MRC Alert: Hume
Hits Pierre; 60 Minutes Avoids Full Story
ABC News veteran says that a colleague's reporting was considered
"almost completely unreliable." No wonder Peter Jennings is too
embarrassed to admit he worked by ABC.
Minutes refuses to tell viewers what Paula Jones claims President Clinton
asked of her.
Alec Baldwin goes McCarthyite, acuses conservatives of conducting
"witch hunt" against the National Endowment for the Arts.
President of CBS News says he is in "awe of Bryant Gumbel's
Washington Post runs an opinion piece charging the MRC with "gushing
fonts of Foster murder-porn.".
the March 13 World News Tonight last Thursday, Peter Jennings introduced a
newsman and former presidential press secretary Pierre Salinger is making
news again with his theory that a U.S. Navy missile blew up TWA flight 800
newsman"? Kind of a vague and, to put it mildly, incomplete
description for a man who spent over 15 years as an ABC News reporter, one
who held the title of Chief Foreign Correspondent when he left the network
in 1993. But maybe Jennings is a bit embarrassed by his former colleague
making so much noise with his unsubtantiated allegations of a missile
shooting down the TWA plane.
But is Salinger's
irresponsible behavior a new development? Not according to Brit Hume, now
Managing Editor in Washington for Fox News and for many years ABC's White
On the March 16
Fox News Sunday Hume observed:
Pierre. He was for many years a colleague of mine at ABC News. And he is a
lovable guy, who has still about him a certain cache partly because he was
JFK's Press Secretary, and he's a man with a certain sort of charm about
Hume then launched his own missile:
"I must tell
you that in the latter days of his career at ABC News he was not allowed
on World News Tonight because of the feeling there that his reporting was
almost completely unreliable. He had all kinds of wacked out stuff about
the Pan Am flight 103 that they wouldn't let near the air. And every now
and again he'd get on the morning news somehow, by sweet talking a
producer or someone and there'd always be a tremendous ta-do after that
about how in the world that ever happened. And I must tell you that he
simply wasn't regarded in his latter years as somebody you could count
Makes you wonder
who ABC may now still employ who we'll learn in a few years is
disseminating "unreliable" information.
On Sunday's 60 Minutes Ed Bradley explored Paula Jones' sexual harassment
case against President Clinton. But he refused to tell viewers what,
specifically, is at the root of the charge. Here's all viewers were told
about what happened when they met in the Little Rock hotel room:
"He pulled me forward, I mean while he was talking, this man didn't
even let me, I didn't even know it was coming, while we were talking he
started pulling me forward and trying to kiss me."
backed up, and I stood back and then he tried it a second time and I was
trying to talk to him about Hillary Clinton and he started trying to run
his hands up my leg and I backed away and I went towards the end, by the
door and the next thing I know he was, he came over there, unzipped his
Her voice trailed
off as Bradley said: "What she says happened next, and what she says
caused her to leave the room, is spelled out graphically in her lawsuit.
As a matter of taste we opted not to include it."
to the journalistic norm of telling everything, gritty details and all, no
matter what? Let the public decide what's important? I guess not. Without
the "graphic" details that the public got about Clarence Thomas
how will they be able to evaluate Jones' charge? And if CBS were suddenly
concerned about young viewers, Bradley could have used a term that kids
wouldn't understand: "fellatio."
A bit later in
the piece, Bradley talked with Michael Isikoff, a Washington Post reporter
when Jones made her charge in 1994. The Post waited three months to print
his story on her story. Isikoff recalled for Bradley:
helped in the Post's coverage of Anita Hill and I well remember the
atmosphere in the newsroom about her allegations and how seriously they
"Did Paula Jones get the same treatment?"
"No, she didn't. Clearly people were holding Paula to a higher level
of proof, or being asked for a higher level of proof than with Anita
Last Tuesday some artists marked Arts Advocacy Day by demanding more money
for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In the March 12 USA Today,
Jessica Lee reported:
Kennedy, D-Mass., led pop singer Anita Baker, actress Marlo Thomas, Screen
Actors Guild President Richard Masur, country singer John Berry and MTV
rocker Jewel on a tour through the Capitol. Baker said arts not only feed
the spirit but put food on he table. 'The NEA supports or provides up to
one million jobs. Don't downsize us,' she said."
Baldwin was also in town meeting with, among others, Newt Gingrich. He
also put in some TV appearances during which he accused those wishing to
further downsize or eliminate the NEA of "witch hunt tactics."
On the Monday,
March 10 NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, Baldwin noted that opponents
claim "some of the money is being wasted on objectionable and even
pornographic material, which is a very rare instance, by the way." He
remains that when you say we don't have the money for this, the truth is
there are other places in government. I would take the argument of the
people who say that we don't we have the money for this more seriously if
they were willing to go out and conduct a similar witch hunt and to use
similar witch hunt tactics that they use, year in and year out during this
time of reappropriation for the NEA, to find where there was fraud and
waste and money that could be saved."
4) Another note
on Bryant Gumbel's deal announced Thursday with CBS for $5 to $7 million
per year. In Friday's (March 14) New York Post reporter Josef Adalian
relayed this comment made by CBS News President Andrew Heyward at the
"This is a
wonderful day for us. Instead of watching and respecting and being in awe
of Bryant Gumbel's talent on somebody else's network, I'm going to be able
to work with him."
White House has already put together a whole report which tried to prove
how a grand conspiracy of groups supported by Richard Scaife forces
"legitimate" news organizations to pick up wild charges against
Clinton. Instead of disparaging such analysis as a waste of tax money, The
Washington Post on Sunday ran a piece furthering the left-wing theory that
Independent Counsel Ken Starr is a mere puppet of puppet master Scaife.
The March 16 "Outlook" section included a piece from Joe Conason,
Executive Editor of the New York Observer. He argued that Starr is
"comically compromised" because Scaife has contributed to
Pepperdine law school -- the school Starr had announced he'd be dean of
before changing his mind.
through his diatribe, Conason charged: "Scaife is also a key funder
of Reed Irvine's Accuracy in Media, Brent Bozell's Media Research Center
and Paul Weyrich's National Empowerment Television, all gushing fonts of
Foster murder-porn and other kinds of scandal smut."
We get our
"scandal smut" from major newspapers and then check which items
the networks pick up. But one measure of the MRC's "gushing"
obsession with Vince Foster: This is the 154th CyberAlert produced since
the first one in April of last year. This edition is the second one to
contain Vincent Foster's name. The other came in a quote from Bob
Schieffer on the June 16, 1996 Face the Nation. But why let any facts mess
up a liberal conspiracy fantasy.
-- L. Brent
Bozell III, Publisher; Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
-- Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay
Waters; Media Analysts
-- Kathleen Ruff, Marketing Director; Carey Evans, Circulation Manager;
Brian Schmisek, Intern
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