CyberAlert -- 04/20/2000 -- Reporter Called "Communist"

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Reporter Called "Communist"; Redlener's Radicalism; Anti-Anticommunists

1) Live on MSNBC from Little Havana on Wednesday, a Newsweek reporter relayed how he saw another reporter "being called a socialist and a communist by one of the protesters."

2) Time praised Bush from the left: "Shows he cares about real people, just like the Democrats." And denounced his policies from the left: "Tax credits may be too small to help those in need" and "Tax cut for the rich could squeeze money for the poor."

3) The MRC's Campaign 2000 Web page features all of our campaign coverage analysis organized in one place by category, plus video contrasts and addresses you can use to express your views.

4) Dr. Redlener, who said Elian should be "rescued" from the Miami family, "is a longtime member of the leftist Physicians for Social Responsibility," The American Spectator Online revealed. He was also part of the Clinton/Gore '92 health policy team.

5) "The Elian case...has one virtue," syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer observed last week: "It exposes the myth that the Cold War was anticommunists all vs. the Evil Empire. In fact, it was a great struggle...between anticommunists and anti-anticommunists."

6) In Hollywood's imagination Big Tobacco doesn't just kill smokers. On Sunday's Fox drama X-Files the second hand smoke from a bio-engineered cigarette caused a slow, painful death to anyone around who inhaled it. Unless they were heavy smokers.

>>> Earth Day, the side the media won't tell? The MRC's Free Market Project (FMP) has challenged the news media to present a balanced look at global warming, the theme of this year's Earth Day set for Saturday, April 22. On Wednesday, FMP Director Rich Noyes produced a Media Reality Check fax report titled, "Skeptics Frozen Out of Warming Debate: Will Media's Earth Day Extravaganza Include Any Dissent from the Environmental Establishment?" To read its examples of distorted media coverage of global warming, go to:
This morning, MRC Webmaster Andy Szul posted an in-depth MediaNomics article by Rich, "Global Warming: An Earth Day Opportunity." MediaNomics notes that "while experts continue to debate the main causes, extent and consequences of a warming trend that is generally expected to continue through the 21st century, news coverage has frequently portrayed the scientific debate as a settled matter." The report summarizes the scientific views of those who don't buy the liberal environmental doom and gloom and provides links to the best refutations of the liberal line the media should question in such issue areas as "Links Between Human Activity and Global Warming," "Surface Temperatures vs. Atmospheric Temperatures" and "Lowering of Official Warming Forecasts and Predicted Consequences of Warming."
Plus, Rich has compiled a list of online resources about global warming so reporters interested in balance and accuracy will have no excuse not to inform their audience of views which don't match the Earth Day hype.
To read this latest MediaNomics, go to the MRC home page and click on it under "Our Newest Stuff," or go directly to: <<<

Editor's Note: Wednesday night I attended game 4 of the Penguins-Capitals NHL playoff series -- and saw the home team finally win a game. Since I was not able to see all the network newscasts, I thought I'd take advantage of the opportunity and clear some things today from my "pending" list of informative items that usually get bumped for the latest bias from the evening shows, though today's items #1 and #4 are fresh from the past 24 hours.


Some over-enthused CyberAlert readers in the crowd in Little Havana? MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens observed how a reporter on MSNBC passed along an anecdote about a bit of anti-media venom. At about 4:20pm ET Wednesday, live from the celebration outside of Elian's home prompted by the federal court ruling that Elian cannot leave the U.S. until he has an asylum hearing, Newsweek Miami Bureau Chief Joe Contreras relayed:
"I must say that amidst the jubilation and celebration there is still some bitterness and hostility that some of the demonstrators are directing toward the news media. I saw one reporter, as he was coming into this area, being called a socialist and a communist by one of the protesters. But overall, it's great happiness in Little Havana today."

Great happiness at how reporters aren't getting their way.


Time magazine this week expressed doubts about George W. Bush's compassion strategy, proclaiming "it's hard enough being the leader of a party" that has refused "to add a few quarters to the minimum wage." The magazine dismissed his tax cut as being "for the rich" but praised him for trying to show "he cares about real people, just like the Democrats."

For the latest edition of the MRC's MagazineWatch, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens summarized Time's April 24 issue criticism of Bush for not having spent enough in Texas nor now proposing enough spending and economic regulation in his latest proposals:

Time's James Carney and John F. Dickerson trained their skeptical eyes from the left on George W. Bush's compassionate conservative strategy. Picking up on Bush's insistence he really does care about education and immigrants, they charged:

"If it sounds as if George Bush is protesting too much, that's because he's got a credibility problem. It's hard enough being the leader of a party that has made headlines by shutting down the government and refusing to add a few quarters to the minimum wage. The Texas Governor also has his own recent past to overcome, including a bruising primary fight that featured him cozying up to the religious right and running a singularly uncompassionate campaign against his opponent, John McCain."

A highlight box on the second page of the two-page spread assessed Bush's policies from a liberal perspective, assuming spending taxpayer money equals compassion while tax cuts are discredited because they are "for the rich." Under the heading of "Smart Politics..." Time listed two items:
-- "Mr. Compassion: Shows he cares about real people, just like the Democrats."
-- "Future Focus: Helps him divert attention from spotty record in Texas."

But under the accompanying heading "...but Shaky Policy," Time complained:
-- "Not Texas-Sized: Tax credits may be too small to help those in need."
-- "Supply-Side Memories: Tax cut for the rich could squeeze money for the poor."

In the story text Carney and Dickerson also took up the Gore line: "Bush brags about his record as Governor, promising the same success for the entire country, but Gore is pointing to a grimmer Texas." Carney and Dickerson then questioned Bush's record on health care in Texas and warned that Bush's tax cut, "as written, would most benefit higher-income Americans."

The article wrapped up with Gore's strategy: "Gore has another campaign he plans to copy. His strategists like to cite the last time an incumbent Vice President ran against a Governor who touted his record as a new kind of moderate from a party with an extreme past. That Vice President came from behind, ran a cynical, negative campaign and crushed his opponent. It was 1988. The defeated Governor was Michael Dukakis. The victorious Vice President? George Bush."

So the Gore camp admits they will run a "cynical," and "negative" campaign. Yet it's George W. Bush who has to prove he's compassionate candidate?

END MagazineWatch excerpt

Other items in the April 18 MagazineWatch:
1. All three news magazines relayed Fidel Castro's spin on the Elian Gonzalez case as U.S. News saw "growing sentiment" for closer relations with Cuba. In a surprising twist, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter maintained Elian should return but conceded the "Keep Elian Here crowd is on the right side of history" and the "American left still has a bit of a soft spot" for Castro.

2. Time magazine tied the IMF's "free-market shock therapy" to "Dr. Death." In a piece headlined, "Retro Cool? Ralph Nader's Campaign," Time polished up Nader's resume as Matthew Cooper recounted Nader's regulatory accomplishments.

3. U.S. News looked into the unpopularity of tax cuts. Newsweek had gay former Congressman Steve Gunderson assess Bush's meeting with gay leaders while Howard Fineman wondered if evangelicals "have become more of a burden than a blessing."

To read these items, go to:


New "Campaign 2000" Web Page. The MRC has created a "Campaign 2000" section with easy access to all presidential and New York Senate campaign-related MRC analysis, from individual articles in CyberAlert to the Campaign 2000 Media Reality Check fax report.

Thanks to MRC's Director of Communications Liz Swasey, the archives go back to the beginning of this year, so there's plenty on all the primary activities. Additional features include "Campaign Videos: When Liberal Reporters Attack" which provides a side-by-side comparison of Dan Rather's interviewing style as applied to (a) Rudy Giuliani, and (b) Hillary Clinton, and every Friday, posting on the "Unreliable Sources" page of a video of the most biased campaign story of the week.

The Campaign 2000 pages were created under Liz's direction with help from MRC Marketing Director Bonnie Goff and Webmasters Andy Szul and Eric Pairel. Though Liz updates it everyday, the page is still a work in progress so we'd appreciate your comments on it so we can make it as useful as possible by the time the campaigns gear-up this summer. Check it out and share your thoughts about what's there and what you think should be provided. Click on the "E-mail your comments and questions" link at the bottom of the column on the left side.

To see the MRC's Campaign 2000 section, click on "Campaign 2000" in the menu on the left side of the MRC's home page, or go directly to:


Doctor Irwin Redlener: Far-left anti-nuclear activist and Clinton-Gore campaigner. Tuesday night, as noted in the April 19 CyberAlert, only FNC's Rita Cosby alerted viewers to how Redlener "worked with Hillary Clinton's health care task force." On Wednesday, freelance journalist Evan Gahr uncovered some additional details about Redlener's background, disclosing he "is a longtime member of the leftist Physicians for Social Responsibility" and "served as chairman of the National Health Leadership Council for Clinton/Gore '92."

As a reminder, Redlener, who had not talked to Elian, earned widespread media attention Tuesday for insisting in a letter, which the Justice Department released, that the boy be removed from the Miami home because he is in "imminent danger to his physical and emotional well-being" in the home which Redlener described as "psychologically abusive." (See the April 19 CyberAlert)

In an April 19 piece posted on The American Spectator's Web site, Gahr revealed:

....Marcus Welby to the rescue? Take a close look at Redlener's history. This longtime Clinton cheerleader, whose left-liberal activism dates to at least the early 1980s, is hardly the dispassionate scientist Janet Reno & Co. like to pretend -- and the media apparently believes.

Last week, Redlener helped the INS assemble a panel of doctors that interviewed Elian's great-uncle Lazaro Gonzalez. reports that the INS this Monday released Redlener's letter to "bolster its position that Elian be removed from the Miami relatives."

In his April 17 letter, Redlener, who did not examine Elian, modestly identifies himself as "President and Director of Community Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital at Montefiore; Professor of Pediatrics, The Albert Einstein College of Medicine; President, The Children's Health Fund."

His other credentials? Redlener, is a longtime member of the leftist Physicians for Social Responsibility. Today, the group rails against the epidemic of "gun violence" (as if the guns go off all by themselves). In the early 1980s, Physicians for Social Responsibility pushed for a nuclear freeze and often seemed to consider the United States rather odious.

Sure enough when residents of the upstate, New York city of Rome shrugged off the placement of cruise missiles at a nearby military base in 1982, Redlener saw an obvious parallel.

The Rome residents, who had long considered nuclear weapons at the base necessary for the country's defense, were reminiscent of "the people who lived in the villages around the concentration camps in World War II." They "committed themselves to denying the existence of those camps or what happened inside them but there comes a time when we must take a look at the big picture and say 'no.'"

More recently, Redlener, served as chairman of the National Health Leadership Council for Clinton/Gore '92. He lamented that "physicians find ourselves surrounded in an ocean of paperwork, bureaucracy and intrusion into how health care is practiced."

Those words seem a bit curious because the good doctor soon emerged as a leading supporter of the Clinton health care plan, which of course would have created a mound of paperwork, bureaucracy, and government intrusion into how health care is practiced. In 1993, Redlener served as a vice chairman of the White House's health care task force....

Given his political sensibility, who could possibly be surprised that Redlener can't send little Elian back to the worker's paradise fast enough? Redlener was not available when TAS Online called for comment.

But he had a busy day. On the morning of April 18, he appeared on both CNN and NBC to impugn Elian's Miami relatives. He likened their recently-released videotape of Elian saying he didn't want to go back to Cuba to something captors force on hostages. "The child needs to be rescued."

But anyone who bothers to examine the good doctor's longtime left-liberal political activism, might think it's wise to get a second opinion.

END Excerpt

To read the entire Gahr story, go to:

For The American Spectator Online:

Will anyone in the mainstream media pick up on Gahr's discovery of Redlener's lack of impartiality? Don't count on it.


"The Elian case, however you may feel about it, has one virtue," syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer observed in a very illuminating column last week: "It exposes the myth that the Cold War was anticommunists all vs. the Evil Empire. In fact, it was a great struggle at home between anticommunists and anti-anticommunists."

Indeed, Krauthammer hit upon what is the driving force behind much of the media's negative coverage of the Miami Cubans and admiring looks at the living conditions in Castro's Cuba detailed in past CyberAlerts. If you are among those who believe Elian should be returned to his father, and have been disturbed by the pro Cuban-American line taken in CyberAlerts, I urge you to read the excerpt below from Krauthammer's historical analysis of how reaction to the Elian situation follows the Cold War pattern in which the left has always fought the right's battles against communism.

In his syndicated column, which appeared in the April 14 Washington Post, Krauthammer reminded readers:

For years now we have been hearing Bill Clinton and other Democratic luminaries (most recently, Bill Bradley) tell us how difficult the world is today compared with Cold War days, when things were easy. Easy because communism was evil, and we knew it, and thus our decisions about how to act in the world were informed by the moral imperative to oppose it.

It is a nice little fable. In reality, anticommunism was not the lodestar that guided us all -- liberal and conservative -- during the Cold War. Almost every anticommunist initiative championed by conservatives in the last two decades of the Cold War -- from the Reagan arms buildup to aiding the Nicaraguan contras -- met strenuous liberal opposition....

[The Elian Gonzalez case is] instructive. It is a Cold War struggle occurring 10 years late. And being such an anachronism, it serves as a time capsule, illuminating perfectly who stood where during the Cold War.

Elian's case is difficult. On the one hand, there is power to the argument that a 6-year-old boy not be sent back to spend his life in the island prison from which his mother died trying to escape. On the other hand, there are obviously other values at stake: family values or, more precisely, paternal rights.

This is what makes the case hard, even for those who despise communism. For the left, however, the choice is easy. Parental bond trumps political freedom. No question. (It was only yesterday that it took a village to raise a child. Now a father will do.) The vehemence with which those on the left, such as Rep. Maxine Waters and the National Council of Churches, have insisted on Elian's return -- their contempt for the very notion that there might be something problematic about returning him to a country whose constitution states that parents' rights exist "only as long as their influence does not go against the political objectives of the State" -- shows us how little anticommunism figures in their moral universe.

And so it was during the Cold War. Was anticommunism their lodestar? Hardly. There were always other values to be found more important. Opposing dictatorship, for example. The left vehemently opposed our friendship with the Philippines (under Marcos) and Chile (under Pinochet), allies in opposing communism. (The Philippines, for example, supplied us with Subic Bay and Clark Air Base during the Vietnam War.) Indeed, Bill Clinton went to Africa last year and apologized for America's support of anticommunist dictators (such as Mobutu) during the Cold War....

The arms buildup, the deployment of Pershing and cruise missiles to counter the Soviet SS-20s, the Strategic Defense Initiative, the Reagan Doctrine of supporting anticommunist guerrillas around the world -- these were all opposed by the left (and by a large majority of the Democratic Party) in the name of peace....

Yes, human rights and clean government and peace are all important values. Which is what made some of these decisions so difficult. But for those on the right, the fight against communism was paramount, because the evil it represented was so total. Those on the left, on the other hand, always found some other value more salient, some other cause more worthy.

They did then, with Vietnam and Nicaragua, with the Pershing missiles and the nuclear freeze. They do it now, with Elian. They always do.

The Elian case, however you may feel about it, has one virtue: It exposes the myth that the Cold War was anticommunists all vs. the Evil Empire. In fact, it was a great struggle at home between anticommunists and anti-anticommunists. The anticommunists won. Which is why we are so profoundly at peace today.

END Excerpt

To read his entire column, use this link which should work for a few more days:


Avoid that second hand smoke. It will kill you. A Fox drama on Sunday night delivered a plot line which went well beyond blaming tobacco companies for making a product dangerous to smokers. On Sunday's X-Files the second hand smoke from a newly bio-engineered cigarette caused a slow, painful death to anyone around who inhaled the smoke. And a lot of bugs crawled out of the mouths of those killed.

The 9pm ET/PT, 8pm CT/MT Fox series is a dark "dramady" about FBI agents "Fox Mulder," played by David Duchovny, and "Dana Scully," played by Gillian Anderson, who pursue the FBI's "X-Files" dealing with unexplained events, usually revolving around an ongoing storyline about a conspiracy with extraterrestrials.

On the April 16 episode, the FBI is protecting the research chief of the "Morley Tobacco Company," a doctor who is scheduled to appear before a federal grand jury the next day to disclose some evil committed by the company. During the night he's found dead in his bathroom with much of the flesh on his face eaten away. Company executives are uncooperative in the investigation, refusing to say what the doctor planned to tell the grand jury, hiding behind a lawyer's protection of "corporate secrets" and "employee confidentiality."

Scully determines the company doctor died from "hypoxia, the inability to transfer oxygen from the lungs to the blood stream" as his airways were destroyed. Acting on a hunch from Mulder about tobacco beetles found near the body, Scully goes to an entomologist who finds that the DNA of the bugs has been altered. She explains: "It is pretty widely known that tobacco companies have been pouring money into that kind of research, changing the tobacco plant itself in order to make it hardier, give it less nicotine, more nicotine, make it naturally menthol flavored. You name it."
Scully's boss, Assistant FBI Director Skinner, asks: "A form of what, super-tobacco?"
Scully responds: "Which possibly could have created super bugs. I guess the real question is could they have become dangerous to humans?"

Opening up the chest of a second man who died the same way, Scully discovers his lungs are full of tobacco beetle larvae which pupated from eggs. Soon, Mulder is infected and starts coughing up blood. Doctors try to suction out the eggs, but it's a doomed battle. Scully comes up with a theory for how the eggs got into his lungs, telling Skinner: "I'm thinking he inhaled them. Well, the tobacco beetle lives out its life cycle on or around the tobacco plant. That's where it lays its eggs. If those genetically altered beatles that we found did that then maybe the eggs survived the processing into cigarettes."
Skinner: "And been carried into Mulder's lungs as smoke?"
Scully: "Right, like spores or pollen somehow small enough to be airborne."

Confronted by an angry Skinner, the tobacco company's chief executive, "Dr. Voss," comes clean and explains they were trying to "genetically engineer a safer cigarette," but three of four test subjects died, which is what the doctor who died was to reveal in his testimony. The FBI agents learn that Mulder had met the fourth subject, who was somehow immune, but who had smoked in Mulder's presence.

In the dramatic conclusion, Skinner finds the man in the tobacco company lab and shoots him when he lights up one of the altered cigarettes. Mulder is saved when Scully realizes that a heavy dose of nicotine is the antidote as the fourth test subject only survived because he was a "four pack a day smoker, far heavier than any of the focus group members who died. You know nicotine is extremely poisonous. It's actually one of the oldest known insecticides."

The show ends with Mulder now confessing an attraction to smoking. Holding up a cigarette box with a color scheme similar to Marlboro, Mulder tells Scully: "I bought these on the way to work"
An exasperated Scully: "You're not going to start smoking?"
Mulder: "They say the addiction is stronger than heroin."

Mulder tosses the cigarette pack into the trash can, but as the camera fades he's looking longingly downward at it.

Ah, the irresistible pull of nicotine-spiked cigarettes produced by greedy tobacco companies. In this case, the entertainment media followed the lead of the news media in targeting a foil. -- Brent Baker

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