Lewinsky "Afraid" of Starr; Alter Denounced GOP Over Broaddrick
1) Barbara Walters promised to
avoid specific sex questions, but she asked about oral sex
"completion" and reported Lewinsky had an abortion. Walters
recounted how Starr's agents mistreated Lewinsky and let Lewinsky
express her fear about reprisals from Starr.
2) Worldwide liberal bias: The
Lewinsky scandal isn't about sex, the British journalist who interviewed
Lewinsky claimed, it's "about abuse of America's legal
system" by Ken Starr.
3) Hillary Clinton's trip to
New York generated fawning stories on the broadcast networks Wednesday
4) Tom Brokaw remarked that
George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" has "drawn
fire from the far-right." A Time reporter asserted Pat Buchanan
"comes across as a mean guy."
5) Bill Clinton is accused of
rape, but Newsweek's Jonathan Alter used the accusation as a chance to
denounce House Republicans, Ken Starr (for gagging Lewinsky), and FNC's
6) Time's Margaret Carlson
accused a DJ of delivering "not funny blather," but her
misstatement of a basic fact showed she had no basis for her comment since
she isn't a listener.
7) Letterman's "Top Ten
Movies That Would Get Made If Bill Clinton Headed a Studio."
Barbara Walters assured Charlie Gibson she would avoid asking questions
reminiscent of the Starr Report, but 20/20 viewers heard her ask Monica
Lewinsky about the stained dress and if she brought Clinton "to
completion" during oral sex. Lewinsky's deal with Ken Starr
prevented her from talking about what happened at the hotel when Starr's
agents first confronted her, but Walters eagerly passed along what
Lewinsky told a book author about how Starr's agents mistreated her.
Good Morning America, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson observed, Barbara
Walters told co-host Charlie Gibson: "It's awfully hard to ask some
of those questions which had to be asked. I did not do as the Starr Report
did: 'Did he touch you here?' 'Did he touch you here?'"
Gibson: "Good. Good for you. Good for you."
the two-hour special 20/20 Wednesday night, Walters talked about such
impersonal things as Lewinsky's abortion and therapy. Referring to a man
named "Thomas" that Lewinsky dated between visits with Clinton,
Walters told viewers: "In the Andrew Morton book, Monica's Story,
she reveals that during her affair with Thomas she became pregnant. She
had an abortion. And it so upset her that she began therapy."
Later in the March
3 edition of 20/20, Walters did appear to violate her promise to avoid
anything sexually explicit. Check out this exchange:
Walters: "Throughout most of the
relationship the oral sex was not brought to completion for the
Walters: "Why not?"
soon led to the stained dress. Walters passed along this preposterous
sounding recollection of one White House get together: "On this
occasion they went further than ever before. And Lewinsky's dress became
stained in the process. Monica says she went home that afternoon, put the
dress away and never noticed the stains until the next time she thought of
Time out. We are
to believe that Bill Clinton ejaculated onto her dress, but she didn't
hour-and-a-half into the 20/20 Walters got to the showdown at the
Ritz-Carlton. Explaining that Lewinsky's deal with Starr prevented her
from talking about it, Walters relayed what she told Andrew Morton for his
book, starting with how "two armed FBI agents" led Lewinsky to a
hotel room. As opposed to all those unarmed FBI agents Starr could have
along Lewinsky's complaint that "for hours on end they threw
questions at her" and threatened her with 27 years in prison.
"But even worse for Monica, she says, the prosecutors also threatened
her mother with criminal charges." Detailing the session with the
agents, Walters elaborated: "The confrontation, according to the
book, was at times tense and ugly. Monica describes one prosecutor as 'a
revolting specimen of humanity,' another as a 'pit bull' who mocked
her when she asked to call her mother."
Back to her
interview with Lewinsky, Walters asked her about Tripp and how she was
"feeling" that day. Lewinsky answered that she "wanted to
kill everybody in the room." Walters soon drew Lewinsky out on how
Starr's prosecutors scare her, then inquiring: "What do you think
of Ken Starr." Lewinsky ominously replied: "I'm too afraid to
answer that, I'm sorry."
+++ See Walters
and Lewinsky talk about Starr and what happened at the hotel: Thursday
morning the MRC's Kristina Sewell and Sean Henry will post a fairly
lengthy RealPlayer clip of this portion of the 20/20 special. Go to the
MRC's new home page to view it: http://www.mrc.org
Monica Lewinsky must have gotten along well with the British television
host who interviewed her for their Channel 4 News. Like her, he is
disgusted with Ken Starr.
Tuesday night Jon
Snow appeared on CNN's Larry King Live along with Christopher Hitchens
and Mandy Grunwald. MRC analyst Paul Smith grabbed a couple of his
-- Snow: "No,
I don't think it is just about sex. I think it's about abuse of
America's legal system."
Snow: "Kenneth Starr."
"Christopher Hitchens is one of the great sort of defenders of
liberty, truth and the rest of it does seem to me to be deliberately blind
to the role Kenneth Starr has played. Mandy is right. I mean I have to say
at the end of the day if, as a result of what you hear from Monica
Lewinsky, a serious attempt to investigate Kenneth Starr by another
special prosecutor is not launched by Attorney General Janet Reno a grave
injustice will have been done. What has happened in this chasing down
after the truth in this sordid little matter, what has been done in the
name of justice has been completely beyond the pale."
Wednesday night the networks ogled over Hillary Clinton's trip to New
York and the possibility she may run for its Senate seat, with all three
March 3 broadcast evening shows running full stories.
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Aaron Brown explained how she drew unusual attention for an
art in school program before attending a packed fundraiser. Brown
introduced a lengthy liberal soundbite from the First Lady:
"While she didn't say yes she didn't say
no either. And she sounded like someone with work still to do."
Hillary Clinton: "When it comes right down
to it, somebody is going to make the decisions. Will we or will we not
fund the 100,000 teachers to bring down class size. Will we or will we not
build the schools and repair them that our children need."
Brown: "In the end, a routine day for the
First Lady received extraordinary attention. In New York these days
politics has met celebrity and has become news."
-- CBS Evening
News. Eric Engberg began on an upbeat note: "Entering a ballroom
packed with both Democratic women and high anticipation, Hillary Clinton
notified a breathless New York today would not be decision day."
-- NBC Nightly News. Andrea Mitchell showed
Hillary before adoring crowds and played a soundbite of Senator Schumer
praising her, but Mitchell uniquely noted that she faces troubles ahead,
including the likelihood she'll have to testify in Web Hubbell's fraud
trial. Mitchell concluded: "But for now, friends say, she's basking
in all the talk about a very different role, as Senator Hillary Rodham
Presidential campaign bias. It's never too early. Two brief items: Tom
Brokaw referred to George W. Bush's opposition from the
"far-right" and a Time reporter castigated Pat Buchanan for
being "a mean guy."
-- Narrating a
March 2 NBC Nightly News profile of Texas Governor Bush, Tom Brokaw
described him as "a compassionate conservative. The term has drawn
fire from the far-right, but Bush is courting the middle of America."
Brokaw then showed a soundbite of "political
analyst" George Christian taking a shot at those in the GOP opposed
to Bush: "He is not some sort of reactionary who is against
-- On the March 2
McLaughlin Special Report on MSNBC, MRC analyst Mark Drake noticed, host
John McLaughlin asked about Buchanan: "But I want to ask you Viveca,
what's his dominant problem?" Time Washington bureau reporter
Viveca Novak replied: "He's a mean guy. He seems, he comes across
as a mean guy."
If you haven't
seen the 8:30pm ET/PT McLaughlin half-hour on MSNBC, Thursday night is
your last chance as it is the last time it will air. McLaughlin only
agreed to do the show for about a month.
Bill Clinton is accused of rape, but Newsweek's Jonathan Alter used the
accusation as an opportunity to denounce the Judiciary Committee
Republicans for "the dishonorable way he was impeached by the
House," Brit Hume for praising the external pressure that pushed NBC
to air the story, and Ken Starr for gagging Lewinsky, sarcastically
remarking: "And Starr pontificates about witness tampering!"
praising the House managers for respecting Juanita Broaddrick's wishes
at the time to not get dragged into the public fight, Alter condemned them
for trying to "poison the well secretly and impeach the President in
part for something he wasn't charged with."
piece in the March 8 issue represents the totality of Newsweek's
coverage of Broaddrick, other than a Conventional Wisdom box line last
week, but only one paragraph of it actually recounts what she alleged.
Here are some excerpts from his diatribe titled "Disgraceful All
The game is winding down now, and the
stands are nearly empty. But for anyone still bothering to watch, last
week brought a clearer picture of both our dishonorable President and the
dishonorable way in which he was impeached by the House. Even 21 years
after it happened, Juanita Broaddrick's story -- told convincingly to Lisa
Myers on Dateline NBC -- helps fill out the dark side of both Bill Clinton
and those who tried to destroy him. Monica Lewinsky will add her own take
this week with Barbara Walters, though Ken Starr's henchmen succeeded in
The news media were wrongly blamed by
Clinton-haters for sitting on this one. NBC News (where, full disclosure,
I work part time) had to check everything it could before airing such an
explosive story. And the rest of the media, including Newsweek, couldn't
very well detail Broaddrick's charges without an interview. Fox's Brit
Hume calls the new external pressure to air stories before they are ready
"accountability." I call it one of the worst developments in
journalism in a decade....
The Broaddrick story helps explain why
House GOP leaders seemed so passionate in their hatred of Clinton. They
thought he was a rapist, though they knew they couldn't prove it. They
could have fashioned an impeachment charge for assault (the statute of
limitations would not have applied to impeachment), but they didn't dare.
The story was old, and Henry Hyde and company didn't want to subpoena
Broaddrick and subject her to cross-examination. So they decided to have
her story spread privately, to poison the well secretly and impeach the
President in part for something he wasn't charged with. Later, they
pressured the media to roll the Broaddrick grenade into the Senate trial,
with the hope that public opinion might change and the Senate might
convict him for being a bad, immoral man. How fair. How constitutional.
As for Starr, his deputies, Michael Emmick
and Jackie Bennett Jr., recently demanded that Lewinsky not discuss on
television how she was treated on Jan. 16, 1998, when Lewinsky was first
confronted by law enforcement at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Their conduct
that night is now under investigation. In other words, to protect
themselves, Emmick and Bennett used their federal power to gag Lewinsky,
who now has every right to speak her mind. And Starr pontificates about
witness tampering! Starr's excuse for censoring Lewinsky -- that she might
prejudice some future jury pool -- didn't seem to be an issue when he
dumped all over Clinton to Diane Sawyer last year, an interview that would
normally get him thrown off an ongoing case by a judge....
To read all of
Alter's piece, go to the Newsweek Web site: http://www.newsweek.com/nw-srv/printed/us/ns/bz1410_1.htm
Time magazine's Margaret Carlson provided an illustrative example last
weekend of how you don't need to have any idea what you are talking
about to pontificate as a network commentator. On Saturday's Capital
Gang on CNN Carlson announced her Outrage of the Week:
"Radio host Doug Tracht, appropriately known
as 'the Greaseman,' played a song by Grammy award winning hip hop
singer Lauryn Hill Wednesday just so he could remark, quote 'No wonder
people drag them behind trucks,' closed quote. This is not free speech,
it's hatred. And finally radio station WARW fired him. But in 1986,
Tracht celebrated Martin Luther King's birthday by saying, quote 'Kill
four more and we can take a whole week off.' If WRAW had acted then, we
could have been spared a decade of coarse, vulgar and hateful, and not
funny blather from an adolescent shock jock."
No doubt Tract, a
Washington, DC radio host, deserved condemnation, but Carlson has no basis
to say he has produced "a decade of coarse, vulgar and hateful, and
not funny blather." I know this because in the five words "if
WRAW had acted then," Carlson revealed, while jumbling the call
letters, that she's not a listener to his show:
It would have been difficult for WARW to take
action in 1986 since the station did not then exist and Tract worked
elsewhere. Back then the current "Arrow 94.7" was WLTT,
"Light 94.7," not quite the right format for Tract's hard rock
music. Back then Tract worked for WWDC, aka "DC 101," where he
had replaced Howard Stern in 1981. In the mid-1990s he moved to Los
Angeles to take an unsuccessful stab at a national show and he only moved
to WARW a couple of years ago.
From the March 1 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Movies
That Would Get Made If Bill Clinton Headed a Studio." Copyright 1999
by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. "Shakespeare In Heat"
9. "Message In A Necktie"
8. "Rear Window-Less Corridor"
7. "Six Jane Does, Seven Nights"
6. "I Know Who You Did Last Summer"
5. "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Then Got A High-Paying Job At
Revlon From Vernon Jordan"
4. "Twelve Angry Hillarys"
3. "How Bubba Got His Job Back"
2. "The Thong Remains The Same"
1. "Liar, Liar" (Remake)
And, from the Late
Show Web site, some of "the extra jokes that didn't quite make it
into the Top Ten."
-- "Subpoena In A Bottle"
-- "The Opposite of the Definition of Sex"
-- "Saving Private Ryan Then Dating His Sister"
-- "Look Who's Talking on the Phone During Oral Sex"
-- "Thelma & Louise & Cheryl & Rachel & Tammi &
If you missed the Monica interview and live in
the Washington, DC area, cable's NewsChannel 8 will probably replay
20/20 at 7:30pm Thursday night. That's the time they normally replay the
previous night's 20/20. -- Brent Baker
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