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CyberAlert -- 08/16/2002 -- "Self-Delusional Right-Wingers" in Waco

"Self-Delusional Right-Wingers" in Waco; Bloomberg Chief Donated to Gore; From Clinton to the NYTimes; Cable Viewers Avoiding Donahue; Moyers Partied with Lear and Leahy

1) CNN's Paul Begala: "Tonight, a group of self-delusional right-wingers in a heavily armed compound in Waco, Texas, surrounded by federal agents. Branch Davidians? No, the Brush economic summit."

2) The Washington City Paper discovered that "Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler contributed a total of $750 to the Democratic National Committee and the Gore campaign in the 2000 election cycle." The preference impacted coverage as a Bloomberg White House reporter maintained that in 2000 "some stories I was involved in were edited at the top with an anti-Bush slant."

3) A former Clinton speechwriter, who admitted several years ago that she always wanted to write speeches for a President but couldn't because of one "problem" -- that Ronald Reagan was the President at the time -- has joined the editorial writing team of the New York Times.

4) Phil Donahue's strategy of featuring leftists is not exactly attracting viewers. Ratings for his MSNBC show have "spiraled down" since his mid-July debut, the New York Daily News reported on Wednesday. CNN's Connie Chung now attracts 44 percent more viewers, though she trails far behind FNC's The O'Reilly Factor. Wednesday night's show showcased former Soviet propagandist Vladimir Pozner, and on Tuesday night viewers were treated to Michael Moore and pre-9/11 Bush family conspiracy talk.

5) Bill Moyers was at a party with Norman Lear, whom he had interviewed on his show just weeks before, and Vermont's liberal Democratic Senator, Patrick Leahy, just before Moyers was arrested for drunk driving. He later pled guilty to "negligent driving."

6) Bill Moyers whined on his PBS show: "Our addiction to fossil fuels means more greenhouse gases and a hotter world. New technology and policies could get us to a better balance down the road but the people running the government seem not to care about these things. Not surprising, since it's industry that's running the government."


1

Paul Begala's snarky description of the Bush economic summit. MRC analyst Ken Shepherd noticed how the liberal co-host of CNN's Crossfire opened the August 13 show on the night of the conclave:
"Good evening, welcome to Crossfire. Tonight, a group of self-delusional right-wingers in a heavily armed compound in Waco, Texas, surrounded by federal agents. Branch Davidians? No, the Brush economic summit."

That may have been Begala's idea of humor, but it probably isn't that far from his real thinking.

2

Calling it "a bit of red meat for the liberal-media-conspiracy crew," Washington's weekly City Paper discovered that "Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler contributed a total of $750 to the Democratic National Committee and the Gore campaign in the 2000 election cycle."

While media stories last year worried about the impact on the news service's coverage of the campaign of its namesake, Republican candidate for Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, the Washington City Paper revealed that a former White House reporter for Bloomberg maintained those "at the top" added "an anti-Bush slant" to stories. David Morris told the alternative weekly: "My personal feeling was that some stories I was involved in were edited at the top with an anti-Bush slant."

Jim Romenesko's MediaNews (http://www.poynter.org/medianews/) on Thursday highlighted the piece in the August 15 Washington City Paper. An excerpt from the story by Erik Wemple:

A bit of red meat for the liberal-media-conspiracy crew: Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler contributed a total of $750 to the Democratic National Committee and the Gore campaign in the 2000 election cycle. At the same time, Winkler and his underlings were producing hundreds of stories on the historic Bush vs. Gore race....

Bloomberg is a major news organization: 1,200 editors and reporters, in 87 bureaus, kick out 4,000 stories each day on business and politics. Its work runs in prestigious papers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Le Monde. But Winkler, who founded the operation in 1990, remains the driving force behind it.

"We're one of the largest news organizations in the world," he boasts.

Perhaps not the most professional, however. Bloomberg staffers report considerable discomfort working for a boss whose political loyalties are strong enough to carry a dollar figure. "If you're aware of the evidence of the bias, it naturally raises a suspicion about input from him on each and every story involving a political figure," says a staffer at the Bloomberg Washington bureau who requested anonymity.

One Bloomberg ex says the problem is more than theoretical. "My personal feeling was that some stories I was involved in were edited at the top with an anti-Bush slant," says former White House senior correspondent David Morris.

The political contributions -- Winkler also gave $750 to Democratic causes and candidates in both the 1996 and 1998 election cycles -- reflect the editor's willingness to let civic compulsions overwhelm journalistic strictures. In July 2001, Winkler sat at the witness table of a House subcommittee to spout off on the ethical conflicts of stock analysts. Journalists generally confine themselves to the press table at congressional hearings....

The donations, Winkler explained, came from a joint account that Winkler keeps with his wife, Lisa Winkler. In an interview this week, Winkler referred to himself and his wife as an "economic entity" and insisted that the contributions were "her decision."

Why, then, do federal elections records list "Matt Winkler" as the donor and Bloomberg as the employer?

"Everything that we do financially is together," responds Winkler. "There is no separate bank account."...

END of Excerpt

For the story in its entirety: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/archives/media/2002/media0816.html

3

A former Clinton speechwriter, who admitted several years ago that she always wanted to write speeches for a President but couldn't because of one "problem" -- that Ronald Reagan was the President at the time -- has joined the editorial writing team of the New York Times.

Carolyn Curiel was an editor at the Washington Post in the mid-1980s and a section editor with the New York Times from 1987 to 1992 before becoming a producer for ABC's Nightline until jumping to the White House in 1993 -- where she worked for another media veteran, Director of Speechwriting and Research, Donald Baer, a former Assistant Managing Editor of U.S. News.

An item in the August 13 New York Times announced:
"The appointment of Carolyn Curiel as an editorial writer for The New York Times was announced yesterday by Gail Collins, editor of the editorial page. Ms. Curiel, a former United States ambassador to Belize and a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, has served as a visiting fellow on The Times's editorial board this summer...
"A graduate of Purdue University, Ms. Curiel, 48, has served most recently as a senior fellow at the Pew Hispanic Center. Before working at the White House, she was a producer-writer for the ABC News program Nightline.
"From 1987 to 1992, she worked at The Times as an editor with the Week in Review and the foreign and national desks. She has also worked for The Washington Post and United Press International."

"I'm Doing Good for Bill," read the headline over an item about Curiel in the May 1997 MediaWatch, a newsletter published at the time by the Media Research Center:
"'I like knowing that I'm doing something that will help make a difference in a good way,' Clinton speechwriter Carolyn Curiel told a meeting of student reporters at the American Society of Newspaper Editors' (ASNE) convention in April.
"Curiel, an editor at the New York Times and Washington Post before jumping to television in 1992 as a Nightline producer, long ago wanted to write speeches for a President, but she faced an impediment. As recounted in a report on the ASNE Web site, Curiel 'was at The Washington Post when she first confessed to a colleague her interest in a White House speechwriting job. The only problem was that Ronald Reagan was President.'"

Quite a "problem" for the typical journalist.

4

Thanks to MSNBC hiring Phil Donahue at $1 million a year, CNN's Connie Chung Tonight isn't the last place cable news program at 8pm EDT. Donahue's ratings have "spiraled down" since his mid-July debut, the New York Daily News reported on Wednesday. Chung's show now attracts 44 percent more viewers, though it trails far behind FNC's The O'Reilly Factor.

Donahue's strategy of having his show feature leftists doesn't seem to be hauling in the viewers. Wednesday night's show showcased Donahue's old TV partner, former Soviet propagandist Vladimir Pozner, and on Tuesday night viewers were treated to multiple segments with Michael Moore. That same night, Thursday's Washington Times reported, Donahue brought aboard the author of a book which "promotes the idea that the Bush administration protected its 'big oil' interests at all cost, maintaining secret diplomatic links with both Saudi Arabia and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which ultimately caused the September 11 attacks."

An excerpt from Phyllis Furman's story in the August 14 New York Daily News:

....The mood at MSNBC has turned from hopeful to grim over the last four weeks, insiders said, as Donahue's ratings spiraled down, last week falling to 393,000 viewers from a start of 660,000 viewers. For the month, Chung beat Donahue by 44%. Both shows still lag far behind Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor....

Phil Donahue
Phil Donahue's left-wing topics and guests are not attracting viewers as his ratings have "spiraled down"

With backing from GE chairman Jeffrey Immelt, MSNBC locked in Donahue at $1 million a year and heralded the show's debut with flashy ads featuring Aretha Franklin. The moves spooked CNN execs, who saw MSNBC threatening their No. 2 ranking and were troubled by Donahue's strong start.

MSNBC also hired ex-New York Post editor Jerry Nachman, who serves as editor in chief and has his own show at 7 p.m. That, too, has failed to make a dent on CNN's Crossfire.

MSNBC prime time chief Phil Griffin called the month-long ratings performance "irrelevant" and said the net is committed to the lineup.

He said it's too soon to judge the new shows, especially because August is not a high point for news viewing, and said MSNBC "has gotten only encouragement" from the top brass at NBC. Donahue has more than doubled the 8pm ratings over last year, though ratings are up across the board for cable news....

END of Excerpt

For the entire story: http://www.nydailynews.com/business/story/10651p-10040c.html

"Donahue senses something sinister in Afghan war," read the headline over an August 15 Washington Times story by Jennifer Harper. An excerpt:

The thrum of conspiracy buzz has surrounded MSNBC's Phil Donahue....

On his talk show Tuesday night, Mr. Donahue featured an interview with Jean Charles Brisard, author of "Forbidden Truth," a contentious book published in France in November and released in the United States two weeks ago.

It promotes the idea that the Bush administration protected its "big oil" interests at all cost, maintaining secret diplomatic links with both Saudi Arabia and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which ultimately caused the September 11 attacks.

"All the dots connect to Saudi Arabia," Mr. Donahue told the author. "And those dots include George Bush, senior Bush, as well as al Qaeda and the U.S. government itself."

The Bush family, Mr. Donahue continued, "had an interest in seeing the construction of this pipeline through Afghanistan continued or moved forward, and that, you're suggesting, slowed us up and reduced our enthusiasm for going after al Qaeda and terrorism."...

"From the beginning, Phil Donahue said he wanted to give a voice to those who have not been heard," said MSNBC spokeswoman Cheryl Daly. "That must be what happened last night."...

END of Excerpt

For the article in its entirety: http://www.washtimes.com/national/20020815-16007337.htm

5

Bill Moyers, who regularly complains about the coziness between industry and politicians and the corporate influence on the media, attended a party for one of his interviewees which a liberal Senator also attended.

Newspaper stories on Tuesday, about the appearance in a Vermont courtroom on Monday by Bill Moyers after his arrest for drunk driving, revealed that when arrested he had just left a birthday party for television producer and liberal activist Norman Lear which was also attended by Vermont's liberal Democratic Senator, Patrick Leahy. (Moyers pled guilty to the lesser charge of "negligent driving.")

Back on July 5, Lear appeared on PBS's Now with Bill Moyers and Moyers proposed to Lear: "Did your heart leap with joy last week when the federal court in California said that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional because that phrase 'one nation, Under God' violates the separation of church and state?" For more on that interview and a piece by Stephen Hayes in the Weekly Standard about Moyers, refer back to the August 2 CyberAlert: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020802.asp#4

For an excerpt from the Bennington Banner story about Moyers' arrest, and a link to the full story: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020805.asp#6

An excerpt from the August 13 Bennington Banner story by John LeMay about Moyers' court appearance the day before:

PBS journalist Bill Moyers pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of negligent driving Monday in Vermont District Court.

Moyers was charged with DUI after leaving TV producer Norman Lear's 80th birthday party in Shaftsbury on July 27.

Moyers faces a $750 fine and a choice between performing 200 hours of community service or donating $1,000 to the Vermont State Police for its START program -- Stop Teen Alcohol Risk Team.

Moyers must also complete Vermont's DUI Impact Panel and the CRASH program -- a drinking and driving education program -- or the equivalents of those programs in New Jersey, where he lives. Moyers told the court that this was his first serious driving offense in 52 years of driving, and added "I regret that the first one has happened, especially in Vermont."...

Vermont State Trooper Travis Kline charged Moyers with DUI on July 27 after seeing Moyers swerve repeatedly across the centerline and the white line of the road. Moyers also had trouble negotiating a curve, the trooper said. Kline pulled Moyers over a short distance south of the Route 313 intersection in Arlington.

Moyers told Kline he had just left a friend's birthday party at "The Gully" on Buck Hill Road, according to court records. The Gully is the name of the former Robert Frost farm that's now home to retired television producer Norman Lear, renowned producer of "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons."...

Bennington County Sheriff Gary Forrest acknowledged that some of his deputies were at Lear's party to guard another famous guest, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).

Although the charge of negligent driving doesn't necessarily involve alcohol, Moyers attorney David F. Silver, from Bennington, acknowledged his client had "consumed a certain amount of alcohol," and the requirements of the sentence reflect that.

Bennington County State's Attorney William Wright said that since the breath test administered at the trooper barracks following the arrest was slightly under the legal limit of .08, the trooper -- following protocol -- did not file a form indicating intent to suspend Moyers' driving privileges.

That ruled out a license suspension, but a chemist's analysis put Moyers' blood-alcohol content at the time he was driving at somewhere between .074 and .097, and that analysis is enough to make alcohol "relevant" when it comes to sentencing, Wright said....

END of Excerpt

For the article in full: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/Stories/0,1413,104%7E8676%7E791497,00.html

The Rutland Herald reported that Moyers' lawyer said Moyers would pay the fine and not do the community service: "Silver indicated that Moyers would write a check rather than donate his time."

For the August 13 Rutland Herald story: http://rutlandherald.nybor.com/News/SouthernVermont/Story/51444.html

6

Another liberal shot from Bill Moyers as he blamed fossil fuels for global warning and whined that "the people running the government seem not to care about these things. Not surprising, since it's industry that's running the government."

MRC analyst Brian Boyd caught the latest liberal pontificating from Moyers on the August 2 Now on PBS:
"Moonscape mountains and polluted waters will not be our only legacy to the future if we fail to balance our economy and our environment. Our addiction to fossil fuels means more greenhouse gases and a hotter world. New technology and policies could get us to a better balance down the road but the people running the government seem not to care about these things. Not surprising, since it's industry that's running the government."

Last Friday's show centered on Moyers grousing with Ralph Nader.

Another episode of Now with Bill Moyers airs on most PBS stations tonight at 9pm EDT/PDT, 8pm CDT/MDT.

> Scheduled to appear tonight, Friday August 16, on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Martin Sheen, the President on NBC's The West Wing, the kind of liberal President Moyers dreams of. -- Brent Baker


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