Why Is GOP "Dragging This Thing Out?"; Hating Conservatives More Than Clinton
1) NBC's David Bloom called
Clinton's expected education proposal a "radical shift" and
CBS's Dan Rather critically referred to Clinton's Balkans policy as a
"U.S. foreign policy debacle."
2) A new Good Morning America
team, but the same old liberal tilt. Charlie Gibson pressed Bob Dole five
times about why Republicans push ahead: "Why is your party dragging
this thing out?"
3) NBC's Jack Ford put the
burden on Republicans to deny they just want witnesses so they can
4) Andy Rooney's window on
media thinking about Clinton and conservatives: "I do know I like the
people who like him better than I like the people who hate him."
5) "The 'right-wing
conspiracy' remains very much alive -- and it's still out to get
Clinton," declared abcnews.com, which argued his opponents are
frustrated by his success on abortion.
6) Tom Harkin called the House
case "a pile of dung." On Sunday, Sam Donaldson actually
demanded: "How can you be impartial if you'd already made up your
Fighting and massacres in Kosovo topped the ABC and CBS evening shows
Monday night wile the tornadoes in Tennessee led on FNC and NBC. Only CNN
went first with impeachment and Clinton's upcoming State of the Union.
Following a couple
of pieces about the Serbians on the CBS Evening News, Dan Rather labeled
it a U.S. "debacle" as he segued into the Senate trial:
"Against that developing U.S. foreign policy debacle overseas, this
is also the eve of a defining day, not only for President Clinton's
future domestic agenda, whatever if anything is left of it, but also
whether this President is to be banished from office."
Scott Pelley at
White House ran through the items Clinton is expected to propose and from
Capitol Hill Bob Schieffer noted that Tom Daschle has conceded witnesses
are inevitable. Schieffer added that people on the Hill are nervous about
Clinton's speech in the middle of the trial.
Over on ABC's
World News Tonight Sam Donaldson revealed that "in a tit for tat
twist to match the House Republican mangers who argued the case against
the President, we're told three or four House Democratic Judiciary
members will join the Clinton defense team to tell the Senate how unfair
they think all this was." Donaldson added that Sammy Sosa will sit
with Hillary Clinton during Bill Clinton's address.
At 8pm ET CNN led
its World Today with a piece by John King in which he identified the
probable House Democrats who will join Clinton's lawyers later in the
week: "CNN has learned the White House is planning a dramatic
addition to its defense team: three House Democrats who would attack the
impeachment process as unfair to the President. Administration sources say
Judiciary Committee Democrats John Conyers, Thomas Barrett and Rick
Boucher are being asked to prepare presentations...."
Anchor Moret then
announced that a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found 58 percent wish for the
trial to end as soon as both sides have made their case while just 39
percent want to hear from witnesses. Next, Candy Crowley looked at past
State of the Union addresses compared to the awkwardness of this one and
Jonathan Karl reviewed the expected legislative agendas to be unveiled
this week by congressional Democrats and Republicans.
Bloom characterized as "radical" Clinton's education proposal,
though he also noted it will not please conservatives. From the White
House he noted that Clinton may propose partially privatizing Social
Security by allowing some money to go into the stock market "and
he'll propose a radical shift in education policy, requiring states to
improve local schools or risk the loss of billions of dollars in federal
money." That "radical shift" would include cutting federal
aid money unless schools stop promoting unqualified students and
"certify the competency of new teachers." Of course, a real
radical reform would be to go against the teacher union and propose
testing of current teachers. After a soundbite from Education Secretary
Richard Riley, Bloom did lead into a clip of Republican Congresswoman
Jennifer Dunn by conceding: "But in the President's education plan
conservatives see only a disturbing new level of federal control."
ABC's Good Morning America offered a new co-hosting team as of Monday
morning, but the same old liberal take on the day's events. In the very
first interview of the show, Charlie Gibson, who is now paired with Diane
Sawyer, hit Bob Dole with a series of questions from the liberal side of
the debate over whether to hold Clinton accountable. Later in the
interview he asked Dole about his wife running for President and whether
he thinks he could have saved the country a lot of trouble if people had
voted for him. But Gibson's opening series of questions, MRC analyst
Jessica Anderson observed, could have been written by Lanny Davis:
do you see any way that the Senate will get 67 votes to convict Bill
Clinton and remove him from office?"
-- "But Senator, if there's no way that this
is going to turn around, if the votes aren't there, why is your party
dragging this thing out?"
-- "But what is certain is what the public
sentiment is on this thing. People want it over with, and if the votes
aren't there, why not, why go through all this business about witnesses?
Why not just get it done?"
-- "But if you have witnesses, it'll, it's
going to add months to this thing and tie up the Senate, isn't it?"
-- "But, you know, you bring up an
interesting point, and that is this: If we're going to drag this thing out
for months with witnesses, whether it's the White House line or not, it's
going to take a long time to do that. It's going to be an enormous
distraction to the White House and all kinds of issues that the Congress
ought to be considering, and all kinds of foreign policy issues that this
country needs to consider, are going to get, eventually put into a
pigeonhole until all of this gets done."
"drag this thing out?" We wouldn't be here now if Clinton had
ever admitted what he did.
On Saturday's Today co-host Jack Ford also put the burden on Republicans
to defend their behavior instead of on Clinton and Democrats for resisting
going forward with the constitutional process. MRC analyst Mark Drake
caught these two questions from Jack Ford to House manager George Gekas on
the January 16 Today:
-- "But can
you see why a number of people and not necessarily people that are
supporters of the President would watch and listen to the [House] Managers
saying 'you need witnesses, you need witnesses,' and say to them
themselves 'you know what? This is now getting purely political and
personal and these people just want Monica Lewinsky to be in there to
further embarrass the President?'"
"Congressman, let me ask you one last question, if I might. We
don't know what the outcome of this [Senate trial] is going to be and
we're not suggesting what the outcome should be but just assume for the
moment, for the purpose of this question, that the Senate decides not to
remove the President. How then will you and other members of the team of
managers be able to work with this President and the administration for
the next two years after you have so publicly and so forcefully called the
President a criminal?"
And after Clinton
so publicly and forcefully lied.
Andy Rooney may be a humorist, but Sunday night he probably revealed the
thinking of many of his media colleagues. They may not like what Clinton
did but they have more disgust for his conservative opponents, so will
never let them win.
On the January 17
edition of 60 Minutes Rooney commented on reaction to his criticism of the
White House Christmas card. He then went into his view of President
"I'm surprised at how polarized our
country is in relation to President Clinton. A lot of people don't think
he's done anything wrong, or if he has that it's anyone's business
but his own. And then there are the people who hate Bill Clinton.
They've always hated him. Nothing he can ever do will keep them from
hating him for the rest of their lives. They call him Slick Willie. You
can't talk to these people. I'm glad everyone else is so sure of what
they think about Bill Clinton because I don't know what I think. I do
know I like the people who like him better than I like the people who hate
The "Summary" of an article on the abcnews.com Web page:
"The 'right-wing conspiracy' remains very much alive -- and
it's still out to get Clinton." The MRC's Tim Graham passed along
to me the piece brought to the attention of MRC Marketing Director Bonnie
Goff by a visitor to the MRC home page.
Under the headline
"Critics Watch Final Act: Clinton's Foes Find Victory in Trial --
No Matter What the Outcome," ABC national correspondent David Phinney
examined the activities and attitude of Judicial Watch's Larry Klayman.
Here's an excerpt from the story posted on January 15 in which Phinney
contends: "Clinton fans blame the angry frustration of the
President's right-wing adversaries not on thwarted investigations, but
on Clinton's efforts to protect abortion and gay rights."
'Conspiracy' Alive and Kicking
Count Klayman a charter member of what
Hillary Rodham Clinton calls the "vast right-wing conspiracy,"
out to unseat her husband. His group is just one of many that have been
hounding the president for years. A handful of these anti-Clinton
organizations receive hefty funding from Pittsburgh philanthropist Richard
Mellon Scaife. And there's no sign of them letting up, even with the
impeachment trial in full swing.
It doesn't matter to these groups that
after spending $45 million the independent counsel has determined that
"Filegate," along with most of his investigations of Clinton,
hit a dead end and is now closed. Nor does it matter that polls show
Americans are sick and tired of the swamp of scandals bogging down much of
And forget about the President's soaring
approval ratings. Nothing seems to unnerve the pack of snarling pit bulls
nipping at Clinton's heels. Their aim is to bring the President down.
"He's a phony, a con man and the
greatest liar in history," charges Klayman.
A Nation of Suckers?
This belief -- that the President has gotten away with hoodwinking an
unsuspecting nation -- took control of many in Washington soon after
Clinton was sworn into office.
After all, Clinton has repeatedly stared
down the barrel of political oblivion, only to survive. He has been
accused of draft-dodging, womanizing, carrying out inside real estate
deals, wrongfully using FBI files, conducting campaign shenanigans, making
deals with the Chinese...The hits just keep on coming, but the
"Comeback Kid" has rolled with every punch, leaving his
frustrated opponents shaking their fists in anger.
"And then he is re-elected," says
Mike Lux of People for the American Way, which has been mobilizing support
for Clinton. Clinton fans blame the angry frustration of the President's
right-wing adversaries not on thwarted investigations, but on Clinton's
efforts to protect abortion and gay rights.
Those who want Clinton's head on a
platter, says Lux, "have this rigid moral view that if you don't
agree with them, then you must be immoral."
The President's opponents could hit pay
dirt this time, even if the charges related to the Lewinsky affair smack
of "scandal lite" compared to the other allegations they have
thrown at Clinton in the past."
To read the entire piece, go to the "PoliticalNation"
section under "U.S." on the abcnews.com
Web page. The direct address: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/PoliticalNation/pn_impeachmentreact_990115.html
Ending on a bright note, given a chance Sam Donaldson asked liberal
Senator Tom Harkin about his impartiality. As noted in the January 11
CyberAlert, on the January 10 Fox News Sunday Harkin had disparaged the
House case as "a pile of dung."
this past Sunday, January 17, on ABC's This Week and Donaldson brought
up the dismissive attitude:
"Senator Harkin, Senator Leahy declines to
answer my specific question. Is it the facts of the case and whether he
did it, or whether it's serious enough? And I would remind you sir, that
a week ago, before even hearing the case from the House, you called the
case against the President a pile of dung. How can you be impartial if
you'd already made up your mind?"
Sam comes through on occasion. -- Brent Baker
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