CyberAlert -- 10/27/1999 -- Budget Cut Realities; Lauer Urged Dole for VP; "Appeasement" of China

Budget Cut Realities; Lauer Urged Dole for VP; "Appeasement" of China

1) Little political news the last few nights. ABC, CBS and NBC jumped on the fat "epidemic." NBC claimed old women are the "soccer moms" of 2000. FNC discovered a contrite Webster Hubbell.

2) CNN relayed General Shelton's claim that the GOP's suggested 1.4 percent cut would be "devastating," but that would still leave more money for Defense than Clinton originally proposed.

3) Today's Matt Lauer recommended that Bush pick Elizabeth Dole as his VP: "How powerful a team do you think they'd be?" Another host suggested that Jerry Falwell could have stopped anti-gay violence.

4) Equating it to how Britain appeased the Nazis, Clinton's own former CIA chief accused the administration of "appeasement" toward China, calling the policy "wrong-headed and dangerous."

5) Five days until Gumbel returns to morning TV. In #3 of the MRC's "Top Ten Gumbel Stumbles," Gumbel takes on Linda Tripp.

6) "I love hearing her voice," oozed Tom Brokaw about a columnist who aspired: "Perhaps it will take one more school shooting to move the majority of Americans into a position more powerful than that of the NRA."

7) CBS News warned Senators ahead of time they better not reject the CTBT as that would send "a terrible and dangerous message." 60 Minutes II used the Virgin Mary to denounce treaty opponents.

8) ABC relayed Clinton's effusive praise for Hillary: "The person I love most in the world is, without any doubt, the ablest, most passionate, most committed, most visionary public servant..."

>>> New York Post ad on Bryant Gumbel. Pick up a copy of today's (Wednesday, October 27) edition of the New York Post and you'll see a half page ad from the MRC about Bryant Gumbel's return next week to morning TV. In the ad put together by MRC Marketing Director Bonnie Goff, under a picture of Gumbel the ad features this quote from the July 27 Boston Globe: "Before he agreed to return to the smiley-face domain of morning television as host of CBS's upcoming The Early Show, Bryant Gumbel demanded and received assurances from his bosses that he wouldn't get 'called into the principal's office every morning' for speaking his mind." The ad then asks: "What mindset does Bryant Gumbel plan to express?" And the ad provides the answer with examples of his liberal advocacy. Those outside the New York City area, but along the Atlantic coast, can get the New York Post as it's sold at newsstands from Portland, Maine to Richmond, Virginia. <<<


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) There's been relatively little political news on the networks the last two nights with all the evening shows leading both Monday and Tuesday night with the crash of the business jet carrying golfer Payne Stewart. Monday night the three broadcast evening shows each ran one piece on Pat Buchanan's announcement that he's running for the Reform Party's presidential nomination.

Tuesday night, October 26, neither ABC's World News Tonight or the CBS Evening News aired any political stories as the budget battle has not interested network producers. NBC Nightly News did feature a "Decision 2000" piece by Andrea Mitchell on what NBC considers the new swing voters. Mitchell explained: "The candidates, all middle-aged men chasing next year's most important swing voters: older women....Four years ago it was soccer moms. This year it's older Americans, specifically women, the key undecided voters." Older voters are no longer New Dealers, Mitchell added, as many voted for Reagan and are "healthier, wealthier, more conservative."

All three broadcast evening shows jumped on an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association about obesity. All dubbed it an "epidemic." ABC took "A Closer Look" at, as their graphic put it, the "Fat Epidemic." CBS's Dan Rather tagged it an "obesity epidemic" while NBC's Tom Brokaw warned that the Centers for Disease Control said obesity is "now a problem of epidemic proportions."

As for the cable political shows, CNN devoted over half of Inside Politics to previewing its Wednesday night "town meeting" event featuring Al Gore and Bill Bradley. (CNN did also look at the budget. See item #2 below.)

FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume delivered a unique story from David Shuster about Webster Hubbell's contrite address to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in which, Shuster imparted, Hubbell "seemed to pour his heart out, saying he regrets stealing from his old firm." Shuster reported that Hubbell admitted committing wrong acts while at the Rose law firm, such as paying personal credit card bills with firm checks. Shuster concluded by noting how, unlike many in the Clinton world, Hubbell refused to blame others:
"It wasn't Washington or an independent counsel, added Hubbell, that brought all of this on."
Hubbell: "I cannot recover from what I did if I try to blame it on being a high-profile individual. What I did was wrong."

That puts Hubbell to the right of NBC's Geraldo Rivera.


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) In an Inside Politics story on Tuesday about the House GOP's proposed 1.4 percent spending cut CNN's Bob Franken included a soundbite of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs claiming its impact would be "devastating," but failed to point out that even after such a cut Defense would be left with more money than proposed by the Clinton administration.

Franken reported: "The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff led the parade against an across-the-board cut."
General Hugh Shelton: "This would strip away the gains that we have made or what we've just done to start readiness moving back in the right direction. In other words, Mr. Chairman, if applied to this program, it would be devastating."
Senator Trent Lott: "I can't imagine one percent wreaking havoc."
Franken: "As the political game raged on outside, the tedious search for a way out continued behind closed doors..."

But as National Review asked in its October 26 "Washington Bulletin" e-mail report, "one wonders how much more 'devastating' it would have been had Congress merely accepted President Clinton's defense budget request." NR pointed out:
"Including the spring supplemental, this year Congress provided $278.7 billion for defense. The President's request was $268.8 billion. Even with a 1.4 percent cut, Congress would still be $6 billion over the President's request -- to which the Pentagon did not object. (Without including the supplemental, Congress provided $267.8 billion for defense this year, while the President requested $263.3 billion. Again, assuming a 1.4 percent cut would still put Congress ahead of Clinton in terms of defense spending.) Was General Shelton simply AWOL when the President made his defense request?"

While on the budget, and recalling how, as noted in the October 25 CyberAlert, ABC's Sam Donaldson suggested a 1.4 percent cut in medical research grants could mean the loss of "the penny that cures cancer," Tuesday's Investor's Business Daily informed readers that even with the proposed minor cut non-entitlement spending will continue to soar.

As IBD wrote in its October 26 editorial:
"No matter who wins the battle over 1.4%, the amount of federal spending will increase. In fiscal 1999, so-called discretionary spending will come to about $585 billion. That covers the Pentagon, as well as a host of domestic programs in education, the environment, law enforcement and the like.
"The 1.4% 'cut' will come from the fiscal 2000 budget in discretionary spending. But it's not a reduction from this year's amount. Rather it's a reduction from the amount Congress has slated to spend on discretionary programs. They've passed spending bills or planned them to the tune of about $600 billion. The 1.4% reduction will bring discretionary spending to $592 billion."


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) Two oddball questions on Today caught by MRC analysts Geoffrey Dickens and Mark Drake: Matt Lauer recommended that George W. Bush pick Elizabeth Dole as his VP, wondering "how powerful a team" they'd be; and John Seigenthaler suggested that by holding a meeting Jerry Falwell could have prevented any and all of the anti-gay violence.

-- Wrapping up a Tuesday interview with Pat Buchanan on his jump to the Reform Party, Today co-host Matt Lauer proposed:
"And Elizabeth Dole dropped out of the GOP race this past week. Some people are saying she'd make a great running mate with George W. Bush. They'd have money, name recognition. She might be able to shrink the gender gap. How powerful a team do you think they'd be?"

"They'd have money"? I thought the media line was she couldn't raise enough to stay in the race. More like he'd have money so with any running mate choice "they'd have money." And those "some people" are either liberal Republicans and/or Lauer's media colleagues, about the only ones enthralled by Dole.

-- Talking with Jerry Falwell on Sunday morning, October 24, about his Saturday outreach meeting with some gay leaders, Today co-host John Seigenthaler suggested: "Reverend Falwell, if you had a meeting like this years ago, do you think it would have prevented acts of violence against gays and lesbians?"

Like the people who do that kind of thing watch a network news story or read a newspaper report and then decide to not beat someone up.


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes) Clinton's own former CIA chief accused the Clinton administration of "appeasement" toward the People's Republic of China, calling the policy "wrong-headed and dangerous." A Tuesday afternoon AP dispatch, caught by the MRC's new Director of the Free Market Project, Rich Noyes, relayed the comments of James Woolsey. No network picked up on the criticism Tuesday night, but keep your eyes open to see if you see any coverage Wednesday.

In the article distributed at 1:11pm ET on October 26, the AP's Barry Schweid wrote from Washington:

Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey today accused the Clinton administration of pursuing a policy of appeasement toward China and likened it to the way Britain and France dealt with Nazi Germany on Czechoslovakia before World War II.

"It is wrong-headed and dangerous," Woolsey said as a House committee prepared to hold a hearing on legislation that would authorize the sale of conventional submarines, a theater missile defense and other military assistance to Taiwan.

The House International Relations Committee separately approved a bill that would increase military links with Taiwan by promoting U.S. training of Taiwan's military officers and opening up lines of communication with the Taiwan military during times of crisis.

Committee Chairman Ben Gilman, R-N.Y., said the bill was in response to "Beijing's outright refusal to renounce the use of force against Taiwan" and its "overwrought saber-rattling."....

Woolsey, central intelligence director for President Clinton in 1993-1994, said the administration policy is a potentially tragic attempt at "strategic ambiguity" like the failed effort by Britain and France to discourage Hitler from seizing Czechoslovakia.

"The executive branch needs to be forced to change its shortsighted policy," Woolsey said in backing the legislation at a seminar at the Nixon Center, a private research group.

Woolsey said Clinton's declaration of a "strategic relationship" with China, his adoption of a one-China approach on the dispute between Beijing and Taipei and repeated U.S. apologies for NATO's mistaken bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in May have encouraged hard-line factions in Beijing.

Appeasement is "a proper word to describe the administration's stand," Woolsey said....

END Excerpt


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes) Number 3 in the MRC's "Top Ten Gumbel Stumbles," a quote countdown to Bryant Gumbel's return to morning TV on November 1 as co-host of CBS's The Early Show, is now up on the MRC home page in RealPlayer format.

In this quote, from the March 17, 1998 Public Eye prime time show on CBS, during an interview with the New Yorker's Jane Mayer, who was promoting her hit piece on Linda Tripp, Gumbel disparaged the whistle blower:

"And Kathleen Willey also spoke about Linda Tripp, a Clinton-basher who seems to be at every ugly turn in this controversy. Tripp was outside the Oval Office when Willey emerged from her encounter with the President. Just how is it that Linda Tripp is so often conveniently involved in the President's troubles? For some clues let's bring in The New Yorker's Jane Mayer, who has profiled the controversial Miss Tripp in this week's issue...You write that co-workers often viewed her as an inveterate busybody. Has she always been a snoop and a gossip with a particular interest in other people's romantic lives?"

To watch this quote, numbers 10 to 4, as well as #2 which will be posted on Wednesday, go to:

Plus, for over 40 examples of Gumbel praising liberals and bashing conservatives from 1989 to 1999, click on the link to the "Anthology of On-Air Gumbel Stumbles." The direct address:


cyberno6.gif (1129 bytes) The latest edition of the MRC's MagazineWatch noted that in the November 1 Newsweek, "columnist Anna Quindlen, fresh from the magazine's party in her honor with Tom Brokaw and other media bigwigs, announced: Maybe we really need another school shooting. After lashing out against the NRA and all those who dare believe in the Second Amendment, she presented a fascinating solution to resolve the gun control debate in this country."

Here's what Quindlen penned: "Perhaps it will take one more school shooting to move the majority of Americans into a position more powerful than that of the NRA. Perhaps it will take one more school shooting to move us from people who support gun control to people who vote it. But as we continue to let the widows and the wounded do the work, be warned. That next school may be the one your children attend; the next accident could be close to home."

That's the kind of thinking which impresses Tom Brokaw. As conveyed in the June 22 CyberAlert, in a June 17 appearance on the Imus in the Morning radio show, Brokaw praised Newsweek's decision to have Quindlen replace the late Meg Greenfield as the back of the magazine columnist alternating with George Will:
"Well I think it's a great idea. I love hearing her voice again. I miss Meg personally and professionally. I knew her quite well and she was a strong voice and I can't think of a better successor to her than Anna Quindlen. And it's time that we heard from her again in that kind of a forum. I think it's a wonderful idea."

Other topics covered in the October 26 MagazineWatch, compiled by MRC analyst Paul Smith, about the November 1 issues:
-- Time's Viveca Novak and Jay Branegan probed Hillary's brothers Tony and Hugh Rodham and how they have used their familial connections to muck up diplomacy in the former Soviet Union for their own financial gain. Are we seeing Billy Carter with double vision?
-- Time Senior Editor Nancy Gibbs yearned to break free of small-bore government activism a la Clinton-Gore. "It is Bradley's challenge to every other candidate: Why should they not dare to dream heroic dreams? as Ronald Reagan once put it."
-- In U.S. News, Kenneth Walsh explored Al Gore and George W. Bush in their 20s: Gore was "on a personal journey to find moral clarity about his country's sins, his role in its most divisive war of the 20th century, and, more broadly, his mission in life." Bush "was looking for thrills, as a part-time military fighter pilot and eligible bachelor on the prowl in Houston."
-- Liddy Dole dropped out of the presidential race, but the magazines weren't as eager as the networks to blame the supposedly sorry campaign finance system.
-- Newsweek and Time pondered the possibility that John McCain is a campaign-finance hypocrite.
-- U.S. News & World Report's Washington Whispers noted that the White House promised to get "very aggressive" in going around a Republican Congress with executive orders.

To read these items, go to:


cyberno7.gif (1643 bytes) Catching up on some quotes bumped for space from recent CyberAlerts, CBS News warned Republicans ahead of time they better not reject the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and after they defied Bob Schieffer's decree a CBS colleague on 60 Minutes II used the Virgin Mary to denounce treaty opponents.

On the October 10 Face the Nation, three days before the treaty vote, host Bob Schieffer warned Senate conservatives:
"If you allow this treaty to come to a vote and it dies, as it surely will, a terrible and dangerous message will go out to the rest of the world, that America no longer cares about arms control. That could be a green light to restart the arms race, and that's why France, Great Britain and all of America's allies are urging you not to kill this treaty. If you think the treaty is flawed, fine, postpone the vote and rethink it all later.
"I know beating the President at his own game would be fun for you, but some things are just too serious for partisan victories. Besides, no one will remember the Democrats maneuvered you into all of this. They'll just remember Republicans killed a treaty that, according to the polls, most Americans wanted. And that's exactly the box Democrats were trying to put you in in the first place."

The next week, after the treaty was defeated, on 60 Minutes II Jimmy Tingle, the show's equivalent of Andy Rooney, assumed that the piece of paper would have somehow prevented any country from testing nuclear weapons. In the October 19 commentary caught by MRC analyst Brian Boyd, Tingle even linked the treaty defeat and negative reaction to the Brooklyn art museum exhibit:
"Last week the United States Senate voted against a ban on nuclear testing. That basically means any country in the world with nuclear capabilities could develop and then test nuclear weapons. Just to see if they work. Think about that. Up to 44 countries, some of whom don't even have adequate sewage treatment, possibly testing material more dangerous than an atom bomb. That's pretty scary, but there seems to be very little moral outrage from our leaders on this issue.
"Now, a couple of weeks ago a controversial art show opened at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City. This artist portrayal of the Virgin Mary appearing with elephant dung so upset the Mayor of New York City, Rudolph Giuliani, that he has cut off the city funding for that particular museum. Apparently the mayor and a lot of other politicians feel that tax dollars should go to projects with a little more moral value than controversial art. Like the lottery.
"Well I wonder what the Virgin Mary would say about how our tax dollars are used outside of art museums. You know, for things like the electric chair, or cluster bombs, or nuclear weapons. Maybe if we were to test nuclear weapons in art museums our elected officials might be able to see them in a totally different light."
Pretending to quote someone, he concluded: "'You call nuclear explosions a moral use of the taxpayers money, that's obscene.'"


cyberno8.gif (1522 bytes) Relaying without challenge Clinton's effusive claim of love for Hillary. MRC analyst Jessica Anderson noticed that in an October 26 Good Morning America story on a birthday fundraiser on New York City's Broadway for Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign, ABC reporter Terry Moran relayed:
"The Clintons have always been popular with the entertainment community, and that support translates into campaign cash. Tonight's event is expected to raise one million dollars. The President offered a frankly personal endorsement of his partner through so many battles."
Bill Clinton: "The person I love most in the world is, without any doubt, the ablest, most passionate, most committed, most visionary public servant I have ever known."

That's an endorsement no one else would want. -- Brent Baker


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