Hubbell's Scam; Couric's McKinney Connection; Conservatives on Brock
1) All the nets Wednesday
night speculated about Clinton testifying, but only FNC told what the
grand jurors heard and only NBC detailed the planned Hubbell indictment --
plus, nine months after print reports, NBC got to Hubbell's LA scam.
2) Katie Couric pointed out
that the Army is court-martialing Sergeant-Major McKinney for charges
similar to those facing Clinton.
3) David Brock is "a
disgrace," declared John Podhoretz. "Brock's problem is not
conservatism, it is narcissism," asserted David Horowitz who also
illustrated how the media have hypocritically accepted Brock's picture
of intolerant conservatives.
Clinton & the Stew II. Back by popular
demand. The photo of Clinton with his hand on a flight attendant's thigh
has been returned to the top of the MRC home page. She's now on the
White House staff. MRC Web manager Joe Alfonsi has enhanced the
presentation with multiple slides from the video and a link to the
CyberAlert describing the scene's relevance to the Starr investigation.
Go to http://www.mediaresearch.org
the networks Wednesday night ran stories speculating about whether and how
President Clinton will testify to the grand jury, though only CBS claimed
its story was an "exclusive." NBC's Lisa Myers provided a
truly exclusive piece on Ken Starr's intention to indict Web Hubbell
unless he cooperates. Nine months after newspaper accounts appeared, as
part of her story Myers gave some TV time to how a Los Angeles auditor
concluded that Hubbell ripped-off the city.
The grand jury did not hear testimony, but
only FNC informed viewers of what the jurors did all day. On FNC's 7pm
ET Fox Report David Shuster explained that "prosecutors spent the day
playing audio tapes for the grand jury made by Linda Tripp. She recorded
hours and hours of conversations with Monica Lewinsky, conversations in
which Lewinsky claimed to have had a sexual relationship with the
For CNN's 8pm ET The World Today John
King delivered a piece on whether Clinton will testify. Here's what the
broadcast networks presented Wednesday night, March 11 on the Monicagate
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Peter
Jennings opened the show: "Good evening. There was a very strong
indication today that the independent counsel Kenneth Starr does intend to
call the President to testify before the grand jury that is investigating
his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. This continues to overshadow
everyday politics in Washington and the next big question is fairly
straight forward: will the President willingly tell his version of these
events to the grand jury, or will Mr. Starr be forced to try another
Sam Donaldson began his piece by asserting:
"Peter, according to sources, Kenneth Starr has informed the
President's lawyers that at some point he will call Mr. Clinton to
-- Dan Rather topped the CBS Evening
News with the same story as ABC, but claimed it was somehow
"Good evening. Special prosecutor Ken
Starr is seeking sworn testimony from President Clinton himself. CBS's
White House correspondent Scott Pelley has exclusive information on this
information: "Dan, prosecutors are asking for the President's
testimony in the Monica Lewinsky obstruction of justice investigation.
Prosecutors and the President's lawyers have addressed this subject over
the last several days and CBS News is told that prosecutors are asking for
Mr. Clinton's voluntary cooperation. Now he has pledged that in the
past, but when he was asked today about the grand jury he wouldn't
Having not offered anything exclusive on
Clinton's testimony, Dan Rather next relayed a develop CBS grabbed,
without credit, from NBC:
"In a connected development, reports
circulated again tonight that Starr is about to indict President
Clinton's friend, and former Justice Department official, Webster
Hubbell again on new criminal charges. Among other things, this would
ratchet up the pressure on Hubbell to cooperate with Starr's wide
ranging investigation of the Clinton family and political camp."
-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw launched
the show with the true exclusive that Rather borrowed:
"We begin tonight with what appears to
be a new offensive in the Ken Starr investigation, one that involves an
old friend of the President and a new charge. And once again this move
does seem designed to get at the Clintons and Whitewater through the
troubles of their Arkansas political family. NBC's Lisa Myers tonight
with our exclusive report."
Lisa Myers reported that Webster Hubbell
has been notified he will be indicted on charges of tax evasion, making
false statements and fraud, charges that could send him back to prison for
Myers elaborated: "The potential
charges involve taxes on hundreds of thousands of dollars in controversial
fees Hubbell received in 1994 after he resigned from the Justice
Department in disgrace and before he went to prison. In all, the
President's wealthy friends provided Hubbell more than $500,000 in
so-called consulting fees, far more than he ever earned in any year of his
life. Some of the money came from the city of Los Angeles for work on an
airport project, but the city's controller found that Hubbell filed
false statements, billing the city for work never done."
Starr, Myers continued, wants Hubbell to
talk about Whitewater and White House efforts to use hush money to impede
the investigation. Myers tossed in another intriguing tidbit: "As
leverage, Starr is certain to confront Hubbell with a phone call recorded
by prison officials in which Hubbell told his wife to reassure friends
that he will keep secrets."
Audio of Hubbell: "I'm not going to
breach anything personal. When people want things to be private they will
always be private with me."
Myers deserves credit for finally getting
some air time for the Los Angeles Airport deal, but it should be old news
to veteran CyberAlert readers. From the Friday, June 27, 1997 CyberAlert:
"Hubbell Cheated L.A., a City Audit
Claims," announced a front page story in the June 24 Los Angeles
Times. The Tuesday Washington Post and New York Times ran stories inside.
LA Times reporter David Willman explained: "Webster L. Hubbell, the
former No. 3 official at the U.S. Justice Department, lied two years ago
to win consulting payments totaling $24,750 from the city of Los Angeles
and should face the prospect of renewed criminal prosecution, according to
an audit report made public Monday. The report concluded that a July 19,
1995, letter Hubbell sent to the city itemizing his supposed work 'was
materially false.'" City Controller Rick Tuttle decided: "Mr.
Hubbell defrauded the City of Los Angeles."
Coverage: Nothing on any
of the broadcast networks Tuesday morning through Thursday night. Not a
word on ABC's World News Tonight or GMA, CBS Evening News or This Morning,
nor NBC Nightly News or Today.
Couric broke out of the pack Wednesday morning, asking why Gene McKinney
is being court-martialed for the same type of accusation facing the
Commander-in-Chief. NBC's Today brought together Gary Bauer of the
Family Research Counsel and Dallas-based syndicated radio host Tom Joyner.
Couric posed this nice set-up question to the Clinton-loving Joyner:
"Do you believe this is some kind of
right-wing conspiracy as Hillary Clinton has stated, that this is a
Republican conspiracy of some kind?"
But, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens observed,
she also pressed Joyner about the contrast between how McKinney and
Clinton are being treated:
"Tom let me ask you a question, Tom.
I'm just curious, you know Sergeant Major Gene McKinney may be
court-martialed for sexual harassment in the military. Obviously there are
many differences and they are two distinct cases. But do you see any irony
in that about how he is being approached or treated as a result of his
behavior and your suggestion that we simply ignore the
(Joyner replied that McKinney, Vernon
Jordan, Betty Currie and Alexis Herman all were targeted just after
Clinton launched his racial healing agenda.)
Brock: An Ungrateful Egomaniac. That's the assessment of two
conservative writers who have offered their takes on why the former
American Spectator writer decided to renounce his troopergate story and
denounce conservatives. Here are some excerpts from John Podhoretz's
colorful New York Post commentary and David Horowitz's lengthier
treatise published on the Web in which he confronts the media bias in
buying into Brock's claim that conservatives ostracize those who dare
stray from the party line.
-- Highlights from "What a Sorry
Statement from a Sorry Individual," a March 11 piece by New York Post
editorial page editor John Podhoretz:
"Dear David, I've just read your
open-letter 'apology' to President Clinton in Esquire magazine. I
can't contain my anger and disappointment -- anger at the almost boundless
hypocrisy you display in your meretricious piece, and disappointment that
I had anything to do with launching your career.
"Alas, I did. I gave you your first
job out of college at Insight magazine. I should have left you in
"I apologize, America....
"I suspect you're really upset that
rank-and-file conservatives who made your book on Anita Hill a best seller
stayed away from 'The Seduction of Hillary Rodham' in droves.
"They were right to do so; the book
did not deserve an audience. Just because Free Press was foolish enough to
give you $1 million for it doesn't mean ordinary people have to buy it so
that you can earn out your advance.
"Now you write an article supposedly
apologizing to the President for putting his private life on display. But
anybody who thinks the apology is heartfelt hasn't spent time hearing you
giggle with triumph at your giant-slaying....
"[Emmett Tyrrell Jr., Editor of the
American Spectator] paid your salary for six years and defended you
against all attackers even when it was difficult to do so. Nice of you to
accuse him of having no journalistic ethics, David; what about a simple
personal ethic, like loyalty to a one-time colleague and defender?
"Probably you think you don't owe
Tyrrell any loyalty because he decided not to renew your contract with the
American Spectator. I think if you were still collecting a cool $500,000
from the magazine for three years' work, you wouldn't be expending so much
energy trying to cleanse yourself of the conservative taint.
"The big question on the right when it
comes to you is this: Can you really pull it off? You've already gotten a
six-figure advance for a memoir of your time on the right, which proves
that there is an inexhaustible hunger among liberals in publishing houses
for anti-conservative works that will never sell.
"But will the liberals in the glossy-mag
world take these mea culpas at face value and give you those big freelance
contracts you want so much? You need a big income to support those three
residences you own, after all. They might; they're not very smart.
"You are. You're also a disgrace.
"Your former friend, John Podhoretz."
To read his entire hard hitting piece, go
-- David Horowitz penned a lengthy
discourse on what explains Brocks actions. Scott Peterson of the Dittus
Group in DC alerted me to this essay for which I can not do justice in
this limited space, but the excerpt below picks up about half way through
as Horowitz examines the intellectual/media acceptance of Brock's very
disputable portrait of an intolerant conservative movement:
"....David Brock's problem is not
conservatism, it is narcissism. But once he published his mea culpa, it
became politics as well. In the Esquire article, Brock declared his
independence from the Right, even as he re-affirmed his conservative
views. Apparently, he thought he could be a free-floating journalist sans
partisan baggage, accepted as a writer for the liberal media the way he
was still accepted at The American Spectator. But the fall-out from his
article was already radioactive....
"In his Slate article, [former
Newsweek reporter Jacob] Weisberg predictably upped Brock's ante: 'The
party where humorless thought police work to enforce a rigid ideological
discipline isn't made up of Democrats. It comprises Republicans
....Brock portrays a political subculture in which loyalty to the cause
means everything, truth very little." As a liberal journalist,
Weisberg is confident, of course, that he is under no obligation to check
Brock's claims with a single reportorial call to sources. Who, in the
universe of like-minded scribes, would call him to account?
"Not content with a passing hit,
Weisberg actually defines the relation between Left and Right as that
between free men and slaves: 'The treatment of Brock has no parallel
among liberals. A few left-wing journalists, such as Nat Hentoff and
Christopher Hitchens, have caught flak for dissenting from the
conventional liberal position on abortion. But....'
"If liberal journalists lack a party
line, perhaps Weisberg can refer us to the brave liberal souls who did not
go along with the wolf-pack that descended on Bork and Thomas, or who may
have suggested in some venue I overlooked that the Clinton obstructions of
justice and the White House abuse of governmental agencies match (let
alone overshadow) Watergate in their implications for constitutional
order. Perhaps he will let us all know the names of those who departed
from the politically correct line on AIDS. Perhaps he will give us the
honor roll of those who broke ranks to describe the feminist witch-hunt in
"As for the conservative lock-step,
what a hoot. In the last six months, Arianna Huffington has attacked every
conservative leader Weisberg could name, without noticeably diminishing
her invitations to parties or service on the boards of conservative think
tanks. Bill Kristol is regularly slammed by Republican leaders, and Pat
Buchanan was labeled a 'fascist' by both The American Spectator and
Bill Bennett without diminishing his presence at conservative conferences.
Newt Gingrich has been viciously caricatured on the covers of National
The Weekly Standard....
"In the wake of the partisan lynching
of Justice Thomas, Senator Orrin Hatch accepted, without demurral,
Clinton's nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a long-time ideological
leader of the feminist left. Was Hatch read out of the conservative
movement for this political surrender? Did any conservative journalist
rummage through Ginsburg's garbage and personal secrets in order to
smear and taint her, as liberals did Thomas and Bork? Was there a
relentless Republican interrogation at the hearings aimed at ferreting out
her ideological commitments? Did conservatives join in any effort to
destroy her ability to be a role model to women, in the way liberals
closed ranks to destroy Thomas' public persona and keep him from
becoming an inspiration to his community?
"The media is so utterly and
pervasively dominated by the liberal culture, that liberals have lost the
ability to see who they are and what they do....
"Predictably, David Brock has now
dropped his ambivalence and his bid for independent status, and moved on
to the greener pastures of the conservative-bashing press. In his April
'open letter,' he claims that he has seen that light. 'If sexual
witch-hunts become the way to win in politics, if they become our politics
altogether, we can and will destroy everyone in public life.' An
interesting concept that manages to smear -- witch-hunt style -- a whole
class of people without offering any evidence to support it. Brock's new
mentor? Why, it's Sidney Blumenthal, the genie behind the First Lady's
'vast right-wing conspiracy' hysteria, along with several very real
sexual witch-hunts against the staff of Clinton's prosecutor Ken
To read the entire Horowitz essay, go
to the Center for the Study of Popular Culture Web page at http://www.cspc.org
or, directly to: http://www.cspc.org/brock.htm
Just over two years ago Brock was willing
to spend several hours trapped with conservatives inside an enclosed space
with no way to exit. Accompanied by Laura Ingraham, now a CBS News and
MSNBC commentator, he accepted a complimentary invitation to the MRC's
annual dinner for our donors, held in the fall of 1995 on a boat cruising
the Potomac and featuring Bob Novak as dinner speaker. Maybe we should
send him a bill for the cost of his dinner.
-- Brent Baker
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