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CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
Monday July 12, 1999 (Vol. Four; No. 121)

Dreaming of Senator Rodham; Her "Celtic Mist"; Rivera Loves Rather

1) Fox's Brit Hume suggested Hillary may be "able to skate through this whole campaign...completely unscathed" on scandal questions. CBS illustrated the point Sunday night by positively portraying how "the First Lady tries to empathize with the Empire State."

2) Senator Hillary Rodham, "crazy stuff" like Republicans backing campaign finance "reform" and Bill Clinton as a Sheriff living above the jail. All from the dreams of CBS's Bob Schieffer.

3) Time's Lance Morrow fawned over Hillary's importance: "I think I see a sort of Celtic mist forming around Hillary as a new archetype somewhere between Eleanor and Evita..."

4) Saturday's Washington Post carried stories about the Pentagon asking Clinton to protect them against GOP tax cuts and assurances Clinton's "spiritual advisers" report progress.

5) Geraldo gushed over Dan Rather: "We've all been the benefi-ciaries...of his fine and fearless work." Rather agreed that the Lewinsky scandal was overcovered and the media relayed false info.

6) A host of a Sunday interview program showed a college picture of himself: "This Charlie Manson-like character was a high school socialist and a war protester....He visited the Soviet Union."

7) Letterman's "Top Ten Hillary Clinton Internet Screen Names."

          >>> MRC on FNC: A look at Chinese espionage Monday night, July 12, on the Fox News Channel. MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell will be among the guests on FNC's Crier Report looking at Chinagate and its coverage. The Crier Report airs at 10pm ET, 9pm CT, 8pm MT and 7pm PT and repeats at 3am ET, 2am CT, 1am MT and 12am PT. If your cable system does not carry FNC you can watch online via either RealPlayer or Windows Media Player by clicking under "24 Hour Broadcast" at: http://www.foxnews.com/channel/ <<<


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) Sunday morning Fox's Brit Hume labeled coverage of Hillary Clinton "tame" and ventured that she may go "unscathed" by scandal questions. A few hours later CBS reporter Diana Olick epitomized the type of "tame" reporting which led to Hume's assessment as Olick fondly recalled Hillary's week: "It was a tour of intimate talks and well choreographed walks."

     -- In the roundtable segment of the July 11 Fox News Sunday Hume observed:
     "The press coverage has been pretty tame, to say the least, and I'm beginning to wonder. The conventional wisdom has been that boy when she gets up there in New York, you know the hounds of Hell, the New York media are loosened on her, that she'll never be able to get away with all these explanations that she's given on everything from billing records to who knows what all else. I'm beginning to wonder. We journalists, sort of superficially sometimes, think that campaigns are always the stuff of intense and close grilling by reporters on issues. They're not. Campaigns are usually a series of staged events, press kept at bay, carefully managed debates in which something can get stirred up but it doesn't already, she may well, I'm not predicting this yet, but she may well be able to skate through this whole campaign and be completely unscathed by any of these issues."

     Indeed, the July 8 CyberAlert item on her New York trip reported about Wednesday night coverage:
     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. 

     For more on the coverage, go to the July 8 CyberAlert:  http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990708.html#1

     -- "Diana Olick takes us aboard the listening tour as the First Lady tries to empathize with the Empire State," promised CBS Evening News anchor Russ Mitchell on Sunday night.

     Olick opened her adoring story by stressing how Hillary spent three days listening and taking notes in New York. Olick lauded her dedication: "The First Lady turned politician covered health care, the elderly, small business and technology, not only spanning the center of the state but many of it pressing issues."
     Hillary Clinton in front of group: "Now will you explain a little bit more by what you mean about the regulations on animal feeding operations?"
     Olick extolled: "It was a tour of intimate talks and well choreographed walks through the sites that say central New York, which with a throng of 200 reporters following her every step, gave her plenty of the kind of play locally and nationally that any candidate would wish for."

     She noted how by devoting so much time to the state Hilary may not have officially declared, so she's "doing everything but." Former Senate candidate Geraldine Ferraro got a soundbite to praise Hillary for getting to know the state before Olick assured viewers: "And former Senate candidate Geraldine Ferraro argues the carpet-bagger criticism that's been following the First Lady, is unjustified."
     Ferraro: "She knows these issues and she's been a champion for them and that's what people want to hear."
     Olick: "Mrs. Clinton will begin her second tour this week in Long Island and in Westchester where she was recently house-hunting. Some residents there were hostile toward their potential new neighbor."
     Women: "I think that it's ridiculous. I thought it was a joke when I first heard it a couple of months ago. I think it's a joke."

     Olick did not allow anyone of Ferraro's level to express an opinion contrary to what Ferraro asserted as Olick then concluded by conceding many are only drawn by the First Lady's star power.


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) Bob Schieffer's dream: Hillary as Senator, Republicans all for campaign finance "reform" and Bill Clinton as a Sheriff using a limo to pull over speeders. All from the mind of CBS's Chief Washington Correspondent.

     Schieffer ended Sunday's Face the Nation with this bit of personal insight from his sleep:
     "This political season has started so early I've begun to dream about politics. Like the other night I dreamed Mrs. Clinton had already won the New York Senate race. Or I guess she had. Mayor Giuliani had replaced Ed Koch as the judge on that TV courtroom show. Anyway, after Mrs. Clinton won the Senate race she ran for President in my dream but she must of lost that one because in the next part of the dream she was trading her Yankee baseball cap for a Chicago Cubs cap, like she was trying to run for something out there. I never did figure out that part of it. But that dream was full of crazy stuff. There was one part where a group of Republican candidates came out for campaign finance reform. They said it was the only way they could compete with George Bush.
     "But the weirdest part was about President Clinton. As the rumormongers had predicted, in my dream he did go back to Arkansas and run for the Senate. He lost the race but he kept his cool, bided his time and was eventually elected sheriff of Little Rock. Since there was a room over the jail he got to keep living in public housing and he became the first American sheriff with lifetime Secret Service protection. I woke up during the part where he was using his big Secret Service limo to track down a speeder. Well, it all left me a little shaky until I realized it was just a dream and nothing more. After all, things like that couldn't happen in real life, could they?"

     If these forecasts so upset Schieffer he'd have called it a nightmare. I think he really does wish for "crazy stuff" like Republicans backing campaign finance reform.


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) Time discovered "Celtic mist" around Hillary as Schieffer is not the only reporter dreaming, or in this case, hallucinating about Senator Rodham. As reported by Tim Graham in last week's MRC MagazineWatch, the July 12 Time magazine featured a full-page "Viewpoint" piece by Time veteran Lance Morrow headlined, "Don't Cry for Me, Oneonta: Can it be that Bill Clinton is merely a prequel, the horse she rode in on?"

     To read the July 7 MagazineWatch, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/magwatch/mag19990707.html

     Morrow contended:
     "I think I see a sort of Celtic mist forming around Hillary as a new archetype (somewhere between Eleanor and Evita, transcending both) at a moment when the civilization pivots, at last, decisively -- perhaps for the first time since the advent of Christian patriarchy two millenniums ago -- toward Woman."

     Here are some excerpts from Morrow's hallucinating (in which he did concede that she has nothing to fear from the New York press since "its famous brutality is mostly saloon bragging by tabloid drunks on their tenth beer"):

The election results come to me in dreams. My kitchen table hops and thumps like a flamenco dancer. I ask it, "How do you think Hillary Clinton will do against Giuliani? What about the presidency in 2004?" The table tells me Hillary is a great American story forming. I seem to hear the distant voice of Madonna singing the lead.

Perhaps the table is talking me into something. I am a sucker for the opinions of agitated furniture. Sometimes I believe my television set when the Sunday-morning fortune-tellers are on. But it comes to me that with the Clintons, like it or not -- and I do not, much -- we are in the middle of a primal American saga and the important part is yet to come. Bill Clinton may be merely the prequel, the President of lesser moment -- except, so to speak, as the horse she rode in on....

Hillary Clinton has good instincts and is, I suspect, a lightning-fast learner. My seance informs me:

-- The carpetbagger issue hurts Hillary now but will matter less and less as her media presence saturates the state in the months to come -- Hillary everywhere on local news, wearing that Yankees cap, kissing babies, talking to mothers, posing with pigs at the state fair in September....

-- Rudy Giuliani will play disastrously as a candidate. He has performed well, if autocratically, as mayor of New York City, but rarely has a mayor of New York ever amounted to anything outside the five boroughs. Giuliani has alienated approximately 99.9% of the black vote (and the old pols' sneer "blacks don't vote" may not apply anymore). People upstate may admire the man who cleaned up Sodom and Gomorrah, but he will not wear well, I'd guess. With his combed-over death's-head countenance, his bullying instincts and his bizarre lack of self-awareness (he seems to entertain an idea he might be President), Giuliani makes a perfect heavy. If he gets rough with Hillary, it will backfire so violently that she will pick up 10% of the vote on sympathy.

-- The nasty New York press is said to be ready to eat Hillary alive. Nonsense. The New York press is a scarecrow. Its famous brutality is mostly saloon bragging by tabloid drunks on their 10th beer. Whitewater, Filegate, the commodity trades -- old business, forget it. After all, Ted Kennedy ran off a bridge a long time ago, and a woman drowned, and he's had 30 happy years in the Senate since then.

-- Gender will play heavily in Hillary's favor. A lot of upstate Republican women are confessing to friends that while they would not normally think of voting for the Democrat, the feministic appeal overrides their traditional loyalty. Hillary Clinton recapitulates, in her life, the origin myth of liberated white American woman -- the journey from the Friedanish frustrations of domesticity, from the shadow of the husband to the promised land of independence, power, autonomy as a woman.

Yet Hillary's victory will result mainly from this: she has Celebrity. In the politics of turn-of-the-millennium America, Celebrity trumps all else, even when it may be disreputable....

I think I see a sort of Celtic mist forming around Hillary as a new archetype (somewhere between Eleanor and Evita, transcending both) at a moment when the civilization pivots, at last, decisively -- perhaps for the first time since the advent of Christian patriarchy two millenniums ago -- toward Woman.

It may all be hallucination, of course (in which case I will bolt my kitchen table to the floor). But Hillary Clinton amounts to something more than herself, and anyone who underestimates that something is a fool.

     END Excerpt

     To read the entire piece, go to: http://cgi.pathfinder.com/time/magazine/articles/0,3266,27724,00.html


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes) One newspaper, two incredible headlines. How could anyone but liberal editors come up with these story ideas which both ran in the Saturday, July 10 Washington Post:

     -- In the A section, a story about the dangers of adopting a Republican tax cutting plan was headlined:
     "Proposed Tax Cuts Worry Pentagon: Officials Urge White House to Protect Military Modernization."

     The military sees Clinton as its protector? That's scarier than having an unmodernized military force.

     -- From the Religion section, the headline over a dispatch from the Religion News Service:
     "The President's Progress: Spiritual Advisers Praise Clinton's Efforts After Lewinsky Scandal."

     How reassuring.


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes) Geraldo Rivera would have had to kneel behind him to brown-nose any more to Dan Rather last Thursday night on CNBC''s Rivera Live. For his part Rather rebuked his colleagues for how they covered the Lewinsky scandal as "no journalist worthy of the name should have dealt with it to the extent that most of us did."

     As Rush Limbaugh speculated on Friday, Tom Brokaw has no respect for Geraldo, which infuriates the CNBC host, so maybe his fawning tribute to the anchor on a competing network is his way of expressing his frustration and getting even with Brokaw for not letting him ever appear on Nightly News.

     Whatever the reason, as MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens documented, Geraldo could not have been more sycophantic in opening the July 8 segment:
     "Up front tonight, 'Deadlines and Datelines.' Back in college Dan Rather's professor quoted the great journalist of the day who always told working reporters, 'Don't let the bastards scare you.' Young Dan took the advice to heart and we've all been the beneficiaries since then of his fine and fearless work. Now the longtime anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News has assembled a collection of his radio essays and newspaper articles in this fine book called, 'Deadlines and Datelines.' Our mutual friend Barbara Walters called the book, 'Warm, wise and witty.' I thought it was fantastic. I'm pleased to welcome Dan Rather to the program. A man I'm sure has personally witnessed more history than just about anyone on the planet. Dan welcome aboard. Delighted to have you."

     Rivera wasn't done heaping the praise: "I'll tell you when I fell in love with you. It was, you had just left 60 Minutes or were leaving, had not even left 60 Minutes yet. You had already gotten Cronkite's job on the CBS Evening News. You were therefore guaranteed one of the great plum assignments in all of television news. Probably the premier job at the time certainly. And you still went behind the lines in Afghanistan. You put your butt on the line at great personal risk. You came home with a terrific story only to be pilloried by our colleagues in the media as a grandstander. And I thought the criticism so unfair that I really identified with you and said, 'Here's a guy whose a real reporter and these guys can't take it.'"

     Rivera eventually managed to get to his favorite topic: bashing Ken Starr and defending Clinton:
     "Did we make a mistake in covering the President's sex scandal to the extent we did. Or does the end result, the fact that it did lead to an impeachment, justify the kind of lurid interest in the graphic details of what the President and Monica Lewinsky did in the Oval Office?"
     Rather replied: "No I don't think it justified it at all. I recognize that honest, decent intending journalists can disagree about this. Look the impeachment of a President and an attempt to remove the President from office is a big story by anybody's measurement. But there was far too much dwelling on what I consider to be the details at the edges of the story and particularly in the early going but not confined to that completely. The reporting of every salacious detail and particularly running with rumor and gossip with no sourcing, never mind double sourcing, which I'm committed too and believe in a minimum of two sources. But there was just so much of that....
     "There's a place in society for gossip and yes for that matter rumor. But from where I sit no journalist worthy of the name should have dealt with it to the extent that most of us did, nearly all of us did over what, well over a year."

     What particular false facts concern Rather? He didn't say but I bet it's not any of the several false stories the White House put out, about what happened in the grand jury, to make Starr look bad.

     Rivera: "Did the mainstream media overblow Ken Starr and underestimate the President?"
     Rather: "Yes. I think the record shows that."
     Rivera, exempting himself: "And in so doing did we, well I don't include myself in that, I have to because, did we underestimate the voice of the American people? Did we, you know, in that first rush when some were saying his presidency was measured in days. I know you were caught in Cuba when the story broke. You to your credit at least stayed around in Cuba for a while, the Pope was visiting. But many rushed back because they thought the President would be resigning within days if Lewinsky's story was proven true. Did we not credit the American people? Did we not listen to the voice of the people?"
     Rather: "Absolutely Geraldo. And this was the biggest mistake many of us made was to once again underestimate the American people, underestimate the audience. It's one of the great mistakes that journalists, including this one, make over and over again. We also underestimated Bill Clinton. Whether you like him or not like him this is one of the great, get up, political fighters of all time. I know you box and you're very good at it Geraldo and I once tried to. And among one's peers in the boxing world there's no great accolade than to say, 'He's a get up fighter.' You knock him down and he gets up. Maybe he has to take an 8 count but he gets up. And Bill Clinton for whatever else he is or is not, once again proved what a great get up fighter he is. I know a lot of people say well, it isn't justified that we allow him to do that. But there's something inside Bill Clinton and time and again, that get's him to get up and keep on moving forward. And we consistently underestimated it and we did in this Lewinsky mess case. I do want to come back to Ken Starr. I think we also underestimated Ken Starr."
     Rivera: "Underestimated him?"
     Rather: "I think we underestimated Ken Starr."
     Rivera: "Well not around here. We don't like him very much."

     On that intriguing note about underestimating Starr the interview ended as the show went to a commercial.


snow0712.jpg (12774 bytes)cyberno6.gif (1129 bytes) Hillary Clinton: Aboard the Goldwater-Miller team. Tony Snow: Unkempt socialist and anti-war protester. Things do change. In his end of the show "Parting Thoughts" Fox News Sunday host Tony Snow showed the name "Hillary Rodham" on a 1964 sign up sheet at her high school for Citizens for Goldwater-Miller.

     Snow warned that her enemies should resist criticizing her change of heart since many may have a past they'd wish remain unknown. He then outed himself:
     "Now Mrs. Clinton has taken some heat from Republicans for her propensity to change things such as her views on health care and the Middle East. But critics might want to examine their own pasts, before they take to hurling stones, especially about youthful enthusiasms. Consider this unlovely image. [on screen: University of Chicago student ID photo of guy with long hair and a bushy beard] This Charlie Manson-like character was a high school socialist and a war protester. He studied Russian and visited the Soviet Union. His looks here as a graduate student provoked tears of fear from babies and girlfriends' fathers. Yet he later worked in a Republican White House, espoused family values and more recently was observed committing conservatism in public places. As I said, things change. Thank God I cut my hair."

     ++ To see the old Snow, go to the MRC's home page late Monday morning where the MRC's Kristina Sewell and Sean Henry will post both a still image of the student ID photo as well as a RealPlayer clip of Snow's "Parting Thoughts." Go to: http://www.mrc.org


cyberno7.gif (1643 bytes) From the July 9 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Hillary Clinton Internet Screen Names." Copyright 1999 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.

10. Soon2BeSingle
9. NoDNAHere
8. CarpetBagger99
7. 2Powerful2Go2Jail
6. BiteMeTipper
5. Mad@bill.com
4. Good@lying.com
3. RudySux
2. I'veNeverHeldElectedOfficeOrSetFootInNewYorkButIStillHaveThe GallToRun4Senator
1. Secrets2China

     From the Late Show Web page, some of "the extra jokes that didn't quite make it into the Top Ten." Letterman's Web address with a complete Top Ten archive: http://marketing.cbs.com/lateshow

-- BillChiller
-- KillStarr
-- BubbaLuvr
-- Sleepsalone
-- FakeNewYorker
-- WhereDaFiles

     Just like with CBS News, a mention of Filegate didn't quite make it onto the air. -- Brent Baker


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