Implant Dangers Deflated; Brokaw Praised Quindlen; Unwelcome Bipartisanship
>>> Wolf Blitzer with Clinton on
the Yankees and Gore on inventing the Internet. A clip of Sunday's Late
Edition interview of Bill Clinton by Blitzer, in which the CNN star
avoided Chinese espionage but found time to ask when Hillary became a
Yankees fan and what Clinton will do when he leaves office, remains up on
the MRC home page. Or, go directly to the video posted at: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990621.html#1 
ABC and NBC led Monday night with a panel's report on how silicon breast implants did not cause the diseases claimed by trial lawyers and much media reporting over the years while CBS and CNN went first with Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, suspected of spree of murders near railroad tracks, being added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List.
The CNN and FNC political shows earlier in the evening previewed, as CNN's Jonathan Karl put it, how on Tuesday "an unprecedented joint hearing representing more than half the U.S. Senate looks at the latest report on ways to prevent espionage at the nation's nuclear labs." CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather gave 17 seconds to noting how lab scientists will soon have to submit to lie detector tests. (See item #2 for details.)
On the June 21 NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams opened with the findings from the National Academy of Science panel which found no link between the silicon breast implants and the immune diseases and other major illnesses blamed on them. Williams recalled that "we were all led to believe some years ago" that the implants "amounted to time bombs in the body causing immune system problems, cancer, a whole long list of dangerous ailments..."
Reporter Robert Bazell concluded his piece: "Today's scientific conclusion cannot change the decisions already made in the courts, but experts say it should assure all the woman who still have silicon implants that they do not face a great danger. And it shows how the courtroom is often not the best place to decide complex scientific issues."
And neither is the newsroom since for years the networks falsely trumpeted the dangers of the implants, usually illustrated with an emotional look at the plight of a dying or ill woman who blamed her implants. But this is all too late for Dow Corning to recover its lost billions in emotion over fact lawsuits.
The decision to make government scientists take lie detector tests generated a few seconds on the CBS Evening News as well as on NBC's Today and both CNN's Inside Politics and FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume included the development in larger stories about fallout over the Rudman Report from the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Warren Rudman and Bill Richardson are scheduled to testify this week in special Senate hearings on Rudman's report starting Tuesday morning. Will the hearings generate some network interest? A reminder: Last week when Rudman's report was released ABC's World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News ignored it. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today gave it 23 seconds each. Of the broadcast networks, only the CBS Evening News and CBS's This Morning provided full stories. NBC Nightly News has not mentioned Chinese espionage since May 25, the day the Cox Report was released, and ABC's World News Tonight has not touched it since May 26.
Now back to
Monday, June 21. CBS Evening News viewers heard this 17-second item from
Dan Rather: "The U.S. Energy Department plans to give lie detector
tests, starting later this summer, to as many as five thousand scientists
at U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories. This comes in the wake of
disclosures that stolen U.S. nuclear weapons secrets leaked out of the
labs to China for twenty years."
Inside Politics CNN's Jonathan Karl reported:
Tom Brokaw praised Newsweek's pick of liberal columnist Anna Quindlen,
who recently endorsed Bill Bradley for President by citing his "moral
authority," to replace the late Meg Greenfield as the
every-other-week columnist alternating with George Will. Appearing on the
Imus in the Morning radio show on June 17 the NBC anchor remarked:
Quindlen, a former New York Times columnist who quit in the mid-'90s to write novels, earned effusive praise from Newsweek's Editor for her "passionate voice." A June 16 press release relayed: "'It's not every day that you can coax a legend out of retirement,' said Editor Mark Whitaker....'In the years since Anna gave up her column, America has sorely missed her wise and passionate voice on everything from politics to the issues of work, family and education that are so crucial to our future. We couldn't be more thrilled to have her back as a columnist, and that Newsweek's back page will be her forum.'"
So, what kind of
"voice" are Newsweek and Brokaw so pleased about? In his June 21
Media Notes column the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz noted that "Quindlen
endorsed Bill Bradley for President, praising the Democrat for his
'moral authority' at a political breakfast." Indeed, in a June 4
story distributed by the Newhouse News Service John Hassell reported:
A May 1992 Newsbite in MediaWatch on how NBC's Katie Couric praised Quindlen, the MRC's Tim Graham reminded me, cited some profound "Quindlenisms" such as, on January 24, 1991: "Sunday, the Super Bowl will be played in Tampa and so, inevitably, my thoughts turn to abortion." Or, on November 2, 1991: "This is what it is like to be a New Yorker, to have to stop and constantly acknowledge pain." And from April 8, 1992, "Ronald Reagan needed TV to abet a fantasy. Mr. Clinton needs it to communicate his reality."
That's the "voice" Tom Brokaw missed and wants to hear again.
Catching up with some bias from last Thursday, the CBS Evening News dismissed the House vote in favor of allowing schools to display the Ten Commandments as a delaying tactic to put off votes on "fairly mild gun control measures." As detailed in the June 21 CyberAlert, CBS on Friday night June 18 failed to mention how Democrat John Dingell, joined by 44 other Democrats, led the fight for the one day waiting period denounced by Clinton. On Thursday night CBS didn't bother to mention how 45 Democrats backed the Ten Commandments amendment.
focused on how the amendment was a distraction from what really mattered.
Dan Rather opened the June 17 Evening News:
Schieffer added: "Advocate said posting the commandments in schools would reduce violence by reminding students of values. Opponents saw it as yet another tactic to delay the vote on guns..."
Just like CBS News.
After emphasizing how the idea has no chance of surviving the Senate and the courts, Schieffer concluded: "But in the meantime, and clearly by design, the votes that really count on those gun laws probably won't come until late tonight when most Americans are sleeping."
So the results wouldn't be reported? Obviously they were, becoming big news on Friday.
Whatever happened to the media's appreciation of bipartisanship? House Republicans and Democrats joined together in rejecting the most onerous liberal gun regulations but instead of praising the bipartisanship the networks castigated the NRA. A "Scrapbook" item in the June 28 Weekly Standard magazine, which Washington Times Inside Politics columnist Greg Pierce picked up on June 22, noted the lack of appreciation amongst the Washington media elite for this kind of bipartisanship.
The Weekly Standard observed:
After months in which the mainstream press bemoaned the excessive partisanship in Washington, there were a couple of strikingly bipartisan votes in the House last week. Funny thing, though: this new spirit of bipartisanship went utterly unappreciated.
In one instance, Michigan's John D. Dingell, the senior Democrat in the House, made common cause with supposed uber-partisan Republican Tom DeLay of Texas to pass a gun control measure that was less strict than the Senate's and, hence, deeply disappointing to the White House, not to mention all the gun controllers in the media. Dingell brought along with him a substantial contingent of 45 Democrats who joined with 173 Republicans in passing the bill -- which is about as bipartisan as it gets these days.
A second instance: 45 Democrats also joined
203 Republicans to pass the Ten Commandments Defense Act, which restores
to the states the freedom to post the Ten Commandments in government
buildings, including schools....
All of this is something to bear in mind the next time you hear a lament about the 'death of bipartisanship.' Apparently 'real' bipartisanship is when House Republicans join the 'Democratic' side, not when Democrats cross over.
Indeed, the cultural and media elite all favor more gun control as demonstrated by a who's who list of celebrities and media stars who signed a June 9 full page ad in USA Today from Handgun Control, Inc. This is an item I've been meaning to run for days but it kept getting bumped as I ran out of room.
Amongst the signers of the "Open Letter to the National Rifle Association" were Walter Cronkite, Geraldo Rivera and Time-Warner Chairman Gerald Levin. Time-Warner owns Time magazine and CNN. Plus, Mike Nichols, husband of Diane Sawyer.
MRC intern Joyce Garczynski helpfully typed in the text of the ad which appeared on page 5D. The top third of the ad read:
"We are not
'gun haters.' But we hate what guns are doing to our communities, our
schools, our families and, most especially, our children. Guns do not
bleed. Children do. Everyday lose 13 children to gun violence in this
country. A classroom every other day.
"If we do all these things, not a single law-abiding adult would be denied a firearm for self defense, for recreation or any other legitimate purpose. Not a single one. But we might just save the life of a child and spare some family a lifetime of sorrow. Is that too much to ask?"
Amongst the hundreds of names listed below that text, here are some of the more recognizable celebrities with news media figures highlighted with an *
In a June 18 ad in response in USA Today the NRA noted that the "'13 children lost to gun violence every day' cited in their ad are in fact neither children nor accidents, but 85% are suicides or murders committed by gangbangers aged 15 to 19."
The NRA urged the celebrities to support its Eddie Eagle gun accident prevention program for kids.
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