The MRC@25: The Worst Media Bias of 1997
Each morning, the MRC has been showcasing the most egregious bias we have uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala September 27. (Click here for details and ticket information.)
If you’ve missed a previous installment, recounting the worst of 1988 through 1996, you can find them here. Today, the worst bias of 1997: Fawning over Bill Clinton as a candidate for Mt. Rushmore; impugning conservative Senator Jesse Helms as a “terrorist;” and a classic New York Times headline: “Crime Keeps On Falling; but Prisons Keep On Filling.”
“His sturdy jaw precedes him. He smiles from sea to shining sea. Is this President a candidate for Mt. Rushmore or what?...In fact, when it comes to influencing the public, a single medley of expressions from Clinton may be worth much more, to much of America, than every ugly accusation Paula Jones can muster.”
— Los Angeles Times television writer Howard Rosenberg reviewing Clinton’s Inaugural address, January 22, 1997.
“Crime Keeps On Falling; but Prisons Keep On Filling”
— Headline over a September 28, 1997 New York Times Week-in-Review article.
Sam Donaldson: “I think Governor Weld has done this country a service in a sense, even though I think that he’s been shot down in the ocean now, and that is by allowing the country to see Senator Helms in action. Over the years I’ve run into him two or three times at receptions here and he’s the most gentlemanly, courtly, friendly, pleasant individual you would ever hope to meet. But, when you see him in action, you see beneath that courtliness beats the heart of a dictator and I think the country is appalled.”
George Stephanopoulos: “Or a terrorist. The President is really, I think made a mistake because he’s been negotiating with a terrorist here.”
— ABC’s This Week, September 14, 1997, talking about Helms blocking the liberal Weld’s appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.
“Newt Gingrich’s problem, I’ve always thought, he’s like Lenin. They both made a revolution by shooting people — Newt shot Democrats, Lenin shot everybody — and then they didn’t have enough sense to stop shooting once they won. So, I mean, once you win, you say, ‘Okay, now I’ve shot all your relatives, but you’re a good guy, let’s work together.’ Instead, Newt shut down the government and kept on trying to shoot Democrats.”
— ABC’s Sam Donaldson on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, January 8, 1997.
Check back each morning for more classic bias quotes, or visit our “25th Anniversary” section for the entire collection.