1) The networks
aired stories last week on how Mack McLarty and Erskine Bowles helped Web
Hubbell get money, but they ignored some devastating revelations in the
memos from Harold Ickes, revelations published in newspaper accounts.
-- On April 3 The
Washington Post and New York Times reported that President Clinton knew
DNC fundraising was breaking the law. The Times reported: "On another
document, in October 1996, which projected the debt that the Democratic
committee was likely to face after the election and recommended that the
committee budget $1 million for potential fines, Mr. Clinton wrote
Felon's Donation to Democrats Was Sought in Cuba, Inquiry Says" read
a front page headline in Friday's (April 4) New York Times. The story
reported that "Jorge Cabrera, a drug smuggler who has emerged as one
of the most notorious supporters of President Clinton's re-election
campaign, was asked for a campaign contribution in the unlikely locale of
a hotel in Havana by a prominent Democratic fundraiser....On his return to
the United States several days after that meeting, in November 1995, Mr.
Cabrera wrote a check for $20,000 to the Democratic National Committee
from an account that included the proceeds from smuggling cocaine from
Colombia to the United States, said the investigators, who spoke on
condition of anonymity."
attended a dinner with Al Gore and Christmas party at the White House.
-- The DNC had an
elaborate plan of how to not raise suspicions while funneling money to
non-profit get out the vote groups, the Los Angeles Times discovered. The
April 4 story explained: "The plan...called for the Democratic
National Committee to transfer 'limited' amounts of money to tax-exempt
groups that sign up voters or get them to the polls on election day. The
limit the memo suggested was $500,000. 'Grants of amounts much larger
would risk drawing public, press and FEC attention,' wrote DNC chief
counsel Joe Sandler."
The DNC needn't
have worried about widespread press attention. The ABC, CBS and NBC
evening shows failed to report the disclosure. They also didn't bother
telling viewers about the Cabrera development or that Clinton knew in
advance about planned illegal fundraising.
portrayed Clinton as the victim. On Friday's Nightly News Tom Brokaw
every major White House scandal, it's the President's friends who make the
trouble. And throughout Washington and Arkansas tonight a lot of people
are wondering if history is repeating itself with this President and his
friend Web Hubbell, formerly Hillary Clinton's law partner."
Bloom began: "Tom, the White House tried to explain today how the
President did not know, or at least did not believe, that his good friend
Web Hubbell was in deep legal trouble, even as the President's top
advisers were steering high-paying jobs Hubbell's way. Today, a subtle
shift in the White House explanation. Spokesman Mike McCurry stressing not
that the President didn't know of the allegations against Hubbell, but
that he didn't believe them..."
Bloom went on to
explain that Hubbell says he lied to Clinton in 1994 about not stealing
from the Rose law firm, but it's not Hubbell that is getting Clinton in
"trouble" -- the trouble comes from the suspicion that those
close to Clinton paid Hubbell in order to keep him from revealing
Clinton's Whitewater improprieties.
(While on NBC,
I'd note that in Jim Miklaszewski's April 2 Nightly News story on the
Ickes' memos, Miklaszewski noted: "Other documents show that those
White House coffees with big contributors were a big hit, raking in
$400,000. Today the White House backed off its original claim those
coffees were not fundraisers." But that wasn't exactly breaking news
since it appeared in the March 23 New York Times in a story NBC ignored at
Friday night the
CBS Evening News plugged 60 Minutes with an excerpt from Mike Wallace's
interview with Web Hubbell. In the excerpt from the story which aired
April 6, Wallace asked:
"I know that
you don't want to talk about the Riady's, but you can understand why some
people are skeptical about the sequence of events in 1994. You step down
from the Justice Department. Three months later you have breakfast with
your friend James Riady. That same day James Riady is welcomed at the
White House and then a short time after that a company owned by the
Riady's pays you $100,000."
response: eleven seconds of silence.
That sequence may
have been news to CBS Evening News viewers, but not to New York Times
readers where it was laid out on a front page story on March 20, a
disclosure all three broadcast networks ignored.
declared: "To no one's surprise, Republicans are missing no
opportunity to profit from White House embarrassment over Hubbell and
disclosures about political fundraising in general..."
Jones seemed baffled by the political appeal sent by the National
Republican Senatorial Committee:
the China connection, Republicans call this money 'a direct slap to those
brave, young American soldiers who spilled their blood defending freedom.'
China is referred to as 'Red China.'"
To Steven Law of
NRSC: "Why not just call it China? Why call it Red China?"
Crockery of the Day. Today's quote comes from page 285 of the retired CBS
anchor's book, A Reporter's Life. Cronkite recalls one of his
"proudest" achievements: a series run over several years on the
Evening News called "Can the World Be Saved?" The series exposed
environmental threats, Cronkite explained, noting that "we launched
the programs just in time to be in the vanguard of the not-yet-named
Decade of the Environment."
describes one segment:
"One of our
interviews was perhaps the most provocative of my career. Rene Dubos was
an internationally respected microbiologist at the Rockefeller Institute
and one of the first to become seriously concerned about the poisons that
were being introduced into our foodstuffs as pesticides, fertilizers and
explained to me that such poisons first affect, but very slowly, the
muscles. And, he noted, the brain is a muscle. What alarmed him was that
these poisons might be eroding our ability to think our way out of our
problems. The day could come, he forecast, when we would pass the point of
no return -- our brains would be so crippled that we couldn't solve our
problems but we would be unable to recognize our disability. Yes, he
repeated, the day could come, and he looked out his window and, with that
professional sotto voce, added: 'Or maybe we already have passed that
look at the problems that threaten our existence on Earth --
overpopulation, pollution, nuclear proliferation, to name just three of
the more ominous -- and we look at our puny, impractical, overpoliticized
efforts to solve them, we must conclude that Dr. Dubos' doomsday scenario
may not be far off the mark."
If all goes as
planned, this will be the last CyberAlert sent via CompuServe. Future
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