SPECIAL EXTRA EDITION
NBC's Today on Linda Tripp: A Betrayer Responsible for the Scandal
1) Just after the vote NBC's
Tim Russert listed Arlen Specter and Fred Thompson as among the "very
conservative Republicans" who voted not guilty on perjury.
2) Today subjected Linda Tripp
to a one-sided interview which assumed that she had done wrong and should
regret it as "the country has gone through a year of scandal which
many people blame you for." Instead of praising her for preserving
the dress, which made Clinton admit his activity, Gangel scolded: "It
sounds like you're manipulating Monica to implicate the President."
>>> "Gay Groups Affirm
Falwell Concerns Over Teletubbies," a new story from the MRC's
Conservative News Service is now up on the CNS Web site: http://www.conservativenews.org.
CNS staff writer Lawrence Morahan reported: "The Rev. Jerry Falwell,
who has been ridiculed by some in the establishment press for saying one
of the Teletubbies is meant to depict a homosexual toddler, appears to
have found some unlikely corroborators among the gay media." Morahan
discovered: "'Tinky Winky is the unofficial gay Teletubby, in the
opinion of myself and many others,' reads the Gay Teletubby page on the
Internet web site LesBiGay, Etc, a web site that calls itself 'the place
for youth-friendly gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight sexual
orientation information and resources.'" To read the entire story,
Corrections: A bad day
this morning with a bunch of small errors. First, the February 12
CyberAlert quoted Dan Rather as saying "behind me other there."
That should have read "behind me over there." Second, the issue
stated "Scott Pelley relayed that while they deny he specific
plan..." That should have been "deny the specific plan."
Third, the CyberAlert quoted Time's Jack White on how each manager
should be "replaced by someone who can but this in somewhat better
perspective." The "but" should have been "put."
Arlen "Scottish Law Over the U.S. Constitution" Specter and Fred
Thompson are "very conservative"? So suggested Tim Russert in
listing the names of some Republicans who voted not guilty. MRC news
analyst Geoffrey Dickens picked up on this exchange between Tom Brokaw and
Russert, in which Russert filled in the names for who is "very
conservative," during NBC/MSNBC coverage at 12:43pm ET:
"Let's go to NBC's Tim Russert now who
was in the chamber for the vote itself. And Tim there were a couple of
surprises there. A couple of very conservative Republicans who on the
first article of impeachment crossed over and voted not guilty for the
Tim Russert: "Fred Thompson, Richard Shelby,
Arlen Specter, three very distinguished lawyers in private practice before
they came to the Senate, Tom. But that vote, that outcome of 45 to 55 was
pretty much understood."
As noted in this morning's CyberAlert, Linda Tripp was subjected to a
one-sided interview on Friday's Today which assumed that she had done
wrong, hurt others and should regret it as "the country has gone
through a year of scandal which many people blame you for." At no
point did interviewer Jamie Gangel suggest Tripp has been improperly
maligned or should be credited as a whistle-blower who exposed
improprieties and abuses by the President. And in over 45 questions Gangel
never raised how Tripp's privacy rights were violated in order to hand
over her Defense Department personnel records to liberal activist/New
Yorker writer Jane Mayer.
The only reason
why Clinton ever admitted anything was because of the existence of the
stained dress, but instead of asking how she had the prescience to make
sure such key evidence was preserved, Gangel impugned her motives. After
playing the audio tape of Tripp urging Lewinsky to save the dress, she
"It sounds like you're setting up Monica.
You tell her to save the dress. You make suggestions to send the President
a suggestive audio tape. You tell her to push the President to help her
get a job. It sounds like you're manipulating Monica to implicate the
NBC has posted a
transcript on msnbc.com of the entire Gangel interview, but the
introduction to the show by Katie Couric and Matt Lauer, which set the
tone for NBC's approach, is not included in the online transcript. To
read the NBC transcript, go to: http://www.msnbc.com/news/240546.asp
MRC analyst Mark
Drake caught and took down how Today set up the exclusive February 12
"And welcome to Today on this Friday morning everyone. I'm Katie
Matt Lauer: "And I'm Matt Lauer. On the
subject of impeachment, Senators will vote on the two articles of
impeachment sometime late this morning or early this afternoon. I can't
imagine there are a whole lot of people upset to see this come to an
Couric: "That's right, and this morning,
Matt, front and center the woman who started it all. For the past year or
so, four words have described Linda Tripp's relationship with Monica
Lewinsky: perhaps those four words are 'with friends like these...'
Well, Linda Tripp knows full well that her reputation proceeds her, that
many people think of her as the ultimate betrayer so she's in an effort
to rehabilitate her image is speaking out and she's done so with our
national correspondent Jamie Gangel. We'll have that exclusive interview
in our first half hour this morning."
aired in two-parts in the 7am and then 7:30am half hours, lasted about 15
minutes in total, but here are some of Jamie Gangel's questions to give
you a feel for NBC's slant. She spent much of the interview trying to
get Tripp to admit she was out to "get" Clinton. As noted above,
a transcript of the entire interview is available at msnbc.com.
-- "The one
thing that no one can understand is why you did this. How you could betray
-- Linda, people
just don't think it's right for girlfriends to tape girlfriends."
don't think what you did was right. They think you betrayed her."
-- Why didn't
you leave this to her mother to take care of? Why was this your
-- "How would
you feel if someone did to your daughter what you did to Monica?"
talk about motive. Most people think one of two things about you. That you
did this to write a book and make money."
-- "Or you
did it to bring down President Clinton -- or both?"
let me quote you. Your own words. The fact is, you went to Paula Jones'
lawyers and told them about Monica's relationship with the president.
You told them and you said to that lawyer, 'I feel strongly the behavior
has to stop, or should at least be exposed.' That sounds like you're
trying to bring down the President."
address the political agenda. You're the one who tells Paula Jones'
lawyers about Monica. Your pal in all this is Lucianne Goldberg, who is a
self-proclaimed Clinton hater. You put on a wire for Ken Starr, to try to
get Monica to implicate the President. How can you say you weren't out
to get him?"
-- "After you
testified to the grand jury, you said [video of Tripp: "Regrettably,
I am you."] I am you. And I think America resoundingly said, 'No,
-- "Your name
has become synonymous with betrayal. You've been vilified. Your poll
ratings last fall, your approval ratings were three percent. What has been
the worst part of this?"
-- The concluding
sequence. Gangel: "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
Tripp: "First of all, I take exception to
the fact that I brought this about. These were choices made by the
President of the United States. For me to actively engage in a conspiracy
to circumvent anyone's civil rights or to perjure myself and commit a
felony, those were not an option for me. I, as a citizen, should not be
afraid of my President."
Gangel: "All in all?"
Tripp: "Was it all worth it to me? It was
worth it to me to do what I considered to be my patriotic duty. And yes, I
would do it again."
Gangel: "So, no regrets?"
Tripp: "Of course, there are regrets. This
is a tragic year for all of us. But I would do it again."
In between these
questions, Tripp did get some time to say she felt threatened by Bill
Clinton and his operatives and to react to her portrayal on Saturday Night
(A RealPlayer clip
of the last sequence between Gangel and Tripp has been posted on the MRC
home page by Webmaster Sean Henry. Go to: http://www.mrc.org)
Tripp will appear Monday night on CNN's Larry
King Live. I wouldn't count on a more balanced approach. -- Brent Baker
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