CyberAlert -- 05/21/2001 -- Liberal Hit on Olson Advanced
Liberal Hit on Olson Advanced; "Drastically" Reduced Government?; "F" for Bush's Energy Plan; Should be "More" Solar and Wind Power
2) ABC gave George Stephanopoulos his own segment to make the case that Ted Olson should be disqualified because he's employed "the kind of legalistic parsing" which Olson had "criticized Clinton administration officials for" during the Lewinsky and Whitewater scandals. Stephanopoulos insisted to Ken Starr: "Isn't this record of failing to be forthcoming with the Congress evidence that Mr. Olson might not be forthcoming with the Supreme Court?"
3) Geraldo Rivera launched a jihad against Ted Olson. He revealed his bitterness about the Clinton years as he predicted the Senate vote "could be payback for the grossly out-of-proportion impeachment of Bill Clinton." He added: "Viewers of this program know my personal views of this noxious scheme of character assassination and about the man who funded it, the right wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife."
5) NBC's Matt Lauer hit Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham from the left on Friday morning over energy. Lauer cited how Jimmy Carter "accused President Bush of using quote, 'scare tactics to promote drilling on federal lands and other environmental atrocities.'" Lauer also became an advocate, arguing "there has to be more though" on wind and solar power.
>>> Watch and hear Dan "Woo-Woo" Rather. MRC Webmaster Andy Szul has posted a RealPlayer video clip of Rather imitating a train whistle as he reported on why one was a runaway, as quoted in the May 17 CyberAlert: "So it was woo-woo and good-bye train." Go to: http://www.mrc.org/news/cyberalert/2001/cyb20010517.asp#7 <<<
Howler of the Weekend. Time reporter and columnist Margaret Carlson on Capital Gang, lamenting how Democrats have lost the fight on taxation, made the ludicrous claim that under the new budget plan "government will be drastically reduced."
She asserted on the May 19 CNN show: "The Democrats have not fought back as effectively. The Lexus and the muffler, the wealth argument didn't work as well. I think what might have worked is look, government is going to end as we know it. If the spending cuts get passed that are going to have to to fund this tax cut, Republicans will get their wish. Bob [Novak] will get his wish. Government will be drastically reduced."
We wish. The argument is not over cutting federal spending but by how much above inflation it will increase, as it has every year since FDR.
Thanks to ABC News, a former Clinton operative who helped him deceive the public about Gennifer Flowers and Whitewater in 1992, got air time on Sunday to make the case that Bush's Solicitor General-nominee, Ted Olson, is unqualified for the position because he's employed "the kind of legalistic parsing" which Olson had "criticized Clinton administration officials for" during the Lewinsky and Whitewater scandals.
Sunday's This Week gave George
Stephanopoulos a whole segment dedicated to the Democratic spin, as
outlined by Stephanopoulos:
Not exactly a concern for truth Stephanopoulos displayed during his White House years.
Stephanopoulos also suggested "that perhaps Mr. Olson, because of his long record as a partisan, is simply too partisan for this appointment and maybe that's what Democrats are upset about."
Stephanopoulos set up the May 20 This Week
segment by explaining how the Senate Judiciary Committee had tied 9-9 last
week on Olson but the White House had made a deal with Democrats to share
documents about the case before a full Senate vote. Launching a taped
piece, Stephanopoulos used disgruntled for Spectator writer David Brock as
an authority. Stephanopoulos asserted:
Viewers then a saw a taped one-on-one
interview with Starr. Stephanopoulos's second "question"
consumed 45 seconds, a time longer than many TV news stories:
After Starr defended Olson's accuracy and pointed out how Brock says Olson told the truth but could have been more forthcoming to say he had attended dinners where the project was discussed, Stephanopoulos countered: "What they say is it was literally true but misleading. And what would you say to critics who say that's just the kind of legalistic parsing that you and Mr. Olson criticized Clinton administration officials for during the Monica Lewinsky and Watergate investigations, Whitewater excuse me?"
The next question from Stephanopoulos took 36 seconds: "But Democrats say this isn't the first time that Mr. Olson has misled Congress. They point to an incident when he was a Justice Department official in the Reagan administration and an independent counsel investigating his dealings with an Environmental Protection Agency matter found that he had been less than forthcoming in his testimony. Public integrity lawyers in the Justice Department were even more harsh, saying there was 'significant evidence that Olson gave knowingly false testimony' and President Reagan's own EPA Administrator Anne Burford said Olson 'out and out lied to me.' Isn't this record of failing to be forthcoming with the Congress evidence that Mr. Olson might not be forthcoming with the Supreme Court?"
The fourth and last question from Stephanopoulos offered up another justification for Democratic blockage: "The Solicitor General is supposed to serve both the President who appoints him and the Supreme Court, has this special role. Is it possible then that perhaps Mr. Olson, because of his long record as a partisan, is simply too partisan for this appointment and maybe that's what Democrats are upset about?"
How about "perhaps Mr. Stephanopoulos, because of his long record as a partisan, is simply too partisan for this role as a reporter and maybe that's what ABC viewers are upset about?"
Geraldo Rivera launched his own jihad against Ted Olson on Thursday night, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens noticed. "Tonight," he opened the May 17 Rivera Live on CNBC, "did the high profile attorney nominated to be this country's top lawyer mislead Senators about his connection to an extreme right wing effort to sabotage Bill and Hillary Clinton. We'll investigate."
Rivera referred to the America Spectator's "viciously anti-Clinton effort called the Arkansas Project." He revealed his bitterness about the Clinton years as he predicted the Senate vote "could be payback for the grossly out-of-proportion impeachment of Bill Clinton. Not to mention the Supreme Court's decision to hand the presidency to George W. Bush." He added: "Viewers of this program know my personal views of this noxious scheme of character assassination and about the man who funded it, the right wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife."
Before getting to guests Joe Conason, Joe
DiGenova and David Brock, Rivera delivered this lengthy diatribe:
Rivera soon continued: "So he had no role in the origin or the management of the Arkansas Project and first knew about it in general terms in 1997. But here's what The New York Observer and The Washington Post and two of our guests who you will meet in a moment, allege. Item: American Spectator financial records for 1994 show payments of more than $14,000 to Olson's law firm for Arkansas Project expenses. Item: Olson had dinner meetings in 1995 with American Spectator editor Emmett Tyrrell, he later served as best man at Tyrrell's wedding and with Arkansas Project head David Henderson, meetings at which the Project was discussed. Item: The publisher of American Spectator put Olson's name at the top of a list of people who regularly attended such Project related meetings. Item: Olson testified he could not remember who originally introduced him to his client David Hale. You remember David Hale, he's the Little Rock con-man who was the key witness against Clinton in the Whitewater investigation. But the same David Henderson who headed the Arkansas Project has admitted that it was him who arranged the representation of David Hale by Ted Olson."
Al Hunt took a cheap shot, on Saturday's CNN Capital Gang, at conservative foundation head Richard Scaife over his funding of the American Spectator in the early 1990s. The Executive Washington Editor of the Wall Street Journal disparaged him as "a right wing nut."
Wrapping up a segment on the May 19 show about
the Ted Olson nomination, columnist Mark Shields charged: "Anybody
who went near the toxic, lousy American Spectator knew what it was about
the destruction of Bill Clinton. That's what is was."
I don't recall Hunt ever castigating anyone as "a left wing nut."
NBC's Matt Lauer hit Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham from the left on Friday morning over President Bush's energy plan. Lauer cited Jimmy Carter as an authority, quoting how the former President "accused President Bush of using quote, 'scare tactics to promote drilling on federal lands and other environmental atrocities.'" Lauer also became an advocate, arguing: "But you're gonna have to do something more in terms of renewable sources of energy. Wind and solar power. I know the President is offering tax incentives for people who use those sources of energy. There has to be more though."
Here are all of Lauer's inquiries to Abraham via satellite on the May 18 Today:
-- "On Close Up this morning the Bush energy policy. With rolling blackouts in California and the price of gas increasing every few weeks President Bush presented his controversial plan for a national energy policy on Thursday. Spencer Abraham is Secretary of Energy. Mr. Secretary good morning to you. Good to have you here. The President painted a pretty dismal picture of our energy future in outlining this plan. Do you think he was presenting a worst case scenario to build support for this proposal?"
-- "Let me tell you what former President Jimmy Carter had to say. As you know he had to deal with an energy crisis of his own back in the 1970s. He's accused President Bush of using quote, 'scare tactics to promote drilling on federal lands and other environmental atrocities.' So you're saying these aren't scare tactics?"
-- "Does this plan do anything, Mr. Secretary, to ease the problems we are facing in the next couple of months. Of course I'm talking about the short term here. High gas prices, rolling blackouts, that sort of thing."
-- "Let me ask you a long term question. The President in proposing this yesterday said that the environment and exploration are not competing priorities. Environmentalists disagree with that completely. How do you answer it?"
-- "Do, do you think, do you think that environmentalists are being alarmist when they look at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and say if you go into that place and you start drilling for natural gas and oil you are risking irreparable harm?"
-- "But you're gonna have to do something more in terms of renewable sources of energy. Wind and solar power. I know the President is offering tax incentives for people who use those sources of energy. There has to be more though."
-- "Real quickly Secretary Abraham, I know you're realist. Do you think it's gonna be a tough battle to get some of these proposals through Congress?"
An "F" for Bush's energy plan from Newsweek's Eleanor Clift. Asked on the McLaughlin Group over the weekend to give it a grade on substance and politics, she replied: "F on substance, D on politics because the market may fix itself and he may proclaim victory in two years when his policy had nothing to do with it."
Not everyone in Hollywood is a liberal Gore supporting, Bush-basher. On Friday's Late Show on CBS, Kelsey Grammer, star of the NBC sit-com Frasier, admitted he attended President Bush's inauguration and that he's "a little bit right of center."
Grammer told David Letterman on the May 18 show: "I was there at the Inauguration in hopes of kind of lending whatever support I could to the idea that bi-partisanship would be a good thing and I am definitely, you know, a little bit right of center so I was pleased about that, but we'll see how he does."
Not exactly a hard-core conservative proclamation, but not bad for someone who must work in Hollywood.
From the May 16 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Reasons Mayor Giuliani Loves Spring New York." Copyright 2001 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. Seeing first robin of spring getting
mugged by a pigeon
And my favorite entry from the Late Show Web
site's list of he also-rans, the entries that didn't make the final
Keep that in mind if you visit New York City this summer. -- Brent Baker
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