ABC: Kerry Finally Fighting Back, Matching Bush's Fearmongering --9/30/2004
2. CBS's Duplicity: Average GOP Mom Really an Anti-Draft Activist
3. ABC Fails to Correct Kerry Claim to ABC About Time of $87B Gaffe
This Week Falls Behind Fox News Sunday in DC
The hapless Kerry campaign that has avoided tough attacks on President Bush is finally fighting back against the unfair attacks leveled by Bush operatives. That's the prism through which ABC portrayed the campaign in a Wednesday night debate preview story by ABC's Dan Harris who devoted a story to how, "until recently, Kerry and the Democrats" had supposedly "largely avoided the politics of fear. But as one Kerry advisor said today, the campaign has recently decided it is time to, quote, 'fight fire with fire.' Democrats are doing what the President and Republicans have been doing for months: pushing America's panic button." Harris went on to feature a Democratic operative who "concedes" that the "Democrats have been slow to react to the Bush campaign onslaught." Harris concluded: "As one Democrat said today, 'We're not gonna play touch football when they play tackle.'"
Looks like a sign that the media are already anticipating a Kerry loss and are laying out the same blame applied to the 1988 Dukakis loss: The Republicans played dirty, Willie Horton, while the Democrats failed to fight back.
Any review of the past several months would find plenty of scaremongering attacks on Bush by Democrats and Kerry supporters -- from Michael Moore to Ted Kennedy to Kerry himself flailing about how the world is more dangerous thanks to Iraq and how Bush has left the U.S. vulnerable to terrorist attacks by not spending enough on homeland security.
Jennings set up the September 29 World News Tonight story from Harris, which followed Terry Moran's look at how Bush is preparing for the debate:
CBS's latest duplicity again uncovered by bloggers: CBS's average Republican, Bush-supporting mom is really an activist leader of a group called "People Against the Draft." Its Web page is packed with left-wing screeds and links to far-left groups. As recounted in the September 29 CyberAlert, on Tuesday's CBS Evening News Richard Schlesinger pegged a piece, on supposed fears that the draft will be imposed, to Beverly Cocco, identified on screen as a "Pennsylvania voter," whom Schlesinger showed working as a school crossing guard in the Philadelphia area. Schlesinger asserted: "She's a Republican, but she's also a single-issue voter. Would you vote for a Democrat?" Cocco replied: "Absolutely. I would vote for Howdy Doody if I thought it would keep my boys home and safe." Schlesinger concluded with a warning: "She's a Bush supporter today, but if she doesn't like what she hears between now and November, Beverly could easily cross over."
On Wednesday evening, the NBC Nightly News took up the same subject as Tom Brokaw maintained that "the Internet is aflame with stories that the draft is coming back." But instead of exploiting the fear as did CBS to fire a warning shot a Bush, NBC's Jim Milkaszewski discredited the fears.
CBS's Schlesinger had hyped how "the machinery for a draft is already in place, and the acting director of Selective Service believes he could start drafting people quickly." But Miklaszewski dismissed all the Internet claims that Selective Service is gearing up for a draft: "Pentagon officials call it 'bunk'" as he pointed out that the "two bills to reinstate the draft pending in the House and Senate" have "almost no political support. And both are sponsored by Democrats." Miklaszewski added: "If more soldiers are needed, the military says they'll increase incentives to volunteers like enlistment bonuses up to $20,000."
More on Cocco, followed by a ful transcript of the Miklaszewski piece:
A quick Google search for "Beverly Cocco" turned up her name, on the "People Against the Draft" Web site, as the contact person in the Philadelphia area. Check this page, www.nodraft.info, and you'll see: "Philadelphia Lancaster/Bucks County affiliate: Parents Against the Draft. Contact Beverly Cocco, firstname.lastname@example.org"
The home page for People Against the Draft: www.nodraft.info
The Web site features a PDF of a flyer you can download, a flyer which presents their evidence a draft is imminent. Up top, a quote from Britain's left-wing Guardian newspaper, followed by:
The page also showcases this quote from "McGovern," maybe George: "While conceding that the Iraq war has been a military and political disaster, the US power elite -- from George Bush, to the New York Times editorial board, to Presidential candidate John Kerry -- agree that we must "stay the course" in Iraq. In plain language, that means crushing resistance to the occupation. To subdue a population that wants us to leave and is willing to fight for independence, will require many more troops - as many as 500,000, say some Pentagon estimates (McGovern, 'Calling for Backup,' TomPaine.com, May 7, 2004)."
For the flyer www.nodraft.info
The links page is full of far-left and/or anti-American groups: www.nodraft.info
CBS hinted at none of that activist political activity by Cocco, though, as Schlesinger stated that "Beverly is petrified about a military draft, and she's not alone. Mass e-mails are circulating among worried parents," on screen CBS briefly showed quick shots of a couple of Web pages, including a shot of a screen with "People Against the Draft" across the top. But Schlesinger made no connection to Cocco. Bloggers uncovered the connection, however, as FNC's Brit Hume noted in his "Grapevine" segment on Wednesday night.
I don't know which blogger had it first or best, but a Freeper forwarded to me a thread about it which featured a reprint of my CyberAlert article about the CBS story, so I'll give that FreeRepublic discussion a plug in return, a thread which also reprinted a letter Cocco wrote to a local newspaper: www.freerepublic.com
For the September 29 CyberAlert article about the September 28 CBS Evening News draft story, with a picture of Beverly Cocco: www.mediaresearch.org
[Web Update: The InDCJournal.org blog features interviews, about the September 28 CBS Evening News story, with the correspondent, Richard Schlesinger, CBS News press representative Sandra Genelius, and the producer of the piece, Linda Karas. See: www.indcjournal.com]
Now, a full transcript of the much more reasoned September 29 NBC Nightly News story. Anchor Tom Brokaw introduced it: "One issue that may come up tomorrow, tonight, the military draft. Senator Kerry has already suggested President Bush may be forced to re-institute the draft after the election to deal with the pressures on military manpower. The Bush campaign has persistently and vigorously denied that, but as NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports in our series 'Iraq: The Real Story,' the Internet is aflame with stories that the draft is coming back."
Miklaszewski began, over video of a college student on a bike: "Twenty-year-old Jeremy
Tor, a junior at the University of Arizona, got the scare of his life recently: an e-mail that said if George Bush is re-elected, he will reinstate the military draft."
The second hoax promoted by CBS News this month.
[Web Update: Columnist Michelle Malkin discovered: "A December 2003 article in the Daily Wildcat, Tor's campus newspaper, reveals that Tor is a Democrat who supported John Edwards in the primary. His club, Students for Edwards, sprang up on campus at the same time as the Students for Dean group, led by student Jonna Lopez. The article notes that 'both Tor and Lopez agree that removing Bush from the White House is the biggest priority.'" For the student newspaper article: wildcat.arizona.edu
For Malkin's September 30 posting: michellemalkin.com]
During his Tuesday interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer played on Wednesday's Good Morning America, John Kerry excused his statement, that "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it," as "one of those inarticulate moments late in the evening when I was dead tired in the primaries and I didn't say something very clearly." In fact, however, Kerry's March 16 remark at a West Virginia campaign event happened shortly after 1pm in the afternoon. FNC and CNN noted Kerry's misstatement of the time of day, but not ABC -- not on Wednesday morning nor even on Thursday's GMA before or after a second excerpt of Sawyer's sit-down with Kerry.
GMA on Thursday, the MRC's Rich Noyes observed, led with full stories by Terry Moran and Claire Shipman about Bush and Kerry debate preparations and expected strategies, and after the Kerry interview excerpt George Stephanopoulos checked in with a look back at mistakes in past presidential debates, but none mentioned the erroneous "late in the evening" rationalization. (Sawyer conducted the interview Tuesday at a Wisconsin resort where she and Kerry sat by a row of large windows overlooking trees.)
Though the Wednesday ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts all ran debate preview stories, none corrected Kerry's error.
On FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume on Wednesday night, however, Carl Cameron pointed out: "Kerry knows he must better explain this infamous gaffe:"
Similarly, later on CNN's NewsNight, as transcribed by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, Candy Crowley brought up the GMA error as she outlined Kerry's debate goals. Last on her list: "And finally, most importantly for Kerry, item three: Undo some of this damage."
Indeed, ABC has no ignorance excuse for skipping Kerry's misstatement since the Bush campaign and the RNC alerted reporters to it.
"Kerry's Explanation of '$87 Billion' Comment Doesn't Wash, Says RNC," read an afternoon posting by Robert B. Bluey on the MRC's CNSNews.com site. An excerpt:
....Kerry's original remark concerned Senate action on the additional $87 billion the Pentagon had requested for troops in Iraq. "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it," Kerry said March 16, while speaking at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.
ABC's Diane Sawyer asked the Democrat presidential nominee about the quote during an interview aired Wednesday morning.
"It just was a very inarticulate way of saying something, and I had one of those inarticulate moments late in the evening when I was dead tired in the primaries and I didn't say something very clearly," Kerry told Sawyer.
But according to ABC's The Note from March 16, the Kerry rally at Marshall University was slated to begin at noon. It was to be followed by a meeting with local press in Huntington at 1:30 p.m....
In newspapers the following day, journalists repeated the comment. The Washington Post ran an article, "Campaign Gets More Personal," which specifically referenced the time of the Marshall University event. The Post's John F. Harris wrote:
"'I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it,' he told a group of veterans at a noontime appearance at Marshall University. He went on to explain that he preliminarily backed the request, so long as it was financed not by deficit spending but with a tax surcharge on the wealthy that Bush opposed."
Kerry spokesman Chad Clanton told CNSNews.com the candidate made a mistake in the interview with Sawyer.
"He simply got the time of day wrong," Clanton said. "Campaigns are long, grueling things. It's like one continuous blur."
The Republican National Committee documented Kerry's misstatement in an e-mail Wednesday. The RNC's message was titled, "Perhaps His Watch Was on Paris Time?"...
END of Excerpt
For Bluey's article in full: www.cnsnews.com
Stephanopoulos crushed in Washington, DC market, beaten head-to-head by Fox News Sunday. "Viewership for This Week with George Stephanopoulos has plunged 61 percent in the Washington area since the local ABC affiliate moved the Sunday morning talk show to an earlier time slot," Washington Times reporter Chris Baker relayed in a September 29 story. As of Labor Day weekend, at ABC's request, WJLA-TV moved This Week from 11:30am to 9am, an hour when more watch Fox News Sunday.
Both have fewer viewers in the Washington, DC area than the most-watched Meet the Press on NBC and number two Face the Nation on CBS, both of which air at 10:30am.
An excerpt from Baker's September 29 story:
....An average 26,000 households have tuned into "This Week" since Sept. 5, when WJLA-TV (Channel 7) moved it to 9 a.m. from its longtime 11:30 a.m. perch.
The show averaged 67,000 households in September 2003, according to Nielsen Media Research Inc....
"This is going to sound really strange, but we're genuinely elated," said Tom Bettag, the show's executive producer. "It's going to take awhile for people to find us at 9 o'clock, but in the long run, we believe this move is really good for us."...
WJLA moved "This Week" to 9 a.m. at ABC's request, said Frederick I. Ryan Jr., the station's general manager. Like Mr. Bettag, he predicted the shift will eventually pay off with higher ratings than the show was generating at 11:30 a.m.
NBC's "Meet the Press" still rules Washington's Sunday morning airwaves. It drew 114,000 households on WRC-TV (Channel 4) in September, a 20 percent spike from September 2003.
About 65,000 households tuned in to "Face the Nation" on CBS affiliate WUSA-TV (Channel 9), a 4 percent decline from a year ago.
The only Sunday show that airs directly opposite "This Week" at 9 a.m. -- "Fox News Sunday" on WTTG-TV (Channel 5) -- drew 37,000 households, up 6 percent from September 2003.
END of Excerpt
For Baker's article in full: www.washingtontimes.com
-- Brent Baker