Mark Shields on Saturday: "The Recall Will, In Fact, Fail" --10/8/2003
2. Gergen Advises Schwarzenegger to Get Along by Raising Taxes
3. Jennings Hears Recall Used for "Nefarious Ends" to Reverse Vote
4. Williams Grants How Conservatives See Liberal Bias at
5. GMA Gives Huffington Election Day Forum to Trash Schwarzenegger
6. On Monday Night Football, Al Michaels Cracks on Huffington
7. "Top Ten Possible California Newspaper Headlines for Tomorrow"
Columnist and PBS analyst Mark Shields owes a six pack to his CNN Capital Gang colleagues, all of whom on Saturday predicted the recall would win while he bet a six pack that it would not.
Shields declared on the October 4 Capital Gang on CNN: "I will bet a six pack that the recall will, in fact, fail, closely."
Well, it succeeded, big. So Bob Novak, Margaret Carlson, Kate O'Beirne and Al Hunt should be awaiting delivery of their beer.
For a picture of Shields, who serves as the liberal political analyst every Friday on PBS's NewsHour: www.cnn.com
Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger has won after a pledge to not raise taxes, what should he do? He should raise taxes, David Gergen of U.S. News & World Report advised on Tuesday's Nightline.
Koppel put the burden on Schwarzenegger for creating a bad atmosphere as he asked Gergen, who appeared with Clinton's Chief-of-Staff, Leon Panetta: "Are the Democrats in Sacramento, after all the nasty things he's said about them, are they going to be in a mood to deal?"
Gergen argued: "I think they might if he does what Reagan did and that is, you know, Reagan broke the mold, he raised taxes after saying he wouldn't. But I just can't imagine in these circumstances Schwarzenegger's going to do that easily, so that's the hard part of it."
Hours before the polls closed, ABC's Peter Jennings delighted in "the irony" of how the recall, which "conservative Republicans had engineered" to "get rid of a moderate Democratic Governor," had led Gray Davis to sign "a lot of legislation pushed by liberals." And when Jennings went to the streets, he found a man who told him that the recall mechanism had been "usurped for...nefarious ends" and a woman who charged that "it's the Republicans' way of overturning a vote that they lost....it's undermining the democratic process."
Up against those two loaded quotes about a Republican or conservative coup d'etat, Jennings highlighted a woman who made the vague observation that "California is ready for any kind of change" and another woman who insisted that Cubans "don't like anything that is not true Republican right wing."
Jennings himself, in Los Angeles, narrated the "A Closer Look" segment on the October 7 World News Tonight. He began, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "Well, we're going to take another somewhat closer look now at the California recall election. As we were discussing with George Stephanopoulos, in almost every state these last few weeks, political activists have been watching the state, and so let's take it a step farther on the lessons to be learned when the public has lost confidence in the government's ability to manage their money.
And fed up with, as NBC noticed as detailed in item #4 below, the liberal media.
On election day NBC News acknowledged conservative backlash against the liberal bias of the Los Angeles Times for launching a last minute hit piece on Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams couldn't resist forwarding the usual media stereotypes about how only angry white men tune in to talk radio.
Picking up on what has been animating California talk radio, in piece aired Tuesday night on the NBC Nightly News, CNBC's The News with Brian Williams and MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Brian Williams actually uttered the words "liberal bias" as he identified the target of talk radio wrath: "It involves the news media and charges of liberal bias, specifically the groping accusations against Arnold Schwarzenegger and the LA Times." (I don't think he meant that the newspaper groped anyone.) Williams added: "Talk radio is on fire. People here are angry, and all the incoming fire is directed at a California colossus: the Los Angeles Times." And Williams contended: "LA remains pretty much a one-paper town. A liberal paper, at that, if you ask conservatives."
Tom Brokaw saw only males motivated by talk radio as he noted how the Los Angeles Times "became the target of some of Schwarzenegger's most passionate defenders, especially radio talk show commentators. In the end, that may have helped motivate Schwarzenegger's male voters." Williams contended: "The angriest listeners appear to be mostly white male conservatives with a sprinkling of Reagan Democrats."
Brokaw introduced the Williams story as aired on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News: "In the closing days of the campaign a lot of the coverage centered on the claims of 15 women who said that Arnold Schwarzenegger grabbed them sexually and made lewd remarks. Most of those stories originated in the Los Angeles Times and the Times quickly became the target of some of Schwarzenegger's most passionate defenders, especially radio talk show commentators. In the end, that may have helped motivate Schwarzenegger's male voters."
Williams began from Los Angeles: "An interesting subplot has developed during the closing days of this campaign here, and it mirrors a split in the nation as a whole. It involves the news media and charges of liberal bias, specifically the groping accusations against Arnold Schwarzenegger and the LA Times. The paper insists it was not a Gray Davis campaign leak that it was publishing. But Schwarzenegger's supporters say it all has too familiar a ring to it, and the AM airwaves here have become the battleground."
Williams proceeded to interview Phil Bronstein, Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, about the role of the California media in the recall campaign and whether the LA Times aided Schwarzenegger's opponents. The last question from Williams to Bronstein: "Final question, 15 seconds, if you please: Should more newspapers sometimes come out and say yeah, we probably lean left of center, we're not a conservative paper, it's just the way we are. That was a big complaint in LA today."
How about more anchors and reporters for cable news networks coming clean?
Liberal bias at the LA Times isn't a matter of dispute: The paper's Editor sees it himself. As recounted in the May 29 CyberAlert:
Arianna Huffington, who dropped out of the recall race, remained a vociferous critic of Arnold Schwarzenegger but, nonetheless, ABC's Good Morning America brought her aboard on Tuesday to assess the campaign as if she were some kind of independent analyst.
Robin Roberts asked her to suggest how difficult it has been for Maria Shriver "to hear these very public accusations against her husband?" Huffington endorsed the credibility of the accusers as she raised the word "rape" in her answer: "It's very hard to dismiss 15 women whose stories are all independently corroborated. In fact, I think it is really offensive to dismiss them because that's what makes it so hard for women to come forward and talk about stories of sexual harassment or even rape. Only one in 10 women come forward to talk when they've been raped."
Roberts brought up the claim from "the Internet" about how Gray Davis has "a violent temper against some of his staff members." But unlike the allegations against Schwarzenegger, Roberts tagged that "dirty politics" as she asked Huffington: "So is this just more of dirty politics this close to election?" Huffington, naturally, saw the case against Schwarzenegger as being much stronger.
MRC analyst Jessica Anderson transcribed Huffington's session via satellite from Los Angeles during the first half hour of the October 7 GMA.
Roberts set up the segment: "We want to turn now to Arianna Huffington, the columnist and commentator who has entered the recall race as an independent, but who recently dropped out of the race for Governor. Her name remains on the very lengthy ballot and she joins us now."
Referring to a previous story on how Shriver weathered the charges against her husband, Roberts first inquired of Huffington: "Off the heels of Linda Douglass's story with Maria Shriver, you know her, Maria Shriver, very well. She is a strong, independent, career woman. How difficult has this been for her to hear these very public accusations against her husband?"
The story about Davis may be circulating the Internet, but it's based on a Saturday column in the LA Daily News by Jill Stewart, who disclosed: "Since at least 1997, the [Los Angeles] Times has been sitting on information that Gov. Gray Davis is an 'office batterer' who has attacked female members of his staff, thrown objects at subservients and launched into red-faced fits, screaming the f-word until staffers cower....When I spoke to a reporter involved, he said editors at the Times were against attacking a major political figure using anonymous sources. Just what they did last week to Schwarzenegger."
As Roberts noted, ABC's Brian Rooney raised the item during his update on the Davis campaign: "Now, as to the question of whether Gray Davis really is a dull guy, there's been a report circulating on the Internet by a columnist named Jill Stewart claiming that he has a violent temper and has, at times, either struck or shoved some his employees at the state house. This is unverified otherwise. It is making the rounds of the Internet. It does not seem to have had any effect on the campaign so far. Gray Davis says the margin is razor thin. There is no independent polling to verify that and as the politicians like to say, the only poll that counts for Gray Davis is the one today."
For Stewart's Saturday column in full: www.dailynews.com
During this week's game, Monday Night Football play-by-play announcer Al Michaels took an accurate shot at Arianna Huffington, commenting on how a player who zig-zagged through the other team's defensive line to pick up nearly 20 yards had shown "more change of direction than Arianna Huffington," an obvious crack at how she's moved from right to left.
The MRC's Kristina Sewell caught the quip from Michaels which occurred with about 13:40 to go in the 2nd quarter of the October 6 game on ABC with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers up 14-0, in a game they eventually lost 38-35 in overtime to the Indianapolis Colts.
As the Buccaneers ran a play, Michaels described the forward movement of running back Michael Pittman: "2nd down and 2 from the 27 yard line. [after play complete:] Pittman showing more change of direction than Arianna Huffington, breaking a tackle and picking up a first down."
For a picture of Al Michaels: espn.go.com
For a rundown of earlier conservative comments from Michaels on Monday Night Football, praising Katherine Harris and Peggy Noonan and mocking Paul Begala, see the January 9, 2002 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
From the October 7 Late Show with David Letterman, taped before the polls closed in California, the "Top Ten Possible California Newspaper Headlines for Tomorrow." That would now be today. Late Show Web site: www.cbs.com
10. "135-Way Tie Throws State Into Confusion"
9. "Gray Davis Fails To Convince Self To Vote for Self"
8. "Governor Gary Coleman Names Lieutenant Governor Urkel"
7. "Recall Election Just Elaborate 'Punk'd' Prank"
6. "Dejected Comedian Gallagher Takes Sledgehammer To Own Head"
5. "Screw the Recall, How Did the Cubs and the Red Sox Get In the Playoffs?"
4. "Millions of Californians Move to Nevada"
3. "Confused Al Gore Demands Recount"
2. "Bush Reminds Nation 'You Can't Recall a President'"
1. "Maria To Arnold: 'Why Don't You Ever Grope Me?'"
# I don't know what happened to Dennis Miller. The Tonight Show guest page ( www.nbc.com ) had him listed on Tuesday afternoon as a Tuesday night guest. He was not on and Geraldo Rivera was on last night. Chris Matthews is listed as a scheduled guest for tonight, Wednesday.
And Senator Hillary Clinton is scheduled to appear Wednesday night on Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart, airing at 11pm, 1am, 10am and 7pm, all times EDT, Wednesday night through early Thursday evening.
-- Brent Baker