Five items today:
1. The Commerce Department launched
a new investigation of John Huang's conduct, but only ABC reported it.
2. An ABC reporter noted
that the Republicans suffered attacks on their Medicare
proposal, but seconds earlier he charged that they wanted to
3. MSNBC's Brian Williams
tossed softball questions to White House aide George
4. The Washington Post
corrected one error, but still has a winner cited as an
example of an NRA-backed loser..
5. God sent
Diane Sawyer a pillow to sleep upon -- another woman's "sumptuous
1) On ABC's World News Tonight Tuesday night
November 12 reporter Jackie Judd did a piece on a new investigation of
John Huang. Neither the CBS Evening News or NBC Nightly News mentioned a
word about the subject. Judd began: "ABC News has learned it was a
review of John Huang's outgoing phone records that triggered the
investigation by the Commerce Department's Inspector General...."
What the records
show is not known, Judd relayed, "but congressional investigators
looking into Huang's tenure at the department want to know if he raised
money for the Democratic Party during that time and whether he violated an
agreement to cut off all business dealings with his former employer, the
Indonesian conglomerate, the Lippo Group."
2) On Good Morning America on Tuesday reporter Bob Zelnick examined
prospects for Republican cooperation with the White House. About mid-way
through his story Zelnick noted that "having sustained attacks over
Medicare throughout the campaign, the GOP is in no hurry to share with Mr.
Clinton the burden of reform."
know. As noticed by MRC analyst Gene Eliasen, Zelnick had begun his story
by himself falsely characterizing the Republican Medicare proposal:
"Bob Dole's disappointing campaign and Newt Gingrich's unpopularity
make the Republicans a party without a head. The GOP House freshmen of two
years ago underestimated public resistance to cuts in programs like
3) The night after the election last week, on MSNBC's The News with Brian
Williams, the anchor conducted a live interview with Clinton aide George
Stephanopoulos. Instead of challenging the Clinton operative, Williams set
him up with some nice softballs. Here are three of the November 6
"George, did the media last night and today make too much of this
magic 50 percent margin for the President, or was it internally a big
"George, recently in a New Yorker profile that I think most would
argue was very favorable about you, not only did you mention potential
plans to leave, you said, I'm paraphrasing, 'it was time to grow up,'
leading some of your detractors to say 'what in goodness name was the
senior counselor to the President doing having not grown up, but being
senior counselor to the President.' If you can dispassionately critique
your own performance over the past four years, I'd like you to do
-- "It was
said of the welfare bill when it came up from the Hill at the time that
the choice for the White House was, and this was a cynical view, either
veto it as extreme or sign it and fix it. Can you fix it?"
4) Yesterday's CyberAlert reported that a November 10 Washington Post
editorial incorrectly argued that many NRA-backed candidates, such as
Colorado's Wayne Allard, lost. Tuesday's Post ran this correction:
"In the Colorado election to replace retiring Sen. Hank Brown, Rep.
Wayne Allard was the winner last Tuesday. In an editorial Sunday we listed
him incorrectly as having lost."
A nice start, but
as MediaWatch Associate Editor Tim Graham pointed out to me the Post had
also listed "Vince Snowbarger, Kansas," as "among the other
NRA favorites who lost." In fact, Snowbarger won his House seat race
50 percent to 45 percent for his Democratic opponent.
Maybe next time
the Post should fact-check the Handgun Control Inc. press release before
running it as an editorial.
5) Appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman Monday night ABC Prime
Time Live co-host Diane Sawyer recounted an experience on a recent plane
"The other day, this is your worst nightmare. It happened to me on
the plane. I am sitting there, and I'd been traveling and traveling and
I'm in who knows what time zone, there is no time zone for which I am
in. And sitting next to me is this woman who has this sumptuous bosom,
there's just no other way to put it. And something must have sublimely
set in, grandmother reveries, or something like that, and the next thing
you know thirty minutes later I wake up and my nose is right in the
cleavage. We are not talking just leaning against, I'm just buried in
there, my little nose. It's true, it's a true story. And one eye opened
and you think 'where am I?' And then the other eye opens and you look up
and there she is, and she's absolutely benign, like God sent me a
pillow. It was beautiful, it was beautiful."
Letterman: "Had there been complimentary wine on the flight? Was
there a delay and everybody got an extra cocktail, is that what
"It was just temptation, like you and Morley Safer, you know how it
It would be impossible to make this stuff up.