Starr Too Old for Pepperdine; Russert on the MRC: "Holy ****"
1) CBS News reporter
Bob Schieffer predicted Starr will never go to Pepperdine because "by
the time he finishes his investigation he'll be too old."
2) Monica and Paula have
fallen off the news, but CBS has kept pace with the argument over the
Secret Service. "The best laid plans of men with mice," Rather
sighed over Bill Gates' embarrassment.
[expletive]" NBC's Tim Russert blurted when he read in Notable
Quotables what he supposedly said.
4) The April 20 edition of
Notable Quotables. "My whole line is, how the Hell can we drive these
guys out of office for what 50 million men do a year, which is basically
lie and cover it up?"
The latest issues of MediaWatch and
MediaNomics are now on the MRC's home page. The April 20 MediaWatch
features an in-depth look at Peter Jennings' tribute to Al Gore, a
collection of Revolving Door items and Newsbites: denouncing Dick Armey as
"harsh," sympathy for those caught by independent counsels and
the CBS tilt in favor of Bill Clinton's gun ban. The April MediaNomics
includes an analysis of network tax stories, a look at coverage of the big
bank mergers and a guest editorial from Stephen Moore on imbalanced budget
Correction: The April 17 CyberAlert stated:
"Starr explained he never met and has no connection to Starr before
Myers highlighted..." Obviously the second Starr should have been
Starr just can't get a break. At the end of Sunday's Face the Nation
Bob Schieffer ran through some news stories he missed while on vacation.
But while he spun news about Al Gore and Newt Gingrich into positives, he
dumped on Starr. After saying he doesn't understand the stink about
Gore's charity giving but wonders why he gave $353 not $350, suggesting
he bought a box of Girl Scout cookies, and noting that one woman quoted in
a news story about Gingrich's book tour found he had succeeded in
projecting a softer image, Schieffer got to Starr:
"...Clearly worried that it might look
as if he were taking a payoff from the right wing, he announced last week
that once he finishes his investigation he won't, repeat won't be
taking that cushy job at Pepperdine University after all. Well, of course
he won't. By the time he finishes his investigation he'll be too
Monicagate mess and Paula Jones matters have only garnered sporadic
coverage on the networks since last Friday, though CBS has aired two full
reports on the battle over Secret Service testimony. Only the Fox News
Channel even mentioned the Monday Washington Times story on how
prosecutors are divided over whether to charge Hillary Clinton with a
crime. The embarrassment for Bill Gates as Windows 98 crashed in the
middle of a demo at COMDEX was highlighted by every network but ABC on
Here's a brief rundown of evening show
scandal coverage over the past few days:
-- Friday, April 17: Nothing on ABC's
World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News or CNN's The World Today. FNC's
Fox Report took a few seconds to note that Monica Lewinsky is now
completing clerical work for William Ginsburg and on the CBS Evening News
Scott Pelley revealed that Starr filed a motion to compel testimony from
the Secret Service attorney and two officers.
-- Saturday, April 18: Nothing on CBS or
CNN. NBC Nightly News caught up with CBS as Chip Reid explained the
motions filed by Starr to compel Secret Service testimony. ABC's World
News Tonight Saturday made brief note of how NOW is considering filing a
brief on behalf of Jones.
-- Sunday, April 19: Zilch scandal-wise on
CBS or NBC, but ABC noted that NOW still had not decided on whether to
file a brief and Tim O'Brien previewed a Supreme Court case which could
impact Jones: "The critical question for the Supreme Court this week
is whether a plaintiff in a sexual harassment case must prove actual loss,
job detriment in order to win in court. The answer could conceivably
effect the appeal of Paula Jones, whose sexual harassment suit against the
President Clinton was thrown out, in part, because the judge found Jones
had not suffered any job detriment..."
-- Monday, April 20: ABC and NBC skipped
any scandal news while CNN's The World Today allocated a couple of
Starr claiming the Secret Service's
lawyer's talks with officers are not covered by attorney-client
privilege. CBS led with the Secret Service fight as Scott Pelley
discovered the Justice Department is claiming Secret Service officers
"cannot testify to the Starr grand jury even if they want to"
because Justice "is claiming a sweeping ban on what officers see and
hear around the President." Noting that so far only retired officer
Lewis Fox has testified (about how he ushered Lewinsky into the Oval
Office one weekend), Pelley added this fresh tidbit: "CBS News has
learned that Fox told the grand jury that Mr. Clinton indicated Lewinsky
would be in the office for a while."
Picking up on a story by Jerry Seper in the
Washington Times, on FNC's Fox Report at 7pm anchor Jon Scott announced:
"Prosecutors for independent counsel
Ken Starr reportedly are convinced the First Lady lied under oath about
missing billing records from her old law firm. The question is can they
prove it. They'll have to make up their minds soon. The Little Rock
grand jury expires in three weeks."
FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume
featured a longer piece on the same topic from David Shuster.
-- Windows is no more reliable for Bill
gates than any of the rest of us. Monday night CNN, FNC and NBC all showed
video of Gates getting a "fatal exception error" when an
assistant connected a scanner to a computer during a demo of the wonders
of Windows 98 at the COMDEX convention in Chicago. CBS didn't show any
video, but Dan Rather explained: "In the CBS News Worldwide Market
Watch: the best laid plans of men with mice. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates
was trying to demonstrate Windows 98 at a computer show today when the
system suddenly crashed. Well, still a few bugs Gates said."
Only CNN's The World Today ran a full
story on COMDEX and reporter Rick Lockridge opened his piece by showing
the crash. Nonetheless, he relayed this contradictory assertion from
Gates: "Despite the complications Gates says the Windows 98 software
that ships on June 25th will give users what they've demanded: an
operating system that's simpler to use..."
Of course, we wouldn't need a simpler or
more reliable system if Windows 95 was simpler and more reliable as it was
supposed to be. I'll wait for Windows 2000 which will have all the
Windows 98 bugs worked out.
With a Sense of Humor" announced the Boston Globe headline over an
April 16 story on Tim Russert's reaction to a quote credited to him
cited in the MRC's Notable Quotables. The Globe's Mark Jurkowitz
reported: "Those guys at the Media Research Center, the conservative
media watchdog group, have quite a sense of humor. Their April 1 Notable
Quotables newsletter printed an explosive Today show interview in which
NBC's Tim Russert complained that devastating revelations about Bill
Clinton lying in depositions weren't making his network's
Jurkowitz ran only part of the quote, but
here it is in its entirety:
"Katie, this latest testimony made
public by Jones's lawyers about how Clinton really did have sex in the
back of a limo with a former, a one-time Miss America is devastating. This
is serious. It directly contradicts his deposition. This is obstruction of
justice at the highest levels of our government, and Katie it really does,
it really raises the possibility reluctant Republicans will have to
proceed with impeachment hearings. But of course, like every other bit of
evidence about White House illegalities that I declare serious, it
wasn't mentioned on our own Nightly News last night and won't be
tonight. I'm only the VP and Washington Bureau Chief."
After the quote excerpt the Globe printed,
Jurkowitz observed: "Incendiary stuff, until you realize it was the
April Fools' issue of Notable Quotables. 'I said, 'Holy
[expletive],' responded a mildly amused Russert when contacted for
comment. 'When did I say this?'"
April 20 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation
of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media.
This one is real with none of the quotes made up.
Amongst the quotes that will be fresh to
CyberAlert readers: The very first quote of the issue -- Newsweek's
Jonathan Alter under "Peeping Tom's Witch Hunt." Also, under
"Unprecedented Clinton-Bashing" a quote from the New York Times
caught by MRC analyst Clay Waters about how insignificant one veteran
reporter considers Clinton's transgressions; under "Labeling
Discrepancies" a contrast noted by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens in
how Katie Couric tagged a conservative guest but not his liberal
counterpart; and under "Tax Cuts 'Cost' Who?" an example
observed by MRC analyst Eric Darbe of a CNN reporter saying a tax cut will
"cost the country."
The Notable Quotables follows below. --
Peeping Tom's Witch Hunt
"Thumbs down for him [Starr]. It
really makes his job a lot more difficult. What is he gonna do? Subpoena
Judge Wright and charge her with obstruction of justice because she's
gotten in his way? I think he should be winding down the investigation,
putting his cards on the table. If he doesn't come forward very soon with
credible evidence of lawbreaking, he will go down in history as the
Peeping Tom prosecutor." -- Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter on
Kenneth Starr, April 1 The News with Brian Williams on MSNBC.
"We don't live in Salem and I think
the country is sick of the witch hunt. The Paula Jones case was the
gateway to Miss Lewinsky. Now that the Jones case has been thrown out, I
think it's going to be very difficult to go after a young woman and try to
force her to answer questions about intimate matters. We do recognize in
this country rights of privacy. And the notion that Ken Starr would indict
this woman for a possible consensual relationship, if it existed, is a
public relations disaster and I think a legal disaster also in the terms
of how this country operates and what we stand for." -- Newsweek's
Eleanor Clift on the McLaughlin Group, April 4.
Right-Wingers Foiled by Psychic
"On another front, there could be
trouble for the Ken Starr Whitewater investigation. Reports continue to
surface that this key witness for the prosecution, David Hale, may have
been secretly bankrolled by political activists widely regarded as
political opponents, people that Clinton supporters call Republican haters
from the far right." -- Dan Rather, April 2 CBS Evening News.
CNN reporter Pierre Thomas: "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
-- CNN's The World Today, April 9.
"The only eyewitness against Hale is a
young man with a police record. His accusations were repeated, however, by
his mother [Caryn Mann] who once worked in Arkansas as a psychic and
fortune-teller..." -- Fox News Channel's David Shuster, April 10 Fox
"Has anybody in the history of
America, any President certainly, had his character so trashed, so
publicly, for so long? I think the answer is no and I think Mr. Clinton is
probably personally damaged by that and I think, if you were a young state
representative, 28 years old, you're sitting with your wife and kids
thinking: do I want to run for President someday? What are you going to
say? You're going to say good grief no, look what they do to them."
-- CNN's Bruce Morton ruminating about the Jones case dismissal, April 1
The World Today.
"My whole line is, how the Hell can we
drive these guys out of office for what 50 million men do a year, which is
basically lie and cover it up?" -- A " White House correspondent
who has covered the President for years," quoted in the April 5 New
"The conservative Republican also does
not try to downplay the fact that she is Sonny Bono's widow....But it's
emotional appeals like this one included in a TV campaign ad that disturb
Bono's chief Democratic opponent." -- Lisa Salters on election
between Mary Bono and Ralph Waite to replace Sonny Bono, April 7 Good
Morning America on ABC.
"Tavis Smiley is a commentator for
Black Entertainment Television and was with Clinton during the first week
of his [Africa] trip. And Terry Jeffrey is editor of the conservative
Human Events weekly." -- Katie Couric, March 31 Today. Smiley is the
author of Hard Left: Straight Talk About the Wrongs of the Right.
Outrageous! The More Money You Have, the
More You Can Invest
"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." -- Opening of front page April 7
Washington Post story by Clay Chandler headlined: "Income Gap Grows
Wider as Millions Miss Out on Stock Market Boom."
Starr's Rapidly Rising Budget
"Federal auditors report special
prosecutor Ken Starr's investigation of the Clintons has now cost at least
$29 million and still counting." -- Dan Rather, March 31 CBS Evening
"The judge's decision will also have
an impact on Independent Counsel Ken Starr's investigation. In nearly four
years, Starr has spent about $35 million. Now that the Jones suit has been
thrown out, it will be harder for Starr to justify a further prolonged
investigation." -- Bill Plante on CBS's This Morning, April 2.
"Let's talk about that Starr
investigation. Everybody has been watching television since this came out.
People in the country, many of them are saying enough already, it's been
$35 to $40 million being spent. What do you think this will do to Starr's
investigation?" -- This Morning co-host Mark McEwen to former White
House counsel Jack Quinn, minutes later.
So a Few Thousand People Lose Their Jobs...
"That's the trump card you've been
playing all these days, saying we could go out of business. You went into
the negotiations with the state attorneys general because you said all
these lawsuits could drive you into bankruptcy. Let me ask you, why would
that be such a bad idea if a few of you guys did go out of business?"
"Let me make the question more
specific to you. Would it be bad for Philip Morris if RJR Reynolds went
out of business.... Wouldn't your market share just go up?"
"If you go out of business somebody
else just takes over and the industry continues. What's the premise of the
threat?" -- CBS News correspondent Jim Stewart to Steven Parrish,
Senior VP of Philip Morris, April 12 Face the Nation.
Okay, Not "Pure," But 99 Percent
"Why are you still so concerned about
the mainstream media? I mean, surely what's been going on over the last
few months, certainly with all the chasing of Bill Clinton must convince
you that it is not purely a liberal media." -- Ted Koppel to Newt
Gingrich, April 2 Nightline.
Tax Cuts "Cost" Who?
"Roughly half of married couples in
the U.S. pay higher taxes simply because they are married...getting rid of
it now could cost the country an estimated 29 billion dollars in
-- CNN's Jennifer Auther on The World
Today, April 12.
Good Riddance, Daisy Dogpatch
"She's obviously a footnote to history
now. But she also, when there's summary judgment, that's another way of
saying 'You're a nuisance.' That's what summary judgment means, that it's
a nuisance lawsuit, a frivolous lawsuit. She's been a professional
litigant for the last five years, so now she'll have to get on and get a
life. She has shown an interest in acting. Doubtful that the Royal
Shakespeare Company will be seeking her services, but she might get a
guest spot or something like that on [the redneck sitcom of Jeff]
Foxworthy. That's about what her future holds." -- Newsweek's
"conventional wisdom" creator Jonathan Alter on MSNBC's The News
with Brian Williams, April 1.
"Mandy who do you think is now going
to carry the water, briefly, for the anti-Clinton clique in the country or
the anti-Clinton people in the country?" -- ABC World News Tonight
anchor Peter Jennings to Democratic consultant Mandy Grunwald, April 1.
Unlike My Anita Hill Story...
Nina Totenberg, NPR: "There is nothing
wrong with much of what this coverage has been, but there has been a lot
of stuff that has been, I think, really over the edge and it has not been
in the National Enquirer. It has been in news organizations that you and I
respect. And just as it is true, for example, that communists were trying
to infiltrate the United States government in the 1950s, and that was a
legitimate story, it doesn't mean that we have to buy in to being used
with McCarthyistic tactics."
Evan Thomas, Newsweek: "That's a
ridiculous comparison. If you look at the press coverage of McCarthy in
the early 1950s and compare it to this, there is no comparison. The press
was horribly used in the 1950s by McCarthy." -- Exchange from Inside
Washington, April 4.
Monicagate Sensationalism: Ronald Reagan's
"I think it's going to get 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 when television, in order to
hold on to licenses for its stations would really say we have got to
perform a public service. That was when 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 of a trend." -- CBS News and
CNN veteran Daniel Schorr, who now opines for NPR, April 7 Larry King Live
on CNN. -- Brent Baker
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