Wednesday, September 10, 1997 | Vol. One, No. 15 | Media Inquiries: Keith Appell (703) 683-5004
CIA Finagling of Haley Barbour's DNC Counterpart Ignored by ABC, All Three Morning Shows
Forgot to Cover Don Fowler's Amnesia
Republican National Committee Chairman Haley
Barbour's July 24 appearance before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee drew the
most TV news coverage of the July sessions, with the exception of the hearings' first day.
But when Barbour's counterpart, Don Fowler, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee,
testified yesterday, he was ignored by most network shows. Fowler said he had no memory of
assisting questionable donors like Lebanese oilman Roger Tamraz into White House events by
defying the National Security Council, even using secret CIA intelligence information to
win Tamraz an invitation.
which carried Barbour live all afternoon, aired nothing except brief updates yesterday.
CNN, which promised during its afternoon of live Barbour testimony that it would also air
testimony of Fowler, aired only 90 minutes of coverage before skipping out at
11:40 AM Eastern time. Other networks also did less:
Evening news, September 9:
On July 25, Linda Douglass and ABC's World News Tonight used Barbour's
testimony to suggest "both parties were so consumed by money, laws were bent if not
broken." Last night, they completely ignored the DNC Chairman in favor of noting Sen.
Fred Thompson has so far failed to connect the Chinese government to the Clinton campaign,
and is now backing down (see box).
CBS Evening News noted the discrepancy between Fowler's memory and documentary
evidence. But reporter Bob Schieffer's story concluded: "Democrats offered no real
defense of Fowler's action, but did manage to show that even after all the bad publicity,
Tamraz got a written invitation from Republican Senator Trent Lott inviting him to join a
Republican fundraising group. Lott called it a mix-up and was trying to figure out how it
happened." Schieffer made Lott's letter sound like a rare personal invitation. But as
CNN's Brooks Jackson explained on Inside Politics, the "written
invitation" was a direct-mail appeal sent to over 100,000 people.
On NBC Nightly News, Lisa Myers aired the toughest story, with a montage of
Fowler's assertions of amnesia, and details of Fowler's run-ins with the NSC and the CIA.
She concluded: "So, how did Tamraz get into the White House when the President's
national security team thought they had him banned. Well, believe it or not, the White
House says anyone Democratic fundraisers put on the list to see the President got in. No
CNN's The World Today carried an anchor brief by Joie Chen, followed by almost
three minutes of testimony clips.
Morning news, September 10:
CBS This Morning aired absolutely nothing about politics, but they also
ignored Barbour on July 25.
ABC's Good Morning America avoided Fowler. On July 25, Cokie Roberts was
interviewed about Barbour.
On the July 25 Today, NBC's Sara James interviewed Tim Russert
about Barbour, even running video of Barbour's errors from Meet the Press. This
morning, Today had no time for Fowler, but did interview a Wheel of Fortune
contestant who failed to recall Today co-host Matt Lauer's name. -- Tim
Graham and Brent Baker
L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher; Brent Baker, Tim Graham, Editors;
Eric Darbe, Geoffrey
Dickens, Gene Eliasen, 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