CyberAlert -- 02/16/1997 -- China Tie Quickly Dropped
China Tie Quickly Dropped; Horrible Hollywood Attack1. The Chinese connection got the usual network reception: ignored at first, then one story, then dropped.
3. The Republican Party is controlled by "nasty" and "horrible men" who are "the forces of darkness." So says a Hollywood star.
1) After failing to report anything either Monday or Tuesday night about how Clinton Press Secretary Mike McCurry admitted that the White House coffees were designed to raise money, thus contradicting President Clinton's assurances, on Wednesday night (February 12) ABC's World News Tonight and CBS Evening News did run stories on Web Hubbell. The stories dealt with Hubbell's release from a halfway house and his refusal to cooperate with requests for documents. On February 13 NBC Nightly News caught up and ran a Hubbell story. (See the February 12 CyberAlert for details on how only CNN's Wolf Blitzer highlighted the McCurry/Clinton contradiction.)
Thursday morning's (February 13) Washington Post revealed that the Justice Department "has uncovered evidence that representatives of the People's Republic of China sought to direct contributions from foreign sources to the Democratic National Committee before the 1996 presidential campaign." The news raised the possibility of economic espionage as Post reporters Bob Woodward and Brian Duffy noted, "the information gives the Justice Department inquiry what is known as a foreign counterintelligence component, elevating the seriousness of the fundraising controversy, according to some officials."
didn't exactly jump on the story. On Thursday morning:
evening all three broadcast networks felt the allegation deserved a full
story. Each included a clip of President Clinton calling it "a very
serious matter" in response to a question posed during a late
afternoon press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
NBC's Jim Miklaszewski offered some details on the activities of John
Given the network reluctance to pick up the story in the morning, however, makes you wonder how much emphasis the story would have received if Clinton had not commented on it.
networks have hardly been aggressive in their coverage. Here's what
happened on Friday morning:
Later on Friday,
in response to a request from Senator Richard Shelby for documents about
CIA Director nominee Anthony Lake's activities as head of the National
Security Council, the White House released some interesting papers. As The
Washington Post's lead Saturday front page story reported:
The New York
Times and Washington Times also put the story on the front page. The
networks on Friday night February 14:
So, once network producers saw the Saturday front pages they prepared stories? Wrong. The ABC, CBS and NBC evening shows on Saturday didn't utter a syllable, but CBS Evening News anchor Paula Zahn told viewers: "Independent prosecutor Kenneth Starr has reportedly hit a snag in his Whitewater investigation. According to a report in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Starr has conducted four mock trials. In each, the jury acquitted both President and Mrs. Clinton."
Peter Jennings made quite a stretch for an analogy on the February 13
World News Tonight. Introducing a story on the defection in Beijing of
North Korean official Hwan Jang Yop, Jennings explained:
Actor Alec Baldwin doesn't think much of conservatives. The star of the
Ghosts of Mississippi, who first gained fame as in The Hunt for Red
October in 1990, made his feelings clear in an interview in the February
issue of US magazine. MRC entertainment intern Kelly Weiss noticed this
Gee, calling Gingrich a "rotten..horrible human being" is so much nicer than Gingrich supposedly calling Clinton a "scumbag." Sounds like Baldwin is the one in touch with the forces of darkness.
-- Brent Baker