The MRC@25: The Worst Media Bias of 1998
Each morning, the MRC has been showcasing the most egregious bias we have uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala September 27. (Click here for details and ticket information.)
If you’ve missed a previous installment, recounting the worst of 1988 through 1997, you can find them here. Today, the worst bias of 1998: Journalists disparage Ken Starr for investigating Bill Clinton's tawdry scandals, while an ex-Time magazine correspondent reveals the depth of her appreciation for Clinton's pro-abortion policies.
“Twinkle, twinkle Kenneth Starr, now we see how crude you are / Up above your jury high, like the judge up in the sky /Twinkle, twinkle little Starr, now we see how wrong you are /When you drag the agents in, when you bully moms and kin / then you kiss the treacherous Tripp, twinkle, twinkle DC drip/Twinkle, twinkle little Starr, now we see how small you are.”
— NBC News reporter Geraldo Rivera singing his version of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, July 21, 1998 Rivera Live on CNBC.
“Can Ken Starr ignore the apparent breadth of the sympathetic response to the President’s speech? Facially, it finally dawned on me that the person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was Heinrich Himmler, including the glasses. If he now pursues the President of the United States, who, however flawed his apology was, came out and invoked God, family, his daughter, a political conspiracy and everything but the kitchen sink, would not there be some sort of comparison to a persecutor as opposed to a prosecutor for Mr. Starr?”
— Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Big Show, to Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren, August 18, 1998.
“Women who’ve been polled seem to put it behind them as well, and are willing to move on and forget about it. Is that because Bill Clinton’s been such a great President whom they elected in great part, or is there something I want to say almost sexy about a man who can get away with things over and over again?”
— Good Morning America co-host Lisa McRee to Deborah Tannen, August 18, 1998.
“I would be happy to give him [Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”
— Time contributor and former reporter Nina Burleigh recalling what she told the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz about her feeling toward Bill Clinton, as recounted by Burleigh in the July 20, 1998 New York Observer.
Check back each morning for more classic bias quotes, or visit our “25th Anniversary” section for the entire collection.