Everyone Ignores Brown Revelations; Reporter Backs Quotas
- Rest of media
ignore Nolanda Hill's allegations against Ron Brown as aired on
ABC's Prime Time Live. Even ABC failed to pursue the revelations
as neither GMA or World News Tonight mentioned them.
affirmative action means employing quotas, that's okay with
Gannett's Deborah Mathis.
- Bias blast
from the past. NBC News labels Gerald Ford as "extremely
1) As the June 19 CyberAlert
predicted might happen, the rest of the media failed to pick up on
Wednesday's Prime Time Live story by Brian Ross relaying the explosive
charges about Ron Brown by his business and personal associate Nolanda
Hill. She confirmed allegations about improper investment returns that
Brown had denied and provided eyewitness accounts that raise questions
about whether potential payoffs from a foreign nation influenced
Clinton policy. Plus, she charged that Clinton sent Brown to China to
close a deal for the Lippo Group.
Still, CBS and NBC didn't
report the allegations. But neither did ABC on any of its other shows.
MRC news analysts Jim Forbes, Steve Kaminski and Gene Eliasen checked
the Thursday morning shows and informed me that the Prime Time Live
revelations were not mentioned on Today or CBS This Morning, nor even
on ABC's own Good Morning America.
Thursday night (June 19) the
blackout continued, with not a syllable about the subject appearing on
ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News or NBC Nightly News.
("Live Event" coverage of a Clinton speech wiped out CNN's
Inside Politics, but nothing appeared on CNN's Prime News Thursday
night.) ABC's Nightline didn't touch the Brown matter Wednesday or
Thursday either. Thursday's newspapers didn't have any stories, but
ABC held the exclusive story until broadcast time so there's a chance
newspapers may catch up on Friday. But I wouldn't count on it.
ABC isn't even featuring
their big scoop on the home page of their Web site. It's as if they
are embarrassed by it. But abcnews.com does now have the story
transcript, if a bit buried. The June 19 CyberAlert ran a summary of
the key allegations, but since no one in the rest of the media is
reporting any of this, here are some excerpts from the story so you'll
know the specifics of what Nolanda Hill revealed. I've edited it down
to the key parts, sans the soundbites from former GOP Congressman
Wiliam Clinger telling of Hill's inside knowledge and of all of the
denials from Reid Weingarten, Brown's lawyer.
From the June 18 Prime
"...Brown soon became perhaps the most investigated member of the
Clinton administration, surrounded by questions of bribery and
influence peddling, the target of a federal grand jury and a special
prosecutor. And behind the scenes through it all was the so-called
'mystery woman,' Brown's little-known business partner, Nolanda
Hill....Now coming forward to tell her story, Nolanda Hill describes
what she says was a seven-year long business and personal relationship
that put her in the middle of Ron Brown's Washington...."
Secretary of Commerce, did he use drugs?"
Ross: "Were you
happened, she said, frequently at her Washington apartment, where
Brown would come to relax after work."
Hill: "He smoked
pot, and he once did a line of cocaine."
Hill was the millionaire owner of two television stations when she
first met Brown, whose high-powered Washington law firm did work for
Hill's company. She soon took him in as a business partner...."
with money began, she says, as soon as President Clinton asked Brown
to serve as Secretary of Commerce."
Hill: "We sat
down and we looked at what his monthly expenses were versus what his
known income was going to be, and he was, you know, $7,000 in the hole
when he woke up on day one of any month."
Nolanda Hill says would twice lead Brown into schemes involving
under-the-table money. The first, an offer from the group claiming to
represent the government of Vietnam, seeking to get American trade
restrictions lifted. Hill says Brown met with them both before and,
more significantly, after his selection as Secretary of
Hill: "And he
said, 'Do you think it would be worth a million dollars?' And I said,
'Ron, this is crazy. I mean, it's nuts.'"
Ross: "But he was
Hill: "He was
considering it. He saw it as an opportunity to afford to be Commerce
Ross: "And were
bank accounts set up overseas?"
Hill: "There was
a bank account set up, as I understand it."
Ross: "In the
middle of it, one of the men allegedly involved -- a
Vietnamese-American named Binh Ly -- went to the FBI telling of a plan
to funnel some $700,000 to Brown through a secret bank account in
After showing video of Brown
denying the charge that he got money in exchange for advocating that
trade restrictions be lifted, Ross asked Hill: "Is that
Ross: "But Hill
says no money ever changed hands, and the bank account was not used
because Brown got a tip the FBI was on to him, something FBI agents on
the case have told ABC News they always suspected...."
Ross: "The most
serious charge Hill makes is that two big Democratic contributors,
Nora and Gene Lum, shown here at Brown's funeral, actually did pass
money to Ron Brown when he was Secretary of Commerce."
Hill: "The first
number was $60,000. We discussed $60,000."
Ross: "The Lums,
who just this month pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations,
have been under investigation by federal prosecutors for several years
over their relationship with Ron Brown and the Democratic Party. In
1993, the Lums took over an Oklahoma gas company called Dynamic Energy
Resources that sought special government contracts as minority-owned
business. Then, the Lums hired Brown's 28-year-old son, Michael, and
made him a well-paid officer of the company -- a convenient way, Hill
says, to move money to the father...."
would the son give the father money?"
Hill: "Well, the
official version from Reid Weingarten is to pay back some of his law
school fees, which I fought with Ron about and told him that was the
dumbest thing I ever heard. And I even told Reid that that was stupid
to say that."
Ross: "What did
Ron tell you was going on?"
Hill: "Ron needed
money to pay his taxes."
question many want answered is how the man now at the center of the
FBI's investigation of illegal fundraising -- John Huang -- how did he
get a top-level job at Ron Brown's Commerce Department? Nolanda Hill
says she knows."
Hill: "Ron told
me that the White House put him there, and it was Ron's opinion the
White House meant Hillary in this instance."
White House denies that, but Hill says it was also the White House
that sent Brown on this 1994 trip to China to urge government
officials to approve a billion-dollar power plant project involving
the Indonesian Lippo Bank, a bank owned by a family that has
contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill Clinton's various
The full transcript can be
read at: http://www.abcnews.com/onair/ptl/html_files/transcripts/
In the past, some have told
me these direct addresses don't always work even when they are
accurate. So, here are the click by click instructions: 1) go to http://www.abcnews.com
2) on the left side of the page click "on air"
3) on the left look for "Weekly" and then under it click
"Prime Time Live."
4) You'll see "Mystery Women" listed. Click that and you'll
get the transcript.
2) Usually affirmative action
supporters say that they oppose quotas. But in discussing Clinton's
race speech, one reporter conceded that quotas are fine with her. On
CNN's Capital Gang on June 15 Deborah Mathis, a Washington reporter
for the Gannett News Service, at first argued against giving someone a
position just because of their race, but seconds later she said that
would really be fine with her:
"I think the President
was correct and once again reaffirming. His support for affirmative
action and the need for it, which must not be mistaken with tokenism.
They are two different things and I think often in the conversation or
in the debate, we confuse tokenism, which is, in my view, giving
someone a job, a position, an enrollment or whatever because they are
whatever, as opposed to affirmative action, which is saying, 'You must
be qualified for this, but we're going to look farther out than we
have been looking now.' That to me is affirmative action and I think
we've been confusing the two too often. I don't blame people for being
opposed to tokenism, I am too."
Really? As transcribed by MRC
intern Jessica Anderson, a bit later Mathis contradicted herself:
"Well, you know, I have
to say that I understand her trepidation, Mona's [Charen] trepidation
over it, however it can be enforced by the law. It does amount to, in
effect, some quotas, but you gotta show me that you've done something,
and that's what affirmative action says: 'Don't just tell me I've got
a good intention here. You've gotta prove something,' and to the
effect that that equals quotas, so be it, but they are not prescribed
3) I've only been monitoring
the media since the early Reagan years, so sometimes MSNBC's Time
& Again reminds me that liberal bias hardly began as a reaction to
Reagan. The show uses NBC News video to recall major news events of
the past decades. On the June 18 edition MSNBC showed NBC coverage
from the day Richard Nixon left the White House.
In one clip from August of
1974 the late John Chancellor asked NBC News reporter Ron Nessen what
kind of policies Americans could expect from President Gerald Ford.
Nessen, who would later jump to the White House as Ford's Press
Secretary, and therefore one would assume would at least be no more
hostile than his colleagues toward the incoming President, suggested:
"He doesn't believe that
school children should be bussed out of their district to further
integration. He believes in revenue sharing, that the states and
localities ought to be given money by the federal government and let
them decide what to do with it. His basic philosophy is extremely
conservative. I think Gerry Ford is a likeable man and I think perhaps
people like him and tend to overlook the fact that he is extremely
conservative in his policies. His House voting record was that way and
the speeches he's made as Vice President have been that way."
Gerald Ford "extremely
conservative"? One can only imagine how the networks labeled a
true conservative. Well, maybe we have made some progress. In 1974 the
media labeled moderate Republicans as extreme. Twenty years later
moderates are now tagged as "conservative" (recall coverage
of Susan Molinari's jump to CBS) and you have to really be
conservative to be called "extreme."
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