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 CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
Tuesday July 14, 1998 (Vol. Three; No. 110)

Kanchanalak Chucked by NBC; New New Yorker Disgusted by Limbaugh; Ukraine Reality

1) NBC Nightly News skipped the indictment of Pauline Kanchanalak while ABC and CBS each gave it 18 seconds. CBS zoomed in on how Starr is "aggressively" pursuing Clinton's "personal life."

2) "It is Hillary's business, it is not the grand jury's business," Geraldo Rivera declared on Monday's Tonight Show in disparaging Ken Starr.

3) The new Editor of the New Yorker is no Limbaugh fan, once denigrating him "an avatar of the politics of meanness" whose "style is pure demagoguery" just like Reagan.

4) CyberAlert readers react to Camille Cosby's claim that you don't learn racism in Ukraine. In fact, the new nation is a dangerous place for Africans and Asians.

>>> MRC Job Opening: The MRC is looking for a news media analyst. The position involves reviewing television news coverage, logging summaries into a database, analyzing print publications, writing and research. Starting salary: $21,000. Candidates must work at the MRC offices in Alexandria, Virginia and be available for an interview there. Fax resume to Brent Baker at: (703)683-9736. <<<


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) Total broadcast network time Monday night devoted to the indictment of Pauline Kanchanalak: 36 seconds, not one of them on NBC Nightly News which skipped the development. ABC and CBS each gave her 18 seconds. CNN's The World Today and FNC's Fox Report also held the news to few seconds read by the anchor. "White House coffee" video is available of Kanchanalak sitting next to President Clinton, but none of the networks showed it and only FNC even mentioned her role in the coffees. (ABC did show video of her in the White House driveway.) Dan Rather insisted the money she raised went "mostly" to Democrats. In fact, it all did. On the Secret Service front, CBS anchor Dan Rather emphasized how Ken Starr is aggressively pursuing Clinton's "personal life."

     The fallout from the resignation of Japanese Prime Minster Hashimoto topped ABC's World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News. CNN and FNC began with the GM strike and NBC went first with the heat wave in the south. Though Hashimoto did not lead CNN's The World Today, it aired a full report, but FNC's Fox Report and the NBC Nightly News gave the Japanese turmoil just a few seconds.

     Some highlights from the Monday, July 13 evening shows:
     -- ABC's World News Tonight. After stories on Japan, the GM strike, and a recall of GM vehicles with airbag problems, reporter Dean Reynolds opened a piece on heat in Texas: "In Dallas these days, that first step outside in the morning is, as they say, about as refreshing as walking into a dog's mouth..." Next, unlike CBS and NBC, ABC noted that in the infamous Tawana Brawley case, a jury ruled that Al Sharpton and two others defamed a prosecutor by falsely accusing him of raping her.

     Over video of Kanchanalak in the White House driveway, Peter Jennings took 18 seconds to announce: "In Washington today a prominent businesswoman from Thailand has been charged with illegally funneling foreign money to the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations. The Justice Department alleges that Pauline Kanchanalak helped transfer nearly $700,000 in illegal campaign contributions."

     Keeping the story brief allowed ABC time for subsequent full stories on "the silent epidemic" of overweight children and World Cup victory celebrating in Paris.


     -- CBS Evening News. "Ken Starr's latest aggressive push. Now he wants the Secret Service to tell him where the President slept," declared Dan Rather at the top of the show. Following pieces on Japan and GM, Rather intoned:
     "In Washington there are new indications tonight at just how wide, deep, and aggressively special prosecutor Ken Starr is pushing to make the Secret Service tell what it knows about the President's personal life."
     Scott Pelley explained that sealed court documents revealed Starr is looking for records showing the location of Clinton from July 1, 1995 to April 15, 1996, the time frame Monica Lewinsky worked at the White House. Plus, he has inquired about 49 other dates after her employment ended. The subpoena, Pelley reported, covers only 6pm to 6am. Also, he claimed, prosecutors have contacted a retired member of the personal protective detail, so Starr is going beyond just the uniformed officers.

     Rather then took 18 seconds to tell viewers: "The U.S. Justice Department announced new indictments today in the investigation of dirty political campaign money. Pauline Kanchanalak, a Thai businesswoman and another woman, were formally charged with funneling almost $700,000 in illegal donations from abroad, mostly to the Democratic Party." (CBS did not air any video or even have a graphic, so all viewers saw as he read the item was Rather's head.)

     Mostly? Here's how the July 14 Washington Post described the destination of her money: "The indictment chronicles dozens of contributions dating back to 1992, providing the most detailed look at Kanchanalak's exhaustive fundraising activities. They include $328,500 in contributions to the DNC, as well as $295,000 to 11 state Democratic Party organizations. The rest went to the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election effort and Democratic candidates including Sens. John Glenn (Ohio) and Edward Kennedy (Mass.) and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt."

     Rather went on to stories on how "a sizzling U.S. summer heat wave is drawing blood, sweat and fears today," and an apocalyptic Eye on America from Eric Engberg. Rather warned: "Tonight, the first of CBS's two-part Eye on America investigation into an ominous, mysterious and global natural disaster. Something is killing off the world's frogs and no one knows for sure what it is or whether it's an early warning that other animals and humans may be next."


     -- NBC Nightly News ignored Kanchanalak, but had time for full stories on the heat wave in South, the GM strike, an "In Depth" segment on a missing eccentric widow in New York City who is possibly the victim of mother/son scam artists, violence in Northern Ireland and the costs to themselves and their families when the elderly gamble.


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) Geraldo Rivera is spreading his anti-Starr message to every possible venue in the NBC empire. Monday night, July 13, he popped out to the Tonight Show in Burbank to promote his new 7:30pm ET CNBC news show expected to replace Equal Time in early August. That will give him 90 original minutes in prime time on CNBC with all of it repeated the next day on MSNBC, plus his new role as part of the NBC News team on the broadcast side.

     During his Tonight Show appearance Jay Leno asked if sex is a side matter to the real issue of perjury. Rivera shot back: "I disagree. I think it's all about sex. Whitewater: they tried it, came up with nothing. Travelgate: nothing. Filegate: nothing. All they have is this purported semi, neo, almost, quasi sex with a 24-year-old and then the lie about it. What married man is not going to lie about it? It is Hillary's business, it is not the grand jury's business. And for Ken Starr to pretend with this lofty language that you're talking about profound constitutional issues is the height of hypocrisy. He will do anything necessary, by any means necessary to nail the President of the United States."


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) In the ultimate insult a liberal can throw, the just-named Editor of the New Yorker once compared Rush Limbaugh to Ronald Reagan, insisting that like Reagan Limbaugh "would rather tell his audiences fairy tales than have them face the world."

     On Monday Conde Nast Publications named David Remnick the new Editor, replacing Tina Brown. Remnick's been a New Yorker writer since 1992, a jump he made after ten years as a Washington Post reporter. The MRC's Director of Media Analysis, Tim Graham, reminded me that while with the New Yorker in 1994 Remnick penned a screed against Limbaugh that appeared in the February 20 Outlook section of the Washington Post. So here are the most passionate portions as run in the February 28, 1994 edition of the MRC's Notable Quotables:

     "There is very little in the press accounts to suggest that he is, above all, a sophisticated propagandist, an avatar of the politics of meanness and envy....Limbaugh is defending the successful against the impudent demands of the poor; by making all that funny, he gives the comfortable a way to think that greed and a cold-hearted wit comprise a cohesive ideology....his style is pure demagoguery. Just as Reagan talked of welfare queens in Cadillacs, Limbaugh seizes on the absurd detail, gives it an absurdist twist of his own, and sends it out into the world under the guise of analysis and principle...."
     "It is not enough for him to oppose liberalism. He must, like all demagogues, scare his listeners, get them to believe in conspiracy, rumor....Like Reagan, Limbaugh is neither curious nor brave; he would rather tell his audiences fairy tales than have them face the world; he would rather sneer at the weak than trouble the strong."

     And the new New Yorker Editor would rather issue insults and polemical barbs than discuss Limbaugh's analysis.


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes) Racism in the Ukraine? The July 10 CyberAlert item on Camille Cosby's July 8 USA Today commentary has generated quite a bit of reader feedback. Bill Cosby's wife spoke out after the conviction of Mikail Markhasev for the murder of her son Ennis in Los Angeles. She opened her invective: "I believe America taught our son's killer to hate African-Americans."

     This paragraph generated most of the reader reaction: "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."

     Several CyberAlert readers offered first-hand evidence of how much racism exists in the Ukraine. Cliff May, Director of Communications at the Republican National Committee, wrote:
     "I was an exchange student in the Soviet Union way back in 1970 and 1972, and I've visited many times since. Racism was rampant among Russians, Ukrainians and other Soviet citizens. Indeed, because so few Soviets did have any real contact with blacks, and because racism and the remedy for it were not a matter for public debate, expressions of racism tended to be especially blatant and coarse.
     "In my dorm, the international dorm, there were quite a few African students. Many spoke English so they quite naturally became friendly with the few American students and other Anglophones. One of my best friends was a South African exile -- he was from a revolutionary family. He would only go to restaurants with me or with other white friends because, he said, he was treated so badly by Russians when he was alone or with other black students.
     "No immigrant from the Ukraine would need to be taught racism by Americans. What Camille Cosby and other liberals are unable to understand is that racism, tribalism and similar maladies are a universal tendency -- look at Rwanda, look at Nigeria, look at Indonesia, look at Ireland. There is no American exceptionalism regarding racism except this: We Americans have tried harder than any other nation to banish racism, to make it morally and socially unacceptable. And conservatives in particular believe that a common American identity -- based primarily on principles and values -- trumps race, creed and color."

     Reader Oleg Semenov, who identified himself as from the Ukraine, confirmed May's observations: "Most of the Ukrainians would probably be deemed racist from the American media standpoint. Most of the black or oriental people in Ukraine are students. I know about Ukrainian youth bashing international students (African, Asian, or non-European) just for the fun of it...."
     "I would say most of the non-Caucasian folks living in the U.S. with all their possible racial or other problems have it much better than those few African students who were brave enough to come study in Ukraine."

     Another reader alerted me to the fact that the State Department has issued warnings to those of African or Asian heritage traveling to Ukraine. Indeed, I found this on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Web site:

Office of the Spokesman
May 27, 1998

The Department of State advises American citizens in Ukraine, particularly those of African and Asian heritage, that they may be subject to racially motivated attacks and harassment. The U.S. Embassy in Kiev has received reports of at least two assaults on African-Americans. While these attacks do not appear to be premeditated or related, the Embassy is aware that several parks in Kiev are used as gathering points for "skinhead" groups, who have targeted individuals of African or Asian heritage in the past. Unification Park was the site of one of the attacks.

Persons of African or Asian heritage, including American citizens, are also subject to frequent stops and searches by local law enforcement (the "Militia"). There are several credible reports that such incidents have led to harassment and physical abuse....


To read the full travel warning announcement, go to: http://travel.state.gov/ukraine_announce.html

     On Saturday's Capital Gang on CNN (July 11) Bob Novak made Camille Cosby's diatribe his Outrage of the Week:
     "After her son's killer was convicted, Camille Cosby claimed that the murderer, a Ukrainian immigrant, learned racism in America. In truth, racism is a worst malignancy most everywhere else in the world: the Balkans, Japan, certainly Ukraine and throughout the old Soviet Union. Ennis Cosby could have been killed anywhere during the commission of a robbery, but Bill Cosby could become a universally beloved multi-millionaire only in America."

Well said.  -- Brent Baker

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