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From the February 1999 MediaWatch


Tom’s Tilt

NBC’s Tom Brokaw tried to appear fair by criticizing, on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, both Clinton and Republicans for how they handled impeachment. But he blamed only Republicans for hypocrisy and "zealotry."

On the February 3 show he told Letterman, "Certainly no one can defend the President’s behavior," but "I think that there’s a strong feeling that there was real political zealotry on the part of the people who came after him."

Though Brokaw discounted the idea of a vast right-wing conspiracy, noting Clinton "got himself in this hot water," he theorized: "When you heard how the President had behaved, the question became was that a high crime and misdemeanor and a crime against the state? And it was on that point that most people backed away from saying let’s throw him out of office. But the House continued to prosecute him because they felt strongly about the matter of perjury under oath and they also felt it was an abuse of power. They didn’t feel, these same Republicans, that way when Iran-Contra was going on and Ronald Reagan was in office."

Brokaw could have pointed out that Democrats were zealous hypocrites to demand criminal penalties for Reagan aides in Iran-Contra, but now vote to dismiss the case against Clinton.


Jared Who?
Jackie Judd’s World News Tonight exclusive on January 29 uncovered confirmation of Kathleen Willey’s allegations that an attempt was made to scare her while she was a witness in the Paula Jones lawsuit.

Judd reported: "ABC News has confirmed that this private investigator, Jared Stern, has become a key witness in the investigation of whether there was an attempt to scare Kathleen Willey." Stern was hired by the lawyer of Nathan Landow, a major Clinton-Gore fundraiser who Willey says pressured her to deny that Clinton made a sexual advance. "Sources say Stern was asked to pull [Willey’s] phone records, to find out what medications Willey might be taking, to conduct a so-called ‘noisy’ investigation to let Willey know she was being watched." Stern’s lawyer told Judd, "Stern was so uncomfortable he called Willey and left a message, using an alias, warning her that someone wanted to do her harm."

Stern denied he was the jogger Willey claims threatened her, but "said with certainty" Willey is telling the truth about it. Judd concluded: "Sources say Landow and the lawyer refuse to answer prosecutors’ questions, making this a very difficult case to close."

So was this bombshell picked up by CBS, NBC, CNN, Newsweek, or U.S. News & World Report? No. Judd’s story has only been mentioned by FNC’s David Shuster and briefly in a February 15 Time sidebar titled "When Will Starr Pull the Plug?"


Buttoned Broaddrick
Last March, NBC’s Lisa Myers reported on Juanita Broaddrick’s allegation that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in 1978 when he was Attorney General of Arkansas. As the Drudge Report Web site reported, Myers got an on-camera interview in January with Broaddrick, but NBC News has so far failed to air it. On February 2, MSNBC host Don Imus asked NBC News Vice President Tim Russert about it. He promised: "If we honestly had a buttoned-up bombshell, we would go with it in a flash."

FNC’s Special Report with Brit Hume aired a story on Broaddrick’s claim, despite, as Matt Drudge reported, getting threats from the White House warning them not to go with the story.

Reporter Rita Cosby recited on February 2 Broaddrick’s once-recanted, now-reiterated story of an encounter with Clinton at a nursing home conference in Little Rock 21 years ago: "A friend of Broaddrick’s who attended the conference saw her right after the alleged assault. Norma Kelsey told Fox News that Broaddrick said she’d been assaulted by Clinton. Quote, ‘She was hysterical,’ Kelsey said. ‘Her lip was blue and bleeding, and her hose were severely torn in the crotch area.’ Three others close to Broaddrick say Broaddrick gave them similar accounts." Two days later Hume and his guests sported "Free Lisa Myers" buttons to show support for her submerged interview.




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