Six items today:
1. CBS highlights conservative
criticism of Jack Kemp's debate performance.
2. Profiling a House race,
CBS reporter Bob Schieffer says GOP shut government down and endorses view
that House Republicans are extremists.
3. Unlike 1992, the
networks fail to run fact checking stories on VP debate claims. The
Washington Post does, but its correction of Kemp needs correcting.
4. The PBS
Frontline special on Dole and Clinton included a cheap shot at
InterNight looked at presidential character. Host Bryant Gumbel found
"true character" in Bill Clinton, but with Reagan, Gumbel
believed "his policies caused enormous suffering for those who were
least able to afford it."
6. A producer for NBC News
is scared by Bob Dole and "his little pen," NBC's
Brian Williams recounted on Thursday's Tonight Show.
1)On Thursday's CBS
Evening News, reporter Phil Jones concluded his piece on the Dole campaign
with a conservative spin on Kemp's debate performance: "In private,
off the record discussions, with both Dole and Kemp aides there's a strong
sense of disappointment in Kemp's debate performance. They talk about
missed opportunities, the feeling that Kemp let the Vice President take
credit for issues like welfare reform. As one Dole aide asked cynically,
'Did he study much?'"
2))Later in the October 10 CBS broadcast, Bob Schieffer traveled to Ohio's
6th CD which encompasses the southern part of the Buckeye state. For the
House seat, Republican freshman Frank Cremeans faces his 1994 opponent,
Democrat Ted Strickland. Schieffer stated as fact that the Republican
House shut the government down, ignoring the at least equal role of the
President in refusing to sign continuing resolutions or appropriation
Here's the second
half of the story:
"Now the two are back for a re-match that typifies the predicament
many Republican freshmen are finding. The revolution and its talk of
changing things like Medicare backfired with some voters. Just ask the
Republican county chairman here."
Roger Bennett, Clinton County Republican Chairman: "I think they've
lost confidence in Newt Gingrich."
Schieffer: "Remember, he's the Republican, not the Democratic
chairman. Why is that? Did you just go too far?"
Bennett: "I think he went too far and I think if you make a mistake
you back up and say, 'darn it I made a mistake,' and you go back and do it
over again the right way."
Schieffer: "Where did he make the mistake? In shutting down the
Bennett: "I think that is the big thing because it involved all the
older people They were really concerned. It scared the Dickens out of
Having established the GOP as the culprits for the shutdown, Schieffer
concluded by endorsing the Democratic candidate's view that House
Republicans are extremists:
Schieffer: "One reason Republican Cremeans, a Gingrich stalwart in
Washington, stresses the local angle here. Is your opponent running
against Newt Gingrich or is he running against you. Cremeans: "Well,
you'd have to ask him that. What I've tried to do is represent the
Schieffer: "For sure, his opponent promises the same. He's learned a
Strickland: "And that lesson is that people want moderation and when
extremes are presented, whether they be from the left or from the right, I
think people have a tendency to turn away from that."
Schieffer: "Obvious perhaps, but as Fall comes to the heartland and
the election draws near, dozens of Republican freshmen are running scared,
wondering if it's a lesson they learned in time. Bob Schieffer, CBS News,
3) After the 1992 VP debate, both ABC's World News Tonight and CNN's
Inside Politics ran fact checking stories which were dominating by
corrections of Dan Quayle. This year, The Washington Post ran a piece
October 10 citing errors made by Kemp and Gore. The Post identified five
errors made by Gore. But, this year neither ABC or CNN ran a reality check
Of course, you
can't always trust the fact checkers. Post reporter Michael Weisskopf
offered this "correction" on Kemp: "Kemp...defended the tax
proposal by arguing that every tax cut in the 20th century has produced
higher government revenue. But many economists disagree. The huge Reagan
tax cut in 1981 resulted in a tripling of the budget deficit over a dozen
Talk about apples
and oranges. Taxes were cut, but as the numbers show, tax revenue grew
faster than inflation in the 1980s. Spending soared even faster, leading
to higher deficits.
4) Speaking of Reagan bashing, MRC associate editor Tim Graham caught some
in Tuesday night's PBS Frontline special, The '96 Choice. Actress Blair
Brown, who narrated the show, stated: "By 1985, Reagan's economics
had plunged the country into debt. Dole's all-out fight to lower the
deficit became the defining battle of his career."
5) With several presidential biographers as guests, on Thursday's (October
10) MSNBC InterNight Bryant Gumbel explored presidential character. Much
of the show was devoted to defending Bill Clinton's character. Here are a
few of Gumbel's questions:
about Clinton, Gumbel asked The Washington Post's David Maraniss:
"In the first two years this is a man who tried his best to balance
the budget, to reform health care, to fight for gay rights, to support
personal freedoms. Couldn't those be considered doing the right things,
evidence of true character?"
He tried to
balanced the budget?
- "Do any
of those things of which Bill Clinton is charged, when it comes to
character, have much to do with governing effectively, or with
Having failed to
mention anything about lying and Clinton, Gumbel moved on to Reagan.
- To Reagan
biographer Lou Cannon: "Lou, I know you feel as if Reagan had few,
if any, character flaws. But let me ask you this. When one sidesteps, or
refuses to acknowledge the consequences of their policies or actions,
why shouldn't that be viewed as a character flaw? Or when one lies. For
example, let me roll a clip and then we'll come back. This one deals
- A segment
later, he returned to Reagan, asking Cannon if it was true "that
while he appeared to be empathetic, his policies caused enormous
suffering for those who were least able to afford it?"
6) Appearing on NBC's Tonight Show Thursday night (October 10), NBC and
MSNBC reporter/anchor Brian Williams told Jay Leno the following anecdote
(ALL CAPS = Williams impersonating Bob Dole yelling):
"I was watching his acceptance speech in San Diego, which was
really the speech of his life, it was a very dramatic event. And I'm
standing there with one of our younger producers at MSNBC. She's 24 or
something and I said 'What do you think?' She said, 'You know, he scares
me.' And I said, 'What do you mean he scares you?' She said 'It doesn't
matter what he's trying to say, it doesn't matter what the speech says
or how well he's doing it, all I hear him say is GET OFF MY LAWN! I have
this mental image. I'm playing with my friends on the rich guy's lawn
and the guy comes to the door, with his little pen, you know, and says
GET OFF MY LAWN!'"
Talk about image over substance. And not much sensitivity toward the