CyberAlert -- 04/28/1996 -- More Denial

More Denial

Another weekend, another round of bias denial and bias display. Three items for you today, from most recent to oldest:

On the April 28 premiere of "Fox News Sunday" moderator Tony Snow raised the issue of the Freedom Forum poll showing 89 percent of Washington reporters voted for Bill Clinton. Linda Chavez opined that the public realizes that reporters cannot separate their personal views from their reporting. Al Hunt then responded:
"If that poll is correct, it basically reaffirms the argument that Linda just argued against. Which is, would anyone argue that Bill Clinton has gotten an easy press the last three years? If 89 percent voted for him, he's gotten an awfully tough press, I think a deservingly tough press." Later he asked increduously: "You think his health care proposals got a good press?"

On Friday night's PBS Washington Week in Review Alan Murray (Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief) led a discussion about how the minimum wage has Republicans in a conundrum. Moderator Ken Bode offered this concluding comment: "You know President Clinton said, I think it was in the State of the Union, Alan, that the average Congressman, in Washington, made more money during the period of time that the government was shut down than a minimum wage worker makes in a year. Now that's a pretty compelling political case to make."
In the next segment the panel took up Bob Dole's speeach about Clinton nominating liberal judges. Bode wondered aloud: "So federal judges are going to become this year's metaphor for Willie Horton?"
Remember, Bode now serves as CNN's politocal analyst during live campaign coverage.

From the "When did you stop beating your wife" school of journalism, here's the last third of CNN reporter Marc Watts' April 19 Inside Politics story on the NRA convention:
"And the NRA's political fight is to save its image as well. As the doors opened this April 19 to the group's Dallas convention, people also gathered at Oklahoma City to commemorate the bombing there exactly one year ago. After that tragedy the NRA was accused of promoting the anti-government sentiment that may have spurred the bombing. Critics accused the NRA of thumbing its nose at tragedy and called upon the group to reschedule its convention, but the group's President says financial commitments made that impossible."
Marion Hammer, NRA President: "It's not responsible to try to change a date because your adversaries are, once again, shamelessly trying to make political points on a tragedy."
Watts: "At the same time, the Democratic National Committee is calling on likely GOP nominee, Bob Dole, to reject financial support from the NRA. And, meanwhile, two gun control groups have protested outside the Dallas Convention Center."
Jim Guest, Handgun Control, Inc.: "They're representing an extreme, pro-gun position that is out of touch with efforts that could really have an impact in reducing gun violence."
Watts: "Now one former, one prominent Texan who won't be attending the NRA convention this year, former U.S. President George Bush. You may recall he quit the NRA last year after the Oklahoma City bombing; he said he was fed up with the NRA's anti-government rhetoric. The organization said it was all a misunderstanding and it denies any involvement in the blast."
Whoever suggested they were "involved"?

-- Brent Baker