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CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
Wednesday June 9, 1999 (Vol. Four; No. 102)

O'Leary Leaked Secrets?; Lou Dobbs Quits CNN; Media Will Protect Hillary

1) All but FNC skipped Chinagate developments Tuesday night. NBC's Robert Hager highlighted how "two environmental groups warned that global warming is heating the ocean, choking off marine life..."

2) Only FNC's Carl Cameron picked up on the charge that former Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary personally leaked secret nuclear weapons data to a magazine in 1995 and that Clinton plans to ease export controls on super-computers.

3) Lou Dobbs resigned Tuesday from CNN. A couple of weeks ago he battled with CNN chief and Clinton friend Rick Kaplan about carrying live on Moneyline a pedestrian Clinton speech.

4) "No one in the elite media," Peggy Noonan predicted in the Wall Street Journal, "will go after" Hillary Clinton. "They don't like her, but they associate themselves with her politics."

5) Letterman's "Top Ten Signs Hillary Clinton Doesn't Understand New York City."


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) The Russian agreement on a Kosovo peace deal led all the networks Tuesday night but only FNC relayed the latest on Chinagate: The revelations that former Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary was suspected of personally leaking classified nuclear weapons design information and that the Clinton administration plans to loosen export rules in order to allow more than 100 countries to buy super-computers. More on this in item #2 today. CNN's Inside Politics skipped these developments so I assume they did not appear on The World Today either, though I did not see the whole show.

     Instead of covering the developments FNC caught, ABC's World News Tonight featured stories on how Amnesty International is complaining about an electric shock belt used by prisons, theater owners promising to enforce the age rules on admission to R-rated movies, the heat wave and how one in four elderly are supposedly mentally ill.

     The June 8 CBS Evening News also highlighted the theater owners and the drought. CBS added a piece on gun control which Diana Olick began: "As temperature soared in Washington, the Republican leadership tried to cool debate within its ranks on gun control." CBS viewers also enjoyed a full story on efforts to have auto makers put internal release mechanisms inside all car trunks and an elderly Detroit man who spent his life as a blue collar worker but managed to give away $1 million, mainly for college scholarships.

     NBC Nightly News jumped on the global warming crusade, demonstrating all liberal groups need to do to get their claims covered is hold a press conference. Monday night the CBS Evening News blamed the eastern heat wave on global warming, citing the left-wing Environmental Defense Fund as its authority. (See the June 8 CyberAlert.) Tuesday night, June 8, NBC's Robert Hager just credited unnamed "environmental groups" with this wisdom. In an "In Depth" story on the hot weather and how drought conditions in the mid-Atlantic are hurting crops, Hager asserted:
     "All this as just today two environmental groups warned that global warming is heating the ocean, choking off marine life, endangering the future of salmon in the Pacific, melting polar ice, cutting down feeding grounds for polar bears, leaching coral and interfering with the food chain."

     Quite a list. What isn't it destroying?

     NBC ended with a piece by Lisa Myers on a study showing mothers with school age kids spend 17 days a year behind the wheel. At one point in the story NBC showed, with a camera looking from in front of the vehicle through the windshield, Myers driving a car. Prominently on display on the windshield: a Virginia inspection sticker. It showed an expiration date of 1/99.

     Also on last night on PBS in many cities, including Washington, DC, another hour of liberal preaching from Bill Moyers. An ad for the show, in Tuesday's Washington Post, announced: "Big corporations spend millions of media dollars to influence legislation and drown out the voices of those who disagree with them. Is this their First Amendment right, or is it wrong? Mutual of America is proud to sponsor Bill Moyers' special report, Free Speech for Sale."

     If Mutual of America thinks the most pressing media problem is a lack of access to the media by liberals, I'll buy my insurance from another company.


cameron0609.JPG (10323 bytes)cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) The Fox News Channel's Carl Cameron revealed on Tuesday's Special Report with Brit Hume, aired at 6pm ET/9pm PT, that former Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary may have personally leaked secret nuclear weapons info to U.S. News back in 1995. He also uniquely (compare to news agendas outlined in #1 above) picked up on how the Clinton administration plans to loosen export rules for super-computers.

     An hour later on the Fox Report the network's Bill O'Reilly previewed how on his show that night at 8pm ET he would discuss with Congressman Curt Weldon the U.S. News leak as well as how O'Leary "gutted" security. O'Reilly cited her decision to make badges for all security levels look alike and how she allowed the security contractor at Rocky Flats, Kaiser Hill LLC, to cut the number of guards by 40 percent while still getting the same payments from Energy. When O'Leary left Energy, O'Reilly revealed, she went to work for that same security company -- Kaiser Hill LLC.

     At the top of his show O'Reilly relayed what all CyberAlert readers know: "You may have noticed that the Chinese espionage story is not being covered all that much by TV news."

     FNC is the exception with Carl Cameron its lead reporter. On the June 8 Special Report with Brit Hume he opened his story by showing Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louie Freeh leaving a closed congressional hearing on how they handled Chinagate. Leading into a soundbite from Senator Orrin Hatch, Cameron observed that Republicans are worried that "law enforcement is trying to cover up a botched investigation." Cameron then allowed Senator Patrick Leahy to remind viewers that Reagan and Bush share the blame with Clinton so the situation should not be turned "into some kind of a partisan football."

     Cameron then got to the fresh information:
     "But now come allegations that former Clinton administration Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary leaked classified nuclear weapons information personally in 1995 to U.S. News & World Report. After the magazine published this [on screen: picture of diagram run in the magazine] classified design information on the W-87 warhead, an investigation began to find the leak. Sources say DOE brass abruptly canceled the probe to prevent O'Leary embarrassment. Lawmakers now want that suspected cover up investigated."
     Congressman Curt Weldon on the House floor: "Who did the investigation and who did they find out leaked this particular diagram to U.S. News & World Report in 1995. It wasn't the Reagan administration Mr. Speaker and it wasn't the Bush administration. It was this administration."
     Cameron: "The Clinton administration was also singled out for harsh bipartisan criticism in the congressional Cox Report for selling so-called dual-use technology, like super-computers to China, despite evidence that China used them illegally for weapons development. Now just two weeks after that report, new indications that the White House and the Commerce Department want to export more super computers to an additional 100 countries. Some lawmakers think that despite the Cox Report criticism, priorities at the White House remain reversed."
     Senator Trent Lott: "There is something that trumps trade and commerce and that is our own national security."

     Cameron ended by reporting that late in the afternoon Lott called committee chairs to his office to talk China scandal strategy. National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Cameron noted, has been called to testify by the Senate Intelligence Committee and if he refuses he could be subpoenaed or Republican leaders may demand his resignation.

     +++ See the leaked diagram in a hunk of the Cameron story which MRC Webmaster Sean Henry will post Wednesday morning in RealPlayer format. Go to: http://www.mrc.org

     Cameron's piece reminded me of an April 9 front page investigation in Investor's Business Daily titled, "The Folly of 'Denuclearization': Los Alamos Leaks Point To Test Ban Treaty Flaws." IBD's Paul Sperry revealed: "As part of the Clinton administration's so-called denuclearization goal, lab directors were actually prodded by former Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary and her senior staffers -- many of whom were anti-nuclear activists -- to open their doors to visitors from other nuclear states and share otherwise classified information."

     To read an extensive excerpt, go to the April 13 CyberAlert: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990413.html#4

     Cameron also referred to Clinton plans to loosen export restrictions for computers. The Los Angeles Times ran the story on Tuesday. Under the headline of "Easing Expected for Computer Export Rules," reporter Peter Gosselin opened his June 8 piece:

The Clinton administration is preparing to loosen government controls on the sale of powerful computers to more than 100 countries only two weeks after a congressional committee charged it with carelessly permitting sales to China.

The Commerce Department has proposed easing restrictions on sales to most countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe, administration sources said Monday. In addition, virtually all restrictions are likely to be lifted on sales to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, which recently became members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

In a move that seems certain to anger U.S. computer makers, however, the administration will not ease restrictions on China and almost 50 other countries....

Administration officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said that the White House has yet to settle on how much to loosen controls on sales to Asia and other regions but that it generally agrees with industry claims that current restrictions have been overtaken by technological advances.

The government regulates the overseas sale of computers based on their speed, which it measures according to how many millions of theoretical operations they can perform in a second. To sell to the countries for which the administration is preparing to ease restrictions, computer makers must obtain government licenses for any machine that can perform more than 10,000 such operations per second. The industry wants the limit tripled to 30,000.

The administration's plans to ease some export controls are almost certain to be viewed as a slap at the Cox committee's findings that China has obtained U.S.-made computers powerful enough to be useful for weapons design and other military purposes.

Although Cox has said in the wake of the panel's report that he still favors computer sales to emerging nations, including China, the report found that China acquired some of its advanced computers through third-party nations that resold American machines, something likely to become more frequent if restrictions are eased and sales to these nations grow.

     END Excerpt

     And finally on this topic, as one who makes an occasional spelling error, I cannot pass up pointing out some doozies on the foxnews.com Web page. Tuesday night if you clicked on the The O'Reilly Factor plug, you read: "Chinagate Continues. We'll hear from Kurt Weldon, R-Penn., who was on the Chinagate committee with Chris Cox and Norm Dix." That would be "Curt" and "Dicks."


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) Lou Dobbs gone from CNN. Forced out by CNN President Rick Kaplan, or just frustrated by him? In a surprise announcement at the end of Tuesday's The World Today, anchor Jim Moret informed viewers:
     "And finally tonight, farewell to a colleague. Lou Dobbs, President of CNNfn and anchor of Moneyline, is resigning to launch a new Internet venture. Dobbs said he is 'grateful to Ted Turner and CNN News Group Chairman Tom Johnson for the opportunity to have helped build CNN and cnn.com into a first-class television news and interactive institution.' Lou Dobbs had been with CNN since its inception 19 years ago. He will start up space.com, a Web site for news, entertainment and educational content about space."

     No mention of Kaplan and an on-air dispute the two had a couple of weeks ago about whether to carry live a Clinton speech may explain why. As Clay Waters of Bridge News first informed me, the May 25 Page Six column in the New York Post revealed:

Dobbs' on-air blast at CNN chief
The rivalry between CNN President Rick Kaplan and CNN.fn boss and Moneyline host Lou Dobbs reached critical mass last week, when Dobbs challenged Kaplan's news savvy on the air during his top-rated business show. The brouhaha erupted last Thursday, when a Dobbs producer was ordered by Kaplan to cut away from Moneyline for live coverage of President Clinton's address at Columbine HS in Littleton, Co. Dobbs, who didn't consider the staged event breaking news, "was absolutely livid," says an insider. So livid, in fact, he ordered his producer to cut back to Moneyline. Kaplan -- a Clinton golf buddy -- immediately countered with an order to go back to Colorado. The tug-of-war ended with a visibly peeved Dobbs telling his audience they were returning to Columbine because "CNN President Rick Kaplan wants us to." Dobbs' comments were edited out of CNN's transcript of the show. "It was a real blowout," a source told PAGE SIX.
"There was mayhem in the studio with all the back and forth." The struggle continued Friday, when the still-steamed Kaplan fired off a memo stating that, between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. -- the Moneyline time slot -- Atlanta headquarters will have "the final call." "Kaplan made it clear that he's still calling the shots," said our source. Dobbs, who is not a fan of the Clinton administration, is often at odds with Kaplan's fawning, kid-gloved treatment of the White House.

     END Reprint

     Indeed, Dobbs has been more interested in pursuing Chinese espionage than the other networks and CNN shows. When the story first broke in March he broadcast his show live from Los Alamos and several times since has run multiple stories on nights when The World Today ran just one story or none at all.

     The day after the Page Six item, the May 26 New York Post followed up, reporting Dobbs had gotten the upper hand as Kaplan withdrew his memo and said break-ins during Moneyline must first be run past Dobbs. Paul Tharp disclosed:

If money talks, Lou Dobbs seems to have the upper hand in a bitter feud with a rival executive who's supposed to be the CNN anchor's boss.

Emboldened by the signing of his new multimillion-dollar contract, Dobbs has staged a very public showdown with CNN President Rick Kaplan, and apparently has gained the edge....

Kaplan's power already has been weakened by his role in the Tailwind debacle. The network reported that U.S. troops used nerve gas on each other in Vietnam, a story that later was retracted. Four news people ended up being fired.

Kaplan, who was in charge of the project, was spared but some think his position has become more tenuous.

Signs of that surfaced yesterday when Kaplan backed down to Dobbs, who is a longtime favorite of CNN founder Ted Turner.

Kaplan's office sent out a memo on the Clinton speech fiasco saying anyone who disobeyed Atlanta headquarters would be fired. But hours later, the memo was withdrawn and rewritten, saying that if Atlanta breaks in on Moneyline in the future it should first check with Dobbs.

Dobbs' show is the second highest rated on CNN, with ratings up 17 percent since the show was expanded last year to one hour.

Dobbs has also moved up a notch in the corporate pecking order by parent Time Warner's Chairman Gerald Levin. Dobbs was one of five senior executives in the company to be named to a new team with orders to draw up Time Warner's master plan for growth on the Internet. Kaplan was not.

     END Excerpt

     So much for corporate crystal ball reading. Dobbs goes and the Clinton buddy remains in charge of CNN.


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes) "While they are not quite in the tank for Mrs. Clinton," Peggy Noonan predicted that the media "will practice a rampant, subtle, unspoken self-censorship" in covering her Senate campaign.

     In a June 8 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal noted Tuesday by the Drudge Report, former Reagan speechwriter Noonan previewed how she expects various groups to behave during a Hillary for Senate campaign in New York. The MRC's Tim Graham passed along to me the text for her two graphs on the media:

No one in the elite media, the networks and big stations, the national magazines or big newspapers will go after her. They don't like her, but they associate themselves with her politics, and they will not press her on previous statements on the financial scandals, the hidden billing records, the private eyes, the Republican FBI files illegally gotten by the former barroom bouncer she hired. They will congratulate themselves on avoiding sleaze and innuendo. In return they'll get exclusive interviews.

Intrepid reporters who break from the pack will be reduced to yelling 'What about Juanita Broaddrick?' as Mrs. Clinton hurries by the rope line. They'll be called hecklers and harassers; NBC, CBS, and ABC will do pieces on 'Hillary Faces the Gauntlet,' taking a wry look at the famously irreverent New York press. Cut to the guy yelling 'How did you make that hundred grand?' and then a close-up of Hillary being interviewed by a sympathetic anchor. She'll say she understands how passionate people get about politics, but that our political process has gotten uglier, which is sad. She will be noble. She may bite her lip.

     END Excerpt

     So far, Noonan's on target. Remember Dan Rather's May 26 lovefest with her on 60 Minutes II? It's detailed in the May 27 CyberAlert. To read lengthy excerpts, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990527.html#4

     To watch a clip of the interview, go to the MRC's page of biased videos: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes) From the June 7 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Signs Hillary Clinton Doesn't Understand New York City." Copyright 1999 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.

10. Actually ate a street vendor hot dog.
9. Sees Statue of Liberty and asks, "Oh, is that new?"
8. Believes the Mets can take it all the way this year.
7. Gave speech to Hasidic Jews in which she promised to "fight for the rights of you Amish folk."
6. Had an exploratory committee look into what an extended middle finger means.
5. Looks at Twin Towers, rubs eyes and yells, "Dang! Mama's seeing things!"
4. Keeps asking when she'll get to meet Batman.
3. Featured guest at her fundraisers: Reggie Miller.
2. Thinks the "subway" is just some place Bill takes her for their anniversary dinner.
1. Paid $25,000 for a sidewalk Rolex.

     That's probably more critical than most of what we'll see from the major media. -- Brent Baker


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