Spy Suspect Out on Saturday; Chung Revealed More; King Replaced Gore
1) The Thursday morning shows
ignored the Senate hearing and the broadcast network evening shows skipped
Reno's plans to probe delays in the spying case, but viewers heard about
the Jenny Jones trial and saw Cindy Crawford's video diary of her
2) FNC exclusive: The FBI has
several other spy suspects, including a former Los Alamos scientist set
for release from a half-way house on Saturday. Did the Pentagon botch his
3) "Eased export controls
aided Beijing's missile technology," announced the Friday Washington
Times headline over a story about a Senate report. The Washington Post
spin on the same report: "Less Than 10% of China's $300,000 Went to
DNC, Report Indicates."
4) Johnny Chung will testify
that "a longtime friend of President Clinton approached the Chinese
government...asking for $1 million to help support Clinton," the Los
Angeles Times reported.
5) Dan Rather on Julie Steele:
"The one and only criminal trial to result from Ken Starr's
year-long, four-and-a-half million dollar investigation of the President
and Monica Lewinsky."
6) CNN canceled plans to have
Al Gore host Larry King Live, but Gore still got a platform to show how
much he cares.
>>> "If Only the Chinese Wore
Trench Coats: Tom Brokaw Asked Clinton About China, But NBC Regularly
Skips Reporting New China Revelations," the MRC's latest Media
Reality Check fax report is now up on the MRC home page. In the report the
MRC's Tim Graham reviews the lack of network TV interest in four
newspaper revelations from the past week or so. (Tim came up with the
title, so send complaints to him not me.) The report's direct address: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990506.html
>>> See Geraldo Get Shelled. After
some delay, now up on the MRC video page thanks to Webmaster Sean Henry: A
clip picked up by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens showing Geraldo Rivera
diving for cover when a Serb shell lands nearby during his mid-April trip
with the Kosovo Liberation Army. The clip, in RealPlayer format, is from
the April 19 Rivera Live on CNBC. To watch it, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html
and then scroll down to April 19. <<<
On Thursday Attorney General Janet Reno announced that she would create a
task force to examine how the Justice Department and FBI had handled the
Wen Ho Lee spy case, but none of the broadcast networks cared or bothered
to use it as a hook to tell viewers about what bad decisions she might be
probing. CNN's The World Today ran a full story on Reno and Senate anger
and FNC's Fox Report gave her a few seconds.
So, this also
means another day passed without CBS or NBC mentioning how the New York
Times had reported Sunday that it had learned that the Clinton team was
informed in November of ongoing Chinese espionage, thus contradicting
None of the
Thursday morning shows uttered a word about Wednesday's Senate hearing
(see the May 6 CyberAlert for details) or Reno's impending announcement
which was reported in Thursday newspapers.
On CNN's 10pm ET
The World Today anchor Joie Chen introduced a piece on Reno by noting how
Friday newspapers were set to report that the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence would release a report Friday saying technology transfers
helped China improve their missiles and that China made an effort to
influence U.S. elections.
Thomas then outlined: "In 1997, the FBI wanted the Justice Department
to seek a court order for a wiretap of Wen Ho Lee. The FBI suspected Lee,
a scientist at the Los Alamos Nuclear Lab, of giving U.S. secrets to
China. Request denied for lack of evidence. A later appeal, also denied.
Now, congressional Republicans are demanding answers and pointing
fingers....Under pressure, the Attorney General has ordered a review to
see if the case was bungled."
Thomas allowed how
"sources say the standard for requesting intrusive wiretaps is high,
and they still do not have direct evidence Lee actually transferred
documents or computer files to China," but also uniquely observed:
"Critics say FBI investigators could have easily gotten enough
evidence to justify a wiretap. Like other scientists at Los Alamos, Lee
had signed a waiver allowing officials to search his work computers at any
time, yet a search was not done until March 1999, two years after the
wiretap request and three years after the Lee investigation began."
network evening shows. So what did they cover instead on May 6? ABC's
World News Tonight, the only broadcast show to cover the May 5 Senate
hearing, on May 6 spent over five minutes on the dangers of medical
testing on humans and new "virtual testing" via computers. Plus,
an It's Your Money segment on the Tombigbee Waterway in Mississippi and
Tennessee. The CBS Evening News took time to look at a victim of police
profiling in Carmel, Indiana and the NBC Nightly News ran a "Retiring
Smart" piece of how older works are hurt when companies switch from
traditional pension plans to "cash balance" plans.
-- Morning shows.
It wasn't as if the networks decided to only examine the tornadoes and
Kosovo on May 6. ABC's Good Morning America, MRC analyst Jessica
Anderson noticed, featured an interview segment in the 7:30 half hour on
the Jenny Jones trial followed by an interview with Rosalynn Carter about
her book on mental health. The 8am half hour featured clips of super model
Cindy Crawford's video diary about her pregnancy. NBC's Today, noted
MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens, also interviewed, in the 7:30 half hour,
players in the Jenny Jones case.
The FBI has several other espionage suspects and the Pentagon may have
mishandled the case of a former Los Alamos scientist who admitted giving
China secret information, the Fox News Channel's Carl Cameron
exclusively reported Thursday night. In a story only briefly summarized on
the Fox Report, but fully outlined on Special Report with Brit Hume, FNC
revealed this other suspect served only a year and is set to be released
Reno's decision to examine the Wen Ho Lee case, Cameron moved to fresh
material in his May 6 Special Report with Brit Hume story:
"FBI counterintelligence has several other
suspects, including another former Los Alamos scientist named Peter Lee.
Peter Lee has had regular contact with Wen Ho Lee over the years, they are
not related. He regularly visited China on trips paid for by groups with
ties to the Chinese military. Peter Lee pleaded guilty in 1997 to lying
about his contact with Chinese spies. He admitted that in 1985 he gave
China top secret U.S. nuclear technology. He was only sentenced to a year
in a half-way house for filing false documents, not espionage. And he is
scheduled for release this Saturday.
"And now the Defense Department is taking
the heat for perhaps letting Peter Lee get off easy. An FBI source says
quote, 'The Pentagon refused the judge's request for a briefing on how
serious the violations were...they never told the judge what this guy had
been doing.' Furthermore, during 1997, sources say Peter Lee was known
to be passing additional secrets on to the Chinese -- top secret
experimental and developmental nuclear secrets along with top secret
satellite technology so the Chinese could track U.S. submarines."
jumped to the impending Senate Intelligence Committee report not mentioned
by ABC, CBS or NBC but noted by CNN hours later (see item #1 above.)
"And there may be additional reason for
concern now, this time from Congress. The Senate Intelligence Committee
plans to release a declassified report on months of closed hearings and
secret spy briefings into whether or not China was able to obtain U.S.
technology through commercial exports as well as whether or not the
People's Republic of China had a plan to effect U.S. politics with
illegal campaign contributions. Fox News has obtained an early copy of
this declassified report. It attacks the FBI. It attacks the CIA, saying
both agencies have been slow in responding and had a difficult time
tracking things. It does not directly implicate the White House or the
presidency but does say the committee found that decisions in 1992 and
'96 did emphasize commercial interests over national security."
Cameron's FNC story. Friday morning the MRC's Sean Henry and Kristina
Sewell will post a video clip in RealPlayer format of much of this story.
Go to: http://www.mrc.org
The Washington Times and New York Times versus the Washington Post.
Friday's editions of these newspapers summarized the report to be
released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, but while the New
York Times and Washington Times focused on the impact of China's
technology gains, the Washington Post delivered a spin only the White
House could love.
Times headline on its Web site reprinting of the May 7 story: "Eased
export controls aided Beijing's missile technology."
-- New York Times
headline on it Web site rendition of its story: "Panel Finds Harm in
-- Washington Post
headline, also from its Web site: "Less Than 10% of China's $300,000
Went to DNC, Report Indicates."
That would be a
reference to the April 4 Los Angeles Times story ABC, CBS and NBC have so
far refused to report.
Here's how Bill Gertz opened his front page
Washington Times story:
U.S. satellite technology transferred to
China in 1995 and 1996 has improved Beijing's rockets and missiles,
according to a report to be released May 7 by the Senate Select Committee
The bipartisan committee report sets out
that the Chinese government is engaged in a covert operation aimed at
influencing U.S. policies. "Technical analyses and methodologies
provided by American satellite companies to the [People's Republic of
China] during various satellite-launch campaigns result in the transfer to
the PRC of technical knowhow," the report says. "Such transfer
enables the PRC to improve its present and future space launch vehicles
and intercontinental ballistic missiles."
A senior Republican Senate aide said the
report "confirms our worst fears" about the Clinton
administration's policy of loosening satellite-export controls and trying
to deal with aggressive Chinese spying on technology.
"China developed and implemented a
covert-action plan to influence U.S. policy and through illegal campaign
contributions sought to loosen controls on critical technologies,"
the aide said. "And it worked."....
will be up all weekend on the Washington Times Web page: http://www.washtimes.com
The Washington Post delivered a story that seemed
to be about a whole other report, but it's about the same one. Reporter
Walter Pincus began his piece, which the Post buried on page A27:
Of $300,000 that former Democratic
fund-raiser Johnny Chung told federal investigators he got from China's
military intelligence chief to help reelect President Clinton in 1996, the
FBI has been able to trace only $20,000 to the Democratic National
Committee, the Senate intelligence committee reported yesterday.
"Most of the remaining funds went for
[Chung's] personal use, including mortgage payments," a report from
the panel said.
Chung, who pleaded guilty last year to
illegally contributing $30,000 to Democrats and has been cooperating with
Justice Department investigators, was a central figure in the 1996
fund-raising scandal. He testified to a federal grand jury that he
accepted $300,000 from the Chinese general to support the Democrats in
1996, the Los Angeles Times reported last month. At that time the paper
said it believed only $35,000 actually went into party coffers.
The Senate panel also disclosed that
contributions from other Chinese sources were made to "a Republican
candidate for state office and a Republican state officeholder" who
were otherwise unidentified. In addition, the panel said that intelligence
information disclosed that China in 1995 conceived a plan to
"influence the U.S. political process favorably toward
[Beijing]" that was directed primarily at Congress....
Which spin will
the Friday morning shows pick up? If their pattern holds, neither. They
will just ignore the latest information.
When he testifies next week, the Los Angeles Times revealed Friday, Johnny
Chung will say he heard that "a longtime friend of President Clinton
approached the Chinese government... asking for $1 million to help support
Clinton" and that he "escorted the wife and son of the Chinese
military intelligence chief to a political fundraiser in Los Angeles in
1996 at which Democratic officials insisted on a $25,000 campaign
contribution for the opportunity to introduce his guests to the
The same reporters
who wrote the paper's April 4 story about how Chinese military
intelligence gave Chung $300,000 to donate, were back Friday with a
preview of Chung's testimony scheduled for next week before a House
committee. This is the same appearance that was scheduled for April 27,
Details Alleged Chinese Funding Scheme," declared the May 7 headline
over the story by reporters William Rempel and Alan Miller who opened:
Former Democratic donor Johnny Chung has
provided new information to congressional investigators about his dealings
with top Chinese intelligence officials, including claims that other
politically connected figures were enlisted to bolster China's interests
in the United States.
Those claims, along with additional details
about Chung's previously disclosed dealings with the chief of China's
military intelligence, are expected to be aired next week when Chung is
scheduled to testify publicly for the first time before the House
Committee on Government Reform.
Chung's accounts, gathered from a series of
recent interviews with The Times, also are expected to shed new light on a
possible China strategy to build relations with individuals who had
special access to the White House and U.S. political leaders.
At the same time, Chung's public testimony
is likely to inflame partisan debate over long-standing Republican
allegations of a Chinese plan to influence the U.S. election process.
Among the new information that Chung is
expected to provide in testimony scheduled to begin Tuesday:
-- He was told by an associate of Beijing's military intelligence leader
that China had funneled $500,000 to an international trading firm
established by a former Clinton White House aide.
-- A Beijing banker told Chung that a former Arkansas restaurateur who was
a longtime friend of President Clinton approached the Chinese government
sometime prior to February 1996 asking for $1 million to help support
Clinton and the Democratic Party.
-- Chung escorted the wife and son of the Chinese military intelligence
chief to a political fundraiser in Los Angeles in 1996 at which Democratic
officials insisted on a $25,000 campaign contribution for the opportunity
to introduce his guests to the President.
For more than two years, Justice Department
and congressional investigators have sought to determine whether the
Chinese government directed secret campaign contributions to U.S. election
campaigns to enhance Beijing's access to influential leaders, technology
and information. Such allegations have generated bitter partisan debate,
with Republicans alleging that China sought to influence the 1996 U.S.
Now, Chung is poised to become the first
prominent figure in the 1996 campaign finance scandal with ties to China
to testify publicly before Congress....
Chung's appearance will no doubt intensify
growing scrutiny over the Clinton administration's handling of Beijing. It
comes amid allegations of Chinese espionage to steal U.S. nuclear secrets
and as congressional committees are planning to release reports on alleged
Chinese efforts to obtain sensitive U.S. technology.
Chung was subpoenaed by the House panel
after The Times disclosed on April 4 that Chung had told federal
investigators that Gen. Ji Shengde, the head of China's military
intelligence, had given the Torrance businessman $300,000 to subsidize
campaign donations to support Clinton. Records show that Chung donated a
total of $35,000 to the Democratic National Committee in September 1996;
the remainder was transferred into Chung's California bank account, and it
is not known how the money was spent....
END Los Angeles
appearance will no doubt intensify growing scrutiny over the Clinton
administration's handling of Beijing." Well, I have doubts about how
much coverage the broadcast networks will give to his appearance.
To read the rest
of this LA Times story, go to: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/POLITICS/NATPOL/lat_chung990507.htm
To remind yourself
of the April 4 bombshell, go to: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/POLITICS/NATPOL/lat_china990404.htm
Stealing some Steele time. Thursday night the CBS Evening News aired the
first full story on a broadcast network about the Julie Hiatt Steele trial
for obstructing justice and false statements. On Thursday the case went to
the jurors after the defense decided to not put on any witnesses.
Dan Rather intoned
on the May 6 show: "The one and only criminal trial to result from
Ken Starr's year-long, four and a half million dollar investigation of
the President and Monica Lewinsky, went to the jury today and Monica
Lewinsky has virtually nothing to do with it."
Phil Jones explained how Kathleen Willey
testified that she told Steele about Clinton's unwanted sexual advances
shortly after they happened in 1993, but Steele says she only heard of the
charge four years later. Jones picked up the story: "Starr's
prosecutors argued that Steele lied and they put four of her former
friends on the stand to testify that Steele had told them about Willey's
claims before 1997. One of those testifying, Amy Horan."
Horan: "She definitely did tell me about it
before '97, and September of '96 is the time frame I would put
Jones then showed clip of Willey saying on 60
Minutes last year: "He touched my breast with his hand and I was just
Though CNN has had many elected officials host Larry King Live over the
years, controversy over the plan to have Vice President Al Gore serve as
the host led CNN to change its arrangement. But Gore still appeared and
got plenty of time to emote caring and advocate his policy ideas on how to
reduce youth violence.
At the top of the
May 6 show Larry King told viewers:
"You may be wondering why I'm here, since we
told you last night that Vice President Al Gore would be sitting in for me
tonight. Larry King Live has a tradition of using famous guest hosts. I
won't run down the lists. Trust me, it's impressive.
Vice President Gore had a long-standing host invitation from us, and he
finally accepted. But after taking a long, hard look at the political
calendar, we decided it was too close to the 2000 election to have a
presidential contender as an interviewer, not interviewee. So the good
news is, the Vice President has graciously agreed to give me back my
A few minutes into
the program King prompted Gore: "What do we know now that we didn't
know before Littleton?"
Gore took full advantage of the platform to
demonstrate how much he cares: "I think what most people think we
know is that this is a warning of something deeper than just the
widespread availability of guns, and violence in the media, and video
games and the Internet sites that have been involved, and deeper even than
whatever failures of parenting have gone into this. I think that it is
being seen and heard all across our country as a spiritual signal, that we
really have to take stock of what we want in our country -- what kind of
families, what kind of communities. I think we've got to make a lot of
"Larry, I was deeply affected -- and I told
this story the other day. I thought a long time before I told it, because
it was shared with me in a private moment. Tipper and I went out a couple
of Sundays ago and physically embraced the families of all those who died
in Columbine High School. And one of the fathers -- I won't use his name
to protect his privacy; he might not even care, but it was so private --
he whispered into my ear during the midst of the embrace, 'These
children cannot have died in vain. We have to make changes. Promise me
we'll make changes.' And then he repeated it with a tone of urgency and
insistence that went just straight to my heart and my soul. He said,
'Promise me.' And I said, 'I promise,' and I meant it, and anybody
would have said the same."
It all depends on
what your definition of "private" is. In Gore's case, it means
tell everyone you were told something in private and then proceed to
Reverend Robert Schuller and Dr. William Pollack, author of Real Boys,
joined the panel with Gore.
CNN gave Gore all the advantages of hosting, like
uninterrupted time to talk, without the chore of actually hosting. --
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