CyberAlert -- 07/26/2001 -- Bush Chided for Vacating Treaties
Bush Chided for Vacating Treaties; CBS on Why CPSC Pick "Should be Recalled"; "Non-Partisan" Stephanopoulos & Fiancee; Rivera Cited MRC
1) ABC's Peter Jennings lamented how "the Bush administration has today refused to support yet another international agreement," prompting "a lot of people are asking what's going on here." ABC's Martha Raddatz assumed all the treaties are worthy. But as FNC's Brit Hume pointed out, the supposed international unity on Kyoto only occurred when the nations agreed to not enforce penalties for not meeting targets, a fact buried in newspaper accounts.
2) Dan Rather promised a look at "why opponents think" Bush's nominee for Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission "should be recalled." Wyatt Andrews took Democratic concerns seriously as he failed to point out, as did FNC's Brit Hume, that she has already been twice "nominated for the commission by Presidents of both parties and confirmed by the Senate."
3) CNN's Jonathan Karl resurrected the false liberal claim about what Newt Gingrich once said, reporting that Democrats see "a home run political issue" in Bush's Social Security Commission, "kind of reminiscent of what happened when Newt Gingrich talked about Medicare withering on the vine."
4) Alexandra Wentworth to George Stephanopoulos on GMA: "Honey, you can touch me, we're getting married....I'm not Janet Reno, I'm your fiancee." Media Reality Check: "'Completely Non-Partisan' Stephanopoulos: Diane Sawyer Praised Objectivity of Former Clinton Aide Currently Auditioning for Morning Host Job."
5) Movie reviewer Roger Ebert displayed his liberal side in a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed in which he assumed anyone who knows anything about the world would be appalled by Bush's policies. Noting that before taking office Bush had made only two overseas trips, Ebert opined: "No wonder he wants to beak the missile treaty, alienate NATO, ignore global warming...Why go to Australia when you have the Outback Steakhouse right here at home?"
6) We've reached Geraldo, who cited an MRC study: "I heard something on Fox that, that really made an impression on me. They, they had a survey, one of their right-wing pundit guys had a survey of how few times the mainstream media has mentioned the fact that Condit is even a Democrat."
Jennings introduced the July 25 World News
Tonight story, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:
Raddatz began: "From germ warfare to
global warming, the Bush administration finds itself virtually alone
against the world."
And as FNC's Brit Hume pointed out on
Tuesday, the supposed unity achieved over the weekend in Bonn on the Kyoto
Protocol only occurred when the 178 nations agreed to not enforce any
penalties for not meeting Kyoto targets, a fact buried in newspaper
accounts. Hume relayed in the "Political Grapevine" segment on
the July 24 Special Report with Brit Hume:
But that's still sooner and more coverage
than this little fact has earned on the networks. On Tuesday's Good
Morning America, for instance, ABC's Terry Moran checked in from Kosovo:
The CBS Evening News decided that Democratic opposition to President Bush's nominee to be Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was worth a story as Dan Rather promised a look at "why opponents think the nominee should be recalled."
Reporter Wyatt Andrews took Democratic concern seriously as he failed to even hint at the possibility Democrats are just trying to use their muscle to embarrass Bush. He failed to point out, as did FNC's Brit Hume, that "her willingness to seek voluntary cooperation with industry, instead of mandatory regulation of industry, did not prevent her from being twice being nominated for the commission by Presidents of both parties and confirmed by the Senate."
Rather introduced the July 25 CBS Evening News report: "As for President Bush's choice to head the Consumer Product Safety Commission, CBS's Wyatt Andrews is covering the nomination battle in Congress and why opponents think the nominee should be recalled."
Andrews began, as transcribed by MRC analyst
Brad Wilmouth: "Mary Sheila Gall has been on the Consumer Product
Safety Commission for ten years reviewing dangerous products, but her
Senate hearing today on her bid to be Chairman may have brought the most
danger she's ever seen. Democrats arrived angry charging that on key
votes -- baby bath seats, baby walkers, and wide-rail bunk bids -- Gall
would not push manufacturers toward changes that would have saved
CBS viewers could have put Senator Clinton's rhetoric into better perspective if Andrews had mentioned what reporter Brian Wilson told FNC viewers Tuesday night, that it was Hillary's Clinton's "husband who appointed Gall to her current term on the commission."
As for how right wing Gall may be, her bio on the CPSC Web site reveals that back before Reagan's election she chose to work for the Republican establishment's anti-conservative presidential choice: "Director of Research in the George Bush for President Campaign during 1979-1980." For this bio and a picture of her, go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/bios/gall.html
Dredging up old false liberal political charges and stating them as fact. In a Tuesday night story on Democratic reaction to Bush's Social Security Commission, CNN's Jonathan Karl resurrected the false charge that Newt Gingrich once hoped Medicare "would wither on the vine."
Karl asserted on the July 24 Inside Politics: "Democrats clearly think that they've got a home run political issue here, kind of reminiscent of what happened when Newt Gingrich talked about Medicare withering on the vine, and we saw it endlessly in those ads by the Democratic Party back in 1996."
Yes, we saw it endlessly, but that doesn't make it accurate.
As even Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf wrote in an October 7, 1996 story fact-checking a presidential debate: "Clinton also alluded twice to Republican plans to let Medicare 'wither on the vine,' an oft-repeated misrepresentation of a Gingrich reference to the Health Care Financing Administration, which runs Medicare, not the program itself."
In a letter to the editor in the November 2,
1995 Washington Post then-Speaker Gingrich recited what he really said in
an address to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association:
Her affirmation of his supposed lack of any partisan agenda came during a segment caught by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson in which Stephanopoulos appeared with his fiancee, bit-part actress Alexandra Wentworth, who had declared herself a Democrat after affectionately telling Stephanopoulos: "Honey, you can touch me, we're getting married....I'm not Janet Reno, I'm your fiancee."
Stephanopoulos is co-hosting GMA all this week as part of a tryout to be the permanent co-host, as the July 24 CyberAlert noted in citing a USA Today story.
Below is a rundown of the exchange during which Sawyer made her claim, followed by a Media Reality Check fax report the MRC distributed on Wednesday which recalled just a few of the most recent partisan comments from the former Clintonista.
Wentworth, who has appeared in the "Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld, a couple of episodes of Felicity and who has had small roles in movies such as Jerry McGuire, sat in with Stephanopoulos and Sawyer on July 24 for a few segments on wedding planning. Just past 8:30am Stephanopoulos reached over to hold her hand, prompting this exchange:
Wentworth: "Honey, you can touch me,
we're getting married.... I'm not Janet Reno, I'm your fiancee."
The Internet Movie Database Web site identifies Wentworth's mother as Mabel Cabot Wentworth, "First Lady Nancy Reagan's social secretary in the White House. Her father, Eric Wentworth, was a reporter for the Washington Post." For more on the younger Wentworth's career, go to: http://us.imdb.com/Name?Wentworth,+Alexandra
To watch a RealPlayer video of the above exchange, go to the MRC home page where the MRC's Andy Szul has already posted it: http://www.mrc.org
Sawyer's preposterous claim about Stephanopoulos led the MRC's Director of Media Analysis, Rich Noyes, to produce a Media Reality Check on Wednesday with some of his more partisan jabs of late. It was titled, "'Completely Non-Partisan' Stephanopoulos: Diane Sawyer Praised Objectivity of Former Clinton Aide Currently Auditioning for Morning Host Job."
To view it as fax recipients saw it, access
the Adobe Acrobat PDF version:
The pull-out quote in the middle of the page,
headlined: "Once a Spin Doctor, Always a Spin Doctor."
"Gore exaggerated a little bit. You saw him backtrack on whether or
not he was really with James Lee Witt in Texas last night...but there were
no big, big lies or distortions."
Now an excerpt of the July 25 Media Reality Check:
....[Stephanopoulos has] "been completely non-partisan in covering the news." Oh, really?
> Remember Al Gore's unctuously aggressive first debate performance last year, later lampooned by Saturday Night Live? Stephanopoulos claimed he loved it: "Gore dominated the debate," he gushed. "Even the way that he would interrupt Jim Lehrer and say, 'Listen, I want one more word.' He looked like he was dominating and, then again, the issues that the time was spent on -- prescription drugs, education, Social Security, even the RU-486 and abortion issue -- all of those favor Gore." (ABC's post-debate coverage, October 3, 2000.)
> He was equally "non-partisan" when it came to analyzing then-President Clinton's speeches. "Virtuoso, Peter," he exclaimed after the 2000 State of the Union address. "The address of a proud President, a tireless policy wonk and a very shrewd political strategist." (ABC's post-State of the Union coverage, January 27, 2000.)
> During the primaries, he insisted on labeling both Gore and Bill Bradley as "basically centrist Democrats. I think they have one huge fundamental policy difference, over the issue of health care." (Good Morning America, January 6, 2000.)
But when it came to labeling the Republican candidates, Stephanopoulos crowed that "Democrats are pretty happy right now....They had decided they would rather run against George W. Bush, especially because he's had to move so far to the right. He's now the kamikaze conservative, with all the positions he's had to take here in South Carolina - against choice, going to Bob Jones University, really locking himself in on that huge tax cut." (This Week, February 20, 2000.)
> During the Florida mess, it was hard to tell where David Boies ended and George Stephanopoulos began. "There is no question, or very little question, that Al Gore won the votes cast in the state of Florida," he baldly asserted a week after the election. "The question is, will he win the votes counted?" (This Week, November 12, 2000.)
> Stephanopoulos has also proved a tireless proponent of McCain-Feingold, although that hardly distinguishes him from the Washington press corps. Reacting to billionaire Warren Buffett's endorsement of so-called campaign finance reform, Stephanopoulos lectured that "Warren Buffett is showing the common sense that made him a wealthy man." (This Week, March 18, 2001.)
As a liberal Democratic "spin doctor," Stephanopoulos recognized that the best spin combines a few factual statements to establish credibility with self-serving analysis and labels like "kamikaze conservative" that shove your opponents into an ideological drawer. ABC has labored to transform his image from Democratic boy wonder to an allegedly neutral journalist, but their efforts - and Sawyer's shameless claim that he's completely non-partisan - are belied by his incessant liberal spin.
END Excerpt of Media Reality Check
Roger Ebert, movie reviewer by night, liberal political crusader by day. Several CyberAlert readers alerted me to a July 24 Chicago Sun-Times op-ed by Ebert, ostensibly concerned with criticizing President Bush's daughter Barbara for wearing "demins" when she visited the Queen of England last week. But his piece soon degenerated into a bashing of President Bush's intellect as Ebert equated Bush's lack of interest in the world with his off-base conservative policies.
Noting that before assuming office President Bush had made only two overseas trips, Ebert opined: "No wonder he wants to beak the missile treaty, alienate NATO, ignore global warming and reinstall Russia and China as enemies: Those foreign countries scarcely exist in his imagination. Why go to Australia when you have the Outback Steakhouse right here at home?"
As if anyone with extensive world travel could not or does not support those conservative policies adopted by Bush. We are not all movie reviewers who get annual all-expenses paid trips to Cannes and other international film festivals.
An excerpt of Ebert's July 24 op-ed, titled: "Give her dad credit for a 'yob' well-done."
The British have a useful word, "yob," which the dictionary defines as an "uncouth, ignorant, loutish youth." The word is traditionally applied to males, but in these liberated times can also refer to females, and might have been in use last week at Buckingham Palace when Barbara Bush, the President's daughter, appeared for lunch wearing denims....
But perhaps denims are Barbara's native garb. It is perfectly appropriate for a Japanese woman to wear a kimono to the palace, or an Indian a sari. Perhaps Texans wear jeans as their traditional costume. Using the same loophole, she could have added a Dale Earnhardt T-shirt....
Meanwhile, her father was having his own difficulties, appearing at lunch with a wet suit and shoes after being drenched in a sudden shower. That the President of the United States cannot get himself from his bulletproof Cadillac limousine to lunch with the queen without being caught in the rain is perhaps an insight into his need for a missile shield.
Barbara's grandparents, so much more widely traveled than the President, no doubt cringed with embarrassment that their grandchild turned up at the palace in jeans. Did Barbara's father and mother speak with her about her fashion sense? This is, I realize, a "family matter," but yob culture begins at home.
George W. Bush was so indifferent to the world that in the years before he became President he made only two overseas trips, both for business, neither for curiosity. No wonder he wants to beak the missile treaty, alienate NATO, ignore global warming and reinstall Russia and China as enemies: Those foreign countries scarcely exist in his imagination. Why go to Australia when you have the Outback Steakhouse right here at home?
Our previous President studied at Oxford. This one was given a sightseeing tour of London and said it was "diverse and clean."
The Times also said Bush gave a "pep talk" to children about the advantages of reading over television. The children did not ask him to name the last book he had read. Just good manners, I guess.
To read Ebert's snotty, shall we say yob-like,
diatribe in full, go to:
The MRC is succeeding in "reaching out" to "find common ground" on media bias. The evidence: Geraldo Rivera, yes Geraldo Rivera, on his CNBC show on Tuesday night cited an MRC study and conceded it "really made an impression on me."
MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens noticed that
during a July 24 Rivera Live segment on Chandra Levy/Gary Condit with
Lanny Davis, Arianna Huffington and Jerry Falwell, Rivera told Falwell:
"Left-wing pundit" Geraldo's identification of his source as a "right-wing pundit" leads me to guess he was referring to Cal Thomas on Fox Newswatch, but he also could have meant MRC President Brent Bozell, who recited the numbers one morning on FNC's Fox & Friends -- as did Brit Hume on his Special Report with Brit Hume.
To read the MRC's study which Geraldo cited,
"In 92 Percent of Levy Stories Networks Refused to Label Gary Condit
as a Democrat," go to the July 12 Media Reality Check:
We've reached Geraldo, so who could be next? Jonathan Alter, Dan Rather? We can only dream. -- Brent Baker
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