MONDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2002
SOMEBODY GO WAKE UP MORT: On yesterdays This Week, Al Gore laid out his views on Iraq and al Qaeda in a bit more detail. Somebody go wake up Morton Kondracke so he can review what Gore said. Last week, Mr. Mort was still pretending that he didnt understand Gores basic comments on these topics (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/3/02). Yesterday, Gore again referred to what Myers and Tenet have said. Somebody run and wake up Mort. Its time Morton stopped his buffooning.
For our taste, Stephanopoulos didnt ask Gore the right questions. We wish George had popped this slick quiz:
We wanted to hear Gores view on those matters. But even Mort can now comprehend Gores clear-as-a-bell basic statements. Will somebody run and wake up Mort? We find ourselves living in dangerous times. Mortons played dumb long enough.
- Is Iraq pursuing nuclear weapons?
- Can U.N. inspectors be expected to find Iraqi nuclear facilities?
- Is it acceptable for Iraq to pursue or own nukes?
IN SEARCH OF LIBERAL BIAS, PART 1: With Landrieus win in Louisiana, we have full results of this years Senate elections. In the Senate, three seats switched from Dem to Rep; one seat switched from Rep to Dem. Two Dem losses were plane-crash related. In short, if Senators Wellstone and Carnahan hadnt died, this years race would likely have been a wash. This is the landslide, debacle and rout your pundit corps flogged one month back.
Is your press corps ruled by liberal bias? If so, it was hard to tell, based on the spin-points which ruled the corps in the wake of last months debacle. How did the pundit corps approach the election? First, they wasted time for a solid week with their utterly worthless and brain-dead predictions. Then, they ran as fast as they could to provide us with worthless analysis. But clearly, they werent trying to downplay the Dem debacle. In fact, the press corps vastly overstated the rout which Dems endured. All vassals bowed to Conquering Bush. They vastly overstated what happened.
We announced the death of liberal bias in a series of articles in October 2000. (Posted on SpeakOut.com; links no longer active.) But pundits keep sighting the hoary ol debbil, just as the nations hysterics keep spotting Elvis. But where in the world is this liberal bias? This weekend, we conducted a searchand we just couldnt seem to find it. Were pretty sure you know what to do. Help our great search. Just read on.
IN SEARCH OF LIBERAL BIAS, PART 2: When last we looked in on CNNs Bruce Morton, he was neatly reciting RNC spin about what a Big Liar Gore Is (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/7/02). Meanwhile, on Thursdays Inside Politics, Morton read spin from the camp of Strom Thurmond. According to Morton, the former Dixiecrat prez nominee was a victim of segregation himself! Here is the sages full report. Can you spot the rank liberal bias?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Our Bruce Morton has more on Strom Thurmond and his enduring career.
Was Thurmond the first southern senator to put a black on his staff? Morton doesnt seem to know, but recites the point all the same. And of course, he says that Thurmond probably never cared about segregation. If nudism had been in vogue, Morton says, Strom would have just run on that.
MORTON: So long ago. Imagine babies dressed like this. Imagine diapering babies dressed like this. Cloth diapers, too. No Pampers then. No computers to e-mail your friends the news. No TV. No radio, come to that. None of these. The Wright brothers hadnt flown yet. Not many of these. Horses back then, a different kind of pollution. 1902. The Civil War and slavery had ended just 30-some years before.
George Washington took office in 1789. So the United States is 213 years old. At 100, Thurmond is almost half as old at the country. He grew up with segregation, got elected on it, but it was politics probably more than true conviction. If nudism had been in, hed run on that and if he had pretty women with him, hed have loved it.
He loved the ladies. People may remember that. The last line of his final Senate speech:
THURMOND (on tape): I love all of you, and especially your wives.
MORTON: No orator, surely. His famous filibuster speech ended, I expect to vote against this bill. No kidding, senator.
The first southern senator to put a black on his staff? Well, maybe. But mostly, I guess, theyll just remember how long he was here.
THURMOND (on tape): The Senate will come to order. The chaplain will now deliver the morning prayer.
MORTON: First elected in 1954, almost half a century, almost half his lifetime ago. What a dance to the music of time! And now hes going back to South Carolina. Will it seem like going home? Or like leaving home? His lifes been here.
THURMOND (on tape): The Senate stands adjourned.
MORTON: Good-bye, old man. Old legend. Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: Just think, to spend half your life in the Senate...
Readers, what ever happened to liberal bias? Indeed, Morton seems to be reading points straight from the Thurmond camp! Armstrong Williams, a Thurmond ally, had recited these same points to the Baltimore Suns Julie Davis:
DAVIS (11/6/02): Armstrong Williams, a conservative black commentator who is close to the senatorfor whom he internedsaid he viewed Thurmonds past as a staunch foe of racial integration as merely a sign of the times.
What was really in Thurmonds heart? Here at THE HOWLER, we dont have a clue. Neither, of course, does Bruce Morton. But Morton raced to soft-soap Thurmonds past conductin which, because nudism wasnt available, he said that we would never let the n*gger race into our swimming pools. One things sure: It was certainly hard to find liberal bias in Mortons feel-good remarks.
It was political; it was nothing that was ever in his heart, Williams said. In his heart, he treats everyone the same.
Readers, what ever happened to liberal bias? On Tuesday, Woodruff read Drudges points about Kerry. Two days later, Morton read Williams points about Thurmond. CNN wants conservative viewers. Any chance that Inside Pol has found slick ways to pander and fawn?
IN SEARCH OF LIBERAL BIAS, PART 3: Everyone knows that Senator Lott made odd remarks at Thurmonds birthday bash. The remarks were made on Thursday morning. They were reported by ABCs The Note the next day. Then they appeared on that mornings Hotline. By Friday at noon, everyone in the Washington press corps knew about Lotts odd remarks.
Surelygiven the corps liberal biasthe strange remarks were widely flogged. Sorry. On Saturday morning, the Washington Post was the nations only paper to prepare a report about what Lott said. (The Chicago Tribune ran the Post report.) And on Sunday, while Lott was hammered on Meet the Press and Late Edition, the all-stars over at Fox News Sunday forgot to mention his comments. Does Fox report, letting us decide? According to Nexis, Senator Lotts peculiar remarks have never been mentioned on Fox.
Surely, though, Foxs silence was balanced off by NPRs liberal bias. As a matter of fact, Lotts remarks at Thurmonds party were excerpted on Weekend Edition. On Sunday, Liane Hansen craftily played Lotts own voice. But here was the clip she selected:
HANSEN: From NPR News, this is Weekend Edition. Im Liane Hansen. And these were some of the voices in the news this past week
That Hansen! The clever host hid her liberal bias by playing a Lott feel-good clip! According to Nexis, Lotts odd remarks havent yet been mentioned on NPR. And Nexis says that Lotts remarks were mentioned in no Sunday newspapers. Again we ask our powerful question: Readers, where is liberal bias?
LOTT (on tape): Somebody once said, and Im not quite sure where I got this, but I heard it, and I loved it, and it applies to Strom Thurmond: Youth is a gift of nature. Age is a work of art. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a work of art.
IN SEARCH OF LIBERAL BIAS, PART 4: At THE HOWLER, we think the fuss about female membership at Augusta has in fact been overblown. But much more overblown is the press corps Big Fuss about the New York Times liberal bias. Every good pundit is quite upset with Howell Raines appalling judgment. Howard Kurtz, Rushs favorite shill, has been disturbed by the matter all week.
And why is this topic getting so much play? Duh. Because its a conservative talking point! After all, Howell Raines has had bad judgment for years. But when he used his bad judgment to write editorials trashing Clinton for pseudo-scandals, did you see the corpswith its liberal biasrise up to smite the great Timesman then? Weirdly, its only when Raines flogs a liberal cause that the press corps gets its knickers knotted. Readers, what ever happened to liberal bias when liberal bias gets the press corps so mad?
Every good pundit has been disturbed by the Times troubling page-one reporting. But guess what? The Times did horrible page-one reporting back in the last decade, too! We refer, of course, to the Whitewater stories written by the Times Jeff Gerth. At least since 1996, it has been fairly clear that Gerths reports were some sort of hoax. But have you seen anyone in the mainstream press corps ask the NYT to explain it? Dear readers! Where in the world is liberal bias when our pundits pick and choose in this manner?
Two years ago, we announced its death. Liberal bias had gone belly up. But hysterics keep spotting liberal biasand Elvis. Pundits can tell you the truth about one great king. But with the exception of E. J. Dionne, most major pundits are simply too scared to tell you that both kings are dead.
DID YOU MISS IT? Dont miss our own special weekend edition. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/7/02.