CyberAlert -- 05/18/1999 -- ABC: Lanny Davis a Truth Teller; Media "Help" GOP Correct Gun Error
ABC: Lanny Davis a Truth Teller; Media "Help" GOP Correct Gun Error
2) "So the thing to do as a spin-meister, get the facts out, and then try to put the best possible interpretation on them with the press," ABC's Charlie Gibson prompted Lanny Davis who absurdly replied: "That's what we tried to do in the Clinton White House."
>>> MRC's New York Times ad now
viewable online. Webmaster Sean Henry has put a likeness on the MRC Web
site of the full page May 16 ad the Media Research Center purchased in the
New York Times. The ad asks: "ABC, CBS, and NBC...Why are you not
reporting THE IMPORTANT NEWS? If the Fox News Channel and the nation's
most prestigious newspapers -- the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times,
the Washington Post, and the Washington Times -- can report story after
story over the past year about important dates, facts, people, hearings,
testimonies, documents, evidence, and events involved in the Chinese
espionage case...Why can't you?" To see the whole ad and an image
of a C-SPAN host holding it up on Sunday Journal, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nytimesad.html
Some odd labeling Monday night: In a story on a tribe's whale hunt in Washington state ABC referred to Greenpeace as a "mainstream" environmental group and CBS's Dan Rather tagged Israel's new Prime Minister as "less conservative" than Netanyahu.
Otherwise, it was back to a pre-war and pre-Littleton list of story subjects Monday night on the broadcast networks without a word about China. (Nothing Monday morning either about China.) ABC's World News Tonight featured two stories about growing incivility and one about allergies, the CBS Evening News delivered an Eye on America about those hurt in the switch by companies to "cash balance" pension plans and a story on how airbags in old Chrysler minivans are too powerful. Dan Rather intoned: "CBS News correspondent Bob Orr has the maximum facts on the minivan story." The In Depth segment on NBC Nightly News looked at all the accidents caused by sleep deprived people.
ABC and CBS led on Monday, May 17, with the Israeli election while NBC went first with arrests of four students in Port Huron, Michigan for planning to kill many classmates with guns and bombs. All three ran pieces on the controversy over the Makah tribe in Washington being allowed, after 70 plus years, to resume whale hunting as agreed to in a treaty they signed last century.
-- Whale hunt. Dan Rather displayed his pro-whale bias: "CBS's Bill Whitaker has the clash of culture in the harpoon death of a beautiful titan of the sea."
Over on ABC reporter Deborah Wang lamented how "the hunt has pitted some environmental groups against their traditional allies in the native community. Protestors say native traditions are not as important as protecting the whales. Many mainstream environmental groups, such as Greenpeace, have stayed on the sidelines...."
I don't know
much about Barak and have no doubt he may not be very liberal, but he's
normally described as a moderate. Calling him "less
conservative" certainly continues the CBS tradition of seeing Israeli
politics from the left. As detailed in the June 1996 MediaWatch, when
Benjamin Netanyahu won in May, 1996 CBS applied extremist labels:
Only Martin Fletcher on the NBC Nightly News noted on Monday that the "less conservative" Barak hired James Carville as a campaign consultant.
The entire Clinton team lied about Lewinsky for months, but in interviewing Lanny Davis on Monday's Good Morning America, co-host Charlie Gibson suggested: "So the thing to do as a spin-meister, get the facts out, and then try to put the best possible interpretation on them with the press." Davis, on to promote his book about his time on the White House staff and afterwards when he went on shows to repeat the President's lies about Lewinsky, actually maintained that you help reporters when they are writing negative stories because then "the reporter helps you get your characterization, some would call spin, into the story and then the story is out completely and accurately. That's what we tried to do in the Clinton White House."
"Completely and accurately"? But Gibson did nor burst out laughing.
Gibson opened the
May 17 interview by questioning how Davis in his book, Truth to Tell: Tell
it Early, Tell it All, Tell It Yourself, claims you should never mislead
I don't know why since Davis has paid no penalty for all his lying. He repeatedly lied on GMA about Lewinsky throughout last year, yet when he writes a book about the importance of the truth the show gives him a platform to publicize it. Amazing.
So much for doubting Davis's honesty. As the rest of the interview below transcribed by the MRC's Jessica Anderson shows, instead of pointing how he was not being truthful now Gibson sat meekly as Davis offered more bizarre spins.
the facts had been put out, as you say they need to be, right away, could
the Monica Lewinsky scandal had been prevented?"
Watch Diane Sawyer "conk out." As noted in the May 17 CyberAlert, on Friday Good Morning America allocated just ten seconds to a New York Times front page story about how "China is close to deploying a nuclear missile with a warhead whose design draws on stolen American secrets." The show broadcast on Friday from Pensacola, Florida as part of its week-long trip across the South.
Among the features viewers of the May 14 program did see: a taped piece at 7:35am of co-host Diane Sawyer's flight in the back seat of a Navy "Blue Angels" team jet.
During the flight,
when the pilot's maneuvers increased the G-forces Sawyer employed the
recommended counter-measures of grunting and squeezing her legs, but when
one move generated 7.5 Gs, she passed out briefly. When she came to she
remarked: "I'm smiling because I thought I had just interviewed
"With the help of the news media," MSNBC's Brian Williams observed Friday night, the Republican Senators realized they had done wrong in not further regulating gun sales at gun shows. It's nice that Williams, in the midst of another slanted gun story, pointed out how the media were playing an activist role in helping one side over another in a political argument that a professional media would portray even-handedly.
MRC news analyst
Mark Drake caught how Williams characterized the debate on Friday's News
with Brian Williams. He opened the May 14 show not by giving equal time to
those on the right upset at Republicans for going left, but by assuming
the original Republican vote against more rules was wrong:
Introducing a story by NBC's Gwen Ifill, Williams intoned: "The issue here has been a loophole. Buy a gun at a gun show, in most cases, there are no questions asked. You can take your purchase and walk away. Remember, three of the weapons used at Columbine were purchased originally at gun shows. Well, a majority of the U.S. Senate liked that just fine. They voted to keep it that way. Then after realizing what they did, with the help of the news media, the President and constituents, they said they'd changed their minds. And today they voted on those changes, creating some new loopholes in the process however."
Ifill then forwarded one of he oldest fallacious arguments: "A stand off today in the United States Senate as gun control advocates tried to force the Republican controlled Senate to enact tougher laws. An unseen player in today's acrimonious debate, the powerful and influential National Rifle Association. The Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington based research group, says money is driving the debate, reporting that lawmakers who voted against imposing background checks on buyers at gun shows, received, on average, $10,000 in contributions from gun rights groups between 1991 and 1998. While those who favored gun restrictions received an average of about $300 apiece over the same period. But Republicans put that formula on its head, arguing that Democrats are the ones squandering an important issue over politics. Republicans warn that disagreements about how to proceed may end up scuttling the entire juvenile justice bill. Democrats, still hoping to present as many as 30 amendments to the bill before a final vote Tuesday, rejected Republican compromises. Senate leaders say time is running out for this juvenile justice bill. Both sides seem to hope that over the weekend, cooler heads will prevail and some kind of compromise can be reached."
Of course, the same could be said for those favoring gun control: They get more money from gun control advocates than from opponents. But this kind of reasoning assumes the Senators ran for office with no fixed view and then went with whichever side donated more money. Advocates on both sides give to those who support their view. On an ideological issue like gun control, the money follows the position, not the other way around.
An updated and revised May 14 edition of the MRC Special Report by Tim Graham, "All The News That's Fit to Skip: Network Apathy Toward Chinese Contributions and Espionage," is now up on the MRC home page thanks to Webmaster Sean Henry. The report details over 20 newspaper disclosures ignored by all or most network evening and morning shows. Below is the text for the cover page which summarizes the report:
May 14, 1999, updated from April 26 edition: If TV anchors regularly suggest viewers should worry about everyday threats like spoiled hamburgers or "monster" sport utility vehicles, why can't they report on the threat posed by the Chinese theft of secrets that may make their nuclear missiles arrive with better aim and increased deadliness? The nation's most prestigious newspapers have published scoop after scoop detailing the connections between Chinese contributions and espionage efforts, and ABC, CBS and NBC have aired next to nothing about them on their morning and evening shows. The Media Research Center found the networks' shocking pattern of non-coverage in four areas:
-- 1. China's Army Funds the Democrats. On April 4, the Asian fundraising scandal culminated in a Los Angeles Times report: Johnny Chung told Justice Dept. investigators that the chief of Chinese military intelligence gave him $300,000 to donate to the Clinton campaign. None of the broadcast networks touched this bombshell until Chung appeared before Congress on May 11, but even then the ABC and NBC morning shows and the CBS Evening News ignored him.
-- 2. China Acquires U.S. Missile Technology. Beginning in April 1998, The New York Times reported the Chinese government had been given technological expertise that "significantly advanced Beijing's ballistic missile program," and the head of one of the offending defense contractors was the largest individual contributor to Democrats in 1996. The number of evening news reports on this story since April 1998? ABC: 7. CBS: 3. NBC: 2. ABC outnumbered these 12 pieces in a 24-hour period highlighting their Monica Lewinsky interview.
-- 3. China Acquires U.S. Warhead Technology. One year after that discovery, The New York Times found that the Chinese government had stolen technology from U.S. nuclear labs that would help them miniaturize their nuclear warheads. In the first ten days the Big Three aired only 11 evening stories and six morning stories, then dropped the issue. The networks have since ignored several significant revelations and conducted only one morning show interview.
-- 4. Clinton's Denials Exposed. When pressed by print reports about whether he knew Chinese espionage was occurring on his watch, President Clinton claimed in two press conferences that he was told nothing about espionage occurring during his term. When new print reports revealed him to be lying, the networks again refused to give viewers the evidence.
The MRC report concludes by noting this blackout would seem less irresponsible and unfair if the networks hadn't doggedly pursued GOP foreign-policy scandals from Iran-Contra to Iraqgate, and recommends the networks pursue this story not simply to compare Clinton's record to other Presidents, but to his own promises in his 1992 manifesto Putting People First.
To read the entire report, go to:
This link will bring you to the above cover sheet. At the bottom of the page you can jump to the full report or watch the video contrast between how Dan Rather grilled Bush in 1988 about Iran-Contra but stayed soft with Clinton this year, avoiding Chinese espionage and contributions. The direct address for these video clips: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/rathervideos.html
From Larry King's Monday, May 17, column in USA Today, another gem of
insightful reasoning from the CNN star:
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