3. Gillespie reported that Sen. Bob Kerrey, the Vietnam veteran and Democratic presidential candidate in 1992, told the New York Sun that he supported the Iraq war in no uncertain terms: "It breaks my heart whenever anybody dies, but we liberated 25 million people who were living under a dictator. It puts us on the side of democracy in the Arab world. Twenty years from now, we'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who says it wasn't worth the effort." Network coverage? Zero.
4. The bald-headed leftist pop musician Moby was quoted in the New York Daily News as promoting the idea that his fellow Kerry supporters should work to "punk" Bush supporters by planting lies in Internet chat rooms. He suggested telling pro-lifers that President Bush drove a former girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her abortion. Network coverage? Zero.
5. Gillespie noted that Teresa Heinz Kerry gave over $50,000 to the League of Conservation Voters, which endorsed her husband's candidacy in January and has run ads on his behalf. Network coverage of this conflict? Zero. Instead, ABC touted the endorsement in two evening stories on Jan. 24, and George Stephanopoulos touted it again on his show the next morning. On Jan. 15, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell aired an entire story giving environmentalists free rein to attack Bush, beginning with the sentence: "The League of Conservation Voters grades the president with the first 'F' in the group's 34-year history."
6. Finally, the Kerry campaign engaged in nasty push-polling tactics in Iowa. Gillespie underlined: "It's on videotape!" A documentary filmmaker covering the Dean campaign was present in a home when the Kerry campaign called on the night of the caucuses and accused Howard Dean of being an environmental racist.
Gillespie cited an ABC News report as the source. He's right, but there's a little problem. Protective ABC only put this Jan. 17 report by Jake Tapper on its Web site, and spiked it from appearing on television, despite obtaining the damning videotape. CBS and NBC never bothered to cover this, either.
Does this litany of Democratic favoritism give voters any confidence that the TV networks will be reliable referees of the campaign this year? The proper confidence level in network news coverage? Zero.