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 CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
Wednesday, April 15, 1998 (Vol. Three; No. 62)

Bank Merger Danger; Clinton's Donor Payoff Pays for China; Hale Tale

1) The big bank mergers, CBS News reporter Ray Brady contended, "cap a 15-year trend of...the undoing of laws originally enacted to prevent a repeat of the bank failures of the 1930s."

2) Clinton gave a big donor and exemption which led to China obtaining U.S. ballistic missile secrets? Only FNC cared. ABC relayed the charges about payoffs for Hale, but like CNN failed to note the accuser's history. She claimed to turn the rain on and off.

cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes)Great big banks mean a great big depression? Monday night April 13 all the networks led with the bank mergers of Nation's Bank and Bank America as well as of First Chicago and Bank One and all highlighted how bigger banks mean less personal service and higher fees. But only CBS's Ray Brady raised the specter of the Great Depression, concluding his story:

"...Today's deals cap a 15-year trend of bank deregulation and the undoing of laws originally enacted to prevent a repeat of the bank failures of the 1930s. This latest consolidation of banking power represents the biggest and boldest moves away from those laws."

cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes)Monday night FNC became the first network to pick up on an April 4 New York Times story tying campaign contributions to the sharing of classified information with China. On Tuesday ABC's World News Tonight relayed the basics in the allegations that conservative paid off Hale, but failed to note the dubious background of the woman making the charge. CNN, which ran two evening stories last week about the Hale tale, has also failed to tell viewers about the woman's history as a psychic.

Here are some highlights from the last two nights:

-- Monday, April 13. Neither ABC or NBC mentioned any Clinton scandal, but the CBS Evening News gave a little time to Scott Pelley to report that the Secret Service had ended cooperation with Starr's office. On CNN's The World Today anchor Martin Savidge took a few seconds to note that Paula Jones was expected to appeal and that Starr had asked Betty Currie to appear again before the grand jury.

Anchor Catherine Crier announced on FNC's 7pm ET Fox Report:

"While the President basks a bit in the Northern Ireland peace accord, he's coming under fire again, accused of selling political favors for political contributions. As Carl Cameron explains, this could be some of the most damaging evidence so far."

It took FNC a week and a half to catch up with the New York Times story, but that's sooner than ABC, CBS, CNN or NBC which have yet to mention the development. The April 4 New York Times story by Jeff Gerth and Raymond Bonner began:

"A federal grand jury is investigating whether two American companies illegally gave China space expertise that significantly advanced Beijing's ballistic missile program, according to administration officials. But the officials said the criminal inquiry was dealt a serious blow two months ago when President Clinton quietly approved the export to China of similar technology by one of the companies under investigation."

Gerth and Bonner explained that Clinton had allowed the Loral Corporation to have China launch one of its satellites. Loral Chairman Bernard Schwartz, the Times observed, "was the largest personal contributor to the Democratic National Committee last year."

FNC's Cameron explained that Attorney General Janet Reno is launching an investigation of whether the Commerce Department under the late Ron Brown sold seats on trade missions in exchange for contributions. On one of those trips: Schwartz of the Loral Space Corporation who is now being investigated for sharing classified satellite technology with China. "In '94," Shuster relayed, "Loral, which is also now a top corporate donor to the Democrats, got a special waiver from the President to have China launch its satellites into orbit..."

After a crash Loral gave the secret report on the mishap to China. Shuster concluded:

"The Pentagon says national security was breached and perhaps seriously. Though Loral denies wrongdoing, investigators say if the firm donated to the Clinton camp, then got the President's permission to do business with China and shared secrets, it could be the worst example yet of just how much the White House was willing to risk for the big bucks of '96."

Not the kind of tough reporting you'll hear on ABC, CBS or NBC.


-- Tuesday, April 14. ABC's World News Tonight and CNN's The World Today led with a study on how 100,000 die every year from bad reactions to drugs prescribed while in a hospital. The doubling of the death rate for 16-year-old drivers topped he CBS Evening News, FNC's Fox Report began with a story on how Paula Jones told Fox she would appeal, and the NBC Nightly News started with the FAA's "Safer Skies" program.

CNN offered quick notes about how Starr wants a court order to compel Secret Service officers to testify and that Betty Currie's appearance was canceled. CBS and NBC did not mention anything on the Starr/Lewinsky or Jones front.

ABC's World News Tonight, however, made room for a full report from Jackie Judd on how the Justice Department is now denying Starr access to Secret Service officers, a move he is asking a judge to block. Judd revealed that Starr wants the testimony of some uniformed officers because "sources say he believes White House steward Biyani Nelvis told some of them he found lipstick stained towels in the Oval Office study after a meeting between Lewinsky and Mr. Clinton..."

Nelvis denied that when he appeared before the grand jury.

Judd concluded that the Justice Department's case would be easier to defend if it involved plain clothed protective officers who must have the President's trust and not uniformed guys "in the hallway."

Jennings then asked her about the David Hale case. Judd gave a quick overview of who Hale is and the how and when of his testimony, adding: "....a woman in Arkansas has now come forward alleging that he took payments during this time from a conservative political group. And the Justice Department had told Ken Starr he should investigate, although there might a conflict of interest, Starr investigating his own witness. Starr is now considering taking this to an outside lawyer to avoid the appearance of a conflict."

Judd failed to point out what FNC's David Shuster is the only network reporter to note so far. Last Friday he divulged: "The only eyewitness against Hale is a young man with a police record. His accusations were repeated, however, by his mother who once worked in Arkansas as a psychic and fortune-teller..."

Through Tuesday night CNN has yet to update or correct its April 9 story on the Hale payoffs in which CNN reporter Pierre Thomas did not utter a word about the background of the accuser, Caryn Mann. (See the April 10 CyberAlert.) In the April 13 Washington Times reporter Jerry Seper revealed that Mann "was a 1992 Clinton delegate to the Florida state Democratic convention."

Seper also highlighted how "she once confided to her boyfriend, Parker Dohzier, that she knew where Jimmy Hoffa was buried. She also boasted that she could turn the rain on and off, and had guided U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf War through mental telepathy."


I suspect she may be using that mental telepathy power to convince reporters that Ken Starr is an out of control prosecutor harassing a man who is just trying to do his job for the American people.

          -- Brent Baker

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