Coup Linked to CTBT Foes; Unabomber "Charming"; Clift Thanked Bush
1) Pakistani coup linked Tuesday night to Senate rejection of the CTBT. "The Pakistanis may now feel freer to pursue their nuclear ambitions," warned ABC's John Cochran. Dan Rather stressed how "some Senators feel" rejection "would send a dangerous message."
Editor's Note: CyberAlerts have been less frequent than usual recently and will continue to be for the next few weeks because of several other pressing projects I'm involved in at the MRC. Plus, I flew to California this past weekend for a wedding and am in a wedding party this weekend. But, you can count on the fact that whenever bias breaks out, I'll break in.
Blaming America First. There would not have been a coup in Pakistan and that nation would soon have abandoned its nuclear testing -- if only the Republicans had realized Clinton's wiseness and ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Knowing the Senate will not approve the treaty, ABC's John Cochran argued in a one-sided World News Tonight piece Tuesday night, "the Pakistanis may now feel freer to pursue their nuclear ambitions" and "the same is true in India." Cochran highlighted a supposed expert who complained that after the U.S. spent years urging other nations to adopt the treaty, not passing it means "other nations look and see that the President's word can't be trusted." Duh.
Presuming treaty passage is desirable, NBC honed in on who was responsible for its plight, prompting Claire Shipman to hit Clinton from the left. Dan Rather ominously intoned that the Pakistani coup has the "world on edge," but the CBS Evening News led instead with black and white video of people running in a cafeteria.
Here's how the three broadcast network evening shows on Tuesday, October 12, linked the CTBT vote and the coup in Pakistan:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Over video of the ground collapsing and convulsing during a
nuclear test, John Cochran began:
If it took this for world leaders and intelligence operatives to figure that out then they really are in trouble.
Cochran then offered a throwaway line for the other side of the issue, concluding: "But Senate Republicans say it is naive to believe that the rest of the world was waiting to see what the U.S. would do and that argument is carrying the day. Without the treaty Bill Clinton's successors will have the option of testing nuclear weapons. Other countries will have the same option."
But as NBC's Andrea Mitchell noted on the NBC Nightly News, passage of the CTBT hardly would have ensured Pakistan went non-nuclear. Contrasting the coup's military leader with the Prime Minister he deposed, Mitchell observed that he's "less known to the West than [Prime Minister] Sharif who under White House pressure held a summit with his Indian arch-rival, withdrew his guerrillas from the Indian border, even talked about stopping nuclear tests -- steps widely unpopular with Pakistan's military and the public."
Applying some logic here that Cochran missed, if the U.S. approved the CTBT and Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif then campaigned for his country to adopt it he would have angered the same military leaders who would have soon led a coup against him so they could continue testing.
on the Pakistani situation, Rather tied events to the Senate treaty vote,
delivering this imbalanced summary which only relayed the argument of
those in favor of the treaty:
Shipman, unlike her ABC and CBS colleagues, actually ran through some arguments forwarded by treaty opponents in addition to its backers, before she came back to Brokaw's concern -- who do supporters blame for the lack of approval: "Some treaty supporters blame not only Republicans for this outcome, but also the President for what they say was a late and lackluster lobbying effort."
The mainstream U.S. media assume that population growth is bad, so naturally the UN's estimation that the world's population has exceeded six billion people prompted a spate of network news stories. Sunday night, NBC Nightly News proceeded from the premise that lower population growth is better. Steve Allen of ConservativeHQ.com alerted me to this story which the MRC's Mark Drake transcribed.
In her October 10
piece reporter Kiko Itasaka compared China and India, assessing China's
"strict government approach" with forced abortions more
successful than India's supposed "democratic and open" path.
Just "one third" of China is below the "poverty line"? A poverty lined defined as what exactly? I'd bet about 95 percent of the Chinese live without the comforts of and below the calorie intake level of the average American in poverty.
As to population growth being a bad thing, as ABC's John Stossel showed in his special a few weeks ago, crowded places like Hong Kong boom because of economic freedom while crowded places like India fester because of socialist policies that put bureaucrats in charge of the economy. And women have fewer children in a stable and prosperous society, as the low birth rates in the U.S. and Europe demonstrate.
NBC's Katie Couric and author Stephen Dubner uncovered the Unabomber's "human warmth." Dubner, author of a book about Ted and David Kaczynski and an article on the same subject in this week's Time magazine, appeared on Tuesday's Today.
Couric, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens noticed, picked up on Dubner's warm
assessment of Ted, aka the Unabomber:
Dubner agreed: "I really wouldn't disagree with any of that. The thing that we gotta remember is that yes, he has, when you sit and talk to him you really do see the human warmth or the capacity for human warmth that David, for instance, described over the years. And you can understand why David loved his brother even though he was obviously, very, very troubled. On the other hand he'll let something drop. Talking about violence as a solution to certain problems and so on. And you realize that those, those kind of statements are dropped with a seeming casualness that make you say, 'Hey just because someone is, seems like a good guy doesn't mean that we can divorce him or her from the acts they may have committed.'"
Mighty generous of Dubner to agree that maybe Ted should remain in prison.
Once again, instead of challenging John McCain from the right on his liberal, big government control, campaign finance "reform" ideas, a media outlet assumed having a large supporter base is "obscene." ABC's Charlie Gibson also didn't miss an opportunity raise George W. Bush's attacks, as Gibson wondered if the GOP is "too much a captive of the Right?"
McCain appeared on
Tuesday's Good Morning America. Co-host Gibson assumed that raising a
lot of money is "obscene." Check out this exchange caught by MRC
analyst Jessica Anderson:
No more obscene than the fact that ABC has a bigger budget to promote a liberal agenda than the MRC does to combat it.
raised George W. Bush's left-wing rhetoric:
I'm waiting for Gibson to ask Al Gore or Bill Bradley if the Democratic Party is "too much a captive of the left?"
On Sunday's Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert asked guests Tom DeLay and Bill Bennett about Rush Limbaugh's denunciation of George W. Bush's attacks on conservatives, but he also tried to illustrate why Bush was on target about how House Republicans wish to "balance the budget on the back of the poor." In doing so though, Russert distorted the GOP plan by falsely equating the earned income tax credit (EITC) with income tax refunds.
On the October 10
show Russert raised the idea which had caused Bush's left-wing hit, the
idea of spreading out EITC payments over 12 months instead of paying
recipients on one lump sum. Russert demanded of House Majority Whip DeLay:
Russert pressed on, this time summarizing an image the media created: "Fairly or unfairly, however, the perception of the Republican Congress is that they want to give an $800 billion tax cut, most of it, much of it to those who earn more money because they pay more taxes, but when it comes to the earned income tax credit for the working poor they want to give it out in monthly installments rather than a lump sum."
Add Eleanor Clift and Al Hunt to the list of media liberals pleased with George W. Bush's use of liberal buzz words in attacking conservatives last week.
In addition to
employing a McGovernite phrase about balancing the budget "on the
backs of the poor," on October 5 Bush declared:
As noted in the October 8 CyberAlert, Geraldo Rivera considered that "a helluva speech."
-- On the McLaughlin Group over the weekend Newsweek's Eleanor Clift crowed: "George W. Bush just wrote the ad for Dick Gephardt and the Democrats for next year. I mean, that statement about balancing the budget on the backs of the poor is terrific."
Capital Gang on CNN Al Hunt, Executive Washington Editor of the Wall
Street Journal, gloated:
All three weekly news magazines found George W. Bush's calculated cracks against conservatives a fine strategy. Newsweek guessed that in the "Caring Clinton '90s," being attacked by Rush Limbaugh helps. Time suggested only "posturing rivals and professional loudmouths" objected, and demanded Bush do better than "kind words and cold policies." U.S. News owner Mort Zuckerman asserted: "George W. Bush did well to rebuke his party."
As compiled by the MRC's Tim Graham, here are some excerpts from this week's MRC MagazineWatch item about how the October 18 editions of the news magazines assessed Bush's comments:
-- Time: The headline aptly summarized the theme of Time's Eric Pooley: "George W. Bush is so deft he reminds Bill Clinton of himself. But can the GOP front runner move his party to the center -- and does he even want to try?"....
Both Time and Newsweek compared Bush's attacks on conservatives with Clinton's 1992 Sister Souljah remarks. But the black rapper had just suggested in a Washington Post interview that "If black people kill black people everyday, why not have a week and kill white people?...So if you're a gang member and you would normally be killing somebody, why not kill a white person?" How courageous was Clinton to oppose that? And how does it compare in any way to alleged conservative obsessions with the Earned Income Tax Credit or the CBO?
Pooley despaired that Bush didn't stay the bashing course, and noted one Bush camp spin, that he had only meant to attack "perceptions" of the GOP, "was not courageous -- or true. The speech had been in the works for a month, and principled slaps at the GOP had been in the earliest versions. Indeed, Bush had been saying similar things in milder terms since summer, calculating that he can chide conservatives and woo moderates without losing his right flank."
But Pooley felt Bush's critics weren't important: "Beyond the posturing rivals and professional loudmouths, many conservative leaders secretly are not that concerned about what Bush said last week. They know he has a history of offering moderate rhetoric, then coming down solidly in their camp. Two weeks ago, he opposed a GOP plan to delay tax-credit payments to low-income workers, saying his party's leaders shouldn't 'balance their budget on the backs of the poor.' But he supported the party's $800 billion tax-cut plan, which would require deep cuts in worthy programs aimed at the same people."
Pooley liked Bush's Manhattan Institute speech on education, with a proposal to bring his Texas education plan -- money from the top down, management from the bottom up -- to the other 49 states. "Now Bush is under the hot lights. He can either return to his old pattern -- kind words and cold policies -- or offer more of the innovative conservatism his new education proposal represents. Education has always been his best issue, but he needs to build on it."
-- In Newsweek, Howard Fineman explained, "Now Bush is navigating in the currents of the Caring Clinton '90s. He is a self-described conservative, but one who says he has developed a compassionate Third Way that has little in common with the coldblooded spirit of the Hill-based GOP. He isn't afraid to wield the power of government. Indeed, if the program is focused enough, Bush relishes its use. He wants to increase the power of the Department of Education, for example, not shrink it."
He concluded by arguing that conservative complaints were actually good for Bush, agreeing with Bush advisers: "Neither Forbes nor Gary Bauer can win the nomination, they contend, and McCain -- who takes center stage in the campaign-finance-reform debate this week -- is widely disliked on the right. 'Rush Limbaugh doesn't like us this week,' said one top Bush adviser, 'so what does that really mean?' If Bill Clinton's playbook is right, probably everything."
Other items in
this week's MagazineWatch:
Only from Dan Rather, his latest wacky Ratherism as announced on the
October 5 CBS Evening News:
Edmund Morris's shot at conservative journalists. Catching up, on a
plane flight over the weekend, with the October 4 Newsweek excerpt of
Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan, I noticed another bit of evidence that
author Edmund Morris is on the left. In a paragraph about Reagan's
inaccurate statements about Iran-Contra, Morris asserted:
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