CyberAlert -- 01/16/1997 -- Dismissing Tapegate
Dismissing Tapegate; Bill Moyers Not Liberal?
1. Update on lack of resolution to Apparently To problem.
2. Forget the unethical behavior of Democrats in tapegate. CBS is more concerned that it has "sidetracked substantive ethics charges against the Speaker of the House."
3. Networks acknowledge import of the Paula Jones case and Stuart Taylor's article, so why did it take ten weeks for Taylor to be cited.
4. Gore concedes false statements on Buddhist temple event, but only CNN airs a story.
5. NBC's Andrea Mitchell says that "when the Lincoln bedroom becomes the Motel 6, that resonates with the American people," but she never reported it.
6. DNC memos advice fundraisers to buy time and then "impugn the source," but still the networks fail to highlight the revelation.
7. Bill Moyers is liberal? That's news to Dan Rather
Many of you received two or three copies of the last CyberAlert. You
aren't on our list more than once, CompuServe just sent out multiple
copies, some blindcopied and some not. CompuServe is unable to tell me
when this problem will be resolved and is not providing any short term
solution, though they assure me it is "a high priority of the mail
developers." This has been a problem for over a month now.
A husband and wife active in Democratic politics by
"coincidence" come across and record a cellular conversation
among House Republicans. Even if the recording of the over the air
broadcast is legal, the Democratic activists violate the law by passing
the tape to a third party -- a top House Democrat, Rep. Jim McDermott.
Instead of alerting authorities or refusing the tape, it ends up in the
New York Times.
On Monday night's
CBS Evening News (January 13) Dan Rather introduced a story by focusing
not on the ethics of Democrats but on how Republicans are guilty of trying
to change topics:
The next night,
on the January 14 CBS Evening News, reporter Wyatt Andrews demonstrated
how easy it is to tune in a cellular call and reviewed how the Martins
claimed they caught the call, then concluded his piece:
Wednesday night coverage of tapegate? Not a word on ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News or NBC Nightly News.
Not all sexual harassment is an evil that must be immediately redressed --
at least according to Time magazine's Margaret Carlson. Discussing whether
the Supreme Court should delay the Paula Jones case until after President
Clinton leaves office, Carlson opined on the January 12 Fox News Sunday:
The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case on Monday. That night on the CBS Evening News Rita Braver reviewed the history of the case:
Braver began: "It was the women's vote that clinched the presidency for Bill Clinton and he prides himself on being a committed feminist. So the charges made by Paula Corbin Jones go straight to the heart of who Bill Clinton is. Because she claims he is the kind of man who would take advantage of a young woman, who would sexually harass her..."
Question: If this long-scheduled case goes "straight to the heart of who Bill Clinton is" then why didn't CBS explore this subject last fall, BEFORE the election?
Braver continued: "...But last fall, in a groundbreaking article, respected law reporter Stuart Taylor tracked down several new witnesses whose testimony persuaded him that Jones was probably telling the truth. And he noticed something else: women's groups who like Bill Clinton's policies had failed to rally to Jones's cause."
Taylor's story, with the new witness accounts, came out in late October. If the article was so "groundbreaking" why did CBS wait over ten weeks to report anything about it?
On Monday's NBC
Nightly News Jim Miklaszewski noted in his overview of the case that when
Jones first made her charges "Most mainstream media barely touched
it. Others, like Newsweek's Evan Thomas, fell for the White House
As with CBS, Taylor (who was on Meet the Press Sunday) made his first Nightly News appearance two and a half months after his article appeared. It's nice that some in the media are acknowledging their bias, at least with this issue, but may I suggest that their failure to report anything about Taylor's story reflects a continuation of that bias more than two years after Jones filed her suit in May 1994.
4) Wednesday's Washington Times and USA Today carried stories on how Vice President Al Gore admitted to the AP that he used "a poor choice of words" when he insisted an April 1996 fundraiser at a Buddhist Temple was nothing more than a "community outreach" event. The AP noted that three days before the event the DNC sent Gore a memo explaining how he should "extend appreciation for participant support and inspire political and fundraising efforts."
Network coverage for this admission of earlier false statements? A full story by Brooks Jackson on CNN, but no mention on the Tuesday or Wednesday ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows.
Appearing on CNN's Larry King Weekend on Saturday, January 4 NBC News
reporter Andrea Mitchell suggested the issue of large donors staying
overnight at the White House will become a big issue in 1997. As
transcribed by since-departed MRC intern Jessica Anderson, Mitchell
How will this "resonate" with the American people when the story Mitchell claims she's "been working on" has yet to be reported by her? The Washington Post revealed the Motel 6 arrangements in a front page story on Sunday, December 15. Today show that morning and the next: no mention. There was no NBC Nightly News Sunday night on the east coast, but the next night NBC did run a Mitchell piece on Clinton's defense fund returning donations. On December 17 Mitchell contributed another story on the defense fund. She didn't do another political story until January 3, but still no mention of the Lincoln Bedroom.
The Motel 6 story isn't the only Clinton scandal news ignored by NBC
Nightly News. The day after Christmas the Democratic National Committee
released a huge pile of documents on their fundraising activities. The
papers showed how foreign donors to the DNC got special access to the
White House and Clinton. The New York Times ran a big piece on the
December 27 front page. The Washington Post ran a lengthy story on
same papers, in a front page USA Today story on December 30, reporter Tom
Network coverage of this cynical and divisive plan? Zilch.
Dan Rather was the guest on Monday's Larry King Live on CNN (January 13).
Here's a very illuminating exchange:
Good to hear that after 15 years as anchor Rather has finally noticed that the "public is picking up" on media bias.
Back in 1989 PBS re-ran an anti-Reagan 1982 CBS Reports special narrated by Moyers. After the show, Moyers announced: "The documentary has held up as both true and sadly prophetic. While Congress restored some of the cuts made in those first Reagan budgets, in the years since, the poor and the working poor have born the brunt of the cost of the Reagan Revolution. The hardest hit programs have been welfare, housing and other anti- poverty measures...Meanwhile, rich people got big tax breaks. And the middle class kept most of its subsidies intact. As a result, the Reagan years brought on a wider gap between rich and poor."
Even Larry King realizes that's liberal.
-- Brent Baker