GOP Scrooges Ruining the Holiday Mood; CNN Would Have Hired Lewinsky?
1) CBS's Bob Schieffer
failed to explain how two women who appeared before the House were like
Clinton in that they lied about sex in a federal civil suit. NBC's Gwen
Ifill painted the Republicans as Scrooges out of touch with the holiday
2) Geraldo Rivera took a fresh
shot at Ken Starr's "selective ability to recall information,"
and asserted: "I like that move now to sue the gun
3) An exasperated Lisa McRee
demanded: "Why drag in campaign finance?" Jeffrey Toobin called
Hyde's decision "pretty bizarre."
4) "With a snap of his
fingers" Clinton told Lewinsky he could get CNN's Rick Kaplan to
hire her, Linda Tripp told the grand jury.
5) What's Eleanor Clift
thankful for? "The good sense and the sound judgment of the American
people" for wanting to drop the impeachment inquiry.
>>> Latest Notable
Quotables now on line. The November 30 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. Topic headings include: "Ken Starr, Evil Puppeteer?",
"That Poor Hush-Money Millionaire," "Tripp Sends Them to
the Shower" and "Starr Should Have Been McCarthy." Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org
or http://www.mrc.org or jump directly to
the latest issue of
Notable Quotables. <<<
ABC led Tuesday night with layoffs at Boeing while CBS and NBC went first
with the big Exxon-Mobil merger. CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather
stressed the job cuts: "Good evening. Corporate mergers are about to
cost thousands of Americans their jobs. Boeing has just announced another
huge cutback. More about that in a moment, but first today's high-octane
merger that's being talked about around the world...."
The expansion of
the Judiciary Committee probe by subpoenaing memos from FBI Director Freeh
and Justice investigator Charles LaBella on possible criminal acts in
fundraising by Bill Clinton, topped the CNN and FNC evening shows. Every
network played at least one clip from the two women who testified who had
been convicted of perjury, but CBS reporter Bob Schieffer failed to
explain the similarity to Clinton's case as he never told viewers both
were convicted of lying about sex in a federal civil suit. NBC's Pete
Williams showed a clip of Alan Dershowitz yelling at the committee, but
not Hyde's retort. In a second story, Gwen Ifill painted the Republicans
as a bunch of Scrooges: "Washington, like the rest of the country, is
in a cheery, holiday mood. But not inside the Capitol where Republicans
are digging in their heels, forging ahead with and even expanding hearings
and investigations to impeach the President..."
Here are some
highlights of how the Tuesday, December 1 evening shows approached the
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. "In Washington today it was sex, lies and
fundraising," Peter Jennings intoned as he introduced a piece by
Linda Douglass. She explained the new subpoenas and ran a clip of Barbara
Battalino, the VA psychiatrist under house arrest for lying about sex with
a patient in a VA hospital. Douglass concluded with the White House
complaint that the Republicans are out of control:
"Today the House Democratic leader called
the impeachment process chaotic and called upon the new Republican leaders
to step in. But many of them believe the President should be impeached and
they're telling their members to vote their conscience when impeachment
comes to the full House as they expect that it will."
From the White
House, Sam Donaldson got a few seconds to say that the staff is pushing
for an impeachment alternative of censure but must "convince the
hardliners on Capitol Hill" and the Clintons to go along.
-- CBS Evening News. Bob Schieffer began with
Democratic protests about the probe expansion, running soundbites from
John Conyers and Richard Gephardt countered by one from Henry Hyde.
Leading into a clip of Battalino saying Clinton is not a king so should be
treated like everyone else, all the detail Schieffer offered about her was
one line about how Republicans wanted to showcase punishment for perjury
"by calling in convicted perjurers. A woman under house arrest for
lying under oath said if she had to be punished so should the
After an evenly
split Schieffer story in which both sides got two soundbites, Rather
illustrated the White House's strategic advantage as their side got
another chance to blast Republicans. Rather eagerly relayed:
"As for the
reaction in the President's camp tonight, CBS News White House
correspondent Scott Pelley reports that the President's legal team is
furious about what it calls this quote, 'unfairness,' saying that the
expansion of the impeachment investigation makes it impossible to mount a
defense for the President because it is quote 'a fishing expedition'
and in their view there's no telling what the charges will be now."
-- CNN's The World Today led with a piece from
John King, who like ABC and CBS, ended by delivering the White House view:
"The White House says these new subpoenas
cast doubt on Republican pledges to wrap up the inquiry before Christmas.
And even many senior Republicans are privately complaining that the
impeachment process appears to be careening out of control."
provided a story on the on memos from Freeh and LaBella and Jonathan Karl
reviewed the testimony of the two women with "something in
common" with Clinton: they lied about sex in a civil case.
-- FNC's Fox Report began with a report from
Paul Cameron on the expanded inquiry and the testimony from the to women.
Unlike ABC, CBS and NBC, but like CNN, Cameron explained how Judge Norma
Holloway Johnson will hear arguments Wednesday about releasing the full,
redactions-restored, versions of the memos.
Jim Angle then
uniquely highlighted how those inside the Justice Department, upset with
Reno's lack of action and how Clinton's wrongdoing was concealed from
Congress, were responsible for leaking the information to the committee.
-- NBC Nightly News. Pete Williams began with
Battalino and the other woman, Pam Parsons. After a clip of liberal Leon
Higginbotham denouncing the idea of impeaching Clinton over sex, Williams
highlighted a blast from Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz but did not
run a counter soundbite, as did ABC and CNN which ran a part of the same
Williams: "And in the most dramatic moment
of the day a defense attorney and law professor said it's wrong to focus
on the President while ignoring what he says is the far more serious
problem of policemen who lie on the stand. He accused committee members of
Dershowitz, yelling: "They are telling the
American public they don't care about perjury, they don't care about
the real perjury that exists and is pervasive in this country in
courthouses and courtrooms and police stations. All they care about is
concluding his story: "That prompted committee Chairman Hyde to say
he isn't out to get anyone and that he has no idea how all the
Republicans might vote on impeachment."
Tom Brokaw moved on to explain his bewilderment about why the Republicans
keep pressing: "Then there is the question of why the Judiciary
Committee is looking beyond the Starr report, looking for other possible
misbehavior by the President when the public is saying move on. The answer
may be as simple as politics and safe House seats."
Gwen Ifill began: "Washington, like the rest
of the country, is in a cheery, holiday mood. But not inside the Capitol
where Republicans are digging in their heels, forging ahead with and even
expanding hearings and investigations to impeach the President..."
Later in her story, which also ran on CNBC's
Upfront Tonight and MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams, she asked and
answered: "Why he single minded pursuit, seemingly so out of sync
with the national mood? One reason, no Republican on the committee
suffered at the polls." Another reason: neither Newt Gingrich or Bob
Livingston has decided to intervene, leaving Democrats
Neither ABC or CBS have yet aired a full story on
the cases of those punished for lying under oath about sex in a federal
civil case. NBC got to it the day Ken Starr testified. Earlier, Dateline,
Today and 20/20 looked at the subject. For details on the Today and 20/20
stories, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1998/cyb19981113.html#3
For more on the
Dateline piece, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1998/cyb19981116.html#3
Geraldo Rivera returned on Monday from a week off, but he hasn't lost
any of his disgust with Ken Starr. On the November 30 Upfront Tonight on
CNBC he slipped in a hit at Starr: "In any case, late today Hyde
condemned the President for his quote, 'selective ability to recall
information,' which kind of reminded me of Ken Starr's testimony
before the committee."
And showing that
Rivera's liberalness goes beyond the Clinton scandals, MRC news analyst
Geoffrey Dickens also caught this liberal advocacy announced later in the
"I like that move now to sue the gun
manufacturers the same way they sued the tobacco manufacturers. I think
that's the way to go."
Rivera's consistent: neither Clinton nor the gun-using criminal is
responsible for where he shoots. (Sorry, too good an opportunity to pass
ABC's Lisa McRee was exasperated by the Republican decision to look at
Clinton's answers in the campaign fundraising probe. On Tuesday's Good
Morning America, MRC news analyst Jessica Anderson noticed, she pounded
away at Republican Representative Lindsey Graham:
"Congressman, why? Why expand the inquiry now?"
-- "Well, then why even bring it up?"
-- "But Ken Starr's report was about sex in
the White House and lying about sex. Why drag in campaign finance?"
-- "But according to polls, the public is
really coming away saying, we are sick of it, get it over with."
Old media line:
impeaching a President for lying about sex is illegitimate. New media
line: Don't look at anything else that might have to be considered more
McRee then asked
ABC legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin: "And in terms of Janet Reno's
decision not to appoint an independent investigator to look into Vice
President Gore or into Harold Ickes at this time, which she still of
course could, is that a mistake?"
But instead of pursuing McRee's rare attempt to
raise a Republican point, Toobin jumped back immediately to denouncing the
"I think the law is very unclear. I mean,
she could have gone either way, clearly. I think expanding the probe at
this point is really pretty bizarre. I mean, remember Henry Hyde at the
very beginning of this process said, look, he said in September, we're
dealing only with Lewinsky, we'll be done by end of the year. This is an
enormous subject, it's been investigated a great deal by Congress already,
and now on December 1 they're going to start fresh with it? It really does
suggest that they really are desperately looking for some new angle that's
going to turn the people against the President."
Monica Lewinsky almost employed by CNN? As Rush Limbaugh noted on his show
last Tuesday, November 24, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal's
editorial page passed along to him a nugget he came across on page 4,293
of Linda Tripp's grand jury testimony.
Q: Did Monica Lewinsky and the President discuss the possibility of other
jobs, particularly in the media?
A: Yes. The President suggested when he
wanted a list of -- a wish list of where she wanted to go -- and she had
vague ideas, but nothing specific enough to allow him to have a specific
clear idea, they talked about networks. And he instantly said that someone
who would do anything he asked was someone named -- I think his first name
is Richard, but Kaplan at CNN, who had recently I believe gone from ABC to
CNN who he said was a very, very close friend and was heading up CNN in
Atlanta. He could make that happen with a snap of his fingers.
If you ever see
any bias from Wolf Blitzer or John King, remember that it could have been
worse, they could have been produced, edited or even replaced by like, you
know, Monica Lewinsky.
For more on
Kaplan's close relationship with Clinton, check out the January 14
CyberAlert which featured excepts from a Vanity Fair profile of the CNN
President. Amongst the items detailed:
-- How Kaplan once hired Hillary Clinton.
-- How he not only advised Clinton about how to counter Gennifer Flowers,
a pretty well known event, but had earlier counseled Clinton on how to
recover from his too-long 1988 convention speech.
-- How he had been a political operative for a liberal presidential
candidate before jumping to journalism.
-- How he made calls to console Hillary Clinton after Vince Foster's death
and to Web Hubbell after he resigned.
-- How he killed a Whitewater piece from World News Tonight, discouraged
reporters and producers from pursuing the topic and only ran an in-depth
look one night in 1994 because Nightline was about to grab it.
-- How he slurred conservative media critics who see liberal bias,
specifically Reed Irvine and MRC Chairman Brent Bozell, as
To read this CyberAlert, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1998/cyb19980114.html
What's Eleanor Clift thankful for? Answering that question on the
McLaughlin Group aired this past weekend the Newsweek veteran replied:
"The good sense and the sound judgment of
the American people, expressed in poll after poll this year, and in the
November elections basically putting the scandal in a perspective that
nobody here in Washington has been able to do."
I bet Monica
Lewinsky would be a more balanced reporter than Eleanor Clift. At least
Lewinsky was able to acknowledge she was in love with Bill Clinton. -- Brent Baker
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