CyberAlert -- 01/03/2000 -- ABC Relayed Castro Propaganda

Printer Friendly Version

ABC Relayed Castro Propaganda; Century of "Red-Baiting"; Hang Gingrich

1) ABC 2000: Cokie Roberts talked to "mommy"; Cynthia McFadden relayed how Cuban school kids fear the U.S. because it's "a place where they kidnap children"; Peter Jennings talked to a professor about the continuing problem of "heterosexism"; and John Quinones griped that Cuban-Americans are "viciously anti-communist."

2) At ABC News not only are there 999 years in a millennium and 99 years in a century, but there are only 23 hours in a 24 hour day.

3) After "decades of Red-hunting, Red-baiting," asserted PBS's Gwen Ifill, "all of a sudden the Berlin Wall...fell." Another veteran journalist complained that the U.S. is 130 years behind Germany in enacting national health insurance.

4) "We broke from England to escape the class system," Time's Margaret Carlson asserted in bizarrely claiming "the opportunity that a kid like me used to have," to go to college, "may be a thing of the past."

5) A major liberal columnist urged that Newt Gingrich be killed: "For hypocrisy... Gingrich should be hanged."

6) TV Guide reported a TV actress is an "ultraconservative" because she wants to work for....Liddy Dole.

7) New York Times daily e-mail listing its front page headlines delivered everything but the headlines.


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes)ABC News delivered liberal bias all the way to the last hours of the century, at least the end of the century as defined by the networks.

During ABC's 23 hours of continuous coverage of celebrations marking the beginning of a new year, viewers heard Cokie Roberts talk to "mommy" in Rome; Cynthia McFadden in Havana seriously relay how Cuban school kids fear the U.S. because it's "a place where they kidnap children" and because they are free of Western influences "their role models are engineers and teachers and librarians"; McFadden ask a Cuban official "what do you see as the greatest accomplishment of the revolution?"; Peter Jennings talking with a professor about how the greatest trend of the century was "decolonization" and a continuing problem is "heterosexism"; and John Quinones complaining about how Cubans in Miami are "viciously anti-communist."

Plus, Peter Jennings pulled a Dan Rather and cried on the air.

From Friday morning through Monday morning the MRC set a weekend taping record, recording over 300 hours of ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, FNC, MSNBC, NBC and PBS special millennium coverage as well as regular shows. So I obviously wasn't able to see it all quite yet, but I did manage to view nearly all of ABC's 23 hours and ten minutes of coverage and caught some quoteworthy material.

(One item I noticed in CNN's still-going 100 hours, "Jeff Greenfield's Millennium Roundtable: Media." It should have been named "Jeff Greenfield's All Liberal Roundtable." The panel on the one-hour discussion about the future of the media aired at 9pm ET Sunday night: Time Managing Editor Walter Isaacson, Time-Warner Chairman Gerald Levin, author Kurt Anderson, The New Yorker's Ken Auletta, and professor Robert McChesney. CNN's 100 hours includes a lot of repeats and this one-sided panel will run again at 1am ET Tuesday morning.)

Now to what I found most worth highlighting in ABC's 4:50am ET Friday, December 31 through 4am ET Saturday, January 1 "ABC 2000" coverage. (This is not a complete listing, just what I had time to take down):

-- 11:40am ET: Cokie Roberts in Rome interviewed her mother, Lindy Boggs, who is Clinton's Ambassador to the Holy See. Roberts put on quite the unprofessional performance, referring to her mother as "momma" and ending by saying: "Thank you mommy."

-- 2pm ET. Peter Jennings talked to Robin Roberts of ABC Sports about the wonders of Title IX. At one point Jennings got a bit carried away, assuming a law can overcome genetics: "Do you foresee a time when men and women are going to compete in some sports on an equal footing?"

-- 2:08pm ET. Live from Havana Cynthia McFadden relayed what she learned from her visit to a Cuban school. From the video the kids looked to be about 7 or 8 years old. McFadden announced:
"Part of what the children talked about was their fear of the United States and how they felt they didn't want to come to the United States because it was a place where they kidnap children, a direct reference, of course, to Elian Gonzalez. The children also said that the United States was just a place where there was money and money wasn't what was most important. I should mention Peter that, you know, as you talk about the global community, Cuba is a place because of the small number of computers here -- in the classrooms we visited yesterday there was certainly no computers and almost no paper that we could see -- this is a place where the children's role models and their idols are not the baseball players or Madonna or pop stars. Their role models are engineers and teachers and librarians -- which is who all the children we spoke to yesterday said they wanted to be."

Maybe that's because the good baseball players flee to the U.S. where we have paper on which to write contracts.

Jennings helpfully passed along more pro-Castro propaganda: "From the Cuban point of view, as everybody knows I guess, education and participation in the Third World are very much what Cuba has stood for, at least in the developing world."

McFadden then interviewed Ricardo Alarcon, President of National Assembly. After asking him about Yeltsin's resignation, she toughly inquired: "As you reflect back on the years since the revolution here, what do you see as the greatest accomplishment of the revolution?"
Alarcon: "The greatest accomplishment is the sense of dignity and independence that our peoples now enjoys."
McFadden: "And what would you say is something you hope to see achieved for Cuba in the years to come?"

McFadden later passed along: "Peter, one of the things you had said to me before coming to Cuba was to look at the billboards for what the Cuban people were thinking. The billboards here in Havana and throughout the countryside have Elian Gonzalez, the six-year-old young boy who is in Miami, have his picture plastered across them saying 'Free Elian.'"

Of course, "the Cuban people" don't decide what goes on billboards. One wonders if Jennings used to tell correspondents assigned to Moscow to read Pravda in order to learn what "the Russian people were thinking."

-- 5:37pm ET. Harvard University professor Cornel West appeared in ABC's Times Square studio to tell Peter Jennings how "decolonization" was the most important event of the century, and to whine about income disparity. Here's one illuminating exchange:
Peter Jennings: "It's hard to live in America and think that maybe race is the great unfinished piece of business for the country." [He meant to say "not think that..."]
West: "I think that's true, but I think when you talk about legacies of white supremacy it's inseparable from those of male supremacy, it's inseparable from heterosexism and, most importantly, it's inseparable from the increasing economic inequality."


-- 8:31pm ET. Once a media analyst, always a media analyst. Former MRC analyst Steve Kaminski passed along how he noticed a hit on Cuban-Americans for their "vicious anti-communism." ABC News reporter John Quinones appeared live from Miami's South Beach at about 8:30pm ET. Peter Jennings, apparently referring to Cubans living in South Florida, suggested: "It's sometimes said the Latino population in Miami lives a life apart from everybody else. Is there any truth to that as far as you're concerned?"
Quinones replied: "Well because of where they come from, and because of what they lost on the island, this is an incredibly hardworking and aggressive community -- also viciously anti-communist, sort of different from the Mexicans where I grew up and the Puerto Rican community of New York...."

-- 3:40am ET, January 1. Wrapping us his 23-hour broadcast, Peter Jennings began crying briefly as he thanked an assistant nearby in the studio.


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes)Like most of the media which gave in to public misperception, ABC News portrayed Saturday as the start of a new century and millennium. But not only did ABC News act as if there are only 999 years in a millennium and 99 years in this century, which began on January 1, 1901, the network also passed off 23 hours as the same as 24 hours.

ABC advertising for its "ABC 2000" programming promised 24 hours of coverage. A full page ad in Friday's USA Today, for instance, proclaimed: "The biggest live global event in television history!" Beneath that appeared: "24 Hours 7 Continents 1 Network."

Reality Check: ABC News began its "ABC 2000" coverage at 4:50am ET on Friday, December 31. Twenty-four hours later would be: 4:50am ET or so on Saturday, January 1. But, ABC ended coverage at just before 4am ET, 3:58am to be precise, or about 23 hours and ten minutes after it began.


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes)Decades of Red-baiting, and then communism magically disappeared. Sixty years before Nazism Germany was ahead of the U.S. in providing health care. Those are two "century-end" thoughts expressed by veteran journalists on Friday's Washington Week in Review on PBS.

Introducing comments from Gloria Borger of U.S. News, moderator Gwen Ifill, a former NBC News reporter who now reports for the Lehrer NewsHour, reviewed the history of communism -- portraying its opponents as the bad guys:
"Gloria, after World War II then we went through decades of Red-hunting, Red-baiting, fear of communists and then all of a sudden the Berlin Wall, that symbol of everything that happened, Gloria, fell."

Amazing. After years of evil anti-communists abusing people's civil rights, one morning the Berlin Wall just went away.

A few minutes later, Paul Duke, the former moderator of the show and a network news veteran, identified on-screen as "journalist," opined in the midst of a discussion of medical progress:
"We are making these tremendous strides and yet there's a great gap, it seems to me, in this country in terms of helping people cope with a lot of these things. We have 45 million Americans who have no health insurance and we're the only Western country that still has no health insurance program. Germany's had one since 1870."
Michel McQueen of ABC News agreed: "That's remarkable. It's true."

And Germany beat us to installing a Nazi regime too.


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes)People "used to have" the opportunity to go to college, but no more. With so many millionaires, income inequality is denying people the chance to go to college.

That's what Time magazine columnist, sometime reporter and former Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Margaret Carlson seriously contended in naming her "outrage of the American century" on Saturday's Capital Gang. After naming her former employer Ralph Nader as one of her "heroes," on the January 1 CNN show she announced her outrage for the century:
"My Irish grandmother was a hotel maid, yet all her grandchildren went to college. That was the promise of the last century, but now as we create millionaires in the blink of an IPO, the gap between the rich and the poor grows ever larger. We broke from England to escape the class system, but now the opportunity that a kid like me used to have may be a thing of the past."


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes)A little hate speech from the left. Heard the controversy over a columnist, four days before Christmas, calling for the killing of Newt Gingrich? If not, neither have I though that's just what liberal columnist Richard Cohen urged in an op-ed which appeared, amongst other places, in the December 21 Washington Post. In a year-end round-up of liberal hate speech on December 30, Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby cited Cohen's comment, but I've not seen it cited elsewhere.

In the column, headlined by the Post "In Defense of Linda Tripp," Cohen reluctantly came to Linda Tripp's defense:
"More troubling are the indications that Tripp has been selectively prosecuted and that her selection was based on politics. If that's the case -- and it sure looks like it -- then Linda Tripp, as hard as this is to imagine, may well be the martyr she thinks she is.
"It is, of course, impossible to defend what Tripp did. Her taping of Lewinsky was a reprehensible betrayal of her friend and was clearly undertaken for political purposes and personal gain -- a book deal....She seduced Lewinsky as surely as Clinton did and used her even more callously. This woman is a skunk."

In the next paragraph Cohen got to Gingrich:
"But being a loathsome figure in this affair is not a crime and not cause for prosecution. If it were, we would have to do something about Starr himself, not to mention the gaggle of political figures who waxed indignant about Clinton's affair while they, as it turned out, did not exactly have a clean slate themselves. In this regard, justice and history itself demand that I mention Newt Gingrich, who unfailingly denounced the President for moral and legal transgressions while carrying on his own extramarital affair. For hypocrisy, for sheer gall, Gingrich should be hanged."

Imagine the outrage if a conservative columnist had written such a sentence about Bill Clinton or Dick Gephardt.


cyberno6.gifThink the Washington DC media see the world from the left? The Hollywood media consider Elizabeth Dole and anyone supporting her to be an "ultraconservative." Steve Allen of alerted me to a preposterous sentence which ended a TV Guide "Insider" profile of actress Emma Caulfield, who plays the "demon 'Anyanka, patron saint of scorned women," in the WB show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Hey, don't ask me what that means. Like most people, I don't watch WB.)

Here's how TV Guide's Michael Logan ended his piece in the December 25-31 issue (brackets as they appear in TV Guide):
"The twenty-something Caulfield -- who, unlike most young Tinseltown turks, is an ultraconservative -- also has her eye on the chaotic world of politics: 'There's a part of me that would totally drop out of the acting business and work for Liddy Dole. Seriously. If she ever runs for office [again], I'm there!'"


cyberno7.gifIf Y2K glitches happen, will the New York Times notice? I subscribe to the New York Times's daily e-mail listing the headlines for all its front page stories. Here is the complete e-mail I received at 4am January 2 from the New York Times, with the inter-line spacing and line break dashes as delivered:

Good morning.

Here are summaries of today's top news from the front page of The New York Times. -----

To view today's articles with your personal search terms or to sign up for personal search, see: -----

You received these headlines because you requested The New York Times Direct daily e-mail service. To cancel delivery or change delivery options, see:

END reprint of e-mail

Guess I'll have to look at the actual printed version of the newspaper -- Brent Baker

>>> Support the MRC, an educational foundation dependent upon contributions which make CyberAlert possible, by providing a tax-deductible donation. Use the secure donations page set up for CyberAlert readers and subscribers:

>>>To subscribe to CyberAlert, send a blank e-mail to: mrccyberalert-subscribe
. Or, you can go to: Either way you will receive a confirmation message titled: "RESPONSE REQUIRED: Confirm your subscription to" After you reply, either by going to the listed Web page link or by simply hitting reply, you will receive a message confirming that you have been added to the MRC CyberAlert list. If you confirm by using the Web page link you will be given a chance to "register" with Topica. You DO NOT have to do this; at that point you are already subscribed to CyberAlert.
To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to:
Send problems and comments to:

>>>You can learn what has been posted each day on the MRC's Web site by subscribing to the "MRC Web Site News" distributed every weekday afternoon. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: Or, go to:<<<