Moyers: Right Wing Implementing "Intentional Destruction" of US --6/11/2003
2. Couric Treats HRC as Victim, But Also Raises Unfavorable Topics
3. Carlson Advices Martha Stewart to Look to Hillary for Guidance
4. ABC's Martin Believes HRC, Time's Klein Faults Clinton Critics
5. "Penn's Pugnacity of the Day," Profiting via "Collateral Damage"
Another mean-spirited, vitriolic attack on conservatives by Bill Moyers, but at least this time one that was not broadcast on his taxpayer-subsidized PBS show. At the "Take Back America" conference in Washington last week put on by the left-wing Campaign for America's Future, Moyers, John Nichols relayed in an online posting for the far-left Nation magazine, rallied the liberal faithful "who seek to spark a new progressive era."
Nichols relayed how Moyers delivered a speech "condemning 'the unholy alliance between government and wealth' and the compassionate conservative spin that tries to make 'the rape of America sound like a consensual date,' Moyers charged that 'rightwing wrecking crews' assembled by the Bush Administration and its Congressional allies were out to bankrupt government."
Plus, Moyers asserted: "I think this is a deliberate, intentional destruction of the United States of America."
James Taranto's "Best of the Web" column for OpinionJournal.com (www.opinionjournal.com/best) highlighted the Nation's recounting of the Moyers screed and FNC's Brit Hume picked up on it Tuesday night.
An excerpt from "The Online Beat" column by John Nichols posted on June 9 about the Moyers rant:
....Recalling the populism and old-school progressivism of the era in which William Jennings Bryan stirred the Democratic National Convention of 1896 to enter into the great struggle between privilege and democracy -- and to spontaneously nominate the young Nebraskan for president -- journalist and former presidential aide Bill Moyers delivered a call to arms against "government of, by and for the ruling corporate class."
Condemning "the unholy alliance between government and wealth" and the compassionate conservative spin that tries to make "the rape of America sound like a consensual date," Moyers charged that "rightwing wrecking crews" assembled by the Bush Administration and its Congressional allies were out to bankrupt government. Then, he said, they would privatize public services in order to enrich the corporate interests that fund campaigns and provide golden parachutes to pliable politicians. If unchecked, Moyers warned, the result of these machinations will be the dismantling of "every last brick of the social contract."
"I think this is a deliberate, intentional destruction of the United States of America," said Moyers, as he called for the progressives gathered in Washington -- and for their allies across the United States -- to organize not merely in defense of social and economic justice but in order to preserve democracy itself. Paraphrasing the words of Abraham Lincoln as the 16th president rallied the nation to battle against slavery, Moyers declared, "Our nation can no more survive as half democracy and half oligarchy than it could survive half slave and half free."...
In the face of what he described as "a radical assault" on American values by those who seek to redistribute wealth upward from the many to a wealthy few, Moyers said he could not understand "why the Democrats are afraid to be labeled class warriors in a war the other side started and is winning."...
[Dennis] Kucinich, who earned nine standing ovations for his antiwar and anti-corporate free trade rhetoric, probably did more to advance his candidacy than any of the other contenders. But he never got to the place Moyers reached with a speech that legal scholar Jamie Raskin described as one of the most "amazing and spellbinding" addresses he had ever heard. Author and activist Frances Moore Lappe said she was close to tears as she thanked Moyers for providing precisely the mixture of perspective and hope that progressives need as they prepare to challenge the right in 2004.
That, Moyers explained, was the point of his address, which reflected on White House political czar Karl Rove's oft-stated admiration for Mark Hanna, the Ohio political boss who managed the campaigns and the presidency of conservative Republican William McKinley. It was McKinley who beat Bryan in 1896 and -- with Hanna's help -- fashioned a White House that served the interests of the corporate trusts.
Comparing the excesses of Hanna and Rove, and McKinley and Bush, Moyers said "the social dislocations and the meanness of the 19th century " were being renewed by a new generation of politicians who, like their predecessors, seek to strangle the spirit of the American revolution "in the hard grip of the ruling class."
To break that grip, Moyers said, progressives of today must learn from the revolutionaries and reformers of old. Recalling the progressive movement that rose up in the first years of the 20th century to "restore the balance between wealth and commonwealth," and the successes of the New Dealers who turned progressive ideals into national policy, Moyers told the crowd to "get back in the fight." "Hear me!" he cried. "Allow yourself the conceit to believe that the flame of democracy will never go out as long as there is one candle in your hand."
While others were campaigning last week, Moyers was tending the flame of democracy. In doing so, he unwittingly made himself the candle holder-in-chief for those who seek to spark a new progressive era.
END of Excerpt
For the online article in full: www.thenation.com
Moyers' passionate disgust for conservatives is nothing new to anyone who watches his Friday night PBS show, Now with Bill Moyers, as recounted in some previous CyberAlerts:
-- Moyers on the April 18 Now. Vice President Cheney, Bill Moyers argued on his PBS show on Friday night, is the "poster boy" for the "military-industrial complex" made up of those who "call for war with all the ferocity of non-combatants and then turn around and feed on the corpse of war." Moyers lectured: "America's corporate and political elites now form a regime of their own and they're privatizing democracy. All the benefits -- the tax cuts, policies and rewards flow in one direction: up." See: www.mediaresearch.org
[Web Update: The Common Dreams Web site, "views for the progressive community," has posted the full text of Moyers' address to the June 4 Take Back America conference
sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future:
NBC's Today this week featured a five-part taped interview with Senator Hillary Clinton to promote her new book, with segments conducted by Katie Couric airing during the 7:30am half hour on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, plus time during the 9am half hour on Monday and Tuesday.
While Couric often treated Hillary as a victim, just as did ABC's Barbara Walters, Couric also raised subjects not brought up by Walters, such as how many were disturbed about an un-elected First Lady taking a policy role, the early "bimbo-eruptions," and whether she could understand how, after her quote ("I suppose I could've stayed home and baked cookies and had teas but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life") that "women staying at home, raising a family, leading very full lives would feel dissed by that comment?"
Given the 45 minutes or so of air time devoted to the sessions, there's way too much to fully convey, but thanks to MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens who got much of it transcribed, below are highlights of the interview segments from Monday when Couric empathized with Hillary's plight because since her days at Wellesley College she's been "a so-called lightning rod, a term that would haunt you, really for the rest of your life," to incessantly prodding Hillary in Wednesday's concluding segment to run for President.
In between, on Tuesday, Couric delivered this doozy about negative reaction to Hillary's political activities as First Lady: "But were you surprised at the backlash? The really vitriolic, violent backlash against you in many ways? Do you think it was good old-fashioned sexism?"
For a rundown of Walters' Sunday infomercial for Hillary's book, see the June 9 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
## Monday, June 9, 7:30am, a session with a lot of giggling:
-- Couric on Hillary's Wellesley College commencement address: "And that was quite controversial as was some of the content of your speech. Was that your first experience being at the center of a storm. Being a so-called lightning rod, a term that would haunt you, really for the rest of your life."
-- Couric: "When you went to Yale Law School you met Bill Clinton. It's hard to believe, given the person he is today, that you find him quite shy."
-- Couric: "You write about his hands. You say, 'One of the first things I noticed about Bill Clinton was the shape of his hands. His wrists are narrow and elegant and his long fingers, deft, like those of a pianist or a surgeon. When we first met in law school I loved just watching him turn the pages of a book.' Whoa! So what else attracted you to him other than watching him turn the pages of a book?"
When Hillary recounted how much she liked Bill's hands, Couric gushed: "That's quite very dreamy."
## Tuesday, June 10, 7:30am:
-- Couric: "Hillary, the White House years, just days after your husband was sworn in as President he announced he was appointing you to head the task force on national health care reform. Looking back on that do you wonder what planet were we on?"
-- Couric: "You and your husband had many controversies to deal with during your time at the White House. Travelgate, Whitewater, the brouhaha over money you made on cattle futures trading. Do you believe the world was out to get you or would you acknowledge now that you all made your fair share of mistakes?"
Couric didn't follow up on the ridiculous claim that investigation found the Clintons didn't do anything wrong.
-- Couric: "You stand by your contention that there was a vast right-wing conspiracy?"
-- Couric: "There are so many people out there who say, 'Uh! They're just political animals. They do what's expedient. They don't love each other, they're just together because it's politically advantageous. It's a sham.'"
## Tuesday, June 10, 9am half hour:
-- Couric, on reaction to Hillary's political activity as First Lady: "But were you surprised at the backlash? The really vitriolic, violent backlash against you in many ways? Do you think it was good old-fashioned sexism?"
-- "You often talked about a zone of privacy when you were at the White House and I'm wondering how you square that with the fact that you are a feminist. That, that means you are against things like sexual harassment and given some of the things your husband allegedly engaged in as President do you think that fell under the purview of the public's right to know?"
## Wednesday, June 11, 7:30am half hour:
-- "As you know Senator Clinton there's been lots of criticism that the Democrats are feckless, clumsy, too slow to articulate an alternative vision to President Bush's. And if they are articulating it, it's not being heard. Why can't the Democrats, seemingly, get their act together?"
-- Couric: "Recently a number of your more liberal supporters, I'm sure you read about this in the New York Times, a group representing children, the poor, gays, have complained that you aren't speaking out enough on their behalf. That you're not basically challenging President Bush and Republican leaders on the issues they care about the most. What was your reaction to that?"
-- Couric: "You have said, Senator Clinton, you will not run for president in 2004. What if your party drafted you?"
Couric wrapped up by enthusing: "By the way Senator Clinton sold 200,000 copies of her book on Monday alone, the first day it was out. And the publisher has already ordered a second printing."
In this week's Time, columnist Margaret Carlson suggested the indicted Martha Stewart look to Hillary Clinton for direction: "There's another vilified damsel to provide guidance: Hillary." In her piece in the June 16 edition of the magazine, "Martha, Meet Hillary: The First Lady-turned-Senator has plenty to teach Martha Stewart about surviving a storm," Carlson advised Stewart to downplay the protests of innocence, play up the poor-girl routine, just like Hillary.
The MRC's Tim Graham submitted this item for CyberAlert.
Carlson maintained that Clinton not only "set the record straight," by claiming to be in the dark about the Lewinsky affair until mid-August 1998, she buried it "in a show of grief, describing how she gulped for air and cried and felt the universal female emotion of wanting to wring her husband's neck. There's a couple million votes right there."
Carlson explored the similarities between the two divas: "Lucky for Martha, there's another vilified damsel to provide guidance: Hillary. The two have a lot more in common than first-name recognition. Both rose to the top by dint of brains, resolve, and marriages that jump-started their careers -- Martha's to the publisher of her first books, Hillary's to a governor-to-be. Both have had their financial transactions investigated by ambitious prosecutors. Both were humiliated by husbands who fell for younger women. Both are loved and hated for driving while blond."
Her argument was play down the protests of innocence, play up the poor-girl routine, like Hillary: "It took her husband's humiliating, reckless affair to turn the tide. Even then, Hillary at first instinctively resisted any sympathy for standing by her man. Once she finally accepted it, she won the widespread popularity that had always eluded her. Wooing county chairmen from Utica and Poughkeepsie, and mastering the arcana of dairy price supports was not what won Hillary her Senate seat. It was Monica."
Carlson rejoiced in what the memoir, an excerpt of which accompanied Carlson's column, could accomplish: "And now, with this book, she revisits the scene of her humiliation -- reluctantly, no doubt, but with a purpose. She knew she'd have to show a little ankle to justify such a huge advance. She also knew the book would allow her to set in stone (or print) the parts of the fiasco that had proved so useful. Indeed, Hillary plays the victim card to perfection, shrouding her lawyer-like efforts to set the record straight. If Hillary had initially been an involuntary victim, she now reprises the role voluntarily. It worked once; it is working again."
Then Carlson argued that Stewart was being punished more harshly than any man would be: "Like that other distressed damsel Hillary, who had Ken Starr, Martha has a villain: James Comey, the U.S. Attorney for New York....Martha deserves much of what's she's gotten. But has she behaved more arrogantly than Citigroup's Sandy Weill and Jack Grubman, or bankrupted her company buying $15,000 umbrella stands? Does she deserve to be hung in the town square for lying about trading on information men have been exchanging on the back nine for years?"
Carlson cynically found the Hillary memoir isn't about accuracy. It's about striking an effective pose: Stewart "can find pointers in Hillary's chapter on Monica, which doesn't so much show that Hillary's smart -- which we knew -- but that she's human, which we sometimes wondered about. That doesn't mean Hillary the legal gladiator doesn't take the opportunity to set the record straight on what she knew (nothing) and when she knew it (not until Bill's public admission). But she shrouds that crucial point in a show of grief, describing how she gulped for air and cried and felt the universal female emotion of wanting to wring her husband's neck. There's a couple million votes right there."
If Stewart wins using the Hillary pointers, Carlson concluded, "Who knows? One day the First Lady of Domestic Arts could run for the Senate from New York. Stranger things have happened."
For Carlson's column in full: www.time.com
ABC's Michel Martin expressed sympathy for Hillary Clinton's plight and claim she didn't learn of the truth of her husband's Monica Lewinsky relationship until he admitted it to her eight months after news stories broke about it. During the roundtable on Sunday's This Week, Martin contended: "She's a lawyer, but she's also a woman and she's also a human being, and who among us does not have someone in our circle with a drinking problem, with a drug problem, with some sort of mental illness that we find it just somehow intolerable to deal with, for whatever reason, because we have a stake in the status quo? So I don't find it very difficult to believe at all."
Martin needs to find better friends, colleagues and neighbors.
Martin soon recalled how President Bush didn't bring up something unpleasant in his book, his drunk driving arrest, as taken down by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson:
Today, the fifth installment of "Penn's Pugnacity of the Day," quotes drawn from actor Sean Penn's 4,000-plus word ad which filled a full page of the May 30 New York Times.
As noted in the June 4 CyberAlert, it's impossible to sum up Penn's diatribe, so I'll defer to Tony Snow, who in his end of the show "Final Thoughts" on the June 1 Fox News Sunday, offered this apt description of the screed: "It throbs with loopy desperation, as if he were trying to persuade authorities that aliens from Alpha Centauri had instructed him to scale a TV tower, put on a hat made of foil and await lightning. You know the old theory that a chimp, given enough time in front of a typewriter, would pound out the Gettysburg Address? Well, this is a simian rough draft."
For more of Snow's take and for the first installment of "Penn's Pugnacity of the Day," culled from the first three paragraphs of his diatribe headlined "KILROY'S STILL HERE," see the June 4 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
For the fourth installment, lifted from the tenth, eleventh and twelve paragraphs: www.mediaresearch.org
If military intervention in Iraq has been a grave misjudgment, it has been one resulting in thousands upon thousands of deaths, and done so without any credible evidence of imminent threat to the United States. Our flag has been waving, it seems, in servicing regime change significantly benefiting U.S. corporations. What remains to be seen is an effective plan for the rebuilding of the civilian infrastructure, or any other benefit to the people of Iraq or the United States. It is an achievement that includes the callous and too easily accepted term, "collateral damage." This is a term where proportionality of loss is taken from the people who have lost, and given to marketing executives.
On Larry King's show, I appealed to American mothers and fathers to sit with a scrap of paper and a pencil and scribble the following words, "Dear Mr. and Mrs. (your name here), We regret to inform you that your son/daughter (child's name here) was killed in action in Iraq..." I asked that those mothers and fathers finish that letter in a way that would comfort them if they were to receive it. This war, for all its military triumph, would provide no satisfactory completion of that letter for this father. The human death toll of this corporate march includes those courageous and heroic Americans who lost their lives. As Americans considering loss of life, we are at liberty to claim unbiased humanitarianism, but few among us are ever so poignantly saddened as with the loss of a young American soldier fighting for his country in a lonely, foreign land. And I am no exception. And what of the wounds of body and spirit in many of those who survived? I ask to join in celebrating those soldiers, all of them. They are every bit the heroes of World War II, of Korea, and every bit the heroes of Vietnam (where postwar suicides of veterans totaled higher numbers than those killed in battle, and the term collateral damage" broadened its scope). Unimaginable is the loss felt by the families of the dead. Are we willing to consider that the righteous execution of a soldier's duty, training, unity, and mission, has always stood or fallen, to the degree the citizens they serve struggle at home for the rights our soldiers pledge to fight for abroad? It should be noted that President Bush's 2004 budget proposed a 6.2 billion dollar cut in Veterans' health and welfare benefits.
END of Excerpt
For a PDF of the ad, go to Penn's Web site: www.seanpenn.com
For picture of Penn and a rundown of his movie roles, check the Internet Movie Database's page on him: us.imdb.com
CyberAlerts have been getting later each day as I work at home during an illness which I hope I am now getting over.
-- Brent Baker