CyberAlert -- 09/09/1999 -- Gullible for Hillary; Stephanopoulos Raised Bush Drugs with Bradley
Gullible for Hillary; Stephanopoulos Raised Bush Drugs with Bradley
1) "I can't imagine people being gullible enough to buy any of it," Fox's Brit Hume remarked about Hillary's new anti-pardon position, but ABC fell for it. NBC lamented "how hard it is for the First Lady to run for office while her husband is President."
3) Good Morning America had George Stephanopoulos conduct its interview with Bill Bradley. He tagged Bradley and Gore "cerebral and centrist" and promoted Jesse Jackson's hit on George W. Bush for hypocrisy over drug use, an angle never raised with Clinton.
4) Viacom's Showtime to re-air Strange Justice. Star Mandy Patinkin proclaimed "I wanted to make Anita Hill's truth...come through." The producer maintained the book was not liberal because the authors worked for the Wall Street Journal.
>>> Latest Notable Quotables now online. The September 6 edition of NQ, the MRC's bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media, has now been posted on the MRC Web site thanks to Sean Henry and Kristina Sewell. Quote topic headings include: "The Rumor We Won't Let Die..."; "...Unlike Any Clinton Allegations"; "Clinton Rape? Don't Go There!"; "Couric Finds the Character Issue"; "Cronkite's Utterly Apolitical PBS"; and "Our Feeding Frenzy on Bush and Coke? Hey, Blame Republicans." To read the issue, go to: http://secure.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1999/nq19990906.html <<<
MagazineWatch also now on the MRC home page. Compiled this week by Tim
Graham, the September 7 issue highlights these subjects in the September
13 editions of the weekly news magazines:
Correction: The September 2 CyberAlert quoted CBS News reporter Jim Stewart as saying in a story about the pardons: "What has federal lawmen so exorcized about this case, is that they feel the White House isn't listening to them." I missed a transcribing error. They weren't "exorcized." They were "exercised."
After largely ignoring throughout August Clinton's decision announced August 11 to pardon 16 FALN Puerto Rican terrorists, this week the networks finally focused on the issue, with ABC getting around to its first story. Network shows which ignored opposition to the decision decided the issue was newsworthy only after Hillary Clinton said she opposed the deal.
But instead of portraying Hillary's new line as a crass political maneuver or questioning her ludicrous claim that she did not know about her husband's decision beforehand, ABC twice relayed her opposition without any caveats. NBC's Andrea Mitchell at least recognized how she did a "flip-flop," though Mitchell also painted her as a victim of her husband's presidency.
(As noted in the September 2 CyberAlert, on August 30 the CBS Evening News ran its first piece and NBC's Today caught up the next morning. Only FNC covered an August 23 news conference by New York City police officers blinded and injured by FALN bombs and even CNN only gave 21 seconds on the August 27 World Today to a New York Times story that day about how federal law enforcement officials opposed the release.)
On the September 5
Fox News Sunday Brit Hume admired Hillary's gall and expressed his
befuddlement at how anyone could be gullible enough to buy her new line:
But some network reporters have bought it.
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. On September 5 ABC finally aired its first morning or
evening story, reported MRC analyst Jessica Anderson. Anchor Carole
Simpson straightforwardly stated:
After a soundbite
from spokesman Howard Wolfson and a brief review of what the FALN did,
McCarren got to all the criticism ABC refused to report in August:
-- Two nights later, on the September 7 World News Tonight, anchor Peter Jennings announced: "The White House announced today that a dozen Puerto Rican nationalists, imprisoned for conspiracy and weapons charges, have agreed to renounce violence in return for clemency offered by President Clinton. Mrs. Clinton, who's a very likely New York Senate candidate, has declared publicly against clemency."
-- The next
morning, MRC analyst Mark Drake noticed, ABC's Ann Compton portrayed
Hillary not as a manipulator killing a trial balloon, but as a victim
"caught in political quicksand," as if she had noting to do with
creating the controversy. Compton asserted on the September 8 Good Morning
-- NBC Nightly News, September 7. Tom Brokaw and Andrea Mitchell did at least acknowledge Hillary's "flip-flop," but Mitchell claimed it made her appear to be "pandering to more conservative voters," as if only conservatives disagreed with releasing terrorists, and painted her as a victim, maintaining the controversy shows "how hard it is for the First Lady to run for office while her husband is President."
"And what could be an explosive issue for Hillary Clinton's New York
Senate campaign, 12 Puerto Rican nationalists have indicated they will
accept the president's offer of clemency. Mrs. Clinton at first approved
of that offer, and then three weeks later urged the President to rescind
it. It's a hot button in New York politics."
from a couple of victims and a clip of Joe Lockhart defending the offer,
Hillary Clinton's fresh opposition to the clemency offer upset Geraldo
Rivera who called Bill Clinton's pardon offer a "compassionate and
common sense proposal." MRC intern Ken Shepherd caught this
commentary from Rivera on the September 7 Upfront Tonight on CNBC:
Can't imagine that a prisoner would ever lie to get out. If Rivera's so trusting of how they have renounced violence maybe he could agree to host them in one of his guest houses on his New Jersey or Massachusetts estates.
(On O'Connor, while driving by New York City on Tuesday I heard WABC talk show host Sean Hannity read a letter from O'Connor's office denying that he ever supported clemency and explaining that several years ago he only had urged a review of the individual cases.)
ABC News allowed George Stephanopoulos to use his new perch as a "reporter" to hit Bill Bradley with criticism forwarded by the Gore camp and to promote Jesse Jackson's hit on George W. Bush for jailing people for using drugs as Bush supposedly did years ago.
In a decision that raises more than "an appearance" of a conflict of interest, ABC assigned former Clinton-Gore campaign strategist and lying enabler Stephanopoulos to travel to Missouri to conduct a taped interview for Good Morning America with Bill Bradley, who announced his presidential bid later in the day on Wednesday. GMA did not have Bill Kristol interview George W. Bush when he stated campaigning in June and I wouldn't count on GMA having Kristol conduct the interview when Bush makes it official.
As noted in the August 23 CyberAlert, that day the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reported: "After 3 1/2 years of limiting Stephanopoulos to political commentary, ABC has decided to give the former White House aide a larger on-air role -- and cast him as more of a straight journalist." Kurtz quoted ABC News President David Westin as assuring him "we wouldn't have him be the beat reporter on the Gore campaign." Apparently, however, it's okay to have him hit Gore's primary opponent with Gore's campaign rhetoric.
After starting by
asking if he agreed with Al Gore's assessment that Bill Clinton is
"one of our greatest Presidents," on the September 8 show
Stephanopoulos called Bradley and Gore "cerebral and centrist"
in hitting Bradley with a pro-Al Gore argument:
Bradley to run down some policy differences with Gore, MRC analyst Mark
Drake observed that Stephanopoulos then highlighted Jesse Jackson's
attacks on George W. Bush:
Stephanopoulos followed up: "But I guess that's Reverend Jackson's point. He's saying that this is a criminal act and other people are thrown in jail for it."
Same could be said of allegations about drug use by Bill Clinton or in relation to Juanita Broaddrick's charge that Bill Clinton raped her, two concepts yet to be raised in any interview conducted by Stephanopoulos or a more veteran member of the GMA reporting team.
The next question from Stephanopoulos: "Many of your fellow candidates in the race, this year especially, talk a lot about their personal faith. In your memoir, you close with a very rich description of your spiritual journey. What role does faith play in your life now.?"
Not exactly the kind of challenging questions conservatives get about religion and politics. But Stephanopoulos had to toss a few softballs. After all, he and Bradley are both Democrats.
++ See ABC once again raise the Bush drug interview as GMA has the gall to let Stephanopoulos do it. Later this morning the MRC's Sean Henry and Kristina Sewell will post, in RealPlayer format, a clip of this interview. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org
Five more times this month, starting Thursday night, the soon-to-be owner of CBS News, Viacom, will broadcast its movie version of Strange Justice, the anti-Clarence Thomas/pro-Anita Hill book from 1994. Viacom-owned Showtime produced the new movie which first aired back on August 29.
The plug for the film on Showtime's Web site does not disguise its political agenda: "Based on the book by Wall Street Journal reporters Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson, this is the story of Clarence Thomas and his nomination to the Supreme Court. Just after he was nominated, his former subordinate charged him with sexual harassment. This is the part of the story that America never got to see -- what the Bush administration did to get Thomas into office at any cost."
Indeed, Mandy Patinkin, who plays White House chief-of-staff Ken Duberstein, proclaimed in an August 29 Boston Herald "TV Plus" story: "I wanted to do this project because of a specific goal. I wanted to make Anita Hill's truth, which I believe is self-evident, come through."
For a review of the book's left-wing take on the controversy, check out the November, 1994 Janet Cooke Award in MediaWatch which detailed how ABC's Prime Time Live promoted the liberal screed: http://secure.mediaresearch.org/news/mediawatch/1994/mw19941101jca.html
You can watch a RealPlayer clip from the movie by going to: http://SHO.com/programplus/justice/justice.tin
The film, which in
addition to Mandy Patinkin, stars Louis Gossett, Jr., Delroy Lindo and
Regina Taylor, will run several more times. Without reference to time
zones, the Showtime Web site lists these re-play times:
An August 29
Boston Globe "TV Week" story by Ian Shapira included this
ludicrous passage quoting Jacob Epstein, executive screenplay writer:
Truly amazing that someone actually thinks that no Wall Street Journal reporter is liberal. Both reporters have since left the Journal, so could they now be liberal even in Epstein's mind? Abramson is now at the New York Times and Mayer moved on to the New Yorker where last year she violated Linda Tripp's privacy to misleadingly claim that on a clearance form she lied about an arrest as a teen, all in a liberal political effort to discredit Tripp. -- Brent Baker
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