Appearance Alert!
MRC's Brent Bozell on FNC's The Kelly File, Thursday 9:10pm ET/PT

Clift & Carlson Reject "Liberal" Kerry Tag, Yet He's Left of Ted --10/18/2004


1. Clift & Carlson Reject "Liberal" Kerry Tag, Yet He's Left of Ted
"Bush is out there flailing around with this liberal name-calling," Newsweek's Eleanor Clift complained on the McLaughlin Group over the weekend before she declared that "John Kerry is not Michael Dukakis" and so describing Kerry as liberal is "a very weak argument in the closing weeks of the campaign." Margaret Carlson, on CNN's Capital Gang, insisted that Kerry is "not a raving liberal." But as fellow CNN panelist Kate O'Beirne pointed out, "John Kerry's lifetime liberal ratings" from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action, "is even higher than Ted Kennedy's."

2. NBC Touts Newsweek Poll with Kerry Lead, Skips When Bush Ahead
When, on the Saturday after the first debate, a Newsweek poll put John Kerry ahead of George W. Bush by three points, 49 to 46 percent, the NBC Nightly News touted it. Reporter Pat Dawson asserted on October 2 that Kerry's debate "performance had sharply improved his standing with voters" and trumpeted Kerry's lead as "a big jump for the challenger after a month of trailing the President." But on this past Saturday, October 16, when a fresh Newsweek poll showed a Bush rebound with the President ahead of Kerry by two points, 48 to 46 percent, the NBC Nightly News didn't consider it newsworthy even though the newscast spent six-and-a-half minutes on campaign coverage. Newsweek's online postings of its poll results reflected a disparity in enthusiasm for the conflicting results. "Too Close to Call" read the tag line over the report on Bush's lead, but when the poll had put Kerry ahead, Newsweek excitedly announced: "The Race is On."

3. Couric Slobbers to Boies: "You've Done So Many Exciting Things"
Katie Couric could not have slobbered any more over David Boies, the chief lawyer for the Gore team in Florida in 2000, when Friday's Today devoted a segment to promoting his new book. When Boies predicted more trouble this year since the state supposedly has "a very partisan Secretary of State who's using the power of her office to advantage the Republicans and disadvantage the Democrats," Couric helpfully reminded him of another source of unfair partisan advantage for Republicans: "You also have the President's brother as the Governor of the state." Couric soon moved on to his triumphs: "When you look back on your career, I mean you've done so many exciting things. Does one, does one case stand out more than others?" And in talking about how he has dyslexia, Couric oozed: "That is so inspiring for people out there who may be suffering from a learning disability to see how you have overcome it so brilliantly. How were you able to overcome it?"

4. Jon Stewart Backs Kerry, Blasts Bush Administration as "Absurd"
To no surprise to anyone who watches the Daily Show on Comedy Central, on Thursday its host, Jon Stewart, "said he expects to vote for Sen. John Kerry for President," CBS.MarketWatch.com's Jon Friedman reported. On Friday, in a quite serious appearance on CNN's Crossfire, co-host Tucker Carlson wondered if, given Stewart's support for Kerry, it will be "harder for you to mock his administration if he becomes President?" Stewart responded with a slam at Bush: "The only way it would be harder is if his administration is less absurd than this one. So, in that case, if it's less absurd, then, yes, I think it would be harder. But, I mean, it would be hard to top this group, quite frankly." At the Thursday event, Stewart also lashed out at columnist Bob Novak: "He leaked a CIA source for punitive reasons -- for ugly, partisan purposes." Stewart grew even more vicious: "He shouldn't be on television. CNN should not have him on the air. He should not be amongst civilized people."

5. Al Hunt Praises Nightline and Smears John O'Neill and Swifties
Update. Saturday night on CNN's Capital Gang, Al Hunt smeared John O'Neill and praised the Thursday Nightline which set out to discredit O'Neill and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a Nightline which, as the Saturday CyberAlert documented, utterly failed to do so and only displayed Ted Koppel's bias.


Clift & Carlson Reject "Liberal" Kerry
Tag, Yet He's Left of Ted

"Bush is out there flailing around with this liberal name-calling," Newsweek's Eleanor Clift complained on the McLaughlin Group over the weekend before she declared that "John Kerry is not Michael Dukakis" and so describing Kerry as liberal is "a very weak argument in the closing weeks of the campaign." Margaret Carlson, on CNN's Capital Gang, insisted that Kerry is "not a raving liberal." But as fellow CNN panelist Kate O'Beirne pointed out, "John Kerry's lifetime liberal ratings" from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action, "is even higher than Ted Kennedy's."

Clift fired back, on the McLaughlin Group, at the Bush description of Kerry: "The debates got Kerry back in the game and he turned in a consistently strong performance over the three of them and he belied the caricatures that the Bush campaign had drawn of him. And now Bush is out there flailing around with this liberal name-calling, trying to replay his father's campaign in 1988. After trying to do everything opposite from his father, he's now falling into the trap. John Kerry is not Michael Dukakis. And I think it's a very weak argument in the closing weeks of the campaign."

Saturday night on CNN's Capital Gang, Margaret Carlson maintained that Kerry showed in the debates that "he's not a raving liberal."

In a later segment looking back at Kerry's 1996 re-election to the Senate, Kate O'Beirne, Washington Editor of National Review, countered Carlson's earlier contention: "My theory is they sent John Kerry back to Washington in order to make Ted Kennedy look a little more moderate, because John Kerry's lifetime liberal ratings in the ADA is even higher than Ted Kennedy's. So it worked.

Indeed, a check of the ratings from Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) shows that Ted Kennedy earned a 90 percent lifetime "Liberal Quotient" from the liberal group while Kerry voted their way 92 percent of the time through 2002. The ADA Web site also lists "pre-1990" average ratings. In that category, Kerry again came in to the left of Kennedy: 89 percent for Kerry compared to 85 percent for Kennedy.

For the ADA's ratings of Massachusetts Senators: adaction.org

NBC Touts Newsweek Poll with Kerry Lead,
Skips When Bush Ahead

Newsweek Poll When, on the Saturday after the first debate, a Newsweek poll put John Kerry ahead of George W. Bush by three points, 49 to 46 percent, the NBC Nightly News touted the poll. Reporter Pat Dawson asserted on October 2 that Kerry's debate "performance had sharply improved his standing with voters" and trumpeted Kerry's lead as "a big jump for the challenger after a month of trailing the President." But on this past Saturday, October 16, when a fresh Newsweek poll showed a Bush rebound with the President ahead of Kerry by two points, 48 to 46 percent, the NBC Nightly News didn't consider it newsworthy even though the newscast spent six-and-a-half minutes on campaign coverage.

Newsweek's online postings of its poll results reflected a disparity in enthusiasm for the conflicting results. "Too Close to Call" read the tag line over this headline on Saturday for the report on Bush's lead: "With the debates behind them, the contenders in the race for the White House remain locked in a dead heat in the latest Newsweek poll." For the story by Brian Braiker, on Newsweek's Web site buried inside MSNBC.com: www.msnbc.msn.com

"The Race is On" exclaimed Newsweek's tag line two weeks earlier over a poll rundown by Braiker. The headline: "With voters widely viewing Kerry as the debate's winner, Bush's lead in the Newsweek poll has evaporated." For the article originally posted on October 2, but updated on October 4: www.msnbc.msn.com

(ABC News does not produce World News Tonight on Saturdays in the fall college football season and the CBS Evening News does not air Saturdays in the fall in the Eastern or Central time zones.)

NBC Nightly News anchor John Seigenthaler pegged the October 2 campaign coverage to the Newsweek poll: "Now to Decision 2004 and new information on the race for President. A Newsweek poll that surveyed voters after the first presidential debate shows John Kerry making some headway. In fact, after losing ground against the President for weeks, now appears the two candidates are once again locked in a tight battle for the White House. We begin our election coverage with NBC's Pat Dawson."

Dawson recounted: "In Florida today, the Kerry campaign seemed to have new life."
Kerry at campaign event: "America's best days are ahead of us."
Dawson: "And with good reason. A new poll by Newsweek, taken in the 48 hours since Thursday's debate, confirmed what campaign strategists on both sides sensed, that Senator Kerry's performance had sharply improved his standing with voters. In fact, Thursday's debate seems to have provided another dramatic turning point in a volatile race. In the head-to-head match-up among registered voters, Kerry now leads President Bush 49 to 46 percent, a statistical dead heat, but a big jump for the challenger after a month of trailing the President..."

The credibility of that October 2 Newsweek poll soon came into doubt. The October 5 CyberAlert related: Virtually every TV news show on Saturday and Sunday touted a new poll from Newsweek which showed Kerry had pulled ahead of Bush by 47 to 45 percent [without Nader], but FNC's Brit Hume pointed out Monday night that Newsweek's sample "turned out to be 36 percent Democrats, 34 percent Republicans" compared to "the previous Newsweek poll, which had 39 percent Republicans and only 30 percent Democrats," and which "gave the President an 11-point lead."

Couric Slobbers to Boies: "You've Done
So Many Exciting Things"

NBC's Katie Couric Katie Couric could not have slobbered any more over David Boies, the chief lawyer for the Gore team in Florida in 2000, when Friday's Today devoted a segment to promoting his new book. When Boies predicted more trouble this year since the state supposedly has "a very partisan Secretary of State who's using the power of her office to advantage the Republicans and disadvantage the Democrats," Couric helpfully reminded him of another source of unfair partisan advantage for Republicans: "You also have the President's brother as the Governor of the state." Couric soon moved on to his triumphs: "When you look back on your career, I mean you've done so many exciting things. Does one, does one case stand out more than others?" And in talking about how he has dyslexia, Couric oozed: "That is so inspiring for people out there who may be suffering from a learning disability to see how you have overcome it so brilliantly. How were you able to overcome it?"

In the 9am half hour of the October 15 Today, Couric set up the segment: "Celebrated attorney David Boies has been dubbed the Michael Jordan of the courtroom and premier litigator of his generation. But you can call also call him author. Boies is out with a new memoir. Courting Justice: From the New York Yankees v. Major League Baseball to Bush v. Gore."

The MRC's Geoff Dickens took down some highlights from the friendly session in which Boies preemptively accused Republicans of cheating in Florida.

-- Couric: "You know before we talk about some of the things that are in your book because you really had a fascinating childhood and pulled yourself up from the bootstraps so to speak. But many people probably recognize your name as representing Al Gore in the 2000 election and you believe things might even be worse in Florida, come November? Which is very upsetting news."
David Boies: "It, it is because we hoped we learned our lesson from what happened in 2000. But you can see the same ingredients coming together again-"
Couric: "What are those ingredients?"
Boies: "Very close, very close election. An election that may very well be decided by Florida. A very partisan Secretary of State who's using the power of her office to advantage the Republicans and disadvantage the Democrats."
Couric: "And this is the person who replaced Katherine Harris in that job?"
Boies: "Yes, yes and-"
Couric: "You also have the President's brother as the Governor of the state."
Boies: "You have the President's brother, President's brother is governor. And you have a different kind of election machinery problem. Last year it was the punch-card machines. Now it is these new electronic machines, the screen machines, that don't have any paper trail. So that if somebody screws around with the machines there's no way to go back and check the results."...

-- Couric: "Have you been asked to represent John Kerry if in fact there is a recount in the state of Florida?"
Boies: "My firm has already been retained to do that and-"
Couric: "Do you think we're gonna see that happen?"
Boies: "I'm afraid we could. Because you got some of the same, same reasons coming out."
Couric: "You've also been battling various actions that you believe or contend are keeping some people off the, the voter rolls in the state of Florida or all over the place?"
Boies: "Well this is primarily focused on Florida but it's where they're trying to strike people off. You'll remember last year they struck off tens of thousands of alleged felons and then after the fact they found out that 80 or 90 percent of the people taken off the ballot were registered voters, were entitled to vote. And so they just struck these people off, deprived them of a right to vote. And the same thing was attempted to be done this year. I think we, I think we've stopped it this year."...

-- Couric: "When you look back on your career. I mean you've done so many exciting things. Does one, does one case stand out more than others?"
Boies: "Not really. Bush v. Gore was a historical case, the Microsoft case was fascinating. CBS and Westmoreland, the libel litigation many years ago was one of the early exciting cases I had. There are just so many of them."
Couric: "You really have, had an incredible career and continue to. You talk about your early years. You grew up in a rural farm in Illinois. You had dyslexia."
Boies: "Yes."
Couric: "And you write, 'I had not read until third grade and while by the eighth grade I could get by reading was never easy.'...That is so inspiring for people out there who may be suffering from a learning disability to see how you have overcome it so brilliantly. How were you able to overcome it?"

-- Couric: "And in closing just looking ahead once again to November. You talk about the Supreme Court's handling of, of Bush v. Gore. As somebody who's pretty much a legal scholar at this point were you surprised, I guess, not only that they got involved but with their ultimate decision?"
Boies: "I was. I was very surprised they took the case and I was very surprised and disappointed that they stopped the vote counting. It was a very unique decision and one I hope is not going to be repeated."
Couric: "Do you think it will go all the way up to the Supreme Court possibly?"
Boies: "I hope, I hope they don't take it this time."

Jon Stewart Backs Kerry, Blasts Bush
Administration as "Absurd"

Comedy Central's Jon Stewart To no surprise to anyone who watches the Daily Show on Comedy Central, on Thursday its host, Jon Stewart, "said he expects to vote for Sen. John Kerry for President," CBS.MarketWatch.com's Jon Friedman reported. Friedman quoted Stewart: "I'd be stunned if something happened to change my mind."

On Friday, in a quite serious appearance on CNN's Crossfire in which Stewart lashed out at the show ("you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably"), co-host Tucker Carlson reminded Stewart of his kiss-up questions to Kerry, such as, "How are you holding up?," "Is it hard not to take the attacks personally?" and "Have you ever flip-flopped?" Carlson wondered if, given Stewart's support for Kerry, it will be "harder for you to mock his administration if he becomes President?" Stewart responded with a slam at Bush: "The only way it would be harder is if his administration is less absurd than this one. So, in that case, if it's less absurd, then, yes, I think it would be harder. But, I mean, it would be hard to top this group, quite frankly."

Stewart, at the Thursday breakfast event sponsored by the New Yorker magazine, also lashed out at columnist Bob Novak for his column which cited Valerie Plame. In Friday's New York Daily News, Lloyd Grove quoted Stewart as charging: "He leaked a CIA source for punitive reasons -- for ugly, partisan purposes." Stewart complained: "There's millions of dollars being spent on this investigation, and people are going to jail, but his evil is not allowed even in the darkened abyss of his soul -- some would say soul." Stewart grew even more vicious: "I would not have him on the show. I have standards. I wouldn't do it. He shouldn't be on television. CNN should not have him on the air. He should not be amongst civilized people."

For the October 15 "Lowdown' column by Grove: www.nydailynews.com

Stewart regularly uses his Monday through Thursday half hour comedy show to go outside of the comedy envelop to take liberal political shots at the Bush administration. Two examples:

-- As recounted in the June 22 CyberAlert: [WARNING: This paragraph includes an accurate quotation of a vulgarity] President Lyndon Johnson infamously lost CBS Evening News anchorman Walter Cronkite's support for the Vietnam war, and now President George W. Bush has lost support for the Iraq war from....Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show on the Comedy Central cable channel. During an interview on Monday's [June 21] show with Stephen Hayes, author of The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein has Endangered America, an unconvinced Stewart denounced the U.S. effort in Iraq as "a big clusterfuck." (Comedy Central bleeped fuck, but the word was pretty obvious since his pronunciation of the f and k came through clearly.) For more: www.mediaresearch.org

-- A couple of weeks ago, while interviewing Bill O'Reilly, Stewart contended that "I can't think of one area" in which the Bush administration has had success. On the October 7 Daily Show, he asked O'Reilly to agree: "Don't you think their policy, that was this tax cut, everything they've that promised has been under-delivered, even after 9/11?"


Stewart is the second late-night host to make clear his personal liberal ideology. The September 17 CyberAlert recounted: Jay Leno is quite liberal, and echoes Howard Dean, a LA Weekly story this week documented. The alternative weekly's Nikki Finke summarized her interview with the host of NBC's Tonight Show: "Jay Leno says, 'I'm not conservative. I've never voted that way in my life.' He 'really worries' what a Dubya victory in November will do to the makeup of the Supreme Court. He believes 'the wool was pulled over our eyes' with the Iraq war. He thinks the White House began using terrorism 'as a crutch' after 9/11. He feels that during the campaign Kerry should 'make Bush look as stupid as possible.' He believes 'the media is in the pocket of the government, and they don't do their job' so 'you have people like Michael Moore who do it for them.' He has on his joke-writing staff a number of former professional speechwriters for Democratic candidates. 'No Republicans.'...Leno used to read Mother Jones magazine." Plus he took shots at the Fox News Channel and talk radio. For excerpts from the LA Weekly article: www.mediaresearch.org

An excerpt from Jon Friedman's October 14 evening posting on CBS.MarketWatch.com:

Saying "it looks like Kerry," Comedy Central host Jon Stewart said he expects to vote for Sen. John Kerry for president.

"I'd be stunned if something happened to change my mind," said the host of the popular Daily Show.

Stewart spoke with New Yorker media critic Ken Auletta at a breakfast sponsored by the magazine and by the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

While saying that President Bush is a "decent" man, Stewart lampooned him for saying during a presidential debate that he couldn't name one of his mistakes.

"He can't think of one?" Stewart asked. "I got a list."

Stewart entertained an overflow audience Thursday morning at the Bryant Park Grill in New York. Wearing a casual black sweater, Stewart flashed the characteristic, understated wit that has amused viewers nightly and catapulted him to fame. He has been on the covers of such magazines as Newsweek and Rolling Stone, and his new book, "America (the book)" tops best-seller lists.

Commenting on the third and final Bush-Kerry debate, Stewart said "both men took rhetoric to another level. I was truly blown away."

He said the president's performance was memorable this time, noting: "He wasn't angry Bush from the second debate or retarded Bush from the first debate."...

Stewart might have been a bit disappointed by Kerry's performance in the third debate, held in Tempe, Ariz. "Kerry could've ended it last night -- but didn't," Stewart said....

Commenting on the debates, Stewart said his "favorite" part was observing Bush's "exasperation" with many of Kerry's comments and allegations about his record in the White House.

Stewart said Bush's occasionally pained look seems to be asking: "Is he allowed to bring up the war?"...

END of Excerpt

For the CBS.MarketWatch.com story in full: cbs.marketwatch.com

The Web page for Stewart's show: www.comedycentral.com

Al Hunt Praises Nightline and Smears
John O'Neill and Swifties

Update. Saturday night on CNN's Capital Gang, Al Hunt smeared John O'Neill and praised the Thursday Nightline which set out to discredit O'Neill and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a Nightline which, as the Saturday CyberAlert documented, utterly failed to do so and only displayed Ted Koppel's bias.

The "Outrage of the Week" from Hunt, the Executive Washington Editor of the Wall Street Journal: "John O'Neill, who first appeared as a Chuck Colson pawn to discredit John Kerry 33 years ago, has reemerged, this time as the pawn of rich Bush backers. He's co-authored a book with a vicious bigot that tries to smear Kerry's Vietnam record again. ABC's Nightline sent a crew to Vietnam and actually found a few Vietnamese who corroborated some of the official counts and all first-hand witnesses of Kerry's heroism. Given a chance by Ted Koppel to respond, O'Neill just pouted, protested and dissembled."

For a reality check on what Nightline really did and O'Neill's reaction to it, see these Saturday CyberAlert items:

# "Nightline Uses Ex-Viet Cong to Discredit Swifties and O'Neill" www.mediaresearch.org

# "Both Kerry Supporters and Detractors Contradict Nightline" www.mediaresearch.org


# MSNBC's Keith Olbermann is scheduled to appear on tonight's (Monday) Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC. Another liberal, Jimmy Carter, is scheduled to appear Monday night on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman.

-- Brent Baker