Friday July 25,1997 | Vol. One, No. 6 | Media Inquiries: Keith Appell (703) 683-5004
Hearings Draw A Story from All the Network Evening Shows, But CBS Was Absent Again This Morning
Haley Barbour, Liberal Media Magnet
Former Republican National Committee
chairman Haley Barbour set some firsts when he testified before the Senate Governmental
Affairs Committee. CNN and MSNBC aired their first significant live coverage in weeks.
Barbour prompted the first night in which all three broadcast network evening shows aired
full stories on the hearings since the night of the opening statements, meaning the first
time they all aired a full story on a day of witness testimony. ABC and NBC offered their
first interview segments in weeks (albeit with their own network pundits), while CBS
skipped it all for Cunanan again this morning.
Evening shows, July 24:
On ABC's World
News Tonight, reporter Linda Douglass aired the program's first witness soundbite of
more than two words. Douglass said "Haley Barbour marched in and declared the foreign
money fundraising scandal is not bipartisan," but she ended by pushing the Democratic
spin: "All along the Democrats have called the loan a sham transaction, but legal or
not, one thing the hearings have made clear is that both parties were so consumed by
money, laws were bent if not broken."
On NBC Nightly News, Tom Brokaw relayed:
"At the campaign finance hearings today, the former head of the Republican National
Committee was on the hot seat defending his party against the same charges that party has
been making against the Democrats -- taking money from foreign sources." Reporter
Lisa Myers said nothing about yesterday's New York Times story showing the
President requested phone lists of donors, despite reporting on it yesterday morning.
CBS Evening News led with four stories
on Cunanan (they aired a fifth later in the show), but the hearings were the second topic
of the show, just after the first ad break. Bob Schieffer filed a report half on Barbour,
half on the Clinton fundraising memo, making CBS the only broadcast network evening show
to cite the memo about how Clinton personally placed calls.
CNN's hour-long The World Today devoted
its first half-hour to Cunanan. Candy Crowley's 3-minute report on Barbour left out the New
York Times Clinton story.
Morning shows, July 25:
CBS This Morning ignored the hearings
for the 12th weekday morning in a row, devoting seven full news stories or interview
segments to the Cunanan story.
ABC's Good Morning America aired a talk
with ABC's Cokie Roberts in the 7:30 half hour, the first interview segment since
the 13th. Co-host Charles Gibson asked if the Barbour charges were "very
serious, or a chance for the Democrats to say 'Aha, you Republicans do it, too?'"
Rebutting Linda Douglass's evening assertions, Roberts replied: "The second."
Gibson ended by asking: "Everyone agrees this is a horrible system we have, campaign
finance system. Do you see reform coming out of these hearings or are we going to be left
with the same system everybody agrees doesn't work?"
On NBC's Today, news anchor
Sara James did an interview (the first since July 8) with Tim Russert. NBC showed video of
Barbour telling Russert on the March 16 Meet the Press that the GOP think tank
named the National Policy Forum never took foreign money. Later, James asked: "Does
it end here, Tim?" Russert said no: "The country right now still
believes they all do it, although even some Democrats are willing to acknowledge the
excesses by the Clinton administration were much worse than the Republican Party thus
far." That's funny. You'd never know that from watching the nightly news. -- Tim
Graham & Brent Baker
L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher; Brent Baker, Tim Graham, Editors;
Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve
Kaminski, Clay Waters, Media Analysts; Kristina Sewell, Research
Associate. For the latest liberal media bias, read the
Home | News Division
| Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact
the MRC | Subscribe