MediaWatch: July 1988

Vol. Two No. 7

Study: Liberals in Control of Campaign Coverage

With the 1988 presidential campaign season now well under way, MediaWatch decided to review our "Revolving Door" list of former media people to determine just how many are involved in the campaign. The results of the Study: There are four times as many reporters, producers and executives shaping Big Media coverage with ties to liberal candidates and causes than to Republicans of any kind. Key executives with ABC, CBS and NBC worked for liberals before changing careers. These include ABC's Executive Producer of campaign coverage, the Political Editor at CBS News and two NBC News Vice Presidents. No one with similar power has ties to Republicans.


ABC News:

Jeff Gralnick: Vice-President and Executive Producer of campaign coverage

- Press Secretary, Senator George McGovern, 1971

Rex Granum: Atlanta Bureau Chief and Democratic Convention podium producer

- Deputy Press Secretary, President Carter Jeff Greenfield: Political Correspondent

- Speechwriter, Senator Robert Kennedy

Richard Pollock: Washington Segment Producer, Good Morning America

- Director of Critical Mass, an anti-nuclear power group formed by Ralph Nader, 77-81

CBS News:

David Burke: President of CBS News (Executive Vice President of ABC News until July 31)

- Chief of Staff, Senator Ted Kennedy, 1965-71

*Tom Donilon: Consultant for campaign coverage

- Senior adviser, Joe Biden for President Committee, 1987; Deputy Manager, 1984 Mondale-Ferraro campaign

Deborah Johnson: Executive Producer, Nightwatch (Foreign Producer, NBC Nightly News, 1984-86)

- Founder, Mother Jones magazine, 1975

Dotty Lynch: Political Editor

- Pollster for Gary Hart and Mondale-Ferraro in 1984 and Ted Kennedy in 1980

*Christopher Matthews: Washington Bureau Chief for the San Francisco Examiner and Political Columnist, CBS News This Morning - Chief of Staff, Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, 1981-86

- Speechwriter for President Carter

Lesley Stahl: National Affairs Reporter; Floor Reporter, 1988 Convention

- worked in late 1960's for New York Mayor John Lindsay

NBC News:

Ken Bode: Chief Political Correspondent

- Aide to Morris Udall's presidential campaign, 1976

*John Chancellor: Commentator

- Director of the Voice of America, Johnson Administration

Thomas Ross: Senior Vice President

- Defense Department, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Carter Administration

Tim Russert: Vice President for editorial content

- Counselor and media strategist for N.Y. Gov. Mario Cuomo, 1983-84; Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Moynihan, 1977-1982

Maria Shriver: Co-Host, Sunday Today

- worked for Ted Kennedy's presidential campaign, 1980


*Mark Shields: Campaign Analyst, MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour

- Speechwriter, Senator Robert Kennedy

Bill Moyers: Anchor, PBS Campaign Specials

- Press Secretary, President Johnson


Jonathan Alter: Newsweek, Senior Writer

- Helped produce "Selecting a President: A Citizen Guide to the 1980 Election," a report sponsored by Ralph Nader

Kathryn Bushkin: Director of Editorial Administration, U.S. News & World Report

- Press Secretary, Gary Hart presidential campaign, 1984

Mickey Kaus: Newsweek, Senior Writer

- Speechwriter, Senator Ernest Hollings(D-SC), 1983-1984

Judith Miller: News Editor, New York Times Washington Bureau

- Washington reporter in mid 70's for The Progressive magazine

Timothy Noah: Newsweek National Affairs reporter, now covering the 1988 campaign

- Issues Director for Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend campaign for Maryland U.S. House seat, 1986

Harrison Rainie: Assistant Managing Editor, National News, U.S. News & World Report

- top aide to Sen. Moynihan, (D-NY), 1987

Walter Shapiro: Senior Writer for Time, covering the 1988 campaign

- speechwriter for 1976 Carter campaign and Press Secretary for Carter Labor Secretary Ray Marshall

Douglas Waller: Newsweek Washington Bureau reporter

- Legislative Assistant to Senator William Proxmire (D-WI), 1985-88

National Public Radio:

Douglas Bennet: President and Chief Executive Officer, NPR

- Director, Agency for International Development, Carter Administration; Senior Aide to Sen. Tom Eagleton

Anne Edwards: Senior Editor, (Assignment Editor, CBS News, Washington Bureau, 82-84)

- Mondale-Ferraro campaign scheduler, '84 CONSERVATIVES/REPUBLICANS**

*John Buckley: CBS News political campaign coverage consultant

- Press Secretary for the Jack Kemp Campaign, 1987-1988

*David Gergen: Editor, U.S. News & World Report and Campaign Analyst, PBS MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour

- White House Communications Director, Reagan Administration

Ron Nessen: Vice-President for News, Mutual Broadcasting System

- Press Secretary, President Ford

*William Safire: New York Times Columnist

- Speechwriter, President Nixon

Diane Sawyer: CBS 60 Minutes Reporter; 1988 Convention Podium Reporter

- Press Assistant, Nixon Administration

Dorrance Smith: ABC News Executive Producer, Washington Bureau

- Staff Assistant to President Ford

*George Will: ABC News Commentator; Political Analyst, 1988 Conventions

- Aide to Senator Gordon Allot (R-CO); Washington Editor National Review, early 1970's

* = Commentators and analysts. List only includes those with an ongoing contractual relationship.

** = ABC News Vice President Joanna Bistany worked for

David Gergen at the White House, but she oversees syndication of ABC News features, not news content.

Political Activists Covering Campaign '88:

Liberals/Democrats: 27 of 34 = 79%

Conservatives/Republicans: 7 of 34 = 21%