Grand Jury Forewoman: Would Have Indicted Clinton; Gumbel's Blast
1) Thursday night CBS reported
that Clinton "personally reviewed targets." NBC relayed that
Clinton insisted "we wold be a lot better off" if the Kosovars
"didn't have as many arms as they do."
2) The New York Times
disclosed Wen Ho Lee was assigned to run a "sensitive new nuclear
weapons program" even though he was already under investigation and a
research assistant from mainland China that he hired has now disappeared,
but the networks don't care.
3) The grand jury forewoman in
the Lewinsky case spoke publicly Thursday night on a DC TV station. She
revealed that she would have voted to indict Clinton and rejected the
attacks on Starr.
4) On his HBO sports show
Bryant Gumbel used concern over the Holyfield-Lewis boxing match to malign
"right-wing newspapers that care little for social injustices
suffered by millions."
5) CNN's Cold War series has
made it to Ronald Reagan, claiming he "crushed Latin American
revolutionary dreams" and blaming his use of civilian-looking
aircraft for spying for confusing the Soviets, thus leading to the
shootdown of KAL-007. Plus SDI blocked peace.
6) Another plea from me. Plus,
Elton John and Henry Kissinger.
>>> Al Gore: The
Embarrassing Video. Watch him as he asks, during a tour of Monticello,
about some busts: "Who are these people?" Answer: George
Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Marquis de Lafayette. Prompted by the
latest MRC fax report on Gore gaffes we dug out this classic from the MRC
video archive and now you can see it on the MRC's video page. It's
from C-SPAN, live at about 8:48am ET on Sunday, January 17, 1993 during a
stop in Charlottesville on the Clinton-Gore buscapade trip to their
Inauguration three days later. To see the RealPlayer video, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html
Also now online, the new MRC Media Reality
Check fax report: "Which Vice President is the King of Gaffes? Gore
Has a History of Silly Flubs and Boasts, and the Networks Have a History
of Ignoring Them." The MRC's Tim Graham runs through a dozen Gore
flubs from Monticello to "creating the Internet." To read the
Correction: The March 24
CyberAlert stated that "the March 2 CyberAlert pointed out that
Annette Bening was notably not standing...." Actually, it was the
March 22 CyberAlert.
Thursday's evening shows revealed two noteworthy bits of information
about the war and Clinton: First, CBS reported that he "personally
reviewed targets" and second, NBC relayed that Clinton insisted
"we would be a lot better off" if those in Kosovo, who are the
ones helplessly being massacred, "didn't have as many arms as they
comment came during a March 25 NBC Nightly News story which briefly noted
how Republicans want to arm those in Kosovo so they can defend themselves,
an idea ignored Thursday night by ABC and CBS. NBC Nightly News also
uniquely reported that "U.S. forces used a top secret warfare system
to temporarily knock out power grids."
Not letting a war
get in the way of an opportunity to rhyme, Dan Rather declared: "When
CBS comes back here: The closest you'll probably ever get to the super
high-tech B-2 bomber, combat newcomer over Yugoslavia."
Now to the items
plugged above, as reported on the March 25 evening shows which focused
almost entirely on the NATO action:
-- CBS Evening
News. Scott Pelley checked in from the White House: "Dan, today the
President personally reviewed the targets, told his Generals quote,
'that looks good,' and three hours later the bombs were falling
Think that one
over. Bill Clinton is picking the targets.
Dan Rather next
relayed how a CBS News poll determined 50 percent approve of the
airstrikes, but 20 percent had no opinion, and 52 percent don't think
the operation is worth losing American lives.
-- NBC Nightly
News. Jim Miklaszewski outlined NBC's exclusive: "NBC News learned
that in the first round of airstrikes U.S. forces used a top secret
warfare system to temporarily knock out power grids and jam Serb military
computers that run their air defenses..."
Later, from the
White House, David Bloom reported how Bob Dole said ground troops cannot
be ruled out. Bloom then noted: "Now some in Congress want to supply
the Kosovo Liberation Army with machine guns, grenade launchers, rifles
and other arms to better fight the Serbs themselves."
Senator Mitch McConnell: "This would give
these folks a chance to defend themselves."
Clinton in the Oval Office: "I think that
would be a terrible mistake. We would be far better off if they didn't
have as many arms as they do."
control. I thought we were bombing the Serbs BECAUSE the Kosovars can't
defend themselves since they don't have adequate weapons. Now Clinton
says they have too many arms? And if the "they" he is referring
to are the Serbs, then arms control hasn't quite worked.
Los Alamos nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee was assigned to run a
"sensitive new nuclear weapons program" even though he was
already under investigation for espionage and a research assistant from
mainland China that he hired has now disappeared, but the networks don't
care. Wednesday morning the New York Times advanced the Chinese espionage
story with a front page piece headlined: "Though Suspected as Spy,
Scientist Got Sensitive Job."
The NATO war
action commenced later in the day and took over the evening news shows,
but that morning before anything was announced the network morning shows
didn't care about China. Zilch on the March 24 Good Morning America,
though the show had time for a story on cherry blossoms, MRC analyst
Jessica Anderson noted. Nothing on China on CBS's This Morning, but MRC
analyst Brian Boyd noticed that the show devoted its second interview
segment to tips on buying a used car. Not a word on Today, which MRC
analyst Geoffrey Dickens documented devoted its entire 7:30 half hour to
an interview with Bill Gates promoting his new book and an interview with
the mother of a Jonesboro, Arkansas school shooting victim who has taken
up the cause of gun control.
excerpt from the beginning of the March 24 New York Times exclusive by
James Risen that failed to gain any network traction:
In spring 1997, Los Alamos National
Laboratory chose a scientist who was already under investigation as a
suspected spy for China to run a sensitive new nuclear weapons program,
several senior Government officials say.
The scientist, Wen Ho Lee asked that he be
allowed to hire a research assistant, the officials said. Once in the new
position, in charge of updating computer software for nuclear weapons, Lee
hired a post-doctoral researcher who was a citizen of China, intelligence
and law-enforcement officials said.
Although the Federal Bureau of
Investigation had said that a wiretap on Lee, a computer expert born in
Taiwan who is an American citizen, would allow the bureau to keep close
tabs on him in the new position, the bureau never won approval for the
monitoring, the officials said.
Now, two years later, Lee has been fired
for security breaches at Los Alamos and senior government officials say he
remains a suspect in the F.B.I.'s continuing investigation of allegations
that China stole nuclear secrets from America's weapons laboratories. He
is under suspicion of having stolen the data for one of America's most
advanced nuclear warheads.
China has denied that it engaged in nuclear
And the research assistant has disappeared.
Even as the bureau tries to find him to question him, government officials
say they are wondering whether he played a role in a Chinese intelligence
operation at the heart of America's nuclear weapons program....
Starr's grand jury forewoman spoke publicly for the first time Thursday
night, appearing on a local Washington, DC network affiliate. She revealed
that she thinks Clinton lied and would have voted to indict him and she
rejected the White House attacks on Starr, saying he and his deputies were
just doing their jobs. How much coverage do you think this exclusive
interview will generate?
The exclusive ran
on WUSA-TV's Eyewitness News Tonight at 11pm. WUSA-TV, channel 9, is a
Gannett-owned, CBS affiliate. Reporter Mark Lodato talked with grand jury
forewoman Freda Alexander who for 18 months oversaw the Washington, DC
group of federal grand jurors which heard the Lewinsky case. He described
her as "a 46-year-old hospitality worker."
On Clinton she
declared: "I believe he lied."
Lodato asked: "Enough so that you would have
voted to indict him on those charges."
Alexander responded: "Yes, but please
understand in a grand jury situation you're not finding guilt or
innocence. You're saying it probably did happen."
Lodato proceeded to summarize what she told him:
"Grand jury forewoman Freda Alexander says Ken Starr was right to
investigate the President for perjury and obstruction of justice, it's a
matter of law. But, she says, that doesn't mean the public has a right
to know all about a President's sex life."
expressed sympathy for Betty Currie and said she "felt undertones on
jealousy" from Linda Tripp.
report anchor Gordon Peterson asked him about whether she agreed with the
White House claim that prosecutors were heavy-handed. Lodato explained
that Alexander will go into Starr in part two of his report on Friday
night, but: "Bottom line, she felt they were given a mission, a job
to do, and they did the best they could." Lodato added that the
"only people who really bothered her, I have the impression, were
Linda Tripp and Sidney Blumenthal who both seemed to have altering agendas
in this case."
See and hear the
grand juror. Between WUSA keeping the tape to themselves -- maybe giving
it only to CBS -- and the expected lack of media interest, I doubt
you'll see her elsewhere. So, late Friday morning WUSA-TV's story
featuring Alexander will be posted, in RealPlayer format, on the MRC home
page by Webmaster Sean Henry. After 11am ET go to: http://www.mrc.org
He's paid $5 million a year by CBS, but never appears on the network. At
HBO he just does sports. Yet keeping him to sports didn't prevent Bryant
Gumbel this week from maligning "right-wing newspapers that care
little for social injustices suffered by millions." The topic which
prompted this attack: the controversy over the Evander Holyfield-Lennox
Lewis boxing match which ended in a draw when most thought Lewis won.
At the end of his
monthly HBO show, Real Sports, which originally aired this past Monday at
10pm ET/PT, Gumbel delivered a diatribe which Mark Honig of the MRC's
Parents Television Council alerted me to. I taped the Thursday repeat and
took down what Gumbel spewed:
"Finally tonight, a word about Holyfield and
Lewis. Not about the decision, but instead about the ridiculous
over-reaction of those who have no right to suddenly claim outrage or
expertise. Since the fight assorted gadflies who wouldn't know Sugar Ray
from Doris Day, are now claiming the bout signals boxing's demise.
Legislators who can't or won't address problems in the real world, are
staging hearings to assuage their own egos. And right-wing newspapers that
care little for social injustices suffered by millions, are suddenly
claiming outrage over the sporting injustice suffered by poor Lennox
"Look. Lewis won, Holyfield lost. But the
judges didn't see it that way. Bad decision? Yes. Worst decision
boxing's ever seen? No. Potential sea change for the sport? No. Easy
opportunities for grandstanding? You betcha. When people who've never
worn a jock want to claim what's best for those who do, it's time to
step back, regain some senses and check the hidden motives of those doing
gender-sensitive. Are the female sports announcers at the networks
unqualified in Gumbel's view because they've "never worn a
This edition of
the hour-long show airs again this Sunday at 11:30am ET/PT on HBO.
Race is never far
from Gumbel's mind. Here's how he plugged the next edition of his HBO
show: "Be sure to join us again on April 20th for our next
installment of Real Sports when we'll look at NASCAR, the increasingly
popular spectator sport that remains virtually all white on the track and
in the stands."
CNN's 24-part weekly Cold War series got to Ronald Reagan late this
Winter, arguing that he "crushed Latin American revolutionary
dreams" and blaming his use of civilian-looking aircraft for spying
for confusing the Soviets, thus leading to the shootdown of KAL-007. The
22nd episode, on Reagan and Gorbachev as well as KAL, premiered last
Sunday and will run again Friday and Saturday night, March 26 and March
The February 20
episode on Central America blamed Reagan for driving the Sandinistas to
communism. Noting how the U.S. mined its harbors, narrator Kenneth Branagh
asserted: "Nicaragua's precious stock of oil went up in smoke; the
economy was reeling. And, all the while, ways had to be found to contain
the U.S. backed Contra invasion. The Sandinistas asked the Soviets for
help." Later Branagh insisted that "to help pay for the
continuing bloodshed in Nicaragua, Reagan's men secretly sold arms to
Iran. The American dollar, and the failures of the armed left, crushed
Latin American revolutionary dreams." An El Salvador guerrilla leader
and KGB officer agreed, balanced only by one comment from a former U.S.
Last Sunday, March
21, Cold War got to U.S.-Soviet relations through the 1980s and the
misguided Strategic Defense Initiative. Instead of showcasing the Soviet
shootdown of the KAL-007 passenger jet in 1983 as an example of Soviet
brutality, CNN managed to implicate Reagan and exonerate the Soviets:
Branagh: "Leonid Brezhnev died in November 1982. The ailing KGB
chief, Yuri Andropov, succeeded him. Andropov was frightened by SDI and
Reagan's anti-Soviet speeches. Convinced that the West was plotting war,
Andropov ordered a worldwide alert. The KGB monitored every aspect of life
in the West."
Oleg Gordievsky, KGB/British double agent:
"The banking system was to be closely watched, as were the hospitals
and road building programs. Were the banks attempting to convert their
system to a war footing? Were hospitals preparing new beds and setting up
blood banks for massive numbers of wounded?"
Narrator: "The Americans stepped up spy
flights in sensitive areas along the Soviet Union's long borders. Aircraft
packed with electronic surveillance gear looked like civilian airliners
and often flew close to passenger routes."
Col. Gennadi Osipovitch, Soviet Air Force pilot:
"In this period '81, '82, and especially '83, how did it feel on the
front line? Well, we were flying more often as there were more spy planes
provoking us. We were in a constant state of tension."
Narrator: "On August 31st 1983, a South
Korean airliner left Anchorage for Seoul. Unaccountably, Flight KAL 007,
with 269 people on board, deviated into Soviet air space, more than 300
miles from its normal route."
Lt. Gen. Valentin Varennikov, chief of Soviet
"I received a phone call informing me that
an unidentified plane had been spotted over Kamchatka, and that our
attempts to contact it had been unsuccessful. I ensured that all the
forces at our disposal were immediately put on alert. I said, 'Take all
measures so that it is either forced to land on Sakhalin or, if it will
not cooperate, shoot it down!'"
Gennadi Osipovitch, Soviet Air Force pilot:
"I could see two rows of windows which were lit up. I wondered if it
was a civilian aircraft -- military cargo planes don't have such windows.
I wondered what kind of plane it was but I had no time to think. I had a
job to do. I started to signal to him in international code. I informed
him that he had violated our airspace. He did not respond."
Lt. Gen. Valentin Varennikov, chief of Soviet
Ground Forces: "Despite the signals from our planes including warning
shots with tracers, the pilot failed to react, simply continuing on his
Col. Gennadi Osipovitch, Soviet Air Force pilot:
"My orders were to destroy the intruder. I fulfilled my
Narrator: "The Korean airliner came down off
Sakhalin Island, killing everyone on board."
George Shultz, U.S. Secretary of State: "The
United States reacts with revulsion to this attack. Loss of life appears
to be heavy. We can see no excuse whatsoever for this appalling act."
Sergei Tarasenko, Soviet Foreign Ministry:
"We came to the conclusion that we simply needed to be honest and
admit, 'An unfortunate incident has occurred. There was a pilot error,
bad weather, one thing led to another. It was not a pre-planned action --
no one wanted this. It was a tragic mistake.' We went to Kornienko, the
deputy foreign minister, who agreed with us. But he was not able to
convince the leadership. This was a question of prestige and the military
don't like to admit mistakes."
SDI, CNN played vintage footage of Dan Rather from the March 24, 1983 CBS
Evening News: "Good evening, this is the CBS Evening News -- Dan
Rather reporting tonight from Washington. President Reagan today followed
up last night's defense policy speech. He gave the go-ahead to develop a
space-age system designed to neutralize an enemy nuclear missile attack. A
system domestic critics today called 'too high-cost, too high-tech, too
American politicians and scientists campaigned against what they saw as
Reagan's expensive folly," Branagh declared on the March 21 episode,
adding: "Reagan's critics said that SDI was hugely expensive and
would never work. They were appalled by the deep cuts in welfare programs
that would be needed to pay for it." Of course, in reality social
welfare spending soared in the 1980s.
Gorbachev came to
power about two years later and wanted peace, or so CNN portrayed it. But
Reagan's Star Wars stood in the way at their first summit:
"Gorbachev left Geneva without agreement on his main objective:
curbing the arms race." CNN let Gorbachev explain his agenda for the
second summit in Iceland: "I think that my principal position was and
remains the same. The nuclear arms race should never be taken into
space." Eventually, the Soviets rose above Reagan's stubbornness
before their third meeting: "Ronald Reagan still pursued his Star
Wars vision. The Kremlin now believed that it would never happen and
therefore should not delay agreement on arms reduction."
In the end, CNN
allocated equal credit to Gorbachev and Reagan for ending the Cold War, as
Branagh concluded: "Together, the two leaders had seized their
This episode on
Reagan and Gorbachev is scheduled to run four more times, Kosovo war
allowing, at 10pm and 1am ET the nights of Friday, March 26 and Saturday,
March 27. The next to last episode of the 24 in the series, on the fall of
the Berlin Wall, will premiere Sunday, March 28 at 8pm ET/5pm PT,
repeating at 12am ET/9pm PT.
Donations are tax deductible. In explaining in the March 24 CyberAlert how
you can now make contributions to the MRC online, I forgot to mention that
your donations are tax deductible since the MRC is an educational
foundation. While I'm grateful for those who pitched in to support the
free distribution of CyberAlerts, I must say the response was rather
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Only in America, or maybe only in New York City.
The guests Thursday night on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman: Elton
John followed by Henry Kissinger. --
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