Alert: Ickes Ignored; Too Little OJ; Not Reading National Review
Ickes asked that evidence be destroyed and Kenneth Starr considers
indicting top Clinton aides, but neither ABC or NBC find either
sick," Gannett's Deborah Mathis says of the suggestion that some
see Ralph Reed as a leader in the black community.
top editor at a major daily worries that the media underplayed
Tuesday's OJ verdict.
offers Bryant Gumbel "big money" and a news magazine.
Meanwhile, he's about to get the NAACP's top award.
Hume reveals that "nobody...at any of the networks reads the
February 10 Notable Quotables. In the first quote Time magazine
asserts that among the Presidents who presided over "prosperity"
-- Jimmy Carter.
Two major developments in the Clinton scandals were revealed in Thursday
newspaper stories, but ABC and NBC didn't tell their viewers anything
In a February 6
front page Boston Globe story reporter Michael Kranish relayed:
"President Clinton renewed controversial aid flights to Cuba last
October on the same day a campaign donor pressed Clinton to resume the
flights and offered to arrange a $5 million contribution to the
President's campaign, the person who made the offer told the Globe
The offer came
from R. William Meddoff who served as an intermediary for a wealthy Texan,
William Morgan. Meddoff has released a copy of a fax he got from Harold
Ickes, then White House Deputy Chief of Staff, instructing Meddoff how and
to which specific groups to donate the money. Soliciting donations while a
White House employee would be illegal.
Washington Post reported that "the staff of Whitewater independent
counsel Kenneth W. Starr is finalizing a detailed memo outlining the pros
and cons of bringing criminal charges against top members of the
administration, including the President and White House aides, as well as
the First Lady, sources close to the investigation said."
-- NBC Nightly News: Not a syllable about either development. But NBC
turned one minute and 16 seconds over to a "In His Own Words"
segment from President Clinton. Brokaw introduced the clip:
"President Clinton put on his pastor's robes today, in a manner of
speaking, when he appeared at the National Prayer Breakfast...This year
the President made a pointed sermon, telling everyone to climb onto the
In the excerpt
Clinton complained that "This town is gripped with people who are
self-righteous, sanctimonious and hypocritical. All of us are that way
sometimes..." And, "...We are in a world of hurt and we need
help. We are in the breach. We are in the hole here. And cynicism and all
this negative stuff is just sort of a cheap excuse for not doing the best
with your life..."
By avoiding any
"negative" news on Clinton NBC must have made him happy. Up
next: Gwen Ifill profiled Republican Congressman John Kasich, whom she
dubbed "the pitbull Republican and veteran budget slasher from
-- ABC World News
Tonight: On Monday night ABC did run a piece on the Ickes memo, but
Thursday night ABC didn't update viewers with the Cuba angle or mention
the Starr development.
-- The CBS
Evening News highlighted both. CBS aired a brief story on Starr from Rita
Braver followed by a lengthy (three minutes and 47 seconds) examination on
Ickes and Meddoff. The piece by reporter Phil Jones included this somewhat
Jones: "Ickes faxed a two page memo to Meddoff directing Morgan to
send his first donations to three tax exempt organizations ["National
Coalition of Black Voter Participation," "Defeat 209" and
"Vote Now 96"] and $500,000 to the Democratic National
Committee, which would not be deductible. Within hours of sending this
Medoff says Ickes called back with an urgent request."
Meddoff: "He said I made an error in sending that to you, please
shred the document, please shred it."
Jones: "Ickes, now a private consultant to the administration, claims
he was not fundraising but simply facilitating the offer. And, as far as
using the word shred -- [to Medoff], Mr. Ickes said he never, never used
the word shred."
Meddoff: "And I'm the Pope."
2) Liberals love
diversity and bridging difference between communities, except, it seems,
if that might lead some to join a conservative group. MRC news analyst
Steve Kaminski caught a very intolerant comment from a reporter on last
weekend's Inside Washington.
Christian Coalition's effort to recruit blacks, Washington Post reporter
John Yang explained that one of the ministers with Coalition Executive
Director Ralph Reed at the press conference announcing the effort,
Lawrence Haygood of Alabama, "was so moved that he declared that
Ralph Reed was the new leader of the black community."
That was a
revolting thought to Gannett News Service reporter Deborah Mathis. She
shot back: "That's sick. That's actually perverse. Ralph Reed
probably doesn't, other than that minister from Tuskegee, probably can't
count the number of black people he knows on one hand."
3) Not enough OJ
coverage? On the February 5 Prime News, CNN reporter Gary Tuchman reviewed
how the media juggled OJ and the State of the Union address. Tuchman
noted: "As it turned out, the verdict came down just as the speech
was ending. So would journalists do things differently next time? Most say
no, but some say yes."
As viewers saw
video of the Detroit Free Press front page with a huge "Simpson
Loses" headline above a big picture taking up the left two-thirds of
the page and with Clinton's speach on left side of page, Thom Fladung,
News Editor of the Detroit Free Press asserted:
play OJ up a little more. I've heard from people today, from some of my
bosses today, that they felt like the package if anything wasn't big
4) CBS is the
latest network to make a big push for Bryant Gumbel. USA Today's Peter
Johnson reported on February 5: "The latest buzz is that CBS' mating
dance might work and that Gumbel is intrigued by the network's offer of
big money, a news magazine to replace Dan Rather's 48 Hours and maybe a
CBS syndicated show."
February 8 the NAACP will present Bryant Gumbel with its "President's
Award." The Washington Post's John Carmody reported February 5:
"NAACP President Kweisi Mfume will present the award via satellite at
the event, which will be hosted by Arsenio Hall and Patti LaBelle. The
Image Awards special will air on Fox on Thursday, February 27."
5) Brit Hume, the
former ABC White House reporter who is now Washington Editor for Fox News,
recently offered an illuminating anecdote to show how unfamiliar the media
elite are with conservative ideas. MRC news analyst Geoffrey Dickens
picked this up on CNBC's Hardball and transcribed Hume's January 28
"The New York Times has more influence on the networks than any other
single publication. To give you an idea of the mindset there. In 1993 I
wrote 15 pieces, basically analytical pieces, for National Review. Now
there's a question about whether I filed the proper clearance procedures
at ABC News in doing that. They never noticed!"
host: "Ha! They never read it!"
"Because, a: nobody in that hierarchy, and I think at any of the
networks reads the National Review. And nobody that they know reads the
National Review! Nobody they talk to reads the National Review! And it
isn't because they are up there, they're not a group of political
activists plotting to help Bill Clinton and go after Newt Gingrich. It's
not that at all. It's just a general mindset."
I doubt the same
can be said of The Nation or Mother Jones.
-- Brent Baker (NQ follows)
6) Below is the
latest edition of Notable
Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous,
sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. Half the quotes have not
appeared in previous
CyberAlerts, so there's some new material here. To subscribe to the
colorful (OK, one color -- blue) snail mail version for $19 annually,
e-mail Carey Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org
and she'll send an order form.
10, 1997 (Vol. Ten; No. 3)
Those Prosperous, Tranquil Carter Years?
[journalists] have tended to write bad scripts, at least at first, for
those Presidents who presided in moments of prosperity and tranquility and
kept them that way. Cases in point: George Bush, Jimmy Carter, Dwight
Eisenhower, William Howard Taft, and Martin Van Buren."
-- Time columnist Hugh Sidey in a February 10 piece on how Clinton may
become a forgettable President like Rutherford Hayes.
on the Front Page
ominous storm blown in from the East, the reality of welfare reform has
descended with relentless and unsparing force on thousands of families
like that of [Yvonne] Parris who begin the new year today with less cash
to live on and the prospect of a welter of new rules aimed at restricting
their access to government aid....Many who are against the cuts argue that
the welfare overhaul does little to address the fundamental causes of
poverty, but is instead based on long-standing myths and prejudices."
-- Los Angeles Times reporters Carla Rivera and Hector Tobar in a
front-page news story, January 1.
the Kids Worth More Taxes?
Shaheen, you've said that you want kindergarten available for every child
in your state. And you're proposing to finance it with higher cigarette
taxes and more gambling in the state. I guess you have to do that because
you've locked yourself away from calling for any sales tax or income tax
in New Hampshire. Are the kids not worth having a sales tax or an income
-- Washington Post reporter David Broder to New Hampshire Democratic
Governor Jeanne Shaheen, February 2 Meet the Press.
Crowley & Kennedy
Candy Crowley: "And the hearing on Andrew Cuomo's nomination as
Housing Secretary was practically breathless." Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.):
"This is a sterling choice by the President." Sen. Lauch
Faircloth (R-N.C.): "You have, certainly have an impressive record
and an impressive group of friends." Crowley: "It should all be
-- January 22 Inside Politics.
confirmation for two of President Clinton's other Cabinet appointees may
not be so easy. Housing Secretary nominee Andrew Cuomo was grilled for
three hours on the state of Housing and Urban Development. The Department
is under congressional fire for alleged inefficiency and
-- CNN The World Today anchor Kathleen Kennedy, same night.
Most Trusted Comrade in America
that we Americans overreacted to the Soviets and the news coverage
sometimes seemed to accentuate that misdirected concern. Fear of the
Soviet Union taking over the world just seemed as likely to me as invaders
from Mars. Well, perhaps I was naive, but I'd seen those May Day parades
and Soviet bread lines and miserable conditions hidden behind them. That
war-devastated country didn't seem that threatening to me...The nuclear
arms race was on in earnest. All the anti-Soviet paranoia that had been
festering since the war really blew up then. A Soviet bomb was seen as an
assault on us. But I saw it as part of their pursuit of nuclear equality.
After all, what should we expect, that our enemy's just going to sit still
there and not try to develop the bomb?"
-- Walter Cronkite on the year 1948 in Part 3 of the Discovery Channel's
Cronkite Remembers, January 16.
President Humbly Accepts Our Flaws!
begins his second term you may lament that President Clinton leaves little
eloquence. But in an age of focus groups and consultants saying, 'Keep it
short. Don't take sides,' few politicians do. He faces personal charges
about his conduct in a motel bedroom. And ethical allegations about
opening the Lincoln bedroom to the highest contributor. But you come back
to the fact that if Bill Clinton isn't always trusted he has twice been
entrusted by the largest responsibility we have to bestow by voters who
can have few illusions. Instead they seem to trust that as President
Clinton displays his own excesses and frailties he forgives and accepts
-- NPR weekend anchor Scott Simon, January 19 NBC Today.
We Afford to Wait for President Gore?
shared needs and mutual admiration cover an essential difference between
the two men. Both think deep thoughts about saving the world, but they
approach the task quite differently. Clinton is often roundabout, if not
waffling. Gore is a plunger who thinks and acts in a straight line.
Because Gore has been a reserved politician, his sometimes messianic zeal
has been overlooked. The Vice President has written that his call to save
the environment began with the shock of a near-fatal car accident to his
son, Albert III. Characteristically, Gore felt it wasn't enough to save
one child; he wanted to save all the world's children. By the same token,
he has said privately that his absorption with arms control in the 1980s
began with dreams that he could not rescue his family from nuclear
war." -- Newsweek's Evan Thomas, January 27.
Are Too Stupid to Invest for Their Own Retirement
thing for someone like me, who makes a very good living, to bet on the
stock market. I can afford to lose. But betting the federal budget on
stocks is madness. And forcing millions of people who don't know stocks
from smocks to let the market determine whether their retirement dinners
will consist of cat food or caviar doesn't seem like the way we should
-- Newsweek Wall Street Editor Allan Sloan, January 20.
Bias? Who Cares?
we going to do differently? Pretend that it wasn't static? Take up the
slack for Dole? And we certainly can't do anything about the perception
that we're too liberal. I thought David Brinkley (in his on- air
anti-Clinton diatribe) struck a pretty good blow against the feeling that
all reporters are liberal Democrats, but it doesn't seem to have changed
anything. The truth is that I don't care anymore."
-- ABC News political editor Hal Bruno quoted in the January Dateline, the
newsletter of the D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists
(Parenthetical addition theirs).
the experience and independence of Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather,
and Ted Koppel would give their opinions a lot more weight than those of
any politician, they still observe the disciplines of their craft. Their
on-air analyses plumb the views and prejudices of others without parading
-- Former New York Times Executive Editor Max Frankel deploring ABC's
hiring of George Stephanopoulos, January 19 New York Times Magazine.
"I was about
to say that if you want to talk about bias, go ask President Clinton where
the bias lies. As you know, the White House just issued this big huge
study, they called it, of how the mainline media is sucked in by the
right-wing conspiratorialists. My point is that everybody who watches
television brings their own biases to it, and if what you're watching
doesn't please you, then you think we're biased. Everybody dislikes the
messenger. Everybody complains about us, right wing, left wing, Democrats,
Republicans. They all pound on us. They all think we're unfair to them if
we're telling them things they don't want to hear. And we do the best we
can. We try to be fair."
-- CBS 60 Minutes reporter Lesley Stahl on C-SPAN's Washington Journal,
the Declaration of Independence, Science Boy
Americans, 'the pursuit of happiness' is not just a slogan. It's written
into our Bill of Rights. But what exactly is happiness?" -- ABC
science reporter Michael Guillen on Good Morning America, January 21.
-- L. Brent
Bozell III, Publisher; Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham, Editors
-- Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay
Waters; Media Analysts
-- Kathy Ruff, Marketing Director; Carey Evans, Circulation Manager; Brian
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