"Threats to Social Security"; "Conservatives" Block "Miracle Cures"; Nightline's Tribute to Daschle; ABC's Maher Defends Condit
2) Embryonic stem cell research "could provide miracle cures for everything from Parkinson's Disease to diabetes," CBS's Bob Schieffer declared Wednesday night in adopting the exaggerated language of proponents but, Schieffer warned, "the problem is, many religious conservatives oppose such research."
3) Diane Sawyer failed to ask Senator Ted Kennedy even one challenging question when he appeared on Wednesday's Good Morning America. Sawyer wondered if is it "time for George Bush to pack up his honeymoon clothes for good?" She pushed him from the left to agree with her on embryonic stem cell research: "Has the President simply not gone far enough?"
4) Tom Brokaw argued that Bush is being damaged with Hispanics because of GOP support for California's Proposition 187 "designed to crack down hard on illegal immigration." But a new poll discovered that Hispanics are evenly split on Bush's plan to give amnesty to illegal Mexicans and more than twice as many said they would be less likely than more likely to vote for Bush if he extended amnesty.
6) Nightline's Chris Bury oozed about Tom Daschle's visit home: "There are no aides, no driver, no press pack; just a rented red Pontiac and a map of the open road." Even Republicans love him, as Bury observed: "Daschle's skill at reaching beyond partisan lines could clearly come in handy should his aspirations run to a higher office." And who is allowed to say "bullshit" on Nightline?
7) Bill Maher opened Tuesday night's Politically Incorrect with a lecture about how Gary Condit is being treated unfairly by a public which really cares more about prying into his sex life than finding who really killed Chandra Levy. Maher gratuitously added that Jeb Bush is amongst those who have "the inevitable loser brother with a criminal record."
Correction: Due to a transcribing error, the September 5 CyberAlert quoted Tom Brokaw as recalling how over the summer he "went back to the Missouri River of my childhood, which still conjures up images of Louis and Clark..." Louis should have been spelled "Lewis."
Dan Rather delivered more baseless scare-mongering on Wednesday night as he referred to the "showdown" between the President and Congress over "who's to blame" for "threats to Social Security and Medicare." Of course, any use of the so-called Social Security surplus has nothing to do with current payments and no matter what policy is followed none of that surplus would be spent in any way on Social Security. As for Medicare, it costs more than it takes in.
Rather opened the September 5 CBS Evening News: "Good evening. Now comes the hard part. In the showdown between President Bush and his Democratic opposition in Congress over budget priorities, who blew the surplus and who's to blame for the sluggish economy and threats to Social Security and Medicare. The two sides drew sharper lines today for their fall offensive. It's a multi-front battle over spending on everything from education to defense to prescription drug coverage for seniors. And that's just for starters."
John Roberts began: "Not satisfied with their summer-long attack on George Bush for squandering the surplus, Democrats returned to Washington today and turned it up a notch, blaming the whole economic downturn on President Bush's budget and the tax cut."
After a clip from Dick Gephardt, however, Roberts noted that Republicans are "pointing out the economy began to turn South on Bill Clinton's watch."
Embryonic stem cell research "could provide miracle cures for everything from Parkinson's Disease to diabetes," CBS's Bob Schieffer declared Wednesday night in adopting the exaggerated language of proponents but, Schieffer warned in viewing the issue from the viewpoint of advocates, "the problem is, many religious conservatives oppose such research." For Schieffer, the question is whether the President's decision, to limit federally-backed research only to cells already created, will "be enough?" Who'd he go to for his answer? Ted Kennedy.
Schieffer began his crusading September 5
piece on the CBS Evening News, in which the soundbites ran three-to-one
from the left against Bush's position, by noting how a Senate committee
"waded" into science. Schieffer explained:
While Schieffer misleadingly referred only to "stem cell research," which no one opposes, in the set up Dan Rather did make clear the dispute was over embryonic stem cells.
Senator Ted Kennedy did not hear one challenging question when he appeared on Wednesday's Good Morning America, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson observed. Diane Sawyer simply asked him whether, with the battle over the budget and stem cell research, it is "time for George Bush to pack up his honeymoon clothes for good?", for a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down" on Bush's record so far, and on the issue Kennedy was brought aboard to discuss because of the hearing later that day he was set to chair, she pushed him from the left to agree: "Has the President simply not gone far enough?"
Setting up her September 5 interview with
Kennedy, Sawyer observed: "Well, if you love politics, fasten your
seatbelts this morning because up on Capitol Hill, the war games are about
to begin, starting today with the vital issue of stem cell research to
find cures for diseases. As you'll remember, this summer we heard
President Bush announce limited approval for federal funding for research
only on a few stem cell lines."
Sawyer then wondered: "So are you saying
you think President Bush has done a good job? What is it: thumbs up,
Sawyer moved on to her original topic:
"Okay, stem cell research: As we just heard, the President limited
federal funding to some 60 stem cell lines and yet, a number of scientists
are saying 34 of those lines may not be good enough for research and
another two-thirds of them are under foreign control. Has the President
simply not gone far enough?"
Tom Brokaw ended Wednesday's NBC Nightly News with a sermon about the challenge facing President Bush on attracting Hispanic voters because of how certain Republicans backed California's Proposition 187 "designed to crack down hard on illegal immigration." Brokaw contended "the GOP has not been able to completely shake it off and now President Bush is caught in another illegal immigration squeeze play."
But, as National Review's Washington Bulletin e-mail pointed out on Tuesday, a new poll discovered that Hispanics are evenly split on Bush's current proposal to give amnesty to illegal Mexicans and more than twice as many said they would be less likely than more likely to vote for Bush if he extended amnesty.
Brokaw concluded his September 5 broadcast by
commenting on how immigration poses political challenges for Mexican
President Vicente Fox and for Bush. Picking him up after talking about
Fox, Brokaw contended:
But those consequences could be bad for Bush
if he moves left and too far from the Wilson policy. As John J. Miller
& Ramesh Ponnuru reported in the September 4 "Washington
Bulletin" e-mail from National Review:
But it is a formula which would please Brokaw.
For the entire NR story, go to: http://www.nationalreview.com/daily/nr090401.shtml 
CNN's Wolf Blitzer may be wrong, but never doubt he's consistent, just consistently wrong. Two days after he ludicrously claimed on Late Edition, as quoted in the September 5 CyberAlert, that Congressman Harold Ford of Tennessee is a "conservative Democrat," he repeated the claim on Tuesday night.
MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed that during a September 4 discussion with First Evening News anchor Bill Hemmer about Gary Condit's future, Blitzer asserted on the 7pm EDT show: "Harold Ford, another so-called conservative Blue Dog Democrat from Tennessee, only this past Sunday expressing his very, very sincere disappointment in Condit's behavior."
As the September 5 CyberAlert pointed out, Ford's career rating from the American Conservative Union: a piddling 13 percent. The liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) have approved of 84 percent of his votes through 2000. That puts him one point to the left of Dick Gephardt, who has earned a lifetime 83 percent from the ADA.
Nightline aired a fawning tribute to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle as Chris Bury on Tuesday night narrated a travelogue video of Daschle's August visit to his home state, South Dakota.
Bury oozed: "For Tom Daschle, driving these long, lonely stretches of South Dakota is more than a way to touch base with his home state. It's also an escape from the stuffy rituals of Washington and the relentless pressures of his new role." In South Dakota, Bury marveled, "there are no aides, no driver, no press pack; just a rented red Pontiac and a map of the open road." Even Republicans love him, as Bury observed at one meeting: "These Republicans give Democrat Daschle a standing ovation." Looking ahead to a presidential run, Bury argued that "Daschle's skill at reaching beyond partisan lines could clearly come in handy should his aspirations run to a higher office."
Some highlights from the September 4
Nightline. Bury announced at the top of the broadcast:
Bury highlighted Republican admirers: "In
an airplane hangar outside Mobridge, South Dakota, in plain view in a herd
of buffalo, Tom Daschle makes a rare scheduled stop on this road trip. An
old friend knew he'd be in the area, so he put together a barbecue and
invited close to 100 guests. The odd thing is, nearly everyone of them is
a registered Republican, including the host of the party, grocery store
owner Benjamin Stoick.
Bury a bit later: "Indeed, these Republicans give Democrat Daschle a standing ovation....Politics, as practiced here, may be far more civil than in Washington, but Senator Daschle's skill at reaching beyond partisan lines could clearly come in handy should his aspirations run to a higher office, and wherever this road trip took him, the topic came up again and again."
At one point, Bury's piece did allow one
woman to spout off against Daschle, though her language was bleeped:
"So Majority Leader Tom Daschle, the highest ranking Democrat in the
land, just shows up unannounced, at farms, banks, and of course, the South
Dakota state fair. Here, most people he meets seem pleasantly surprised
and genuinely proud, but they are not overly impressed by his title. One
woman gives him hell for his position on a local dam project."
Apparently, while it's not okay for citizens to swear on Nightline, Ted Koppel can with impunity and without being bleeped. MRC analyst Jessica Anderson recalled two instances when Nightline viewers heard Koppel use the term "bullshit" without and masking sound effects, even in pre-taped interviews:
-- On the March 22 Nightline this year, when U.S. Customs Field Operations Director Rudy Camacho hemmed and hawed to Koppel's inquiry about whether U.S. officials have been bought off by Mexican drug cartels, Koppel charged: "That's a bullshit answer. You haven't given me an answer, Rudy."
-- The June 15, 1999 Nightline. Koppel to an interpreter for a Serbian man during a report on the Serb troops' withdrawal from Kosovo: "Look, tell him that I know when I get a direct answer and I know when I get bullshit and this is bullshit. I've asked him a direct question: What will he say when they come to him and they tell him about the atrocities that have happened in this country over the last three months? Will he say it never happened?"
Condit's defender on ABC. Bill Maher opened Tuesday night's Politically Incorrect with a lecture about how Gary Condit is being treated unfairly by a public which really cares more about prying into his sex life than finding who really killed Chandra Levy. Maher charged: "The country is protecting a more likely predator at the expense of this girl because the other story, the Condit story, is just more fun."
Maher gratuitously added that many have "the inevitable loser brother with a criminal record," noting that "Bill Clinton has one, Jimmy Carter has one, Jeb Bush has one."
Maher launched the September 4/5 show, as
observed by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson:
As for three other women with the same hair color being abducted, I believe that would be news to the DC police as only one other woman has been abducted from the area recently.
Spurred by Barbara Walters losing out to Connie Chung for the Gary Condit "get" and the fresh news that singer Mariah Carey has delayed her scheduled sit-down with Walters, from the September 5 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Ways to Irritate Barbara Walters." Copyright 2001 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. Tease her about being married to that deadbeat James Brolin
"The View" would a reference to her daytime ABC show.
-- Brent Baker