CBS Bought Hillary's "Candor"; $90,000 Skipped in AM; "Stupid Tax Cut"
1) Fox's Brit Hume said
"it sounds like such twaddle. It doesn't have the ring of
truth." But on Sunday night ABC and CBS reporters called Hillary's
Talk comments "frank." CBS saw "a picture of a man who
couldn't help himself and a woman who wouldn't give up."
2) Judge Wright's $90,000
fine of Clinton ignored by ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's This
Morning. Today gave it 15 seconds. Actor Richard Gere denounced
3) Linda Tripp's indictment
generated full stories on all the evening shows except NBC Nightly News. A
pleased Eleanor Clift called it "an appropriate sanction."
4) "I'm with the
Democrats on this one," declared Newsweek's Evan Thomas in
denouncing "this stupid tax cut."
5) George Will pointed out
that "the President shut the government down, the media said the
Congress shut the government down, the media story stuck."
6) Fox's Carl Cameron
revealed how a Justice official stymied the Buddhist temple probe by
shutting down the local prosecutor.
7) The Atlanta shooting
"may have been loud enough to put gun control back in the
spotlight," but CBS anchor John Roberts bemoaned how "it might
not be enough to spark serious change."
8) The first broadcast network
mention of Chinagate in two months came in an NBC story on...the Panama
9) Talking to Colin Powell
about ROTC in high school, Today's Matt Lauer worried: "Do you
think it's a good idea to be putting them in contact with guns in high
The July 30 CyberAlert mistakenly referred to Bill Clinton's lawyer as
Bill Bennett, it's Bob Bennett. The same issue also misspelled the last
name of Lee Radek of the Justice Department.
Hillary Clinton put forth some liberal psychobabble about how her husband
was so traumatized by seeing his mother and grandmother fight that he
couldn't resist Monica Lewinsky, and the networks bought it. Sunday
night ABC and CBS reporters called her comments, in the premiere issue of
Talk magazine, "frank." CBS's Sharyl Attkisson also labeled
them "revealing" and John Roberts insisted she showed
"considerable candor" in painting "a picture of a man who
couldn't help himself and a woman who wouldn't give up."
Oh, please gag me.
Not once was a doubtful word about the First Lady's veracity heard in
the pieces which led the August 1 World News Tonight on ABC and CBS
Evening News or in the story run a few minutes into the NBC Nightly News.
viewers at least heard her claims questioned. In perfect synergy, ABC's
This Week led with a discussion about the interview in the Disney-owned
magazine whose editor appeared on Monday's Good Morning America and will
get more publicity on Wednesday's 20/20. In the opening roundtable
George Will suggested:
"She is the very model of the modern liberal
mind in which every individual is the sum of his or her traumas....On the
question of fact, that is was there child abuse and if so what sort. On
that question of fact all we have to go on is what some Clinton has said,
so some skepticism is not out of order."
Over on Fox News
Sunday Morton Kondracke on Roll Call ruminated: "What I find
incredible about the interview is that Mrs. Clinton actually believed that
for a very long period, ten years or so, before the Monica Lewinsky case
broke, he had controlled his weakness....There is a story that came out in
the Bob Woodward book about how Bob Bennett, the President's lawyer, was
going to ask him about a case that occurred supposedly in the Governor's
mansion right before the inauguration of President Clinton in 1993. So,
that doesn't figure. Either she was completely out of the loop about all
this stuff, didn't know that it was going on, or she knew and she's
fibbing to talk magazine."
So, she's either
a dimwit or a liar.
Washington Managing Editor of Fox News, chose the latter: "The
trouble with this explanation is that it sounds like such twaddle. It
doesn't have the ring of truth."
referring to Clinton's liaisons with Marilyn Jo Jenkins. See the June 14
CyberAlert for details: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990614.html#6)
This kind of
skepticism was absent in the CBS and ABC newsrooms in New York City.
from the First Lady. In a published interview Mrs. Clinton explains why
she has stayed with her husband," exclaimed anchor John Roberts at
the top of Sunday's CBS Evening News. He then opened the show:
"Good evening. In a move that some
Washington insiders say may hurt her chances at a Senate run, First Lady
Hillary Clinton has talked at length, and with considerable candor, about
her relationship with the President and why she has stayed the course with
their marriage. As Sharyl Attkisson reports, the First Lady's words
paint a picture of a man who couldn't help himself and a woman who
wouldn't give up."
began: "In the revealing interview to be published this week in the
premiere issue of Talk magazine, the First Lady acknowledges that even
though she knew of past infidelities, she was caught completely off guard
by the President's affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. 'I thought this
was resolved ten years ago,' she says. 'I thought he had conquered
"Mrs. Clinton reveals the President was
'scarred by abuse' when he was four and there was a terrible conflict
between his mother and grandmother. It was this psychological trauma, she
suggests, that lies at the root of his behavior. As Monica Lewinsky
testified before the grand jury, strains in the First Couple's
relationship were evident. It seemed even daughter Chelsea couldn't
bridge the gulf. Things apparently got even worse when it became clear
Lewinsky was telling the truth."
Bill Clinton, September 11, 1998: "I don't
think there is a fancy way to say that I have sinned."
Attkisson: "One aide says Mrs. Clinton
barely spoke to her husband for the next eight months. Today Hillary
Clinton has apparently reconciled the embarrassing episode, calling it
'a sin of weakness' not malice. Mrs. Clinton's chief of staff is
quoted as saying 'physical passion' has returned to the First
Couple's lives. Mrs. Clinton says 'there has been enormous pain,
enormous anger, but I have been with him half my life and he is a very,
very good man. We just have a deep connection that transcends whatever
Attkisson concluded: "Mrs. Clinton may have
finally chosen to give intimate details of her marriage to put to rest
persistent questions that could dog her as a candidate for elected office.
Now she can say she's answered the most often asked question about her:
Why does she stay with him?"
I'm sure like me
you are relieved to know "physical passion" has returned to
their lives. But with whom?
Attkisson's flattering story. Monday morning the MRC's Sean Henry and
Kristina Sewell will post a portion of it in RealPayer format. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
On ABC, World News
Tonight anchor Carole Simpson breathlessly announced:
"They are long-awaited words from the First
Lady and they come in the middle of her listening tour in New York as she
campaigns for a likely run for the Senate. In an interview in the new
magazine Talk, she answers many of the questions that Americans have been
wondering about since the Monica Lewinsky scandal first broke."
Reporter Karla Davis relayed how Hillary claimed
Bill's infidelity is "a weakness caused by childhood abuse,"
quoting Hillary from the magazine: "He was so young, barely four,
when he was scarred by abuse...There was a terrible conflict between his
mother and grandmother."
Davis noted how she "admitted she knew he
had been unfaithful but thought he had changed after the Gennifer Flowers
affair. She says 'I thought this was resolved ten years ago. I thought
he had conquered it. I thought he understood it, but he didn't go deep
enough or work hard enough.' Political pundits are already asking, is
frank talk smart strategy for someone eying a Senate seat?"
from USA Today's Susan Page and ABC's anchor-in-training George
Stephanopoulos, who said the comments were unwise because they remind
voters of an issue they'd like to forget, Davis concluded by passing
along Hillary's praise of her husband:
"As to why Mrs. Clinton stays with her
husband, she says quote: 'There has been enormous pain, enormous anger,
but I have been with him half my life and he is a very, very good
No exploration of
how her assessment of him as a "very, very good man" might be
contradicted by Juanita Broaddrick's claim he raped her. Remember her?
The media don't.
15 seconds on Today. That's the total morning show time allocated Friday
morning to federal Judge Susan Webber Wright's $90,000 sanction on Bill
Clinton for lying in the Paula Jones case she oversaw. As noted in the
July 30 CyberAlert, on Thursday night, July 29, the CBS Evening News and
NBC Nightly News ran full stories while ABC's World News Tonight gave
the unprecedented sanction of a President a piddling 22 seconds.
The next morning,
Today news reader Sara James read a 15-second item about how President
Clinton would pay the fine without appeal. But neither ABC's Good
Morning America or CBS's This Morning aired a syllable about it, MRC
analysts Jessica Anderson and Brian Boyd observed. Both shows spent most
of the morning on the Atlanta shooting, but still found time for other
issues. GMA squeezed in first hour items on Clinton arriving in Sarajevo
and interviewed actor Richard Gere in the 8am half hour so they could
devote the whole 8:30am half hour to Trisha Yearwood.
(Discussing how he
became involved in human rights issues, after he was finished plugging his
new movie The Runaway Bride, Gere asserted: "I think, probably when I
started to get most serious about this was in Central American issues, and
again, it was U.S. involvement. What we were doing, what we were
supporting in Central America is horrific, what we did in El Salvador,
what we did in Nicaragua, what we did in Guatemala. We supported the wrong
people constantly, and there was a lot of brutality in our name that we
In its prime 8am
half hour This Morning conducted an interview segment about an upcoming
auction of Marilyn Monroe's property.
Live coverage of
the Atlanta shooting bumped Thursday's Inside Politics on CNN and The
World Today covered only the shooting, but CNN did not update viewers on
Friday as neither show mentioned Wright's sanction. On Inside Politics
host Judy Woodruff plugged an upcoming segment: "And still ahead on
Inside Politics, a major political story that was overshadowed by events
in Atlanta yesterday." But it wasn't the fine, as she outlined
another legitimate news story: "After much protest and legal battling
California calls off efforts to carry out a ballot measure that sparked
anti-immigration moves in Washington."
In a very brief
discussion about Wright's ruling on Sunday's CNN Late Edition, USA
Today's Susan Page observed: "Remarkable to me how little publicity
USA Today didn't even put it on the front page.
The indictment Friday of Linda Tripp for taping her own phone calls
generated full stories on ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News,
CNN's The World Today, FNC's Fox Report and MSNBC's The News with
Brian Williams, but just a few seconds on the NBC Nightly News.
While all but NBC
ran a soundbite from her spokesman or lawyer lashing out at the outrage
over the prosecution, none aired any comments from civil libertarians
upset by the outrageous law or journalism advocates disturbed she's
being punished for sharing information about wrongdoing with a reporter,
if any such people exist.
Serafin allowed her spokesman, Philip Coughter, to say: "The most
disgraceful, transparently politically motivated campaign of vengeance in
recent American history."
On the CBS Evening
News Phil Jones began: "Linda Tripp has tried desperately to shed her
image as the villain in the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, including changes in
her looks and pleading for sympathy...Today she became more than a
villain." Jones played this from lawyer Stephen Kohn: "One of
the most important whistleblowers in American history is facing ten years
in prison, $20,000 in fine, to be branded as a felon."
Jones concluded: "Now Tripp has become the
only central figure to face criminal charges. Monica Lewinsky enjoyed
immunity and wrote a book, and Bill Clinton has survived. He was in
Sarajevo today, still President."
"Where is the
ACLU to protect her here?" asked The Weekly Standard's Tucker
Carlson on Sunday's Late Edition. So much for the media and liberals
On the McLaughlin
Group Newsweek's Eleanor Clift asserted Wright's sanction was proper
as was the indictment of Tripp:
"It's appropriate and this is where this
should have been dealt with from the beginning, in the court of law and
not taken into the Congress. And I would also like to point out another
appropriate sanction and that is the indictment this week of Linda Tripp
for illegally recording a friend and it was those recordings, exposing a
private affair that had been over that launched this whole ridiculous
Monica Lewinsky affair that paralyzed the nation for a year."
Talk about blaming
Eleanor Clift's boss, Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas,
lashed out at "this stupid tax cut."
Washington over the weekend, carried on many PBS stations outside of
Washington, DC, host Gordon Peterson summarized how Democrats denigrated
the Republican tax cut plan as "a package of nearly $800 billion in
tax reductions that some Democrats described as irresponsible, crazy, a
boondoggle for the rich. How would you describe it Evan?"
Evan Thomas: "I'm with the Democrats on
this one. I think they ought to take that surplus, put a fence around it
and keep it for the entitlement programs because we're going to need
lamented how no one is taking advantage of the surplus as an opportunity
to reform Medicare: "They are blowing a chance to make a deal. This
is the absolute prime moment when they ought to be doing reform and
instead they're talking about this stupid tax cut."
Will Republicans be "crazy enough" to shutdown the government
again, asked ABC's Cokie Roberts? No, George Will explained, it was the
media which claimed they did last time.
On Sunday's This
Week on ABC host Cokie Roberts asked Bill Kristol: "Now I want to
know if you think the Republicans are crazy enough to allow a government
shutdown? I mean how many times do you have to get burned? They've been
burned over and over and over again on Medicare, do they get burned on
this one more than once too?"
replied, George Will pointed out: "What made the last government
shutdown a really epochal event in this town and in American government in
the '90s was that the President shut the government down, the media said
the Congress shut the government down, the media story stuck and the
President knows and the Congress knows that the President can do it
Fox News Sunday's first guest: Charles LaBella, the former head of the
fundraising scandal probe who lost his appointment to be U.S. Attorney in
San Diego when he pressed for an independent counsel. He was quite
reticent to criticize anyone in particular or to assign political motives
for the lack of prosecutions, but before he appeared the show ran a piece
from Carl Cameron which raised an instance of a blocked probe.
was largely a merger of his July 27 and 28 FNC stories (http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html)
about the lack of pursuit of leads in several cases related to fundraising
tied to China, but he added this new information:
"...The Buddhist Temple event laundered
illegal contributions. California Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Mansfield
quickly launched the first investigation, but was ordered to stop, and
told that an independent counsel should handle it by the head of the
Justice Department's public integrity section, Lee Radek. But Radek, at
the same time, was telling the Attorney General, Janet Reno, that an
independent counsel was not needed. The investigation for a short time
stalled and temple nuns destroyed evidence, later admitting it was to
protect the Vice President."
CBS used the Atlanta shooting as another opening to push gun control.
While the July 30 CBS Evening News story gave time to both sides, its
agenda matched those pushing more gun control as anchor John Roberts
hoped: "The shots that rang out in the Atlanta massacre were heard
clearly by lawmakers on Capitol Hill today. While it may have been loud
enough to put gun control back in the spotlight, CBS's Diana Olick
reports it might not be enough to spark serious change."
"As Americans were still learning the details of yet one more mass
shooting, their lawmakers in Congress today were taking the next step in
the battle over gun control."
Democrat John Conyers talked about the need for
background checks before Olick continued: "Last Spring, in the wake
of school shootings in Littleton Colorado and Conyers Georgia, the Senate
passed a juvenile justice bill that did include some gun control, but in
its bill last month the House knocked it out."
Republican Saxby Chambliss insisted he would
oppose any chipping away at the Bill of Rights. Olick assumed passing a
bill would be good: "That's why the odds of passing any gun control
are slim, especially when faced with the powerful influence of the
National Rifle Association whose President had this response to the
Charlton Heston: "There are, as I said,
22,000 gun laws. The problem is enforcing them. There's no point in
having a law if you don't enforce it."
Olick to John Lewis: "Are you optimistic
that they're going to get any gun control into this bill?"
Lewis: "I'm not optimistic but we must not
Olick: "Congressman John Lewis, who
represents the Georgia district where yesterday's shootings took place,
doesn't believe yet another massacre will make any difference."
Lewis: "We have a great distance to go and I
don't think this Congress has the courage to take the necessary steps to
control the proliferation of guns in America."
Olick concluded: "Members of the House and
Senate could begin negotiating the final juvenile justice bill next week,
but no one's making any promises on guns. One thing's for sure though,
kids will be heading back to school before Congress makes much headway on
60 Minutes aired an interview with Wen Ho Lee Sunday night in which the
Los Alamos scientist maintained his innocence, but the night before NBC
Nightly News aired the first broadcast network mention in two months of
Chinese espionage and influence on the 1996 election -- from a Panamanian
The July 31 NBC
newscast ended with a piece from George Lewis on the closing down of the
U.S. Southern Command based in Panama as the U.S. prepares to turn over
the canal to Panama at the end of the year. Noting that Panama is now
spending a lot of money to modernize it, Lewis added:
"Some of that increased capacity will come
because of new port facilities, this one built by the Chinese shipping
firm Hutchinson Lampoa (sp?). Now with the departure of American troops,
some members of the U.S. Congress are worried about the growing Chinese
presence in Panama."
Bob Barr: "My concern and the concern of
many up here on the Hill is that communist China is now poised to fill
that power void."
Roberto Eisenmann, journalist: "No, I'm
more worried about the Chinese having atomic secrets from the United
States and financing U.S. presidential campaigns than I am about the
never get hired by a U.S. network.
Finally, an issue on which the media and Colin Powell disagree: guns.
Interviewing retired General Powell and Army Secretary Louis Caldera on
Friday morning, July 30, about an expansion of the ROTC program in high
schools, Today co-host Matt Lauer raised a liberal issue item.
As noted by MRC
analyst Mark Drake, Lauer demanded of Powell, who was interviewed via
satellite from a high school in Washington, DC where gun ownership is
banned yet over 300 are shot to death each year:
"And General Powell, one of the aspects of
the program that I think may get some attention is that there is training
in riflery, in marksmanship here. I understand they use .22 caliber
rifles. At a time when we are so sensitive it seems to the connection
between young people and guns, do you think it's a good idea to be putting
them in contact with guns in high school?"
Powell put the liberal concern to rest: "I
think it teaches them responsibility. I think it teaches them that a
weapon is not to be handled casually. It gives them structure and
discipline and so I see no connection between the kinds of violence we see
in our society and the kind of responsible training that our young cadets
get in the use of firearms. Firearms are with us and I think if youngsters
understand the importance of realizing that a weapon exists to kill
something, then it's less likely they will handle that weapon in a
It's not very often that network stars find
anything to quibble about with Powell, but he's on the wrong side
according to media thinking on gun control. --
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