Two items today:
RE: Copy of: MRC Alert: "Nasty" Dole & Public Thinks Media Want Clinton to Win
"Press Secretary McCurry was asked by reporters today if the records would show indication of a number of diseases, including a sexually transmitted one. He said, no."
McCurry: "This has been put into play no doubt by those who seek to destroy the President. The President's physician reported on May 24th of this year he was in excellent overall health. Shecould not have done that if any of the allegations about diseases were true."
Wooten, concluding his piece: "It was bound to come to this no doubt as Senator Dole has been under considerable pressure from his campaign tacticians to begin attacking the President on issues of personal character. So far he's resisted. Today may have been a signal that he's changing his mind."
So Dole's to blame for a reporter asking about a "sexually transmitted" disease.
Then, Peter Jennings got to the second part of the how the campaign "took a nasty turn today" premise. Immediately after Wooten finished he introduced the next story: "The President is going to come under further Republican attack with the release next week of the House Committee on Government Operations and Oversight's report on the firings at the White House travel office."
On the CBS Evening News Dan Rather followed the same Clinton as victim theme: "Now for his part, Bob Dole re-opened one of his favorite lines of attack today about President Clinton's health records. Phil Jones is our man with the Dole campaign, Phil." Jones provided a very short piece which dealt only with the medical records issue, and concluded: "Dan, this campaign is headed exactly where everybody expected it to go: personal..." Only NBC Nightly News bothered to show viewers what so upset Dole. Tom Brokaw declared: "Bob Dole on the ropes and looking for a way to boost his sagging campaign made it clear today he is taking off the gloves in the war of the political airwaves." Reporter David Bloom began: "Stung by a barrage of negative television advertising, Bob Dole today accused Bill Clinton of running a campaign of fear, of engaging in character assassination." After a clip of Dole, Bloom continued: "At the Democratic National Convention two weeks ago the President made this pledge:"
Clips of Clinton ads, including: "If Dole sits here [Oval Office] and Gingrich runs Congress what could happen. Medicare slashed. A woman's right to choose gone."
Following another Dole soundbite of Dole and reaction from the Clinton campaign, Bloom concluded: "Dole aides say the campaign will double its ad budget next week, unveiling new attack ads blaming Clinton for rising teen drug use, ads even tougher than this one." Ad: "Bill Clinton said he'd lead the war on drugs and change America. All he did was change his mind." Bloom then ended his story by forwarding the "nasty" theme: "At a Dole rally today the music blared 'get ready.' Get ready, that is, for a very nasty campaign."
44% Good 29% Only fair 13% Excellent 11% Poor
-- How much influence do you think news organizations have on which candidate becomes President? (Posed only to the 1,141 registered voters in the sample)
64% Too much 30% About the right amount 4% Too little
-- Would you say the press has been fair or unfair in the way it has covered Bill Clinton's election campaign? (Again, registered voters only, but this time sample of 565)
67% Fair 24% Unfair
-- Would you say the press has been fair or unfair in the way it has covered Bob Dole's election campaign? (565 registered voters)
65% Fair 25% Unfair
-- Who do you think most newspaper reporters and TV journalists want to see win the presidential election -- Bill Clinton, Bob Dole or Ross Perot? (Posed to sample size of 576)
59% Clinton 17% Dole 1% Perot