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Stephanopoulos and Russert Plead with Senator Clinton to Run --12/8/2003


1. Stephanopoulos and Russert Plead with Senator Clinton to Run
On Sunday, ABC's George Stephanopoulos and NBC's Tim Russert grew excited and repeatedly tried to entice Senator Clinton into the presidential derby, eliciting laughter from Clinton for their efforts. Stephanopoulos fantasized about a pollster telling her that with her on the ticket the party wins and without her it loses, "will you accept?" Clinton retorted: "That is not going to happen George," prompting an excited Stephanopoulos to eagerly exclaim: "That's not a no!!! It could happen!" NBC's Tim Russert presented her with the scenario of a deadlocked convention which turns to her. Russert followed up ten times as he tried to persuade her to run. Examples: "So no matter what happens, absolutely, categorically, no?", "But you would never accept the nomination in 2004?" and, ever hopeful, "I think the door is opening a bit."

2. Totenberg Sees Utilities as "Devils," Mercury Policy as "Loony"
Don't go near a thermometer! Emotionalism over rationality. NPR's Nina Totenberg displayed a great example of how uninformed emotionalism overcomes all rationality for many liberals in the media when it comes to environmental policy. On Inside Washington, when liberal Washington Post editorial writer and columnist Colbert King said he cannot bring himself to view utility companies as the "devil incarnate," Totenberg countered: "I could." She then launched into a rant against the Bush administration for changing the proposed Clinton policy on how to reduce mercury emissions from power plants: "This is the most dangerous stuff around. And to change the standards, to sort of say, 'well, it doesn't matter, we're going top put it in a lesser category of dangers,' is loony."

3. Rather: Economy "Could Be Adversely Affected by the Big Storm"
Really digging for something to undermine the ongoing economic rebound. On Friday's CBS Evening News, from a then snow-less Washington, DC with the Capitol behind him, just after a story on the spread of the flu, Dan Rather warned: "Now let's move to news about the health of the U.S. economy. First, it could be adversely affected by the big storm now underway..."

4. Most Think Media Would've Endangered Bush and Revealed Iraq Trip
More than three out of four people asked in a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll conducted for the Fox Newswatch show, said that "if news reporters had been told about the President's trip to Baghdad in advance," they believe the news would "have been leaked despite the risk that might have posed to the President's safety." Asked if it "was appropriate for the Bush administration to ask news reporters to wait until the President had left Baghdad before reporting on the trip, or not?", an overwhelming 87 percent said yes, including 80 percent of Democrats.

5. Fox's Chris Wallace on The Reagans movie: "I Hated It"
Add NBC News and ABC News veteran Chris Wallace, who took control of Fox News Sunday yesterday, to the list of those who knew Ronald Reagan who were appalled by his portrayal in the CBS mini-series The Reagan which aired last Sunday on Showtime. Wallace told Stephen Battaglio of the New York Daily News: "I hated it," since Reagan "read a lot and he was nobody's fool," but "the portrayal of him was a laughable character."


Stephanopoulos and Russert Plead with
Senator Clinton to Run

Giggles and titters for Hillary in '04. Senator Hillary Clinton made herself available to ABC, CBS and NBC for Sunday interview show appearances and all three networks jumped at the chance and on all three the hosts pressed her about any possibility she'd run for President next year or join the ticket. On the Face the Nation, guest host John Roberts asked the question and moved on. But ABC's George Stephanopoulos and NBC's Tim Russert grew excited and repeatedly tried to entice her into the presidential derby, eliciting giggles and laughter from Clinton for their pleading efforts.

ABC George Stephanopoulos interviewing Sen. Hillary Clinton On This Week, Stephanopoulos, a colleague of Clinton's in the White House, fantasized about a pollster telling her that with her on the ticket the party wins and without her it loses, "will you accept?" Clinton retorted: "That is not going to happen George," prompting an excited Stephanopoulos, leaning forward and pointing at her, to eagerly exclaim: "That's not a no!!! It could happen!"

Over on NBC's Meet the Press, Tim Russert presented her with the scenario of a deadlocked convention which turns to her. Russert followed up ten times (!) as the New York Democrat tried to persuade the Senator to run: "So no matter what happens, absolutely, categorically, no?", "But you would never accept the nomination in 2004?", "But you wouldn't accept the nomination?", "I think the door is opening a bit, Senator," "Okay, so the door is sealed?", "'I will never accept the nomination in 2004?'" and, ever hopeful, "How about 2008?"

Russert even had the German translated from an interview Clinton did with Bunte so he could quote her say "maybe" to 2008 and Russert raised a Hillary candidacy with his second guest, Newt Gingrich: "If the Democratic Party was chaotic and disorganized at the convention and turned to Hillary Clinton, do you think she'd accept the nomination?"

Compared to Stephanopoulos and Russert, CBS's John Roberts was downright reserved on Face the Nation in this exchange with Clinton:

Roberts: "I want to move on to a couple of other topics because we're beginning to run out of time already. Can you absolutely, or will you absolutely rule out a run for the presidency in 2004?"
Clinton, giggling: "You know, I've said this so many times that, and I, you know, I'm not running. I'm going to support who the nominee is. And I think we've got-"
Roberts: "So you won't go back on that? You can say absolutely not running next year?"
Clinton: "I have said it over and over again. I think we've got at least a 50-50 chance for our nominee to win in November, and I'm going to do everything I can to elect the Democratic nominee."

A full rundown of the exchanges on ABC and NBC on Sunday, December 7 with Senator Hillary Clinton in-studio:

-- ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

Stephanopoulos: "We only have a minute left and I can't let you go without one final political question [Hillary starts laughing] I know you've said you're no going to run, no way, no how, but: one question -- the nominee comes to you in July, has all this polling, he's run it by your pollster and says, 'Senator Clinton: If you join the ticket Democrats can win this race, if you don't they can't.' Will you accept?"
Clinton: "That is not going to happen George. That is so-"
Stephanopoulos, leaning forward and pointing at her excitedly with his voice rising: "That's not a no!!! It could happen!"
Clinton: "-far out of the realm of the possible. That is not going to happen. Look, I'm going to the nominee and I think we've got at least a 50-50, if not slightly better, chance of winning. And I know that's not something that people around Washington necessarily agree with, and so I'm going to support the nominee. I hope we're going to have victory, and then I'll support the nominee, whoever it is, assuming that person does a good job, for re-election in '08."
Stephanopoulos, not giving up: "And if you're on the ticket, please come back and join us."

-- NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert. Russert read the results of a Cook Report/Ipsos poll: "This is the latest poll of the Democratic candidates across the country: Howard Dean with 20 percent; Wesley Clark, 15; Gephardt, 15; John Kerry, 14; Joe Lieberman, 9. When your name is placed before the American Democrats, this is it: Hillary Clinton, 43; Howard Dean, 12; Clark, 10. When you see those numbers, what do you think?"
Clinton: "I think that that's very flattering and I appreciate the support that Democrats are showing for me. And I'm going to try to use that base of support to help elect a Democratic president, because I'm going to support the nominee of our party, and I feel as strongly as I've ever felt that we're on the wrong direction in this country. We are being taken down some very dangerous paths, both at home and abroad, and we need to change the White House's occupant."
Russert: "If one of the leading candidates falters or the convention becomes deadlocked, would you, under any circumstances, accept the Democratic nomination in 2004?"
Clinton: "You know, Tim, I've ruled it out. I'm going to continue to rule it out. You know, my view is that we've got people who've been competing, they have put their ideas out in front of the American people, the process will finally, finally start next month in the primaries and the caucuses, and someone's going to emerge from that and I'm going to work for whoever that nominee is."
Russert began to plead: "So no matter what happens [Hillary starts laughing], absolutely, categorically, no?"
Clinton, giggling: "You know, I am going to do everything I can to support this nominee, whoever that person might be."
Russert: "But just say no. You would-"
Clinton: "I have said no and no and I'm trying to think of different ways of saying no and no. And I hope that in '08, I'll be supporting a Democratic President for re-election."
Russert: "But you would never accept the nomination in 2004?"
Clinton: "You know, I have said over and over again, and you know, my view on all of this is that-"
Russert: "You've said over and over what?"
Clinton: "That I'm not running, I'm not in this race."
Russert: "But you wouldn't accept the nomination?"
Clinton: "The nomination, it's not going to be offered to me, that's one thing."
Russert wouldn't give up: "But if it is?"
Clinton, guffawing: "Oh, Tim, you know, I, it's not going to happen. It's not going to happen."
Russert, holding his dream alive: "Well, but if it did happen?"
Clinton, bursting out into full laugher: "You know, I have, I am-"
Russert, intrigued: "I think the door is opening a bit, Senator."
Clinton lightheartedly scolded: "Oh, no, it's not. Now, don't you try to make something out of nothing."
Russert: "Oh, no, no, no."
Clinton: "No, no. I've said, no. I've said no, no, no, no."
Russert: "Okay, so the door is sealed."
Clinton: "The door is shut. The door is shut."
Russert quoted her: "'I will never accept the nomination in 2004'"?
Clinton: "I am not accepting the nomination. I am going to work for whoever the nominee is."
Russert, with matching text on screen: "How about 2008? [Hillary laughs] This is what you told the German magazine Bunte, and I have the German translation that Georgetown University did this for us. 'Why aren't you running for President?' 'I am a Senator from New York. That is my job and I am happy with it.' Next question: 'But there are many people who are disappointed because you are not running this time.' Answer: 'I know. (She smiles coyly.) Well, maybe next time..." [ellipses as on screen]
Clinton, laughing: "You know, that's not exactly the way we translated it in my office. You know, I have been asked this so many times-"
Russert: "Oh, something was lost in the German?"
Clinton: "Yeah, may have been lost a little in translation. But I have said many, many times that, you know, right now I am focused on my job. I mean, you know, as a native New Yorker, we have a lot that we have to deal with from, you know, Long Island to Buffalo. And I'm trying to do the best job I can for my constituents."

(For any readers out there who know German, along with the English translation, NBC displayed this German text on screen from the Bunte interview. Here it is, sans umlauts which don't make it in text e-mail:
Q: "Warum kandidieren Sie nicht fur das Prasidentenam?
Clinton: "Ich bin Senatorin van New York. Das ist mein Job und ich bin glucklich damit."
Q: "Aber es gibt viele Menschen, die entrauscht sind, weil Sie diesmal nicht kandidieren..."
Clinton: "Ich weiB. (Sie lachelt verschmitzt.) Na ja, vielleicht mache ich es ja beim nachsten Mal...")

The last third of the hour went to Newt Gingrich, but Russert didn't change subjects:

Russert: "If the Democratic Party was chaotic and disorganized at the convention and turned to Hillary Clinton, do you think she'd accept the nomination?"
Gingrich: "Probably not. I think Senator Clinton is almost certainly going to be the Democratic nominee in 2008."
Russert: "Why do you say that?"
Gingrich: "Well, 'cause I looked at the same poll you showed her. I mean, there's no reason to believe she's going to grow any weaker. And she is serious. She is hard-working. She is a first rate professional."
Russert: "Who will be the Republican nominee in 2008?"
Gingrich: "Oh, there could be a lot of people. I mean, you'd have to say that Senator Bill Frist is extraordinarily attractive. You'd have to say that Governor Jeb Bush is very, very attractive. You could have an interesting opportunity there. A lot of things can happen between now and then. You can't, you know, you also have to also say that Vice President Cheney could decide, you know, sometime in early 2008 that, gee, he really is doing great, he kind of likes it. It'll be about-"
Russert pressed the same theme with Gingrich as he had with Clinton, but with markedly less enthusiasm: "Will Newt Gingrich ever seek elective office again?"
Gingrich: "I doubt it very much."
Russert: "You doubt it?"
Gingrich: "Listen, I'm a historian. You never say never. But I doubt it very much."
Russert: "Well, if you did, what office would you seek?"
Gingrich: "Who knows? I mean, you know, mayor, county commissioner. There are a lot of school boards."
Russert: "School board?"
Gingrich: "There are a lot of fun things you can do in life."
Russert: "Head of the Library of Congress."
Gingrich: "Library of Congress, that's not an elective office-"
Russert: "Duly appointed."
Gingrich: "-but it's a job that would be very interesting."

Totenberg Sees Utilities as "Devils,"
Mercury Policy as "Loony"

Don't go near a thermometer! Emotionalism over rationality. NPR's Nina Totenberg displayed a great example of how uninformed emotionalism overcomes all rationality for many liberals in the media when it comes to environmental policy. On Inside Washington, when liberal Washington Post editorial writer and columnist Colbert King said he cannot bring himself to view utility companies as the "devil incarnate," Totenberg countered: "I could."

She then launched into a rant against the Bush administration for changing the proposed Clinton policy on how to reduce mercury emissions from power plants, citing how a DC high school had to be closed after a mercury leak, as if that had nothing to do with overly cautious administrators trying to avoid a lawsuit. She charged: "This is the most dangerous stuff around. And to change the standards, to sort of say, 'well, it doesn't matter, we're going top put it in a lesser category of dangers,' is loony."

Of course, the Bush policy in no way changes the current level of mercury in the air since the Clinton policy had not been implemented and the Bush "cap and trade" policy will lead to a 70 percent cut in mercury output within 15 years.

King pointed out that though the mercury in the school got thrown on people, "nobody got sick."

The exchange on the December 6 Inside Washington, the panel show produced at the Gannett-owned TV station in Washington, DC and shown on many PBS stations around the country, after host Gordon Peterson noted the Bush administration policy of allowing more timber cutting to reduce the fire hazzard in national forests and a new regulatory structure for mercury emissions from power plants:

Colbert King argued that in the environmental debate "both sides demonize each other," but "I don't view the timber industry as the devil's incarnate. I just can't bring myself to do it. And I cannot view the utilities the same way."
Nina Totenberg: "I could."
Peterson: "Well, what about reducing, changing the legislation that would require, or changing the regulations that would require power plants to reduce emissions of mercury and nickel?"
Totenberg: "All I can say is that, you ask yourself whether any child or grandchild of yours, you want them to get anywhere near mercury. They had a mercury thing in a local school. They emptied the school, they cleansed the school, they had everybody bring their clothes in. This is the most dangerous stuff around. And to change the standards, to sort of say, 'well, it doesn't matter, we're going top put it in a lesser category of dangers,' is loony."
King: "That mercury in the schools was not only around. It was thrown on people, people were exposed to it and nobody got sick. I mean, I don't think that the utility executives, utility workers-" Totenberg: "Colby, nobody got sick yet. You don't die of cancer instantly."
King: "They've been examined. I don't think they want to expose their kids to mercury any more than you want to expose your own..."

Totenberg was just a more extreme case of how the TV networks treated the topic on Wednesday night, as outlined in the December 4 CyberAlert: "Mercury rising," Tom Brokaw warned at the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, "A new Bush administration plan on dangerous mercury emissions. Critics call the plan a gift to polluters." But the networks provided a gift to liberal environmentalists in how they framed an expected decision to require reductions in mercury output through a "cap and trade" system. Dan Rather falsely stated that Bush's EPA will "curb some toxic power plant emissions, such as sulfur dioxide, but not others, such as potentially dangerous mercury." But as ABC's Terry Moran noted, the plan would lead to a 70 percent cut in mercury output within 15 years. ABC gave equal time to both sides, but portrayed the liberal environmentalist position more sympathetically by characterizing them as expressing "concern" and "fear" about the Bush policy. See: www.mediaresearch.org

Rather: Economy "Could Be Adversely Affected
by the Big Storm"

Really digging for something to undermine the ongoing economic rebound. Adverse weather conditions come and go around America all year, from snow storms in the Northeast to hurricanes in the south to tornadoes in the Midwest and plains to droughts in the West, and while they may have some economic impact, it's a bit of a stretch to claim that a weekend snowstorm could "adversely affect" the economic rebound.

But that's just what Dan Rather did on Friday's CBS Evening News, from a then snow-less Washington, DC with the Capitol behind him, just after a story on the spread of the flu:
"Now let's move to news about the health of the U.S. economy. First, it could be adversely affected by the big storm now underway. But overall, as of now, the nation's economy is improving. Slowly. The government reported today that officially unemployment is 5.9 percent. That's still considered somewhat high, but it is now under 6 percent for the first time since March."

NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw also applied a downbeat spin: "Now to the American economy and an eagerly-awaited unemployment report which was out today. The unemployment rate ticked down a tenth of a point last month to 5.9 percent. New jobs were created, but analysts were surprised and disappointed by the number of jobs added to the nation's payrolls. They fell well below expectations. The manufacturing industry continued to lose ground."

Most Think Media Would've Endangered
Bush and Revealed Iraq Trip

More than three out of four people asked in a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll conducted for the Fox Newswatch show, said that "if news reporters had been told about the President's trip to Baghdad in advance," they believe the news would "have been leaked despite the risk that might have posed to the President's safety."

Asked, "given security and safety concerns, do you think it was appropriate for the Bush administration to ask news reporters to wait until the President had left Baghdad before reporting on the trip, or not?", an overwhelming 87 percent said yes, including 80 percent of Democrats.

That puts the Washington press corps to the left of four out of five Democrats, judging by their attitude at last Thursday's White House press briefing in which they belittled the trip and were outraged at how it was kept secret from them.

The December 5 CyberAlert recounted: Obsessive White House press corps interest in the irrelevant. At Thursday's White House press briefing, reporters for major outlets treated a slight change in the particulars of which pilot asked who whether a plane the pilot saw was Air Force One, as some kind of scandal which undermines the integrity of the Bush White House. NBC's Norah O'Donnell suggested the confused anecdote marred the entire trip: "Do you think, though, that this third revision of this story now, takes some of the shine off the President's surprise visit to the troops?" CBS's John Roberts seriously asked: "What are the legalities of filing a fraudulent flight plan?" Ed Chen of the Los Angeles Times contended: "There's a level of trust that has been eroded." See: www.mediaresearch.org

The results of the later questions in the Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll which were announced Friday night on FNC's Special Report and by Eric Burns on Saturday's Fox Newswatch. Inevitably, these won't line up for most as different fonts will provide varying spacing, but if you put this into 12 point Courier, it should line up. Otherwise, the results are online at: www.foxnews.com

10. Do you approve or disapprove of President Bush's surprise Thanksgiving Day trip to visit the troops in Baghdad?

All

Dem

Rep

Ind

1. Approve 78% 64% 94% 76%
2. Disapprove 14 26 3 13
3. (Not sure) 8 10 3 11

12. If news reporters had been told about the President's trip to Baghdad in advance, do you think the information would have been kept secret to protect the president or would it have been leaked despite the risk that might have posed to the President's safety?

All

Dem

Rep

Ind

1. Kept secret 16% 15% 16% 12%
2. Leaked 78 76 80 85
3. (Not sure) 6 9 4 4

13. Given security and safety concerns, do you think it was appropriate for the Bush administration to ask news reporters to wait until the president had left Baghdad before reporting on the trip, or not?

All

Dem

Rep

Ind

1. Yes 87% 80% 95% 88%
2. No 6 10 3 5
3. (Not sure) 7 11 2 6

Fox's Chris Wallace on The Reagans movie:
"I Hated It"

Add NBC News and ABC News veteran Chris Wallace, who took control of Fox News Sunday yesterday, to the list of those who knew Ronald Reagan who were appalled by his portrayal in the CBS mini-series The Reagan which aired last Sunday on Showtime. Wallace told Stephen Battaglio of the New York Daily News: "I hated it," since Reagan "read a lot and he was nobody's fool," but "the portrayal of him was a laughable character."

As detailed in the December 2 CyberAlert, during Showtime's Monday night panel, Controversy: The Reagans, two liberals, Marvin Kalb and Lou Cannon, denounced the inaccurate portrayal of Ronald and Nancy Reagan in the movie. "It's hard to imagine a cartoon that could be that bad," Cannon remarked after a playback of a scene. Cannon asserted: "I do know Ronald Reagan. This isn't Ronald Reagan." In addition, a co-producer of the film contradicted Showtime's CEO and admitted that the movie was not historically accurate. Meanwhile, on FNC's Hannity & Colmes, Ronald Reagan's son Michael condemned the portrayal he saw of his father, complaining: "They made my father look like Mr. Magoo." And as for the repeated instances in the movie of Ronald calling his wife "Nancy-pants," Michael Reagan revealed: "I never heard my dad call Nancy 'Nancy-pants.'" See: www.mediaresearch.org

An excerpt from the December 5 Daily News article which was mainly about Wallace's new job:

....Before joining ABC as a newsmagazine correspondent, Wallace covered the Reagan White House. When he checked out the controversial TV movie "The Reagans," he didn't recognize the befuddled character James Brolin played as the President he remembered.

"I hated it," he said.

"I had agreements and disagreements with President Reagan's policies. But he was smart, he read a lot and he was nobody's fool. You don't get to be a two-time governor and two-time President without being smart and without being driven.

"The portrayal of him was a laughable character."

END of Excerpt

For the article in its entirety: www.nydailynews.com

# Tim Russert of NBC News is scheduled to appear Tuesday night on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman.

-- Brent Baker