Geraldo in Full-Gloat Mode; Actor Ron Silver Repudiates "Right-Wing Fringe"
1) Those opposed to censure, Bob Schieffer argued, "sound like a prosecutor telling a jury if you don't give this defendant the death penalty then just let him go." Rather jumped on the probe of Starr, but no one is questioning the timing or asking who leaked.
3) Geraldo Rivera is gloating, rejoicing in the probe of Starr, the "narcissistic legal crank," and seriously asserting that Bill Clinton "seems to be a guy who is honest in every other aspect of his life but his sex life."
5) Actor Ron Silver scoffed at how Republicans control "the people's House" when "they don't like the people" and insisted the managers "are every bit as flawed as our President," but "they didn't have Starr with $40 million going after them."
Correction and Clarification: The February 9 CyberAlert item on the sex survey changed the sex of the CBS News consultant interviewed by Dan Rather. She's Dr. Bernadine Healy, not Bernard Healy. Also, the issue reported that the survey data appeared in a 1992 book. In fact, while the National Health and Social Life Survey took place in 1992, the data were not published until 1994.
"Good evening. The Senate impeachment trial is crawling to a close," remarked Peter Jennings in opening the February 10 World News Tonight. The announcements by Republican Senators Jeffords, Chafee and Specter that they would vote no, including the bizarre allegiance of Arlen Specter to "Scottish law" over the U.S. Constitution, led all the Wednesday evening shows except NBC Nightly News which began with a judge's back to work order for pilots at American Airlines. CNN's Bob Franken and FNC's Carl Cameron added that Slade Gorton will vote no on perjury, yes on obstruction.
By opposing censure, CBS reporter Bob Schieffer argued, conservatives "sound like a prosecutor telling a jury if you don't give this defendant the death penalty then just let him go."
CBS anchor Dan Rather read a brief item about how the New York Times reported that the Justice Department is probing Ken Starr's performance, but unlike when a New Times story two weeks ago revealed Starr thought he could indict Clinton, there's no media indignation about who leaked the story or outrage at its timing. Back then Good Morning America grilled two guests about who leaked and the improper timing of it in the middle of the Senate trial. On Wednesday morning: Mention of the story in the news updates, but reports MRC analyst Mark Drake, no interview segments. The 7am half hour interviews dealt with the Salt Lake Olympic scandal and an avalanche in France. Only FNC's Carl Cameron pointed out that the last time Starr was investigated the federal judge cleared his staff.
Some highlights from the Wednesday, February 10 network evening shows:
-- ABC's World News Tonight. In a relatively brief 1:13 opening story Linda Douglass noted: "Specter appeared to want it both ways. He said he will avoid declaring the President not guilty by voting not proved, which he said is an option under Scottish law. No one knows if such a vote is possible." Douglass concluded that while there is not a majority to convict on perjury, Republicans "say though there is pressure to vote for the obstruction of justice charge to avoid embarrassing House Republicans who impeached the President. But even that, Peter, falls far short of the 67 votes needed to remove him from office."
Referring to the White House, Dan Rather then observed: "One thing they definitely do not want to appear to be is too happy, much less gloating." Scott Pelley checked in with a report on how Clinton's staff is working on a post-verdict statement.
Next, Rather announced: "The Justice Department will reportedly look into whether special prosecutor Ken Starr's office misled Attorney General Janet Reno in seeking permission to investigate the Monica Lewinsky case. The New York Times reports the focus is on the failure of Starr's office to disclose its contacts with lawyers for Paula Jones. Handwritten notes by a Justice Department official indicate Starr's office said it had never spoken with Jones' lawyers when the facts indicate otherwise."
Following Franken anchor Joie Chen read numbers from a CNN/USA Today/Gallup which found 70 percent approval for Clinton while 57 percent favor censure. From the White House, John King observed: "Privately, associates say, the President has harsh words for Republicans trying to remove him from office. But his public message is one of reconciliation and bipartisanship."
Next, Wolf Blitzer reported Hillary Clinton may run for the Senate: "CNN has learned that First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is now giving very serious consideration to running for the New York Senate seat in 2000."
Geraldo Rivera let loose Wednesday night, February 10, in opening CNBC's Upfront Tonight, offering this tirade illustrated with brief video clips:
Tom Harkin: "This case should never have been brought to the United
States Senate. In fact I believe it to be one of the most blatant,
political, vindictive actions taken by the House of Representatives since
Andrew Johnson's case was pushed through by the Radical Republicans of
his time and forced upon the Senate."
And Rivera will never give up defending Clinton and disparaging Starr.
The White House may insist they are not gloating, but Geraldo Rivera's CNBC shows are definitely not gloat-free zones, MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens discovered. On Tuesday's Rivera Live Rivera rejoiced in how "Ken Starr, the man described accurately last week by The New York Times as a 'narcissistic legal crank,' just might be in more hot water than the President he has so ruthlessly pursued." Later, Rivera seriously asserted that Bill Clinton "seems to be a guy who is honest in every other aspect of his life but his sex life," an assessment that even Newsweek's Jonathan Alter found preposterous.
Two excerpts from the February 9 Rivera Live:
-- "How ironic? President Clinton demonized by his accusers and relentlessly hunted by an obsessed prosecutor will remain in office. His legacy surely diminished but his presidency just as surely will survive the impeachment vote later this week. Meanwhile so many of his political enemies have been crushed. Newt Gingrich, gone, out of office. His would be successor Bob Livingston will soon be unemployed. Henry Hyde, Helen Chenoweth, Bob Barr, Trent Lott and Tom DeLay have all been tarnished while the once formidable melon-shooting Dan Burton is now a laughing stock. But the ultimate irony is this. Ken Starr, the man described accurately last week by The New York Times as a narcissistic legal crank just might be in more hot water than the President he has so ruthlessly pursued. Some months ago we began drawing up our own Articles of Impeachment against the independent counsel as the now real possibility of legal action against Ken Starr moves closer to reality."
[Clinton] did a bad thing and I talked to David Maraniss you know who
wrote First in His Class and I asked him a question because I'm not a
biographer of Bill Clinton. I, you know, wasn't particularly a fan, one
way or the other of his until I became maybe his most ardent television
defender. That's because I was offended by this case against him. But he
seems to be a guy who is honest in every other aspect of his life but his
sex life. He seems to be, you know that's where his problem is."
The public's embrace of Clinton and rejection of the impeachment process
reflects their conservative values. MRC analyst Mark Drake caught this
analysis from Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne on Tuesday's
Hockenberry. Dionne told the MSNBC viewers:
Actor Ron Silver has nothing but contempt for Republicans, especially after they went after his President. All this week ABC's Politically Incorrect is being taped at the Warner Theater in Washington, DC. On Monday's show, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson documented, Silver, who is now co-star of the NBC sit-com Veronica's Closet, scoffed at how Republicans control "the people's House" when "they don't like the people." Later he charged that the 13 House managers "are every bit as flawed as our President, but they were lucky and, thank God, they didn't have Starr with $40 million going after them for seven years."
Thursday's guest list included Sam Donaldson and the stridently leftist Richard Belzer, star of NBC's Homicide. Politically Incorrect airs daily after Nightline and Washington area viewers should be aware that WJLA this week is not delaying the airing for 30 minutes as it usually does to accommodate Extra! This week Politically Incorrect is running at 12:07am.
On the February 8 Politically Incorrect Silver appeared with fellow liberal Ann Richards and opposite Republican Congressman Matt Salmon and Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak who more than held his own. Here are a couple of Silver's diatribes, the first of which will be posted Thursday morning on the MRC home page after Kristina Sewell cues it up:
-- Silver: "I
think it's really an important question to figure out what the Republican
Party is gonna do after this. I mean, they've shut down the government,
and they are very proud of it, and then they didn't want to be blamed for
it. Then in '94, they came in, the revolution, right, the class of '94
came in and they said, 'We're grassroots, and the people,' and here we
are in '99 and they're saying, 'The thing wrong with the country is the
people because they don't get it and they're not outraged enough.'"
-- Silver: "Pat, Congressman [Matt Salmon], is there no sense of shame on your part or the party about the clear, cheap hypocrisy on the part of many of the House managers and the party? You're talking about Henry Hyde, Helen Chenoweth, Bob Livingston, Bob Barr....Isn't there any, wait, is there, is there no sense on your part that the Founding Fathers, your 13 House managers, are every bit as flawed as our President, but they were lucky and, thank God they didn't have Starr with $40 million going after them for seven years."
-- Silver: "Matt [Salmon], don't you think the party has a problem? You're clearly hostages to the right-wing fringe of your party."
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