Not a Lot on Lott; Pumping Up Global Warming; Shriver Gushes Over Hillary
1) ABC and NBC skipped Trent
Lott's charges about technology transfers to China. Dan Rather again
decried Ken Starr's focus on Clinton's "personal life."
2) Heat in the South:
"The government says it's all an indication that global warming is
real," declared NBC's Bob Hager. Neither he or ABC's Ned Potter
bothered with the view of scientists who disagree.
3) All the morning shows
skipped the indictment of Pauline Kanchanalak, but Maria Shriver gushed
over Hillary Clinton.
Ken Starr's subpoenaing of Secret Service agent Larry Cockrell, head of
the President's personal protective detail, was treated as a major
"escalation" by CBS, CNN and NBC. It even led the CBS Evening
News and CNN's The World Today, but ABC gave it just a sentence. The
sighting in North Carolina of abortion clinic bombing suspect Eric Rudolph
topped the ABC and NBC evening shows Tuesday night.
Leader Trent Lott on Tuesday delivered a floor speech contending satellite
technology was improperly transferred to China and calling for an
independent counsel to look into how illegal Chinese money made it into
U.S. campaign coffers, but ABC and NBC ignored Lott. CBS, CNN and FNC
aired stories, but CBS reporter Bob Schieffer dismissed Lott's charges
Technology Builds 'Bridge' for China Missile," revealed the headline
over a front page story in the July 14 Washington Times that no network
picked up Tuesday morning or evening. Reporter Bill Gertz disclosed:
"China's new rocket stage developed for a
U.S. satellite contact created a 'technology bridge' that could help
the Chinese deploy multiple warheads on strategic missiles, according to a
classified Air Force intelligence report.
"The new Chinese upper-stage booster, called
a 'smart dispenser,' was built in 1996 for the Long March 2C/SD rocket
as part of a contract with Motorola to handle double satellite launches
needed for a new global telephone network, according to a report by the
Air Force National Air Intelligence Center.
"A copy of the report, labeled 'secret,'
was obtained by The Washington Times from Pentagon sources. The
intelligence center, where the government's top missile specialists work,
conducted a detailed study of whether the satellite dispenser could be
adapted by the Chinese for a first-generation, three-warhead 'post-boost
vehicle' for the CSS-4 and other intercontinental ballistic missiles
"'The overall conclusion of this initial
feasibility study shows that a minimally modified smart dispenser could be
used to deploy multiple re-entry vehicles' -- nuclear warheads, the
December 1996 report states...."
The heat wave led
FNC's Fox Report, but FNC refrained from liberal sermonizing about how
the heat is the result of man-made pollution leading to global warming.
But not ABC and NBC which both ran stories portraying Al Gore's claim as
a uniform scientific consensus. See item #2 today for details.
Here's how the
July 14 evening shows handled the Secret Service and China issues:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Peter Jennings gave a sentence to noting Linda Tripp's
fifth day of testimony and devoted 17 seconds to the latest on the Secret
"In Washington today the Justice Department
has appealed a federal court's decision compelling Secret Service
officers who guard the President to testify before the independent counsel
Kenneth Starr's grand jury. And the head of the President's security
detail has been subpoenaed to testify."
-- CBS Evening
News. What Jennings considered worth a sentence Rather considered ominous
and the most important story of the day. "A major escalation tonight
of Ken Starr's demand for Secret Service testimony," Rather teased
before promising: "And Eye on America, our special investigation into
the silence of the frogs. Does their death on a global scale mean humans
may face the same fate?"
Rather opened the
broadcast by, for he second night in a row, claiming Starr is probing
Clinton's "personal life." Rather breathlessly declared:
"Good evening. A late-breaking and major
escalation tonight of special prosecutor Ken Starr's aggressive push to
make the Secret Service tell him what it knows about the President's
personal life. Starr is now demanding testimony directly from the head of
the President's own security detail."
Scott Pelley got 48 seconds to explain how seven
Secret Service officers were served with subpoenas for appearances before
the grand jury on Thursday. One, Larry Cockrell who directs Clinton's
detail, Pelley explained, was with Clinton before and after he gave a
deposition on Paula Jones.
On China reporter
Bob Schieffer explained that Lott had put together a task force to look at
technology transfers. "Well today Lott went to the Senate floor to
give what he called an interim report and it sounded serious."
Lott: "In violation of stated U.S. policy,
sensitive technology related to satellite exports has been transferred to
China. We know that is the case."
Schieffer: "But as serious as allegations of
illegal aid for China's missile program sounded, even some key
Republicans seemed unsure where Lott got his information. The Republican
head of the Senate Intelligence Committee said he had come to no such
conclusions yet and politely distanced himself from Lott."
Senator Richard Shelby: "The Majority Leader
is the leader of the Senate and he's entitled to his judgment. He might
know information that a lot of us don't know."
After a clip of Democratic Senator Tom Daschle
denouncing Lott, Schieffer noted that Lott wants an independent counsel to
investigate donations from China but, Schieffer cautioned in his
conclusion, "judging from the initial reaction to his other
disclosures Senators may want more information before they join that
-- CNN's The
World Today at 8pm ET led with a live report from Bob Franken on the
subpoenas issued to the Secret Service and the Justice Department's
decision to appeal the latest court ruling denying there's a protective
service privilege. Next, Candy Crowley examined Lott's charges and
though she allowed time for Daschle, Senator Bob Kerrey and Clinton Press
Secretary Mike McCurry to denounce Lott, she at least, unlike Schieffer,
summarized his charges:
"The Republican findings, at this point:
that sensitive technology was transferred to China, which resulted in
military benefit for Beijing; that U.S. export controls were wholly
inadequate; and that there is new information, which Lott would not
reveal, on charges the Chinese tried to influence U.S. politics."
-- FNC's 7pm ET
Fox Report featured a story from David Shuster on the Justice Department
plan to appeal the Secret Service ruling, though Justice lawyers give
their appeal little chance, as well as noting Tripp's fifth appearance
and the subpoena issued to top agent Larry Cockrell.
Next, Carl Cameron ran down the charges issued by
Lott and provided reaction from McCurry and the State Department before
relaying how Lott wants another independent counsel. Viewers then saw a
soundbite from Senator Daschle in what must have been an editing room mix
up since Cameron concluded:
"Kerrey's criticism stings particularly
because he is the senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee leading
the Senate's China investigation. Still, Lott is not backing down and
aides say allegations that the Majority Leader in engaged in partisanship
where national security is concerned is quote, 'poppycock.'"
-- NBC Nightly
News. Though relaying the same information as every other network, Claire
Shipman began her story: "NBC News has learned that for first time
Ken Starr is reaching inside the inner circle" of the Secret Service.
ABC and NBC Tuesday night highlighted liberal Al Gore's warnings about
global warming, as if he is an expert worthy of heeding. ABC at least
acknowledged disagreement about whether global warming explains the
current heat wave and drought in the South, but didn't bother with
devoting even one second to any view contrary to the politically-charged
line espoused by VP Al Gore.
World News Tonight
anchor Peter Jennings announced: "Some of the government's top
weather analysts have concluded that this past June was the hottest in
recorded history and the first five months of the year were also the
hottest. Vice President Gore said today he thinks global warming is a
likely culprit, but is it the only explanation? Here's ABC's Ned
Potter failed to
match Jennings' promise of a look at other possible explanations. Potter
began by explaining how normally clouds reflect sunlight back to space,
but without clouds things dry out so there's less moisture to make
clouds so less heat is reflected away from the Earth. Potter then
"Many scientists, and some politicians as
well, say something larger is happening. They say we are seeing early
signs of global warming -- the trapping of heat in the atmosphere caused,
in part, by pollution from cars and industry. Even last night's flooding
in Tennessee fits the pattern, though it would seem the opposite of Texas
drought. At least two people died in eight inches of rain. Scientists say
extra heat in the atmosphere makes thunderstorms stronger. And unless
patterns change scientists say we will see more extremes, more flood, more
drought, more heat."
Tom Karl of the National Climatic Center
predicted higher temperatures more often before Potter concluded his
"Naturally the debate over these predictions
is as hot as the actual temperatures, but many Americans say something
about the weather is amiss and the question is: how seriously?"
Americans." Now there's a bit of solid scientific evidence. This is
only a news show so why bother with letting viewers know anything about
handled the In Depth segment on the July 14 NBC Nightly News, opening:
"Worldwide it's been the hottest first half of a year ever
recorded, hottest in the 120 years they've kept track."
After a soundbite from Tom Karl, Hager continued
to advocate the liberal argument:
"The government says it's all an
indication that global warming is real and not only brings heat but also
brings more heavy rain because of the evaporation of water into the
atmosphere which comes back down in storms. The government says today that
nine Midwestern states have been the wettest in 70 years, seven
Northeastern states wettest in 26 years. Vice President Gore with a
Al Gore: "The future holds significantly
higher temperatures still unless we do something about it."
Hager: "Gore wants cutbacks in pollution
suspected of promoting global heating. Policy aside, scientists who have
ways of studying temperatures even before records were kept, had a
startling observation today. From tree rings they can estimate conditions
Tom Karl: "The 1990s are warmer than any
decade that we've seen since 1400."
Hager concluded: "Warmest than since just
after the Middle Ages, with hotter to come."
Really? The George Marshall Institute (www.marshall.org)
recently released an analysis putting the current temperatures in better
perspective. Some excerpts:
"A spate of recent newspaper articles about
the dangers of global warming followed a report indicating that 1997 was
the warmest year since 1400. But why stop at 1400? Because that is just
about the farthest back in the recorded past for which this statement is
true. Go back just a few hundred years more to the period 1000-1200 AD and
you find that the climate was considerably warmer than now. This era is
known as the Medieval Warm Period.
"A 1996 Science article showed that the
temperature in around 1000 AD was about 1 degree C warmer than it is
today. And a 1994 report in the journal Climate Change shows that this
warm period was global in extent....
"No one knows what caused that warm period
in the middle ages. But one thing we do know is that carbon dioxide from
cars and fuel burning was not altering global climate in 1000-1200
See the April 23
CyberAlert for details on how 15,000 scientists signed a petition saying
there is no evidence human activity is leading to global warming.
Total time on Tuesday's morning shows devoted to the Monday indictment
of Pauline Kanchanalak? Zilch. Not a syllable on ABC's Good Morning
America, CBS's This Morning or NBC's Today, MRC analysts Clay Waters,
Jessica Anderson and Geoffrey Dickens informed me.
Today, Geoffrey insightfully observed, didn't
even bother with a significant exclusive aired the night before in a taped
interview on CNBC's Hardball. On the July 13 show Lucianne Goldberg told
host Chris Matthews: "It will pan out to be true that the President
told Monica he was going to lie in the deposition about the Kathleen
Willey incident. That she should lie and subsequently that Linda should
lie, I mean Monica is telling Linda to lie. Which is where I think those
talking points come in."
Today viewers were treated to 16 minutes straight with Hillary Clinton at
the Thomas Edison Historic Site in West Orange, New Jersey. During the
segment in the 7:30am half hour to promote the First Lady's National
Treasures Tour to raise private sector money to restore landmarks, GE
Chairman Jack Welch appeared to announce a $5 million gift to restore an
Edison site building.
handled the interview for Today and stuck strictly to the issue of
landmark restoration. While Today reasonably agreed to avoid other
subjects in order to land the live exclusive with a First Lady latched on
to a good cause, Shriver delivered at least one overly effusive
First, Shriver posed some set up questions that
allowed Clinton to explain her new cause:
"Ten different sites over these next four
days. Why is this tour so important to you Mrs. Clinton and to us as a
"The President has asked the government to
pony up some money, you've also asked private enterprise. What will
happen if people don't step up to save these things?"
around the museum so Hillary Clinton could deliver her fun facts about
some of the displays, including a phonograph and motion picture camera,
"Now I know you a little bit and I know the
way you prepare when you go out to tackle something. So no doubt you
probably read everything ever written about Thomas Edison and since
we're here in his library what's the most interesting thing you came
across in all your reading?"
Answer: Thomas Edison once uttered "one of
the great quotes about hard work," which was, Hillary Clinton
offered, "Hard work is one percent inspiration and 99 percent
Hillary Clinton is 99 percent inspiration. -- Brent Baker
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