CyberAlert -- 08/25/1998 -- Hillary the Clueless
Hillary the Clueless; Everyone Lies but Clinton Just Got Caught
2) NBC reported that Ken Starr is pursuing an "abuse of power" theory and in an In Depth piece NBC portrayed Clinton as a victim in a society in which everyone lies. Only CNN ran a full story on the 2000 census sampling ruling, but pushed liberal complaints.
Two Washington reporters really seem to believe that the First Lady, whom we've been told is the smartest women in America, did not believe the stories about her husband and Monica Lewinsky. MRC news analyst Jessica Anderson caught this exchange on Inside Washington from over the weekend:
Evan Thomas, Newsweek: "You know, I couldn't believe it when I
first read that she didn't hear about it 'til Thursday. It seemed
improbable to me because she's so smart and because she's been here
before. But I am beginning to believe it now. I mean, our reporting
indicates that she, it sounds implausible, but marriages are complicated
things and she may have just willfully decided she didn't need to hear
it straight from Clinton and Clinton may have held out to the last minute
before telling her."
I have a better explanation: if she managed to dismiss seven months of news stories as part of some grand right-wing conspiracy then maybe she's even more paranoid about people "out to get" her and her husband than we realized.
Hurricane Bonnie, soon to make landfall along the Atlantic shore, topped the CBS, FNC and NBC evening shows Monday night. ABC went first with flooding in Texas followed by the hurricane. CNN began with its exclusive that Clinton plans to address the Lewinsky matter again. The federal appeals court decision throwing out the Clinton plan to use statistical sampling for the 2000 census was skipped by ABC, CBS and NBC. FNC gave it a brief mention while it generated a full story on CNN which approached it from the liberal side, concentrating how it will supposedly mean Latinos will not have fair representation.
On the Monicagate front, ABC speculated about the likelihood of a censure vote, CBS held coverage to a few seconds of anchor Ed Bradley saying Speaker Newt Gingrich said he is not interested in rushing to impeachment for one personal lapse as he wants to see a pattern of abuse before launching hearings and Ed Bradley showed clips of Bill and Hillary making separate lunch sojourns on Martha's Vineyard. Gingrich's comments prompted stories on CNN and FNC. CNN highlighted a poll showing Dole would still lose today and FNC looked at possible Clinton defense strategies.
Only NBC's intrepid Lisa Myers added any fresh news, reporting that Ken Starr is pursuing an "abuse of power" theory. Then NBC's Fred Francis portrayed Clinton's only offense as getting caught since everybody lies: "To tell the truth, we all lie. Some small fibs, some tall tales and some, like the President, get caught."
Some highlights from the Monday, August 24 evening shows:
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Anchor Forrest Sawyer noted that an ABC News poll found 67 percent oppose resignation and 70 oppose impeachment, but 55 percent say yes to a congressional censure for Clinton. John Cochran explored that possibility, observing that Congress can censure its own, but for a President it would just be symbolic.
"So if censure has no teeth why would Congress do it? Because it
would be popular with voters." And answered: "Censuring the
President could offer a solution to many in both parties. To Republicans
that do not want to be blamed for prolonging an investigation that many
Americans find distasteful. And to Democrats who want to separate
themselves from the President without impeaching him."
Joie Chen then ran through some numbers from the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey, including this illuminating discovery: "If the 1996 election were held over again right now, 46 percent of the registered voters say they would vote for Mr. Clinton, 36 percent say their ballot choice would be Bob Dole. Ross Perot would win 11 percent."
Finally, Bob Franken took the pulse of Capitol Hill, beginning by noting how Gingrich feels "a pattern of lawbreaking" is the threshold for hearings.
Just past halfway
through the show CNN got to the 2000 census decision, but instead of
painting it as a victory for accuracy and fairness, CNN's Jonathan Aiken
emphasized the liberal angle that it will hurt minorities. Aiken began by
asserting that the 1990 census was "criticized for undercounting
minorities." After noting this court ruling was a victory for
Republicans who had sued, Aiken charged:
Fred Francis then
explained that fibbing has always been a Bill Clinton flaw, but after all,
"The absolute truth about lying is that we all do, whether we like to
admit it or not. To differing degrees, with different motivations. And
studies show we're lying now more than ever before."
"Sudan has been insistent the pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum was making much needed medicine. And with news reporters combing the ruble and finding only innocent looking pill bottles, the U.S. was on the defensive," CNN's Jamie McIntyre observed in opening an August 24 World Today story.
As any reader of the August 24 CyberAlert would know, that's just what the U.S. networks have been doing, with stories about the end of medicine production, destroyed candy plants and no evidence of chemical weapons making.
McIntyre went on to explain that the CIA took soil samples near the plant and they tested positive for a chemical that's one step from nerve gas, EMPTA. McIntyre also noted ties between the Sudan plant and the founder of Iraq's chemical weapons operation.
Over on ABC's
World News Tonight on Monday John McWethy got to the same evidence, but
took his time. McWethy began:
Over the weekend
pieces from Sudan by Vicki Mabrey stressed the lack of proof that the
plant was used to make dangerous chemicals. (See the August 24 CyberAlert.)
But Monday night CBS reporter David Martin delivered the evidence:
With local television news directors, those at Fox affiliates find the Lewinsky story the most important and the smaller the market the less important the news directors find the scandal. The August 24 Electronic Media relayed the results of a August 11-14 survey of 125 TV news directors conducted by Audience Research & Development. The key findings, as summarized by New York Bureau Chief John Lafayette:
-- "News Directors at Fox affiliates were most likely to think the story was important, with 67 percent saying the story was either important or extremely important....ABC affiliate news directors were least likely to say the story was important (21 percent)..."
-- "Fifty-five percent of the news directors working in the top 20 markets felt the story was important or extremely important. But just 38 percent of the news directors from markets 100 and smaller felt the story was important, with just 10 percent of those saying it was extremely important."
So much for the axiom that the smaller the town the less liberal the local media. -- Brent Baker
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