September 12, 1997 | Vol. One, No. 17 | Media Inquiries: Keith Appell (703) 683-5004
National Security Adviser Draws 18 Seconds on the Big Three While Diana Leads All Three Newscasts
Do They Have to Subpoena Prince Charles?
ABC's Bill Ritter asked Cokie Roberts on the August 1 Good
Morning America why the July Senate fundraising hearings got so little TV coverage.
She replied: "The witnesses that have come so far have not been names that anyone in
the media would recognize for the most part. There will be some of those close White House
aides when they come back in September, and you can be sure we'll be there."
The networks proved Roberts wrong last night, after the highest-ranking official to
date, National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, appeared before the Senate Governmental
Affairs Committee. Berger admitted the White House had almost no screening of donors,
allowing the Clinton staff to invite to events Chinese arms dealer Wang Jun, cocaine
dealer Jorge Cabrera, and alleged nuclear weapons smuggler Grigori Loutchansky. But last
night, ABC aired an anchor brief, and CBS and NBC aired nothing. On the 11th
day of the Diana frenzy, all three nets led with Diana. The morning shows had no hearing
CNN went live to Berger's opening statement at 11:30 AM ET and remained until almost
12:30. MSNBC also carried Berger from 11:30 to 12:20, their first live coverage this week.
Both CNN and MSNBC aired Haley Barbour for about four
hours on July 24, but CNN gave a combined total of about two hours and 40 minutes to
former DNC Chairman Don Fowler and Berger. MSNBC had a 4-to-1 discrepancy.
Evening news, September 11:
ABC's World News Tonight led with a poll showing Brits want Prince William to
be the next King instead of Charles, the first of two Diana stories. After news on AIDS,
osteoporosis, and sex harassment in the Army, anchor Forrest Sawyer read an 18-second
brief only noting Berger "said that donations from Chinese businessmen never
influenced foreign policy. He also defended his presence at meetings during last year's
CBS Evening News led with two Diana stories, and did three Mother Teresa
reports, plus a report that President Clinton rejected Trent Lott's call to withdraw Bill
Weld's nomination as ambassador to Mexico.
NBC Nightly News began and ended with Diana, totaling five and a half minutes,
and included reports on Clinton's proposal to limit access to medical records and his
On CNN's The World Today, Joie Chen only provided a one-minute anchor brief on
Morning news, September 12:
ABC's Good Morning America gave the Weld fight stories in all four news
updates, including an interview with Capitol Hill reporter John Cochran, who said Weld was
"toast." GMA gave the hearings only one anchor brief all week.
NBC's Today aired no hearings news all week. Today, the 7:30 half hour was
devoted to a woman who bought 13 of Princess Diana's gowns.
CBS This Morning aired nothing on the hearings all week, just
as they skipped three weeks in July. The show once promoted as "breakfast for your
head" is a daily dose of empty calories. -- 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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