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CyberAlert -- 06/14/2001 -- Fear of New "Cold War Dynamic"

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Fear of New "Cold War Dynamic"; Momentum for Liberal Patients Bill Trumpeted by CBS; Rather's Refutable Claim About Bush Twins

1) Bush will "build a missile defense system whether the allies like it or not," ABC's Charles Gibson asserted. NBC's Tom Brokaw offered hostility: "It's very expensive and takes the arms race in a whole new direction." Campbell Brown focused on how "key allies" expressed "doubts" over whether it will work as they fear setting aside the ABM treaty "will rekindle the Cold War dynamic."

2) After running a bunch of mostly negative soundbites about Bush from Europeans, such as "this is a man who, I mean, he can't even control his daughters and he's got his finger on the nuclear pulse," and "Al Gore would have been a hell of a lot better," Good Morning America's Diane Sawyer gushed: "The amazing thing is how much they know about America."

3) "Momentum is building in Congress for what's called a patients' bill of rights," Dan Rather celebrated in making a big deal out of how one Congressman decided to support the Democratic version. Another Congressman is ignored when he fights abortion, but Bob Schieffer held him up as a leading light: "It is stories like this one from Republican Chris Smith, whose dying parents were denied HMO help, that are driving support for HMO reform."

4) Introducing an excerpt from an interview with Laura Bush, Dan Rather claimed that "this broadcast" had not previously reported on "the problems her twin 19-year-old daughters have had with the police." But that's not really accurate. It depends on how you define "this broadcast."

5) Two media outlets this week have provided a counterweight to the one-sided portrayal of the National Academy of Sciences report as declaring as fact that humans are fueling global warming and it posses a great danger. Not surprising, FNC was one outlet. But the other was the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's editorial page.

6) Letterman's "Top Ten Other Television Shows Produced By Saddam Hussein."


1

ABC and CBS reporters on Wednesday night grudgingly conceded that President Bush made progress in convincing European allies to not oppose missile defense, but NBC remained hostile as Tom Brokaw declared: "It's very expensive and takes the arms race in a whole new direction." From Brussels, Campbell Brown noted that "a senior White House adviser insists Bush has the support of at least seven NATO countries," but countered that "key allies, Germany and France, both express doubts over whether missile defense will even work" and that they "fear" setting aside the ABM treaty "will rekindle the Cold War dynamic, fueling Russia's suspicions Bush's real aim is military superiority."

CBS's John Roberts admired how "Bush effectively took control of the agenda today," but warned that "tomorrow it will be more difficult" because on global warming "Bush stands very much alone."

More details from the June 13 evening shows about the assessments of Bush's progress on missile defense:

-- ABC's World News Tonight. Anchor Charles Gibson teased the broadcast: "On World News Tonight, President Bush overseas. He says he'll build a missile defense system whether the allies like it or not."

Gibson opened the show: "Good evening. President Bush brought the single most important component of his national security policy to a very skeptical audience today. At NATO headquarters Mr. Bush said he made real progress convincing our European allies that a missile defense system is worth pursuing. But if they're not convinced, he suggested, the U.S. would go it alone."

From Brussels, John Cochran ran clips of Bush's comments at the NATO meeting before cautioning: "Although the President believes he made great headway today, if a vote had been taken he would have lost."

-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather set up CBS's story: "At NATO headquarters in Brussels Belgium today President Bush moved forward on one campaign pledge, but backed away from another."

John Roberts also began with some Bush soundbites before assessing his success: "President Bush's bold pitch paid off with some allies, but others remain opening skeptical, whether the emerging threat is as serious as the White House contends."
Lord George Robertson, NATO Secretary General: "What the President asked for and what the President got was an open mind by the other allied countries."

Not exactly a negative comment.

Roberts continued: "As he pressed ahead with one campaign promise, President Bush backtracked on another, his vow to pull American troops out of Bosnia and Kosovo and leave sole responsibility for peacekeeping to the Europeans. Today the President said the soldiers will stay put."

Roberts concluded with a warning: "President Bush effectively took control of the agenda today, but tomorrow it will be more difficult. High on the list of priorities for the European Union summit will be global warming. And on that front, President Bush stands very much alone."

-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw teased the show before the theme music: "The hard sell. President Bush in Europe fights for missile defense. It's very expensive and takes the arms race in a whole new direction. Will he get his way?"

Brokaw then began the show with this lengthy discourse: "Good evening. President Bush is on a crusade in Europe tonight to change the character and the direction of the most deadly form of warfare in history, nuclear war. He's selling hard the idea of a controversial missile defense system to shoot down an incoming nuclear attack. Now there is no defensive system by design. The operating theory is that the best defense is an overwhelming offense. So far no missile defense system has worked well in tests. But as NBC's Campbell Brown reports from Brussels tonight, the President is convinced that will change."

Brown showed clips of Bush arguing the Cold War is over and that the new threat is from rogue states. She countered: "But Bush's stance prompts demonstrations at NATO headquarters today, even a hang gliding protestor bearing the sign 'Stop Star Wars.' A senior White House adviser insists Bush has the support of at least seven NATO countries, yet today key allies, Germany and France, both express doubts over whether missile defense will even work and Bush's eagerness to set aside the anti-ballistic missile treaty with Russia, an agreement that limits defensive missiles on both sides, a move some fear will rekindle the Cold War dynamic, fueling Russia's suspicions Bush's real aim is military superiority."

2

After running a bunch of mostly negative soundbites about President Bush from people on the streets of Europe, such as "Texas people are very rude," "this is a man who, I mean, he can't even control his daughters and he's got his finger on the nuclear pulse," and "Al Gore would have been a hell of a lot better," Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer gushed: "The amazing thing is how much they know about America, period."

The comments really didn't show much knowledge of America beyond a very basic understanding of the name of the U.S, President and where he's from.

MRC analyst Jessica Anderson caught the 7:30am half hour segment on the June 13 show. Sawyer set it up: "As we all know, George W. Bush heading off to Europe -- big moment for him. So we thought, we'd send people out on the street, what do men on the street know about the American President?"

Viewers then saw a series of clips of people on the streets. From their accents you could assume they were from various nations, but none carried any such information on screen:
Man #1: "He's an American cowboy."
Man #2: "He's a typical American."
Man #3: "Typical American guy."
Man #4: "He's an interesting chap."
President Bush: "And our intent is to make the world more peaceful."
Man #4: "He appears to have very little knowledge of anything other than living and working in Texas."
Woman #1: "Texas people are very rude."
Man #5: "He comes across as sort of 'good ol' boy.'"
Woman #2: "He's a very, very friendly man, a very, very friendly man."
Man #2: "I'm not a really good person to describe George Bush because I don't know him personally.
Man #6: "This is a man who, I mean, he can't even control his daughters and he's got his finger on the nuclear pulse."
Woman #3: "He does not know a lot about European history. He very much identifies with his father and tries to fulfill what his father did not manage to fulfill."
Man #1: "Not a son of Bush, but like a bit of Ronald Reagan."
Man #7: "Give the man a chance."
Man #8: "He's a good person. He seems like he can run the country well."
Man #9: "If a person becomes the President of the first nation in the world, he's not stupid."
Man #10: "Al Gore would have been a hell of a lot better."

Back on live, Sawyer remarked: "The amazing thing is how much they know about America, period."
Substitute co-host Terry Moran agreed: "I don't know how many men on the street in America would know about the Chancellor of Germany, but that is a, that's a reflection of what the leaders in Europe have to deal with. The public opinion there is running very high against George Bush, in a way."
Sawyer: "And he's got global warming to contend with and the fact that we pulled out of the treaty in Kyoto, or he's talking about it."

3

The CBS Evening News celebrated the decision by Republican Congressman Charlie Norwood of Georgia to support the Democratic patients' rights bill, treating it as a momentous event even though Norwood has long been hostile to the GOP version. Remember Al Gore's repetition of "Dingell-Norwood" during last year's presidential debates?

For years Republican Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey has been a leader against abortion here and around the world, but how many times have you seen him on the network news? Well, now that his agenda matches CBS's, Bob Schieffer suddenly considered him a leading light: "But even Congressmen have HMO horror stories, and it is stories like this one from Republican Chris Smith, whose dying parents were denied HMO help, that are driving support for HMO reform."

Dan Rather introduced the June 13 story, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Momentum is building in Congress for what's called a patients' bill of rights, including a strong provision that would give individual Americans the right to sue their managed health care plans. President Bush threatens to veto this version but, as CBS's Bob Schieffer reports tonight, it got a big boost today from a Republican Congressman."
Bob Schieffer: "In a key development, Georgia Republican Charlie Norwood broke with the White House and said he'd push legislation to give patients the right to sue their HMOs."
Rep. Charlie Norwood at an outdoor press event: "They were obviously hoping that by intense lobbying they could persuade me to see it their way. Neither of us were able to succeed."
Schieffer: "Norwood is a Republican dentist who split with Republican House leaders over HMO reform last year. But the President urged him to stand aside this time. When he said no, that gave a big boost to reform backers and Democrats."
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle: "Congressman Norwood's decision today is terrific news. We are extremely pleased."
Schieffer: "The industry has spent millions to block the legislation claiming it would drive up costs to employers and patients alike."

Following a clip of the ad, Schieffer proclaimed: "But even Congressmen have HMO horror stories, and it is stories like this one from Republican Chris Smith, whose dying parents were denied HMO help, that are driving support for HMO reform."
Chris Smith: "The ultimate insult was when my father was told that the tracheotomy that he had, he had stomach cancer and needed a tracheotomy, would not be covered, the anesthesia would not be covered."
Schieffer: "Norwood's support will help backers, but it won't be a cakewalk. From Brussels, the President leveled what sounded like a veto threat as he repeated previous objections....The President wants these cases to be tried only in federal court where critics say it will take longer to bring them to trial, and he wants to limit the damages that patients can collect. This one could get nasty."

4

It depends on the meaning of "this broadcast." Introducing a brief excerpt from an interview with First Lady Laura Bush, Dan Rather on Wednesday night claimed that "this broadcast" had not previously reported on "the problems her twin 19-year-old daughters have had with the police." But that's not accurate.

On the June 13 CBS Evening News Rather intoned: "Laura Bush is speaking publicly for the first time about the problems her twin 19-year-old daughters have had with the police. We haven't reported this story on this broadcast, you're hearing about it here for the first time tonight because the First Lady has now talked publicly about it for the first time -- exclusively with CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante for tomorrow's CBS Early Show."

Well, what does "this broadcast" mean? Such a claim is only accurate to someone inside CBS News who considers the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" aired Monday-Friday to be wholly separate from the CBS Evening News which runs on weekends. While it is true that the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather skipped the Barbara and Jenna under-aged drinking story, the Saturday, June 2 edition of the CBS Evening News ran a full story on the matter.

5

Two media outlets this week have provided a counterweight to the one-sided doom and gloom promotion of the National Academy of Sciences report as declaring as fact that humans are fueling global warming and it poses a great danger. One media outlet is one you'd expect, the Fox News Channel, but the other is something of a surprise, the Atlanta Constitution's editorial page under the direction of the liberal Cynthia Tucker.

[WEB UPDATE: This editorial ran in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but not on the Constitution editorial page edited by the liberal Cynthia Tucker. The paper has a separate conservative Journal editorial page edited by Jim Wooten and it is on the Journal page that the below excerpted editorial appeared.]

Fred Singer, President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project and professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, informed FNC's Brit Hume: "There are four data sets, and three of them say the climate is not warming. One says the climate is warming." He added that "over geologic history," greenhouse gasses "have been 20 times higher than what they are today."

The Atlanta Constitution editorial pointed out: "There's a whole lot of waffling over warming in the panel's report: Its 24 pages include 48 uses of what is 'uncertain;' 33 of what 'may' occur; 32 of 'could;' 25 of 'likely' and 21 of 'possible'" and that "humans are responsible for just 4.5 percent of the 173.1 billion tons of greenhouse gases produced annually. The rest is nature."

-- Excerpts from the June 12 Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC:

Hume set up the segment: "To read the news coverage on last week's report on global warming from the National Academy of Sciences, you might have thought the issue was settled: Global warming is a serious threat, human behavior is responsible for it, and the Kyoto treaty on the issue is the answer."

Singer explained why scientists cannot be sure if the planet is experiencing unusual warming: "They cannot be sure. But of course, you must have taken into account the fact that when they say the climate is warming, which they claim, they only are looking at one data set. There are four data sets, and three of them say the climate is not warming. One says the climate is warming."
Hume: "Now, these four data sets all equally scientifically valid and equal?"
Singer: "Yes, they are. And in fact, last year, the same National Academy published a report in which they say that the atmosphere is not warming, according to data from weather satellites and according to data from weather balloons. So weather balloons and weather satellites show no warming. Surface data show a warming. And then what we call proxy data from tree rings and ice cores show no warming."
Hume: "So what are we to conclude?"
Singer: "So it's three to one. Well, unfortunately, you cannot conclude anything at the moment. What we need to do is to have a proper debate. We need to find out why it is that the data sets disagree."

Hume soon wondered: "Now, wouldn't it, though, I mean, it seems like the argument could be made that as a precautionary matter, given the potential consequences of a warming of the Earth -- and I want to ask you about that the prudent thing to do would begin to take precautions now and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Is that not a sensible course?"
Singer: "Well, we're doing this anyway, whether there's warming or not. We're doing this because we're always striving for greater energy efficiency. So per unit of GNP, per unit of output, we are reducing our emissions and have been for the last 30 years."

Singer later pointed out: "There's no question that greenhouse gases have risen in the atmosphere as a result of human activities. On the other hand, you have to take a geologic point of view. The levels of greenhouse gases -- for example, carbon dioxide -- are not as high as they were some time ago. For example, over geologic history, they've been 20 times higher than what they are today -- 20 times higher."

Singer explained C02 "was one of the primordial gases. It comes out of volcanoes. So it's emitted from the earth. It hasn't really upset the climate very much. We've had a reasonably good climate for the last 600 million years, and I think we will continue to have a good climate."
Hume: "Is it clear that if there were global warming, that it is harmful?"
Singer: "No, not at all. It depends really on how much, of course. A modest warming, which is all we're talking about here, would, in fact, produce benefits. So economists tell us."
Hume: "What benefits?"
Singer: "Leading economists, led by a professor from Yale University, have published a book. And they point out that the United States would benefit from a higher level of carbon dioxide and a warmer climate."

-- An editorial in the June 11 Atlanta Constitution brought to my attention by the MRC's Rich Noyes. An excerpt of the editorial headlined, "Turn off the alarms: Concerns about global warming expressed in a hastily assembled report ignore statistics that downplay the doomsday scenario."

"Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes are also a reflection of natural variability. Human-induced warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through the 21st century."

With the opening paragraph of its global warming report, an 11-member panel of the National Academy of Sciences also opened up a can of worms. And we now have more hot air flowing from the global warming conspiracy theorists than ever was produced by climate change....

The panel produced the report for President Bush within a month, a tight deadline unwisely set by the administration. The hastiness is obvious in the report; its sweeping introductory assertion hardly reflects the scientific debate raging on the issue of climate change; and reading beyond the introduction shows the panel's assertion is as solid as the composition of Swiss cheese.

Consider this admission: "Because there is considerable uncertainty in current understanding of how the climate system varies naturally and reacts to emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, current estimates of the magnitude of future warming should be regarded as tentative and subject to future adjustments."

And: "Reducing the wide range of uncertainty inherent in current model predictions of global climate change will require major advances in understanding and modeling...."

In fact, there's a whole lot of waffling over warming in the panel's report: Its 24 pages include 48 uses of what is "uncertain;" 33 of what "may" occur; 32 of "could;" 25 of "likely" and 21 of "possible." By contrast, its response uses the word "science" four times....

Here's the truth: Humans are responsible for just 4.5 percent of the 173.1 billion tons of greenhouse gases produced annually. The rest is nature -- volcanic eruptions, sea-water evaporation and decaying matter. It's pure speculation to blame humans for global warming -- or cooling, for that matter. Satellite data reveals no warming trend on the planet.

Interestingly, for all the global warming hysteria, "The longer-term trend for the period since 1895 has shown a trend toward slightly cooler annual temperatures across the Southeast," says Georgia's assistant state climatologist, Pam Knox....

The most valuable contribution U.S. scientists can make is to continually question basic assumptions and conclusions, promote clear and careful appraisal and presentation of the uncertainties about climate change as well as those areas in which science is leading to robust conclusions, and work toward a significant improvement in the ability to project the future. In the process, we will better define the nature of the problems and ensure that the best possible information is available for policy makers.

Incidentally, the previous paragraph wasn't ours. It was from the National Academy of Sciences' report. But we couldn't have said it better.

END Excerpt

6

From the June 12 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Other Television Shows Produced By Saddam Hussein." Copyright 2001 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.

10. "Allah McBeal"
9. "Wheel of Torture"
8. "Temptation Bunker"
7. "Mustafa In The Middle"
6. "The Price Is Right If Saddam Says It's Right"
5. "As The Oil Rig Burns"
4. "World's Wildest Camel Chases"
3. "Live with Regis and Kelly"
2. "Touched By A Moustache"
1. "Everybody Knows That Raymond Is An Infidel and Must Be Stoned"

-- Brent Baker


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