Touting Pat Robertson; CBS: Clinton Brought Smiles to Kids; GOP "Un-American"
1) Dale Bumpers praised for his
"folksy humor" and "homespun wind-up and wallop." Greg
Craig got time every night last week but on Thursday the broadcast
networks shut out any GOP critique.
2) The networks enthusiastically touted Pat
Robertson's call to end the trial. Dan Rather: "The new argument by
Democrats for a fast out and a quick acquittal is getting an unintentional
assist from a most unlikely quarter."
3) ABC's John Cochran: "In Iowa, polls
already rank Quayle among the top three Republicans. How did this
4) CBS celebrated a Clinton spending plan
to train teachers, insisting it "brought a sigh of relief to
educators around the country" and "smiles to the faces of many
5) In heaping praise on Cheryl Mills the
networks ignored how she may have obstructed an investigation of the White
6) A study determined that Clinton's
proposals will cost $288 billion annually, but the networks ignored the
cost as John Hockenberry referred to Clinton as a "Republican
7) Geraldo Rivera admitted a
"crush" on Cheryl Mills and charged Republicans were "very
un-American" during the State of the Union.
"Media Ignore Blatant Double Standard of Many
Senate Democrats Who Convicted Perjurious Judges: Al Gore Voted to Remove
Judges for Less?" The latest Media Reality Check fax report is now up
on the MRC home page. In this edition the MRC's Tim Graham documents the
minimal coverage for how 26 currently serving Democratic Senators voted to
remove a judge for committing perjury. The fax report is posted on the MRC
home page, or go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990122.html
Correction: The January 18 CyberAlert
quoted George Stephanopoulos as saying "...I think the White House
will probably site Gerald Ford..." That should have read "will
last day of Clinton's defense led the ABC, CBS, CNN, FNC and CNN evening
shows Thursday night, but in stark contrast to all the days when the House
managers made their case, the other side received no time on ABC nor time
for any relevant points on CBS and NBC. Every network offered laudatory
words for the performance of former Senator Dale Bumpers, but neither ABC
or CBS even mentioned David Kendall who went before Bumpers.
FNC's Carl Cameron sensed a
swing in momentum toward the anti-witness view, citing Republican Senators
Warner and Shelby as two now leaning against witnesses as finding an exit
strategy is "definitely in the wind." CBS's Bob Schieffer
relayed the same sentiment, noting after a clip of Bumpers: "As
moving as the rhetoric was, equally significant was talk in the corridors
where there are increasing signs that Senators in both parties are
searching for some way to speed up the proceedings and end the
Below, a look at how the
January 21 evening shows handled reaction from the House managers and
-- Republicans ignored: CNN's
Jeanne Meserve told World Today viewers: "At every opportunity the
House managers were at the microphones to defend themselves and their case
and their compassion, which was called into question by Bumpers."
That must have surprised anyone
who saw the broadcast network evening shows. While a soundbite of Greg
Craig's daily criticism of the Republican case or an entire story
dedicated to relating the White House view aired on all three broadcast
network evening shows on the three nights the House managers made their
case, and Craig appeared on all three on the third day (Saturday, January
16), Thursday night none made time for the equivalent reaction from a
Republican, though they all had access to video of Henry Hyde which both
CNN and FNC played. ABC avoided Republican reaction. While CBS and NBC ran
the same soundbite of Hyde urging Senators to not short-circuit the
process, the networks did not air any of his comments on what Kendall and
"Homespun...wallop" and "folksy humor" from a
ABC's Linda Douglass on World
News Tonight: "At ease and confident, Bumpers dared to joke about the
Bumpers: "H.L. Menken said one time when you
hear somebody say this is not about money, it's about money. And when you
heard somebody say this is not about sex, it's about sex."
Douglass: "And that was his point. Bumpers
argued passionately that Bill Clinton did not hurt America, he only hurt
himself and his family."
Dan Rather opening the CBS
Evening News: "Good evening. President Clinton's opening defense at
the impeachment trial that could expel him from office had as homespun
wind-up and wallop today. The President's friend, a former U.S. Senator
from Arkansas, invoked not the letter of the law, but the spirit."
Bob Schieffer added that Bumpers "ended the
White House defense with a stem-winding flourish."
CNN's Jeanne Meserve on the
World Today referred to how Bumpers "used folksy humor, his renowned
rhetorical skills and his knowledge of the Constitution."
On the NBC Nightly News Gwen
Ifill introduced her piece on Bumpers: "Offering a folksy and pointed
defense of an old friend today...."
Robertson thrilled the White House and the networks when he asserted on
Wednesday that Clinton has won and it's time to end the trial. ABC's Good
Morning America and NBC's Today ran stories on his comments Thursday
morning and all three broadcast networks jumped on them Thursday night as
a sign momentum has shifted in favor of ending the trial. Nightline used
Robertson as a jumping off point for a discussion among four conservative
guests (Bill Bennett, Ralph Reed, Robert Bork and Carmen Pate) about
whether it's time for Republican Senators to bail out.
Here's how the January 21
evening shows promoted Robertson's assessment:
-- ABC's World News Tonight.
Sam Donaldson at the White House:
"They're trying to show a public face, a
very judicious, somber look. But behind that there's a big smile. They
loved the reaction to the State of the Union speech. The President liked
his attorneys and the way they presented the defense, actually watched a
little bit of Senator Bumpers this afternoon, the White House officials
say, something they never admit in the past that he's done. And they
really like the fact that the Reverend Pat Robertson, the prominent
conservative Republican, who has been calling for the President's removal,
now says well it's over, let's forget it and move on."
-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather
explained how Robertson's comments had aided the Democratic cause:
"The new argument by Democrats for a fast
out and a quick acquittal is getting an unintentional assist from a most
unlikely quarter, someone who's taken the lead in the past in demanding
the President's removal. CBS's Eric Engberg has the latest chapter and
verse from preacher Pat Robertson."
Engberg played the
soundbite from Robertson: "Clinton's won. They might as well dismiss
this impeachment hearing and get on with something else because it's over
as far as I'm concerned."
Then viewers heard audio of Robertson confirming
his point on Thursday as he used a football analogy that the score is 50
to 0 with only the 4th quarter to go, so the game's not officially over,
Engberg continued: "At a meeting of
conservative leaders in Washington today, many agreed with Robertson's
assessment because they said the votes aren't there for conviction and the
impeachment is drowning out other conservative issues."
David Keene, identified on-screen as
"Conservative Political Action Cmte." though the last word
should have read "Conference." Keene observed: "So it isn't
as if it's the impeachment fight that's hurting them. In their view it's
the fact that it's there it all. It could be a whale -- if it's obscuring
the people's vision, but as long as they can't see them promoting their
views on taxes, regulation, government and the like they think that they
Engberg concluded: "Republican insiders say
Robertson was simply stating the obvious, that the party should not
prolong the trial. Some of the GOP's big money contributors, who carefully
read the opinion polls, are sending the same message: Impeachment is, for
political purposes, a loser."
-- NBC Nightly News. David
"The White House seized on the comments of
Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson who on his 700 Club television
show said the President, quote 'hit a home run in his State of the Union
Robertson on the 700 Club:
"Clinton's won. They might as well dismiss this impeachment hearing
and get on with something else because it's over as far as I'm
Bloom then played a soundbite
of Joe Lockhart pleased that Robertson has joined the vast majority who
want to move on. Bloom concluded by picking up on George Bush's complaint
that there is now "'excessive intrusion into private lives.' Of
course, that's a complaint this White House has been echoing for the past
Quayle's plan to announce Thursday night on CNN's Larry King Live his
decision to run for President generated a brief mention from every
networks and a full story on ABC. CBS anchor Dan Rather considerately
alerted viewers that the last out of office Vice President to become
President was Richard Nixon.
On World News Tonight Peter
Jennings asked: "Mr. Quayle says that he assures us he is serious.
The question is will he be taken seriously?"
John Cochran reflected bafflement at his
popularity: "In Iowa, polls already rank Quayle among the top three
Republicans. How did this happen? After all, as Vice President he was a
favorite target of late night comics for his losing battles with the
Cochran went on to explain that he's been
courting social conservatives who agreed with his infamous Murphy Brown
comments and has appealed to conservatives by taking on George Bush,
promising to never call himself a "compassionate conservative."
Cochran concluded: "Those
who know him well say the once easy going Quayle is now a driven man,
determined to show those who laughed at him that he is no joke."
Clinton, CBS Evening News viewers learned, "brings smiles to the
faces of many children." Thursday night CBS delivered a model example
of how no matter how much liberal media analysts complain about how
scandal coverage is unfair to Clinton, the President can always count on
favorable treatment for any liberal policy initiative he forwards.
The January 21 "Eye on
America" feature promoted Clinton's call at a White House event for
another $18 million for a program called "Troops to Teachers."
Maggie Cooper opened this "news" story:
"Today's announcement in Washington by
President Clinton to continue funding a program called Troops to Teachers
brought a sigh of relief to educators around the country. But, more
importantly, smiles to the faces of many children."
As viewers saw smiling children
at play Cooper contended the 5th graders in San Benito (sp?) Texas are
"especially" happy because they've benefitted from a former Air
Force Master Sergeant turned teacher who has helped raise test scores.
Cooper explained that the program provides departing members of the
military with up to $5,000 for training and certification if they agree to
teach in certain schools for at least five years. Without giving a time
frame, Cooper reported that so far the program has placed 3,000 new
teachers. Giving the program a glowing review, Cooper added that it has
fulfilled a "desperate need" for male and minority teachers.
Nonetheless, not everyone
realized the wonders of the program. But fortunately Clinton came to the
rescue: "The program was living on borrowed time because funding was
running out. But today President Clinton's appeal to Congress may give
Troops to Teachers a new lease on life."
Clinton: "If you think that we ought to
spend even more money on it, I'll support you."
Without a syllable from any detractor to discuss
the cost-effectiveness of the program or to suggest military people don't
need a bureaucracy to find them a job, Cooper concluded by challenging
Congress to come through:
"Today's announcement was a victory for
educators who launched a grassroots effort to keep the program alive, but
it remains to be seen whether Congress will come up with the cash to turn
military men and women into some of the two million new teachers this
nation will need in the next ten years."
Never mind the Senate removing
Clinton now, how will we survive without him in two years?
On a more serious note, if the
program has so far placed 3,000 teachers let's be generous and say it will
place 3,000 a year. Over the ten years that Cooper said we'll need 2
million that will produce 30,000 teachers. Wow. A mere 1,970,000 to go.
Mills, American hero. The January 21 CyberAlert featured praise for Cheryl
Mills from network reporters. MRC analysts have come across some more
admirable reviews of her performance and life, but none managed to mention
her role in obstructing a House probe of the White House Database.
Thursday's Today, MRC analyst
Geoffrey Dickens noticed, featured a glowing profile of Mills by Pete
Williams. After running through her personal history, Williams made it to
"She's now the only remaining member of the
original Clinton White House legal team. A former colleague says there's
only one reason that she would give up her anonymity by appearing in the
Lanny Davis: "I'm imagining in my memories
of her how difficult it must have been. But I know the reason she ended up
saying yes is because of her devotion too and belief in President
Williams: "A devotion that led her to
conclude her defense with an emotional tribute to the President as a
champion of civil rights."
Cheryl Mills: "I stand here before you today
because America decided that the way things were was not how they were
going to be. I stand here before you today because President Bill Clinton
believed I could stand here for him."
Williams: "For Today, Pete Williams NBC
MRC analyst Mark Drake caught
this positive review of her performance from reporter Chip Reid on
Wednesday night's The News with Brian Williams on MSNBC:
"Then it was time for Cheryl Mills, a young
White House lawyer. She's been working in the trenches at the White House
on the scandal beat ever since the beginning of the Clinton presidency.
This was her moment to shine and shine she did. She went through a calm,
methodical performance. She poked some holes in the obstruction of justice
charges. She said, for example, that the President's meeting with Betty
Currie after his deposition was not an attempt to obstruct justice, it was
an attempt to obstruct the media."
Neither of these stories or any
of the other reports from Wednesday night or Thursday morning on the
January 20 presentation by Mills went into her role in helping the White
House obfuscate a couple of other scandals.
In a January 21 e-mail report
Matt Drudge detailed what all the networks have skipped about Mills.
Here's an excerpt from the Drudge Report:
HILL CONTROVERSY: CLINTON DEFENDER CHERYL MILLS FOUGHT
OWN OBSTRUCTION CHARGE
..."This is outrageous, arrogant and will do
nothing to help the president's case!"
The reaction of a senior Republican Senator after he
learned earlier this week that Mills would present the Clinton defense on
Lewinsky obstruction charges in the Senate impeachment trial.
Late last year Mills herself was hit with charges of
obstruction and wrongdoing by a House subcommittee!
When called before the committee to explain the
withholding of documents during its investigation into the White House
Database situation, Cheryl Mills chose to give "demonstrably false
testimony," a committee report claimed.
"The committee believes that there is substantial
evidence that in September 1996 then-Associate [now-Deputy] Counsel to the
President Cheryl Mills, with the knowledge and concurrence of then-White
House Counsel Jack Quinn, knowingly and wilfully obstructed the
investigative authority of this committee by withholding documents that
were plainly responsive to the committee requests for documents and
information. Moreover, when this obstruction was brought to light in a
hearing before the committee, Ms. Mills lied under oath about the
documents and the circumstances surrounding their nonproduction."
The Mills matter was referred to the Department of
Justice for investigation of possible perjury and obstruction, according
to Hill sources.
Mills strongly denies any wrongdoing in the Database
But one Congressman directly involved in the
investigation tells the DRUDGE REPORT: "We found substantial evidence
that she perjured herself, repeatedly, in testimony before our committee.
And now she has been chosen to defend the president on obstruction?"
The Mills charges are playing at http://www.house.gov/reform/neg/reports/whodb/whodb.htm
Mills also was in the middle of controversy over the
White House's long delay in turning over to Congress videotapes of White
House coffee fundraisers.
To read the Drudge Report, go
of Union Proposals Carry $288 Billion Annual Price Tag: Clinton Would Grow
Government $7 for Every $1 in Tax Relief, Study Finds." So announced
a press release from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), but
have you seen Clinton's speech referred to as liberal or any reporter cite
the huge spending totals Clinton advocated? To read the NTUF press release
and study, go to: http://www.ntu.org/sou2.html
MRC analysts and I have
yet to see the NTUF number or any similar perspective expressed on a
television news show. In fact, MSNBC's John Hockenberry asserted, the
supposedly conservative and centrist ideas in the speech made Clinton a
As the January 21
CyberAlert showed, many reporters heaped praise on the address. But that's
a much different approach than reporters took when Reagan was President.
Digging back through the MRC's pre-computer hard copy archive, the MRC's
Tim Graham discovered an illustrative example from 1987 and passed it
along to MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell III for inclusion in his latest
syndicated column. It begins:
All the media pom-pom shaking over Clinton's latest
State of the Union address almost makes me nostalgic for a return to the
Reagan years, when the press mercilessly (and, usually, unfairly) slammed
the Gipper at every opportunity.
At least there was an attempt at journalism.
Go back a dozen years. In 1987, ABC's Jim Wooten
analyzed Reagan's State of the Union address this way: "During the
Reagan years, the number of poor people in America has gone up by 23
percent, while federal help to the poor has gone down by nine percent. And
if the President has his way with this next federal budget, that gap will
continue to grow." Wooten then ticked off a list of anticipated
victims from the Reagan "cuts," including children, school
lunches, food stamps and public housing. He then claimed homelessness had
increased "a thousand percent" in the Reagan years....
END Column excerpt
To read the entire column, go
to where the MRC's Kenny LeMay has posted it: http://www.mediaresearch.org/columns/news/col19990121.html
Instead of focusing on
Clinton's tax and spend plans, MSNBC's John Hockenberry portrayed him as
someone advocating ideas that would make Reagan proud. Here are two of his
questions to Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa on the Wednesday night
edition of his MSNBC show, both observed by MRC analyst Mark Drake:
"So in other words,
personal retirement investment money goes into the economy. It fuels
growth along with tax cuts. The growth gives you more revenue. The revenue
you use to save Social Security. Sounds like a Reagan proposal to
"All right, then let me
ask you this. Why, under any circumstances would the Republicans want to
impeach a 'Republican President?'"
few Geraldoisms picked up by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens from the January
20 Rivera Live:
-- "Hearing Ms.
Mills talk about what civil rights are really all about makes Republican
references to poor Paula Jones, in my constitutionally protected opinion,
-- After a clip of Cheryl
Mills, as he pats his heart: "I'm telling ya, I love that woman. I
think I got a crush, I don't know. Ed Rollins I don't know if it was
pragmatic politics or playing the race card or the gender card, I don't
care what card you call it that woman did a brilliant job today."
-- "It seems to me that
you gotta, you have to be polite to the President of the United States. I
mean Dick Armey is sitting there, 'Oh gawd,' rolling his eyes, 'What a
whopper.' You know to me that and then the empty seats. To me that's very
Just when you thought Rivera couldn't go any
further he tops himself. -- Brent Baker
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