Rubin: Greatest SecTreas since 1790s; Liddy Earns Media Approval
1) The networks heaped praise
upon Robert Rubin on behalf of a "country full of prosperity he
helped create." He was "the best Treasury Secretary since
Alexander Hamilton" oozed Peter Jennings.
2) Liddy goes left and earns
media admiration. CBS highlighted her opposition to concealed weapons.
ABC's John Cochran passed along the spin: "By taking on the gun
lobby, she hopes men will decide maybe she is also tough enough to take on
3) Only FNC cared that a top
Democrat criticized Justice for turning down the FBI's warrant request
for Wen Ho Lee. FNC's Carl Cameron exclusively revealed how the Clinton
team ignored evidence about misuse of plutonium by North Korea.
4) No Chung on Wednesday's
morning shows, but they had time for a story about a beach party for a
furniture store's staff and a discussion about Star Wars toys. CNS
picked up how Chung's sentencing judge said if the DNC didn't know
then they were dumb.
Corrections. First, the
May 12 CyberAlert misspelled the last name of Bernardine Healy. It is
Healy, not Healey. Second, the same edition quoted CBS reporter Sharyl
Attkisson as reporting "...the declassified data made have helped
Pakistan and India." That should have read "...data may have
The networks gave Robert Rubin a glorious send-off Wednesday night,
enthusiastically praising him, as CBS's Scott Pelley put it, for having
"guided policy during what may be the greatest boom in U.S.
history." ABC's Peter Jennings enthused that "all sorts of
people" have "called him the best Treasury Secretary since
Alexander Hamilton." NBC's Tom Brokaw suggested it's the
government which creates wealth, applauding Rubin for "very
skillfully positioning the government to help fuel these extraordinarily
Viewers did not
hear a word of criticism, but did hear some historical revisionism which
credited much of the economic success to the balanced budget though the
economic numbers were doing good well before the imaginary balanced budget
occurred. Rubin was also credited with advocating "fiscal
restraint" though during his years as a White economic adviser in
Clinton's first term the President was advocating a massive spending
spree for his health care program. No reporter mentioned its defeat or how
a Republican Congress rejected many Clinton ideas for government expansion
which would have slowed the economy.
All also praised
Larry Summers, the current Deputy Treasury Secretary Clinton will nominate
to replace Rubin. Though many conservatives condemn his international
money giveaways, the networks praised how he coordinated bailouts. CBS's
Anthony Mason recalled how with Alan Greenspan and Rubin Summers formed a
"troika that Time called 'The Committee to Save the World.'"
Here's how the
broadcast networks treated Rubin's resignation on Wednesday night, May
12. ABC and CBS led with Rubin, NBC went first with Yeltsin firing
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Peter Jennings opened the show by gushing:
"Good evening. The man who presided over the
best economy in a generation is going back to private life. The Secretary
of the Treasury Bob Rubin, who said today that he really was resigning,
has been described in such glowing terms that he'd begun to sound
indispensable. All sorts of people today, including the President, have
called him the best Treasury Secretary since Alexander Hamilton, who was
the first Secretary in 1789 and did an enormous amount to put the United
States on firm financial footing."
joined the chorus of praise: "Rubin is credited, along with Mr.
Clinton's first Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, with fashioning the
policy of fiscal restraint that led to the first balanced budget in 12
years. That in turn is given major credit for the kinds of improvements
Americans have felt, including low unemployment and interest rates, the
booming housing market, especially for lower income families, and the
country's record length of economic expansion. Rubin said the credit
belonged to the team."
Rubin: "My view, Mr. President, you and the
Vice President have repositioned our country..."
Up next, Betsy
Stark on how Summers "is widely respected as a brilliant academic
thinker who has learned a lot about policy making from Robert Rubin and
-- CBS Evening News. From the White House Scott
Pelley reported that "the President led the ovation for Rubin, the
Wall Street tycoon who guided policy during what may be the greatest boom
in U.S. history."
After a clip of
Clinton Pelley recounted Rubin's achievements: "He advised that
cutting the deficit was more important than new social programs. Rubin
gets credit for pushing the 1993 budget deal to reduce deficit spending,
the result was lower interest rates. He backed reform of the IRS and
intervened when meltdowns in Mexico, Russia, Brazil and Asia threatened
the U.S. economy."
Anthony Mason relayed: "....Larry Summers is said by many to be even
smarter than Rubin, a former Harvard professor and chief economist at the
World Bank, he spent four years at Rubin's side. The administration's
trouble-shooter as the global financial crisis spread, Summers met
privately with Greenspan and Rubin every week forming a troika that Time
called 'The Committee to Save the World.'"
-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw told viewers how
Rubin "is going back to private life after quietly and very
skillfully positioning the government to help fuel these extraordinarily
Mike Jensen began: "He's the man most
Americans can thank for the country's extraordinary eight year economic
boom." Jensen maintained that economists "say he helped create
the boom by persuading President Clinton to balance the budget. The
result: a huge budget surplus, mortgage rates at seven percent,
unemployment at an almost 30 year low, stocks up an astonishing 230
percent, one of the greatest bull markets ever."
Jensen concluded by highlighting how by the end
of Wednesday the Dow was "recovering most of its losses and NASDAQ up
sharply. For Robert Rubin the absolute perfect moment to step down, a
country full of prosperity he helped create and no end in sight."
Elizabeth Dole knows how to win media admiration: Go left and take on a
conservative group most reporters despise. In this case the NRA, better
known to TV viewers as "the gun lobby."
Twice in the past
week Dole has earned praiseworthy network pieces for her comments
denouncing NRA stands. The most recent: Wednesday night on the CBS Evening
News and that followed an even more glowing appraisal Saturday night on
ABC during which reporter John Cochran marveled at how she's
"sounding almost like, good grief, a Democrat." Cochran set her
up with this softball from left field: "Do you think it's time to
stop being scared of the gun lobby?" And, Cochran passed along this
bit of spin: "By taking on the gun lobby, she hopes men will decide
maybe she is also tough enough to take on Slobodan Milosevic." Now
that's quite a stretch.
-- CBS Evening
News, May 12: Bob Schieffer began his piece from Washington:
"The fallout from the awful events in
Littleton is beginning to be felt from the Capitol to the campaign trail.
In a speech here last night Republican presidential candidate Elizabeth
Dole surprised many in her party when she said Americans must insure the
safety of children."
Dole in front of an event for Working Women 500:
"Even if it means having the guts to stand up to the gun lobby."
Schieffer: "Last week she called for banning
assault weapons. Last night she added this:"
Dole: "I think it's wrong to let people
carry concealed weapons."
Schieffer: "That was a direct challenge to
Republican presidential frontrunner George W. Bush who as Governor signed
legislation in 1995 which allowed people to carry concealed weapons in
Schieffer went on
to report how the Senate agreed to fund a look into whether violent video
games are marketed to kids, but turned down more money for youth programs
and handed the NRA a victory by not passing a bill to mandate background
checks at gun shows.
-- ABC's World News Tonight on Saturday, May 8.
John Cochran exulted:
"Suddenly, Elizabeth Dole has become the in
your face Republican on gun control, sounding almost like, good grief, a
Dole at an event earlier in the week in New
Hampshire: "I don't think you need an AK-47 to defend your family.
And I do believe in the ban on assault weapons. I also favor safety locks,
yes safety locks on gun to protect our children."
Cochran: "She gets the occasional boo, but
more often she get applause and in the wake of the Columbine school
tragedy Dole's aides believe her stand on gun control will resonate to
Cochran to Dole: "Do you think it's time
to stop being scared of the gun lobby?"
Dole: "I do not think they should dictate to
Cochran: "Until now Dole has looked soft,
uncertain on many issues. And then there was the gender problem. She is
popular with women, but polls show men have doubts about her. But now, by
taking on the gun lobby, she hopes men will decide maybe she is also tough
enough to take on Slobodan Milosevic."
Stuart Rothenberg, political analyst.
"That's a very different Elizabeth Dole than we've been seeing.
The sugary, smiling Southern debutante."
Cochran: "But does it really take so much
courage to go toe-to-toe with the gun lobby? In recent years the National
Rifle Association seems to have lost some of its political punch. Is there
still a price to pay when you take on the gun lobby or do you think the
gun lobby's power is waning now?"
Dole: "Well we'll see won't we? We'll
Cochran: "Dole is still a distant second in
the polls to Governor George Bush who will delay the start of his campaign
until this summer. Dole knows all she can do is position herself as a
serious alternative if Bush stumbles badly. And for starters she wants you
to know she is serious about gun control."
While Cochran did
question whether it really takes "courage" to take on the
media-pummeled "gun lobby," he never questioned nor allowed
anyone else to criticize the appropriateness of her proposals.
+++ Watch Cochran gush over Elizabeth Dole. Late
Thursday morning ET the MRC's Sean Henry and Kristina Sewell will post,
on the MRC home page, a RealPlayer clip from Cochran's story. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
The top Senate Democrat on the Select Committee on Intelligence criticized
the Justice Department Wednesday for turning down a FBI warrant request to
probe Wen Ho Lee, but only FNC's Fox Report noticed of all the evening
shows. That coverage by FNC's Carl Cameron followed his exclusive about
how the Clinton administration ignored warnings about misuse of plutonium
by North Korea.
Cameron began his
May 12 story over video of a nuclear plant in North Korea:
"Classified intelligence data about this
North Korean nuclear energy reactor, Fox News has learned, was ignored by
the Clinton administration just last year. The administration pushed
forward with funding for a new cleaner reactor for North Korea even though
there was evidence that the North Koreans were using the old reactor's
plutonium fuel rods for weapons development instead of sending the
material to the new facility for energy production. Sources say there was
a huge debate about withholding funds for the new project, but the White
House insisted on going ahead anyway."
Jumping to Chinese
espionage, Cameron showed how at a Senate hearing ignored by the other
networks Energy official Mary Ann Sullivan said her department followed
proper procedure in deferring the espionage investigation to the FBI.
Cameron picked up: "But the FBI says it was
denied wiretaps and search warrants by Justice Department brass. That had
Attorney General Janet Reno called on the congressional carpet and blasted
by members of both parties."
Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey: "A denial
occurred when a denial shouldn't have occurred."
Republican Senator Richard Shelby: "I think
it's indefensible on the part of the Attorney General."
Cameron concluded with this intriguing
development: "Senators were supposed to receive a top secret briefing
from House lawmakers who conducted an in depth investigation of China's
nuclear espionage, but at the last minute sources say Democratic Senators
urged House Democrats not to show up to brief them and the meeting was
"Committee Told of Beijing Cash for Democrats" announced the
front page New York Times headline on Wednesday below a top center color
picture of Johnny Chung testifying in front of Congress on Tuesday. But
not even that prominent play in the New York Times could generate a
syllable of coverage Wednesday morning on the morning shows.
And the CBS
Evening News, which skipped Chung Tuesday night, did so again Wednesday
night so viewers of that show have yet to learn of how Chung got $300,000
from the head of Chinese military intelligence to donate to aide in
The May 12
CyberAlert noted how Today and GMA skipped Chung on Wednesday morning and
now MRC analyst Brian Boyd has informed me that so did CBS's This
Morning. Here are some examples of what they covered instead on May 12,
the morning after Chung appeared before the House Government Reform
-- ABC's Good Morning America broadcast from
Biloxi, Mississippi and while all the interview segments focused on that
city, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson noticed that news reader Antonio Mora
found time for a news item about how a Massachusetts furniture store chain
flew all 1,300 of its employees to Bermuda for a one day beach party.
-- CBS's This Morning devoted its second
interview segment in its prime 8am half hour, MRC analyst Brian Boyd
observed, to a discussion of whether Star Wars toys are worth collecting.
-- NBC's Today devoted most of the show to live
segments with Matt Lauer on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea
as part of the show's "Where in the World is Matt Lauer"
gimmick, but MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens pointed out that Today made room
in the 8am half hour for Katie Couric to interview "singing
sensation" Ricky Martin.
In the front page
New York Times story reporter David Johnston relayed what morning show
viewers never learned, opening his May 12 story:
A Democratic fundraiser who has pleaded
guilty to campaign-related bank and tax fraud told a House panel Tuesday
that he met in 1996 with a high-ranking Chinese intelligence official who
promised him $300,000 for use in the presidential election saying,
"We really like your President."
Recounting mysterious meetings at
restaurants, hotel lounges and karaoke bars, the fund-raiser, Johnny
Chung, provided his first public account of his experiences, from 1994 to
1996, as he traveled the Far East prospecting for business clients eager
for access to the Clinton administration.
In his testimony to the government Reform
and Oversight Committee, Chung said he met several times with the chief of
China's military intelligence agency, Gen. Ji Shengde, who directed that
the $300,000 be wired to Chung's bank account in Hong Kong for use as
contributions to President Clinton's re-election campaign....
Chung said that at their first meeting in
August 1996, Ji used the alias "Xu" and emerged as a shadowy
figure from a kitchen entrance of an abalone restaurant in Hong Kong. They
spoke obliquely about Clinton, Chung said. Ji told him, "We hope to
see him re-elected. In will give you 300,000 U.S. dollars. You can give it
to the president and the Democratic Party," Chung said.
Chung was introduced to Ji by Liu Chaoying,
the daughter of powerful Chinese general and an official in a Chinese
aerospace company. Chung said he never told Democratic Party officials
that he raised money in China, but believed that Democratic officials were
aware of his business activities there. Chung said he later introduced Ms.
Liu to Donald Fowler, who was then chairman of the Democratic National
END New York Times
Conservative News Service picked up some interesting Chung-related angles
and tidbits I've not seen elsewhere. Here are some excepts from a piece
by Bruce Sullivan posted on May 12:
Former Democratic fundraiser Johnny Chung
concluded his marathon testimony, Tuesday, before the House committee
investigating illegal donations to the 1996 Clinton-Gore reelection
campaign by shaking hands with committee chairman Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN),
and then referred to the scores of other witnesses who have refused to
"Well Mr. Chairman, one down, 120 to
go," said the effusive California businessman, who appeared none the
worse after his five-hour testimony....
Burton said that during the course of the
committee's investigation 121 people have refused to testify, with 80
people pleading the Fifth Amendment's protection against
Some, like Thai business consultant Pauline
Kanchanalak, who gave $235,000 to the Democratic National Committee that
was later returned when she admitted it wasn't her money, have fled the
United States. Others have been immunized and have testified said Burton,
"but we still have over 100 people who refuse to testify."
One of those who refused to testify before
Burton's committee and fled the country, but later returned, was Charlie
Trie. The Arkansas restaurateur and friend of President Clinton and First
Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, is scheduled to go on trial next week in
Little Rock for obstruction of justice related to a Senate investigation
into campaign fundraising abuses.
Trie reportedly gathered $645,000 for the
DNC from illegal foreign sources, but the money was returned. Bank records
from the Chinese Construction Bank show that Trie received about $1
million from a Macao businessman with close links to the Chinese
government and, according to Burton's committee staff, the records also
"indicate that Chung has an association with the bank."....
When Chung was sentenced last year to five
years probation for making illegal campaign contributions, the sentencing
judge said that if his contacts at the DNC "didn't know what was
going on" then they are some of the "dumbest politicians"
he'd "ever seen."
To read the whole
story, go to: http://www.conservativenews.org/InDepth/archive/199905/IND19990512f.html
For the latest from CNS: http://www.conservativenews.org
Nothing newsworthy in that or what the New York
Times reported for the morning shows or the CBS Evening News. --
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