Appearance Alert
MRC's Bozell to appear on FNC's 'Kelly File' at 9:40pm ET

ABC's Cuomo Presumes Obama Hurt by 'America's Inherent Racism' --12/21/2007


1. ABC's Cuomo Presumes Obama Hurt by 'America's Inherent Racism'
Presuming the United States is an inherently racist nation, an assumption Barack Obama's frontrunner status in the presidential contest would seem to belie, ABC's Chris Cuomo wrapped up a Thursday Good Morning America interview by asking the Democratic candidate: "What do you think the bigger obstacle is for you in becoming President, the Clinton campaign machine or America's inherent racism?" Obama, who beats two top Republicans in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll -- and by bigger margins than the white Hillary Clinton -- rejected Cuomo's premise. This wasn't the first time a GMA host presumed America is racist. Thirteen months ago, on November 13, 2006, Diane Sawyer pressed Obama: "We have seen new polls this morning about you and Senator Hillary Clinton. Here's my question. Do you think that residual resistance is greater for race or for gender? Is the nation secretly, I guess, more racist or more sexist?"

2. McFadden to Hillary Clinton: Do the Critics Make You Cower?
Do all those attacks against Hillary Clinton reduce the candidate to cowering in bed? Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden posed that question to the former First Lady on Wednesday's program. She sympathetically asked: "There's never a night, when you go back to whatever hotel room, whatever city you're in that night, and crawl in a ball and say, 'I just, this just hurts too much?" McFadden, who spent a day with Clinton in Iowa, protectively spun most of her questions. She observed that Barack Obama has been successful with "some people" at painting Clinton as an opportunist and then queried simply: "How do you fight back against that?"

3. CNN Features College-Age Backers of Obama & Clinton, Not GOP
CNN's senior political correspondent Candy Crowley, in a report aired Thursday afternoon about college student participation in the Iowa caucuses, featured two supporters of Democratic presidential candidates, one for Barack Obama, and the other a supporter of Hillary Clinton. While host Kyra Philips, in her introduction to the report, highlighted how "all presidential supporters want all the support they can get, and that includes the under-30 crowd," the report did not feature any young supporters of Republican candidates. Crowley's story, which aired 16 minutes into the 1pm Eastern hour, focused on the Obama campaign's outreach to the "under-30 crowd," and described him in glowing terms: "Barack Obama is a hit on college campuses. He's young. He's new. He campaigns against status quo politics."

4. Olbermann Won't Support MRC, So We're Counting on Your Donation
Support CyberAlert and the work of the MRC with a tax-deductible year-end donation. We can provide CyberAlerts -- as well as all of the MRC's publications and sites -- as free services only because of the thousands of concerned conservatives who support the MRC financially each year and make possible the unique research operation behind the MRC's ongoing efforts to document, expose, and neutralize liberal media bias. Please consider a donation and demonstrate that CyberAlert readers are committed to the MRC's mission and value the products we provide and the impact of the evidence we gather. If you contribute $100 or more, we will send you a complimentary copy of MRC President Brent Bozell's new book, 'Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, but Conservatives Will.'

5. Don't Miss: '20th Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting'
Now Online: Results for the "Best Notable Quotables of 2007, the Twentieth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." A panel of 53 leading media observers judged 17 award categories and the winning quotes and top runners-up were posted Monday, with the quotes from television accompanied by click-and-play Flash video, as well as downloadable Windows Media video and MP3 audio clips.


ABC's Cuomo Presumes Obama Hurt by 'America's
Inherent Racism'

Presuming the United States is an inherently racist nation, an assumption Barack Obama's frontrunner status in the presidential contest would seem to belie, ABC's Chris Cuomo wrapped up a Thursday Good Morning America interview by asking the Democratic candidate: "What do you think the bigger obstacle is for you in becoming President, the Clinton campaign machine or America's inherent racism?" Obama, who beats two top Republicans in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll -- and by bigger margins than the white Hillary Clinton -- rejected Cuomo's premise: "I don't actually think race has played a significant role in this campaign." Obama did concede "there are people out there who might not be comfortable voting for me because of my race," but suggested "there are some people who are excited about the prospects of being able to help heal some of our past racial divisions."

In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday, head-to-head, Obama beats Republicans Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee by greater margins than does Hillary Clinton: Obama leads Giuliani "by 9 points (49-40 percent)" and Huckabee by "12 points (48-36 percent)" while Clinton is only ahead of them by three points and two points, respectively. See: www.msnbc.msn.com

This wasn't the first time a GMA host presumed America is racist. Thirteen months ago, on November 13, 2006, Diane Sawyer pressed Obama: "We have seen new polls this morning about you and Senator Hillary Clinton. Here's my question. Do you think that residual resistance is greater for race or for gender? Is the nation secretly, I guess, more racist or more sexist?" For details, check the November 14, 2006 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

For video of Cuomo's loaded question to Obama, check a NewsBusters blog posting by the MRC's Justin McCarthy: newsbusters.org

The questions posed by Cuomo to Obama, who appeared from Nashua, New Hampshire, on the December 20 Good Morning America -- ending with the "racist" exchange:

CHRIS CUOMO: In Iowa, there are just two weeks left until the caucuses, and Illinois Senator Barack Obama holds a slim lead in many of the polls. The question is can he keep it? We're very happy to have the Senator joining us this morning from New Hampshire. Senator, good morning, thanks for being here.

CUOMO: So one of the questions that pops up this morning, you have been a critic of Hillary Clinton for not having a definite stand on issues. Turns out that you voted "present" as opposed to "yes or no" over 100 times as a state legislature. One vote in particular I want to talk to you about. The bill was about trying juveniles as adults. You voted "present" instead of no. Were you playing politics?

CUOMO: We understand that more than 4,000 votes we're talking about,130 "present" votes. But let me ask you. When you put yourself out there as the agent of change, that you won't play politics as usual, and then the explanation for why you vote president, "present" is inside politics, is that sending a mixed message?

CUOMO: Now, both you and your main opponent at this point, Hillary Clinton are saying you're the proper agent for change. Hillary's husband, the former President, Bill Clinton, has been coming after you a little bit lately about whether or not supporting you is risky. Let's take a listen to what he had to say.
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON ON PBS'S CHARLIE ROSE: It's less predictable, isn't it? I mean, when's the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running?
CUOMO: That is just the opinion of one man. And our latest poll, ABC News/Washington Post poll, on the issue of experience, you still have a long way to go. Only nine percent of those polled say yes you have the experience for the job. Could it be that you're a promising candidate but just simply not ready?

CUOMO: Let me ask you, now, John Edwards has been coming after you a little bit now. Obviously the Clinton campaign is bearing down on you. How is it different, going from being the hunter to the hunted, as a presumed front-runner?

CUOMO: Let me ask you, going to the same point. What do you think the bigger obstacle is for you in becoming President, the Clinton campaign machine or America's inherent racists, racism?
OBAMA: You know, I don't actually think race has played a significant role in this campaign. I have no doubt that there are people out there who might not be comfortable voting for me because of my race. But I think there are some people who are excited about the prospects of being able to help heal some of our past racial divisions. Overall, though, people are going to vote for me because they think I can deliver health care reform. They think I can bring well-paying jobs back to America. They believe that I can help repair our standing in the world and make us safer. Those will be the criteria by which people judge me and so far, so good.

McFadden to Hillary Clinton: Do the Critics
Make You Cower?

Do all those attacks against Hillary Clinton reduce the candidate to cowering in bed? Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden posed that question to the former First Lady on Wednesday's program. She sympathetically asked: "There's never a night, when you go back to whatever hotel room, whatever city you're in that night, and crawl in a ball and say, 'I just, this just hurts too much?"

McFadden, who spent a day with Clinton in Iowa, protectively spun most of her questions. She observed that Barack Obama has been successful with "some people" at painting Clinton as an opportunist and then queried simply: "How do you fight back against that?"

[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted on Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

At another point, McFadden helpfully recounted the Senator's comment that going negative against Obama would be "the fun part." "Did you really mean that," she queried. Interpreting the '08 contender's emotions, McFadden continued: "Because it didn't look fun to me from where I sat. It didn't look like you were having much fun going negative."

The December 20 CyberAlert item, "ABC: TheHillaryIKnow.com Illustrates She's Double-Standard Victim," recounted another portion of the December 19 Nightline segment:

Cuing up Hillary Clinton for an "I am Woman" moment, ABC's Cynthia McFadden on Wednesday's Nightline managed to turn the Clinton campaign's "TheHillaryIKnow" Web site, created to demonstrate her likeability, into evidence Hillary Clinton is the victim of a double-standard compared to men. McFadden oozed about how the site is "terribly sweet in so many ways, and yet, it sort of has this Sally Field quality to it. You know, 'they like me, they really like me.'" McFadden queried, without consideration for the possibility the other candidates really are nicer: "I wonder if there's not a double standard? I don't see the guys doing it. Are you judged differently, do you think, on the personal level?" Clinton, naturally, agreed and used the prompting to channel Helen Reddy: "I think that that's the world we live in. I understand that. I accept it, but I don't let it deter me. You know that wonderful old line about women do everything, it's like Ginger Rogers who did everything that Fred Astaire did only backwards and in high heels? Well, we just have to go out and do it."

For the entire previous CyberAlert article: www.mrc.org

Clinton seemed quite happy to have the ABC journalist along for the day. The former First Lady greeted McFadden as "my dear" and promised to see the reporter at another event, saying, "It's a date." If there's a reason for this, it could be the September 2006 exclusive with McFadden in which the two can be seen having tea together. That interview also featured these softball questions:

- "Do you actually like campaigning?"

- "If you could pick an adjective that you hope people would use to describe you, what would it be?" (Clinton's answer? "Real.")

- "Why would anyone want to be president? Can you help me understand that?"

For more on the '06 Nightline, see the September 11, 2006 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

And although Wednesday's interview did see McFadden challenge Clinton on minor issues, such as whether America is sick of /Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton, most of the interview followed the syrupy format of the 2006 version.

A partial transcript of the segment on the December 19 Nightline:

CYNTHIA MCFADDEN: Likability has always been a problem for Clinton. And with Barack Obama's rapid rise, she seemed to get the message that experience alone was not going to win her the race here. People had to like her too.
SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON [ad]: I have my mother and my daughter with me tonight.
MCFADDEN: Late last week, this ad featuring her mother and her daughter came out with a not surprising, but very effective message that her mother really likes her. Really. The campaign seems to have decided that if Hillary Clinton is to go personal, it should be about herself and not other candidates. The attacks on Barack Obama in recent weeks landed like duds.
CLINTON: Someone with little national or international experience started running for president as soon as he arrived in the United States Senate.
MCFADDEN: Let me ask you about to going negative. You made a speech in early December and you said, "Now comes the fun part."
CLINTON: I have been four months on the receiving end of rather consistent attacks. Well, now the fun part starts.
MCFADDEN: Did you really mean that? Because it didn't look fun to me from where I sat. It didn't look like you were having much fun going negative.
CLINTON: Well, I, what I was really trying to, inartfully, say was the fun part is when people start to make up their minds. You know, when you could see voters begin to really resolve who they're going to be for. That's what I was talking about.
MCFADDEN: It really sounded as if you were saying, "Now comes the mudslinging. Now, I get to hit back."
CLINTON: Well, I think that, that was the way it was interpreted. That's not what I intended by it. I do think it's legitimate to draw a contrast. [Cut to Hillary about to get in a plane.] This is the fun part.
MCFADDEN: This is the fun part?
HILLARY CLINTON: Up, up and away.
MCFADDEN: There you go. When we come back, is the Iowa fog lifting for Hillary Clinton?
11:45
MCFADDEN: The buzz here in Iowa amongst Democrats certainly centers on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But these days, it seems she can barely bring herself to say his name. Little Iowa towns like Elkader are where big political ambitions are being played out, the second stop on another marathon day with the Clinton campaign.
CLINTON: Some people think I am, maybe, too serious a person. Well, that's not the way I am all the time.
MCFADDEN: That seems to be the point of this last blitz through Iowa, where insiders worry she could well end up third, not only behind Barack Obama, but also behind John Edwards. So your husband says it's gonna be a miracle if you win it. Is he setting expectations too low? I mean, come on. What, what, I mean, is he setting expectations too low?
CLINTON: Well, I think anybody would tell you that I started out very far behind here because I had never really spent much time in Iowa unlike, you know, my, one of my major competitors. I wasn't from next door like another one. So I really had to start from ground zero and-
MCFADDEN: So you don't even say his name anymore? We're not saying Barack Obama?
CLINTON: Well, I, I hardly ever refer to my opponents because I want voters to make the decision looking at each of us. I want them to decide that I'm the person who would be the best president because, obviously, that's the case I'm making.
MCFADDEN Obama has been very specific about you, especially recently in a Nightline interview in which he said, let me make sure I get this right. He says that you claim all of the successes of your husband's administration, but none of the failures and says that, "Listen, Michelle hears me talk about my life as a senator. She doesn't think that makes her qualified to be a senator." Would you respond to that?
CLINTON: I am a Senator. I have been elected twice in a very-
MCFADDEN: But you understand the point?
CLINTON: Well, I understand the point, but it's, it's really beside the point. I have been very forthright in saying that we weren't successful on health care. The whole world saw that. But I think you know more about someone by seeing how they respond to setbacks than successes.
MCFADDEN: Barack Obama has been quite effective, though, with some people in - in painting you as someone who is an opportunist, as someone who is not principled, relying on polls, not principle. He would say relying on calculation, not convictions. How do you fight back against that?
CLINTON: I've never been deterred by criticism and I don't intend to be now. You know, I don't really care about any of the hits that people make on me. It's, that's fine. I can't control it. They can say whatever they want.
MCFADDEN: There's never a night, when you go back to whatever hotel room, whatever city you're in that night, and crawl in a ball and say, 'I just, this just hurts too much?"
CLINTON: No, it really isn't. I, you know-
MCFADDEN: Really?
CLINTON: You, if you've been talking to me 20 years ago when, you know, Bill was in politics for the first time and you, you all of a sudden are subjected to all of this criticism, it takes some getting used to.
MCFADDEN: And coping with insults is one thing, coping with helicopters and fog and the cold is another. Is this the, is this the fun part?
CLINTON: This is the fun part.
MCFADDEN: This is the fun part?
CLINTON: Up, up and away.
MCFADDEN: There you go. All right, so you're gonna come to the next event, and then we'll gonna meet you back in Des Moines?
CLINTON: In Des Moines. See you there. It's a date.
MCFADDEN: There you go. Finally, at nearly at 5:00, the helicopter takes off for yet another little town and more retail politics. Whether some of this frantic last push could have been avoided had the Senator worked the rural areas earlier, we will never know. Whether it has worked, we will know soon enough. There are gonna be people who vote for the first time ever in a presidential election this year, who are 21, 22, 23, 24 years old, who, ever since they were born, have either had a Bush or a Clinton in the White House. If you win, I mean, it's been Bush, Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Clinton, Clinton? Is - do you understand why some people think that's not good for America? I mean, Barack Obama being one of them.
CLINTON: Well, I can understand why people would raise that because, obviously, that is the pattern. But I also think what's great about America is anybody can run for president. I want to prove that women can run and win to be president.
MCFADDEN: There's been a lot of talk about the role your husband is playing in the campaign. Would you just settle the record? Is he, in fact, creating the strategy at this point?
CLINTON: You know, he is having a great time. And I'm loving having him out on the campaign trail because he makes a wonderful case for my candidacy. And, you know, everybody's spouse is trying to do that. He gives me a lot of advice. Sometimes I take it. I used to give him a lot of advice. Sometimes he took it.
MCFADDEN: It's been suggested that he owes you this.
CLINTON: Oh, I don't see it that way. You know, he's been incredibly helpful to me in everything that I've ever tried and I've done that for him. We started, as we like to say, a conversation all those years ago and it's taken us to a lot of interesting places. And it still goes on just as, you know, much today as it ever did.
MCFADDEN: One of those interesting places, she hopes, will be somewhere they have been before, the White House. Bill Clinton has been a tremendous asset. He's also been a liability, making some noticeable gaffes in the last few weeks. One thing is clear, her husband may be trying to lower expectations for her performance here in Iowa, but she has no intention of making that necessary.

CNN Features College-Age Backers of Obama
& Clinton, Not GOP

CNN's senior political correspondent Candy Crowley, in a report aired Thursday afternoon about college student participation in the Iowa caucuses, featured two supporters of Democratic presidential candidates, one for Barack Obama, and the other a supporter of Hillary Clinton. While host Kyra Philips, in her introduction to the report, highlighted how "all presidential supporters want all the support they can get, and that includes the under-30 crowd," the report did not feature any young supporters of Republican candidates.

Crowley's story, which aired 16 minutes into the 1pm Eastern hour, focused on the Obama campaign's outreach to the "under-30 crowd," and described him in glowing terms: "Barack Obama is a hit on college campuses. He's young. He's new. He campaigns against status quo politics."

[This item, by Matthew Balan, was posted Thursday evening on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The report also featured two sound bites from John Mahoney, a Obama supporter at the University of Northern Iowa, and one from Chris Hasstedt, a "Clinton man" who is a senior at Iowa State University.

The full transcript of the report from Thursday's CNN Newsroom:

KYRA PHILLIPS: It's an irony of politics. The group with the biggest stake in the future is often the least likely to vote. In Iowa, with the caucuses now exactly two weeks away, all the presidential hopefuls want all the support they can get, and that includes the under-30 crowd. One candidate in particular is counting on a big caucus turnout from college kids. Here's CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Josh Mahoney, a junior at University of Northern Iowa, is caucusing for Obama. It's a logistical nightmare.
MAHONEY: I'm going to drive 4 and a half hours from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in my Toyota 1993 model. It's terrible, and I'm embarrassed. I'm going to come all the way down here, and I'm going to caucus.
CROWLEY: If they'll be 18 by the 2008 election, and are registered to vote where they will caucus, Iowa college students, regardless of where they're from, can participate.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you're going to be out of state for the holidays, come back on January 3.
CROWLEY: Counting on students to trek back to college in the middle of winter break, two days after New Year's, is an iffy proposition. Even in-state students who can caucus at home are a tough get.
PROFESSOR ARTHUR SANDERS, DRAKE UNIVERSITY: You have to identify where they're going to be on January 3 and somehow, communicate that to your field offices there, here's some people who you won't be able to contact now, because they're not there yet, but they're going to get there soon.
CROWLEY: Barack Obama is a hit on college campuses. He's young. He's new. He campaigns against status quo politics. More than any other campaign, Obamaville counts on the Joshes of Iowa.
MAHONEY: And I think we're, you know, at the right age. We're kind of get on board with, you know, a new strategy.
CROWLEY: One Obama strategist says the under-30 crowd is possibly the most highly-motivated bloc of Obama supporters. The campaign has spent the better part of the year collecting cell numbers and e-mail addresses. John Edwards is targeting proven caucus-goers. Hillary Clinton aiming at middle-aged women, considerably safer bets than the under-30 set.
KRIS HASSTEDT, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT: I just called to invite you to a-
CROWLEY: Twenty-two-year-old Chris Hasstedt, an Iowa State senior, is a Clinton man himself. But he does sense that maybe the younger vote is coming of age.
HASSTEDT: I work at one of the grocery stores, which is mainly college students, and a lot of them, every time I go in there, it's a buzz about the candidates: who they're supporting, why -- where they're going to caucus, and stuff like that.
CROWLEY: Some Iowa colleges are planning to open up part of campus over the break so students can caucus.
OBAMA: Thank you so much, Cornell [Cornell College in Iowa, not Cornell University in New York].
CROWLEY: At Camp Obama, they believe -- they hope -- if college is open, they will come. A cautionary note of which the Obama campaign is well aware. In 2004, just 17 percent of caucus-goers were under 30. Candy Crowley, CNN, Des Moines.

Olbermann Won't Support MRC, So We're
Counting on Your Donation

Support CyberAlert and the work of the MRC with a tax-deductible year-end donation. We can provide CyberAlerts -- as well as all of the MRC's publications and sites -- as free services only because of the thousands of concerned conservatives who support the MRC financially each year and make possible the unique research operation behind the MRC's ongoing efforts to document, expose, and neutralize liberal media bias. Please consider a donation and demonstrate that CyberAlert readers are committed to the MRC's mission and value the products we provide and the impact of the evidence we gather.

If you contribute $100 or more, we will send you a complimentary copy of MRC President Brent Bozell's new book, 'Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You About Hillary Clinton, but Conservatives Will.' The book will ship in January.

To donate, via credit card online or by snail mail, go to: http://www.mrc.org/donate

From that page, you can print a form to fill out and mail to us with a check or you can donate with a credit card via the MRC's VeriSign system or via PayPal.

Use the remarks/comment field to tell us you want the Whitewash book for your $100 or more donation.

Otherwise, please write/type "CyberAlert" to show how CyberAlert readers are providing support.

Phone: If you prefer to make your credit card contribution by telephone, call: (800) 672-1423 between 9 and 5:30pm EST weekdays.

Keith Olbermann won't be sending us any money, so we're counting on you! Make us look good by proving that CyberAlert readers appreciate what arrives in their e-mail and is posted fresh online every day.

The Web address again for donations: http://www.mrc.org/donate

Don't Miss: '20th Annual Awards for the
Year's Worst Reporting'

Now Online: Results for the "Best Notable Quotables of 2007, the Twentieth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." A panel of 53 leading media observers judged 17 award categories and the winning quotes and top runners-up were posted Monday, with the quotes from television accompanied by click-and-play Flash video, as well as downloadable Windows Media video and MP3 audio clips. The direct address: www.mrc.org

You'll also see a link to an Adobe Acrobat PDF that matches the eight-page hard copy version. Direct address for the PDF: www.mrc.org

For the list of judges, who were generous with their time: www.mrc.org

Starting the day after Christmas, I'll distribute the text of all the winners and runners-up, but for now you'll have to go online to learn the results.


# This is the last CyberAlert until after Christmas, so I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas -- or whatever "holiday" event you'll be celebrating on Tuesday.

-- Brent Baker