Chung's Charge; Teamsters Won; Diversity Would Have Pulled the Plunger
- Tom Brokaw
interviewed Johnny Chung and uncovered news about buying access at
Energy, but will other outlets pursue the story?
- The Teamsters
were the victors, declared all the networks.
- Bad cops
didn't lead to the NYC police beating. No, ABC News pinned the
blame on the lack of "diversity" in the police force.
- As one former
U.S. News & World Report staffer leaves the White House
another is about to slide into a top slot at Commerce.
1) Tuesday night NBC
Nightly News carried its first fundraising story this month, the
first one since July 30, the day before the last day of hearings. The
August 19 Nightly News featured Tom Brokaw's "exclusive"
interview with Johnny Chung.
Illustrated by photos of
Chung with various top level
officials, including both Clintons, Brokaw explained Chung's rise to
fame: How he gave lots of money to the Democrats and was rewarded with
having doors opened for Chinese businessmen he brought to America who,
dutifully impressed with Chung's connections, in turn invested in
Chung's businesses. Brokaw noted that Chung made 50 visits to the
Brokaw's interview offered
two newsworthy revelations:
First, repeating what
he told the July 27 Los Angeles Times, Chung said that he gave a
$50,000 check to Maggie Williams while in the First Lady's office.
After noting the illegality of soliciting funds on federal property,
Brokaw queried: "Did Mrs. Clinton know about this
arrangement?" Chung replied affirmatively: "I asked Miss
Ryan did Mrs. Clinton know about the contribution of $50,000. She said
she definitely know." Ryan is Even Ryan, an aide to Hillary
Clinton. The $50,000 check got Chung and his Chinese business
associates into the taping of a Clinton radio address.
Second, that when he
approached the Energy Department about setting up a meeting with
Secretary Hazel O'Leary for five Chinese petrol-chemical officials, an
Energy official suggested Chung make a donation to O'Leary's favorite
charity, AfriCares. Chung did give $25,000 and got his meeting. The
White House dismissed Chung's other charges about the $50,000 check,
but from Martha's Vineyard reporter David Bloom observed that
"the allegations against Hazel O'Leary and the Department of
Energy caught everyone by surprise..."
So, will either or both of
these revelations generate additional news coverage? "Chung:
O'Leary Gave Access to Donor" announced an AP headline Tuesday
night. But, don't count on widespread coverage. After the July 27 Los
Angles Times story about how Chung said money exchanged hands at the
White House, was solicited by Maggie Williams and was given explicitly
in order to provide access for some Chinese businessmen, of the
broadcast networks, only the NBC Nightly News offered a full story.
ABC and CBS gave it a couple of sentences. The next morning neither
NBC's Today or This Morning on CBS uttered a word about it. (For
details, see the July 29 CyberAlert.)
Later Tuesday night Dateline
NBC ran a longer version of Brokaw's interview and story. Brokaw
added that Asians are worried about stereotyping and that Chung denied
that he ever donated money laundered from the Chinese regime. Brokaw
ended by observing that Chung promises to listen to his wife next
time. She is, Brokaw said Chung claimed, a conservative Republican.
2) All the networks Tuesday
night hailed the Teamsters as the victor in its battle with UPS, ABC
and CBS two offered stories on the "re-birth" of the labor
movement, but the networks differed on the seriousness of the layoff
Teamster Victory. On ABC's
World News Tonight, Bill Redeker declared: "By almost every
measure the tentative settlement appears to be a victory for the
On the CBS Evening News
Ray Brady gushed: "The Teamsters were the winners in all this and
it's a major victory..."
Tom Brokaw, on the NBC
Nightly News, asserted: "As NBC's Claire Shipman tells us
from the White House tonight, this does look like a big gain for big
I suspect that over the next
few days we'll learn that the Teamster victory isn't quite as
overwhelming as reported by the networks.
Layoffs Coming? ABC's Redeker
assumed any layoffs would be temporary, as if winning back lost
business will not be a problem: "For UPS there is now the
question of whether it can win back customers who hired other carriers
during the strike. For the union, there is concern about temporary
layoffs created by the lost business..."
NBC Claire Shipman portrayed
layoffs as just a possibility and one that will hit management and
workers equally: "But both sides may still have to pay a price in
layoffs. UPS has predicted it might have to cut up to 15,000
CBS painted a more definitive
picture of layoffs as a sure thing. Anchor Russ Mitchell explained:
"The Teamsters tentatively agreed to end their strike after the
company gave in on the key issues of pensions and part time jobs. At
the same time, UPS is warning that loss of business during the
two-week walkout could force thousands of layoffs."
Reporter Diana Olick in
Dallas, referring to UPS management, relayed: "Lost business,
they say, will mean lost jobs and a fair number of Teamsters
celebrating now may have nothing to go back to later."
3) A little
"diversity" will solve any problem and a lack of it causes
whatever problem is at issue. While watching a story on the New York
City beating case, MRC news analyst Gene Eliasen caught the latest
example of this kind of thinking.
On ABC's World News
Tonight on Sunday, August 17, reporter Alexander Johnson
identified the core problem:
"But in a city where the
population is 61 percent minority and the police force is 68 percent
white, the problem may be more difficult to solve than simply going
after bad cops. The community which surrounds the 70th precinct, the
sight of the alleged police attack against Louima, is a mix of
Pakistani, Asian, Hispanic, Orthodox Jews and Caribbean Blacks. The
police force is 76 percent white."
After a soundbite from a
complaining citizen, Johnson continued: "Last year, more than
three-quarters of the brutality complaints against the New York Police
Department came from minority groups." Johnson told viewers that
"Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo says what fuels racism and
police brutality is a lack of diversity on the force."
Johnson concluded his story:
"The hope is that if the police department better resembles the
city it represents, there'll be greater sensitivity. And the gains
they've made this year in reducing police brutality may continue.
Alexander Johnson, ABC News, New York."
For liberals the system is
always at fault, not individuals who do bad things.
4) Just as one former U.S.
News & World Report staffer is leaving the Clinton team
another is about to come aboard.
The White House held a going
away party on August 11 for Communications Director Donald Baer, an
Assistant Managing Editor at U.S. News when he jumped to the White
House in 1994. In the July 21 Washington Post Al Kamen described
Baer's next venture. Baer will join "with publisher Steven Brill,
founder of CourtTV and American Lawyer magazine, in a new media
venture company that is going to check out a variety of opportunities
in print, television and the Internet. They're looking to launch a
national magazine covering the national media sometime next
Sounds like some competition.
But don't expect any criticism of Bill Clinton. To read Baer's
adulatory view of the President ("the moral leader of the
Universe"), go to the MRC Web site and retrieve the September 19,
Robert Shapiro, Associate
Editor of U.S. News from 1985 until he signed onto the Dukakis
campaign in 1988, may be about to join the Clinton Administration. The
August 19 Washington Post reported that "Clinton plans to
nominate Shapiro to be Undersecretary for economic affairs" at
the Commerce Department. Shapiro founded the Progressive Policy
Institute, a group affiliated with what Post reporter John Harris
described as the "centrist" Democratic Leadership Council.
Harris ran down his background:
"Shapiro has long been
well known in Washington politics and journalism. During the 1980s he
served as deputy national issues director to Democrat Michael
Dukakis's 1988 campaign, as a U.S. News & World Report writer and
as a legislative director for Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan
What were the
"centrist" policies he helped Dukakis craft?
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