The House impeachment managers
are a bunch of conservative Christian zealots? Take it from CBS reporter
Phil Jones, and his GOP helper. In a January 6 Evening News
piece, Jones used Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) to paint the managers as
extremists out to get the President rather than men preserving justice
and the rule of law.
Jones asserted: "Democrats
believe the House managers are conservative zealots, and some
Republicans agree." Viewers saw King claim: "It’s a very hard-core
group...who are very hard-nosed and determined to get Bill Clinton."
Jones agreed: "Indeed, the
impeachment managers are strikingly alike. All 13 are white, all 13
males, all 13 Christians, all 13 lawyers....And says Republican
Congressman Peter King, who voted against impeachment, they hear
something he’s not hearing." King said they "live in an echo chamber"
where they think everyone shares their low opinion of Clinton. If
liberal Democrats had impeached a GOP President, how likely is it CBS
would have used a conservative Democrat to tag his party’s majority as a
bunch of extremists?
Of course, the tagging didn’t
stop there. NBC’s Lisa Myers implied conservatives have inherent racist
and chauvinistic tendencies. In a January 14 Nightly News report,
she described the House managers this way: "To conservatives, they may
be the dream team. Thirteen lawyers, all white, all male, all
conservative with varying degrees of legal talent."
Lisa’s Byrd Bath
In a brief hagiography of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.) which aired on
both NBC Nightly News and MSNBC’s The News with Brian Williams
January 5, Lisa Myers found a man renowned for his "unflinching devotion
to principle" and "a Democrat known for integrity and independence."
Referring to Byrd as "the
Senate’s most respected voice on impeachment," Myers touted a scholar
and a stickler for the Constitution. While "most politicians quote
public opinion polls, Byrd quotes the founding fathers and Greek and
Myers ran through a decidedly
sanitized version of Byrd’s biography: "This from an orphan who grew up
in grinding poverty, worked first as a butcher and earned his law degree
at night after he was elected to the senate from West Virginia. His only
known indulgence, his fiddle, which he gave up in sorrow after his
grandson died. For Byrd, it was a matter of sacrifice, a matter of
principle." Myers concluded: "Whatever the verdict, Robert Byrd will
make sure it’s done right, for the Senate and for history."
Myers left out Byrd’s
membership in the Ku Klux Klan, his opposition to the Civil Rights Act
in the 1960s, and his reputation as the King of Pork Barreling. But when
Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) set the record for length of Senate service
on May 22, 1997, Myers asked him the next morning: "You were once a
segregationist. You voted against most major civil rights bills. Do you
regret that at all?"
Rivera Kicks Claire
So much for teamwork at NBC News. On CNBC’s January 13 Upfront
Tonight, NBC star Geraldo Rivera attacked his own colleague for
asking a critical question of his beloved President.
In summarizing the day, Rivera
complained: "So on the eve of his impeachment trial, the President
decided to field a couple of snotty questions like this one." Rivera
then played a clip of an unseen female reporter asking Clinton: "Lawyers
are arguing that the charges against you don’t amount to high crimes and
misdemeanors. Do you personally believe that perjury and obstruction of
justice are not impeachable offenses?"
The female reporter with the
nerve to ask such a "snotty" question? NBC’s own Claire Shipman. In the
clip Rivera aired, the camera focused on the President, so perhaps
Rivera made a mistake. But just minutes later in a story by Jane Wells,
viewers saw the same exchange with the camera pointed at Shipman. Rivera
already angered NBC’s other White House reporter, David Bloom, to the
point where he now refuses to appear live on Rivera’s shows. How long
before Rivera castigates his network’s own anchor Tom Brokaw?
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