Larry King's Clinton Spin; Washington Post Labeling
finds that Clinton knows how to fill the need for sympathy; Whitewater
grand jury extended but viewers have no idea why.
King interviews James McDougal, but spends much of show spinning for
Clinton. King insists: "The President had nothing to do with
The Washington Post conservatives are "conservative," but
liberals don't require any labeling.
MediaNomics and MediaWatch now on the MRC Web site. A complete list of
1) Tuesday was a quiet day on the
political news front, but ABC's World News Tonight did offer a couple of
interesting items. Reporting on President Clinton's trip to Grand Forks,
North Dakota, John Donvan began his story:
"There was a need in Grand
Forks today that this President knows better than most how to satisfy. It
was the need for sympathy..."
Later, Peter Jennings announced:
"In Little Rock Arkansas today a federal judge has extended the life
of the Whitewater grand jury for another six months. In papers filed this
morning independent counsel Kenneth Starr said the extra time is needed
because he has gathered quote 'extensive evidence of possible obstruction
of justice,' although he does not say by whom..."
(The CBS Evening News also ran a short item read by substitute anchor John
Roberts on Starr's request.)
Viewers would have a better
appreciation of what is intriguing Starr and who he thinks is obstructing
justice if ABC and CBS had reported any of the numerous recent newspaper
stories on Web Hubbell. As noted in CyberAlerts last week and yesterday,
the networks have skipped over:
-- The Washington Post story
detailing 70 meetings with Hubbell by Clinton officials.
-- The Los Angeles Times story on
Clinton confidant Bruce Lindsey maintaining contact with Hubbell while
Hubbell was being asked to cooperate by Starr.
-- Another LA Times story on how
a White House lawyer wrote "monitor cooperation" by Hubbell's
-- A Washington Times story on
how, before Hubbell left the Justice Department, Hillary Clinton was
notified that he was under investigation.
-- A New York Times story
headlined "White House Knew in '94 That Hubbell Was Focus of
2) James McDougal spent an hour
Monday night (April 21) on CNN's Larry King Live. King and McDougal spent
much time on McDougal's claim that Bill Clinton did indeed attend a
meeting where he urged David Hale to get an illegal $300,000 SBA loan for
Susan McDougal, and speculating as to why Susan McDougal refuses to say
whether Bill Clinton was truthful when he testified at her trial.
Intermixed with those
discussions, King repeatedly served as an advocate for Clinton, putting
the best spin possible on Clinton's actions. Here are some examples from
exchanges culled from the transcript on the CNN Web page:
King, on the meeting to pressure
Hale on loan: "But that day, in that office, wasn't he helping your
wife when he said give her the help with the loan, wasn't he doing you a
McDougal: "Well he wasn't doing it because I asked him do. I don't
know who sent him there."
King: "No matter what the reason, wasn't he doing something nice for
McDougal: "Well, yes. Which would also profit, be somewhat to his
King: "But that gives you no less feeling about turning the
King, on Susan McDougal's refusal
to answer the question about Clinton's truthfulness, which has put her in
jail for contempt: "Do you respect the principle she is standing for?
She doesn't have to be in jail."
McDougal: "I respect her enormously. We could go all day, I mean, and
I'm not going say anything bad about Susan McDougal."
King: "I'm not expecting you to. The amazing thing is she is standing
up for someone who you are no longer friends with our standing up
King: "The President had
nothing to do with illegalities here."
McDougal: "Nothing, that is right."
King: "You're just saying he is lying about that meeting."
King: "He was at the meeting, and saying he wasn't is lying."
King: "But he didn't do anything illegal at the meeting?"
McDougal: "That's right."
King: "A governor can say...
McDougal: "Anything he wants to."
King: "And he could also say this woman is entitled, give her a loan,
if she's entitled. Right? It's not illegal."
King: "He didn't say hey, take care of her, I will take care of
King: "Do you think Mr.
Clinton might say -- President Clinton might say -- you know, Jim, got me
started in this whole thing to begin with. He's the one that called me
about Whitewater. I don't know from land deals -- McDougal took me down
McDougal: "Well, he might say that, but it was a very comfortable
trip down the stream."
King: "Why do you think the
public -- I mean the President's popularity is very high -- despite all of
this, it remains high, despite fundraising supposed scandals. How do you
McDougal: "Well, I think the country is very prosperous. I think
King: "He must have had something to do with that."
McDougal: "I think he's very a highly successful administration. He's
a extremely likable fellow. And I think we're probably a little less
self-righteous than we used to be."
King: "All right. So what if we made this case -- OK, he's pretty
tough with fundraising. But there's no proof that the Chinese had any in,
except they gave money. He did a bad deal for you. And he has turned on
his friends maybe a little. But nobody made big money in Whitewater. It
was years ago. He was in Arkansas. He's a good President. I am happy. No
boy is dying overseas. Country seems to be coming around. Supreme court is
pretty good. Are you better off than you were four years ago? Yes. What I
if I made that case?"
You just did.
3) Tuesday's Washington Post
displayed a disparity in ideological labeling, observed MediaWatch
Associate Editor Tim Graham. He reported to me:
The Washington Post is again
presenting the political teams as the conservatives versus the
nonpartisans. In a front page story headlined "Critics Find
Environmental Bias in Schools," reporter Joby Warrick picked up a
conservative topic related to Earth Day. She examined alleged bias of
environmental education offered to America's children, with the help of
subsidies from the EPA. In response to complaints that courses are
"unbalanced" and "serve up a steady diet of gloomy,
politically slanted messages about the planet's future," Texas
officials held a seminar in Houston where oil and chemical companies, with
their own money, presented the other side.
Warrick noted the seminar
"infuriated environmental groups, who say they weren't invited."
Warrick identified Michael Sanera's book (with Jane Shaw) on environmental
education as "being hailed by conservatives...But environmentalists
say that both the book and the Houston seminar are part of a nationwide
effort by industries and political conservatives to discredit
environmental instruction -- while simultaneously promoting
industry-friendly teaching materials and textbooks."
Warrick noted that
"conservative lawmakers" were concerned, but that the Center for
a Commercial-Free Public Education, which she failed to tag, is trying to
refute Sanera's book. The Post reporter went on to refer to Republican
Senators Lauch Faircloth and James Inhofe as "staunch
conservatives," but didn't provide a label for the North American
Association for Environmental Education, which works with the EPA to write
the educational guidelines.
The Post appears incapable of
using a liberal label to describe environmentalists, no matter how
radical. Inside Tuesday's paper, the Post ran a story on a study about
logging in British Columbia. Greenpeace released the study, but the Post
didn't apply a label.
4) The April editions of
MediaNomics and MediaWatch can now be read on the MRC Web site, thanks to
the efforts Tuesday of the MRC's Web manager, Joe Alfonsi.
For MediaNomics, published
by the MRC's Free Market Project, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/archive/mediawatch/archive1997.asp
The April MediaNomics
- Too Much
Growth? Too Many Jobs? -- Network Reporters Wedded to the Phillips
Analysis: Prime Time TV -- Beware of Investors, Entertainment
Television's Portrayal of Investment
Trumps Truth -- Media Ignore Holes in Study of Women's Earnings
- Kudos to ABC
News-- for stock market coverage
Editorial: Tax Hike Hide and Seek, by Michael Schuyler
For MediaWatch, go
The April MediaWatch
- Page One.
Yawning at Webster's Wallet -- Networks Ignore Emerging Story of
Hubbell's $400,000 Pre-Prison Bonanza
- Page Two:
Ignoring Pedophilia -- Incomplete Tributes to Poet Allen Ginsberg
- Newsbites. Boobs
on the Tube; Lauer's Cover Story; Rather Wrongs House Rebels; Pay Up
Or No Tornado Warnings; Fancying Finland; Walter's War on Israel;
Voters Cause Pedophilia?
- On the Bright
Side: AmeriCorps Really Ameridrain
- Page Three.
Rosenberg's Guilt -- ABC, CBS, Still Soft-Pedaling.
- Janet Cooke
Award. If John Major's "Sleazy" What's Clinton?
- Study. Still
Not Enough Time For Religion News
- Back Page. Media
Reputation Slides: Liberal Bias Hurts Credibility
There's plenty of fresh material
that has not previously appeared in CyberAlerts.
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