Rivera Linked Starr to Bombings; "Whip Starr's Ass;" Starr Nazi-like
1) Wednesday the networks
emphasized growing troubles for Clinton as Democrats are angry and
Lewinsky will contradict his claim of one-way sex. All showed his tie and
NBC discovered sunglasses.
2) Latest from Geraldo Rivera:
money Starr spent could have made "embassies bombproof," Clinton
a "damn good President," and Richard Scaife has "bankrolled
a hate campaign."
3) Comedian Chris Rock
threatens: "I would whip Starr's ass right now. I will get a crew
from Brooklyn and we will stomp him."
4) MSNBC's Keith Olbermann
apologized for saying Ken Starr looks like the Nazi Heinrich Himmler.
>>> MRC column in today's Wall
Street Journal: Check out the editorial/op-ed page of the August 20 Wall
Street Journal for a column by MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell showing how
members of the media need to offer a mea culpa for their months of
defending Clinton and denigrating Ken Starr. <<<
With leading Democrats signaling they are not satisfied with Clinton's
address and evidence emerging that contradicts Clinton's one-way sex
theory, the networks have decided the President is now in some real
trouble. The top of the show introductions on ABC and NBC Wednesday night
were amongst the toughest in months with both networks emphasizing how
Clinton's problems are "growing worse." NBC's Brian Williams
noted Clinton's birthday, but added how it was "a birthday his
press secretary describes as the worst in his life, because of his
admission he'd had a relationship with a woman closer in age to his own
fallout led every network as all highlighted how he wore a tie, on the day
Monica Lewinsky first testified, that she had given him as a gift, saying
"when I see you wearing this tie I'll know that I am close to your
heart." NBC's Lisa Myers disclosed Clinton wore in Africa
sunglasses bought by Lewinsky. Only CBS credited the story, plugged
Tuesday night by the Drudge Report, to the New York Times where it
appeared Wednesday morning. CBS led with how Clinton had turned over a DNA
sample, an event also reported in briefer form by the other networks.
tried to explain Clinton's rationale in how he insisted his denial of a
sexual relationship was "legally correct" because he simply
received a sex act, but in various levels of detail each explained how
Lewinsky is expected to testify Thursday about how he initiated sex acts.
Only CNN and FNC specified how the "type of sex" admitted by
Clinton was oral. NBC delivered the most cryptic explanation, CNN allowed
a source to dismiss Clinton's rationale as "ludicrous" and FNC
learned that Lewinsky is "outraged" by Clinton's suggestion he
"just sat back" while she serviced him.
ABC and FNC ran
separate stories on Democratic and Hill reaction, but ABC has yet to
mention Democratic Congressman Paul McHale's call for resignation. (CBS,
CNN and FNC highlighted him Tuesday night.) He appeared on Wednesday's
Today and Wednesday night NBC Nightly News included a clip of him
insisting public officials who lie under oath are unfit for office.
Here are some
highlights from the Wednesday night, August 19 evening shows:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Anchor Forrest Sawyer topped the show:
"Good evening. It appears the crisis
surrounding President Clinton is growing worse, possibly much worse. Both
Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp are scheduled to appear again tomorrow
before the grand jury and Lewinsky's testimony is critical. Sources say
she is prepared to say the President did not tell the truth either under
oath or to the American people. At issue the nature of the sexual contact
between them and whether the President may have committed perjury."
explained how Clinton maintained his denial, in the Jones deposition, of a
sexual relationship with Lewinsky was "legally accurate" because
"he interpreted the definition given him as describing a one-way
street. If it was Lewinsky who had touched Mr. Clinton he could say he had
not had sexual relations with her." But, Donaldson reported that
sources say she has already testified that Clinton "initiated contact
with her." Another area where Clinton was grilled Monday, Donaldson
asserted: how the gifts ended up with Currie. When asked if he asked
Lewinsky for the gifts back "he did not give a definitive
Covering a lot of
ground, Donaldson moved to the tie Clinton wore at an August 6 gun control
event in the Rose Garden. (This is the event where the Marine Band played
to drown out questions). Donaldson elaborated: "She is said to have
told the President 'when I see you wearing this tie I will know I am
close to your heart.' Prosecutors want to know if he wore it on the day
she was to testify as signal to her, hoping she would not say anything
damaging." Noting that she didn't see him wearing it until she saw
that news that night, Donaldson added that "twice before this summer
the President wore the same tie: on June 24th, as he was preparing to
leave for China, and on July 9th in Atlanta."
Douglass covered upset Democrats. Senator Patrick Moynihan, she relayed,
"ripped into" Clinton's speech and said he should apologize,
but "Privately many Democrats have been much harsher than Moynihan
was today. One Democratic House member told ABC News he was
'nauseated' by the President's speech..." The dilemma for
Democrats, she explained, is how to separate themselves from Clinton in
-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather led off:
"Good evening. There is breaking hard news tonight about special
prosecutor Ken Starr's investigation of President Clinton. CBS News has
confirmed that Starr asked for and received a DNA sample from the
covered the DNA matter before getting to the sex, disclosing that in the
Map Room Clinton read a statement conceding "'inappropriate
physical contact.' When prosecutors questioned him about that, he said
Miss Lewinsky had performed a specific sex act on him." Schieffer
noted how Lewinsky says the sex went beyond that, before quickly jumping
to the New York Times tie story.
Vineyard Bill Plante found a President celebrating his birthday in private
with a quiet dinner Thursday night at Vernon Jordan's home, but Plante
asserted that aides will soon argue its time for the nation to get back to
business. To illustrate that they hope to convince Clinton to leave the
island next week to focus on events around popular issues.
caught up with FNC's story from he day before as Dan Rather intoned:
"It's becoming increasingly possible that Vice President Al Gore
may be part of renewed focus for another independent counsel when and if
one is appointed to investigate campaign fundraising...."
Phil Jones handled the story, running through the
same basic fact as did FNC's Carl Cameron, including how Janet Reno is
expected to ask for a 90 day review period to evaluate fundraising calls
placed by Al Gore and coordinated by Harold Ickes. Unlike FNC, Jones did
not include the view that Reno is missing the bigger picture of foreign
-- CNN's The World Today. Highlighting
inconsistencies between Lewinsky and Clinton, Wolf Blitzer reported that
"sources familiar with the President's testimony say he did
acknowledge Lewinsky performed oral sex on him, but he refused to say
whether he performed any sexual acts with her. She has testified,
according to sources, that they engaged in oral, manual and phone
explain Clinton's rationale, Blitzer asserted in reference to the
deposition's definition of sexual relations, that Clinton thinks that
"since there was no specific mention of quote, 'hands and mouth,'
it did not necessarily include the type of sex they engaged in." In a
soundbite, former Bush speechwriter Jennifer Grossman declared: "He
didn't have sex with her, but that she had sex with him. That is
John King checked
in from the Massachusetts island and emphasized White House efforts to
calm "Democratic jitters and outright anger."
-- FNC's Fox Report. David Shuster revealed
that "Lewinsky is outraged, according to a friend, that the President
seems to be suggesting that he just sat back while she performed oral sex.
Adding fuel to Lewinsky's anger, says the source, is a feeling of
betrayal. Lewinsky said it is the President who suggested they had a
future together after his presidency."
Shuster moved on to report that prosecutors on
Monday pressed Clinton about whether saying Lewinsky's 37 White House
visits were to see Betty Currie was really a cover story.
FNC also provided
pieces from Wendell Goler in Martha's Vineyard, Julie Kirtz on how more
women than men support Clinton, and Eric Burns on the dichotomy between
media and public interest in the story. The media saw a bad speech, but
the public "found more truth serum in it than snake oil." Plus,
Carl Cameron assessed Democratic support, uniquely highlighting how
Republicans fear that for Clinton "the best character defense is a
tough policy offense."
-- NBC Nightly News. Anchor Brian Williams
"Good evening. The President of the United
States turned 52 years old today, a birthday his press secretary describes
as the worst in his life, because of his admission he'd had a
relationship with a woman closer in age to his own daughter. The First
Family is on summer vacation, but back home in Washington though the
steady stream of leaks stemming from what was supposed to be secret
testimony to the grand jury has already started. The details are graphic
and personal and despite his televised confession the damage appears to be
growing by the day."
Claire Shipman in
Martha's Vineyard noted the DNA sample turnover and Clinton's dinner
with Vernon Jordan. Then she got vague:
"Despite reports that Bill Clinton refused
to answer specific questions about sex, sources tell NBC News that the
President was pushed by prosecutors to admit having a specific type of sex
with Monica Lewinsky. Sources tell NBC he argued he did not commit perjury
when he denied having sexual relations in the Paula Jones case because the
type of sex he is now admitting to falls outside the definition provided
by the judge in that case."
Could she have
been any more cryptic?
Shipman played a
soundbite of Paul McHale from that morning's Today: "The
consequences when any public official lies under oath should be forfeiture
of office." Shipman added that other Democrats are mad, with Tom
Daschle "especially angry since the President personally assured him
none of the accusations were true."
Lisa Myers relayed
how prosecutors think wearing the tie may have been an effort to obstruct
justice, adding: "NBC News has learned that Lewinsky has said they
had a signaling system that also includes sunglasses she gave the
President which Clinton wore in Africa." [video of Bill wearing them
as he stood next to Hillary]
Like FNC, Myers noted that Lewinsky's friends
decry the lack of compassion for her and that she insists her relationship
with Clinton went beyond her just servicing him sexually.
For the In Depth
segment David Bloom explored scenarios about what awaits Clinton, from
impeachment to no hearings at all. Pete Williams looked at a middle ground
option, a vote of censure by the House and Senate as occurred in 1834 with
President Andrew Jackson.
Geraldo blames Ken Starr for the embassy bombings? In a MSNBC chat session
Tuesday night Rivera wondered why the $40 million Starr's probe has
consumed wasn't "spent to make our embassies bombproof."
To help promote
the 7:30pm ET Monday premiere on CNBC of Upfront Tonight, described as
"a new in-depth newscast hosted by Geraldo Rivera and Diane Dimond,"
Rivera took time to participate in the chat session. MRC news analyst Clay
Waters caught the transcript on the MSNBC Web page and highlighted some of
Rivera's more passionate comments defending Clinton and bashing Starr.
(Note: ellipses, abbreviations, use of lower and upper case as typed by
-- "You have
to make your judgments about this President. If I still had my daytime
talk show, Bill Clinton would be a perfect subject for analysis, he seems
dysfunctional in this aspect. He's 52 and acts sometimes as if he's 18.
What I think is a more impressive fact about this man is that he's been a
damn good President. Who among us is perfect, has not sinned, is going to
cast the first stone?"
-- "There is
no way this man will ever resign. He believes that this whole mess was
engineered by his political enemies.
"What I want everyone to note is this: The
New York Times wrote 1000 stories on Whitewater between 1992 and 1998. (i
think that # is correct). Whitewater is now a Great Big Nothing, with no
indictments going anywhere near the WH. Where is the apology for
whitewater, travelgate, filegate and the talking points.
"He did something terrible. He cheated on
his wife and he lied about it. That's what they have after 4 years and 40
"Why wasn't that $$ spent to make our
-- "I ask as
an atty that everyone understand that all lies ain't perjury. Once again,
to be perjury in a federal case, it must be a Material Lie. This was a lie
about a non-essential and discarded aspect of a dismissed civil lawsuit
brought for political purposes. How would you feel if Richard Mellon
Scaife bankrolled a hate campaign against you?"
-- "I believe
that Ken S. has declared a holy war Vs this prez. Again, he may not be
perfect...far from it...but at what point do progressive people feel
revulsion more at the pursuer than the pursued?"
-- "The Jones
case was a politically bankrolled hit job.
"I had evidence that I was going to toss at
her lawyer tonight about the inherent weakness and dishonesty of her case
but ran out of time."
-- "Did you
ever see Les Mis? He IS like inspector Jaubert. At some point the pursuit
became more important than the original intention to seek the truth."
The entire 4,000
word transcript is on the MSNBC Web site. The address, as of Wednesday at
Comedian Chris Rock, once of Saturday Night Live, used a Wednesday Today
show appearance as a platform to praise Bill Clinton and threaten Ken
Starr and George Stephanopoulos. This Friday HBO begins a 13-week run of
Friday night variety shows hosted by Rock, the hook for his Today booking.
Rock's analysis is too bizarre to adequately summarize, so you'll need
to read the excerpts below that were caught and transcribed by MRC analyst
From the August 19
"You got the President. They're all over him. I don't get it.
Leave this man alone....They question everything he does, you know. They
don't give him any slack. You know Clinton will spend a $100 bill and
they'll put it up to the light, 'let me check that out there.'"
"And what did you think of his apology the other night. Did you watch
Rock: "I watched it. It was good. I mean, I
don't understand why people are like demanding, 'He should apologize
to the nation.' He didn't cheat on us. He cheated on his wife, you
know, it's his wife. He didn't do anything to me. Country's still
running. The A Train, you know got me here on time."
this story doesn't interest you. So if on your talk show President
Clinton were to appear you wouldn't have any major question you would
want to ask him?"
Rock: "I would ask him if it was worth it?
And not the sex. Was it worth even running for President? That's what I
would ask him. Was being President worth all this crap? Just imagine you
cheated on your woman, then they made you apologize. They flew in your
whole family for you to apologize. People from LA and Seattle. Mama I
cheated, you know what I mean, it's not right."
Lauer: "Would you want to have him on your
Rock: "I would love to have him on my show.
I love Clinton. He's, I don't even understand the crime. Do you want a
guy to admit he cheated on his wife? You want somebody that dumb running
your country? Telling the truth then? Hey why don't you tell Saddam
Hussein the truth right before you are getting ready to bomb him? I just
thought you needed to know. That's not cool. Do you know how low it is
to go after somebody's sex life? You know that's the lowest you can
do. I mean Clinton give me a call. I will whup Starr's ass. If he would
pardon me, if President Clinton would pardon me I would whip Starr's ass
right now. I will get a crew from Brooklyn and we will stomp him like,
like, we're Savion Glover. We'll stomp him like it's bringing da
noise. Who else? Stephanopoulos. He gave this guy a job! You can't dis
people that gave you jobs, man. He put my man on, he's talking, he needs
to get stomped. Somebody need to whip his ass. Anybody. If I give you a
job, if I give you a job, you know."
Lauer: "You see the clock on the camera
there. It says 7:53, that's AM!"
Rock: "I know I'm just saying man. Butts!
Ass, whatever. People need to get stomped. Smacks need to be given
Rock: "You know add on to this Starr, you
know how low this is to go after somebody's sex life? Just think about
it this way. Kennedy, Martin Luther King. It's like, Martin Luther King.
You are talking about civil rights era, black people hated, churches being
burned, little kids being hosed down. But somebody said, 'You know
he's having an affair, let's get him. No that's too low. We can
shoot him in the head, that's cool but to say he's cheating on his
wife, now only a scumbag would do that.'....It's like,'Let's shoot
Kennedy that's cool but we can't say cheated on his wife, that's
As several CyberAlert readers alerted me, Tuesday night on his The Big
Show/White House in Crisis 8/11pm ET MSNBC shows, host Keith Olbermann
suggested that Kenneth Starr looks like a particular Nazi leader. Well, he
heard some complaints. So Wednesday night, August 19, he delivered this
clarification and apology, though not retracting his suggestion that
Starr's face reminds him of the Nazi Heinrich Himmler:
since I have looked at videotape of Kenneth Starr's face I have thought
he looks like somebody famous from history, but who? Not long ago it
dawned on me and yesterday, in a question to one of my guests, I mentioned
it, that facially Ken Starr reminded me of Heinrich Himmler, including the
glasses, the infamous Nazi. We got a number of calls from people who were
offended by that remark, who thought I was comparing Starr to Himmler and
insulting Starr or who thought I was comparing Starr to Himmler and
demeaning the terrible importance of the Holocaust. And to those people
who were offended I sincerely and humbly apologize. I meant only what I
said. Facially, the two men look vaguely alike. But I am primarily of
German descent, so I carry with me an inherited shame and guilt about
this. So despite the innocence of the intent of my remark there, I should
have been much more sensitive about invoking that name in this context and
for having not been so I am very sorry."
sentence: "Still ahead for us tonight, did Olbermann's apology go
far enough? We'll have the latest poll numbers on that."
That's been my
advice: When apologizing for comparing someone to a Nazi or making light
of the Holocaust, always follow up with a lame joke that makes light of
your apology. -- Brent Baker
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