Non-Rudy PM Update: Freeh Memo Coverage; Elian Photo on GMA; MRC at NRA
1) AP disclosed FBI Director Louis Freeh wrote a memo
"suggesting a top Justice Department official was under pressure not to
proceed with the probe" in order "to save Attorney General Janet
Reno's job." Zilch this morning on CBS; 20 seconds on ABC and NBC.
2) Since FNC showed it Wednesday night, only ABC's Good
Morning America has let viewers see the photo of Elian wearing the uniform of
the Pioneers, Cuba's communist youth indoctrination group.
3) MRC's Tim Graham to appear at this weekend's NRA
convention, on a panel about media coverage of gun control.
AP dispatch Thursday night revealed that just after the 1996 election FBI
Director Louis Freeh wrote a memo "suggesting a top Justice
Department official was under pressure not to proceed with the probe to
save Attorney General Janet Reno's job."
The news broke too late for the broadcast network
evening shows, but this morning CBS's The Early Show ignored it while
ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today gave it about 20 seconds
each. The news broke in time for MSNBC's The News with Brian and MRC
analyst Paul Smith noted that Williams talked about it with Washington
Post reporter David Vise.
The AP's John Solomon wrote in his 8:30pm ET
FBI Director Louis Freeh wrote a memo in the earliest days of the
Democratic fund-raising investigation
suggesting a top Justice Department official was under pressure not to
proceed with the probe to save Attorney General Janet Reno's job.
The memo, belatedly turned over to Senate investigators this week, also
discloses that Freeh urged Reno and Justice Department public integrity
chief Lee Radek to step aside from the investigation as early as December
1996 because of purported comments made by Radek.
The memo was described to The Associated Press by several government
officials who have seen it since the FBI turned it over to be produced to
the Senate and House Judiciary committees investigating the fund-raising
In the Dec. 9, 1996 memo to Deputy FBI Director William J. Esposito,
Freeh recounted, third-hand, comments Radek allegedly made to Esposito
suggesting he was being pressured in connection with the investigation
into Democratic fund-raising improprieties during President Clinton's 1996
Freeh's memo quotes Radek as telling Esposito he was "under a lot
of pressure not to go forward with the investigation" because Reno's
job "might hang in the balance," the officials said.
Radek said late Thursday the memo's description of the conversation has
"no basis in fact."....
Freeh wrote Esposito that he met with Reno and told her about Radek's
purported comments and suggested "on that basis" both Radek and
Reno should step aside from the investigation, the officials said....
During the 7am news update on the May 19 GMA, news
reader Antonio Mora took 20 seconds to announce, as transcribed by MRC
analyst Jessica Anderson:
disclosed memo from FBI Director Louis Freeh suggests there was pressure
on the Justice Department not to investigate alleged Clinton campaign
fundraising irregularities. The 1996 memo indicates a top Justice
Department official said that pressure was applied in order to protect
Attorney General Reno's job."
Over on NBC's Today, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens
noticed, Ann Curry used the same amount of time at 7am to read the
"A memo from
FBI director Louis Freeh is raising new questions about whether there was
pressure on the Justice Department to drop an investigation into
Democratic fundraising four years ago. The memo suggests that a top
prosecutor was being urged not to proceed with the investigation in order
to protect Attorney General Janet Reno's job. That memo was turned over to
Senate investigators this week."
Good Morning America briefly showed the new photo of Elian wearing the
uniform of the Pioneers, Cuba's communist youth indoctrination group,
but no other network show picked up on the photo run in Wednesday's
Miami Herald and shown Wednesday night only on FNC's Special Report with
CBS's The Early Show and NBC's Today skipped it
again Thursday morning. Thursday night the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening shows
again failed to show it and CNN's The World Today and MSNBC's The News
with Brian Williams also passed over it.
On the May 18 Good Morning America ABC displayed the
photo during a portion of this item read by Antonio Mora during the 7:30am
Miami want the federal government to reimburse them for more than $4
million spent on the Elian Gonzalez case. Those expenses include police
overtime and clean-up costs. Meanwhile, Cuban-Americans are outraged over
recent pictures of Elian wearing a blue scarf. They say it's the uniform
of a communist youth group. Cuban diplomats say the scarf is part of
Elian's school uniform."
To see the photo as displayed by FNC, for more
details on Wednesday coverage or to read an excerpt of the Miami Herald
story about it, go to:
NRA Convention. Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis for the Media
Research Center, will address the NRA's convention this weekend in
Charlotte, North Carolina.
Liz Swasey, the MRC's Communications Director who
set up the appearance, passed along these details about the time and
-- Sunday, May 21
at 9:30am at the Charlotte Convention Center, Rooms 207 C and D.
Tim will be part of a panel in a special session
titled, "For the Record: Media Commentators Speak Out."
Geoffrey Dickens, author of the MRC's much-quoted
study released in January, "Outgunned: How The Network News Media Are
Spinning the Gun Control Debate," will
also attend. To read the study, go to:
So, if you will be attending the NRA convention this
weekend, stop by to learn about media coverage of gun control and meet Tim
and Geoff. -- Brent Baker
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