Monica: Victim of Right-Wing Conspiracy; Morton: Tripp "Evil," Starr "Big Brother."
1) Monica agreed with Hillary,
as she told Britain's Channel 4 News: "I do think there's a
2) Lewinsky told book author
Andrew Morton that Clinton admitted his life is "filled with lies and
subterfuge." Only FNC noticed this as the other networks instead
highlighted Lewinsky's attacks on Starr.
3) On Today author Andrew
Morton embraced Lewinsky's disgust for Starr and Tripp, warning
"He's big brother. He's watching you as well." He called
4) U.S. News chief Harold
Evans complained Starr is trying to "hide" his misdeeds and
people are not outraged enough over how her has "terrified"
5) ABC's Terry Moran
approvingly noted how Harry Blackmun shifted "from conservative to
liberal positions fueled by a frank sympathy for the poor and
disenfranchised." Only CNN noted how pro-lifers blame him for the
deaths of millions of the unborn.
6) ABC's contribution to
liberals: Sunday's The Practice will promote the idea that gun-makers be
held liable for crime.
>>> "When Is A Rape Charge
Irrelevant? Media Establishment Complains Standards Have Changed, But All
That's Changed Are the Targets." The latest Media Reality Check fax
report will be posted Friday morning on the new MRC home page: http://www.mrc.org.
The MRC's Tim Graham opened the report:
"In the only National Public Radio story to
date on Juanita Broaddrick, reporter Brooke Gladstone began: "The
story attracted some notice in political and media circles back in 1992 as
Clinton was approaching the finish line in his first presidential run. It
wasn't reported because most of those in the know were not convinced it
met the standard for evidence or relevance. Since then, however, politics
and the media have changed, and so have the standards that govern them.
Gladstone didn't consider whether her network's allegedly high
standard for 'evidence or relevance' applied when NPR's Nina
Totenberg carried Anita Hill's never-proven charges of crude male office
talk in 1991...."
To read the rest of the fax report, including an
illuminating contrast between how Time welcomed Hill as a crusading hero
but wished Broaddrick would fade away, after 10am ET Friday go to: http://www.mrc.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990305.html
The Hillary-Monica Alliance. In January 1998 Hillary Clinton claimed Bill
Clinton was the target of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."
Thursday night Monica Lewinsky agreed, asserting she's "been used
as a pawn" by the conspirators. Of the Thursday evening shows, only
FNC showed this soundbite from her British interview.
The March 5 Fox
Report at 7pm ET opened with a piece from Greg Palkot in London with
highlights from Lewinsky's interview on Britain's Channel 4 News.
After clips of her saying Clinton "concentrated on me" more than
she on him sexually during their first encounter and musing about how
"I thought to myself, 'oh his regular girlfriend is probably
furloughed and I just got lucky and that was a neat, exciting experience
and boy, gee I hope it would happen again,'" FNC viewers saw this
bite of Lewinsky:
"I do think there's a right-wing conspiracy and I think I've
definitely been used as a pawn."
(See and hear
Lewinsky: Friday morning a RealPlayer clip of this portion of the FNC
story will be placed next to this item on the posted version of this
CyberAlert on the MRC home page.)
Ken Starr can't get a break. In the just-released book written by Andrew
Morton, Monica Lewinsky revealed that, as reported Thursday night by
FNC's Rita Cosby, "President Clinton confided in her that he's
lived a life, quote 'filled with lies and subterfuge.'" But only
FNC bothered informing viewers of that derogatory information about Bill
Clinton as ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC instead focused solely on the complaints
in her book about how Starr's agents treated her at the Ritz Carlton.
Judge Norma Holloway Johnson already decided Starr's staff did not
improperly detain Lewinsky or deny her right to counsel, a fact noted by
CBS and NBC, but not by CNN. Only NBC's Lisa Myers raised how damaging
Starr's reputation could hurt his chances of getting a conviction
against Susan McDougal and Web Hubbell.
Here's how the
Thursday, March 4 evening shows handled the Lewinsky story. All but FNC,
which began with the British interview as described in item #1 above, led
with the not guilty decision in the gondola case.
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Aaron Brown looked at the Morton book and how Lewinsky is
off to Europe to promote it. Turning to the future, Brown examined what
opportunities Lewinsky might have for commercial endorsements. He
suggested they may be tough to get because Steve Connelly, President
Ingals Advertising, explained: "Women are generally harder on women
to begin with and here's a woman that actively stalked a married
I thought the
"stalking" theory was long ago discredited.
Next, Jackie Judd
summarized Lewinsky's complaints about Starr's team, such as calling
one prosecutor "a revolting specimen of humanity," and how she
fears being prosecuted. That's an unwarranted fear Judd reported because
while Lewinsky is saying "harsh" things about Starr's staff
her comments do not violate their immunity deal.
-- CBS Evening
News. Dan Rather dramatically intoned:
"Almost lost in the carefully orchestrated
hype and hoopla today over Monica Lewinsky, are her fresh accusations
suggesting that special prosecutor Kenneth Starr's team and the FBI may
have used unethical, and possibly unlawful, tactics in prying out of her
details of her sexual relationship with President Clinton. This comes as
the Justice Department is pursuing an investigation of Starr along those
Scott Pelley ran through the accusations in her
book in the chapter titled "Terror in Room 1012," but added:
"Federal judge Norma Holloway Johnson has already ruled that Starr
did not violate Lewinsky's rights, but that's not the end of it"
as the Justice Department is looking at if Starr broke department rules
about her right to counsel.
-- FNC's Fox
Report. After Greg Palkot checked in from London, Rita Cosby
reported how in book by Morton Lewinsky "blasts independent Counsel
Kenneth Starr and his team of prosecutors, saying she had no choice but to
accept the immunity deal. Quote, 'I felt like Hitler's whore. I felt
what Starr was doing was so wrong. They were trying to hurt people I
Cosby went on to show how Lewinsky was
emotionally confused about Clinton: "On the one hand, 'there was
this sensitive, loving, tender person, a needy man who was not getting the
kind of love and nurturing he desired. And then there was his reputation
as a philanderer with a different woman every day.' She says President
Clinton confided in her that he's lived a life, quote, 'filled with
lies and subterfuge.'"
No other network
mentioned the "lies and subterfuge" revelation.
-- CNN's The
World Today. Wolf Blitzer began his one-sided and incomplete story:
"As hundreds of thousands of copies of Monica Lewinsky's book went
on sale, there was perhaps only this silver lining for President Clinton:
The book provides more weight to allegations that Ken Starr's
prosecutors violated her constitutional right to speak to a lawyer when
they first confronted her."
Blitzer showed Joe Lockhart saying she deserves a
chance to speak before Blitzer relayed how she claimed Starr's staff
intimidated her and she considered suicide. He then featured this hit on
Starr from Lanny Davis: "Ken Starr's prosecutors certainly need to
be investigated for professional misconduct and possibly violating the
Blitzer picked up: "Starr, who was not
present during that January 1998 encounter, has previously denied the
allegations which the Justice Department is now investigating."
Viewers then saw Starr praising Lewinsky's TV performance, but Blitzer
failed to note how a federal judge already cleared him of any wrongdoing
in the areas Lewinsky complained about.
-- NBC Nightly
News. Lisa Myers started her story: "The target of Lewinsky's most
scathing criticism, the man she claims terrorized her and used her as a
pawn to get the President, today declined to fire back. Instead, Ken Starr
actually praised Monica's television performance." Following a
soundbite from Starr, Myers continued: "Starr's associates note
that a federal judge already dismissed most of Lewinsky's complaints
about how prosecutors treated her at this hotel last January, which her
book calls 'Terror in Room 1012.'"
Myers then uniquely raised a concern of those on
Starr's side: "Privately, Starr's associates worry that the
drumbeat of criticism from the Justice Department and now Lewinsky's
book, could jeopardize upcoming trials." Specifically, they worry
about a backlash from juries who have a negative view of Starr. The trial
for Susan McDougal starts next week, Myers noted, and Web Hubbell is
facing two trials.
More Starr bashing, plus hatred for Tripp. His appearance on Thursday's
Today demonstrated that Andrew Morton not only put Lewinsky's disgust
for Starr and Linda Tripp into words in his authorized biography,
Monica's Story, but he also embraces her views.
On the March 4
Today he told Katie Couric that Lewinsky was "quite maliciously
held" by Starr's team at the hotel, that Starr had "managed to
break Marcia Lewis' spirit" as both parents considered suicide to
escape Starr of whom Morton ominously warned: "He's big brother.
He's watching you as well." He called Tripp "evil" and
charged: "There's no female character who's betrayed a another
woman quite so comprehensively, quite so systematically, and quite so
maliciously as this woman has."
Today devoted all
but two minutes of the 7am half hour after the news update to Couric's
interview with Morton. As MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens documented, Couric
and Morton spent most of the interview discussing the misdeeds of Starr
and Tripp. Here are some excerpts:
-- Katie Couric:
"Let's talk about her views of Ken Starr. That's something that she
really wasn't permitted to address when she spoke with Barbara Walters.
You talk about how Starr's deputies interrogated her for 12 hours on
January 16th, 1998. It's a chapter you call, 'Terror in Room 1012.'
Andrew Morton: "Because she was terrorized.
I mean she was, she felt like committing suicide within three hours. She
was actively considering whether to throw herself out of the 10th floor
window into the Pentagon Mall below. She was intimidated. They were
showing her their guns, their handcuffs. They wouldn't allow her to phone
Couric helpfully chimed in: "Or her
Morton: "Or her mother. And when they
finally relented and allowed her to phone her mother they actually held
their finger over the phone in case she blurted out a warning. When she
wanted to go to the bathroom they made her empty her pockets. They took
the phone out of it. When she wanted to go to the mall they followed her,
they accompanied her and then they say she wasn't held. She was
psychologically and quite in a way, quite maliciously held for that
Couric: "She has particular disdain for two
prosecutors, Jackie Bennett and Mike Emick."
Morton: "Yes I mean Jackie Bennett Jr. is
known in legal circles as the thug. And I can understand why. I mean he
treated Monica like a pit bull would treat a kitten and just, these guys
are used to mobsters, they're used to murderers. And this was an innocent
young girl terrified..."
"You write in the book, Andrew, that at some point Ken Starr's
tactics even drove her parents, Monica Lewinsky's parents, to consider
Morton: "Yes indeed. I mean it's a great
triumph of Ken Starr's investigation that he has managed to break Marcia
Lewis' spirit and on one occasion after she had given testimony to the
grand jury she was just a nervous wreck and Monica on one occasion was
standing with her and she was again contemplating throwing herself off a
balcony. Her father, who you've met, a self-effacing, a very
straightforward guy, he too considered suicide because of the intensity of
the investigation into the family and to the humiliation of this
"She has complete hatred and revulsion for Linda Tripp."
Morton: "Absolutely. I mean when I was
writing this book I was trying to think of a literary figure who was
comparable to the malevolence and the evil that this woman has and I can
think of Iago in Othello, but there's no female character who's
betrayed a another woman quite so comprehensively, quite so
systematically, and quite so maliciously as this woman has."....
"She's never met Ken Starr and yet she detests him as well."
Morton: "Yes. She detests him for what he
has done to her mother for the way that he broke her mother's spirit and
for the threats that he made against her father...."
-- At this point
Lisa Myers checked in with a brief report on Lewinsky's charges against
Starr. After it Couric asked Morton for his reaction:
"When I speak to her, you talk to her, you
can hear the hatred in her voice for Linda Tripp, the sentimental tone she
uses for the President and then there's that flinch of fear that's in
her voice, that infects her voice when she speaks of Ken Starr. I mean,
he's big brother. He's watching you as well."
morning readers: More of Couric's taped interview with Morton will air
on Friday's Today.
See and hear
Morton impugn Starr and Tripp. Friday morning the MRC's Kristina Sewell
and Sean Henry will place on the new MRC home page a RealPlayer clip from
this interview. Just go to: http://www.mrc.org
People are not outraged enough over Starr's tactics and how he has
"terrified" Lewinsky, maintained Harold Evans, Mort
Zuckerman's top deputy who oversees U.S. News and the New York Daily
News. MRC analyst Mark Drake caught this exchange on the March 3
Hockenberry show on MSNBC:
"One thing which surprises me so far in the reaction: Why isn't
there more concern about the fact that Kenneth Starr did not allow her to
speak about what happened. Why is he holding this woman in terror?
Lucianne Goldberg: "She's not
Evans: "She's terrified. She said she was
terrified. I saw it."
Goldberg: "She said it. That doesn't means
it's true. No, no."
Evans: "You think she's a liar? I think
it's quite true."
Goldberg: "I don't think she wrote the
talking points either but you made that point."
Evans: "No, no. But she did say she was
frightened and it is fact that Kenneth Starr would not let her talk about
what happened. Why not? What is being held back? Why is he is so
frightened? What does he got to hide? Seriously."
With all the
reporting about her charges made in the Morton book her criticisms of
Starr have hardly been hidden.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, who died Thursday, was one
of the Constitution's "greatest defenders," Peter Jennings
asserted before ABC reporter Terry Moran approvingly noted how he had
grown in office, shifting "from conservative to liberal positions
fueled by a frank sympathy for the poor and disenfranchised."
ABC, CNN and NBC
ran full reports on the career of the man best known for authoring Roe v.
Wade and those three networks plus a brief piece on CBS showed video of
Blackmun wiggling his ears, but only CNN relayed the view of pro-lifers
that Blackmun's ruling led to the deaths of million of the unborn.
On ABC's March 4
World News Tonight Peter Jennings effused:
"Two hundred and ten years ago today, having
been ratified by the states, the United States Constitution went into
effect and today one of its greatest defenders has died. Retired Supreme
Court Justice Harry Blackmun was 90. He had 24 years on the court.
That's a lot of decisions. He'll be remembered most often, perhaps
certainly often, for one decision still causing all sorts of debate in the
country: Roe versus Wade in 1973 guaranteeing a woman's right to have an
Reporter Terry Moran explained how Blackmun
argued that the "right of personal privacy" included the right
to an abortion, though Moran did not explain how this discovery supported
Jennings' contention that he was a great defender of the Constitution.
Moran continued: "For that opinion Blackmun was called a murderer, a
butcher and worse...Beyond Roe, Blackmun's career on the court was
marked by a shift from conservative to liberal positions fueled by a frank
sympathy for the poor and disenfranchised."
Moran then played this soundbite from historian
David Garrow: "He always wanted to think of himself as the people's
Just as long as
the person manages to be born.
On NBC Nightly
News Pete Williams traced Blackmun's ideological movement, but refrained
from saying it meant he cared more: "Appointed by Richard Nixon in
1970 as a conservative, Harry Blackmun retired from the Supreme Court 24
years later as its most liberal voice."
Charles Bierbauer on The World Today made room for a conservative view,
giving a soundbite to a liberal and then offering a summary of the other
Senator Barbara Boxer: "A giant has passed
from the scene and somebody who protected the dignity of women."
Bierbauer: "The National Right to Life
Committee expressed condolences but noted Blackmun's decision resulted
in the deaths of 38 million unborn children."
More free media in prime time for the latest liberal cause. Check out this
plot outline for Sunday's The Practice on ABC, from TV Guide:
"Jimmy and Lindsay represent grieving
parents who sue a gun manufacturer for negligence after their daughter is
murdered by a robber using an assault weapon."
The Practice is a
10pm ET/PT drama revolving around a law firm in Boston.
How helpful of ABC
to aid in the promotion of a liberal cause. Conservatives must earn
donations and buy ad time. Liberals can get Hollywood to portray their
cause as the noble one. -- Brent Baker
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