Cox Told Fox Energy Delaying Report; Arnett Axed?; ABC's Abortion Swing
1) Ken Starr blaming the
independent counsel law "for his sorry record," Al Hunt claimed,
is "like Madonna assailing promiscuity."
2) Chris Cox told Fox News
Sunday that Clinton's Energy Dept. is delaying the release of his report
by citing concerns which "are not proper in this circumstance."
3) A media rarity: Cokie
Roberts approached a Republican from the right, demanding Elizabeth Dole
respond to conservatives who say "that the ultimate violation of
human rights is abortion."
4) Friday night, of the
broadcast networks, only ABC told viewers how "the horrific scenes of
carnage may well have been doctored by the Serbs for maximum impact."
NBC twice showed a planted doll.
5) CNN has decided to drop
Peter Arnett, two newspapers reported.
6) There are signs ABC's
Monday night movie on abortion, Swing Vote, will swing to the left.
7) Letterman's "Top Ten
Chapter Titles in Hillary Clinton's Book on Entertaining."
Now online: The April 19
edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the
latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. Quote
categories include "Mean Judge Ruins Clinton's Day",
"Clinton Needs a Break, Like FDR", "Lucianne's Got a
Gun!", "Zhu Rongji, Witty Oppressor", "Post to
Hillary: Forget the Senate, You're 'Queen of the World'!", and
"Brokaw's Greatest Liberals." For this issue, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1999/nq19990419.html
To see all of the issues published this
year, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1999/welcome.html
Correction: The April 16
CyberAlert quoted a question posed to President Clinton at the American
Society of Newspaper Editors convention by Ken "Bunning" of the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which is how CNN identified him. His name is
actually Ken Bunting and he's the Managing Editor. (A clip of this
question and answer, in which Bunting says talk radio reminds him of the
"right wing conspiracy" and the editors applaud Clinton for
saying he can't control talk radio, is up on the MRC video page. Go to:http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html)
Ken Starr can't get a break from Al Hunt. Discussing Starr's Wednesday
testimony calling on the Senate to not renew the independent counsel
statute, on Saturday's CNN Capital Gang the Wall Street Journal's Hunt
fired off this insult:
"Ken Starr blaming the statute for his sorry
record is, you know, like Madonna assailing promiscuity." A few
minutes later Hunt impugned Starr: "He was a partisan zealot."
Sunday Morning Snippets I. Here's the first of two items from the April
18 interview shows. See item #3 for another. On Fox News Sunday
Congressman Chris Cox charged that the Clinton administration,
specifically the Energy Dept., is citing illegitimate reasons for delaying
the release of the "Cox Report." He also revealed that believes
the Chinese gave money not only to influence the campaign but in order
Fox News Sunday, just like the
week before, was the only Sunday show to devote a segment to China. Chris
Cox, Chairman of the House Select Committee on China, appeared along with
Norm Dicks, the top Democrat. Asked when his long-awaited report would be
released, Cox said he hopes to have a declassified version out by the end
of the month.
Fred Barnes wondered:
"What's been holding up this report? You all finished months ago.
Who or what is holding up release of the sanitized version of it?"
Cox diplomatically replied:
"We are in extensive negotiations, literally word by word, sentence
by sentence, paragraph by paragraph. It's a very long report and when
there is an administration objection based on source or method of
intelligence gathering we have to walk back that claim and check out who
is the source, what needs to be protected and find if there isn't a way
to ride around it. More recently we've found that even though we've
reached agreement, for example, with the CIA or the FBI, the Department of
Energy will have an objection not based on sources or methods but based on
some other ground and if declassification is in fact the legitimate aim
here, if we're trying to declassify -- not just say that we could
classify this if we wished to do so -- then I think those kinds of
objections not based on sources and methods are not proper in this
circumstance and we're trying to, frankly, turn them around on
Tony Snow reminded Cox of the
Los Angles Times story about the $300,000 the head of Chinese military
intelligence gave to Johnny Chung to donate to the DNC. Cox told Snow that
he believes the money was "for purposes, which I'm convinced,
extended to the acquisition of technology, not just putting the money into
Sunday Morning Snippets II. Over on ABC's This Week, Cokie Roberts
actually hit Elizabeth Dole from the right, asking her to respond to
conservatives who "say the ultimate violation of human rights is
Roberts displayed a rare
approach on TV news: hitting a guest with a question from the right, from
the conservative agenda, instead of the usual portraying of a Republican
as too far to the right.
Interviewing Elizabeth Dole
via satellite from Rome where she had just returned from touring the
refugee camps around Kosovo, Roberts posed two questions about abortion.
First, from the right:
we've heard from some of your putative Republicans opponents is that
you're concerned about the human rights there, but they say the ultimate
violation of human rights is abortion. Gary Bauer has written you a
letter, which you probably haven't yet received, but asks for instance,
'would you curtail United States involvement in international
organizations that promote abortion?'"
Dole's answer: No.
Roberts then asked whether she
agreed with the Pope's view that Kosovo rape victims should not be able
to use a morning after pill. Dole disagreed.
The Yugoslav government took Western journalists on a tour of the damaged
convoy where civilians died and Friday night all the networks showed
devastating footage. But of the broadcast networks, only ABC's World
News Tonight raised the likelihood that at least some of the scene was
John McWethy relayed how
"ABC News asked several analysts to examine what the Serbs allowed
cameras to photograph. ABC analyst Tony Cordesman says many details do not
make sense, as though the scene had been tampered with."
Cordesman while pointing to parts of pictures: "You see
objects in the middle of the crater which would have blown, been blown
normally perhaps 50 to 100 feet."
McWethy: "John Hillen, military analyst and war veteran,
had similar observations."
Hillen: "This is not a bombing scene because the tractor
is virtually untouched and yet there are bodies lying very close to
McWethy: "But the clincher was this doll."
Hillen: "On the back of a trailer in one shot and then
on the back of a tractor in another shot. The same doll had been
McWethy: "So, the horrific scenes of carnage may well
have been doctored by the Serbs for maximum impact..."
Indeed, impact CBS and NBC
conveyed. From behind enemy lines in Belgrade, CBS Evening News anchor Dan
Rather asserted on April 16:
"NATO has acknowledged
that it did hit one vehicle, by accident it says, but the Serbs say there
were at least three attacks. NATO denied that but declined to offer any
solid additional information. Serb officials took Western journalists to
the area where they say the NATO attack took place and declared today a
national day of mourning for the victims."
Later, David Martin offered
the Pentagon view that if NATO were responsible it pales by comparison to
deliberate Serb atrocities. Rather also narrated a piece from beside a
destroyed heating plant, asking the manager: "How do you feel about
all of this? What's in your heart?"
Friday and Saturday night the
NBC Nightly News showed clips with the doll at the convoy site, the doll
ABC's experts said was planted, but NBC did not raise the possibility of
staging. Friday night NBC's Jim Maceda declared: "This tragedy is
turning into the biggest propaganda victory yet for Serbs in the
One CBS and NBC are furthering
by failing to bring a skeptical eye to Yugoslav propaganda.
Editor's Note: Judging by
some of the vitriolic e-mail comments I've received, some CyberAlert
readers don't understand why I am tracking this kind of bias in
"Clinton's war." Well, it's because I hope we conservatives
can have the integrity of consistency. The elected President of our
country and commander-in-chief (which is what he is after a constitutional
process left him in office), with the cooperation of civilian and military
leaders confirmed by a majority vote of the Senate, are carrying out this
policy without an opposing vote from either House of Congress controlled
by the opposition party. The U.S. is also in alliance with over a dozen
other democratic governments. Yugoslavia is now the enemy of the United
States, like it or not. It is just as much the enemy as Vietnam or Iraq
were when we fought them. How much sympathy did conservatives have for the
radical anti-war protestors and propagandists endangering the safety of
our fighting men then? If conservatives now say Yugoslavia is not
"our" enemy then how are we any different than the leftists we
condemned who supported the Sandinistas or Viet Cong?
Arguing the war is misguided,
incompetently directed and should be ended are perfectly appropriate
arguments. But when U.S. servicemen are putting their lives on the line to
carry out their orders, conservatives should be standing behind them and
condemning members of the news media who are eager to relay enemy
propaganda which portrays errors by our side in fulfillment of a noble if
misguided cause as equal with a deliberate policy of mass murder being
carried out by those also trying to kill our servicemen.
Speaking of propaganda organs for the enemy, Peter Arnett may be on his
way out from CNN. During the Persian Gulf War CNN enraged many for airing
Peter Arnett's controlled transmissions from behind enemy lines in
Baghdad. But CNN did not send him to this war and he's hardly been seen
since CNN retracted his Newsstand: CNN & Time piece on Operation
Tailwind, an embarrassing fiasco that after a long delay may now finally
cost him his job. Monday's USA Today and Washington Post report that CNN
does not plan to renew his contract.
In the April 19 USA Today
Peter Johnson reported:
....The truth, he said Sunday, is that CNN
is trying to get rid of him and told his agent it plans to use a window in
his contract in July to dump him, 2 ½ years before his five-year deal
Reason: the Tailwind scandal, a CNN story
narrated by Arnett. It charged that the United States used nerve gas
against U.S. deserters in Laos during the Vietnam War. CNN retracted the
report after criticism and denials from the military. Two producers on the
project were fired.
Arnett, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his
reporting for The Associated Press in Vietnam and became a household name
during the Persian Gulf War, was reprimanded in July by the network for
his involvement in the story. "My colleagues felt the reprimand was
enough, but CNN doesn't feel that way. I've become a nonentity here.
They've been keeping me on the vine."
Earlier this year, Arnett says, he began to
feel "a cold breeze" coming from CNN managers. But when he
wasn't chosen to report on Kosovo, he really was hurt.
"This is an organization I love. But
this is pretty shabby treatment," says Arnett, 64, who feels that
"my legs have been cut out from under me."...
END Excerpt from USA Today
The Washington Post's Howard
Kurtz offered the most benign recollection of Arnett's role in the
Tailwind story, writing in his April 19 Media Notes column in the
"For a reporter who won a Pulitzer for
the Associated Press in Vietnam and reported live from Baghdad when the
bombs started dropping in 1991, the Tailwind story was a major
embarrassment, and Arnett felt unfairly blamed. He has said he contributed
'not one comma' to the story, which aired on the debut of the CNN-Time
program NewsStand, charging that U.S. troops used nerve gas in Laos in
1970. He said he participated in only a couple of interviews but read the
script on the air because he is a 'company man.'"
In fact, Arnett conducted a
couple of the interviews for the piece.
Following Smith's advice?
Appearing on the January 5 Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, former CNN
military analyst Perry Smith, who quit when CNN ignored his warnings about
the inaccuracy of the Tailwind story, told Snyder that while CNN admitted
making an error there were still four things they hadn't done. As
detailed in the January 6 CyberAlert, Smith, who is now consulting for NBC
"They didn't say it
really didn't happen. They didn't do a full retraction. They didn't
get rid of Peter Arnett and Rick Kaplan, which they should have done. And
they never gave the warriors a chance to full air time to explain what
actually happened on that mission. So they're well short of doing all
the right things, but they certainly have taken some steps."
"Get rid of" Arnett
and Kaplan. Well, it looks like one down and one to go.
Swing Vote swings left? Tonight, Monday April 19, at 9pm ET/PT ABC will
air an original made-for-TV movie about the choice made by a Supreme Court
justice who must break a 4-4 tie about whether abortion is murder. The
plot summary and a preview clip strongly suggest the movie will approach
the subject from the left, though producers and the network insist it
takes an even-handed approach that will please and anger both sides.
We'll see tonight, but in
the meantime there are some hints that it will take a pro-abortion rights
-- First, there's the basic
plot directly out of NARAL's horror book: The movie is set early in the
next century at a time when Roe v. Wade has been overturned, thus leaving
it up to each state to regulate abortion. It is illegal in Alabama and
when a woman has one she is convicted of murder and her case is appealed
to he Supreme Court.
-- Second, actor Andy Garcia,
who stars as a justice named to fill the ninth seat and who must break a
tie, used "pro-choice" code phrases in saying he does not want
to "impose" his views o others while he also praised the
"great script" that he felt "compelled" to do. He's
also the co-Executive Producer of the movie and while he described himself
to the AP as "a lifer," he added: "I also believe that you
can't impose your own beliefs on other people; that's not the way our
Constitution reads. In protecting the rights of one side, you deprive the
rights of the other."
In the April 19 USA Today
Jefferson Graham reported: "Garcia's stand on abortion is that while
he supports a woman's right to choose, he wouldn't want his wife to have
-- Third, USA Today's Graham
noted in the April 19 edition, "while the issue of abortion is
central to the film, the main point is about unwanted children who are
neglected." Pro-lifers and pro-abortion people both appeal to that
argument, but it's a more common argument with those who want to allow
abortion. Garcia told USA Today: "The issue of the children is
usually ignored. They are the forgotten people, the children who are born
and put in institutional care. It's our responsibility to take care of
-- Fourth, left-wing writer
John Leonard, who also reviews TV shows for CBS's Sunday Morning,
praised it and the soundbite he played certainly sounded like an except
from a liberal justifying why abortion must be allowed. Here's a hunk of
his review shown on the April 11 Sunday Morning as transcribed by the
MRC's Brian Boyd.
John Leonard: "If the
Court is stacked against abortion."
A Justice in the movie played
by Harry Bellafonte: "Any restriction on how or what a woman chooses
is a restriction on her freedom."
Leonard: "So is Margaret Colin as [Andy] Garcia's
Actress Margaret Colin as a justice's wife: "You want
to promote abortion in this country you want to have those babies on your
conscience, well you go straight ahead. Just take it on back to work and
don't do it here."
Leonard: "And so is the movie. Micheal O'Keefe [leader
at a pro-life rally] delivers its most passionate aria without ever
mentioning the fire bombing of abortion clinics and the murder of doctors
and nurses. All this is to set us up for Garcia's compromise decision,
which is also a policy statement. Speaking for once in behalf of all those
children who are born unwanted and unloved."
Andy Garcia as a Justice on Supreme Court bench: "Each
state must accept responsibility to so protect these children, it must,
and belief me from this day forward it will. We are placing the suffering
of unwanted children on the agenda of this court today. Right up front
where it belongs."
Leonard: "There are half a million American children in
institutions and foster care, of whom only 32,000 will be adopted. Before
Roe v Wade 2,000 American women died every year from illegal abortions, in
1985 three did. Swing Vote will make everybody mad, but we live in a world
were children themselves are having children for whom moralizing
ideologues haven't time, money or affection, we scientize parsing
trimesters, we theologize counting souls like crazy goggles, and then we
stand around at pep rallies waiting for a deliverance by technology, like
the French pill, or a message from Andy Garcia. The latest in a long line
of very important men who always know best."
Will ABC deliver balance or
Inspired by the news Hillary Clinton will write a book on entertaining at
the White House, from the April 16 Late Show with David Letterman, the
"Top Ten Chapter Titles in Hillary Clinton's Book on
Entertaining." Copyright 1999 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. Whoops! Never Seat Your Husband's
Mistresses Next To One Another
9. Nothing But the Best When the Taxpayer's
Picking Up the Tab
8. Arranging Hors d'oeuvres So They
Subliminally Spell "Divorce Me"
7. Oh, Buddy, Not in the Chancellor's
6. Quiche Lorraine, Crepes Suzette and
Other Dishes Bill Thought Were Hooker Names
5. Roger Clinton: An Ideal Coffee Table
4. How To Keep Willie Nelson Off Your Roof
3. "What Sort Of Drinking Game Do You
Have In Mind, Mr. Yeltsin?"
2. How to Make My Famous
"If-I-Can't-Have-You-No-One-Can" Poison Meatloaf
1. How I Plan to Deport Martha Stewart
And from the Late Show Web
site, some of the "extra jokes that didn't quite make it into the Top
-- What To Do When Your Husband's Mistress
Arrives in the Same Dress As You -- Soups He
Won't Notice If You Spit Into
-- 1001 Quick-Kills and Death-Grips for a Pushy Intern
-- When Entertaining Chinese Dignitaries, Always Bow First to The One
Who's Given You the Most Cash
Happy Patriot's Day, a holiday in my native Massachusetts.
Today is the 224th anniversary of Paul Revere's ride and the Battle of
Lexington and Concord in 1775, the launch of the Revolutionary War. --
Support the MRC, an educational foundation dependent upon contributions
which make CyberAlert possible, by providing a tax-deductible
donation. Use the secure donations page set up for CyberAlert
readers and subscribers:
>>>To subscribe to CyberAlert, send a
blank e-mail to:
@topica.com. Or, you can go to:
Either way you will receive a confirmation message titled: "RESPONSE
REQUIRED: Confirm your subscription to firstname.lastname@example.org."
After you reply, either by going to the listed Web page link or by simply
hitting reply, you will receive a message confirming that you have been
added to the MRC CyberAlert list. If you confirm by using the Web page
link you will be given a chance to "register" with Topica. You
NOT have to do this; at that point you are already subscribed to
To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to:
Send problems and comments to: email@example.com.
can learn what has been posted each day on the MRC's Web site by
subscribing to the "MRC Web Site News" distributed every weekday
afternoon. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters.<<<
Home | News Division
| Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact
the MRC | Subscribe