Appearance Alert!
Brent Bozell talks about MRC's "Worst of the Worst 2014" on FNC's Hannity, 10:30pm ET/PT

CyberAlert -- 12/14/2000 -- Bush Hindered by Conservatives

Bush Hindered by Conservatives; Brokaw Pushed McCain's Agenda; "Ideologically Motivated" SCOTUS Made Bush President

1) Conservatives, as epitomized by Tom DeLay, are an impediment to George Bush. ABC asserted the "firebrand conservative" will cause Bush more "difficulty" than any Democrat. CBS's Gloria Borger insisted Bush's first "test" is whether he shuts down DeLay, whom CBS tagged as "ultra-conservative."

2) Brokaw's first question to John McCain after Bush spoke: "I saw or heard nothing in this speech about campaign finance reform..." Second question: "You were critical of the Governor's tax plan when you were contesting with each other during the primaries. Do you think he ought to have that high on his agenda?"

3) We had eight boom years with Democrats in charge so, Dan Rather wondered, "What is it that you can make us think that things will be better with Republicans in charge of virtually all the levers of power?"

4) Al Gore's "greatest contribution"? ABC's Sam Donaldson claimed his dire warnings about global warming "are a wonderful contribution to alarm us about."

5) ABC's reporters fell over themselves in gushing about Gore's speech: "remarkably statesmanlike....incredibly gracious.... beautifully written, it touched on history....what aptness, even grace, and at times bordering on nobility of expression." CBS and NBC also praised Bush's performance.

6) Dan Rather discredited Bush's victory, opening the CBS Evening News by relaying the spin that the "politically and ideologically motivated U.S. Supreme Court...handed the presidency to Bush." Rather also assumed the court had ruined its reputation.

7) ABC on the Supreme Court: "Two hundred years ago Alexander Hamilton wrote that the court without an army or a vast treasury had only its judgment. There are many people who worry tonight that that precious commodity has been diminished."

8) Dan Rather: "'United We Stand, Divided We Fall' is carved in stone on a statue of Daniel Webster not far from this building in New York's Central Park. With that in mind...."

9) Letterman's "Top Ten Headlines We're Likely to See in the Next Four Years."


1

Within seconds of George W. Bush making his first appearance as President-elect ABC and CBS had already begun to nudge him left by identifying Tom DeLay, the "firebrand conservative," as the impediment to success and an enemy greater than any Democrat. Earlier, CBS's Phil Jones claimed Bush's win "may not be all good news" for "the ultra-conservatives, like Republican whip Tom DeLay."

Near the end of ABC's 10pm ET half hour special for Bush's Wednesday night address, Peter Jennings asked Linda Douglass on Capitol Hill: "Linda, I want a quick prediction from you if I may. Who is the new President going to have more difficulty with? Democrats or Republicans?"
Douglass named DeLay: "My prediction is he'll have more trouble with the conservatives...My prediction is Tom DeLay in the House, the firebrand conservative who has a lot of followers and doesn't want to give an inch."

In case the identity of the trouble-makers was not clear, Jennings stressed: "Thanks very much. In other words, the Republicans in the conservative wing of the party."

During CBS's live coverage, Dan Rather turned to Gloria Borger of CBS and U.S. News and asked if the Bush team is ready to take over running the government. She contended they are but warned that how he deals with DeLay will determine his success:
"I think they are ready to hit the ground running Dan and I think they also understand that one of their first tests may not just be how they behave with Democrats like Chuck Schumer, but how they behave with their own Republicans. Obviously there's a very conservative caucus, particularly running the House of Representatives. Tom DeLay one of the leaders of the House of Representatives, he said, 'look, this is the first time we've controlled the Congress and the White House in 50 years and we want a conservative agenda.' So George Bush is going to have to make a very strategic decision, and that is does he have a discussion with Tom DeLay and does he say 'look, I think we need to sit down with Democrats because we need to achieve something early.'?"

Earlier, on the CBS Evening News, Phil Jones warned: "The arrival of Cheney and Bush may not be all good news for some Republicans, especially the ultra-conservatives, like Republican whip Tom DeLay."
Jones to Congressman John Porter: "What is a President Bush going to have to say to people like Tom DeLay?"
Porter: "He's going to have to say that I'm the President, I've been elected to lead this country, I can't lead by associating only with a wing of my party."

Imagine a network treating any other group as some kind of alien force identified as "people like."

2

ABC and CBS launched their effort to discredit any allegiance to conservative policies by trying to damage Tom DeLay, but NBC's Tom Brokaw instead rudely used Bush's big night as another opportunity to promote John McCain's liberal campaign finance reform agenda as he also invited McCain to denounce Bush's tax plan.

Brokaw's very first question to Senator John McCain following Bush's speech during NBC's 90-minute 9 to 10:30pm ET special:
"I saw or heard nothing in this speech about campaign finance reform. It is your great passion, of course. Tim Russert talked about a honeymoon. Are you going to give the President-elect a honeymoon on campaign finance reform?"

No, he answered. He plans to bring it up soon.

Brokaw's second question to McCain: "The Governor once again repeated tonight what he believes is the need for broad uniform tax relief for this country. The economy is slowing. You were critical of the Governor's tax plan when you were contesting with each other during the primaries. Do you think he ought to have that high on his agenda?"

McCain suggested Bush concentrate on areas where he can reach consensus, such as estate taxes.

Memo to Brokaw: McCain lost. Memo to McCain: You lost worse than Gore.

3

Republicans in charge of everything: There go the good times. Check out this loaded question from Dan Rather to John McCain as CBS showed a live shot of Al Gore exiting the Old Executive Office Building at about 9:22pm ET:
"Many Americans, not all of them Democrats, will be thinking we went through eight pretty good years certainly economically and many other ways. But with a Democrat in the White House and Republicans controlling the Congress. Now we're moving to a period where the Republicans control the White House, the House of Representatives and, with Dick Cheney's vote coming, the Senate and the Republicans have a majority of, a decisive majority, in the Supreme Court. What is it that you can make us think that things will be better with Republicans in charge of virtually all the levers of power?"

Let's re-write Rather's assumption: "Many Americans, most of them journalists..."

4

Al Gore's dire warnings about global warming "are a wonderful contribution to alarm us about," ABC's Sam Donaldson oozed after Gore's speech Wednesday night.

Peter Jennings asked Donaldson to identify Gore's "greatest contribution" during the campaign. Donaldson's answer:
"I think his environmental stance. People like to deride him about it, his critics like to laugh a bit about it, but global warming and a whole host of issues, Peter, Al Gore has been the signal carrier in the night of the warning that if we don't do something about this, we're all gonna perish. Sounds silly, but it's a wonderful contribution to alarm us about."

How typical of liberal thinking. It's not accuracy that matters, it's that he cares.

5

The CBS and NBC anchor teams gushed with effusive praise for the speeches delivered by Al Gore and George Bush, but while ABC's reporters and analysts saluted Gore's address, after Bush spoke the network avoided reviewing his performance and moved on to assessing his chances for political success.

None of the three networks offered a syllable of criticism Wednesday night for how Gore behaved over the last five weeks. Instead, ABC's reporters described Gore's talk as "remarkably statesmanlike....incredibly gracious, almost could have been written by Governor Bush's speech writing staff....beautifully written, it touched on history....what aptness, even grace, and at times bordering on nobility of expression."

Dan Rather dubbed it "a classy concession" while NBC's Tim Russert asserted: "That was the perfect tone Tom. It was personal and poignant and credible." Russert offered equally enthusiastic praise for Bush: "It was a presidential speech. He was sincere and forceful."

Here are the December 13 prime time broadcast network assessments, most of which were transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth:

-- ABC News on Gore:

Peter Jennings: "You know, that is the most relaxed and the most personal and the calmest I have seen Al Gore almost in the entire campaign."
George Stephanopoulos: "Calm as if a burden has been lifted not only from the country, Peter, but from him because he knows that he has fought for the principles he said that he believed in over the course of the campaign. Also remarkably statesmanlike, Peter..."

ABC News Political Director Mark Halperin: "I don't think there was a single word in there that anyone in Austin, Texas, would have been bothered by. Incredibly gracious, almost could have been written by Governor Bush's speech writing staff...."

Cokie Roberts: "You know, one of the things that's so interesting, Peter, is often after a presidential race when we look at the loser, we say, 'Why couldn't he have been like that during the campaign?' And I think that that was the case with Al Gore tonight. He was, he came on and so often during the campaign when he came on TV he was annoying. There was nothing annoying about this. It was gracious, it was beautifully written, it touched on history..."

Sam Donaldson: "Peter, I don't think I've ever heard a more gracious concession speech. In the last forty years, I've covered a lot of elections, I've covered a lot of losers. I've never heard one like this....I think he did a wonderful thing toward trying to unite this country."

Terry Moran: "I must say I concur with my colleagues. What good humor, what aptness, even grace, and at times bordering on nobility of expression. What touch and grasp of the undercurrents and the yearnings in this political moment. This was a political act of excellence that we have not seen from Al Gore throughout this campaign...."

Dean Reynolds: "Well, I agree with what Mark Halperin just said, Peter. They could have written it themselves. This speech was extremely gracious. It's the kind of speech that Governor Bush will really truly appreciate..."

-- CBS News on Gore:

Dan Rather: "A classy concession" and a "gracious address."

Bob Schieffer: "I think it would be hard to say that you could find a more gracious speech."

-- CBS News on Bush:

Dan Rather: "A strong speech, strongly delivered, confidently delivered by the new President."

Bob Schieffer: "I thought it was a very good speech....Let's hope he succeeds. It will be the best thing for the country and I thought it was the right tone and the right kind of speech for tonight."

-- NBC News on Gore:

Tom Brokaw to Tim Russert: "It would be hard to improve on that as a statement of reconciliation and support for the new President."
Russert: "That was the perfect tone Tom. It was personal and poignant and credible. The Vice President said he disagreed with the Supreme Court decision, he's disappointed about losing, he said he doesn't know what he's going to do now. But he was extremely gracious and it was imperative that he step up and do just this and he did it extremely well."

-- NBC News on Bush:

Tom Brokaw: "Tim, again another graceful speech from the new President-elect talking about the issues, specifically, around which Democrats would have a hard time not uniting."
Russert: "Absolutely Tom. It was a presidential speech. He was sincere and forceful. It's quite interesting to me how both Al Gore and George W. Bush realized the significance and importance tonight for the country and for history. They realized it was a moment bigger than they were and they both stepped up and in an extraordinary way I think have taken a very significant, extraordinary step in pulling the nation together."

6

Discrediting Bush's victory by attributing it to a disreputable Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). On Wednesday night Dan Rather highlighted how "some say" a "politically and ideologically motivated U.S. Supreme Court...handed the presidency to Bush."

Rather opened the December 13 CBS Evening News: "Good evening. Texas Governor George Bush tonight will assume the mantle and the honor of President-elect. This comes 24 hours after a sharply split and, some say, politically and ideologically motivated U.S. Supreme Court ended Vice President Gore's contest of the Florida election and, in effect, handed the presidency to Bush."

Later, during CBS's prime time coverage of the Gore and Bush speeches, Rather posed a question to legal analyst Jonathan Turley which assumed the Supreme Court has damaged its reputation:
"In the wake of the Supreme Court decision where does the court go from here in rebuilding its prestige and reputation?"

They wouldn't need to, if they really do, if it weren't smeared by journalists like Dan Rather who incorporate partisan political spin into news copy.

7

Speaking of assuming the reputation of the Supreme Court has been ruined just because liberals don't like a decision, Wednesday's World News Tonight dedicated a whole story to giving credibility to attacks on the court from Mario Cuomo and a supposed "conservative legal scholar."

Reporter Aaron Brown countered Justice Clarence Thomas's insistence that politics played no role in the decision: "That may be a hard sell to many Americans who see politics written all over the court's 5-4 ruling." Brown concluded that in its Bush v Gore decision "many people" worry that the court's "precious commodity" of judgment "has been diminished."

Before ABC got to Brown's story, Gore beat reporter Terry Moran told viewers that Gore's top aides are really mad at the justices: "There is deep, deep anger and resentment and bitterness. It is not too little to say that Gore's inner-circle feels that they were robbed of this election by the Supreme Court of the United States."

ABC's Aaron Brown began his December 13 story, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "His meeting with students was arranged weeks ago, but Justice Thomas's words seemed especially important today."
Justice Clarence Thomas addressing high school students in video provided by C-SPAN: "I wish that there was a way for the people who are citizens of this country to see the seriousness and the angst of the members of the court when we sit in conference room-"
Brown: "And the question of the day."
Audience member: "How does party affiliation influence decision-making in the Supreme Court?"
Thomas: "Zero."
Brown: "That may be a hard sell to many Americans who see politics written all over the court's 5-4 ruling."
Mario Cuomo: "A lot of them won't just see a five to four decision. They'll see five so called conservatives against four so called liberals."
Brown: "And it's not just liberal Democrats like Mario Cuomo. Law professor Tarrance Sandalow (sp?) is a conservative legal scholar."
Sandalow: "The majority's decision can only be justified on the basis of the party that they favored, the man they wanted to be President, not on the basis on judicial philosophy."
Brown: "If the country adopts such a harsh view, the court's legitimacy will surely be diminished."
Provost Kermit Hall, North Carolina State University: "Political questions ultimately get translated into legal controversies. When that happens and the court doesn't have sufficient legitimacy, then it throws all of public policy into a kind of tangle of conflict."
Brown: "It's happened before, the court's split decision legalizing abortion seemed to only fuel a ferocious public debate. And not even unanimity guarantees acceptance. In 1954 a unanimous court ordered the end of school segregation. Brown vs. the Board of Education was widely ignored. In the end, the court's position may be spared because these are good and peaceful days."
Sandalow warned: "If this had happened in 1968, we would have had riots in the streets because there all of the institutions, the legitimacy of all of the institutions of government were being questioned by many people."
Brown concluded with an admonition: "Two hundred years ago Alexander Hamilton wrote that the court without an army or a vast treasury had only its judgment. There are many people who worry tonight that that precious commodity has been diminished."

8

No live news event is ever complete without some wackiness from Dan Rather and he came through again Wednesday night. Wrapping up the 9pm half hour dedicated to Gore's concession speech, Rather shared this with his viewers:
"John Dickerson in 1776 wrote: 'Then join hand in hand brave Americans all. By uniting we stand, dividing we fall.' And 'United We Stand, Divided We Fall' is carved in stone on a statue of Daniel Webster not far from this building in New York's Central Park. With that in mind, after a long and bitter campaign for the presidency that lasted five weeks past election day, Vice President Al Gore has just officially ended his campaign for this year and asked the American people to unite behind the new President, George Bush."

Is there really a statute in Central Park of Daniel Webster with those words?

9

Finally, from the December 13 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Headlines We're Likely to See in the Next Four Years." Copyright 2000 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.

10. "49 States Vote Florida out of the Union"
9. "Supreme Court Justices Given Bitchin' Ferraris by Anonymous Texas Governor"
8. "W. Asked to Veto Bill...Bush Hires Guy Named 'Vito' to Beat Up Clinton"
7. "Cowboy Hat and Tennis Racket Stocks Soar"
6. "President Comes Away Empty-Handed from 'Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire?'"
5. "In Shortest State of the Union Ever, President Declares, 'We Rock!'"
4. "Warren Christopher Turns 187"
3. "Dave and Oprah Letterman Honeymoon in Bahamas"
2. "Katherine Harris Returns to Job as Ramada Inn Cocktail Waitress"
1. "CNN, MSNBC, CNBC All Go Out of Business Admitting 'We Got Nothin''"

If only #1 were a real possibility. -- Brent Baker


>>> Support the MRC, an educational foundation dependent upon contributions which make CyberAlert possible, by providing a tax-deductible donation. Use the secure donations page set up for CyberAlert readers and subscribers:
http://www.mrc.org/donate

>>>To subscribe to CyberAlert, send a blank e-mail to: mrccyberalert-subscribe
@topica.com
. Or, you can go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters. Either way you will receive a confirmation message titled: "RESPONSE REQUIRED: Confirm your subscription to mrccyberalert@topica.com." After you reply, either by going to the listed Web page link or by simply hitting reply, you will receive a message confirming that you have been added to the MRC CyberAlert list. If you confirm by using the Web page link you will be given a chance to "register" with Topica. You DO NOT have to do this; at that point you are already subscribed to CyberAlert.
To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to: cybercomment@mrc.org.
Send problems and comments to: cybercomment@mrc.org.

>>>You can learn what has been posted each day on the MRC's Web site by subscribing to the "MRC Web Site News" distributed every weekday afternoon. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: cybercomment@mrc.org. Or, go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters.<<<