Clinton China Admission & Dissembling Skipped; Salon's Coulter Smear
1) Clinton admitted at
Friday's press conference that he misspoke in denying knowledge of
espionage during his term, but only FNC and NBC cared. Not a syllable on
ABC, CBS or CNN Friday night.
2) Clinton as victim. A
reporter wondered if he's "ever reflected on why, as Mrs. Clinton I
think has sometimes noted, throughout your career you've always seemed
to generate such antagonism."
3) The New York Times revealed
"White House officials were informed that China might have stolen
American nuclear secrets nearly a year earlier" than they admitted.
Zilch on Sunday night on CBS or ABC which speculated about a Bill Clinton
4) MSNBC's Gregg Jarrett
preposterously condemned as "ugly" a joke Rudy Giuliani told to
David Letterman about Hillary moving to NY.
5) Salon.com's truly
mean-spirited attack on commentator Ann Coulter: "Quit injecting
yourself with your own urine."
6) MSNBC: Network or tape
machine? The T&A network replaced Charles Grodin's show with...
June 28 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of
outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media, is now
online. Quote topics include "George W. Is An Extremist...";
"...But Dukakis Was a Moderate"; "It's Not Your Father's
Racist GOP"; "Victim of Gun Lobby Bullies"; "Clinton's
Heroic Place in History"; "Christian Coalition =
Inquisition" and "Hillary's Unknown Religious Side?" Go to:
For back issues: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1999/welcome.html
Correction: The June 25
CyberAlert referred to Republican pollster "Ed Goes." His last
name is spelled Goeas.
President Clinton admitted Friday that he misspoke in denying knowledge of
espionage during his term and then two days later a New York Times story
exposed further administration dissembling on who knew what and when they
knew it, but ABC's World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News refused
to tell viewers about either development. NBC Nightly News gave each a few
seconds while CNN's The World Today skipped the first and briefly
touched the second, though neither network pointed out how the new
information once again contradicted Clinton's statements.
(This item and #2
today address Friday's press conference. Item #3 looks at network
reaction to Sunday's New York Times disclosure.)
late afternoon press conference on June 25 FNC's Wendell Goler, who
asked him back on March 19 about spying during his term, pressed:
"Let me ask you once again do you still maintain that you were not
told anything about these Chinese efforts to spy at the nation's nuclear
labs during your administration?"
Clinton answered by stressing how spying by China
has been ongoing for twenty years, but then he got to commenting how his
March 19 reply: "What I said was that I didn't suspect any actual
breaches of security had occurred during my tenure. Since then we have
learned of the off-loading of the computer by Mr. Lee, from the secured
computers into his personal computer. That's something we know now that
I didn't know then. But I think my choice of wording was poor. What I
should have said was I did not know of any specific instance of espionage
because I think we've been suspicious all along. And I have to
acknowledge I think I used a poor word there. We have been suspicious all
along generally. We did not have any specific instance as we now do of the
off-loading of the computer..."
Actually, on March
19 Clinton did not say "that I didn't suspect any actual breaches
of national security." He answered: "Can I tell you there has
been no espionage at the labs since I've been President? I can tell you
that no one has reported to me that they suspect such a thing has
occurred." And in response to another question he maintained:
"To the best of my knowledge, no one has said anything to me about
any espionage which occurred by the Chinese against the labs, during my
On May 2 the New
York Times revealed that top administration officials were briefed in
November, 1998 about espionage. ABC's World News Tonight gave that 40
seconds, but the other networks ignored it. And the administration had
received the Cox Report in early January which detailed breaches which
occurred since 1992.
Now to last
Friday. Clinton's grudging admission that he misled the American people
as "my choice of wording was poor." In fact, he was again
misleading people by suggesting that the "off-loading of the
computer" is the only specific instance during his watch. But as Paul
Sperry pointed out in the June 9 Investor's Business Daily:
"The declassified version of the House [Cox]
report identifies 11 cases of Chinese espionage since the late 1970s.
Eight took place during President Clinton's years in office....In other
words, the vast majority of the leaks over the past 20 years have sprung
on Clinton's watch....The House 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
So, the networks
had plenty of angles to pursue Friday night, but they bunted: ABC's John
Cochran, CBS's Scott Pelley and CNN's John King all ignored China.
FNC's Wendell Goler included Clinton's answer in his Fox Report story
and NBC's Claire Shipman gave it 24 seconds in a piece about how
"Bill Clinton laid out a bold and ambitious agenda for just 18 months
left in office today."
Here's a rundown
for the three broadcast network evening shows of June 25:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. John Cochran began his story on the press conference:
"Today Bill Clinton tried to put impeachment and Kosovo in the past,
to say that in his last year and a half Republican should work with him on
pressing domestic issues, even if they don't like him."
through Clinton's proposals on guns, HMOs, prescription coverage in
Medicare and showing soundbites of Clinton and Speaker Denny Hastert,
"Most Americans seem to care very little
about the political maneuvering or even about the issues themselves. About
the only pressure they really seem to be putting on Washington is to keep
the good times rolling."
-- CBS Evening News. Scott Pelley, who could be
seen in the front row of the press conference though he did not ask a
question, opened his story by showing how Clinton got "visibly
angry" over a question about money for Yugoslavia before the people
admit their misdeeds. Pelley went through Clinton's plan to "save
Medicare" and how he "scolded" Congress over gun control.
Pelley concluded: "Watch for the President to continue pushing these
domestic agenda items. He won the presidency of course in 1992 when George
Bush won the war but seemed to neglect the home front. The White House is
determined that Al Gore will not suffer from the same mistake."
-- NBC Nightly News led with anchor Jane Pauley
"Good evening. President Clinton met the
press today, his first news conference in more than three months. There
were plenty of topics but the central theme was seize the day. After a
full year of scandal, impeachment and military action in Yugoslavia, he
says he's anxious to move forward with proposals that he says will make
Americans' lives better. The centerpiece: a controversial health care
proposal, a plan to change the way Medicare recipients pay for
Claire Shipman picked up: "Jane, Bill
Clinton laid out a bold and ambitious agenda for just 18 months left in
office today. The point: a renewed focus on domestic policy...."
Referring to a
speech, Shipman explained: "Earlier in the day the President formally
rolled out his ambitious legislative agenda. Among his top priorities, a
minimum wage increase from $5.51 an hour to $6.15 an hour, a patient's
bill of rights for Americans who use HMOs, and gun control despite the
recent defeat in the House..."
She then took 24
seconds for the only broadcast mention of China: "The President also
tackled other controversial subject in his hour and a half press
conference. He admitted he misspoke this Spring about the Chinese
espionage scandal when he said he had not been briefed on any suspicions
of spying or theft on his watch."
Clinton: "What I should have said was I did
not know of any specific instance of espionage because I think that
we've been suspicious all along."
By my count, Clinton responded to questions from 27 reporters during his
marathon 75 minute press conference, including one from the always inane
Sara McClendon about whether Clinton would support a government program to
teach parenting. Goler's question about China came fourth and no other
reporter followed up in the subsequent 23 questions.
questions posed at the June 25 press conference are noteworthy for
portraying Clinton as a victim:
-- Washington Post
White House reporter John Harris asked:
"Two and a half years ago in your inaugural
you said you wanted to help the nation 'repair the breach' and this
morning you called again for greater cooperation in Washington. But seems
apparent that for many people you personally remain a polarizing and
divisive figure in national politics. I was wondering if you've ever
reflected on why, as Mrs. Clinton I think has sometimes noted, throughout
your career you've always seemed to generate such antagonism in your
opponents and do you assign any responsibility to yourself for what this
morning you described as the rancorous mood in Washington today?"
Clinton replied that "people who are
progressive, people who try to change things, people who keep pushing the
envelope, have generally elicited very strong, sometimes personally
hostile negative reaction." He then compared himself to Roosevelt.
The House Republicans tried to "change things" in 1995 and I
don't recall Clinton helping them out.
-- Near the end of the press conference a woman, whom I did not recognize,
stood up and asked: "In the wake of books by George Stephanopoulos
and Bob Woodward I was wondering if you think that you can have anything
close to a candid or frank conversation with aides or for that matter
lawyers these days and whether you believe that this makes you a more
isolated President as a result of this trend?"
You would think
reporters who trust in the accuracy of Woodward's book full of unnamed
sources might be prompted to demand that Clinton respond to some of the
very damaging revelations about other women and how his own lawyer
didn't believe what Clinton told him.
++ Name that
woman. A free "Team Clinton: The Starting Line-Up of the Pro-Clinton
Press Corps" T-shirt and a "Don't Believe the Liberal
Media" magnet with photos of several media stars, to the first
CyberAlert reader who can identify the reporter who posed this last
question listed above. Monday morning the MRC's Kristina Sewell will cue
up video of the woman and Webmaster Sean Henry will post a still shot of
her next to this item on the Web site-posted version of this CyberAlert.
Send your identifications to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The New York Times revealed on Sunday that "Senior White House
officials were informed that China might have stolen American nuclear
secrets nearly a year earlier than the Clinton administration originally
disclosed, according to current and former United States officials."
Zilch on Sunday night on ABC or CBS. NBC gave it 19 seconds and CNN's
10pm ET The World Today allocated 24 seconds, but neither recalled what
Clinton said Friday.
In their June 27
piece reporters James Risen and Jeff Gerth disclosed:
The White House was told about China's
apparent theft of American nuclear weapons technology in July 1995, soon
after it was detected by the Energy Department and the Central
Intelligence Agency, several officials said.
Until now, the administration has left the
impression that the White House first learned about the matter in April
1996, when Samuel R. Berger, then President Clinton's deputy national
security adviser, was briefed on the case by Energy Department officials.
But interviews with current and former
officials show that warnings about possible Chinese nuclear espionage
received high-level attention within the Clinton administration early in
the government's investigation of the matter.
Indeed, by late 1995, within months of
first learning of the case, the Director of Central Intelligence was
convinced that the evidence showed that China had stolen design
information from America's most advanced nuclear warhead, and had briefed
President Clinton's national security adviser on the matter.
Yet the investigation into China's apparent
theft of the nuclear secrets languished, plagued for the next four years
by what many officials now describe as miscommunication, bureaucratic
inertia and outright bungling by several agencies....
To read the entire
New York Times story, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/asia/062799china-nuke.html
So, more evidence
of Clinton's obfuscation at Friday's press conference and of overall
administration incompetence, but the networks were not very interested. On
Sunday morning's Fox News Sunday Senators McCain, Hatch and Lieberman
were asked about the story by Tony Snow. Tim Russert asked Hatch about it
on Meet the Press but it didn't come up on Face the Nation or This Week.
On NBC Nightly
News anchor Kelly O'Donnell read this 19-second item which failed to
credit the newspaper: "Senators from both parties expressed anger
today after the Clinton administration admitted yet another error in the
time-line for when suspicions were raised about Chinese espionage at U.S.
nuclear labs. It now turns out that the first word came in the summer of
1995, not the Spring of 1996."
ABC's World News
Tonight ignored the New York Times story but found time for Jeffrey Toobin
to come on for one minute to tell anchor Carole Simpson about how the
latest New Yorker magazine claims friends of Bill Clinton's are talking
about him running for the Senate from Arkansas in 2002.
The June 27 CBS
Evening News also skipped the China story, finding more newsworthy pieces
on a study about how red meat may not as unhealthful as thought, the
dangers of diet supplements and a new Oklahoma law that allows parents to
spank their kids in public.
A host on MSNBC Friday night again demonstrated how the media will not
serve as a neutral referee of a Hillary Clinton versus Rudy Giuliani (or
any other Republican) Senate race in New York. They will invalidate
arguments forwarded by Giuliani by labeling them "ugly," even
when he was just trying a little innocuous humor. (Back on April 1 Today
co-host Matt Lauer demanded that Giuliani defend the "tone" of a
Web site that called Hillary a "carpet-bagger."
On Friday's 7pm
ET InterNight on MSNBC host Gregg Jarrett, a veteran of Court TV, brought
up Giuliani's appearance the night before on CBS's Late Show with
David Letterman: "Mayor Giuliani and Hillary is going to be headlines
each and every day. Even last night on David Letterman Giuliani made an
appearance with a rather interesting southern accent. Let's take a look
Jarrett the read this text from the New York
Daily News which also appeared on-screen: "I've never lived here.
I've never worked here. I ain't never been here. But I think it would
be cool to be your Senator."
Jeralyn Merritt, a criminal defense attorney and
MSNBC legal analyst retorted: "That's just so unfair."
Jarrett interjected: "It's ugly."
Merritt elaborated on how unfair it is to say
anything negative about the First Lady: "It's ugly and it's
unfair because she has spent a lot of time in New York and she has the
desire to help and she is bright, she's the best of the group. They
ought to give her the chance. I mean if she's willing to go to New York,
including upstate, and give it everything she has, let her."
++ Was Giuliani
being "ugly"? Judge for yourself. Monday morning the MRC's
Kristina Sewell and Sean Henry will post a RealPlayer clip of Giuliani
telling this joke on the June 24 Late Show. MSNBC didn't set up the
joke. The line quoted above by Jarrett is what Giuliani said he would say
after getting off an airplane in Arkansas. The audience laughed and it was
at worst a mild shot at Hillary on a legitimate issue told with an accent
less Southern than most Arkansans probably display. After 10:30am ET, go
Talk about what's really "ugly," check out this personal
vitriol from a liberal voice, salon.com, about the sex life of
conservative commentator and writer Ann Coulter. (Reader Alert: This item
contains slang sexual terminology that some may wish to avoid.)
"Ann of a
Thousand Lays: Ten modest proposal to help Ann Coulter get a date,"
read the headline over he June 25 "Media" section story on Salon
by Thor Hesla, who is identified only as "a political and event
I read your piece in George magazine on the
difficulties of dating in Washington with a large measure of empathy. Like
you, I've been an occasional victim of the D.C. dating scene. But unlike
you, I'm a guy, and I think you need to get a guy's input on this topic.
After poring over your troubles, I shot a few notes off to some friends,
and we came up with some suggestions you might find helpful in improving
1) Quit injecting yourself with your own
urine. I don't mean to be presumptuous, but the rumor is that George
Balanchine used to put so much pressure on his corps d' ballet to remain
razor-thin that some of them injected themselves with their own urine to
keep the pounds off. You look like you're doing this also.
Although I've never met you in person, I've
seen you on TV (after all, like all the other D.C. people you characterize
so well, I watch TV constantly rather than socialize) and, not to put too
fine a point on it, you make Calista Flockhart look like a grand-master
sumo. I've had potato skins that are thicker than your biceps....
2) Eat some cake. Let us posit, in the
hypothetical, that we were introduced by mutual friends, and I invited you
to meet me for dinner. Where would we go, and what would we order? I like
steak, chicken, pasta, pork chops, veal...meat. Potatoes. Beer. Mmmmm,
You look like you survive on six pieces of
sushi (no avocado) and an M&M per day....
4) Quit being white. It's a common knock
that Republicans don't date much outside of their own prep schools, but
you take this to a ridiculous extreme. You should rewrite your article and
insert the word "white" in front of "Washington," as
in "boys in white Washington don't know how....
5) Stop being a mean bitch. One of the
things you hate about Washington is that complete strangers on the Metro
ask you for your sports page. Ann, I frequently have out-of-town guests
visit me in D.C. Because, as you have already established, I have to watch
a lot of TV to see what's going on in your neck of the woods, I often send
these gentle strangers out onto the Metro alone. When I do, I pray,
literally, that they won't run into pompous, intolerant, judgmental,
high-strung, anorexic clothes-horses like yourself if they should happen
to get lost, require assistance, or even, God forfend, reach out across
the aching void that divides us all and inquire if you're finished with
that section of the paper, ma'am?
A portion of the challenge that you face in
your quest for tube steak, Ann, is that any decent guy who asks you out
might someday face the vexing hypothetical question, What would it be like
to have you run into his grandmother, were she to have the misfortune to
need assistance on public transit and make the mistake of asking that nice
white girl over there....
6) Free your hair from that dominatrix hair
stylist. You look like you've got more armor on your hair than an M1-A1
tank has. What do you do, dip it into a bucket of floor wax and let it
8) Buy a vibrator. In addition to all your
other problems, I think you need to rack up some quick orgasms. There's
one called "the Rabbit" which I hear gets you going from several
different angles at once, if you know what I mean. It was featured in a
recent episode of "Sex in the City."
Once you've cleared your system of all the
toxins that back up when you stop getting off, you should immediately...
9) Get your head out of your ass. Another
of your complaints about D.C. is that the cabs don't have meters. Are you
really simple? The zone system in D.C. is mandated by Congress (here's
that white thing again) so that they can ride to and from Capitol Hill as
inexpensively as possible.
Attention, Ann: Guys won't ask you for
dates if you act stupid in public. Plenty of people don't know the history
of the zone system and cabs in D.C. They just don't write about it in
nationally published magazines....
10) Don't make your living as a sexual
harpy. Your principal occupation over the last three years, as I
understand it, has been to traffic as many damaging stories as possible
about Bill Clinton's personal life, then write a book about it.
Blow this next sentence up on a photocopier
and tape it next to your refrigerator: "Men Don't Want to Date
Castrating Bitches Who Make Their Livings Peddling Tales of Male
Is your mom still alive? If she isn't, I
apologize, but you must have a trusted older friend you can talk to about
this particular problem. You should ask her, and yourself: "Am I more
likely to meet nice men and go out on dates if I volunteer for good works,
hang out with a wide variety of cultures and views, and travel the world
with a sunny disposition or if I work out frenetically, diet constantly
and make my living shoveling dirt with both hands on MSNBC?"....
To read the entire
diatribe, go to: http://www.salon.com/media/feature/1999/06/25/coulter/
reaction if a conservative Web site featured such a personal attack on one
of the Democratic women analysts who sat opposite Coulter during the
Saturday and Sunday night with Charles Grodin on vacation the T&A
Network (MSNBC), replaced his 8pm ET/PT show with....a Time & Again
about him with clips of interviews he's done over the years on NBC shows
promoting his movies.
I don't believe
it's an exaggeration to say that over one-third of weekend airtime on
MSNBC is dedicated to repeats of Time & Again and much of the rest is
devoted to repeated showings of Weekend Magazine -- a repackaging of
Dateline NBC stories from the previous week. Friday night the channel ran
a Time & Again at 8pm ET, again at 10pm ET and replaced the usual 9pm
PT/12am ET repeat of The News with Brian William with another Time &
It's hard to call MSNBC a network. It's more
like a tape machine. --
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