Impeachment Would Ruin Nobel Peace Prize; Rivera's Located
1) Soundbite of the weekend:
Clinton's legacy might become "it's okay to lie and it's okay
2) NBC's team used MSNBC,
Today and Nightly News to highlight how the peace deal proves Clinton
worthy. Tim Russert marveled at how Clinton might get the Nobel Peace
Prize while being impeached and asked Netanyahu to agree that it's best
if Clinton stays in office.
3) HQ/VRWC located by Geraldo
Rivera. It all stems from the American Spectator. Rivera tied together
Starr, Tyrrell, Olson, Hale and Scaife into proof Hillary was correct all
4) ABC whined that "with
his self-imposed spending limit" Senator Russ Feingold "lacks
the funds to adequately rebut" attacks by his GOP opponent, but ABC
ignored union and environmental group ads.
>>> MediaNomics now on line. The
October edition of MediaNomics, the monthly newsletter from the MRC's
Free Market Project, is now available on the MRC home page thanks to
Webmaster Sean Henry and research associate Kristina Sewell. Go to http://www.mrc.org.
Articles by MediaNomics Editor Tim Lamer include a page one look at some
misleading budget coverage; an Issue Analysis: "Reporters attack
bailout of hedge fund, but not IMF bailouts"; a page three story
headlined "Gaping Hole in Ozone Reporting" and a guest editorial
by D. Eric Schansberg: "Beware of Misleading
Soundbite of the weekend. Jesse Jackson appeared Sunday on Meet the Press,
but he could not out-rhyme Joe diGenova. On ABC's This Week, diGenova,
who as a federal prosecutor handled the Jonathan Pollard case in the
"If this President releases Jonathan Pollard
his legacy will be it's okay to lie and it's okay to spy."
The Israel/PLO agreement led the network evening shows Friday and Sunday
night, but of the broadcast networks, on Friday night only CBS refrained
from passing along White House spin about how it proves Clinton remains an
effective President. ABC just relayed the White House take, but NBC
promoted it repeatedly Friday, from Today to Nightly News with MSNBC in
between. The usually more spin-resistant Tim Russert led the way,
ruminating on Today about how Clinton might not be able to appear before
an impeachment hearing next year because he'd be receiving the Nobel
Peace Prize that day. On Sunday, Russert asked Israeli Prime Minister
Netanyahu to affirm: "But you prefer that President Clinton be around
next year to help you continue this peace agreement."
-- ABC's World
News Tonight on Friday night, October 23. Sam Donaldson told viewers:
"Pollard aside, White House officials believe Mr. Clinton comes away
from this a big winner, demonstrating that despite his domestic problems
he can still accomplish big things on the world stage...."
-- NBC, in
Tom Brokaw led the October 20 NBC Nightly News
last Tuesday by announcing: "Making a deal. An ailing King leaves the
hospital. A President choppers in, trying to help rescue peace in the
Today Tim Russert told news anchor Sara James during the 8am news update:
"The White House looks at this with such great irony. As the
impeachment hearings grind on could you have a situation where next year
the President cannot go to the Judiciary Committee on a particular day
because he's receiving the Nobel Peace Prize? That's the kind of irony the
White House looks at as they look at the success of President Clinton on
At about 5:53pm ET
Friday on MSNBC, minutes after the signing ceremony ended, from the White
House lawn David Bloom picked up an ran with the Clinton spin, gushing to
"You saw the President today, Brian, basking
in this, beaming as Yasser Arafat and Benjamin Netanyahu shook hands.
Remember, recall that they've only met once or twice in these last 18
months face to face and they did so on repeated occasions during this past
week. You heard the King of Jordan, King Hussein, saying of President
Clinton that he's known many Presidents, all of them dating back to
Eisenhower, and saying that he's known none like President Clinton, saying
that his dedication, his clearheadedness, his focus, his determination is
unlike anything that he's seen from any American President dating back to
Eisenhower. And if those words aren't so sweet to this White House nothing
else could be."
Minutes later on
Friday's Nightly News Claire Shipman concluded her piece from the White
House: "Now if this was a test of an embattled President's clout,
aides here are ecstatic at its success and they say he took to these talks
with an unusual intensity even for him they say, seeming to understand not
only his role as peacemaker but as creator of his legacy."
A legacy of
success NBC News was most willing Friday to ascribe to Clinton.
Any doubts about
that were refuted by two questions Tim Russert posed to Benjamin Netanyahu
in a taped interview for the October 25 Meet the Press. Russert inquired:
"As you know, President Clinton has had his difficulties back home
here. Do you believe that his participation in this summit will portray
him as a strong and effective leader?"
acknowledged that Clinton was "very helpful" and provided
"a friendly hand," but declined to delve into internal U.S.
politics. Not dissuaded, Russert then posed this question in the form of a
statement he hoped Netanyahu would ratify, though Netanyahu demurred:
"But you prefer that President Clinton be around next year to help
you continue this peace agreement."
Geraldo Rivera has done it! He's located the HQ/VRWC. That's the
headquarters for the "vast right-wing conspiracy," for those of
you who are acronym-challenged. Hint: It's on North 14th Street in
Arlington, Virginia. Inspired by Rivera, I've applied my own keen powers
of observation and discovered another member of the VRWC, a player that
Rivera suspiciously missed: Joan Lunden. But more on that later as
CyberAlert digs deep to give you the full story.
7:30pm ET/11:30pm PT Upfront Tonight on CNBC Rivera delivered a report
titled "Starr's War." He began "breathlessly," as
"Before there was Monica Lewinsky there was
Whitewater, a potpourri of fraud allegations against the President and
First Lady stemming from a 20-year-old failed real estate deal in
Arkansas. Stripped to its bare essentials the case against the Clintons,
as you're about to see, was shockingly flimsy."
Co-anchor Diane Dimond helpfully chirped in:
"So why did it last for four years and cost $40 million? A look at
the money and the men behind Ken Starr's Whitewater investigation
indicates that Hillary Clinton may have been right when she said there was
a right-wing conspiracy to bring down the President."
piece began with him standing in front of the office building housing the
American Spectator, aka HQ/VRWC:
"That nondescript building behind me here in
Arlington, Virginia just across the Potomac River from Washington, houses
the American Spectator magazine. The magazine is staunchly conservative
and wickedly partisan, which is all well and good. This is a free country.
But many of the Spectator's critics feel that the magazine lost its
journalistic soul when it entered into a secret alliance with the
reclusive Pittsburgh billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. Their common goal:
to destroy Bill Clinton. Between 1993 and 1997 Mr. Scaife funneled at
least $2.3 million dollars through the American Spectator to fund a
variety of anti-Clinton activities. They dubbed this nefarious scheme of
character assassination, the Arkansas Project."
how this "nefarious" project was run by David Henderson and
attorney Steven Boynton. They hired private detectives who even met with
Starr's staff. Leading into noting that Spectator Editor-in-Chief R.
Emmett Tyrrell said he could not talk since he'd been subpoenaed in the
case, Rivera asserted: "We wanted to know why any journalistic
organization would get involved in a venture that was so sleazy, so
Suggesting that an
insider has talked, Rivera reported that "according to sources at the
magazine at the time," in November 1993, the day after NBC News ran a
story on David Hale's allegations against Clinton, Henderson and Boynton
flew to Pittsburgh to meet Scaife. CNBC showed American Spectator expense
ledgers which confirm plane fare for the trip. Subsequently, Rivera
"A series of letters from Richard Mellon
Scaife to the Spectator's Publisher Emmett Tyrrell indicate that Scaife
loved the plan. Scaife's first commitment of cash, $120,000, arrived at
the magazine on December 2. Less than a week later, a second installment
for $200,000 followed. And then a third for $125,000. And the money kept
rolling in. To the First Lady of the United States it was all part of the
same melancholy pattern."
Hillary on Today in January: "The great
story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain
it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my
husband since the day he announced for President. A few journalists have
kind of caught on to it and explained it, but it has not yet been fully
revealed to the American public. Actually, you know in a bizarre sort of
way this may do it."
Rivera: "'This may do it' refers to
Monica Lewinsky and that investigation. Now although it does not appear
vast, our further investigation of the interlocking relationships between
his billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, the hard right American Spectator
magazine, their Arkansas Project and even special prosecutor Ken Starr
makes undeniable the allegation that many of the people involved in the
investigations, both public and private of Bill Clinton, were part of a
cabal of anti-Clinton conservatives."
Diane Dimond: "Very interesting stuff. I
remember when the First Lady made that comment about the right-wing
conspiracy, she said if there was only a reporter who would doggedly
pursue it. I guess that's you."
As Dimond uttered
her last sentence, Rivera piped up with "woof, woof," imitating
a dog's bark. I'm not kidding.
(In this sea of
mendacity, a seemingly minor point that Rivera could not even get correct:
Tyrrell is not and was not in 1993 the Publisher of the American
Spectator. Ron Burr was at the time in question and left amidst questions
about the appropriateness of the magazine's Arkansas Project, but his
concerns about what a magazine should spend its money on hardly matches
Rivera's notion of a grand conspiracy.)
Tonight delivered the tame stuff. Later Friday night Rivera devoted
three-fourths of his 9pm ET/PT Rivera Live on CNBC to his "Starr's
War." His first two lengthy reports provided his spin on Whitewater
and David Hale. Then he got to Starr, running a lengthier version of the
same diatribe he trimmed for Upfront Tonight. Here's some of the
"Was Ken Starr the man for the job of
independent counsel? Was he someone outside the fierce world of partisan
politics? Someone who would fairly assess the evidence against the
President? We don't know. We do know that his ties to the hard right
seem at the very least to be suspect. Item: The revelation that Starr, the
man who would later be investigating Clinton, had openly contemplated
writing a brief on behalf of an organization supported by Richard Mellon
Scaife, a brief supporting Paula Jones's claim against the President.
Item: As was first revealed right on this program, Mr. Starr had also
directly advised Paula Jones's attorney, in the early days, of the case
against the President."
Following a clip of Gil Davis from January 23
saying Starr told him he thought a sitting President could be sued, Rivera
"Item: Until he later renounced the offer,
when his task as independent counsel was to end, Ken Starr had a job
waiting for him at Pepperdine University. And in yet another connection to
the hard right, the million dollar donation to set up the Starr deanship
at Pepperdine was funded by, you guessed it, Richard Mellon Scaife, the
right-wing billionaire who bankrolled the American Spectator's Arkansas
Project. To the First Lady of the United States, it was all part of the
same melancholy pattern."
After running the same soundbite as he did on Upfront Tonight, he
continued to repeat himself but soon added material not on the earlier
"Although it does not appear vast, our
further investigation of the inter-relationships between Richard Mellon
Scaife, the American Spectator magazine, their Arkansas Project and the
independent prosecutor makes undeniable the allegation that many of the
people involved in the investigations, both public and private of Bill
Clinton, were part of a cabal of anti-Clinton conservatives.
"Item: According to David Hale's own court
testimony, one of his lawyers was powerful Washington attorney Ted Olson.
Item: Ted Olson is an ex-law partner and a close friend of Ken Starr.
Item: Ted Olson is also a member of the board of directors of the American
Spectator. According to Hale's testimony Mr. Olson began representing
him in December 1993. According to a very reliable inside source, Olson
hosted a meeting in his law office that same month. It was attended by
Arkansas Project operatives Boynton and Henderson. The agenda: how best to
use Richard Mellon Scaife's millions to dig up dirt on Bill Clinton. So
Ted Olson, one of Ken Starr's closest friends, not only helped plan the
Arkansas Project but he also represented David Hale.
"Hale, the con man who Kenneth Starr told
the federal court was his prime witness. Hale the crook that Starr asked
the judge to treat with leniency, to reduce his prison sentence and to
release him from the obligation of repaying the $2 million he stole from
the federal government. The road was now wide-open for what would become a
relentless four year, $40 million pursuit of the President, one that still
came up dry until Kenneth Starr's right-wing friends, directly or
indirectly, led him to a young lady named Monica Lewinsky."
Wow. I haven't
heard that Pepperdine story before, have you? It's only been on every
network three times! I know this puts a damper on the conspiracy, but with
all of his inside info on the Spectator Rivera must know that Scaife
stopped funding the magazine after it ran a piece defending Starr's
conclusion that Vince Foster committed suicide and was not murdered, a
theory pursued by others funded by Scaife.
investigation" into the "inter-relationships" involved has
uncovered another "nefarious" player: Joan Lunden. She's best
known as the former Good Morning America co-host now creating quarterly
"Behind Closed Doors" specials for ABC. But what's behind her
closed door? The CyberAlert Field Investigative Unit, that's me, decided
to find out. What I learned will shock you.
night I attended the American Spectator's annual "Washington
Dinner" at the Four Season hotel in the District. Item: Ted Olson was
present and introduced some of the speakers. Item: Ben Stein, now hosting
"Win Ben Stein's Money" on Comedy Central, but who once wrote
speeches for President Nixon, a President who knew the reclusive
Pittsburgh billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, emceed the event -- a
position which allowed him to send coded messages in his jokes to Coulter
and Olson. Item: Ann Coulter sat two tables away from me. Item: Friday
night Coulter appeared on the very same Rivera Live transcribed above, but
failed to tell Rivera what I'm about to reveal here for the first time.
Item: When I left the hotel at approximately 11pm to retrieve CyberAlert
Mobile One, my car, from vale parking, I had not yet observed Olson or
Stein exiting. Item: As I waited a stretch limousine pulled up and the
rear door opened. At just this moment I saw my car coming out of the
garage and proceeded toward it. Just as I passed by the open limo door a
blond woman got out. I looked behind as I continued walking and saw that
the woman was none other than Joan Lunden.
Was she on her way
to meet with Ted Olson, Ben Stein and Ann Coulter? Could they have been
devising a scheme to cause Geraldo Rivera to use CNBC time to look like an
idiot as he applied McCarthyistic guilt by association standards to
concoct a theory that put Starr at the center of a grand conspiracy? If
so, it worked.
Back to reality
now, to read about Rivera's last bout with conspiracy fantasy, go to the
October 7 CyberAlert: http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/1998/cyb19981007.html#2
To see Rivera in
front of the Spectator's office building, go to the MRC home page where
MRC Webmaster Sean Henry should have a video clip posted by noontime.
To ABC Wisconsin's Democratic Senator, Russ Feingold, is a poster-child
for all that is good in politics. But that good may destroy him since his
opponent, Republican Representative Mark Neumann, doesn't buy into
Feingold's liberal "campaign finance reform." But in
complaining about how Feingold is the victim of outside soft money
advertising, ABC's Dean Reynolds distorted his story by failing to
inform viewers that unions and environmentalists have run ads against
Neumann, and the national Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee would
launch ads the day after the ABC story appeared, which castigate Neumann
as "too extreme."
incumbent Senator Feingold is in a close re-election race, ABC's Dean
Reynolds contended last Thursday, because of anti-Feingold TV ads paid for
by the national GOP which Feingold cannot match because he's refused
outside spending. On the October 22 World News Tonight Reynolds asserted:
"The reality on the ground is that he's
being outspent with the very kind of money he's tried in the Senate to
regulate. And with his self-imposed spending limit Feingold lacks the
funds to adequately rebut the attacks suggesting he favors things like
late-term abortions or flag burning. One of the things this campaign has
not been about so far is the scandal in the White House. Whatever they may
be elsewhere in the country, President Clinton's problems have not been
a big issue in this campaign. In their most recent debate the two men
ignored Clinton. And without him as an issue, Feingold's self-imposed
limit on political ads could be the deciding factor, one reason why he
needs all the free help he can get. [video of Robert Redford at a Feingold
A reporter with the Wisconsin State Journal
suggested: "What he preached may be his own fire and brimstone. It
really could damn him to the Hell of losing a re-election race."
Reynolds concluded ominously: "That would
say a lot about the way campaigns are run and whether fighting to change
that way is political death."
A reliable source
in a position to know, an industrious CyberAlert reader in Wisconsin who
wishes to remain anonymous, sent along to me two newspaper articles which
reveal there's more to the story.
-- First, from an
October 23 Chicago Tribune piece by reporter Michael Tackett: "....In
the final weeks, the race has become nasty and personal. Neumann has
called Feingold a 'hypocrite' because some groups, such as the AFL-CIO
and the League of Conservation Voters, have gone ahead with independent ad
campaigns that target the Republican. Feingold said he asked them to stop
but cannot force them, and he has labeled Neumann a politician in the
tradition of the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin...."
-- Second, an
October 23 Milwaukee Journal headline: "Commercials from national
Democratic group attack Neumann as 'too extreme.'" Reporter Alan J.
"A national Democratic Party organization is
ready to launch an aggressive television advertising campaign taking hard
whacks at Rep. Mark Neumann, Feingold's foe in the heated Nov. 3 Senate
election. The gloves-off tone of the commercials -- with a theme that
Neumann is 'too extreme for Wisconsin' -- and the source of the money
go against what Feingold has said he stands for in this campaign.
"Feingold says he is protesting to stop the
ads. But the national party, presumably afraid that Feingold may lose and
is not being aggressive enough, seemed poised to run the ads whether the
intended beneficiary wanted them or not.
"The ads put Feingold in the peculiar
position, perhaps unprecedented in American politics, of fighting against
help from his own party. If the ads run, he gets a major boost in the
volume of advertising in his behalf in the final days of a neck-and-neck
race, but he is certain to face criticism that his campaign finance stands
are either hollow, ineffective or both..."
"Sure to face criticism"? Not from ABC.
But there's still time for ABC News to redeem itself by running an
update/correction on Monday. -- Brent Baker
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