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From the March 1999 MediaWatch

Brokaw Still Ducking Juanita

NBC Nightly News Promoted Monica

NBC Nightly News never aired footage of their own exclusive Dateline interview with Juanita Broaddrick conducted by Lisa Myers, but did find the time to promote a competing network’s interview with Monica Lewinsky, as well as their own exclusive with her parents.

Despite Myers, a Nightly News regular, obtaining an exclusive interview with the woman accusing the President of raping her in 1978, anchor Tom Brokaw never showed a frame of Broaddrick, nor ever told his viewers what she alleged. The night the interview aired, February 24, Brokaw ended his show by vaguely referring to how Dateline would feature "an exclusive interview with the woman known as Jane Doe No. 5, Juanita Broaddrick. Her controversial accusations about President Clinton. Dateline tonight at 8, 7 central."

Yet on March 2, Nightly News aired not one, but two stories plugging ABC’s exclusive with Lewinsky landed by Barbara Walters. Brokaw set up the back-to-back pieces: "NBC News In Depth tonight. Speaking out. Monica Lewinsky in her own words. For more than a year now we’ve heard her on audio tapes and in depositions on videotape, but now Monica Lewinsky is telling her version of a story that’s been reported, dissected and debated around the world. First installment: the airing of an interview on ABC with Barbara Walters. The details began to leak out tonight and we begin our In Depth reporting now with NBC’s White House correspondent David Bloom."

After the Bloom piece came a story by Bob Faw in which the camera zoomed in on a full page newspaper ad taken out by ABC News for 20/20. Faw observed: "Hype, too, for that Barbara Walters interview tomorrow night. ABC, which isn’t paying Lewinsky, reportedly hoped to charge $800,000 a commercial, five times the going rate, a $35 million windfall." As he spoke, viewers saw the ad with a big head shot of Monica and could read the ad copy as the camera panned down: "Monica. The Barbara Walters Interview. Special time 9/8c. 20/20." But Faw wasn’t done yet selling the ABC interview, he then played a clip of Walters from MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning program claiming, "There is yes, there is one revelation, there is one thing that she has never said before."

An NBC exclusive interview Brokaw was not ashamed of was Katie Couric’s Today show segment with Bernard and Barbara Lewinsky. On the March 9 Nightly News Brokaw aired a two-minute excerpt from Monica’s father and stepmother.



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