CyberAlert -- 03/29/1999 -- Starr Image "Grossly Unfair"; Actor Denounced "Success and Achievement"
Starr Image "Grossly Unfair"; Actor Denounced "Success and Achievement"
1) Lewinsky grand jury forewoman Freda Alexander went back into hiding on Friday, but not before telling Washington's WUSA-TV that the attacks on Ken Starr have been "grossly unfair." The wider media, however, ignored her defense of Starr.
Editor's Note: The March 26 CyberAlert recited some bias in CNN's Cold war series and reported that the episode on Reagan and Gorbachev would be repeated on Friday and Saturday night "Kosovo war allowing." Well, it didn't and CNN ran war specials instead of the Cold War on both nights.
Lewinsky grand jury forewoman Freda Alexander went back into hiding on Friday, but not before Washington's WUSA-TV aired part two on Friday night of its exclusive interview in which she said the attacks on Ken Starr have been "grossly unfair." The wider media, however, ignored her defense of Starr.
As detailed in the March 26 CyberAlert, she revealed on Thursday, March 25, that she thought Clinton lied and that she would have voted to indict him for perjury. A March 26 AP story quoted her on Starr: "I don't think he's the devil incarnate. I think it's very sad that he's been put in that role." She also Told the AP that Clinton's crimes were "intensely personal" and should never have become a federal case.
-- Network coverage, lack thereof: Friday morning ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ran short items during the 7am news updates on how she would have voted to indict Clinton, though she thinks his activities never should have become public, but neither network mentioned her defense of Starr. Friday night none of the broadcast networks uttered a word about her, though they all made room for some non-Yugoslavia war news. In addition to the Kevorkian verdict which generated full stories on all the networks, ABC's World News Tonight on Friday ran a full report on a new nuclear waste depository near Carlsbad, New Mexico and a short item on Nelson Mandela's last address to parliament. The CBS Evening News provided full reports on how the "North Atlantic Oscillation" caused a mild winter in the East and the Orioles playing in Cuba. NBC's Nightly News devoted a lengthy piece to the disappearance of college students from Cuestra College in San Luis Obispo, California.
-- More of her
only on-camera interview in which she defended Ken Starr. During the 6:30
half hour of Eyewitness News at 6 on Friday night, March 26, WUSA's Mark
Lodato returned with part two of his exclusive interview with Alexander, a
piece you can view on the MRC home page.
Lodato wrapped up by noting that Starr's office would have preferred if she remained quiet and that she is now suing over losing her hotel job.
To watch this
story in RealPlayer format, go to the MRC home page where MRC Webmaster
Sean Henry will post about an hour after this e-mail is distributed. Go
-- Alexander declared "I absolutely love Clinton" as she revealed to the Washington Post that she's a big Clinton fan, treasures a program from a 1997 Democratic gala honoring him and matches the stereotype of a DC juror as she was upset by the lack of blacks and women on Starr's staff. But, unlike a Los Angeles jury, she also showed how on this DC-based grand jury at least one member could put following the law ahead of personal political views. The Post also revealed that the media found her after an AP reporter came across her name in an industry newsletter story about her suing the Madison hotel, claiming she was wrongfully terminated for her extended grand jury duty. (Conspiracy note: The Madison hotel is on 15th St. NW, across the street from the Washington Post.)
Here are some illuminating excepts from the Washington Post's March 26 front page story by Susan Glasser titled, "Forewoman Would Have Voted to Indict Clinton: Grand Jury Leader in Lewinsky Probe Breaks Secrecy, Says President Lied."
....For 18 months, she was the anonymous leader of Grand Jury 97-2, known to reporters who watched her pass by as "the businesslady" for her crisp professional dress. Day after day, Alexander sat in the front of the closed grand jury room as Starr's prosecutors brought a parade of witnesses to testify about Clinton's affair with Lewinsky and their efforts to keep it hidden from lawyers for Paula Jones.
Alexander, a 46-year-old hotel sales representative, cried when Lewinsky cried. She watched helplessly when Lewinsky's mother broke down on the stand, unable even to talk. She cringed inside when presidential secretary Betty Currie reluctantly acknowledged that Clinton had been alone with the young former intern. And Alexander, who is African American, even reprimanded her favorite prosecutor, chiding him for the lack of women and minorities on Starr's legal team.
But it was the president's behavior, Alexander said, that was most painful for her, though the grand jury was never asked to confront the ultimate question of whether to indict him. "This hurt terribly," she said in an interview at her Southwest Washington apartment, a large-screen television set behind her flashing images of the president going to war with Serbia even as she talked. "I absolutely love Clinton."
Although she voted for the President, Alexander said, she was convinced he lied to the grand jury in his Aug. 17 appearance. "I took offense to it. I consider myself a normal human being and I think oral sex falls within the definition of sexual relations." Her fellow grand jurors were similarly angered, she said, as they watched Clinton's testimony through a remote hookup to the White House. "When he got to what the definition of 'is' is, everybody went....'No he didn't! We are not here for English class.'"
But Alexander, who has never met the President but still keeps the program from the 1997 Democratic National Committee gala she attended to honor him, also reflected the ambivalence many Americans felt about Clinton's behavior. "I believe he lied," she said. "But I also believe he had no other choice."
She was similarly charitable about two of the other most controversial figures in the investigation: Lewinsky and Starr himself. "I feel badly for him," she said of the independent counsel, who appeared before the grand jury only three times throughout their months-long investigation and never questioned a witness. "He was given a job to perform."
As for the 25-year-old who confessed weepingly to the grand jury that she had still loved the President right up until his Aug. 17 testimony, Alexander expressed motherly affection toward her. Lewinsky's account of her ordeal when she was first confronted by prosecutors in the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton brought Alexander to tears. "I was crying, many of the grand jurors were. Even the court reporter."
Alexander, who said she has a son the same age as Lewinsky, told the grand jurors when Lewinsky was outside composing herself that she wanted to "leave her with a little bit of encouragement." And so, when Lewinsky returned, Alexander gave her a hug. "If anyone in the world needed a hug at that moment," the forewoman figured, "it was Monica."
Alexander, who was fired from her job at the Madison Hotel during her grand jury service and has filed a lawsuit claiming she was wrongfully dismissed as a result of her long tenure at the courthouse, said her lawyers had advised her she was free to talk about her "unique" experience.
Legal experts said the comments by Alexander were extraordinary and appeared to run directly counter to the strict rules governing grand jury secrecy. The rule broadly prohibits grand jurors from disclosing "matters occurring before the grand jury.".....
A Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy note: I once lived two blocks from Alexander on the same street in DC.
Speaking of the VRWC, could Matt Drudge's mother have arranged years
before for Monica Lewinsky to get an internship in the White House so that
years later Newsweek would have a story to delay that her son could reveal
and thereby become rich and famous? Check out this paragraph from a
profile by Howard Kurtz of Drudge featured on the front of Sunday's
Style section in the Washington Post:
Lucianne's got a gun! That doesn't please ABC's Diane Sawyer who suggested "her tongue should have been licensed." MRC news analyst Jessica Anderson caught this exchange on Friday's Good Morning America between the hosting Sawyers:
Sawyer: "Lucianne Goldberg, you know Lucianne Goldberg?"
The Clinton soundbite NBC News played on Friday, in which Clinton appeared to be denouncing the idea of arming the Kosovars, didn't really match the question he was responding to, a possibility CyberAlert was prescient enough to consider. Here's the item in question, from Friday's CyberAlert:
From the White House, David Bloom reported how Bob Dole said ground troops cannot be ruled out. Bloom then noted: "Now some in Congress want to supply the Kosovo Liberation Army with machine guns, grenade launchers, rifles and other arms to better fight the Serbs themselves."
Senator Mitch McConnell: "This would give these folks a chance to defend themselves."
Clinton in the Oval Office: "I think that would be a terrible mistake. We would be far better off if they didn't have as many arms as they do."
Worldwide gun control. I thought we were bombing the Serbs BECAUSE the Kosovars can't defend themselves since they don't have adequate weapons. Now Clinton says they have too many arms? And if the "they" he is referring to are the Serbs, then arms control hasn't quite worked.
Alert CyberAlert reader Gregg Howard of Denver let me know that Clinton was not responding to a question about arming the Kosovars but about the Russians arming the Serbians. Here's the relevant portion of the transcript of the Oval Office photo-op as provided by the White House home page: http://www.whitehouse.gov
about Russians threatening to arm Belgrade?"
Bizarre quote of the month picked up by MRC entertainment analyst Tom Johnson, from actor Nick Nolte who was among those with their arms crossed in the Oscar audience refusing to applaud the Lifetime Achievement Award for Elia Kazan.
Reading through the Playboy Interview in the April issue (I tore out all the pictures before passing it along), Tom came across this gem:
"What's the dark side of the American dream?"
It doesn't appear he's joking. The next question, which he answered seriously: "Ever achieve any success of the golf course?"
Hollywood really isn't anything like the rest of America, but maybe Nolte is really just inadvertently revealing what liberals at their core really think: Success is bad because it breeds inequality that only high taxes on the successful can correct.
Avoid Melissa. Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Emergency Response
Team (CERT) warned that the Melissa virus could wreak havoc on Monday, but
I won't be spreading it because I'm using WordPerfect. As John
Schwartz reported in Sunday's Washington Post, you have to open a Word
document to activate it: "The new
virus, known as Melissa, is part of a family of digital bugs that prey on
the 'macro' functions -- that is, mini-programs that people use to
automate repetitive tasks -- in newer versions of Microsoft Word.
One more reason to go with the 20 percent of us who refuse to be Microsoft Word conformists. -- Brent Baker
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