The MRC@25: The Worst Media Bias of 2000
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.
If you’ve missed a previous blog, recounting the worst of 1988 through 1999, you can find them here. Today, the worst bias of 2000: Amid the custody battle over 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez, Newsweek touts life under the Castro dictatorship (“The boy will nestle again in a more peaceable society that treasures its children”), while PBS host Bonnie Erbe rudely slams conservative guest Linda Chavez during a gun control debate.
“Communism Still Looms as Evil to Miami Cubans.”
— Headline over April 11, 2000 New York Times story.
“Elian [Gonzalez] might expect a nurturing life in Cuba, sheltered from the crime and social breakdown that would be part of his upbringing in Miami....The boy will nestle again in a more peaceable society that treasures its children.”
— Brook Larmer and John Leland, April 17, 2000 Newsweek.
Linda Chavez, Center for Equal Opportunity: “If you’re someone like me, who lives out in a rural area — if someone breaks into my house and wants to murder or rape me or steal all of my property, it’ll take half an hour for a policeman to get to me....Thousands of lives are saved by people being able to protect themselves.”...
Bonnie Erbe, host and former NBC Radio/Mutual reporter: “And if you look at the statistics, I would bet that you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning, Linda, than living where you live, and at your age, being raped. Sorry.”
— Argument about using a gun for self-protection, PBS’s To the Contrary, May 13, 2000.
Co-host Bryant Gumbel: “Well, later on this morning we’re going to be talking on this President’s Day about this presidential survey. Who would you think finished first?...Of all the Presidents when they did first to worst. Oh c’mon, you would know.”
Co-host Jane Clayson: “Ronald Reagan.”
Gumbel, dropping his pen: “First?!?!”
Clayson: “Who was it?”
Gumbel: “No! Reagan wasn’t even in the top ten. Abraham Lincoln. Maybe you’ve heard of him.”
— Exchange on CBS’s The Early Show about C-SPAN poll of historians which ranked Reagan 11th, February 21, 2000.
Check back each morning for more classic bias quotes, or visit our “25th Anniversary” section for the entire collection.