K; CBS on Guns; ABC's Liberal Director
CBS Henry Kissinger is labeled a "conservative."
2. A Newsweek
reporter says Clinton scandal underplayed; ABC catches up with NBC;
but revelations still ignored.
charges that the Empire State Building shooting has "prompted angry
calls for a national handgun licensing system."
elected Tuesday to the Board of Directors of the company which owns ABC:
liberal Democrat George Mitchell.
TV reporters are fighting the opening of a pharmacy in their neighborhood.
6. A couple of
weeks ago CBS and CNN reported an affair between Susan McDougal and Bill
Clinton. The American Spectator had the story six months ago.
How far left must you be to consider Henry Kissinger a conservative?
Liberal enough to be a New York Times reporter turned columnist, such as
Tom Friedman. On CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday Friedman asked Kissinger:
"Dr. Kissinger, the death of Deng Xiaoping has triggered an
interesting intellectual debate on the conservative right, with a lot of
conservative journals now and writers coming and saying that to be a
conservative, and you were associated with a conservative administration,
to be a conservative on China is to understand that you have to stand up
strategically, to contain this burgeoning giant, and morally, to contain
this very oppressive regime. How do you as a conservative, and who has
been an object of some of these attacks, react to that argument?"
conservative labels in one question. And if Kissinger is so conservative,
why has he been "an object" of attack from conservatives?
At least one reporter has decided that a Clinton fundraising scandal
development was underplayed. Citing a Sunday Washington Post story run
inside the paper, Fox News Sunday host Tony Snow told the panelists on the
February 23 show:
thing that's happened is the Democratic National Committee, Don Fowler the
former chairman says, well of course we were trying to get people in
contact with administration officials, with cabinet members and so on.
They give us money, that's what they pay us for. That seems to me to be an
admission that this administration was on sale."
Newsweek's Howard Fineman responded: "I thought that was a startling
admission and really underplayed. We're chasing all these little details
about Johnny Chung and John Huang, all of which are important, but they
laid it right out there. They said basically...just come in and sit
The Sunday night
CBS Evening News was joined in progress in Washington, but neither NBC
Nightly News or the ABC's World News Sunday reported anything about the
Four days after
NBC first broke the story and three days after Clinton promised to
investigate the situation, ABC did, however on Sunday, finally air a story
on the White House employing DNC-paid staffers. Reporter Carla Davis
played soundbites from new DNC chief Roy Romer's appearance on This Week
in which he said the practice should end. Davis then noted: "This
comes after days of non-stop criticism over the Clinton administration's
use of DNC-paid workers." Days of criticism ABC viewers didn't hear a
(February 24) CBS didn't utter a syllable on fundraising, but both ABC and
NBC aired full stories about the access bought by Johnny Chung, a matter
detailed in Saturday's New York Times. On NBC Nightly News Lisa Myers
"...Chung's lawyer told NBC News that he is certain that in at least
one case there was a direct connection. He says Chung was told, he won't
say by whom, that a big contribution would help facilitate Chung's request
to bring six Chinese officials to the White House for lunch and to watch
the President's radio address. So on March 7, 1995 Chung wrote a $50,000
check to the Democratic Party. A few days later he and his Chinese guests
did in fact dine at he White House and then watched as the President spoke
in the Oval Office."
Douglass told World News Tonight viewers about the "potentially
explosive allegation" that Chung, who donated $366,000 to the
Democrats over four years, gave money to get to watch the radio address.
Before you get
too excited about the networks finally picking up on some newspaper
stories, note that the broadcast networks have yet to mention a Wall
Street Journal story from last week which detailed how a Miami businessman
who gave $800,000 got access to high-level officials in order to try to
influence U.S. policy toward Paraguay. The February 24 USA Today carried a
report on how congressional investigators are exploring the matter.
Monday night CBS turned the Empire State Building shooting into an
opportunity for some pro-gun control polemics. Referring to gunman Ali Abu
Kamal, Dan Rather announced:
"He killed one person and wounded six others before taking his own
life, all with a semi-automatic handgun that could not have been easier to
buy. That, as correspondent John Roberts reports tonight, is bringing new
calls for tougher handgun control laws."
Roberts explained that Kamal bought a pistol at a Palm Bay, Florida gun
shop after using a hotel as his address and waiting three days to pass a
background check. Roberts then added:
"Whether Kamal had intended to shoot up the observation deck of the
Empire State Building, or just take his own life, no one yet knows. But it
has prompted angry calls for a national handgun licensing system."
Dennis Henigan, Handgun Control Inc: "Where every handgun purchaser
must have a license that is issued after a thorough background check, a
thorough residency check and after training requirements have been
Like a pro-gun
control group needs to be "prompted" to advocate gun control.
Here's how Rather
introduced an interview segment with New York's Mayor: "A short time
ago I spoke to the Mayor of New York, and former Justice Department
official, Rudolph Giuliani about this incident and the calls it has
sparked for tougher handgun control laws."
CBS failed to
provide an anti-gun control soundbite or even explain the applicable laws.
CNN reported Monday night that federal law proscribes gun purchases by
aliens until they've been in the country for three months. If that's so,
maybe the problem is not that there aren't enough laws, but that the ones
in place aren't being enforced or were ignored by a particular gun seller.
When today's (February 25) annual meeting of the Walt Disney Company
convenes in Anaheim, The Washington Post reported February 22, "a
group of 22 institutional pension funds that hold Disney stock plans to
protest" the $771 million compensation package that Disney CEO
Michael Eisner could reap over the next ten years. "They intend to
withhold their votes for the five management-backed nominees to Disney's
board." (Given their small ownership they will fail, but are making a
symbolic statement about executive pay.)
Amongst those five directors of the company which owns ABC: former Senate
Majority Leader George Mitchell, a liberal Democrat. The February 24 Wall
Street Journal reported that "Disney paid Mr. Mitchell $50,000 for
his consulting on international business matters in fiscal 1996. His
Washington law firm was paid an additional $122,764."
Mitchell, the only member of the board with overt political links, must
fit in well. Eisner and Disney shoveled $1,063,050 in soft money to
Democrats in 1995-96, but just $296,450 to Republicans according to the
Center for Responsive Politics.
Around the country some major chains face opposition when they try to open
new stores as local residents claim they will destroy the community spirit
or ruin a local downtown. Opponents of Wal-Mart, for instance, have
generated quite a bit of news coverage.
Two national media names are among those battling the plan of CVS, an east
coast pharmacy/convenience store chain, to open a store in DC. CVS plans
to convert the MacArthur Theater in the wealthy Palisades section of
Northwest DC to a CVS store. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition
protesting the move, The Washington Post's "Reliable Sources"
column reported on February 21. The two media names: CNN weekend
anchor/weekday reporter Jeanne Meserve as well as Heidi Shulman, a
long-time NBC News reporter who Clinton appointed last year to the board
of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Shulman's husband: Secretary
of Commerce Mickey Kantor.
What a difference a magazine makes. Forward a charge about Clinton's sex
life and it's ignored -- if it appears in a conservative magazine. But
when a liberal magazine makes the same charge, it's news. A couple of
weeks ago The New Yorker printed a piece by James Stewart recounting his
interviews with James and Susan McDougal of Whitewater fame. Jim McDougal
claimed to have overheard a suggestive phone conversation between Susan
McDougal and Bill Clinton in 1982 which convinced him that they were
having an affair. Stewart reported the charge and Susan McDougal's denial.
CNN and CBS picked up on the charge. On the February 10 Prime News CNN's
Bob Franken asserted that Jim McDougal "also says he found out Susan
McDougal and the President were having an affair at the time, which Mrs.
McDougal has consistently denied." On CBS This Morning that day Bill
Plante told viewers: "James McDougal says that his former wife might
have another reason for protecting President Clinton. He says he overheard
a telephone conversation which suggested to him that his former wife and
Mr. Clinton had been having an affair."
Spectator Managing Editor Wlady Pleszczynski pointed out to me, his
magazine had the story six months ago. In a profile of Betsy Wright in the
August 1996 issue, Rebecca Borders cited two sources: former trooper L.D.
Brown and former state auditor Julia Hughes Jones.
More evidence of
how the Washington media really work. Unlike the White House's fanciful
conspiracy theory of an all-powerful right-wing media network, the
mainstream press ignore revelations in conservative publications until
they are blessed by appearing in a "respectable" outlet.