Canonize the Popular Clinton; "Held Hostage" by the Trial; GOP Stuck in the '80s
1) ABC and NBC showcased Cheryl Mills for her personal civil rights defense of Clinton; CBS, CNN and NBC highlighted Clinton's popularity. NBC's David Bloom relayed how Clinton "is now the most popular second term President in more than 50 years."
4) Sam Donaldson compared Clinton to a soaring Internet stock. Two GMA guests were pressed about prolonging the trial as Charlie Gibson demanded of Dennis Hastert: "Why drag this out? Why are your managers over there...pressing for witnesses?"
5) Tim Russert decided that Clinton's State of the Union performance insures he will not be removed. Katie Couric imagined: "If you closed your eyes and listened you might swear it was a Republican who was delivering that speech."
Greenspan's criticism of Clinton's proposal to have the government put
some Social Security money into the stock market, led the January 20 ABC,
CBS and NBC evening shows. CNN's The World Today and FNC Fox Report went
first with the Senate presentations by Greg Craig and Cheryl Mills.
Below, highlights of how the shows hyped Clinton's popularity, showcased Cheryl Mills for her civil rights defense and examined Clinton's Social Security investment proposal from the left but not the right:
-- CBS, CNN and NBC highlighted
Clinton's popularity. From the road with Clinton in Buffalo and
Norristown, Pennsylvania, NBC's David Bloom relayed how Clinton "is
now the most popular second term President in more than 50 years."
Also traveling with Clinton, on the CBS Evening News Scott Pelley
announced: "It seemed though that most Americans liked what they
heard last night. There were new programs for nearly everyone, and no tax
increase except for cigarettes. According to senior aides Mr. Clinton
believed it was his best policy address ever. A new CBS News poll shows a
72 percent job approval rating."
-- ABC and NBC highlighted the
personal case made by Mills about how Clinton is great on civil rights and
how he treats blacks, but neither noted the irrelevance of her arguments
to the case or suggested she played the race card.
On ABC's World News Tonight
Jackie Judd noted: "She ended on a personal note, challenging
Republicans who have equated Paula Jones' lawsuit against Mr. Clinton with
the civil rights struggle."
NBC Nightly News didn't
actually show any of her civil rights comments, but after Gwen Ifill's
report summarizing and showing soundbites of the more substantive case
made by Craig and Mills, anchor Tom Brokaw told viewers what he saw when
he was in the Senate gallery earlier:
-- ABC led with Greenspan's
criticism and though the story by John Cochran included a soundbite from a
Cato Institute expert, Cochran failed to inform viewers why conservatives
think it would be better to allow individuals to decide where their Social
Security money goes in the stock market.
After explaining how Greenspan
thinks investments would be influenced by politics as state and local
pension funds do worse than private retirement plans, Cochran asked:
-- Finally, a rhyme from Dan
Rather that can't be skipped:
NBC Nightly News picked up on Clinton's State of the Union pledge to
better enforce equal pay laws for women, but like Clinton put liberal
rhetoric ahead of the facts. Andrea Mitchell used the January 20 "In
Depth" segment to illustrate the problem and explain how it's one way
politicians are going after the female vote.
Mitchell asserted: "Across
this country the wage gap between for men and women remains huge. For
every dollar earned by men, women earn only 78 cents, a persistent gap for
men and women with the exact same skills."
Reality Check: As the April 14,
1997 CyberAlert reported in response to similar liberal fantasizing at the
time by NBC's Katie Couric and ABC's Peter Jennings, "among men and
women with equal education and experience pay is nearly identical."
A 1996 analysis of male versus
female pay scales by the Independent Women's Forum discovered:
-- "Over time, women's wages have been steadily rising relative to men's wages. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data show that, among people ages twenty-seven to thirty-three who have never had a child, women's earnings are close to 98 percent of men's. Economist June O'Neill notes, 'When earnings comparisons are restricted to men and women more similar in their experience and life situations, the measured earnings differentials are typically quite small.'"
Geraldoisms from Wednesday's Upfront Tonight on CNBC:
-- Geraldo Rivera to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, marveling at Clinton's high approval ratings: "One thing I can't figure is how did this guy thrive so much in adversity. I mean, if they indicted him now, he'd be canonized for God's sake."
-- On the presentation by Deputy White House counsel Cheryl Mills: "I think that that woman, Cheryl Mills, I mean forget about home run, that was a grand slam."
track Charlie. ABC could save money by just having Charlie Gibson come in
one day a week to tape his questions and then play them back to guests
On Monday, he asked Bob Dole
why Republicans insist on dragging out the trial process. On Tuesday, he
asked George Mitchell why the Republicans are dragging out the trial. (See
January 19 and 20 CyberAlerts.) And on Wednesday morning's Good Morning
America, surprise, surprise, he inquired of House Speaker Dennis Hastert:
"Why drag this out? Why are your managers over there, your House
managers over there, pressing for witnesses?" At another point he
wondered if we'll see Clinton's proposals approved, "or are we just
held hostage until impeachment is done?"
Here's some of what greeted
viewers of the all-new, semi re-tread, Good Morning America on January 20,
the morning after the State of the Union, as observed and transcribed by
MRC analyst Mark Drake:
-- Glowing reviews for Clinton
by Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson.
-- Why drag out or prolong, and
are we being held hostage by Republicans?
News reader Antonio Mora to
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch during the 8am news update: "But if
you don't have a chance of getting the 67 votes, is there a need to go to
witnesses and prolong this trial?"
And here are some of Gibson's
inquiries to Speaker Dennis Hastert during he 8am half hour:
Couric and Tim Russert also marveled at Clinton's State of the Union
performance, focusing on his high approval numbers and how they will
control the Senate vote, as Couric imagined: "If you closed your eyes
and listened you might swear it was a Republican who was delivering that
MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens
caught this exchange from the January 20 Today:
Katie Couric: "So how did
Later, Couric again stressed
how Clinton had delivered Republican themes, telling Chris Matthews:
"Let's talk about the content of the State of the Union. I mean he's
quite talented at co-opting traditional Republican issues, for example his
tough on crime portions of the speech and talking about boosting defense
spending." She heaped on the praise: "He was also quite
effective at the theatrics and sort of apple pie aspect of this address.
Bringing Sammy Sosa in. Rosa Parks. Things that really couldn't help but
warm your heart to watch."
But, Couric did finally
acknowledge: "And he also was able to successfully weave in some
traditional liberal ideas as well wasn't he?"
The Republican agenda is retro '80s, Newsweek's Howard Fineman charged is
criticizing the ideas for not being "forward looking."
Right after U.S.
Representatives Jennifer Dunn and Steve Largent finished the Republican
response Tuesday night, Fineman told MSNBC viewers:
Issues from the '80s, like trying at some level to bring private investment into Social Security, allowing some limited school choice and re-building defense? Three policy ideas from the 1980s pushed by conservatives then and opposed by liberals and Clinton, only to be presented in "light" or government-oriented form Tuesday night. -- Brent Baker 
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