Poor Poorer But It's Not
Clinton's Fault; GOP Despicable on Race
Three items today:
1) A front page New
York Times story focuses on growing income disparity under Clintonomics.
CBS ignores it. NBC blames corporate America. But when The New York Times
ran a story in 1992 on the rich getting richer thanks to Reagan, the
networks were more interested.
2) Newsweek's Joe
Klein asserts that "Republicans have been truly despicable on
race" and really hope for "a tacit relapse into
3) CBS taps the
Office of the First Lady for some PR help.
"Income Disparity Between Poorest and Richest Rises: New Report by
Census Bureau Shows Gap Is at Its Widest Since World War II,"
declares the front page of the June 20 New York Times. In the third
paragraph, reporter Steven Holmes writes: "During the first two years
of the Clinton Administration the report indicated that the share of
national income earned by the top 5 percent of households grew at a faster
rate than during the eight years of the Reagan Administration, which was
often characterized as favoring the rich."
Indeed. Neither the June 19 or June 20 CBS
Evening News even mentioned the Census analysis. But when the March 5,
1992 New York Times ran a story headlined "Even Among the Well Off,
the Richest Get Richer," CBS ran a big story that very night. The
Times reported that the top one percent of earners garnered 60 percent of
the income gains in what it called "the 80s," from 1977 to 1989.
Announced anchor Dan Rather: "In America in the 1980s, what former
President Reagan and those who support him call the Reagan revolution put
more money in the pockets of the rich. We already knew that. But a new
study indicates that those who did best of all by far were the very
richest of the rich."
before, on the February 7, 1992 NBC Nightly News, reporter Keith Morrison
reviewed the 1980s:
"Oh, there was a party alright. One of the
biggest, most avaristic displays of ostentation in a hundred years. But
who threw it?"
[Kevin Phillips, political analyst: "The
party in the '80s was thrown for and by people in the top one or two or
[Ronald Reagan, 1980: "Are you better off
than you were four years ago?"]
Morrison: "The amazing thing is most people
seem content to believe that almost everybody had a good time in the '80s,
a real shot at the dream. But the fact is, they didn't. Did we wear
blinders? Did we think the '80s left behind just the homeless? The fact is
that almost nine in ten Americans actually saw their lifestyle decline...
[Phillips: "What you had in the 1980s was
the top one percent were really making out and opening up a gap, but the
average person didn't realize how much of the gap was there yet."]...
Morrison: "Here's an eerie echo. Sixty years
ago the Secretary of Commerce wrote about the '20s, 'It was a decade of
easy wealth for a few, inadequate income for the majority and a mountain
of debt that crushed the economy.' Sound familiar? And if the pattern
holds, the '90s will be defined the way the other eras were, a backlash by
the middle class against the rich."
Fast forward to the Thursday night, June 20, 1996
NBC Nightly News. Substitute anchor Brian Williams briefly summarized the
Census statistics, then identified the culprit, but it wasn't Clinton:
"Much of the blame for the income gap has been laid on vast changes
in the job market, a job market that keeps shrinking. A while back
corporate America decided less was more, fewer employees meant better
business. But NBC's chief financial correspondent Mike Jensen reports
tonight it's a strategy that in some cases has backfired in a big
In a column in the June 24 Newsweek chastising Colin Powell for writing in
his book that he opposes racial preferences, but now says he's for them,
Joe Klein criticizes President Clinton for publicly defending affirmative
action while allowing it "to evaporate because he hasn't proposed an
aggressive, nonpreferential 'compensatory' program to replace it."
Then Klein took this shot at Republicans:
"Traditionally - at least since Nixon's 'Southern strategy' --
Republicans have been truly despicable on race, and there are more than a
few stalwarts who continue to bloviate disingenuously in support of a
'colorblind' society, by which they mean a tacit relapse into segregation.
Bob Dole flirted with this last year, proposing legislation that would end
The new Vice President for corporate communications for CBS Inc. is Lisa
Caputo, the Press Secretary to Hillary Clinton since the 1992 campaign.
The June 20 Washington Post reported that Caputo, who had previously
toiled for Dukakis-Bentsen and former Senator Harris Wofford's (D-PA)
re-election campaign, starts her new position on August 12. Hillary
Clinton, The Washington Times reported, released a statement praising
Caputo: "She has been a tireless voice for the issues that this
administration has championed."
should fit right in at CBS.