Thursday, September 11, 1997 | Vol. One, No. 16 | Media Inquiries: Keith Appell (703) 683-5004
DNC "Hard Money" Allocation Draws All Evening Shows, But Only A Brief from ABC This Morning
Here Comes Gore's Independent Counsel
The New York Times preceded yesterday's Senate hearings on Al Gore's phone
solitications and DNC fundraising practices with a front-page scoop by reporter Don Van
Natta, Jr.: "In a practice that placed some of its most cherished donors in violation
of federal election laws, the Democratic National Committee took at least $2 million in
contributions restricted to generic use by the party and spent it directly on the
re-election campaign of President Clinton and other candidates." The cherished donors
were not informed.
At Senate hearings yesterday, the DNC's top lawyer,
Joseph Sandler, claimed Vice President Gore had "no reason" to know that money
he raised through controversial White House phone calls would be partially allocated to
hard-money accounts. But neither CNN nor MSNBC offered any live coverage yesterday. All
four evening shows offered reports, but the morning shows remained enraptured by Diana.
Evening news, September 10:
ABC's World News Tonight surprisingly led with stories from Washington,
including a full hearings report. Reporter Linda Douglass noted that if Al Gore wasn't
notified that fractions of his phone-solicited millions in contributions were earmarked
for hard-money accounts, he wasn't the only one, since many donors were not told their
contributions were "secretly converted." ABC was the only network of the Big
Three to note the New York Times donor angle.
CBS Evening News led with the latest Diana tidbit, but featured a report by
Bob Schieffer noting "the committee unearthed White House memos showing the
Democratic National Committee had notified the President, Gore, and top White House
officials that the first $20,000 of all big donations that came in last year would be put
in the so-called hard money account, to be spent directly on the campaign."
With just 90 seconds, NBC Nightly News
aired the least on the hearings, 17
minutes into the show, after Diana news, tired truckers, and an "In Depth"
report on prostate cancer. Tom Brokaw asked Lisa Myers two questions: the difference
between hard money and soft money, and the latest on the likelihood of an independent
counsel. Myers replied: "Election law experts I talked with called these documents
significant and said it makes it even more likely the Attorney General will have to
appoint an independent counsel."
After leading with six minutes of Diana news, CNN's
The World Today carried a
two-minute report by John King at 10:15 ET that touched briefly on the hearings, focusing
its attention on the New York Times angle of the DNC's hard-money policy.
Morning news, September 11:
CBS This Morning only had time for entertainment, fashion, makeovers, women's
health, and the Diana crash.
ABC's Good Morning America toured the home of JonBenet Ramsey, but provided
only a single Kevin Newman anchor brief on the hearings at 7:30 AM.
NBC's Today skipped the fundraising developments, devoting its first interview
segments to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers' use of Princess Diana, Rep. Sonny Bono's new
bill outlawing paparazzi harassment, and a promotional interview and reading from poet
Maya Angelou. Senator Fred Thompson could be a rock, or a tree, but he's not getting on
morning TV. -- 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
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