"Wacko Right-Winger is Redundant"; Media Driving Broaddrick Story?
1) Interviewing Juanita
Broaddrick's son on Monday night CNN's Larry King made sure it was not
"the wacko element, the far-right" which pressured her to come
forward. In USA Today he charged: "The term wacko right-winger is
2) CBS jolted Joe DiMaggio,
not mentioning his passing until the end of the CBS Evening News. All the
others led with it and all aired full reports on the firing of the
scientist suspected of passing top secret missile information to China.
3) Mario Cuomo would have made
a "terrific" Supreme Court Justice, ABC's Sam Donaldson
asserted on Sunday.
4) Why did the late Justice
Blackmun become liberal? He "grew as he went along," replied
Time magazine's Alain Sanders.
5) Despite a near-blackout of
Broaddrick, Eleanor Clift insisted: "It's been the media who's been
after this story, trying to get it out."
6) "The abuse and
mistreatment of women" is "criminal," asserted Hillary
Clinton, but the media yawned and ignored Broaddrick.
Correction #1: A March 8
CyberAlert item about CNBC's Diane Dimond defending Linda Tripp just
before Jonathan Alter trashed her, noted: "That appreciative spirit
toward Lewinsky was short-lived." That should have read: "That
appreciative spirit toward Tripp..."
Correction #2, a
non-substantive one, to a clarification: The March 8 CyberAlert
clarification on the lack of network evening show coverage of Juanita
Broaddrick offered the caveat that all of the broadcast network shows were
bumped by sports in Washington on Sunday, February 28. While the NBA
bumped NBC in the eastern and central time zones and golf killed ABC in at
least Washington, the CBS Evening News did air in the east and Washington,
DC, but had nothing on Broaddrick despite the fact that every Sunday
interview show but CBS's Face the Nation took up her allegations that
Larry King, on wacko patrol. Interviewing Juanita Broaddrick's son on
Monday night CNN's Larry King made sure it was not "the wacko
element, the far-right" which pressured her to come forward. After
all, in USA Today he charged: "The term wacko right-winger is
At one point guest
Kevin Hickey, Broaddrick's son, observed what the MRC has documented:
the media's lack of interest compared to how they jumped on Anita
"I think the media's reaction to it has
been very interesting. We had no problem with the Anita Hill allegations,
the media covering that to a large extent. But it's like when we take it
to a step further to rape the media has been very, very sensitive about
it. Some people, some people in the media have gone very headstrong,
straightforward with it. Other people have really laid off of it."
explained on the March 8 Larry King Live how his mother decided to go
public to correct inaccuracies in what others said happened to her,
stories circulated as Starr probed her denials and the media asked
questions, King jumped in:
"So it was not the, as has been termed, the
wacko element? The far-right or those who are conspicuously anti-Clinton
who were pressuring her?"
"Absolutely not," Hickey assured.
"Larry King's People" column for USA Today the CNN host
offered this less than tolerant assessment:
"The term wacko right-winger is redundant.
For example, they're the only people who don't like being called
compassionate. Someone remarked that many now defend the tobacco industry
because its products kill people early, saving us dollars in having to
care for aged people."
Of course, it's
not that conservatives don't like being called compassionate it's that
the term "compassionate conservative" implies all other
conservatives lack compassion. On the smoking point, King may not like it
but it's true.
It's the term
"intelligent Larry King column" which is contradictory.
Before moving on,
CNN should get some credit for Monday's topic choice since ABC has never
pursued the story, CBS ran just one story and NBC has yet to mention
Broaddrick on its own NBC Nightly News.
The passing of Joe DiMaggio was considered the biggest story of the day by
ABC, CNN, FNC, MSNBC and NBC Monday night as all led with it, but not CBS
which made its look back at his life the last story on the CBS Evening
News. CBS began with the firing of a Los Alamos scientist suspected of
giving top secret missile data to China, a subject also earning full
stories on ABC, FNC and NBC though only NBC relayed how "the
administration says the leak occurred in the Reagan years."
Of the broadcast
networks, only CBS mentioned Susan McDougal. CBS Evening News anchor Dan
Rather read this 16-second item which highlighted McDougal's attack on
"In Little Rock Arkansas Susan McDougal was
back in court today. This time the Clinton's former partner in the
failed Whitewater real estate deal is on trial for refusing to give
testimony to special prosecutor Ken Starr. She says Starr wanted her to
lie and provide information damaging to the Clintons."
Recognizing the historic significance for several generations, CNN aired a
one-hour special at 8pm ET. MSNBC put together a special Time&Again
run at 7 and 11pm ET and FNC aired a special at 11pm ET. On the evening
shows, ABC's World News Tonight devoted 7 minutes to DiMaggio, NBC
Nightly News gave him 5 solid minutes. CBS's end of show piece consumed
Espionage. Saturday's New York Times broke the story that the
investigation by the special House committee headed by Chris Cox had
discovered that the Chinese government had obtained MIRV (Multiple,
Independently Targeted, Re-entry Vehicles) technology in the mid-80s from
the U.S. but that the Clinton administration had done little about the
spying when discovered in 1995. CBS ran a piece Friday night and the Times
story topped ABC's World News Tonight on Saturday.
March 8, ABC's Martha Raddatz reported how a Los Alamos weapons
laboratory scientist, Wen Ho Lee, believed to have passed information to
China, was fired on Monday by the Energy Department. China, she explained,
obtained information on "W-88," America's most sophisticated
warhead which allows for 12 warheads on one missile. After running a
soundbite from Secretary Bill Richardson insisting all leads are being
pursued vigorously, Raddatz concluded with another perspective:
"But Members of Congress charge that the
administration acted too slowly in correcting security problems at Los
Alamos. Even though the scientist had been under suspicion for over three
years he was not administered a lie detector test until last December, a
test that sources say he failed; nor was his top security clearance pulled
until last fall."
The CBS Evening
News led with China as Sharyl Attkisson reported how the Chinese-American
scientist was fired, adding that the theft dated back to the mid-'80s
but was not discovered until 1995 and President Clinton was not told about
it until 1997. Yet, it took until Monday to relieve the scientist. David
Martin then looked at the importance of the W-88 which sits atop Trident
submarine missiles. Martin reported that China tested a missile recently
that's very similar to the W-88, "an important first step toward
deploying inter-continental ballistic missiles with multiple
warheads" which could reach the United States.
On FNC's Fox
Report Brian Wilson talked with Chris Cox who complained about how the
Clinton administration wants to redact much of his report prior to any
public release. If Clinton's team does not agree to declassify most of
the report as the Republicans want, Wilson uniquely reported that the
House may go into closed session to consider releasing the report over
Mitchell, on the Nightly News, noted that the scientist was Taiwanese
born. Mitchell relayed the Clinton spin laying off the problem to another
President before she uniquely reported how lie detector tests will now be
administered to many:
"The administration says the leak occurred
in the Reagan years. And today, to increase security, the Energy
Department also ordered more than 600 scientists at three weapons labs to
take polygraph tests -- a first. Critics inside and outside the
administration say security at the labs has been abysmal for 25
years." Mitchell explained that an informal policy of information
exchange has been ongoing with nations such as Pakistan and India and even
Iraq until te Gulf War. Mitchell ended with comments from Republican
Senator Richard Shelby, who said the administration had been
"tardy" in addressing the breach, and Cox who cited a GAO report
which found security shortcomings.
Mario Cuomo would have made a "terrific" Supreme Court Justice
ABC's Sam Donaldson asserted Sunday. In a March 7 This Week discussion
about the new book from George Stephanopoulos the panelists talked about
how close Mario Cuomo had come to being nominated for a Supreme Court
Stephanopoulos lamented: "I think he would
have been a terrific Supreme Court justice."
Donaldson agreed without hesitation: "Me
Speaking of potential liberal-crusading Supreme Court Justices, last week
Time magazine's Alain Sanders praised a real one who had just passed
away: Justice Harry Blackmun, who had moved from right to left, earning
praise from Sanders for growing in office. During a March 4 online chat
session hosted by Yahoo!, Sanders asserted he moved left because he
"grew as he went along" and decided to "champion the
disadvantaged." Sanders also bemoaned how as the Court has supposedly
"moved strongly to the right," it "has lost much of its
Here are some
excerpts from the chat session:
"Blackmun was supposed to be a conservative, and he became one of the
most liberal. Why?"
Sanders: "Essentially, he learned and grew
as he went along. He was also befriended by the Court' master politician,
Justice Brennan, who happened to be the court's leading liberal. Certainly
Brennan sounded convincing to Blackmun. But Blackmun always respected the
little guy. And that respect led him to champion the disadvantaged again
the huge power of government."
Except if you have
the disadvantage of being in the womb.
"Let me follow-up on that last question... Blackmun apparently said
that he didn't change, but that the Supreme Court did. Was that the
Sanders: "A little of both. Originally,
Blackmun voted along with his long-time friend Chief Justice Warren
Burger. Their votes were so similar that the two were referred to as the
Minnesota Twins. But eventually he broke away. Once he broke away, he
stayed pretty much in the middle. However, the court grew increasingly
conservative. And so his middle views began to seem increasingly
"How has the Supreme Court changed since Blackmun was
Sanders: "Ideologically it has moved
strongly to the right. I also think that with that move it has lost much
of its compassionate tone. Even when the Court comes down with a
'liberal' decision, much of the passion seems to be gone from the
verbiage. This is a colder court in words and actions."
cold; liberal = caring.
To read the entire
transcript of the online session, go to: http://cgi.pathfinder.com/time/community/transcripts/1999/030499blackmun.html
To learn how the
networks covered Blackmun's passing, jump back to the March 5 CyberAlert
which quoted how ABC's Terry Moran approvingly noted how Blackmun
shifted "from conservative to liberal positions fueled by a frank
sympathy for the poor and disenfranchised." Go to:
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift must live in a parallel universe. Establishment
journalists denounced the Wall Street Journal for running the Dorothy
Rabinowitz piece on Juanita Broaddrick, NBC News President Andy Lack
prevented the Dateline interview from airing for weeks and her name has
yet to be uttered on the NBC Nightly News while ABC's World News Tonight
and Good Morning America have made a passing reference or two but no
story. Her own Newsweek magazine confined its coverage to a one page hit
piece from Jonathan Alter on how the charge makes Republicans look as bad
as Clinton. And reporters don't even ask about it at press conferences.
Yet, Clift sees the media as the ones fueling the story.
Geoffrey Dickens caught this bit of reasoning on the February 26
"And it's really a metaphor for how the
media has changed. You know, when Paula Jones's story first surfaced, it
was Clinton's political enemies pushing it in a rather reluctant media
initially. Now the Republican House prosecutors seeded the water, saying
there's this secret evidence in the Document Room and encouraging people
to see it. But basically they dropped the bait, and since then it's been
the media who's been after this story, trying to get it out."
sure aren't pushing it, but neither are Clift's media colleagues.
"It is no longer acceptable to say that the abuse and mistreatment of
women is cultural. It should be called what it is -- criminal."
Clinton's March 4 address to the United Nations about the abuse of
women's rights around the world generated some brief network mentions
and some lengthy newspaper stories, but did you see or hear the above
statement from Hillary Clinton quoted by anyone? The March 5 New York
Times story by Elisabeth Bumiller included the quote, but failed to use it
as an opportunity to raise the Broaddrick case.
Tim Graham, the
MRC's Director of Media Analysis, checked wire stories on the Internet
and learned that UPI and two separate stories by different AP reporters
failed to cite the above quote, though a Reuters dispatch by Anthony
Goodman did mention it.
Why spoil a good
bashing of men around the world by mentioning how a problem man may live
in your own home. -- Brent Baker
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