CyberAlert -- 07/15/1996 -- Reverential Dole Coverage

Reverential Dole Coverage; Sam Tells Dole to Go Left

Four items today:

1) Margaret Carlson claims the poll showing 89 percent of Washington reporters voted for Clinton does not show her colleagues are liberal. Clinton was just a better candidate.

2) In fact, far from biased to the left, Carlson thinks the media are "reverential" to Bob Dole.

3) ABC's John Cochran claims that black Republicans are mad at Dole for not speaking to the NAACP, but the NAACP is targeting conservative House members for defeat.

4) On Sunday's This Week, Sam Donaldson suggested how Bob Dole can rebound: go even further left and return to his liberal Senate roots.


After John Sununu raised the Freedom Forum poll showing 89 of Washington reporters voted for Clinton and just 7 percent for George Bush, this exchange ensued with Time magazine's Margaret Carlson. (From the July 3 Crossfire, as transcribed by MRC intern Jonathan Stuart):
Carlson: "That study is bandied about so much it should just be kind of stamped on your forehead, John. It is stamped on your forehead, I can read it there. The two candidates, remember, Bill Clinton was a new Democrat. George Bush now looks like the most moderate of Republicans. It wasn't even a liberal conservative thing."
John Sununu: "And he still couldn't get more than seven percent of your vote!"
Carlson: "Well, I mean look at the two candidates. It could have been your candidate, John, and not a liberal bias. Bill Clinton was a better candidate. Someone suggested to me 'What if the candidate had been Jesse Jackson and George Bush?' George Bush would've probably won. What if it were Jesse Jackson and Christie Whitman? William Weld? A Republican would win. A Republican would win!"


On CNBC's Cal Thomas show on Saturday (July 13), host Cal Thomas asked Margaret Carlson about Bob Dole's liberal bias exchange with Katie Couric. Carlson insisted "That was a pretty dark exchange with Katie Couric." So doesn't that view in itself show bias? No, Carlson told Thomas, maintaining that "the media is almost reverential towards Bob Dole. We actually are very kind to Bob Dole."


Here's how ABC reporter John Cochran concluded his Friday (July 12) World News Tonight story on Dole's week:
"Dole is batting close to zero in trying to deflect controversy. Today it was abortion, before that gun control and tobacco. And Dole has managed to anger black Republicans by refusing first to attend the NAACP convention and then by accusing the President of that organization of trying to set him up. Today, exactly one month before the GOP convention, united is not the first word that comes to mind in trying to describe Republicans. John Cochran, ABC News, Washington."
Angry black Republicans? As Congressman Gary Franks pointed out on Friday's Inside Politics on CNN, the NAACP is targeting GOP members for defeat. The July 11 Washington Times reported that NAACP Chairman Kweisi Mfume "told a panel of journalists on Black Entertainment Television that 'too many' in Congress have failed to support affirmative action. 'Mfume said that the NAACP's strategy is to get even with these wayward Congressmen by abandoning the group's age-old non-partisanship in congressional races,' Michael Myers recounted in a New York Post opinion piece."


From Sunday's (July 14) This Week with David Brinkley on ABC:
Sam Donaldson: "I want the Bob Dole who saved affirmative action in the Nixon administration. I want the Bob Dole whose civil rights record is excellent when it comes to his voting record in the Senate. I want the Bob Dole who is moderate, who wants the big tent idea, who doesn't want to punish all those people who doesn't believe abortion is like a certain wing of his party does. And I want the Bob Dole who wants to balance the federal budget rather than give huge tax cuts in a pie-in-the-sky, let's follow this supply side mumbo-jumbo. But that Bob Dole can't seem to get out. And if it doesn't get out, I would agree, that's it." [Donaldson put thumbs down]

An excellent example of how Dole can get some of that "reverential" treatment, but Donaldson advising Dole to move left should be reason enough for him to move right if he wants to win.

-- Brent Baker