Copy of: MRC
Alert: Rather Wrong; Hunt's Hit; Fawning over Finland
full of Clinton scandal disclosures, but the networks look the other way.
Rather falsely reports that Republicans turned down Burton's investigation
because it will focus on Clinton.
Hunt: Dan Burton is leading a "kooky investigation."
New York Times columnist argues that Gingrich's tax violation means he
cannot lecture Chinese about the rule of law.
Brokaw and NBC gush over a snowy socialist state "where women rule
the land" so "family matters are a national priority."
The March 20 CyberAlert documented how the ABC, CBS and NBC evening shows
on Wednesday aired pieces on a Washington Post story alleging Congressman
Dan Burton shook down a lobbyist for a contribution. An editorial in
Friday's Wall Street Journal on Democratic efforts to sidetrack the House
investigation cited this MRC finding as well as how the networks failed to
give such prominence to seven other recent Washington Post revelations
related to Clinton fundraising.
The pattern of
ignoring Clinton fundraising and Whitewater developments continued over
the past four nights. Here are four disclosures not jumped on by the
-- A front page
New York Times headline on Thursday, March 20 declared: "Asian Paid
$100,000 to Hubbell Days After Visits to White House." The Times
discovered more evidence of possible hush money payments to Webster
Hubbell: "In late June of 1994, the Indonesian businessman James T.
Riady saw President Clinton and some of his aides in five days of White
House visits ending on a Saturday. Early the next week, one of Mr. Riady's
companies paid about $100,000" to Hubbell.
-- Also on
Thursday, a front page Boston Globe story began: "On Jan. 15, 1996,
John Huang, the Democratic National Committee fundraiser, received an
extraordinary memo. It spelled out how to 'convert' Democrats to back
favorable trade status for China. And, most mysteriously of all, it
included a handwritten notation that the strategy was being discussed
'with the embassy,'" presumably the Chinese embassy.
"Democrats May Have to Return $207,350 More," read a USA Today
headline on Friday. The March 21 story reported that the paper had
uncovered 36 more improper donations not yet acknowledged by the DNC:
"In one case, a donor considered legitimate by Democratic auditors
listed a used car lot as his home. In other cases, donors gave the address
of a Buddhist temple as their residence."
-- Sunday's New
York Times reported that Clinton and Gore were regularly told how much was
expected to be raised from each coffee meeting, coffees the White House
maintained were not fundraisers.
What kind of
coverage did these stories generate on ABC's World News Tonight, CBS
Evening News and NBC Nightly News?
On Thursday night: nothing
On Friday night: nothing
On Saturday night (no CBS because of basketball): nothing
On Sunday night
(no CBS in east because of college basketball): Not a word on NBC. ABC's
World News Tonight Sunday, which most east coast stations including the
one here in DC did not carry because an auto race ran late, did air two
stories -- one on Clinton's knowledge of the coffees as fundraisers (which
mentioned the $100,000 payment to Hubbell), and a story on how the
China/campaign funding controversy is dogging Gore on his trip to China.
Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt doesn't much like
Republicans who are too aggressive. As noted in the March 5 CyberAlert,
on the March 1 Capital Gang Hunt complained about Senator Richard
"Shelby's McCarythite witch-hunt" in how he treated CIA
nominee Anthony Lake.
- 2) Forget
doing a little reporting. Go with the liberal spin. That appears to be
Dan Rather's policy. On Thursday's CBS Evening News Rather told
- "For the
second time in two weeks, Republicans have revolted against their
leaders over the investigation into political campaign finances. By
the narrowest of margins, 213 to 210, the House tonight refused to
approve the money to finance the work of 19 committees. Many
Republicans did not go along with their leaders who want the
investigation to focus only on the Clinton White House."
"Dissenters: Vote Does Not Imply Disapproval of
Investigation" read the jump-page headline on a Friday Washington
Post story. Post reporter Guy Gugliotta explained: "The key votes
to block yesterday's funding resolution were cast by the 11
conservatives because it included increases in committee budgets. The
dissenters insisted that their votes did not imply disapproval of the
campaign fundraising investigation led by Burton..."
- Failing to
correct his error, on Friday's CBS Evening News Rather emphasized
complaints about the scope of the investigation:
Republicans settled their differences today and voted to provide
nearly four million dollars for investigation of, mostly if not
entirely, Democratic campaign fundraising during the last presidential
election. The Chairman of the investigating committee, Republican Dan
Burton of Indiana, says hearings could begin in four to six
Saturday Hunt was back on the attack. Here's Hunt's Outrage of the
Week from the March 22 Capital Gang in CNN:
the House wastes money on a Dan Burton-led witch-hunt of Clinton
fundraising abuses, will they look into their own? Newt Gingrich's
GOPAC? Or as reported by Gerry Seib and Greg Hitt in the Wall Street
Journal, the close connection between interest groups meeting on
legislation with Rep. David MnIntosh and then making campaign
contributions to the Congressman?"
When Bob Novak
suggested Burton may run a good investigation, Hunt shot back:
"There's a good Senate investigation which is serious. This is
kind of a kooky investigation. We shouldn't waste eleven million
dollars. That's hard earned tax money."
Nice that Hunt
is showing some concern for taxpayer money.
non-profit tax code. Run a communist government with no regard for
human rights. Same thing, implied New York Times columnist and former
reporter Tom Friedman. On Friday's (March 21) PBS Washington Week in
Review NPR's Elizabeth Arnold suggested that during Newt Gingrich's
trip to China he won't be asked about his $300,000 "fine."
jumped in: "It'll be interesting when he sits down with Jiang
Zemin, the President of China, and starts lecturing him about the rule
of law though, I think. I'd like to be a fly on the wall in that
socialist government equals caring, Tom Brokaw argued last week.
Teasing an upcoming story as the March 20 NBC Nightly News went to a
commercial break, Brokaw announced: "Later, where women rule the
land. A place where family matters are a national priority."
What is this
paradise? Finland. Reporting from Helsinki, the site of the
Yeltsin-Clinton summit, NBC's Ron Allen found that in Finland the
Speaker, one-third the parliament and nearly half the cabinet are
women. Noting that Finnish women got the vote 90 years ago, Allen
90 percent of Finnish women work. It's 74 percent in the U.S. And the
gap between what women and men earn is smaller in Finland. By some
measures, Finnish women are smarter than the men. They earn more than
half the college degrees. It's all meant family-friendly government
paid programs, like affordable day care...And parents can take three
years off to care for a new-born without losing their jobs, thanks,
they say, to mothers in government. Abortion is legal and free. Teen
pregnancy rates are the lowest in the world. A law like America's
failed Equal Rights Amendment passed long ago..."
the perfect spot for Hillary Clinton's retirement.
credit where credit is due. It was Brian Maloney, the afternoon
talk host on KOH radio in Reno, who thoughtfully alerted me to the
USA Weekend labeling that I cited in the last CyberAlert. The
Sunday newspaper supplement tagged the Sierra Club as a
"relatively conservative organization."
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