At tax time ABC lectured
viewers about the wondrous benefits of taxes. On the April 14 World
News Tonight, Judy Muller found some locals in San Louis Obispo,
California to complain about big government and high taxes. She
countered: "In fact, the federal government takes about a billion
dollars a year from this county, but what most residents donít realize
is that the government gives back almost the same amount Ė money that
makes a difference."
Muller ran through a list of
local projects, for which residents should be grateful, such as
stabilizing the banks of a creek, dredging a bay, fixing a water tower
and issuing $6 million in grants to Cal Poly for such projects as
writing a computer program to load cargo onto military ships. In an
analysis reminiscent of the trickle-down economics so disparaged by the
networks, Muller explained their value: "While that money does not
directly affect the townspeople, it does add to the prestige and overall
economic health of the university which is directly linked to that of
Over video of an empty field
Muller contended: "What you donít see is suburban sprawl. Thatís because
federal money helped the county buy up development rights in order to
preserve farmland Ė farmland that feed the farmers who feed the
tourists, who feed the town."
In her conclusion, Muller
stated, "In other words, the benefits of tax dollars are not always
visible." And just why are the federal middlemen needed to gather funds
to redistribute instead of simply allowing localities to levy the taxes
to pay for all these things? Muller didnít explain.
Lying to Congress?
Energy Department officials admitted before a House committee on April
15 that they withheld information from Congress about Chinese espionage
at the national labs, but only FNC found it newsworthy. Not a word that
night on ABC, CBS, CNN or NBC.
The Associated Press reported
that subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter said two Energy officials
"testifying under oath in a closed session in October, dodged specific
questions about spying activities at the departmentís national weapons
Notra Trulock, the agencyís
special adviser for intelligence, said on April 15 that "he acted at the
behest of then-Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Moler, who also testified at
the hearing, when he did not discuss the investigation into possible
Chinese espionage at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico."
The APís Jim Abrams added: "Trulock said Moler also edited written
testimony he had prepared for the hearing to delete references to
counterintelligence operations. Moler denied editing the testimony and
said she only instructed Trulock to limit his comments to the subject of
the national labsí foreign visitor program."
This was Trulock's second
congressional appearance of the week and the second time ABC, CNN and
NBC ignored him. As noted by the April 19 MediaWatch, on
April 12 he told a Senate hearing his bosses "ridiculed" and "ignored"
his discovery of espionage.
Nine months after retracting its Operation Tailwind piece reported by
Peter Arnett, CNN decided to not renew his contract. In doing so, CNN
fulfilled the recommendation of Perry Smith, CNNís military consultant
who quit in protest after CNN ignored his warnings.
The Washington Postís
Howard Kurtz relayed how Arnett "has said he contributed Ďnot one commaí
to the story, which aired on the debut of the CNN-Time program
NewsStand, charging that U.S. troops used nerve gas in Laos in 1970.
He said he participated in only a couple of interviews but read the
script on the air because he is a Ďcompany man.í" In fact, producer
April Oliver, who was fired by CNN, told a Freedom Forum event last
July: "Peter participated fully. He took time off in April and May just
to be available to us for this program."
Appearing on the January 5
Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, Smith said that while CNN admitted
making an error, "They didnít get rid of Peter Arnett and [CNN
President] Rick Kaplan, which they should have done." One down and one
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