CyberAlert -- 02/22/1999 -- ABC & NBC Resist Broaddrick Story; Starr Hammered More in Prime Time
ABC & NBC Resist Broaddrick Story; Starr Hammered More in Prime Time
2) The Juanita Broaddrick stories in two newspapers generated a few seconds on GMA and Today, full stories on CBS and CNN, but zilch on ABC and NBC in the evening and nothing on ABC, CBS or NBC Sunday morning. NBC's Lisa Myers "frustrated" by not getting on air.
4) In part two of NBC's prime time attack on Ken Starr a lead character regretted how he spread "forty million dollars worth of misinformation." And on ABC's The Practice a lawyer suggested Starr showed his "true calling was pornography" while another lawyer cited CNN's Tailwind as an example of media misdeeds.
>>> February 22 MediaWatch and Notable Quotables now online on the MRC home page thanks to MRC research associate Kristina Sewell and Webmaster Sean Henry. In MediaWatch read a front page story about the networks urging the GOP to go left and the Review by the MRC's Tim Graham, "No Valentines for Tripp 'The Betrayer,'" on how NBC and CNN treated her. A back page piece, "Networks Nix Newt News," summarizes how all but CNN and Fox News Sunday skipped the IRS ruling clearing Gingrich. Under the "www.bias.com" department heading MRC analyst Mark Drake lists some of MSNBC's loaded descriptions of scandal players he came across on the network's Web site. Plus Newsbites: "Tom's Tilt" on how Tom Brokaw, on Letterman's show, accused Republicans but not Democrats of hypocrisy and zealotry; "Jared Who?" by Jessica Anderson how the rest of the media failed to pick up on ABC's story confirming that Kathleen Willey was harassed; and "Buttoned Broaddrick" by Geoffrey Dickens on NBC's failure to show their interview. To read this and past issues of MediaWatch, go directly to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/mediawatch/1999/mw1999archive.html <<<
Hillary Rodham can do more "good" outside the Senate than in it,
ABC's Cokie Roberts asserted on Sunday's This Week. Just after George
Stephanopoulos recommended Hillary Clinton skip the Senate and go right to
Manchester, New Hampshire to launch a presidential bid, Roberts suggested
she has no reason to run for the open New York Senate seat:
Juanita Broaddrick still blacked out by ABC's World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News, though the CBS Evening News and CNN's The World Today, after ignoring Friday's Wall Street Journal editorial page piece, picked up on her story after the Washington Post put it on its Saturday, February 20, front page. Of the broadcast network Sunday shows only Fox News Sunday raised the subject. (Tony Snow asked Speaker Denny Hastert about it and the subject was the lead item for the roundtable.) Not a syllable on ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation or NBC's Meet the Press nor on CNN's Capital Gang or the syndicated Inside Washington, though on McLaughlin Group Eleanor Clift denounced it.
MSNBC's Brian Williams gladly relayed, as if accurate, Joe Lockhart's charge "that in the past that page of the Wall Street Journal has branded the President a drug smuggler and a murderer."
For those of you
relying on a broadcast network or the New York Times for your news,
Juanita Broaddrick is the woman who accused Bill Clinton of sexually
assaulting her in 1978. A few weeks ago the Drudge Report revealed that
NBC's Lisa Myers landed an exclusive interview, but the network refused
to air it. As noted in the February 3 CyberAlert, FNC ran a story about
how NBC was holding back the interview. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990203.html#4
Washington Post, Howard Kurtz reported on NBC's blown exclusive:
A lot happened on this story on Friday and Saturday and I think CyberAlert can be of most value by reviewing what the networks did and did not pick up on day by day over the weekend, so here's a timeline:
February 19. The Wall Street Journal's editorial page featured a lengthy
piece by Dorothy Rabinowitz, headlined "Juanita Broaddrick Meets the
Press," recounting her interview with Broaddrick. Wall Street Journal
material is inaccessible to non-subscribers, but I did come across one
place where her piece is posted: http://freeweb.pdq.net/danno/wsj.htm
Friday coverage generated by Rabinowitz: Zilch on CBS's This Morning or NBC's Today. Not a word in the evening on ABC, CBS, CNN or NBC, but both Good Morning America and MSNBC picked up on it.
Jessica Anderson noticed that while talking about the day's newspapers,
GMA host Charles Gibson highlighted the story though both he and Diane
Sawyer were baffled about why it appeared on the editorial page and not
the regular news pages.
Contrary to Sawyer's implication, a WSJ news editor did not deem the story unworthy and place it in the editorial section. The WSJ news and editorial sections are run separately.
MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams stressed the official Clinton
denial and White House denigration of the Wall Street Journal.
CNN's Reliable Sources on Saturday night, Wall Street Journal editorial
writer John Fund took issue with Lockhart's charge which MSNBC passed
Coverage: NBC's Today allocated 18 seconds. Nothing Saturday night on ABC's World News Tonight or NBC Nightly News, but the CBS Evening News ran a piece and CNN's The World Today featured a three and a half minute story by Bob Franken.
During the 7am news update on Today Soledad O'Brien read his item: "President Clinton's lawyer David Kendall brands as absolutely false charges that the President sexually assaulted an Arkansas woman more than twenty years ago. Juanita Broaddrick's story has been circulating for several years but was not widely reported until an item appeared on the editorial page of Friday's Wall Street Journal."
In the evening, ABC found time for a full story on how the NAACP is organizing a project to end racial profiling by police --though the story failed to note that at the same convention NAACP Chairman Julian Bond intolerantly claimed House Republicans have "become the running dogs of the wacky radical right" -- and a piece on women in Rome wearing jeans to protest a judge's ruling that a woman could not have been raped because tight jeans are too difficult to pull down. NBC squeezed in stories on survivalists preparing for the millennium bug, how Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has won black support and a 60-year old rookie cop in El Porto, Florida.
The CBS Evening
News did manage to give 1:51 to Broaddrick, the first broadcast evening
show mention since March. Anchor John Roberts, who narrated the story,
began: "For more than a year she has been known as Jane Doe No. 5, a
woman who Paula Jones lawyers believe had suffered a sexual assault at the
hands of President Bill Clinton. Now, despite sworn testimony to the
contrary, Jane Doe No. 5 has come forward to tell her story."
Finally, on the
McLaughlin Group Newsweek's Eleanor Clift naturally managed to attack
Clinton haters and the right wing:
Pat Buchanan agreed to an extent with Clift, cautioning the alleged incident occurred more than 20 years ago and asking: "Why are other journalists not going forward with this story when they've gone forward with other allegations? So I think you've got to put a question mark over the story."
Reporters spent months complaining about lack of access to President Clinton, noting he had not answered questions since last April. So, what did they ask about when they got the chance in a joint news conference held Friday afternoon by President Clinton with the French President?
Three U.S. reporters were called upon. First, Terence Hunt of AP asked about extending the Kosovo deadline, though Kosovo is all the French reporters asked about. Second, Helen Thomas of UPI wondered: "What lessons have you learned from your 13 month ordeal? Do you think the office of the presidency has been harmed? And what advice do you give future Presidents?" Third, Larry McQuillan of Reuters inquired: "I wonder if you could share with us some your thoughts about the pros and cons of Hillary running for the Senate seat in New York?"
Clinton avoided the star network reporters, but any of these veterans could have posed a tough question.
Friday night both ABC and CBS featured clips of Clinton's nauseous "Presidents are people too" answer to Thomas. After playing that soundbite ABC's Sam Donaldson observed to anchor Charles Gibson: "Of course there are a lot of other questions to ask. What about Judge Wright's threat to hold the President in contempt of court, what the threats that are swirling around this town that Mr. Clinton intends to take revenge on House Republicans and Ken Starr. But all those questions Charlie are going to have to wait for the President's first general news conference which his Press Secretary says may take place sometime in March."
You just don't appreciate Sam Donaldson until you see how pathetic the rest of the White House press corps is in comparison.
After a year of being impugned by the network news divisions, now the network prime time entertainment shows are hammering Ken Starr. In part two of NBC's Law & Order/Homicide arc, on Friday night NBC continued its attack on Starr as a lead character bemoaned how he spread "forty million dollars worth of misinformation" and another character bitterly complained that "in an impeachment report to Congress he can allege just about anything he wants" without proof. Catching up with NBC, on Sunday night's The Practice on ABC a lawyer suggested Starr showed his "true calling was pornography."
-- First, a reprint of the February 18 CyberAlert item for those of you trying to follow the show plots at home, then the new material from part two and the ABC show:
The NBC dramas Law & Order and Homicide are running crossover episodes this week involving the detectives and prosecutors from New York City investigating a murder of a woman found dead in New York who worked in Baltimore, but who had ties to the White House, thus prompting a clash with the Independent Counsel.
Law & Order aired Wednesday night and it soon became clear that the Independent Counsel, "William Dell," is supposed to match Ken Starr. The detectives in both cities learn that the murdered woman, "Janine McBride," was a lesbian recently transferred from a position in the Old Executive Office Building with the Council of Economic Advisers. They find a witness who may have seen the murderer, but the witness was a lover who is also a married mother with young kids so the prosecutors promise to protect her identity.
While in a room at the Watergate Hotel New
York City prosecutor "Jack McCoy," played by Sam Waterston, as
well as "Danvers," the Baltimore prosecutor, are summoned to the
office of Independent Counsel William Dell who demands to know name of the
witness, whereupon this exchange occurs:
Sounds like a script written by David Kendall.
McCoy is forced to appear before Dell's
grand jury where Dell actually personally questions his witnesses. When
McCoy refuses to tell him the name of the witness, saying he promised to
keep him or her anonymous, Dell goes into irrelevant personal matters from
Dell's questions grow more personal,
saying in one question: "This ADA was one of your lovers, isn't
that right?" Dell then recklessly impugns New York City police
detective "Leonard Briscoe," played by Jerry Orbach, saying he
once was called before a police ethics commission, prompting an outraged
McCoy to point out he was cleared. Undeterred, evil Dell starts talking
about how Briscoe's daughter was murdered by a drug dealer. The scene
then builds to its climax:
Friday night on Homicide: Life on the Street, the show painted Independent Counsel Dell as unable to tell the difference between a tawdry personal lesbian love triangle and true corruption. The story picks up after "Ned Berkes," the boyfriend of the murdered woman, "Janine McBride," kills the woman arrested for the murder. Detectives learn that "Walter Boyce," an imprisoned drug dealer/murderer, asked the woman who killed McBride to commit the murder because of a contract from former DEA agent "Theodore Dawkins" who is now working as a private investigator for lawyers working for the President to "dig up dirt" on William Dell.
Prosecutors Jack McCoy from New York and Ed Danvers from Baltimore visit the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, a woman named "Bernardi" who admits she had McBride transferred because Bernardi had been having a lesbian affair with Katherine Raynor who had been involved with McBride in another lesbian hook up. Bernardi admits asking Dawkins to bribe McBride for silence which then led McBride before she was killed to tell Dell she knew of administration corruption. Bernardi charges: "This William Dell. He's in our closets. He's in our bedrooms. This started as an investigation in the President's business affairs, policy matters. This thing has become its own sick argument."
Danvers gets Dawkins indicted, prompting a visit from goons working for Dell who demand the indictment be dropped and threaten to expose how Danvers was involved in a racist incident as a teen, thus killing his just announced nomination for a state judgship.
Dell takes custody of Dawkins and gives him immunity because Dell is so obsessed that he irrationally thinks Berkes was part of a nefarious White House operation instead of seeing the reality that Berkes was just upset his girlfriend turned out to prefer women over men.
All this leads to
this exchange in which McCoy and Danvers sound like Abbe Lowell:
Displaying his arrogance, Dell tells a story about how a Supreme Court Justice told him why inside the beltway lawyering is so "worthy and dignified" while that outside the beltway is so "savage and bitter." It's "because the stakes so damn small."
In the next scene Katherine Raynor complains about how Dell's sex obsession will ruin her life as she'll become a Leno joke target, telling Baltimore and NYC cops: "What did I do that was wrong? I went to work every day, I did my job, I met someone, I fell in love. What did a I do to deserve any of this?"
Then the show cuts
to a picture of Dell on TV saying the original murder was "an attempt
by high ranking members of this administration to silence a witness who
was prepared to testify about sexual improprieties at the office of the
White House chief of staff."
About a two-minute long RealPlayer video clip of these scenes will be posted on the MRC home page Monday morning by Webmaster Sean Henry. A clip from Law & Order is available from the February 18 CyberAlert or on the MRC video page: address below.
Wrapping up her
closing argument, lawyer "Lindsey Dole" raises some famous real
incidents of media misdeeds:
In response, the
TV station's lawyer facetiously contends:
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