CBS: Starr "Politically Motivated," Tripp Coordinated Betrayer; Starr Looks Like a Nazi?
1) CBS zeroes in on Starr and Tripp: "Time Out! The tapes show her carefully coordinating her betrayal of Lewinsky with an accomplice -- Lucianne Goldberg -- book agent and self-proclaimed Clinton-hater."
3) On Today Rivera claimed the tapes show Lewinsky had "serviced" many men so Clinton didn't take advantage of her. Katie Couric argued about Tripp and Lewinsky on the tapes: "Doesn't this add more fuel to the fire that these two individuals were somehow in cohoots and planned together to lie under oath?"
4) A new MRC fax report: "Will Media Continue To Resemble James Carville's Marionettes as Starr Finally Speaks on Capitol Hill? Ken Starr Gets His Day; Media Had All Year." And, recall how Keith Olbermann said Starr looks like a Nazi.
Correction: The November 18 CyberAlert quoted Keith Olbermann, referring to Lewinsky and Tripp: "One of them will read the part of the irresponsible adolescent, the other will narrate the lines of the pathetic, self-destroying, older loser and you an I will be Polyphemus hiding ourselves behind the Aris." In fact, as several readers have suggested, Olbermann was referring to "Polonius," an adviser to Claudius in Shakespeare's Hamlet who hides behind the "arras," a tapestry or curtain for those of you like me who are literature-challenged. From behind the arras he overhears Hamlet talking with his mother Gertrude and Hamlet kills him with a sword through the arras when Hamlet mistakenly believes he's heard Claudius.
The impending Thursday testimony of Ken Starr, Henry Hyde's decision to call more witnesses and White House railing about unfairness topped all the evening shows on Wednesday night. CNN, FNC and NBC all also raised how Clinton has yet to respond to confirm or deny Hyde's 81 questions submitted weeks ago, but not ABC and CBS.
CBS's focus: The evils of Ken Starr and Linda Tripp, not the actions of Bill Clinton. On the CBS Evening News Dan Rather highlighted a poll showing, in Rather's hype, that most perceive Starr as "politically motivated and out to get the Clintons." CBS then set out to prove that perception with a Reality Check segment by Eric Engberg on "the Linda Tripp tapes of Lucianne Goldberg, a former member of the Richard Nixon dirty tricks squad and an up front Clinton-basher these days."
(The House Republican leadership election generated brief mentions from the anchor on ABC, CNN and FNC, full stories on CBS and NBC.)
CNN's The World Today and FNC's Fox Report opened with multiple impeachment-related stories as CNN's Bob Franken, holding a copy of Starr's testimony, characterized it as "a very aggressive presentation" of how Clinton abused power. At 8:30pm ET CNN ran a half hour special hosted by Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff.
Here's a quick rundown of the Wednesday, November 18 broadcast network evening shows, with an emphasis on CBS:
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Jackie Judd concluded her opening story: "Those familiar with Starr's thinking say he is prepared to defend the credibility of his evidence but that he will not be an advocate for impeachment and cross that line. There are Democrats who no doubt will argue Peter that he long ago crossed that line."
Peter Jennings then talked with Linda Douglass who reported that the Democrats plan to make Starr "the issue" and that Hyde plans to call four other witnesses: Bruce Lindsey, Bob Bennett and two related to the Willey case.
Dan Rather began: "Good evening. New details are emerging tonight for a shifting, expanding and more politically explosive and partisan session for tomorrow's Republican-led House Judiciary Committee impeach the President inquiry. CBS News White House correspondent Scott Pelley has late-breaking information, including the committee Chairman's last-minute list of new witnesses and why the President's lawyers are saying that's unfair."
Pelley gave the White House spin and relayed Hyde's and Starr's plans before Bob Schieffer looked at the leadership races and the victory by "lanky Louisiana Congressman Bob Livingston."
Next, Rather highlighted two CBS News poll questions: First, "Would you be satisfied if inquiry were dropped?" Yes said 57 percent, no replied 38 percent. Second, on screen the graphic read: "Opinion of Starr's investigation?" Answers: "Partisan" said 62 percent and "impartial" replied 28 percent. But here's how Rather characterized that result: "Also, 62 percent in the CBS survey perceived special prosecutor Ken Starr as not impartial, but rather politically motivated and out to get the Clintons."
Rather's very next words: "So is there any basis for this
perception? You may want to consider the following. You heard the tapes
Linda Tripp secretly made of her supposed friend Monica Lewinsky. Tapes
that triggered the heart of the Starr investigation as it now stands.
Tonight, consider the Linda Tripp tapes of Lucianne Goldberg, a former
member of the Richard Nixon dirty tricks squad and an up front
Clinton-basher these days. CBS News correspondent Eric Engberg checked
hard and deep for this Reality Check complete with reality soundbites."
"Then, Tripp excitedly calls Goldberg and reports the taping is going
"Occasionally, Tripp sounds concerned about Lewinsky's fragile
Engberg concluded: "Tripp tells Goldberg that the broken-hearted Lewinsky is in such bad shape she may have a breakdown. She says that she's anxiously awaiting a phone call, because, as Tripp puts it, 'if she's flipping out, I want to get that on tape.' Just another average American helping out a friend."
(As CyberAlert noted in January, a nice touch, tainting Goldberg's by dismissing her as a corrupt Nixon hack. A front page profile in the January 24 Washington Post offered a more complete resume, one that suggests she just as accurately could have been "known for performing dirty tricks for the Kennedy White House." Reporters David Streitfeld and Howard Kurtz explained: "This is not the first time Goldberg has been involved in presidential politics. She worked for Lyndon Johnson during the 1960 presidential campaign. 'When you're tall, thin, blond and have big boobs, you can have any job you want,' she told People magazine in 1992. She later worked for President Kennedy's speech-writing staff." Streitfeld and Kurtz also noted another aspect of Goldberg's past, a journalistic one as she "worked at the Washington Post as a copy aide in the mid-1950s.")
"On Thursday the much maligned and wildly unpopular Mr. Starr finally gets to speak." That's how Geraldo Rivera, who spends most days doing the maligning, opened Wednesday's Upfront Tonight on CNBC.
Later, Rivera fell in line and announced "just five of the scores of questions I would like to ask the special prosecutor, if given the opportunity." He won't have a chance, but check today to see how closely Rivera's thinking matches the Democratic members. Here are his questions:
Starr, do you admit or deny that your friend, former law partner and
former Justice Department colleague Ted Olson played a key role in the
anti-Clinton Arkansas project, which included funneling money and/or other
benefits, including legal representation, to your key Whitewater witness,
the ex-convict David Hale?"
My question to Rivera: "Mr Rivera, do you admit or deny that you are a liberal political activist using your journalism role as a cover to impute more credibility to your pro-Clinton and anti-conservative political views?"
Monday night on Upfront Tonight Rivera wondered: "How did the so-called Independent Counsel come to rival Saddam Hussein in unpopularity?"
His answer: "Even his most ardent supporters admit he has a tin ear to public relations. How else to explain his indicting poor Web Hubbell for the third time?...Perhaps typical of how Starr has operated, he re-indicted Webb as America and Iraq stood on the brink of war. Because expectations are so low, and animosity so high, some Democrats fear Starr will prove a potent witness when he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. They fear a repeat of Iran-Contra, when Ollie North, resplendent in his Marine dress uniform, made a surprisingly sympathetic witness."
On the November 16
show Rivera ran through why Starr is such an evil guy, as if any of this
alters what Clinton did:
More Geraldo! Don't blame me, you can't avoid the guy. Wednesday morning he appeared on Today with fellow CNBC host Chris Matthews.
Here are some highlights of Rivera impugning Tripp and suggesting Lewinsky's no little intern but an experienced sexual dynamo Clinton couldn't resist, with helpful prompts from Katie Couric. MRC analyst Geoffrey Dickens caught and transcribed these most relevant portions:
thought that Linda Tripp now takes her place in the Hall of Infamy as a
betrayer of the order of Benedict Arnold in the, in the, at least in the
love '90s. I thought Monica Lewinsky also revealed herself to be and I
like Monica Lewinsky, I think she's very, very glib, very articulate, very
ebullient. But she also came across as a very experienced sexually,
experienced woman. She had been with eight men had serviced with oral sex
many more. I think that in terms of the President and the young ingenue
intern that image is destroyed forever."
NBC then played
some tape excerpts.
After playing a
clip of Lewinsky recalling how she called Clinton a "butthead,"
Couric wrapped up the segment: "I mean how embarrassing, how
demeaning is this for the President of the United States?"
As you watch Ken Starr today, see if his appearance matches the caricature painted by the media over the past few years. And does he remind you of a Nazi? I urge you to go to the MRC home page and read a collection of 16 quotes from the media, none of them from Geraldo -- we're talking about real reporters -- put together Wednesday by the MRC's Tim Graham: "Will Media Continue To Resemble James Carville's Marionettes as Starr Finally Speaks on Capitol Hill? Ken Starr Gets His Day; Media Had All Year."
The collection begins with this from Dan Rather on August 12, 1994: "New disclosures are fueling questions about whether or not Starr is an ambitious Republican partisan backed by ideologically motivated anti-Clinton activists and judges from the Reagan, Bush, and Nixon years."
Hey, that sounds just like Rivera.
To read the whole Media Reality Check fax report, go to http://www.mrc.org where MRC Webmaster Sean Henry has it posted up top, or directly to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1998/fax19981118.html
As for looking
like a Nazi, recall this from MSNBC's Keith Olbermnann on August 18:
The next night he
apologized, sort of, but maintained his basic assertion of how Starr
reminded him of Himmler:
Not even committee Democrats will be that extreme today in how they treat Starr. Probably not. --Brent Baker
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