Gullible for Hillary; Stephanopoulos Raised Bush Drugs with Bradley
1) "I can't imagine
people being gullible enough to buy any of it," Fox's Brit Hume
remarked about Hillary's new anti-pardon position, but ABC fell for it.
NBC lamented "how hard it is for the First Lady to run for office
while her husband is President."
2) Geraldo Rivera complained
about how Hillary and others "remain deaf to the President's
compassionate and common sense proposal."
3) Good Morning America had
George Stephanopoulos conduct its interview with Bill Bradley. He tagged
Bradley and Gore "cerebral and centrist" and promoted Jesse
Jackson's hit on George W. Bush for hypocrisy over drug use, an angle
never raised with Clinton.
4) Viacom's Showtime to
re-air Strange Justice. Star Mandy Patinkin proclaimed "I wanted to
make Anita Hill's truth...come through." The producer maintained
the book was not liberal because the authors worked for the Wall Street
Latest Notable Quotables now online. The September 6 edition of NQ, the
MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes
humorous, quotes in the liberal media, has now been posted on the MRC Web
site thanks to Sean Henry and Kristina Sewell. Quote topic headings
include: "The Rumor We Won't Let Die..."; "...Unlike Any
Clinton Allegations"; "Clinton Rape? Don't Go There!";
"Couric Finds the Character Issue"; "Cronkite's Utterly
Apolitical PBS"; and "Our Feeding Frenzy on Bush and Coke? Hey,
Blame Republicans." To read the issue, go to: http://secure.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1999/nq19990906.html
MagazineWatch also now on the MRC home page. Compiled this week by Tim
Graham, the September 7 issue highlights these subjects in the September
13 editions of the weekly news magazines:
1. As Bill Bradley prepares to formally announce his presidential
campaign, Newsweek acted like a fanzine, calling him "straight out of
Boys' Life" and "Jimmy Stewart in satin shorts." They
didn't confuse people by noting Mr. Boy Scout's attempt to get to
Gore's left on gays or his recent meeting with black radical Al Sharpton.
2. U.S. News and Time attempted to trace Hillary's ever-changing
strategic positioning on clemency for Puerto Rican terrorists. Time
claimed Hillary's power is on the wane: "Hillary's value to them
will never be greater than it is now."
3. The Clintons bought a big house with a pool, in a neighborhood with a
median income Democrats would call "super-rich," but Newsweek
celebrated the new digs and their ethically questionable financing.
That's not quite the way they handled Nancy Reagan.
4. U.S. News discovered the gay-activist documentary It's Elementary is
threatening the PBS racket in Idaho.
5. The other Chris Farley (Time's entertainment writer) praised Chris
Rock's "hard truths" that cut through "mediagenic
spin." Like: Clinton's perjuries about sex were "common
To read the issue, go to: http://secure.mediaresearch.org/news/magwatch/mag19990907.html
The September 2 CyberAlert quoted CBS News reporter Jim Stewart as saying
in a story about the pardons: "What has federal lawmen so exorcized
about this case, is that they feel the White House isn't listening to
them." I missed a transcribing error. They weren't
"exorcized." They were "exercised."
largely ignoring throughout August Clinton's decision announced August
11 to pardon 16 FALN Puerto Rican terrorists, this week the networks
finally focused on the issue, with ABC getting around to its first story.
Network shows which ignored opposition to the decision decided the issue
was newsworthy only after Hillary Clinton said she opposed the deal.
But instead of
portraying Hillary's new line as a crass political maneuver or
questioning her ludicrous claim that she did not know about her
husband's decision beforehand, ABC twice relayed her opposition without
any caveats. NBC's Andrea Mitchell at least recognized how she did a
"flip-flop," though Mitchell also painted her as a victim of her
(As noted in the
September 2 CyberAlert, on August 30 the CBS Evening News ran its first
piece and NBC's Today caught up the next morning. Only FNC covered an
August 23 news conference by New York City police officers blinded and
injured by FALN bombs and even CNN only gave 21 seconds on the August 27
World Today to a New York Times story that day about how federal law
enforcement officials opposed the release.)
On the September 5
Fox News Sunday Brit Hume admired Hillary's gall and expressed his
befuddlement at how anyone could be gullible enough to buy her new line:
"You have to give the Clintons credit. They
will try anything. First of all you have this clemency deal which all law
enforcement agencies oppose and has this terrible aroma about it, but
particularly with Mrs. Clinton seeking a Senate seat, or likely to, and
they try it anyway in hopes, it seems to me fairly clearly, of courting
favor with some group there. The thing backfires, at which point you have
this: Mrs. Clinton comes forward and says, I didn't know, my husband never
told me, I didn't know. And so, and now she gets to, and she's going to
back out of the deal, expecting that A, we'll believe it was a clean thing
the first time and second, we'll believe that she didn't know anything
about it. I can't imagine people being gullible enough to buy any of
But some network
reporters have bought it.
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. On September 5 ABC finally aired its first morning or
evening story, reported MRC analyst Jessica Anderson. Anchor Carole
Simpson straightforwardly stated:
"The President and First Lady aren't exactly
seeing eyeto eye this Sunday. The issue: clemency for a group of Puerto
Ricanactivists. ABC's Andrea McCarren explains."
McCarren bought Hillary's new line: "More
than three weeks after President Clinton offered clemency to 16 Puerto
Rican activists, the First Lady is calling on her husband to withdraw the
offer immediately. The White House has given the jailed nationalists until
Friday at 5pm to renounce violence and agree to parole conditions,
including restrictions on their travel and political activism."
After a soundbite
from spokesman Howard Wolfson and a brief review of what the FALN did,
McCarren got to all the criticism ABC refused to report in August:
"President Clinton's clemency offer was
widely criticized byeveryone from Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick
Moynihan to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to the FBI and several other
law enforcement agencies. Some of the President's critics even accused him
of using the clemency offer to help his wife's expected U.S. Senate bid
from New York, home to about 1.3 million Puerto Ricans."
-- Two nights
later, on the September 7 World News Tonight, anchor Peter Jennings
announced: "The White House announced today that a dozen Puerto Rican
nationalists, imprisoned for conspiracy and weapons charges, have agreed
to renounce violence in return for clemency offered by President Clinton.
Mrs. Clinton, who's a very likely New York Senate candidate, has declared
publicly against clemency."
-- The next
morning, MRC analyst Mark Drake noticed, ABC's Ann Compton portrayed
Hillary not as a manipulator killing a trial balloon, but as a victim
"caught in political quicksand," as if she had noting to do with
creating the controversy. Compton asserted on the September 8 Good Morning
"A lawyer for the jailed Puerto Ricans made
it clear her clients are signing statements renouncing violence but they
are definitely not giving up their fight for independence. This all leaves
the First Lady caught in political quicksand. Her Senate campaign
spokesman said Mrs. Clinton had no idea the Puerto Ricans had actually
accepted the clemency condition two days before she declared the offer
ought to be withdrawn. She is still in hot water in New York with
Democratic elected officials. For Hillary Clinton, the political damage
has already been done. This was a wake up call for her Senate team and for
the political decision makers who worked for her husband as well."
-- NBC Nightly
News, September 7. Tom Brokaw and Andrea Mitchell did at least acknowledge
Hillary's "flip-flop," but Mitchell claimed it made her appear
to be "pandering to more conservative voters," as if only
conservatives disagreed with releasing terrorists, and painted her as a
victim, maintaining the controversy shows "how hard it is for the
First Lady to run for office while her husband is President."
"And what could be an explosive issue for Hillary Clinton's New York
Senate campaign, 12 Puerto Rican nationalists have indicated they will
accept the president's offer of clemency. Mrs. Clinton at first approved
of that offer, and then three weeks later urged the President to rescind
it. It's a hot button in New York politics."
Mitchell began: "An aftershock from
terrorist bombs two decades ago. This time, a political explosion for
Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign. The President's rare clemency offer,
now accepted by 12 jailed Puerto Rican terrorists, but opposed, belatedly,
by the First Lady -- and only after outcries from a powerful political
group, law enforcement officials including the Justice Department, and
victims, former police officers injured by one of the group's 130 attacks
in the 1970s."
from a couple of victims and a clip of Joe Lockhart defending the offer,
"Political experts say the First Lady hurt
herself by first supporting then opposing her husband's offer. And she
gave no warning of her flip-flop to Hispanic politicians, giving the
impression that she was pandering to more conservative voters. In fact
one, New York Congressman Jose Serrano, now says he will no longer support
her Senate bid. Others are also angry. Tonight, a top federal law
enforcement official calls the clemency deal a, quote, 'travesty.'
Another example of how hard it is for the First Lady to run for office
while her husband is President."
Hillary Clinton's fresh opposition to the clemency offer upset Geraldo
Rivera who called Bill Clinton's pardon offer a "compassionate and
common sense proposal." MRC intern Ken Shepherd caught this
commentary from Rivera on the September 7 Upfront Tonight on CNBC:
"I really like the First Lady. If only Mrs.
Clinton had asked me before her clumsy rejection of her husband, the
President's proposed offer of clemency to the Puerto Rican radicals who
have been behind bars going on 20 years now. Most people of Puerto Rican
descent [points to self] agree with peacemakers ranging from Jimmy Carter
to Nelson Mandela to Cardinal O'Connor that the President was right in
trying to close this violent chapter in American history.
"Now I covered the awful bombings of
Fraunces Tavern back in the 1970s. While absolutely sympathetic to the
innocent people killed and maimed in that and other cowardly attacks it
must be pointed out that none of these separatists still behind bars were
found guilty of any of those violent acts. Twelve of them, these are the
twelve I'm talking about, have now renounced violence and they have
agreed to all the President's conditions for their release. These
radicals now command virtually zero, no political popular support among
the Puerto Rican people and they never will again unless opportunistic
politicians, whether they are married to the President or otherwise, while
trying to show how tough they are on crime remain deaf to the
President's compassionate and common sense proposal. Anyway that was my
that a prisoner would ever lie to get out. If Rivera's so trusting of
how they have renounced violence maybe he could agree to host them in one
of his guest houses on his New Jersey or Massachusetts estates.
while driving by New York City on Tuesday I heard WABC talk show host Sean
Hannity read a letter from O'Connor's office denying that he ever
supported clemency and explaining that several years ago he only had urged
a review of the individual cases.)
ABC News allowed George Stephanopoulos to use his new perch as a
"reporter" to hit Bill Bradley with criticism forwarded by the
Gore camp and to promote Jesse Jackson's hit on George W. Bush for
jailing people for using drugs as Bush supposedly did years ago.
In a decision that
raises more than "an appearance" of a conflict of interest, ABC
assigned former Clinton-Gore campaign strategist and lying enabler
Stephanopoulos to travel to Missouri to conduct a taped interview for Good
Morning America with Bill Bradley, who announced his presidential bid
later in the day on Wednesday. GMA did not have Bill Kristol interview
George W. Bush when he stated campaigning in June and I wouldn't count
on GMA having Kristol conduct the interview when Bush makes it official.
As noted in the
August 23 CyberAlert, that day the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz
reported: "After 3 1/2 years of limiting Stephanopoulos to political
commentary, ABC has decided to give the former White House aide a larger
on-air role -- and cast him as more of a straight journalist." Kurtz
quoted ABC News President David Westin as assuring him "we wouldn't
have him be the beat reporter on the Gore campaign." Apparently,
however, it's okay to have him hit Gore's primary opponent with
Gore's campaign rhetoric.
After starting by
asking if he agreed with Al Gore's assessment that Bill Clinton is
"one of our greatest Presidents," on the September 8 show
Stephanopoulos called Bradley and Gore "cerebral and centrist"
in hitting Bradley with a pro-Al Gore argument:
"You've said that one of things that really
distinguishes you from Vice President Gore is your life experience. Let me
play devil's advocate. In your adult lives you've both served the better
part of two decades in the Senate, both had reputations as cerebral and
centrist, willing to tackle complex issues and the real difference in your
adult lives is you spent ten years in the NBA. He spent eight years, or
will be eight years, as Vice President."
Bradley to run down some policy differences with Gore, MRC analyst Mark
Drake observed that Stephanopoulos then highlighted Jesse Jackson's
attacks on George W. Bush:
"The issue of privacy most recently in this
campaign has been raised with the whole issue of George W. Bush and
cocaine. Today Reverend Jesse Jackson said that George W. Bush should
answer all these questions because of the double standard, he says because
young black men are put in jail for the same offense. Do you agree with
followed up: "But I guess that's Reverend Jackson's point. He's
saying that this is a criminal act and other people are thrown in jail for
Same could be said
of allegations about drug use by Bill Clinton or in relation to Juanita
Broaddrick's charge that Bill Clinton raped her, two concepts yet to be
raised in any interview conducted by Stephanopoulos or a more veteran
member of the GMA reporting team.
The next question
from Stephanopoulos: "Many of your fellow candidates in the race,
this year especially, talk a lot about their personal faith. In your
memoir, you close with a very rich description of your spiritual journey.
What role does faith play in your life now.?"
Not exactly the
kind of challenging questions conservatives get about religion and
politics. But Stephanopoulos had to toss a few softballs. After all, he
and Bradley are both Democrats.
++ See ABC once
again raise the Bush drug interview as GMA has the gall to let
Stephanopoulos do it. Later this morning the MRC's Sean Henry and
Kristina Sewell will post, in RealPlayer format, a clip of this interview.
Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org
Five more times this month, starting Thursday night, the soon-to-be owner
of CBS News, Viacom, will broadcast its movie version of Strange Justice,
the anti-Clarence Thomas/pro-Anita Hill book from 1994. Viacom-owned
Showtime produced the new movie which first aired back on August 29.
The plug for the
film on Showtime's Web site does not disguise its political agenda:
"Based on the book by Wall Street Journal reporters Jane Mayer and
Jill Abramson, this is the story of Clarence Thomas and his nomination to
the Supreme Court. Just after he was nominated, his former subordinate
charged him with sexual harassment. This is the part of the story that
America never got to see -- what the Bush administration did to get Thomas
into office at any cost."
Patinkin, who plays White House chief-of-staff Ken Duberstein, proclaimed
in an August 29 Boston Herald "TV Plus" story: "I wanted to
do this project because of a specific goal. I wanted to make Anita
Hill's truth, which I believe is self-evident, come through."
For a review of
the book's left-wing take on the controversy, check out the November,
1994 Janet Cooke Award in MediaWatch which detailed how ABC's Prime Time
Live promoted the liberal screed: http://secure.mediaresearch.org/news/mediawatch/1994/mw19941101jca.html
You can watch a
RealPlayer clip from the movie by going to: http://SHO.com/programplus/justice/justice.tin
The film, which in
addition to Mandy Patinkin, stars Louis Gossett, Jr., Delroy Lindo and
Regina Taylor, will run several more times. Without reference to time
zones, the Showtime Web site lists these re-play times:
-- 09/09/99, 8pm on Showtime
-- 09/11/99, 9:30pm on Showtime2
-- 09/12/99, 2pm on Showtime
-- 09/19/99, 5:30pm on Showtime2
-- 09/19/99, 3:40am on Showtime2
An August 29
Boston Globe "TV Week" story by Ian Shapira included this
ludicrous passage quoting Jacob Epstein, executive screenplay writer:
"Epstein says he preserved the non-partisan
quality of the book. 'Mayer and Abramson were Wall Street Journal
reporters at the time, so they were hardly part of some left-wing hit
squad,' he said. 'What I admired about the book was that it was
non-ideological and fair -- Hill's camp didn't like it, and Thomas's
camp didn't like it.'"
Truly amazing that
someone actually thinks that no Wall Street Journal reporter is liberal.
Both reporters have since left the Journal, so could they now be liberal
even in Epstein's mind? Abramson is now at the New York Times and Mayer
moved on to the New Yorker where last year she violated Linda Tripp's
privacy to misleadingly claim that on a clearance form she lied about an
arrest as a teen, all in a liberal political effort to discredit Tripp. --
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