Busy Beavers Interest NBC, Not Clinton Scandal; Shunting Chinagate
1) Today gave more than four
times as much time to beavers as to China. GMA allocated 30 seconds to
China but a whole interview segment to "C-Day." Zilch on CBS.
None touched fundraising.
2) This isn't the first time
the networks have decided to skip key developments on the Chinese
donations front. The MRC's Media Reality Check documented six other
Friday's morning shows, the morning after the joint Zhu-Clinton press
conference and the morning of a day when Zhu is scheduled to meet with
Vice President Al Gore, failed to pursue any aspect of the China
fundraising plot or spying during the Clinton administration.
See the April 9
CyberAlert distributed this morning to learn how the networks punted
Thursday morning and night. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990409.html
To watch a video clip of FNC's unique story by Carl Cameron outlining
the money flow from the chief of Chinese intelligence through Lippo, Riady
and John Huang, go to the MRC home page to play it via RealPlayer. The
direct address: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990409.html#2
Back to Friday
morning. Not a word on any of the broadcast networks about fundraising and
only Today even mentioned spying -- in brief items relaying Zhu's
denial. But nothing more on Thursday's New York Times story about how
top Clinton administration officials were briefed in 1996 about how China
may have obtained neutron bomb technology earlier in Clinton's first
term, an occurrence Clinton denied at his March 19 press conference and
was questioned about Thursday, thus providing a fresh news hook all the
updates totaled 38 seconds but, as MRC analyst Mark Drake noticed, the
show ran a full report lasting 2:43 on "Beavergate" -- the
beavers destroying Cherry trees in Washington, DC. ABC's Good Morning
America also looked at the beavers, but for only 22 seconds.
Morning America aired two brief items from news reader Antonio Mora at 7am
and 8am totaling 30 seconds on how China failed to get an agreement for it
to join the World Trade Organization. CBS's This Morning aired zilch,
nada, not a word on China, reported MRC analyst Brian Boyd.
Some more details
on the April 9 GMA and Today:
-- ABC's Good
Morning America ran a 16-second item in the 7am news update and a
14-second item at 8am but, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson observed,
dedicated a full 8am interview segment to a discussion with two couples
about how Friday is "C-Day," the best day to conceive in order
to give birth on January 1, 2000.
entirety of news reader Antonio Mora's longer China item:
"President Clinton says he'll keep trying to work out an agreement
that would allow China into the World Trade Organization. Talks with
China's Premier yesterday ended with only some side trade agreements
instead. The Chinese leader blamed what he called an anti-Chinese mood in
A mood certainly
not reflected in broadcast network coverage.
-- NBC's Today
offered a 16-second item in the 7am news update followed at 7:30 by this
longer 22-second item read by Jodi Applegate:
"Today Premier Zhu Rongji of China meets
with Vice President Al Gore as he continues his visit to the US. Last
night President Clinton hosted a state dinner for Zhu at the White House.
Earlier, the Premier said he had no knowledge of his country's stealing
nuclear secrets and the two leaders say they made progress on trade, but
not enough for the U.S. to support Chinese entry into the World Trade
A couple of
minutes later viewers were treated to almost three minutes about the busy
"Broadcast Blackout on Beijing Bombshell: Networks Go Whistling Past
the Graveyard of Democrats' Claims of Innocence on Chinese
Connection." Below is the text for the latest MRC Media Reality Check
fax report in which the MRC's Tim Graham begins by running through how
the networks ignored last Sunday's Los Angeles Times scoop, but then
documents how the broadcast networks gave little or no time to six
previous major disclosures in the unfolding money from China scandal.
For a more
graphically-appealing version of the report, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990408.html
Here's the April
8 Media Reality Check fax report:
Jaws dropped across America as people
learned about the Los Angeles Times Easter bombshell. "The chief of
China's military intelligence secretly directed funds from Beijing to help
re-elect President Clinton in 1996, former Democratic fundraiser Johnny
Chung has told federal investigators." Then jaws dropped at how much
time broadcast network news shows devoted to this scoop through Wednesday
night. Other than a question on Fox News Sunday and one on Meet the Press,
Reporters William Rempel, Henry Weinstein,
and Alan Miller reported: "Chung says he met three times with the
intelligence official, Gen. Ji Shengde, who ordered $300,000 deposited
into the Torrance businessman's bank account to subsidize campaign
donations intended for Clinton."
The Times also revealed the FBI monitored
groups of Chinese visitors in California regarded as a possible hit squad:
"The agency responded by imposing extraordinary measures to protect
its key witness: more than 40 agents were assigned to guard Chung, his
wife and three children for three weeks." The FBI taped a meeting
between Chung and a man who said he was an associate of his Chinese
business partner Liu Chaoying. The man advised Chung to keep quiet about
General Ji: "The businessman advised Chung to go to jail if
necessary, assuring Chung that friends in high places would support him.
The businessman even suggested that Chung could expect to be pardoned by
None of these details, or the arrival of
Chinese premier Zhu Rongji in Los Angeles on Tuesday (or the upcoming
state dinner at the White House tonight) has spurred media interest. But
this is only the latest Chung media shrug:
-- November 28, 1996: The Los Angeles Times
filed its first story on Johnny Chung, located on the front page, which
noted he donated $366,000 to the DNC and made 49 visits to the White
House. TV coverage? Zero.
-- July 27, 1997: The Los Angeles Times
reported Chung said he gave a $50,000 check to Hillary Clinton's chief of
staff on the White House grounds, and said the White House was "like
a subway, you have to put in the coins to open up the gates." TV
coverage? Only NBC aired a full evening story. None of the morning shows
-- August 19, 1997: NBC aired an exclusive
interview with Chung, who explained that he arranged a $25,000 check to
then-Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary's favorite charity as a bribe to get a
meeting. TV coverage? Nothing on ABC, CBS, or CNN.
-- May 15, 1998: The New York Times
reported Chung said most of the $100,000 he gave Democrats in the summer
of 1996 came from Liu Chaoying, who works on defense modernization for
China's People's Liberation Army. TV coverage? ABC gave it 75 seconds, CBS
27, and NBC 15.
-- June 20, 1998: The Washington Post
relayed that Chung said Democratic officials knew they were accepting
illegal Chinese money. TV coverage? CNN had a story, CBS gave it 19
seconds, and nothing aired on ABC or NBC.
-- July 2, 1998: The Washington Post
reported DNC Chairman Don Fowler helped Chung arrange a meeting at the
Treasury Department for a state-owned Chinese oil conglomerate. TV
The pull-out box:
More Evidence of Clinton Coverups
"[The FBI] requested a wiretap on [alleged nuclear weapons spy Wen
Ho] Lee. Justice denied it, arguing it did not have sufficient grounds to
take to a federal court to get the tap approved. But a look at the Justice
Department's record on wiretaps calls that argument into serious question.
From 1993 to 1997, federal officials requested 2,686 wiretaps. For all its
concern for probable cause and legal standards, the Justice Department
turned down one request in those four years -- Lee's in 1996." --
Investor's Business Daily editorial, March 30.
END fax report
Don't have an
interesting or humorous closing comment to make today, so I'll end with
this lack of a comment. --
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