Nets Skip Warnings to Clinton; Giuliani Scolded for Criticizing Hillary
1) Thursday newspaper stories
disclosed that Clinton was warned that bombing would prompt Milosevic to
eviscerate Kosovo, but ABC and NBC ignored the revelation Thursday morning
and of the broadcast networks on Thursday night only ABC touched it.
2) FNC's Carl Cameron
uniquely reported Thursday night that China approached U.S. nuclear
scientists asking for secrets and that the Chinese premier my cancel his
scheduled visit to Washington.
3) Today co-host Matt Lauer
scolded New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for setting the wrong
"tone" for his Senate battle against Hillary Clinton because a
Web site says "she's a carpet-bagger, she's someone who failed in
her health care experience."
4) From a Washington Post
"news" story: "How does a woman whose international profile
is so high that bystanders in Africa two years ago referred to her as
'the queen of the world' adjust to becoming a low-ranking member of
the seniority-conscious Senate?"
>>> We made it all up. Before
anyone cites as real any of the quotes in the April 1 Notable Quotables
distributed in the previous CyberAlert, please know that it was an April
Fools edition. We made up every quote except the last one from Bryant
Gumbel. If any others seemed believable to you it just shows how biased
the media are everyday. Authors of the quotes: In addition to myself, MRC
staff members Tim Graham, Brent Bozell, Geoffrey Dickens, Mark Drake,
Brian Boyd and Tom Johnson all contributed at least one quote. The April
Fools issue is posted at: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1999/nq19990401.html
>>> Dan and Bill. To view a Real
Player video clip of Dan Rather kissing up to Bill Clinton on
Wednesday's 60 Minutes II with questions about being the husband of a
U.S. Senator and "Given the year plus what you and our First Family
have been through, tell us what you can about how the three of you are
doing," go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html
Bill Clinton was warned in advance by the CIA and top Pentagon officials
what Milosevic would do in Kosovo if attacked with airstrikes, Washington
Post and New York Times stories revealed Thursday morning. But two of
three broadcast networks ignored the disclosure Thursday morning and
Post's April 1 front page story reported: "CIA Director George J.
Tenet had been forecasting that Serb-led Yugoslav forces might respond by
accelerating their campaign of ethnic cleansing in the province of Kosovo
-- precisely the outcome that has unfolded over the past week." The
New York Times relayed how Pentagon planners "said they warned the
administration publicly and privately that Milosevic was likely to strike
out viciously against the Kosovo Albanians as soon as a possibility of
military actions was raised."
generated a syllable on the April 1 Good Morning America or Today,
reported MRC analysts Jessica Anderson and Mark Drake, though both shows
devoted their entire first half hours to the war. In one news update on
CBS's This Morning Bill Plante gave a few seconds to citing the
Washington Post story, MRC analyst Brian Boyd noted.
In the evening,
zilch on the CBS Evening News or NBC Nightly News though both programs
devoted at least three-fourths of their air time to the war. Over on
ABC's World News Tonight, Sam Donaldson took 31 seconds to summarize the
two newspaper stories and play a retort from Bill Cohen. Over pictures of
the Post and Times headlines, Donaldson told viewers:
"Administration officials are not denying
stories that Pentagon planners warned the President in advance that air
power alone could not stop ethnic cleansing if the Serbs were determined
to press on. Secretary of Defense Cohen bristled at the suggestion that
going ahead anyway was illogical."
To be fair to NBC,
the March 31 Nightly News included an In Depth piece by Andrea Mitchell
reviewing the administration's miscalculations. Mitchell began:
"Atrocities in Kosovo, a Serb dictator who won't back down, a human
torrent of refugees. Proof protestors and critics say that the
administration's entire strategy is flawed, miscalculated from the
Since the networks
gave so little, if any, time to the Washington Post and New York Times
revelations, below are excerpts from the two April 1 stories:
Didn't Sway Clinton On Airstrikes," announced the headline over the
page one Washington Post piece by John F. Harris which opened:
The warnings were there for President
Clinton. For weeks before the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia,
sources said, CIA Director George J. Tenet had been forecasting that
Serb-led Yugoslav forces might respond by accelerating their campaign of
ethnic cleansing in the province of Kosovo -- precisely the outcome that
has unfolded over the past week.
All during this time, U.S. military leaders
were offering Clinton a corresponding assessment of their own. If the
Serbs did launch such an assault, they said, air power alone would not be
sufficient to stop it -- precisely the analysis that NATO's supreme
commander, Gen. Wesley K. Clark, articulated publicly this week when asked
what the military could do to halt the humanitarian disaster unfolding in
But in the face of this advice, according
to a variety of U.S. and European sources familiar with the
decision-making, Clinton and his senior White House advisers pressed on
with their planning for an air campaign. The group, participants said,
never reassessed the fundamental judgment they had reached the previous
fall, which ruled out the use of ground troops as a way of protecting
Kosovo's majority Albanian population from a brutal crackdown by the
That judgment, which several administration
officials said was arrived at easily and with little internal dissent, is
now at the core of what could count as the most serious foreign policy
crisis of Clinton's presidency. With more than a hundred thousand
Albanians already driven out of Kosovo by Serb "ethnic
cleansing," and an unknown number killed, a central question is
confronting Clinton: Why were his foreign policy aims not more closely
matched with the military means necessary to achieve them?
The essential answer, as offered by a
variety of administration officials, is that Clinton never believed he had
a viable alternative. The use of NATO ground troops, never a likely
option, was expressly ruled out by the White House in October, when NATO
military analysts produced a study that concluded it would take as many as
200,000 NATO troops to protect Kosovo on the ground....
END Post excerpt
-- New York Times reporters Craig Whitney and
Eric Schmitt led their dispatch from Brussels, Belgium:
The top civilian and military leaders of
NATO settled on their strategy against President Slobodan Milosevic of
Yugoslavia despite several military assessments and intelligence warnings,
and even a clue from a Yugoslav general, that bombs alone could not stop
Serb forces from carrying out a purge in Kosovo.
The finger-pointing about missed signals
and suggestions of mismanagement began to surface here and in Washington
as the second week of the bombing campaign began with no sign that
Milosevic was buckling, and no idea how it would end.
Pentagon planners, for example, said they
warned the administration publicly and privately that Milosevic was likely
to strike out viciously against the Kosovo Albanians as soon as a
possibility of military actions was raised, and that he would use the
period of negotiations in France to prepare....
Senior Administration and congressional
officials in Washington, for example, cited an American military
intelligence assessment completed shortly before the allied air campaign
which concluded that Milosevic intended to "ethnically cleanse"
the 1.8 million Albanians within a week.
Officials in Washington dismissed the plan
as foolish Serbian bravado and confidently boasted that tough Kosovo
Liberation Army fighters, plus a few days of allied bombing, would be
enough to show Milosevic that he was mistaken. Throughout the months of
planning for a crisis over Kosovo, a ranking officer in Brussels said
today, the allies chose bombing because none of them were willing to take
the risk of sending in the 100,000 to 200,000 troops that they thought it
would take to keep the Serbs from having their way with the 1.8 million
ethnic Albanians in the province....
END Times excerpt
The Fox News Channel can handle two stories at once. For the second time
this week, FNC managed to cover the Kosovo war and simultaneously deliver
some unique information about Chinese espionage. Paula Zahn took about
half a minute on the April 1 Fox Report to inform viewers that Fox had
learned that Chinese intelligence agents had targeted U.S. nuclear
scientists, asking that they pass along secrets, a scoop reporter Carl
Cameron more fully outlined on FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume:
"Energy Department sources say that over the
last year they have counter-intelligence debriefed some 200 U.S.
scientists and staffers from the Los Alamos labs and in at least four
cases Los Alamos employees say they have been approached by Chinese
officials and asked to expose to them top secret U.S. nuclear weapons
raised the possibility that the Chinese premier will cancel his trip to
Washington that's scheduled for next week. Noting China's opposition
to the Kosovo war and a recent ruling about its unfair trade practices,
plus the controversy over the espionage that China denies, Cameron told
Hume: "It has all created a very antagonistic atmosphere and there
are senior Chinese officials right now raging a huge debate over the
wisdom of whether or not Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji should come next week.
Right now the Chinese embassy says they believe he's coming but there
are a number of State Department sources who say they would not be
surprised at all if at the last minute they were to scuttle the trip
See the March 31
CyberAlert for Cameron's March 30 story on how a Senate Intelligence
Committee report due in late April will provide "the most direct link
yet between alleged Democratic campaign finance corruption and China's
Hillary for Senate Committee, Studio 1A Opposition Suppression Command.
From NBC's Studio 1A in Rockefeller Plaza, Thursday morning Today
co-host Matt Lauer rebuked New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for setting the
wrong "tone" for his potential Senate seat battle against
Hillary Rodham Clinton. Giuliani's offense? Affiliation with a Web site
which, Lauer huffed, says "she's a carpet-bagger, she's someone
who failed in her health care experience."
making a couple of factual observations. But maybe that's the problem
for Lauer who reflected the wider media attitude that critically assessing
an opponents record is an evil of politics that politicians should be
shamed out of talking about. At least if their words or ads might hurt the
MRC analyst Mark
Drake observed that Today primarily brought Giuliani aboard to be scolded
by Lauer for a lack of sensitivity over how he has reacted to protests
about the police shooting of the unarmed Amadou Diallo. When Giuliani
insisted he has shown empathy for the plight of minority neighborhoods
beset by crime, Lauer shot back: "You know that's not your
reputation. This has dogged you for your entire administration."
Lauer proceeded to demand that Giuliani admit he has a "difficult
time connecting" with minorities.
suggested his polls will rebound when people realize how much crime has
fallen as police shooting have actually been declining on a per capita
basis, Lauer jumped to the Senate campaign:
"You're not all that concerned about
polls, but this comes at a difficult time because you are considering
higher office. You've made no secret of the fact you are eyeing a
possible Senate run for Patrick Moynihan's seat. So is the First Lady.
Let me give you a quick shot of a Web site that went up recently called
HillaryNo.com sponsored by Friends of Rudolph Giuliani. [on screen shot of
the Web page] This is a very unflattering portrayal in pictures and
content of the First Lady. Is this the kind of tone..."
Giuliani jumped in: "Oh, it isn't at all,
Lauer: "Oh it is, let me tell you about some
of the things."
Giuliani: "It raises an issue, Matt."
Lauer cuts in: "She's a carpet-bagger,
she's someone who failed in her health care experience. She's used New
York to set her sights on higher office. She's unqualified to become a
Giuliani: "All very fair, all very fair
issues about somebody's that's never run for public office, wants to
run in a state that they have absolutely no connection to. If I were to go
to Arkansas and attempt to run for the Senate, don't you think those
issues would be raised?"
Lauer: "Is this the tone of the campaign we
Giuliani: "No, of course not. This is an
attempt to gain some benefit from the fact that there are issues here and
this was the most successful political Web site in the history of the
Internet. It had almost 300,000 people who came to it and it developed
2,500 volunteers. People, I know that there's a certain like aura here,
but the reality is, let's just make it politics now, I go to Arkansas,
I've never run for public office before. Not a mayor, never run for
public office before. Have no connection to the state of Arkansas. Don't
you think the people in Arkansas and the other political figures in
Arkansas would raise that the issue that oh my goodness you're a carpet-bagger.
Come on. And to be this outraged by it is a little bit of an overreaction
Lauer's ominous summary of the page's supposed destructiveness you'd
think it featured extensive articles and postings tearing Hillary Clinton
apart with intemperate language and malicious charges. But that's not
quite the reality. All the Web site features is buttons for three options:
signing a petition urging Giuliani to run, a donations page and page
explaining how to place the "HillaryNo.com" banner on your Web
page. Above these three links the page has two paragraphs of text. Here
they are, in full:
"Senator Clinton? Hillary Rodham Clinton is
considering a future as a United States Senator in New York! With no
governmental experience, never elected to any public office, her failed
health care experiment under her belt, Mrs. Clinton now wants to be part
of the Senate as we head into the next millennium. Born in Illinois and
carried to power in Arkansas, with no connection of any kind to New York,
Hillary has set her sights on the New York Senate seat and
maybe...probably...set her sights even higher.
"That's what HillaryNo.com is all about.
It is a website dedicated to the notion that we should expect more from
someone who aspires to the U.S. Senate. That the U.S. Senate is a place
for proven leaders, not a proving ground."
That's the wrong "tone" to Lauer. I guess to make Lauer happy
Friends of Giuliani should put up a site promoting Hillary's wonders.
As for Lauer's
claim that the site features "a very unflattering portrayal in
pictures," that's ludicrous. It features just one picture, a nice
color shot of a smiling Hillary, her arm outstretched doing a thumbs-up.
Check for yourself: http://www.hillaryno.com
+++ Watch this Lauer/Giuliani exchange
about his Web site's tone. Friday morning the MRC's Sean Henry will
post a video clip in RealPlayer format. After 10am ET, go to: http://www.mrc.org
Staying on the Hillary the Great theme, a Thursday Washington Post
dispatch from a reporter traveling with First Lady Hillary Clinton in
Morocco appeared in the news section though it read like a tribute from an
admirer befuddled by why she would want to lower herself by becoming a
In the story
caught by the MRC's Tim Graham, reporter Peter Baker wondered: "How
does a woman whose international profile is so high that bystanders in
Africa two years ago referred to her as 'the queen of the world'
adjust to becoming a low-ranking member of the seniority-conscious
Here's the first
third of the Post's adulation under the page A17 headline, "In
Morocco, Hillary Clinton Discards Politics for Diplomacy." From
Marrakesh, Morocco Peter Baker, definitely no relation to me, oozed:
Forget the Senate. Over the last 12 days,
Hillary Rodham Clinton has looked and sounded more like a candidate for
Secretary of State.
There she was in Egypt, gently urging
tolerance for the minority Coptic Christians. There she was in Tunisia,
lashing out at Islamic radicals in other countries who oppress women. And
here she was in Morocco, speaking out on everything from the Middle East
peace process to the NATO airstrikes in Yugoslavia.
It has hardly been a new role for the most
traveled First Lady in American history. Indeed, Clinton's trek through
the deserts of North Africa has closely followed the political and
diplomatic road map she has used through six years of globe-trotting to
such out-of-the-way locales as South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the
former Soviet republics.
But the sight of the First Lady back on the
world stage where she feels so sure-footed brought into sharp focus the
peculiar trade-offs facing her as she decides whether to run next year for
the seat of retiring Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.): How does a
woman who eagerly told an audience this morning about education and
economics in Guatemala and Uganda turn her attention to the
pork-and-potholes issues that arise in places like Utica and Ithaca? How
does a woman whose international profile is so high that bystanders in
Africa two years ago referred to her as "the queen of the world"
adjust to becoming a low-ranking member of the seniority-conscious Senate?
These are the questions that some advisers
leery of her Senate flirtation have been asking her. If she has come up
with any answers, she was not letting on today....
Well she certainly
will go into the race with an advantage over Giuliani. She'll have the
national media on her side.
Final Thought. Doesn't "Arkan," the
Serbian para-military leader who was interviewed Wednesday by CNN and on
Thursday on Today and the CBS Evening News, sound like the name for a
character on Star Trek? My Larry King moment for the week. --
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