The MRC@25: The Worst Media Bias of 1988

September 2nd, 2012 8:11 AM

Every day for the next few weeks, NewsBusters will be showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala on September 27. (Click here for ticket information.) With each TV quote, we’ve added the matching video from our archive, some of which hasn’t been seen in nearly a quarter-century.

To start: the worst quotes of 1988, MRC’s first full year in business. Among the highlights: Dan Rather ambushes the first George Bush and Ted Turner’s TBS super-station aired a propagandistic tribute to the U.S.S.R. [Quotes and video below the jump.]

White House chief of staff Don Regan: “What’s the bottom line of the Reagan Administration? It’s a great record.”
Host Lesley Stahl: “Bottom line. Largest deficits in history. Largest debtor nation. Can’t afford to fix the housing emergency.”
— Exchange on Face the Nation, May 15, 1988.


“When he entered the race nearly a year ago, he had the courage to say that as the President he would probably have to raise taxes. And he never recovered from his courage.”
— Anchor Peter Jennings on Bruce Babbitt’s dropping out of the presidential race, ABC’s World News Tonight, February 18, 1988.


“You and the President were being party to sending missiles to the Ayatollah of Iran. Can you explain how — you were supposed to be the — you are — you’re an anti-terrorist expert! Iran was officially a terrorist state....The question is — but — you made us hypocrites in the face of the world! How could you sign on to such a policy?!”
— Anchor Dan Rather in a live interview with Vice President George Bush on the January 25, 1988 CBS Evening News.


  “The Soviet Union, draped in history, born in a bloody revolution, bound together by a dream that is still being dreamt. The dream of a socialist nation marching toward the world’s first communist state. The Soviet Union — a mighty union.”
  “Once the Kremlin was the home of czars. Today it belongs to the people.”
  “Atheist though the state may be, freedom to worship as you believe is enshrined in the Soviet Constitution.”
— From the first night of Ted Turner’s seven-hour TBS cable series Portrait of the Soviet Union, March 20, 1988.

Refer back daily for more classic bias quotes, or check out our “25th Anniversary” section for the entire collection.