CyberAlert - December 28, 1996 - Netanyahu Blamed

Netanyahu Blamed; Bye-Bye Bryant; Bryant Gumbel Countdown Calendar: 6 Days to Go

Important Note: Some recipients have been getting a column of 40 to 50 "Apparently To..." lines at the top of their MRC CyberAlert. This shouldn't be happening and I think I have resolved the problem. If this happened to you with this message, please let me know.

1. Time disqualified Benjamin Netanyahu from Man of the Year consideration for failing to move left fast enough.

2. An Associated Press story reported that Clinton's effort to balance the budget was blocked by the Republicans.

3. A journalist group gives an award for 'excellence' to Time's Jack E. White, a winner in the MRC's Worst Reporting of 1996.

4. From the Letterman show: Top Ten Things Overheard at the White House on Christmas Day.

5. Bye-Bye Bryant: An entire edition of Notable Quotables dedicated to the bountiful babylon of biased bombast.

1) At the top of the Time magazine Man of the Year special that CNN ran Monday night (December 23) at 10pm ET the Time editors who picked the AIDS researcher explained why some others were not chosen. As transcribed by MRC analyst Steve Kaminski, our news division Officer in Charge this past week, here's what Time Deputy Managing Editor James Kelly asserted:
"Netanyahu was a possibility because his election was quite a surprise. He had a lot of people hoping that he would in fact grow in the job and become a peacemaker and so far that hasn't happened."

This very week Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has agreed to follow the peace treaty and turn over another town, Hebron, to the Palestinians. Meanwhile, as Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe's conservative columnist pointed out December 26, the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to violate the Oslo Accords. On December 11 members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine fired into a car and killed a Jewish mother and her 12-year-old son. Yasir Arafat refuses to let Israel prosecute the gunmen despite, as Jacoby noted, "the explicit mandate of the Oslo Accords which...obligates the Palestinian Authority to arrest and extradite criminal suspects. (Israel has made 27 extradition requests since the accords were signed. The Palestinian Authority has denied them all.)"

The accords also demanded that the PLO eliminate from its charter the plank calling for the extermination of Israel. The PLO has yet to comply. Sounds like it's Arafat who needs to "grow in the job and become a peacemaker."

2) Under the headline "Clinton Budget to Offer Tax Relief: Proposal Would Avoid Trims in Social Security Increases," the December 25 Boston Globe ran a piece from Martin Crutsinger of the Associated Press. In the eighth paragraph the AP Washington bureau staffer wrote:
"The President has called a balanced budget the top priority of his second term. An attempt to accomplish that feat last winter ended in bitter deadlock with the Republican-controlled Congress."

Gee, now that's why Clinton refused to sign the budget resolutions. He wanted to balance the budget and those nasty Republicans wouldn't let him.

3) In the December 23 Time magazine President Bruce Hallett reported in his To Our Readers box: "Last month the New York Association of Black Journalists honored us with four awards." Among the winners: "National correspondent Jack E. White for the second consecutive year received two prizes: one for 'overall excellence in writing and reporting,' the other for his column, Dividing Line."
Hallett quoted White's reaction: "The goal in my column and in other stories is to examine and expose some of the nonsense that Americans continue to believe about race. Generally, whites tend to downplay the extent of their racism - and blacks tend to overplay it. We could use a lot more openness and honesty."

Well, let's go the Best Notable Quotables of 1996: The Ninth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting and see for what quote White won the Timothy McVeigh Award (for blaming conservatives for violence).
"The torching of black churches throughout the South punctuates the ugly rhetoric of the Buchanan campaign....In fact, all the conservative Republicans, from Newt Gingrich to Pete Wilson, who have sought political advantage by exploiting white resentment should come and stand in the charred ruins of the New Liberty Baptist Church in Tyler [Alabama]...and wonder if their coded phrases encouraged the arsonists. Over the past 18 months, while Republicans fulminated about welfare and affirmative action, more than 20 churches in Alabama and six other Southern and Border states have been torched....there is already enough evidence to indict the cynical conservatives who build their political careers, George Wallace-style, on a foundation of race-baiting. They may not start fires, but they fan the flames."
- Time national correspondent Jack E. White, March 18 issue.

White should know a lot about "nonsense."

4) From the December 26 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Things Overheard at the White House on Christmas Day."
(Downloaded from CompuServe and copyright 1996 Worldwide Pants, Incorporated. All Rights Reserved)

10. "Hey, Gore - more gravy at table 3!"

9. "Come to the window, Bill. The carolers are singing the McDonald's jingle"

8. "Doesn't Stephanopoulos make a cute little elf?"

7. "Call 911! The President's got a gingerbread house lodged in his throat"

6. "It's my two favorite reindeer, Prancer and Lap Dancer"

5. "Keep Ted Kennedy away from the ornaments - after a couple of martinis, he thinks they're candy"

4. "What a thoughtful gift - you had all my subpoenas framed!"

3. "Daddy, I know it's you behind that beard - you're too fat to be Santa"

2. "I can tell the President didn't get what he wanted because Hillary's still here"

1. "Bring on the Yuletide hookers!"

Numbers 6 and 2 are my favorites. Unless, to paraphrase Dan Rather, news breaks out and I'm forced to break in, this will be the last CyberAlert of 1996, so I wish you all a Happy New Year.

- Brent Baker

5) By my count Bryant Gumbel has co-hosted Today just seven mornings in December, but I assume he'll be back most of the December 30-January 3 week, his last. USA Today "Inside TV" columnist Peter Johnson reported December 23 that CBS and ABC and are fighting to land Gumbel: "ABC News is considered the front-runner, but ABC News chief Roone Arledge says not to count out NBC, which he predicts will make 'a major move to keep him.' Gumbel 'is terrific. Anybody would love to have him.'" Anybody, that is, interested in promoting liberals and denigrating conservatives.

Below is the December 30 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. This week: A special good-bye salute to Bryant Gumbel, our bountiful Babylon of biased bombast.

December 30, 1996 (Vol. Nine; No. 27)

BYE-BYE BRYANT: Gumbel's Years of Liberal Advocacy

Editor's Note: January 3 will be Bryant Gumbel's last day after 15 years as co-host of NBC's Today. Here are highlights from 1989 through 1996.


"Blacks have looked at the past eight years and seen this administration retreat from civil rights, retreat from affirmative action, make South Africa no priority, continue to see a greater disparity economically between blacks and whites, foster a spirit of racism that hasn't been seen in 20-plus years."
- To Bush campaign manager Lee Atwater, January 19 Today.

"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."
- July 17 Today.

"This test is not going to tell you whether you're a racist or a liberal."
- Previewing his prime-time special The Racial Attitudes and Consciousness Exam, September 5 Today.


"It is certain the President won't mention the T word, and yet taxes are very much at the heart of what all our potential solutions are. How long can both sides pretend that a hike's not needed?"
- January 31.

"The missteps, poor efforts, and setbacks brought on by the Reagan years have made this a more sober Earth Day. The task seems larger now."
- April 20 Today.

"The bottom line is more tax money is going to be needed....It's a Wednesday morning, a day when the budget picture, frankly, seems gloomier than ever. It now seems the time has come to pay the fiddler for our costly dance of the Reagan years."
- Gumbel leading off Today, May 9.


"Tonight the NBC News program Expos, looks at incidence of sexual harassment in [federal low-income] housing....Well, I guess that's where the problem began. Actually, it was when the budget was taken out of the affordable housing market during the Reagan years and thus, the problem came about."
- To reporter Michele Gillen, September 20 Today.

Reporter Lea Thompson: "...So you can't depend on government police to do this for you. We did find this flammable sleepwear everywhere we went."
Gumbel: "Lea, Lea, real quick. Why is the government abdicating its responsibility on this? Is this another holdover from the Reagan years and the cutbacks?"
Thompson: "Absolutely. And somebody's gotta do something."
-Exchange on Today, November 13.

"The boom years following World War II saw the economy take off, giving rise to the growth of the great American middle class. The rising standard of living meant homes, cars, TVS, college for the kids - all in all, a piece of the American dream. But in the Reagan years, economic erosion set in, so much so that the middle class now finds itself in ever-deepening trouble."
- January 22 Today.

"We keep looking for some good to come out of this. Maybe it might help in putting race relations on the front burner after they've been subjugated so long as a result of the Reagan years."
- On the Los Angeles riots, April 30, 1992 Today (Gumbel refused to condemn the rioters).


"It's early yet, but for at least trying to address the deficit in a more serious fashion than anyone in 12 years, what kind of early marks do you give Bill Clinton?"
- To author Gerald Swanson, March 17 Today.

"In the greedy excesses of the Reagan years, the mean income of the average physician nearly doubled, from $88,000 to $170,000. Was that warranted?"
- To the AMA's Richard Corlin, March 31 Today.

"If I'm a young black man in South Central L.A., where poverty is rampant and unemployment is skyrocketing, I see that Washington's promises of a year ago have gone unfulfilled, I see that perhaps for a second time, the court's inability to mete out justice in a blind fashion, why shouldn't I vent my anger?"
- To U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), April 15 Today.


"It's been written that being black in America is like being a witness at your own lynching. Why didn't your experience make you more resentful than you are today?"
- To criminal-turned-Washington Post reporter Nathan McCall, March 22 Today.

"We've got an awful lot to talk about this week, including the sexual harassment suit against the President. Of course, in that one, it's a little tough to figure out who's really being harassed."
- Today, May 10.

"You're aligned to a party which owes many of its victories to the so-called religious right and other conservative extremists who are historically insensitive to minority concerns. That doesn't bother you?"
- To U.S. Rep.-elect J.C. Watts (R-Okla.), November 9 Today.


"You called Gingrich and his ilk, your words, 'trickle-down terrorists who base their agenda on division, exclusion, and fear.' Do you think middle class Americans are in need of protection from that group?"
- To about-to-be House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, January 4 Today.

"Janet Reno has asked for an independent counsel to investigate charges against HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown is being investigated. Questions have been raised about Transportation Secretary Federico Pena. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy resigned under pressure, as did Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. The Clinton White House seems to be having a hard time retaining high-profile minorities particularly. Do you think, Senator, they are being held to a higher standard in Washington than their white predecessors?"
- To Senator Ted Kennedy, March 15 Today.

"This comes at a time when Republicans are looking to gut the Clean Water Act and also the Safe Drinking Water Act. What are our options? Are we now forced to boil water because bottled water is not an economically feasible option for a lot of people?"
- To Natural Resources Defense Council lawyer Erik Olson, June 1 Today.

"Two weeks after his acquittal, we'll see how O.J. Simpson is still being treated as if he were guilty."
- October 16 Today.


"While he appeared to be empathetic, his policies caused enormous suffering for those who were least able to afford it."
-Referring to Ronald Reagan on the October 10 MSNBC InterNight.

(For more quotes from 1996, see The Best Notable Quotables of 1996: The Ninth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting. The issue can be viewed from the MRC's home page:

- L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, Eugene Eliasen, Jim Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathy Ruff, Marketing Director; Peter Reichel, Circulation Manager; Joe Alfonsi, Intern

- Brent Baker