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[b]ABC's Simpson: Bush Win Means Public "Not Bright," Rush "Scary" [/b]
ABC News correspondent Carole Simpson, who through 2003 served as the anchor of World News Tonight on Sunday and who now travels the country for ABC News to talk to high schoolers about how to consume news, lashed out at how the election results reflect the triumph of the "stupid" and how the red/blue maps match the slave versus free states. She opined at a National Press Club forum shown live Monday night on C-SPAN: "I look at the election, and I'm going, 'Well, of course our kids are not bright about these things because their parents aren't.'" She also asserted that it's "really scary" to her when she hears that students consider Rush Limbaugh to be a news source. Simpson fretted that now "affirmative action's a bad word. Liberal's a bad word. Gay is a bad word. Diversity, all these words that were perfectly fine words now are these touchstones, these trigger points, and that frightens me. I think he's going after social issues."
Simpson appeared on a November 8 panel organized by the Smithsonian Associates and the Freedom Forum's Newseum to review press coverage of the campaign. Also on the panel: Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, NPR's Juan Williams, the Washington Post's David Broder and columnist Pat Buchanan. Tipped by the MRC's Tim Graham, the MRC's Brad Wilmouth took down a couple of Simpson's rants:
-- Simpson recounted her encounters with high schoolers: "Then I'm going, 'Oh, my God, are children going to grow up stupid?' And I don't say that to them, but when I hear some of their answers to questions, I'm like, they still think that Saddam Hussein blew up the World Trade Center. And I'm telling you, I've been to cities Northeast, South, Midwest, far West, Pacific Northwest, I've been all over the country, and I'm like, 'Oh, my God, how could they miss this?' And then I look at the election, and I'm going, 'Well, of course our kids are not bright about these things because their parents aren't. And you look at the studies that show 70 percent of the people of America still believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with the World Trade Center, and that's why we're at war, and I'm like, 'Oh, my God. Nobody is looking at news.' The children are saying, 'Well, I hear Rush Limbaugh,' and I said, 'That's not the news.' And they go, 'But he's talking about news things.' Okay, that's really scary when I hear them say that they think they're getting the news, they can't make the separation between the New York Times and ABC News and NPR and the talk shows Hannity and Colmes or Bill O'Reilly. It's all the same to them. That's all the news, Entertainment Tonight, it's all the news. So it's been a very frightening thing to me. I am scared. I am going to admit to you that I'm scared."
-- In reaction to comments from Pat Buchanan: "When you tell me, 'Let the states decide,' that scares me, okay? I got a little map here [holding sheet of paper] of pre-Civil War free versus slave states. I wish you could see it in color and large. But if you look at it, the red states are all down in the South, and you have the Nebraska Territories, the New Mexico Territories, and the Kansas Territories. But the Pacific Northwest and California were not slave states. The Northeast was not. It looks like the map of 2004. [i](she fails to mention the south was all democrat back then)[/i]
"And when you say, 'Let's let the states decide,' I remember what the states decided when they had slavery. And the kinds of things that concern me is despite what the President says about tax reform and going after entitlement programs, I think they're going quickly after social programs despite what he said. I think we're going to get a rollback on all kinds of things. Affirmative action's a bad word. Liberal's a bad word. Gay is a bad word. Diversity, all these words that were perfectly fine words now are these touchstones, these trigger points, and that frightens me. I think he's going after social issues."
In a May 13 Boston Globe story about her new job for ABC, Simpson rued: "'It isn't the ABC News it was when I started,' she said. 'We've moved away from stories about poor people, people who are powerless,' she said. 'The focus groups have indicated that the public wants medical and business news.'" See: [url]www.boston.com[/url]
Simpson earned the MRC's "Quote of the Year" in 1999 for this self-aggrandizing exchange with President Bill Clinton as the two stood in an Arkansas tomato factory:
Simpson to Clinton: "You've got the big plane, you've got the big house, you've got the cars, the protection. Aren't you going to suffer great post-partum depression after you leave office?....I have to bask in this moment, for a moment, because I am here talking to the most powerful man on the planet, who was a poor boy from Arkansas-"
Clinton, cutting her off: "A place like this."
Simpson: "Place like this. I am an African-American woman, grew up working class on the south side of Chicago, and this is a pretty special moment for me to be here talking to you. How does it feel talking to me? That I made it, too, when people said I wouldn't be able to?"