Blind to Officer Blinded by FALN; Erbe Boasted of Heroin & LSD Use
1) The NYC police
commissioner, as he stood along side officers injured by FALN bombs,
denounced Clinton's decision to pardon members of the Puerto Rican
terrorist group, but only FNC cared.
2) On CNN Michael Barone
raised media hypocrisy in ignoring Juanita Broaddrick while pursuing
George W. Bush about drugs, but Howard Kurtz falsely maintained that the
media did press Clinton "several times" about Broaddrick's
3) PBS's Bonnie Erbe urged
the media to leave Bush alone in a column in which she recalled:
"Prior to trying heroin I smoked a lot of different types of
marijuana and hashish...and took a wide variety of hallucinogens:
mescaline, LSD, you name it."
4) New ABC News reporter
George Stephanopoulos insisted: "We do not get serious health care
reform because of campaign finance, the way campaigns are financed."
The Police Commissioner in New York City held a press conference Monday
featuring officers injured by FALN attacks, including one who was blinded,
to denounce President's Clinton's decision to pardon 16 FALN
terrorists now serving time. Incredibly, only FNC bothered to tell viewers
about the event or use it as a hook to explore Clinton's August 11
Not only have ABC,
CBS and NBC not yet looked at this issue according to MRC analysts Jessica
Anderson, Brian Boyd and Geoffrey Dickens, neither have CNN or MSNBC. MRC
analyst Paul Smith informed me the pardons have yet to be mentioned on
CNN's Inside Politics or The World Today and MRC analyst Mark Drake has
not seen them cited on MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams.
The August 18
CyberAlert outlined the basic facts of the case and ran an excerpt from a
Wall Street Journal editorial about the rarity of pardons, suggesting this
decision was motivated by Hillary's Senate run, and how, despite White
House claims, those to be pardoned do have ties to killings and injuries.
Here again are two paragraphs from the August 13 Journal:
House Chief of Staff Maria Echaveste is quoted in yesterday's papers as
saying that those offered clemency 'never killed anyone.' This is
preposterous. No one died in the [1983 Hartford] Wells Fargo heist but
innocent people lost their lives in more than 100 attacks carried out by
the same terrorist group on U.S. facilities. Even if these 16 terrorists
didn't murder anyone directly, they were part of a conspiracy that was
to be extended by the funds stolen from the bank in Connecticut....
"To understand how rare it is for a
President to commute a sentence or offer remission of a fine, as Mr.
Clinton did for the 16 Puerto Rican terrorists this week, consider the
numbers supplied by the Office of the Pardon Attorney. From the time he
took office in January 1993 until April 2, the date the Office prepared
its last report, Mr. Clinton had received 3,042 petitions for clemency.
Until Wednesday, he had granted a total of three."
For more details,
go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990818.html#4
The August 20
CyberAlert noted how Greg Pierce, in his Inside Politics column for the
Washington Times, reported how "FOP President Gilbert G. Gallegos, in
a letter to Mr. Clinton yesterday, called the offer a 'slap in the
face' to law enforcement officers everywhere." Gallegos also
countered Clinton's claim that the convicts did not hurt anyone. To read
the letter from Gallegos which the networks skipped, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990820.html#5
August 23, FNC uniquely pursued the story with a piece by Gary Matsumoto
on the Fox Report. MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth transcribed the report, which
"From the mid '70s to the mid '80s, an
obscure guerilla group, calling itself the Armed Forces of National
Liberation, set off bombs and robbed banks across the country in an effort
to secure independence for Puerto Rico. Now the convicted, sixteen of them
serving in U.S. prisons, want clemency. And President Clinton is prepared
to give it to them on condition that they renounce violence. Noble freedom
fighters, or terrorist thugs? The New York Police Department is unanimous
in its views."
Howard Safir, NYC Police Commissioner: "The
NYPD is vehemently opposed to President Clinton's offer of clemency to
sixteen convicted members of the FALN. Let's talk about some of the
facts, such as the fact that the FALN is responsible for at least 150 bomb
attacks over a nine year period, that resulted in six deaths and seventy
Matsumoto: "More Puerto Ricans live in New
York than in San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital. One million, according to
the last census. That comes to about twelve percent of New York City's
population, a hefty voting block. Detective Richard Pascarella was blinded
by an FALN bomb planted outside of New York Police Headquarters.
Pascarella believes the President is indulging in blatant politicking for
Richard Pascarella, retired NYPD detective:
"This is really truly pandering to the Hispanic community, the Latino
community, for their vote when Mrs. Clinton runs for the vacated seat of
Patrick Moynihan in New York state."
Matsumoto: "Some Puerto Ricans believe the
FALN never belonged in jail in the first place."
Rafael Martinez-Alequin, The Free Press:
"People who fight for the independence of their country, whether it
be in Puerto Rico, or Northern Ireland, they are not criminals."
Matsumoto: "But this man's in a minority
among Puerto Ricans, who routinely vote against independence in
referendums. One of the bombs was planted here at this New York City
landmark near Wall Street. The Fraunces (sp?) Tavern, one of the oldest in
the United States. It was January 1975, a member of the FALN entered
through this door with a bomb stuffed in a valise. The blast ripped
through a lunchtime crowd, killing four people and injuring more than
fifty. The New York cops, who say they speak for the dead and injured,
have little sympathy for the FALN members complaining of long prison
Anthony Senft, NYPD Detective: "But I have a
life sentence. I lost an eye. I have a severe case of vertigo. I lost
sixteen percent of hearing on one side and forty on the other side."
Matsumoto concluded: "No response yet from
the White House. In New York, Gary Matsumoto, Fox News."
In his syndicated
column this week for the Creator's syndicate, MRC Chairman L. Brent
"Imagine for a moment what would be the
media reaction if this were a Republican President. Frankly, I think it
impossible to overestimate the level of media outrage. Footage of these
terrorists' bombings would run like a broken record. A parade of tearful
family members of the victims, or the victims themselves, would be brought
on the morning talk shows to share their grief and vent their anger at
such an insensitive President. The pundits would openly raise questions of
ruthless political pandering.
"But now they're nowhere to be found. See,
there's this juicy rumor about George W., and, well...."
To read the whole
column, for which MRC analyst Paul Smith reviewed network coverage to
determine there was none, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/columns/news/col19990826.html
+++ Hear from the
injured New York City police officers. Friday morning MRC Webmaster Sean
Henry will post a RealPlayer clip of the above recited FNC story. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
On CNN on Tuesday Michael Barone raised media hypocrisy in ignoring
Juanita Broaddrick while pursuing George W. Bush about drugs, but Howard
Kurtz maintained that the media did repeatedly press Clinton about
Broaddrick's rape charge.
During an August
24 Late Edition Prime Time discussion about Bush, Barone, formerly with
U.S. News and now at Reader's Digest, pointed out:
"Nobody has cross-examined or quizzed Bill
Clinton about the charges bought by Juanita Broaddrick, which are charges
of a more serious offense than cocaine use. It's a charge of rape, a
charge that has five contemporaneous witnesses."
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz
countered: "Michael, he was asked about that several times and he
refused to answer."
Barone: "Well, then, they should keep asking
Kurtz: "Should they keep asking him every
day for a year?"
Barone: "If they're going to apply the same
standard we've been applying to George W. Bush on cocaine, we certainly
should. It should be the beginning of every press conference, and we
should probe him on the external circumstances about what he was doing on
those days, what his relationship with this woman was. There's all sorts
of ancillary questions that you could think up. I think the country is
heartily sick of the whole subject, as Mary said earlier -- in the case of
Clinton, does not want to hear any more about this -- but as The
Washington Post noted, his perfunctory denial issued through his lawyer
has no probative value at all, because we know he lies about these
Clinton was asked
about Broaddrick "several times"? That's news to me.
In fact, he's
been asked about it twice and virtually all of the networks ignored both
questions and answers. As reported in the February 25 CyberAlert about a
February 24 press conference, hours before Broaddrick appeared on
"UPI's Helen Thomas obliquely raised the
Broaddrick matter to Clinton at a joint press conference at 2:30pm ET
Wednesday with the President of Ghana, but only FNC bothered to mention
Clinton's refusal to respond. Thomas inquired: 'What is your reaction
to recent allegations by an Arkansas woman, apparently something she
claims happened many years ago?' Thomas then asked about the Independent
Counsel law before Clinton replied: 'My counsel has made a statement
about the first issue and I have nothing to add to it.'"
Three weeks later, at a March 19 press
conference, ABC's Sam Donaldson asked Clinton about Broaddrick's
charge, but neither the CBS Evening News or NBC Nightly News mentioned the
subject that night. In several subsequent press conferences reporters
failed to utter her name.
For a complete
rundown of the lack of interest in Broaddrick by the networks, see items
#1 and #2 in the August 20 CyberAlert: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990820.html
And, my op-ed in
the August 23 Washington Times, "Bush talks, Clinton walks." For
a reprint, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990824.html#1
Bonnie Erbe, host of the women-oriented To the Contrary talk show on PBS
and formerly a reporter for Mutual/Westwood One radio, asserted in a
column for the Scripps Howard News Service:
"I wish the
media and the public would get off this hypocritical trip (pun intended)
of hounding him [Bush] into not only admitting, but into spelling out in
lurid detail what we all presume he did: snort cocaine."
Such a view from a
liberal media figure may seem surprising, especially since she assured
readers: "Let me state for the record, by the way, that I never tried
it came along too late for her as she boasted about snorting heroin,
recalling: "Prior to trying heroin I smoked a lot of different types
of marijuana and hashish (yes, inhaling all the time) and took a wide
variety of hallucinogens: mescaline, LSD, you name it."
excerpt from her column which I caught in the August 24 Denver Rocky
Mountain News while still out in Aspen earlier this week:
I have a confession to make: More than 25
years ago (actually, about 30 years ago) I used an illegal narcotic.
I'm not running for president, nor any
political office for that matter. And the statute of limitations has
surely run out on my transgression. So it's safe to come clean.
I won't make you guess about which drug it
was. It was heroin. And here come the gory details. I snorted it -- no, I
didn't inject it.
I was caught up in the drug culture of the
late '60s and early '70s, which I state as a reason, not an excuse. And,
oh yes, prior to trying heroin I smoked a lot of different types of
marijuana and hashish (yes, inhaling all the time) and took a wide variety
of hallucinogens: mescaline, LSD, you name it. Well, I not only survived
that stupor, I excelled at high school studies and extracurricular
activities during it.
I certainly would not recommend my behavior
as an example to others.
Having had this experience, however, I feel
sorry for Gov. George W. Bush. I wish the media and the public would get
off this hypocritical trip (pun intended) of hounding him into not only
admitting, but into spelling out in lurid detail what we all presume he
did: snort cocaine.
Let me state for the record, by the way,
that I never tried cocaine. It wasn't "in" until after I had
already ceased using drugs.
We are, most of us, such hypocrites in this
charade. We try to force our politicians to live up to a standard that not
even a nun could meet. Then we wonder why the array of people willing to
run for office sometimes seems so substandard. In Gov. Bush's case, the
man already has said he committed acts in his youth of which he is not now
proud. He's being honest (a rare and undervalued commodity in politics
He's consistent; when asked to comment last
year on the president's personal problems, Gov. Bush refused. He's also
taken on the difficult task of trying to push the media back to a
benchmark that allowed public figures just a smattering of privacy....
Enough of the hectoring. Gov. Bush's
apparent experimentation with hard drugs could serve as an inspiration to
those now using drugs and trying to break free. We should all demand the
media leave him alone.
The same day in a
nationally syndicated column run in the Denver Post Cal Thomas recommended
that Bush come clean since stonewalling "won't work without a lying
staff, an enabling wife and a fawning press," all factors from which
Clinton has benefitted. In the press category, Erbe is the exception which
proves the rule.
Warren Beatty-like thinking from ABC's newest reporter? As noted in
several previous CyberAlerts (see August 23), ABC News is transforming
George Stephanopoulos into an on-air reporter. During the Iowa straw vote
weekend he appeared on several shows as ABC's only analyst of the
Republican event. But a recent exchange caught by MRC analyst Jessica
Anderson shows that the former Clinton enabler believes Warren Beatty's
left-wing mantra about how evil corporate money triumphs doing what's
right in politics. His wacky reasoning was even too much for Cokie Roberts
On the August 22
This Week host Roberts referred to an op-ed the actor wrote: "Warren
Beatty, the actor in California, has a piece in today's New York Times
where he is saying 'Why Not Now?' It's not clear what he means by 'not
now.' I guess campaign finance reform not now?"
George Will: "What is clear in that piece he
George Stephanopoulos: "Well, wait, he's
coming from the movies and this is a trailer."
Roberts: "I see."
Stephanopoulos: "This is preview, coming
attraction, maybe a Warren Beatty candidacy. I mean, who knows whether
he's going to run again, but you know, in the piece, he's right about one
big thing. We need public financing of congressional campaigns. I know,
George. I can see it in his eyes."
Will: "An entitlement to the political class
-- just what America needs."
Stephanopoulos: "But it's why, the
privileged are protected. We do not get serious health care reform because
of campaign finance, the way campaigns are financed."
Roberts: "Oh, come on, George."
Will: "Could that have had something to do
with the health care proposal?"
Stephanopoulos: "No, but's also because the
health care industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars to protect
Roberts: "Look, for twenty years, the
Democratic Party ran on the left and with leftists their, as their
nominees and they lost. And it wasn't until..."
Stephanopoulos: "That's different from the
In the future, if ABC has its way, this kind of
analysis will appear from Stephanopoulos not in panel discussions but in
news stories. --
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