CyberAlert - October 4, 1996 - Dole's "Harsh" Speech

Three items today:

1. Bob Dole delivered a speech Thursday on foreign policy. ABC and NBC call it "harsh" and ABC says the White House responded "softly."

2. The fact that Al Gore continued to grow tobacco for years after his sister's death from lung cancer finally makes it onto CBS News, but only to report how "Gore dismisses that attack as politics, an attempt to sully a man so close to the President he feels free to interrupt him."

3. The October 7 edition of Notable Quotables. If you make it to the end, you'll learn which anchor uttered this phrase last week caught by MRC analyst Steve Kaminski: "You'll be a wheezer long before you're a geezer."

1) ABC World News Tonight anchor Forest Sawyer announced
Thursday night (October 3):

"For days President Clinton has been dominating the news with his efforts to ease the crisis between Israel and the Palestinians. Today, Bob Dole decided to step onto center stage with a harshly worded attack not only on the administration's work in the Middle East, but its entire foreign policy. Senator Dole called the past three years rudderless and illusionary. He claimed the President has squandered American power. The administration has so far answered softly, but says there is more to come."

Reporter John Cochran went on the tag the speech as "scathing." He reported: "In a scathing critique of Clinton foreign policy, Dole rolled off a long list of what he called failures, going back to the 1993 effort to restore order in Somalia."

What was the administration's response that earned Sawyer's "soft" description? CBS and NBC viewers heard Press Secretary Mike McCurry's retort. He played off Spiro Agnew's "nattering nabobs of negativism" line (not generally considered "soft") and asserted that Dole foreign policy advisers are "nattering naysayers of gloom." ABC didn't show viewers McCurry's soundbite.

On NBC Nightly News, David Bloom also used the term "harsh" to describe Dole's speech: "It was Dole's harshest critique yet of what he called Clinton's failed foreign policy." But a bit later in his story Bloom put the tone in a better light, noting that "After reviewing his speech over breakfast with retired General Colin Powell, Dole chose his words carefully. His tone was measured. He was playing politics, but he wanted to appear presidential."

2) CBS reporter Rita Braver profiled Al Gore Thursday night. Her October 3 Evening News piece included this rather bizarre sequence:

Braver: "He's in on every key White House meeting and decision. Just last month in his role as environmental guru, Gore convinced the President to create a controversial national monument in Utah. Of late, Republican have attacked him for making a convention speech about his sister's death from lung cancer caused by smoking."
Gore at Democratic convention: "It hurt very badly to watch her savaged by that terrible disease."
Braver: "While for several years after her death he let tobacco be grown on land he owned. Gore dismisses that attack as politics, an attempt to sully a man so close to the President he feels free to interrupt him."
Gore, going to microphone in front of Clinton: "Could I add a word since..."
Braver: "But above all Gore sees his job as making the President look good. And he's been amply rewarded. It's no secret that if Bill Clinton is re-elected he wants Al Gore to succeed him."

So, CBS acknowledges the whole premise of Gore's emotional convention speech was a fraud, but it's wrong to even raise the subject because he's so powerful he can cut in front of the President at a podium.

- Brent Baker

Notable Quoteables follows:

3) Here's the October 7 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. To subscribe by snail mail, send a check for $19 to the MRC at 113 South West St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.

Amongst the quotes not included in previous CyberAlert messages, a quote identified by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens in which CNN's Bill Schneider calls Dole's tax cut plan "candy" that will make the electorate sick. And MRC analyst Clay Waters caught a network bureau chief referring to "these crazy 15 percent tax cuts."

The October 7 edition of Notable Quotables. If you make it to the end, you'll learn which anchor uttered this phrase last week caught by MRC analyst Steve Kaminski: "You'll be a wheezer long before you're a geezer."

Notable Quotables

October 7, 1996 (Vol. Nine; No. 21)

Really Helping Dole Make It A Close Race?

"Reporters want nothing more than, this year and four years ago, to have a horse race. That's what we're in love with, is the fight, the close call....So it's in our best interest to make it look close, to make Bob Dole look good." - Chicago Tribune reporter Ellen Warren on CNN's Crossfire, September 20.

Reality Check:

"The former Senator argued that voters have a choice between two different visions of government... The ex-deficit hawk returned to the centerpiece of his campaign, a 15 percent tax cut. Campaign aides claim they have private polls showing President Clinton vulnerable on the tax issue. That's the reason for this attack. But between now and election day the Republican nominee has to do more than criticize. He's got to sell the Dole plan." - Reporter Phil Jones, September 24 CBS Evening News.

NBC reporter David Bloom: "So now Dole, who's complained about Clinton's campaign of fear, is taking a similar tack." Bob Dole: "Secrets, secrets. Remember the FBI files that went to the White House."
Bloom: "With the election just six weeks away, calling Bill Clinton a liberal might soon look tame." - September 24 NBC Nightly News.

"The same cynicism that may deflect attacks on Clinton seems to work directly against Bob Dole, with many voters here calling his 15 percent tax cut idea a political gimmick....Many of the voters we spoke with blamed Gingrich for last year's government shutdown, for a mean-spirited attitude generally, and for attempts to trim Medicare specifically." - ABC's Dean Reynolds in Michigan, Sept. 23 World News Tonight.

Just Three Months Until Bryant's Contract Expires

"Comments that he has made to others would seem to indicate a certain degree of, and not unjustifiably, a certain degree of anger, bitterness. Has he expressed that to you?"

"Why do you suppose it is that one year after his acquittal, most white Americans at least, cannot accept the idea that he's out walking around free, refuse to let him live his life?" - Bryant Gumbel to O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran in part one of three day interview series, September 30 Today.

Gumbel: "Do you think if those two victims had been, say, Marguerite, his first wife, and Al Cowlings, his best friend, that there would have been the same amount [of media attention]?" Johnnie Cochran: "Absolutely not. And I think any person who wants to be honest about it would say the same thing." Gumbel: "Why? Because America doesn't care about black victims?"

"Most white Americans still charge that O.J.'s jurors didn't do their job. You talk about a rush to judgment. They would claim the same. They would claim the verdict was race-based. Do you think their judgment of those jurors is race-based?"

"Do you think O.J. will ever get a fair shake in this country? Will people ever let him live out his life and accept the fact that he was acquitted?" - Some of Gumbel's questions to Cochran, October 2.

Clueless in Chicago

"In her Wednesday Commentary page column, Linda Bowles stated that President Clinton and his former campaign adviser Dick Morris both were `guilty of callous unfaithfulness to their wives and children.' Neither man has admitted to being or been proven to have been unfaithful. The Tribune regrets the error." - Chicago Tribune, September 5.

Tax Cuts: Crazy Candy

"Pollsters, pundits, look at these numbers and they'll say this thing is locked....There is no way Dole can overcome this. Why doesn't he just accept it and be himself? Try to hold the Republican Congress and get rid of this book, and get rid of these crazy 15 percent tax cuts and speak from the heart?" - NBC Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert to Dole campaign manager Scott Reed on CNBC's Tim Russert, September 22.

"Americans are forever grumbling about high taxes and big government. You'd think promising a tax cut would be like giving away free candy. What's not to like? Everybody knows what happens when you eat too much candy. You get cavities. You get sick. You get fat. A big tax cut may feel good but it can cause problems...`Candy?' Dole says. `No thank you,' the voters reply. `We're feeling much better now and we don't want to get sick again.' Dr. Dole and Dr. Kemp are supply-side specialists. They have a revolutionary theory that says `Candy is good for you! More tax cuts, more growth. More growth, more income.' Now what a terrific theory! And so what if Democratic doctors say they are a couple of quacks. Gene [Randall], have some candy!" - CNN analyst Bill Schneider on Inside Politics, September 14.

Welfare Reform: Hate That, Too

"Even your own aides, many of them, and advisers feel that the bill is too extreme. Two of your advisers recently quit. Under the new bill a 60 year old federal guarantee of aid to needy families will end. It's been estimated as many as a million children will go hungry. What are you going to do about that?" - Barbara Walters to Bill Clinton, September 20 20/20.

"In light of the new welfare reform bill, do you think the children need more prayers than ever before?" - Bryant Gumbel to Children's Defense Fund leader Marian Wright Edelman, September 23 Today.

Rapping the Republicans on Rape

"I think, generally speaking, most people would agree that the partisan, that the smear tactics - I mean, the going after the family, and since when has President Clinton said anything about Elizabeth Dole? It hasn't happened, and yet you see the Republicans attacking Hillary Rodham Clinton, who I agree has made mistakes, but they [Republicans] have no boundaries, and I think that yes, both parties are guilty of using smear tactics - it goes back to as I said the origin of American politics - but I think the Republicans are quite frankly, better at it than the Democrats, and I think most people see that and believe that....Why don't you recognize some of the hypocrisy on the part of the Republicans?....Well, for starters, a rape victim up on the podium in San Diego when the Republicans oppose abortion." -PBS To the Contrary host Bonnie Erbe responding to conservative criticism on Westwood One's Jim Bohannon Show, August 30.

I Thought White People Were the Paranoid Anti-Government Wackos

"As Dick [Gregory] was saying, a conspiratorial thing, something that is genocidal that many African-Americans whisper and talk about that, or was it simply an economic situation that they thought this was a quick way to make money to send to the Contras?" - MSNBC InterNight host Ed Gordon to activist Joe Madison on the San Jose Mercury News report that the CIA sold crack to fund the Contras, September 19.

"[CIA Director John] Deutch reiterated last week that he has asked the agency's inspector general to review the Mercury's charges. The Justice Department has also launched a probe. But if Deutch thinks anyone in black America is going to take the wordof those two organizations, he's mistaken. Black Americans have been the targets of so much hostility that many of them would not put it past their own government to finance the war against communism by addicting thousands of people." - Time national correspondent Jack E. White, September 30 issue.

Rhymin' Rather

"Some of the first hard medical evidence is in tonight for teenage smokers who think it takes years for cigarettes to damage their health. Bottom line - don't hold your breath. You'll be a wheezer long before you're a geezer." - Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, September 25.

- L. Brent Bozell, Publisher; Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Peter Reichel, Circulation Manager; Brad Podliska; Interns

- Brent Baker