CBS's Dishonest Hit on Tax Cuts; Disputing Foster Affair, Snubbing Rest
1) Even after Bill and Hillary
abandoned the abuse excuse CBS's John Roberts wouldn't let go, asking
Bill: "Are you trying to work through the issues, to look back over
that time of your life?"
2) CBS's Diana Olick
delivered a hit piece against the tax bill in which she falsely stated
that it "offers a one percent income tax reduction," and
stressed concerns of "moderate Republicans."
3) CBS and NBC portrayed
congressional Republicans as out of touch for not backing Clinton's plan
to spend more on farmers.
4) CBS picked up on a Gore
gaffe the networks had skipped: "Gore, who used his sister's death
from lung cancer to attack tobacco, has now hired Carter Eskew as his key
5) A book revealed Hillary
hired a detective who determined Bill had relationships with eight woman,
but network interviewers ignored that as they challenged the author about
Hillary's affair with Vince Foster.
6) Link to transcript and
counter-points for Eric Engberg's "Reality Check" against gun
Every evening show but ABC's World News Tonight ran a story Wednesday
night about the coordinated comments by Bill and Hillary Clinton about her
quote in Talk magazine that he was "scarred by abuse" as a
Andrea Mitchell featured lengthy soundbites from each about how she
supposedly really wasn't excusing his behavior, CBS's John Roberts
insisted upon maintaining the abuse excuse as he took the "lingering
issues" from childhood seriously, asking Bill Clinton if he's
"trying to work through the issues."
Roberts relayed on
the August 4 CBS Evening News: "Today, 300 hundred miles apart but
reading from virtually the same script, President and Mrs. Clinton said
that while his childhood was troubled, the affairs were his fault."
However, following soundbites from Hillary and
Bill he insisted: "But Mrs. Clinton did not deny statements she made
about lingering issues from the President's childhood that were still
weighing heavily on him."
Roberts then played his question to Bill Clinton
posed in the Rose Garden when Clinton came out to denounce the GOP tax
cut: "Are you trying to work through the issues, to look back over
that time of your life?"
Clinton replied that though he had tough moments
he always knew he was well loved.
Over on the NBC
Nightly News Andrea Mitchell stressed the coordinated nature of the
day's spin as she ran lengthy soundbites: "Damage control from both
Clintons today. The First Lady campaigning in Western New York state. The
President at the White House, 390 miles apart but in perfect synch. At
12:25 she says the interview was about taking personal responsibility, not
blaming her husband's infidelity on childhood trauma."
Hillary: "I think a careful reading of that
would show I did not say that and I think the important point to make is
that every one of us comes out of our own childhood and I believe we're
all responsible and as I said in the article and as I believe everyone is
responsible for his or her behavior, including the President."
Mitchell: "Exactly one minute later in the
Rose Garden he says."
Clinton: "I don't believe that anybody
could fairly read the article and think that she was making any excuses
for me. I haven't made any excuses for what was inexcusable and neither
has she, believe me."
followed-up by showing a joke from Jay Leno and noted that Hillary
promised to never again talk about their marriage.
"The President said again he would veto the Republicans' $800
billion tax cut plan because the President says it's dangerous,"
Dan Rather ominously intoned Wednesday night in leading into a one-sided
polemic, in the guise of a news story, against the Senate-House compromise
tax cut bill. Reporter Diana Olick falsely stated that the bill
"offers a one percent income tax reduction for every tax
bracket," when in fact it proposes a cut of one percentage point so
those paying the 15 percent level would get over a 6 percent cut, and she
alarmingly warned that "even some moderate Republicans in the Senate
are concerned that the cuts are too deep and give too much to the
NBC Nightly News
provided a far more balanced story in which David Bloom correctly
explained how the new bill would "cut personal income tax rates by
one percentage point, saving a family making $50,000 a year about
CNN's The World
Today ran two pieces on the tax cut, one with the view from the White
House and one from Capitol Hill, before airing a story on how it's not
popular in Orange County, California. Reporter Casey Wians began:
"If there's any place in the nation
you'd think would welcome a tax cut, it's Orange County California
which has more than recovered from bankruptcy and is wealthier than ever.
In 1984 Ronald Reagan won 75 percent of the vote in this hotbed of rugged
individualism. Even the airport's named after John Wayne."
After a clip of a
man favoring a tax cut Wians led into a series of soundbites by
"But Orange County is shedding its
Republican image. Bill Clinton won a majority here in 1996, the same year
recent immigrants helped Loretta Sanchez oust the county's best-known
Congressman, ultra-conservative Bob Dornan. No longer do tax cuts find
automatic support here."
A nice labeling
contrast. But if the county voted for Clinton and Sanchez then it's no
longer conservative, thereby undercutting the entire premise of the story
that it is a conservative county which normally favors tax cuts.
ABC's World News
Tonight, like CNN, led with Clinton's plan to but back bonds so they can
be re-issued at a lower rate and only gave 15 seconds to the tax cut.
Now to the most
biased story of the night, CBS's on the tax cut. Dan Rather intoned:
"The President said again he would veto the
Republicans' $800 billion tax cut plan because the President says it's
dangerous, that it won't leave enough of the U.S. budget surplus to
finance, safely, other essentials."
Diana Olick began:
"Republicans in Congress may think they can lower the numbers on the
nation's tax bills."
Republican Congressman Bill Archer: "We're
going to give the taxpayers something they richly deserve."
Olick: "But President Clinton is just
waiting in the West Wing to lower the boom."
Clinton in Rose Garden: "I will have to veto
it. I will refuse to sign any plan that signs away our commitment to
America's future, to Social Security, to Medicare, to paying down the
Olick: "Knowing that full well, House and
Senate Republicans still negotiated a final $792 billion tax cut that
offers a one percent income tax reduction for every tax bracket, relief
from the marriage penalty, cuts in personal capital gains taxes and a
gradual elimination of inheritance taxes."
House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt: "This
is an incredible readjustment of tax breaks from the middle class to
people at the top at precisely the wrong time."
Olick: "A time say Democrats when Americans
are enjoying a skyrocketing economy, spending more than ever, and not
exactly clamoring for a tax cut. Now, even some moderate Republicans in
the Senate are concerned that the cuts are too deep and give too much to
the wealthy. They don't like the bill or the tactics."
Republican Senator Olympia Snowe in a soundbite
that hardly matched the premise: "My biggest concern is that we're
playing a game of political chicken that's not in the best interest of
Olick then concluded: "Republicans have
already planned their next move. They'll vote on the bill this week, but
instead of sending it directly to the President for a quick veto they'll
hold onto it for the August recess and first try to sell it to the voters
They have to go
one-on-one since Olick demonstrated the media's hostility to the idea.
gave opponents time for two loaded soundbites (Clinton and Gephardt) with
no counter for anyone in favor. Archer's comment hardly countered
Clinton or Gephardt's class warfare and neither did Snowe.
misconstrued the "progressive" nature of the tax cut.
Republicans adopted Senator Roth's one percentage point reduction in
each income tax rate so that they could avoid the argument the bill is
skewed to the rich. Oh well. Olick claimed the plan "offers a one
percent income tax reduction for every tax bracket." Wrong. It would
reduce the rates by one percentage point, which means the less you earn
the more you benefit. Going from paying at a 15 percent rate to a 14
percent rate is about a 6.5 percent cut. Going from 38 to 37 percent is
about a 2.5 percent reduction.
++ Watch Olick's
story. MRC Webmaster Sean Henry has placed a RealPlayer clip by this item
in the Web-posted version of this CyberAlert on the MRC's home page: http://www.mrc.org
CBS and NBC led Tuesday night, August 3, by portraying congressional
Republicans as heartless for failing to jump aboard Bill Clinton's plan
to spend more money to save farmers hit by the drought.
-- CBS Evening
News. John Roberts asserted from Severn, Maryland: "The ground
hasn't been this consistently dry since the dustbowl of the 1930s when
America was caught in the grip of a withering depression. The
administration says with a robust economy and a huge surplus forecast the
government can afford to be generous with farmers. So the Vice President
today endorsed the Democratic plan, four billion more than the Republicans
have offered, and cautioned the GOP not to squander away the
Al Gore: "That bunch in control in there is
trying blow it all on a risky tax scheme while the whole farm sector of
our economy is on the verge of absolute bankruptcy."
Roberts then concluded without a counter
soundbite and with only a mild summary of the GOP position:
"Republicans have criticized the bailout package as just more loans
that farmers will have to pay back. Jim Shillinger says the last thing he
needs is another loan. He needs rain and a fair price for what he can
-- NBC Nightly News. Anchor Tom Brokaw opened the
broadcast: "Good evening. Well this summer is one more reminder that
the Great American economic boom is not the answer for everything and not
everyone is cashing in. In the middle of all this prosperity, a long
difficult heat wave and drought that struck hard at the poor and
America's farmers. Today, some help for one group but not for the
David Bloom began: "The President here in
Chicago today said that while the blast furnace heat is subsiding, he's
freeing up a total of more than $150 million to help low income customers
in nine Midwest and Southern states pay their utility bills. But when it
comes to emergency aid for drought-stricken farmers, Congress tonight is
After a complaint from a farmer Bloom picked up:
"Today Democrats on Capitol Hill, led by Vice President Al Gore,
urged Republicans to pass an almost $11 billion aid bill to help farmers
crippled by low prices, including more than a billion dollars for drought
Al Gore: "If they vote against it, then
they're turning their backs on a terrible crisis in American
Bloom then at
least did allow Republican Senator Richard Lugar to say that on aggregate
American agriculture is sound.
CBS on Tuesday night provided the first broadcast network mention of how
Al Gore hired a tobacco industry ad producer despite his vitriol against
In an August 3
story pegged to the resignation of Gore chief-of-staff Ron Klain, CBS
reporter Phil Jones listed recent problems encountered by Gore:
"The Gore campaign continues to be plagued
by embarrassment. When Gore went to New Hampshire for an environmental
photo-op, local power officials released millions of gallons of water in
the middle of the drought to keep the VP's canoe afloat. Gore, who used
his sister's death from lung cancer to attack tobacco, has now hired
Carter Eskew as his key media consultant, the same job Eskew had with the
tobacco lobby. And to add to the image of campaign ineptness, his staff
allowed placard carrying supporters to block the camera view of the
candidate at his presidential announcement."
Jones did go on to allow a Democratic consultant
to suggest Gore will get back on track and he noted he's up two-to-one
in the polls over Bill Bradley.
avoidance of the Eskew hiring was detailed in a July 14 Media Reality
Check fax report by the MRC's Tim Graham. "Another Gore Tobacco
Gaffe, Up in Smoke: Few Reports Touch on Gore's New Tobacco-Paid
Consultant Carter Eskew, And Fewer Find Hypocrisy." To read the
report or to view a complete video clip of Gore's emotional talk at the
1996 Democratic convention about his supposed turn against tobacco, go to:
In his new book, Bill & Hillary: The Marriage, author Christopher
Andersen makes several newsworthy revelations, including one about how
Hillary hired a private detective in 1982 who determined Bill had current
relationships with eight woman, thus directly contradicting Hillary
Clinton's claim that Bill was faithful for a ten-year period at some
But in morning
show interviews this week on NBC's Today and CBS's This Morning, the
hosts refused to delve into that or some other explosive areas and
challenged his claim that Hillary had a long term affair with Vince
Foster. The interviewers preferred to spend much of the interviews talking
about the Talk interview. Andersen's many favorable comments about the
Clintons and concerns for Chelsea showed he cannot be dismissed as a
statements appear to fly in the face of, to some extent at least, of Mrs.
Clinton's latest explanation of how it was between her and Bill for a
decade," Brit Hume observed on Tuesday's Special Report with Brit
Hume. Fred Barnes recalled: "All these things have been reported
before, back in 1993, by the American Spectator. David Brock wrote that
piece Troopergate and all this stuff was in there, widely denounced by the
rest of the American press and denied by the Clintons I believe, including
Hillary, and now we see them in a whole new context now that Hillary has
officially declared her husband as having a sexual problem."
-- On Tuesday's Today, as transcribed by MRC
intern Ken Shepherd, Couric began by asking: "Are you surprised that
Mrs. Clinton has decided to come out and talk extensively about their
relationship?" Getting to his book she set him up: "What is new
about their relationship in this book and do you think people really
Andersen answered: "Absolutely, I mean I
think it's, I'm always asked, 'Is there love here or is it a calculated
political arrangement.' And the fact of the matter is both. You know,
they've struck this bargain, it's a curious one I mean she is emotionally
scarred each time he betrays her. But on the other hand she's never
happier than when she can rescue him and he gives her all these chances to
rescue him because the balance of power tips in her favor then."
sureness concerned Couric: "You know all these things, I'm always
constantly amazed that people make these sweeping statements about the
state of someone's marriage when truly if you're not one of the major
players, i.e., the husband or the wife, there's no way of really knowing
or understanding a relationship that's complicated."
how Andersen found that the Clintons emulate Jackie and John Kennedy, she
got to one of his newsworthy disclosures: "You make some sensational
claims in the book, some that have been rumored for years now. For
instance, that Hillary Clinton had a long standing affair with her law
partner and later White House counsel Vince Foster. On what do you base
Andersen defended himself: "A number of
things. First of all the observations of many people. They were rather
public about it. They were very intimate in public situations as witnessed
again and again by people. And she confessed to a fellow named. L.D.
Brown, who was a security guard at the mansion but he was also the husband
of Chelsea's nanny, his mother-in-law was the administrator of the
mansion. He was kind of a confidante of the Clintons at that time in their
marriage in the '80s, early '80s. Hillary said, 'Look, L.D., there are
some things you just have to get outside of your marriage.' And she was
referring to the relationship with Vince Foster.
Couric was unimpressed: "So that's proof
enough for you that they were affectionate in public and that she made
Andersen: "Well, it's beyond affection. If
you read the book you'll see they're quite intimate and very public about
it. I mean obviously Bill is gone much of the time from the mansion and
Vince comes to the mansion to comfort her and leaves the next morning and
it was just understood by the people around them that this was the
Couric moved on:
"Let me ask you the question that so many people are asking each
other these days. After they leave the White House, do you think that the
President and first lady will remain married?"
Andersen gave a reply favorable to Hillary:
"Absolutely, they will never divorce. And a lot of this has to do,
we're talking about what is rooted in childhood. People forget that
Hillary's mother Dorothy was the product of a bitter divorce. She was
farmed out to relatives and she told her daughter, 'Look, you can be
anything you want to be. You can be first woman Supreme Court justice or
President but you can't be divorced because it will destroy you and
destroy your child.'..."
Couric ended by
bringing up how "Chelsea has been pretty damaged already, you write,
by his infidelities."
++ See and hear
Andersen on Today. MRC Webmaster Sean Henry has posted a brief RealPlayer
clip of Andersen talking about Foster with Couric. Go to the MRC home page
or to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html
-- Wednesday morning, August 4, Andersen appeared
on CBS's This Morning. Co-host Mark McEwen raised Foster and added a
mention about fights between Bill and Hillary, but instead of exploring
the subject he raised it to challenge the author's sources.
As transcribed by
MRC analyst Brian Boyd, McEwen got right to Foster as his first inquiry:
"Biggest bombshell in this book I guess is Vince Foster. The fact
that Hillary Clinton, you say, had an affair with the long time friend who
was also on the staff at the White House, committed suicide, tell us about
answer, McEwen fired back: "Vince Foster is not here to defend
himself, does that bother you?"
It sounded almost
like he was suggesting that Foster should be ashamed of having an affair
Following a few
questions about the Talk interview and Chelsea, McEwen raised an item
skipped by Couric: "You talk about things that, Hillary throwing
things behind closed doors where it would only be Hillary and Bill Clinton
in the room. What are your sources for this?"
Andersen replied: "Hillary just mentioned in
this article one thing she doesn't like about public housing, and she's
referring to the Executive Mansion, is that you're never alone. Secret
Service agents, household staff, stewards appear at your elbow. Friends
are there constantly. I talked to a lot of old friends from Arkansas and
Illinois who are still guests at the White House, they spend weekends with
the First Family at Camp David, so all of these basically come from those
sources, all these stories."
So what did
network viewers miss? Tuesday's New York Post and Wednesday's
Washington Times listed all the major disclosures. Here's an except from
the August 3 New York Post story on the book by John O'Mahony:
*Details of the
Clintons' window-rattling family rows that Andersen's sources say are as
frequent as they are violent and foul-mouthed. During one of the fights
that occurred after Clinton confessed the true nature of his relationship
with Sexgate intern Monica Lewinsky, Hillary slapped her husband so hard
she left a red mark "clearly visible to Secret Service agents when he
left the room."
Andersen claims that during the same row,
the First Lady screamed at Clinton, "You stupid, stupid, stupid
bastard. My God, Bill, how could you risk everything for that?"....
*Hillary hired former FBI agent Ivan Duda
in 1982 to investigate her husband's extramarital activities. He found
that Clinton was seeing eight women "with some degree of
frequency." Gennifer Flowers was at the top of the list.
*Hillary insisted Bill be tested for AIDS
in 1988. He was HIV-negative but Andersen reports that "someone who
claims to have seen" the President's medical records says they reveal
he has had a sexually transmitted disease.
It's the reason why the President's
complete medical history has never been released, he said.
Anderson also addresses the Juanita
Broaddrick rape allegation.
He reports that three weeks after Clinton
allegedly forced himself on the Arkansas nurse in a Little Rock hotel in
1978, Hillary strong-armed the woman at a fundraiser.
Hillary grabbed her arm and told her,
"We are so grateful for all you've done for Bill, and all you'll keep
doing," Andersen writes.
Broaddrick told Andersen she had no doubt
what Hillary meant -- "That I was to keep my mouth shut."
Broaddrick told The Post last night,
however, that she's not sure now if Hillary knew about the alleged rape --
or was making the point that she knew, or suspected, something was going
Andersen appeared on CNBC's Hardball and Chris Matthews did raise most
of these issues.
NBC has posted a
lengthy excerpt of the book. Go to: http://www.msnbc.com/news/296254.asp
Final Note: Out of room again before I could get to Engberg's August 2
gun story cited in the last CyberAlert. CBS has posted an almost accurate
transcript (adapted for text reading): http://www.cbs.com/flat/story_173442.html
And the NRA has
issued a press release countering Engberg's insistence that the 2nd
Amendment does not protect an individual's right to own a gun. Go to: http://www.nraila.org/news/19990803-AntiGunGroups-001.html. --
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