Rather: "Uncle Cheney" in Charge; No Taxes, No Rebate; Human-Induced Warming Causing Droughts & Floods; McVeigh Blamed on Right
1) Dan Rather twice joked to David Letterman about how "Uncle Cheney" is really running things, declared that Bush has governed "further to the right than most people expected" and brought up a new global warming study. Plus, he threw in a new Ratherism about trailing a bleeding elephant in six feet of snow.
2) The tax cut bill, as only Dan Rather could portray it: Describe its features and then relay the left-wing class warfare attack on it: "Democratic opponents say the cuts are fiscally irresponsible and dangerous and unfairly heavily favor high income Americans."
3) ABC focused on $21,000 and $18,000 salary people and delivered the shocker that if you don't pay income taxes you don't get an income tax rebate and if you pay little in income tax you get less than the maximum rebate. ABC's John Cochran warned that "millions" of people are in for "some nasty surprises."
4) "Global warming is real, the new report declares, and humans are helping to cause it," ABC's John Cochran asserted. Skipping any science, CBS's John Roberts went straight to the liberal activists: "In Florida, the worst drought in a hundred years has cracked the land. In Europe, a record winter of rain and flood. More evidence of global warming, say environmentalists who plan to meet President Bush with a storm of protest in Europe." But the National Academy of Sciences report is far more nuanced.
5) "Maverick Republican" is CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer's favorite term as he attaches it to any Republican who has decidedly liberal views. On Monday night he labeled not only John McCain as "maverick," but also Rudy Giuliani and Jim Jeffords.
6) With Tim McVeigh about to die, a Media Reality Check looking back at 1995 media spin. "Smears & Partisan Innuendo in Wake of '95 Bombing. First Reaction: Liberal Journalists Blamed Conservative Pols and Talk Radio for Oklahoma Mass Murder."
Appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday night, Dan Rather twice joked about how "Uncle Cheney" is really running things, declared that Bush has governed "further to the right than most people expected," brought up how a new global warming study says "that global warming is further advanced than even they thought it was," but that Cheney will take care of it, and falsely implied that the CBS Evening News "hasn't touched" the story of under-aged drinking by the Bush daughters. Plus, he threw in Ratherisms about Fidel Castro and a giraffe as well as trailing a bleeding elephant.
Some of Dan Rather's comments I took down from the June 7 show:
-- Rather: "I think by any reasonable
analysis that George Bush is off to a pretty good start with his
-- Rather volunteered: "This new global warming study, if you read the paper today, saying that global warming is further advanced than even they thought it was. But I wouldn't worry about that because you remember when you studied the legends of history, King Canute just walked out on the beaches of Britain and commanded the waves to stop? I have every reason to believe that President Bush will just turn to Dick Cheney and say, 'Dick, take care of it.' And he will say 'close that hole.' We have nothing to worry about."
-- Asked about Jenna and Barbara Bush, Rather retreated: "I really don't think it's fair to talk about the Bush girls, so, you know, on the news we haven't touched that story."
Really? Maybe not on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather aired Monday through Friday, but last Saturday the CBS Evening News with Thalia Assuras did run a full story on the subject.
-- Ratherism #1: In response to Letterman asking what's wrong with Bush setting a Kennedy-like go to the moon goal of making solar and wind power viable by the end of the decade, Rather retorted: "I think you're more likely to see Fidel Castro come riding through here on a giraffe than you are to see that happen."
-- Ratherism #2: "For some years now, this is not my judgment, but critics of the FBI have been saying it had become too bureaucratic and that the FBI couldn't track an elephant in six feet of snow if he were bleeding."
cut bill, as only Dan Rather could portray it: Describe its features and
then relay the left-wing class warfare attack on it. From Thursday's CBS
You'd never know that many conservatives consider the tax cut to be pretty small and not very stimulative since it's spread over so many years.
ABC on Thursday night delivered the shocking news that if you don't pay income taxes you don't get an income tax rebate and if you pay very little in income tax you get less than the maximum rebate amount, as if the people had been fooled by President Bush and other politicians. ABC News reporter John Cochran warned that "millions" of people are in for "some nasty surprises."
Cochran began his June 7 World News Tonight
piece by showcasing some lower income workers: "The tax bill is good
news for millions of Americans, but for millions of others, there are some
nasty surprises. In Philadelphia, the government started printing tax
rebate checks today. At the Unadyne plastics factory in Virginia, new
father Mike Baldovino makes $21,000 a year and is looking forward to his
check. But tax accountants tell us he does not pay enough income taxes to
get a full rebate. How big a tax rebate are you expecting?"
Cochran proceeded to outline how marriage penalty relief does not occur until 2005 and that the inheritance tax is not eliminated until 2010, but is reinstated in 2011, as are all the present tax rates.
ABC and CBS pounced Thursday night on a new report on global warming from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), using it to push President Bush to take action, after the New York Times showcased the report at the top of its front page under the headline: "Panel Tells Bush Global Warming Is Getting Worse."
"Global warming is real, the new report declares, and humans are helping to cause it," ABC's Terry Moran asserted. Skipping any science, CBS went straight to the liberal activists. John Roberts ominously intoned on the CBS Evening News: "In Florida, the worst drought in a hundred years has cracked the land. In Europe, a record winter of rain and flood. More evidence of global warming, say environmentalists who plan to meet President Bush with a storm of protest in Europe." Roberts even featured this blast from a member of Britain's far-left Green Party: "It's bloody enough that he's flying in the face of international agreement when he's not even got a mandate from the American people to do so. It's totally outrageous."
But unlike ABC's Moran, at least Roberts conceded that the White House pointed out "that the report was unclear about the degree to which humans have stoked the fires of global warming."
Other than that point, overlooked amongst the ABC and CBS hype: the specific nuances of the report. It acknowledged how in the midst of industrial development, from 1946 to 1975, temperatures actually fell; that climate models have over-predicted temperature rises and that "over long time scales, outside the time period in which humans could have a substantive effect on global climate (e.g., prior to the Industrial Revolution), proxy data (information derived from the content of tree rings, cores from marine sediments, pollens, etc.)....indicate that the range of natural climate variability is in excess of several degrees C on local and regional space scales over periods as short as a decade." In other words, global temperature change may just be part of natural cycles that have nothing or little to do with CO2 emissions.
CNN's Inside Politics ran two stories on the report, but neither NBC's Today or Nightly News touched it. Thursday morning ABC's Good Morning America ran two short items during news updates. At 7:30am, Antonio Mora announced: "A panel of leading scientists has told President Bush that global warming is real and may be getting worse. The White House requested the report to prepare Mr. Bush for talks with other world leaders."
More on the June 7 ABC and CBS stories which failed to include anything from the conservative point of view that man's contribution to global warming is being overstated or that he Bush administration is caving in to what seems popular instead of debunking the myth that industry causes warming. And, of course, the subject was never broached of how the environmentalists are just using the issue to bash capitalism.
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Peter Jennings
asserted, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "The White
House has had a busy time today dealing with an environmental report that
it actually commissioned. The administration is trying to develop a
strategy to contend with global warming. Mr. Bush had asked the National
Academy of Science to tell him how bad it was, and the academy said:
'Bad,' and Mr. Bush can do something about it. ABC's Terry Moran is
at the White House. Difficult day on this subject, Terry."
ABC played a clip of National Security Adviser
Condoleezza Rice conceding the administration could have done a better job
of preparing allies for its Kyoto decision. Moran then concluded:
-- CBS Evening News. For the second night in a row, CBS led with the report. Dan Rather teased up top: "The temperature is rising, and the pressure is building on President Bush for action on global warming as the Midwest sees what may be a dramatic early sign of climate changes to come."
Rather then opened his broadcast, as taken
down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Good evening. We begin with a
follow-up to our exclusive report about global warming. As first reported
here last night, an expert assessment requested by President Bush found
global warming is real and getting worse and air pollution caused by
humans is a factor. Because of what he has said, what he has done and not
done, President Bush now faces new fire about all this at home and when he
meets world leaders in Europe next week. Tonight CBS's John Roberts
reports what President Bush is and is not doing, even as some people point
to signs that climate changes are already here."
Rather then set up the next story about flooding in Illinois and Indiana by linking it to global warming: "As for global warming in the United States, this new report says coastal areas, home to more than half the U.S. population, are at risk from rising sea levels and storms. For the Pacific Northwest, it's reduced snow pack and a speed-up in spring melt-off. The Great Plains could face greater drought in the long run. As CBS's Cynthia Bowers reports, the threat to American Midwest farms right now isn't drought, it's flood."
Funny how when a region is in a deep freeze Dan Rather doesn't point out how that might contradict global warming.
The whole NAS report can be read online via two places. The HTML version is at: http://books.nap.edu/html/climatechange/ 
The full text of each chapter as typeset in chapter by chapter sections presented in some sort of online book reading software: http://books.nap.edu/books/0309075742/html/ 
Rich Noyes, the MRC's Director of Media Analysis, plowed through the report and passed along these noteworthy excerpts. In addition to the quote from page 8 of the report quoted above:
-- One paragraph points out that it's not
known why the Northern Hemisphere cooled from 1946-1975, which would
indicate that there remain some mysteries in the mechanics of global
climate change. From page 16:
-- Politely pointing out that the UN's Summary
for Policymakers (SPM), written by governmental representatives and which
formed the basis of much of the media's coverage of the United Nations
IPCC report back in January and February, expressed the issue of climate
change with more certainty than the main report written by scientists.
From page 22:
And for a point of view far from the minds of the media, check out Steve Milloy's piece on the Fox News Web site in which he urges the Bush team to debunk the liberal global warming theories. He's with the Cato Institute and junkscience.com. Go to: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,26665,00.html 
"Maverick" mania. "Maverick" is clearly the new favorite term of reporters to describe Senator John McCain -- earlier this week both ABC's Terry Moran and CBS's John Roberts applied the label -- but CNN's Wolf Blitzer seems to attach it to any Republican who has decidedly liberal views. On Monday night, MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed, he labeled not only McCain as "maverick," but also Rudy Giuliani and Jim Jeffords, whom he dubbed as a "moderate."
Blitzer on the June 4 Wolf Blitzer Reports, with his uses of MAVERICK in all caps:
-- "In other news tonight, CNN has learned that at least two MAVERICK Republicans are expected to meet with the President this week. Tomorrow, Senator Jim Jeffords will go to the White House as part of a bipartisan group discussing pending education bills. That's just one day before Jeffords officially leaves the Republican Party. And also this week, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona is expected to attend a private dinner with the President at the White House."
-- "Another MAVERICK Republican has a reputation as a battler. I'll discuss his battle with cancer and politics in a rare national interview with New York's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani."
-- Blitzer to Giuliani: "And one of the reputations you have, of course, is a MAVERICK Republican. Jim Jeffords, another MAVERICK Republican, is leaving the Republican Party to become an independent. Can you understand why he thinks he doesn't really have a place as a moderate Republican within the GOP?"
When did you last hear Senators Zell Miller or John Breaux dubbed as "maverick" Democrats?
The text of a Media Reality Check "Quick Take," by the MRC Rich Noyes, distributed by fax on Thursday afternoon after it became clear Tim McVeigh will be put to death on Monday. It provided examples of how just after his 1995 bombing some liberal journalists used it "as an opportunity to take cheap political shots at mainstream conservatives and talk radio hosts" for implying their rhetoric fueled the anti-government attitude which led to the terrorism.
You can view this Quick Take as an Adobe Acrobat PDF: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/2001/pdf/quick0607.pdf 
Now the text of the June 7 Media Reality Check Quick Take:
SMEARS & PARTISAN INNUENDO IN WAKE OF '95 BOMBING
Barring a last-minute court win, Timothy McVeigh will die Monday because he killed 168 men, women and children on April 19, 1995. In the days and weeks after McVeigh's murderous attack, some liberal journalists used his Oklahoma City bombing as an opportunity to take cheap political shots at mainstream conservatives and talk radio hosts. Recall:
++ "In a nation that has entertained and appalled itself for years
with hot talk on radio and the campaign trail, the inflamed rhetoric of
the '90s is suddenly an unindicted co-conspirator in the blast."
++ "The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on
the rhetoric that's been coming from the right and those who cater to
angry white men. While no one's suggesting right-wing radio jocks
approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence
is being questioned by many observers, including the President....The list
of those the President may have had in mind is at once long and familiar.
Right-wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Bob Grant, Oliver North, G.
Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan and others take to the air every day with
basically the same format: detail a problem, blame the government or a
group, and invite invective from like-minded people. Never do most of the
radio hosts encourage outright violence, but the extent to which their
attitudes may embolden and encourage some extremists has clearly become an
++ "Even after Oklahoma City, you can turn on your radio in any
city and still dial up hate talk: extremists, racist and violent rhetoric
from the hosts and those who call in."
++ "Public antagonism toward government has been one of the
principal themes of American political discourse for nearly two decades,
growing in shrillness in the past year. This sentiment has been voiced and
amplified by the new Republican House, which just this month completed its
100 days of action, much of it aimed at paring back the growth of the
federal government. But now that an attack on a government building has
left scores dead, including children, the allure is coming off the
END Reprint of Quick Take fax
For more of this kind of spin in April 1995, check out these articles:
-- May 1995 MediaWatch: "Use of 'Far Right' and 'Extreme' Labels Link Conservatives and Terrorists; McVeigh: Newt's Protege?" Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/mediawatch/1995/mw19950501p1.html 
-- Another May 1995 MediaWatch article: "Hosts Blamed For Bombing; Blasting Talk Radio." Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/mediawatch/1995/mw19950501p3.html 
-- A four-page "SPECIAL PURVEYORS OF HATE & DIVISION ISSUE" of Notable Quotables. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1995/nq19950508.html 
Go back and experience some retro liberal bias -- from the days before CyberAlert.
-- Brent Baker 
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