More on Freeh/Reno Ignored; No Interest in Nashville; Shirtless Gumbel & Drag Queens
1) Dan Burton released
long-suppressed Justice documents and the key officials in the controversy,
over whether Reno was pressured to drop fundraising, appeared before
Burton's committee. NBC gave it 35 seconds, FNC a full story. Zilch on ABC,
CBS and CNN.
2) George W. Bush was clueless
about the identity of DNC Chairman Joe Andrew, FNC's Carl Cameron pointed
out. Bush: "I don't know who Joe Andrew is." Cameron added:
"With Democrats questioning Bush's overall smarts, Andrew could not
resist a jab."
3) NBC actually slipped in a
17-second mention of the Gore rental property situation, sans any video. GMA
spent over a half hour with Gore but did not mention his rental house. FNC's
Brit Hume revealed that the Nashville Tennessean has run only a wire story on
the situation and has no plans for further coverage.
4) National Enquirer headline:
"Matt Lauer and Bryant Gumbel's Wild Night with Drag Queens." But
it's not made up. They published photos of a bare-chested Gumbel getting a
lap dance from a he/she.
>>> Watch the
appearance by the MRC's Tim Graham Monday night on FNC's The Edge with Paula
Zahn when he discussed Elian coverage. The six minute segment, during which he
appeared with a woman from Salon.com, has now been posted in RealPlayer format
by MRC Webmaster Andy Szul. It's in two places. First, at the bottom of the
executive summary for the MRC's special report on Elian:
And second, on the MRC's Media Bias Videos page:
Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton on Tuesday released
documents the Justice Department had long suppressed about conflicts in Al
Gore's statements and three FBI and Justice Department officials who
participated in a 1996 meeting, in which two of the three maintain
Justice's Lee Radek conceded Janet Reno was under pressure not to pursue
fundraising, appeared before Burton's committee.
The ABC and CBS evening
shows ignored it all Tuesday night, June 6. ABC led with productivity
growth and a new diabetes treatment topped the CBS Evening News. CNN's
Inside Politics delivered a brief item about the document release but
skipped the hearing. The World Today ignored both developments.
NBC Nightly News gave
the document release 35 seconds, but only after devoting over
two-and-a-half minutes to Robert Hager reciting a Washington Post story
about how a United Airlines flight, from Washington Dulles to San Jose,
diverted to Denver for an early landing when the airline realized they'd
put a dog in the unheated baggage department with limited air. The move
saved the dog. FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume ran a full story on
Anchoring from the
National D-Day Museum New Orleans, Tom Brokaw felt compelled to taint the
source of the latest disclosure:
"In Washington tonight the release of a secret
memo written by FBI Director Louie Freeh back in 1997 that could have
political ramifications now. In it, Freeh said there was compelling
evidence that cast doubt on Vice President Al Gore's accounts of his
fundraising activities in the 1996 campaign. It's long been known that
Freeh wanted an independent counsel to investigation the Clinton-Gore
fundraising operation, but Attorney General Janet Reno said no. The Freeh
memo was released by one of the Clinton administration's fiercest
critics, Republican Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana."
On FNC's Special
Report, anchor Brit Hume reminded viewers:
"It has been known for some time that the FBI
strongly urged the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate
the Clinton-Gore campaign finance scandal from the 1996 election, but
further details on that tumbled into public view for the first time this
day when internal documents long known about but never released became
public. As Fox News correspondent Wendell Goler reports, it was a
Goler, as transcribed by
MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth, explained: "House Government Reform
Committee Chairman Dan Burton released a number of documents he said the
Justice Department had tried to keep secret by warning Burton he himself
was the target of an investigation."
Dan Burton: "Well this about the most transparent
attempt to intimidate a member of Congress that I've ever seen, and it
ain't gonna fly."
Goler picked up: "A 1997 memo from FBI Director
Louis Freeh accuses the Justice Department of ignoring reliable evidence
that conflicted with Vice President Gore's accounts of his fundraising
activities in the 1996 election. Three of the four principals in a
December 1996 meeting testified together for the first time. The FBI's
general counsel Neil Gallagher and former Deputy Director Bill Esposito
say the head of the Justice Department's public integrity section, Lee
Radek, told them he was under pressure to save Janet Reno's job by not
appointing an independent counsel to investigate the President and Vice
President's fundraising efforts."
William Esposito, Former FBI Deputy Director: "I
remember specifically her job could hang in the balance now, I'm not,
because it's been three and a half years, convinced of whether it was
the word 'pressure' or 'stress.'"
Goler: "Radek and a deputy say it couldn't have
happened that way if it happened at all."
Lee Radek: "I do not remember this meeting in any
way, and Mr. Gengloff (sp?) does not either, as he testified this morning
in front of Senator Specter."
Goler: "Republicans also point to a memo Director
Freeh wrote to Esposito in 1996 in which he mentioned telling Reno about
the incident. Freeh said he 'stated that' these 'comments would be
enough for me to take him and the Criminal Division' of the Justice
Department 'off the case completely.' Freeh asked Reno several times
to appoint an independent counsel, but Democrats noted he also testified
several times after writing the memo he didn't think her refusal to
appoint one stemmed from pressure from the White House. The ranking
Democrat on Burton's committee says the title of today's hearing
should have been 'Beating a Dead Horse.' He says there are innocent
explanations for why Reno's aides felt she was under pressure. She had,
after all, already asked for five independent counsels to investigate the
Clinton administration, but Republicans say the most reasonable
explanation for her not wanting to give up control of the campaign finance
investigation is that she felt something was there."
"Wendell, what exactly was Burton talking about when he said he was
intimidated. What did he mean by that?"
Goler answered: "Well Burton was notified last
night that he was the subject of what may be an ongoing investigation. He
says Justice Department officials would not tell him whether it was an
ongoing investigation. He fired off a memo to Janet Reno just a short
while ago saying if it's an effort at intimidation, it won't
much or little does George W. Bush pay attention to political news? Both
CNN's Inside Politics and FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume ran
stories on how the DNC will start airing pro-Gore TV ads paid for with
soft money and how that seemingly contradicts Gore's promise to not
allow the DNC to use soft money for ads until after the Republicans did
first on behalf of Bush.
But only FNC's Carl
Cameron alerted viewers to how when asked about Democratic National
Committee Chairman Joe Andrew's claim that Bush had benefitted from ads
placed by secretive section 527 groups, Bush clearly never heard of
Cameron played a
soundbite of a clueless Bush: "I don't know who Joe Andrew is,
I'm sorry, I don't think I've ever heard of Joe Andrews."
[second time he got name wrong by making it plural]
Cameron then pointed out: "With Democrats
questioning Bush's overall smarts, Andrew could not resist a jab."
Joe Andrew: "For a guy who says he wants to reach
out to Democrats, you'd think that George W. Bush at least might know
who the chair of the Democratic Party is."
Cameron: "Bush aides say the Texas Governor's
ignorance of Andrew's role at the DNC only shows that he's focused on
policy, not partisan attacks by Gore operatives."
Bush: "Is that the game where some guy I never
heard of gets to lay out something and I have to respond?"
Cameron led into another Andrew soundbite: "Andrew
was happy to explain his position," before noting: "Republicans
on Capitol Hill merely laughed it off."
Trent Lott: "I didn't know who he was, either. I
don't think it shows anything. I'd rather that our candidate for
President to be focused on important domestic substantive issues."
After the taped piece,
Hume asked Cameron: "Back on this Joe Andrew business, Carl, do you
expect much fallout from Bush's not knowing who the guy was?"
Cameron suggested: "Well, Democrats obviously are
trying to make a big deal out of it. Republicans say it's not a big
deal, but for the Bush campaign anything that raises questions about
George W. Bush's intellect or knowledgeability is the last thing they
want in the last few months of this fall campaign."
Let's hope he's at
least heard of Jim Nicholson.
actually slipped in a 17-second mention on Sunday's Today of the Gore
rental property situation, but sans any video; Gore appeared on
Tuesday's Good Morning America for over a half hour but was not asked
about his rental house; and Tuesday night FNC's Brit Hume revealed that
the Nashville Tennessean, edited by a Gore friend, has run only a wire
story on the rental house and has no plans for further coverage of the
local story. Meanwhile, tenant Tracy Mayberry and her husband have moved
into their pick-up truck and dumped their kids in a trailer.
-- The June 5 CyberAlert
accurately reported how none of the broadcast network Sunday morning
interview shows or evening shows on Saturday or Sunday had mentioned the
Gore rental house problems. And ABC, CBS and NBC didn't touch on it in
the morning or evening on Monday or Tuesday either. But, MRC analyst Paul
Smith noticed that during the news update on the half hour on the June 4
Today, over a picture of Gore, news reader Hoda Kotbe took 17 seconds to
"A woman who lives in a house owned by Vice
President Gore is accusing the Vice President of being a slumlord. She
contends the $400 a month four-bedroom home in Carthage, Tennessee has
plumbing problems. Gore says he wasn't aware of them but has promised to
fix the backed-up toilets and sink."
Since Today ran no
video, it remains true that only CNN, in a 38-second Inside Politics item
Monday, and the Fox News Channel have shown video of the condition of the
home. See the June 5 CyberAlert for a RealPlayer clip of FNC's story:
Washington's WUSA-TV did not carry CBS's Sunday Morning on June 4 so I
cannot rule out a mention on that show, though neither Face the Nation or
the Evening News that day touched it.)
-- The June 6 Good
Morning America had Al Gore on for over a half hour for a roundtable on
women's issues, but apparently working toilets and sinks are not of
concern to women as the rental home was never mentioned by ABC's hosts
or guest questioners.
The roundtable took
place at 7:30, but toward the end of the 7am half hour ABC's Charles
Gibson posed two questions on other topics to Gore, including pressing him
about breaking his promise to not spend soft money first. Gibson's
questions, as transcribed by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson:
First, "ABM Treaty. The President in his summit
with President Putin of Russia this weekend didn't get agreement on
modifying the ABM Treaty to allow the U.S. to construct a limited missile
defense system. If President Putin does not modify his position, are you
prepared to pull us out of the ABM Treaty?"
money. Let me play you something you said on this broadcast March 15th,
money and politics. Take a look."
Gore: "Last night I asked the Democratic Committee
to set aside any soft money and don't spend it on any issue ads unless and
until the Republican Party does."
Gibson: "Your pledge was they'd have to go first
before you spent soft money on issue ads. They haven't. You're about to
launch a $25 million campaign. Are you breaking your pledge?"
moderated the subsequent roundtable and Marie Wilson, President of the Ms.
Foundation, got the first question:
"Well, one of the most important things, I think,
about child care, having had five children and worked on it for 30 years
trying to get this stuff together, is not only what you're proposing, Mr.
Vice President, but the public's attitudes toward child care because all
of these policies are terrific, but we're still ambivalent in America
about whether Americans really deserve and need help for our children,
whether these folks who take care of our children are workers or are they
part of our families, because they are. And I'd love to know what you'd do
as the president to really create a kind of cultural change, not just
policy change, but a cultural change about child care as a part of
extended families that everybody needs."
The second question went
to Good Housekeeping magazine Editor-in-Chief Ellen Levine: "Our Good
Housekeeping readers tell us they're seriously worried about the quality
of education, and it was a shock to some of us that the top three spots in
the National Spelling Bee were taken by home schooled kids....What would
you fix first in our public school systems that would help give parents
back faith in the quality of our school education?"
The third and final
question from the panel actually hit Gore from the right. Melody Hobson,
Senior VP at Ariel Capital Management, wondered: "You have opposed
Governor Bush's proposal to privatize Social Security, whereby an
individual could take just 10 percent of their annual contribution and
contribute that to stock or bond investments, and for someone like me,
young people who have another 35 years to work -- a long time -- that
sounds like a great opportunity to create wealth. Yet you have been
opposed to this opportunity to create wealth in a way that would also
offset the funding shortfall that we know we have looming out there. Why
audience members got to pose a few questions, such as asking about the
plan for an NRA restaurant in Times Square, but none asked about the
rental house. Of course, if they rely on ABC News for their information
they don't know about it.
-- In a larger piece on
Gore's day spent in part with Rosie O'Donnell at an event promoting
Gore's day care plans, FNC's Jim Angle picked up on how Letterman's
Top Ten list Monday night was the "Top Ten Al Gore Tenant Pet
Peeves." Before playing a couple of them Angle showed a clip of
Letterman explaining the tenant's complaints: "Busted septic
system, crumbling plaster, missing linoleum. Ooh, had linoleum
Letterman delivered more
information about the situation in setting up his Top Ten than has CBS
News so far.
Later, in the
"political Grapevine" segment of the June 6 Special Report with
Brit Hume, the anchor of the same name noted how Gore has promised
repairs, but Hume added:
"If you want to find out more, don't bother
reading the Nashville Tennessean. It may be the largest local paper, but
it has published only one story on the subject -- a wire dispatch story
two days ago. Gore, of course, used to work there and the paper is
staunchly Democratic. A spokeswoman said the paper has no plans to assign
a reporter to the story. The editor, Frank Sutherland, an old Gore friend,
recently appeared in one of Gore's campaign ads."
-- It's not only the
Tennessean. The print media in general have shown no more interest in this
story than have the networks. The New York Times and Washington Post have
run only one AP story inside and USA Today ran the AP dispatch on Monday
as well as another paragraph on Tuesday. Only the Washington Times, New
York Post and Weekly Standard have sent reporters to talk to the Mayberry
family, Washington Times reporter Bill Sammon pointed out in a June 7
In a June 6 story filed
from Carthage, Tennessee, the New York Post's Vincent Morris disclosed:
"A tenant of Al Gore says she's so fed up with her
rundown house -- and her landlord -- she'd rather live in a pickup truck.
"Tracy Mayberry, who first vented her frustration
with Gore on Saturday, yesterday told The Post that her home's backed-up
toilet, mildewed walls and general disrepair are too much to cope with.
"'Me and my husband will go live in our Ford,'
Mayberry said. 'I'll drop the kids off at my momma's house. She lives in
a trailer. This is too nerve-wracking.'"
usually skips, actually, always has skipped over National Enquirer
stories. But I came across one too good to ignore. And since it is
accompanied by pictures, it has the added advantage of appearing to be
accurate. Here's a sentence I bet you thought you'd never read: Matt
Lauer "participated in a 'sandwich,' between the dancers'
gyrating bodies, squashed along with bare-chested Bryant."
The June 13 issue
features a two-page spread of four illuminating photos under the headline:
"Matt Lauer and Bryant Gumbel's Wild Night with Drag Queens."
One photo caption, which
matches what you see in the color photo, read: "Bare-Chested Bryant
has the time of his life as he gets his own personal lap dance."
The National Enquirer
Web site does not post current articles, so you'll have to go to the
store to see the pictures, but MRC intern Michael Ferguson typed up the
text of the accompanying unbylined story:
Morning star Matt Lauer had a WILD night
out -- at a drag queen bar!
That's where Matt's wife Annette Roque
gave him the surprise of his life -- a sexy lap dance by a trio on
Joining the fun were Matt's buddy
"Early Show" host Bryant Gumbel and his girlfriend Hilary
As these exclusive ENQUIRER pictures show,
modest Matt and a shirtless Bryant enjoyed every kinky minute!
"Matt was grinning from ear to
ear," an eyewitness told The ENQUIRER. "Bryant was having the
time of his life. And Annette and Hilary cackled like two hens."
The couples had dinner on Friday, May 19,
at Lucky Cheng's, known as "New York's original Drag Queen themed
After the foursome was seated, three
scantily clad performers -- Desire, Sparkles, and Mayoko -- surprised Matt
and Bryant and led them to the back of the dining room.
"The ladies had prearranged a special
treat," explained nightclub manager Tommy Bolski.
Mayoko unbuttoned Bryant's shirt.
"He was eager and it came right off," said Bolski. Wearing only
a black lace body stocking, Mayoko squirmed on Bryant's lap.
Matt refused to part with his shirt, but
participated in a "sandwich," between the dancers' gyrating
bodies, squashed along with bare-chested Bryant.
The dancers were so stunning that a baffled
Bryant had to ask one "her" real gender. The performer relied:
"What do you think, Bryant?"
Afterward, Matt, 42, and Bryant, 51, signed
autographs and feasted on filet mignon and a $40 Belgian chocolate
The June 13 "double
issue" costs $2.69 and it's definitely worth it just to see these
photos. Or, you should at least go to your local grocery store and take a
peek. The story runs across pages 2 and 3 of the issue featuring a photo
of O.J. on the cover, with a blonde putting a sombrero on his head. The
headline: "O.J. Attacks Lover: 'You'll Die Like Nicole.'"
Maybe if The Early Show
played this kind of video of Gumbel's wild nights out a few more people
would tune into his low-rated program. -- Brent Baker
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