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 CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
Tuesday July 7, 1998 (Vol. Three; No. 106)

Reporter Offers Clinton a Blewinsky; 
GOP Candidates Hit as Too Far Right

1) Former Time reporter Nina Burleigh wished Clinton took her to his hotel room so she could be "ravished" by him and she could go down on him. Powerful men turn her on, but not Rush Limbaugh. He's a "hater."

2) Linda "Tripp lost membership in the family of man" and "can safely be cast as a villain -- the Mark Fuhrman of the Starr investigation," venomously spewed Time's Margaret Carlson.

3) Bob Schieffer spent an interview pressing three Republicans about whether the religious right "is going to drive the party so far to the right that it will be out of the mainstream."

>>> Item #1 today has been rated TV-MA by the CyberAlert Content Review Board. It contains no explicit or crude sexual language, but does deal with oral sex and fanciful descriptions of sexual yearnings. Items #2 and #3 provide tamer TV-PG material. <<<


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) nburleigh.jpg (18009 bytes)"I'd be happy to give him [oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal," boasted former Time magazine White House correspondent Nina Burleigh about Bill Clinton. She made her offer known to Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz when he called to discuss a piece Burleigh penned in the July/August Mirabella magazine detailing her lust for Clinton.

     Titled "King of Hearts," the two-page article carries this subhead: "Former White House reporter Nina Burleigh thought she was beyond being seduced by a man's power, his status, his job. Then she played cards with the President on Air Force One." The article recounts her encounter with Clinton last year on a trip he took to Jasper, Arkansas for a funeral. At the time, Kurtz noted, she had left Time but was filling in on the trip as a "contract writer" for the newsweekly.

     Prompted by the July 6 Kurtz story, I brought out my repressed feminine side and bought Mirabella. While I'm still looking forward to reading the article titled "Thigh Anxiety: Cellulite's New Enemy," I did manage to get through Burleigh's story and asked MRC intern Stacey Felzenberg to type into WordPerfect some of the more illuminating passages. Kurtz had room for only a few sentences from Burleigh's piece, so even if you've seen his story most of this will be fresh to you:

     "....I hadn't expected to be so near Clinton that summer day. I was dressed for hot, humid Washington. My hair had been whipped into knots while waiting on the tarmac and was restrained in messy braids. I was wearing a very short, green Betsey Johnson seersucker suit, sandals, and no stockings -- probably just the kind of outfit Clinton's former Deputy Chief-of-Staff, Evelyn Lieberman, would have sent an intern home to change out of lickety-split. My knees were scarred from a recent bike wreck. Bare legs still offend Washington propriety, and I now understand why: You'll never know when you'll need to protect your modesty, and perhaps your chastity, around a powerful man....

     Enough with the set-up, now to the good stuff as she describes what transpired after she was asked to be the fourth for a game of hearts with Clinton and Bruce Lindsey. (She doesn't identify the other player):

     "The President's foot lightly, and presumably accidentally, brushed mine once under the table. His hand touched my wrist while he was dealing the cards. When I got up and shook his hand at the end of the game, his eyes wandered over to my bike-wrecked, naked legs. And slowly it dawned on me as I walked away: He found me attractive."

     Are you a female with two breasts, two legs and under age 40?

     As her narrative continues, note the condescending evaluation performed by Burleigh the feminist. Men can ogle her if they are powerful, but the gaze better not emanate "from a man of lesser stature." Construction workers beware.

     "No doubt the President's lawyers and spin doctors would say I wishfully imagined that long, appreciative look, just as all those other women have fantasized their more explicitly sexual encounters with Clinton. But we all know when we're being ogled. The weird thing was that I didn't mind. There was a time when the hormones of indignant feminism raged in my veins. An open gaze like that, at least from a man of lesser stature, would have annoyed me. But that evening, I had the opposite reaction. I felt incandescent. It was riveting to know that the President had appreciated my legs, scarred as they were. If he had asked me to continue the game of hearts back in his room at the Jasper Holiday Inn, I would have been happy to go there and see what happened. At the time, that seemed quite possible. It took several hours and a few drinks in the steaming and now somehow romantic Arkansas night to shake the intoxicated state in which I had been quite willing to let myself be ravished by the President, should he have but asked. I probably wore the mesmerized look I have seen again and again in women after they have met him. The same silly hypnotized gleam was displayed on the cover of Time magazine in Monica Lewinsky's eyes....

     "And yet there I was, walking away from a close encounter with the President of the United States, stupefied and vaguely hoping that he'd send an aide over to my hotel room to ask me up for a drink. What is it in some of us, that powerful men make us pliant and willing with a mere glance?...

     She concluded by conceding that even a modern feminist will always go for a powerful man:

     "I still cling to the faith that there are women of good order who are immune to this stuff. They wear sensible clothes and keep their legs well covered. I trust that Janet Reno, Donna Shalala, and Madeleine Albright are not rendered willing and pliant around Bill Clinton. They don't need to put on his knowledge with his power when they have their own. For the rest of us, a powerful man's admiring gaze is an intimation of all that is inaccessible, and that is the ultimate seduction."

     I wonder if Henry Kissinger could turn her on?

     In Monday's Washington Post Kurtz summarized his conversation with Burleigh:
     "In an interview, Burleigh, now a New York freelancer, said she in no way felt harassed or pressured by the President but that it was 'not unusual for women' to swoon over him. What is unusual, for a journalist, is Burleigh's sexually charged declaration of support for Clinton. 'I'd be happy to give him [oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal,' she said. [brackets the Post's]

     "But Burleigh says she was not 'going easy on him' as a White House correspondent in 1993 and 1994, when she sometimes wrote about the Whitewater scandal, and never thought about his looks at the time. By last year she was a Time contract writer, filling in on the trip to Jasper, Ark."

     She may not have gone "easy" on him, but she went hard on his opponents. As the  MRC's Tim Graham reminded me, here's a passage from page 180 of his book "Pattern of Deception: The Media Role in the Clinton Presidency," published in 1996:

     In the April 11, 1994 Time, reporter Nina Burleigh wrote a story titled "Clintonphobia! Just who are these Clinton haters, and why do they loathe Bill and Hillary with such passion?" Burleigh found the suspects: "Two men who have benefitted as professional Clinton haters are behind-the-scenes activist Floyd Brown and conservative celebrity Rush Limbaugh." After tagging them as haters, Burleigh explained "Both profess not to hate Clinton." But Burleigh ignored them and proceeded to label again: "The Arkansas branch of Clinton haters is led by two attorneys, Sheffield Nelson, who is a Republican candidate for Governor, and the quixotic Cliff Jackson," the former Clinton friend who helped bring out the stories of Arkansas state troopers and Paula Jones.

     Burleigh's oddest passage came at the story's end, when she quoted (unlabeled) liberal historian Alan Brinkley. "Brinkley says Clinton is also a victim of a political fact of life: he's on the wrong side of the tolerance fence. 'Liberals tend to value tolerance highly, so there's a greater reluctance to destroy enemies than among the right. Democrats are historically more likely to cooperate with Republican administrations than Republicans with Democratic administrations.'"


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) Burleigh isn't the only former Time White House reporter offering her services to the Clinton cause. MRC analyst Clay Waters alerted me to an ongoing "dialogue" on Slate between Jonah Goldberg, son of Lucianne, and Time's Margaret Carlson, about Linda Tripp.

     Carlson began her June 30 response to Goldberg's initial posting:

     You say I'm "at a disadvantage" because you know Linda Tripp firsthand, and I don't. Hmmm, I don't know that knowing Tripp firsthand has turned out to be an advantage for anyone, but I'll take your word on that. Perhaps, if your mom finally lands a Clinton exposé that succeeds. Certainly, knowing Tripp firsthand has turned out to be a terrible disadvantage for Monica Lewinsky.

     So you want to put betrayal off to a later dialogue. That's like skipping Act 1 and heading straight to intermission. Fine, you went first. But let me correct your veering off into the case for Tripp being the case against Clinton. I would say no one deserves Tripp, not even Clinton. But the point we should stick to is whether Monica deserves such a friend, and I would say no. Tripp lost membership in the family of man when day after day she looked into Monica Lewinsky's eyes as a friend and at night hit the "on" button on her Radio Shack tape recorder.

     No, there's enough about Tripp to criticize without getting to the heart of her darkness. While we are trying to make up our minds about the other characters in the drama, she can safely be cast as a villain -- the Mark Fuhrman of the Starr investigation -- because of her perfect rendition of the friend from hell. The Schadenfreude that gets her out of bed in the morning is twofold: Because she is unhappy, others must be made unhappy as well. We all know the type: the office busybody; the perpetual malcontent; the career secretary typing, fetching and Xeroxing, who thinks she should be boss....

     You can read the entire exchange on www.slate.com, but if you haven't paid your $30 annual subscription fee to Bill Gates you can do what Clay did: read it all at www.freerepublic.com/forum/


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) On Sunday's Face the Nation CBS brought aboard three expected GOP presidential candidates: Senator John Ashcroft of Missouri, U.S. Rep. John Kasich of Ohio and former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander. Below are all the questions posed by host Bob Schieffer, except for a few prompts for the others to answer the same question. See if you can discern any pattern or angle to this July 5 line of questioning transcribed by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson:

"Senator Ashcroft, let me start with you. Pat Robertson recently gave you $10,000. Is it fair, and will you be comfortable if you become the candidate of the Christian Right? Are you comfortable with that?"

"Well, Pat Robertson recently said that he thought that Orlando, Florida might be struck by hurricanes because people at Disney World have been catering to gay people. Do you [Ashcroft] agree with that?"

"Mr. Kasich, there's a great controversy now going on amongst Republicans as to whether the Christian Right and pressure from that part of the party is going to drive the party so far to the right that it will be out of the mainstream of American politics. Do you worry about that? Do you see that as a problem?"

"Governor Alexander, it's not so much of people driving candidates one way or another, but are you worried that the Republican party does seem to be drifting more to the right on social issues right now?"

"Let me ask all three of you a question, and I'll ask you, Senator Ashcroft, to respond first. The last time there was a Republican President, he ran up some enormous deficits in this country. Now Governor Alexander says we have a surplus. The economy is booming right now. There seems to be peace at home. How does a Republican run against that kind of record?"

"Mr. Casey [apparently Schieffer really means Kasich], how do you run against a popular President when the economy is booming like this one is?"

"The Republican leader of the Senate, Trent Lott, speaking of values, said recently that he considered homosexuality a sin and suggested it could be cured like, for example, the example he used was kleptomania. Do you think that was a wise statement for a Republican to make, Governor Alexander?...Do you agree with it?"

[To Kasich, as he responds to the above question] "Do you consider it a sin?"

"All right, let's suppose one of you gets the Republican nomination and it turns out that Al Gore is your opponent. Do you think Al Gore should be held responsible for this whole Monica Lewinsky-situation and all of the things that we have been hearing about over the past year? Senator Ashcroft."

     Remember this line of questioning the next time Schieffer interviews Democratic candidates. See if he concentrates equally of how they are beholden to special interests which are pushing the party far to the left, such as teacher unions and environmentalists.
-- Brent Baker

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