Gore's Treaty Flip-Flop; Fishing With Wen Ho Lee; Spend or Hike Taxes
1) Another incarnation of the
George W. Bush drug charge and Al Gore's flip-flop on the nuclear test
ban treaty were uniquely picked up by the Fox News Channel on Tuesday
2) NBC found a man happy to
pay more in Social Security taxes, only NBC's Pete Williams implicated
the Clinton team in a diversion to a Chinese missile plant and CBS's Bob
Schieffer used the language and spin of campaign finance
3) NBC's Andrea Mitchell
went fishing with Wen Ho Lee days after CNN disclosed the secret files he
downloaded cannot be located.
4) Number 8 in the MRC's Top
Ten Gumbel Stumbles leading to Gumbel's November 1 debut on CBS's The
Early Show: Gumbel took on Ken Starr.
5) The only choices in
Washington: Fund everything with available revenue or raise taxes. Forget
about actually cutting spending.
>>> A new
MagazineWatch is now up on the MRC home page. The October 19 edition,
compiled by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, looks at these topics in the
October 25-dated issues of the three news magazines:
1. Like the rest of the national media, the news magazines are angry at
both sides of the aisle over the failure of the nuclear test-ban treaty.
But the real danger came from conservatives. Newsweek blamed
"conservatives" and "hardliners" but found no
"liberals." U.S. News & World Report singled out "a
handful of conservative turks," and owner Mort Zuckerman claimed
Republicans 'border on xenophobia.'
2. Campaign 2000: The same reporters who pooh-pooh tax cuts as a long way
down the public's list of pet issues decides Al Gore is brilliant for
tapping into the apparently overwhelming voter demand for a nuclear
3. Time repeatedly championed liberated avant-garde sexuality. James
Poniewozik wanted more gay love scenes on TV right away, and Richard
Zoglin championed Hillary-loving playwright Eve Ensler, author of The
4. U.S. News discovered Clinton crony Webster Hubbell found friends in
"high" places, speaking out against the Ken Starr team free of
charge before the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
To read these items, go to:
Tuesday night, October 19, FNC uniquely picked up on hits on presidential
candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore. During FNC's 6pm ET/9pm PT
Special Report with Brit Hume reporter Carl Cameron relayed the latest
incarnation of the drug charge against Bush and later picked up on how
back in the 1988 campaign Al Gore actually raised questions about whether
the U.S. should ratify the test ban treaty he has been railing against
Senate Republicans for failing to approve.
-- Bush and drugs.
Cameron explained that the publication of a new book has revived talk
about an August item on Salon.com about the then-upcoming book:
"In the '60s or the '70s, it said, Bush
was ordered by a judge to do community service to clear a drug charge off
of his record. That allegation's never been substantiated and in fact
it's been denied in categorical, unequivocal terms by the Bush campaign.
They've even gone so far to call it science fiction. Still, the
allegations now re-surfacing in an afterward to a book by J.R. Hatfield,
an author, the book actually coming out just today."
Asked by Hume who
Hatfield is, Cameron reported that he's written two books: a biography
of actor Patrick Stewart, the captain on Star Trek: The Next Generation,
and on the X-Files TV series. As for Salon, Cameron alerted viewers that
it's "very pro-Clinton, very anti-Republican. Its publisher David
Talbott last year, when they said Henry Hyde had had an affair, said well
these are ugly times and they call for ugly measures."
Cameron provided a
similar report for the 7pm ET Fox Report.
-- Gore Flip-Flop.
Turning to the Democratic side, Cameron revealed:
"Gore has also been blasting Republicans
lately for defeating the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. Well, the
Republican National Committee is striking back, circulating a video of
Gore, in a 1988 presidential debate, saying he would first need to know
that compliance by other nations could be verified in order to support the
Gore in the '88 campaign debate amongst
Democratic candidates in Iowa: "But before doing so, I would pin down
the answers to two questions that are important to our national security.
First of all, can we firmly verify whether or not the Soviet Union is
exploding low yield tests on its territory."
Cameron elaborated: "Republicans, who cited
lack of verifiability as they killed the measure last week, say Gore was
right eleven years ago and has since flip-flopped. Gore's campaign said
verification technology, indeed the world, has changed a great deal since
To see Gore's
soundbite from his first presidential run, go to the MRC's home page
where Webmaster Sean Henry has posted a RealPlayer clip of Cameron's
story. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
National Review's "Washington
Bulletin" e-mail report on Tuesday provided more details about
Gore's evolving view of the CTBT, noting the debate actually occurred in
1987. Here's an excerpt:
In a 1987 debate on arms control in Des
Moines, Iowa, Gore explained that he would not seek a treaty with the
Soviet Union until finding out 1) whether it we can "firmly
verify" compliance and 2) whether "we need continued tests to
assure the reliability of our own nuclear devices." He added that
"if we do not have any confidence in the reliability of our deterrent
weapons, then we have thrown away deterrence without having anything to
substitute for it. Simply good will, good faith, or are we going to take a
realistic approach to this?" Jesse Helms was making similar arguments
Gore continued to position himself as a Sam
Nunn-style Southern defensehawk during Senate debates in 1988 and 1992. He
argued against even a one-kiloton limit on nuclear tests back then. Now,
however, he has only scorn for test-ban opponents: "A small, willful
group of Republicans listened to a tiny minority of right-wing extremists
and took an action that is contrary to what the American people
feel." We can only conclude that one of Gore's close relatives must
have died in a nuclear test during the last seven years.
The Rand Corporation study raising a link between a vaccine given soldiers
and the so-called "Gulf War Syndrome," topped the ABC, CBS and
FNC evening shows Tuesday night. CNN and NBC led with the big COLA hike
for Social Security recipients and the new inflation numbers.
CBS gave only a
few seconds to the indictments against McDonnell Douglas over the transfer
of machine tools to a plant making missiles. ABC and NBC offered full
stories, but only NBC's Pete Williams implicated the Clinton
administration. Of the broadcast networks, only CBS provided a full story
on so-called campaign finance reform, with anchor Bob Schieffer employing
the language and spin of the anti-free speech side.
-- Social Security
benefit and tax hikes are good news. NBC's Mike Jensen first focused on
the "good news" for Social Security recipients as they will get
an average hike of $19 a month via a 2.4 percent COLA adjustment. In his
NBC Nightly News story he also noted that the rise of the income subject
to the FICA tax will mean those making over $72,600 will have to pay $223
more a year. But Jensen focused on a man who is pleased to pay more taxes:
"Who gets hit? People making over $72,600 a
year, like Jason Dougal, who doesn't mind paying more."
Dougal: "More money put into the system will
mean, hopefully, that there will be more money later when I retire in the
-- Indictments of McDonnell Douglas, now part of
Boeing, and a Chinese firm for false statements about machine tools, sold
for the manufacture of commercial airliners, being diverted to a missile
On ABC's World
News Tonight Bob Woodruff did note that then-Commerce Secretary Ron Brown
in 1993 said his department approved the sale for commercial use only, but
skirted around holding the administration culpable, saying only:
"Some arms control experts believe the U.S. approved the sale only
because it was interested in doing business with China, no matter what the
Over on the NBC
Nightly News, reporter Pete Williams concluded with a direct hit at the
Clinton political team: "One senior Justice Department official says
today's charges are also something of an indictment of the
administration for approving a questionable deal in the first place."
-- Campaign finance. Employing the language and
spin of regulatory proponents, in introducing an October 19 CBS Evening
News story anchor Bob Schieffer intoned:
"Reform legislation to rein in campaign
spending, by closing a loophole in the law which allows special interests
to give unlimited sums of money to the political parties, all but died in
the Senate today. Supporters of the legislation were unable to break a
Republican filibuster and bring the legislation to a vote."
NBC's Andrea Mitchell went fishing with Wen Ho Lee, at least via
telephoto lense. On Tuesday's Nightly News Mitchell showed how nine FBI
cars tailed the accused spy when he went fishing as the FBI is
"fishing for evidence of espionage."
scenic video, she asserted there's no case for espionage by Lee and she
got Energy Secretary Bill Richardson to concede his department did not
conduct a "model investigation." Mitchell added: "In fact,
the President's own intelligence advisory board, in a scathing report,
says the Energy Department, before Richardson took over, botched the case,
said the weapons labs had the worst record on secrecy ever
But as noted in
the June 16 CyberAlert, when the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory
Board issued a 57-page report critical of how the Clinton administration
handled nuclear lab security after learning of Chinese espionage, NBC
Nightly News skipped the story.
A week later when
Warren Rudman, the public face of the President's Foreign Intelligence
Advisory Board, appeared before an unprecedented combined hearing of four
Senate committees, NBC ran a story, but as noted in the June 23 CyberAlert,
Andrea Mitchell "skipped over the report's condemnation of Clinton
administration delays in taking any action."
NBC remains more
interested in clearing Wen Ho Lee's name, which my be a valid concern,
than in implicating members of the Clinton administration or further
probing what happened to the data divulged.
October 14, on CNN's The World Today, Pierre Thomas disclosed:
"CNN has learned U.S. investigators now
believe top secret nuclear weapons computer files, downloaded by Wen Ho
Lee, cannot be accounted for...Earlier this year, the FBI discovered Lee
transferred the legacy codes from a secure computer at the Los Alamos
Nuclear Weapons Lab to a non-secure computer. Later, law enforcement
sources tell CNN, they figured out, at some point, Lee copied the codes
onto a tape or tapes. They say investigators have requested Lee produce
all such tapes, and he's yet to do so. The possible loss of the key
national security secrets could bolster what some viewed as a shaky case
for charging Lee with gross negligence or illegal transfer of classified
information. Lee denies any wrongdoing."
there's no evidence Lee passed any information to the Chinese, Thomas
concluded: "That failure to connect Lee to the W-88 espionage left
many thinking the investigation was dead. But sources tell CNN the
investigation is very much alive. And with the revelation of the missing
tapes, the stakes are even higher than previously known."
Number 8 in the MRC's Top Ten Gumbel Stumbles, a quote countdown to
Bryant Gumbel's return to morning TV on November 1 as co-host of CBS's
The Early Show, is now up on the MRC home page in RealPlayer format. In
this latest highlight from Gumbel's career as a liberal advocate, he
impugned Ken Starr the day after the Lewinsky story broke, demanding of
CBS reporter Scott Pelley on the January 21, 1998 edition of his
short-lived CBS show Public Eye:
"Scott, as you and I both know, a popular
move these days is to make a titillating charge and then have the media
create the frenzy. Given Kenneth Starr's track record, should we suspect
that he's trying to do with innuendo that which he has been unable to do
To watch this
quote and to see Number 7, which will be posted Wednesday morning, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/gumbel/gumbelvideos.html
Spending cuts not even on the table. Ending an October 19 World News
Tonight piece about how both parties have made the Social Security surplus
something they promise not to touch, ABC's John Martin observed:
"But now, by swearing not to touch the
Social Security surplus, as they have so often in the past, both parties
are faced with a problem: either fund everything they want to do with
available revenues or raise taxes to do it."
Unfortunately, no bias there as it accurately
reflects how neither party is willing to actually cut any spending.
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