Five items today:
avoid mentioning four Clinton scandals, but find time to cover
ethics committee action on Newt Gingrich.
2. A USA
Today headline blasts the Republican Congress for being
of the charge that the media are biased in favor of Clinton has
pervaded mass culture -- it was part of the opening skit on the season
premiere of Saturday Night Live.
4. The Clinton
Administration will soon make a political appointment to run an
agency and who is at the top of their list? A prominent
5. Yes, OJ's back
in the news! NBC Today's Bryant Gumbel wonders why "most
white Americans at least, cannot accept the idea that" OJ Simpson
is "out walking around free, refuse to let him live his
Last week I reported that the network evening shows had failed to mention
a FDIC report which concluded that Hillary Clinton had drafted a real
estate document meant to "deceive" federal regulators. The FDIC
report was released last Monday, September 23. Through Monday night
September 30 it had yet to generate a mention on any of the broadcast
What else went
unreported on network evening shows last week: -- On Tuesday,
September 24 a House committee held hearing on how the Clinton
Administration let criminals become citizens. The Washington Times story
the next day began: "Immigration workers yesterday told a House
Government Reform and Oversight subcommittee of rampant' abuses in the
Citizenship USA program that apparently let thousands of immigrants with
criminal records become citizens." Network evening show coverage:
-- On Wednesday,
September 25. Senator Orrin Hatch revealed a six month gap in the log
listing who at the White House accessed the FBI background files. The
Washington Times bannered the news across page one the next day. Network
evening show coverage: Still waiting.
-- also on
Wednesday, The Washington Times reported that U.S. Rep. John Mica had sent
a letter to Clinton's drug czar demanding release of a four month old
Institute for Defense Analysis report that concluded Bush's interdiction
policy was far more effective than Clinton's drug treatment emphasis. Just
9 percent of Clinton's drug budget goes to interdiction. Network
evening show coverage: Still waiting, but drug czar Barry McCaffrey is
scheduled to respond at an October 1 House hearing.
-- On Thursday,
September 26, 170 members of Congress send a letter to Clinton asking that
he promise not to pardon any Whitewater figures. In an interview last
Monday on the PBS NewsHour Clinton had said he thought Kenneth Starr was
out to get him and the President defended Susan McDougal's decision to
refuse to testify. The Sunday Washington Times had a story which began:
"House Democrats were prepared to shut down the government if
Republican demanded a vote on a resolution calling for President Clinton
not to pardon key Whitewater figures, Rep. Spencer Bachus said
yesterday." Network evening show coverage: One question from
anchor John Roberts to analyst Laura Ingraham on the Sept. 29 CBS Evening
What did they
cover? Between last Thursday and Sunday each of the network evening shows
aired two stories on Newt Gingrich's dealings with the House ethics
committee. And on Sunday's Today, co-host Jodie Applegate couldn't quite
get her history correct, asking Gingrich Press Secretary Tony Blankley:
"Mr. Blankley, it was seven years ago that Newt Gingrich called on
Jim Wright, who was then the Speaker of the House, to step aside because
an investigation had begun into his affairs."
Of course the
investigation had more than "begun."
The House wrapped up its work over the weekend. Monday's USA Today
headline over a page A13 story reviewing the session under GOP control
read: "A Lean, Some Say Mean, GOP Machine."
Another sign of positive progress: On the September 28 Saturday Night Live
guest host Tom Hanks played Peter Jennings in skit in which Jennings
interviews Clinton, Dole and Perot.
Here's Tom Hanks as Peter Jennings: "Mr. President, we here at ABC
News are not in the business of making endorsements, but everyone here is
voting for Bill Clinton and I personally cannot imagine how any decent
person would not, in fact, do the same. In light of this, which of your
many achievements do you feel important to emphasize as we head toward the
It's hard to
tell parody from reality.
Friday's Washington Post "In the Loop" column relayed:
"Scuttlebutt at the Voice of America has it that former U.S. News
& World Report political reporter Steven Roberts is being wooed to
replace outgoing VOA director Geoffrey Cowan." New U.S. News Editor
James Fallows asked Roberts to step down a few weeks ago, but the Post
reported that "The VOA was thinking about Roberts before new U.S.
News boss James Fallows began the purge."
On Monday's (Sept. 30) Today, Bryant Gumbel began day one of a three day
series with Johnnie Cochran. While Gumbel did ask about OJ's alibi and how
even if the Los Angeles police botched the investigation and employ
racist, that it's hard to believe a conspiracy, he also posed these two
questions: "Comments that he has made to others would seem to
indicate a certain degree of, and not unjustifiably, a certain degree of
anger, bitterness. Has he expressed that to you?" "Why do you
suppose it is that one year after his acquittal, most white Americans at
least, cannot accept the idea that he's out walking around free, refuse to
let him live his life?"
Hmmm? Could it
be that not everyone is happy that he got away with murder?
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