No Drinking and Driving on the Information Superhighway
ABC News Washington reporter and
anchor Carole Simpson: "I fear that the Contract with
America, if enacted, may be detrimental to the family,
especially those of single women and their children....But my
fear is that Mr. Gingrich, given his history, may increase what
I see as a new mean-spiritedness in this country....I would like
to think that the American people care about poor people, about
sick people, about homeless people, and about poor children. I
am shocked by the new mean-spiritedness."
Question: "I don't think it's your personal liberal bias that's well-known, but the liberal bias of your network is obvious."
Carole Simpson: "I challenge you to give me examples of that. I disagree wholeheartedly. I think it's again, an example of the mean-spiritedness that is these days also directed at the media."
Question: "Do you think the Democrats have been exhibiting mean-spiritedness towards the Republican efforts at reform? Their intentional misrepresentation of those efforts are consistently presented at face value in the mainstream press...[and] an effort at character assassination of the new congressional leaders."
Simpson: "I disagree totally. I think the coverage of the new Republican leadership has been extremely positive."
- Carole Simpson in an America Online auditorium session, January 5.
Archer vs. Shalala
"Orphanages fit into
Clinton's welfare reform: Archer forces concession by Shalala"
- Washington Times, January 11.
"Republican Welfare Plan Is
Termed 'Indefensible': Shalala Contrasts Two Parties'
- Washington Post, same day.
"The secular response to
the tawdriness of contemporary life was not uplifting; it
largely amounted to a mingy, mean-spirited vindictiveness, a
searching for scapegoats. Many interpreted the Republican sweep
in the November elections as a sign that voters were mad as hell
and ready for old-fashioned verities. That seemed to be the view
of incoming House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who called for a
constitutional amendment allowing voluntary school prayer in
public schools. He also suggested it might be a good idea to
fill orphanages with the children of welfare mothers."
- Senior Writer Paul Gray in Time's Man of the Year cover story on the Pope, December 26, 1994/January 2, 1995 issue.
Some of That Extremely Positive Republican Coverage
"Despite all of Ronald
Reagan's vows to slash big government, it only got bigger. His
plan to cut taxes turned into a bidding war to hand out goodies
to the wealthy and the corporate interests. There is at least
the risk of another feeding frenzy in the Republican
- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas, January 9 issue.
"Let's face it: to most
African Americans Newt Gingrich is one scary white man....One
can only hope Gingrich was sincere in his speech to Congress
last week....That could mean Gingrich is serious about shedding
his party's whites-only image. If so, blacks ought to meet him
halfway - if only to temper the wilder impulses of one very
scary white man."
- Time national correspondent Jack E. White, January 16.
"Check out the new year.
You'll probably get a tax cut - one economists don't think we
can afford. As the new Republican majority flexes its
muscle....watch for welfare reform, with the poor, who need help
most, getting less. Your local symphony orchestra and
educational TV - both may become history if the GOP eliminates
funding for the arts. And, orphanages."
- ABC's Jack Smith, January 1 World News Sunday.
Socialized Medicine: Boffo Concept
Administration's health care bill was a boffo concept, much
needed by a nation whose health care system is itself a
systemless invalid. What could have been a stirring theme
disappeared under 1,500 pages of turgid details."
- Time's Worst Book of 1994, December 26, 1994/January 2, 1995 issue.
Bill Clinton, Overachiever
"Like Truman, Clinton has a
long list of achievements that he can point to - including a
robust economy, a crime bill, NAFTA, GATT. How did Truman
ultimately win credit for what he was doing?"
- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel to Truman biographer David McCullough, December 12.
Just in from Mars II
"I think he's [Gingrich]
getting a very positive press. I don't think it's a tough press
so far...It's not quite a honeymoon period, but I do think he's
getting a lot of superlatives and positives."
- ABC congressional reporter John Cochran on CNN's Larry King Live, January 9.
Limbaugh Rips Off Taxpayers More Than Bill Moyers
"Why do the champions of
imperfect economic markets show no tolerance for flaws in the
ideological market? Why is the much more pronounced rightward
tilt of opinion in radio talk shows less objectionable than the
occasional liberal tilt of All Things Considered? Do
these experts on public finance fail to recognize the public's
financial support for all broadcasting and for the think tanks
that supply ammunition to the broadcasters? Rush Limbaugh owes
the taxpayers a lot more for the free and profitable use of the
airwaves than Bill Moyers."
- Former New York Times Executive Editor Max Frankel, January 8 Times Magazine.
No Wonder Young Journalists are So Out of Touch
"In news reports now,
journalists avoid terms such as `radical' and
`arch-conservative.' The word `reactionary' has almost
disappeared from the news. Too bad. It would be a very useful
word right now....We routinely see news stories that call right
wing radicals `conservatives.'...Centrists have become
`liberals.'.... The extremists on the religious right are seldom
called radicals. And their self-definition as Christians is
taken at face value...the Pat Robertson radicals are far removed
from traditional Christianity."
- American Journalism Review President and University of Maryland journalism dean Reese Cleghorn, December issue.
Roberts Discovers the American System
"One of the interesting
things about Newt Gingrich is to become Speaker without running
in a national election. This is almost like a parliamentary
system where he ran in one small borough, and then because his
party won the majority, he becomes a national figure. So it's an
oddity that we're not used to in this system."
- U.S. News & World Report Senior Writer Steven Roberts on Washington Week in Review, January 6.
Judy Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Judy Woodruff: "The
tabloids and the mainstream press are closer together than they
used to be. Many news organizations, print and broadcast, of
course, still cover the serious stuff, but the trends have
critics worried. News is a business and needs to make a profit,
but at its best it is something else too: the vital link between
citizens of a free country and their government. Sometimes those
goals conflict. Keeping them in balance, giving people what they
want and what they need, remains the challenge. That's all for
the `Media Circus'. Now, here's a look at next week's CNN
CNN Announcer: "The lawyers are sharpening their arguments. The judge is ready. The jurors have been chosen. And O.J. Simpson, the most famous murder defendant in legal history, is set to stand trial for the double homicide of Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. Next week, a special presentation of CNN Presents: `Inside the Simpson Trial.'"
- End of January 8 CNN Presents.
Brent Bozell III, Publisher;
Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- James Forbes, Andrew Gabron, Mark Honig, Steve Kaminski, Gesele Rey, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager;
Melissa Gordon, Anna Johnson; Interns