CyberAlert -- 05/23/2000 -- Democrats Always Wanted Disbarment
Democrats Always Wanted Disbarment; Hillary Not Liberal; NBC's No Elian Photo Policy
1) The networks jumped on the Clinton disbarment case. ABC's Jackie Judd ignored the role of a federal judge and credited only a "conservative" legal group. CBS's Bob Schieffer: "The irony here is that disbarment is a punishment that many Democrats favored" while the GOP "demanded impeachment or nothing and got nothing."
2) Those opposed to Hillary are "hard-right conservatives" who hate her, but you can't accurately paint Hillary as a liberal. That's the mainstream media line on the New York Senate campaign as reflected by Newsweek's Howard Fineman and NPR's Mara Liasson.
5) Latest MediaNomics: "Networks Give One-Sided View of Social Security Debate"; "Ford Fuels Good Press By Bad-Mouthing Own SUVs"; "Odds Are, Roller Coaster Regulations Demanded by Dateline NBC Won't Help Anyone but Bureaucrats."
>>> MRC Web site recommended by U.S. News & World Report. The
"News You Can Use Page" in the May 29 issue lists six Web pages
under the heading of "get a window on the press with these sites that
keep an eye on the fourth estate." James Morrow of U.S. News summarized
the appeal of www.mediaresearch.org:
"The best feature of this site, devoted to exposing liberal bias, is
'Notable Quotables,' a compilation of slanted news snippets." To see
the entire list, go to:
Unlike as has happened with many other Clinton scandal developments, the networks Monday night jumped on the news that an Arkansas panel had recommended that President Clinton be disbarred. The news, which broke just before 5pm ET on Monday, led the ABC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC evening shows. NBC, which by coincidence, already had a live interview with Bill Clinton about the China trade deal set for its first feed at 6:30pm ET, did not run a story (at least in east coast edition), but Tom Brokaw did ask Clinton about the development late in the interview.
The case was prompted by two complaints, one from federal judge Susan Webber Wright and another from the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF). ABC's Jackie Judd ignored Wright, asserting "the committee acted on a complaint filed by a conservative group called the Southeastern Legal Foundation." CBS's John Roberts did not mention SLF and instead recounted how Wright had found Clinton in contempt last year. CNN's John King noted the role of both SLF and Wright.
Dan Rather insisted "this disbarment has long been sought by Republicans," but a few minutes later Bob Schieffer claimed Republicans had opposed a recommendation of disbarment and had thus missed a great opportunity: "The irony here is that disbarment is a punishment that many Democrats favored during the impeachment proceedings....but the Republican leadership badly miscalculated what was happening. They saw it as a Democratic plot to save the President from impeachment, demanded impeachment or nothing and got nothing." Actually, they did get impeachment.
Here's a rundown of the Monday night, May 22 stories, on ABC, CBS, and NBC:
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Jackie Judd began: "The committee took the harshest action possible against the President. It accused him of serious misconduct by violating rules governing lawyers in Arkansas where Mr. Clinton still has a license to practice. The committee acted on a complaint filed by a conservative group called the Southeastern Legal Foundation. It had accused Mr. Clinton of lying under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky when he was deposed in the Paula Jones lawsuit and again when he was questioned by independent counsel Kenneth Starr."
After a soundbite from
Matt Glavin of the Southeastern Legal Foundation and a quote from Clinton
lawyer David Kendall, Judd elaborated on the Clinton comeback: "A
senior White House official seemed to be laying the groundwork for the
defense when he questioned the neutrality of the committee. The official
said those members who knew the President did not vote, suggesting those
who did vote may have been biased against Mr. Clinton."
-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather opened the show: "A committee of the Arkansas Supreme Court today recommended that President Clinton's law license be taken away because he allegedly gave false testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. This disbarment has long been sought by Republicans and some other Clinton critics. The process has several steps to go. The President's lawyer made it clear tonight it will be challenged. This is a historic case, it's also complicated."
From the White House,
John Roberts explained: "It was at a meeting last Friday that the
Arkansas Supreme Court committee on professional conduct took up a
complaint against the President. After weighing the facts, a panel of five
attorneys and one retired school teacher found the President to be guilty
of serious misconduct and recommended that he be disbarred."
After noting how David Kendall claimed the recommendation is "contradicted by precedent," Roberts concluded: "Just before it met, eight of the committee's 14 members felt pressured to recuse themselves from the case because of ties they had to the Democratic Party. That leaves the question of just who was left to hear the President's case."
Well, according to Roberts himself earlier in the story, it was "a panel of five attorneys and one retired school teacher."
Next, Bob Schieffer
delivered "The Real Deal" segment of the day. He offered some
creative re-writing of history:
Where to begin. "It never got much publicity" that "a sizable group...in both the House and the Senate" thought Clinton shouldn't be impeached "but ought to be censured or punished in some way"? That's all we heard about on TV news for a year! Geraldo Rivera built his CNBC show around the idea and MSNBC its entire prime time schedule. Remember Keith Olbermann? As for Clinton not being impeached, he was impeached. He just wasn't convicted, which hardly proves miscalculation by Republican leaders since if the proper sanction in Schieffer's mind is disbarment, that may happen anyway despite what occurred on the impeachment/conviction front.
-- NBC Nightly News. Tom
Brokaw mentioned the Arkansas action at the top of the program, but then
went to an interview set-up piece by Lisa Myers about China trade. Brokaw
then interviewed Clinton, who was in the Roosevelt Room, via satellite.
After three questions on China trade and one about whether Rick Lazio is a
"worthy" opponent for his wife, he summarized the Arkansas
decision and inquired: "Will you personally take part in that appeal
and appear in Arkansas to argue your case?"
Brokaw followed up with a tough question: "This comes in a state where you were the Attorney General, where you taught law. You've now been held in contempt of court by a federal judge in that state and you've been recommended for disbarment. With all due respect, this is a stain on your record well outside the political arena, isn't it?"
Not sure the use of the term "stain" is best in this story.
Those opposed to Hillary are "hard-right conservatives" who hate her, but you can't accurately paint Hillary as a liberal. That's the mainstream media line on the New York Senate campaign as reflected by Newsweek's Howard Fineman and NPR's Mara Liasson in separate interviews on Monday.
On Imus in the Morning
simulcast on MSNBC, Fineman, MRC analyst Paul Smith noticed, used some
loaded labeling to describe from whom Rick Lazio will obtain funding:
Later in the day on
FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume, NPR White House correspondent Mara
Liasson argued it would be inaccurate to tag Hillary a Ted Kennedy
liberal. After Morton Kondracke declared of Lazio, "this guy's a
moderate," she chimed in: "I think it's equally hard to make
the argument that he's making that Mrs. Clinton is Ted Kennedy
reincarnated or Paul Wellstone reincarnated. Now granted she doesn't
have a voting record."
Does anyone really believe she's really in favor of welfare reform? And the fact that the White House didn't always hold the liberal line does not mean she didn't advocate it.
The story, but not the picture. NBC refused to show the photo of Elian in the outfit of the Pioneers, Cuba's communist youth group. The May 22 CyberAlert reported: "The State Department lodged a protest and a Democratic Congressman sent Bill Clinton a letter complaining about how Elian is being indoctrinated at the Wye River Plantation, but of the networks, only FNC cared Friday night."
But Saturday morning,
MRC analyst Paul Smith observed, NBC did take notice of State's
complaint, though NBC left out an important element of the story. During
the 7:30am news update on the May 20 Today, news reader Hoda Kotbe took 18
seconds to recount:
The picture of him wearing the Jose Marti shirt with a blue scarf was also shown Wednesday night and Friday night by FNC and Thursday morning on ABC's Good Morning America, but Today failed to show it. So far, other than the Thursday GMA, none of the broadcast networks have displayed the photo and I've seen it on CNN only on Saturday's Capital Gang.
To see the photo, go to:
For RealPlayer video of
FNC's May 19 story on complaints from Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright and Democratic Congressman Robert Menendez, go to:
Get briefed on Elian coverage. Attention Capitol Hill staffers: Tuesday afternoon at 2:30pm in Rayburn HOB room 2255, MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell will provide a briefing for a bipartisan group of lawmakers on media coverage of the Elian case. The event, coordinated by MRC Communications Director Liz Swasey, is open to staffers and the news media and was plugged last week on the House floor by Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who urged her colleagues to attend.
At the briefing the MRC will release a Special Report put together by Tim Graham, the MRC's Director of Media Analysis, titled, "Back to the 'Peaceable' Paradise: Media Soldiers for the Seizure of Elian."
Tuesday afternoon the report will be posted on the MRC home page by Webmaster Andy Szul. After 2pm ET, go to: http://www.mrc.org
Now online from the MRC's Free Market Project (FMP), the latest edition of MediaNomics, which relays "what the media tell Americans about free enterprise." Articles in the May 19 edition, compiled FMP Director Rich Noyes:
-- Networks Give
One-Sided View of Social Security Debate.
-- Ford Fuels Good Press
By Bad-Mouthing Own SUVs.
-- Odds Are, Regulations
Demanded by Dateline NBC Won't Help Anyone but Bureaucrats.
To read these articles,
From the May 22 Late Show with David Letterman, prompted by the NRA's announcement that it plans to open a themed restaurant in New York City's Times Square, the "Top Ten Features of the NRA Restaurant." Copyright 2000 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. Freshest meat in town because they
shoot it right before your eyes.
New York City is probably not the most NRA-friendly place for a restaurant. -- Brent Baker
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