told Katie Couric on Today Wednesday morning after his re-election over
is that out of the last five Governors of Massachusetts, four of them
have been Republicans. People forget that about Massachusetts. We are a
reflection of the rest of the country. We're fairly conservative, people
want the same things people want in the rest of the country."
conservative? Reflection of the country? This the morning after Bob Dole
got just 28 percent in the state. He did worse only in Rhode Island. And,
the day after the state's two GOP House members were turned out.
As for Republican
Governors, current Governor Weld is a Republican. Before him Democrat
Michael Dukakis held the office for eight years and he succeeded Ed King,
another Democrat who beat Dukakis in the 1978 primary. That means two of
the last three have been Democrats.