Danger of "Extreme Right-Wing"; Gingrich Skipped; Livingston's Outburst
1) Democrats won't appear on
ABC but that doesn't mean their views aren't advocated. Lisa McRee
referred to "extreme right-wing conservatives." Connie Chung
took up the anti-impeachment cause.
2) On NBC's Today Katie
Couric coached Jack Kemp about how the Republicans should broaden their
appeal, as if they aren't the majority.
3) Tuesday night all the
networks ignored Gingrich's Monday GOPAC talk. CNN compared the
"bit less conservative" Jennifer Dunn to the "fiercely
conservative" Steve Largent. FNC focused on how Clinton's retort to
Hyde's questions puts Democrats in a quandary.
4) ABC and NBC showcased
Livingston's floor outburst in profiles of him. CBS had a top Democrat
assess whether he's better than Gingrich, but only CBS led with Justice
5) Letterman's "Top Ten
Real Reasons Newt Gingrich is Leaving."
6) A Parade magazine excerpt
of a book by Peter Jennings says "fear of communism leads to the
Korean War," not the invasion.
>>> Contrarian Media. A story
Geraldo Rivera should watch. From the abcnews.com
Web site, the plug for a story set to run on the Wednesday night 20/20:
"Lying Under Oath. In the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, many
Americans may feel that it is okay to lie under oath in a civil suit. This
is simply not so. Sam Donaldson talks to three women who did just that,
and paid a very high price -- time in prison." <<<
Democrats won't cross the NABET picket line to appear on ABC News shows,
but it doesn't mean their liberal views are no longer advocated on air.
The Democrats still benefit from an on-air staff which reflects their
On Monday's Good
Morning America, co-host Lisa McRee interviewed Republican Congressmen
Chris Cox and Steve Largent. MRC analyst Jessica Anderson caught this
question in which McRee used a loaded label about "extreme"
conservatives, asking Cox:
"Ninety percent of the voters we talked to
said they want more cooperation and less confrontation. Let's turn to you,
Congressman Cox. Do you think now that the Republican voice will become
more moderate and that those extreme right-wing conservatives will have
less of a voice?"
A bit later on the
November 9 show Connie Chung, previewing the House hearing later in the
day, pressed from the left in interviewing two professors, one who
believes Clinton's actions are impeachable and one who does not.
University Law School Professor Stephen Presser, who believes Clinton's
offenses, if true, are impeachable: "When President Nixon, when the
articles of impeachment were voted on regarding President Nixon, filing a
false income tax return was not part of the article, the articles of
impeachment which were passed. Aren't you raising the bar a little too
To Presser and
anti-impeachment Harvard University Law School Professor Laurence Tribe:
"Allow me to just pose one final question to both of you, and that is
that the voters have spoken. This last election made it very clear that
they don't want to have anything to do with impeachment, so shouldn't the
will of the people rule?"
Demanding conservatives and Republicans respond exclusively to the
Democratic spin is not limited to GMA. Though Republicans are in the
majority in both Houses of Congress, on Tuesday morning, MRC analyst
Geoffrey Dickens observed, Today co-host Katie Couric spent an entire
interview segment with Jack Kemp arguing that they must broaden their
appeal and be less conservative. Just what Republicans were doing for 40
years while in the minority. Here are all of her November 10 questions.
-- "Seems like the Republican party
has been saying this for a long, long time. 'We want a big tent, we want
to broaden our appeal.' Why can't you do it?"
-- "When it comes to the GOP's failure in these recent midterm
elections as far as I understand you would say there were two things they
forgot, Ronald Reagan and minorities."
-- "During the campaign did Republican candidates and the Republican
party in general spend too much time concentrating on the President's
problems with Monica Lewinsky and not enough on solutions for America's
-- "So what will the Republican Congress need to do vis a vis these
impeachment hearings? I mean the American people have made...[Kemp
-- "What about some of these very right wing Republicans who like to
discuss very socially divisive issues? You don't support what you call
sort of conservative activism. Or that you have a name for that in terms
of pushing a conservative agenda in a legislative forum. Social
-- "Right but you believe as Ronald Reagan did that some of these
social issues should be decided within the context of a home or churches
or outside of government."
-- "Real quickly, you gonna run for President in the Year 2000?"
Though Newt Gingrich did not address GOPAC until 9pm ET Monday night, too
late for even the West coast feeds of the evening shows, on Tuesday night
none of the networks evening shows mentioned his good-bye speech. On
Monday night, MSNBC carried it live for about three minutes at the top of
The News with Brian Williams before Williams interviewed Dick Gephardt
about how Gingrich was too partisan. FNC stayed with Gingrich for about
ten minutes and then went to Hannity & Colmes. Other than C-SPAN, only
CNN stuck with Gingrich until 9:45. CNN followed with an expanded Larry
King Live until 11pm ET, knocking off a repeat of Newsstand: CNN &
November 10, ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC all led with the big snowstorm in the
upper Plains states followed by reports on the buildup to a possible
showdown with Iraq. FNC started with an 8 year-old Jacksonville girl found
dead under a neighbor's bed.
networks avoided Washington politics. The closest they came: ABC ran
"A Closer Look" and NBC devoted its "In Depth" segment
to the terrorist campaign against abortion providers and how the Justice
Department is offering a $500,000 award for Slepian's killer. The CBS
Evening News featured an Eye on America on the 75 death row inmates set
free, since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty, because they
were wrongfully convicted. Dan Rather introduced the story by noting:
"Many lawmakers are outraged over convicts who sit for years on death
row using their seemingly endless legal appeals. On the other hand there
are the death row alumni, convicts who escaped executions when their
convictions turned out to be false."
About half way
through CNN's The World Today Brooks Jackson looked at the battle for
Majority Leader with Jennifer Dunn and Steve Largent challenging Dick
Armey. Jackson asserted: "On substance, Dunn is a bit less
conservative on some issues. Examples: Armey and Largent voted against
public funding for abortions in the District of Columbia. Dunn voted for.
And on cutting the federal gas tax, forcing states to fund their own
roads, Armey and Largent were for, Dunn was against. Largent is the most
fiercely conservative, one of only 17 who voted to keep the federal
government closed after a three week shutdown in 1996."
Jackson concluded: "Running for these House
offices is often like running for class President -- more about
personalities than issues. And so it is this time."
Moret took a few seconds to uniquely note that John Huang has received
limited immunity from Starr for information on Webster Hubbell.
On FNC's Fox
Report David Shuster checked up on the questions submitted five days ago
by Henry Hyde to Clinton and learned the White House has yet to decide
what to do. Shuster explained the quandary facing Democrats on the
"For committee Democrats each passing day
seems to raise the possibility that they will be placed in a box. If Mr.
Clinton denies that he lied under oath Democrats would have a difficult
choice -- either contradict the President, saying in effect that he
continues to mislead, or support Mr. Clinton's version of the facts. But
that would require calling witnesses and stringing out hearings that
Democrats said should end quickly."
Infighting among House Republicans for the number two slot as Bob
Livingston secured the number one position, topped the ABC, CNN, FNC and
NBC evening shows Monday night. CBS went first with how Justice Department
lawyers questioned Clinton about his involvement in 1996 "issue"
ads on his behalf. ABC gave this only a sentence, the rest cited it in
larger stories. All but FNC ran profiles of Livingston with all but the
one on CBS showcasing a soundbite of his yelling on the floor in a debate
about giving in to Clinton in late 1995 debate related to the government
On CBS Phil Jones
had a top Democrat assess whether Livingston is better than Gingrich and
he asserted "they will still be going after Social Security. They
will be against major health care reform." Jones decided that the
challenge to Armey means "it's going to be a while before
Republicans can talk about civility," concluding: "What began as
the 1994 Contract with America, has actually turned into a contract on the
political lives of most of the revolution's leaders."
All mentioned how
the Judiciary Committee heard from scholars on both sides of the debate
over whether Clinton's offenses are impeachable, but only FNC emphasized
how the consensus was that it's either impeachment or nothing, "a
major setback to lawmakers thinking about a compromise with the
President." And every network gave brief mention to how the Supreme
Court let stand rulings on how Bruce Lindsey and the Secret Service do not
have a privilege to avoid testifying.
Here are some
highlights from the Monday, November 9, evening shows:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight led with Linda Douglass on how Chris Cox dropped out,
clearing the way for Livingston to become Speaker. Noting he wants to
sharpen Republican message, she cautioned: "But first he must deal
with the 800 pound gorilla, which is being driven by conservatives on the
After clips of scholars on each side, she
"Some Republicans would like to find a magic
bullet that would make impeachment disappear. But Judiciary Committee
members don't want to be seen compromising their principles. Finding the
solution will be Bob Livingston's first big management challenge if, as
expected, he becomes Speaker."
reviewed the "distinguished history" of the Livingston family,
which included a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a Mayor of
New York. Jennings explained that his father abandoned his mother so she
raised him alone. Then he got to the infamous clip:
"Mr. Livingston knows the power of an
Livingston, yelling in December 1995: "As
Winston Churchill said, we will never, never, never give in. We will stay
here til Doomsday. And Merry Christmas."
-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather opened:
"Good evening. New post-election shockwaves tonight and not all of
them in the Republican camp. Among them: With a renewed push by
Republicans to appoint yet another special prosecutor, President Clinton
was questioned behind closed doors by the Justice Department for its
investigation of possible campaign fundraising violations....."
reported on how Clinton was questioned for an hour and a half about the
$40 million ad campaign paid for with soft money DNC funds. Pelley soon
jumped to the House hearings, running a clip from each side.
Next, Phil Jones
noted Livingston's lock on the Speakership, letting a Democrat evaluate
whether he's better than Gingrich.
Jones: "The question is will any of this
make any difference to most Americans? David Obey is senior Democrat and a
friend of Livingston."
Obey: "I think you'll get the same
legislation you would have gotten with Gingrich. They will still be going
after Social Security. They will be against major health care reform.
They'll still be going after environmental laws. The difference is that
members will get along better, it will be a little less of a personal
snake pit here."
Jones: "It's going to be a while before
Republicans can talk about civility. Tonight Dick Armey, the Majority
Leader on the Gingrich team, already facing one opponent, Steve Largent,
has still another challenger, Jennifer Dunn of Washington State. Some
Republicans want a woman in a high leadership post. And so the political
blood-letting continues. At this point what began as the 1994 Contract
with America, has actually turned into a contract on the political lives
of most of the revolution's leaders."
-- CNN's The World Today. Bob Franken looked at
the leadership battles and Jonathan Karl profiled Livingston, noting he
has a black belt and showing the outburst clip. Charles Bierbauer filed a
full report on the impeachment scholars before anchor Jim Moret noted how
Clinton had been questioned. Later, while waiting for Gingrich to begin
his GOPAC talk, Brooks Jackson looked at the Republican Governors who won
and Martin Savidge reviewed the history of GOPAC.
-- FNC's Fox Report led with Jim Angle on the
two White House losses before the Supreme Court. David Shuster offered a
contrarian angle on the scholars: "It was a major setback to
lawmakers thinking about a compromise with the President. Nearly all of
the legal scholars testified impeachment is the only constitutional
punishment available." Carl Cameron highlighted Gingrich's welcome
back to the Capitol and the battle for he number two slot as well as a
challenge to House Republican Conference Chairman Boehner.
-- NBC Nightly News. Gwen Ifill began by showing
a "hero's welcome" on Capitol Hill for Gingrich before moving
on to summarizing the races for the leadership positions. Ifill concluded:
"Livingston assured one top Republican today that it's his
intention to be Speaker of the House not Speaker of the World, a not so
veiled reference to the beginning of the post-Gingrich era."
a Lisa Myers profile of Livingston:
"Well before he became Speaker Gingrich was
well-known in national politics, the conservative commando with the
strategy first taking control of the House, then reforming welfare,
reducing the role of government, trying a variety of new approaches to old
problems. He did change a lot of the old rules but in the end his friends
got him, including the man who will succeed him. As little known as
Gingrich is famous."
explained how Livingston is not a visionary but a manager, adding:
"The 6 foot, five inch former prosecutor has a black belt in martial
arts, plays the harmonica and has a flair for drama. He had this to say
during the 1995 government shutdown."
Livingston yelling in an unedited version of what
ABC showed: "As Winston Churchill said, we will never, never, never
give in. We will stay here til Doomsday. Defeat this motion to recommit
and pass this continuing resolution. And Merry Christmas."
Myers: "Livingston vows never to do that
again. He said even his mother said he looked like a lunatic."
Myers recalled how he's a "man of modest
means" who is a "pragmatic conservative" most often
described as "tough."
From the White
David Bloom ran through bad news for Clinton on three fronts: a)
impeachment hearings today and Hyde vowed to press on; b) Supreme Court
victories for Starr on Lindsey and Secret Service testimony; c) Clinton
questioned about breaking spending limits during the 1996 campaign.
From the November 9 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Real
Reasons Newt Gingrich Is Leaving." Copyright 1998 by Worldwide Pants,
10. Vernon Jordan got him a job at Revlon.
9. Figured he'd have a decent chance playing for the Knicks' scab team.
8. Phil Donahue wants the hair back.
7. Ran out of personalized House of Representatives stationery, didn't
realize he could order more.
6. Finally taking that romantic Caribbean cruise with Pat Buchanan.
5. Fears 20-year-old nude photos will turn up on the Internet.
4. Just doesn't feel Newty anymore.
3. Do you know what it's like working side-by-side with Barbara Boxer
every day and not be able to touch her, not be able to hold her?
1. Strom's starting to get a little "ripe."
And from the Late
Show web page, some of "the extra jokes that didn't quite make it
into the Top Ten."
-- Tired of Ted Kennedy cutting in line at
the congressional all-you-can-eat chili bar.
-- Tired of being the only politician
interns wouldn't fool around with.
-- This season, wants to be full-time
-- Once in a lifetime opportunity to play
curmudgeonly college janitor on "Felicity."
-- All that blah-blah-blah about laws and
stuff gets on your nerves after a while.
The November 8 Parade, the Sunday newspaper supplement, featured an
excerpt from The Century, a book by Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster which
is a companion to a 27-hour series on this century to air on ABC next
year. Across the bottom of the pages Parade ran a timeline. Here's the
item for 1950: "Fear of communism leads to the Korean War -- and to
No earlier item in
the 1930s or 1940s on how "fear of Nazism leads to World War
II." --Brent Baker
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