Five items today, Monday,
interest in drug dealer Jorge Cabrera and in money from Indonesia is
motivated by "foreigner bashing." So says a reporter for
2. A panel of federal
judges on Friday asked the independent counsel to investigate whether
Bernard Nussbaum lied about Hillary Clinton's knowledge of who hired
Craig Livingstone. NBC's Tim Russert called is a "dead
serious" development, but it hardly generated any network
3. NBC News declares Dole's
latest policy issues, not personal or character comments,
4. ABC analogizes GOP efforts to
keep control of the House to an Al Capone style
5. Finally, when the election is
about over, CBS decides to correct Clinton's Medicare
1) On Friday's
Washington Week in Review on PBS (October 25), NBC's Gwen Ifill opined:
"In a year when you talk about, corporations who give $25,00 chunks
of money, why are people particularly outraged when people with last names
like Cabrera and people from India and Korea and Indonesia and China all
of a sudden get, there just seems to be a lot of foreigner bashing as a
subtext in some of the criticism."
It took Wall
Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Alan Murray to tell her the
obvious: "It is against the law for non-residents, foreign companies,
foreign governments to give money to political campaigns. Now what's
happening here is the money seems to be legal residents, but some of them
have admitted, I mean there was this one woman who we talked to who
admitted it wasn't her money. Someone came and handed her $5,000, it was a
money laundering system."
As for Cabrera,
could it be that, well, he's now serving a 19-year sentence for smuggling
6,000 pounds of cocaine into the U.S?
2) On Friday a panel of judges authorized independent counsel Kenneth
Starr to investigate whether former White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum
lied about his knowledge of Hillary Clinton's involvement in the FBI files
On the October 28
Today Sunday morning, NBC's Tim Russert insisted: "This is dead
serious. I mean the ethical problems of the Clinton Administration are now
troubling even to the most partisan Democrats. The incident you're talking
about is that the Attorney General of the United States, Janet Reno,
requested that the special prosecutor look into whether or not Bernard
Nussbaum, counsel to the President of the United States, lied about
Hillary Clinton's role in Travelgate. This is dead serious stuff and I
don't know how we can dismiss it nine days before an election."
So how much
emphasis did the networks give this "dead serious" development?
In Sunday's Washington Post Howard Kurtz reported that "it was not
reported by the three network evening newscasts" Friday night.
That's not quite
true, but it was hardly a major story. The CBS Evening News didn't mention
the news. On ABC's World News Tonight anchor Forrest Sawyer read a brief
item. And how did Russert's NBC, where he is Washington Bureau Chief,
treat a story that he insists can't be dismissed nine days before election
day? NBC Nightly News offered viewers only a brief item read by anchor
In his Post
piece, Kurtz quoted Russert's reaction to Dole's liberal bias charge:
"I find it ironic that Dole is criticizing the media for not covering
all the stories we broke. Whether it's the Indonesian gardener or the
Buddhist monks, he should be crediting the LA Times, Washington Post, New
York Times and Wall Street Journal. I think his anger is misplaced."
Hmmm. Which media
outlets didn't Russert credit? Any of the networks, not even his own.
3) Affirmative action and immigration have been winning issues for
Republicans in California and by coincidence they are just the subjects
that NBC's David Bloom has tagged "divisive."
After showing a
clip of a Dole immigration ad, on the Saturday, October 26 NBC Nightly
News, Bloom concluded: "But even many Republicans who believe Dole
could have won here on a divisive issue like immigration, now say it's too
late." The next night, Sunday, Bloom concluded his story from
California: "Until now, Dole on the campaign stump, had largely shied
away from divisive social issues like affirmative action for fear of
alienating swing voters. Not anymore."
4) In the beginning of the show story Sunday for This Week with David
Brinkley, ABC's John Cochran looked at how Republicans are now separating
themselves from Dole, suggesting to voters that they need a check on a
re-elected Clinton. He concluded with this bizarre analogy: "Going
into the the homestretch, the campaign is taking on feint overtones of the
old protection racket with Republicans increasingly sounding like the
Capone gang, offering protection against Bugsy Clinton and his mob."
5) Finally, a little reality check for Clinton. Here's an excerpt from
Friday's CBS Evening News story by Bill Plante:
"But while Mr. Clinton walks the high road on the stump. His
advertising, all of which he personally approves, has been
overwhelmingly negative. He courted young voters today with a message of
hope. A new ad courts senior voters with a message of fear."
"You've worked you whole life and hoped for a secure retirememt.
That's why it's so wrong that Dole and Gingrich tried to slash Medicare
"Never mind that the President's own budget would have cut future
Medicare spending almost as much."
Now that the
election is in the bag for Clinton it's safe for the networks to
scrutinize his claims.
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