Lindsey Graham's Aunt "Says He's Wrong"; House Managers Remind One of Nazis
1) ABC's Linda Douglass
portrayed Republicans as the bad guys for daring to pose questions to
President Clinton. NBC charged that "at Lindsey Graham's own
church, some say the Congressman has gone too far. Graham's aunt Verna
and Uncle Hollis...say he's wrong."
2) ABC and AP delivered loaded
reports on how the Supreme Court ruling rejecting census
"sampling" will disenfranchise "millions."
3) Despite how the Senate has
impeded the House managers, MSNBC's Brian Williams suggested that they
have had too much sway.
4) Geraldo Rivera proclaimed
that he'd like to box Ken Starr and blamed Starr for how a media mob
accosted Monica Lewinsky.
5) House managers like Nazis?
The New York Times led a story with a woman's claim that they remind her
of the Nazis as another Times story warned of a "a small secret
clique" of anti-Clinton lawyers.
6) Sam Donaldson boasted about
how he alerted viewers to the shortcomings of Reagan's economic
policies, but he didn't do the same with Clinton.
>>> The January 25 MediaWatch is
now up on the MRC home page, thanks to Webmaster Sean Henry and research
associate Kristina Sewell. "Hypocrites Exposed by Flynt: TV
News" is the headline over the front page story. The Review by the
MRC's Tim Graham, "Where Did the Senate Trial Go?" and a page
three story, "Magazines: Scandal Isn't Substance," detail how
the networks showed just a few seconds each night of what House managers
said and the weekly magazines buried their few quotes. Back page stories:
"Nixing Judge Nixon's Case" and a piece by MRC analyst Jessica
Anderson titled "Opening with Imbalance: ABC Begins Trial with GOP
Labeling." Newsbites include "Dream Team" by MRC analyst
Paul Smith on how CBS denigrated the managers as "conservative
zealots," "Lisa's Byrd Bath" by analyst Mark Drake on a
gushing profile by NBC's Lisa Myers and "Rivera Kicks Claire,"
a look by analyst Geoffrey Dickens at how Rivera called a question from a
colleague "snotty." To read the issue go to www.mrc.org, or to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/mediawatch/1999/mw1999archive.html
Correction: A January 25
CyberAlert item on Geraldo Rivera quoted Bill Clinton as promising a year
ago: "I'd for you to have more rather than less..." That
should have read "I'd like for you..."
The broadcast networks led Monday night by stressing "confusion"
in the Senate. ABC's Linda Douglass portrayed Republicans as the bad
guys playing "hard ball" by daring to pose questions to
President Clinton, instead of painting him as uncooperative or someone
with something to hide. NBC sent Fred Francis to South Carolina where he
found many supportive Lindsey Graham constituents distressed by the lack
of public outrage over Clinton's behavior, but also that "at
Lindsey Graham's own church, some say the Congressman has gone too far.
Graham's Aunt Verna and Uncle Hollis, who helped raise him, say he's
CNN ran its usual
special at 10pm ET and opened its 8pm World Today with a rundown of the
day's Senate events. FNC's Fox Report began with a series of three
stories on the impeachment trial. During FNC's 6pm ET Special Report
with Brit Hume reporter Jim Angle, after recounting a Senate question to
Clinton about spreading the "stalker" story about Lewinsky, told
Hume that reporters know that rumor was being spread by the White House
since all journalists heard it.
from the broadcast network evening shows for Monday, January 25:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Peter Jennings began the show by noting "confusion in
the capital" and how "the debate is getting sharper and
from Trent Lott as well as Charles Canady and Nicole Seligman from the
Senate floor over the motion to dismiss, Linda Douglass zeroed in on GOP
aggressiveness, concluding her story:
"And in a sign that the Republicans still
plan to play hard ball with the President, ten GOP Senators today sent a
list questions to Mr. Clinton, questions such as 'Is everything you
testified to in the Jones deposition true?' They go on to say, Peter,
'please begin your answers with yes or no.' Tough talk."
-- CBS Evening News. From Washington, DC Dan
Rather teased the show: "The Senate votes to do it behind closed
doors." He then opened: "Good evening. On a day of confusion,
disarray, motions but not necessarily movement at the impeachment trial
here in Washington."
-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw, also in DC,
opened by asserting: "Good evening. Well it's been a day of
wheeling and dealing, bluffing and bluster, confusion and chaos and
tonight the Senate still is trying to find a way out of the impeachment
After Gwen Ifill
reviewed what happened in the Senate, Claire Shipman declared from the
White House: "The President pointedly offered counter-programming to
the impeachment trial today." She proceeded to recount his
announcement that the number of people on welfare is the smallest in 30
years as well as how he will not answer the questions posed by the
Next, Fred Francis checked in from South Carolina, where he found that
with one exception he highlighted, the people are on the side of their
Congressman who is a House manager and are concerned about the lack of
outrage over Clinton. Francis began:
"The heart of the Bible Belt, Seneca, South
Carolina. For the true believers here, a rising chorus: The polls are
simply wrong. And the Lord's work, they say, is being subverted by the
Senate. Here most of the people are conservative Republicans,
Francis played several soundbites from a pastor
and others who claimed the polls must be wrong. Francis then continued:
"Most of the citizens strongly support their
Congressman, a House prosecutor, Lindsey Graham. Graham's slice of the
South's Bible Belt is in stunned disbelief that the President may be
acquitted. People here say the President's sins are sad proof that the
nation is on the edge of moral collapse. But even within this religious
community, at Lindsey Graham's own church, some say the Congressman has
gone too far. Graham's Aunt Verna and Uncle Hollis, who helped raise
him, say he's wrong."
Verna: "Everybody I talk to, they say he
don't need to be impeached."
Francis: "He doesn't need to be impeached?
Does your Lindsey know that?"
Verna: "I don't tell Lindsey."
So much for
standing by and supporting your family members.
concluded by summarizing how most feel just the opposite: "As devout
Christians virtually everyone here says they can forgive Clinton, but they
do not want what they call an immoral man, who refuses to admit he lied,
to stay in the White House."
Incensed at the census decision. ABC News didn't bother with even trying
to present the conservative arguments against census sampling. Instead,
the network used the hook of Monday's Supreme Court decision upholding
the requirement for a real count as a chance to forward the liberal
arguments about the dire consequences of not sampling. Only ABC featured a
full story on the decision the other networks gave a sentence or two to
World News Tonight
anchor Peter Jennings, on January 25, announced the ruling and then added:
"The administration argued that this was the way to account for the
millions of Americans who do not get counted in the traditional door to
door surveys, millions of voters the Democrats covet."
John Cochran began by illustrating why a regular
count insisted upon by the Supreme Court just isn't good enough:
"Let's say you are an African-American in Harlem and you always
feel harassed by the authorities. So when the census takers send you a
form to fill out, you don't. Or you're a Hispanic in California and
you're tired of officials checking to see if you are an illegal alien,
so when the census taker comes knocking you don't answer."
Cochran allowed Wade Henderson of the Leadership
Council on Civil Rights to explain how many are fearful that the
information will be misused so they don't cooperate. After the 1990
census, Cochran insisted, studies found 15 million were not counted,
mainly poor and minorities. Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution then
got a soundbite to say that counting them would help Democrats.
Cochran picked up: "So, when the Supreme
Court ruled against sampling today, it was a stinging defeat for
Democrats. It was also a defeat for states with large minority
populations, states hoping to get more seats in Congress [on screen map
with CA, AZ, TX, FL and NY highlighted]. It was a victory for other
states, states which feared losing congressional seats [MN, WI, MO, PA, MA
and CT highlighted].
"But the Supreme Court said that sampling
can be used to count people in determining how much federal aid should go
to states and cities with large numbers of minorities. That may set up a
battle between Democrats and Republicans over whether to spend the money
needed to pay for sampling. Unlike some fights in Washington, the fight
over counting is a fight that counts."
Note that most of
the states which are now less likely to lose seats already have a
majority, or in the case of Massachusetts 100 percent, Democratic
The Associated Press distributed an equally
loaded story Monday afternoon which emphasized how "millions of
people will be left out," instead of stressing how the court blocked
the Clinton administration from abusing its power to change the way the
census has always been done. The lead from the AP's Richard Carelli:
"The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the
2000 census cannot use statistical sampling to enhance its accuracy, a
decision making it more likely millions of people will be left out. The
5-4 ruling requires the traditional nose count to redraw congressional
Now compare that
lead to a more straight-forward wire story by James Vicini of Reuters:
"A divided U.S. Supreme Court Monday adopted
the position advocated by House of Representatives Republicans, striking
down statistical sampling for the 2000 census in a ruling that affects
"In a stinging defeat for the Clinton
administration, the nation's high court by a 5-4 vote rejected a U.S.
Census Bureau plan to supplement its traditional head-count method with
the statistical sampling...."
The Senate set up a procedure which limited the amount of time allowed for
the House case and denied House managers the standard time for rebuttal
offered to all prosecutors in court rooms. Then on Monday, before even
considering whether to allow the managers to have witnesses, the Senate
began debating whether to dismiss the case.
Despite how the
Senate has impeded the House managers and put the burden on them to prove
why normal procedures should be followed, MSNBC's Brian Williams
suggested Monday that it is the House managers who have had too much sway
over the Senate. At 12:51pm ET on Monday Williams asked Democratic Senator
"Is the population of the Senate now at 113?
Now here's what I mean: Are the House managers getting a
disproportionate voice in how you should proceed?"
Kerry jumped at the set-up question out of the
Democratic spin guide: "Well, I think it's at 114 because Ken Starr
has become the 14th manager and that's what many people are deeply
disturbed about. The answer to your question in brief is I think
Geraldo Rivera blamed Ken Starr, not the photographers who were actually
alongside Lewinsky, for accosting her Saturday in a DC hotel and he
asserted that he'd like to box Starr.
-- On Monday's
Upfront Tonight, after video of Lewinsky trying to get through a crowd of
reporters and photographers: "Watching her get attacked that way just
makes me sick to my stomach. I blame the House managers for it absolutely,
aside from Ken Starr."
Ken Starr, of
course. Can't forget about him.
-- Friday night,
January 22, on CNBC's Rivera Live Rivera and Carl Bernstein shared their
admiration for Hillary Clinton and disgust with Starr. Here are two
exchanges caught by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens:
"Look she is a remarkable woman."
Rivera: "And she is one of the great stories
of our time, the same way the Pope was."
"Here we have this woman who is so admired, the best known woman in
the country, among the best known women in the world if not the best
known. And really we knew very little about her. And one thing though that
we haven't looked at is her clash with the culture of Washington. You
know from the day that she came to Washington people have been after
Rivera: "The Sally Quinns of the
Bernstein: "Sally Quinn?! Ken Starr."
Rivera: "Oh him! I'd like to box him.
He's in my weight class. I'd like to box him."
Bernstein: "I mean really there's never
been anything like this in which a First Lady has been pursued like
"A small secret clique" of anti-Clinton lawyers damaged Bill
Clinton, the New York Times ominously warned the day before the paper
began a story by passing along how one woman frustrated with the House
managers "feels the same despair that she did as a girl in Nazi
Germany when the efforts of a stubborn group of leaders snowballed,
crushing the will of the people."
-- A front page
story on January 24 by Don Van Natta Jr, and the dependably liberal Jill
"This time last year, Hillary Rodham Clinton
described, in a now-famous appearance on the NBC News program Today, how a
'vast right-wing conspiracy' was trying to destroy her husband's
"As it turns out, some of the most serious
damage to Bill Clinton's Presidency came not from his high-profile
political enemies but from a small secret clique of lawyers in their 30s
who share a deep antipathy toward the President, according to nearly two
dozen interviews and recently filed court documents.
"While cloaking their roles, the lawyers
were deeply involved -- to an extent not previously known -- for nearly
five years in the Paula Jones sexual misconduct lawsuit. They then helped
push the case into the criminal arena and into the office of the
independent counsel, Kenneth W. Starr...."
-- MRC entertainment analyst Tom Johnson caught
this opening to a January 25 story by Ginger Thompson on liberal
Manhattanites enraged by the Republican push for removal:
"As she watches Republicans in Congress push
ahead with impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, Ellen Mendel
of Manhattan says she feels the same despair that she did as a girl in
Nazi Germany when the efforts of a stubborn group of leaders snowballed,
crushing the will of the people.
"'It is apparent that the bulldozing
campaign by the Republicans will not end,' said Ms. Mendel, a
psychotherapist. And in a moment of self-analysis, she added: 'Their
efforts are so abusive that I was beginning to feel a sense of
discouragement. I have been feeling very isolated.'
"Sunday Ms. Mendel and scores of other New
Yorkers who support Clinton gathered at Hunter College to vent their
outrage and discuss new ways to get their views heard in Washington.
"Wearing buttons that said 'Let the People
Decide' and carrying banners that said 'Let's Fire Ken Starr and Tan
Henry's Hyde,' some 400 people packed a Park Avenue auditorium and
turned what was billed as an academic forum into a political
Sam Donaldson unwittingly demonstrated his own bias in covering State of
the Union addresses: Denounce Reagan's policies but praise Clinton's
On Sunday's This
Week Donaldson recalled:
"A word about the television aspect of the
speech, the home run aspect. I learned way back in 1981, I learned, Ronald
Reagan. He gave this wonderful speech, this great, accurate -- I don't
disparage him, I mean, it was really moving. But I said on the air,
something to the effect, yes, but the programs here, to cut taxes like
that, we'll run up huge deficits, they'll never buy that. Ha! Ho! They
bought it, I mean, they just rolled over Tip O'Neill and the Democrats.
For Bill Clinton to go up and people wonder in advance, is it going to be
a home run? Of course it's going to be a home run. This guy uses
television better than, with all due respect, all five of us put
The people may
have bought Clinton's performance, but was Donaldson consistent in
highlighting the policy shortcomings he perceived? No. MRC analyst Jessica
Anderson went back to ABC's live coverage of last Tuesday's State of
the Union and transcribed Donaldson's positive assessment:
"I think the President probably accomplished
what he wanted to tonight. If you hadn't known that he was on trial in
the Senate for his very job, you would not have thought it by looking at
the chamber. The Democrats were very enthusiastic, particularly about new
social spending, such things as strengthening civil rights, the
Republicans less so. But in recent years that's been, what the President
referred to tonight, as the see-saw effect, back and forth. Whichever
President has the party in power applauds him, and whichever President
doesn't, of course, it's the other side. So I would think the
President had done what he wanted to do: show that he was in command, show
that he had new programs and an agenda, and as far as you saw in the
chamber, there was no overt mention or appearance of his great trial in
Donaldson have mentioned? Maybe the cost of Clinton's spending plans and
the deficit it may cause, a deficit inevitability he was so eager to
forecast after Reagan spoke.
The January 22
CyberAlert pointed out that through Thursday night, January 21, none of
the networks had picked up on a National Taxpayers Union Foundation study
on the spending promises Clinton made in his address. Well, ABC did catch
up Friday night even if Donaldson did not. Jessica noticed that on the
January 22 World News Tonight Peter Jennings noted: "On the Money
tonight, another strong opinion on the President's State of the Union
proposals the other night. A taxpayer watchdog group says that if all the
initiatives Mr. Clinton proposed were enacted, federal spending would
increase by $288 billion, and create a $100 billion deficit in just a
Final note: MRC Webmaster Sean
Henry has posted a RealPlayer clip of the beginning of the January 21 CBS
Evening News story exulting Clinton's education spending plans. Reporter
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
excellent example of how the media are on Clinton's side policy-wise no
matter how they handle the scandal. To see the video clip and to read a
transcript of more of the story, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990122.html#4
probably won't be distributed until Thursday. -- Brent Baker
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