"Hysteria" Over a "Red Menace"; NY Editor to Hillary: Run
1) CBS: Confused Broadcasting
System? Sunday night 60 Minutes maintained spying and export deals helped
China "upgrade their military capability across the board." Ten
days ago CBS Evening News insisted it "has not resulted in any
2) Newsweek's Eleanor Clift,
insisting "there is no evidence they are building anything,"
claimed the Cox Report endeavored to build "hysteria" in order
"to try to create a new Red menace."
3) More on the Friday GMA in
which the Washington Post reported Clinton became "irate" at
Charlie Gibson who pushed an anti-gun line: "Japan has maybe more
violent video games...and yet a handful of killings every year by guns.
The difference is guns."
4) Urging her to run,
"Hillary, Make the Feminists Proud," the ME of the Buffalo News
declared: "She is an extraordinarily smart, capable politician -- one
of her generation's best."
5) Tom Brokaw praised Lanny
"The Liar" Davis's book, enthusing how he "has written a
book that should be required reading for all Washington officials and
Proof of Dan Rather's Bias: Iran-Contra a Scandal, But Not
Chinagate. Watch via RealPlayer how Dan Rather attacked George Bush in
1988 over Iran-Contra but turned deferential this year with Bill Clinton,
avoiding Chinese espionage and donations. In his infamous January 25, 1988
CBS Evening News interview an aggressive Rather grilled VP George Bush
about Iran-Contra, repeatedly cutting him off and arguing with him. Rather
declared "You've made us hypocrites in the face of the world."
But on March 31 of this year when Rather interviewed President Clinton for
60 Minutes II he avoided Chinese espionage and donations and gave Clinton
plenty of time to portray himself as defender of the Constitution against
partisan conservatives who tried to impeach him. Rather asked about
Clinton's "feelings" on Kosovo and lightheartedly wondered what
he'd do as the husband of a Senator.
To view representative clips of each interview, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/rathervideos.html
Which way is it at CBS News? Have spying and export deals helped the
Chinese develop a "new generation of nuclear weapons" and
"upgrade their military capability across the board" -- or are
"many of the [Cox] report's scary findings...open to question"
since China's technology acquisition "has not resulted in any
apparent modernization of their deployed strategic force or any new
nuclear weapons deployment"?
Depends which day
you watch CBS News. And what show you watch.
Sunday night, June
6, 60 Minutes replayed a story from last year about how technology
transfer waivers allowed China to obtain high-end computers capable of
helping them develop better missiles and fighter planes. Here's what
Steve Kroft told viewers in his fresh introduction:
"A few weeks ago a congressional select
committee concluded that China is using secrets pilfered from U.S.
government labs to development a new generation of nuclear weapons. But as
we reported last year, it's not just a question of what the Chinese may
have stolen, but what the United States government gave them. In the past
six years the Clinton administration has gone to unprecedented lengths to
make it easy for the Chinese to get their hands on vital technology
that's probably helped them upgrade their military capability across the
Compare the thrust
of that to Eric Engberg's attempt on the May 27 CBS Evening News to
dismiss the relevance of what China has obtained:
"As the release of the Cox Report again
demonstrated Washington's love of a good spy story, the consensus
gelled: Chinese agents have stolen something. But after that many of the
report's scary findings are open to question. Were actual weapons plans
among the purloined secrets? The report takes the worst case view:
Probably. But a blue ribbon panel of outside experts advising the CIA
looked at the same question and decided there is just no way to know. The
same group concluded the Chinese spying 'has not resulted in any
apparent modernization of their deployed strategic force or any new
nuclear weapons deployment.'....
"The Cox Report says China uncovered the
secrets of seven U.S. nuclear warheads, but the intelligence evidence is
unclear. It may be as low as four, two of which are obsolete. Amidst all
the voices raised in alarm there is a bottom line: Unlike many of the
things in the Cox Report there's no argument here. Number of strategic
nuclear weapons? U.S.: six thousand, China: less than two dozen."
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift agrees with Engberg. Catching up on the
Memorial Day weekend edition of the McLaughlin Group, MRC analyst Geoffrey
Dickens caught how she discounted the relevance of the Cox Report by
forwarding the same White House spin as did Engberg about how few missiles
China has, complaining that "the rollout to this rivaled The Phantom
Menace, with Chris Cox in the role of Luke Skywalker" and that all
the "hysteria" was meant "to try to create a new Red
menace." She also denigrated as "ridiculous" retired
General Norman Schwarzkopf's charge that Clinton lacks the character to
lead a war.
-- "First of
all, the answer to your question of how much damage will it do, not as
much as the Republicans hope. The rollout to this rivaled The Phantom
Menace, with Chris Cox in the role of Luke Skywalker. But the facts don't
bear up. First of all, this notion of Richard Shelby yelling for Janet
Reno's head -- you know, Sandy Berger was briefed. So was Richard Shelby,
I believe, in 1997. The intelligence committees on the Hill got the same
briefing Sandy Berger did -- the same chart, same slides. If he should
resign, so should they."
-- "China has
18 nuclear missiles; we have 24 Trident submarines, each with 24 tubes and
eight more heads on it....There is no evidence they are building anything;
they are deploying anything. It will take them at least 10 years to do
anything. This hysteria to try to create a new Red menace."
(As for "no
evidence," the June 4 CyberAlert noted how FNC's Carl Cameron
reported on June 3 that China is preparing to test two nuclear missile
systems with designs very similar to their U.S. counterparts. For details,
go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990604.html#2)
McLaughlin: "But let me get this other quote in there, since I
mentioned it in the tease at the top, and that is what General Norman
Schwarzkopf had to say about President Clinton. This is the wire report:
'Gulf War commander General Norman Schwarzkopf gave a speech in
Australia before 5,000 and denounced U.S. President Bill Clinton,
declaring that President Clinton did not have the right character to be a
leader. 'Character is the single most important ingredient of leadership.
Proper leadership would have prevented the wars in Kosovo and Somalia.'
What do you think of Norman Schwarzkopf saying that, Eleanor?"
Clift: "Well, if he wants to volunteer for
service again, he's welcome. Otherwise, I think that's a ridiculous charge
didn't pick up on Schwarzkopf's assessment, not even NBC which has a
contract with him for occasional stories for the NBC Nightly News.
An "irate" President Clinton "hotly defended his record on
gun control" and "angrily rejected the notion that he has not
fought hard enough to curb gun violence," The Washington Post
recounted in a June 5 front page story about Clinton's Friday interview
on Good Morning America. Post reporter Charles Babington noted how
"the President grew especially testy when Gibson quoted an unnamed
person as saying the President had 'meowed' when he 'had a chance to
roar on gun control.'" Answering the question, Clinton started
"pounding his fist into his palm."
exciting. And you can watch, on the MRC home page, this portion of the
interview during which Clinton became so angry. It's now posted on the
MRC home page, in RealPlayer format, where we put it up Friday to
illustrate Gibson's questioning tilt.
A special extra
edition of CyberAlert distributed Friday afternoon demonstrated how
Charlie Gibson hit Clinton from the left, arguing he has not done all he
could to implement more gun control and lamenting how the NRA has been
allowed to set the agenda. To read this special edition, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990604a.html
one-on-one consumed most of the 7am ET half hour. From 7:30 to 8:15am Bill
and Hillary talked live, uninterrupted for ads, with about 40 high school
students. MRC analyst Jessica Anderson observed that the pro-gun control
tilt of the show titled, "Kids & Guns: Is There a Solution?"
didn't end with Gibson's interview. During the session with the
students he and co-host Diane Sawyer asked exactly two conservative agenda
questions but otherwise pushed blame-the-guns notions.
"Mr. President, if I could ask you, members of gun organizations say
that the ability is there to do something about kids. Six thousand kids in
the last two years in schools found to have guns, but in fact, only 13
were prosecuted for it. Do you think there should be more prosecutions,
and do you agree?"
Clinton: "Well, I don't know. You know, I
don't think that all those kids, the reason they know that, and the only
reason they know that is that since I've been President, we instituted a
zero tolerance for guns in schools, so the kids were sent home if they had
the guns. Now it's up to the local prosecutors to decide whether to
prosecute them, but you should know that the general argument that
prosecutions are down is simply not true. In, federal prosecutions are up
by 30 percent of serious crimes, and overall gun prosecutions, state and
federal, are up, and gun-related crimes are down...."
-- After that
question off the NRA agenda, Gibson soon read off the Handgun Control Inc.
tip sheet: "Other countries, you know, Japan has maybe more violent
video games than we do, more violent videos, and yet a handful of killings
every year by guns. The difference is guns."
-- For a few
seconds Sawyer did later take the focus off guns: "Mr. President,
I've heard people there is some one thing that people in government and
people in politics can do. They can say, we will not take contributions,
political contributions from anybody who is head of a company that puts
out a violent movie, a movie that has a lot of shootings in it, we will
not take contributions from companies that purvey violent video games,
we'll just stop tomorrow. Willing to do it?"
Clinton: "Well, would it have an impact? I
don't think so because that would increase the relative influence of other
-- But soon enough
she was back to the evils of guns, suggesting an Orwellian informer idea
as she asked the students: "I've heard of one proposal that schools
should be told in advance which homes have guns, so if they spot a
troubled kid, they know that he's in a home that has a gun. What do you
think about that? How would your parents feel about that?"
We keep hearing about how the "tough" New York press will tear
apart Hillary Clinton. Don't be so sure, at least judging by a Sunday
"Outlook" section piece in the Washington Post by Margaret
Sullivan, the Managing Editor of the Buffalo News, headlined, "A
First Lady's Place is in the Senate." The headline on the jump
page: "Hillary, Make the Feminists Proud."
I realize by
"New York press" pundits are referring to the New York City
media, but I bet there are more than a few Sullivan-types in New York City
too. And if Hillary is supposed to have a tough time getting votes in less
Democratic upstate areas, this op-ed suggests she may have the upstate
media as an ally.
that "It's time -- high time -- for this self-proclaimed feminist to
step out from the shadows of her husband's career." Sullivan bought
into the concept that Hillary has "suffered enough" as a victim
of Bill Clinton's exploits, instead of seeing her as a accessory, and
dismissed the carpetbagger charge by declaring it "is less important
than other qualities: leadership, brains and savvy."
excerpt from Sullivan's June 6 piece:
It's time to put the Rodham back into
Hillary Rodham Clinton. Should she run for the U.S. Senate from New York?
Absolutely. It'll be the best medicine for what ails her: Spousal
It will be good for New York, too, to have
her as a candidate. She's tough, she's gritty, and we're a tough, gritty
state. And she is an extraordinarily smart, capable politician -- one of
her generation's best.
For more than two decades, Hillary has used
those estimable abilities for Bill Clinton's benefit, much more than for
her own. There's nothing wrong with that, of course -- it's what loving
spouses do for each other all the time, and should do.
But surely there is a limit. And surely,
Hillary reached it some time ago.
From the moment she moved to her husband's
home state of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton has chosen to subvert her own
highly promising career path....
Along the way, she toned down her natural
assertiveness, changed her name (not to mention all those hair changes --
and don't tell me they didn't mean something) and stood by her man. All
with an eye on his poll numbers.
Enough of that already. Twenty-five years
later, it's time at last to turn the tables....
While her candidacy is still not quite a
done deal, I'm convinced she'll run because of a psychological imperative:
She needs to run. Throughout the Lewinsky firestorm, one heard people
speculating. What on earth can Hillary be thinking? How can she stand
this? Why would she continue to support him?
Only she and her closest friends can know
for sure, but here's a theory. Hillary was cutting a private deal with
herself: I'll endure this, reap the benefits of wifely loyalty in my own
public opinion polls and have the last laugh. It would be a strange irony:
Parlaying a popularity won on the least feminist of terms into her own
election to public office.
Pundits and friends have said she'd be
crazy to run for the Senate when she could have greater influence
otherwise -- as an author, ambassador, lecture-circuit speaker. And she
could avoid the mudslinging of a campaign, the mocking tabloid headlines,
the reopening of old wounds like Whitewater.
Somehow, though, one gets the idea that
Hillary Rodham Clinton just wants this. And that she has suffered enough,
feels she deserves this and is going to have it. And why shouldn't she?
Well, plenty of naysayers are eager to supply the reasons. Their very
eagerness reinforces what a formidable candidate she'll be.
She's a carpetbagger, they say, who doesn't
know or care about New York state. As a nearly lifelong New Yorker, I
think residency is less important than other qualities: leadership, brains
and savvy. (And I'd wager that, right now, Homework Hillary knows more
about the state and its residents' concerns than many of its top
officeholders. And she'll know more as the days pass.)
It'll be an ugly campaign, they say, that
will drag her and President Clinton through more mud. Her potential
Republican opponent, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, can be a bulldog,
and the city's tabloids are not known for their kid-glove approach. (But
Hillary Clinton has incomparable experience with ugly campaigns and tough
press coverage and has shown she can survive very well, thank you.)
A loss would be too bruising for her, they
say; it's not worth the risk. (Why should anyone protect Hillary from her
own ambition? If she loses, she can be an author, ambassador or
lecture-circuit speaker just as well as she can now. If she wins --
certainly a solid possibility -- she'll cope just fine with the
challenges, frustrations and setbacks.)
I can't think of a single good reason why
she shouldn't have a run at it.
It's time -- high time -- for this
self-proclaimed feminist to step out from the shadows of her husband's
To read the entire
tribute, go to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-06/06/123l-060699-idx.html
And don't forget
how Dan Rather slobbered all over Hillary Clinton on 60 Minutes II on May
26, urging her to run for President and gushing: "Once a political
lightning rod, today she is political lightning." A video excerpt of
this interview is among 20 or so you can view from the MRC's page of
biased videos: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html
How likely do you think it would be for a professional journalist to
endorse a book by a politician's flak who spent years lying to the
journalist and the entire media? Normally, you'd think a journalist
would have too much self-respect for his profession and be embarrassed
about how he and his colleagues gave credence to the lies.
But not Tom
Brokaw, the MRC's Tim Graham noticed. Check out the NBC anchor's book
jacket endorsement for the tome by Lanny Davis ludicrously titled,
"Truth to Tell: Tell it Early, Tell it All, Tell it Yourself -- Notes
from My White House Education." Under the back cover heading of
"Advance Praise for Truth to Tell," the book lists this from
"Lanny Davis has written a book that should
be required reading for all Washington officials and journalists alike.
It's an instructive and cautionary tale of the constant struggle to know
the truth of what is going on at the highest levels of government."
Reviewing the book
in the June 7 Weekly Standard, the magazine's David Tell related what
Davis claimed about several scandal developments:
"On Kathleen Willey: 'I just couldn't
take this story seriously.' On the no-show jobs that Clinton staffers
arranged for Web Hubbell after he was forced to resign from the Justice
Department: 'I gave so little credence to the seriousness of the
story.' John Huang's visits to the Oval Office struck Davis as 'a
nonstory from the beginning.' His 'first reaction' to Monica
Lewinsky 'was that there couldn't be a basis for this rumor.' And
when questions arouse about the curious word play of the President's
Lewinsky denials, 'I couldn't believe the press had reached this level
of cynicism.' Say what else we might about him, Lanny Davis is
transparently sincere. In a White House packed with soul-dead shysters,
Davis appears actually to have believed the lies he told."
If you buy that it
makes him incredibly stupid, not someone who deserves a book endorsement
from a media star.
Oliver North and
many caught up in the Iran-Contra scandal sincerely believed they were
doing the right thing, but I don't recall any network reporters
endorsing their books.
Speaking of network anchors, Dan Rather is
scheduled to appear Monday night on CBS's Late Show with David
Letterman. Tune in to see if he says anything wacky or sings one of his
railroad songs. --
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