Spy Suspect Out on Saturday; Chung Revealed More; King Replaced Gore
1) The Thursday morning shows ignored the Senate hearing and the broadcast network evening shows skipped Reno's plans to probe delays in the spying case, but viewers heard about the Jenny Jones trial and saw Cindy Crawford's video diary of her pregnancy.
3) "Eased export controls aided Beijing's missile technology," announced the Friday Washington Times headline over a story about a Senate report. The Washington Post spin on the same report: "Less Than 10% of China's $300,000 Went to DNC, Report Indicates."
>>> "If Only the Chinese Wore Trench Coats: Tom Brokaw Asked Clinton About China, But NBC Regularly Skips Reporting New China Revelations," the MRC's latest Media Reality Check fax report is now up on the MRC home page. In the report the MRC's Tim Graham reviews the lack of network TV interest in four newspaper revelations from the past week or so. (Tim came up with the title, so send complaints to him not me.) The report's direct address: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990506.html
>>> See Geraldo Get Shelled. After some delay, now up on the MRC video page thanks to Webmaster Sean Henry: A clip picked up by MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens showing Geraldo Rivera diving for cover when a Serb shell lands nearby during his mid-April trip with the Kosovo Liberation Army. The clip, in RealPlayer format, is from the April 19 Rivera Live on CNBC. To watch it, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html and then scroll down to April 19.
On Thursday Attorney General Janet Reno announced that she would create a task force to examine how the Justice Department and FBI had handled the Wen Ho Lee spy case, but none of the broadcast networks cared or bothered to use it as a hook to tell viewers about what bad decisions she might be probing. CNN's The World Today ran a full story on Reno and Senate anger and FNC's Fox Report gave her a few seconds.
So, this also means another day passed without CBS or NBC mentioning how the New York Times had reported Sunday that it had learned that the Clinton team was informed in November of ongoing Chinese espionage, thus contradicting Clinton's claims.
None of the Thursday morning shows uttered a word about Wednesday's Senate hearing (see the May 6 CyberAlert for details) or Reno's impending announcement which was reported in Thursday newspapers.
On CNN's 10pm ET The World Today anchor Joie Chen introduced a piece on Reno by noting how Friday newspapers were set to report that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence would release a report Friday saying technology transfers helped China improve their missiles and that China made an effort to influence U.S. elections.
CNN's Pierre Thomas then outlined: "In 1997, the FBI wanted the Justice Department to seek a court order for a wiretap of Wen Ho Lee. The FBI suspected Lee, a scientist at the Los Alamos Nuclear Lab, of giving U.S. secrets to China. Request denied for lack of evidence. A later appeal, also denied. Now, congressional Republicans are demanding answers and pointing fingers....Under pressure, the Attorney General has ordered a review to see if the case was bungled."
Thomas allowed how "sources say the standard for requesting intrusive wiretaps is high, and they still do not have direct evidence Lee actually transferred documents or computer files to China," but also uniquely observed: "Critics say FBI investigators could have easily gotten enough evidence to justify a wiretap. Like other scientists at Los Alamos, Lee had signed a waiver allowing officials to search his work computers at any time, yet a search was not done until March 1999, two years after the wiretap request and three years after the Lee investigation began."
-- Broadcast network evening shows. So what did they cover instead on May 6? ABC's World News Tonight, the only broadcast show to cover the May 5 Senate hearing, on May 6 spent over five minutes on the dangers of medical testing on humans and new "virtual testing" via computers. Plus, an It's Your Money segment on the Tombigbee Waterway in Mississippi and Tennessee. The CBS Evening News took time to look at a victim of police profiling in Carmel, Indiana and the NBC Nightly News ran a "Retiring Smart" piece of how older works are hurt when companies switch from traditional pension plans to "cash balance" plans.
-- Morning shows. It wasn't as if the networks decided to only examine the tornadoes and Kosovo on May 6. ABC's Good Morning America, MRC analyst Jessica Anderson noticed, featured an interview segment in the 7:30 half hour on the Jenny Jones trial followed by an interview with Rosalynn Carter about her book on mental health. The 8am half hour featured clips of super model Cindy Crawford's video diary about her pregnancy. NBC's Today, noted MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens, also interviewed, in the 7:30 half hour, players in the Jenny Jones case.
The FBI has several other espionage suspects and the Pentagon may have mishandled the case of a former Los Alamos scientist who admitted giving China secret information, the Fox News Channel's Carl Cameron exclusively reported Thursday night. In a story only briefly summarized on the Fox Report, but fully outlined on Special Report with Brit Hume, FNC revealed this other suspect served only a year and is set to be released on Saturday.
Reno's decision to examine the Wen Ho Lee case, Cameron moved to fresh
material in his May 6 Special Report with Brit Hume story:
jumped to the impending Senate Intelligence Committee report not mentioned
by ABC, CBS or NBC but noted by CNN hours later (see item #1 above.)
+++ Watch Cameron's FNC story. Friday morning the MRC's Sean Henry and Kristina Sewell will post a video clip in RealPlayer format of much of this story. Go to: http://www.mrc.org
The Washington Times and New York Times versus the Washington Post. Friday's editions of these newspapers summarized the report to be released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, but while the New York Times and Washington Times focused on the impact of China's technology gains, the Washington Post delivered a spin only the White House could love.
-- Washington Times headline on its Web site reprinting of the May 7 story: "Eased export controls aided Beijing's missile technology."
-- New York Times headline on it Web site rendition of its story: "Panel Finds Harm in China Launchings."
-- Washington Post headline, also from its Web site: "Less Than 10% of China's $300,000 Went to DNC, Report Indicates."
That would be a reference to the April 4 Los Angeles Times story ABC, CBS and NBC have so far refused to report.
U.S. satellite technology transferred to China in 1995 and 1996 has improved Beijing's rockets and missiles, according to a report to be released May 7 by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
The bipartisan committee report sets out that the Chinese government is engaged in a covert operation aimed at influencing U.S. policies. "Technical analyses and methodologies provided by American satellite companies to the [People's Republic of China] during various satellite-launch campaigns result in the transfer to the PRC of technical knowhow," the report says. "Such transfer enables the PRC to improve its present and future space launch vehicles and intercontinental ballistic missiles."
A senior Republican Senate aide said the report "confirms our worst fears" about the Clinton administration's policy of loosening satellite-export controls and trying to deal with aggressive Chinese spying on technology.
"China developed and implemented a covert-action plan to influence U.S. policy and through illegal campaign contributions sought to loosen controls on critical technologies," the aide said. "And it worked."....
END Washington Times excerpt
Gertz's story will be up all weekend on the Washington Times Web page: http://www.washtimes.com
Of $300,000 that former Democratic fund-raiser Johnny Chung told federal investigators he got from China's military intelligence chief to help reelect President Clinton in 1996, the FBI has been able to trace only $20,000 to the Democratic National Committee, the Senate intelligence committee reported yesterday.
"Most of the remaining funds went for [Chung's] personal use, including mortgage payments," a report from the panel said.
Chung, who pleaded guilty last year to illegally contributing $30,000 to Democrats and has been cooperating with Justice Department investigators, was a central figure in the 1996 fund-raising scandal. He testified to a federal grand jury that he accepted $300,000 from the Chinese general to support the Democrats in 1996, the Los Angeles Times reported last month. At that time the paper said it believed only $35,000 actually went into party coffers.
The Senate panel also disclosed that contributions from other Chinese sources were made to "a Republican candidate for state office and a Republican state officeholder" who were otherwise unidentified. In addition, the panel said that intelligence information disclosed that China in 1995 conceived a plan to "influence the U.S. political process favorably toward [Beijing]" that was directed primarily at Congress....
END Washington Post excerpt
Which spin will the Friday morning shows pick up? If their pattern holds, neither. They will just ignore the latest information.
When he testifies next week, the Los Angeles Times revealed Friday, Johnny Chung will say he heard that "a longtime friend of President Clinton approached the Chinese government... asking for $1 million to help support Clinton" and that he "escorted the wife and son of the Chinese military intelligence chief to a political fundraiser in Los Angeles in 1996 at which Democratic officials insisted on a $25,000 campaign contribution for the opportunity to introduce his guests to the President."
The same reporters who wrote the paper's April 4 story about how Chinese military intelligence gave Chung $300,000 to donate, were back Friday with a preview of Chung's testimony scheduled for next week before a House committee. This is the same appearance that was scheduled for April 27, but canceled.
"Chung Details Alleged Chinese Funding Scheme," declared the May 7 headline over the story by reporters William Rempel and Alan Miller who opened:
Former Democratic donor Johnny Chung has provided new information to congressional investigators about his dealings with top Chinese intelligence officials, including claims that other politically connected figures were enlisted to bolster China's interests in the United States.
Those claims, along with additional details about Chung's previously disclosed dealings with the chief of China's military intelligence, are expected to be aired next week when Chung is scheduled to testify publicly for the first time before the House Committee on Government Reform.
Chung's accounts, gathered from a series of recent interviews with The Times, also are expected to shed new light on a possible China strategy to build relations with individuals who had special access to the White House and U.S. political leaders.
At the same time, Chung's public testimony is likely to inflame partisan debate over long-standing Republican allegations of a Chinese plan to influence the U.S. election process.
Among the new information that Chung is
expected to provide in testimony scheduled to begin Tuesday:
For more than two years, Justice Department and congressional investigators have sought to determine whether the Chinese government directed secret campaign contributions to U.S. election campaigns to enhance Beijing's access to influential leaders, technology and information. Such allegations have generated bitter partisan debate, with Republicans alleging that China sought to influence the 1996 U.S. elections.
Now, Chung is poised to become the first prominent figure in the 1996 campaign finance scandal with ties to China to testify publicly before Congress....
Chung's appearance will no doubt intensify growing scrutiny over the Clinton administration's handling of Beijing. It comes amid allegations of Chinese espionage to steal U.S. nuclear secrets and as congressional committees are planning to release reports on alleged Chinese efforts to obtain sensitive U.S. technology.
Chung was subpoenaed by the House panel after The Times disclosed on April 4 that Chung had told federal investigators that Gen. Ji Shengde, the head of China's military intelligence, had given the Torrance businessman $300,000 to subsidize campaign donations to support Clinton. Records show that Chung donated a total of $35,000 to the Democratic National Committee in September 1996; the remainder was transferred into Chung's California bank account, and it is not known how the money was spent....
END Los Angeles Times excerpt
"Chung's appearance will no doubt intensify growing scrutiny over the Clinton administration's handling of Beijing." Well, I have doubts about how much coverage the broadcast networks will give to his appearance.
To read the rest of this LA Times story, go to: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/POLITICS/NATPOL/lat_chung990507.htm
To remind yourself of the April 4 bombshell, go to: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/POLITICS/NATPOL/lat_china990404.htm
Stealing some Steele time. Thursday night the CBS Evening News aired the first full story on a broadcast network about the Julie Hiatt Steele trial for obstructing justice and false statements. On Thursday the case went to the jurors after the defense decided to not put on any witnesses.
Dan Rather intoned
on the May 6 show: "The one and only criminal trial to result from
Ken Starr's year-long, four and a half million dollar investigation of
the President and Monica Lewinsky, went to the jury today and Monica
Lewinsky has virtually nothing to do with it."
Though CNN has had many elected officials host Larry King Live over the years, controversy over the plan to have Vice President Al Gore serve as the host led CNN to change its arrangement. But Gore still appeared and got plenty of time to emote caring and advocate his policy ideas on how to reduce youth violence.
At the top of the
May 6 show Larry King told viewers:
A few minutes into
the program King prompted Gore: "What do we know now that we didn't
know before Littleton?"
It all depends on what your definition of "private" is. In Gore's case, it means tell everyone you were told something in private and then proceed to announce it.
Later, the Reverend Robert Schuller and Dr. William Pollack, author of Real Boys, joined the panel with Gore.
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