On yesterday’s syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, Matthews worried Cheney might start a war over his "crowd pleaser" comments because Iran’s nuclear ambitions are now "a matter of national pride for Iranians." Howard Fineman for his part is taking Al Gore seriously again and claimed a new movie featuring Gore is going to turn him "into a cult figure." During the show’s prediction segment where Matthews asks the panel to "tell me something I don’t know," Fineman gave offered this scoop:
Howard Fineman: "Chris you know how Scott Fitzgerald said there are no second acts in American lives? Well there are in politics and two of the big names you're gonna be hearing in the ‘08 cycle for president Newt Gingrich and Al Gore. Mark my word the movie about Al Gore and his crusade on global warming is gonna turn him not into, only into a cult figure on the campaign trail but a real candidate."
Is Chris Matthews rooting for civil war in Iraq? It's hard to interpret his words otherwise when, after asserting that officials in previous administrations and former President Bush had warned that going into Iraq would lead to civil war, Matthews observed:
"The problem is it took a little time for this to take shape."
"The problem," Chris?
Matthews' hoping for the worst was just the capper on the Bush-bashing fest he conducted with Matt Lauer on this morning's Today show. Those nature documentaries of vultures on the Serengeti plain have little on the way Matthews and Lauer went after President Bush's political bones.
Though President Bush's approval rating, in a new CBS News poll released Monday night at 6:30pm EST, was just one point lower than where it stood in October -- and thus well within the poll's three-point margin of error, Bob Schieffer teased the CBS Evening News by declaring: “There is little to celebrate at the White House where public dissatisfaction, that began with the handling of Hurricane Katrina, has driven President Bush's approval ratings to an all-time low" of 34 percent. It stood at 35 percent in CBS's October 2005 survey. In the subsequent story, Jim Axelrod cited public disapproval of the port deal, declining approval for Bush's conduct of the war on terror and how only 37 percent say things in Iraq are going “well,” -- “down nine points” from the fall, but only down one point from 2004. After Axelrod, Schieffer, in New Orleans to mark the six-month anniversary of Katrina, proceeded to recite some Katrina poll numbers. (Transcript follows.)
Left unmentioned: How the poll-takers questioned many more Democrats than Republicans. A PDF posting of poll results lists 409 Democratic respondents versus 272 Republican respondents. CBS “weighted” the results to effectively count 289 Republicans versus 381 Democrats. And while in a couple of minutes of network air time you can hardly be expected to recite every poll finding, CBS managed to skip over several numbers which demonstrated the disconnect between the public and the national press corps. On “media coverage of Cheney hunting accident,” for instance, the public overwhelmingly rejected -- by three-to-one -- the media's obsession: 66 percent said the media devoted “too much time” compared to a piddling 22 percent who thought the press allocated the “right amount of time.” Another nine percent, most likely a lot of journalists and the “angry left,” believed it got “too little time.” Also, by 51 to 47 percent, most “approve of Bush authorizing wiretaps to fight terrorism.”
Newsweek Senior Editor and columnist Jonathan Alter has been inflating the Bush-Cheney duo into an Evil Empire of sorts, utterly undeserving of office (and acting "like a dictator." ) His column this week was titled "The Imperial Vice Presidency," which would have been a laughable headline in the pre-Cheney days. Alter began by endorsing the wild rhetoric of CNN's biggest hothead:
Fox News's exclusive interview with Vice President Dick Cheney was, as CNN's Jack Cafferty sniped, "like Bonnie interviewing Clyde," but Brit Hume posed some good questions.
From there, Alter spun the theory that the modern presidency (and vice-presidency) must submit to press scrutiny, for the press is a proxy for the public:
Time and Newsweek put Dick Cheney’s hunting accident on their covers this week, a dying story already eight days old. The shooting victim, Texas lawyer Harry Whittington, went home after apologizing for all that Cheney had to go through, meaning the thoroughly juvenile media frenzy that followed.
Time and Newsweek no doubt imagined Cheney delayed alerting the press until Sunday so that they couldn’t put him on their Earth-changing covers last week. We’ll show you, they said, fists shaking at being so obviously dissed.
But we already know every single bit of the story, having heard it hundreds of times over the last week. How to make these covers newsworthy? Easy, if you’re a melodramatist at these magazines.
Newsweek’s cover promised a look at “Cheney’s Secret World,” over a picture of Cheney shooting his gun in the field. They headlined their cover story “The Shot Heard Around the World.” Now, whoa, as they say in Wyoming. Muslim rioters are killing people over mild Muhammad cartoons in Denmark, and this birdshot accident was the “shot heard around the world”? It gets worse. The subheadline told a conspiratorial tale: “He peppered a man in the face, but didn't tell his boss. Inside Dick Cheney's dark, secretive mindset – and the forces that made it that way.” Cue the “Phantom of the Opera” soundtrack.
Just when you thought the Cheney accident news was over, Washington Post Health section columnist Abigail Trafford had one more spin yesterday: the accident should cause Cheney and his "macho colleagues" to "learn" from it and support socialized medicine:
What's missing is a reliable safety net for those struck by events beyond their control -- or for those who are not able to pass the smart-consumer test. Perhaps that's why 45 million Americans have no health coverage and medical bills are a leading cause of personal bankruptcy. There's a public empathy gap. As a society, we don't seem to care.
The problem with a narrow focus on personal choice and responsibility is that it spreads the illusion that each of us can control our medical destiny. This is health hubris. To be sure, we can influence our health status by minimizing risks of injury and illness. But Cheney's accident brings us back to reality: People will get injured and sick even if they are careful and competent...even if they floss and jog and follow all the common-sense rules for a long, healthy life. (Ellipses hers.)
By checking with our network watchers and double-checking with Nexis, ABC, CBS, and NBC have all completely ignored Al Gore's speech in Saudi Arabia, where he denounced the U.S. government for committing "terrible abuses" against Arabs after 9/11, and that Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in "unforgivable" conditions.
So that's a big fat zero even as David Gregory was still defending his anti-Cheney ardor on "Imus" this morning. That was not on MSNBC, which was running Olympic hockey, or I might have a transcript. I came in halfway through, and Gregory got very defensive when Imus started making cracks about how Cheney's friend Katherine Armstrong looks just like Willie Nelson. Gregory warned he didn't want to be associated with or identified as approving of these remarks. It was all quiet for Cheney on the morning-show front today.
One of the more astounding spectacles of the Cheney hunting-accident brouhaha was the media's all-too-typical tolerance of tremendous Clinton chutzpah: that is, Hillary's claim, as Brian Boyd noted last week, that Dick Cheney is way too secretive. ABC aired a clip of an angry-looking Senator Hillary Clinton arguing, "The refusal of this administration to level with the American people on matters large and small is very disturbing." The Clintons? Arguing that someone else isn't forthcoming? After the seven months of sticking with "I did not have sexual relations" with "Miss Lewinsky"? And the "vast right-wing conspiracy" trying to smear Clinton with the baseless accusation of intern nookie?
How do members of the media really feel about Dick Cheney? Mark Shields, a syndicated columnist appeared on the roundtable discussion show Inside Washington, which airs on Friday nights on local PBS powerhouse WETA.He blasted Cheney, linking the accident to his Vietnam deferments, saying:
"I’m just grateful that he had his five deferments, because, my God, if he’d had gotten a platoon, he would have wiped out half his own men."
Shields, who has previously connected Tom DeLay to the West Virginia coal mine tragedy, also accused the Vice President of not caring about the troops and possibly being drunk when he shot Harry Whittington. Shields, in one sentence, brought up the old canard that Cheney is running the country and also suggested that the Vice President doesn’t care as much about American soldiers as he does Harry Whittington:
After NPR's Mara Liasson relayed on Fox News Sunday how a Time magazine poll "showed 65 percent thought he [Dick Cheney] should have taken immediate responsibility as opposed to waiting," fellow panelist Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard pointed that while Time's press release highlighted that finding, they didn't stress numbers which demonstrated the public doesn't see the hunting accident revelation time line as such a big deal. Kristol cited how by 52 to 42 percent most approve "of how the Vice President handled this and when asked, "Do you think the Vice President is an asset to the President and to his administration or damaging?," by 41 to 37 percent the plurality chose "an asset." Kristol postulated: "Time obviously commissioned this poll desperately hoping 'Cheney's numbers plummet, damaging Bush administration.' They couldn't find a thing like that. So it tells you much more about the press corps than the Vice President, I think." A Sunday NewsBusters posting by Noel Sheppard, “Time's New Cheney Poll Shows Huge Divide Between Public and Media Opinion,” also looked at the magazine's poll. (Partial transcript from Fox News Sunday follows)
Staff Writer Ted Vaden of the News & Observer hits Rush Limbaugh for reading a "satirical" article about the Dick Cheney shooting. The crux of the argument is that everyone should have known that the article was satirical. Have a look at the article in question for yourself. Do you see "Satire" at the top? Is there a disclosure to note that fake news follows?
Limbaugh read about half the column over the air. But he left out the half that made clear that the N&O columnist was satirizing the Cheney affair. Not quoted, for instance, was this line: "When obstinate countries declare their unwillingness to negotiate with Secretary of State Condi Rice, all we have to do is roll out Deadeye Dick."
So it was that line that was supposed to clue us all in that it was a fake article? It reads just like any other moonbat column to me. 500 people responded to the article, all failing to pick it up as "satire."
Here are some tips for other journalists wanting to practice writing fake news:
If you print fake news "satire" where truthful facts should reside, don't be surprised when it comes back to bite you.
If you want to risk the credibility of your newspaper on making a political point, there is no need to ask later what happened to your credibility and subscriber base.
You can act like The Daily Show but you won't get their accolades, age group or the ratings that they have, and you aren't even close to being as funny.
Some people may have been wondering if the nine-day old Dick Cheney hunting story would be going away. Don’t count on it. On the February 20 edition ofthe Early Show, Evan Thomas, assistant managing editor at Newsweek, told Harry Smith that "People who don’t like [Cheney] think this is the dark, Darth Vader type." His analysis coincided with the new issue of Newsweek that features a cover story, written by Thomas, on "Cheney’s Secret World." The online edition features this sub-headline:
"He peppered a man in the face, but didn’t tell his boss. Inside Dick Cheney’s dark, secretive mind-set-and the forces that made it that way." (Italics added)
In his "Media Notes" column in today's Washington Post, Howard Kurtz puts together a really odd paragraph or two in further examining the Cheney vs. Liberal Media fight:
Cheney and his strategists seized on what they viewed as a non-hostile forum, figuring every other news outlet would have no choice but to carry excerpts. Such an approach is hardly unprecedented for public figures on the hot seat. Gary Condit talked to Connie Chung. Monica Lewinsky talked to Barbara Walters. Ken Starr talked to Diane Sawyer. Hugh Grant talked to Jay Leno. Michael Jackson talked to Ed Bradley. Saddam Hussein talked to Dan Rather...
There are moments where you totally miss Sen. Alan Simpson in government when he gets going with the metaphors. This is the Much Ado Over Birdshot exchange of the weekend, from "Fox News Sunday":
ALAN SIMPSON: Let me tell you, those who don't like him have put a big red tail on his bum, and cloven hooves, and horns on his head. And let me tell you, if anybody thinks -- if this had happened to anybody else in America, it would have been like a sparrow belch in a typhoon.
CHRIS WALLACE: Could you be a little more colorful, Senator?
SIMPSON: Well, I don't think I could, because it really is absurd.
Hat tip to the Malkinator. After praising both Bush "41" and Jimmy Carter as wonderful, Simpson returned to firing on the press: "All you get is controversy, crap and confusion." Ah, the three C's. Simpson wrote a book a few years back about "scrapping" with the press, called "Right In the Old Gazoo."
In her column today in the Sunday "Outlook" section, Washington Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell expressed official dismay at Post reporter/columnist Dana Milbank's decision to wear hunter garb as a Dick Cheney gag on MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." The Post's AME for National News, Liz Spayd, apparently handed out some discipline:
Spayd said she felt Milbank "crossed the line" on his TV appearance. "What he intended as a playful joke was viewed by many as mocking and unprofessional, and understandably so." Suffice it to say that he has been taken to The Post's version of the woodshed and told not to do that again.
TIME magazine just released the results of a recent poll done for them by SRBI Public Affairs concerning America’s view of Vice President Dick Cheney following almost non-stop, wall-to-wall, 24/7 coverage of a hunting accident that he was involved in last weekend. The numbers are quite fascinating, and depict a populace that is much less concerned about this incident than the press, as well as possessing a far smaller level of disdain for the vice president than those in the media.
It appears safe to assume that the headline statistic from this poll will be that 41 percent of respondents disapproved of Cheney’s performance as vice president versus 29 percent that approved. However, SRBI stated this is “little changed from last November.”
Yet, what likely won’t make the front-pages tomorrow or be the lead stories on tonight’s network broadcast news programs is that 52 percent of respondents approved of the way Cheney handled informing the media of the hunting accident, compared to 42 percent that disapproved. This has certainly not been reflected in the seven days of media outrage that followed this incident.
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, Neal Gabler's gotta take outlandish swipes at the Bush administration on Fox Media Watch. And, perhaps in a form of childish defiance, Gabler also has a penchant for biting the Fox hand that feeds him.
On tonight's episode, Gabler:
Claimed that Vice-President Cheney "doesn't believe in a free press."
Described the shooting accident as "idiocy" on the VP's part.
Accused Brit Hume of not asking the 'major question' in his interview of Cheney [having to do with the timing of notification].
Seconded the notion that the shooting might have been a 'conspiracy' and 'good PR' for purposes distracting attention from the latest Abu Ghraib photo release and other administration problems. Cal Thomas had floated the notion as a joke, but Gabler seemed to pick up on it seriously.
Mocked Fox's objectivity, saying "when the Vice-President shoots somebody in the face, it's big news. I don't care where you live, even on Fox News, it's a big story."
Alright Neal, you've met your quota for the night. See you next week.
Just when you thought the media had closed the book on the Cheney hunting accident, the Associated Press fired one last salvo at the Vice President today. In their article, VP Accident Tale Filled with Discrepancies, Calvin Woodward and Nancy Benac rehash the same litany of talking points that flooded the media this week. Woodward and Benac revisit the shifting blame, belated acknowledgment of beer consumption, discrepancies in the shooting, the aftermath and how it was reported.
Scott McClellan was cited for promoting the "blame the victim" defense when he repeated Katherine Armstrong's comments on the accident. Cheney's first public comment on the accident amounted to an "about face" according to the AP.
The Huffington Post has a video clip of the introduction to Friday’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO. In it is a satirical advertisement for a new rap album by Dick Cheney, the real “ODP.” Predictably, the piece lampoons Cheney’s recent hunting accident, while bringing up some old favorites including his infamous expletive directed at a member of Congress, as well as some not-so-nice words for a member of the press.
The lyrics (not suitable for children) as transcribed from the video follow. To see the video, go here.
NRO's Media Blog notices something that is too common: Clintonistas who spent eight years warning us against the "politics of personal destruction," against diverting people's attention from the issues "that matter to their lives" onto scandalous personal behaviors, doing exactly that with Republicans. (Of course, the Clintons and their spinners commonly dug into the mud of the personal lives of their antagonists in an attempt to shut them up or discredit them.) In the case of Cheney, Paul Begala came on CNN to demand blood samples to prove the accidental shooting wasn't fueled by alcohol, earning him the "Count Begala" title:
BEGALA: The vice president's performance yesterday leaves a whole lot of questions unanswered. First and most importantly, why was he drinking, how much was he drinking and did that affect his ability — his cognitive ability — while he was hunting?
Stephen Spruiell notes: "Then Begala goes from dumb to downright creepy, repeatedly calling for [victim Harry] Whittington's blood." How classy:
ABC and CBS, which both led Friday night with Harry Whittington’s first public appearance since his hunting accident with Vice President Dick Cheney, held their coverage to Whittington’s comments as well as remarks from Cheney at the Wyoming Capitol. But while NBC, for the first time since the incident didn’t lead with the topic, David Gregory highlighted Whittington’s praise for the media and explored whether Cheney “has become a political liability.” Gregory, the leading antagonist on the issue in the White House press corps, ignored a poll by NBC’s own WNBC-TV which determined the overwhelming majority want no further investigation of the incident, and began his story by suggesting some vindication: “Harry Whittington left the hospital in Texas today, and ironically began his remarks by thanking the news media for its coverage of this incident."
After a clip of Cheney and then of President Bush dismissing the controversy as “noise,” Gregory saw wisdom in one conservative columnist as he brought up a piece from the day before on the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page: "Republicans are now faced with the question of whether...the Vice President has become a political liability, the hunting accident being just the latest example. Conservative pundit Peggy Noonan suggested in the Wall Street Journal the President might consider pushing the Vice President to step down. 'Dick Cheney has been the administration's hate magnet for five years now,' Noonan wrote. But many Republicans say Mr. Cheney serves an important function...." Gregory, who through his vocal hectoring of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, made sure the story became a distraction, concluded that “this week” Cheney “was a distraction." (Transcript, and more on the WNBC-TV poll, follows.)
It wasn't enough for Chris Matthews to analogize the Bush administration to a family of Mafia killers. He had to call President Bush "Fredo," the weak brother. Matthews' theory was that Bush was unable to control Cheney's handling of the shooting incident in a manner similar to which Fredo was unable to control his wife.
As he amply demonstrated at his press conference today, Harry Whittington is not on life support, but Matthews was working as feverishly as an EMS on a heart attack victim to keep the Cheney story alive. And in doing so, Matthews managed to be ungracious to perhaps the most gracious man in America, the very same Harry Whittington himself. Said a sneering Matthews:
"They dressed up Mr. Whittington rather well, with a lot of make-up, he looked great, I'm glad he's back, but he walked right back into the hospital again. What was that? "
The Cheney story is in decline today, with the first story on page A-5, the county sheriff’s report. There’s a don’t-go-hunting joke to lead off Al Kamen’s column on the Federal Page, and then two columns: Eugene Robinson’s second Cheney pounding of the week, and Charles Krauthammer sternly taking on the media: "This news briefing got famously out of control (as a psychiatrist I found the groups I ran for inpatient schizophrenics far more civilized)." And he mocked their odd objection to the veep's secrecy:
Secrecy? This was hardly an affair of state. And it was hardly going to be kept secret. Arrogance? The media laying these charges are the same media that just last week unilaterally decided that the public's right to know did not extend to seeing cartoons that had aroused half the world, burned a small part of it and deeply affected the American national interest. Having arrogated to themselves the judgment of what a free people should be allowed to see regarding an issue that is literally burning, they then go ballistic over a few hours' delay in revealing an accident with only the most trivial connection to the nation's interest or purpose.
"They say that all good things must end, someday, "Autumn leaves must fall, "But don't you know, that it hurts me so, "To say goodbye to you "Wish you didn't have to go "No no no no." - A Summer Song, Chad & Jeremy
Yes, it was so beautiful for the MSM while it lasted. Seemingly endless days beneath sunny South Texas skies, filled with breathless stories of possible White House cover-ups, press secretaries under the gun, earnest doctors displaying models of damaged hearts, why, even talk of the Vice-President having to step down under fire.
But the first hint that the beautiful affair could be ending came two days ago when Mr. Cheney had an earnest meeting with another man, that suave Brit Hume. Then the president announced he was satisfied with the account of the matter. And finally those party poopers at the sheriff's office had to announce yesterday that the case was closed with no charges filed.
ABC and CBS largely moved on from the Dick Cheney hunting mishap story Thursday night as, for the first time this week, they led with other subjects. Both held their Cheney coverage to short items on President Bush expressing satisfaction with Cheney’s Wednesday explanation to FNC’s Brit Hume. But for the fifth straight day, the NBC Nightly News led with the topic with reporter Kelly O’Donnell stressing Cheney’s alcohol consumption. Anchor Brian Williams set up her piece by asserting “the questions that continue tonight have to do mostly with the damage this bizarre accident has caused.” O’Donnell zeroed in on how the local sheriff’s department report relayed how victim Harry Whittington “called it an accident and told investigators, 'foremost there was no alcohol during the hunt.'” O’Donnell, however, raised doubts about such a conclusion: “The report makes no other reference to any drinking or that any blood alcohol tests were ever done. The Vice President did say in his Fox TV interview that he had a beer at lunch, noting that was hours before the shooting.”
She then moved on to how “observers say the whole ordeal has weakened Mr. Cheney's influence." Her “observers”? One soundbite from David Gergen. O’Donnell concluded with how “senior advisors make the claim that because the White House has now answered some questions, the American people should be satisfied, too.” (Transcript follows.)
Is it possible? Could there be a new angle to the controversy surrounding Vice President Cheney’s hunting accident? Desperate to try and keep this story alive, CBS’s "The Early Show" certainly tried to create one today as they attempted to highlight the Vice President’s "unprecedented power" and explore the rift this incident exposed between the Presidential and Vice Presidential staffs.
Take the following quote from CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante referring to how the Vice President chose to put the word out for example:
Bill Plante: "In any other White House, no Vice President would be able to make that call. But Dick Cheney is in a class by himself. It is clear, and this exposed it, that there are tensions between his office and the West Wing.
The women of ABC’s The View quickly pounced on the Cheney shooting story. The Monday, February 13 edition featured co-host Joy Behar, who stated that the incident shifted Cheney’s image "from Dr. Evil to Dr. Stupid." She added, "So, in a way, it’s kind of like, hey, I’m not so evil anymore. I’m just dumb." Behar then finished her critique when she quipped, "It’s in the historical context of Dan Quayle."
Barbara Walters also participated in the segment, airing at 11:18AM EST. She wasn’t interested in the shooting accident, but preferred to convict Cheney for involvement in the CIA leak case:
"I mean, I think he’s possibly in more trouble because his chief of staff, Scooter Libby, who has been indicted for releasing information about a CIA agent, which is against the law, has said that it was his superiors, or superior, who said that he could do this. Who is his superior? Richard Cheney."
An unsuspecting viewer watching this morning's Today show would have thought Fox News failed to disclose that VP Cheney, during his interview with Brit Hume, acknowledged having a beer at lunch on the day of the shooting incident.
But when it comes to the MSM, it pays to be 'suspecting.'
Here's how NBC White House reporter Kelly O'Donnell artfully chose her words:
"The official White House transcript of the interview shows Cheney said 'I had a beer at lunch.' Fox News did not show that particular clip during Brit Hume's program."
I was jarred by O'Donnell's statement since, having watched "Brit Hume's program" - Special Report - I was certain I had heard reference to the mid-day beer. And sure enough, a transcript of Special Report confirms it:
I suppose that quoting Al Franken for evidence of liberal media bias is, if you'll excuse the expression, like shooting fish in a barrel.
Nevertheless, perhaps it's useful for the archives to record one of Franken's remarks this evening in the course of his appearance on MSNBC's 'Scarborough Country.'
Commenting on Vice President Cheney's decision not to follow Harry Whittington to the hospital, Franken mused:
"It's inconceivable that you don't go to the hospital unless there's a reason you don't go to the hospital. If you had been drinking, you wouldn't go to the hospital. Or, you're an amazing jerk, that's the other. Or both."
Admitting he hadn’t seen the interview, at about 4:15pm EST Wednesday on CNN’s The Situation Room, Jack Cafferty charged that “it didn't exactly represent a profile in courage for the Vice President to wander over there to the F-word network for a sit-down with Brit Hume. I mean, that's a little like Bonnie interviewing Clyde, ain't it?” Cafferty soon called FNC a “safe haven” for Dick Cheney and predicted “he's not going to get any high hard ones from anybody at the F-word network." CNN colleague Lou Dobbs opened his show by complaining: “Vice President Cheney finally talking about his shooting accident, but to only one news organization. Is that full disclosure or is it blatant news management?" Guest Michael Goodwin of the New York Daily News called it “ridiculous” for Cheney to give “one interview to his favorite network.”And later, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann castigated Cheney for choosing the “more malleable cameras of Fox News" in place of a press conference.
Over on the broadcast network evening newscasts, NBC’s David Gregory, the most aggressive reporter in the White House press briefings, fired back at Hume, suggesting either Hume had an anti-White House press corps axe to grind or at least that Cheney chose him because of that opinion: "Speaking out for the first time, the Vice President chose to speak with Fox anchor Brit Hume, a former White House correspondent, he has been outspoken in his criticism of the White House press corps' coverage of this story." On the CBS Evening News, correspondent Jim Axelrod characterized FNC as a “friendly” venue: "The Vice President chose to make his first public comments on Fox News Channel's Special Report, a broadcast Mr. Cheney sees as friendly, and has turned to before.” One doubts reporters presumed Vice President Al Gore was going to friendly media when he sat down with ABC, CBS, NBC or CNN. (Fuller transcripts follow.)