Jobs Up or Down?; Witnesses Suppressed; Mislabeling by NY Times
1) Did job creation slow in
August or did unemployment hit a record low? Is the movie Outside
Providence "heartfelt" or filled with "sappy
stupidity"? Two headline contrasts.
2) Media Reality Check fax
report: "The Selective Koppel Lecture Series -- ABC Has Ignored
Clinton Cocaine Allegations, But Used a Different Standard with Bush and
3) Johnny Chung told FNC about
how Democrats tried to suppress his testimony. The Washington Times
pursued his charges and discovered fresh evidence of possible misdeeds by
Democratic staffers. Chung also contradicted claims made by Hillary and
4) The New York Times
described a left-wing group as "a non-profit organization in
Washington that advocates federal tax and spending policies that it says
would benefit the poor."
A September 2 CyberAlert item about Clinton wishing to pardon 16 Puerto
Rican terrorists referred to Republican Congressman "Vito Fosella."
His name is actually spelled Fossella.
Two headline contrasts I caught during my vacation: Job creation slows
while unemployment hits record low and is a new movie "touching"
and "heartfelt" or filled with "sappy stupidity"?
Saturday, September 4:
-- Boston Globe:
"Job Creation Slows Sharply During August"
-- The Union
Leader of Manchester, NH: "Jobless Rate Hits 29-Year Low"
As is usually the
case with contrasting headlines, both are accurate, but it shows how the
spin chosen by a journalist influences how you perceive what happened. In
this case, the Department of Labor reported job growth in August stood at
124,000 new jobs, down from 338,000 in July. The unemployment rate,
however, fell from 4.3 to 4.2 percent.
Second, while I normally don't analyze movie
reviews, two September 1 papers presented strikingly different takes in
how their reviewers felt about Outside Providence, a new film starring
-- Boston Globe:
"'Outside Providence' is Touching, Heartfelt"
-- USA Today:
"'Providence' Drips with Sappy Stupidity"
Ted Koppel has yet to allow Nightline to touch Juanita Broaddrick's
charge, but as the September 2 CyberAlert noted, he devoted a whole show
to the witness-less charge that George W. Bush used cocaine. Picking up on
that contrast in news judgment, last week for the MRC's Media Reality
Check fax report Tim Graham looked at how Koppel condemned Bush for
hypocrisy because he supposedly advocates tough treatment for young drug
offenders, but Koppel never dedicated a show to Bill Clinton's marijuana
smoking, though as Governor he too jailed marijuana users.
Here's the text
of the September 3 report, "The Selective Koppel Lecture Series: ABC
Has Ignored Clinton Cocaine Allegations, But Used a Different Standard
with Bush and Brown."
It is also available online: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/FAX19990903.html
First, the quote
contrast highlighted in the box in the middle of the page:
Koppel's Cocaine Sympathy Gap
"So here we are in this curious twilight in which he plainly
acknowledges excessive use of alcohol until he turned 40, makes no claim
of privacy in the area of marital infidelity, unlike some people we know
he did not cheat on his wife, but leaves the question of youthful cocaine
use ambiguously addressed with this assertion: I did make mistakes years
ago. That is not an explanation that Governor Bush has ever accepted from
any other youthful offender." -- Ted Koppel on George W. Bush, August
24, 1999 Nightline.
"What happens when the mayor of that city and the leader of its
anti-drug campaign is arrested on drug charges?...Marion Barry is a
complex man, intelligent, well-educated, a dedicated and successful civil
rights worker and, until yesterday, arguably one of the most powerful
black politicians in America. He is not the sort of man who will quietly
crawl into a corner and disappear." -- Koppel after Washington D.C.
Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for smoking crack, January 19, 1990.
Now, the rest of
the fax report:
On August 24, Ted Koppel began ABC's
Nightline by noting that a vast majority of Americans didn't find it
important that presidential candidate George W. Bush may have used
cocaine. Koppel did not allow this to dissuade him from devoting a
half-hour to unsubstantiated rumors. He editorialized:
"Why not accept his one-size-fits-all
declaration that when I was young and irresponsible, I was young and
irresponsible? Perhaps, we might say, because he has never accepted youth
and irresponsibility as legitimate excuses for illegal behavior. Both as
campaigner and as Governor of Texas, George Bush has, if anything,
toughened the rhetoric and tightened the rules on youthful drug offenders.
Remember now, Governor Bush has denied using drugs only since he was 28.
He won't talk about what happened before then." (For more, see box.)
For all of Koppel's posturing on hypocrisy
over potentially law-breaking officials, note: Koppel has never devoted a
Nightline to Juanita Broaddrick's allegations that Bill Clinton raped her
Koppel never devoted a Nightline to Bill
Clinton when he admitted using marijuana on March 29, 1992, despite the
undoubtedly numerous Arkansas prisoners incarcerated for possession or use
On January 19, 1990, Koppel covered
Washington Mayor Marion Barry's arrest for crack cocaine use by citing
many of his supporters in the community and their feeling the prosecution
was racist. (See box.)
Perhaps most importantly, on April 9, 1992,
Koppel and Nightline joined ABC's investigation employing anonymous
California state police to charge that while he was Governor, Jerry Brown
allowed drug use in his home.
As Paul Sperry noted in Wednesday's
Investor's Business Daily, state troopers charged Bill Clinton flew on
cocaine dealer Dan Lasater's Lear jet. Trooper L.D. Brown said he escorted
Clinton out of a Lasater party when cocaine came out. Other sources have
alleged Clinton's use of cocaine. Nightline has never devoted a show to
Clinton and cocaine, or even Clinton and Dan Lasater.
In his book Strange Bedfellows, Tom
Rosenstiel noted Koppel didn't believe the Brown story, and grilled one of
the anonymous sources until they "fell apart. The interview that
followed was so bad [senior producer Chris] Isham had to beg Koppel to
tape it again."
Koppel began by noting "This kind of
story can be devastating to a man who is running for President of the
United States." But Koppel has demonstrated a pattern of selective
devastation. Clinton was left untouched. Koppel crippled Brown when he was
Clinton's only remaining obstacle to the nomination in 1992. Now he has
singled out Bush.
Catching up on Clinton fundraising scandal developments from mid-August
ignored so far by the networks, Johnny Chung told FNC's Bill O'Reilly
about how Democrats tried to suppress his testimony by encouraging him to
take the fifth. The Washington Times pursued his charges and discovered
evidence that the Democratic staff of the House Government Reform
Committee encouraged a witness not to testify, tried to intimidate another
and misused an unsigned affidavit in an attempt to discredit a witness.
charge about being urged to exercise his Fifth Amendment rights garnered
some print media attention, another intriguing aspect of what he told
O'Reilly went unnoticed. Chung adamantly maintained that in
contradiction of what Hillary Clinton and her chief-of-staff, Maggie
Williams, claimed, he was solicited for the donation and they knew the
envelope he gave Williams inside the OEOB contained a campaign
Monday morning MRC
Webmaster Sean Henry will post a RealPLayer clip, of this part of the
August 16 O'Reilly Factor interview, on the MRC home page. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org
Now, a review of
what else Chung revealed and some excerpts from three follow-up Washington
Times stories. Through last week, the MRC team of analysts informed me,
none of the networks other than FNC has mentioned any of this, not even
CNN's Inside Politics.
-- August 18
Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC. Reporter Rita Cosby summarized
O'Reilly's interview which ran in two parts on August 16 and 17. Cosby
"In an exclusive interview with Fox News's
Bill O'Reilly, former Democratic fundraiser Johnny Chung said he was
coached by Democrats on how to plead the fifth amendment prior to a 1997
appearance before the House Government Reform Committee. Chung says
Democrats sent his lawyer material on how he could avoid testifying."
Chung: "My attorneys' offices received a
package. It said how you can plead -- how you can take a 5th in the United
O'Reilly: "Who sent you that
Chung: "Government Reform Committee Democrat
Cosby picked up: "But the committee's
Democratic minority counsel says Chung pleaded the 5th several times prior
to ever going before the House committee, and Democrats never tried to
influence any potential witnesses."
After a soundbite
from a staffer, she continued: "But Republicans believe congressional
records show Democrats on the committee repeatedly tried to delay the
panel's investigation. In this letter written by Congressman Henry Waxman,
the committee's ranking Democrat, he tells Republican chairman Dan Burton
that he has advised White House lawyer Bruce Lindsey, who was also
subpoenaed to testify, to, quote, 'not be available for this
"Republican committee staffers now say that they are investigating
what role Democrats may have played in trying to shield the White House
from allegations of campaign finance abuse. They say that Chung's comments
go to the heart of this case, and they say when members of Congress come
back next month after a brief recess, they expect that they will carefully
review Chung's testimony and also his recent statements that he made
during his interview with Fox News."
Well Congress is
about to return, so we'll see what happens.
-- August 18 Washington Times. Under the headline
"Records show Democrats' stall tactics; Dilatory strategy stymies
Chung testimony," Jerry Seper offered further details on a part of
the story touched upon by Cosby:
Democrats on the House Government Reform
Committee sought for two years to delay and obstruct the panel's
campaign-finance investigation, even telling a top White House aide to
make himself unavailable for a deposition to which he had been subpoenaed,
according to congressional records.
The documents, reviewed in the wake of
accusations this week by former Democratic fund-raiser Johnny Chung that
he was coached on how to plead the Fifth Amendment before a 1997
appearance before the committee, outline a suspected plan by Democrats to
block the committee's ongoing probe....
[Committee minority counsel Philip]
Schiliro denied GOP accusations that Democrats sought to delay or block
the probe, calling them "ludicrous." He said Republicans had
"unilateral authority" to investigate whatever topic or person
they wanted and did so without hesitation. He said 163 persons were
interviewed over 650 hours and that 2 million documents were collected
during the course of the probe....
But Republicans said yesterday that
committee records, including depositions of key witnesses and numerous
letters written concerning the panel's inquiry, document GOP concerns that
committee Democrats and their attorneys sought to delay the depositions,
intimidate would-be witnesses and obstruct the investigation.
They said the committee's ranking Democrat,
Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California, wrote in an April 3, 1998, letter to
committee Chairman Dan Burton, Indiana Republican, that he was
"disappointed" the deposition of White House Deputy Counsel
Bruce Lindsey -- a key figure in the campaign-finance probe -- had been
scheduled during the spring recess.
Mr. Waxman told the chairman that he had
advised Mr. Lindsey to "not be available for this deposition" --
a suggestion roundly criticized by Republicans as an example of what they
said were delaying tactics utilized by Democrats throughout the probe.
The committee records, copies of which were
obtained by The Washington Times, show that:
* Democrats proposed that each prospective
witness in the committee's investigation into suspected criminal
activities be read a statement saying it was "your choice whether to
speak with" committee investigators, that they had "every
right" to decline to be interviewed, and that they might be called as
a witness "to testify in a televised public hearing."
* During the deposition of one White House
official, minority counsel raised objections on 49 occasions, and that
during another deposition, the Democrats sought to prevent a witness from
answering questions by the majority counsel despite the witnesses'
willingness to do so.
* At some depositions, objections were
raised directly by Mr. Waxman and Rep. Tom Lantos, California Democrat,
both of whom challenged with some regularity the validity of questions
asked by the majority counsel. During the deposition of one White House
aide, Republicans said Mr. Waxman tried to prevent questions concerning
former Justice Department official Webster L. Hubbell, a longtime friend
of President and Mrs. Clinton.
* Democrats sought to block committee
efforts to subpoena records from state Democratic Party organizations,
through which suspected illegal campaign funds had been funneled. Mr.
Waxman argued there was no evidence of wrongdoing. Investigators later
discovered that illegal donations had been routed to the state
-- August 19 Washington Times. "Democrat
aide tried to silence Trie sister" announced the headline over the
story by Jerry Seper and Audrey Hudson:
Democrats on the House Government Reform
Committee, as part of a strategy to discourage witnesses with damaging
information on campaign finance abuses, sought to intimidate a key witness
with limited knowledge of English and U.S. customs during a 1997
deposition, congressional records show.
The newest documentary evidence comes as
the committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California,
lashed out at Republicans for what he called "a failure to conduct an
effective investigation." But he made no effort in his precisely
worded written statement to defend the committee's Democratic staff.
The committee's Democratic lawyers have
become a focus of an inquiry by Republicans, who want to know what role
they played in trying to delay, impede or obstruct the committee's
campaign finance probe. Investigators are trying to determine if the
panel's Democratic lawyers were responsible for the 122 would-be witnesses
who claimed their Fifth Amendment privilege or fled the country.
A major focus of that inquiry is the Sept.
29, 1997, deposition of Manlin Foung, sister of former Democratic
fund-raiser Charles Yah Lin Trie. The deposition, a copy of which was
obtained by The Washington Times, shows that Democratic lawyer Kenneth
Ballen warned Mrs. Foung that if she cooperated in the campaign finance
probe, she would be brought to Washington to face television cameras in
"a large room with...over 44 congressmen sitting there."
At the time, investigators believed she had
been used as an illegal conduit for donations Trie made to the Democratic
Mrs. Foung eventually testified before the
committee during six hours of rancorous partisan debate that she and a
friend, Joseph R. Landon, had given $35,000 to the Democratic National
Committee, which was reimbursed by her brother, in part, with cash from a
bank in China....
-- August 23 Washington Times. Jerry Seper and
Audrey Hudson were back again with a story headlined, "Evidence
builds of attempt to thwart campaign finance probe." They disclosed:
Democrats on the House Government Reform
Committee used an unsigned affidavit to challenge the credibility of a
witness who diverted cash from fundraiser John Huang to the Democratic
The affidavit, among dozens of recently
released documents reviewed over the past week by The Washington Times,
suggests committee Democrats took part in a scheme to obstruct the panel's
campaign finance probe.
The unsigned affidavit -- which has since
has been disavowed --came from the father of Los Angeles businessman David
Wang, who testified under a grant of immunity that Huang reimbursed him
$10,000 in contributions he was asked to make to the DNC.
In the affidavit, Mr. Wang's father, James,
disputed his son's sworn testimony of an August 1996 meeting with Huang in
Los Angeles at which the illegal diversion of cash to the DNC was
discussed. The affidavit said that contrary to his son's claims, James
Wang did not attend the Aug. 16, 1996, meeting with Huang.
Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California, the
committee's ranking Democrat, used the one-page statement during a
rancorous October 1997 hearing to challenge the credibility of David Wang.
"Two of my staff members have recently spoken to your father, and he
has denied being at any such meeting with John Huang," Mr. Waxman
said in introducing the affidavit. "I don't think you have been
candid from day to day, from Day One maybe. Each time, we get a different
version of what happened."
The purported statement by James Wang,
obtained without his attorneys present, was written by Democratic staff
attorneys Kenneth Ballen and Christopher Lu, who submitted a separate
affidavit to the committee recounting their conversation with James Wang.
In that statement, dated Oct. 9, 1997, Mr. Ballen and Mr. Lu said James
Wang was "neither present at any meeting nor aware of any
conversations in which John Huang asked David Wang to make a campaign
But James Wang did not sign the affidavit.
Instead, he called his attorney, Michael A. Carvin, who obtained a
separate, handwritten statement in which the elder Wang said he "was
present at the meeting with my son and John Huang....At that meeting, John
Huang asked for a donation to the presidential campaign."....
For the second time in three weeks a major newspaper has failed to
properly label the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities as liberal and
instead applied a misleading description which suppressed its ideological
drive. As noted in the August 23 CyberAlert, an August 22 Washington Post
story on the group's attack on welfare reform asserted: "The study
was released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan
research and policy institute."
later the New York Times decided to promote more of the group's
left-wing advocacy, but again refused to properly label the organization.
In a September 5 story headlined "Gap Between Rich and Poor Found
Substantially Wider," reporter David Cay Johnston declared:
"The analysis was done by the Center on
Budget and Policy Priorities, a non-profit organization in Washington that
advocates federal tax and spending policies that it says would benefit the
I'm waiting for the day when the New York Times
describes the Heritage Foundation as "a non-profit organization in
Washington that advocates federal tax and spending policies that lessen
their burden on the middle class." --
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