1) Two more
Clinton fundraising scandal disclosures, two more stories ignored by the
First, the Boston
Globe uncovered the possibility that Democratic donors were rewarded with
federal funds. "Trade-Trip Firms Netted $5.5b in Aid: Donated $2.3m
to Democrats," read a front page story in the March 30 Boston Sunday
Globe. Reporter Bob Hohler discovered that "27 corporations that sent
executives on trade trips with the late Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown
obtained part of a multibillion-dollar commitment in federally guaranteed
assistance from the Overseas Private Investment Corp., according to a
Globe analysis of fundraising records, trip manifests, and OPIC
Globe reported last month that Brown's trade trips were a fundraising
bonanza for the Democratic Party," Hohler explained, "what has
previously gone unnoticed is the massive amount of OPIC support given to
companies that traveled with Brown and donated money to the
Wall Street Journal reported that a large donor's money may have come from
the Chinese government. The April 1 story began: "Charlie Yah Lin
Trie, a central figure in the controversy over foreign contributions to
the Democratic Party, received a series of substantial wire transfers in
1995 and 1996 from a bank operated by the Chinese government. The
transfers from the New York office of the Bank of China, usually in
increments of $50,000 or $100,000, came at a time when Mr. Trie was
directing large donations to the Democratic National Committee."
Sunday through Tuesday night: ABC's World News Tonight: nothing CBS
Evening News: not a word NBC Nightly News: zilch CNN's The World Today: a
brief anchor-read item on Trie
2) Tuesday night
the three broadcast network evening shows did each devote short items,
read by the anchor, to how Mack McLarty and Erskine Bowles admitted
soliciting consulting deals for Web Hubbell.
NBC Nightly News
led Tuesday with the shocking news that old documents show that Liggett
tobacco company marketing targeted groups of potential customers. Later,
Tom Brokaw gave 39 seconds to how McLarty and Bowles, the former and
current Chiefs of Staff, "solicited work for Hubbell before he went
behind bars. He received some rich consulting contracts from big campaign
contributors. Republicans have charged this was hush money so he wouldn't
cooperate in the Whitewater investigation, but the White House tonight is
vigorously denying that allegation."
Dan Rather led
the CBS Evening News: "President Clinton today called for keeping ads
for hard liquor off television -- by law if necessary. The industry is
launching a spirited counter-offensive." He gave 33 seconds to
ABC led with some
actual news, the ups and downs of the stock market. In reporting the
Hubbell news, ABC was the only network to mention an amount and the
interest of Kenneth Starr. Peter Jennings explained: "Payments to Mr.
Hubbell, which amounted to more than $500,000, are a major focus of
independent counsel Kenneth Starr who wants to know if they were intended
to buy Mr. Hubbell's silence about Whitewater matters."
failed to do a full story on Hubbell, but the brief items were more than
three previous Hubbell revelations have generated:
-- A March 20
front page New York Times headline declared: "Asian Paid $100,000 to
Hubbell Days After Visits to White House." The Times discovered more
evidence of possible hush money payments to Webster Hubbell.
coverage: Nothing. (Three days later ABC's World News Tonight gave it one
-- The Thursday
March 6 New York Times carried a front page story on a Chinese link to
payments to Web Hubbell. The newspaper reported that Hubbell
"received more than $400,000 from about a dozen enterprises,
including the organizers of a multibillion-dollar development in China
that received the endorsement of the Clinton Administration."
on ABC and NBC. The CBS Evening News aired a story on how Hubbell got
$400,000, but CBS didn't pick up the China angle.
-- The February
25 Los Angeles Times ran a front page story headlined: "Clinton
Intermediary Kept in Touch with Hubbell." Reporter David Willman
discovered: "...in private, the Clintons have stayed quietly in touch
with Hubbell -- through a trusted White House aide who has acted as a
confidential go-between. During the 16 months that Hubbell spent in
prison, the White House aide, Marsha Scott, frequently visited him....And
when Hubbell was first appearing before a grand jury investigating the
Whitewater controversy, Scott traveled to Little Rock to confer with
on ABC, CBS or NBC, nor CNN's World Today.
3) NBC Nightly
News on Tuesday (April 1) found just 39 seconds for the Hubbell news and
no time for the Trie revelation, but devoted a full story to a sympathetic
look at a London PR guy who sells "sleaze" stories about the
Conservative Party to the tabloid newspapers.
Allen in London explained:
"In Britain, it's a single issue campaign: sleaze. Charges of adultry,
indecency, bribery. Three disgraced members of the Conservative Party quit
the race in one week. They're the party in power who say they stand for
After a soundbite
from the anti-Conservative Party public relations guru, Max Clifford,
making the race a stroll for the man who wants to be Prime Minister, Tony
Blair of the Labor Party. Twenty points behind and mired in sleaze the
incumbent, Conservative John Major. Clifford says the conservatives are
ruining Britain. In one sleaze attack he gave the tabloids letters a
Conservative lawmaker wrote to his underage gay lover...He then helped a
17-year-old waitress expose another Conservative lawmaker."
bite from Clifford, Allen intoned:
didn't start with the current campaign, it's been dogging the
Conservatives for years. Since the last election in 1992, at least 16
senior officials with the ruling party have left office clouded in
scandal. And it's not just sex. Some are accused of pocketing thousands of
dollars in bribes."
journalist: "We've had one party for 18 years whose slogan has been
'greed is good.'"
Anyone in the
U.S. who raises Clinton's sex life is disparaged. Talk about it in
reference to the right-leaning party in England and NBC celebrates you.
NBC made four
references to "sleaze" and the Conservative Party. All in one
story. That's four more references to sleaze than NBC has applied in four
years to the Clinton Administration. While it didn't cover the networks, a
1994 MediaWatch Study is illustrative: As reported in the May, 1994 issue,
the MRC's Tim Graham discovered that "Clinton has never been
identified with the 'sleaze factor'" in the three news weeklies, The
Washington Post and New York Times, but the term was applied 114 times
since 1984 to the Reagan administration or Republicans.
4) NBC's Tom
Brokaw was not very happy when ABC bought videotapes that Brokaw thought
he had a deal to buy. In Tuesday's USA Today Peter Johnson reported:
Patrick Edwards, representing a minister who received farewell tapes from
the Heaven's Gate cult, says in an affidavit...that NBC's Tom Brokaw 'set
off in a tirade' after Edwards sold ABC News the tapes for $50,000. Brokaw
'began threatening me, claiming he would file a grievance, that he would
sue me and that I would never work in the city of Detroit again.'"
that he called Edwards just before going on the air Thursday night and
turned angry when he learned ABC beat him out. "'I had every reason
to be angry,' Brokaw said Monday. 'I did raise my voice, but I did not
yell at him, and it was not a tirade. I was very unhappy. I did not say
you'll never work in Detroit again. I thought he was in the suburbs. But I
did say I'd 'let the Michigan bar know and everyone in your community know
how you've conducted yourself.'"
5) From the March
31 Late Show with David Letterman, "Top Ten Things Overheard at the
White House Easter Egg Roll." (Copyright 1997 by Worldwide Pants,
10. I'm sorry,
Mr. President, this event doesn't involve any actual eggrolls.
9. For a
94-year-old, that Strom Thurmond sure can hop.
8. I didn't find
any eggs, but I did find these old Whitewater documents.
7. And now,
ladies and gentlemen, Vice President Gore will chase, catch,
and devour a live rabbit.
6. Is that
Senator Kennedy trying to roll a shot glass?
5. $500 seems a
little steep just to roll an Easter egg into the Lincoln bedroom.
4. Isn't that
cute -- the Easter bunny gave Hillary a chocolate subpoena!
3. Look --
President Bush is skydiving with a bunny suit on!
2. No Mr.
President, we didn't hide any 'Easter bacon.'
1. Hey -- that's
no kid -- that's George Stephanopoulos!
Crockery of the Day. Today's quote is lifted from page 238 of Cronkite's
book, A Reporter's Life:
were among the most friendly occupants of the White House, but Reagan won
the affability contest hands down. I had trouble with his political
philosophy, particularly his endorsement of laissez-faire trickle-down
economics, the concept that if the people and industries at the top are
successful, prosperity will somehow be visited on all the rest of
So, Cronkite does
not see himself "at the top" of society?