Arnett Attacks "Right-Wing Media;"
NBC Embraces Cosby's Hateful Tirade
1) Peter Arnett
complained about "the right-wing media," after CNN decided not
to fire him. Explaining why he has no responsibility for his story, he
insisted he's "primarily an action reporter." CNN is "too
bloody cozy" with the military, a fired producer charged.
2) More disturbing news about
technology transfers to China, but the networks don't care. Only CNN and
FNC care about Tripp.
3) ABC, CBS and FNC, but not
CNN, pointed out how science proves implants did not cause the heath
problems claimed by women. NBC endorsed Camille Cosby's claim that
she's a hate crime victim.
4) Camille Cosby blamed modern
Americans, the Founding Fathers, the Voting Rights Act and Christians for
making her son's killer hate blacks.
"I was being trashed on a daily basis in the right-wing media. I felt
my reputation going down the tubes," whined Peter Arnett to the
Washington Post's Howard Kurtz after CNN News Group Chairman/CEO Tom
Johnson decided to take no further action against him beyond the already
announced reprimand. CNN made Arnett cut off his vacation and fly to
Atlanta for an 8am meeting Wednesday morning on the NewsStand story. After
the three-hour meeting Johnson released this statement: "Peter
Arnett's reprimand stands. No further personnel actions are
Kurtz observed in
his July 9 story that "many CNN journalists question why Arnett was
merely reprimanded while the two producers on the story were fired and the
top executive of NewsStand resigned. 'There's no doubt I feel the
resentment in the hallways,' Arnett said. 'I feel a sense of hurt and
uneasiness on the part of some of those I meet. I can understand that
young people feel I have somehow betrayed their trust.'"
Arnett quipped to
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Phil Kloer: "At one point I
thought, 'Which is tougher: the bombing of Baghdad or being bombed in
At least after
falsely accusing Americans of war crimes he feels bad that his colleagues
New York Times
reporter Felicity Barringer on July 9 put a face to the anger, quoting
CNN's other famous foreign correspondent:
"Arnett's defense -- that he was simply
doing the bidding of the producers of the new program NewsStand: CNN and
Time and reading words written by others -- has proved a particular
irritant to some of the other network correspondents. Christiane Amanpour,
whose reporting from arenas like Bosnia and Iran has given her high
visibility, vehemently denied that, when reporting for a newsmagazine
program like Impact, she narrates reports developed by others, as Arnett
suggested in an interview. 'I believe, contrary to what Peter Arnett
appears to believe, that a network correspondent should be responsible for
what he or she says on the air,' she said in a telephone interview
today. 'I believe that we have our face, our name, our voices and our
credibility, and therefore we should be responsible for' such
himself to Kurtz, insisting: "I was the host correspondent."
Arnett boasted: "I'm primarily an action reporter. I was never
informed that my face on the air gave me responsibility for a major story.
In the field, I have to answer for everything I say and do. To many,
it's shocking that I could be so detached. But this was a team effort.
I'm a company guy. You want me to read a script, I'll read it."
responsibility for what you say, what a novel concept. And one he has yet
to accept with his stories about the Iraqi "baby milk factory."
him of responsibility. Barringer quoted Johnson: "'On this, he did
exactly what he was asked to do. He read the script for air and turned the
information over to producers. Including the interview with the pilot'
who denied that he had carried tear gas as part of his armaments."
pleased the fired producers. Barringer reported: "Ms. Oliver and
Smith both applauded the network's decision to retain Arnett. 'This is a
victory for reporters everywhere,' Smith said. 'I am delighted that
Peter Arnett's job has been saved, provided it's unconditional and that
CNN management did not force him to take any positions that Peter felt he
was forced to agree to, to save his job.'"
After all, Oliver
and Smith still believe their tale and don't hesitate from disparaging
their former employer. "Smith said CNN buckled because of a 'too
bloody cozy' relationship with the military," USA Today's Peter
Johnson relayed July 9.
certainly suggests an anti-military liberal perspective drove the story
more than the often blamed "competition" for a hot scoop in
24-hour news market.
More disturbing news Thursday about technology transfers to China, but not
a word about it on the networks. The AP's Tom Raum reported Thursday
"China has obtained weapons-capable
technology from the United States that goes far beyond that of satellite
exports, Congress was told Thursday by the former director of the Pentagon
agency that oversees technology security.
"'The export-control system is falling
apart' under the present jurisdiction of the Commerce Department,
Stephen Bryen, director of the Defense Technology Security Administration
during the Reagan administration, told a hearing by the Senate Armed
"In particular, he cited Commerce Department
approval of exports to China of supercomputers, machine tools, jet engines
and high-tech furnaces. 'China has been able to get technology that was
forbidden to the Soviet Union,' he said.
testimony conflicted sharply with that of present officials of the
Defense, Commerce and State departments, who told another Senate committee
on Wednesday the current system was working fine and had strengthened,
rather than weakened, export control in general."
But the networks
just don't seem to be interested in the story from any angle. They also
skipped that Wednesday testimony and not even new questions about the lost
circuit board prompted any attention. Raum reported: "Meanwhile, the
Pentagon said it doubts that China stole a circuit board from a U.S.-made
communications satellite that crashed in 1996 during an attempted launch
atop a Chinese rocket. 'It is highly unlikely that the devices survived
the crash because of the crash impact and high temperatures produced by
the burning rocket propellants,' the statement said." See the June
25 CyberAlert for details on the allegation and coverage it generated.
July 9, ABC and NBC led with the plan for a big anti-drug TV ad campaign,
the teens sentenced in Delaware for killing their baby topped CBS and FNC
while CNN went first with news that the Justice Department is appealing a
10th circuit ruling that prosecutors cannot promise leniency in exchange
for testimony. ABC also did a piece on the ruling which Peter Jennings
called a "bombshell."
CBS, CNN and FNC
all briefly noted that the judge in the Paula Jones case, agreeing to a
request from Clinton's lawyers, has decided to not release all the
papers and depositions involved in the case.
Linda Tripp made
her fourth grand jury appearance Thursday as Maryland pursues a case
against her for taping, two developments highlighted only by CNN and FNC.
On The World Today, CNN's Wolf Blitzer asserted:
"The bad blood between Monica Lewinsky and
Linda Tripp is about to get worse. Two sources close to Lewinsky's legal
team tell CNN, the former White House intern is ready to cooperate with a
Maryland state prosecutor who is investigating whether Tripp violated
state law by secretly recording her phone conversations with Lewinsky. The
sources say Lewinsky is prepared to say under oath that she neither
approved nor knew that Tripp was taping any of their phone calls. She's
ready to cooperate 100 percent, CNN was told. Under Maryland law, it's a
felony if only one party records a phone conversation without the other's
consent, but to get a conviction, the prosecution must show the party
recording the conversation knew it was illegal to do so."
Shuster on the Fox Report explained why Starr's office and Tripp say
they are not worried about the Maryland action: "All of the tapes are
in the hands of the Washington grand jury and in order for Maryland
prosecutor Steve Montanarelli to get them, he would have to seek approval
from the judge in charge of the Lewinsky grand jury and prosecutors are
convinced there is no chance Norma Holloway Johnson will give a state
prosecutor evidence that is under seal in a federal investigation."
Wednesday night ABC, CBS and FNC led with the news that a judge had
accepted a proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against Dow
Corning over silicone breast implants. All at least mentioned that science
does not support the women, but while CNN also ran a piece its story
failed to report that scientists have found no link between implants and
initiative topped CNN and on CBS reporter Scott Pelley told viewers:
"In a plea from the White House Mr. Clinton called on America to lock
up its guns. He stood with Suzanne Wilson, whose daughter was murdered in
the Jonesboro, Arkansas massacre." Only FNC's Brian Wilson followed
the mother's plea ("Don't let what happened in Jonesboro happen
to your town") with a dose of reality: "But later White House
aides all but admitted the laws they are proposing would not have applied
in the Jonesboro shooting. One analyst believes this is more about
politics than policy." Wilson played a soundbite from Sterling
Burnett of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
credibility and heft to Camille Cosby's racist vitriol, blaming white
America for her son's murder, by mixing her diatribe in with a story on
a hate crime hearing featuring the daughter of the man murdered in Jasper,
Oddest story of
the night: CNN's Jeannie Moos on Al Lewis, better known as "Grandpa
Munster," collecting signatures to get on the ballot as the Green
Party candidate for Governor of New York.
-- On the Dow
Corning settlement the networks conceded science is on Dow's side.
Jackie Judd on ABC's World News Tonight:
"Dow does not admit the implants caused any serious harm and recent
scientific studies cast doubt on linkage between implants and systemic
diseases, such as lupus."
Jacqueline Adams on the CBS Evening News:
"The Dow Corning settlement could end six years of controversy for a
company that points to medical studies that show silicone breast implants
cause no harm."
Steve Brown on the Fox Report: "But Dow
seemed to have science on its side. Two dozen studies done in the U.S. and
abroad all suggest that there is no connection between the implants and
Charles Molineaux on CNN's The World Today,
however, failed to report what scientists have found: "Dow Corning
still disputes claims that its implants caused the broad assortment of
health problems blamed on them, like lupus and immune system
-- NBC Nightly
News on hate crimes and Camille Cosby. Tom Brokaw opened:
"Good evening. Often the phrase hate crime
seems to be kind of abstract, just another headline. Well today in
Washington the real meaning of hate crime was unmistakable. It was defined
in unforgettable fashion by the daughter of a black man killed simply
because he was black."
Gwen Ifill began by showing testimony to a Senate
committee from Renee Mullins, the daughter of the black man dragged to
death in Jasper, Texas. So far, the story made sense. A Hate crime victim
talking about a hate crime. But then Ifill delivered this transition:
Mullins: "It's just a pity to have to die
because you're a different color than someone else."
Ifill: "Exactly the same sentiment echoed by
comedian Bill Cosby's wife Camille today one day after a Los Angeles
jury convicted Ukrainian Mikail Markhasev of murdering her son, saying in
USA Today that she believes her son's murder was also racially
motivated, writing, 'I believe America taught our son's killer to hate
Professor Ronald Walters, University of Maryland:
"We have a barbaric problem of race in America that many people have
tried to sweep under the rug. I think it's peeked out from underneath
that rug and we need to deal with it forthrightly."
A bit of a stretch
from Ifill since Cosby's son was murdered buy a Ukrainian immigrant who
robbed him in order to get money to buy drugs.
CBS, CNN and FNC
all ran short items on Cosby's outburst, but they did not give it the
credibility Ifill offered by featuring it in a story on a real hate crime.
So what did Bill Cosby's wife, Camille Cosby, assert? Normally I
wouldn't cover comments from the wife of a celebrity, but since she is
so prominent, the media have picked up her comments and they are so
preposterous, I think it's worth the space and your time to read them.
So, here are some excerpts from her July 8 op-ed in USA Today:
America Taught My Son's Killer to Hate
By Camille O. Cosby
I believe America taught our son's killer
to hate African- Americans. After Mikail Markhasev killed Ennis William
Cosby on Jan. 16, 1997, he said to his friends, "I shot a nigger.
It's all over the news."...
Presumably, Markhasev did not learn to hate
black people in his native country, the Ukraine, where the black
population was near zero. Nor was he likely to see America's intolerable,
stereotypical movies and television programs about blacks, which were not
shown in the Soviet Union before the killer and his family moved to
America in the late 1980s....
Yes, racism and prejudice are omnipresent
and eternalized in America's institutions, media and myriad entities. Here
are a few examples:
- The Voting Rights Act signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 will
expire in 2007. Congress once again will decide whether African-Americans
will be allowed to vote. No other Americans are subjected to this
- African-Americans, as well as all
Americans, are brainwashed every day to respect and revere slave-owners
and people who clearly waffled about race. In truth, the enslavement of
millions of Africans immeasurably enriched the treasuries of America's
government and individuals. Interestingly, several slave-owners' images
are on America's paper currencies: George Washington ($1), Thomas
Jefferson ($2), Alexander Hamilton ($10), Andrew Jackson ($20), Ulysses
Grant ($50) and Benjamin Franklin ($100)...
- God and most Christian holy people
artistically have been recreated in images of whiteness. This shrewd
propaganda undeniably lessens the worthiness of most of the Earth's
people. Because of those visual constructs, the churches have a deep
problem with race....
Ennis William Cosby was shot and killed in
a middle-to upper- middle-income, predominately white community. The
misperception immortalized daily by the media and other entities is that
crimes are committed in poor neighborhoods inhabited by dark people.
All African-Americans, regardless of their
educational and economic accomplishments, have been and are at risk in
America simply because of their skin colors. Sadly, my family and I
experienced that to be one of America's racial truths.
Most people know that facing the truth
brings about healing and growth. When is America going to face its
historical and current racial realities so it can be what it says it is?
black hate crime is a problem that quite reasonably concerns blacks, but
as one expert at the Senate hearing on hate crime observed, many more
whites are murdered by blacks in the U.S. than blacks are murdered by
are not quite the same as expressed by the character played by Phyllis
Rashad. But then she doesn't benefit so directly from the millions Bill
Cosby earns each year as arguably, with Bob Hope his only real
competition, the most enduring and popular humor man over the past 30
years in this black-hating culture. -- Brent Baker
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