Ignored; Clymer the Democratic Adviser
1. Three major
newspapers feature front page stories with revelations on the Huang/DNC
fundraising front. But none of the network evening shows report any of
2. USA Today's
Tony Mauro offers a gushing tribute to no "mere mortal" --
liberal law professor Laurence Tribe.
reporter says Newt worse than McDermott while another argues that
Democrats have not been aggressive enough at using media- provided
January 13 edition of Notable Quotables.
detractors think his arrogance is finally catching up with him. 'He
was his usual glib self,' one veteran practitioner sniffed after the
argument. But Tribe has a lot to be arrogant and glib about. There is
still no one better on his feet, no one better able to respond to
questions from the justices with a fully developed and usually
1) Three big
newspapers on Thursday, January 16 uncovered different new aspects in the
John Huang/Democratic fundraising saga:
Washington Post front page headline: "Guest Lists at White House
Didn't Include Rap Sheets: Some at DNC Fund-Raising Coffees Ran Afoul
of Law." The Post reported that since full background checks were
not run on large donors attending coffees with the President at the
White House that some criminals got in to talk with Clinton.
- The Los
Angeles Times front page: "Papers Show Huang's Policy Role at
Commerce: Documents Contrast with Assertions that Figure in Democratic
Fundraising Scandal Had Minimal Duties."
- Reporter Alan
Miller's lead: "Newly disclosed Commerce Department documents
indicate that controversial fundraiser John Huang was considered an
expert on Asian affairs when he worked at the agency and had a voice
in U.S.-Asia commercial policy, despite Clinton administration
assertions that his duties there were largely administrative."
explained: "The issue is a sensitive one because of looming
questions over whether Asian donors of large amounts of money later
solicited by Huang were given insights into U.S. policy or other
favors in return for their contributions." Further, Miller
discovered that Huang retained his top secret clearance "for a
year while he was raising money because Commerce officials failed to
have it lifted."
- Offering an
answer as to what influence Huang may have exerted, The Boston Globe's
page one headline declared: "Clinton Policy Shift Followed
Michael Kranish began: "President Clinton made a last-minute
about-face last year on his immigration policy, a reversal that
brought the White House in line with the top priority of
Asian-Americans who had paid $12,500 each a month earlier to attend a
fundraising dinner with Clinton that generated $1.1 million. Clinton
made his reversal after the Democratic National Committee Vice
Chairman, John Huang, waged an intensive effort to influence Clinton's
immigration policy, according to documents reviewed by the
Globe." Huang wanted to make sure the foreign born brothers and
sisters of naturalized citizens could immigrate.
- Three big
stories. How were they covered Thursday night? Let's go show by show:
World News Tonight: Nothing
Evening News: Nothing
Nightly News: Zilch
- CNN's The
World Today (10-11pm ET): Not a word.
- But CNN found
time for a piece by Claire Shipman on how the White House handles
10,000 letters a day and who can reach Clinton through his personal
Zip code. Plus, at about 10:45 ET, a live report from Bob Franken on
the status of the still-to-be released special counsel report on Newt
- It should be
noted that CNN's Inside Politics did run a full report by Brooks
Jackson examining the immigration story broken by the Boston Globe.
2) USA Today's Supreme Court reporter, Tony Mauro, is in love not with
the law but with Laurence Tribe, the liberal Harvard law professor
always on the Democratic list of potential Supreme Court nominees.
Just try to make it through Mauro's assessment of Tribe's January 8
performance as advocate for assisted suicide in oral argument before
the Court. MRC media analyst, and aspiring personal injury lawyer,
Steve Kaminski came across Mauro's oozings in the January 13 edition
of Legal Times. Gushed Mauro:
sometimes he seems too nimble, too cerebral, too able to see
contradiction and ironies and nuances light-years before the justices
and other mere mortals are able to. Especially coming in the last
quarter of a two-hour argument, he seemed to make the justices' heads
probably has had the same effect on dance aficionados -- too much
dazzle to take all at once. Maybe Tribe needs to slow down and
simplify his routine the next time out -- and dance the macarena
instead of Swan Lake."
Thursday's CNN & Company Chicago Tribune reporter Ellen Warren
insisted: "I'm not trying to minimize the offense here, though I
would have to suggest that the ones of Speaker Gingrich look
considerably more severe than Mr. McDermott's."
3) MRC media analyst Clay Waters caught two examples of reporters
explaining away the offenses of Congressman Jim McDermott, the
Democrat accused of giving to the New York Times the tape of the Newt
Gingrich cellular call.
January 16 New York Times included a news analysis piece from Adam
Clymer, the reporter who wrote the January 10 story revealing the
Gingrich phone conversation. Clymer lamented how the Gingrich ethics
probe has been sidetracked. But instead of condemning McDermott or his
own role in the process, Clymer said the Republicans were wrong on the
substance. And he actually criticized Democrats for not being
"The case is also playing out on a more substantive level,
emerging as a test of the House's ability to perform its
constitutional duty to judge and discipline its own members....
political matter, the Republicans managed brilliantly on the last two
weekends of television talk shows to keep the focus where they wanted.
First, they emphasized how trivial the charges against the Speaker
were -- the phrase 'jaywalking ticket' was used to describe breaches
of tax law and furnishing untrue information to the committee. The
next weekend they stressed how bad it was for a Democrat to make a
taped telephone conversation public.
course, they could not have done it without the Democrats' giving them
a clear field. The first weekend the Democrats had available a Time
magazine article suggesting that the leadership, possibly waving
campaign money, put pressure on two ethics committee members to write
an extraordinary letter telling colleagues to vote for Mr. Gingrich
for Speaker. The Democrats hardly brought it up.
last weekend the Democrats effectively failed to make their case that
the taped conversation, whatever its ancestory, showed that Mr.
Gingrich had broken his promises to the ethics committee."
Allow me to
interpret: Hey, Democrats, we in the media are doing all we can to
provide you with the ammunition to blast Newt out of the Speaker's
chair, but you guys keep blowing it.
4) The January 13, 1997 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's
bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous,
quotes in the liberal media. To get an order form for subscribing to
the black on blue printed version via snail mail ($19 per year), send
a message to Carey Evans: firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 13, 1997 (Vol. Ten; No. 1)
know if I have a liberal bent...But it is fair to say it's very
difficult for a black man in this country to be of a conservative
bent. That's a fair statement. It's very difficult to be an African-
American male, and have an African-American son who is going to be 18
years of age, and hear things like cops want to crack down and send
more to prison, to hear calls for tougher statutes, less welfare, less
programs for the poor, and less things for people of color. If that
says I'm not conservative, so be it."
Gumbel's Parting Shocker: I'm Not Conservative!
-- Bryant Gumbel in the January 2 USA Today, the day before his last
morning as co-host of NBC's Today.
Gingrich's problem, I've always thought, he's like Lenin. They both
made a revolution by shooting people -- Newt shot Democrats, Lenin
shot everybody -- and then they didn't have enough sense to stop
shooting once they won. So, I mean, once you win, you say, 'Okay, now
I've shot all your relatives, but you're a good guy, let's work
together.' Instead, Newt shut down the government and kept on trying
to shoot Democrats." -- ABC's Sam Donaldson on The Tonight Show
with Jay Leno, January 8.
Carlson, Time: "If we didn't have Newt Gingrich having brought
down Jim Wright on, on, I think, picayune, as picayune as this, then I
think there would be less hostility towards him at this moment."
Gingrich the Assassin
Ferguson, The Weekly Standard: "Jim Wright was trying to line his
own pockets in the most sordid, squalid sort of way...." Carlson:
"But he [Gingrich] was lining his own personal power pockets,
which is just as bad."
-- December 28 Capital Gang on CNN.
maybe from a technical point of view, but you had the Speaker,
somebody who led the assault on Jim Wright, he never ended up getting
prosecuted, he never broke the law. Doesn't the Speaker's credibility
kind of get diminished by this and doesn't he become a symbol of
somebody who broke the rules as opposed to somebody who followed the
rules? Doesn't this give you a credibility problem?"
-- CBS reporter Rita Braver to U.S. Rep Chris Shays (R-Conn.),
December 29 Face the Nation.
[the Internet] at the moment highly dangerous; I hope that we pacify
it in the near future. A three-page, very slickly done presentation
alleged that I was drunk in an Orlando restaurant and spit in a man's
soup. And no way to trace it whatsoever. It seems to me that these
sources of so called information should have to identify themselves.
There should be a sense of responsibility placed upon them to stand
behind what they report. I just abhor any form of censorship, but I do
not think there's anything wrong at all with banning anonymous
Cronkite the Censor
-- Walter Cronkite in the December 28 TV Guide.
Eleanor's Year-End Elucidations
Biggest Winner: "Loretta Sanchez who toppled Bob Dornan, the
scourge of all thinking people. And also awakened us to the power of
the Hispanic vote, even in Republican stronghold Orange County."
Most Decisive Campaign Moment: "Sadly, the flap over the
Indonesian campaign contributions. The only thing that moved the polls
all year. Probably cost the Democrats control of the House."
Turncoat of the Year: "Sherrie Rowlands, the lady of the night
who ratted on Dick Morris and tarnished what would otherwise have been
a big win for him."
Fairest Rap: "My fairest rap is like Clarence's [Page], that Ken
Starr is a partisan Republican. True, true, true."
-- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, December 21 McLaughlin Group.
this structure was a national politics heavily conditioned by nearly
half a century of cold war. Strength and toughness trumped everything
else. At one military briefing during the 1980s, Reagan was shown
models of American missiles. The American power phalluses were long
and white; the Soviets', shorter and black. We were still safely
ahead, but only by the margin of our machismo."
-- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter reviewing the 1996 political landscape,
December 30, 1996/January 6, 1997 issue.
an ethnic undertone to this. If these were Greeks, or American Jews,
or Irish-Americans rather than Asian, some of this wouldn't have the
Inside Washington's Liberal Insights
-- Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau Chief Doyle McManus on Indogate/Donorgate,
January 4 Inside Washington.
take Phil Gramm. Buchanan was always a sideshow and a cartoon. But
Gramm was serious, but a serious divider. He was a classic wedge-issue
politician that would have driven us apart."
-- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas on who he was most
pleased left the presidential race, Dec. 28.
shameful act of '96 was welfare reform....welfare reform became a
political football in '96, an easy way to kick around the poor and
especially poor children and immigrants, even legal immigrants. Bill
Clinton thought the GOP had a hot issue, so he closed his eyes and
signed a bill that punishes children and people who want to work, but
can't find a job in a tough market for entry level employment. This
was a criminal act, further dividing us as haves and have nots. It was
Criminal Welfare Reform Will Bring Starvation
-- Washington Post reporter Juan Williams on CNN's Capital Gang,
Ends. Acknowledging that the new law was 'seriously flawed,' President
Clinton signed it anyway, ending welfare as we know it....Supporters
said the new law would get people on their feet, but criticism came
from many quarters: from states that said they couldn't meet the
deadlines, from social workers who said the new system will plunge
more people into poverty, from three top federal officials who
resigned in protest. 'I think a lot of people will start starving,'
said Shawn Cornett, a 22-year-old welfare recipient in Kentucky."
-- AP reporter Helen O'Neill in year-end story summarizing the top ten
stories of 1996.
Dornan. B-1 Bob went ballistic after narrowly losing his House seat in
Orange County, California, to Hispanic financial analyst Loretta
Sanchez. Threatening to sue her for election fraud, Dornan called
Sanchez a 'liar' and said 'the whole thing stinks to high heaven.' Of
course, sour grapes were to be expected from the former fighter pilot
who once grabbed a fellow Congressman by the collar and called him a
'draft-dodging wimp.' Sanchez's campaign manager, John Sullivan, spoke
for many when he said of Dornan, 'He's been, and continues to be, a
national disgrace. All we can say is Adios.' The bad news is that
Dornan will now have more time for his second job as Rush Limbaugh's
Bombing Bob Dornan
-- Time on "Worst Public Performances of 1996," December 23.
Prime Minister] Netanyahu was a possibility because his election was
quite a surprise. He had a lot of people hoping that he would in fact
grow in the job and become a peacemaker and so far that hasn't
-- Time Deputy Managing Editor James Kelley, CNN's Time "Man of
the Year" special, Dec. 23.
latter [Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes] has made his fervent mantra the
ditsy notion of the media having perverted the United States by being
a cesspool of lefty ideologues. Sure, as in ABC's David Brinkley
publicly calling President Clinton a bore."
Media Bias: A Ditsy Notion
-- Los Angeles Times TV writer Howard Rosenberg, December 18.
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; Joe Alfonsi, Jessica Anderson;
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