Revenge Rejected; Hero Heckler; Racist GOP; Oops: NBC Showed a Broaddrick Sign
1) Forget what Clinton did.
NBC's Jamie Gangel to Linda Tripp: "The country has gone through a
year of scandal which many people blame you for. Was it worth it?"
2) Wolf Blitzer and Sam
Donaldson assured viewers the story that Clinton is plotting revenge is
not true. The White House will be busy saving Social Security, Blitzer
relayed, "so they say there's not going to be a whole lot of time
for vendettas or revenge."
3) Al Hunt declared the Senate
gallery heckler the real "hero" and ABC's Politically
Incorrect showcases him before their audience.
4) Time's Jack E. White
savored how the pro-impeachment Republicans will lose their seats and
proclaimed the GOP is "all too willing to embrace bigotry if it's
dressed in a suit and tie."
5) NBC's Today inadvertently
showed a man holding a sign reading: "NBC SUPPORTS RAPE" and
"FREE LISA MYERS."
6) Time magazine gave one
sentence to how the IRS cleared Newt Gingrich, but used it to tell Ken
Starr it's time to quit.
>>> "The News Magazines Look
Past a Verdict: Hecklers Present Wisdom, House Managers are
'Two-Year-Olds,' and Al Gore Wins with Democrats." The latest
Media Reality Check fax report by Tim Graham is now up on the MRC home
page after being distributed by research associate Kristina Sewell and
posted by Webmaster Sean Henry. To read it go to: http://www.mrc.org
or directly to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990212.html
Jamie Gangel's last question to Linda Tripp on Friday's Today:
"When all is said and done, Monica's life
has been ruined, President Clinton remains in office, the country has gone
through a year of scandal which many people blame you for. Was it worth
Don't blame Clinton for what he did and lying about it, blame the women
we should all be thankful to for letting us know about it all.
reflected the tone of the entire interview which Today spread over two
segments in the 7 and 7:30am half hours Friday morning, with Gangel
spending the entire interview demanding Tripp respond to the charges
against her forwarded by the pro-Clinton camp and the negative image of
her formed by derisive media characterizations.
CyberAlert will have much more on this interview.
The day it became likely that the majority of the U.S. Senate will not
hold President Clinton responsible for his actions, ABC's World News
Tonight led with stories on one jury making gun manufacturers liable for
shootings committed by criminals while another jury decided a
cigarette-maker should pay $55 million in a punitive award to a woman who
chose to smoke.
All the other
networks led with the trial and how another Republican Senator, Olympia
Snowe, would vote not guilty while a New York Times story revealed Bill
Clinton plans revenge against his House accusers. On an ABC story a bit
into the newscast, Sam Donaldson delivered the official reaction to the
revenge story: "White House Chief of Staff John Podesta angrily told
the staff this morning 'that's nonsense.'" CBS's Scott Pelley
learned that Clinton "took special note of the names of the five
Democrats who voted against him on the day he was impeached." Every
network but NBC allowed time for manager Chris Cannon to condemn the
strategy. Though the trial has been in progress barely a month, Dan Rather
opened by remarking how "the hour approaches for the U.S. Senate
finally to vote."
Here are some
highlights from the Thursday, February 11 evening shows:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Introducing a piece from Sam Donaldson on the revenge story,
anchor Peter Jennings noted the no vote announced by Olympia Snowe.
Donaldson summarized the New York Times story and allowed Congressman
Chris Cannon to ask: "What happened to repentance, atonement and
contrition? This is gloating and it's wrong."
RNC Chairman Jim Nicholson got a soundbite before
Donaldson allowed former Carter aide Jody Powell to urge the White House
not to gloat. Delivering the White House view Donaldson then showed Joe
Lockhart deny anyone has revenge in mind. Donaldson offered this
elaboration in concluding his piece:
"Tomorrow after the vote the President will
talk about all this in a television address. No gloating, only expressions
of sincere regret for his action and a desire to move ahead, according to
his aides. And as far as those anonymous sources suggesting revenge, White
House Chief of Staff John Podesta angrily told the staff this morning,
'that's nonsense.' He told them, Peter, that anyone telling
reporters that doesn't know what they're talking about."
-- CBS Evening News. From Washington, DC, Dan
Rather opened: "Good evening. The hour approaches for the U.S. Senate
finally to vote. The President will be acquitted. The only question is how
many votes there will be against him."
reported the Snowe "no" and how a majority vote on both counts
is now in doubt and allowed Cannon to label the revenge idea "the
height of arrogance." Noting the White House denial, Schieffer showed
that not even liberals buy it, leading into a clip of Senator Charles
Schumer urging Clinton to be contrite by noting: "Even the
President's friends urged him to ease off."
CBS then went to
other news, but returned to the scandal for the final story of the night.
With the White House behind him, Rather announced: "As the Senate
moves toward final votes on the impeachment charges against President
Clinton, the President and his advisers, behind me over there, are gearing
up for a sort of three Rs of post impeachment plan: Relief, Regrets and
Scott Pelley relayed that while they deny the
specific plan to take revenge on the House managers, "that is not to
say that the President is going to forget who his enemies were. We're
told he took special note of the names of the five Democrats who voted
against him on the day he was impeached. One of the President's closest
advisers told us tonight, 'are we going to invite these people to Camp
David? I don't think so, but we still have to do business with
-- CNN ran a trial special from 10 to 10:30pm ET
followed by a special Capital Gang. (Making me feel a little better about
some of my spelling errors, a CNN promo during the day pushed a special
edition of "Capitol Gang.") The 8pm ET World Today began with
Candy Crowley on the Senators and how no minds are being changed by all
the speeches. Bob Franken looked at how the managers want a majority vote
as validation and from the White House Wolf Blitzer assured viewers that
they plan to push issues like Social Security, education and health care,
"so they say there's not going to be a whole lot of time for
vendettas or revenge."
-- FNC Fox Report. Carl Cameron looked at the
Senate vote count, Jim Angle at the revenge story and Julie Kirtz profiled
an angry and tired Chris Cannon. Kirtz relayed a view not heard much in
the media: "Cannon believes the entire trial was a sham because, he
says, Senate rules prevented the managers from presenting all of the
-- NBC Nightly News. Like Rather, Tom Brokaw
anchored from Washington, DC. He led the show:
"Good evening. Well, the end is near. By
this time tomorrow night we should be reporting on the results of the
Senate vote on the articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton.
And tonight, not even the President's most outspoken critics in Congress
believe that he will be convicted. In fact, on both counts there may not
even be a majority of the Senate votes against the President, much less
explained how chances for 51 votes on either count "grew bleak
today" with Snowe's no vote. She gave the revenge story two
sentences: "House Republicans, angered tonight by reports that the
White House plans to target them politically after this is all over. The
White House says it plans no such revenge, but Democrats around the
country are already gearing up, ready for a little political
Heckler now a hero and celebrity. A major Washington media leader pointed
to him for inspiration and ABC's Politically Incorrect closes its show
for its theater audience with him repeating his rude and illegal outburst.
-- On CNN's
special Capital Gang at 10:30pm ET Thursday night, after Bob Novak said
the Senate didn't allow a real trial and could have had live witnesses
in the same amount of time, Wall Street Journal Executive Washington
Editor Al Hunt proclaimed:
"You know who the hero of this whole thing
is, its that guy, what was his name, Richard Llamas, the guy who stood up
in the Senate gallery last week and said 'Good God vote and get over
with this' will you. If they had stretched this out for another two or
three weeks, which if they would have had the kind of witnesses Bob wanted
to have, I want to tell you something, I think the people may have stormed
the United States Capitol."
-- All this week
ABC's Politically Incorrect has been taped at the Warner Theater in
Washington, DC. A February 11 USA Today article by Cesar Soriano revealed
how host Bill Maher is promoting the heckler's view:
"A local celebrity closes the Washington
shows. Richard Douglas Llamas, an unemployed carpenter who was arrested
last week for heckling the Senate impeachment trial, stands up and repeats
his famous line: 'Good God almighty, take the vote and get it over
with!' Says the self-described libertarian Maher: 'That pretty much
sums up the past year of this country.'"
Time magazine national correspondent Jack E. White relishes the idea that
all the awful Republicans who forced the country to endure their
"bogus, inflated case" will be sent packing when the White House
gets its revenge. He also recently proclaimed that the Republican Party is
"all too willing to embrace bigotry if it's dressed in a suit and
-- On Wednesday
night's McLaughlin Special Report at 8:30pm ET and PT on MSNBC host John
McLaughlin inquired: "Question: is this why we are seeing a rush to
the tall grass with an acquittal vote by so many senators? Are they afraid
of this Democratic onslaught against them, Jack White?"
MRC news analyst Mark Drake caught the noteworthy
reply from White: "They oughta be. I mean I can't think of anything
that would be better for the American Republic than to see some of the
Republicans who brought this bogus, inflated case and have put the country
through all this turmoil for the last almost a year than for them to be
sent packing and to be replaced by someone who can put this in somewhat
-- That reminded
me of this quote from White in the February 1 Time praising Cheryl Mills,
which we ran in the February 8 Notable Quotables:
"Her [White House lawyer Cheryl Mills]
rhetoric wasn't fancy, but it was on target. The G.O.P. is a party, after
all, that owes its post-Barry Goldwater resurgence to opposition to civil
rights. And while its leaders from time to time proclaim their belief in
racial justice, their pledges have been mostly lip service. They're too
genteel for a sheet-wearing bigot like David Duke but all too willing to
embrace bigotry if it's dressed in a suit and tie. Mills, 33, is just the
sort of hard-nosed advocate to drag such hypocrisy to the surface."
To read the rest
of the Notable Quotables issue, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1999/nq19990208.html
An embarrassing moment for Today. Flipping through Thursday's New York
Post the MRC's Tim Graham noticed a "Page Six" item about how
a man got on the air Tuesday on Today with a big sign demanding NBC air
the Lisa Myers interview with Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who now
charges Bill Clinton with sexually assaulting her in 1978. To learn more
about the item broken by Matt Drudge and a Fox News Channel story about
it, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990203.html#4
During the 8am
news update on February 9 Al Roker was, as usual, outside Today's
Manhattan street-side studios, mixing his weather report with brief
conversations with fans. After talking with a kid wishing her mother a
happy birthday, Today put up on-screen the national weather map.
Immediately after the map came down Today was back on Roker in the street
as he approached a man who said "we drew a picture of you."
Roker replied "thank you" and you could see the man's sign
read: "Kaulai Hawaii Loves Al Roker!"
But those words
were actually on the outside of a folded over sign, viewers soon learn to
Roker's horror as the man lifted open the sign from the bottom and you
could see for barely two seconds these big words in blue, red and black:
"NBC SUPPORTS RAPE." Then in smaller letters: "FREE LISA
MYERS." And below that, viewers saw most of: "Air the JUANITA
BROADDRICK INTERVIEW." Roker reeled and mumbled "Okey-doke.
Thank you very much" as Today quickly jumped back inside to a safer
MRC Webmaster Sean Henry will post, on the MRC home page, a RealPlayer
clip of this Today show scene.)
Newt Gingrich may win but no one will know and Ken Starr never will win
over the media. As reported in the MRC's latest fax report plugged at
the top of this issue, neither Newsweek or U.S. News this week bothered to
mention how the IRS cleared Gingrich and the Progress and Freedom
Foundation of any wrongdoing in accepting tax-deductible donations to
support his "Renewing American Civilization" college course.
Gingrich got one
sentence in the winners side of the "Winners & Losers"
column in the February 15 Time magazine, but Time couldn't resist taking
a shot at Starr:
"NEWT GINGRICH. IRS says foundation that
gave him money was clean; message to Ken Starr: quitters win."
For more on what
the IRS ruled and the lack of coverage by everybody except CNN and Fox
News Sunday, go to http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990204.html#4
Though it is a holiday weekend, Senate votes on
removing a President only come along about once a century, so I may
distribute a CyberAlert later today or over the weekend if the bias
warrants it. -- Brent Baker
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