The Homeless Are Back; Angry at Clinton for Giving Conservatives a Reason to "Pontificate"; Early Clinton Furniture Shipping Ignored
1) The homeless are back! On
Sunday night ABC News won the race to be the first network to re-discover
homelessness after eight years of avoiding them. ABC's Bob Jamieson:
"In New York City the number of homeless in the shelter system has
risen above 25,000 a night for the first time since the late 1980s."
2) Best Quotes of the Weekend: Brit Hume asked Joe Biden:
"If you had the Clintons over to dinner would you use your best
silver?" And George Will was is awe of liberals who tolerated eight
years of misdeeds in office by Clinton, but then "he steals the
toaster and they say, 'that's it, we've had it.'"
3) Time's Jack White revealed that media liberals are
most angry at Bill Clinton not for what he did during his last days in
office, but for giving conservatives "another excuse to get up in
front of the public and pontificate endlessly about these problems."
4) The Washington Post revealed that against the advice of
the White House's chief usher, more than a year ago the Clintons shipped
government-owned furniture to Chappaqua. NBC mentioned it briefly while
ABC and CBS skipped the disclosure.
5) World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson: "ABC
News has learned that some of the Republican outrage about the pardon may
be misplaced" because Denise's Rich's donations to the Clinton
library occurred before the pardon request.
6) The liberal mantra about tax cuts for the rich adopted
by reporters on the weekend gabfests. Eleanor Clift dubbed it an
"outrageous" giveaway to the rich. Al Hunt called it a
"reverse Robin Hood bill." Margaret Carlson complained about how
little goes to "we" in the "working class."
7) After a soundbite of Tom Daschle reciting his Lexus
versus a muffler spin, ABC's Charles Gibson insisted to Treasury
Secretary Paul O'Neill: "In essence, he's correct, isn't he?"
8) Why are journalists liberal? On FNC, American
University journalism professor Jane Hall revealed how she teaches her
students to assess the tax cut: "If the poorer people are getting a
big percentage, and they're still not getting as much, you need to talk
to people about that."
homeless are back! The homeless are back! On Sunday night, just three
weeks after George W. Bush assumed office, ABC News won the race to be the
first network to re-discover homelessness.
Tonight/Sunday anchor Carole Simpson intoned:
one of the longest periods of prosperity in U.S. history, America's
robust economy is slowing. Layoffs and the high cost of housing are
creating hardships. Homelessness, which is estimated to effect from two
and a half to three and a half million people, is again on the rise."
Bob Jamieson began his story by showing people at
the Hesed House homeless shelter in Aurora, Illinois. He claimed:
"The 175 bed shelter in the city of 130,000 has recorded a steady
increase in homeless for the last year, particularly families with
Director of Hesed House: "It's been mind-boggling. We don't even
have time to think about how many folks we're serving and more come in.
So it's numbers have increased in ways we could never even
extrapolated: "What's happening in Aurora reflects a national
trend. The U.S. Conference of Mayors reports a 17 percent increase in the
number of families asking for help because of homelessness. In part, the
long economic boom is blamed for causing rents to skyrocket. Since 1994
housing costs have increased at a rate 40 percent greater than inflation
every year. In New York City the number of homeless in the shelter system
has risen above 25,000 a night for the first time since the late 1980s.
More than three quarters of the homeless are families or single
The most since the late 1980s. What a coincidence.
And wow, Bush's policies sure do work fast. It took just three weeks to
return us to Reagan-era misery.
Liberal advocate Barbara Duffield of the National
Coalition for the Homeless asserted: "In many shelters over half of
the residents are working but they can't afford housing. And in fact
there's no state in this entire country where a minimum wage job would
allow a person to rent a two bedroom apartment."
Ever think of working more than 40 hours a week?
Jamieson continued: "Federal funding for
shelters has more than doubled to a billion dollars in the last eight
years, but there's only money to provide housing assistance for one in
four low income families that qualifies."
Another unlabeled liberal not balanced with a
conservative voice got a chance to sound off. Dennis Culhane, identified
on screen as with "Social Welfare Policy" at the University of
Pennsylvania, argued: "More emergency shelters means we have more
homeless people. We don't have more housing. And the solution,
obviously, is to increase the supply of subsidies so housing is more
affordable to people who need it."
The solution is not so "obviously" more
spending but eliminating rent control in big cities so more housing can be
Jamieson concluded: "Elise Baker-Harrington
wants to leave the shelter in Aurora as soon as she can, but with
affordable housing in such short supply she, like other homeless in other
parts of the country, may be in a shelter for months."
Even worse, the homeless will get nothing out of
Bush's tax cut.
The media's lack of interest in homelessness since
January 20, 1993, except to occasionally illustrate the evils of welfare
reform, was confirmed in a 1996 study in the MRC's MediaWatch
newsletter. The February 1996 study, compiled by Tim Graham, began:
The poor may have always been with us, but the network news has often
presented homelessness as a problem created by the Reagan administration.
"In the 1980s, the Reagan years, the amount of government money
spent to build low-income housing was cut drastically. Then the homeless
began to appear on streets and in doorsteps and housing became a visible
human problem," proclaimed then-NBC anchor Garrick Utley on November
3, 1990. ABC's John Martin told the same tale in reporting a 1989
homelessness march: "They staged the biggest rally on behalf of the
homeless since the Reagan revolution forced severe cutbacks in government
It mattered little that budget experts John Cogan and Timothy Muris
noted in The American Enterprise in 1990 that "while budget authority
for subsidized housing programs declined 77 percent (from 1981-89), the
number of subsidized units and the number of families living in those
units increased by one-third."...
So now that Bill Clinton has been in office for three years, has the
ever-growing problem of homelessness continued to burden the White House?
Or did the problem recede from the media's agenda? MediaWatch analysts
used the MRC Media Tracking System to count the number of network evening
news segments on homelessness in America on the four evening newscasts
(ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, and CNN's
Prime News or World News). Analysts found the problem faded from the list
of priorities. In the Bush years (1989-1992), the number of homeless
stories per year averaged 52.5, but in the first three years of the
Clinton administration, the average dropped to 25.3 stories a year.
During the Bush administration, the story count grew from 44 in 1989 to
a peak of 71 in 1990, followed by 54 stories in 1991 and 43 in 1992. By
contrast, stories on America's homeless dipped slightly to 35 stories in
1993, and 32 in 1994. In 1995, the number fell dramatically to just nine.
When the count is broken down by network, CNN had the widest gap in
reporting during the Bush years and Clinton years (90-30), closely
followed by ABC (45-16), CBS (41-15), and NBC (36-15).
Now that a Republican is back in the White House you
can be sure that ABC's story is not an aberration but the first of many
network looks at a problem they somehow managed to overlook during the
Quotes of the Weekend: Brit Hume asked Joe Biden "if you had the
Clintons over to dinner would you use your best silver?" And George
Will was is awe of liberals who tolerated eight years of misdeeds in
office by Clinton, but then "he steals the toaster and they say,
'that's it, we've had it.'"
-- Brit Hume interviewing Senator Joe Biden on Fox
what you now know about furniture and other items that left the White
House, if you had the Clintons over to dinner would you use your best
Biden: "Only if
I were in the home that Ronald Reagan was given for $2.6 million. I would
do it there."
he pay that money back, sir?"
not that I'm aware of but maybe you're right, maybe he did. But let me
assume he paid it back. Would you all be satisfied if the Clintons paid it
back? I doubt whether you'd let it go."
Senator I still haven't gotten the answer about the silver."
Biden: "Well, I
don't know about the silver. I'd be happy to have them both at my
-- George Will during
the roundtable segment on ABC's This Week: "I love liberals. They
put up with this guy through perjury, suborning perjury, obstruction of
justice, use of the military to cloud discussion of his problems. He
steals the toaster and they say, 'that's it, we've had it.' Is my
memory deceiving me or did we in 1992 hear the Clintons say 'what
we're going to do is get over the moral squalor of the decade of greed,
the Reagan decade of greed.' I don't think we made it."
Jack White revealed that media liberals like himself are most angry at
Bill Clinton not for what he did during his last days in office in taking
furniture and issuing baseless pardons, but for giving conservatives
"another excuse to get up in front of the public and pontificate
endlessly about these problems."
On Inside Washington over the weekend White,
Time's national correspondent, rued:
"Well Clinton really
stunk up the joint didn't he? I mean Eric Holder's a friend of mine
and he's a decent man and an honorable public servant. But like so many
other people who have come close to Bill Clinton, he has been caught up in
the trail of slime that Clinton has left behind him like a slug making its
way through a garden, but what I really have against Clinton in this case
though is he's giving these people like Bob Barr another excuse to get
up in front of the public and pontificate endlessly about these
after being questioned by the chief usher at the White House who believed
the furniture belonged to the mansion, not the Clintons personally, Bill
and Hillary Clinton began shipping furniture from the White House to their
New Castle (Chappaqua), New York home in January 2000, the Washington Post
revealed in a front page story on Saturday. But the broadcast networks all
ignored the disclosure on Saturday night after NBC gave it a sentence on
ABC skipped the early removal of furniture on
Saturday's World News Tonight, but had time for a full story on
Eminem's popularity in Britain and a piece of rising interest in toy
pianos. The Saturday CBS Evening News ignored the Washington Post front
page piece on the furniture, but aired a full story on another development
on the Post's front page: The EEOC suing to stop Burlington Northern
Santa Fe Railroad from performing genetic tests on its employees. NBC
Nightly News ran a piece by John Palmer on how the investigating
congressional committees plan to subpoena Clinton library donor records
and ask the Justice Department to grant immunity to Denise Rich.
Lisa Myers, on Friday's NBC Nightly News, noted
how amongst the gifts the Clinton were returning were six not on any list
and which the Washington Post had learned were shipped out a year earlier:
a gaming table with presidential seal, a television armoire, two prints
and two tables.
"Clintons Shipped Furniture Year Ago"
announced the headline over the top of the fold front page story in the
February 10 Washington Post. Here's an excerpt of the report by George
Lardner Jr., who appeared on Friday's News with Brian Williams on MSNBC
to discuss his piece:
President Bill Clinton and his wife started shipping furniture from the
White House to the Clintons' newly purchased home in
New York more than a year ago, despite
questions at the time by the chief usher about whether they were entitled
to remove the items.
The day before the items were shipped out, White House chief usher Gary
J. Walters said he asked whether the Clintons should be taking the
furnishings because he believed they were government property donated as
part of a White House redecoration project in 1993, during Clinton's first
year in office.
But Walters was told by the White House counsel's office that the items
he asked about -- which included an iron and glass coffee table, a painted
TV armoire, a custom wood gaming table, and a wicker center table with
wood top -- were "personal gifts received by the Clintons prior to
President Clinton's assuming office."
Personal property brought to the White House by an incoming President
does not have to be disclosed on financial reports. As a
result of the counsel's determination, the furnishings were sent on to the
Clintons' new home in Chappaqua. They were not listed among the
controversial gifts Clinton revealed, the day before he left office this
year, that he and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), had
taken with them.
However, government records show that the gifts that concerned Walters
did not arrive at the White House until after the Clintons moved in. At
least one of the items, a Ficks-Reed wicker table, was logged in at the
White House on Feb. 8, 1993. Joy Ficks, the widow of the manufacturer,
told The Washington Post last week it was meant for the White House, not
the Clintons, and she thought it would stay there.
The Clintons' interior decorator, Khaki Hockersmith, had been
soliciting gifts for the White House redecoration project even before
the 1993 inauguration, according to some of those she approached. Walters
said he understood she was telling donors that
the furnishings were for the executive mansion rather than the Clintons
The armoire, the coffee table and the wicker center table were trucked
to New York on Jan. 4, 2000, just before the Clintons moved
into the $1.7 million home in suburban New York, Walters said
Walters said he accepted without a fuss the determination of the
counsel's office, in a memo dated Jan. 3, 2000, that the gifts were
personal Clinton property. In the memo, White House associate counsel
Meredith Cabe said the reason the four items "arrived after the
Clintons" was each item "was given a special finish" under
Hockersmith's direction "to match the design decor selected by the
Clintons for individual rooms in their personal space in the
Residence." Cabe said she was relying on information from Hockersmith.
"I'm not a lawyer," Walters said. "I didn't feel I was
in a position to argue with the counsel's office."....
To read the whole story, go to:
NBC treated the revelation that Denise Rich donated over $400,000 to the
Clinton library as another bit of evidence suggesting Bill Clinton's
pardon of her ex-husband was done in exchange for financial support, but
ABC emphasized how "some of the
Republican outrage about the pardon may be misplaced" since her
donations were given supposedly before a pardon was requested.
Dan Rather announced on Friday's CBS Evening News:
"There are new questions tonight about President Clinton's
last-minute pardon of Marc Rich, the fugitive financier. CBS News White
House correspondent Bill Plante reports Rich's former wife, Denise,
contributed about $400,000 to the Clinton presidential library. President
Clinton has insisted repeatedly that the pardon was based on the facts of
the case and nothing else."
But over on ABC's World News Tonight, anchor
Charles Gibson asserted: "The furor surrounding President Clinton's
pardon of Marc Rich is unabated, but ABC News has learned that some of the
Republican outrage about the pardon may be misplaced. They claim Rich's
former wife made a huge gift to the Clinton library and perhaps bought the
pardon. That may not be the case."
Reporter Jackie Judd outlined the spin: "ABC
News has been told by Democratic sources that the ex-wife of fugitive
financier Marc Rich gave $450,000 to the Clinton library. The sources say
the contribution was made in three separate payments, with the final check
May going out last May. That would mean it was paid before there was any
known discussion of a pardon."
weekend of tax cut bashing on the gabfest shows by reporters who endorsed
the liberal class warfare mantra. Eleanor Clift dubbed it an
"outrageous" cut which is a "raid on the treasury." Al
Hunt called it a "reverse Robin Hood bill." Margaret Carlson
declared that "we" in the "working class" have about
as much chance of "getting help under this bill...as we do winning
-- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on the McLaughlin
"This is a raid
on the treasury that the Democrats don't have the votes or the spine to
stop. The top one percent of wage earners pay 20 percent of taxes,
they'll get 42 percent of this tax cut. It's outrageous."
-- Al Hunt, Executive Washington Editor of the Wall
Street Journal, on CNN's Capital Gang:
succeeded so far in this patently false claim that this a tax cut that's
tilted to the middle and working class. It's not, Mark. The top one
percent of income earners in the U.S. today pay about 20 percent of all
federal taxes. They get 36 percent of the benefits in this bill.
Conversely, the working poor. The working poor, now, I'm talking about,
get virtually nothing from this bill.
who pay payroll taxes but they get nothing because first of all, it does
nothing about payroll taxes, even though 74 percent of Americans pay more
payroll taxes than income taxes. It does nothing about the earned income
tax credit for working Americans, and on the refundable -- or on the tax
credit, the child tax credit, it gives it to people making $150 to
$200,000 a year for the first time. But because it doesn't make it
refundable, if you make 15 to 20 grand you get nothing. This is a reverse
Robin Hood bill."
Fellow panelist Bob Novak correctly observed:
"I'm glad I got that lesson in
-- Margaret Carlson of Time magazine on the same
Capital Gang, referring to Bush's photo-op appearances with families to
illustrate how they will benefit from his tax cut plan:
"I thought the
Publisher's Clearing House, Ed McMahon was going
come out because I think the working class has about as much chance as
getting help under this bill without the payroll tax cut as we do winning
"We"? I think it's a fair assumption
that Margaret's income is well above "working class."
Charles Gibson set up a Friday morning interview with Treasury Secretary
Paul O'Neill by outlining the numbers used for and against the Bush tax
cut, but then asked him to agree with the class warfare spin forwarded by
Tom Daschle about buying a Luxus versus buying a muffler.
Gibson introduced the February 9 Good Morning
America segment, as transcribed by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson:
we're going to turn to the President's tax plan. Under the plan, a family
of four or five earning $60,000 a year, would save $1,600. A family
earning a million dollars would save $46,000. That's the dollar amounts,
but look at it on a percentage basis. That's a 40 percent tax cut for the
family earning $60,000, just a 15 percent reduction for the wealthier
family, and there's the divide. How do you talk about it? Critics talk of
the large dollar savings for the rich, and supporters talk about the
larger percentage savings for lower earners. Just a few moments ago we
talked with Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and a family that's not quite
convinced the plan works for them. Mr. Secretary, no sooner was your
proposal up on Capitol Hill than, as might be expected, Democrats
reacting. I just want to play a quick bite from the Senate Minority Leader
"If you're a millionaire, under the Bush tax cut, you'd get a $46,000
tax cut, more than enough to pay for this Lexus. But if you're a typical
working person, you get $227 dollars, and that's enough to buy this
Mr. Secretary, you may dispute the exact numbers, but in essence, he's
correct, isn't he?"
Of course, if you don't even earn $46,000 it's
hard to get a tax cut of more than $46,000.
Gibson soon proposed to O'Neill: "But, and
administration people keep saying 'proportionately middle income people
will save more,' but the savings for taxpayers who are in million
dollar-plus brackets are enormous compared to the absolute numbers that
middle income people will save."
Again, if you earn less than the rich pay in taxes
it's hard to get a tax cut as large as a rich person would.
do journalists evaluate tax cuts on class warfare "fairness"
terms advocated by liberals and not by measuring them against the
percentage cut taxpayers in different brackets will receive? Maybe it's
because they are taught that way.
At least that is what one journalism professor
revealed over the weekend on FNC's Fox NewsWatch. Panelist Jane Hall, a
former Los Angles Times reporter in the paper's Washington bureau who
now runs the journalism program at American University in Washington, DC,
divulged how she trains her students to apply a liberal test when
assessing tax cuts:
there's a deeper issue. I think the question is, whom is this going to
benefit? You quoted editorials. I think there should be straight news
reporting that talks about -- not having Tom Daschle say it -- who is this
going to benefit? It's as simple as saying, let me finish, I teach a
reporting class and I talk to them about how you evaluate a percentage? If
the poorer people are getting a big percentage, and they're still not
getting as much, you need to talk to people about that."
As panelist Cal Thomas futilely tried to explain to
her, the rich pay more in taxes so naturally they will cut a bigger
Hall demonstrated one reason why journalists are so
liberal. Former journalists teach them to be that way. -- Brent Baker
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