ABC Talks to PI Who Warned Willey; "Stalinist" Trial; Rivera Endorses McCain
1) CBS scolded Ken Starr
for a "serious case of poor timing," but it was the New York
Times which chose the timing of a story on how Starr associates said he
believes he can indict a President.
2) Peter Jennings and Dan
Rather marveled at the "remarkable" GNP numbers. CBS delivered
only the White House attacks on the GOP while NBC highlighted how
"even Republicans" want to move on.
3) A private investigator
hired by Democratic fundraiser Nathan Landow's lawyer revealed to ABC
News that Kathleen Willey was intimidated and he warned "her that
someone wanted to do her harm."
4) Al Hunt: The
"Republican Party is dominated by an intolerant, sometimes bigoted,
overwhelmingly southern right-wing and that scares a lot of people"
as they act like "family values cops."
5) Charles Gibson disapproved
of considering newsworthy an interview in which Ken Starr's wife said
he's been faithful.
Stalinist," declared MSNBC's John Hockenberry of continuing the
Senate trial now that it's clear fewer than two-thirds will vote to
7) In a CNBC chat session
Geraldo Rivera once again disparaged Ken Starr and denounced the
"cabal" of conservatives, but he revealed his 2000 pick:
"The most attractive candidate to me is McCain."
>>> Clinton's hand on her thigh.
In analyzing what pages are most popular on the MRC site Webmaster Sean
Henry discovered that one we long forgot about is still generating
interest: stills of a February, 1998 ABC News story about how Bruce
Lindsey hushed up news that Bill Clinton was a bit too friendly with
flight attendants on his 1992 campaign plane. So, Sean has gone back and
added a RealPlayer video clip of ABC's story, complete with the
incriminating video of Clinton with the flight attendants. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/other/camp92.html
Sunday's New York Times front page story on how Ken Starr "has
concluded that he has the constitutional authority to seek a grand jury
indictment of President Clinton before he leaves the White House in
January 2001," generated questions on the Sunday morning shows and
led the evening shows.
But though the
Times cited only what "associates" of Starr had supposedly been
saying and despite the fact Starr deferred any comment when asked about
the story outside his home Sunday morning, the CBS Evening News blamed
Starr for the timing of the story. Reporter Sharyl Attkisson asserted:
"....Although Starr won't give any hint as
to his intentions, members from both parties say that raising the prospect
now, in the middle of the impeachment trial, is a serious case of poor
Asa Hutchinson on Face the Nation: "Well,
it's not helpful at all because many people in the Senate, or some
people, defenders of the President, say well there's no sense impeaching
him because he can be held accountable when he leaves office."
Senator Charles Schumer on Face the Nation:
"I think that Ken Starr is once again running amuck. The timing is
very suspicious. Why was this leaked right now?"
The Times only
reported: "While the President's legal team has fought in the Senate
chamber for the President's political survival, Starr and his prosecutors
have actively considered whether to ask a federal grand jury here to
indict Clinton before his term expires, said Starr's associates, who spoke
on the condition of anonymity.
"But these associates emphasized that Starr
had not decided whether, or when, to ask the grand jury to charge Clinton
with perjury and obstruction of justice in the Monica S. Lewinsky
If timing is at
issue it's the New York Times which should be questioned.
"Remarkable," gushed Dan Rather of the latest GNP number on
Friday night. Peter Jennings agreed, marveling at the
"remarkable" rate. Tom Brokaw was equally as impressed, but
managed to find a different term: "sensational."
On the impeachment
front, CBS offered viewers only the White House view of how Republicans
want to "prolong the impeachment trial now simply to inflict maximum
humiliation," while NBC's Gwen Ifill highlighted how "even
some Republicans" now "agree" it's time for the trial to
-- First, here's
how the three broadcast networks opened the Friday, January 29 shows:
ABC's World News Tonight: "Good evening. The biggest news today is
also a big surprise to all but the insider government number crunchers.
The Gross Domestic Product, which measures all the goods and services
being produced in the national economy, was up a remarkable 5.6 percent in
the last quarter of last year..."
Dan Rather, CBS
Evening News: "Good evening. It's just plain amazing. With 40
percent of the world in recession, if not depression, figures out today
show the U.S. economy is coming off its strongest quarter in two years,
growing at a remarkable rate of 5.6 percent in the final three months of
Tom Brokaw, NBC
Nightly News: "Good evening. Think about it. There probably have
never been better times than these when so many people are doing so well
in an economy that just gets stronger and stronger. The latest measure are
the numbers that are in for the end of 1998 and they're
-- Second, the impeachment trial front:
CBS delivered only
the Clinton spin without an utterance from a Republican. Anchor Dan Rather
announced: "The President's spokesman flatly accused congressional
Republicans of trying to prolong the impeachment trial now simply to
inflict maximum humiliation and damage on the President. CBS News chief
Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer shows you the picture that prompted
this kind of talk."
Schieffer then showed video of Senate
Sergeant-at-arms Zigler walking with the subpoenas for Lewinsky, Jordan
and Blumenthal. No GOP view appeared in his story.
Next, Scott Pelley checked in from the White
House: "Today the White House criticized the depositions as simply an
attempt to embarrass Mr. Clinton."
Rather got to Reno's decision on Harold Ickes, but instead of stressing
how much evidence Reno had to ignore in making her decision, he
highlighted how she declined to name "yet another" independent
"CBS's Phil Jones confirms tonight that
Attorney General Janet Reno has officially decided no on the appointment
of yet another special prosecutor, this time involving fundraising by the
President's former Deputy Chief of Staff, Harold Ickes. Reno's
decision against follows heavy Republican pressure to rule yes and some
conflicting advice in her own Justice Department ranks."
During a NBC Nightly News story on the issuing of
the subpoenas, Gwen Ifill showed how Democrats want to move on, adding:
"And even some Republicans, mayors visiting Washington for a
conference today, agree."
Mayor Rita Mullins, Palatine Illinois.
"Enough is enough. I kind of wore this pin today because it was like
stop, stop. We've had enough." [Her pin was of an open hand]
Kathleen Willey was intimidated by a private investigator hired by Nathan
Landow's lawyer. Friday night ABC's Jackie Judd advanced the Willey
story with an exclusive report on World News Tonight. Judd began:
"ABC News has learned that this private
investigator, Jared Stern, has become a key witness in the investigation
of whether there was an attempt to scare Kathleen Willey."
After a soundbite of Stern confirming that he
worked on the Willey case, Judd picked up the story:
"Sources familiar with Stern's work say he
was hired by a lawyer for Nathan Landow. Landow is a prominent Democratic
fundraiser who brought in several hundred thousand dollars for the
Clinton-Gore ticket. Willey has testified that Landow pressured her to
deny that Clinton made a sexual advance toward her. The same sources say
that Landow had Willey investigated at a time when she was a witness in
the Paula Jones sexual harassment case and also the Starr criminal
"Landow himself told ABC News last fall that
he had asked the lawyer to draw up quote, 'a chronology,' unquote of
Willey. Sources say Stern, the private investigator, was asked to pull her
phone records, to find out what medications Willey might be taking, to
conduct a so-called 'noisy' investigation to let Willey know she was
being watched. Stern's lawyer, Edward Bouquet:"
Bouquet: "I think that he perceived a
situation where he was being asked to do something that he wasn't
Judd: "Bouquet claims Stern was so
uncomfortable he called Willey and left a message -- using an alias --
warning her that someone wanted to do her harm. What investigators want to
know is whether Stern has knowledge of the so-called 'jogger,' that is
a reference to Willey's claim that two days before her deposition in the
Jones case, a jogger, a stranger, approached her near her home, asked
about her children, and said, 'Don't you get the message?' We asked
Stern what he does know."
Judd: "Do you believe that there was a
jogger who harassed her?"
Stern: "I do, wholeheartedly."
Judd: "Stern insists he is not the jogger
but he also says with certainty that Willey is telling the truth about the
incident. A spokesman for Landow says he will be 'completely
exonerated.' Sources say Landow and the lawyer refuse to answer
prosecutors' questions, making this a very difficult case to
Al Hunt charged that the modern Republican Party, with its "southern
right-wing" dominated by "intolerant" and
"bigoted" leaders "scares a lot of people." Appearing
on Saturday's Capital Gang on CNN, the Executive Washington Editor of
the Wall Street Journal claimed in answer to a question about how the
trial would hurt the GOP:
"You know, if impeachment were an isolated
instance, I doubt it would have any affect at all. But it is adding to the
growing perception that the Republican Party is dominated by an
intolerant, sometimes bigoted, overwhelmingly southern right-wing and that
scares a lot of people. It's very similar to what happened to the
Democrats in the '70s and the notion that they were dominated by this
narrow band of ideological and cultural folk. And I want to tell you
something, I think today many people see Republicans not as a party of
family values, but as a party of family values cops and they don't like
that at all."
Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson didn't react positively to
the news that Ken Starr's wife said she'd have left Bill Clinton and
that she is confident her husband has been faithful. MRC news analyst
Jessica Anderson caught this exchange from the Friday morning, January 29
Sawyer: "On a very different and lighter note, Alice Starr, Ken
Starr's wife, has given an interview in Ladies Home Journal, and
she says about Mrs. Clinton, 'I'd rather not be married to someone who
doesn't love me enough to remain faithful,' and talks about the fact that
she and Ken Starr, Judge Starr have been faithful to each other, and goes
on to say that she met him because, and married him because he was the
friendliest, nicest person [she'd] ever met. So that from Alice Starr,
who's by all accounts, a very nice woman."
Charles Gibson: [Pauses] "Okay."
Sawyer: "I'm just reporting the news."
Gibson: "No, no, we're, we're getting
details of people's lives that I don't want to know, overall."
The Republicans are directing a Stalinist show trial?
Yes, contended a MSNBC host in a quote caught by MRC analyst Mark Drake.
Conservatives would argue the trial is illegitimate because the House
managers are not being allowed to put on a full and complete trial with
witnesses. Liberals claim it's phoney because once more than one-third
voted to dismiss last week everything is now for show since the
prosecutors cannot win the two-thirds required for convictions.
the liberal line of thinking, on Thursday night's Hockenberry on MSNBC
John Hockenberry proposed to Republican Senator Charles Grassley:
"You said it's not about getting the President but when historians
look at the numbers in those votes today, is that what they are going to
say -- it wasn't about getting the President or are they gonna say it
Moving on to law
professor Jonathan Turley, Hockenberry forwarded the official liberal line
on the meaning of the 44 votes in favor of dismissal: "Jonathan, I
want to start with you. Now you've said eloquently and repeatedly on
this program and others throughout this process that this is a
constitutional process and that it needs to move forward and that a trial
is absolutely appropriate and that everything is working according to
plan. It seems to me after today that any pretense of that this is a
constitutional process is gone. Yes, we're gonna have witnesses but
it's not a real trial and the votes were partisan so it's not a real
constitutional process anymore."
that the trial is in a quagmire because the managers were not allowed to
direct the case, but that following a constitutional process does not
always prevent "uniquely stupid" things from happening.
Hockenberry fired back: "But 'uniquely
stupid' is not the word I would describe this process. It's Stalinist.
It seems as though it's gone on behind closed doors. Everything is
according to a script. It's just arcane and impenetrable in the extreme
and it has nothing to do with what we would consider normal fairness and
trial procedure to be."
In response to questions in a CNBC chat session last Wednesday night
Geraldo Rivera once again disparaged Ken Starr as a "persecutor"
and traced all of Clinton's troubles to a "cabal" of
conservatives, yet denied he reflects the "same narrow- mindedness of
those who relentlessly pursue our President."
Here are some of
the questions and answers that intrigued MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens,
listed as posed, with the errors left intact. To read the entire
transcript of the January 27 session, go to: http://www.cnbc.com/moreinfo/990127_grchat.html
-- Q: "Do you
contest the fact that Nixon NEVER lied under oath like your hero Clinton?
This will ALWAYS BE A FOOTNOTE IN THE HISTORY BOOKS -IMPEACHED!!!! Doesn't
that make you proud to be one of the Spinmeisters?"
A: "The history books will record that Bill
Clinton was a flawed man, much like most of the rest of us. It will
further record that he was hounded for four years by an ideologue whose
whole life revolved around getting Clinton by any means necessary. It will
further record that the last years of the millennium saw the GOP crucify
itself on a cross of false morality."
-- Q: "When
this mess is finally finished, what will you focus your attention on? I
really do enjoy your show! How do you stomach Bob Barr and Jerry Farwell
and that idiot from the Wall Street Journal?"
A: "As far as putting members of the right
on the program, I think it is important to know your enemies, even better
than your friends. Besides, if I just aired one side of this story, I'd be
guilty of the same narrow-mindedness of those who relentlessly pursue our
How could anyone
consider Geraldo to be "narrow-minded"?
-- Q: "How
can we justify the imprisonment of other people in this country for
perjury if Mr. Clinton is allowed to get away with it?
A: "Clinton can still be indicted and
convicted and imprisoned for perjury. He is liable as soon as he is out of
office. And know how obsessive a man Ken Starr is, I am sure that
persecutor will still be around to get Clinton anyway he can."
-- Q: "Do you
believe, Geraldo, in the 'vast right wing conspiracy theory? Or, at least,
a medium sized-wrong one?"
A: "I believe that Clinton's troubles have
been caused principally by a relatively small web, let's call it a cabal
of conservatives including Richard Mellon Scaife, the beauts who run the
American Spectator, and a lean and hungry bunch of hard right wingers who
have hated Clinton from the moment he uttered his first political
-- Q: "Geraldo,
its all over. Now will you support Gore in 2000?"
A: "I don't get involved in electoral
politics. I do own a small weekly newspaper in New Jersey. It is feisty
and independent and it does endorse both GOP and DEM candidates. Of what
I've seen so far the most attractive candidate to me is McCain of Arizona.
But then I went to the U of A so I'd be partial to a fellow Wildcat."
That should doom McCain amongst conservatives. -- Brent Baker
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