CyberAlert -- 03/17/1999 -- Richardson Skipped; Limbaugh Lambasted, Countered With Bias Proof
Richardson Skipped; Limbaugh Lambasted, Countered With Bias Proof
3) Rush Limbaugh hit by Wolf Blitzer with the contention that the media were tough on Clinton and Joe Lockhart's charge that Limbaugh puts "on the air gossip, rumor, and it comes across as fact." (And some PPD from Paul Begala about Steve Forbes.)
4) Clinton is quite rationally avoiding a regular press conference because "the first question is going to be about Broaddrick," MSNBC's John Hockenberry contended. But in nine questions posed at three press conferences the name Broaddrick has not been uttered.
>>> "Which Beret to Wear During Incineration? Potential Chinese Warhead Threat Gets Less Morning and Evening Coverage Than the Monica Book." The latest Media Reality Check fax report released to coincide with Wednesday's scheduled Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, written by the MRC's Tim Graham and distributed by Kristina Sewell, will be posted Wednesday morning on the MRC home page by Webmaster Sean Henry. Go to: http://www.mrc.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990317.html <<<
A key figure in the Chinese espionage scandal testified on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, but instead of using his appearance as a hook for a story, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening shows once again avoided the scandal. CNN and FNC gave it a few seconds. (The Tuesday morning shows also skipped it.)
As the MRC's Tim Graham wrote in the Media Reality Check cited above, from the day the story broke in the March 6 New York Times through Monday, March 15: "The Big Three aired only 11 full evening stories. The morning shows were worse, airing only six full news reports and one interview." After Tuesday those numbers remain unchanged. (CBS is responsible for over half the evening pieces. ABC's World News Tonight has run three pieces and just two full stories have appeared on the NBC Nightly News.)
On Tuesday, March
16, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson appeared before the Senate Armed
Services Committee, in a closed session followed by an open one. FNC's
Special Report with Brit Hume featured a full story, but Fox Report
viewers heard only this 19-second item read by anchor Paula Zahn on the
network's main evening newscast aired at 7pm ET:
Politics overlooked Richardson's appearance, but The World Today gave
him 24 seconds. Co-anchor Joie Chen announced:
The playing at Susan McDougal's trial of Hillary Clinton's videotaped testimony from last year in which she claimed to know nothing about Whitewater transactions, generated short, anchor-read items Tuesday night on ABC, CBS and FNC. Only CNN provided a full story with Bob Franken informing viewers that since McDougal's 1996 trial "investigators have turned up a check for more than $27,000 made out to 'Bill Clinton.'"
All led on March 16 with the deadly Amtrak train-truck crash in Illinois followed by a look at how the Dow briefly topped 10,000. ABC, CBS, FNC and CNN ran short items on the presidential announcement by Steve Forbes. NBC Nightly News ignored Forbes just as they skipped Al Gore's Monday announcement.
On ABC's World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson took 16 seconds to
CBS Evening News
anchor John Roberts consumed 29 seconds in relaying:
CNN's The World
Today made time for a full report from Bob Franken, who noted Hillary
Clinton's denial of any knowledge, before explaining the reason for the
Susan McDougal trial:
Franken led into a soundbite from McDougal's lawyer by saying he "charges the independent counsel is on a wild-goose-chase." But Franken also explained: "Prosecutors insist they need to pin down whether the loan was a fabrication by Jim McDougal trying to juggle funds in an effort to confuse regulators, and that the First Lady's testimony proves they need answers from Susan McDougal."
The mainstream media "were pretty tough on the Democrats, on Bill Clinton during this past year," Wolf Blitzer argued to guest Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday's Late Edition/PrimeTime on CNN. Blitzer later showed a clip of White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart denouncing Limbaugh and demanded the talk show host respond: "But what about the substance of what Joe Lockhart says? You put on the air gossip, rumor, and it comes across as fact?"
Limbaugh shot back: "Wolf, I'm not the guy who committed perjury, I'm not the guy who lied to the American people wagging my finger in their face, I'm not the guy who repeatedly tells falsehoods..." And, he took advantage of his CNN time to recite how the media willingly passed along Clinton's false claims about Medicare and school lunch cuts.
(After interviewing Limbaugh live and showing a taped interview with Lockhart, Blitzer brought aboard Tony Blankley and long-time Clinton flack Paul Begala, who apparently forgot his leader's admonition against the politics of personal destruction (PPD), commenting about Steve Forbes: "He'll take on Bush for that all-important geek vote. I have got nothing against the guy, but I was looking at the tape of him announcing and he looked like he was the college President of the University of Mars or something.")
The 10pm ET/PT CNN show opened with Blitzer's live interview with Limbaugh. The discussion soon got to Al Gore's "I took the initiative in creating the Internet" claim, prompting Blitzer to observe: "They've never been able to make that kind of stuff stick against Al Gore the way the Democrats made the gaffes made by then-Vice President Dan Quayle stick against him." Limbaugh pointed out: "Well, that's because they've never had the help of the mainstream press. I mean, the mainstream press helped the gaffes stick on Quayle, and we'll see if the press helps the gaffes stick on Gore. I think, I noted that Bill Kristol, in The Weekly Standard, wrote recently that he thinks this Internet thing is going to stick to Gore. We'll have to see."
After an ad break CNN played a clip of Limbaugh at the Radio & Records magazine convention asserting: "I think, for the most part, what we would call the mainstream media is a disgrace, and it is why we have the opportunity we have." [Check the end of this item for details about how a video excerpt of this portion of the show will be posted on the MRC home page.]
Countering Limbaugh's assertion, Blitzer maintained: "Rush, is the mainstream news media as bad as you say it is? It seems to me, sitting right in the middle of the mainstream news media, that all of us, we were pretty tough on the Democrats, on Bill Clinton during this past year."
"I think there's a, one fundamental difference in the press of
today and the press of yesteryear," explaining:
Before he could,
Blitzer jumped in and played a tape of a discussion about Limbaugh he had
earlier in the day with Lockhart.
Back to the live interview with Limbaugh, Blitzer agreed that Limbaugh has lost weight, but then got serious: "What about the substance of what Joe Lockhart says? You put on the air gossip, rumor, and it comes across as fact?"
advantage of the opportunity, delivering this lengthy retort about how it
is Clinton who lies and it was the mainstream media which promoted his
lies about Medicare and school lunch cuts:
takes me right back to what I was going to say about the mainstream press.
I will go back to the campaign in 1992 and the campaign, '94, '95, '96. It
was not the worst economy in the last 50 years as Bill Clinton and Al Gore
said in '92. It wasn't. There were no Medicare cuts. There was no school
lunch crisis. There wasn't any cut or any planned cut in the school lunch
program. Medicare was going to grow and I think everybody in the press
knew it. I think everybody in the mainstream press knew the recession of
'91 was not the worse economy in the last 50 years.
Up next on the
show, Blitzer's taped interview with Lockhart. Blitzer asked when
Clinton will hold a regular press conference, "What's your assessment
of the White House press corps?" and whether he is in or out of
"the loop." Blitzer never pressed Lockhart about why he refuses
to get an answer to Juanita Broaddrick's charge or about how he and
McCurry have misled the press corps any number of matters, but he was
worried about the impact of Stephanopoulos on Clinton's dealings with
+++ See Limbaugh present the evidence of liberal bias. You can hear him on the radio everyday. Now you can see and hear him on the MRC Web site. Wednesday morning by 10am ET or so the MRC's Kristina Sewell and Sean Henry will post a RealPlayer clip of Limbaugh responding to Blitzer and Lockhart. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
Reminder: The video clips posted by the MRC are available for 30 days at: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html
President Clinton is quite rationally avoiding a regular press conference because the Washington media have revealed themselves to be "attack dogs," MSNBC's John Hockenberry suggested before predicting: "The first question is going to be about Broaddrick."
Actually, Clinton has taken questions at some joint press conferences with foreign leaders and the questions have hardly been tough.
MRC analyst Mark
Drake caught Hockenberry's assertions. Hockenberry ruminated, on his
March 15 show, to Wall Street Journal editorial writer John Fund:
Hockenberry later offered his theory to Fund on why Clinton avoids the press: "But he knows, you know, the first question is gonna be about Broaddrick. It's gonna be about when he's gonna dump Hillary or whether Hillary's gonna dump him."
REALITY CHECK: From the March 8 CyberAlert:
White House correspondents punted again. Friday afternoon Bill Clinton held a joint press conference with the Italian Prime Minister, but as they did the last two times Clinton took questions, the same three wire service reporters avoided posing any tough questions or uttering the name Juanita Broaddrick. In fact, Helen Thomas hit him from the left on a missile defense and Larry McQuillan portrayed Clinton as a victim of Lewinsky and yearned for him to "bring closure" to the whole scandal.
Here are the three questions posed on March
5 as Clinton avoided any of the big name network reporters:
-- Helen Thomas, UPI: "Do you expect a breakthrough on Kosovo and especially in view of the policy seems to be attacking or threatening Serbia and then retreating, it's constant. And my other question is how can you justify chipping away at the ABM treaty which helped keep the peace during the Cold War and pour billions and billions into a Star Wars defense against the possibility that starving North Korea may fire a missile at us?"
-- Larry McQuillan, Reuters: "Mr. President, more than 70 million Americans watched Monica Lewinsky's recent television interview and a number of people are buying a book that she's put out. I'm just wondering, do you have any thoughts on it that you can share with us that perhaps might bring closure to this and do you have any problem with the idea that she's actually making money off that relationship?"
From the February 22 CyberAlert about the February 19 event with the French premier:
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?"
From the February 25 CyberAlert on the February 24 joint press conference:
UPI's Helen Thomas obliquely raised the Broaddrick matter to Clinton at a joint press conference at 2:30pm ET Wednesday with the President of Ghana, but only FNC bothered to mention Clinton's refusal to respond. Thomas inquired: "What is your reaction to recent allegations by an Arkansas woman, apparently something she claims happened many years ago?" Thomas then asked about the Independent Counsel law before Clinton replied: "My counsel has made a statement about the first issue and I have nothing to add to it."
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