CNN's Hale Tale; Communion OK; Savaging of Clinton Reagan's Fault
1) The broadcast networks have
forgotten about Monica, but CNN focused on how a man "funneled money
to Hale from the American Spectator...a conservative publication"
funded by Richard Scaife.
2) "Canine racism"
worries a former ABC News reporter. Tom Brokaw insisted that big tobacco
had backed out of "their deal."
3) The champagne for the
celebrating Clinton aides was bought by R.W. Apple, chief Washington
reporter for the New York Times.
4) The Today show's Catholic
expert insisted Clinton did nothing wrong in taking communion. After all,
Reagan did the same thing.
5) "Income Gap Grows
Wider as Millions Miss Out on Stock Market Boom," declared a
Washington Post headline as the reporter ominously warned it's
"pushing disparities in wealth and income to proportions not seen
since the Gilded Age."
6) A CBS News veteran of
Watergate blamed Ronald Reagan, yes Reagan, for the media's
irresponsible savaging of Clinton.
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the fourth straight night Thursday evening ABC's World News Tonight did
not utter a word about any aspect of the Clinton scandals. CBS and NBC
went three for four this week in skipping anything related to Monica as
the broadcast networks have yet to air a full scandal story this week.
(NBC gave a few seconds Tuesday night to Dick Armey's comments, CBS
aired a brief item Wednesday night on Ken Starr denying a story that he
had written a report for Congress.)
Thursday night all the networks led with
the tornadoes which hit Alabama, but only FNC and CNN aired scandal
stories. On FNC's Fox Report at 7pm ET reporter David Shuster told
viewers about the appearance before the grand jury by a second White House
steward and how Susan McDougal's attorney wants her conviction
overturned now that there are charges that David Hale took money while a
witness, though Shuster added that the allegation has been denied by Hale
and the man who supposedly made the payments.
CNN ran with the effort to discredit Hale,
running a story featuring the same old material intertwining Ken Starr,
Richard Scaife and the American Spectator in the vast right-wing
conspiracy. CNN World Today anchor Joie Chen announced on the 8pm ET
edition: "For years he's been investigating President Clinton and the
Whitewater land deal. Now an ironic twist."
CNN correspondent Pierre Thomas explained:
"Ken Starr must investigate whether
his key Whitewater witness was paid cash to pass on damaging information
about President Clinton to conservative groups. David Hale testified in
the first Whitewater trial then-Governor Bill Clinton pressured him to
make an illegal loan. The new allegations threaten to taint Hale's
testimony. An Arkansas woman alleges Parker Dozhier, a friend of Hale,
funneled money to Hale from the American Spectator magazine, a
conservative publication. In an interview with CNN, Caryn Mann, Dozhier's
ex-girlfriend says Hale was part of a conspiracy to get Mr. Clinton."
Caryn Mann: "I believe that people
need to know the truth of what went on there. The money was earmarked for
Thomas: "The magazine and Dozhier deny
After airing a soundbite contending this is
big trouble for Starr's case and explaining how "allegations of
witness tampering fell" in Starr's jurisdiction and not the Justice
Department's, Thomas continued:
"The department questioned whether
Starr would have a conflict of interest in investigating a witness so
important to his case, but left it to Starr to determine whether there is
a conflict. Critics also point out another possible conflict of interest.
The money allegedly funneled to Hale, came from the American Spectator
magazine. The magazine receives financial support from Richard Scaife, a
millionaire associated with anti-Clinton efforts. Scaife is also a major
donor to Pepperdine University where Starr has accepted a deanship.
"Despite some doubts, the decision at
Justice was Starr can investigate his own witness, but officials have put
him on notice: they're watching."
"Starr Report Underway: Document for House Said to Detail Lewinsky
Matter," announced a front page Washington Post story on April 8.
Reporter Susan Schmidt explained:
"Independent counsel Kenneth W.
Starr's prosecutors have already written large sections of their report to
the House of Representatives on potentially impeachable offenses by
President Clinton in the Monica S. Lewinsky matter, and sources close to
the investigation said they may also include material related to Clinton's
sworn testimony about Arkansas financial dealings...."
The April 8 Today and Good Morning America
mentioned the Post exclusive, but not CBS's This Morning, reported MRC
news analysts Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen and Steve Kaminski. Wednesday
night neither ABC or NBC mentioned the story, but CBS Evening News anchor
Dan Rather took a few seconds to relay Ken Starr's denial.
On CNN's The World Today Bob Franken
"If the report goes to Congress then
the public will finally have the chance to decide whether any of the
evidence against the President has merit, or whether it was politically
Other bites from Wednesday, April 8:
-- ABC's World News Tonight
featured a piece on the controversy over the American Kennel Club's list
of which dog breeds are appropriate for kids. In the story former ABC News
reporter Roger Caras, who is now President of the American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, pronounced: "To say that all these
dogs are this and all those dogs are that, that's racism, canine
-- Tom Brokaw portrayed the tobacco
companies as the ones who broke the deal. Teasing the NBC Nightly
News he intoned: "Up in smoke. The big tobacco companies
back out of their deal on teen smoking and advertising. Why? And what
Of course, Congress added many regulations
and taxes to the deal while breaking the agreement to protect the
companies from lawsuits, so it's hardly accurate to say the tobacco
companies breached the deal.
Later, plugging another story Brokaw found
the true victims of El Nino: "When we come back, El Nino's most
vulnerable victims. Can anyone save the baby sea lions off San Miguel
Champagne on the New York Times Dime. Picking up on an item in the April 7
CyberAlert, that Washington Times reporter Greg Pierce ran in his
"Inside Politics" column on April 8, about reporters in Senegal
buying champagne to help Clinton aides celebrate their victory over Paula
Jones, Washington Times reporter John McCaslin tracked down who plunked
down the money. In his April 9 "Inside the Beltway" column
McCaslin reported his discovery:
"Ironically, it was a New York Times
reporter, James Bennet, who revealed that 'journalists' covering
President Clinton's recent trip to Africa 'ordered and paid for'
champagne relished by Mr. Clinton's senior advisers on the same night the
Paula Jones lawsuit was dismissed.
"We write ironically because White
House insiders now inform Inside the Beltway that it was none other than
New York Times stars R.W. 'Johnny' Apple and Maureen Dowd who helped
foot the bill for the bubbly.
"Mr. Bennet stopped short of
identifying which Clinton aides sipped on the complimentary champagne that
celebratory night at a French restaurant in Senegal, where in a hotel room
not far away from the commander-in-briefs similarly welcomed his
vindication by banging on a drum and chomping on a cigar.
"But we're told that White House
political director Doug Sosnick, White House Press Secretary Michael
McCurry, and deputy White House spokesman Joe Lockhart were among the
mixed group of partyers.
"'Wine is one thing, but when I read
champagne it caught my attention,' says one familiar face at the White
House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Otherwise, the insider
pointed out, it's not the least bit unusual for officials in the Clinton
camp to chat with reporters over dinner and wine. 'It's the one chance
[reporters] have to entertain and debrief,' explained the insider, who
added that the Senegal dinner in question was 'pre-arranged,' well in
advance of word reaching Africa that the Jones suit had been dismissed.
'In fact, there was a larger group about to go out the door to the same
dinner when the news hit,' the insider said. 'But I would agree that
the champagne was a little much.'"
found a priest to take Clinton's side over Cardinal O'Connor in the
dispute over Clinton taking communion at a Catholic church in South Africa
on March 29. The April 8 CyberAlert reported that the controversy had
generated only about 30 seconds on the CBS Evening News, 22 seconds on
Good Morning America and part of a story on FNC. (It has yet to get a
second on CNN's The World Today, ABC's World News Tonight or the NBC
Nightly News.) Hours after the CyberAlert was sent Today's Katie Couric
interviewed liberal Father Andrew Greeley about the matter.
At the top of the April 8 interview Today
showed a clip of O'Connor calling Clinton's action "legally and
doctrinally wrong." Greeley disagreed with the implication that
Clinton and the South African priest did something improper, arguing that
"a lot of priests in this country and in other countries too push the
envelope. They say at weddings and funerals they invite people to receive
communion so that those in mixed marriages, the families of the
non-Catholic spouse won't be offended or feel excluded. This happens in
the archdiocese of New York, the archdiocese of Chicago. It happens
everywhere. I don't see why we select out the African priest for
Couric: "Well, he's not the only one
who's been criticized as you well know President Clinton has been really
severely criticized in this whole thing. Do you think some of that
criticism is fair or what do you think is motivating Cardinal
Greeley: "Well I wouldn't try to
guess the Cardinal's motivations. I do know that when Ronald Reagan who
was technically a fallen away Catholic in a marriage the church wouldn't
recognize, when he received communion back in the early 1980s nobody
protested. So maybe there's special rules for Republicans."
Amazing. Clinton offends millions of people
of religious faith, yet NBC manages to turn that into an opportunity to
denounce Ronald Reagan.
old joke suggests how the major newspapers would play the end of the
world. The New York Times would carry a headline saying "World to End
Tomorrow. Details on A6." USA Today, the joke goes, would announce
"End of World Coming. How We Really Feel About It." And the
Washington Post headline would read: "World Ending Tomorrow. Poor and
Minorities Hardest Hit."
The end of the world isn't coming quite
yet, but the stock market boom has really upset the Washington Post which
decided to focus on the unfairness of how those with money can make more
money than those with less money. Living up to the stereotype reflected in
the joke, a front page headline in the April 7 Washington Post ominously
announced: "Boom Is Fine -- If You Own Stock. The Millions Who Don't
Are Only Falling Further Behind." On the jump page the headline read:
"Income Gap Grows Wider as Millions Miss Out on Stock Market
Reporter Clay Chandler asserted:
"The millions of American investors
who climbed aboard the Starship Dow before its takeoff in the 1990s have
watched their net worth soar to dizzying heights. But many more have
missed the ride.
"While Americans are piling into the
market in record numbers, the most recent data suggest that six of every
10 households still do not own stocks -- and thus have reaped no direct
benefit from the current boom in share prices.
"That troubles many analysts, who warn
that the bull market on Wall Street is aggravating other disturbing
economic trends and pushing disparities in wealth and income to
proportions not seen since the Gilded Age....
"According to the Federal Reserve's
Survey of Consumer Finances, which many economists consider the most
authoritative source of information about household investment patterns,
41 percent of all American families owned stock in 1995, the most recent
year for which data were available.
"That is an increase from 37 percent
in 1992 and 32 percent in 1989. But the Fed survey -- which considered
stocks held directly and through mutual funds, retirement accounts and
other types of trusts but not stocks held indirectly through
defined-benefit pension funds sponsored by employers -- found wide
disparities in stock ownership by income group...."
Note the labeling disparity in these next
two paragraphs from Chandler:
"'The market's rise may be
increasing assets of some middle-income families, but the overall effect
has got to be widening the already large gaps in wealth and income,'
said Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and
Policy Priorities. 'Sure, the average middle-class guy with a few shares
in a mutual fund is making a little money. But those gains are quite small
in relation to very big increases for wealthy families.'
"Conservative economists agree there
is a problem, but one that can be solved by preaching the virtues of
stocks. 'As we head into the next century, income and wealth are being
driven by ownership,' said Stephen Moore, an analyst at the Cato
Institute. 'If we stay on our current course, it will lead to wider
divisions. The answer is to help all the people get into the market. We
have to create a nation of capitalists, in which everybody can own their
piece of the rock.'"
Media Are Too Tough on Clinton: It's All Reagan's Fault. You knew it
would eventually happen. But it's still incredible. MRC news analyst
Eric Darbe earned his pay this week by catching this gem from an April 7
CNN Larry King Live discussion among several veteran reporters, including
Walter Cronkite, Hugh Sidey and Morley Safer.
In the midst of unified bemoaning about how
Clinton is the victim of declining media standards so all sorts of rumors,
poorly-sourced allegations and tabloidish stories about personal sex
matters get on the air, King asked if it will get worse before it gets
better. CBS News and CNN veteran Daniel Schorr, who now opines for NPR,
"No, I think it gets a lot worse,
certainly it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. I think it
really goes back to the Reagan administration and the deregulation of
television. There was a time that television, in order to hold on to
licenses for its stations would really say we have got to perform a public
service. That was where we had a Tiffany network. Today it doesn't matter
anymore. You just make your money where you make your money and to hell
with public service. So I think what we see now is not the end of a trend,
but somewhere in the middle school of a trend."
When they start blaming Reagan, whom they
equate with everything evil and mean-spirited, you know the media
establishment are really angry about how their profession is hurting
-- Brent Baker
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