CyberAlert -- 12/11/1998 -- Public Backlash Coming
Public Backlash Coming; "Psalm-Singing Zealots"; Today Troubled; Carlson Hit by Car
3) If no censure vote is allowed, Geraldo Rivera shouted, then "They have used a procedural device to steal from you your right to be democratically represented on the floor of the House of Representatives! They have stolen that from you!"
>>> "Ken Starr Might Have Thought Twice About An Interview If He Knew ABC Host's Body of Work: Diane Sawyer's Judgment of the 'Judgmental.'" In the latest Media Reality Check fax report, now up on the MRC home page thanks to Webmaster Sean Henry, the MRC's Tim Graham compares how Sawyer treated Starr to her much more sympathetic approach to Barney Frank, Susan McDougal, the Menendez brothers and even Fidel Castro. Go to: http://www.mrc.org or: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/1998/fax19981210.html <<<
>>> Time is running out. Where's your ballot? Join the over 600 people so far who have cast their ballot as a judge for the special Web edition of "The Best Notable Quotables of 1998: The Eleventh Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." Just go to our home page to make your picks. And for sharing your choices, you'll get a "Don't Believe the Liberal Media" magnet. Balloting is open until 9am ET on Tuesday. To vote, click on the "Best of NQ" button at http://www.mrc.org. Or, go directly to the sign-up page: http://www.mediaresearch.org/nqbest/nq1998signupa.html <<<
C-SPAN stayed with the opening statements from House Judiciary Committee members until they ended for the day at around 9:30pm ET, but CNN and MSNBC had cut out much earlier, at 6:30pm ET, to return to regular programming. FNC stuck with the hearings most of the time to the end, interrupted for some discussion amongst Brit Hume, Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke as well as updates from FNC reporters. At one point, FNC's Carl Cameron uniquely informed Hume that Dick Gephardt's team had been told that eight Democrats will vote for impeachment, about double the expected number.
CNN again devoted most of the 8pm ET The World Today to the impeachment situation and ran a special at 10pm ET which featured long excerpts from the Abbe Lowell and David Schippers presentations.
The broadcast network evening shows all led with the day's developments as each anchor stressed how impeachment is becoming a real possibility. Only ABC's Jackie Judd explained Schippers' contention that only the DNA on the dress ended Clinton's lying about his relationship. And only NBC's David Bloom fully illustrated Schippers' point that Clinton was paying close attention when his lawyer insisted there was "absolutely no sex of any kind" with Lewinsky. NBC also focused on how the public is not paying attention, but Republicans could soon be hurt by a "potential backlash from a public suddenly awakened by an impeachment they say they don't want."
Here are some highlights from the Thursday, December 10 broadcast network evening shows:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Peter Jennings opened:
Linda Douglass showed highlights from minority counsel Abbe Lowell's case about how a trial will be about sex, how the lawyers in the Jones deposition were confused about the definition of sex and how Ken Starr in his House appearance repeatedly employed phrases like "I have no recollection of it."
Jackie Judd looked
at the presentation from majority counsel David Schippers, whom she
described as "somber, but also caustic and cutting." She later
added: "Schippers seemed barely to contain his disdain for Mr.
From the White House Sam Donaldson reported Clinton aides were close to embracing precise language for a Democratic censure proposal.
Bob Schieffer summarized the case made by both counsels, starting with Schippers who, "in a somber voice...laid out a litany of allegations." Schieffer also played Lowell's Starr clips and showed how Schippers said Clinton paid close attention during his lawyer's assurance he and Lewinsky did not have sex, but did not illustrate with a clip as did NBC.
From the White House Scott Pelley revealed that the President is personally lobbying members of Congress. Next, Gloria Borger added that the White House is having corporate lobbyists make the pitch to moderates that impeachment would hurt the economy, but some have been insulted by the approach so it may backfire. Finally, Phil Jones profiled Majority Whip Tom DeLay, "a political and religious conservative and proud of it."
summarized the cases made by the "dueling lawyers."
Insert your joke here. Here's mine: I don't know of any reason not to trust Clinton's word.
Next, Jim Avila checked in with the heartland: "It's become what
many believe is irritating political white noise, practically ignored in
After showing how
the topic on WGN Radio in Chicago was not impeachment but why do women
wear black, Avila aired a clip of a professor making the point that
normally when Congress is so out of touch with the public's view many
become ex-Congressmen. Avila then concluded with this warning to those who
might vote for impeachment:
Leave it to Geraldo Rivera to prompt someone who favors impeachment to denounce Republicans as "a bunch of psalm-singing religious zealots from the televangelist world."
Upfront Tonight on CNBC co-host Diane Dimond was in the midst of
interviewing former Republican Senator Lowell Weicker, who announced that
he had decided that he would vote to impeach if he were on the House
Judiciary Committee. Rivera soon jumped in, demanding: "What do you
think about the people who are driving the engine of the President's
impeachment? Are you proud of your former colleagues?"
CyberAlert normally sticks to media figures and ignores politicians, but this is too rich. Weicker is mad at conservatives for destroying the Republican Party as if he is somehow still part of it. After leaving the Senate he couldn't capture the Republican nomination for Governor in Connecticut, hardly a "psalm-singing" state, so ran and won as an independent for Governor. Then faced with a choice between Clinton and George Bush, the son of a liberal Republican Senator from his own state and hardly a "zealot," he picked the Democrat.
Geraldo Rivera turned angry Wednesday night, denouncing conservatives for taking on the President he so loves. Here are a few of his outbursts picked up by MRC news analyst Geoffrey Dickens from the December 9 Rivera Live on CNBC:
soundbites of Lindsey Graham and Maxine Waters: "It was an incredible
outburst of vitriol and venom. As the two day defense of Bill Clinton came
to a close South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham revealing his utter
disdain for Bill Clinton and stunning just about everyone at the House
Judiciary Committee hearing by accusing the President of plotting to
destroy Monica Lewinsky in a desperate bid to save himself. It was a
shocking but perhaps fitting end to passionate and partisan day in which
committee Republicans drew up Articles of Impeachment even before the
White House counsel finished presenting his defense.
-- On allowing vote on censure: "Ladies and gentlemen what I said yesterday, what I say today is the most important thing I have ever said to you. If those leaders do not allow your elected representatives the option of voting on censure or impeachment then they have robbed, they have robbed from you, make no mistake about it. They have used a procedural device to steal from you your right to be democratically represented on the floor of the House of Representatives! They have stolen that from you!"
-- Leading into an ad break: "Impeach and destroy is our title and our focus. It is a solemn time, it is a troubling time, it's coming down, I never thought it would."
The Executive Producer of NBC's Today admitted their December 9 "interview" with the Clinton's, detailed in the December 10 CyberAlert, was pretty soft. Here's an item from Peter Johnson's Inside TV column in the December 10 USA Today:
"Everybody felt weird. This is a weird position." So said NBC's Today producer Jeff Zucker about Katie Couric's deferential White House interview Wednesday with President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton. During her chat, taped Sunday, Couric gave Clinton three chances to discuss the impeachment hearings. He declined, and Couric shifted solely to softer, holiday-related fare.
Somewhat curious, since Today has hammered away at the Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal all year. But Zucker said Today was there to talk to the Clintons about the holidays, not the scandal. "I think she (Couric) was trying to be respectful. Of course, it is slightly awkward talking solely about how many wreaths and bells there are at the White House when this (the impeachment inquiry) is going on. It's a fine line."
A "fine line" Couric and Today crossed, I'd suggest, when Couric enthused that Hillary Clinton "looks incredible. You're wearing the dress you wore on the cover of Vogue" and called the positive response the First Lady got on a trip to New York City "sort of an early Christmas gift. Are you grateful or gratified by that display of affection that you really see wherever you go now?"
To read all of Couric's "questions" to the Clintons, check the December 10 CyberAlert story. Go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1998/cyb19981210.html#3
Margaret Carlson was hit by a car Tuesday night in Washington, but that won't stop her from attacking conservatives this Saturday on Capital Gang. The Reliable Source column in Thursday's Washington Post reported the details:
Time magazine writer and television pundit Margaret Carlson will go to Mass to give thanks for being alive, "as soon as my back stops aching."
She was hit Tuesday night by a car as she crossed Calvert Street NW en route to a dinner honoring Ireland's Nobel-winning peacemakers at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
"I was dashing across the street and the valet parker was shooting out of the driveway" during a break in traffic, she said. "I am bruised and scratched and it's a miracle I am alive," added Carlson, who was able to get up and go in to dinner. She was back at work yesterday wearing a neck brace.
"She was darting between cars in rush hour traffic in a dark area with no crosswalk" in heavy rain, said Richard Karp, President of Silver Spring-based Unipark valet parking service hired for the event. Karp said he called the police, who filed no charges against the driver.
(Conservatives my recognize the Omni Shoreham as a frequently used location for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.)
Carlson is the second well-known liberal media figure to be hit by a car recently. CBS report Eric Engberg got hit last year. Until I heard the valet parker did it I was worried the CyberAlert subscriber list might be subpoenaed. -- Brent Baker
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