China Military Gains Thanks to Clinton; Justice Before Microsoft
1) Nothing on impeachment or
Paula Jones on ABC or NBC Monday night. CBS, CNN and FNC looked at the new
2) The New York Times detailed
how Clinton's decision to relax export rules enabled the Chinese to
obtain sophisticated technology, "some of which has already been
diverted to military uses." Network coverage of this non-sex scandal:
3) "A case of legal
hardball and computer software" said Dan Rather of the Microsoft
trial. The network intros all relayed the government's contentions about
4) Two Today hosts contended
that Paula Jones only cares about the money, forgetting that her legal
bills exceed any expected settlement.
5) Letterman's "Top Ten
Ways The Country Would Be Different If Bob Dole Were President."
>>> The October 19 Notable
Quotables will be posted Tuesday on the MRC home page by MRC Webmaster
Sean Henry. Quote headings include "Starr Stained the Country,"
"Linda Tripp, Media Pinata" and "Rivera's Upchuck
Tonight." Go to: http://www.mrc.org
Correction: The October 19
CyberAlert quoted Deborah Mathis as saying "...the Christian Right
per say and some particular members on Capitol Hill..." That should
have read "per se" not "per say."
Some actual diversity in the media Monday night as only CNN's The World
Today and NBC Nightly News shared the same lead story: the grenade attack
in Israel and the status of the Netanyahu/Arafat talks in Wye, Maryland.
ABC's World News Tonight began with the opening of the Microsoft trial;
the rains and flooding in Texas topped the CBS Evening News; and FNC's
Fox Report started with the Nevada decision to reinstate Mike Tyson's
license to box. ABC, CBS and FNC also ran full reports on the Mideast
summit and all but NBC carried full stories on Tyson. (Microsoft generated
a piece on all the shows. See item #3 for details.)
Not a word about
any scandal or impeachment on ABC or NBC, but CBS, CNN and FNC all ran
stories on the release of documents in the Paula Jones case. (A telling
sign that the networks are trying to get back to pre-Monica news
priorities: The lead guest on Monday's Larry King Live -- Patsy
Ramsey's sister.) On the CBS Evening News Phil Jones asserted that the
lawyers around Jones are blaming her, Susan McMillan and her husband for
the failure of settlement talks. Noteworthy amongst the documents, Phil
Jones relayed, was Clinton denying sex with any state or federal employee
between 1986 and 1991.
From Little Rock,
CNN's Tony Clark found that the documents reveal the Jones side wanted
the names of all of Clinton's sex partners and that Trooper Ferguson
maintained that Jones initiated the contact with Clinton. Next on The
World Today Bob Franken previewed the appeals court hearing set to occur
Tuesday in St. Paul before three Republican appointed judges. FNC's
David Shuster highlighted how those on the Jones team feel blind-sided by
the White House rejection of a deal involving $1 million from Abe
Hirschfeld and that Judge Susan Weber Wright was "infuriated" at
the leaking in January of Clinton's deposition to the Washington Post.
Jackson and FNC Jim Angle focused on how Democratic House candidate Jay
Inslee in Washington is having some positive feedback from running ads
attacking his opponent, Republican incumbent Rick White, for backing the
GOP impeachment resolution.
"Chinese Said to Reap Gains in U.S. Export Policy Shift"
announced the top of the fold, off-lead of Monday's New York Times.
Reporter Jeff Gerth and Eric Schmitt detailed how Clinton's decision to
relax export rules, made after he met high-tech executives who later
contributed to the DNC, "enabled Chinese companies to obtain a wide
range of sophisticated technology, some of which has already been diverted
to military uses."
Here's a non-sex
scandal, allegations of a real-world danger connected to political
fundraising, the kind of issue that goes beyond "lying about sex
between two consenting adults." So, the networks naturally jumped on
the disclosure? Not at all. Zilch so far from any of the networks. MRC
analysts Geoffrey Dickens, Jessica Anderson and Brian Boyd informed me
that Today, Good Morning America and This Morning all skipped it Monday
morning. Monday night: Not a word on the ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC or FNC evening
So, here's what
non-New York Times readers missed. Below is an excerpt from the beginning
of the lengthy October 19 story:
Shortly after he took office in 1993,
President Clinton traveled to Silicon Valley to lay out his vision of a
robust American economy buoyed by high-technology companies that could
compete anywhere in the world.
The night before his speech, Clinton went
out to dinner with two dozen executives, some of whom complained bitterly
about government rules impeding the overseas sale of computers and other
Clinton grabbed a pad, furiously took
notes, and promised relief, one executive recalled. Over the next five
years, the President delivered, personally presiding over what industry
executives and government officials agree was one of the most sweeping
relaxations of export restrictions in American history.
"These reforms," Clinton said in
a 1993 letter detailing the changes to a leading computer executive,
"can help unleash our companies to compete successfully in the global
In the years that followed, the new rules
helped Clinton fulfill his vision of a centrist Democratic Party with
close ties to American business. Grateful high-technology companies
showered the Democratic Party with campaign contributions, cementing a new
financial base for a party that has historically struggled to raise money
from corporate America.
Administration officials portray the
initiatives as one of Clinton's most lasting legacies, saying it bolstered
national security by helping to make America's economy the world's
strongest. The flood of new exports also created high-paying jobs at home.
But critics, including Republicans in
Congress and some former Clinton Administration officials, argue that the
high-technology exports had a serious side effect, strengthening countries
like China, which some view as a potential adversary. Clinton, they
contend, was blinded by his enthusiasm for securing this country's global
edge and insufficiently attentive to his policies' effect on America's
long-term national security.
House and Senate committees are examining
whether China took advantage of the looser rules on exports to enhance its
military and to obtain technology that it passed on to rogue states,
including North Korea. The Senate Intelligence Committee and a special
House panel, which are scheduled to report their findings in early 1999,
have held a series of closed-door hearings this fall.
An examination by The New York Times of the
Administration's export policies on China, based on interviews as well as
government and industry documents, shows that the looser regulations
enabled Chinese companies to obtain a wide range of sophisticated
technology, some of which has already been diverted to military uses....
As noted in #1 above, all the networks ran full stories on the start of
the Microsoft trial Monday night with ABC making it the lead story. All
the stories featured soundbites from each side, but the introductions from
the anchors uniformly relayed the Justice Department's contentions.
Viewers had to wait until well into the subsequent stories to hear
Microsoft's response. Every story featured a soundbite from Justice's
Joel Klein and then either Microsoft Counsel William Neukom or Executive
VP Bob Herbold. (ABC ran clips from both MS execs)
In court the
Justice Department lawyers opened by showing a videotaped denial from
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates that he knew of any plans to demand that
Netscape agree to divide up the market and when they refused to destroy
them by having Microsoft give away its browser for free and by having MS
prevent computer manufacturers from installing Netscape if they wished to
put Windows 95 on their PCs. Then, the government revealed e-mail messages
from Gates which showed him discussing the plan months before a key June
1995 meeting with Netscape. All in this paragraph so far is just to set up
my little joke which those who listened to Rush Limbaugh on Monday will
get: To paraphrase Geraldo Rivera, if you threaten a company with
destruction if they don't agree to sell out to you and then employ
illegal coercion tactics to block sales of their product, naturally
you're going to lie about it.
Now, back to the
-- Leading into
over six minutes from Terry Moran on what happened in court and background
of the case, Peter Jennings announced at the top of ABC's World News
"Good evening. We begin tonight with the
government versus Microsoft. There's a great deal at stake. The
government accuses Microsoft of illegally abusing its position in the
marketplace to drive out its competitors. The Justice Department said, as
the case was getting under way today, that the anti-trust laws of the
nation were designed to prevent such a thing."
-- Dan Rather
intoned on the CBS Evening News:
"In federal court in Washington, DC today a
case of legal hardball and computer software. The U.S. government set out
to prove that computer industry giant Microsoft tried to bully the
competition illegally into submission or out of business."
Sharyl Attkisson in the subsequent story was the
only reporter Monday night to read this e-mail message from a Microsoft
executive to an executive at another company: "How much do we have to
pay you to screw Netscape? This is your lucky day."
-- Jim Moret
announced on CNN's The World Today:
"Day one in the court battle between
Microsoft and the U.S. Justice Department. Government lawyers used Bill
Gates' own videotaped testimony in their opening statements to bolster
claims Microsoft tried to divide the Web browser market with it rival
Netscape. Microsoft is expected to present its side of the story tomorrow.
A closer look now at Microsoft's market dominance and competitors claims
of intimidation from CNN's Greg Lefavre." (sp?)
CNN uniquely began by talking with a Sybase
executive who claimed Microsoft threatened his business if he didn't do
what they wanted.
-- Tom Brokaw
offered some questions on NBC Nightly News:
"Now to the computer giant Microsoft and the
world's richest man, Bill Gates. There is no question they do dominate
the computer software market. But is Microsoft abusing that power?
That's the centerpiece of the Justice Department's anti-trust case
against Microsoft, which of course is associated with NBC News."
concluded the subsequent piece: "This isn't a jury trial so the
issue for the judge: Has Microsoft illegally locked up the business so the
next Bill Gates doesn't stand a chance? As for how big Microsoft is,
consider this: government lawyers prepared their legal briefs using the
Justice Department's latest computer software -- Windows 95."
That's kind of a
dorky point. Virtually everyone with a PC uses Windows 95 or 98. (Linix
has a low single digit market share.) If they didn't use Windows there
wouldn't be a case. A more relevant observation would be to look at what
word processor they used -- an area with real alternatives to Microsoft.
If they used Word, then Williams' point would be bolstered. If they used
WordPerfect, as did the OIC for the Starr report, then wouldn't that
suggest that there are alternatives to Microsoft available in areas beyond
On Saturday and Monday NBC's Today portrayed Paula Jones as just out for
the money, but the NBC hosts failed to consider that at this point she'd
be lucky to pay off her legal bills, never mind keeping any money for
herself. As NBC's Lisa Myers explained in a piece run on Saturday's
Today, her lawyers want $2.6 million and she's dreaming of just getting
-- MRC analyst
Mark Drake caught this question, to John Whitehead of the Rutherford
Institute, on Saturday's Today. Jodi Applegate asserted in the form of a
question: "In looking at Lisa Myers' report there, you sort of need
a calculator to keep track of all this. It does look to a lot to us
anyway, like it is about money at this point. What is it about, in
addition to money -- if it's more than money?"
returned for more on Monday's Today. MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens took
down these October 19 questions from Matt Lauer:
"You mentioned some other money floating out
there. We're talking about real estate developer Abe Hirschfeld who's
offered a million dollars of his own money. If, as you said all along,
Paula Jones is not in this for the money why would she even consider
taking money from Abe Hirschfeld who really has no connection to the
"So bottom line is that you think this, the
increase in demands on your part up to $2 million more because Paula Jones
and her family need the money now. Less because you think the circuit
court will reinstate the case and you have the President in a bind."
From the October 19 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Ways
The Country Would Be Different If Bob Dole Were President." Copyright
1998 by Worldwide Pants, Inc. Top Ten list presented by Bob and Elizabeth
Dole with Elizabeth announcing numbers 8, 6, 4 and 1, Bob the rest.
10. If you wanted my DNA, you'd have to
9. Ken Starr would still be less famous than his brother Ringo.
8. English language would contain about 50 fewer words ending in
7. Viagra to be served at all state dinners.
6. Red phone in Oval Office connected back to Moscow, instead of the Pizza
Hut down the street.
5. Only uproar would be over my scandalously good looks.
4. No more interns. I'd replace them all with disgruntled CBS executives.
3. At this very moment Bill Clinton would be saying, "Would you like
fries with that?"
2. You think I'd be on this lame talk show right now? Think again, Sparky.
1. I hope you don't like income taxes, because they'd be history.
Don't count on
it. -- Brent Baker
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