The MRC@25: The Worst Media Bias of 1989

Every day for the next few weeks, the Media Research Center is showcasing the most egregious bias the we have uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala on September 27. (Click here for ticket information) With each TV quote, we’ve added the matching video from our archive, some of which hasn’t been seen in nearly a quarter-century.

Yesterday, we published the worst bias of 1988; today, the most outrageous quotes of 1989. Among the highlights: On Ronald Reagan’s last day in office, ABC talks about the “pockets of misery made even meaner and more desperate the past eight years,” and CBS’s Andy Rooney rues how communism “never got a fair chance.”


“After eight years of what many saw as the Reagan Administration’s benign neglect of the poor and studied indifference to civil rights, a lot of those who lived through this week [of rioting] in Overtown [section of Miami] seemed to think the best thing about George Bush is that he is not Ronald Reagan....There is an Overtown in every big city in America — pockets of misery made even meaner and more desperate the past eight years.”
— Reporter Richard Threlkeld on ABC’s World News Tonight, January 20, 1989.


“Largely as a result of the policies and priorities of the Reagan Administration, more people are becoming poor and staying poor in this country than at any time since World War II.”
— NBC Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, July 17, 1989.

“The decade had its highs (Gorbachev, Bird)...
...and the decade had its lows (Reagan, AIDS)”
Boston Globe headlines over ‘80s reviews by the paper’s columnists, December 28, 1989.

“Communism got to be a terrible word here in the United States, but our attitude toward it may have been unfair. Communism got in with a bad crowd when it was young and never had a fair chance...
The Communist ideas of creating a society in which everyone does his best for the good of everyone is appealing and fundamentally a more uplifting idea than capitalism. Communism’s only real weakness seems to be that it doesn’t work.”
60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney in the New York Times, June 26, 1989.

Check back each morning for more classic bias quotes, or visit our “25th Anniversary” section for the entire collection.