"Outrageous" Hubbell Indictment Just Like McCarthy; Missing Jones Facts
1) Al Hunt called Starr's
indictment of Hubbell "outrageous." MSNBC's Keith Olbermann
compared Starr to Joe McCarthy and the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne
endorsed the historic analogy.
2) On the Jones settlement
only FNC and NBC even alluded to Clinton's insurance deal and how the
court was looking at his perjury. Only FNC noted he will pay more than
Jones asked for.
3) Dateline also looked at a
woman under house arrest for lying about sex in a civil case, but Josh
Mankiewicz bizarrely asserted: "It is painful as well to the
President and so far, at least, Bill Clinton isn't being held to a
4) Letterman's "Top Ten
President Clinton Screen Names."
>>> Notable Quotables. The
November 16 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly
compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the
liberal media, is now up on the MRC home page thanks to Webmaster Sean
Henry and research associate Kristina Sewell. Go to: http://www.mrc.org.
Topic headings include: "All Hail the 'Pragmatic
Centrists'"; "Fusillades Against Faircloth";
"Clinton's Just Like Jefferson"; "J. Edgar Hoover =
Joseph Stalin?" and "Rather's Election Night Patter: Enough to
Gag a Buzzard."<<<
Haranguing over Hubbell. The Friday indictment of Webster Hubbell for
fraud and cover-up in how he and Hillary Clinton handled the Castle Grande
project, outraged media figures, especially MSNBC's Keith Olbermann.
Earlier last week he bemoaned how Gingrich's ouster missed by days an
anniversary of a Stalin purge. On Friday night he charged Ken Starr with
being as deluded as Joe McCarthy.
-- Al Hunt on the
November 14 Capital Gang, referring to the impact of the showdown with
Iraq: "I don't think it's going to have much impact on
impeachment at all. I think Ken Starr's made his own position even worse
with this outrageous third indictment of Webster Hubbell. How many
-- Time magazine
reporter Michael Duffy on a live Inside Washington produced at 7pm ET on
Saturday: "It's hard to know who to root for in the Web Hubbell-Ken
Starr thing. On the one hand, here's Hubbell, right, he gets a million
dollars from all the President's friends in three months to do nothing
in 1994. That's odd, it's strange. I wish we all could get that deal.
On the other hand, Ken Starr seems to indict the guy seasonally."
-- At the end of Friday night's Big Show on MSNBC at 8pm ET, repeated at
11pm ET as White House in Crisis, Keith Olbermann asserted to Washington
Post columnist E.J. Dionne:
"There's also a line between tenacity and
sort of jealousness. E.J., I was watching, just the other night, the
highlights of the Army McCarthy hearings. And I was reminded of this
today. Joe McCarthy, not even paying attention as with each reference he
made to one of Joseph Welch's second chair attorney's, he dug himself
deeper and deeper into a hole that he thought, that he thought he was
making this point that was for his case and he was just burying himself.
Is there not some perception, Mr. Starr's point that Web Hubbell and
prosecuting him now is almost walking into a radioactive dump?"
Instead of denouncing Olbermann for impugning
Starr with this preposterous analogy, Dionne a former Post and New York
Times reporter, piled on, saying that Olbermann's words confirm his
"Well, I think the fact that you just said
it suggests it's going to be thought of by a lot of people, sure. It's
the Hubbell trifecta. And either it's three strikes and you're out or
the third time is the charm. Obviously he believes profoundly, Ken Starr
does, that Web Hubbell is lying and has information he needs and he's
going to do anything it takes to get it out of him. But the mood has
changed a lot on this story. I was struck, watching the first half of the
show, that we're talking about Iraq, we're talking about military
action, nobody is talking about Wag the Dog. The President is in a very
different place. So I think the reaction to this Hubbell indictment is
going to be very different because people finally started to see this
thing wind down and this says nope it's not winding down at all. He
faces potentially over 100 years of jail time which means he'll get out
just in time to watch the end of this investigation."
Ha ha. Now, go
back to Olbermann and review the phrase, "I was watching, just the
other night, the highlights of the Army McCarthy hearings." Talk
about bizarre activity. He has too much free time.
The night before,
on November 12, Olbermann issued another odd historical analogies. MRC
analyst Mark Drake caught this one:
"It was on
this date in 1927 that Josef Stalin completed his consolidation of the
leadership in Russia by engineering the expulsion from the Communist Party
of Leon Trotsky. Darn. With Newt, the Republicans missed that anniversary
by just six days."
On the bright
side, we won't have Olbermann to lecture us must longer. That evil
conservative Rupert Murdoch has bought out the last two years of
Olbermann's $600,000 a year MSNBC deal. In December Olbermann will jump
to Fox Sports where he's expected to anchor the 11pm ET highlights show
for the Fox Sports News show on cable. Just how much did Monicagate annoy
Olbermann? In the November 10 New York Post Michael Starr relayed:
"Insiders say Olbermann was so angry at the
constant Sexgate coverage that he demanded to be let out of his contract,
ripped his nameplate off his door in frustration and often showed up for
work just minutes before airtime."
The buildup and build down to a showdown with Iraq dominated weekend
network news, leading Friday through Sunday night newscasts. But Friday
night all but NBC found time for three scandal-front developments: the
indictment of Webster Hubbell, the sending by Starr of Kathleen Willey
evidence to the House Judiciary committee and a settlement in the Paula
All the networks
gave the most time to the Jones case with a full story on it. ABC and FNC
gave brief mention to the other two developments, CBS and CNN ran a second
story combing Hubbell and the Starr evidence while NBC Nightly News
skipped the Willey evidence Friday night (and didn't mention it on
Saturday or Sunday night) and gave Hubbell 14 seconds.
In addition to the
basic facts of the settlement, there are four relevant points I believe a
complete story would have conveyed:
a) The $850,000 deal is $150,000 more than Jones originally asked for.
b) Most of the money will go to Jones's lawyers, so she probably will
gain little financial benefit.
c) on Tuesday, as the November 14 Washington Post noted, the appeals court
"asked for the full transcript of Clinton's January 17 deposition
in this case, which some lawyers close to the Jones camp interpreted as a
sign that they were concerned about possible perjury by the
d) Insurance will pay. Saturday's Washington Post: "Sources said
the President's lawyers have reached a tentative agreement with Chubb
Group Insurance to buy out the personal liability policy that has covered
some of his legal expenses for close to half the settlement. 'When all
is said and done, not a penny will come out of his pocket,' said one
person close to the situation." The insurance coverage should have
raised all the issues uncovered by Byron York in a 1996 American Spectator
piece on how Chubb and another insurance company violated their own rules
and industry norms to cover the costs of the Jones suit.
Only FNC's David
Shuster and NBC's Lisa Myers even alluded to points c and d, and only
Shuster explicitly noted point a.
Here's how the
Friday night, November 13, evening shows handled the scandal developments:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight squeezed all three news items into 2:06, leaving time after
Iraq for full stories on a convention of those who escaped death row when
later found innocent and the 30th anniversary of Sesame Street.
Jackie Judd began
with the Jones settlement: "Paula Jones began her lawsuit saying all
she wanted was an apology from the President. Then she began demanding
money. What she ended up with was an $850,000 settlement and no admission
of any wrongdoing by Mr. Clinton...."
After noting that it's unclear how much
she'll get compared to her lawyers and that her lawyers knew her case
was weak legally, Judd concluded: "For the President ending the
lawsuit, in the words of one ally, removes a distraction for the rest of
his term. And his lawyer said tonight the President was not prepared to
spend even one more hour on the matter."
then asked her about the Willey evidence and Hubbell indictment. On
Hubbell, she told viewers: "For the third time Starr has indicted
Hubbell, this time for alleged fraud and perjury related to a land deal in
Arkansas known as Castle Grande. One count says that Hubbell sought to
cover up the true nature of the relationship of one of his law partners
with the land deal. That law partner was Hillary Clinton. Hubbell said
tonight he is innocent, there's nothing Starr can do to him to make him
lie about his friends, Bill and Hillary Clinton."
-- CBS Evening News. Phil Jones got 1:08 to cover
the Jones decision, opening: "It was on April Fools day that Paula
Jones's lawsuit was thrown out of court. Now, on Friday the 13th,
President Clinton has agreed to pay even though a federal judge has ruled
her claim is without legal merit."
Phil Jones observed that Clinton made no
admission of guilt and it's unclear how much Paula Jones will get, and
then concluded his brief story: "Tonight, Mr. Clinton's lawyer said
the President settled because he is not prepared to spend one more hour on
this matter. Now all he has to worry about is impeachment."
Next, from the
White House, Scott Pelley looked at the Willey case and ran a clip of her
from 60 Minutes in which she accused Clinton of groping her. He ended with
a quick summary of the Hubbell indictment.
-- FNC's Fox Report. Live, over sirens in the
streets of DC, David Shuster announced: "President Clinton has agreed
to pay Paula Jones $850,000, that's more money than Paula Jones was
suing for before the case was dismissed. The agreement was reached late
this afternoon. There had been increasing fears in the Clinton camp that
the appeals court in Minneapolis was getting ready to reinstate the
lawsuit. They had requested some depositions of the President and Paula
Jones. In addition, many lawmakers on Capitol Hill had been urging"
him to settle....
Pemmaraju asked Shuster about Hubbell and Willey.
-- CNN's The World Today. Eileen O'Connor
provided a full report on the Jones case, reviewing its history and what
was alleged to have happened in the hotel room, but not raising any of the
issues listed above. Co-anchor Jim Moret then talked live with former
Jones attorney with Gil Davis, asking about legal fees and whether Clinton
would be "perceived as admitting guilt." Up next, Bob Franken
looked at Willey and Hubbell.
-- NBC Nightly News. Lisa Myers raised the
insurance issue: "Sources close to the President are optimistic the
money will come from his insurance policies, not from the Clinton's
themselves. Tonight the President, through his lawyer, again called
Jones's charge, that he exposed himself and asked for sex, baseless.
Then why would he pay $850,000 to settle the case. Because, his lawyer
said, 'the President has decided he is not prepared to spend one more
hour on this matter.'"
Noting that he talked to Bob Bennett while
dealing with Iraq, Myers uniquely offered a view from the Jones camp:
"Tonight in the Jones camp, a sense of vindication. Even before the
settlement polls showed most Americans believe something happened to Paula
Jones in that hotel room."
Susan Carpenter-McMillan on CNBC's Hardball:
"This nation owes Paula Jones a real thank you. I think she exposed
him for what he was. There would have been no impeachment, no Monica
Lewinsky, no Kathleen Willey, there would have been nothing without the
Paula Jones case."
Myers concluded by raising perjury: "This
does not mean the President is entirely free of this case. The trial judge
still can hold him in contempt for lying to her court. And she has
signaled she just might do it."
(Memo to Susan
Carpenter-McMillan: Given the public attitude do you really think they are
thankful about knowing about Lewinsky?)
Brokaw then took
14 seconds for this item: "Also tonight, the President's friend Web
Hubbell has been indicted for a third time on fraud and perjury charges
stemming from the original Whitewater investigation. Hubbell, who's
already served time in federal prison, says he is innocent."
More on punishment for lying about sex in a federal civil case. The
November 13 CyberAlert detailed November 11 stories on NBC's Today and
ABC's 20/20 about people being punished for doing what Clinton did.
ABC's Sam Donaldson highlighted three cases while Today looked at just
one, Barbara Battalino. (Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/1998/cyb19981113.html#3)
Well, MRC analyst
Mark Drake informed me that Today was just following up on a Dateline
story on Battalino run on Friday, November 6. Dateline allowed her to
sympathize with Clinton and anchor Stone Phillips emphasized how unusual
such a prosecution is. Here are some excepts. Host Stone Phillips opened:
"Lying about sex is one thing. Lying about
sex under oath is another. As Congress prepares for impeachment hearings
against President Clinton, that will be one of the big questions -- did he
commit perjury when he denied having sex with Monica Lewinsky and if so,
should he be removed from office? While lying a civil case is illegal,
it's almost never prosecuted. But as you are about to see, there are
exceptions. Tonight, a story about sex, lies, and secret audiotapes and
consequences. Sound familiar?"
Deep into the
piece NBC's Josh Mankiewicz observed: "Well, prosecutors refused to
go on camera to discuss that [why Battalino was prosecuted] but they did
tell us off camera that the evidence of Barbara Battalino's perjury was
so clear that they could not ignore it, which is exactly the argument many
Republicans are now making about President Clinton's testimony in the
Paula Jones' case and before Ken Starr's grand jury. And Barbara
Battalino, a registered Republican, is now making an argument that the
chief executive might find familiar."
Mankiewicz asked her: "I wonder if, in that
context, you have any sympathy for the President?...Even though he's
going through many of the same things you are?"
concluded: "It is painful as well to the President and so far, at
least, Bill Clinton isn't being held to a different standard. The weeks
and months ahead will tell whether he and Barbara Battalino learned the
same lesson about the consequences of a lie."
So far I don't
see an ankle transmitter on Clinton, as is worn by Battalino to enforce
her house arrest.
offered these final words: "There is another similarity between the
cases involving Barbara Battalino and Bill Clinton. Both the Paula
Jones' lawsuit and Ed Arthur's case [suit against Battalino] were
thrown out of court. As for federal prosecutions for civil perjury,
Dateline has been able to find only eight cases in the six years of the
As pointed out in
the November 13 CyberAlert, the network evening shows have yet to inform
their viewers that there are very real examples of people being held to
account for lying about sex in a federal civil case.
From the November 13 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten
President Clinton Screen Names." Copyright 1998 by Worldwide Pants,
And, from the Late
Show Web page, some of "the extra jokes that didn't quite make it
into the Top Ten."
Some ideas here
for those of you on AOL.
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