Invoking Reagan; Katie Couric Outed; Either "Faithful" or "Far Right"
- ABC blamed
nature not communism for starving people as Diane Sawyer invoked
Ronald Reagan's name in arguing for U.S. aid to North Korea.
- Katie Couric
"outed" by Whoopi Goldberg on Monday's Today -- outed as
a closet "pro-choice" abortion marcher.
- News flash.
Dan Rather declared: "I do believe in objectivity."
- Some are
"faithful" while others belong to the "far
right" asserted a Washington Post headline over a Promise
1) As the CBS
Evening News did three weeks ago, Monday night ABC's World News
Tonight blamed North Korea's famine and starvation on natural events
instead of the communist government's Marxist policies. (For details
on the CBS story, a longer version of which will air Wednesday on the
premiere of Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel, see the September 11
For her September 29 World
News Tonight story, Diane Sawyer traveled to North Korea with Feed the
Children. She showcased video of malnourished children before laying
some blame on the regime, blame she quickly let a supposedly randomly
selected peasant absolve:
told us the country's failed economic policies have made a bad
situation worse. But outside Mundock [just spelling as Sawyer
pronounced the town name] 57-year-old Ahnac Chung [again, a guess]
blames only the unrelenting natural disasters -- floods, drought,
even a tidal wave last August which destroyed crop land and her
Following a soundbite, Sawyer
concluded by citing a quote from a man rarely cited as an authority by
"Nobody knows exactly
how many people are suffering, because entire regions of the country
remain off limits to outsiders. Even in desperation North Korea is
still a fiercely totalitarian state. Which means the severely
malnourished body of a child barely able to stand poses a question
for the rest of the world: Should we come to the aid of a hostile
government or remember, as Ronald Reagan said, a hungry child knows
Where's the "or" in
that choice? To judge by the many network stories that blamed Reagan
for denying food stamps to American kids you'd never know he ever
cared about a hungry child.
2) Actress Whoopi Goldberg appeared on Today Monday morning to promote
her new book titled "Book" about her views on life, but the
biggest revelation of the interview involved Katie Couric's politics.
During the September 29
interview Couric raised a chapter titled "Choice" in which
Goldberg explained how her daughter's pregnancy impacted her view of
abortion. But as MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens noticed, Goldberg
embarrassed Couric by mentioning the NBC host's participation in a
pro-choice march. Here's how the interview unfolded:
"Let's talk about the chapter you write called, 'Choice,' it's
a very, very personal chapter about getting a call from your 14 year
old daughter telling you, 'Hey mom, Guess what?'"
"'I'm pregnant.' Yes. Shock, but relief that she told me."
Couric: "Then she
gave you a double whammy and said, 'Mom:'"
gonna keep this baby.'"
Couric: "So you
write about choice meaning what?"
because, you know, when you get out there and you march, because
we've marched together."
Couric, feigning ignorance,
retorted: "Nooo. I'm not allowed to do that." [She
Goldberg, playing along,
with tongue firmly implanted in cheek as she stared upward: "Oh,
no that's right. We have not marched together. It was somebody that
looked like you."
At this point Couric is
staring at Goldberg who is laughing as are others off-camera as
Goldberg acknowledges her error in making a public mention:
"Uh, I forget where I am sometimes."
Couric tries to get off the
subject as soon as she can, prompting Goldberg: "You were
talking about, want me to remind you? About the pro-choice movement
and what pro-choice means to you?"
Goldberg then explained that
her daughter's decision to give birth made Goldberg realize that
"it's also a woman's right to choose to have the baby."
This revelation about Couric
helps explain her obsession last summer with the GOP's pro-life
platform. Here's a brief excerpt from the August 13 MRC Media Reality
Check on August 12 Republican convention coverage:
On NBC's Today on Monday,
Katie Couric posed at least seven abortion questions. To Senator Kay
"You know a lot has
been made of the Republican Party being a very inclusive party, one
that can embrace the views of various people. Given the way the
platform has worked out vis a vis abortion, and the fact that some
of these Republican governors are not speaking because they felt, as
if they were being censored. Do you still believe you can call the
Republican Party an inclusive party?"
During the 1992 convention,
Couric only asked Clinton's mother Virginia Kelley puff questions:
"I also read in the
many things that have been written about your son and his childhood
that he used to walk to church alone with a Bible under his
arm." But Couric felt compelled yesterday to ask Dole s
daughter Robin: "You all don t agree on all things political. I
know you differ with him in terms of his views on abortion. Do you
have discussions? Do you talk about it, talk it out, exchange
If Couric had participated in
a conservative political event I bet she would have been outed long
ago and vilified by the mainstream media for "crossing the
worry about bias at CBS News. Dan Rather has it under control. In a
recent interview he insisted that he believes on objectivity. In an
exchange caught by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens, on the September 20
edition of his CNBC show Tim Russert asked Rather:
Russert: "Do you
think reporters on the air should have to hide their emotions?"
Rather replied: "No.
First of all it's not humanly possible to hide your emotions all the
time. I do believe in what's become an archaic word for journalists,
I do believe in objectivity. You know my job is to be accurate, be
fair and in so far as it's humanly possible to keep my own feelings
out of every story. Now it's like the Ten Commandments. This is the
goal, this is the ideal. But no person everyday in every way can
meet the Ten Commandments and no person everyday and every way can
meet the high standard that reporters by in large set for
themselves. But I do agree that one test of a reporter is how often
he or she is able to keep their emotions out of what they are doing
and keep their own biases and agendas out of it."
Very reassuring, but Rather
hasn't been very successful. Here are just two examples.
From the March 16, 1995 CBS
"The new Republican
majority in Congress took a big step today on its legislative agenda
to demolish or damage government aid programs, many of them designed
to help children and the poor."
From the April 23, 1997 CBS
"The head of the
Republican political lobbying group that calls itself, quote, 'the
Christian Coalition' said today he's leaving to start a political
consulting business. Ralph Reed's group took a beating on some of
its hard-right agenda in the last election."
Promise Keepers will hold a big march this Saturday in Washington, DC.
Previewing the event, Sunday's Washington Post ran a front page
profile of founder Bill McCartney. The headline over Gabriel Escobar's
"He's the Coach for the
Faithful -- Or the Far Right?"
(The Promise Keepers are
headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. Inside, Escobar passed along:
"'McCartney and His Penis Keepers' is how part of the Boulder
community irreverently dismisses him.")
So, the "far right"
and the "faithful" do not overlap?