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CyberAlert -- 01/21/1998 -- Reporter Denounced for Investigating Clinton Team

Reporter Denounced for Investigating Clinton Team; Latest NQ

1.Jack Nelson of the Los Angeles Times denounced ABC's Brian Ross for his investigative story on Alexis Herman.

2.The January 12 edition of Notable Quotables: Tax twinkies; downside of losing the Berlin Wall; Bill & Hillary Care More


Best of NQ in Human Events. The January 23 edition of Human Events features a two-page spread of quotes from the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 1997: The Tenth Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting."

cyberno1.gif (1100 bytes) Stop us before we investigate Clinton! That seems to be the concern of Jack Nelson, the long-time Washington Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times who now serves as a senior correspondent in the DC bureau. The January 16 CyberAlert detailed how the January 15 World News Tonight aired an investigative story from Brian Ross on charges that current Labor Secretary Alexis Herman sold her influence while she held a previous White House position.

Good work by a hard working colleague? Not to Nelson who was not upset by being scooped but by how Ross was too aggressive. MRC news analyst Eric Darbe caught these comments from Nelson's appearance on last Friday morning's C-SPAN Washington Journal. Host Brian Lamb asked him about a January 16 New York Times story on the honesty of the man who raised the questions about Herman, prompting this reply from Nelson:

"Well if you look at it, and I think the New York Times is the only one that's done a separate story on this particular fellow whose brought the charges against the labor secretary. Brian Ross, the ABC person in there, according to this New York Times story, both went to this fellow and interviewed him and then took him to the Justice Department to lodge his complaint in order to get an independent counsel. Then went on the air, with an exclusive story and I thought, I saw his account on ABC, I thought in a very prosecutorial manner reported this thing. I think that raises certain questions, if a reporter actually brings about an investigation himself, goes to the Justice Department, takes the complaint and then goes on the air and has an exclusive story. I think it raises a question of whether he's personally involved in it, and whether he should have done that."

Did Nelson express similar concerns during Watergate that Woodward and Bernstein were pressuring witnesses?

cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) The January 12 edition of Notable Quotables, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media. We're about to produce another issue and I realized I had yet to send this one though it includes some good material. Amongst the quotes which will be fresh to CyberAlert readers, those under these headings:

-- "Tax Their Parents' Twinkies," a quote picked up by MRC analyst Eric Darbe in which U.S. News recommends a special tax on junk food in order to encourage healthier eating habits.

-- "Ich Bin Ein Doofus," a headline suggested by MRC analyst Clay Waters for quote from R.W. Apple of the New York Times, appearing in of all places Gourmet magazine, extolling the virtues of Berlin before the Wall fell.

Plus, MRC analyst Steve Kaminski took down Newsweek's Evan Thomas denouncing the very idea of discussing a tax cut and MRC analyst Gene Eliasen caught Peter Jennings tossing in his personal opinion about the money wasted building the B-2 bomber.

The NQ issue follows below. -- Brent Baker

January 12, 1998 (Vol. Eleven; No. 1)

Child Care: Bill and Hillary Really Care

Tom Brokaw: "The dilemma of every working parent is front and center tonight at the White House, President Clinton unveiling a multi-billion dollar plan to provide more and better care for America's children."

Reporter David Bloom: "...It was a carefully choreographed moment: the President and First Lady walking hand in hand with children. The White House convinced that in this election year Republicans will have a hard time opposing a plan that helps working families better afford child care." - Jan. 7 NBC Nightly News.

"The President was raised by a single mother who left him with his grandparents when she went off to school. Today, Mr. Clinton proposed what may be the largest increase in child care funding in the nation's history." - Scott Pelley opening the January 7 CBS Evening News story (though Clinton survived unregulated care by a relative.)

Reporter Bill Plante: "This Administration is making this proposal in an election year and that, of course, is no coincidence because they see it as an extension of the other family-friendly things they've done. Republicans, though, would probably like to take some credit, too, Cynthia."

News reader Cynthia Bowers: "I wonder why? Because it's an election year, right?"

Plante: "Well, that's exactly [it]."

Bowers: "Who would be against this? This seems like a winner."

Plante: "That's just it: almost no one. It just depends on how the legislation is written and what that means to you, I think, is that there is a very good chance that in 1998 there will be additional federal support for child care." - December 15 CBS This Morning.

"So some may argue that the government is getting too involved in bringing up baby. But with a higher percentage of new mothers working than ever before, and welfare mothers headed to the work force, a helping hand to rock the cradle may be a necessity." - CNN's Kathleen Koch concluding a World Today story, December 14.

Taxpayers Won't Pay, the Government Will

"From President Clinton, another proposal for Congress to consider when it gets back to work. This one to help more working parents find and pay for child care. The total cost to the government if Congress agrees: $21 billion dollars." - Peter Jennings, January 7 World News Tonight.

Tax Their Parents' Twinkies

"The cure for obesity is no mystery either: better diet, more exercise. The trouble is that no one knows how to get more Americans to follow that regimen. Obesity grows for men and women of all ages and all racial groups despite everything our culture has thrown at it: bran muffins, spinning classes, diet books, diet drugs, liposuction, weight-loss clinics, and Oprah Winfrey. Educators and doctors don't seem to have the answer, either....

"So what's the solution? Tax Twinkies, says Kelly Brownell, Director of Yale University's Center for Eating and Weight Disorders. Hit junk-food junkies where it hurts: in their wallets. Slapping high-fat, low-nutrition foods with a substantial government 'sin tax' is the one step society hasn't tried, and while the obstacles to its enactment are enormous, there's good reason to think it might work. Study after study of price increases on tobacco and alcohol suggests a correlation between cost and consumption. When the tax is high enough to sharply increase the price, fewer of these products are consumed. Brownell argues that a tax on junk food would have a similar effect." - U.S. News & World Report reporter Shaheena Ahmad in December 29, 1997/January 5, 1998 "Outlook 98" article on "how to slim down the world's fattest society."

Ich Bin Ein Doofus

"People on both sides are only now fully realizing that the disappearance of the wall and the withdrawal of Allied troops means less security - both physical and economic - as well as more freedom. There, as elsewhere, that is the political trade-off. During the bad old days, families were fractured and East Berliners had few civil liberties. But the Ossies [Eastern Berliners] had guaranteed employment, health care, and housing; an astonishingly low crime rate; and subsidized entertainment. West Berliners earned more than other West Germans because the government gave them tax breaks to ensure that talented and able-bodied people didn't move to Munich or Hamburg.

"With all that swept away, Berliners find themselves pitched into the rough-and-tumble competition of today's Germany - a prosperous, well-organized, well-governed country, but one afflicted with all the stresses and uncertainties of modern life. These tensions are heightened by mounting inflation and record postwar unemployment." - R.W. Apple, New York Times Chief Correspondent and former Washington Bureau Chief, in a January Gourmet magazine article about dining in Berlin. (Thanks to Washington Times editorial writer Ken Smith.)

Jennings Tossing In His Opinion

"But if America wanted to go back to the Moon, it would take three years to get ready again. It might cost $10 billion to send men to Mars, which by the way is what it cost to produce just four of the nine B-2 bombers that Congress wants and the Pentagon says it does not need." - Peter Jennings after the December 12 World News Tonight Person of the Week segment on the 25th anniversary of Apollo 17.

Rehnquist's Concerns

"Rehnquist Asks Limit on Federal Purview: Seeks to Reduce Judges' Caseload." - Washington Times , January 1

"Rehnquist Laments a Lack of Senate Action on Judges." - Boston Globe, same day

Spend It, Don't Return It

"I sure hope they don't get in to the Great Tax Giveaway Game here. There are two sides to Newt: one is reasonably responsible, wanting a balanced budget and to do something about entitlements, actually, and the other is the Free Lunch Newt, who is talking about big tax cuts. We'll see which one emerges." - Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas, December 27 Inside Washington.

This is CNN

"In his new office, a sunless rectangle inside the atrium at the CNN Center, the furniture had yet to arrive, but some of [Rick] Kaplan's personal effects were already in place: a seat from the old Comiskey Park in Chicago; Norman Rockwell's famous painting of that stalwart citizen rising to speak at a New England town meeting; and what Kaplan called 'my favorite picture in life.' It was a 1986 Vladimir Sichov photograph of a homeless man, who holds a sign declaring 'I'm hungry. Please help'; copies of David Stockman's The Triumph of Politics are visible in a bookstore window behind him. 'That's trickle-down economics,' Kaplan said." - From David Margolick's January Vanity Fair profile of new CNN President, and former ABC News Executive Producer, Rick Kaplan.

Just a Revolutionary Excess

"Let me ask you first about the hostage crisis, which is emblazoned in every American's mind. As you know, in all revolutions - the communist revolution in Russia, the French Revolution, perhaps even the American revolution - the early years contain many excesses. Would you say that taking the American hostages at the beginning of the Iranian Islamic revolution falls into the category of early revolutionary excesses?" - CNN's Christiane Amanpour to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, January 7 World View. -- Brent Baker


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