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June 15, 1998

Numbers Show Dangerous Trends Developing:

Networks' Infatuation With Monica Overshadows
News About Missiles
President Clinton May Have Jeopardized Our National 
Security But TV "News" Cares More About Sex

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. --- A just released MediaWatch study reveals a dangerous trend developing on the network evening newscasts and morning news shows: very disturbing, yet necessary, information about President Clinton jeopardizing the security of the American people is being ignored because the networks are infatuated with the President's unfolding sex scandal. The findings expose how network news is now depriving the public of essential information in favor of sensational and salacious stories.

"The numbers are devastating," said Media Research Center Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham. "The China missiles story busted wide open when the New York Times reported on May 15 that Clinton fundraiser Johnny Chung told investigators he gave the Democratic National Committee thousands of dollars from China's People's Liberation Army. In the following three weeks, network evening newscasts ran 38 stories about the sex scandal compared to just 15 stories on Chinese missiles. The morning shows were worse, running 40 stories about Monica Lewinsky to just 6 about China."

More Evidence of How Real Network News is Dead (May 15-June 5)

Monica Missiles
NBC Nightly News 12 2
CBS Evening News 8 3
ABC's World News Tonight 6 7
CNN's The World Today 12 3
NBC's Today 20 1
ABC's Good Morning America 10 4
CBS This Morning 10 1

Graham pointed out that another trend the MRC has been tracking, the growing disparity between what both print and broadcast media operations consider to be news, is widening.

"Time and again the national newspapers put breaking news on their front pages that is of major importance to the public, but the networks ignore it," Graham said.


Lack of Objectivity: On May 21, ABC's Linda Douglass focused her report more on perceived partisan crowing on behalf of Republicans instead of the serious ramifications of the revelations. "Republicans hope to make a big show of their hearings over the summer, and lay the ground work for a scandal that they can talk about during the fall election."

Ignoring Real Time Developments: In a June 4, page 1 story, Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz revealed the following: "U.S. intelligence agencies are tracking a Chinese ship carrying weapons materials and electronics destined for Pakistan's nuclear weapons laboratory." None of the networks ran a story on this, in spite of the revelations of the DNC/Chinese military connection and in spite of nuclear test blasts conducted by both India and Pakistan.


Media Interviews
To schedule an interview with Mr. Graham, and to receive a copy of the MediaWatch study, contact Bob Adams or Keith Appell at (703)-683-5004.






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