Zilch on ABC, CNN & NBC on Huang/Riady Revelations; Helms' Women Problem
1) Tom Brokaw called a one
percent spending cut "sweeping" and griped that "in this
booming economy companies have done little to expand health care
coverage." CBS nullified good GDP news.
2) The Gore-Bradley appearance
in the CNN/WMUR town meeting generated much more network evening show
coverage than the GOP gathering. ABC used two Clinton-Gore aides to assess
Bradley and one hit conservatives. NBC's Today again advocated Dole for
3) John Huang tied Harold
Ickes to illegal fundraising and asserted that James Riady told Clinton of
his fundraising plans, but only FNC ran a full story. 26 seconds on CBS.
Zilch on rest.
4) The CBS Evening News
promoted the cause of the pro-campaign finance "reform" Council
for Economic Development.
5) Ten liberal Democratic
women disrupted a hearing chaired by Senator Helms, but CBS failed to
identify their party and faulted his attitude. Bob Schieffer claimed the
women acted "proper as could be" and asked: "Do you think
he has a problem with women?"
6) Three days until Gumbel's
debut. In #1 of the MRC's "Top Ten Gumbel Stumbles," Gumbel
claimed House Republicans wanted "to gut the Clean Water Act" so
many would be "forced to boil water."
7) Only FNC picked up on James
Woolsey's blast at Clinton's China policy as
"appeasement....wrong-headed and dangerous."
8) One of Letterman's
"Top Ten Things the Yankees Have Always Wanted to Say" hit
ABC and NBC led Thursday night with a Kaiser Family Foundation study on
how health care insurance costs are rising faster than inflation. ABC
stressed how businesses blame the consolidation of insurance companies
while NBC's Tom Brokaw bemoaned how "in this booming economy
companies have done little to expand health care coverage."
CBS Evening News
anchor Dan Rather began with how "the government put out a glowing
report on the U.S. economy, showing strong growth with low
inflation," but CBS quickly put a damper on the good news by
emphasizing lagging wage growth and a poll which found 27 percent think
the lottery is the best way the gain a retirement nest egg. ABC anchor
Jack Ford made passing reference to the latest GDP number while NBC
Nightly News skipped it.
Here's how the
three networks began Thursday night, October 28:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight opened with Jackie Judd on how the Kaiser Family Foundation
found health insurance costs are up 4.8 percent from a year ago. Bob
Jamieson followed up with a story on how "many employers blame a
handful of insurance companies for the significant increase in health care
-- NBC Nightly
News took a harder edge. Tom Brokaw declared:
"Good evening. Health care of course is a
critical need on anyone's agenda and the cost of it can be prohibitive to
the average family. So a new study out tonight is very troubling for
millions of Americans. It shows that in this booming economy companies
have done little to expand health care coverage. In fact, many are cutting
back, especially for workers who are retiring."
illustrated the point by featuring anecdotal stories about companies
raising the cost of health insurance and cutting off coverage for
retirees, stressing that Kaiser's study "paints a grim picture for
older Americans." Lisa Myers followed up with a look at growing voter
"anxiety" that is driving candidates to address the issue.
Later in the show
Brokaw briefly noted movement on the budget, but labeled as
"sweeping" the GOP's passage of a piddling one percent reduction
in the planned increase in Labor and HHS spending:
"House Republicans pushed through the last
big spending bill of the year. That includes a sweeping spending cut --
one percent across the board -- on social services and education programs.
That would save about $4 billion. President Clinton, however, says he'll
veto this latest proposal, calling the GOP cuts a gimmick."
-- CBS Evening
News. Dan Rather trumpeted the Clinton administration's good news, but
CBS's subsequent story took on a sour tone:
"Good evening. The government put out a
glowing report on the U.S. economy, showing strong growth with low
inflation. The economy was growing in the third quarter at an annual rate
of 4.8 percent, well over twice as fast as the second quarter. Employment
costs rose a modest eight tenths of a percent, easing Wall Street's fear
of inflation. The Dow soared more than 200 points today, the NASDAQ was up
72. All of this indicates how much good work has been done in building a
strong economy. CBS's John Roberts reports on how much there is still to
Roberts focused on
how wages have grown slower than expected and then moved on to a Consumer
Federation of America survey which determined half of U.S. households have
less than $35,000 in savings. Roberts concluded with a sad finding about
how pathetic many are, which suggests why many are so open to government
taking care of them:
"That same survey also found that 27 percent
of Americans believe their best chance to accumulate the half million
dollars in wealth they'll need to retire is to play the lottery. That's
partly because many Americans don't know how to build wealth, but it's
also an indication that even in this robust economy many people don't
think they can do it themselves."
On the New Hampshire CNN/WMUR town meetings front, the broadcast networks
delivered a lot more coverage for the Democratic joint appearance by Gore
and Bradley on Wednesday night than for the Thursday night Republican
gathering; ABC had two former Clinton operatives assess Bradley's
performance with George Stephanopoulos taking a jab at Republicans for
appearing "too intolerant"; and NBC's Today again pushed for
George W. Bush to pick Elizabeth Dole as his VP.
-- Wednesday night
all three broadcast network evening shows aired a story previewing the
Democratic event, but Thursday night only NBC previewed the Republican
one, with David Bloom focusing on the controversy over George W. Bush's
absence. CNN, which devoted the entirety of Wednesday's Inside Politics to
the Democratic event, dedicated half of Thursday's show to reviewing it,
leaving just the other half to preview the Republicans.
But those looking
to the broadcast network evening shows to tell them what happened were
disappointed as none ran a full story. Thursday's World News Tonight
didn't report a thing about what happened with the Democrats Wednesday
night and NBC's Lisa Myers, who insisted Bradley has the "boldest
plan," ran a couple of soundbites from Gore and Bradley in a larger
piece about public anxiety over health care. On the CBS Evening News Dan
Rather introduced competing Bradley and Gore health care soundbites by
noting: "There were few if any runs, hits or errors as a Yankee
audience in New Hampshire attended the first joint appearance" of
Gore and Bradley. "Gore and Bradley agreed on many other issues,
including the need for campaign finance reform," Rather added
-- So much for any
concern about conflict of interest. At the end of Wednesday's World News
Tonight ABC played this promo spot over a picture of George Stephanopoulos:
"Tomorrow on Good Morning America, the Gore-Bradley face-off. He
helped pull the strings in the Clinton White House. Now get his spin on
night, October 27, Nightline featured former Clinton-Gore aide
Stephanopoulos analyzing the town meeting alongside former Clinton-Gore
administration official David Gergen. Ever the liberal Democrat,
Stephanopoulos criticized conservative Republicans over either of his
Asked by host
Chris Wallace, "George, can you see Bradley driving this whole debate
and driving the Democratic Party in the year 2000 to the left?,"
"Well, that's exactly what is happening on
gay rights, on health care, on education. But, again, I don't think it is
as much of a danger as David might suggest, because weighed against that
you have a Republican proposals for big tax cuts, which will also hurt the
deficits. And the Republicans have to be afraid of appearing, as they have
in the past, as being too intolerant. And that's why we have Bush talking
about compassionate conservatism."
-- As detailed in
the October 27 CyberAlert, on the October 26 Today Matt Lauer recommended
to Pat Buchanan that Bush pick Elizabeth Dole as his VP: "How
powerful a team do you think they'd be?"
Lauer's couch mate
Katie Couric chimed in with the same hope on Thursday's Today, observed
MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens. Couric asked NBC News VP Tim Russert, who
came aboard to assess the Bradley-Gore joint appearance:
"Do you think we will see a Bush/Dole
Russert: "Interesting. Elizabeth Dole did
not do anything to offend George W. Bush. And she very much, I believe,
would like to be Vice President if in fact George W. chooses her. He knows
he has to close the gender gap. One way of doing that, choose a
After the release Wednesday of some incriminating statements John Huang
made to the FBI which implicated a former top Clinton aide now working for
Hillary Clinton, on Thursday the House Government Reform Committee granted
Huang immunity to testify in December. The Thursday, October 28 Washington
Post ran a story on page two, which was plugged on the front page,
outlining Huang's disclosures, but the ABC, CNN, MSNBC and NBC evening
shows all skipped the latest in the Clinton fundraising scandal. The three
morning shows also ignored the story Thursday morning.
To refresh your
memory, John Huang is the man who worked at the Commerce Department where
he had access to secret trade documents, and then went to the DNC as a
fundraiser for the 1996 campaign. James Riady runs the Lippo Group and
with Huang donated hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegal foreign
contributions, some of which may have come from communist China.
Evening News found two minutes to look at Marilyn Monroe property being
auctioned off, but just 26 seconds for Rather to announce:
"House Republicans today revived their
investigation into former Democratic fundraiser John Huang. They voted to
compel testimony from him about alleged illegal donations to the 1992
Clinton campaign by an Indonesian businessman. They also want to ask Huang
about allegations that Harold Ickes, a longtime Clinton family friend and
effective aide, asked Huang to carry out what the Republicans say were
questionable fundraising efforts."
Actually, it isn't
just what "Republicans say were questionable fundraising
tactics." So does the U.S. code. Washington Post reporters Lorraine
Adams and David A. Vise wrote in their October 28 story:
"Former White House aide Harold Ickes
pressed former Commerce Department official John Huang to gather donations
for the congressional campaign of Jesse Jackson Jr. in 1995, sources close
to a congressional campaign finance inquiry said yesterday.
"During more than 23 days of interrogation
earlier this year, Huang told FBI agents that after being solicited by
Ickes, he contributed $1,000 to Jackson's campaign and raised several
thousand dollars more, according to sources close to the investigation.
Last week, the Justice Department provided reports of Huang's debriefing
to the House Government Reform Committee, which is expected to vote today
on granting Huang immunity for testimony he might give to the panel.
"Federal law bars government officials from
requesting campaign donations from subordinates. Ickes, now a key
strategist for first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate race, did not
respond to requests for comment, nor did his attorneys."
On FNC's Fox
Report and Special Report with Brit Hume reporter David Shuster outlined
Huang's testimony and the House committee's action. Shuster detailed what
Rather only alluded to, explaining that Huang told the FBI that he began
his illegal fundraising after Indonesian business operative James Riady
told him that during a 1992 limo ride he, Riady that is, had told Clinton
he'd raise $1 million for the Clinton-Gore effort.
showed an under-reported event. Over video of the two men shaking hands
back on September 12, Shuster explained the video: "Riady and Clinton
were photographed last month in New Zealand."
Turning to the
House committee hearing to grant immunity, Shuster observed: "Even
Democrats seemed startled by Huang's allegations, but they denied his
testimony would generate headlines." Shuster pointed out the possible
illegality without resorting to a partisan dismissal as did Rather:
"There is no evidence, said lawmakers, that the Jacksons knew about
Ickes' request. Still, John Huang was working at the Commerce Department
at the time and any attempt to enlist him to do fundraising would have
After running a
soundbite of Attorney General Janet Reno maintaining there was not enough
evidence to justify an outside investigation of Huang and 1996
fundraising, Shuster concluded: "Republicans are convinced though
that friends of the President get a free pass."
covering these developments Thursday night, ABC's World News Tonight ran
three stories about Internet marketing and online buying, NBC Nightly News
devoted a whole story to an underutilized parking garage in Rutland,
Vermont, and MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams ran a full story on how
Coca Cola plans to deploy vending machines which raise the price in hot
weather as well as a panel discussion, featuring the discredited Mike
Barnicle, reviewing the baseball season.
+++ See Riady and
Clinton together in New Zealand just last month. Friday morning MRC
Webmaster Sean Henry will place by this item, in the posted edition of
this CyberAlert, a still shot of the video shown by FNC.
Catching up with the bias of ABC News, on Thursday night the CBS Evening
News delivered a one-sided story by Eric Engberg looking favorably on the
efforts of a business group to eliminate "soft money." Back on
the October 14 World News Tonight, the October 15 CyberAlert outlined,
ABC's Linda Douglass paid similar tribute to the Council for Economic
introduced the October 28 CBS Evening News promotional piece: "When
it comes to putting a lid on unlimited contributions from deep-pocket
political donors, you might be surprised by some of the people who now
favor closing those legal loopholes and why."
didn't bother with any pretense of balance and so didn't address concerns
about free speech or how maybe it's the onerous restrictions on direct
contributions, including a ban on corporate donations to candidates, that
has encouraged party groups to pursue soft money from businesses.
"Jerome Kohlberg, father of the leveraged buyout, became a legend on
Wall Street. One thing that got him: a stream of calls from politicians
seeking campaign cash. It made Kohlberg feel like a mark."
Kohlberg agreed: "Absolutely. Shaken down
and hit up."
Engberg: "With the rise of unlimited soft
money contributions, the sky became the limit....And it wasn't just the
big numbers that bothered Kohlberg."
Kohlberg: "I could see that they were having
to give favors to get that money. I could see that business was expecting
favors for the bigger dollars."
Engberg: "He has started an organization
pushing to reform the system and has found many business colleagues share
Kohlberg: "I think they feel dirty. I think
they feel they have to get their money's worth, and they know that giving
money and then asking something for it is wrong."
Engberg: "There are similar rumblings of
discontent all over the fat-cat world. A blue-ribbon businessman's policy
group, the Committee for Economic Development, shocked the political
community with this report calling on Congress to get rid of soft
Charles Kolb, Committee for Economic Development:
"There is a sense of feeling intimidated, you know, or that there
will be some reprisal, or that something won't get done if I don't give.
And that is not the way it should be."
Engberg, just like Douglass, zeroed in on the
same Senator: "As an example of that intimidation, Kolb points to the
Republican's chief fundraiser in the Senate, Mitch McConnell. He sent CEOs
who endorsed the reform report this angry protest urging -- in a
handwritten P.S. -- that they should 'resign' from the committee. Kohlberg
says pressure like that sours corporate America on the giving game."
Kohlberg: "Businesspeople are maybe finally
beginning to realize that a system that is as broken as this really is bad
Engberg concluded: "One reason why: Many
business leaders are convinced the present system is deeply unpopular with
the public and fear they're being blamed for this as much as the
A very nice
in-kind contribution to the McCain, Gore and Bradley campaigns. But just
the sort of media advocacy none of the "reform" bills would
Ten liberal Democratic women members of the U.S. House of Representatives
disrupted a China-related hearing on Wednesday being held by Senator Jesse
Helms. They held up signs demanding he schedule a hearing on the 1979
United Nations Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against
The CBS Evening
News fell for the publicity stunt. Bob Schieffer failed to identify the
women as Democrats as he incredibly portrayed Helms as the bad guy,
maintaining the women acted "proper as could be" and later asked
one: "Do you think he has a problem with women?" FNC's David
Shuster noted that the women were all Democrats and weren't so proper as
they initially refused to disperse.
ABC, CNN and NBC
all skipped the stunt Wednesday night, though NBC's Today caught up on
Thursday morning and featured a piece in which only Helms earned an
ideological tag. As noticed by the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens, on the October
28 Today Joe Johns began a story: "Conservative Republican Senator
Jesse Helms ordered police to evict a group of Democratic women, members
of the House, from a Senate committee hearing, after they showed up waving
signs and yelling at him."
The October 28
Washington Times listed the ten Congresswomen participating in the PR
gimmick. In addition to Lynn Woolsey of California who led the group,
there "were Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee of California; Nita M.
Lowey of New York; Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; Eddie Bernice Johnson of
Texas; Corrine Brown of Florida; Janice Schakowsky of Illinois; Patsy T.
Mink of Hawaii and Delegate Donna M. Christian-Christensen of the U.S.
A pretty liberal
CBS turned the
stunt into an example a "gender gap" symbolized by a
chauvinistic Helms. Dan Rather declared in introducing the October 27
"The long running partisan politics show on
Capitol Hill took on a new dimension today, a gender gap male and female,
House and Senate. CBS News Chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer
has more about the Senator who declared a Congresswoman's place is in the
House, and ordered a group of them removed from the Senate."
Schieffer began: "Relations between the
House and Senate are always a little frosty, but not usually this bad. Ten
female members of the House of Representatives who've been trying to get
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms to support an
international treaty outlawing discrimination against women, instead got
thrown out of a Senate hearing for being un-ladylike."
After showing Helms calling them "out of
order," Schieffer continued: "After trying for months to get an
appointment with Helms the women showed up unannounced at the
Viewers saw Rep. Lynn Woolsey yelling at Helms
before Schieffer asserted: "Helms bridled at the direct
Helms: "You know you are out of order and I
would not be discourteous to you where you work. Now, you please be a
Schieffer made Helms sound like some Southern
sheriff: "And with that, he called the cops."
Helms: "You're not going to be heard. Escort
Praising the etiquette of the disrupters,
Schieffer claimed: "Proper as could be the Congresswomen departed,
expressing dismay as to why he wouldn't see them."
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson: "The only reason
why we took this route is because we had no other way of seeing him."
Schieffer to Woolsey: "Do you think he has a
problem with women?"
Woolsey: "Well, maybe women who aren't
ladylike in his terms."
Forgetting the merits of each matter, Schieffer
concluded: "Whether or not it's a problem, Helms just can't seem to
avoid controversies involving women lately. Before all of this, he was in
a nasty fight with the President over the President's nomination of former
Senator Carole Moseley Braun to be an ambassador, a fight far from
The same night on
FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume reporter David Shuster observed how
"the Congresswomen, all Democrats and led by Lynn Woolsey of
California, at first didn't move." In contrast to Schieffer who said
"the women showed up unannounced," Shuster reported: "The
group warned Helms ahead of time they would be interrupting his hearing.
Still, a spokesman for Helms suggested they were rude and said the
lawmakers acted like campus protesters."
Quote number 1 in the MRC's "Top Ten Gumbel Stumbles," a quote
countdown to Bryant Gumbel's return to morning TV on Monday 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, on
the June 1, 1995 Today Gumbel blasted the new House Republican majority
for making drinking water dirty, asking Natural Resources Defense Council
lawyer Erik Olson:
at a time when Republicans are looking to gut the Clean Water Act and also
the Safe Drinking Water Act. What are our options? Are we now forced to
boil water because bottled water is not an economically feasible option
for a lot of people?"
To watch this
quote and the other nine quotes via RealPlayer, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/gumbel/gumbelvideos.html
Only FNC picked up on James Woolsey's blast at Clinton's China policy. As
detailed in the October 27 CyberAlert, the day before Clinton's first CIA
Director, James Woolsey equated Clinton's China policy to how Britain
appeased the Nazis, calling the policy "wrong-headed and
Times put the charge on its front page on Wednesday, but so far not a
syllable about Woolsey on ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC or NBC. Only FNC found his
comments worth exploring. On Wednesday, October 27, Brit Hume interviewed
Woolsey on his Special Report with Brit Hume show.
Finally, on the October 28 Late Show with David Letterman, Yankees
baseball players fresh from their World Series sweep announced the
"Top Ten Things the Yankees Have Always Wanted to Say." They got
right to Hillary with number 10: "Take off the Yankee hat,
Not the political
attitude we would have heard if Ted Turner's Braves had won. --
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