Pickering's Enemies Not Liberal; Clift: Gore "Should Have" Become President; CNN: Ted Kennedy "Roaring on Behalf of the Voiceless"
1) ABC's Carole Simpson made sure viewers realized Bush judicial nominee Charles Pickering is "conservative" and a man in a soundbite tagged him as a "right wing Republican," but she refused to apply an ideological label on his opponents. Instead, she euphemistically cited "a coalition of fifty civil rights, human rights and women's groups."
2) When Newsweek's Eleanor Clift mistakenly referred to how Al Gore assumed office after Bill Clinton, she confirmed on the McLaughlin Group that she thinks "it should have been the Gore administration."
3) ABC and CNN celebrated Ted Kennedy's 70th birthday. CNN's Candy Crowley gushed: "He is the last of the liberal lions, roaring on behalf of the voiceless." She admired how "has championed civil rights, pushed for improved education and better health care." Next, anchor Judy Woodruff cued him up to criticize Bush for not spending enough: "You're now criticizing the President for not putting as much money into education as you think should be there. Did the President let you down on this?"
ABC anchor Carole Simpson was careful to label Charles Pickering, Bush's judicial nominee now being held up by Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, as a "conservative" and a man in a soundbite tagged him a "right wing Republican," but she refused to apply an ideological label on his opponents. Instead, she euphemistically cited "a coalition of fifty civil rights, human rights and women's groups."
Simpson began the February 24 World News
Tonight/Sunday piece by showing a clip of Pickering before the Judiciary
Committee as he insisted: "I have a record of standing up for equal
protection, respecting the rule of law."
After letting NAACP President Kweisi Mfume
denounce Bush's nominee, for a seat on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals,
for "a lack of tolerance," Simpson recited the issues which
upset his critics. Simpson then ran a soundbite of White House counsel
Alberto Gonzalez who suggested the "people who know him best" in
his hometown support him.
Larry Thomas, a pharmacist, for instance,
argued: "I still view Charles Pickering as a right wing Republican,
but then on the other hand, I saw him open his arms to try and embrace
change compatible to both races in south Mississippi."
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift inadvertently confirmed on the McLaughlin Group that she thinks "it should have been the Gore administration" assuming office from Bill Clinton.
As usual, the McLaughlin Group over the
weekend ended with panelists making predictions. Clift volunteered:
"The GAO will finally issue its report on the White House, the
vandalizing of the White House in between the Clinton and Gore
administrations." Wincing, Clift immediately corrected herself:
"Clinton and Bush administrations." Then, as the other panelists
laughed, Clift added: "Well, it should have been the Gore
The media birthday cake for Ted Kennedy. ABC and CNN on Friday celebrated Kennedy's 70th birthday. ABC's Good Morning America brought aboard his son to pay tribute to him and on CNN's NewsNight Aaron Brown praised him as "one of the most powerful and hardest working Democrats of the past four decades."
On Inside Politics, Candy Crowley gushed: "He is the last of the liberal lions, roaring on behalf of the voiceless." More like roaring on behalf of expanding government control over people's lives and limiting their opportunities. She also admired how "he has championed civil rights, pushed for improved education and better health care."
Next, anchor Judy Woodruff cued him up to criticize Bush for not spending enough: "You're now criticizing the President for not putting as much money into education as you think should be there. Did the President let you down on this?" Sounding like a disappointed liberal, Woodruff worried: "Have you somehow unwittingly given the President a leg up and the Republicans, on this issue of education?"
-- ABC's Good Morning America, February 22.
Diane Sawyer announced as noted by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson:
"Well, from the time he was a child, we all watched, we all struck,
we were struck by his courage, we all prayed and we all admired his
character as Ted Kennedy Jr. battled cancer. He lost a leg to bone cancer
when he was just 12, but from that time on, he has not only shown what you
can do with spirit and life, he has become an advocate for the rights of
others, for the rights of not only those who have disabilities, but cancer
patients....But it's also the 70th birthday of somebody we know very well,
Senator Ted Kennedy. Dad's 70 today?"
-- CNN NewsNight anchor Aaron Brown squeezed this in before the end of the show: "Today a Kennedy turned 70. In a way, that statement in and of itself is worth thinking about. President Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy, Jack and Bobby, they died so young. They never aged in our memories. It was the little brother who would grow older, along with the rest of us, Senator Edward Kennedy. Easily, one of the most powerful and hardest working Democrats of the past four decades. And the one who's carried on the Kennedy name in all its complexity and controversy. He's been known to joke that he could run three more times and still not be as old as Strom Thurmond. Edward Kennedy at 70."
-- CNN's Inside Politics devoted an entire
segment to celebrating the liberal Senator's birthday. Reporter Candy
Crowley at least acknowledged his ideology as she gushed: "He is the
last of the liberal lions, roaring on behalf of the voiceless."
Of course, conservatives would suggest his sycophantic loyalty to teacher unions has meant he has helped trap poor students in terrible schools.
Crowley then ran a soundbite from Senator
Chris Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut: "Forget the bills. The bills, I
know, are important. I don't mean to forget them. But none of that would
ever have become law if it hadn't been for the passion that he brought to
the commitments and those issues over the years, and sustains it year in
and year out."
Following Crowley's piece, CNN played a
taped interview Judy Woodruff had conducted in the Massachusetts
Senator's office. After asking him to name his greatest achievement
(working on civil rights in the 1960s), she raised the education spending
bill: "You worked very closely with the President to get an education
Kennedy rejected her premise and argued it was a "good bill."
Woodruff followed up by contending that Kennedy was helping Republicans: "Well, in the aftermath of getting this education bill passed, polling that has been done of the American people, a number of polls done just last month, show people now favor the President over the congressional Democrats on the issue of education, by something like 2 to 1. You've got Democratic strategists out there, including some you know very well -- Bob Shrum, James Carville -- saying the public support for Bush and the Republicans on education is the biggest threat to the Democrats regaining control of the House and maintaining and strengthening control of the Senate. I guess my question is, have you somehow unwittingly given the President a leg up and the Republicans, on this issue of education?"
That same night, Friday, FNC's The O'Reilly Factor also featured a segment about Ted Kennedy prompted by his birthday, but FNC offered two sides: a Kennedy author praising him and criticism from Rich Lowry, Editor of National Review. Lowry suggested, for instance, that Kennedy should be reprimanded for something not even hinted at by CNN: Accelerating personal destruction in politics by inventing "Borking" when he deliberately distorted Robert Bork's record.
From the February 20 Late Show with David Letterman (http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/ ), as read by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the "Top Ten Ways I'll Improve New York City."
10. I'll personally pay every New Yorker's rent for the next four years
On #3, is that 10pm or 10am? -- Brent Baker 
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