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CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
Thursday July 8, 1999 (Vol. Four; No. 119)

Avoiding Hillary's Sleaze; Rebuking Rudy & Equating Him to Hitler

1) A Fox reporter asked Hillary about the billing records and turning $1,000 into $100,000, but only FNC showed how she dodged in replying. NBC's Andrea Mitchell worried: "The adulation is great, but is she prepared for whatever Giuliani can dish out?"

2) Trying to shame Giuliani into silence? NBC's Andrea Mitchell characterized a mild comment about Hillary as being "in her face" and played a soundbite from an opponent comparing him to Hitler.

3) GMA's Charlie Gibson portrayed Hillary as a victim about to be set upon by a mean press corps and opponent. He rebuked a columnist who was "really rough" and expressed concern that questions for her "are gonna be brutal."

4) CNN's experts: Hillary Clinton isn't a liberal and a candidate who voted for family leave and striker replacement and who defends the National Endowment for the Arts, is a conservative.

5) "Who Makes or Breaks a Scandal? The Cox Report vs. The Iran-Contra Report," a new MRC Special Report is now up on the MRC home page complete with a Dan Rather video contrast.


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) No scandal or ethics issues worth recalling in Hillary Clinton's past and she'll have to endure the "rough" stuff Rudy Giuliani will "dish out."

     All the networks ran full stories Wednesday night on Hillary Clinton's press conference at Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan's farm and her first day of official campaigning. But though a Fox News reporter actually asked her about how many "don't believe you when you're dealing with the White House billing records and turning $1,000 into $100,000," only FNC showed the question and how she dodged in replying. ABC and CBS avoided the scandal subject altogether while NBC made passing reference to how she was asked about Whitewater and CNN allocated seven seconds to her wish to "move beyond" such issues.

     NBC's Andrea Mitchell stressed how she'll have to endure the unfair and mean-spirited tactics of Republican Rudy Giuliani: "The adulation is great, but is she prepared for whatever Giuliani can dish out?"

     On the Fox Report Eric Shawn uniquely highlighted how she was asked about her ethics and how she avoided answering:
     "Her aides call it a listening tour, four days of carefully crafted media events. She held court at the state university, talking education. She deftly dodged questions about her ethics, clearly trying to put the Clinton scandals behind her."
     Shawn then played his question to her at press conference: "How will you deal with the critics who don't believe you when you're dealing with the White House billing records and turning $1,000 into $100,000. You have been part of a strong campaign concerning that."
     Hillary replied: "Well I think New Yorkers will make their own judgments about that. I think we've moved beyond all of it and I'm going to be talking about the future of education and health care and making sure that upstate New York gets the same kind of economic opportunities that the rest of the state has enjoyed."

     CNN's Bruce Morton, on The World Today, offered a brief reference to this exchange:
     "What about the scandals, Whitewater and so on."
     Hillary: "New Yorkers will make their own judgments about that. I think we've moved beyond all of it."

     Here's how the Wednesday, July 7 broadcast network evening shows handled Hillary's Clinton's first press conference on her campaign and first day of acknowledged campaigning in New York:

     -- ABC's World News Tonight led with an article in Nature about a breakthrough on Alzheimer's disease and did not get to Hillary until the very end of the show.

     Dean Reynolds showed her beside Moynihan, noting: "The First Lady began this courtship of a place she has never called home." Reynolds observed that she "had a well planned answer" for that criticism before playing a soundbite of Hillary conceding: "I think I have some real work to do to get out and listen and learn from the people of New York and demonstrate that what I'm for is maybe as important if not more important than where I'm from."

     Reynolds continued: "Her choice of upstate New York for today's events, including a stop at the Soccer Hall of Fame, was designed to build a bridge to this predominantly Republican part of the state. Some spectators were friendly, but others were not."
     After a shot of a crowd chanting "Go home Hillary," Reynolds concluded over video of Hillary in a meeting at a college:
     "Mrs. Clinton said she will spend the next few months listening to New Yorkers about issues, building up expertise in intimate settings that may deflect charges that she is an opportunistic outsider. Her first attempt at that today had at least the look of intimacy, though cameras from around the world foreshadowed the kind of scrutiny she had better expect. Mrs. Clinton did something on the campaign trail that is completely new to her: She spoke about her beliefs and her issues and all with hardly a mention of her husband."

     Maybe the local media will provide the "scrutiny" since the national media sure aren't.

     (ABC also featured a story on how the Air Force is "exhausted" by the Kosovo War with few planes left for training and maintenance skipped for months. John McWethy relayed an ominous plea: "Air Force leaders say their people and planes are so worn out that for the first time in decades they are pleading for a break of up to six months to recover, pleading with the Navy and Marine Corps to temporarily cover for them overseas...")

     -- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather led with the tobacco verdict in Florida and then went to Hillary. CBS reporter Diana Olick played several clips of Hillary but also devoted the most time of any Wednesday story to opposition to her, noting: "Just down the road the First Lady's star power didn't carry the crowd."
     Woman: "If you're going to represent New York you've got to be from New York."
     Olick: "Locals were kept off the farm."
     Man: "She is coming up here as First Lady trying to campaign in a partisan manner with U.S. government, U.S. taxpayer property. That's just wrong in my book."
     Olick explained how she flew in on a government plane and has Secret Service protection, but Olick also allowed Geraldine Ferraro to argue that Giuliani similarly lives off New York taxpayers by using New York City-provided transportation and security.

     -- NBC Nightly News. Andrea Mitchell provided the most sympathetic take on Hillary's quest and worried about how Hillary will be hit by Rudy Giuliani's "rough" tactics.

     Mitchell began: "It's the start of the First Lady's Senate campaign, on the farm of retiring Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. She promises her first priority from now on: The people of New York."
     Hillary: "Now I suppose the question on everyone's mind is why the Senate and why New York and why me."
     Mitchell: "Her answer: She cares deeply about the people in New York, but some voters are skeptical."
     Crowd: "Go home Hillary."
     Mitchell: "By far her biggest challenge: convincing voters an outsider can represent them."
     Giuliani: "So far the only thing we know is where she's from. When we know what she's for we can talk about it."
     Mitchell to Clinton at press conference: "How do you address the issue that Rudy Giuliani has raised that you are carpet-bagging?"
     Hillary: "I think it's a very fair question and I fully understand people raising it and I think I have some real work to do to get out and listen and learn from the people of New York."
     Mitchell: "But again, no direct answer. She does have some big advantages. Today she flew a $36 million Air Force jet. Getting attention clearly not a problem. A media crush of more than 200, even bigger than for George W. Bush's campaign kick-off. Her star power undeniably a big draw."
     Crowd: "Run Hillary run."
     Mitchell: "The adulation is great, but is she prepared for whatever Giuliani can dish out?"
     Hillary: "Everyone else can say or do what they choose but for me getting out there and being with people is really a great opportunity that I'm excited about."
     Mitchell to Moynihan in a sit down interview: "What can she expect if Rudy Giuliani is her chief opponent?"
     Moynihan: "Chaos. Intrigue will be astounding. You will be amazed at how hard it is to figure it out and how much fun we will have trying to do it."
     Mitchell: "How rough will it be?"
     Moynihan: "It's going to be a wonder to watch."
     Mitchell concluded: "And then there is the New York press. Today she ducked questions about Monica Lewinsky and Whitewater. But aides know she'll have to deal with that before she can make her case for becoming a Senator."

     Again, maybe the New York press will push such questions since the national press as symbolized by Mitchell is more interested in portraying her as a victim of Giuliani than in raising never honestly addressed ethics issues.


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) Andrea Mitchell seems to be on a mission to demonize Rudy Giuliani for Hillary Clinton. Tuesday night she described a mild observation by Giuliani as evidence of how "he's already in her face about being a carpet-bagger" and characterized a joke he told as "ridiculing" her. Wednesday morning she highlighted a soundbite from a bitter Giuliani opponent who compared him to Mussolini and Hitler.

     -- In a July 6 NBC Nightly News profile of Mayor Giuliani Andrea Mitchell asserted: "His friend and enemies agree he's brash, arrogant, aggressive -- the ultimate New Yorker. A perfect opponent for the First Lady. And today after she opened her exploratory committee he's already in her face about being a carpet-bagger."
     Giuliani: "You should always explore. Exploring is a good thing. Who can have anything against exploring."
     Mitchell: "Still an undeclared candidate he's raising money, traveling the state and ridiculing the First Lady's newfound interest in New York."
     Giuliani joking on the Late Show with David Letterman: "I'm going to get off the plane in Little Rock and I'm going to say '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.'"

     Apparently Mitchell thinks criticizing your opponent should be off limits -- at least if it hurts Hillary Clinton.

     Later, Mitchell added: "Sources say Republican leaders, angered by what they call his independence, are quietly helping a potential challenger for the party's nomination, even though that could divide Republicans and help Mrs. Clinton."

     Viewers might have had a better understanding of why not all Republicans are thrilled with Giuliani if Mitchell had bothered to point out that he endorsed a Democrat for Governor, the far-left Mario Cuomo.

     -- Wednesday's Today ran a different version of the same basic profile story of Giuliani by Mitchell. The July 7 Today version featured former Mayor David Dinkins, whom Giuliani beat, smearing Giuliani as a fascist and a Nazi.
     Mitchell: "Like the First Lady Giuliani is controversial. New Yorkers credit him with making the city more livable and prosperous. Crime way down, tourism way up. But minorities say it's all at their expense."
     David Dinkins, former Democratic Mayor: "Some argue that he delivers services. I say yes but during World War Two the trains ran on time in Italy and there was no street crime in Nazi Germany."


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) Oh poor Hillary, they are being so unfair to her complained ABC's Charlie Gibson who was so upset that he refused to pursue points raised in a critical New York Post article.

     On Wednesday's Good Morning America, which devoted the entire first half hour to Hillary hype, co-host Charlie Gibson interviewed former Hillary Clinton Press Secretary Lisa Caputo, former Bill Clinton aide/substitute GMA host George Stephanopoulos and former Republican Congresswoman Susan Molinari.

     Gibson's opening round of questions, MRC analyst Mark Drake observed, portrayed Hillary as a victim about to be set upon by a mean press corps and opponent. Gibson complained to Caputo about a New York Post column that was "really rough" on Hillary, asked Stephanopoulos to respond to his concern that the questions for her "are gonna be brutal" and then wondered to Molinari if Giuliani's "meat axe" might "backfire on him."

     -- Gibson to Lisa Caputo: "Well, already it starts. It's not will she, or won't she anymore. It's can she? And it started. [In] the New York Post today, a column, oh, I won't mention the woman who wrote but it, it's like they're going after her already on day one: she exaggerates her accomplishments, she has a sense of grandeur, she is deluded, she bends the rules for herself, she has a narcissistic personality disorder. This is gonna get really, really rough."

     -- Gibson to Stephanopoulos: "But George, you can hear the questions now: How did you feel about the President having sex with another woman in the White House while you're First Lady. How you're gonna be sitting in the Senate one day and you might have to judge a President about lying the public etc. etc. The questions are gonna be brutal."

     -- Gibson to Molinari: "Susan Molinari, the Mayor of New York, her likely opponent, Rudolph Giuliani, he is not a man who has used the stiletto in the past. He's been very tough. He's used a meat axe approach to some extent. Couldn't that backfire on him running against her?"
     To Molinari's suggestion that Giuliani will press differences on issues, a baffled Gibson replied: "Honestly, you think he'll do that because this is, you think that he can avoid the temptations to go after her?"

     Next, Gibson did ask his panel to comment on clips of New Yorkers complaining about how she's a carpet-bagger and has ethical problems. From Pindars Corners Dean Reynolds then previewed her day before Tony Perkins asked New York City cab drivers for their thoughts about Hillary.

     Hillary may not be from New York, but she is from this country. New York City cab drivers aren't even from this continent.

     Gibson may have refused to mention the columnist's name and have been too upset by the content to explore the issues raised in the column, but not CyberAlert. He was referring to a July 7 column in the New York Post by Andrea Peyser which was certainly tougher on Hillary than anything aired by the networks. Here's an excerpt from the column titled "Me-First Lady Deluded by a Sense of Grandeur."

     There is a name for someone like Hillary.

A name exists for a person who routinely cuts corners. Who has no problem appropriating the money or labor or talents of others to achieve personal gratification and glorification.

There is a name for someone who exaggerates accomplishments. Who believes her innate superiority entitles her to obfuscate, evade and lie.

There is something you could call one who is fundamentally incapable of carrying out any task to completion. A person who continually leaves those who count on her for guidance frustrated and empty. Angry. Unsatisfied.

The name could be Bill Clinton. These two are a pair.

But there is a deeper disorder afflicting the First Lady, a woman so deluded, she believes she can bend the rules, stomp on friends and squander taxpayer money without penalty.

It is what led her to put her name on a book she didn't write, while refusing to give her ghost writer any credit.

It is what made her not only fire staff, but trash their reputations....

It is what led her to Whitewater.

And it is leading a failed co-President and rejected wife, whose resume contains not a single useful adult accomplishment, to believe she is qualified to serve in the Senate.

The name for Hillary is contained in a chapter of the American Psychiatric Association's Manual of Mental Disorders, which was kindly forwarded by lawyer John Ruti of Mount Kisco.

It's titled: "Narcissistic Personality Disorder."

Here are some excerpts, plus instances where the name fits Hillary to an N -- for Narcissist:
"The essential feature of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and lack of empathy.
"Individuals with this disorder have a grandiose sense of self-importance. They routinely overestimate their abilities and inflate their accomplishments..."

Health care. Cattle-futures trading.

"They are often preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love. They may ruminate about 'long overdue' admiration and privilege and compare themselves favorably with famous or privileged people."

Eleanor Roosevelt. Princess Di....

     END Excerpt

     To read the whole column, go to: http://www.nypostonline.com/commentary/10301.htm


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes) Hillary Clinton isn't a liberal and a Congressman who voted for federally mandated family leave, the Brady Bill, the assault weapons ban and the striker replacement bill, which told employers who they could employ, all while defending the National Endowment for the Arts from any cuts, is a "conservative." So goes the analysis from CNN's experts.

     -- Hillary not liberal. On CNN's Inside Politics on Wednesday, July 7 Lisa Caputo, Press Secretary to Hillary Clinton until 1996 and then VP for corporate communications at CBS until early 1998, appeared with former Gingrich aide Tony Blankley to assess Hillary's run. Caputo insisted:
     "I would respectfully disagree with my friend Tony in labeling her as a liberal. I think this a classic early move tactic on the part of the Republicans. I think that many people who have been around her for a long time and followed her and read her book, It Takes a Village, know that she has very traditional values on a lot of issues, particularly family issues. So, I would caution anybody to affix the word liberal to her, but rather take a hard look and take a step back at her and her entirety. I mean this is somebody who has with a long record, particularly on women, children and family issues...."

     So, if you care about children and families you can't be a liberal? Interesting indictment of liberalism.

     -- Giuliani a moderate and Lazio a conservative. On Tuesday night's Late Edition/Primetime on CNN host Wolf Blitzer, MRC analyst Paul Smith noticed, delivered interesting definitions of two ideological labels:
     "Rudy Giuliani is a moderate Republican. He supports abortion rights. He supports gay rights. He supports gun control. He endorsed Mario Cuomo. In a Republican contest between a conservative like Rick Lazio and a moderate Republican like Mayor Giuliani, who wins in New York state?"

     With all those liberal views if Giuliani is a "moderate" then how far to the left must you go for Blitzer to consider you a "liberal Republican"? As for Lazio, here's how the 1998 Almanac of American Politics describes the political views of the U.S. Representative from New York's 2nd CD:
     "Lazio was not exactly a Contract with America Republican.... His economic views are fairly conservative; he was named to the Budget Committee as a freshman after campaigning for a capital gains cut. On cultural issues he is moderate to liberal; he voted for family and medical leave, the Brady bill, the assault weapons ban and the striker replacement bill. He is one of the few Republicans to defend the National Endowment for the Arts, but he also calls on Hollywood to make larger private commitments to arts funding."
     The National Journal's rating system put him at 56 percent conservative and 44 percent liberal on economic issues in 1996 and assessed him as liberal by 59 to 40 percent in looking at his social issues votes.

     That may be "conservative" by New York and media standards, but not outside the Northeast or newsrooms. I'd shift all of CNN's labels one to the left: Lazio is a moderate, Giuliani a liberal on many issues and a moderate on others and Hillary is far-left on everything.


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes) "Who Makes or Breaks a Scandal? The Cox Report vs. The Iran-Contra Report," a Special Report by the MRC's Tim Graham, is now up on the MRC home page complete with, thanks to MRC Webmaster Sean Henry, a RealPlayer video contrast: In 1987 Dan Rather emphasized how the Iran-Contra Report "says responsibility for the fiasco lies with Ronald Reagan." But in 1999 on the Cox Report, Rather stressed how the Clinton team says "much of the stealing was done during the Reagan and Bush years." -- Brent Baker


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