ABC News fired veteran reporter Bob Zelnick in 1998 because he refused to break a contract with Regnery, the publisher of his Al Gore biography. When The New Yorker noted that Zelnick reported a story on Gary Aldrich, a fellow Regnery author, ABC News President David Westin wrote to Zelnick his story "held up to ridicule that our reporting is influenced by views you/we have formed about the individual involved."
But USA Today reported today that ABC reporter John Cochran is hosting a dinner party for Al and Tipper Gore tonight at his home. Was Cochran fired? No, ABC is picking up the tab. If Cochran's dinner doesn't say he's a liberal, his work does:
Appalling Reagan Years. "Conventional wisdom here in Washington has it that you and your department are too busy dealing with what's leftover from the Reagan Administration, those scandals, to do the rest of your work. For example, there's the HUD scandal, there's the Pentagon procurement fraud. Do you ever go to work and get angry and frustrated and think about the mess that you inherited?... Are you just appalled by what happened during the Reagan years?" - Then-NBC White House reporter Cochran to Attorney General Richard Thornburgh on Meet the Press, August 20, 1989.
Duke Loves Bush: "Civil rights leaders say Bush's [hiring quota bill] veto will play well with whites who support former Klansman David Duke, but not with black voters." - Cochran, October 17, 1990 Nightly News.
Scrooge Buchanan: "If street people were asked today who Scrooge is, some might name Republican presiden-tial contender Pat Buchanan, who said last night that the homeless should be restricted to certain areas and that pan handlers should be locked up if they ignore warnings to stop." - Cochran, December 24, 1991 Nightly News.
Racist Welfare Reform: "Some of these [family values] issues have racial overtones, such as Bush's support for welfare reforms which penalize single mothers who continue having children." - Cochran live from the GOP convention, August 19, 1992.
Conservative Clinton: On the October 2, 1994 This Week, ABC reporter Cochran claimed Clinton could say as an "Eisenhower Democrat" that "The Republicans are making promises that are going to bust the budget. I, a responsible, middle-of-the- road, conservative type, can tell you it's not going to work."
The GOP Mafia: "Going into the homestretch, the campaign is taking on faint overtones of the old protection racket with [House] Republicans increasingly sounding like the Capone gang, offering protection against Bugsy Clinton and his mob." - Cochran, October 27, 1996 This Week.
Mrs. Cochran's In Sync: On September 23, 1994, then-CBS Washington Bureau Chief Barbara Cochran told C-SPAN: "There's no question it was the Reagan tax cuts that led to the deficit." - Tim Graham