Geraldo in Full-Gloat Mode; Actor Ron Silver Repudiates "Right-Wing Fringe"
1) Those opposed to censure,
Bob Schieffer argued, "sound like a prosecutor telling a jury if you
don't give this defendant the death penalty then just let him go."
Rather jumped on the probe of Starr, but no one is questioning the timing
or asking who leaked.
2) "You go Tom!"
Geraldo Rivera exulted as he clapped. "Iowa should be proud of
Senator Harkin for...singling out Ken Starr's conduct as the conduct
most deserving of contempt."
3) Geraldo Rivera is gloating,
rejoicing in the probe of Starr, the "narcissistic legal crank,"
and seriously asserting that Bill Clinton "seems to be a guy who is
honest in every other aspect of his life but his sex life."
4) "I think the American
people's response to this is actually conservative with a small c,"
contended columnist E.J. Dionne.
5) Actor Ron Silver scoffed at
how Republicans control "the people's House" when "they
don't like the people" and insisted the managers "are every bit
as flawed as our President," but "they didn't have Starr with
$40 million going after them."
Correction and Clarification:
The February 9 CyberAlert item on the sex survey changed the sex of the
CBS News consultant interviewed by Dan Rather. She's Dr. Bernadine
Healy, not Bernard Healy. Also, the issue reported that the survey data
appeared in a 1992 book. In fact, while the National Health and Social
Life Survey took place in 1992, the data were not published until 1994.
"Good evening. The Senate impeachment trial is crawling to a
close," remarked Peter Jennings in opening the February 10 World News
Tonight. The announcements by Republican Senators Jeffords, Chafee and
Specter that they would vote no, including the bizarre allegiance of Arlen
Specter to "Scottish law" over the U.S. Constitution, led all
the Wednesday evening shows except NBC Nightly News which began with a
judge's back to work order for pilots at American Airlines. CNN's Bob
Franken and FNC's Carl Cameron added that Slade Gorton will vote no on
perjury, yes on obstruction.
censure, CBS reporter Bob Schieffer argued, conservatives "sound like
a prosecutor telling a jury if you don't give this defendant the death
penalty then just let him go."
CBS anchor Dan
Rather read a brief item about how the New York Times reported that the
Justice Department is probing Ken Starr's performance, but unlike when a
New Times story two weeks ago revealed Starr thought he could indict
Clinton, there's no media indignation about who leaked the story or
outrage at its timing. Back then Good Morning America grilled two guests
about who leaked and the improper timing of it in the middle of the Senate
trial. On Wednesday morning: Mention of the story in the news updates, but
reports MRC analyst Mark Drake, no interview segments. The 7am half hour
interviews dealt with the Salt Lake Olympic scandal and an avalanche in
France. Only FNC's Carl Cameron pointed out that the last time Starr was
investigated the federal judge cleared his staff.
from the Wednesday, February 10 network evening shows:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. In a relatively brief 1:13 opening story Linda Douglass
noted: "Specter appeared to want it both ways. He said he will avoid
declaring the President not guilty by voting not proved, which he said is
an option under Scottish law. No one knows if such a vote is
possible." Douglass concluded that while there is not a majority to
convict on perjury, Republicans "say though there is pressure to vote
for the obstruction of justice charge to avoid embarrassing House
Republicans who impeached the President. But even that, Peter, falls far
short of the 67 votes needed to remove him from office."
-- CBS Evening News. Bob Schieffer ran through
the decision of the three Senators and allowed Republican Senator Jim
Inhofe to explain why conservatives oppose censure. Inhofe explained:
"Censure is a cover cop-out." But then Schieffer concluded by
spelling out how that position pleases Democrats:
"By Republican reasoning censure gives the
Democrats the excuse to say they punished the President without removing
him from office. And the Republicans don't want to give the Democrats
that excuse, but in doing so they sound like a prosecutor telling a jury
if you don't give this defendant the death penalty then just let him go.
Privately, Democrats seem very happy with this Republican strategy."
Referring to the
White House, Dan Rather then observed: "One thing they definitely do
not want to appear to be is too happy, much less gloating." Scott
Pelley checked in with a report on how Clinton's staff is working on a
announced: "The Justice Department will reportedly look into whether
special prosecutor Ken Starr's office misled Attorney General Janet Reno
in seeking permission to investigate the Monica Lewinsky case. The New
York Times reports the focus is on the failure of Starr's office to
disclose its contacts with lawyers for Paula Jones. Handwritten notes by a
Justice Department official indicate Starr's office said it had never
spoken with Jones' lawyers when the facts indicate otherwise."
-- CNN ran a half-hour trial special at 10pm ET.
Bob Franken led the 8pm ET The World Today with a look at the three
Senators, adding that another "moderate," Dick Lugar, said will
vote yes on both while Slade Gorton will go no on perjury and guilty on
anchor Joie Chen read numbers from a CNN/USA Today/Gallup which found 70
percent approval for Clinton while 57 percent favor censure. From the
White House, John King observed: "Privately, associates say, the
President has harsh words for Republicans trying to remove him from
office. But his public message is one of reconciliation and
Next, Wolf Blitzer
reported Hillary Clinton may run for the Senate: "CNN has learned
that First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is now giving very serious
consideration to running for the New York Senate seat in 2000."
-- FNC's Fox Report opened with Carl Cameron on
the three Senators followed by Brian Wilson on White House plans and then
David Shuster on the Justice Department probe of Starr. On the charge of
mistreatment of Lewinsky at the hotel, Shuster reminded viewers:
"Last summer, however, a federal judge conducted her own examination
and found that the Office of the Independent Counsel in fact told Lewinsky
she could leave and gave her several opportunities to call her
-- NBC Nightly News. Anchor Tom Brokaw took 44
seconds to read an item on the three Senators, noting:
"Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter threw another monkey wrench into the
process by announcing he will note 'not proved' instead of not guilty.
Specter said there's a precedent for that in Scottish law. He invited
other to join him in voting not proved."
Geraldo Rivera let loose Wednesday night, February 10, in opening CNBC's
Upfront Tonight, offering this tirade illustrated with brief video clips:
Tom Harkin: "This case should never have been brought to the United
States Senate. In fact I believe it to be one of the most blatant,
political, vindictive actions taken by the House of Representatives since
Andrew Johnson's case was pushed through by the Radical Republicans of
his time and forced upon the Senate."
Geraldo Rivera: "You go Tom! [clapping] Iowa
should be proud of Senator Harkin for defying the rules that forced secret
deliberations, for blasting the case against Clinton and for singling out
Ken Starr's conduct as the conduct most deserving of contempt."
Harkin: "The American people, I've said
many times, will abide sin and give forgiveness, but they will not abide
hypocrisy and hypocrisy abounds throughout this case."
Rivera: "And my personal choice as winner of
best actor in the category of hypocrisy."
Video of the November Starr/Barney Frank exchange
in which Frank derisively says Starr is the "the expert on unfair
Rivera: "Ken Starr is up to his neck in hot
water and tonight we'll show you how the independent counsel got
Clip from Titanic in which a character yells a
warning about an iceberg ahead.
Rivera picked up the theme: "And speaking of
the Titanic, today Republican Senators began jumping off their sinking
Two quick clips of Specter and Chafee.
Rivera: "Right now with acquittal in sight
the Washington press corps apparently thinks the President's gravest
danger is over-celebrating."
Soundbite of a reporter suggesting to Joe
Lockhart that Clinton can't win because if he ever smiles he will be
accused of gloating.
Rivera agreed: "Good question. Seriously,
for anyone worried about Clinton being ungracious in victory this just in
from a source very close to the President. Quote: 'He's in pretty good
shape. We had a long heart to heart over the weekend, and he's tired of
it all, emotionally and physically. When I told him it was almost over the
President sort of sighed and said, 'They'll never give up.'"
And Rivera will
never give up defending Clinton and disparaging Starr.
The White House may insist they are not gloating, but Geraldo Rivera's
CNBC shows are definitely not gloat-free zones, MRC analyst Geoffrey
Dickens discovered. On Tuesday's Rivera Live Rivera rejoiced in how
"Ken Starr, the man described accurately last week by The New York
Times as a 'narcissistic legal crank,' just might be in more hot water
than the President he has so ruthlessly pursued." Later, Rivera
seriously asserted that Bill Clinton "seems to be a guy who is honest
in every other aspect of his life but his sex life," an assessment
that even Newsweek's Jonathan Alter found preposterous.
Two excerpts from
the February 9 Rivera Live:
ironic? President Clinton demonized by his accusers and relentlessly
hunted by an obsessed prosecutor will remain in office. His legacy surely
diminished but his presidency just as surely will survive the impeachment
vote later this week. Meanwhile so many of his political enemies have been
crushed. Newt Gingrich, gone, out of office. His would be successor Bob
Livingston will soon be unemployed. Henry Hyde, Helen Chenoweth, Bob Barr,
Trent Lott and Tom DeLay have all been tarnished while the once formidable
melon-shooting Dan Burton is now a laughing stock. But the ultimate irony
is this. Ken Starr, the man described accurately last week by The New York
Times as a narcissistic legal crank just might be in more hot water than
the President he has so ruthlessly pursued. Some months ago we began
drawing up our own Articles of Impeachment against the independent counsel
as the now real possibility of legal action against Ken Starr moves closer
[Clinton] did a bad thing and I talked to David Maraniss you know who
wrote First in His Class and I asked him a question because I'm not a
biographer of Bill Clinton. I, you know, wasn't particularly a fan, one
way or the other of his until I became maybe his most ardent television
defender. That's because I was offended by this case against him. But he
seems to be a guy who is honest in every other aspect of his life but his
sex life. He seems to be, you know that's where his problem is."
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter: "Well, no, a
lot of people would take issue with that. I think one of his problems, one
of the reasons people don't like him on the Hill is that his word has
not been his bond in other areas as well. So he's been a very successful
and effective President in many ways but he's had some problems since
the campaign in this whole area."
Rivera: "But he never took bribes, he's
not engaged in treason, he's not..."
Alter, jumping in: "Well that's true and
in a larger sense I think history will say that the cure."
Rivera: "It's not exchanging arms for
hostages, with all due respect to my buddy."
Alter: "And lying about that as some
previous President's did."
Rivera: "But the cure here was worse than
the disease. And I think that's what history will say is they will go
down in history's bed chamber together, Starr..."
The public's embrace of Clinton and rejection of the impeachment process
reflects their conservative values. MRC analyst Mark Drake caught this
analysis from Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne on Tuesday's
Hockenberry. Dionne told the MSNBC viewers:
"I think the American people's response to
this is actually conservative with a small c and it's the following:
that they looked at what President Clinton did, they didn't approve of
it, they didn't like it and then they said 'Okay. How did this come
out? How did this become a legal case? Is it worth upsetting an election?
Is it worth upsetting our institutions or are there less radical ways of
dealing with what President Clinton did wrong?' So I don't think this
is an American people who have lost their moral or cultural compass. I
just think they looked at something wrong. They decided it was wrong and
they wanted a solution well short of impeachment and removal from
Actor Ron Silver has nothing but contempt for Republicans, especially
after they went after his President. All this week ABC's Politically
Incorrect is being taped at the Warner Theater in Washington, DC. On
Monday's show, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson documented, Silver, who is
now co-star of the NBC sit-com Veronica's Closet, scoffed at how
Republicans control "the people's House" when "they don't
like the people." Later he charged that the 13 House managers
"are every bit as flawed as our President, but they were lucky and,
thank God, they didn't have Starr with $40 million going after them for
list included Sam Donaldson and the stridently leftist Richard Belzer,
star of NBC's Homicide. Politically Incorrect airs daily after Nightline
and Washington area viewers should be aware that WJLA this week is not
delaying the airing for 30 minutes as it usually does to accommodate
Extra! This week Politically Incorrect is running at 12:07am.
On the February 8
Politically Incorrect Silver appeared with fellow liberal Ann Richards and
opposite Republican Congressman Matt Salmon and Wheel of Fortune host Pat
Sajak who more than held his own. Here are a couple of Silver's
diatribes, the first of which will be posted Thursday morning on the MRC
home page after Kristina Sewell cues it up:
-- Silver: "I
think it's really an important question to figure out what the Republican
Party is gonna do after this. I mean, they've shut down the government,
and they are very proud of it, and then they didn't want to be blamed for
it. Then in '94, they came in, the revolution, right, the class of '94
came in and they said, 'We're grassroots, and the people,' and here we
are in '99 and they're saying, 'The thing wrong with the country is the
people because they don't get it and they're not outraged enough.'"
Silver over cheers and applause from audience:
"And wait, wait, Pat, let me just finish this. Now what has the
Republican Party done when they had the House, the people's House? But
they don't like the people. But what have they done? [Laughter from
audience] What have they done? They renamed National Airport. They tried
to shut down the government. [Cheers and applause] And they're trying to
get into your bedroom to find out what you're doing. What kind of party is
"Pat, Congressman [Matt Salmon], is there no sense of shame on your
part or the party about the clear, cheap hypocrisy on the part of many of
the House managers and the party? You're talking about Henry Hyde, Helen
Chenoweth, Bob Livingston, Bob Barr....Isn't there any, wait, is there, is
there no sense on your part that the Founding Fathers, your 13 House
managers, are every bit as flawed as our President, but they were lucky
and, thank God they didn't have Starr with $40 million going after them
for seven years."
"Matt [Salmon], don't you think the party has a problem? You're
clearly hostages to the right-wing fringe of your party."
No more than Hollywood is hostage to the
left-wing fringe. -- Brent Baker
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