CyberAlert -- 04/23/2002 -- Jennings' New Way to Criticize Israel
Jennings' New Way to Criticize Israel; NBC Aided Gore's View of Global Warming; CNN Anchor: All Bush Wants to Do With Land Is "Dig it Up"; Three "Conservative" Tags; CNN's Pre-Conceived Agenda & Newest Liberal
1) Palestinians lied about a "massacre" by Israeli troops in a Jenin refugee camp, but ABC's Peter Jennings on Monday night found a new way to criticize Israel's actions. He highlighted how Amnesty International was upset with Israel. FNC's Brit Hume noted reports about how Palestinians had booby-trapped buildings.
2) NBC Nightly News picked Al Gore's side in the debate over environmental policy between Gore and George W. Bush. NBC set up its story by using its "Nightly News Question" to highlight a liberal claim about the cause of global warming: "When did scientists first suspect that global warming might result from human activities?"
3) CNN anchor Carol Lin expressed astonishment on Sunday night that anyone could consider President Bush friendly to the environment. She asked a guest: "How does he go up before the American public tomorrow on Earth Day...and say, 'No, I am a man who is misjudged. I am a man who is for the environment,' when what he wants to do is dig it up for natural resources?"
4) Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson made sure viewers were aware that his guests were "conservative" as he employed that term three times in a span of a few seconds. Noting Bush is being criticized by "his own conservative wing," Gibson brought aboard a "conservative editor" and a "Christian conservative."
5) The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes revealed last week that a CNN producer sent an e-mail demonstrating a pre-conceived notion for a story about how blacks face racism in high-tech: "The ideal candidate is someone who struggled or encountered discrimination while looking for jobs or working in the tech sector (also could be someone who became frustrated by the predominantly white male culture) and subsequently decided to strike out on his/her own."
6) Another liberal hired by CNN: Jeffrey Toobin, recently of ABC, is now the network's "legal analyst." In a book last year he charged: "The wrong man was inaugurated on January 20th 2001 and this is no small thing in our nation's history." On ABC in 2000 he maintained that Hillary Clinton's "conspiracy" claim was "more right than wrong." He also contended: "Clinton was, by comparison, the good guy in this struggle. The President's adversaries appeared literally consumed with hatred for him."
It is now pretty well established that Palestinians lied about a "massacre" by Israeli troops in a Jenin refugee camp, but ABC's Peter Jennings on Monday night found a new way to criticize Israel's actions. Instead of pointing out how the Palestinian allegations had fallen apart, Jennings highlighted how Amnesty International was upset with Israel.
On the April 22 World News Tonight, Jennings intoned: "The human rights group Amnesty International said today that a preliminary investigation in the Jenin refugee camp finds that Israeli forces committed what it called 'very serious human rights violations.'"
The same night over on FNC, Brit Hume noted why Israel decided to bulldoze a few buildings in Jenin: They were booby-trapped. On Special Report with Brit Hume he explained:
Indeed, the Palestinians were even using kids to kill Israelis. As James Taranto pointed out in his "Best of the Web" column for
OpinionJournal.com, the Los Angeles Times reported that at one point in the battle, Israeli soldiers "arrested a 6-year-old boy ferrying three pipe bombs from one building to another." For that story:
For more about what fully justified Israel's actions in Jenin, see the last few editions of Taranto's daily report: http://www.opinionjournal.com/best
A map posted on the Israeli Defense Force's Web site shows how puny the area is that was destroyed, only a small part of a refugee camp which in itself is only a small part of Jenin: http://www.idf.il/english/news/mapjenin.stm
Over on the NBC Nightly News on Monday night reporter Martin Fletcher tried to counter the aerial photos, but he at least also acknowledged how the camp was the base for those who killed Israeli civilians: "From the air, it doesn't look too bad, one small part of the Jenin refugee camp destroyed. But on the ground, the full horror of people's homes in ruins, an area a bit larger than a football field all but flattened by the Israeli army. Today Palestinians desperately searching for bodies and belongings. These families have lost everything, including their pride."
NBC Nightly News picked sides in the debate over environmental policy between Al Gore and George W. Bush. All three broadcast network evening shows on Monday night ran stories about Bush's environmental policies prompted by Gore's attacks on them, but NBC set up its April 22 piece by using its "Nightly News Question" to highlight a liberal claim about the cause of global warming.
With Tom Brokaw in Baghdad, New York-based co-anchor Brian Williams announced: "The environment the subject of our 'Nightly News Question' tonight. When did scientists first suspect that global warming might result from human activities? The answer: Way back in 1896, the first theory that emissions from coal burning would lead to global warming. And here we are 106 years later still fighting about it."
The other possible answers listed on-screen: a) 1976; b) 1924.
CNN anchor Carol Lin expressed astonishment on Sunday night that anyone could consider President Bush friendly to the environment. She asked a guest: "How does he go up before the American public tomorrow on Earth Day...and say, 'No, I am a man who is misjudged. I am a man who is for the environment,' when what he wants to do is dig it up for natural resources?"
Lin's "question" came near the end of a CNN Sunday interview, at about 10:45pm EDT, with Time magazine's Andrew Goldstein about Bush's environmental policies. He tried to give her Bush's perspective, but she wasn't buying any of it.
MRC analyst Ken Shepherd corrected CNN's transcript against the tape.
Lin set up the April 21 interview: "Well, the Bush administration is still firmly behind Alaska oil drilling. Certainly not a popular issue among environmentalists but how is the White House doing otherwise? Time magazine's Andrew Goldstein has some thoughts. Good evening, Andrew, thanks for joining us. Alright, so does President Bush get a bum rap from the environmentalists?"
The rest of her leading questions:
-- "I mean, the Clear Skies Initiative, is that the one where he wants industry to have more of a say in regulating itself, trying to figure out how to better balance the sulfur dioxide in the air? That they're better off doing it than a regulatory agency?"
-- "But, Andrew, isn't that, isn't that exactly why environmentalists criticize him? How can you have industry monitoring itself? How do you trust industry to do that?"
-- "But you think he actually has an interesting take on using the market system to keep the environment green?"
-- "Did you in your research find any other examples of industry doing a better job of policing itself than a government agency?"
-- "Well, Bush lost on ANWR so far but he's got plans to drill for oil and gas in Utah's Dome Plateau Desert. He wants to drill 50,000 methane gas wells in Wyoming and Montana. And, you know, how does he go up before the American public tomorrow on Earth Day, I guess he's got a big trip, right, to the Adirondacks and say 'No, I am a man who is misjudged. I am a man who is for the environment,' when what he wants to do is dig it up for natural resources."
-- "So what do you think is the one single thing he can do to prove the environmentalists wrong?"
Lin exposed her doubts as she wrapped up: "I guess this is the part where I ask if you're a betting man but I'll decline and wait for another day. Andrew Goldstein thanks so much. Earth Day is tomorrow."
Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson made sure viewers were aware that his guests were "conservative" as he employed that term three times in a span of a few seconds on Monday morning, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson noticed.
Setting up the April 22 interview segment, Gibson asserted:
All accurate labeling, but I certainly don't recall Good Morning America ever introducing a segment during the Clinton years by referring to criticism from the "liberal wing" and then piling on by tagging a guest as the "liberal editor" of a magazine and another guest as a "secular liberal."
A CNN producer is looking for an example to prove his or her pre-conceived notions instead of doing some reporting to find the truth. The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes last week highlighted an e-mail he received from a producer for CNN's NewsNight who is looking for a person to illustrate how blacks face discrimination in the high-tech world.
The e-mail stated that the producer is "looking for a young black entrepreneur" who "has started his own dot-com or company." The producer made clear the required life story: "The ideal candidate is someone who struggled or encountered discrimination while looking for jobs or working in the tech sector (also could be someone who became frustrated by the predominantly white male culture) and subsequently decided to strike out on his/her own."
Hayes recounted the e-mail in a Friday posting on the Weekly Standard Web site. An excerpt:
Earlier this year, William McGowan published an important book on how the media covers race in America....
For too long, as McGowan convincingly demonstrates, many in this crowd have conceived and developed stories that reflect one specific worldview. The most controversial manifestation of this groupthink is race-norming -- the practice of requiring reporters and editors to count sources and photo subjects by skin color. In some cases, news organizations even based promotions on the "success" rate.
It's probably too early to judge, but an e-mail I received last week demonstrates that there are still people who could learn from McGowan's study. It came from a journalism e-mail list to which I subscribe. Other subscribers use the list to share story ideas, to keep in touch, and occasionally, to request help on stories.
Here is the e-mail in its entirety:
"Hi everyone! I hope someone out there can help me. I'm looking for a young black entrepreneur -- under 40, tech savvy, who has started his own dot-com or company -- to profile for CNN NewsNight. Since this will be part of a series about race in America, the ideal candidate is someone who struggled or encountered discrimination while looking for jobs or working in the tech sector (also could be someone who became frustrated by the predominantly white male culture) and subsequently decided to strike out on his/her own. Or something along those lines. Could be anywhere in the U.S. If anyone knows of such a person or knows someone who does, please get in touch. Many thanks!"
There is no question that the person this journalist describes exists, somewhere. It's quite possible that the show will highlight a real problem. And I write this without knowing what other questions this CNN series will raise about race in America.
Still, aren't viewers and readers better served when reporters investigate an issue and then report on their findings?....
END of Excerpt
The read the piece in full:
Another liberal has joined the CNN on-air team. After handing a prime time hour to Aaron Brown and planning for another to be anchored by Connie Chung, with Larry King in between, on Monday CNN welcomed Jeffrey Toobin aboard as its new "legal analyst." Until last year, he held the same title with ABC News and he's been a New Yorker writer for many years.
Back in early 2000, he wrote A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of a Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President. On ABC at the time, he maintained he considered Hillary Clinton's claim about a "vast right-wing conspiracy" to be "more right than wrong" since "this scandal existed solely because the conservative wing of the Republican Party...decided that they were gonna try to bring down Bill Clinton from practically the first day of his administration." Toobin charged: "Clinton was, by comparison, the good guy in this struggle. The President's adversaries appeared literally consumed with hatred for him."
Toobin's liberal history includes how he relished trying to bring down the Reagan White House as part of Lawrence Walsh's independent counsel team. An excerpt from a January 21, 2000 Media Reality Check by Tim Graham, who has since departed the MRC:
Toobin's liberal slant is no surprise. He is the child of two network news veterans, the late producer Jerry Toobin and anchorwoman Marlene Sanders. In his 1991 book Opening Arguments, about his service as a lawyer for Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, Toobin fondly remembered Watergate: "The aftermath of this bungled burglary attempt constituted the dominant political event of my childhood. I developed the disdain for Richard Nixon that was all but obligatory on the Upper West Side of Manhattan -- I recall my first taste of champagne on the night he resigned, August 9, 1974, but the stories that captured my attention were of the young lawyers working for Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, who seemed, through the prism of television, like they were changing the world."
Toobin added, "The Mets (as well as others) had taught me that the good guys didn't always win, but Watergate seemed a happy exception to that rule...To my eyes, it looked less like a job than a crusade -- and I wanted to join the next one."
When he landed a job with Walsh's office, Toobin recalled playing an Elvis Costello song, "A raucous tune about the fall of a decrepit empire. Sure, I thought, we would prosecute some crimes and put some people away. But that would only be the start. The Walsh office would take on Reagan and all the President's men, with their contempt for the Constitution, disdain for the Congress, and hostility to the truth, the qualities epitomized by the diversion scheme. We had nothing less than a blank check to uncover and rectify the misdeeds of a corrupt and dishonorable administration. We wouldn't stop until we reached the top."
Toobin relished his role attempting to bring down the Reagan White House: "I spent most of my frantic first weeks in office trying to pretend I was having less fun than I was. Fencing with Ed Meese's minions? Playing chicken with the White House? Battling Ollie North? I was having the time of my life."
END of Excerpt
To read the entire Media Reality Check: http://www.mediaresearch.org/realitycheck/2000/20000111.asp
Some highlights from Toobin's career of bashing conservatives as documented in past CyberAlerts:
-- After the big media recount last fall showed Bush would have won under any scenario which could legally have occurred, Toobin remained unswayed. CNN morning anchor Paula Zahn pointed out to him on November 12, 2001: "If Al Gore had gotten what he wanted, which was a statewide manual recount or a recount of those four specific counties, George Bush still would have won. So I wonder and I'm going to put up on the screen now a paragraph from your book where you once said, 'The wrong man was inaugurated on January 20th, 2001 and this is no small thing in our nation's history.' Do you still agree with what you wrote?"
For more from that interview: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2001/cyb20011113.asp#4
To view a RealPlayer clip of a hunk of the above exchange, which was a runner-up in the MRC's Dishonor Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2001, for the "Sore Losers Award (for Refusing to Concede Bush's Victory in Florida)'" go to:
-- On October 30 last year Toobin came aboard NBC's Today to plug his book, Too Close to Call: The Thirty-Six-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election. Toobin charged: "Katherine Harris' office was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican campaign and they decided that they did not want all the votes to be recounted because of the potential peril to the Republican's chances."
He also lamented how "Republicans and their supporters were tougher, they were smarter, they were more ruthless. And the Democrats, whether it's Al Gore or Ruth Bader Ginsburg, were a little gun-shy and I think they paid the price."
For much more from this interview: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2001/cyb20011031.asp#3
-- Toobin gave a guy who tried to cut into line in front of him the Tuesday before Thanksgiving of 2000 a "whack" and, it turns out, the Weekly Standard recalled how Toobin has an "underreported connection" with David Boies who "was Toobin's personal lawyer in the early 1990s when Toobin sued Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh over the publication of Toobin's first book."
Intrigued? Check: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2000/cyb20001205.asp#7
-- Toobin regretted how "Kenneth Starr made Mrs. Clinton the only First Lady in history forced to walk the gauntlet and testify before a grand jury." He complained that "the Starr and Ray investigations alone cost more than $50 million and as it turned out, it was much ado -- two decades worth -- about not very much."
For more about his comments on the September 21, 2000 Good Morning America: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2000/cyb20000922.asp#4
-- In early 2000 Toobin's book, A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of a Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President, was published.
Charles Gibson soon read a Geraldo-like excerpt from Toobin's book: "You say, 'The most astonishing fact in this story may be this one. In spite of his consistently reprehensible behavior, Clinton was, by comparison, the good guy in this struggle. The President's adversaries appeared literally consumed with hatred for him. The bigger the stakes, the smaller they acted. They were willing to trample all standards of fairness, not to mention the Constitution, in their effort to drive him from office.'"
Later today, to the posted version of this CyberAlert, the MRC's Mez Djouadi will add a RealPlayer clip of Toobin on GMA.
-- He told Imus on January 11, 2000: "If you look at how I think the legal system was manipulated by Clinton's enemies, you know, practically from Day One of his presidency, yes, I think it's fair to say there was a conspiracy to try to force Clinton out of office, but one in which the President, you know, gave his enemies tremendous ammunition."
A New York Times book review at the time, by Michiko Kakutani, found: "Toobin spends the better part of this book railing against Clinton's adversaries, who he says 'appeared literally consumed with hatred for him...They were willing to trample all standards of fairness -- not to mention the Constitution -- in their effort to drive him from office.'"
For more of what he told Imus and about a Nightline show devoted to his book: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2000/cyb20000112.asp#3
-- During the Senate impeachment trial in 1999, Peter Jennings worried that the idea the Senate trial may continue could "terrify people," but Jeffrey Toobin assured viewers "this national nightmare is over." For details: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/1999/cyb19990209.asp#3
The nightmare of having to listen to Toobin on ABC is over, but it's just begun for having to endure his liberal rantings on CNN. -- Brent Baker