Abortion Mantra; Brian Williams Booed; Debate Sponsor Condemned Russert
2) During Friday's GOP debate shown by MSNBC the candidates were hit from the left and the audience booed Brian Williams. Margaret Carlson condemned attendees for "waving and cheering and stomping the most simple-minded statements."
3) MSNBC's Brian Williams criticized GOP candidates for offering "red meat for conservatives," saying they uttered positions which were "rather strident." The Union Leader co-sponsored the debate, but its publisher blasted Tim Russert for how he moderated it.
4) Friday night ABC caught up with Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile's race-mongering insult of Colin Powell and J.C. Watts, but NBC only gave it a few seconds on Saturday and failed to quote her exact words.
Latest issue of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of
the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media, is
now online thanks to Eric Pairel and Kristina Sewell. Amongst the quote
headings in the January 10 edition: "Time: Heroic Clinton &
Eleanor"; "Backward Winston Churchill"; "Can We Have
Another Camelot?"; "Reagan, Thatcher Mattered? No"; "Gumbel
the Great"; "Cuban Kids Fear U.S Kidnappers"; "The
Berlin Wall Suddenly Fell, But Germany's Far Ahead of America";
"Hillary Knocks My Socks Off"; "Clinton's Like a Fine
Sports Car"; "Another Christmas Saved By the Heroic Federal Toy
Regulators". To read the issue, go to:
From the left, as usual, on This Week. From the right, in a very unusual angle, on Fox News Sunday. On Sunday's This Week ABC's Sam Donaldson hit Bob and Elizabeth Dole from the left on abortion, but in a rare television event, Fox's Tony Snow posed a question from the right, about the ineffectiveness of government spending, to Bill Bradley.
-- On the January 9 This Week Cokie Roberts asked Elizabeth Dole: "Governor Whitman in New Jersey has never carried the women's vote. Do you think that being on the ticket would bring the women's vote?"
Seconds after Roberts had pointed out how Whitman, a
"pro-choice" woman who even refused to outlaw partial-birth
abortion, failed to capture the women's vote, Sam Donaldson presented
the case that a Republican presidential candidate will never win female
support if the party opposes abortion. He told Bob Dole:
Donaldson followed up: "Mrs. Dole, what do you think? You know what the polls say about this in this country."
And: "Do you think a human rights amendment to ban abortion should be in the platform in the year 2000?"
-- During a Fox News Sunday interview with Bill
Bradley, host Tony Snow posed a type of question rarely, if ever, heard on
network TV as he raised the failure of the welfare state:
Another Republican debate televised Friday night by MSNBC found the GOP candidates again hit by the moderators from the left with questions designed to make them look as extremist as possible. In a turnabout for MSNBC's Brian Williams and a local South Carolina NBC affiliate's reporter, both were booed loudly by the audience.
On Saturday, CNN, FNC, C-SPAN and PBS all showed a 1pm CT Democratic debate in Iowa sponsored by the Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Television. Unlike the Republican treatment at the hands of NBC, Al Gore and Bill Bradley were never challenged from the opposite ideological position on anything, in their case the right, as they were largely served up topics to discuss in questions which lacked an agenda. In fact, neither were asked about their stand on gays in the military, the controversy which emerged from their January 5 debate in New Hampshire. PBS and the Register will sponsor a Republican debate to be held this coming Saturday in Iowa. If they are consistent, the questioners will not hit Republicans from the left nor raise any controversies, such as McCain's letters to regulators. (More on this debate in a future CyberAlert before the GOP forum.)
Time's Margaret Carlson declared Democrats the
winners of the South Carolina Republican debate, asserting on CNN's
Capital Gang on Saturday:
It was the moderators of Friday's debate which caused the audience anger by posing hostile questions. The 8pm ET gathering took place in front of an audience of 3,000 South Carolina Republicans after they completed a fundraising dinner inside a former Lowe's store in West Columbia. MSNBC showed it live and C-SPAN played it later in the evening. Brian Williams of MSNBC and Dave Stanton of Columbia's NBC affiliate, WIS-TV, served as co-moderators.
The first question came from Stanton: "Ambassador Keyes, last night you asked where all the conservatives have gone. If you had a choice between eight more years of a Democratic President or eight years of a pro-choice Republican, which would you choose?"
Next, Williams asked McCain about his letters to the FCC. Then Stanton posed a classic liberal agenda question to Gary Bauer: "If someone in your family was raped and became pregnant and wanted an abortion, and after a discussion with you they were adamant in their decision to have an abortion, would you support that decision or would you try to prevent it?"
Now we get to the booing as Williams put George Bush
into the positions of either appearing to be a racist or angering South
After that exchange, Stanton hit Steve Forbes from the left with a question about a supposed need to spend more: "There are many people on fixed incomes with health problems. And by the time they say their medications have been paid for, they don't have money for food or clothing or other necessities. Do you think people like this need some help, and from what source should that help come?"
Following an e-mail question about veterans benefits, Williams requested all the candidates on stage address this leading inquiry: "Has affirmative action made America a better nation?"
Things remained fairly quiet through questions about state-sponsored gambling, supporting farmers and how much each candidate gives to charitable causes.
At this point Stephanie Trotter of WYFF-TV, the NBC
affiliate in Greenville, stood up and attempted to pose a question, but it
displeased the audience. Their loud boos forced her to repeat it three
times before all the candidates on stage understood it:
Though Williams never asked any other candidates about the Confederate flag during the debate, and avoided the issue in post-debate interviews with McCain and Bauer, the only two candidates he interviewed other than Bush, he pressed Bush about it again during the live interview after the debate. As Bush repeated his previous non-committal, a seemingly astonished Williams declared: "So you have no reaction to the sight, as an American citizen, of that flag?"
Compare NBC's agenda-rich approach listed above, as well as on Thursday night as detailed in the January 7 CyberAlert, with how ABC's Peter Jennings treated Bradley and Gore in the January 5 New Hampshire debate shown by MSNBC. He did challenge them some, but not with ideologically-driven questions which suggested they are too far to the left:
-- "Let me try you both first on votes and quotes. It is, as you both know, common in some campaigns, for a candidate to take either his opponent's vote or a quote out of context. I would like to ask you first, both of you, for one word answer. Mr. Bradley, has Mr. Gore ever taken a vote of yours or a quote out of context?"
-- "Mr. Bradley, Mr. Gore brought up this question of doing without television advertising. Can you tell us what you really thought in the last debate when he held out his hand to you?"
-- To Gore, about Bradley: "Can I just ask if you think -- rather simply. Do you think he has the experience to run?"
-- After Gore claimed Bradley made "mistakes" in votes for Reaganomics and against welfare reform, Jennings asked: "Can I ask you, though, how large, how large a mistake is a President allowed to make? Mr. Bradley, Mr. Gore, either one of you."
-- Fifty minutes into the debate came the subject
which later generated some controversy, but notice how far from suggesting
the favoring of an open policy toward gays in the military might be
extreme, Jennings challenged them to proclaim their support for it:
The only question that could be remotely characterized as coming from the right was posed by Union Leader reporter John DiStaso, who asked: "It's another area where you both agree totally. On campaign finance. You both admitted that you benefited from some overzealous mistakes back in '96, and perhaps in excesses back in New Jersey. But what exactly, Mr. Gore, were some of these mistakes that so concerned you back in '96? And Mr. Bradley, let's finally take on head on this question of pharmaceutical industry contributions and tax loopholes for that industry."
+++ Hear Brian Williams get booed. Monday morning
the MRC's Andy Szul will post a video clip, on the MRC home page, of
Williams getting booed as he pressed George Bush about the Confederate
flag. To see the video via RealPlayer, go to: http://www.mrc.org 
Another example of hostility to what network stars consider the too conservative stands taken by Republicans at the January 6 debate and the publisher of The Union Leader, which co-sponsored the debate, apologized Friday for how Tim Russert moderated the forum.
-- As detailed in the January 7 CyberAlert, NBC's Tim Russert and Brian Williams were fixated during and after the January 6 Republican debate on the candidate's religious views and support of tax cuts. MRC analyst Mark Drake caught an additional bit of invective from Brian Williams.
During the January 6 News with Brian Williams, which aired an hour after the debate ended, Williams asked Newsweek's Howard Fineman: "Howard, who are the Republicans who are not happy with the way this event looked tonight and similar groupings of these six, meaning, and it's red meat for conservatives, the positions rather strident tonight: anti-gay, pro-Jesus, and anti-abortion and no gray matter in between?"
-- The morning after the New Hampshire GOP debate Union Leader publisher J.W. McQuaid blasted Tim Russert for how he moderated the confab the paper sponsored along with New Hampshire Public Television and New England Cable News. In the January 7 editorial featured on the front page, headlined "We Apologize," McQuaid complained:
If readers or New Hampshire viewers of last night's Republican event in Durham are upset this morning, it is no more so than this newspaper.
We co-sponsored this presidential primary program, as we did Wednesday night's Democratic one.
Unfortunately, last night's moderator did exactly what many of his brethren in the national media often try to do -- decide the contest before the New Hampshire voters have a chance to do so. NBC's Tim Russert apparently decided to make this his own two-man show with candidates George Bush and John McCain, virtually ignoring the four others for much of the questioning. No wonder the two are ahead in the polls!
The national media have it all figured out for us. Bush the name versus McCain the hero.
No others need apply. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy! But as candidates Orrin Hatch and Steve Forbes attempted to remind us, the real poll will be taken Feb. 1 by New Hampshire voters. As they have done many times before, we hope the voters will set the national media straight. That's the New Hampshire way.
END reprint of editorial
Catching up with CBS, which ran a short item read by Dan Rather Thursday night (see the January 7 CyberAlert), Friday night ABC aired a full story on Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile's race-mongering insult of Colin Powell and J.C. Watts. ABC's John Cochran even reminded viewers of how she was fired from the Dukakis campaign. CBS ran another item Friday night. NBC didn't get to the story until Saturday and reporter Claire Shipman didn't even tell viewers the actual quote of what Brazile charged.
-- ABC's World News Tonight, January 7. John Cochran explained how Brazile "told an interviewer on the Internet that two well-known black Republicans have let themselves be used as political props. She said 'Republicans bring out Colin Powell and J.C. Watts because they have no program, no policy. They'd rather take pictures with black children than feed them.' Powell and Watts fired off angry letters to Gore, Powell accusing Brazile of 'playing the polarizing race card,' Congressman Watts fuming that 'her racist remarks are appalling.' Today, the Republican front-runner, George Bush, said he would get rid of anyone in his campaign who made such remarks.
Bush asserted: "It's slash and burn politics. That's unacceptable for her to have done that to, to good people."
Cochran recalled some history ignored by CBS and
NBC: "Brazile has been in trouble before. In 1988, Democratic
presidential candidate Michael Dukakis fired her from his campaign.
Brazile had urged reporters to pursue rumors that then Vice President Bush
was having an affair. Today, Gore not only refused to fire her but said
she's doing a great job as campaign manager. Privately, some of Gore's
aides say she was right to bash the Republican Party, but went too far in
going after the popular Colin Powell."
Over on Friday's CBS Evening News John Roberts
On Saturday NBC finally got to the story, as Claire
Shipman gave it a few seconds in the middle of a January 8 piece on the
Democratic debate earlier in the day in Iowa:
Without the quote NBC viewers didn't gain an indication of Brazile's mean-spirited hostility.
Nackey Loeb, who guided New Hampshire's conservative voice, The Union Leader, from 1981 when William Loeb died through last year, died Saturday. As noted in the AP obituary, she remained tough to the end, writing a front page editorial last February, when Bill Clinton visited the state, headlined: "Mr. President, You're a Disgrace!"
Below is an editorial tribute to her by publisher J.W. McQuaid run in the January 9 New Hampshire Sunday News, the Sunday version of The Union Leader:
Nackey S. Loeb, 1924-2000:
We were very lucky to have her in our midst
We are not sure that her employees, her friends, or her New Hampshire readers will ever fully understand how lucky we all are that Nackey Scripps Loeb walked among us.
"Walk" is an odd term, we realize, to describe a person who became a paraplegic and spent the last 22 years of her life in a wheelchair. But Mrs. Loeb (we would never think to call her anything less formal) was never "confined" to her chair. Her spirit, her will, her very being would not allow a mere accident to keep her down.
We were lucky to have her because her commitment to maintain an independent voice caused her to not only hang onto The Union Leader and Sunday News after William Loeb's death but to invest in their future and to do the hard work of leading us there.
We were lucky to have her because her fighting spirit (we never heard a word of complaint from her about her physical status) was, truly, an inspiration.
We were lucky to have her because her unabashed love of people, of New Hampshire, and of this country was such a fine example in an age and a business that are all too cynical.
We were lucky to have her because she had an easy laugh, a wicked sense of humor, and a gentle but firm hand with a bunch of wild and sometimes crazy newspaper types.
Author Mary Baures profiled Mrs. Loeb in her book, "Undaunted Spirits, Portraits of Recovery from Trauma" (The Charles Press, 1994). The book also featured chapters on CBS newsman Mike Wallace and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, among others.
"I'm not scared of dying...I think dying is a natural process, and I'll hang in there as long as I can," she told Baures. "I think there's a God who is playing an important part in deciding our fate," Mrs. Loeb said. "We are not captains of our ship, nor are we masters of our soul. There has to be a blind acceptance and we're not allowed to know the reason why things happen. For instance, it doesn't bother me that I don't know why I had the accident and why I was wedged under the dashboard. It happened, so I've accepted it. That acceptance carries me through."
In the book, she said of her newspaper workers, "It was up to me to convince these people that it wasn't the end of the world when Bill died."
Mrs. Loeb did that. She hung in there with grit and determination and remarkable grace and it is those things that we, her friends and employees, will remember as we now try to convince ourselves that the world will continue without her. But right now, that is hard, very hard.
With so few newspapers still run by independent owners willing to deliver a conservative voice in the community, it's sad to lose one of the most famous, but she has fortunately left the paper in the hands of a conservative publisher. -- Brent Baker 
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