Friday, September 19, 1997 | Vol. One, No. 20 | Media Inquiries: Keith Appell (703) 683-5004
Frank Testimony Draws All Evening Shows, Two Morning Shows Months After First Print Reports
Tamraz: Poster Boy for Liberal Laws?
Months after his colorfully frank approach to fundraising made the
morning newspapers, Lebanese oilman Roger Tamraz finally appeared on the network news last
night after he testified to the Senate. For the first time since Buddhist nuns testified
September 4, all the networks covered the hearings last night. ABC and NBC both devoted
morning show segments to him as well. CNN provided live coverage for two hours, while
MSNBC skipped the Senate for a one-hour interview with tabloid author Kitty Kelley.
Instead of focusing on possible violations of the law surrounding Tamraz's battle for
access, several networks took the opportunity to sell liberal campaign-finance
"reform" bills to increase the amount of government funding and regulation of
campaigns and political groups.
Evening news, September 18:
ABC's World News Tonight led off with
Tamraz, putting its focus on a corrupt
system. Peter Jennings declared: "We begin tonight with the kind of cynicism that
turns so many Americans off politics." He described Tamraz's testimony, which Linda
Douglass underlined: "Democrats were as outraged as Republicans by the tale of Roger
Tamraz, Lebanese-American businessman wanted for financial crimes in three countries, who
admitted buying his way into the White House with $300,000 in campaign
contributions." Jennings then turned this story of corrupt DNC practices into a
problem for the GOP. [See box.]
CBS Evening News began with a story on the Justice Department's fight with a
Mexican drug gang, and an update on an FBI investigation of an armored-car robbery. Bob
Schieffer detailed all of the crimes Tamraz is charged with, but concluded with the same
outraged-Democrats line: "Committee Democrats who've been defending the White House
made no effort to defend Tamraz, saying his testimony just showed the system must be
NBC Nightly News also led with
Tamraz. Tom Brokaw began by quipping that
Tamraz asked for help with a proposed pipeline: "He didn't get what he wanted, but
when he testified today, the Senate Republicans did."
CNN's The World Today led with Ted Turner's billion-dollar pledge to
the U.N., but then aired four segments on the fundraising scandal, including reports on
Johnny Chung and on the Teamster election.
Morning shows, Sept. 19:
ABC's Good Morning America interviewed Sam Donaldson on the hearings in the
first hour, and ran a full report in the second.
NBC's Today carried two full reports and a brief on fundraising, plus a few
questions to Tim Russert, who came on to note Bill Clinton has the highest approval rating
of his presidency.
CBS This Morning didn't spend 15 seconds on political news, unless you count
Chelsea's trip to Stanford or Ted Turner's U.N. pledge. But they did interview Kitty
Kelley on the royal family, completing the network hat trick. -- Tim Graham and Brent
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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