Four items today:
1) Tom Brokaw thinks
Mikhail Gorbachev "is a great man." But not Ronald Reagan.
Brokaw is also an admirer of Gorbachev's clothing, thinks he has
"flashy eyes," and is "fun to be around." In contrast,
Brokaw finds "all manner of flaws" in Reagan's "simple
2) Cokie Roberts
trashes Bill Kristol, well maybe not.
3) The Washington
Times reports Billy Dale bill blocked.
4) Another take on
reaction to that Freedom Forum poll.
Appearing on Charlie Rose's PBS show Thursday night (May 2) to review his
30th anniversary with NBC, anchor Tom Brokaw had this to say about Mikhail
"I think Gorbachev is a great man in the
20th century because he forced his country to look at the hypocrisy and
the fraudulence of communism and to begin slowly to make a turn away from
it. Where he faltered, unfortunately, is that he didn't go all the way,
that he lost the counsel of his very best advisers I think when they said
we have to have a clean break here, we can't do business with the old gang
and he hung on to too many parts of the old establishment and it
eventually defeated him."
Charlie Rose: "Yea, he somehow lived with
the idea that communism could be reformed."
Brokaw: "He could manage both, right, and
you could have both reform and freedom and democracy and at the same time
keep communism going."
Rose: "It really is a sad story..."
Brokaw [over Rose]: "It is."
Rose: "...a man who made such a contribution
to our time by at least bowing to the reality of that his system couldn't
compete, but he still had all of those missiles there and he could've used
the Red Army and he didn't because. And now he is a pariah in his own
Brokaw: "Yea, it's, they have no regard for
him at all. And you know, Americans, he can still light up any room that
he walks into. The eyes are flashy, you know, and the great command of the
language and the feel that he has, the very physical presence of him. It's
still fun to be around him."
Rose: "Well, when were you last with
Brokaw: "About a year and a half ago I went
out to see him at his institute. I must say he look very sleek and western
now. He comes over here to make these big lectures for big fees and so on,
he's well dressed."
minutes later they moved onto Reagan:
Brokaw: "People will still be looking at
Ronald Reagan I think, too, fifty years from now."
Rose: "A great man?"
Brokaw: "I think that history will have to
be the judge of that. I think that he was the right man at the time. I
think the country was adrift and he came along with his simple, in the
best sense of the word, philosophy about what was required to get the
country back on track, to kind of give the country a sense of itself
again. You can look at the economics of Reaganism, for example, or some of
the bombast of his foreign policy and look at Iran-Contra and find all
manner of flaws in there. But what he did was give this sense that this is
a great nation and we're a great people and that we've got to get on with
being that once again. So I don't think he'll be a complicated
MRC media analyst Jim Forbes caught this fun bit of spin control (aka
covering her a**) from ABC's Cokie Roberts. Here she is on This Week With
David Brinkley on April 28 discussing Bob Dole's problems:
"I also think the Republicans around town
have been vicious. He's got the nomination now, it would seem to me the
obvious thing to do is pull together and get behind the nominee. And
instead what you have is somebody like Bill Bennett sniping from one
direction, somebody like Bill Kristol sniping from another direction, and
everybody seems to be already writing the stories of it's not my fault
that he's lost."
Here she is two days later, on the April 30 Good
Morning America, with Bill Kristol sitting next to her:
"I think that there is cause for paying
attention, and if that's what Bill [Kristol] has in mind that's one thing.
It's another thing though, and I'm not saying that Bill did this but some
of his party colleagues certainly seem to be doing this.
There's a difference between getting Dole
energized and writing him off, and that seems to already be going on here.
It's as if everybody's saying 'It's not my fault he lost, it's not my
fault he lost,' as they all jump ship. I think that's hardly
In case you missed the news, the May 2 Washington Times reported:
"Senate Democrats have ganged up in secret to block legislation that
would pay off 'Travelgate' figure Billy R. Dale's $500,000 legal bill in
an apparent effort to shield the President from further embarrassment in
the scandal. Senate leadership sources said yesterday that Sen. David
Pryor of Arkansas, a close ally of the President, put a confidential
'hold' on the bill, blocking it from being considered by the Senate."
The next day's Washington Times reported that
Pryor denied that he was the Senator who placed the hold.
Finally, I thought of an interesting point related to that Freedom Forum
poll showing 89 percent of D.C. reporters voted for Clinton. Contrast
media reaction (Al Hunt, Elaine Povich and Matthew Storin in previous
e-mails) denying personal views have any impact upon coverage..... to
current media hype over Kenneth Starr's "possible conflicts of
interest." So, reporters can rise above their personal opinions to do
their job, but a lawyer who is paid to represent clients with whom he may
or may not agree, cannot.