ABC: Lanny Davis a Truth Teller; Media "Help" GOP Correct Gun Error
1) Dan Rather tagged Ehud
Barak as "less conservative" than Netanyahu. All the evening
shows ran pieces on an Indian tribe's whale hunt and in one ABC referred
to Greenpeace as "mainstream."
2) "So the thing to do as
a spin-meister, get the facts out, and then try to put the best possible
interpretation on them with the press," ABC's Charlie Gibson
prompted Lanny Davis who absurdly replied: "That's what we tried to
do in the Clinton White House."
3) During a flight in a Blue
Angels jet ABC's Diane Sawyer passed out. When she awoke she recalled:
"I'm smiling because I thought I had just interviewed Mahatma
4) In another slanted story
which assumed Republicans were wrong to reject more gun control, MSNBC's
Brian Williams conceded some Senators flip-flopped "with the help of
the news media."
5) May 14 Updated Edition of
the MRC's Special Report. "All the News That's Fit to Skip:
Network Apathy Toward Chinese Contributions and Espionage."
6) A bewildered Larry King
asked: "I can't figure out how religious leaders can support the
National Rifle Association."
>>> MRC's New York Times ad now
viewable online. Webmaster Sean Henry has put a likeness on the MRC Web
site of the full page May 16 ad the Media Research Center purchased in the
New York Times. The ad asks: "ABC, CBS, and NBC...Why are you not
reporting THE IMPORTANT NEWS? If the Fox News Channel and the nation's
most prestigious newspapers -- the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times,
the Washington Post, and the Washington Times -- can report story after
story over the past year about important dates, facts, people, hearings,
testimonies, documents, evidence, and events involved in the Chinese
espionage case...Why can't you?" To see the whole ad and an image
of a C-SPAN host holding it up on Sunday Journal, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nytimesad.html
To help the MRC pay for the ad, you can make a
tax deductible donation. To contribute by credit card online or to get a
form to fax or mail with a check or your credit card info, go to: http://www.mrc.org/contribute/contributeonline.html
Some odd labeling Monday night: In a story on a tribe's whale hunt in
Washington state ABC referred to Greenpeace as a "mainstream"
environmental group and CBS's Dan Rather tagged Israel's new Prime
Minister as "less conservative" than Netanyahu.
Otherwise, it was
back to a pre-war and pre-Littleton list of story subjects Monday night on
the broadcast networks without a word about China. (Nothing Monday morning
either about China.) ABC's World News Tonight featured two stories about
growing incivility and one about allergies, the CBS Evening News delivered
an Eye on America about those hurt in the switch by companies to
"cash balance" pension plans and a story on how airbags in old
Chrysler minivans are too powerful. Dan Rather intoned: "CBS News
correspondent Bob Orr has the maximum facts on the minivan story."
The In Depth segment on NBC Nightly News looked at all the accidents
caused by sleep deprived people.
ABC and CBS led on
Monday, May 17, with the Israeli election while NBC went first with
arrests of four students in Port Huron, Michigan for planning to kill many
classmates with guns and bombs. All three ran pieces on the controversy
over the Makah tribe in Washington being allowed, after 70 plus years, to
resume whale hunting as agreed to in a treaty they signed last century.
-- Whale hunt. Dan
Rather displayed his pro-whale bias: "CBS's Bill Whitaker has the
clash of culture in the harpoon death of a beautiful titan of the
Over on ABC
reporter Deborah Wang lamented how "the hunt has pitted some
environmental groups against their traditional allies in the native
community. Protestors say native traditions are not as important as
protecting the whales. Many mainstream environmental groups, such as
Greenpeace, have stayed on the sidelines...."
-- Israeli election. Dan Rather opened the CBS
"Good evening. Israel has chosen a new leader and a new direction.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is out, swept away in a big victory for the less
conservative Labor Party challenger Ehud Barak...."
I don't know
much about Barak and have no doubt he may not be very liberal, but he's
normally described as a moderate. Calling him "less
conservative" certainly continues the CBS tradition of seeing Israeli
politics from the left. As detailed in the June 1996 MediaWatch, when
Benjamin Netanyahu won in May, 1996 CBS applied extremist labels:
"On the May 30 CBS Evening News, Dan Rather
suggested 'Serious questions about the future of Middle East peace as
Lebanese terrorists attack an Israeli army convoy and the Israeli
government appears headed for a major shift to the hardline right.' The
next night he announced, 'Right-wing hardliner Benjamin Netanyahu is
declared Israel's new Prime Minister.'"
Fletcher on the NBC Nightly News noted on Monday that the "less
conservative" Barak hired James Carville as a campaign consultant.
The entire Clinton team lied about Lewinsky for months, but in
interviewing Lanny Davis on Monday's Good Morning America, co-host
Charlie Gibson suggested: "So the thing to do as a spin-meister, get
the facts out, and then try to put the best possible interpretation on
them with the press." Davis, on to promote his book about his time on
the White House staff and afterwards when he went on shows to repeat the
President's lies about Lewinsky, actually maintained that you help
reporters when they are writing negative stories because then "the
reporter helps you get your characterization, some would call spin, into
the story and then the story is out completely and accurately. That's
what we tried to do in the Clinton White House."
and accurately"? But Gibson did nor burst out laughing.
Gibson opened the
May 17 interview by questioning how Davis in his book, Truth to Tell: Tell
it Early, Tell it All, Tell It Yourself, claims you should never mislead
"Let me show you a clip here, which you say
in the book was perhaps one of your worst moments. This was when you were
on Nightline, and you were denying that the coffees given by the White
House were really fundraisers. Let's take a look."
(Davis, in Nightline clip from February 25, 1997:
"The President has clearly said that there was absolutely no
requirement, no price tag. These were friends and supporters of his,
coming to his residence to stay overnight, and there's..."
Ted Koppel: "No, no, no, wait a second, hold
on a second, there you go again with 'friends and supporters.'")
Back to Gibson on Monday: "Now, you say that
was your worst moment. Did you know that was not true?"
Davis: "Well, truth is different from
inference. I had already said that people invited to the Lincoln Bedroom
included financial contributors. Ted Koppel wanted me to say that there
was something wrong with that, that having people associated with money,
inviting them to the White House to motivate them to give money was wrong.
What I should have done is been right up front and said, 'Look, Ted, of
course we wanted people to give money, and we invited them to the White
House in order to motivate them.' Instead I was trying to interpret, I
think, implausibly that money was not a major factor, but the fact that
they were invited and that they were contributors, we had admitted that
right up front."
Gibson: "You just could say there was no
quid pro quo involved."
Davis: "Exactly, I was trying to be too coy
and I learned an important lesson that night."
I don't know why
since Davis has paid no penalty for all his lying. He repeatedly lied on
GMA about Lewinsky throughout last year, yet when he writes a book about
the importance of the truth the show gives him a platform to publicize it.
So much for
doubting Davis's honesty. As the rest of the interview below transcribed
by the MRC's Jessica Anderson shows, instead of pointing how he was not
being truthful now Gibson sat meekly as Davis offered more bizarre spins.
the facts had been put out, as you say they need to be, right away, could
the Monica Lewinsky scandal had been prevented?"
Davis conceded that Clinton might have been
forced to confront the truth earlier, but there was that evil
Gibson: "But Lanny, if the blue dress hadn't
existed, the President would still be denying it, and probably would have
gotten away with it."
Now try to follow this Davis spin of the truth:
"Well I think actually that blue dress saved President Clinton and
the country because ultimately the circumstantial facts were so
overwhelmingly that there was some kind of relationship that he should
never have even been tempted to deny it and I think it helped him see his
way through to a very, very difficult personal decision to tell the truth
about a personal relationship."
Gibson, instead of jumping on that bizarre
historical revisionism, replied with a question about how truth is most
important: "So, the thing to do as a spin-meister, get the facts out,
and then try to put the best possible interpretation on them with the
Davis: "The counter-intuitive rule is the
worse the story is the more you help a reporter write it. You surround it
with facts. The reporter helps you get your characterization, some would
call spin, into the story and then the story is out completely and
accurately. That's what we tried to do in the Clinton White House."
Instead of laughing at the preposterous
assertion, Gibson just said good-bye: "Lanny Davis. Good to have you
with us. The book again, Truth to Tell. Thanks for being with us."
Watch Diane Sawyer "conk out." As noted in the May 17 CyberAlert,
on Friday Good Morning America allocated just ten seconds to a New York
Times front page story about how "China is close to deploying a
nuclear missile with a warhead whose design draws on stolen American
secrets." The show broadcast on Friday from Pensacola, Florida as
part of its week-long trip across the South.
Among the features
viewers of the May 14 program did see: a taped piece at 7:35am of co-host
Diane Sawyer's flight in the back seat of a Navy "Blue Angels"
During the flight,
when the pilot's maneuvers increased the G-forces Sawyer employed the
recommended counter-measures of grunting and squeezing her legs, but when
one move generated 7.5 Gs, she passed out briefly. When she came to she
remarked: "I'm smiling because I thought I had just interviewed
MRC Webmaster has posted a RealPlayer clip of
part of GMA's piece on Sawyer's flight, including the portion when she
passes out. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
And remember, all the video clips posted by the
MRC can be accessed at: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html
"With the help of the news media," MSNBC's Brian Williams
observed Friday night, the Republican Senators realized they had done
wrong in not further regulating gun sales at gun shows. It's nice that
Williams, in the midst of another slanted gun story, pointed out how the
media were playing an activist role in helping one side over another in a
political argument that a professional media would portray even-handedly.
MRC news analyst
Mark Drake caught how Williams characterized the debate on Friday's News
with Brian Williams. He opened the May 14 show not by giving equal time to
those on the right upset at Republicans for going left, but by assuming
the original Republican vote against more rules was wrong:
"The fire on the right. The Senate explodes:
[from] the left, from the right as the issue of gun control once again
goes off squarely in the face of the Republican Party. Tonight, the damage
and it's not pretty."
story by NBC's Gwen Ifill, Williams intoned: "The issue here has
been a loophole. Buy a gun at a gun show, in most cases, there are no
questions asked. You can take your purchase and walk away. Remember, three
of the weapons used at Columbine were purchased originally at gun shows.
Well, a majority of the U.S. Senate liked that just fine. They voted to
keep it that way. Then after realizing what they did, with the help of the
news media, the President and constituents, they said they'd changed their
minds. And today they voted on those changes, creating some new loopholes
in the process however."
forwarded one of he oldest fallacious arguments: "A stand off today
in the United States Senate as gun control advocates tried to force the
Republican controlled Senate to enact tougher laws. An unseen player in
today's acrimonious debate, the powerful and influential National Rifle
Association. The Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington based
research group, says money is driving the debate, reporting that lawmakers
who voted against imposing background checks on buyers at gun shows,
received, on average, $10,000 in contributions from gun rights groups
between 1991 and 1998. While those who favored gun restrictions received
an average of about $300 apiece over the same period. But Republicans put
that formula on its head, arguing that Democrats are the ones squandering
an important issue over politics. Republicans warn that disagreements
about how to proceed may end up scuttling the entire juvenile justice
bill. Democrats, still hoping to present as many as 30 amendments to the
bill before a final vote Tuesday, rejected Republican compromises. Senate
leaders say time is running out for this juvenile justice bill. Both sides
seem to hope that over the weekend, cooler heads will prevail and some
kind of compromise can be reached."
Of course, the
same could be said for those favoring gun control: They get more money
from gun control advocates than from opponents. But this kind of reasoning
assumes the Senators ran for office with no fixed view and then went with
whichever side donated more money. Advocates on both sides give to those
who support their view. On an ideological issue like gun control, the
money follows the position, not the other way around.
An updated and revised May 14 edition of the MRC Special Report by Tim
Graham, "All The News That's Fit to Skip: Network Apathy Toward
Chinese Contributions and Espionage," is now up on the MRC home page
thanks to Webmaster Sean Henry. The report details over 20 newspaper
disclosures ignored by all or most network evening and morning shows.
Below is the text for the cover page which summarizes the report:
All the News That's Fit to Skip: Network Apathy
Toward Chinese Contributions and Espionage
May 14, 1999, updated from April 26
edition: If TV anchors regularly suggest viewers should worry about
everyday threats like spoiled hamburgers or "monster" sport
utility vehicles, why can't they report on the threat posed by the
Chinese theft of secrets that may make their nuclear missiles arrive with
better aim and increased deadliness? The nation's most prestigious
newspapers have published scoop after scoop detailing the connections
between Chinese contributions and espionage efforts, and ABC, CBS and NBC
have aired next to nothing about them on their morning and evening shows.
The Media Research Center found the networks' shocking pattern of
non-coverage in four areas:
-- 1. China's Army Funds the Democrats.
On April 4, the Asian fundraising scandal culminated in a Los Angeles
Times report: Johnny Chung told Justice Dept. investigators that the
chief of Chinese military intelligence gave him $300,000 to donate to the
Clinton campaign. None of the broadcast networks touched this
bombshell until Chung appeared before Congress on May 11, but even then
the ABC and NBC morning shows and the CBS Evening News ignored him.
-- 2. China Acquires U.S. Missile
Technology. Beginning in April 1998, The New York Times reported
the Chinese government had been given technological expertise that
"significantly advanced Beijing's ballistic missile program,"
and the head of one of the offending defense contractors was the largest
individual contributor to Democrats in 1996. The number of evening news
reports on this story since April 1998? ABC: 7. CBS: 3. NBC: 2. ABC
outnumbered these 12 pieces in a 24-hour period highlighting their Monica
-- 3. China Acquires U.S. Warhead
Technology. One year after that discovery, The New York Times found
that the Chinese government had stolen technology from U.S. nuclear labs
that would help them miniaturize their nuclear warheads. In the first ten
days the Big Three aired only 11 evening stories and six morning stories,
then dropped the issue. The networks have since ignored several
significant revelations and conducted only one morning show interview.
-- 4. Clinton's Denials Exposed. When
pressed by print reports about whether he knew Chinese espionage was
occurring on his watch, President Clinton claimed in two press conferences
that he was told nothing about espionage occurring during his term. When
new print reports revealed him to be lying, the networks again refused to
give viewers the evidence.
The MRC report concludes by noting this
blackout would seem less irresponsible and unfair if the networks hadn't
doggedly pursued GOP foreign-policy scandals from Iran-Contra to Iraqgate,
and recommends the networks pursue this story not simply to compare
Clinton's record to other Presidents, but to his own promises in his
1992 manifesto Putting People First.
To read the entire report, go to:
This link will
bring you to the above cover sheet. At the bottom of the page you can jump
to the full report or watch the video contrast between how Dan Rather
grilled Bush in 1988 about Iran-Contra but stayed soft with Clinton this
year, avoiding Chinese espionage and contributions. The direct address for
these video clips: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/rathervideos.html
From Larry King's Monday, May 17, column in USA Today, another gem of
insightful reasoning from the CNN star:
"I can't figure out how religious leaders
can support the National Rifle Association. One would think that guns and
God don't mix."
By that reasoning, God opposes the efforts of all
soldiers to protect people from the evil aggression of others who are also
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