CyberAlert -- 08/05/1999 -- CBS's Dishonest Hit on Tax Cuts; Disputing Foster Affair, Snubbing Rest
CBS's Dishonest Hit on Tax Cuts; Disputing Foster Affair, Snubbing Rest
5) A book revealed Hillary hired a detective who determined Bill had relationships with eight woman, but network interviewers ignored that as they challenged the author about Hillary's affair with Vince Foster.
Every evening show but ABC's World News Tonight ran a story Wednesday night about the coordinated comments by Bill and Hillary Clinton about her quote in Talk magazine that he was "scarred by abuse" as a child.
While NBC's Andrea Mitchell featured lengthy soundbites from each about how she supposedly really wasn't excusing his behavior, CBS's John Roberts insisted upon maintaining the abuse excuse as he took the "lingering issues" from childhood seriously, asking Bill Clinton if he's "trying to work through the issues."
Roberts relayed on
the August 4 CBS Evening News: "Today, 300 hundred miles apart but
reading from virtually the same script, President and Mrs. Clinton said
that while his childhood was troubled, the affairs were his fault."
Over on the NBC
Nightly News Andrea Mitchell stressed the coordinated nature of the
day's spin as she ran lengthy soundbites: "Damage control from both
Clintons today. The First Lady campaigning in Western New York state. The
President at the White House, 390 miles apart but in perfect synch. At
12:25 she says the interview was about taking personal responsibility, not
blaming her husband's infidelity on childhood trauma."
Mitchell followed-up by showing a joke from Jay Leno and noted that Hillary promised to never again talk about their marriage.
"The President said again he would veto the Republicans' $800 billion tax cut plan because the President says it's dangerous," Dan Rather ominously intoned Wednesday night in leading into a one-sided polemic, in the guise of a news story, against the Senate-House compromise tax cut bill. Reporter Diana Olick falsely stated that the bill "offers a one percent income tax reduction for every tax bracket," when in fact it proposes a cut of one percentage point so those paying the 15 percent level would get over a 6 percent cut, and she alarmingly warned that "even some moderate Republicans in the Senate are concerned that the cuts are too deep and give too much to the wealthy."
NBC Nightly News provided a far more balanced story in which David Bloom correctly explained how the new bill would "cut personal income tax rates by one percentage point, saving a family making $50,000 a year about $1,000."
CNN's The World
Today ran two pieces on the tax cut, one with the view from the White
House and one from Capitol Hill, before airing a story on how it's not
popular in Orange County, California. Reporter Casey Wians began:
After a clip of a
man favoring a tax cut Wians led into a series of soundbites by
A nice labeling contrast. But if the county voted for Clinton and Sanchez then it's no longer conservative, thereby undercutting the entire premise of the story that it is a conservative county which normally favors tax cuts.
ABC's World News Tonight, like CNN, led with Clinton's plan to but back bonds so they can be re-issued at a lower rate and only gave 15 seconds to the tax cut.
Now to the most
biased story of the night, CBS's on the tax cut. Dan Rather intoned:
Diana Olick began:
"Republicans in Congress may think they can lower the numbers on the
nation's tax bills."
They have to go one-on-one since Olick demonstrated the media's hostility to the idea.
Olick's story gave opponents time for two loaded soundbites (Clinton and Gephardt) with no counter for anyone in favor. Archer's comment hardly countered Clinton or Gephardt's class warfare and neither did Snowe.
Olick also misconstrued the "progressive" nature of the tax cut. Republicans adopted Senator Roth's one percentage point reduction in each income tax rate so that they could avoid the argument the bill is skewed to the rich. Oh well. Olick claimed the plan "offers a one percent income tax reduction for every tax bracket." Wrong. It would reduce the rates by one percentage point, which means the less you earn the more you benefit. Going from paying at a 15 percent rate to a 14 percent rate is about a 6.5 percent cut. Going from 38 to 37 percent is about a 2.5 percent reduction.
++ Watch Olick's story. MRC Webmaster Sean Henry has placed a RealPlayer clip by this item in the Web-posted version of this CyberAlert on the MRC's home page: http://www.mrc.org
CBS and NBC led Tuesday night, August 3, by portraying congressional Republicans as heartless for failing to jump aboard Bill Clinton's plan to spend more money to save farmers hit by the drought.
-- CBS Evening
News. John Roberts asserted from Severn, Maryland: "The ground
hasn't been this consistently dry since the dustbowl of the 1930s when
America was caught in the grip of a withering depression. The
administration says with a robust economy and a huge surplus forecast the
government can afford to be generous with farmers. So the Vice President
today endorsed the Democratic plan, four billion more than the Republicans
have offered, and cautioned the GOP not to squander away the
Bloom then at least did allow Republican Senator Richard Lugar to say that on aggregate American agriculture is sound.
CBS on Tuesday night provided the first broadcast network mention of how Al Gore hired a tobacco industry ad producer despite his vitriol against smoking.
In an August 3
story pegged to the resignation of Gore chief-of-staff Ron Klain, CBS
reporter Phil Jones listed recent problems encountered by Gore:
The network avoidance of the Eskew hiring was detailed in a July 14 Media Reality Check fax report by the MRC's Tim Graham. "Another Gore Tobacco Gaffe, Up in Smoke: Few Reports Touch on Gore's New Tobacco-Paid Consultant Carter Eskew, And Fewer Find Hypocrisy." To read the report or to view a complete video clip of Gore's emotional talk at the 1996 Democratic convention about his supposed turn against tobacco, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1999/fax19990714.html
In his new book, Bill & Hillary: The Marriage, author Christopher Andersen makes several newsworthy revelations, including one about how Hillary hired a private detective in 1982 who determined Bill had current relationships with eight woman, thus directly contradicting Hillary Clinton's claim that Bill was faithful for a ten-year period at some point.
But in morning show interviews this week on NBC's Today and CBS's This Morning, the hosts refused to delve into that or some other explosive areas and challenged his claim that Hillary had a long term affair with Vince Foster. The interviewers preferred to spend much of the interviews talking about the Talk interview. Andersen's many favorable comments about the Clintons and concerns for Chelsea showed he cannot be dismissed as a Clinton hater.
"These statements appear to fly in the face of, to some extent at least, of Mrs. Clinton's latest explanation of how it was between her and Bill for a decade," Brit Hume observed on Tuesday's Special Report with Brit Hume. Fred Barnes recalled: "All these things have been reported before, back in 1993, by the American Spectator. David Brock wrote that piece Troopergate and all this stuff was in there, widely denounced by the rest of the American press and denied by the Clintons I believe, including Hillary, and now we see them in a whole new context now that Hillary has officially declared her husband as having a sexual problem."
Andersen's sureness concerned Couric: "You know all these things, I'm always constantly amazed that people make these sweeping statements about the state of someone's marriage when truly if you're not one of the major players, i.e., the husband or the wife, there's no way of really knowing or understanding a relationship that's complicated."
how Andersen found that the Clintons emulate Jackie and John Kennedy, she
got to one of his newsworthy disclosures: "You make some sensational
claims in the book, some that have been rumored for years now. For
instance, that Hillary Clinton had a long standing affair with her law
partner and later White House counsel Vince Foster. On what do you base
Couric moved on:
"Let me ask you the question that so many people are asking each
other these days. After they leave the White House, do you think that the
President and first lady will remain married?"
Couric ended by bringing up how "Chelsea has been pretty damaged already, you write, by his infidelities."
++ See and hear Andersen on Today. MRC Webmaster Sean Henry has posted a brief RealPlayer clip of Andersen talking about Foster with Couric. Go to the MRC home page or to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/biasvideo.html
As transcribed by MRC analyst Brian Boyd, McEwen got right to Foster as his first inquiry: "Biggest bombshell in this book I guess is Vince Foster. The fact that Hillary Clinton, you say, had an affair with the long time friend who was also on the staff at the White House, committed suicide, tell us about that."
After Andersen's answer, McEwen fired back: "Vince Foster is not here to defend himself, does that bother you?"
It sounded almost like he was suggesting that Foster should be ashamed of having an affair with Hillary.
Following a few
questions about the Talk interview and Chelsea, McEwen raised an item
skipped by Couric: "You talk about things that, Hillary throwing
things behind closed doors where it would only be Hillary and Bill Clinton
in the room. What are your sources for this?"
So what did network viewers miss? Tuesday's New York Post and Wednesday's Washington Times listed all the major disclosures. Here's an except from the August 3 New York Post story on the book by John O'Mahony:
*Details of the Clintons' window-rattling family rows that Andersen's sources say are as frequent as they are violent and foul-mouthed. During one of the fights that occurred after Clinton confessed the true nature of his relationship with Sexgate intern Monica Lewinsky, Hillary slapped her husband so hard she left a red mark "clearly visible to Secret Service agents when he left the room."
Andersen claims that during the same row, the First Lady screamed at Clinton, "You stupid, stupid, stupid bastard. My God, Bill, how could you risk everything for that?"....
*Hillary hired former FBI agent Ivan Duda in 1982 to investigate her husband's extramarital activities. He found that Clinton was seeing eight women "with some degree of frequency." Gennifer Flowers was at the top of the list.
*Hillary insisted Bill be tested for AIDS in 1988. He was HIV-negative but Andersen reports that "someone who claims to have seen" the President's medical records says they reveal he has had a sexually transmitted disease.
It's the reason why the President's complete medical history has never been released, he said.
Anderson also addresses the Juanita Broaddrick rape allegation.
He reports that three weeks after Clinton allegedly forced himself on the Arkansas nurse in a Little Rock hotel in 1978, Hillary strong-armed the woman at a fundraiser.
Hillary grabbed her arm and told her, "We are so grateful for all you've done for Bill, and all you'll keep doing," Andersen writes.
Broaddrick told Andersen she had no doubt what Hillary meant -- "That I was to keep my mouth shut."
Broaddrick told The Post last night, however, that she's not sure now if Hillary knew about the alleged rape -- or was making the point that she knew, or suspected, something was going on....
Wednesday night Andersen appeared on CNBC's Hardball and Chris Matthews did raise most of these issues.
NBC has posted a lengthy excerpt of the book. Go to: http://www.msnbc.com/news/296254.asp
Final Note: Out of room again before I could get to Engberg's August 2 gun story cited in the last CyberAlert. CBS has posted an almost accurate transcript (adapted for text reading): http://www.cbs.com/flat/story_173442.html
And the NRA has issued a press release countering Engberg's insistence that the 2nd Amendment does not protect an individual's right to own a gun. Go to: http://www.nraila.org/news/19990803-AntiGunGroups-001.html. -- Brent Baker
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