1) On Friday's
World News Tonight (October 18), ABC's Cokie Roberts explored whether
Democrats might take back control of the House. When conservatives
complain that the media are misinforming the public about Medicare cuts
and how the Republicans closed down the government, reporters counter that
they are only reporting what "Democrats say." Well, Roberts said
they "remind voters" of how Republicans caused the shutdown, as
if no responsibility for the shutdown can be placed on Bill Clinton.
Here's the beginning of her piece:
back the House of Representatives the Democrats need 19 seats. And as of
today it looks like they could win them. Democrats are taking special aim
at the Republicans elected in 1994. They're endangered in part because
their leader is so unpopular. With the help of millions of dollars from
organized labor, Democratic challengers constantly remind voters that
these freshmen supported Newt Gingrich and that together they shut down
2) Later on
Friday's World News Tonight, ABC previewed Sunday's election in Nicaragua.
Peter Jennings announced: "Under the heading of 'Whatever Happened
To' we go to visit a man who a decade ago was a very big thorn in the
American side. The United States sent hundreds of millions of dollars to
Nicaragua to defeat the Sandinistas and Daniel Ortega was their commander.
Ultimately the socialist programs of the Sandinistas and Mr. Ortega fell
out of favor. But there is a presidential election in Nicaragua this
Sunday and Daniel Ortega is back."
Nissen found that "Daniel Ortega has changed his tune. Literally,
from militaristic Sandinista songs, to Beethoven's Ode to Joy." And,
she told viewers how "The new Daniel is portrayed in his campaign ads
as contemplative, reverent, a man who cares deeply about the poor, a kind
of Latino Gandhi."
3) In a Friday
piece reviewing Wednesday night's presidential debate, Washington Post
media reporter Howard Kurtz noted how the "average citizen"
questioners didn't help Dole by asking about Clinton's ethics. Kurtz then
wrote: "If reporters had been asking the questions, you can bet there
would have been aggressive demands to know whether Clinton planned to
issue any Whitewater pardons and who had hired Craig Livingstone and why
Dole was raising the 'character' issue and so on."
Hello. Has Kurtz
been on Mars the past few weeks? Print reporters, maybe. But which of the
broadcast TV network reporters who have yet to report the six month gap in
the log book of who accessed the FBI files, the fact that Livingstone's
assistant said he knew he was improperly obtaining Bush administration
files, and who never mentioned the pardon issue for more than a week after
Clinton raised the subject on the NewsHour, did Kurtz expect to suddenly
be interested in Clinton scandals?