1) Though the
front pages of Wednesday's Washington Post, Washington Times, New York
Times and Los Angeles Times all carried news of an extension of the
Whitewater grand jury as Kenneth Starr claimed that he had encountered
"obstruction of justice," the networks didn't find the
development so momentous. As noted in the April 23 CyberAlert, Tuesday's
ABC World News Tonight and CBS Evening News ran brief items. Wednesday
morning Today ignored the development and Good Morning America, MRC
analyst Gene Eliasen observed, gave it a brief mention on just the 7:30am
news update. Wednesday night, NBC Nightly News again avoided the subject.
Meanwhile, CBS is
portraying Susan McDougal as a martyr. She's in jail on a contempt charge
because she refuses to appear before a grand jury to say whether Bill
Clinton was truthful when he testified at her trial and denied attending a
meeting at which an illegal $300,000 SBA loan was discussed. On
Wednesday's (April 23) CBS Evening News Dan Rather intoned:
court ruling in Arkansas yesterday, extending the Whitewater grand jury
investigation an extra six months, is having an immediate impact today on
a key figure in the case. Susan McDougal says special prosecutor Kenneth
Starr is trying to pressure her to lie an implicate the Clintons. She's
been jailed for refusing to talk to the grand jury and can be kept in jail
as long as the grand jury exists."
Viewers then saw
reporter Phil Jones, with a cellular phone to his ear, standing in parking
lot outside a Los Angeles County jail as he talked to Susan McDougal. The
Sheriff, he said, would not allow an on-camera interview. Jones emphasized
the awful living conditions faced by McDougal in the Sybil Brand women's
facility, "an overcrowded Los Angeles jail" where "she
awaits trial on a non-related Whitewater matter." Jones didn't
explain that the non-Whitewater matter is a charge of embezzlement from a
recent employer. As viewers saw full-screen drawings of her block and
cell, Jones continued:
she's in solitary confinement for up to 22 hours a day...She made this
sketch of Block 4200 and sent it out to us. There are 12 cells, housing
women on charges including murder. McDougal is in cell five. It has an
upper and lower bunk, a closet, a sink, a toilet."
Jones to Susan
McDougal: "How big is it?"
"I don't know the exact measurements, but I'm thinking it's about
five by nine, something like that."
Jones noted that
a local judge asked that she be moved to a better facility, but that has
yet to occur. Jones then explained that Susan McDougal insists that her
husband Jim is lying when he says that Bill Clinton attended a meeting on
an illegal $300,000 loan to Susan. "McDougal denies suggestions that
she's been promised something for her silence," Jones reported before
airing a soundbite from Susan saying of Jim: "He's lost his
the story: "Susan McDougal may be locked down in jail, but she
appears locked in to her silence."
2) Of the
broadcast networks, only CBS on Wednesday night (April 23) announced Ralph
Reed's decision to step down this summer from the Christian Coalition. But
CBS had to add its own twist. Here's the entire transcript of how Dan
Rather delivered the news:
"The head of
the Republican political lobbying group that calls itself, quote 'the
Christian Coalition' said today he's leaving to start a political
consulting business. Ralph Reed's group took a beating on some of its hard
right agenda in the last election."
And CBS calls
itself, quote 'a balanced news organization,' but it has taken a beating
on some of its hard left bias displayed again during this very story.
Washington Post ran a story on environmental education that labeled
conservatives but not liberals, the April 23 CyberAlert detailed. MRC
analyst Clay Waters let me know that the New York Times did the same in an
April 22 story headlined "Critics Rise Up Against Environmental
Education." A front page plug read: "A generation after the
first Earth Day, some conservatives contend that the teaching of
environmentalism in schools is biased. Page A10."
here's how Washington correspondent John Cushman Jr. tagged conservatives
but not liberals:
Sanera, a policy analyst at the Claremont Institute, a conservative
research organization in California."
"Nelson is now a counselor at the Wilderness Society, a leading
national environmental organization based in Washington."
a report by a conservative research center in Washington, the George
C. Marshall Institute,..."
World Resources Institute, a nonprofit research and policy group in
Manilow, Director of a pro-environmentalist California group called
the Center for Commercial-Free Public Education,...."
this document is itself a distortion,' Michael Oppenheimer, a climate
specialist at the Environmental Defense Fund, said after reviewing the
chapter on acid rain in Mr. Sanera's book."
In the New York
Times lexicon if you are conservative you cannot just be an
environmentalist or work for "non profit research and policy
group." Readers must be warned of who you really are.
4) The bottom
line, shall we say, of this item: Katie ogles buttocks, but Stone Phillips
doesn't practice what he preaches.
MRC analyst Steve
Kaminski alerted me to the amusing news in the opening of an April 28
Newsweek story on the perils of mis-directed e-mail messages. Newsweek's
Leslie Kaufman wrote:
butt, that was the gist of the intraoffice e-mail that flashed across the
computer screen of Dateline NBC anchor Stone Phillips. Now, most guys are
willing to stomach some playful physique critique, but the ever-controlled
Phillips -- whose improbable name and bland good looks have given him
something of a reputation for being, well, a stiff -- was not amused,
especially since the identification tag at the end of the note belonged to
a young (fairly low-level) female staffer with whom he had little contact.
So the upright anchor confronted her and demanded an explanation. The
bewildered desk assistant protested her innocence -- she barely knew
Phillips, much less his buns. So who was the real source of the naughty
note? None other than that chipper prankster Katie Couric, co-host of the
Today show. Joke's on you, Stone."
commenting on his body upsets Phillips, but he would have no reticence
about commenting upon the attributes of another woman. Appearing on NBC's
Tonight Show on Tuesday (April 22), Phillips recalled that after
interviewing Tanya Tucker in Nashville, she invited him to join her at a
Sony Records party. While on stage, Phillips told Jay Leno, she flashed
her breasts in "a momentary lifting of the blouse to a friend of
hers." But, "I was looking the other direction, so I missed
the reporter, assuringly noted: "Had I seen it, we could have talked
about shape and size and bounce and lift. We'd have reaction and
But back to
Katie. In the May issue of George magazine, MRC analyst Tom Johnson
noticed, Couric explained her attraction to husband Jay Monahan: "'I
find brains really sexy,' she explains. 'He has a nice butt, too.'"
Now, if she
starts admiring Matt Lauer's backside we'll know all those supermarket
tabloid rumors about their budding affair are really true.