CyberAlert -- 08/24/1999 -- Bush vs. Broaddrick; Clinton Seduced Nephew's Fiancé; Huang-Tied Nominee
Bush vs. Broaddrick; Clinton Seduced Nephew's Fiancé; Huang-Tied Nominee
2) Chelsea's trouble coping with her father's behavior reminded Hillary of how at an engagement party Bill seduced his nephew's fiancé and Bill lied when he said he asked Chelsea to forgive him. Two revelations ignored in interviews with the author.
Correction: Bernard McGuirk, identified in the August 23 CyberAlert as the sports news reader on Imus in the Morning, is actually the show's producer.
Last Friday, just before I headed West, Washington Times Deputy Editorial Page Editor Ken Smith asked me to submit an op-ed piece contrasting how the networks ignored the firsthand, eyewitness testimony about a possible criminal act by Bill Clinton twenty years ago while last week's questions from reporters to George W. Bush about his drug history generated stories even though there is no witness against him.
Thanks to the MRC's Kristina Sewell and Sean Henry this op-ed, which ran Monday, is now up on the MRC home page. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/oped/news/washtimes19990823.html
Or, just read it here as it appeared in the August 23 Washington Times:
Bush talks, Clinton walks
By Brent Baker
No one has claimed to have witnessed George W. Bush use cocaine or any other illegal drug, but that didn't stop reporters over the past weeks from repeatedly pressing him for a definitive answer about his alleged history of drug abuse. That media interest in a rumor about possible criminal acts committed decades ago stands in stark contrast to the media's widespread refusal to pursue the charge by Juanita Broaddrick that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in 1978.
The drug questions were fueled in late July by a week-long profile of Mr. Bush in The Washington Post. Reporters Lois Romano and George Lardner insisted, "We need to ask the cocaine question. We think you believe that a politician should not let stories fester. So why won't you just deny that you've used cocaine?" ABC invited Ms. Romano to be a guest on the July 27 edition of "Good Morning America" to dismiss Mr. Bush's answer: "He's basically declared that his life began at 40 and that we're supposed to not ask about that other fellow before 40 and I don't know if he can hold to that position."
No such invitation to appear on a network news show materialized after Ms. Romano interviewed Mrs. Broaddrick back in late February for a Post story which ran four days before Mrs. Broaddrick recounted her charge on the Feb. 24 edition of "Dateline NBC."
That long-delayed interview with Lisa Myers failed to spark network television coverage. Indeed, CBS's "This Morning" has yet to mention her name and ABC's "Good Morning America" has never aired a story or full interview segment, though the show briefly raised her name one day in a larger interview. The closest "NBC Nightly News" came was an end-of-the-show plug for that night's "Dateline" segment, but Tom Brokaw only referred to how the show would feature "controversial allegations" in "an exclusive interview with the woman known as Jane Doe No. 5, Juanita Broaddrick." The following weekend the ABC, CNN, Fox and NBC Sunday morning interview shows all discussed Mrs. Broaddrick but even that failed to generate any mention on the broadcast-network morning or evening shows.
Three weeks later, at Mr. Clinton's first solo press conference in ten months, in 21 questions posed only ABC's Sam Donaldson asked about Mrs. Broaddrick, leading to "World News Tonight's" first mention of her name, but neither CBS or NBC uttered a syllable about her in their summaries of the March 19 press conference. At this point the "CBS Evening News" hadn't mentioned Mrs. Broaddrick since its only story on a Saturday in February, but instead of broaching her charge, anchor John Roberts highlighted how Mr. Clinton "said he and Mrs. Clinton love each other very much."
In contrast to an eyewitness accusing Mr. Clinton of committing a felony, there is no one accusing Mr. Bush of drug use, but nonetheless last week reporters kept demanding he answer drug questions and then treated the very occurrence of the queries as justification for news stories. On Thursday night, Aug. 19, ABC anchor Charlie Gibson asserted "the question is dogging his otherwise smooth campaign." NBC anchor Brian Williams called it "the question that will not go away." (Mr. Bush's evolving answer during the week, in which he expanded his drug-free years from seven to 25, gave the networks a convenient story hook, but Mr. Clinton's evasive press conference answer about Mrs. Broaddrick -- "There's been a statement made by my attorney. He speaks for me, and I think he spoke quite clearly" -- did not motivate them to pursue her charge.)
Viewers of Thursday's "NBC Nightly News" were treated to three minutes on the subject and ABC's "World News Tonight" gave it three and a half minutes -- which is exactly three minutes and three and a half minutes more time than the two shows devoted in February or early March to Mrs. Broaddrick's charge. The "CBS Evening News" aired a piece for the second consecutive night on Thursday on the drug issue, thus giving twice as much attention to Mr. Bush and drugs as to Mrs. Broaddrick. Thursday morning ABC's "Good Morning America" brought aboard former Clinton adviser George Stephanopoulos to analyze the controversy and NBC's "Today" ran a pre-taped interview with Mr. Bush during which the interviewer raised the drug question. "Today" returned Friday with a discussion about media coverage.
Don't count on members of the media to realize their hypocrisy. Thursday afternoon on MSNBC, the Republican National Committee's Cliff May tried to point out the media's "double standard," since "we have right now a credible allegation by Juanita Broaddrick that while attorney general, Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her and he won't answer." Host David Gregory cut him off: "Now hold on. You know what Cliff, I'm not going to let you go there. We are not talking about this today. We're not going to turn that into this."
Brent Baker is vice president of the Media Research Center in Alexandria, Va.
Catching up on an item from a few weeks ago, in Christopher Anderson's book, Bill and Hillary: The Marriage, there are recitations of more Clinton lies, even about his daughter, which network interviewers skipped over.
As detailed in the August 5 CyberAlert, that week morning show interviewers on NBC's Today and CBS's This Morning had refused to delve into explosive areas and challenged Andersen's 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. For examples and a clip showing how NBC's Katie Couric approached Andersen, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990805.html#5
In just the excerpt available on the MSNBC Web site I came across four noteworthy items:
-- Shortly after the Lewinsky scandal broke in January 1998 Dick Morris drafted a speech for Clinton to deliver, a speech which included two lines to which Morris expected Clinton would object, but he did not: that he urged Monica to lie and that he was willing to resign:
"For many, many years I have been personally flawed and have had sexual relations outside my marriage. This has caused Hillary great pain and I have tried and tried to curb my behavior as I saw the pain it caused her. After I became President, I was determined to mend my ways. For the most part, I did, but sometimes I fell short and gave in to temptation. I did, in fact, have sexual relations with a twenty-three-year-old woman named Monica Lewinsky while I've been President. I regret my behavior more than I can say. I apologize for it. I take responsibility for it. I wish I were a better man and better able to cope with the pressures of life and work, and I am going to redouble my efforts to walk a straight line."
"When the allegations first surfaced I did, indeed, lie about them and urge Monica to lie."
With this, Morris paused for a split second, anticipating that Bill would interrupt him with a "But that isn't true." But the President said nothing. Morris continued reading the speech.
"I was wrong. I am sorry for it. I am especially sorry for the pain I have caused my wife and daughter. If the American people want me to step down as President, I will do so. . ."
Again, Morris expected an interruption, perhaps a "That goes too far." Still, nothing. Morris continued reading.
The next Wednesday, she called Chelsea again -- this time to summon her back to Washington for a show of family unity. Sure, Chelsea told her mom. But first she planned to attend the big Thursday night game between the Stanford and University of Arizona basketball teams. She could catch the first flight out to Washington Friday morning and be at the White House in time for dinner.
But the President had other plans for his daughter. At his insistence, Chelsea flew home immediately so she could join her mom and dad at Camp David on Friday -- time enough for the wire services to carry photos of the tender family reunion in the large-circulation weekend papers. No sooner had the all-important photos run on front pages across the country than Hillary boarded a plane for Switzerland and Bill headed for the golf course.
Aware that any sign of doubt or weakness on Chelsea's part might undermine the First Family's business-as-usual profile, the White House issued a press release claiming Chelsea was simply suffering from the flu. In the coming months, as Hillary rightly worried about the impact the scandal was having on her daughter's health, Chelsea would be rushed to the hospital suffering from stress-induced stomach pains at least three more times.
Chelsea's trips to the hospital triggered a flood of painful memories for Hillary. Back in Little Rock, Hillary had looked the other way for years until Bill's womanizing caught up with her one spring day. A few months earlier, a young Governor Clinton had attended an engagement party for the nephew of a wealthy supporter. No sooner had he arrived than Bill took the shocked host aside and pronounced the twentyish bride-to-be "hot." That night, Bill seduced the young woman in front of her fiancé, broke up the engagement, and over the course of several months led her to believe he intended to divorce Hillary and marry her.
When Hillary found out, one of her closest friends said, "something snapped." She began hyperventilating and was rushed to the emergency room. "Hillary had always put up with his cheating," said the friend, "but for some reason that particular affair came as a real slap in the face. It literally took her breath away, and she landed in the hospital with an anxiety attack. She told Bill back then, 'This has to stop!' and he promised he would. She believed him."
Bill was too consumed with his own troubles to appreciate how, in the words of one of her Stanford confidants, Chelsea was "destroyed" by her father's stunning admission of infidelity. Contrary to what he would soon tell the American people, the President did not ask his daughter's forgiveness. "President Clinton did not apologize to Chelsea. He did not even talk to Chelsea about the Monica Lewinsky thing, and Mrs. Clinton was too angry and humiliated to do it. So Chelsea was more or less left to fend for herself She wound up getting the news from TV like everyone else."
You can read the full excerpt posted by MSNBC at: http://www.msnbc.com/news/296254.asp
Catching up with another item from early August which has not been picked up by other media outlets so far as I and the MRC news analysts have seen, the August 4 Investor's Business Daily explored the close ties between Vanessa Weaver, nominated by Clinton for a seat on the board of the Export-Import Bank, and John Huang. In addition to her own numerous phones calls to Huang, her father, the paper noted, heads the Stephens Company, whose offices Huang used to send faxes shortly after receiving classified briefings. (The Wall Street Journal picked up on the IBD article for an August 5 editorial.)
Here's an excerpt from the illuminating piece by Paul Sperry:
Ex-Im Bank Nod Tied To John Huang
President Clinton's appointee to a critical seat on the board of the Export-Import Bank has close ties to a crooked fundraiser linked to China.
China is Ex-Im Bank's second-largest customer.
During the Clinton years, the bank has given more than $5.5 billion in loans to China to help it buy U.S. technology and equipment for power plants and other projects. The loans were OK'd despite proof that China sold nuclear-related equipment to Pakistan and other countries that worry U.S. security experts.
The White House hopes the Senate will quickly confirm D. Vanessa Weaver to fill one of three vacant seats on Ex-Im's five-member board. The lack of quorum is holding up $2.3 billion in loans.
As a Clinton aide, Weaver often was in touch with Democratic Party fundraiser Jian-Nan "John" Huang when he worked at the Commerce Department.
In May, Huang agreed to plead guilty to a fundraising felony charge in exchange for his help in an ongoing Justice Department probe of 1996 campaign finance fraud. He has yet to enter a guilty plea.
Weaver and Huang exchanged at least 26 phone calls over a 17-month period in 1994 and 1995, records show.
Weaver also reached out to Huang in October 1996 when he hid from U.S. marshals for a week to avoid testifying in a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch Inc. The public-interest law firm claims that Huang was involved in an illegal scheme at Commerce to sell seats on trade trips for Democratic donations.
"She (Weaver) called my wife in California," Huang testified after authorities finally caught up with him. "As a courtesy, I returned her call to her home."
Huang explained that Weaver and he are just "good friends." Asked about her again in another Judicial Watch deposition in April, Huang took the Fifth.
Weaver, deputy White House director of presidential personnel, declined repeated requests for an interview.
The Senate Banking Committee canceled a Friday hearing on Weaver and other appointees. It hasn't reset a date. The Senate breaks for a month starting next week.
Chairman Phil Gramm, R-Texas, isn't likely to quiz Weaver, a former computer consultant, about her ties to Huang. "I don't expect it to be anything that Sen. Gramm brings up," spokeswoman Christi Harlan said.
Ignoring the issue would be a mistake, one Hill investigator says.
"We're going to reward someone who's all over John Huang's call-back slips," he said.
The connection doesn't stop there, he says.
As often as three times a week, Huang would leave his Commerce office carrying a folder or briefcase and walk across the street to the Willard Hotel. There he'd visit the Washington office of Stephens Inc., an Arkansas-based brokerage.
Weaver's father, Vernon Weaver, headed the branch. A fellow Arkansan, he and Clinton go back more than 20 years.
The elder Weaver let Huang use an empty Stephens office to pick up overnight packages, make phone calls and fax documents.
His secretary, Paula Greene, testified before the Senate in 1997 that Weaver gave her strict orders to hide the setup. For instance, she says Weaver told her not to leave detailed phone messages for Huang when she called to alert him to a package or fax.
Phone records show Vernon Weaver made at least 27 calls to Huang from July 1994 to November 1995. Over that same period, Vanessa Weaver made at least 23 calls to Huang -- two on the same day as her father.
The congressional investigator, who wished to go unnamed, suspects Vanessa Weaver was a White House "go-between" for her father and Huang. Her White House office is just across 15th St. from the Willard Hotel and the Commerce building.
Records show that at least 16 faxes sent in 1994 and 1995 from the Stephens office went to Lippo Group units in Jakarta, Indonesia; Hong Kong; and Los Angeles. Huang worked for the foreign conglomerate before joining Commerce. Lippo has partnered with Stephens on deals for more than a decade.
The government official appeared to still be conducting business with his old firm -- a possible breach of federal conflict rules.
But there's a more troubling aspect to his Willard activities.
Several months before Huang joined Commerce, China Resources Holding Co., a front for Chinese military intelligence, bought a large stake in a Lippo unit called Hongkong Chinese Bank.
That made Lippo equal partners with Beijing's communist regime. "Huang himself may possibly have had a direct financial relationship with the (Chinese) government," said the final report of the so-called Thompson committee, headed by Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., which probed foreign fundraising in the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign.
The CIA briefed China-born Huang (who got a security clearance without a full background check) at least 37 times at Commerce. He got hundreds of classified documents on topics such as U.S.-China technology transfers.
Several of the faxes sent from the Stephens office correspond with Huang's CIA briefings.
For instance, the CIA briefed Huang at 9 a.m. on Oct. 5, 1994. Later that day, at 5:49 p.m., a fax was sent from the Stephens office to a Lippo office in Hong Kong.
Huang enjoyed unusual access to the White House. He visited at least 94 times and met with Clinton there at least 15 times.
At a Sept. 13, 1995, Oval Office meeting, Clinton decided to move Huang to the Democratic National Committee.
Phone logs show a pickup in calls from Vanessa Weaver's White House office to Huang starting on Sept. 15, 1995 -- suggesting that "she may have had some kind of campaign- financing role," the congressional source said....
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