I’m not even sure it was a liberal bias….rnI think Nixon was somewhat right, itrnwasn’t just paranoid. Sometimes peoplernreally are after you and sometimes thatrnwas the case with Richard Nixon.”rnThe members of the fourth estate reactedrnwith disbelief when confrontedrnwith a quotation from Bryant Gumbel ofrnNBC’s Today show. Mr. Gumbel calledrnPat Buchanan “Mr. Puke-anan” on thernFebruary 20 broadcast of Today. NBCrnanchorman Tom Brokaw said, “I didn’trnhear him say that. I mean I never heardrnhim say that.” Bill Plante had the samernreaction: “Did he actually say that? Irnnever heard him say it. Was it on thernair?” Deborah Norville, former Todayrnshow coanchor, expressed shock at Mr.rnGumbel’s comment. Her face conveyedrndisbelief as she asked, “On the air?” Shernthen added, “I don’t think I want torncomment.” Dee Dee Myers of CNBC,rnformerly Clinton’s spokesperson, was notrnsurprised at all about Gumbel’s referencernto “Mr. Puke-anan.” She stated, “Irnthink reporters all the time say thingsrnsimilar to that. Not necessarily on the airrnbut behind the candidates’ back. . . .rnThey don’t have much respect for thernpeople they cover.” Al Roker, the weathermanrnof the Today show, would not addressrnthe question directly. Instead hernstipulated, “I’ve never worked with a liberalrnanchorman. They’re all very conservative.”rnPresumably this would includernMr. Gumbel, who besides the “Pukeanan”rnreference once promoted an NBCrnNews special on racial attitudes by stating,rn”This is not going to tell yournwhether or not you are a racist or arnliberal.”rnThe recent Harris survey that showedrnAmericans to be increasingly distrustfulrnof network news did not seem to concernrnthe journalists. Bob Schieffer of CBSrnNews shrugged it off and asked, “What’srnnew about that?” Dan Rather put a positivernspin on the lack of trust. He stated,rn”I think the American people are veryrnsmart . . . they’re skeptical. That’s thernway they should be.” Juan Williams ofrnCNN explained that people don’t trustrnthe news anymore “because people seernwith their eyes and know that too oftenrnwe angle stuff and have too much of anrnedge to it and aren’t honest.” Mike Mc-rnCurry, President Clinton’s press secretary,rnfeigned shock that trust in the newsrnis down. He asked, “You’re kidding?!rnSurprise! Wake up! These guys needrnto understand that Americans want tornunderstand what’s going on in theirrnlives.rnThe new novel Blood Sport by JamesrnB. Stewart on the Whitewater controversyrnwas dismissed as old news. TomrnBrokaw commented, “I don’t think thatrnthere is any real big smoking guns or bigrnexplosions.” Bill Plante lamented that,rn”The problem with the media coveragernof Whitewater is it has been done overrnand over again.” John Cochran suggestedrnthat Whitewater was not even an importantrnstory. He admitted that he hadrnnot read Blood Sport, but he was readingrna “fascinating” book by Elizabeth Drewrnon the Republican Congress. He relatedrnthat Ms. Drew’s book “had nothing to dornwith gossip or Whitewater or what happenedrnto Vince Foster or any of that. Itrnhas to do with what’s happening withrnthe issues of importance to the Americanrnpeople.”rnBernard Goldberg’s criticism had atrnleast momentarily forced a myopicrnmedia to engage in a much neededrnself-examination. In today’s newscasts,rnsensationalism has replaced sober analysis.rnThe network news media and thernpolitical left in America share the samernmodus operandi. Both set out to identifyrna “crisis,” exaggerate the extent of thern”crisis,” and then invariably point to arnlack of government spending or regulationrnas the chief cause of the “crisis.” Asrna result of this incestuous relationship,rnthe mainstream press has virtually givenrna leftist bent to almost every issue. Liberalrnelected officials and advocacy groupsrnhave perpetually been able to look to thernmedia as an extension of their public relationsrnefforts. Whether it is the networkrnnews hyping the latest environmentalrn”catastrophe” or sounding an alarmrnabout GOP policies that they claim willrnresult in “mean-spiritedness” or “starvingrnchildren,” the mainstream mediarnand the national Democratic party are inrnloekstep. The orthodoxy of most of today’srnnetwork news reporters docs not allowrnthem even to question the premisernof government-sponsored “compassion.”rnUnless the fourth estate is willing to heedrncritiques like the one put forth by Mr.rnGoldberg, network news trust and ratingsrnwill continue to decline. Talk radiornand other alternative news and informationrnsources will continue to prosper asrnnetwork news becomes increasingly irrelevant.rnMarc Morano, a freelance journalist, is arnreporter for Rush Limbaugh, The TelevisionrnShow.rnFOREIGN AFFAIRSrnThe CubanrnCash Cowrnby Mario R. SanchezrnWhen the Cuban air force shotrndown two unarmed civilianrnplanes, killing four men, there followedrnyet another round of senseless debaternover how to handle Fidel Castro and hisrnaging revolution. Cuban exiles renewedrntheir call for vindication of still morerndeaths, while Time magazine ran Castro’srnjustification of the “defensive” act.rnThe Clinton administration condemnedrnCuba and sought the counsel (i.e., politicalrnsupport) of the self-proclaimed leadersrnof Cuban-Americans. The Republicanrnhopeful(s) denounced the atrocityrnand assured a disbelieving public thatrnCastro would not survive their administration.rnCongressmen of select districtsrnclamored to condemn the inhumanity.rnThe interested media pontificated whilernthe disinterested media shifted thernblame.rnTo promote the status quo, indisputablernacts are endlessly disputed.rnThere arc those who justify the murders,rnfor after all, the four dead men had in thernpast flown missions over Havana to droprnleaflets; for the planes were “over”rnCuban territory (wrong: they were in internationalrnairspace, one flying towardrnthe United States and the other in a parallelrncourse); for the dead were merelyrnCuban troublemakers (wrong: two werernAmericans, one with two tours of Vietnamrnas a U.S. Marine to his credit).rnThere are those who ask rhetorically whyrnthe murdered “Cubans” did not go backrnto Cuba, though this is precisely whatrnCubans have been trying to do for thernpast 37 years. So endlessly we analyzernacts of brutality until . . . the next act ofrnbrutality, when the debate begins anew.rnAnd yet, how do we treat Castro today?rnLike visiting royalty. During hisrnfive-day visit to New York to celebrate thern50th anniversary of the United Nations,rnCastro received over 200 invitations beseechingrnhis presence (not counting therninvitations from those who wanted to killrnhim), lunched with the Council of For-rn50/CHRONICLESrnrnrn