1) Al Hunt and Evan Thomas
impugn House conservatives for McCarthyism. Thomas accused "real
right-wing nuts in the House" of threatening "extortion"
over a discredited charge against Clinton.
2) CNN's Wolf Blitzer
bemoaned how "even though the Cold War is over," Clinton wants
more money for defense, "money that could go for education...health
care...improving the cities."
3) The House report about
how U.S. technology transfers have boosted Chinese missile capabilities,
skipped by NBC's Today.
4) The third runner-up
quotes in "The Best Notable Quotables of 1998: The Eleventh Annual
Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."
5) Eleanor Clift's Best
Idea of '98: "compassionate conservatism" practiced by
"smart Republican Governors."
>>> Check out some of the
editorials and columns about the MRC's Best Notable Quotables of 1998.
MRC Webmaster Sean Henry has created a page of links to some of the
coverage for the awards issue of Notables Quotables. Already online:
Year-end editorials in the Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle, The Union Leader
(of Manchester, NH) and the New York Post. Go to the MRC home page,
click on the Best of NQ button and then choose "media
coverage" under "Printed Edition," or go directly to the
"Great" media minds think alike. Or, when in doubt, accuse
conservatives of McCarthyism. Over the weekend the Wall Street
Journal's Al Hunt and Newsweek's Evan Thomas both accused House
conservatives of McCarthyism for suggesting that Senators check all the
evidence collected by Ken Starr's staff.
-- On CNN's
Capital Gang on January 2 Al Hunt denounced House Majority Whip Tom
"A speedy, real trial, without any of the
muck, the euphemism that they now use, is also impossible, especially
with right-wingers like Tom DeLay waving the bloody shirt about an
alleged incident that took place 20 years ago. Clinton's behavior is
disgraceful, but there's McCarthyism run amuck with some of this
-- Over on
Inside Washington aired on PBS stations outside of Washington, DC,
Newsweek's former Washington Bureau Chief and current AME, Evan
Thomas, engaged in this exchange with host Gordon Peterson.
Thomas: "Lurking beneath all this is the
threat of essentially extortion. The real right-wing nuts in the House
have got this secret evidence about an unwanted sexual advance that they
want to make everybody look at and they are threatening, not too subtly,
that if you don't have a trial we're going to make this stuff
public. We looked at this, it's...[cut off]
Peterson: "What is the secret
Thomas: "It's twenty years ago, it's
ambiguous, it really doesn't add up. You notice it's not in the
articles of impeachment."
Peterson: "Does it rise to the level of
high crimes and misdemeanors?"
Thomas: "It rises to a level of
McCarthyism, really. But to go back to what Jack is saying about whether
the religious right and the right wing groups will force a trial, this
is part of the game plan of at least some of them, to paint Clinton as
such an immoral guy that you have to have a trial. I don't know
whether this extortion plan's going to work, but it's simmering
below the surface."
impugning DeLay and other Republicans maybe Hunt and Thomas should look
closer to home. Few would know about this supposedly disreputable charge
if the networks didn't cover it. As the December 29 CyberAlert
detailed, last March the three broadcast networks all ran stories on the
incident from when Clinton was Attorney General. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1998/cyb19981229.html#5
Hitting Clinton....from the left. CNN's Wolf Blitzer delivered an
excellent example of how the mainstream media, which press Republican
Presidents from the left for being too conservative, also push Democrats
from the left. On Sunday's Late Edition Blitzer interviewed
Clinton's OMB Director, Jack Lew.
establishing that Clinton will soon propose some tax cuts, Blitzer posed
the standard liberal question about who will "pay" for them:
"Now who's going to pay for all of this,
the $110 billion increase in defense spending which you unveiled over
the weekend, the President did in his radio address, this new tax cut
that you're unveiling today for tax credits to take care of elderly
parents or whatever, where's this money coming from?"
Lew's answer about frugality and priorities, Blitzer launched a
liberal spiel about the need for more government spending in other
areas, implying more defense spending is unwise:
"But when you propose a hundred billion
dollars in additional spending for the Pentagon, even though the Cold
War is over with, that is money that could go for education, could go
for health care, could go for improving the cities, agriculture,
environment. That's money that's now going to go for defense
spending. So where is the money going to come from?"
Blitzer not care who would "pay" for all his spending on
education and "improving cities."
Even less interest in China in the morning. As documented in the
December 31 CyberAlert, the December 30 ABC and NBC evening shows
rationed only a few seconds to a bi-partisan congressional committee
report on how technology transfers to China have harmed national
security. ABC's World News Tonight gave it 22 seconds and NBC Nightly
News just 26 seconds.
The next morning
the two networks allocated even less, even though the December 31 New
York Times "advanced" the story by revealing the secret parts
of the report charged China with espionage to learn how to build a
neutron bomb. NBC's Today, which devoted its first half hour to three
straight interviews about trends for 1999, aired zilch while ABC's
Good Morning America allowed 17 seconds for this item read by news
reader Juju Chang during the 8am update:
"A congressional committee has concluded
that U.S. national security was compromised by technology deals with
China. According to the New York Times, investigators found that over
two decades China stole some top military secrets from U.S.
laboratories. China, however, is sharply criticizing the report."
During the 7:30
half hour both shows looked ahead to the next century, but couldn't
get their basic facts straight. Introducing two guests to talk about
trends for 1999, ABC's Kevin Newman listed some 1990s trends and told
viewers if they haven't adopted them yet, "You only have one more
year left to join the 20th Century." Introducing the creator of the
everything2000.com Web site, on Today Matt Lauer asserted: "While
you may be preparing for a New Year's Eve celebration tonight, many
people are already making plans for next year. That, of course, is the
eve of the new millennium."
That, of course,
is not. If you listen to these two you'll be a year early since the
20th Century does not end until December 31, 2000.
Here are the third runner-up quotes in 14 award categories in "The
Best Notable Quotables of 1998: The Eleventh Annual Awards for the
Year's Worst Reporting." (The December 28 CyberAlert ran the
winning quotes, the December 30 edition the first runners-up and the
December 31 issue the second runners-up.) To pick the winners and
runners-up the MRC sent ballots to 50 media observers who picked a
first, second and third best quote in each category. First place
selections were awarded three points, second place choices got two
points and third place picks were assigned one point. Point totals are
listed after each quote. For the list of judges, see the December 28
CyberAlert or go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/best/nq1998best.html
To read all the
quotes and see and hear the broadcast television ones via RealPlayer as
compiled by MRC research associate Kristina Sewell and Webmaster Sean
Henry, go to the same address: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/best/nq1998best.html
To check which quotes visitors to the MRC Web page picked and to see the
entire ballot, go to: http://www.mrc.org/bestofnq1998.html
and click on "Special Web Edition."
Below is the
third runner-up in the "Quote of the Year," followed by the
fourth place quotes in the "Presidential Kneepad Award (for Best
Lewinsky Impression)" through the "Carve Clinton into Mt.
Rushmore Award" with "The Everybody But Us Shut Up Award (for
Promoting Campaign Finance Reform)" amongst those in between.
Quote of the Year -- Third runner-up
"But, do you give the President at
least a little, not credit, but a little sympathy, when you read details
like snapping the straps of a thong underwear, her thong underwear to
entice him, asking for a job. Do you think that it mitigates our view of
the President in any way?"
-- Good Morning America co-host Lisa McRee describing Monica
Lewinsky's testimony to conservative columnist Betsy Hart, September
17. [33 points]
Presidential Kneepad Award (for Best Lewinsky Impression) --
"Who has ever been punished more for
adultery in this country? I mean, you have to go to Saudi Arabia to see
people shamed the way the President was. And I think it was nobody's
business." -- Time's Margaret Carlson on NBC's Today, August
19. [44 points]
Wired Wicked Witch Award (for Loathing Linda Tripp) -- Third
"Hello, good evening and welcome
back to Hell. Can we renounce our citizenships for like only 24 hours?
This thought before we begin: For months, William Howard Ginsburg took
shot after shot on this program and others for some of his legal
strategy. But throughout his stewardship of the Monica Lewinsky defense
we praised him here for at least one noble constant: He never let us
even hear his client's voice. God, do we miss him tonight. Okay, one
of them will read the part of the irresponsible adolescent, the other
will narrate the lines of the pathetic, self-destroying, older loser and
you and I will be Polonius hiding ourselves behind the arras." --
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann opening the Big Show, November 17. [36 points]
Hallucinating Hillary Award (for Promoting the Vast Right-Wing
Conspiracy) -- Third runner-up
"Hillary Clinton linked Starr to a
conspiracy that has even suggested the President was involved in the
murder of a former campaign worker....It is Starr's past and
continuing connections with very conservative organizations and causes
that have brought him into the cross hairs of the First Family. As their
evidence they point to his very appointment as independent counsel by a
three judge panel headed by Judge David Sentelle, who is a close ally of
ultraconservative North Carolina Senators Jesse Helms and Lauch
-- Correspondent Phil Jones on the CBS Evening News, January 27. [40
Corporal Cueball Carville Cadet Award (for Hating Ken Starr) --
"Anyone of us could be investigated
like this and we would be able to keep no secrets about love or sex or
money - no secrets about anything. If this reminds you of George
Orwell's novel, 1984, it should. The government in that book poked and
pried everywhere. Its slogan was 'Big Brother Is Watching You.' And
with the aid of the thought police, he was. Welcome to Orwell's
-- CNN's Bruce Morton on Late Edition, October 11. [45 points]
Steve Brill Media Masochism Award (for Bemoaning Monicagate's
Impact on Clinton) -- Third runner-up
"There is something about this
story, this presidency, that has led the media to almost obliterate the
standards of decency that were built up for so many years."
-- Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz on CNN's January 28 special
Media Madness? [43 points]
Media McCarthyism Award (for Tying Conservatives to Murder) --
"Then the fallout from the death of
Matthew Shepard. The tragic beating of the college student in Wyoming
has some activists in this country saying there is a climate of anti-gay
hate that's been fostered by a provocative advertising campaign by the
political right in this country. We're going to get into that debate
after news and weather."
-- Today co-host Katie Couric opening the October 13 show. [38 points]
The Everybody But Us Shut Up Award (for Promoting Campaign
Finance Reform) -- Third runner-up
"The Senate has effectively killed
political campaign finance reform for the foreseeable future, which
means that even though a majority of Senators declared themselves in
favor of trying to change the way politicians raise and spend money,
there were not enough votes to end a Republican filibuster. Together the
Senate and the House of Representatives spent more than $9 million
dollars to hold more than 30 days of hearings on how to change the
rules, and even though so many Americans believe that money is more
important to the process than their vote -- which is not a pretty
picture -- and though many, many politicians believe the system is
flawed, they will not be fixing it, just yet."
-- ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, February 26 World News Tonight. [27
Starr Behind Bars Award -- Third runner-up
"Starr has stood Watergate on its
head. It is not the President who is doing the taping; it is the
prosecutor. It is not the President who is assembling the dossiers and
leaking dirt on the intimate practices of an ideological opponent; it is
the prosecutor. It is not the President who is involved in the
politically motivated abuse of power; it is the politically motivated
counsel. It is not the President who is insufficiently accountable; it
is the prosecutor."
-- U.S. News Editor-in-Chief Mortimer Zuckerman, April 6. [47 points]
Good Morning Morons Award (for Foolishness in the Morning) --
"Thirty seconds, but I want to get
this in: Janet Reno, ninety-day investigation to look into whether a
special prosecutor should be appointed for this campaign finance thing.
Is that a big problem for the President? Has he done anything that
anybody else wouldn't have done?"
-- ABC's Lisa McRee to Cokie Roberts, September 9 Good Morning
America. [43 points]
Move Over Buddy Award (for Geraldo Rivera's Pro-Clinton
Lapdoggery) -- Third runner-up
"I thought that Linda Tripp now
takes her place in the Hall of Infamy as a betrayer of the order of
Benedict Arnold in the, in the, at least in the love '90s...I think
anybody who wrapped themselves around Linda Tripp and her tapes is now
soiled. You felt the need to take a shower. What that woman did to her
young friend is beyond the pale. I think it's much worse than anything
Bill Clinton did."
-- Rivera as a guest expert on NBC's Today, November 18. [39 points]
Damn Those Conservatives Award -- Third runner-up
"I'm happy about Fritz [Hollings].
He's a crusty old coot, the kind you don't really see in Congress
any more. Faircloth is a sort of more recent edition. He's a member of
the hater branch of the North Carolina Republican Party, so good
riddance to him."
-- Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas, November 7 Inside
Washington. [43 points]
Politics of Meaninglessness Award (for the Silliest Analysis) --
"Ken Starr and his people have been
working for three to four years, spent more than $30 million, they've
used dozens if not a hundred or so FBI agents. They may have turned this
up, whether you had the Paula Jones case or not. But again maybe not,
but again that's like if a frog had side pockets he'd probably wear
a handgun. It didn't happen that way."
-- Dan Rather, Feb. 5 Late Show with David Letterman. [41 points]
Carve Clinton into Mt. Rushmore Award -- Third runner-up
Dan Rather: "President Clinton today
proposed a centerpiece of his policy agenda: federal help for working
parents who need safe and affordable child care...."
Scott Pelley: "The President was
raised by a single mother who left him with his grandparents when she
went off to school. Today, Mr. Clinton proposed what may be the largest
increase in child care funding in the nation's history."
-- Opening of a January 7 CBS Evening News story (though Clinton
survived unregulated care by a relative.) [32 points]
From the McLaughlin Group's 1998 Year-End Awards as announced on the
show distributed over the New Year's weekend, Eleanor Clift's
selection in the "Best Idea of '98" category:
"Compassionate conservatism practiced by
Texas Governor George W. Bush and other smart Republican
earns Clift's praise should give conservatives pause. -- Brent Baker
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