CyberAlert -- September 23, 1996 -- Hillary Most Scrutinized

Three items today:

1. To Hugh Downs on 20/20 Friday night, it's Hillary the world's most persecuted First Lady. And Barbara Walters comes at Bill Clinton from the left, charging the welfare bill was "too extreme."

2. You can't always trust what you read. A local example of conflicting headlines based on the same facts.

3. The text of the September 23 edition of Notable Quotables. Most of the quotes have not been in any CyberAlert messages. Among the quotes, the New York Times says the Republican Party has been "a vehicle of white supremacy in the South, beginning with the Goldwater campaign..." Plus, Time and Newsweek slobber over Al Gore.

1) On Friday night (September 20) ABC's 20/20

ran Barbara Walters' interview with the Clintons. Introducing the second segment, co-host Hugh Downs announced:

"She is, perhaps, the most criticized, the most scrutinized, First Lady in history. Everyone has an opinion about Hillary Clinton, and Mrs. Clinton has heard them all. How has her marriage changed in these four years? What are her concerns now, both personal and political? Barbara continues now with the President and the First Lady, the world's most powerful couple."

During that segment, Bill Clinton said he might have Hillary work on welfare reform during his second term, a suggestion that he may scale back welfare reform to please liberals. But instead of pursuing the possibility that his signature was nothing more than election-year positioning, in the next segment Walters asked him:

"Even your own aides, many of them, and advisers feel that the bill is too extreme. Two of your advisers recently quit. Under the new bill a 60 year old federal guarantee of aid to needy families will end. It's been estimated as many as a million children will go hungry. What are you going to do about that?"

2) In the Virginia Senate race,
incumbent Republican John Warner faces Democratic challenger Mark Warner. Having both candidates share a last name isn't the only confusing part about following the race. Just look at these two headlines from September 19 on a Mason-Dixon poll showing the Republican Warner leading 54 to 34 percent.

From the suburban Viginia Journal newspapers --
Warners Grow Closer: Dem's Ads Evidently Paying Off

From The Washington Times --
Senator Holds 20-Point Lead: Mark Warner Ad Blitz Changes Litle

3) The September 23, 1996 Notable Quotables,
the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. (To subscribe by snail mail, send a check for $19 to the MRC at 113 South West St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.)

Here's the text of the NQ that mailed on Friday, September 20:

Gumbel Coddles Clinton's Crooked Crony

  • "Have you any doubt that Kenneth Starr and his deputies are pursuing an agenda that is purely political?"
  • "Bobby McDaniel, you said that your client is being used as a political pawn. Have you any legal recourse but to sit there and watch this unfold?"
  • "Given that you think this is all just a Republican witch hunt, do you expect the pressure to ease somewhat after the election?"

-- Some of Bryant Gumbel's questions to former Clinton business partner and convicted felon Susan McDougal and her attorney, September 17 Today.

Mistake to Talk to Conservatives; Mistake Not to Talk to Liberals
"Dole decided only this morning to speak to the Christian Coalition despite worries inside his campaign that a bow to the religious right might send the wrong message to moderate, swing voters....Clinton's campaign spokesman said in a statement: `Watching Bob Dole arm in arm with Pat Robertson speaks volumes to the extreme agenda being pursued by the Dole-Kemp-Gingrich team.' Bob Dole tried, perhaps even succeeded today, in reinvigorating his Republican base. But a top Clinton campaign official was all smiles, saying, `if you see Dole, tell him thanks for me.'"
-- NBC's David Bloom, September 14 Nightly News.


"No doubt this was a Clinton crowd [at the NAACP convention]. That comes as no surprise to Bob Dole. Dole had been invited to speak at the convention yesterday, but declined. He claimed he was already committed to campaigning and the All-Star baseball game. To those at this convention that was quite a stretch and an insult to African-American voters....By not showing up here, Bob Dole may reinforce those racial divides along party lines and fuel the anxiety among some Republicans that in this presidential campaign, Bob Dole may not be up to the challenge."
-- NBC's Jim Miklaszewski, July 10 Nightly News.

Fallows' Hillary Fan Club Application
"Is Hillary Clinton's predicament worse because she is a woman? Probably so. From Primary Colors to Rush Limbaugh to Saturday Night Live, the hostile stereotype of Hillary is the domineering ice-woman, the one person who scares the Most Powerful Man in the World. Bill Clinton has suffered when judged on the age-old standard of masculinity: military service. But female observers, from Camille Paglia to Maureen Dowd, have judged Hillary with a catty ferocity they would not apply to men. A man with a prim exterior can get into trouble, too, as Jimmy Carter could testify, but he mainly risks being seen as a weakling. Such a woman is an emasculating schemer."
-- New U.S. News & World Report Editor James Fallows in an essay titled "She's Lois Lane" in the September/October Mirabella magazine.

Ad Says Dole Opposes Time Off While Your Kid Dies: I Loved It!
"That family leave ad was right on the mark. You know, it absolutely escapes me how somebody can be for family values and yet be willing to deny a father the opportunity to spend time with a critically ill child or a mother time with a newborn without fear of losing their job."
-- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt on the Clinton campaign's negative ads, CNN's Capital Gang, September 14.

Intensely Competitive Puff Pieces About Gore
"George Bush fumed about jokes that he had put his manhood in a blind trust to serve as Ronald Reagan's Vice President. The young Dan Quayle never convinced the country he had the gravitas to be Veep, let alone top man. But the cerebral, private, intensely competitive Al Gore has managed the contortionist's feat of projecting an almost perfect loyalty to his boss's re-election without diminishing himself...Gore and Clinton, both brainy, moderate Southerners with an abiding interest in the plumbing of government, speak an easy shorthand and razz each other like competitive brothers."
-- Time Washington reporter J.F.O. McAllister, September 2.

"Though Al Gore relishes politics almost as much as his boss does, tonight he is next door in the Old Executive Office Building, doing what he really loves: thinking about complexity theory, open systems, Goethe and the absence of scientific metaphors in modern society. He's writing a speech, and the elegant Ceremonial Office is strewn with pizza cartons and Diet Coke cans...Clinton may lead the country into the millennium, but it is Gore who truly embodies the new century's possibilities and anxieties."
-- Newsweek reporter Bill Turque, September 2.

As Opposed to Those Pro-Civil Rights Southern Democrats
"But most important is the Republican Party's recent record as the vehicle of white supremacy in the South, beginning with the Goldwater campaign and reaching its apex in Richard M. Nixon's `Southern Strategy' in 1968 and 1972. Republicans appealed to Nixon Democrats (later Reagan Democrats) in the northern suburbs, many of them ethnic voters who had left the cities to escape from blacks, with promises to crack down on welfare cheats and to impose law and order, and they fought against affirmative action."
-- New York Times Washington Bureau Chief R.W. Apple on why the Dole-Kemp ticket isn't attracting black support, September 19.

Clinton Makes Life Great, Dole Makes It Worse
"For most people in this country, life is awfully good. So Clinton doesn't need to raise any issues. He just needs to point to his record and promise more of the same. The people who don't have a great life right now -- the 39 million people below the poverty level, the 40 million people with no health insurance, the 6.2 million people earning at or below the minimum wage -- are the people who really do have the issues. But Dole isn't about to reach out to them, and they aren't about to vote for Dole or the Republicans. That would make their plight worse, if that's possible."
-- Former NBC News President Michael Gartner in his USA Today column, September 17.

So What If the Tax Burden's At A Historic High?
"But if the economy's booming, as you say it is, why do we need tax cuts at all?"
-- Time Washington reporter Michael Duffy to Alan Murray on PBS's Washington Week in Review, September 6.

The Media Encouraged Newt's Extremism
"The media's preoccupation with conflict in general deeply affects the behavior of politicians, especially in Congress. An ambitious politician knows that the sure way to command press attention is with sensationalism and extremist polemics. Newt Gingrich built his power with media fireworks."
-- Former New York Times reporter Hedrick Smith narrating his PBS special People and the Power Game, September 3.

Bigoted Bonnie
"TV viewers saw a well-orchestrated image of a moderated Republican Party, portraying itself as pro-woman, pro-minorities, and pro-tolerance. This is in sharp contrast to the delegates on the floor, sixty percent of whom self-identified as conservative Christians."
-- NBC Radio News/Westwood One reporter Bonnie Erbe hosting To the Contrary on PBS, August 16.

-- L. Brent Bozell, Publisher; Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
-- Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
-- Peter Reichel, Circulation Manager; Brad Podliska, Matt Turosz; Interns

-- Brent Baker