Bush's Fault Blacks Opposed Him; No Disenfranchisement Found; Pressure From "the Far Right"; Silence Over Hillary Book Deal
1) ABC and CBS put the burden on Bush for black aversion to him, citing his visit to Bob Jones University as well as stands on the death penalty and affirmative action. CBS showcased a black Republican woman who left the GOP over Bush.
2) FNC's Brit Hume picked up on newspaper reports about how there's no evidence of any black disenfranchisement in Florida but in Philadelphia, "in some precincts, 100 percent of those registered were recorded as having voted, with 99 percent of the votes going to Al Gore."
3) ABC and NBC pointed out how Bush's Treasury Secretary nominee, Paul O'Neill, backed raising energy taxes. CBS's John Roberts instead stressed how Bush "may need to capitalize on O'Neill's friendship with Alan Greenspan" since he "has spared few words in his criticism of the President-elect's plan to cut taxes."
4) Spin you won't hear on other networks. Fred Barnes on FNC: "You have a Secretary of State who opposed...Desert Storm. You have a White House Chief-of-Staff...who endorsed the Clinton health care plan...you have a Treasury Secretary who was in favor of the carbon tax that Al Gore wanted."
6) "How Democrats howled when the issue was Newt Gingrich's book deal," CNN's Brooks Jackson reminded viewers in noting silence over Hillary's deal. Media silence too. Back in 1994/95 27 network stories. This time hardly a peep. Time's Margaret Carlson excused Hillary's deal since "the independent counsel impoverished her," so "let her trick some publisher into paying her legal bills."
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ABC and CBS tried to explain Wednesday night why blacks rejected George W. Bush at the polls by 9-to-1. Both networks put the burden on Bush for being on the wrong side of the issues. CBS focused on how his visit to Bob Jones University was the "last straw" for many, including a woman who left the Republican Party over the event. ABC's Carole Simpson simply listed all of Bush's supposed transgressions, from Bob Jones to favoring capital punishment to opposing affirmative action, before she concluded: "The majority of African-Americans are worried about what the next four years will bring. Their biggest fear: that they will lose under President Bush what they gained under President Clinton."
Other than one soundbite on CBS from Republican Congressman J.C. Watts, neither network raised any points from conservatives who could have argued it's simply a liberal-conservative split that won't change as long as the vast majority of blacks feel dependent on government programs, though ABC's Peter Jennings did point out how more blacks than whites want government to solve problems. Of course, neither story mentioned how the NAACP ran scare-mongering TV ads which clearly implied Bush was a racist.
-- CBS Evening News. Jim Axelrod picked up on how
Bush met earlier in the day with ministers, many of them black, about the
role of faith-based groups in solving problems. Noting how he's already
picked two blacks for top jobs, he allowed J.C. Watts to suggest people
will measure Bush against his performance. Axelrod reported, however, that
87 percent of blacks don't think Bush won legitimately. Axelrod than had
two liberals attack Bush: Amos Brown of the San Francisco Board of
Supervisors and Faye Anderson, who "was a Republican for 16 years, a
member of the first Bush administration before growing disenchanted. Bob
Jones was her last straw too. She, and many blacks she says, will watch
carefully well beyond this first flurry of appointments and
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Anchor Peter Jennings pointed out how blacks rejected Bush by 9-to-1 and an exit poll which asked whether "government should do more to solve problems" found 72 percent of blacks said yes compared to just 37 percent of whites. Jennings acknowledged: "While some significant change in America has occurred under Republican Presidents, some of today's most outspoken black leaders have an aversion to the Republican Party."
Carole Simpson then laid out the Democratic case for
how Republicans are wrong on every important issue, as transcribed by MRC
analyst Brad Wilmouth: "No matter that he calls himself
'compassionate' and 'inclusive,' George W. Bush has not made any
headway with African-Americans."
Simpson: "Then you remind black voters that
Bush's first appointments to powerful administration jobs were blacks --
Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice."
Jennings introduced a follow up story: "How will it be when he takes office definitively. One writer asked in the Wall Street Journal today, will black Americans be eternal victims. Will Mr. Bush and millions of blacks be permanently estranged?"
John Martin then provided a brief story on how Bush wants to build bridges to blacks and with 38 black Democrats in the House he'll have to learn to address their concerns.
While ABC and CBS were passing along complaints about Bush's policies from liberal blacks, FNC's Brit Hume let his viewers know that charges reported by all three broadcast networks, about how blacks in Florida were discriminated against at the voting booth, have come up baseless.
During his December 20 Special Report with Brit Hume
program, Hume summarized a Washington Times story:
To read the Washington Times story by Jerry Seper, "Florida probe finding no evidence of black disenfranchisement," go to: http://www.washtimes.com/national/default-20001220225948.htm 
Hume proceeded to pick up on another newspaper
report about some over-voting in Pennsylvania and a little fun fact about
the St. Louis polls which stayed open late:
Hume was citing a December 20 New York Post column
by Stephen Bronars of the University of Texas and John Lott of the Yale
University Law School. To read their discoveries, go to:
ABC and NBC on Wednesday night pointed out how conservatives are concerned that Bush's Treasury Secretary nominee, Paul O'Neill, backed raising energy taxes. CBS didn't mention the subject as John Roberts instead stressed how Bush "may need to capitalize on O'Neill's friendship with Alan Greenspan. The Fed Chairman has spared few words in his criticism of the President-elect's plan to cut taxes."
On ABC's World News
Tonight Terry Moran alerted viewers: "Conservatives may have
concerns. In 1992 O'Neill advocated a tax on gasoline, an idea Bush has
long scorned. Today O'Neill tried to make clear he knew who would make
policy in the new administration."
Over on the NBC Nightly News, David Gregory reported: "O'Neill, the 65-year-old chairman of aluminum maker Alcoa, and deputy budget director under President Ford, says he's a strong proponent of Bush's $1.3 trillion tax cut plan, though he's been criticized by Republicans for supporting President Clinton's 1992 proposal to impose a gasoline tax."
Dan Rather opened the CBS Evening News with this loaded set up: "Good evening. President-elect Bush talked again today about what he sees as a U.S. economy in trouble, possibly headed for a recession. Mr. Bush says the sweeping tax cut plan he ran on is what's needed to head it off. This is part of the Bush strategy aimed at absolving himself from any blame for a possible downturn, saying in effect it didn't start on my watch. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has not favored a big tax cut. Democrats call Bush's talk of a recession unwise and his tax plan a windfall mostly for the wealthy."
John Roberts didn't mention O'Neill's tax hike advocacy and concluded his story on O'Neill's selection: "The appointment of O'Neill to Treasury was met with mixed reviews in the financial world. Many people would have preferred that Bush pick a Wall Street insider for the job, but the President-elect may need to capitalize on O'Neill's friendship with Alan Greenspan. The Fed Chairman has spared few words in his criticism of the President-elect's plan to cut taxes."
you won't hear elsewhere. Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard on FNC's
FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume on Wednesday night:
And the networks spent all year warning of Bush's "hard right" stands.
Republicans who oppose affirmative action, gun control and abortion, positions taken by George W. Bush, represent the "far right" of the party CNN's Wolf Blitzer declared in a Monday night interview with Dick Cheney.
MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth caught this question
from Blitzer to Cheney in a taped interview played during the December 18
premiere of CNN's new 8pm ET show, Wolf Blitzer Reports:
The Hillary Clinton book deal has a generated a few network stories, but nothing like the media apoplexy Newt Gingrich's book deal fueled back in late 1994/early 1995. A MRC Media Reality Check fax report earlier this week reviewed the network outrage back then over the Gingrich book.
Wednesday night on
CNN's Inside Politics Brooks Jackson noticed the contrast in outrage
from Democratic politicians: "How Democrats howled when the issue was
Newt Gingrich's book deal."
(I guess Ralph Nader isn't liberal.)
Jackson could have added the media to the contrast as they too have been comparatively silent. FNC and CNN have done stories and interview segments and ABC's World News Tonight ran one story Friday night while GMA interviewed a publishing expert about the deal on Friday morning. But that's about it from the networks that I've seen, though I have not completed an exhaustive check.
But I do know CBS News has spiked the Hillary book deal (nothing on The Early Show or the CBS Evening News as aired in the east where it was bumped by sports on Saturday and Sunday night) and that's relevant since it is to be published by Simon and Schuster, part of CBS's parent Viacom. The alleged ethical problem with Gingrich's book, you'll recall, was that it was to be published by HarperCollins, owned by Rupert Murdoch whose media empire had regulatory policy dealings with Congress. Well, so does Viacom.
Nonetheless, Time's Margaret Carlson was blind to
the nearly identical set of conflict of interest questions. On
Saturday's Capital Gang on CNN she actually rationalized Hillary's
deal since "the independent counsel impoverished her," so
"let her trick some publisher into paying her legal bills." Her
December 16 spin in full:
Now the text of a Media Reality Check  distributed by fax on Tuesday titled, "Nets Neuter Newt, Puff and Enrich Hillary: CBS News Demanded Gingrich Scuttle His Book Deal, But CBS Made Book Deal with Sen. Hillary." The MRC's Tim Graham went into the MRC's archive to demonstrate how the networks pounced on Newt Gingrich's book deal. To view this as an Adobe Acrobat PDF, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/realitycheck/2000/pdf/fax1219.pdf 
But first, the pull-out quote in the middle of the
Here's the text of the Media Reality Check:
On February 1, 1995, CBS reporter Eric Engberg attacked Newt Gingrich's $4.5 million book deal with HarperCollins. Engberg suggested the embattled new Speaker ought to surrender: "Speaker Gingrich, who could end the controversy by scuttling the book deal, is standing fast."
Gingrich had already given away his advance, but that didn't stop Engberg: "When Gingrich tried to end the controversy by turning down the advance, he failed to disclose he had met with Murdoch. When that came out, Gingrich did not reveal that Murdoch's top lobbyist was also at the courtesy call and that they discussed a big regulatory problem facing Murdoch's Fox TV network, the jewel of his media empire. It's a high-stakes case."
Dan Rather introduced that story: "More tonight about whether Australian-born-and-centered communications billionaire Rupert Murdoch is trying to buy influence with politically connected authors."
A February 1995 MediaWatch study found 27 network evening news stories on the Gingrich book deal from December 22, 1994 to February 2, 1995 -- seven each for ABC, CBS, and NBC, and six on CNN's World News. The networks first reported the book deal on December 22. "We'll hear more about this one," CBS reporter Bob Schieffer promised. Schieffer was still hammering Gingrich about it in July. (See pull out quote above)
Now Simon and Schuster has announced an $8 million book deal with Senator-elect Hillary Clinton. Simon and Schuster is now an arm of the CBS conglomerate. Will CBS and the other networks show the same ethical ardor in suggesting that Hillary's book deal looks like "buying influence with politically connected authors," and demand she forego any advance, and then despite that move, continue to demand more congressional investigations until every conversation between Mrs. Clinton and her corporate benefactors is parsed for every possible political impact? Don't count on it.
CBS Early Show news reader Julie Chen touched tangentially on the topic on December 15: "Book publishers are lining up to pay millions for Hillary Clinton's White House memoirs. Some say that creates an ethics problem for the future senator. Members of the House were barred from accepting book advances after then Speaker Newt Gingrich got a big money book deal six years ago."
Reporters pounced on the Gingrich deal because he tried for months to get the media to cover a September 24, 1997 Washington Post story on Speaker Jim Wright's book deal, which led to Wright's resignation in 1989.
Of the 27 Gingrich book deal stories, six mentioned the case of Speaker Wright, either by comparing Democratic attacks on Gingrich to Gingrich's attacks on Wright, or by noting that both stories involved book deals. Gingrich's comparison of his deal to Al Gore's $100,000 advance for Earth in the Balance made it into only two stories.
For CBS, what goes around comes around. When Gingrich gave up his advance, CBS Face the Nation fill-in host Rita Braver asked Bob Dole on January 1, 1995: "You don't think he'll be called The Four-and-a-Half-Million Dollar Man anymore?" The man behind Hillary's book deal is agent Bob Barnett, Braver's husband.
END reprint of Media Reality Check
CBS News may not be interested in the Hillary book deal, but their late night comedy show gave it some publicity Monday night. From the December 18 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Chapter Titles In Hillary Clinton's New Book." Copyright 2000 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. "1, 2, 3, 5-8 and 10 -- A Look At The Commandments I Broke
During The Past 8 Years"
And, from the Late Show Web site , some of the Top Ten "Extras," the "also-rans" that didn't make the final cut:
-- "July 17, 1996: The Day Bill Didn't Cheat On Me!"
The news media may have forgotten Vince Foster, but not one late night show, though his name didn't make it onto the air. Maybe Letterman has a conservative writer or two. -- Brent Baker 
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