Five items today:
1. The revelation
of John Huang's frequent white house visits led Thursday's Good
Morning America, but were not mentioned at all on Today or This Morning.
2. Wednesday's NBC
Nightly News did not include a word about Huang, but ABC and CBS did
air stories on him.
3. ABC's Jeff Greenfield
explores whether liberal bias may explain why scandals
don't hurt Clinton.
4. Five days before the
election CNN bumped Inside Politics back a half hour in
order to show....
5. The November 4 edition
of the MRC's Notable Quotables.
Fundraiser Huang Visited White House Often: Log Shows Him There 78 Times
Since July '95" declared the front page story in the Thursday,
October 31 Washington Post. The Washington Times headline
read: "Huang Frequent White House Visitor: Also Got Unusual
Security Clearance Waiver."
So, did these headlines prompt stories on the network morning shows? MRC
analysts Steve Kaminski and Jim Forbes told me not on CBS This Morning or
NBC's Today. Only GMA, MRC analyst Gene Eliasen observed, didn't ignore
the news. GMA co-host Charlie Gibson opened the show:
"The lead story involves campaign fundraising. More fuel on the fire
of that story that has been catching heat in the latter days of the
campaign. John Huang, the fellow who was at the center of that Indonesian
fundraising connection for the Democrats. The people in the administration
have been downplaying his importance, but now there is word he made more
than sixty visits to the White House in the first part of this year, those
visits ending right away when those stories about Indonesian fundraising
broke, and we'll have that in our newscasts throughout the morning."
on Good Morning America Gibson had wondered why there wasn't more coverage
of questions about Democratic fundraising, suggesting that "if
Republicans had done this the press would be killing them." (See last
quote in Notable Quotables below.) The question remains for the other
networks, but Thursday morning Gibson's reporting addressed his concerns.
Thursday night NBC Nightly News failed to mention John Huang's name.
Introducing a story on the Clinton campaign, Tom Brokaw announced:
"For his part, President Clinton is attempting to cool off the
controversies over his campaign contributions. NBC's Brian Williams is in
California tonight ahead of the President's trip there."
But that was it.
Williams said nothing about fundraising, instead reporting that "in
Las Vegas he [Clinton] hit Dole on the tax cut plan. He reminded the
audience about Dole's role, along with Gingrich, in shutting the
government down during the winter."
Next, NBC aired a
story from Lisa Myers on what will happen if Democrats win Congress. She
began by noting that Dick Gephardt says "Democrats are more moderate
than two years ago." She reported that "long time liberals who
claim to have signed on to the new centrist agenda" would get the
committee chairmanships. But she compared that to reality, asking
Congressman Charles Rangel: "Are you committed to balancing the
budget in six years?" Rangel shot back: "No."
On World News
Tonight, Jackie Judd explored the latest on the John Huang front, noting
the Republicans have asked if donors "were front men to donate money
that came from illegal sources, and did large contributions influence
On the CBS
Evening News Thursday, Dan Rather stated: "President Clinton's
strategy to deal with the pre-election attacks is keep moving, change the
subject and have aides handle damage control. Case in point: Questions
about John Huang, the Democratic fundraiser with easy access to heavy
money interests in Asia. It now turns out Huang also had much easier
access to the White House itself than was previously disclosed."
Later in the show
in a "Follow the Dollar" segment, a week after ABC did it, Linda
Douglass examined John Huang's trail.
World News Tonight looked at why scandals don't damage Clinton and gave
airtime to the liberal bias explanation. Peter Jennings introduced the
October 31 story: "We have one additional report tonight on these
many questions about the behavior, and in some cases the alleged behavior,
of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton during these last few years. ABC's Jeff Greenfield
tonight on what sticks and what doesn't and what may stick around."
Here's the end of
"Among Republicans, one of the most popular explanations for
Clinton's invulnerability is a liberal media bias. And at least one
journalist thinks the critics may have a point. A forthcoming article in
The American Lawyer magazine argues that Paula Jones' charges of sexual
harassment against then-Governor Clinton are far more credible than those
of Anita Hill against Judge Clarence Thomas. But the article's author says
the Paula Jones case has been covered very differently."
Stuart Taylor, The American Lawyer magazine: "Imagine if Paula Jones
or someone just like her made allegations, just like this, with evidence
just like this, against Jesse Helms or Newt Gingrich." Greenfield:
"If the polls are right all these charges will have very little
impact on the election. But once the political season ends, they could
cast giant cloud over a second Clinton term."
the American Lawyer piece has been out for a week, as far as I know this
is the first network mention.
Five days before Americans vote CNN carried live coverage of TV talk show
host Jenny Jones testifying in a Michigan murder trial instead of their
daily politics show. CNN stayed with her past 4pm ET, the time for Inside
Politics. She stepped down at about 4:20 and CNN carried Inside Politics a
half hour late at 4:30pm.
-- Brent Baker
The November 4 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly
compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the
liberal media. Back issues can be read in the News section of the MRC web
To subscribe by snail mail for $19, send an e-mail to MRC Circulation
Manager Pete Reichel and he can send you a sample issue and order form: firstname.lastname@example.org
November 4, 1996 (Vol. Nine;
Gun to Our Heads
"Going into the homestretch, the campaign is taking on faint
overtones of the old protection racket with Republicans increasingly
sounding like the Capone gang, offering protection against Bugsy Clinton
and his mob." -- ABC's John Cochran on House GOP strategy, October
27 This Week introductory story.
The Bad News is
Really Good, Good News Really Not
"The government reports today that the economy slowed down over the
summer. The Gross Domestic Product, which measures all economic activity,
was up 2.2 percent, but that is less than half the 4.7 percent growth in
the second quarter. President Clinton who was campaigning in Michigan
noted that many economists say a cooling off is necessary to keep
inflation down and therefore, he thinks, the numbers were good news.
Senator Dole on the other hand was in Tennessee earlier today, along with
Mrs. Dole. He says the numbers are cause for concern. He went on to say if
Mr. Clinton is re-elected there could be a recession." -- ABC
anchor Peter Jennings, October 30 World News Tonight. vs. Peter
Jennings: "The [2.7 percent GDP] rate is more than economists had
projected, but in many cases, less than meets the eye." Bob
Jamieson: "The increase in economic growth was driven by a surge
in consumer spending. The best news came from spending for big appliances
and furniture, which rose by nearly nine percent. But many economists say
the report is not proof the economy is taking a sharp turn for the
better." -- World News Tonight, October 27, 1992.
government is out with its final official report on economic growth before
the election. And it indicates a dramatic slowdown. In the third quarter
of the year the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of just 2.2 percent,
that is less than half the growth rate of the second quarter. It didn't
take long for the presidential candidates to put their own spins on
today's economic numbers." -- Dan Rather, Oct. 30 CBS Evening
News. vs. "Just one week before the election and the Bush
administration says the U.S. economy has turned the corner and started
expanding again, but there is some doubt about the accuracy of the
figures, and even if they are accurate, they may be too little too late to
help President Bush because it was also announced today that consumer
confidence in the economy continues to fall." -- Rather on the
October 27, 1992 CBS Evening News. The GDP figure was later revised
upward to 3.9 percent for the 3rd quarter.
"The economy was slow, but
steady going in the last quarter. Many economists were encouraged by that
because it means inflation is under control and interest rates will stay
low. But, Bob Dole has another vision." -- Tom Brokaw, October 30
NBC Nightly News. vs. "The President [Bush] tonight
finally has an economic number that he can brag about, but at the same
time consumers were checking in today and they're yet to be persuaded that
this economy is turning around." -- Tom Brokaw, NBC Nightly News,
October 27, 1992.
Relaying Democratic Spin as
"To take back the House of Representatives the Democrats need 19
seats. And as of today it looks like they could win them. Democrats are
taking special aim at the Republicans elected in 1994. They're endangered
in part because their leader is so unpopular. With the help of millions of
dollars from organized labor, Democratic challengers constantly remind
voters that these freshmen supported Newt Gingrich and that together they
shut down the government." -- ABC's Cokie Roberts, October 18
World News Tonight.
"Which word are we talking about? The word to his first wife when he
said, `Until death do us part?'" -- CNN Talk Back Live host Susan
Rook after the RNC's Ed Gillespie said Dole's "word is his
bond." Quoted by Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz, October
NBC: No Big Deal, Republicans
Just as Bad
"Perot barely mentioned Republican Bob Dole, even though he also
accepts contributions from overseas." -- Gwen Ifill on Perot's
speech criticizing Clinton's illegal foreign donations, Oct. 24 NBC
"In a year when you talk
about, corporations who give $25,000 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." -- NBC News reporter Gwen Ifill on PBS's Washington
Week in Review, October 25. Cabrera is now serving a 19-year sentence for
smuggling 6,000 pounds of cocaine into the U.S.
"Beyond the tedium of the
day to day campaigning, there's another much more alarming development
this year -- money. Huge amounts of money pouring into both parties,
raising very serious questions about influence and conflict of
interest." -- Tom Brokaw opening the October 29 NBC Nightly News.
"Of course Republicans,
including Bob Dole and Jesse Helms, have also tapped into foreign
fundraising. And none of these investigations will produce answers until
months, or years, after election day." -- Andrea Mitchell
concluding her October 29 NBC Nightly News story.
"On campaign finance, White
House officials admit that both sides are dirty. The best defense:
Republicans do it too." -- Jim Miklaszewski, October 29 The News
with Brian Williams on MSNBC.
Dole Was Okay When He Raised
Taxes "Dole knows better. Columnist Matthew Miller has even
fancifully suggested that the Senator's 15 percent tax cut proposal is
really part of a secret Dole plan to have radical tax-cutting decisively
repudiated at the polls. That way, the death of his political career can
give life to the principle of fiscal responsibility that he devoted so
many years of that career to advancing. If only." -- Newsweek's
Jonathan Alter, Oct. 21.
"One of the roles of a
journalist is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. But
after the debate ended, not one network news anchor or commentator noted
the oddness of two presidential candidates hankering for tax handouts.
Like Clinton and Dole, the anchors and television pundits earn more than
99 percent of all Americans. If those same TV commentators made say,
$35,000 a year, they might have been more struck by Dole and Clinton's
bantering." -- U.S. News Senior Writer David Whitman, October 21.
"By 1985, Reagan's economics
had plunged the country into debt. Dole's all-out fight to lower the
deficit became the defining battle of his career." -- Actress
Blair Brown narrating Frontline on PBS, October 8.
"Just a year later, when he
saw that supply-side economics had ballooned the deficit, Dole worked hard
to raise government revenues by closing tax loopholes, and pushing through
what was then the argest tax increase in history." -- Ken Bode
narrating "Bob Dole's Odyssey" in CNN's Democracy in America,
Charles Should Be In Charge
"Bob Dole is running around the country saying, `Where is the
outrage?' Where is it? We now have the Democratic Party hiding this guy
John Huang until after the election, who was out raising money. You've got
rafts of big contributors all listing the same address, which is the
Democratic national headquarters. Newsweek says you have the ambassador to
Taiwan out there soliciting huge gifts from people, businessmen in Taiwan
and you have Buddhist monks and nuns who have taken vows of poverty giving
big amounts of money to the Democratic Party, and nobody seems to notice
this. Somebody said the other day if the Republicans had done this the
press would be killing them. Why are they getting away with this?" --
ABC Good Morning America co-host Charlie Gibson to Bill Kristol and Cokie
Roberts, October 29.
-- L. Brent Bozell III,
Publisher; Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
-- Geoffrey Dickens, Eugene Eliasen, Jim Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay
Waters, Media Analysts
-- Kathy Ruff, Marketing Director; Peter Reichel, Circulation Manager; Joe
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