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CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
Friday June 11, 1999 (Vol. Four; No. 105)


Clinton Earned a "Place in History"; Anti-Tax Pledge = Witch Trials

1) Donaldson on Clinton: "As a Commander-in-Chief of a successful military and diplomatic operation of significance," he has earned a plus mark "in his search for a place in history."

2) Dan Rather refused to accept the Christian Coalition name, referring to the "powerful lobbying group calling itself..." And CBS mourned how "as the memories of Columbine begin to fade, so too it seems do the chances for stricter gun laws to pass."

3) FNC's Carl Cameron revealed charges against several scientists could come soon and that FBI agents were "frustrated" by how Justice wouldn't let them stop Trie from destroying evidence.

4) Investor's Business Daily detailed how Clinton made it easier for China to get weapons technology. "Over the last five years, Justice requested a total of 3,657 wiretaps and/or search warrants to combat foreign spying. All of them were OK'd save one."

5) MSNBC's John Hockenberry said an anti-tax hike pledge signed by George W. Bush "sounds like, you know, the Salem witch trials."

6) Hours after CyberAlert reported it NBC's Jay Leno joked about how Tipper Gore says Al Gore doesn't wear anything to bed.

     >>> Hillary on Today, text and video. A special Extra edition of CyberAlert distributed Thursday afternoon detailed the warm welcome NBC's Today gave Hillary Clinton Thursday morning. To read the issue and to watch a video clip in RealPlayer format of Katie Couric asking her about the Knicks and giving her an unchallenged platform to blast Republicans on gun control when she was ostensibly brought aboard for non-political promotion of VH1's musical instrument collection drive for schools, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990610a.html <<<

     >>> "ABC Meows Instead of Roars at Clintons: Will Giuliani or Lazio Get a Matching 45 Minutes of Air Time to Sell Their Empathy With the Children?" The latest Media Reality Check fax report is now up on the MRC home page: http://www.mrc.org. Or, go to:  http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990610.html <<<


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) Immediately after Bill Clinton finished his 8pm ET address on Kosovo Thursday night ABC's Sam Donaldson paid homage to him, admiring how in just six months he'd gone from facing disgrace with impeachment to a plus mark in his "search for a place in history."

     Following the June 10 speech from the Oval Office, carried live by all the networks, ABC anchor Ted Koppel noted how Clinton claimed "We've achieved a victory for a stronger America" and asked Donaldson: "What do you think he meant by that?"

     Donaldson replied: "I think he meant that but I think he was also thinking internally about himself. And why shouldn't he? Six months ago this President stood on the question of whether he was going to be removed from office in disgrace. Tonight Ted he emerges as a Commander-in-Chief of a successful military and diplomatic operation of significance. It has to be an immensely satisfying moment for him, justifiably so, because in his search for a place in history, he has now by this action, added a mark on the plus side of the ledger."


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) Thursday night CBS caught up with ABC and delivered a look at gun control from the left, Dan Rather refused to accept the "Christian Coalition" name, referring to the "powerful lobbying group calling itself the Christian Coalition," and he oddly opened the show by giving the Clinton and Milosevic assessments of the war equal credibility.

     The broadcast networks, as well as CNN and FNC, ran full stories on the Supreme Court overturning an anti-loitering law in Chicago aimed at hurting gangs and of the broadcast networks both ABC and CBS briefly noted the successful test of the THAAD missile which hit its target. Over video of Hillary Clinton in a Yankees cap at the White House ceremony honoring the World Series champion team, World News Tonight anchor Ted Koppel referred to "the planet's newest Yankee fan: First Lady Hillary Clinton."

     Now to the June 10 CBS Evening News, with its three noteworthy item in order of occurrence:

     -- Dan Rather opened the show with this odd bit of moral equivalence between the assessment of a legitimate democratic leader and a murdering, war criminal dictator of the enemy nation: "Good evening. President Clinton called it a moment of hope. Slobodan Milosevic called it a Serbian victory as NATO's air war gave way today to a UN sanctioned peace..."

     -- Later Rather read this short item about a conservative group, but he just couldn't accept its name:
     "There was another ruling with possible far-reaching impact, this one issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS notified the powerful lobbying group calling itself the Christian Coalition that it is not entitled to the tax exempt status of a religious group. The reason given: Too much partisan political activity. Founder Pat Robertson says his Christian Coalition will reorganize and remain quote, 'a force in American politics.'"

     -- As detailed in the June 10 CyberAlert, on Wednesday night ABC's World News Tonight approached gun control from the left, assuming any changes made to the Senate bill which pleased the NRA were bad.

     Thursday night CBS joined the crusade which assumed tougher gun laws are the way to go. Rather announced:
     "On Capitol Hill there are growing indications tonight that Senate-approved modest gun control legislation is fast losing velocity toward approval in the House. CBS's Diana Olick has the facts on the gun lobby, gun control and Congress."
     Olick opened with emotion, focusing on a gun control advocate, not on someone saved by a gun: "Tom Mauser brought his daughter to Capitol Hill today but it was his son he came to talk about. Daniel Mauser was killed at Columbine High."

     Following soundbites from Mauser, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, Olick kindly laid out the liberal case:
     "Democrats say Republicans not only watered down the Senate gun control bill passed just three weeks ago, but also much older laws. The Republican House version weakens the Senate's mandatory background checks for gun buyers at gun shows. It allows some gun dealers to ship firearms across the state lines and it grants some legal protection to dealers who sell guns that are used in crimes."
     She then gave House Majority Leader Dick Armey a clause to deny the bill was watered down or dictated by NRA before she concluded:
     "So with debate scheduled to begin next week, lawmakers are left with this version -- opposed by Democrats who think it's too little and by conservative Republicans who think it's too much. And as the memories of Columbine begin to fade, so too it seems do the chances for stricter gun laws to pass."

     And wouldn't that be a tragedy. It's liberals who are concerned about the memory of Columbine fading. The fact that CBS is so concerned shows which side the network is on. Olick noted in conclusion that conservatives "think it's too much," but she didn't bother outlining their points. After all, they're on the wrong side.


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) Once again, on Thursday night only FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume touched on Chinagate. Carl Cameron revealed that charges against several lab scientists could come in a few days, that the U.S. never altered its open trade policy with Hong Kong after the communists took over and that FBI agents were "frustrated" by how the Justice Department refused to let them stop Charlie Trie from destroying evidence.

     Introducing Cameron Hume noted that much of the testimony in the China espionage case has been held in secret, "but as is often the case in Washington it doesn't take long for those secrets to come out."

     But only FNC seems to notice.

     Cameron began by explaining how FBI Director Freeh has told Congress "there have been significant developments." Cameron added: "Sources tell Fox News charges against a scientist who worked at the Energy Department's Los Alamos weapons lab could come in a matter of days and that at least three additional scientists may also be charged."

     Picking up on some public testimony, leading into a soundbite from the DOE Inspector General, Cameron told viewers: "One official told lawmakers that for years lab officials had no ideo how to keep an eye out for potential foreign spies."

     Next, Cameron noted: "Open U.S. trade policy with the former British colony was never tightened after Hong Kong reverted to Chinese control in 1997."
     Chris Cox at a public hearing: "And the truth is, even without border crossings, the PLA has access to what is in Hong Kong. They're there and we oughtn't to kid ourselves about it."

     Cameron then got to some news about how Charlie Trie destroyed documents, which was reported in recent newspaper accounts of his plea deal but not mentioned elsewhere on TV, and added fresh information about how the FBI was thwarted:
     "The President appointed his long-time friend and fundraiser Charlie Trie of Little Rock to a trade commission to deal with Hong Kong and other Asian nations. Trie has pleaded guilty to fundraising violations and is cooperating with investigators, but in 1997 FBI surveillance observed Trie's employees destroying evidence in the campaign fundraising investigation. At the time the Justice Department sent two officials to Little Rock to get search warrants and intervene. But on the eve of Senate hearings into campaign finance abuse, the Justice Department pulled back on the warrants and the search of Trie's office and frustrated FBI agents watched as more documents were destroyed."

     George W. Bush's weekend campaign swing will suppress Chinagate news. After his story ran Cameron told Hume that he's off this weekend to cover W's traveling campaign launch in Iowa and New Hampshire, so the reporter on the issue for the only network which cares about Chinagate will be occupied with another topic for at least a few days.


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes) Part 2 of "A '20-Year' Security Breakdown? In Fact, Leaks To China Ruptured On Clinton's Watch."

     The June 10 CyberAlert excerpted the first half of Paul Sperry's June 9 Investor's Business Daily story in which he determined that "the vast majority of the leaks over the past 20 years have sprung on Clinton's watch and nearly all the old leaks have shown up then." Plus, the Cox Report "doesn't disclose the full extent of Chinese espionage in the Clinton years. Citing 'national security' reasons, the White House censored roughly 375 pages, including several recent cases."

     To read the first half, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990610.html#3

     Now to the rest of the piece which I'm running since it gives a very illuminating overview of the policies followed by the last few administrations and takes you through the specific changes made by the Clinton team so you'll know who should get more and less of the blame.

     Here's the rest of the IBD story, starting a few paragraphs before the last excerpt ended in order to make for a clear transition:

Though Reagan and Bush allowed exports of commercial satellites to China, they still worried about the Chinese military getting its hands on dual-use technology. So they maintained export licensing safeguards.

The same can't be said for Clinton.

If satellite technology were a present, the degree of gift-giving among the three Presidents can be compared like this:

Reagan provided the box. Bush provided the paper. Clinton put the technology in the box, wrapped it up, tied a bow and shipped it FedEx to Beijing.

Rewind to 1988.

After the Challenger blew up that year, the U.S. government and industry found they could no longer rely on the space shuttle to launch their satellites. So Reagan turned to, among other countries, China. It not only had a lot of capacity but, thanks to state subsidies, cheap launch rates.

For the first time, Reagan granted export licenses for satellite launches on Chinese rockets -- provided the Defense Department monitored talks between U.S. and Chinese engineers.

In fact, both the State Department and Defense still had the authority to reject export license applications on national security grounds.

In 1991, Bush tightened controls, citing China's proliferation of missile technology. He imposed sanctions on Chinese entities, including satellite launchers.

The CIA has described China's satellite launch rockets as "ballistic missiles in disguise."

After pressure from China and U.S. satellite makers, Bush softened his stance. In 1992, he put the Commerce Department in charge of vetting export applications for satellites -- but only commercial ones. That is, only those with no military use.

But in November 1996, Clinton took it one big step further.

He not only removed Bush's sanctions on Chinese launchers, but put Commerce in charge of vetting applications for all fully assembled satellite exports to China -- no matter their potential military use.

Unlike State, Commerce no longer required Defense to monitor technical talks between Chinese and U.S. engineers. In many cases, such talks went beyond "form, fit and function" -- basic information needed to mate satellites to rocket platforms.

What's more, Commerce -- primarily a trade booster -- eschewed State's munitions list to screen for military use.

So basically Clinton took satellites off one list and put them on another to make them easier to export.

Clinton has OK'd 19 U.S.-China satellite launches -- the most of the three Presidents. Of those, 16 have been launched.

According to a senior Pentagon official, Clinton has also taken the teeth out of the Pentagon's arms-control oversight role.

In the previous two administrations, if there was a dispute between the White House and the Pentagon over technology transfers, the Pentagon usually won when China was involved.

Not so under Clinton. "We've had no successes," the Pentagon official said.

James Woolsey, Clinton's first CIA director, said in a recent interview: "The United States has substantially liberalized its export policy. That's one thing that has changed during this administration." Woolsey added: "We've gone too far."

In a 1993 letter to Silicon Graphics CEO Edward McCracken, Clinton wrote: "I expect to...eliminate wherever possible unnecessary U.S. unilateral export control policies."

Silicon Graphics makes high-speed computers.

True to his word, Clinton in January 1996 lifted export controls on high-speed computer exports. Since then, China's gotten more than 600 U.S. high-speed computers. It had virtually none before.

In March 1994, Clinton led an effort that dissolved the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls, or COCOM, leaving the U.S. without an effective international mechanism to control the transfer of critical military technologies.

In June 1995, Clinton lifted the ban on exports of "cryptographic items" to China. Such items could help China break U.S. military codes if they're used with high-speed computers.

Energy failed to brief State, Defense and Commerce -- the three export licensing agencies -- about Chinese spying.

After a Los Alamos computer scientist became a prime spy suspect, FBI agents asked to tap his phone, more than once, and to search his desktop computer. The Justice Department refused. Attorney General Janet Reno explains they didn't have enough cause to get court OK.

But the court almost never turns down such requests.

Over the last five years, Justice requested a total of 3,657 wiretaps and/or search warrants to combat foreign spying. All of them were OK'd save one.

At a minimum, the scientist violated rules for handling classified material. Yet he was promoted to a position where he could see even more secrets. He's not been charged.

Justice held back prosecution of Lawrence Livermore spy Peter Lee because it says the Navy didn't want to have the contents of what he leaked to China discussed in open court.

But Chinese scientists already got submarine detection technology from Lee in 1997. Lee got no jail time.

Around 1994, Energy's Oakland, Calif., office stripped another Livermore scientist of his security clearance after he divulged classified information at a public setting. Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary overturned the Oakland office and "gave this guy back his classified status," Weldon said.

In 1992, by contrast, U.S. Customs arrested Chinese spy Bin Wu for smuggling night-vision equipment used by U.S. tank crews to China. He's serving a 10-year prison term.

     END Excerpt

     To see today's Investor's Business Daily, go to: http://www.investors.com

     An attentive CyberAlert reader informed me that while articles from before the current day are not on the IBD Web site, they can be accessed on America Online which does have an archive of IBD articles. Keyword: IBD


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes) Does the W stand for witch? It does for MSNBC's John Hockenberry.

     On his June 8 show aired at 10pm ET, MRC analyst Mark Drake noticed, Hockenberry took a shot at the anti-income tax hike pledge written by Americans for Tax Reform which George W. Bush signed onto, equating it to a Salem witch trials litmus test:
     "All right. But pledge-smedge. Laurence O'Donnell, you know it seems to me a lot of Americans out there watching this conversation might say it sounds like you know the Salem witch trials, this pledge. You have to take these little code words and pass these litmus tests."


cyberno6.gif (1129 bytes) In CyberAlert on Tuesday morning, on Leno that night. Coincidence?

     The June 8 CyberAlert relayed an interesting portion of a week-old, June 1 profile on Today of Tipper Gore, citing how as NBC's Claire Shipman and Tipper Gore sat beside each other, as Tipper flipped through a photo album, Shipman relayed: "And ever spontaneous she manages to surprise even jaded journalists with a racy joke about her husband's bedtime attire or lack thereof." It was hard to make out, but as she pointed to a photo of Al, Tipper said something like: "He isn't wearing anything very long when we go to bed".

     Tuesday night, June 8, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens noticed how Jay Leno delivered this joke in his Tonight Show monologue:
     "And here you go in the category of more information than I really want to know. This is a bad tactic. I guess Tipper Gore now, she's trying to talk about how sexy Al is, you know. She's now hinting that Al Gore sleeps in the nude. Huh? She wouldn't be afraid of getting splinters? I don't know sleeping with Al Gore. I don't want to see Al Gore, this is more information than I want to know."

     To watch the portion of the June 1 Today story with Tipper commenting on Al's bedtime attire, go to the June 8 CyberAlert: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990608.html#3

     Or, take advantage of the new Media Bias Videos button in the top right corner of the MRC's home page to go to the page featuring all the recent video clips posted by the MRC in RealPlayer format. -- Brent Baker


     >>> Support the MRC, an educational foundation dependent upon contributions which make CyberAlert possible, by providing a tax-deductible donation. Use the secure donations page set up for CyberAlert readers and subscribers:

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. Or, you can go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters. Either way you will receive a confirmation message titled: "RESPONSE REQUIRED: Confirm your subscription to mrccyberalert@topica.com." After you reply, either by going to the listed Web page link or by simply hitting reply, you will receive a message confirming that you have been added to the MRC CyberAlert list. If you confirm by using the Web page link you will be given a chance to "register" with Topica. You DO NOT have to do this; at that point you are already subscribed to CyberAlert.
     To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to: cybercomment@mrc.org.
     Send problems and comments to: cybercomment@mrc.org.

     >>>You can learn what has been posted each day on the MRC's Web site by subscribing to the "MRC Web Site News" distributed every weekday afternoon. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: cybercomment@mrc.org. Or, go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters.<<<


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