Cronkite Cautioned Letterman; Global Warming Jellyfish; More Toobin
1) Walter Cronkite warned David Letterman not to mistreat guest Hillary Clinton. The audience didn't laugh when she took a shot at Rudy Giuliani and while she delivered a Top List of reasons she decided to appear, the real reason was a poll supported it.
3) Good Morning America featured ABC News legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin as Charlie Gibson noted how in his book he wrote that "Clinton was, by comparison, the good guy in this struggle" while conservatives were "were willing to trample...the Constitution in their effort to drive him from office."
4) ABC showcased a French program for the U.S. to emulate: "Morning after" pills in school. As for abstinence, "no one here argues that is realistic. In France, they believe young people must learn how to protect themselves."
was a line written for him, but former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite's
admonition to David Letterman about being nice to Hillary Clinton matched
his liberal political inclinations. In the midst of Letterman's opening
monologue Wednesday night Cronkite walked out on stage and warned
During her subsequent appearance the jokes and one-liners someone wrote for her went over well. All but one, that is. Asked by Letterman about Rudy Giuliani, Clinton earned groans from the audience with this shot: "He's done a lot of stuff as Mayor, but I think being Senator is a different kind of job. You know as Senator you can't go arrest a homeless person, for example."
Letterman's staff provided a Top Ten list for her to announce: "The Top Ten Reasons I, Hillary Clinton, Finally Decided to Appear on the Late Show." Amongst the items, Number 8: "If Dan Quayle did it, how hard could it be?" Number 5: "I needed an excuse to get out of dinner with Donald Trump." Number 4: "When they threw in a Late Show tote bag, I said 'Gas up the Taurus Bill, we're going to Dave's.'" Number 1: "If I can make it here I can make it anywhere." A RealPlayer video clip of her reading the list is featured on the Late Show Web page and should remain up until about 7pm ET Thursday. Go to: http://marketing.cbs.com/lateshow 
But Thursday's Washington Post provided the real
reason she showed up, a reason which proves she operates just like her
husband. Post reporter Dana Milbank, fresh from The New Republic, explained in
his January 12-datelined dispatch:
For the second time this week, on Wednesday night the CBS Evening News delivered an "in kind" contribution to the Al Gore campaign which the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill would do nothing to prevent. The January 12 CBS Evening News led with more dire news about global warming and how the Clinton administration will soon allocate more money to exploring the impact. A second story warned that "a global explosion of jellyfish" is, Dan Rather suggested, "a possible sign of coming climate changes that could have even more impact on people."
On the NBC Nightly News David Bloom looked at how
the GOP is reaching out to Latino voters as the RNC has just launched TV ads
in Spanish. Bloom noted how Bush leads Gore nationally 52 to 41 percent, but
in California Gore is ahead 59 to 33 percent because "Mexican-Americans
especially remember here former Republican Governor Pete Wilson's divisive
1994 campaign with its anti-immigrant ads."
Hispanic perceptions helped along by this kind of distortion. Wilson's efforts were not "anti-immigrant" but anti illegal-immigrant.
Back to CBS's crusade to legitimize Gore's dire
global warming warnings. Opening the CBS Evening News, anchor Dan Rather
Axelrod cited a new National Research Council
report which claims "the warming trend....during the last twenty years is
undoubtedly real." After again playing a soundbite from NOAA's James
Baker, the same man he hyped Monday, Axelrod actually conceding not all agree
as George Taylor, an Oregon State climatologist, asserted: "The global
warming problem has been overstated by quite a few people."
Following a Clinton soundbite Axelrod predicted
that the Clinton Administration will soon unveil an "ambitious
budget" to fight warming.
So much for global warming doubters. But if "it is still easy to find critics of the theory that man-made gases are overheating the atmosphere," where have these people been? Certainly not in any one of several global warming stories CBS has reported over the last couple of years which have been uniformly one-sided.
Instead of challenging the political and
government claims about warming, CBS eagerly hyped them. Rather introduced the
second story of the night:
Maher cited global warming as a theory offered for the growing number of jellyfish along Alabama's coast and elsewhere. After talking with a supposed marine expert Maher listed areas with increased jellyfish: The Black Sea and Baltic Sea, Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. She also noted that the run-off of farm chemicals could be a contributing factor, but she never elaborated on how her list of impacted areas includes Alaska, which is much colder than the Gulf of Mexico.
She ominously concluded: "With half the nation's population already living along the coastline, perhaps this silent creature is sending a loud and clear message that we should not ignore."
Appearing on Wednesday's Good Morning America, New Yorker writer and ABC News legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin again reiterated how he considers Hillary Clinton's claim about a "vast right-wing conspiracy" to be "more right than wrong" since "this scandal existed solely because the conservative wing of the Republican Party...decided that they were gonna try to bring down Bill Clinton from practically the first day of his administration."
Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson read from Toobin's book: "Clinton was, by comparison, the good guy in this struggle. The President's adversaries appeared literally consumed with hatred for him."
Despite that kind of reasoning, Random House,
publisher of Toobin's book, Vast Conspiracy, described him as
"unbiased." Here's how their Web site plugs the book:
You can access an excerpt from the book by going
Though Good Morning America co-host Charlie Gibson repeatedly challenged Toobin's notion that nothing Clinton did was impeachable, he never came to the defense of the conservatives Toobin impugned, nor did he raise Toobin's revelations about how Clinton's lawyer abused Paula Jones during her deposition by prying into her sexual history. Toobin noted that behavior when he appeared on Tuesday's Nightline. See the January 12 CyberAlert for details on that and what he said on Imus in the Morning.
Gibson began the January 12 interview, which was
transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth, by recalling: "It was almost
two years ago today, on our rival television show, that Mrs. Clinton,
defending the President in the emerging Lewinsky scandal, said it was part of
a vast right-wing conspiracy against her husband. You name your book A Vast
Conspiracy. You say that charge has an unmistakable ring of truth.
I don't think conservatives wanted to
impeach Clinton in 1993, they just wanted to defeat his policies in Congress
and then beat him in the next election -- just like all opposition party
activists have throughout American history.
Gibson then read a Geraldo-like excerpt from
Toobin's book: "All right, I'll get to that, whether it was a sound
criminal investigation, in a moment. But you say, and this has surprised a lot
of people, you say, 'The most astonishing fact in this story may be this one.
In spite of his consistently reprehensible behavior, Clinton was, by
comparison, the good guy in this struggle. The President's adversaries
appeared literally consumed with hatred for him. The bigger the stakes, the
smaller they acted. They were willing to trample all standards of fairness,
not to mention the Constitution, in their effort to drive him from
Gibson moved on: "If there's a hero in the
book, in your view, it is Judge Susan Webber Wright down in Arkansas, and you
say at the end, 'One person saw the case for what it was, Judge Susan Webber
Wright. The judge found Clinton in contempt of court for lying about his
relationship with Monica Lewinsky. After a brief sober review of the facts,
Wright concluded that there simply is no escaping the fact that the President
deliberately undermined the integrity of the judicial system.' Someone who
undermines the integrity of the judicial system, is that not
Gibson: "You say it was not the country's
finest hour. It was not the President's, it was not the judicial system's, it
was not the legislative system's finest hour. But basically this all came down
to sex and that we were wallowing in sex."
++ See what Toobin looks like, if you can't conjure up a picture in your mind, and hear him denigrate conservatives. Late Thursday morning the MRC's Eric Pairel will post a RealPlayer clip of a portion of this GMA interview. Go to: http://www.mrc.org 
If only the U.S. could be more like France and give out "morning after pills" in schools. As for the American idea of teaching abstinence, ABC's Sheila MacVicar found the French care more: "In France they believe young people must learn how to protect themselves."
Over the years the networks have run quite a few stories admiring France's "free" day care system. Monday night, MRC intern Ken Shepherd noticed, ABC's World News Tonight gave approving attention to another French government program.
Anchor Peter Jennings introduced the January 10 story: "In France today, the government began a new drive to further reduce teenage pregnancy. They are already the levels much lower than they are here in the United States. And although the latest idea does not sit well with some French parents, it would be politically impossible here."
From Paris reporter Sheila MacVicar began:
"Go to the nurse's office in any French high school and now along with
the aspirin and the bandages, the nurse has the morning after pill: an
emergency contraceptive that is 95 percent effective if taken within 24 hours
of intercourse. This helps us with something we see everyday says this nurse.
Every day we are confronted with the possibilities of unwanted
MacVicar found not even France isn't liberal
enough to not have controversy over the idea: "It's the part about
parents that has caused the controversy because in France, the schools do not
have to tell parents what their children have been up to. French law gives
teenagers who seek advice or prescriptions for contraceptives an absolute
guarantee of confidentiality. Teenagers are encouraged to talk to their
parents but in the end doctors and nurses must respect their right to privacy.
Monique Saucier heads a conservative association representing French
A relieved MacVicar concluded:
Catching up with a one-sided CBS story from last week, on January 5 the CBS Evening News aired a piece lamenting how the demise of a female quota system for the Pittsburgh police has led to fewer women officers and thus a decline in vaunted "diversity." Reporter Cynthia Bowers grieved that for young girls "who want to do police work when they grow up," without quotas, "the future may not be as fair."
Anchor Dan Rather set up the story: "Law enforcement is among many fields nationwide where the 20th century brought women a better shot at equal opportunity. But that could be changing back here at the starting line of the 21st century. Case in point: a big city where CBS's Cynthia Bowers found the ranks of women are thinning fast on the thin blue line."
Bowers began: "When there is a police
emergency in Pittsburgh, chances are a woman will be the first officer on the
Bowers recalled the bad old days: "There were
no women on this force and not many minorities until a court-ordered quota
system took effect in 1976. It wasn't easy back then for pioneering
policewomen like Gwen Elliot."
Bowers admired the department's diversity: "Today, Commander Elliot is part of a police force that is among this country's most diverse. One in four officers is female, compared to only one in 10 nationwide. But the women in blue may be a dying breed here. The affirmative action program that helped put so many females on the force was struck down in 1991. Since then, more than 90 percent of the Pittsburgh police officers hired have been males."
Sergeant Carmen Robinson claimed: "And when
you have either all males or all whites, you're limiting your view, and that
does a disservice to the, to the city of Pittsburgh."
Bowers then claimed that without a special program
to give women an advantage, the system will no longer be "fair" to
girls dreaming of becoming cops. Over video of young girls, she Bowers
asserted: "But for these young girls, who want to do police work when
they grow up, the future may not be as fair. Like many cities today,
Pittsburgh's police testing system awards bonus points to recruits who are
military veterans, and they are overwhelmingly male."
Of course, nothing is stopping women from joining the armed forces where they can serve alongside men as MPs.
Bowers: "Even so, Bickerstaff is hoping she
can find qualified women to eventually replace the many now nearing retirement
age, among them Commander Gwen Elliot."
Concluding the polemic in the guise of a news story, Bowers bemoaned: "And it is also very likely that as their numbers on the force continue to diminish, tomorrow's women may find themselves fighting yesterday's battle for equal opportunity all over again."
I guess "equal opportunity" doesn't mean equal treatment but special quotas so you achieve an "equal" result. -- Brent Baker 
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