Rather Raved for McCain; Clinton's Nuclear "Healing"; NRA Blamed for Killing
1) "The Straight Talk Express is still rolling," a pleased Dan Rather claimed in using the CBS Evening News to plug an interview with John McCain. Rather's news: McCain will back Bush whether he adopts "McCain's way of thinking about reducing the corruptive influence of money in presidential politics or not."
3) Tom Brokaw equated the Pope and Clinton: "Two of the most powerful men in the world on separate missions of peace and reconciliation." CBS's John Roberts described Clinton's goal: "To set in motion a critical healing process between long-time foes."
5) On Today Maria Shriver whined "we can't get anywhere" on gun control because "the NRA keeps stopping anything that would give us any progress." She blamed the NRA for preventing compromise, without which "people will continue to be killed."
>>> Notable Quotables now online. The
latest issue of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the
latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media, is now up
on the MRC Web site thanks to Kristina Sewell and Andy Szul. Amongst the quote
headings in the March 20 edition: "Welcome to Campaign 2000: Bush
Nastiness v. Gore Outreach"; "Accusatory Bush v. Crafty Gore";
"Imus Zinged Brokaw"; "Jeb Bush = Selma Racist Thugs";
"Bush Sold His Soul to Hard Right"; "Far-Right Bush vs.
Moderate Al" and "Larry King's Kiss and Tell." For this
issue, go to:
http://www.mediaresearch.org/notablequotablesq/archives.html  <<<
Dan Rather remains enthralled with John McCain. Teasing Monday's CBS Evening News before the show opening music, he enthused: "John McCain says he backs the Bush candidacy completely. An exclusive interview with the Arizona Senator shows the Straight Talk Express is still rolling."
Though it revealed nothing new, Rather then began the
March 20 show by making his taped interview the top story of the day. As
transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth, he breathlessly announced:
Going to his taped piece, Rather continued: "McCain
was upbeat on his arrival back to Capitol Hill, back with his agenda, and back
with thoughts on the Republican ticket."
"Back at the anchor desk Rather adopted McCain's language as his own about campaign money as corruptive: "McCain repeatedly said he is backing Bush with no strings attached and no demands, whether Bush, as he hopes, comes around to McCain's way of thinking about reducing the corruptive influence of money in presidential politics or not."
Quite the news breaking interview, and those were the highlights.
Next, the CBS Evening News, which has yet to air a story on the LaBella memo, dedicated a whole piece to another scandal as Rather asked about a possible "Nixonian coverup at the FDA." Over a graphic announcing "FDA-gate," Rather introduced a two-minute report by Sharyl Attkisson about a FDA doctor who claims his agency intimidated doctors who raised questions about Rezulin, an anti-diabetes drug.
Speaking of enthusiasm for John McCain, he won over Mary Tyler Moore and Newsweek's Evan Thomas dreamed about what would happen if he went independent with Colin Powell as his running mate.
-- On Saturday night C-SPAN played a tape of a panel discussion under the heading of "Women's Achievement and Role in Society." The March 6 event, sponsored by the Girl Scouts of America, was moderated by NBC's Katie Couric with panelists Gloria Steinem, Christie Todd Whitman, Mary Tyler Moore and Donna Shalala.
Since the event at the Kennedy Center took place the
night before Super Tuesday, Couric asked if they'd like to see McCain do
well the next day. Mary Tyler Moore responded affirmatively:
-- With McCain now out of the GOP race, on Inside Washington over the weekend Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas could only long for an independent run.
Thomas ruminated: "I wonder if McCain is sitting on
some desert island wondering about a third party or an independent run. It's
ABC and NBC, unlike CBS, led Monday night with what actually occurred during the day with both shows starting with President Clinton's visit to Bangladesh and previews of his planned stops this week in the new nuclear powers of India and Pakistan. Each followed with a report on the Pope's visit to Jordan as part of a Middle East sojourn.
ABC's Peter Jennings anchored from New Delhi, India, while NBC's Tom Brokaw as well as CBS's Dan Rather stayed in New York, though both promised to be in Israel for the Pope for Tuesday night's broadcast.
Brokaw combined the travel of the two world leaders into his show opening in which he equated their causes: "In South Asia and in the Middle East tonight two of the most powerful men in the world on separate missions of peace and reconciliation." On ABC's World News Tonight Peter Jennings warned that "this is surely the most controversial visit that Pope John Paul has ever made anywhere."
From India, CBS's John Roberts portrayed Clinton, not the Pope, as the healer: "Mr. Clinton came to this region with a self-appointed goal: to set in motion a critical healing process between long-time foes India and Pakistan."
That's what will convince a nation to disarm, Clinton's charms as a healer.
Back again to ABC, from a place called Thiruvananthapuram in the state of Kerala, Lynn Sherr praised the Indian region's successful population control efforts which she credited to having literate women and HillaryCare: "Here, even the poorest, enjoy a wide range of free medical services. Kerala spends 15 percent of its budget on health. The federal government spends under two percent."
Wrapping up the March 20 World News Tonight, Jennings told viewers how Indians celebrate the arrival of Spring by smearing orange and green-colored powders on their faces and dancing. He then showed himself with some top India officials as all got their faces smeared. Jennings even showed a bit of video of himself sporting shades as he danced with the crowd, clapping his hands above his head.
Back on camera in a suit and sans the colored powder on his face, Jennings assured viewers the powder is removable, "though for several days, we are told, millions of us will have that slight magenta glow."
++ See an orange Jennings dance. Tuesday morning the MRC's Andy Szul and Kristina Sewell will post a RealPlayer clip of what ABC showed of Jennings getting his face painted and of him dancing. Go to: http://www.mrc.org 
The NRA has certainly succeeded in getting itself back into the media's sights. Monday morning on Today substitute co-host Maria Shriver pounded away at NRA President Charlton Heston for his TV ads and the comments from Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre critical of Bill Clinton. Though Clinton rejected a compromise gun control bill last year, Shriver complained about how many think "we can't get anywhere here...because the NRA keeps stopping anything that would give us any progress."
She put the burden entirely on the NRA:
In other words, Shriver accused the NRA of allowing killings in order to advance its political interests, just the charge she spent the interview condemning the NRA for making about Clinton.
To show the one-sided nature of Shriver's interview, here are all of her questions/statements to Heston in order, as transcribed by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens:
-- "You know that Mr. LaPierre's comments raised a
firestorm and you yourself even called them extreme. Do you agree with
Time's Jack White, an Al Sharpton Democrat. When the Inside Washington panel over the past weekend decided to assess the Pope's apology for what Catholics have done over the centuries, Time magazine national correspondent Jack White decided to use the forum to bemoan how the U.S. government has never apologized for slavery.
Here's how the exchange went on the program, carried by PBS stations around the country and by the CBS affiliate in Washington, DC where it's taped, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brian Boyd:
White: "I believe it could be a role model for
other institutions like the United States government to start facing up to
some of the historical crimes that have been committed in its name. Number one
Everyone who was a slave or owned one is now dead, so there's no one to issue an apology and no to apologize to. But Bill Clinton could still come through for White.
You read it here first. FNC's newsletter cited my Wall Street Journal op-ed for how FNC, unlike ABC, CBS and NBC, is staying on top of the LaBella memo and Monday night FNC's Brit Hume picked up on an item detailed in Friday's CyberAlert.
-- Here's the text of the March 17 edition of The Balance Sheet, the Fox News viewer newsletter distributed via e-mail each Friday:
THE LABELLA MEMO...
As reported by media watchdog Brent H. Baker in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC all completely ignored leaks of the now infamous "LaBella memo" on Friday, and have given the story short shrift since. The scandal revolves around a memo, long held secret by the Justice Department, that was prepared by Former campaign-finance investigator Charles LaBella. In it he concludes that Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and Harold Ickes all received special treatment from Justice.
FNC has been on top of this story from the moment the memo came to light. In fact, Hannity & Colmes interviewed Mr. LaBella himself in August of '99, after he quit the Justice Department because his findings about campaign-finance abuses were being ignored.
Mr. LaBella felt that a special prosecutor should be named to investigate the abuses: "The very low threshold in the (now defunct) Independent Counsel Act had been met, and I know that the director of the FBI came to the same conclusion."
The Attorney General continues to ignore a congressional subpoena which calls for her to release LaBella's findings. Congressman
Asa Hutchinson, speaking Wednesday night on The Edge with Paula Zahn, called Reno's actions a flagrant abuse of her position: "We're trying not to cast judgements in advance, but without the information, it's very difficult not to do so."
Is all this a sign of Justice Department corruption? Fox News Channel was out front on this story. We'll pursue it until we get the truth.
Until Friday you can see this entire issue, in full color, online at: http://www.foxnews.com/channel/foxfan/newsletter.sml 
To read the March 15 Wall Street Journal op-ed,
"The LaBella Memo: Not Ready For Prime Time?", go to:
-- Just after 6:30pm ET on
Monday's Special Report with Brit Hume the anchor of the same name passed on
CyberAlert readers will recall that the March 17 CyberAlert conveyed the highlight's of ABC News polling director Gary Langer's analysis, which was posted March 14 on abcnews.com. As CyberAlert noted then, and remains true, ABC News has yet to mention Langer's analysis on World News Tonight or GMA. It looks like FNC beat ABC News to its own guy's discovery. -- Brent Baker 
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