Five items today:
1. Developments on the foreign
citizen fundraising front continue, but TV network viewers don't hear
anything about them. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported a major
DNC donor had no money of his own to donate and a federal judge issued a
subpoena for John Huang, now in hiding. None of the broadcast networks
reported the first item; only one reported the second, but two found time
to mention the sentencing of a Dole fundraiser.
2. NBC's Today on Wednesday
reported nothing about the campaign during its two hour broadcast, but
devoted a top of the show segment to a major crisis: Denial of toliet
paper to Detroit public school students.
3. One Wednesday newspaper
headline declared that Clinton is maintaining lead in California. Another
the same day relayed that Dole and Republicans are
catching up. test
4. Dole's not gaining in
the polls, so what's to blame. A CBS reporter Wednesday morning suggested
"that his harsh tactics may have
5. A wealthy Hollywood
actor and producer identified, on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, what
ails America: Too much concern about making money.
"$325,000 Gift to Democrats Raises New Set of Questions: Relative
of Mahatma Gandhi Who Made Donation Say's he's Now in Debt. DNC Calls
Money Legal." -- October 23 Los Angeles Times front page.
It's illegal for
foreign citizens to contribute to U.S. campaigns, so the question in the
case of Gandhi is whether his donation really came from foreign nations.
Keeping that in
mind, here's the lead of the LA Times story: "The state of
California says Yogesh K. Gandhi owes $10,000 in back taxes. His
California driver's license has been revoked because he has failed to pay
his traffic fines. Claiming pauper status, he did not pay the $20 filing
fee for his divorce.
"Yet Gandhi...gave a hefty a hefty $325,000 to the Democratic
National Committee....Gandhi emerged Tuesday as the latest in a series of
campaign donors whose contributions are raising questions about the
influence of foreign money in American politics. Like the others, Gandhi's
contribution was handled by John Huang, the DNC fundraiser who brought in
a series of six-figure donations, some of which have proven illegal or
Speaking of Huang, he went into hiding last week to avoid the media. On
Wednesday, a federal judge issued a subpoena for him to appear.
How were these
two developments reported Wednesday night? The LA Times story was not
reported by any of the three evening shows -- not ABC's World Nes Tonight,
CBS Evening News or NBC Nightly News.
Only NBC Nightly
News reported the subpoena for Huang. On the CBS Evening News Dan Rather
noted, without offering any specifics, how the Clinton team were trying to
ignore the foreign money angle and had asked the FEC to investigate. Eric
Engberg then did a Reality Check on how it takes years for the FEC to
complete an investigation.
after Engberg's piece, Dan Rather announced that Simon Fireman, a former
Dole fundraiser, had been ordered to pay $6 million in fines for
laundering money to avoid contribution limits. NBC's Tom Brokaw also
mentioned Simon as he introduced a piece by Lisa Myers on soft money
fundraising by both parties.
Thirteen days until the election, but on Wednesday Today couldn't find
time for any mention of the campaign, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens
observed. But Today devoted the second segment of the 7am half hour to a
major crisis in Detroit: access to toilet paper in the schools.
David Snead, superintendent of the Detroit schools, Bryant Gumbel became
enraged at the new rules which restrict how much toilet paper students can
use. He demanded: "Hang on one second! One second! I saw a quote, one
second! David Snead I saw a quote from Charlie Fobbs. He is your Director
of Housekeeping and Grounds for your school district. He said, his words,
'They need to teach them, the students, to use only the amount they need.'
Isn't the matter of how much toilet paper one needs rather personal?"
definition of civil rights: Unlimited access to toilet paper. How long
until Clinton proposes a federal "Equal Access to Toilet Paper
Two contrasting headlines from Wednesday October 23:
On the front page of the Los Angeles Times: "Clinton Keeping Solid
Lead Over Dole in State"
On the front page of Investor's Business Daily: "California Vote
Is Back in Play: Shrinking Gap in Polls Spurs a Heavy GOP Push"
On Wednesday's This Morning on CBS reporter Sandra Hughes offered her
opinion of why Dole isn't catching up. As caught and transcribed by MRC
analyst Steve Kaminski, this is how she concluded her October 23 story: "Dole
criticized Clinton for raising taxes and breaking campaign promises. But
over the past few days, his tough talking rhetoric has been noticeably
toned down even though Dole won't admit that his harsh tactics may have
Maybe if the
media didn't condemn as "harsh" every anti-Clinton comment made
by Dole, his pointing out some of Clinton's character problems wouldn't
Starting this week and through election day, NBC Nightly News is running a
series called "Fixing America" in which various leaders
in different fields tell what they think should be done. Wednesday night's
offerings included this from actor/producer Henry Winkler, aka "The
Fonz" in Happy Days back in the 1970s:
"I think that we have to humanize America. I think that the worst
thing that ever happened to this country was the quarterly report. The
pride of process. The pride of what we do and the people who do it, the
population, are being moved aside just so that we can show a profit three
or four times a year. I think we're going to bottom line ouservelves into
before you put any money down to buy a ticket to one of his future movies.
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