CyberAlert - November 12, 1996 - GOP Frightning

Six short odds and ends items today as we wrap-up the campaign season:

1. Discussing the GOP's performance, CBS reporter Bob Schieffer charged that "the harshness of their rhetoric...frightened people."

2. You can't escape Hollywood's left-wing tilt by watching escapist shows. Star Trek linked a murderer to Richard Nixon.

3. To illustrate how NRA-backed candidates lost, The Washington Post cited as a loser a man who won.

4. The Washington Post refuses to tell readers the race of suspects wanted for violent crimes. .

5. Some poll findings: One third see tilt to left; three times as many people get their political information from TV as newspapers; and most think media have too much influence.

6. David Letterman's Top Ten list from Friday: "Top Ten Questions I've Always Wanted To Ask The President. Presented by the country's most respected correspondents."

1) Past CyberAlerts have quoted examples of reporters tagging Dole, Gingrich and conservatives as "harsh" and examples of reporters stating as fact that it was the Republicans who shut down the government, as if President Clinton had nothing to do with it. Well, MRC analyst Steve Kaminski alerted me to a media bias combo quote in which CBS reporter Bob Schieffer did both. On the November 3 Sunday Morning Schieffer asserted:

"Newt Gingrich has become sort of a logo for harsh Republican rhetoric. I don't think there's anybody who would tell you today that the Republicans maybe did not go a little too far in the harshness of their rhetoric. They really irritated a lot of people, poll after poll shows it, local officials will tell you that, when they shut down the government. They got the blame for that and I think in some ways it really kind of frightened people."

2) UPN's "Star Trek: Voyager" episode last Wednesday, November 6, revolved around the crew of the Voyager, which is from the 24th Century, traveling back in time to 1996 Los Angeles in order to avert the destruction of the Earth in the 29th Century. The cause of the future disaster: a Mr. Henry Starling, played by Ed Begley Jr., who heads a computer company ominously named ChronowerX.

Because of a time-travel mess up Starling has obtained technological know-how from a 29th Century spaceship. The Voyager crew learns he's an evil businessman who became rich and powerful by using this knowledge to create a new computer chip in 1969 and dominate the new industry. They conclude the "computer age of late 20th century shouldn't have happened." In order to keep the Voyager crew's arrival secret, businessman Starling dispatches one of his goons to murder the astronomer who alerted him to their arrival.

Anyway, at one point the camera pans his office and full screen for a couple of seconds is a picture on a table: a framed photo of "Starling" shaking hands with President Richard Nixon.

3) The November 10 Washington Post ran an editorial titled "Slim Sales at the Polls for the NRA." A reliable source, a CyberAlert recipient, urged me to check the editorial's content. It reads in part: "Though the big campaign contributions from the NRA flowed as usual this year, they didn't pay off the way they once did. Some of the strongest opponents of responsible handgun and assault weapon controls were among the losers." Conveniently, the Post supplied a list of these losers: "Among the NRA favorites who lost....In Senate races, Wayne Allard in Colorado..."

Wayne Allard, known to those outside the Post as Senator-elect Allard, captured 51 percent of the vote versus 46 percent for his Democratic opponent.

4) While we're on the Post, the November 11 Weekly Standard observed: "The Washington Post has editorialized against color-blind public policies, but it has embraced colorblindness in an area where color presumably does matter - in describing the appearance of individuals....we read in October 26's Post of an abduction from a garage at Tysons II Galleria mall near Washington: 'Police describe the suspect as muscular, about 6 feet 1 inch tall and about 190 pounds, with short dark hair and dark eyes.'...

"In fact, the police described the suspect as muscular and at least the warning posters at the mall said the next day. But the police description was too politically incorrect to be reproduced by the Post, which is evidently more afraid of getting angry calls from black 'community leaders' than it is interested in helping apprehend a rapist.'"

Indeed, that's not an isolated example. The November 9 Post carried an account of a street robbery in D.C. suffered by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Here's the complete description of the purse-snatcher as provided by the Post: "The thief was a man of undetermined age who wore a white satin jacket, police said."

5) Here are some poll numbers I never found the space to run before the election. So, before they become antique:

- A September poll of 1,000 registered voters for the Freedom Forum (conducted by the Roper Center), found that most who believe the media are biased think the media are biased to the left: "Nearly one-third (31%) say coverage favors the Democratic party, while 9% say coverage favors the GOP. More than half (53%) regard coverage as balanced."

- Recall how the networks ignored many Clinton scandal stories that newspapers covered? The same Freedom Forum/Roper poll showed why that's relevant: "More than half of all voters (56 percent) said they get most of their information about the presidential campaign from television. An additional 30 percent get most of their information from newspapers (17 percent), radio (11 percent), or magazines (2 percent)."

- A Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll released October 25 found: "A huge majority of voters (67%) believe that among four leadership groups in the country, the news media exerts too much influence on which candidate becomes President, followed by business corporations (59%), labor unions (45%) and the churches (15%)."

6) Friday the Late Show with David Letterman was taped at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. As provided by CompuServe's E-Drive Forum, here's the Top Ten list for Friday, November 8:

Top Ten Questions I've Always Wanted To Ask The President. Presented by the country's most respected correspondents, from Washington D.C.

10. Have you ever seen Strom Thurmond naked? (Jane Robelot, CBS)

9. Mr. President, are you aware that for a quarter more you can super-size those fries? (Wolf Blitzer, CNN)

8. Are you sure you didn't have anything to do with Madonna's baby? (Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard)

7. As leader of the free world, can you do something about Richard Simmons? (Greta Van Susteren, CNN)

6. As leader of the free world, can you do something about Letterman's hair? (Michael Kinsley, Slate)

5. Are you going to buy a retirement gift for David Brinkley? (Frank Sesno, CNN)

4. Have you ever met Batman? (Cokie Roberts, ABC)

3. Can you tell us once and for all: Is Perot nuts? (Sam Donaldson, ABC)

2. Why is it that you're always jogging, but you never seem to lose weight? (Helen Thomas, UPI)

1. Does being President help you to get a better table at Hooters? (John McLaughlin)

(c) 1996 Worldwide Pants, Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.

- Brent Baker