MediaWatch: September 1992

Vol. Six No. 9

Praised Cuomo, Attacked Conservatives and Buchanan


After Ronald Reagan and Pat Buchanan spoke August 17, CBS News reporter Charles Kuralt observed: "I thought that the Buchanan speech had ugly elements in it. Especially there at the end, 'Take back our culture, take back our country'...I think there was an appeal to racism, and then Ronald Reagan came along and made everybody feel good about the country again."

Last month, Kuralt offered a glowing assessment of Mario Cuomo's partisan speech filled with divisive attacks on George Bush: "I'm still in the glow of that Cuomo speech. Mario Cuomo is like one of those three-way light bulbs... He said he was going to stay on dim so as not to put Bill Clinton in the shade. And then he stepped up here tonight and delivered a genuine 250-watter. A speech bright enough and hot enough to light up this dark room. I think tonight was Cuomo's night, as last night was Jesse Jackson's."

Kuralt may love Cuomo and Jackson, but he doesn't have much respect for conservatives. Earlier in the night in Houston Kuralt asserted: "This platform the Republicans adopted today reminds me of another Republican platform and another convention, the one of '64, the one that nominated Barry Goldwater, [when] the party's farthest right wingers took over for the first time and drove through a breathtakingly conservative platform. I will never forget that convention. Those folks were not so much interested in winning the election as in humiliating Nelson Rockefeller and the other moderates of their own party... They lost in a landslide. Republicans with long memories might have noticed that something like that was going on here today."

"The only excited, demonstrative delegates any of us could find were the ones from the religious right, Pat Robertson's God and Country rally. They remind me of those Goldwater delegates of 28 years ago, far more interested in imposing ideological purity on this party than they are on winning an election... They got the platform they want. No room for a pregnant woman to make any decision at all, even if she was raped. It's a platform tough on welfare, tough on taxes and guns and gays and pornography, tough even on public radio and public television. They cheered Dan Quayle... and they will cheer Pat Buchanan and Ronald Reagan tonight, but will they help elect George Bush? It's almost as if they haven't thought of that."