Media Reality Check

Energy Department Misleads Congress, Delays Release of Report to the Public, But Where Are the Nets? TV's Great Stonewall of China Continues W hile the Pentagon aims to have enough personnel and materiel to fight two wars at once, the TV networks have demonstrated they can't cover two international stories at the same time. All eyes are on Kosovo, and none on what may be a far more dangerous threat to U.S. national security: China. Cox on Fox. Yesterday, Reps. Christopher Cox and Norman Dicks appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss their special bipartisan House probe of Chinese espionage... continue reading
N ever underestimate the power of gripping video clips to submerge real news. Judge Susan Webber Wright surprised reporters with her decision Monday night, April 12, to issue her contempt of court citation against President Clinton for lying under oath in the Paula Jones case. A historic black mark for the first President found in contempt of court? Yes, but ABC and NBC gave the news barely a minute Monday night, less time than they gave to a man rescued by helicopter from a crane above an Atlanta fire. The coverage, by network: ABC . Peter Jennings made time for... continue reading
J aws dropped across America as people learned about the Los Angeles Times Easter bombshell. "The chief of China's military intelligence secretly directed funds from Beijing to help re-elect President Clinton in 1996, former Democratic fundraiser Johnny Chung has told federal investigators." Then jaws dropped at how much time broadcast network news shows devoted to this scoop through Wednesday night. Other than a question on Fox News Sunday and one on Meet the Press, nothing. Reporters William Rempel, Henry Weinstein, and Alan Miller reported: "Chung says he met three times with the intelligence official, Gen. Ji Shengde, who ordered $300,000... continue reading
T he NATO air strikes against Yugoslavian targets may be the subject of some confusion, but already the Clinton administration has been spared the quick-trigger media negativity that's been common in the first days of several Republican military actions: When the Reagan administration authorized the liberation of Grenada, The Washington Post wouldn't call it liberation. It reported on October 27, 1983: "The United States, its military conquest of Grenada complete..." Two days later: "The officials said the Marines would probably depart within a week, leaving an occupation force of about 5,000 Army soldiers." NBC commentator John Chancellor on Nicaragua, January... continue reading
Watch our video collection of Gore Gaffes O n ABC's This Week March 14, Bill Kristol noted Al Gore's gotten a free pass on gaffes. George Stephanopoulos protested: "It's hard to say he's gotten a pass. Every time he opens his mouth he gets popped." Not true on TV morning and evening newscasts: January 17, 1993: In a tour of Monticello, Gore asked about a row of busts: "Who are these people?" The New York Times explained the curator "helpfully identified the unfamiliar faces: 'This is George Washington on the extreme right,' with Benjamin Franklin close behind." TV coverage? Zero... continue reading
L ast year, The New York Times broke the story that two defense contractors were kept from prosecution by the Clinton White House despite giving China technology that advanced their ballistic missile guidance systems, missiles that could be aimed at the American mainland. But the networks were less than impressed. After more than six weeks of ignoring the story, the networks barely budged when Clinton fundraiser Johnny Chung told the Justice Department he gave the Democratic National Committee thousands of dollars from China's People's Liberation Army. From May 15 to June 5, 1998, the network evening shows offered 15 full... continue reading
A s the networks compete to promote multi-million-dollar book deals by Monica Lewinsky and George Stephanopoulos, a lady who sought no book deal - Juanita Broaddrick - is still being ignored by the networks. ABC's Nightline has done nothing, and World News Tonight hasn't aired a full story. CBS Evening News did one story, CBS This Morning nothing. NBC Nightly News has never shown it s own network's exclusive Broaddrick interview, but they did air exclusive footage of NBC's interview with Monica Lewinsky's father and stepmother. NPR and PBS haven't gone beyond one story. It's not like they haven't had... continue reading
I n the only National Public Radio story to date on Juanita Broaddrick, reporter Brooke Gladstone began: "The story attracted some notice in political and media circles back in 1992 as Clinton was approaching the finish line in his first presidential run. It wasn't reported because most of those in the know were not convinced it met the standard for evidence or relevance. Since then, however, politics and the media have changed, and so have the standards that govern them." Gladstone didn't consider whether her network's allegedly high standard for "evidence or relevance" applied when NPR's Nina Totenberg carried Anita... continue reading
N BC finally aired its Lisa Myers interview with Juanita Broaddrick, but now what? Is this very serious allegation another one-day-and-punt story? CBS This Morning aired nothing this morning, and neither did ABC's Good Morning America. Despite ABC's morning blackout, ABCNEWS.com is carrying a long story dated today by Josh Fine noting "ABC News also has had a series of conversations, many of which were off the record or on deep background, with the retired nursing home operator. She has now permitted us to put those statements on the record." Co-host Charles Gibson claimed interest in Broaddrick in GMA 's... continue reading
N BC is sitting on a Lisa Myers interview with Juanita Broaddrick, who claims she was sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton in 1978. Broaddrick said she was told her interview would air on Dateline almost immediately after she talked with Myers. But Dateline has two policies in dealing with women tied to Clinton: those who threaten his legacy are trashed, while those who threaten his enemies' reputations are promoted. Here's one clear Dateline contrast: Last Friday night, Jamie Gangel boiled down her 20-minute unedited Today interview with Linda Tripp into a 13-minute attack piece. (See box.) Tripp was "The woman... continue reading