All three of the broadcast networks' morning news programs showed interviews with VP selection Dick Cheney's wife, Lynne, this morning, and both ABC's Charles Gibson and NBC's Katie Couric showed deep skepticism about Mrs. Cheney's conservative views.
"There's been a lot of interest in you," Couric informed Mrs. Cheney. "Many people have described you as the true right-wing warrior of the family. You're a staunch conservative, you've spoken out against feminism, multiculturalism, you oppose trigger locks for guns..."
Couric then tried to tell Cheney that she was a humorless ideologue. "You have been described by Ken Adelman, a former arms control individual, as 'thinking all of Western civilization is in danger from the left and she has no levity about that,'" Couric said.
Later, in a discussion with NBC's Tim Russert, Couric claimed that Lynne Cheney was backpedaling. "It seems as if she is making a concerted effort to distance herself from some of her conservative views that she's very freely espoused in the past and focusing solely on education," she reported to Russert.
"Absolutely," Russert seconded.
Over on Good Morning America, Charles Gibson tried to provoke Mrs. Cheney on whether the Republican Party was genuinely inclusive. "Let me talk to you about this convention and how inclusive it is," he said. "Because Colin Powell stood up in front of this convention and scolded this party for not being, reaching out enough to minorities. The platform is again very strongly pro-life and rejects abortion rights, and the platform specifically comes out against gay unions, and against legal protections based on sexual preferences. So, is this really an open, compassionate, tolerant party?"
Now, tell us what you really think.
Quote of the Morning
"The platform is again very strongly pro-life and rejects abortion rights..., gay unions [and] legal protections based on sexual preferences. So is this really an open, compassionate, tolerant party?"
Gibson Pledges to Grill Gore on Abortion
Wednesday's Good Morning America included a taped interview that co-host Charles Gibson conducted with George and Barbara Bush on Tuesday. After a skeptical Gibson asked whether the Republicans were "really ready to move to the center," the former President recalled that the Democrats in 1992 had refused to let pro-life Gov. Bob Casey speak at their convention.
Mrs. Bush then said, "I am wondering, is Al Gore going to be courageous enough to pick a Vice President who is pro-life? Just a thought." She looked at Gibson, "Are you going to ask that question."
"Sure, sure, we'll ask that question," Gibson promised.
McCain For President, Continued
He's released his delegates and endorsed George W. Bush, but journalists are still battling withdrawal when it comes to John McCain. "You arrived in Philadelphia on the Straight Talk Express, as we see here, with about 70 reporters in tow," CBS's Jane Clayson told McCain on this morning's Early Show. "And there was talk at one point about the magic of your campaign at some point being revived. Do you still think about that?"
It sounds like Clayson sure does.
Bryant Gumbel Says Blacks Have Right to Suspect Republicans
CBS Host Asks, Is GOP Just "Pandering"?
The Early Show's Bryant Gumbel tried to get black conservative Robert Woodson, founder of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, to admit that the Bush campaign's outreach to African Americans was election-year pandering, but Woodson held fast.
Leading a panel discussion that also included liberal Chicago Sun-Times columnist Clarence Page and Essence magazine co-founder Ed Lewis, Gumbel began by asserting that "whether [Republican] efforts at inclusion have been outreach of the best sort or pandering of the worst is still in question."
Later, he asked Page whether "there is a disconnect between the rhetoric we're getting in Philadelphia and the actual policies of the Republicans?" When Page agreed, Gumbel wondered, "what is this, a transparent attempt to play to African Americans?"
Gumbel hammered the point further by telling Page, that "George W. is one thing, but as long as the Republican Party - you noted some of them - is populated by the Pat Buchanans, the Jesse Helmses, the Jerry Falwells, the Bob Barrs, don't blacks have a right to be suspicious?"
"I think the Republicans are criticized when they ignore blacks, and then when they try to be inclusive, they're criticized for being superficial," Woodson said at the start of the discussion. Gumbel's dogged attacks seemed to have ably proved his point.
"Ever Feel Like An Outcast?" Gay Congressman Asked by CNN
CNN Asks Is GOP "Ready or Not" for Gays
CNN Morning News anchor Bill Hemmer this morning asked Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe to comment on last night's protest against the Congressman's open homosexuality - silent prayer by several members of the Texas delegation. "He talked about international trade," Hemmer related, "but what attracted attention is the fact that Kolbe is openly gay."
After Kolbe said he hadn't noticed the protest, only the cheering delegates from the Arizona delegation and others, an incredulous Hemmer demanded, "Mr. Congressman, please allow me here, the theme throughout this week has been a party of inclusion. What does this say about gay people within the Republican Party - is this party ready or not?"
Earlier, Hemmer discussed Tuesday night's events with CNN Political Analyst Bill Schneider, who said of the Texans' silent prayer, "It's not the message this convention wants to send, because they want to make it clear that they're inclusive and that gays are welcome in the Republican Party."
Hemmer obviously doesn't believe that message. "Ever feel like an outcast?" he asked Kolbe. The Congressman said no.