Hearings Slighted; CBS Focuses on GOP's Deadbeat Dad Donor
If you noticed the time the
July 7 CyberAlert was sent and observed a half day delay in receiving
it, don't blame your e-mail provider. Our listserve service was down
when I first posted the CyberAlert and it took me 12 hours to realize
the problem and re-post.
- Two of the
three morning shows on Monday ignored the impending fundraising
hearing and all the networks skipped two new revelations.
- CBS allocated
an extraordinary five plus minutes to a deadbeat dad who gave
foreign money to the GOP in 1992. CBS even created a new Web site
to highlight their "exclusive." But CBS spiked an
earlier story about money funneled from communist China.
morning shows will probably highlight the upcoming Senate hearings on
fundraising, but judging from the dearth of coverage on Monday expect
the networks to cover the hearings only grudgingly.
Monday morning neither ABC's
Good Morning America or This Morning on CBS uttered a syllable about
the impending hearings. Not a word about what committee chairman Fred
Thompson and ranking minority member John Glenn said on the Sunday
shows or anything about why the hearings were called. Glenn's role in
the fundraising hearing wasn't news, but on This Morning news reader
Jane Robelot did find time to report that he wishes to ride on a
future space shuttle mission. NBC's Today ran a news story at 8am by
Joe Johns previewing the hearings and a profile of Fred Thompson by
reporter Lisa Myers.
Monday night, July 7, ABC
continued the blackout as World News Tonight couldn't find time for
the hearings the night before they were to begin, but ABC did manage
to squeeze in a story on how Spanish matador's are shaving the length
of the horns on the bulls.
Nightly News aired a shorter
version of the Thompson profile shown earlier on Today. About twenty
minutes into the show Lisa Myers reviewed Thompson's life story, from
bicycle plant worker to Watergate to his movie roles. She concluded:
"Sometimes gruff, often charming, Thompson is in the role of his
life. Which could blow up in his face, or turn him into the
Republican's leading man."
On the CBS Evening News Phil
Jones previewed the hearings, noting that two of the key players,
Charles Trie and John Huang, won't testify. Asserting that Senator
John Glenn does not even know when each witness will appear, Jones
painted the committee Democrats as victims of the majority:
"Indeed, frustrated Democrats on the committee claim they have
not gotten subpoenas they want to investigate GOP fundraising."
John Glenn: "If at the end of these hearings all we have
done is point fingers at each other and do gotchas on each other we
won't have done much to restore faith and confidence of the American
people in the political process."
Neither Jones or NBC's Johns
on Today, the only two stories run Monday on a broadcast network,
bothered to mention the argument that far from not getting Republican
cooperation, the committee Democrats have obstructed the probe. John
Glenn has not followed the lead of Howard Baker during Watergate and
Warren Rudman during Iran/Contra -- Republicans who aided the
So were there any new
developments to report on Monday? In fact, both the Washington Post
and New York Times ran stories on July 7 that all three networks
didn't bother telling viewers about:
-- In a front page New York
Times story, pointed out to me by MRC news analyst Clay Waters,
reporter Don Van Natta Jr. relayed:
"President Clinton took a personal interest in the hiring of John
Huang by the Democratic National Committee, going so far as to ask
Marvin Rosen, the committee's finance chairman, in November 1995
whether Huang would be hired, congressional investigators say."
-- "Tracing Lippo
Empire's Campaign Leaks" read the headline over a July 7
Washington post story which began:
"Senate investigators have discovered records that indicate a
real estate holding company run by John Huang while he was working for
the Jakarta-based Lippo Group apparently was used to funnel money from
Indonesia into U.S. election campaigns, according to sources close to
the probe into campaign fundraising activities."
2) CBS has
skipped over numerous Democratic fundraising revelations, but Monday
night CBS devoted an extraordinarily long five minutes and
thirty-three seconds to a story supporting the "everybody does
it" spin now forwarded by liberals and Democrats. Not only did
CBS run the piece arguing that Republicans did the same thing but only
worse in 1992, the network created a Web site especially to provide
additional information about their story. The Web site placed it under
the heading "The Money Trail: The Road Not Taken."
Anchor John Roberts
introduced the story: "In tonight's Eye on America investigation,
a look beyond the questionable campaign fundraising practices that
Congress will focus on starting tomorrow. Much of what Congress will
look at is limited to Campaign '96 and especially money funneled to
the Democrats. Correspondent Bill Whittaker has been investigating
Campaign '92, and one big giver to the Republicans."
Whittaker opened with video
of a 1992 GOP fundraising dinner, explaining the CBS discovery:
"The biggest donor: an American businessman whose stunning
$500,000 donation got him a seat up at the head table with President
Bush. He's Michael Kojima. You remember him: The biggest donor turned
out to be America's biggest dead-beat dad. When his name hit the
papers, a former wife was shocked: he owed her more than $100,000 in
Some excerpts from
"In fact, it turned out Kojima was a bankrupt chef who owed
creditors almost a million dollars. So where'd he get the half-million
to buy his way to the top that night -- his current wife kissed by the
President of the United States? Campaign reformers screamed for an
investigation at the time. But no one did anything...
"A CBS News investigation has revealed that if anyone had
bothered to look back in '92, they would have found that Kojima didn't
have his own money to give, but apparently was funneling foreign
donations to the GOP -- which is illegal -- donations from Japanese
businessmen seeking to benefit from Republican connections. And Kojima
had plenty of those...
"And CBS News has uncovered some damning new information. We
talked to some of the businessmen in Japan -- who reveal that Kojima
got them to pay to attend -- indicating that they are the source for
at least some of Kojima's GOP donation...
"One final note: The GOP fought Michael Kojima's wives, children
and other creditors in court for the $500,000 donation -- and wound up
keeping about half of it. And by the way the L.A. district attorney
says Michael Kojima still is a deadbeat dad. Bill Whittaker, CBS News,
After the story, Roberts
urged viewers to get more information from a newly created Web site: http://www.eveningnews.com
The site has photos of
Kojima's checks, a form letter he got from Senator Phil Gramm, photos
of Kojima with George Bush and an interview with the woman who put
together the Republican fundraiser in question. Plus, a full
transcript of Whitaker's story -- with WAV audio clips and even a VDO
video version. In short, more information than CBS has made available
for any previous story.
Under the "context"
heading the site does have transcripts of a few past campaign finance
stories, but the site is built around the Whittaker piece. The direct
address for the full Whittaker transcript:
(The CBS transcripts even put
in all caps the words the reporter is to EMPHASIZE.)
So, is CBS consistently
concerned about foreign money. As you may recall from previous
CyberAlerts, CBS, as well as ABC and NBC, failed to mention this
revelation in the April 1 Wall Street Journal: "Charlie Yah Lin
Trie, a central figure in the controversy over foreign contributions
to the Democratic Party, received a series of substantial wire
transfers in 1995 and 1996 from a bank operated by the Chinese
government. The transfers from the New York office of the Bank of
China, usually in increments of $50,000 or $100,000, came at a time
when Mr. Trie was directing large donations to the Democratic National
But a 1992 Republican donor
who got money from Japan, an ally as opposed to communist China, is
the biggest news the night before the Senate probe of 1996 begins.
It's amazing how far at least some in the media will go to distract
attention from a Clinton scandal.
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