CyberAlert -- 04/10/2001 -- Nets Focused on Harm of Budget Cuts
"Arrogant" Bush at Fault on China; Nets Focused on Harm of Budget Cuts; "Slaughterhouses Over Schoolchildren"; Whoopi for Tax Cut
1) CBS's Barry Petersen blamed Bush's policies and words for prolonging the situation as the Chinese "military is especially angry with tough-talking policies from the Bush administration," including "the U.S. abandoning a policy of partnership." Petersen featured a Chinese expert who maintained that if Bush's first words were not a "demand," the U.S. personnel would be home.
3) The broadcast networks all focused on the supposed pain caused by Bush's budget cuts. ABC's Linda Douglass highlighted "the cuts in children's health, cuts in health care for the poor." CBS's Bob Schieffer labeled the $2 trillion budget "really spare." Dan Rather complained: "Bush is warning of a looming energy crisis, but at the same time his budget would slash more than $200 million from solar and other alternative energy programs."
4) "What happened to the compassion that was supposed to go with Bush's conservatism?" a bewildered Margaret Carlson wondered in Time magazine. "No one thought his team would choose slaughterhouses over schoolchildren."
5) Sam Donaldson came at George Stephanopoulos from the left on CNN, demanding: "Do you then now believe that the Holocaust survivors in West Palm Beach, who voted apparently for Pat Buchanan, really meant to?"
6) Left wing actress Whoopi Goldberg now all for Bush's tax cut: "This may be all Bush is really good for for me. I want some money back. I would like a little bit of it....I think it's okay to say it's alright to get some money back. I don't think that's a bad thing. I don't think that's Republican or Democratic."
Last Thursday, as detailed in the April 9 CyberAlert, reporter Barry Petersen claimed China was about to end the situation when Bush demanded the plane and personnel be returned, thus offending the Chinese.
On Monday night Petersen warned that "the military is especially angry with tough-talking policies from the Bush administration," including "the U.S. abandoning a policy of partnership" and looking at selling weapons to Taiwan. Petersen featured "a well-placed director of a prestigious Beijing think tank" who maintained that if Bush's first words were not a "demand," the military personnel would be home already.
Petersen opened his piece from Beijing by
explaining how the military in China makes or breaks politicians and
"the military is especially angry with tough-talking policies from
the Bush administration. For instance, the U.S. abandoning a policy of
partnership, now calling China strategic competitor, the U.S. backing off
efforts to bring North Korea out of isolation; and worst of all, the U.S.
thinking of selling Taiwan advanced weapons. And hurting the process at
the outset, some here say, the President's first words a week ago were a
A bit later in the show Dan Rather did include a conservative viewpoint by playing clips of his interview with Congressman Henry Hyde about the situation.
Though "since then I think most critics would say that the administration has done a fairly good job," Newsweek's Howard Fineman asserted on Monday's Today that "there was some criticism early on in the first day or two that he was too much the Texas gunslinger."
On the April 9 Today, MRC analyst Geoffrey
Dickens noticed, Fineman of Newsweek's Washington bureau told NBC's
President Bush told reporters on Monday that he aimed his budget at relief for taxpayers, but the broadcast networks on Monday night all focused on the supposed pain caused by budget cuts.
ABC's Linda Douglass highlighted "the cuts in children's health, cuts in health care for the poor. And the Democrats are betting the people will not want to cut funding for those programs just in order to get a tax cut." CBS's Bob Schieffer labeled the $2 trillion budget "really spare."
While NBC's Tom Brokaw noted up front that "in the boom years before the economy went into a dive, Congress was on a spending binge, and the President wants to force some reductions," reporter Campbell Brown warned that "Bush slashes popular government programs. Cuts for 10 of 25 government agencies....On the chopping block, community policing, the program championed by Clinton to hire new officers, a 17 percent cut; money to train health professionals at children's hospitals, a $35 million cut...."
ABC and CBS assumed more government spending will solve the energy crisis as both saw a contradiction in Bush's priorities. ABC's Terry Moran highlighted how "a $186 million cut, 50 percent, would fall on solar and renewable energy programs even though the President has declared the nation faces an energy crisis." Over on CBS Dan Rather complained: "President Bush is warning of a looming energy crisis, but at the same time his budget would slash more than $200 million from solar and other alternative energy programs."
Here's how the three broadcast network evening shows on Monday night, April 9, approached the release of Bush's budget:
-- ABC's World News Tonight led with the
budget as Peter Jennings sat behind a pile of budget books and held some
up as he explained:
Terry Moran then argued: "It reveals his basic fiscal conservatism as well as his willingness to pick a fight or two on some very popular programs. It was George W. Bush the budget hawk on full display at a cabinet meeting to roll out his plan."
After a clip of Bush, Moran noted that Democrats will fight Bush over several of his proposed cuts: "A $186 million cut, 50 percent, would fall on solar and renewable energy programs even though the President has declared the nation faces an energy crisis. Cut by $25 million or 15 percent, funding for training pediatricians in hospitals and the COPS program, a favorite of President Clinton's, which provides money to communities to hire police, faces a $270 million or 46 percent cut."
Following a soundbite of Congressman John Spratt, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, Moran pointed out how the administration say they are trying "to restrain out of control spending from the Clinton years" since spending soared eight percent last year and they want to hold it to four percent. Moran did allow OMB Director Mitchell Daniels to note that the COPS program was never meant to be permanent, running this clip from Daniels: "It was entirely explicit at the beginning that this was to be a three year program."
Next, instead of portraying Bush as heroic for
taking on corporate welfare, John Cochran looked at how business interests
are upset with cuts in their pet programs: "The U.S. Chamber of
Commerce is livid that the budget cuts subsidies to American companies
trying to compete with foreign outfits."
So much for the idea that donations from business control Bush policy.
Following Cochran, Peter Jennings turned to Linda Douglass on Capitol Hill for an assessment. She informed Jennings: "There's already some howling going on here, specifically about the cuts in the environment that Terry was just talking about, cuts in every agency, they are focusing on that. The environment is popular with the public. Also the cuts in children's health, cuts in health care for the poor. And the Democrats are betting the people will not want to cut funding for those programs just in order to get a tax cut."
As for Republicans, Douglass maintained they are caught between supporting their President and the interests of their constituents who want money for pet projects.
-- CBS Evening News. After a series of stories on China, Dan Rather announced, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "President Bush sent Congress the details today of his budget plan for fiscal year 2002. The 2500-page document outlines a wide range of cuts the President wants in government programs, but it also provides new ammunition for his opponents, and there's a long way to go with this whole thing. Bob Schieffer's on Capitol Hill with the real deal on the budget battle ahead."
Schieffer began: "Dan, it is the annual Washington ritual. The President proposes, the Congress disposes. As always, has started with the President calling in the Cabinet to give the budget plan a big send off."
After the Bush soundbite, Schieffer portrayed
the budget as frugal: "In fact, as big as it is, this budget is
really spare. It contains nothing radically new, but to make room for the
President's tax cut, it limits growth to no more than 4 percent next
year, barely above the inflation rate for all programs except mandatory
benefits. Democrats found little to like."
Rather followed up by trying to show a Bush contradiction: "President Bush is warning of a looming energy crisis, but at the same time his budget would slash more than $200 million from solar and other alternative energy programs. The budget would, however, spend $150 million to develop what are called less polluting coal products."
-- NBC Nightly News made the budget its top story as Tom Brokaw explained: "President Bush has decided how he wants to spend your money -- almost $2 trillion. That's a lot of money. But in the boom years before the economy went into a dive, Congress was on a spending binge, and the President wants to force some reductions. As you might expect, that's bringing immediate protest, especially from Democrats who think that he's hurting social and environmental programs way too much. But, as NBC's Campbell Brown reports from the White House tonight, the President is aiming his budget at tax cuts, not at Democrats."
Brown claimed the public would have to sacrifice to get a tax cut: "Tom, this is when the battle with Congress really begins and when Americans find out what they'll have to give up to get the biggest tax cut in 20 years. Dozens lining up today for a first look at the details of the President's nearly $2 trillion budget, a plan even he says it designed around giving Americans a $1.6 trillion tax cut."
Following a soundbite of Bush saying his
budget puts taxpayers first, Brown cautioned: "But to give taxpayers
relief, Bush slashes popular government programs. Cuts for 10 of 25
government agencies. Bush's goal: Limiting much of government spending
to just a 4 percent increase, half of what President Clinton got last
year. On the chopping block, community policing, the program championed by
Clinton to hire new officers, a 17 percent cut; money to train health
professionals at children's hospitals, a $35 million cut; a more than $2
billion cut in environmental programs; and the President abandons a
campaign promise on the environment -- a pledge to spend $100 million to
help poor countries protect their environment and reduce debt, a decision
some political analysts say could galvanize environmentalists for an all
out war with the Bush White House."
Next, Lisa Myers looked at how on pork programs always come back even after they are cut, using mohair and honey subsidies as examples as she reported that farm subsidies have "exploded" from $4.6 billion in 1996 to $32 billion in 2000.
I guess that's what CBS's Bob Schieffer would call "spare."
As for how accurate all these "cut" numbers really are, scroll back up and you'll notice that ABC's Terry Moran reported Bush's budget will "cut" Clinton's COPS program by 46 percent while NBC's Campbell Brown stated it will be "cut" by 17 percent.
This week's Time features a column by Margaret Carlson which matched her ridiculous outburst on Saturday's Capital Gang, in which charged that if "the Bush administration keeps trying to kill health and safety regulations at this pace, soon we won't be able to eat, drink or breathe." While her Time piece complained about "decisions pouring out of the Bush administration that favor American business at the expense of American people," it did not repeat her false connection between not testing meat for salmonella and exposing kids to Mad Cow Disease.
As quoted in full in the April 9 CyberAlert, on the April 7 Capital Gang Carlson argued: "Remember when Ronald Reagan tried to save a few pennies on the school lunch program by classifying ketchup as a vegetable? Last week the Bush administration went further, axing a regulation that forced the meat industry to test hamburgers served in school for salmonella. Imagine, Mad Cow Disease among children, K through 12."
A CyberAlert reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, pointed out that there is no relation between not testing for salmonella and missing Mad Cow infected meat: "Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause a severe, sometime fatal intestinal infection. Contamination by salmonella can be determined by several test methods. The risk associated with contaminated meat can be essentially eliminated by proper food handling procedures and thorough cooking. The onset of symptoms is within days, and the disease is often treated successfully with antibiotics." But what causes Mad Cow, on the other hand, has no test to detect it "and conventional sterilization techniques, such as cooking, are useless."
Carlson's Time magazine piece demonstrated neither she nor the magazine will let facts get in the way of a good anti-conservative anecdote as she began her diatribe by repeating the false liberal tale about Reagan and ketchup:
"What is it with Republicans and school lunches? In 1981 Ronald Reagan looked both callous and politically ham-handed when he tried to save a few pennies on school lunches by classifying catsup as a vegetable. Last week the Bush Administration went beyond condiments, proposing to ax a Clinton Administration regulation that forces the meat industry to perform salmonella tests on hamburger served in school cafeterias. Given the heightened interest in the health of cattle right now, the move wasn't exactly well timed."
After rattling off a bunch of Bush's other supposed terrible deeds, Carlson asked: "What happened to the compassion that was supposed to go with Bush's conservatism? The campaign prepared us for some of this -- candidate Bush made plain his intention to drill in the Arctic wildlife refuge, not a bad political calculus given America's preference for SUVs over caribou. But no one thought his team would choose slaughterhouses over schoolchildren, even if only for a day. What connects these decisions is a preference for folks he knows: his oil-field buddies (mirrors of himself), corporate executives and captains of industry, from the Halliburton honcho to the Terminix franchisee."
To read Carlson's entire April 16
"Public Eye" column, go to:
Last Thursday on CNN's Larry King Live, ABC's Sam Donaldson came at George Stephanopoulos from the left, demanding: "Do you then now believe that the Holocaust survivors in West Palm Beach, who voted apparently for Pat Buchanan, really meant to?" Both insisted more voters intended to vote for Gore than Bush.
The April 5 CNN show had the ABC This Week team as the guests. MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth noticed this exchange about the Miami Herald/USA Today recount which determined that Bush would have won by an even bigger margin if the Florida Supreme Court-ordered hand count, which was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court, had proceeded:
George Stephanopoulos: "I do think this
was a blow to the Democrats. Listen, a lot of Democrats had the suspicion,
I think I had a suspicion that when the Supreme Court stopped the counting
in December, they were denying Gore a count, a recount, that would give
him a victory. I think if you look at the, at the weight of the evidence
that The Miami Herald reported, it clearly shows that Bush, under most
reasonable standards, would have won."
What does Jay Leno do to left-wing celebrities? Last week, as detailed in the April 4 CyberAlert, Martin Sheen, who in February had denounced George Bush as a "moron," told Leno: "I support whoever is in that office." Now, last night on the Tonight Show, Whoopi Goldberg, who campaigned for Al Gore, informed Leno that she's all for Bush's tax cut.
Goldberg recounted on the April 9 NBC show
how, after she won $10,000 with a Las Vegas slot machine, casino officials
took half of it for the IRS. Goldberg then remarked: "This may be all
Bush is really good for for me. I want some money back. I would like a
little bit of it."
I'm guessing at that next to last word as she actually says what sounds like "gree."
As for a tax cut not being Republican or Democratic, what happened to Gore's mantra about Bush's "risky tax cut scheme"? If anyone is amongst the undeserving rich as espoused in liberal spin it's someone as wealthy as Goldberg. --Brent Baker
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