and allegations in the Clinton scandals keep coming, but if you rely upon
the network news you'd know very little about them. The last CyberAlert
noted that the February 6 Boston Globe linked a Clinton policy decision to
a promised $5 million donation that then-Deputy White House Chief of Staff
Harold Ickes tried to direct to various liberal groups. ABC's World News
Tonight and NBC Nightly News: no stories. The CBS Evening News ran a full
story on the role of Ickes.
Here's a summary
of four big newspaper stories that appeared on Friday, February 7. None
were covered by the broadcast networks:
-- The Boston
Globe carried a front page story reporting that the investigation of Ickes
"is being expanded to explore his dealings with a Massachusetts donor
who last year became the nation's biggest individual donor to the
Democratic Party, official said. The donor, Arnold Hiatt of Weston, the
Chairman of the Stride Rite Foundation, gave $500,000 to Democratic Party
committees after discussing suggestions with Ickes about how to donate the
-- The same day
the Los Angeles Times reported that of the four Asian businessmen who
Clinton dined with at a July 30 meeting which eventually raised $500,000,
two could not legally donate to U.S. election campaigns.
-- The Wall
Street Journal recounted the payoff for two Boston businessmen who
attended a White House coffee. Alan Leventhal and Fred Seigel "went
on to collect $3 million for the President's campaign...Last fall, they
got what they wanted: Their company, Energy Capital Partner, was picked by
the Department of Housing and Urban Development for a major lending role
in a new $200 million program to make federally assisted housing more
The donors got a
great deal, the Journal discovered: "Breaking precedent, HUD entered
into an arrangement allowing Energy Capital to be repaid ahead of the
government if housing development loans defaulted. In another unusual
twist, the federal notice outlining the loan program mentioned Energy
Capital and Mr. Seigel by name."
-- A front page
USA Today story began: "A controversial 230,000 name White House
computer list now under congressional investigation includes far more
political fundraising information than presidential aides have admitted,
Gannett News Service has learned. Internal documents given to GNS show the
database, from its very inception three years ago, was used, in part, for
keeping track of people who had contributed to President Clinton's
ABC's World News
Tonight: No mention of any of these items on Friday or Saturday night.
CBS Evening News: No story Friday or Saturday night.
NBC Nightly News: No story Friday or Saturday night.
2) Sunday brought
three relevant stories.
-- First, news
that the new Time magazine included a story that Independent Counsel
Kenneth Starr is exploring whether
got hush money arranged by Clinton associates. Time revealed that top
Clinton aide Michael Berman arranged in 1994 for consulting deal with
-- Second, the
New Yorker magazine released a big piece by James Stewart, author of Blood
Sport, in which James McDougal claims that contrary to his earlier
testimony, Bill Clinton did attend a meeting in which an illegal loan was
discussed. McDougal also claimed that his wife Susan and Bill Clinton had
an affair in 1992.
-- Third, the Los
Angeles Times revealed that "In the two years before the November
election, the President and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton arranged for
at least 577 friends and supporters to stay overnight at the White House,
including many major party contributors..."
ABC World News
Sunday: Two full stories -- Jackie Judd reviewed the New Yorker piece,
though not the affair charge. Judd began: "Jim McDougal is now
telling prosecutors that Bill Clinton was involved in helping solicit an
illegal loan for McDougal's ex-wife Susan..." Next, reporter Carla
Davis picked up on the LA Times piece, noting that "the list of
overnight guests includes Hollywood's rich and elite, including Steven
Spielberg and Lew Wasserman, who each contributed at least $300,000 to the
DNC." Davis also mentioned charges that Ickes wrote a memo to a
potential donor on "how and where to contribute," but she
concluded with the White House spin:
House counsel Lanny Davis told ABC News today that Ickes did nothing
improper since he did not solicit the contribution, only directed it. And,
Davis says, there is no indication Ickes did anything else improper at any
CBS Evening News
on February 9: Not a syllable about any of the Sunday stories.
NBC Nightly News: Brief anchor-read item on McDougal changing his story.