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CyberAlert -- October 3, 1996 -- Whites, OJ & Gumbel; Clinton & the 60s; Clinton Not Unfaithful

Three items today:

1. Bryant Gumbel wonders if OJ Simpson "will ever get a fair shake in this country?" It's one of several liberal questions on race he poses to Johnnie Cochran.

2. The newly moderate President Clinton attends a fundraiser packed with aging 1960s lefties and Hollywood celebrities with animus toward Republicans.

3. Incredibly, a major newspaper says it was an error to report that Bill Clinton and Dick Morris have been unfaithful to their wives.

1) Wednesday's Today (October 2) carried the third part of Bryant Gumbel's interview with Johnnie Cochran. And as he did on Monday, Gumbel again used the segment as an opportunity to promote his liberal views on race.

Discussing how much media attention the first OJ trial attracted, Bryant Gumbel asked: "Do you think if those two victims had been, say, Marguerite, his first wife, and Al Cowlings, his best friend, that there would have been the same amount?"

Johnnie Cochran responded: "Absolutely not. And I think any person who wants to be honest about it would say the same thing."
To which Gumbel shot back: "Why? Because America doesn't care about black victims?"

After Cochran's reply, Gumbel inquired: "Most white Americans still charge that OJ's jurors didn't do their job. You talk about a rush to judgment. They would claim the same. They would claim the verdict was race based. Do you think their judgment of those jurors is race based?"

Then, after asking if the complicated case merited more consideration that jury gave it in a few hour of deliberation, Gumbel wondered: "Do you think OJ will ever get a fair shake in this country. Will people ever let him live out his life and accept the fact that he was acquitted?"

Fair shake? He's a millionaire football player who successfully led a second career as a sports commentator, actor and commercial spokesman. He then murders two people but is found not guilty. How unfair.

2) At Boston's Fleet Center Saturday night the Democrats and Senator John Kerry held a $2 million fundraiser starring several celebrities.

During the Democratic convention, NBC's Tom Brokaw insisted that since 1992 Clinton and Gore "have slid across the political spectrum to really right of center." Keeping that assurance in mind, here's a bit of Boston Globe reporter Michael Grunwald's September 29 story on the event: "Peter, Paul and Mary played 'Blowin in the Wind,' even though President Clinton has been accused of doing just that. In fact, the legendary folk trio even played 'Puff the Magic Dragon' -- and the President clapped along, war on drugs notwithstanding....It was a long, strange trip at the Fleet Center last night, as a parade of lefty rockers and folkies brought back a slice of 1960s culture for a 1990s audience."

These 1960s activists were in attendance to praise the President. The Washington Post reported on September 30: "Mary Travers said peace, justice and equality are still what the fight is all about, while [Don] Henley praised the President for protecting the environment and exhorted the audience to elect a Democratic Congress 'so that there will be trees to hug,'"

Current stars also attended as the Boston Herald's Ed Hayward reported that comedienne/actress Whoopi Goldberg announced: "I'm glad to see some good-looking people in office. The other party seems to have taken some ugly pills."

Isn't that the kind of language the media deem "nasty" when uttered by a conservative?

3) The Internet Guild's Steve Allen caught this gem while doing a Nexis search. Under the "corrections and clarifications" heading the September 5 Chicago Tribune corrected syndicated columnist Linda Bowles:

"In her Wednesday Commentary page column, Linda Bowles stated that President Clinton and his former campaign adviser Dick Morris both were 'guilty of callous unfaithfulness to their wives and children.' Neither man has admitted to being or been proven to have been unfaithful. The Tribune regrets the error."

So, this is an "error" but reporting "slashes" in Medicare or school lunches is just solid reporting.

-- Brent Baker

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