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CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
Friday February 19, 1999 (Vol. Four; No. 33)
Clinton Takes NH but Local Paper Fired Back; Morals Worse in France

1) "President Clinton's post impeachment revival and redemption tour took him on the road to New Hampshire," Dan Rather announced as both ABC and CBS noted a "conservative" paper was not friendly.

2) "He is a disgrace. The sooner he leaves New Hampshire, the better," said the Union Leader in an editorial Geraldo Rivera castigated as "rude."

3) NBC revealed that the French are protecting a murderer because, a local explained, "he's only accused of killing one person."

4) The latest Media Reality Check fax report: "Dateline's Double Standard on Betrayal: Linda Tripp (Starr-Helper) Trashed, Julie Hiatt Steele (Starr-Hater) Promoted, Broaddrick Still Ignored."

5) Friday night NBC airs part two of its dramas on Ken Starr: "A prosecutor on a rampage who doesn't care who gets hurt."


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) Bill Clinton, the Comeback Kid now the Comeback President? ABC's World News Tonight led Thursday night with a look at Bill Clinton's triumphant return to New Hampshire and the CBS Evening News also aired a piece on his trip north midway through its newscast. Both noted how the "conservative" Manchester Union Leader did not exactly welcome him back.

     -- ABC's World News Tonight. Peter Jennings opened:
     "Good evening. One of the most skillful political campaigners America has ever seen went back to the campaign trail today. It's seven years ago today that Mr. Clinton managed to finish second in the New Hampshire primary after weathering accusations about affairs and draft dodging. He said then that New Hampshire made him the comeback kid. Now Mr. Clinton would like to be the comeback President."

     Of course, Jennings didn't bother to note that the accusations were all accurate, something voters did not know at the time thanks to a less than aggressive media.

     Reporter John Cochran began by asserting that most think Clinton kept his promise to rebuild the economy but, he warned, "Not everyone welcomed him back. Certainly not old enemies like Manchester's conservative newspaper which still demands that he resign. But there were plenty who were eager to hear him address their concerns about retirement and long term health care."

     As Cochran spoke viewers saw this headline, plugging a front page editorial below from publisher Nackey Loeb, plastered above the Union Leader nameplate: "Mr. President You're a Disgrace!"

     -- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather announced:
     "President Clinton's post impeachment revival and redemption tour took him on the road to New Hampshire today and especially on the campaign trail for Democrats hoping to re-take control of Congress in election year 2000."
     From New Hampshire Scott Pelley began: "For the first time since his acquittal the President met the people face to face. In New Hampshire the reaction was divided. The conservative local paper called him 'a disgrace,' but Mr. Clinton wouldn't have started this campaign anywhere else. It was New Hampshire that resurrected him once before."
     Pelley went on to show some clips of Clinton and allow Senator Bob Smith, who announced Thursday for President, to argue that Republicans must stick to conservative principles if they are to beat Clinton.


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) Some conservative bias, at least in two editorials which confronted Clinton on Thursday. Even better, they upset Geraldo Rivera who called the editorials "rude." As noted in item #1, the Union Leader in Manchester, New Hampshire greeted Bill Clinton with an editorial calling him a "disgrace" and suggesting he resign and go home to Arkansas.

     On Thursday's Upfront Tonight on CNBC Rivera misnamed the paper as he asked reporter John Palmer: "Now how did they receive the President? I know the Manchester Guardian, which is a very conservative newspaper, editorialized against him, in a very rude way might I add. But how generally is he being received?"

     Since the front page editorial is so short and reflects a certain frankness that only someone like Union Leader publisher Nackey Loeb, who does not care about political correctness, could express, here it is. From the February 18 Union Leader:

Don't come back, kid
A Presidential visit to New Hampshire used to be cause for some celebration, something worthy of the highest office in our land, something to bring the children to so that they, one day, could "tell the grandkids."

New Hampshire has welcomed them all -- from George Washington through Teddy Roosevelt and on up the line to Reagan and Bush.

Even when it was purely political, it was something special just to have the President of our country in our midst.

Not anymore. Not today. Not with this man.

His party has put politics above principle. A goodly share of the public may be more interested in a healthy economy than the moral health of their country. Granite Staters in general, a polite and respectful lot, may feel compelled to be nice or at least to hold their tongues.

But there is no reason to respect a man who has shown so little respect for the people, the office, and the country. He is a disgrace. The sooner he leaves New Hampshire, the better.

Since he has expressed a desire to continue to serve the country, the best way he can do that is to stop by Washington just long enough to pick up his toothbrush, turn in his resignation, and head back to Arkansas. -- Nackey Loeb

END Reprint

     The URL for this editorial: http://www.theunionleader.com/archives/19990218edit1.htm

     Inside on Thursday the Union Leader ran a hard-hitting editorial by Richard Lessner titled: "You're Bill Clinton...and you get away with everything." It ends: "You condemn the 'politics of personal destruction' even as your smarmy character assassins smear your critics. You're Bill Clinton, President of the United States, and you're not the least embarrassed being defended by pornographer Larry Flynt. You're shameless. After all, you're Bill Clinton."

To read the entire editorial, go to: http://www.theunionleader.com/archives/19990218edit2.htm

     And to see how the paper covered Clinton's visit and commented editorially Friday, go to: http://www.theunionleader.com


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) Think concern for morality has declined in America? Well, we're a long way from how low France has fallen, or always was. In France killing a lot of people is bad, but murdering just one person is no big deal.

     I learned this from watching an illuminating story on the February 18 NBC Nightly News by Fred Francis on the case of Ira Einhorn. He's the leftist activist in Philadelphia who murdered his girlfriend in 1977 by chopping her up and putting her body in a trunk in the closet of the apartment where he continued to live until the body was discovered 18 months later. He fled abroad and has been in France for at least the past ten years. A trial in Philadelphia convicted him of murder in absentia. This week France finally agreed to extradite him, but then released him pending his appeal, thus allowing him to flee again

     Francis reported that he's been living in "a small farming village" where people say "he's a peaceful man." Francis relayed that one store owner "and others are determined not to let what they call barbaric America snatch their rebellious folk hero. Einhorn has convinced them that he is being persecuted by the CIA."

     The French believe his story that he was framed, Francis explained, adding: "Einhorn's freedom has become a matter of French pride and defiance. According to neighbor Daniel Antoine Einhorn has changed."
     Antoine asserted: "If he was the Oklahoma City bomber, I mean I would understand that [they] really badly need him. But in this he's only accused of killing one person."


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes) The February 19 Media Reality Check fax report by the MRC's Time Graham. This is also now posted, in a more graphically-appealing format, on the MRC home page.

Dateline's Double Standard on Betrayal:
Linda Tripp (Starr-Helper) Trashed, Julie Hiatt Steele (Starr-Hater) Promoted, Broaddrick Still Ignored

NBC is sitting on a Lisa Myers interview with Juanita Broaddrick, who claims she was sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton in 1978. Broaddrick said she was told her interview would air on Dateline almost immediately after she talked with Myers. But Dateline has two policies in dealing with women tied to Clinton: those who threaten his legacy are trashed, while those who threaten his enemies' reputations are promoted. Here's one clear Dateline contrast:

> Last Friday night, Jamie Gangel boiled down her 20-minute unedited Today interview with Linda Tripp into a 13-minute attack piece. (See box.) Tripp was "The woman who not only launched a national scandal but launched a thousand jokes. And the woman who launched a wave of scorn."

A man on the street said: "I think she's manipulative." A woman on the street added: "I don't think much of her." Then Monica's father, Bernard Lewinsky, on tape: "It's something that I don't know how she will ever live the rest of her life knowing that she has so damaged a 'friend,' quote unquote."

Gangel repeated Tripp regretting her claim "I'm like you," with Gangel insisting: "And I think America resoundingly said 'no you're not.'" Gangel again bashed Lucianne Goldberg, "a New York book agent, political bit player and an avowed Clinton hater." She replayed her final volley: "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 it?"

> On November 27, 1998, Jane Pauley awarded a much more sympathetic interview to Julie Hiatt Steele, who, it could be argued, has betrayed her friend by first confirming Willey's account of sexual advances by Clinton, then recanting. She even provided an affidavit for Clinton's lawyers. (The idea that Broaddrick's decisions to recant, then reaccuse Clinton of assault would make her unreliable for NBC airwaves did not apply to Steele.)

Pauley began the segment: "Is it over yet? Will it ever be over? Kenneth Starr's investigation of the President would seem to be winding down even as the independent counsel is making himself more visible than ever. But tonight, a woman who says every time her name is mentioned in connection with the investigation, she gets hit with another threatening letter from the independent prosecutor's office. And for her, what began as a favor for a friend may yet, according to her lawyer, get her slapped with an indictment for perjury." Starr did indict her.

Pauley's segment had no critical talking heads, no relatives of Willey, no Starr, no Michael Isikoff of Newsweek, whom Steele is suing. (NBC relayed that Newsweek calls Steele's claims "pure fantasy.") It was all about Starr: "Steele says Starr's investigators have scrutinized everything about her so relentlessly, they've made her life miserable."

Pauley promoted Steele's most heart-tugging claim, that Starr was investigating her adoption: "After her four-year-old baby died in her arms, Steele brought her son home from Romania eight years ago...What evidence Starr's investigators are looking for is unclear, or is it evidence that the Starr investigation is out of control?" NBC didn't wait to "lock down" that story before attacking Starr.

END Reprint of fax report text

     Box showcasing a contrast, from the center of the fax report:

Which "Betrayer" Gets Promoted?
"Linda Tripp, the woman many Americans hold responsible for the year-long ordeal known as the Lewinsky affair. The woman who got it all started by secretly taping her girlfriend, Monica Lewinsky..." -- Jamie Gangel on Dateline, February 12, 1999.


"Julie Hiatt Steele is a woman whose 15 minutes of fame was an unwanted consequence of doing a favor for a friend and it could land her in jail...She believes Kenneth Starr wants to hear her say something and will do almost anything to get her to say it." -- Jane Pauley on Dateline, November 27, 1998.

END fax report


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes) Homicide reminder. Friday night at 10pm ET/PT NBC airs part two of the Law & Order/Homicide crossover with a Ken Starr-like independent counsel as the villain blocking a murder investigation.

     As detailed in the February 18 CyberAlert, on Wednesday's Law & Order a New York City prosecutor accused the IC, "William Dell," of leaking and after Dell asked irrelevant personal questions of the prosecutor's sex life, recalling McCarthy the prosecutor pleaded: "Have you no shame." To read more, go to the CyberAlert: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990218.html#5

     A video clip from the show is now featured on the MRC home page.

I haven't forgotten about CNN's town meeting and will get to it in the next CyberAlert. -- Brent Baker


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