CBS's Prime Time Sermon;
Independent Counsel Kenneth's Starr's announcement that he will leave his position this summer dominated Tuesday morning's political news as reporters speculated on what it means for the Clintons.
Tuesday (February 18) morning's Good Morning America co-host Charlie
Gibson led a discussion on Starr among Cokie Roberts, Bill Kristol and
George Stephanopoulos. They also delved into whether an independent
counsel should or will be appointed to investigate Democratic fundraising
in the wake of the China connection revelation -- the first discussion of
the China angle on GMA.
night the three broadcast network evening shows all aired full stories on
Starr's move and what it might mean. On ABC's World News Tonight Jackie
Judd did a Starr piece and then ABC went to John Donvan traveling with the
President in New York. Donvan noted that Clinton was in New York City to
raise soft money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a type
of event he says there should be rules against. Leading into a soundbite
from Ann McBride of Common Cause, Donvan wondered: "Hypocrisy? It
looks that way to some people who follow campaign finance closely."
Donvan concluded with the new media spin that finance reform is the
The February 11 CyberAlert noted that a February 7 Wall Street Journal article showed how two large Democratic contributors were rewarded with an exclusive HUD contract for their energy company. A week and a half later: Still waiting for the first network story.
CBS gave Senator Ted Kennedy and actor/liberal activist Ron Silver a very unusual, and for an entertainment shows a very lengthy, platform to spew their virulent liberal views on Monday night (February 17). Kennedy made an appearance as himself on Chicago Hope, a 10pm ET/PT drama set in a Chicago hospital. In the show the character played by Ron Silver, Doctor Tommy Wilmette, travels to Washington, DC to testify before a subcommittee chaired by Kennedy. You already know it's Hollywood fantasy since Kennedy hasn't chaired a committee since Democrats lost control in 1992. But actors can dream.
Here's the entire scene, as transcribed by MRC entertainment analyst Alice Lynn O'Steen. This in long, but well worth your time to hear the kind of liberal sermon CBS finds perfectly acceptable in an entertainment show.
Senator Ted Kennedy: "Today is our second day of hearings on children's health care. We have ten million children in the United States that have no health care coverage whatsoever. These are the sons and daughters of working families. Men and women who work forty hours a week, fifty two weeks of the year. And the critical issue that is before this committee -- Do we have the political will to provide a health insurance to cover those ten million Americans? That is the issue. These are children that rarely see a primary health care doctor. Sons and daughters of working families that have asthma and rarely see a primary care doctor. That have ear infections and rarely see a doctor. Where the emergency room is their family doctor. I believe and I believe deeply that this country can afford a healthy start for every child in this country. And the issue before us, in this committee, is do we have the will to do so? We welcome our first witness Mr. Wilmette, Chicago Hope Hospital. Mr. Wilmette."
Dr. Tommy Wilmette, played by Ron
Silver, with exaggerated passion from the witness table:
"American medical arrangements are out of control. Cost control
through private competition is not working. Restructuring is required. And
I am here to tell you that we need to disconnect profit from care. There
should be no profit from the pain and misfortune of others. No profit from
sick children. No profit from the dying. Health care is a right, just as
education is, just as equal justice under law. The market place may be
efficient but it is amoral. There is no other value. The system is sick
and it is killing us. And believe me I know this from personal experience.
And God help me I would not want to be in your shoes. But rest assured I
will spend every waking hour of the day that God allows me to walk closely
behind you, right on your heels. Cajoling, persuading and if necessary
mobilizing pressure that will be so overwhelming that you will wind up
having the courage of your convictions. I will be here to make sure that
you do not fail.
There you have it: an actor as America's moral conscious, or if you follow the script, the Senators should be cowering in fear of some doctor who just flew in from Chicago.
the show, the Washington CBS affiliate's WUSA Eyewitness News at 11 ran a
story on the show being filmed a few weeks earlier in DC. Reporter Beverly
Burke explained: "Senator Kennedy wrote his own speech on the
nation's health care system, specifically for tonight's episode of Chicago
Hope. He agreed to this cameo appearance after co-star Ron Silver asked
him at last month's presidential inauguration."
In the show Silver's character will leave Chicago to live in DC. Sounds like they'll have plenty of opportunities for more liberal bombast.
The citizens of Yankton, South Dakota are naturally proud that a native son -- Tom Brokaw -- made it big, but a member of the city council doesn't appreciate Brokaw's liberal outlook.
Appearing on the February 17 Late Show with David Letterman Monday night Brokaw explained that the Yankton City Council voted 6 to 2 to name a street after him: "Tom Brokaw Boulevard." But, Brokaw told Letterman, "One of the people voting against it, or least was opposed to it, said he loved the idea of having a street named after Brokaw. He'd like to drive up and down over his liberal, well he named a part of my anatomy."
A media star played his naturally liberal self in an appearance on an ABC
sit-com Tuesday night. In Spin City (9:30pm ET/PT) Michael J. Fox stars as
the top aide to the Mayor of New York City. The February 18 episode
revolved around the 50th birthday party for the mayor. Various celebrities
provided video tributes to the fictional mayor. Here's the one from Larry
I doubt that took much of an acting effort by King.
-- Brent Baker