ABC Skipped Rudman Again; Clinton's "Hero's Welcome"; Bush's Mistake
"unprecedented" combined hearing of four Senate committees to
hear from Rudman and Richardson, but only CNN offered any live coverage.
ABC's World News Tonight ignored the hearing as it did the release of
Rudman's report last week.
2) "Bill Clinton heard
himself cheered as a winner," noted Sam Donaldson from Aviano AFB. In
the refugee camps CBS found he "got a hero's welcome." NBC
relayed he was greeted "like a liberator."
3) FNC's Carl Cameron caught
George W. Bush in a mistake: Bush confused Slovakia with Slovenia.
4) Dan Rather to Jay Leno:
"I can identify with this fellow and I'll tell you why. He has the
smallest brain compared to his weight and size of any mammal in North
The June 22 CyberAlert reported how Tom Brokaw praised Newsweek's
decision to make Anna Quindlen its alternating week columnist with George
Will, but failed to note that her columns will begin in October.
Warren Rudman, the public face of the President's Foreign Intelligence
Advisory Board which issued a report last week critical of security at the
Energy Department nuclear labs, appeared Tuesday before an unprecedented
combined hearing of four Senate committees. That gave ABC's World News
Tonight and NBC Nightly News, the two broadcast evening shows which
ignored the report last week, a chance to catch up. The hearing offered a
fresh hook and video but ABC passed again as NBC Nightly News did take
advantage of the opportunity and ran a story, though it skipped over the
report's condemnation of Clinton administration delays in taking any
action. (Last week ABC's GMA and NBC's Today each allocated 23 seconds
to the report's release.)
During the day
Tuesday, C-SPAN carried the appearances of Rudman and Energy Secretary
Bill Richardson from 9:30am until the network went live with the House at
12:30pm ET. Otherwise, only CNN offered any live coverage. CNN featured a
preview piece from Pierre Thomas at 9:30am ET, showed Richardson live for
about two minutes at 10:13am before cutting to Bill Clinton in Macedonia,
but re-joined the hearing from 10:28 to 10:42am ET with comments from
Richardson and Rudman.
FNC provided a
live update at 11:22am ET from Wendell Goler and the T&A Network (my
new name for MSNBC since a plurality of its time is devoted to Time &
Again repeats) offered a preview at 9:35am from Chip Reid and the Rudman
Report was a topic on the 11am ET Watch It! With Laura Ingraham.
In the evening,
CNN's Inside Politics did not air a word about the hearings, instead
dedicating half the show to George W. Bush. Later the 10pm ET The World
Today allocated about a minute to a soundbite each from Rudman and
Richardson followed by a piece from Kathleen Koch on how "since the
invention of the polygraph in 1921 intelligence officials can't cite one
high level spy who has been tripped up by the so-called lie detector
Report with Brit Hume ran a full story on the day's hearing by Wendell
Goler, but the 7pm ET Fox Report skipped the hearing. (Both CNN and FNC
ran full stories last week on the report.)
Here's how the
Tuesday, June 22 broadcast network evening shows handled the Rudman Report
and the special hearing:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight led with the Supreme Court's ruling on the Americans with
Disability Act. ABC skipped the hearing, so its viewers have yet to learn
about Rudman's report. ABC did find time for A Closer Look at the impact
of information technology on the economy, how high-tech success stories
are creating millionaires and how a Russian is raising money to pay to
support the Russian space station.
-- CBS Evening
News. Last week CBS was the only broadcast network to run a evening piece
on Rudman's report. Tuesday night anchor John Roberts ran this 42-second
Roberts: "The head of the panel that came
out with a blistering report on lax security at nuclear weapons labs said
much the same in person today to Congress. Former U.S. Senator Warren
Rudman said twenty years of leaks of atomic secrets to China make it clear
that half measures now just won't do."
Rudman: "This report finds that the
Department of Energy is badly broken. It is time to fundamentally
restructure the management of the nuclear weapons labs and establish a
system that holds people accountable."
Roberts: "For his part Energy Secretary Bill
Richardson said he'd fight any proposal to separate the nuclear weapons
labs from the rest of the Energy Department."
Later in the show
Roberts introduced an Eye on America look at how conservatives are
downgrading the importance of abortion:
"An abortion rights group said today that
GOP hopeful Texas Governor George W. Bush helped the Lone Star state take
the toughest anti-abortion stand of any state. Bush himself, campaigning
in Virginia today, talked up a softer anti-abortion line just as some of
his Republican rivals are this year. So what's the reaction of the
Christian Coalition and other staunch anti-abortion groups to this new
approach by GOP candidates?"
contrast of "abortion rights" versus "anti-abortion."
Phil Jones focused
on a Christian Coalition woman from Maryland and how she feels taking
abortion out of politics is just accepting reality since you can't do
anything if you don't win.
-- NBC Nightly
News led with the hunt for serial killer Rafael Resendez Ramirez and
devoted its In Depth segment to the threat from the Hantavirus spread by
mice, but still caught up with the Rudman Report by squeezing in a piece
from Andrea Mitchell. She began:
"A dramatic moment in the Chinese spy
investigation, an unprecedented four Senate committees meeting together to
hear shocking testimony from the President's own Foreign Intelligence
Advisor, a former Senator with a blistering condemnation of security at
America's weapons labs."
She played a clip of Rudman referring to
"atrocious security" before she explained how his commission
recommended a major reorganization of Energy. Then she added this unique
"The security threat goes well beyond China.
NBC News has learned that three years ago immigration authorities stopped
one of Iran's nuclear weapons experts at the U.S. border. His American
contact: a U.S. scientist still working on nuclear secrets for the Energy
concluded by noting, Richardson maintains the department can fix itself.
Bill Clinton, a "hero's welcome" for the "liberator"
on his "victory tour." The three broadcast network evening shows
aired full reports Tuesday night on President Clinton's warm welcome at
a refugee camp in Macedonia and at the Aviano Air Force Base in Italy.
sampling of the glowing reviews delivered on June 22:
-- Sam Donaldson
on ABC's World News Tonight relayed how the visit to a refugee camp
"was clearly moving experience for President Clinton, his wife and
daughter." Standing before a cheering crowd at Aviano, Donaldson
"From the refugees going home to the airmen
who helped make it possible, this has been a most satisfying day for the
President. Criticism of his handling of all this will surely continue, but
today Bill Clinton heard himself cheered as a winner."
-- John Roberts
opened the CBS Evening News: "Standing close to the Kosovo border
President and Mrs. Clinton got a hero's welcome today from ethnic
Albanian refugees in Macedonia."
Scott Pelley began
his report: "In a camp near the Kosovo border it felt like liberation
day. Refugees crowded the road that leads home and cheered the President
who opened the way...."
Pelley later referred to how on his "victory
tour" Clinton is urging reconciliation.
-- David Bloom
started his NBC Nightly News piece:
"In a refugee camp filled with mud any
misery but also today hope, President Clinton with his wife and daughter,
walks hand in hand with children who escaped Kosovo's Hell, but cannot
escape their own nightmares. The children, Mr. Clinton says, have a glazed
over look in their eyes, full of hurt and terror and loss. This woman
tells the President our little boy has seen people killed, he's still
afraid. But with the war over these refugees, many still afraid to go home
fearing the unknown, greet the President like a liberator. For a moment
hope replaces fear, anger at the Serbs gives way to gratitude toward
You call it Slovenia, I call it Slovakia, let' call the whole thing off.
FNC's Carl Cameron demonstrated Tuesday night that Chinese espionage is
not the only subject where he can beat the bigger network boys as he
uniquely caught George W. Bush making a mistake, confusing Slovakia with
On the June 22
Special Report with Brit Hume, after Cameron wrapped up a taped piece on
Bush's "blitz of posh fundraisers," Hume set him up with this
"Carl, how is he doing with questions about
foreign policy. There's been some criticism that his knowledge of
that's a little thin."
Cameron: "Well there was one specific
question today in Richmond from a reporter from Slovakia. The reporter
asked if the Governor had any specific information or background
intelligence that might offer him some comment with a degree of emphasis
and priority on Slovakia. Here's what the Governor had to say."
Bush: "The only thing I know about Slovakia
is what I learned first hand from your Foreign Minister that came to Texas
and I had a great visit with him. It's an exciting country. It's a
country that's flourishing and it's a country that's doing very
After the reporter pressed for the identity of
the visitor, Bush maintained:
"It was the Foreign Minister if I'm not
mistaken. I need to check my records. A high ranking official from your
country came to visit. I was very impressed."
outlined what FNC discovered by just making a phone call: "So we
checked some of the Governor's records by calling the State House in
Austin and we were told in fact that it was not the Foreign Minister but
indeed it was the Prime Minister and the nation was not Slovakia, Brit,
but indeed Slovenia. Slovakia it turns out, one of the nation's that
evolved from Czechoslovakia is not doing so well economically and of
course Slovenia is the country that has evolved from the former
I don't know
much more than Bush about Slovakia, but here's a little factoid for him
to use in the future: Slovakia is the world's biggest manufacturer of
hockey pucks, the very pucks his state's Dallas Stars played with in
winning the Stanley Cup on Sunday morning.
Dan Rather, Zoo master. Tuesday night Rather jokingly compared himself to
an armadillo. As part of his book tour for Deadlines & Datelines, a
collection of his past radio commentaries, Rather appeared Tuesday night
on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He walked out carrying an
armadillo from his native Texas, at one point holding it by its tail as it
tried to wriggle away.
With the armadillo
on his arm Rather told Leno: "I can identify with this fellow and
I'll tell you why. He has the smallest brain compared to his weight and
size of any mammal in North America."
+++ See Dan Rather
holding the armadillo. Wednesday morning the MRC's Sean Henry and
Kristina Sewell will post a still shot and video clip, in RealPlayer
format, of Rather on The Tonight Show. Go to the MRC's home page: http://www.mrc.org
brought along a Horned Toed frog and in telling Leno about how Texas
ensures there are Bass in its lakes for catching, he issued this Ratherism:
"There's no dumb bass like a Texas dumb bass."
Displays like this must make CBS affiliate owners
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