Gerth on Citibank Tanked; FNC Revealed Trie Leads Being Suppressed
1) In the same paragraph the
New York Times applied different ideological labeling standards to a
liberal and a conservative.
2) The New York Times
published Jeff Gerth's exclusive about how Citibank is impeding an
investigation of money transfers from China, but didn't put it on page
one. The networks ignored it.
3) FNC's Carl Cameron
outlined how Justice failed to pursue leads in the Chung and Huang cases
and "political pressure" is now suppressing pursuit of Trie's
charge that top Democrats "knew he was receiving illegal foreign
4) Instead of exploring
Chinagate issues on Tuesday night ABC ran a soundbite from a Kennedy about
how the U.S. wasn't a democracy until the 1960s and CBS highlighted
Hillary's opposition research.
5) "The Virginia
Democratic Party, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Mary Sue Terry,...1993
Democratic gubernatorial candidate," all swapped fundraising lists
with Washington's PBS station.
6) MTV news host Kurt Loder
compared Woodstock '99 to a "concentration camp" in blaming
organizers for the rioting.
the Chinagate revelations the networks ignored, all in one place. The MRC
has created a new Web page featuring a compilation of MRC analysis of
Chinagate disclosures and what many media outlets have not covered about
Chinese espionage and technology transfers. The page lists links to MRC
Special Reports, Media Reality Check fax reports, MediaWatch studies,
op-ed pieces and columns, as well as video contrasts comparing network
coverage of China versus Iran-Contra. Plus, videos of some Fox News
Channel explorations of subjects the other networks wouldn't touch. Go
Up first today: A quick quiz. Below are three takes on the same paragraph.
One is what actually ran as the third paragraph of a story in the
"Washington Final" edition of the July 27 New York Times. The
other two are made up, but only differ by one word from what really
appeared. Can you identify the real one?
investigations are led by Representative Dan Burton, an Indiana
Republican, and Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat."
investigations are led by Representative Dan Burton, a conservative
Indiana Republican, and Senator Carl Levin, a liberal Michigan
investigations are led by Representative Dan Burton, a conservative
Indiana Republican, and Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat."
Answer: C. Options
A and B would reflect equal labeling of both politicians, but New York
Times editors chose to be a little biased and only found Burton worth
The New York Times
Web site version of the same story offered a shorter, yet equally labeling
imbalanced, version of the same paragraph: "The investigations are
led by Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., a conservative, and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich."
To learn from
which story this paragraph was lifted, see item #2 below.
Tuesday's New York Times featured Jeff Gerth's piece on how Citibank
is not cooperating with congressional investigations over money transfer
from China, a story the Drudge Report discovered was held since last
Friday. Monday night Matt Drudge reported that "the story that will
appear on Tuesday is said to be a 'moderation' of Gerth's original
report. The efforts of a congressional committee that is currently
investigating the cash trail from China appears to have been de-emphasized
in the final edit."
It was also bumped
off the front page and placed on page A6, not that the placement would
have any impact on the networks picking up the story since they regularly
ignore Clinton scandal developments plastered across the front page.
and night the three broadcast networks skipped Gerth's exclusive about
the probes directed by a Republican and a Democrat. CNN also ignored the
story on both Inside Politics and The World Today. Only FNC touched it in
a Carl Cameron story which delivered other fresh information. See item #3
below for details.
reflecting last-minute editing, the version in the printed newspaper
differs from what appeared on the paper's Web site as item #1 above
noted. The first editing change appears in the very first clause. The
printed version in the "Washington Final" editions begins:
"Two congressional investigations, set off from different starting
The Web version
starts: "Two congressional investigations, launched from different
With that noted,
here are excerpts of Gerth's July 27 story as taken from the Web-posted
version, headlined: "Under Scrutiny: Citibank's Handling of
High-Profile Foreigners' Accounts."
WASHINGTON -- Two congressional
investigations, launched from different starting points, are examining
Citibank and the confidential world of private banking, a growing and
highly lucrative service.
The investigations, led by lawmakers who
rarely find common cause, are examining how Citibank -- and a handful of
other institutions -- handle the private accounts of foreign officials and
their relatives. The investigations are likely to result in the closest
scrutiny yet by Congress of private banking.
The investigations are led by Rep. Dan
Burton, R-Ind., a conservative, and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.
Burton is looking at allegations of Chinese
involvement in the financing of the 1996 American election campaign,
including $300,000 in Chinese government money for the Democratic Party
that was wired from Citibank's Hong Kong branch.
Levin, aides say, wants to know how half a
dozen American banks managed sensitive foreign accounts, including
Citibank's work for powerful families in Asia, Africa and Central America.
Citibank, a unit of Citigroup Inc., entered
the private-banking business in the 1970s, taking some business away from
the highly secretive Swiss banks. Citibank is a leader in global finance,
and while its private bank is relatively small, it has attracted elite
But some customers have come under intense
law enforcement scrutiny, and so too has the private bank.
First came Raul Salinas de Gortari, who is
the brother of Mexico's former president and who is currently in jail in
Mexico. Raul Salinas secreted millions in a Citibank account, money that
investigators suspect came from illicit activities....
More recently there was Liu Chaoying, the
daughter of China's former top military official and the reported
paymaster for $300,000 in Chinese military money intended for the
Democratic Party in 1996, according to testimony from a participant in the
The Salinas investigation has caused
Citibank to tighten its policies.
"Since the Salinas episode, the bank's
policy on accepting public figures as customers has toughened," said
Tom Lahiff, a vice president and lawyer for Citibank. "Public figures
are not a target market," he said, adding that public figures who do
become clients are reviewed annually by top executives....
Last week Burton, chairman of the House
committee on government reform, complained in a letter to Citibank about
"undue delays" and a "seeming lack of compliance" with
a committee subpoena for records on the $300,000 wired to a Democratic
fundraiser. Bank records list the sender as Ms. Liu, a Chinese military
officer and aerospace executive whose father was then China's senior
"We've been quite responsive to the
committee in a short time frame," Lahiff said. "We sent an
additional document today and by the end of the week we will have given
them everything we can."
Ms. Liu's Citibank transfer came a few days
after the head of Chinese military intelligence told Ms. Liu and the
fund-raiser, Johnny Chung, that he would soon have Ms. Liu forward
$300,000 to Chung to support President Clinton and the Democratic Party,
according to Chung's testimony last May before Burton's committee. Chung
pleaded guilty to campaign-related charges, and was sentenced to probation
after cooperating with investigators.
In his letter last week, Burton also
questioned the lack of authorized signatures for Citibank accounts held by
the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank. Last year federal
bank regulators had similar questions about these accounts as they tried
to trace tens of millions of dollars from the central bank to an account
at Citibank Private Bank that was controlled by the daughter of one of the
Communist Party's old guard, government documents show. The woman is the
sister-in-law of Ms. Liu and a former official at a small California bank
that served the Chinese business community.
Lahiff said the incomplete documentation
stemmed from banking laws, common in some countries, including China, that
"prohibit our production of certain information."....
If you are a
registered user of the New York Times online edition, you can read the
whole piece by going to: http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/global/072799citibank-probe.html
Monday night: "Gerth left out specific details of the bank's lack of
cooperation with investigators. Congressional investigators have
subpoenaed bank account records of suspected money runners. Citibank has
balked at providing the records, citing, among other things, a 'language
barrier' problem with its Hong Kong office."
The Drudge Report
Web site includes the text of the letter Congressman Dan Burton sent last
week to Thomas Lahiff Jr., Citibank VP for legal affairs, demanding
immediate cooperation in providing details about the money transfer to
Johnny Chung. Burton offered solutions for two the impediments Citibank
claimed to have encountered:
In your conversation, you also represented
that you are having difficulty acquiring answers to the Committee's
inquiries due to two main obstacles: (1) the "twelve hour time
differen[tial]" between New York, New York and Hong Kong which has
forced you to call Hong Kong at 1:30 a.m.; and (2) the "language
barrier." which has made communications difficult.
I am confident that as a Vice President of
an international bank with locations spanning the globe you and your
company have developed efficient and effective ways of communicating
across time zones. In the event that Citibank is not as sophisticated as I
have been led to believe, e-mail would seem to be an available form of
communication for a multi-national corporation.
Furthermore, with regard to the
"language barrier," I have a simple suggestion. Call the
Citibank, N.A., Hong Kong, legal department. Mr. Griffin has spoken with
individuals there. As I'm sure you are aware, they are fluent speakers of
the English language. Whatever method you choose, it is evident to me that
a number of employees in the Hong Kong office -- from teller to counsel --
should be able to determine the existence of the account in question.
END Excerpt of
To read the entire
letter go to: http://www.drudgereport.com
The Justice Department knew back in 1997 about the $300,000 transfer to
Johnny Chung, but "did not thoroughly investigate it," FNC's
Carl Cameron revealed Tuesday night.
Cameron charged that deputies to Janet Reno frustrated a probe of the
Buddhist temple fundraising and disclosed that some prosecutors are now
"fighting to continue their investigation of [Charlie] Trie's
assertion that senior White House and Democratic Party officials knew he
was receiving illegal foreign contributions" from entities "with
ties to both the Chinese government and Asian organized crime." But,
a source told Cameron, there is "incredible political pressure to
wrap up Trie's case" and "close down" the entire campaign
led the July 27 Special Report with Brit Hume at 6pm ET/9pm PT and a
briefer version ran on the 7pm ET Fox Report.
Cameron set up his
disturbing revelations: "The three most significant suspects in the
four-year-old China fundraising scandal, John Huang, Charlie Trie and
Johnny Chung are all expected to have plea bargained to minor fundraising
abuses and been sentenced to probation within the next three weeks. The
Justice Department once labeled the China money investigation its largest
and most important case -- over a hundred agents and prosecutors. Buy
Attorney General Janet Reno's team blew it, according to a recent
Inspector General's report which concluded that leads were not followed
and feet were dragged. Now some investigators, and members of Congress,
fear the case is being allowed to peter out."
each of the three cases, starting with Johnny Chung who is on probation
after agreeing to cooperate and testifying to a House committee that in
1996 he "funneled money from the head of China's military
intelligence to the Democratic National Committee."
story, Cameron intoned: "But documents obtained by Fox News indicate
that Justice had Chung's bank records as evidence of that back in
November of 1997 and did not thoroughly investigate it. Chung received
more than $2 million in Chinese currency, the equivalent of about $300,000
U.S. dollars, in a Citibank wire transfer from Liu Chao Ying, a Lieutenant
Colonel in the Chinese military. Justice never even tried to trace the
money, or it could have discovered that the cash came from China's top
moved to John Huang who faces charges on August 2 for illegal donations to
a local campaign in California. Cameron reviewed his history:
"Huang also admits funneling illegal Chinese
contributions to the Democratic National Committee, but there are no
charges for that. Huang was also involved in the infamous Buddhist Temple
fundraiser attended by Vice President Al Gore, at which foreign
contributions were laundered through Buddhist nuns and monks. Fox News has
learned that shortly after the 1996 event a federal prosecutor in the
California U.S. Attorney's office wanted to investigate, but Attorney
General Janet Reno's lieutenants halted the subpoenas. Three years later
no one has been or is expected to be charged."
got to Charlie Trie and how Justice may be ignoring his leads: "Trie's
sentencing for fraud is scheduled for August 12, but sources say that may
be delayed because some prosecutors are fighting to continue their
investigation of Trie's assertion that senior White House and Democratic
Party officials knew he was receiving illegal foreign contributions from,
among others, a Macao businessman with ties to both the Chinese government
and Asian organized crime. And a senior prosecutor in the Justice
Department's campaign finance task force says as of now no decision has
been made to postpone Trie's sentencing or to investigate any of his
additional allegations. In fact, the source says, there is incredible
political pressure to wrap up Trie's case, sentence him quickly and
shortly thereafter close down the entire investigation."
Chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, appeared later on
FNC's The O'Reilly Factor to discuss Reno's decisions and the
Citibank situation. Previewing his show on the Fox Report, O'Reilly
opined: "I think all Americans should take a deep breath and say we
got an Attorney General here who's not enforcing the law and that's
Cameron's story. By 10am ET Wednesday MRC Webmaster Sean Henry will have
Cameron's piece up on the MRC home page in RealPlayer format. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
Instead of doing some original reporting like Cameron or simply reciting
Jeff Gerth's New York Times story what were the networks doing Tuesday
night? ABC ran a soundbite from a Kennedy about how the U.S. wasn't a
democracy until the 1960s and CBS happily highlighted an opposition
research find passed along by Hillary operatives about how in 1964 Rudy
Giuliani rejected the carpetbagger issue used against Robert Kennedy.
On July 27, CBS,
CNN and NBC all led with the heat wave and the drought. ABC went first
with the FDA's approval of a new anti-flu drug to be sold under the name
After stories on
mistakes made by bounty hunters and China's crackdown on the Falun Gong
sect, Peter Jennings closed World News Tonight with a tribute to federal
Judge Frank Johnson of Alabama who died last week. The
Eisenhower-appointed judge decided many of the most important civil rights
cases in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Jennings explained, including the
Rosa Parks bus case and forcing localities to allow the Selma to
Montgomery march. In the piece Robert F. Kennedy Jr. claimed:
"Johnson came in and finally completed the American Revolution and
made this country a democracy for the first time in history."
Like CNN and FNC,
the CBS Evening News ran a story on Rudy Giuliani's trip to Arkansas to,
as anchor John Roberts put it, "attack her carpetbag and fill his
money bag." On the carpetbagger issue Diana Olick relayed the Hillary
Clinton camp's counter-punch from the October 9, 1964 edition of
something called Manhattan Quadrangle: "Her supporters provided us
with a column from 1964. The author, then Democrat Rudy Giuliani, defended
Robert F. Kennedy's New York Senate aspirations. 'The carpetbagger
issue...is a truly ridiculous reason for not voting for a man in the year
networks haven't touched Chinagate this month, but Monday night CNN did
update viewers on how Wen Ho Lee will probably face a lesser charge than
espionage. As MRC analyst Paul Smith noted, on the July 26 The World Today
Pierre Thomas reported:
"If Lee is charged, it won't likely be for
espionage but probably for gross negligence in handling classified
information. According to law enforcement sources, that lesser charge is
likely because Justice officials do not yet have direct evidence of Lee
passing classified material to anyone. And there's no evidence of any
payoffs. Given those facts, Lee's supporters are pointing to dozens of
similar cases involving government secrets. Among the cases sited, former
CIA director John Deutch, accused of improperly storing classified
information at his home. Staffers for Iran-Contra independent counsel
Lawrence Walsh lost a secret document during that investigation."
Washington's WETA-TV, a major provider of programming to the PBS system,
has conceded its list exchanges for fundraising tilted heavily toward
In a front page
story in the July 27 Fairfax Journal, a Virginia suburban daily, reporter
Stephen Henn wrote:
"The Virginia Democratic Party, Sen. Barbara
Mikulski, D-Md., and Mary Sue Terry, former Virginia Attorney General and
1993 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, swapped fundraising lists with
the region's largest public television broadcaster, Arlington-based WETA,
a station official conceded yesterday.
"WETA, which carries Sesame Street, Nova and
the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer among other programs on channel 26, began
swapping its contributors list with partisan groups more than a decade ago
and sold donor lists to a third-party broker working for Mikulski's
Senate campaign as recently as last year...."
Later, Henn added
that WETA spokeswoman Mary "Stewart said most of the partisan groups
that traded with WETA were Democratic, but she noted several Republican
organizations also swapped with the station."
organizations," meaning not the Republican National Committee but
some unnamed groups.
nothing illegal about what WETA did, their list preferences demonstrate
how they realize Democrats and liberals are their base of support.
For background on
the controversy over PBS stations exchanging or renting lists with
political groups, go to the July 16 and 21 CyberAlert issues: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990716.html#3
For the testimony
of the MRC's Tim Graham before a House committee last week, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/press/news/pr19990720a.html
Woodstock as deadly as a concentration camp? Yes, according to MTV newsman
Kurt Loder who blamed organizers for the destructive rioting which took
place at Woodstock '99 on Sunday night.
MRC analyst Mark
Drake came across Loder's thinking in Tuesday's USA Today in which Ann
"He blamed the 'remote' and 'ugly'
setup at Griffiss Air Base in Rome NY. 'It was like a concentration
camp. To get in, you get frisked to make sure you're not bringing in any
water or food that would prevent you from buying from their outrageously
priced booths. You wallow around in garbage and human waste. There was a
palpable mood of anger.'"
The people who
should really be angry are those who lost relatives murdered in Nazi
concentration camps who now hear that equated with what people had to
endure for a weekend at a rock concert they voluntarily attended. --
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