CyberAlert -- 10/20/1997 -- Stars Help Al and Hillary; A Decade of Bias

Small COLA Bad; Admiring Hillary's Liberalism; Skipping Video News

1) The White House admitted that Clinton managed soft money ads and a print report detailed the links between Democratic donors, government contracts and Al Gore. But the networks passed.

2) The stars pitch in to help Gore and Hillary Clinton.

1) Friday's newspapers brought two more developments for the networks to ignore.

-- "White House Alters Defense" announced an October 17 USA Today headline. Reporter Mimi Hall explained:
"Critics say Clinton's close direction of advertising by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was part of an effort to subvert spending limits that went government financing of the Clinton-Gore campaign.
"For months, the White House has generally issued blanket statements that everything Clinton did in 1996 was legal.
"On Thursday, White House counsel Lanny Davis took a different tack. He conceded that Clinton, in effect, managed the DNC's $44 million ad campaign and said that there was nothing wrong with that."

In other words, they lied for months. Coverage: As noted in the October 17 CyberAlert, nothing about fundraising aired on the Thursday, October 16 ABC, CBS and NBC evening shows nor CNN's The World Today. Also nothing about fundraising on the October 17 shows, but more on that follows.

-- "A Lobbyist's Lucrative Ties to Gore: Ex-Aide Raised Funds from Client, Helped Its Federal Business," declared a from page Washington Post headline on Friday. In the October 17 story Post reporter Bob Woodward focused on former Gore aide Peter Knight. Woodward asserted:
"Records show that Knight's involvement with a network of Gore supporters and friends, his political connections and his own business pursuits allowed him simultaneously to make money for himself, assist his clients as they sought and won federal business, and raise funds for the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton-Gore campaign and other Gore causes."

Woodward illustrated the process by looking at Molten Metal Technology, a Massachusetts hazardous waste disposal company that Knight's consulting firm represents. In 1995 Knight got the company chief, William Haney, to pledge $50,000 to the Clinton-Gore campaign. Knight then got Gore to visit Molten's headquarters, leading Molten's stock price to double. "Knight exercised a portion of the option he had received from the company, making more than $90,000 before taxes."

Molten's technology was developed thanks to Department of Energy grants awarded by a program overseen by Assistant Energy Secretary Thomas Grumbly, another former Gore staffer. Woodward discovered: "Two days after the March 22 donation, the Department of Energy announced it would expand an existing $1.2 million research contract with Molten to develop technology for hazardous waste disposal by $9 million." Woodward later added: "By 1996, Molten's government research and development contract would reach $33 million, more than the combined total distributed to the 18 other companies in the program." Along the way Haney kept coughing up big checks to the DNC and Clinton-Gore.

Coverage: Zilch Friday morning or evening on any of the broadcast networks. But isn't this old news? So maybe the networks reported it when the story outline was laid out in Time magazine. Good thought, but not true. As reported in the June 6 CyberAlert, five days after the June 9 Time hit newsstands, the networks (even CNN) ignored that story too.
Back then Time's Michael Weisskopf uncovered how DNC donor Bill Haney had been taken care of by Al Gore: "Since the Vice President took office, the Energy Department's cleanup division, headed until recently by a Gore protege has awarded Haney's Molten Metal Technology $33 million to test its process on the poisoned remains of nuclear weapons proving grounds -- more money than 17 other companies have received collectively to do the same job. More startling is that the department kept lavishing dollars on the firm until this March, despite the advice of the government's own experts who, according to documents obtained by Time, repeatedly challenged the effectiveness of Molten Metal's technology."

So, what did concern the networks last Friday, October 17? All three broadcast networks led with the news that some insurance companies are considering charging SUV owners more for liability insurance to cover the greater damage they cause to vehicles they hit. NBC and ABC ran pieces on a woman's egg that was successfully frozen, an event that ABC's Diane Sawyer exclaimed "could release women from the tyranny of the biological clock."

And the CBS Evening News inaugurated a new weekly segment on....well, I'll let Dan Rather explain: "Forecasters continue to emphasize it could be the weather event of the century, so tonight we begin what will be a weekly El Nino Watch. CBS is going to track the weather system closely, this weather system that's warming the Pacific, and show you the impact in your area and around the world."

2) Liberal Stars. A couple a examples of political activism by Hollywood stars on behalf of Al Gore's 2000 campaign and Hillary Clinton's advocacy for more welfare spending:

-- At the end of an article on Al Gore's speech to the Hollywood Radio and Television Society in which he said that because of "Ellen" coming out Americans were "forced to look at sexual orientation in a more open light," the October 18 Washington Post story revealed: "Following his speech, Gore had dinner with a group of entertainment figures that included actor Tom Hanks and director Rob Reiner."

-- In Friday's USA Today celebrity tracker Jeannie Williams reported: "Hillary Rodham Clinton will take the stage Monday at New York's Avery Fisher Hall to help celebrate the Children's Defense Fund's 25th anniversary. Glen Close will introduce the First Lady, who'll read from her book, It Takes a Village, then introduce longtime friend Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the private fund. Other celebs due: Rosie O'Donnell, Phylicia Rashad and Bebe Neuwirth." Rashad plays Bill Cosby's wife on the CBS sit- com and Neuwirth is best known as "Lileth" on Cheers.

-- Brent Baker