FNC Uncovered Retribution; Bias Pondered; HRC Hailed by Rather
1) Cox Report forgotten by CBS
and NBC Wednesday night. Only ABC aired a related story. NBC focused on
highway repair and hearing aide use. CBS watchers learned about a coin
2) An ethics investigation
will check allegations that a Defense Dept. staffer "faced
reprisals...for offering key testimony to the Cox committee's
investigation," FNC's Carl Cameron disclosed.
3) FNC's Eric Burns explored
how "conservatives suggest that the story [Chinagate] is not being
covered for reasons of politics... that there is a liberal bias at the big
4) Dan Rather slobbered all
over Hillary Clinton on 60 Minutes II, urging her to run for President and
gushing: "Once a political lightning rod, today she is political
"Unintended Consequences: With Ratings System in Place, TV More
Offensive Than Ever," a Special Report from the MRC's Parents
Television Council was released Wednesday and generated stories on ABC's
World News Tonight and FNC's Fox Report. The study looked at two weeks
of programming from each of the last three November sweeps periods (1996,
1997, 1998), taking into consideration content from both before and after
implementation of television's parental-guidance and content ratings.
Key Findings: Sexual content, foul language, and violent content combined
rose by almost 31 percent from November 1996, just before the original
ratings system was implemented, to November 1998. Foul language went up by
more than 30 percent; NBC led by a wide margin, with ABC second.
To read the entire report, with network
breakdowns, content examples and graphs (and a link to a page of
scintillating photos from the press conference with Senators Joseph
Lieberman and Sam Brownback as well as MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell), go
to where the MRC's Eric Pairel has posted the special report: http://www.parentstv.org/publications/reports/sr052699.html
Report online. If the official House site is too slow or busy (http://www.house.gov/coxreport),
you can read the entire report, from the Select Committee on U.S. National
Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People's Republic of
China, on the Conservative News Service site where it has been posted,
complete with all the tables, graphs and pictures -- just like the
House's original and better than the text-only version featured on many
Web pages. To access the Cox committee's report, go to: http://www.conservativenews.org/SpecialReports/cox/index.html
Of the broadcast networks on Wednesday night, May 26, only ABC's World
News Tonight touched anything related to the Cox Report or Chinese
espionage as ABC's John Cochran explored why Wen Ho Lee has not been
charged. A day after the Cox Report release it has already fallen off the
news agenda for CBS and NBC, though both FNC and CNN delivered follow-up
stories. (Every network led with the pending indictment of Milosevic and
Here's what the
May 26 evening shows delivered:
-- NBC Nightly
News. After skipping Cox on Monday and running one piece on Tuesday after
stories on gun control, how did NBC fill the show on Wednesday? By running
consumer and health feature stories. After opening reports on Milosevic
NBC delivered an In Depth segment on summer travel with a story on how
highway repairs will cause major delays for travelers followed by a piece
on how Memorial Day weekend is second only to Thanksgiving as the busiest
day at airports all year. Next, NBC aired two "LifeLine"
reports. First, how though people over 100 are the fastest growing segment
of the population, a poll found most do not want to live past 100. Second,
a look at how most of the people who need hearing aides don't wear them,
so they are more likely to suffer from depression. Finally, to wrap up the
newscast packed with hard news, NBC checked in on the National Geography
Bee which was won by a home schooler. NBC posed some of the questions to
adults on the street. Asked to "name Ecuador's chief port and most
populous city," a guy replied: "Hong Kong."
Probably a product
of public schools.
-- CBS Evening
News viewers were treated to a lengthy plug for Dan Rather's upcoming 60
Minutes II interview with Hillary Clinton, including a talk with a Staten
Island Democrat who excitedly recalled how Mrs. Clinton supposedly told
him she will run for the Senate. Half way into the show CBS ran a profile
by Anthony Mason of a 36-year old man who founded Coinstar, a
Washington-state company bringing in $80 million a year from stand-alone
coin counting machines placed in retail stores that customers can use to
get cash for their coins for a charge of nine cents per dollar.
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Reporter John Cochran wondered:
"If Chinese espionage is so devastating and
if this man, Wen Ho Lee, is a prime suspect, why do administration
officials say he may never be put on trial for espionage? Partly because
spying is always difficult to prove..."
Recalling how Aldrich Ames communicated by
putting chalk marks on a mailbox, Cochran explained it's even harder to
get evidence in this case because China picked up many secrets just by
talking to students and scientists visiting China, so no documents changed
hands in the United States.
Cochran added: "The case of Wen Ho Lee was
complicated further by the FBI's slow reaction. It was not until almost
four years after he became a suspect that agents searched his home and his
-- CNN's The
World Today ran two espionage-related stories.
Pierre Thomas outlined how China attempted to divert for military use some
McDonnell Douglas-made super computers designed to allow for precise metal
shaping. U.S. authorities caught on in time, but assumed they would have
been used not to build passenger airplanes but to improve China's
Silkworm missile which they sell to Iran.
CNN's Mike Boettcher landed an exclusive with
Paul Redmond, the CIA's former chief spy catcher. He labeled the Chinese
espionage not a scandal but a defeat for the intelligence services which
are in a constant battle with other nations. The Chinese advantage, he
explained, is patience. They think in terms of years and decades, so put
people into positions and then wait years until the person has gained
access to useful data.
An investigation has been launched to check a Pentagon employee's claim
that he was punished for what he told the Cox committee last year about
Loral and Hughes, FNC's Carl Cameron revealed Wednesday in another story
putting FNC a few steps ahead of the other networks.
topped the May 26 Special Report with Brit Hume and also ran on the 7pm ET
Fox Report. Cameron outlined his exclusive:
"A government ethics investigation has just
been launched into allegations that Defense Department weapons expert
Peter Leitner faced reprisals from superiors for offering key testimony to
the Cox committee's investigation of Chinese espionage. Leitner
testified in secret last August that Loral Space and Hughes Electronics
had harmed national security by helping China improve its missile
technology. Leitner had complained about it within the Defense Department
for some time. Even before his Cox committee appearance, he told Fox News
that he had been pressured to shut up and passed over for
Standing in the Pentagon parking lot, Dr. Peter
Leitner told Cameron: "I was castigated and told I was
+++ To see a
picture of Leitner, late Thursday morning ET go to this item in the posted
version of this CyberAlert where MRC Webmaster Sean Henry will place an
image from Cameron's story. The direct address will be: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990527.html#2
Cameron then moved
on to show what all the other networks skipped: reaction to Chris Cox and
Norm Dicks as they testified before a House committee. Viewers saw
Democrats Gary Ackerman and Tom Lantos complaining about how Republicans,
in the words of Lantos, are engaged in a "cheap and vulgar partisan
attack." Dana Rohrabacher got time to counter their blast before
Cameron played a soundbite each from Dicks and Cox.
Liberal bias behind the lack of broadcast network enthusiasm for Chinagate?
Two Fox News Channel shows actually raised that possibility Wednesday
night in exploring a subject normally avoided by the media. On Special
Report with Brit Hume Fred Barnes blamed liberal bias and just over a half
hour later the Fox Report's "Fox Files" segment, which
featured two soundbites from MRC Chairman Brent Bozell, looked into why
Chinese espionage is being downplayed.
-- During his
show's panel discussion Brit Hume observed: "Two of the three
broadcast networks last night led their newscasts with, not the Cox
Report, but the politics of the gun control issue in the House and I
noticed that the Washington Post this morning led with the gun control
Fred Barnes clarified Hume's point: "But
they had had the full story of the Cox Report the day before in their
defense. I don't think there's any defense for the networks playing it
down. A decision like that is not only reflective of liberal bias it is
also a frivolous decision."
-- "Is the
story getting the coverage it should?" Fox Report anchor Paula Zahn
asked in introducing a look at Chinagate coverage. FNC's Eric Burns
opened with soundbites of Robert Snyder of the Media Studies Center and
the MRC's Bozell asserting it is an important story.
Burns then noted that on the three major network
evening shows Chinagate ranked 101st in time allocated two weeks ago and
13th last week, adding: "Why, on the day the Congress released the
Cox Report, and ABC's World News Tonight led with it, did the CBS
Evening News run it second and NBC Nightly News third? Why? Well it's
been suggested, on Fox NewsWatch among other places, that Chinagate just
isn't a good television story."
Jane Hall on Newswatch: "It's true I think
because it's not a good visual story that it's not getting a ton of
Burns the raised the possibility of liberal bias:
"Conservatives suggest that the story is not being covered for
reasons of politics, not pictures, that there is a liberal bias at the big
MRC Chairman Brent Bozell: "The liberal
media have spent thirty years denying a communist threat to this country.
That communist threat from the Soviet Union was there, that communist
threat is now back with Red China. They simply don't want to concede it
so they're pretending it just doesn't exist."
Burns: "Regardless of the reasons, TV news
has let itself in for a whole new set of criticisms. First it was too much
Monicagate. Now it's too little Chinagate."
In another clip of Snyder he urged the networks
to "redouble" their efforts to present important stories such as
this even if hard to explain.
Picking up on Snyder's point, over a shot of
the MRC's March 16 ad in the New York Times asking "ABC, CBS, and
NBC....Why are you not reporting the important news?," Burns
concluded: "Without redoubled efforts, redoubled criticism seems sure
+++ See an actual
TV story taking up the liberal bias charge. Thursday morning the MRC's
Sean Henry will post by this item in the online version, in RealPlayer
format, a clip of this FNC story. After 11am ET on Thursday, go to:
Or, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html
CBS News should be ashamed and embarrassed by Dan Rather's 60 Minutes II
interview with Hillary Clinton which aired Wednesday night, May 26. But
they won't be since if they weren't proud of it they would not have
allocated an incredible 24 minutes of prime time to running the tribute
which was so long they had to divide it up into two 12 minute segments.
CBS delivered more
of a campaign commercial for her Senate run, or the kind of interview
you'd expect if she appeared on the Rosie O'Donnell Show, than a
probing news interview.
No one term can
fully impart what CBS aired, so I'll list a bunch of descriptions:
gushing, exalting, praising, cheering, admiring, adoring, idolizing, etc.
comments and "questions" uttered by Rather:
-- "For whom do you root, the Mets or the Yankees?"
-- "First Lady Hillary Clinton is a political superstar."
-- "Once a political lightning rod, today she is political
-- "It's hard to know what keeps her going through marital problems
made public, political fights turned ugly, through triumphs, disasters and
always the demands of her work."
-- "The agenda she lays out seems downright old-fashioned. She sees
her work as focusing on children and families..."
-- "What are the possibilities that one day, some day you'll run
-- "Of all the allegations, accusations, charges made what do you
consider to be the most unfair attack?"
And even all that
does not adequately communicate the full adulation of this piece. You
really have to read it or watch it to believe it, which is why I've
transcribed so much of it and have asked MRC Webmaster Sean Henry to post
a clip. By late Thursday morning ET a hunk of this should be up in
RealPlayer format at: http://www.mrc.org
(To save time and
space, I've abbreviated Hillary Rodham Clinton to HRC and instead of
quoting her I've usually just provided a brief summary of what she
In front of the
usual 60 Minutes wall board, with the story title "Hillary" over
a picture of her, Rather opened: "She is a woman on a first name
basis with the world. First Lady Hillary Clinton is a political superstar.
She has a history of making history and tonight she's on vacation in
Florida deciding whether to do it again, this time by making a run for the
United States Senate in New York. We sat down together a few days ago and
she talked about her future and her recent past. She outlined what she
believes in, what she hopes for and how she's gotten through the hard
times in the White House."
Cutting to his sit
down with Hillary Clinton, Rather warned: "As she prepares for a life
after the White House, a life she now insists will be in New York, Mrs.
Clinton is also steeling herself for tough questions from political
friends and foes, and from the New York media."
But not from CBS
News, as you'll soon see.
question: "And here's a tough question, one that you're going to
be asked repeatedly time and again and you're eventually going to have
to answer: For whom do you root, the Mets or the Yankees?"
she's a "complicated" person and playing a clip of her 1992
outburst about how she could have "stayed home and baked
cookies," Rather gushed:
"Once a political lightning rod, today she
is political lightning. A crowd pleaser and first class fundraiser, a
person under enormous pressure to step into the arena. This time on her
Rather pressed her
about whether she will run and why she isn't running from Illinois or
Arkansas. He got her to admit she is looking at forming an exploratory
committee before he oozed:
"She has been pushing forward and pushing
the envelope since election night 1992, building a reputation here and
abroad for her work with women, children and families. She has gone the
extra mile to visit refugees, returned home to push for public schools.
And criss-crossed the country to campaign for Democratic candidates and
HRC complained about how 35 million homes have
guns, one third loaded and unlocked.
Rather elaborated: "Since the killings at
Columbine high school she has waded into the war over gun control and led
the national grieving."
Following a clip of Hillary addressing Columbine
students Rather continued: "On the day we met those issues were on
her mind again. She and the President had spent a long day in Littleton
Colorado, meeting with parents who lost children in the violence at
"What can you say to them, what do you say to them?" and
"Tell me what you talked about."
HRC: They want change, do something so deaths not
in vain. Feel need for better gun laws, address culture of violence.
Rather: "Colorado, like many states in the
West, Southwest, South is in some ways a gun culture. People grew up with
guns. Guns are pervasive. Was there any talk of that?"
Hillary: Yes, need for more gun control, pleased
Senate passed new restrictions.
Rather cut away
from the interview to insert: "She says that if she runs for the
Senate it will be because of what she's learned in places like Littleton
and in spite what she's lived through in Washington."
Back to the
interview Rather inquired: "Question Mrs. Clinton: with all that
you've been through in politics, you know virtually under siege for at
least the past year and a half, why in the world would you want to go in
to that kind of campaign, particularly in a tough state like New
HRC: people in Littleton not bitter, filled with
positive energy and "I respond to that." Will bring people
together in the Senate.
Recalling the year and a half "of denial and
DNA," Rather noted that throughout it all she maintained her silence.
He pressed her about how "sooner or later in New York they're going
to say 'why are you still with this man?'"
HRC: "We have a deep and abiding commitment
to one another."
Rather: "Given what you've been through
the last year and a half or two years did you ever consider leaving
Hillary refused to answer.
Cutting away again
from the interview, Rather offered this tribute:
"She doesn't bat an eye and she doesn't
give an inch. She has set firm boundaries that she doesn't want broken
and whether she runs for the Senate or not she is already on a campaign to
make Americans define public and private the way she does. But in the
Clinton White House -- his past and her future -- are hard to
Back to the
interview, he suggested Hillary and Bill are victims of a ruthless Senate:
"If you were to run and if you were to be
elected you would walk into a United States Senate famous or infamous
depending on your point of view as being a pit of deal-making, compromise
and you'd be walking into a Senate in which a large number of the
Senators were the same Senators who had put your husband on trial and
indeed tried to run both of you out of Washington for all intents and
Hillary: Lot of good people there, public service
We're only half
way done. At this point CBS ran an ad break.
Back from the ads,
Rather effused: "Polls show she is one of the most admired women in
America. But even after seven years in the spotlight, she remains a riddle
for many people. It's hard to know what keeps her going through marital
problems made public, political fights turned ugly, through triumphs,
disasters and always the demands of her work. Tonight we get some answers
about how she does it from the only person in the world who really
When she said "I've been blessed,"
Rather countered: "Hard to see how you've been blessed the last
year and a half or so."
HRC: No one would wish for what we've gone
through, but learned a lot.
recalled how seven years ago on 60 Minutes she had ridiculed the idea of
staying with a straying husband. He played the famous clip of her saying
I'm not sitting here like Tammy Wynette standing by my man.
to his praise-fest with Hilary Clinton, Rather suggested: "Today she
doesn't talk about fidelity. She talks about forgiveness and dealing
with personal pain."
HRC: Life not fair or easy, must keep trying.
Rather: "You mention you're a religious
person. Did you find yourself praying more over the most difficult
HRC: Prayed a lot since getting to White House,
grateful for prayers from others, helps me get filled with positive
Rather then jumped
to highlights of her White House years, but used none of the examples to
bore in on her political crassness or deceit: "She has always been
more comfortable explaining health care."
HRC at a congressional hearing: "On the
benefits package we have priced that out very carefully,
Rather: "More effective fighting off
HRC at pretty in pink press conference: "We
went into Whitewater to make money, not to lose it."
Rather: "More at ease on national television
blaming partisan politics for her husband's problems."
HRC on Today, January 1998: "This vast
right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since
the day he announced for President."
Rather: "Hillary Rodham Clinton's latest
incarnation is probably the one she likes least: long suffering wife. For
some, an object of sympathy."
He noted that if she runs for Senate she will be
going out on her own and breaking new ground for First Ladies. Rather
insisted: "The agenda she lays out seems downright old-fashioned. She
sees her work as focusing on children and families and the unique problems
they face today."
HRC: Things different today for kids, tearing
down institutions, lowering values.
Rather tried to draw out her campaign platform:
"Give me a specific one or two things, something concrete you think
we could do and should be doing."
HRC: Have to be better connected to each other,
build a sense of community. High schools are too large. Too many schools
without play areas. Used to have community to take care of kids, fathers
came home every night at same time.
Rather applauded her dedication as he broached
the very first challenging question, if mildly so: "You mentioned
again children. It's been your burning passion to what you've been
connected most of your career. Did or did not the President, your husband
last year, did he communicate mixed messages to young people about right
HRC: Not going to go back and talk about that. He
has spoken about the people he let down. No matter what you do, always the
hope for forgiveness.
Rather: "Do you believe in redemption?"
interview has been soft so far, closer to a campaign video than a news
report? You haven't seen anything yet.
"Let's pretend for a moment. It's 2050. There's an encyclopedia
and it has a picture of Hillary Rodham Clinton, one time First Lady of the
United States. What do you think the caption under that picture will
HRC: "I have no idea, I have no idea."
Undeterred, Rather pressed again: "What
would you like it to be?"
HRC: Just try to do best I can every day. Think
I've been a transition figure for many.
Rather: "We've talked about the
possibility of you running for the Senate. You've said that you're
obviously interested in it. What are the possibilities that one day, some
day you'll run for President?"
HRC: "Oh my gosh. That's not possible I
Rather: "You've thought about it though
HRC: "No I haven't."
Rather, still hoping: "Have you considered
HRC: People have said it but I don't take it
Rather then touched another sore subject, but
ever so gently: "Like it or not, how you like it not, your husband is
one of two Presidents to have been impeached. Do you agree or disagree
it's going to be in the first paragraph of his obituary?"
HRC: Don't know, depends who writes obit. Not
most important port of his term. He accomplished many great things.
Rather: "He told me, in an interview, that
he did not consider it a badge of shame. Do you?"
HRC: Such a political process, a misfortune, will
be seen in history in a broader context.
More than making
up for those last two queries, Rather next tossed up this whiffle-ball:
"You now have a chance to reflect a little. Of all the allegations,
accusations, charges made what do you consider to be the most unfair
HRC: The entire impeachment process, glad painful
period behind us now.
Wrapping up the
piece, Rather squeezed in just a bit more adulation before letting the
First Lady have the last seconds to express how she forgives everyone and
has a positive attitude toward life. Rather introduced her life's
"It is the most she will share about the
past year and a half. And for some, in our confessional society, that may
not be enough. But Hillary Clinton doesn't care. She's intent on
sharing something else. Not what she's gone through, but what she's
come away with."
Hillary Clinton then got the last words:
"When you go through any kind of difficult experience you have a
choice. I mean you can let it break you and embitter you, or you can take
whatever you've experienced, whatever pain or suffering and decide that
you're still going to have faith, your faith in God, your faith in your
fellow man, that you're still going to believe that you're going to
make a contribution to a better life. It's a choice. Every single day we
wake up, you can choose to be cynical or hopeful, you can choose to be
grateful or contemptuous. You can make all those choices and for me it's
not a very hard choice."
An illustrative example of why liberals want
campaign finance "reform" that limits spending and controls who
can spend it. Liberals already have the news media on their side producing
and airing glowing pieces like this at no cost to them so if they can
limit what exposure conservatives can get through paid media they'll be
at a big advantage. --
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