MediaWatch: May 1989

Vol. Three No. 5

Revolving Door: From NBC To Glenn

From NBC To Glenn. The director of affiliate news services for NBC News, Rebecca Bell, has found a new outlet for her news marketing talents. She's the new Press Secretary for Senator John Glenn, an Ohio Democrat. Bell served as Paris Bureau Chief from 1977 to 1985.

Tennessee in D.C. Senator Al Gore (D-Tenn.) recently named Marla Romash, an Associate Producer for Good Morning America in 1984, his Press Secretary. Romash just completed a stint as Director of Issues and Communications for liberal Connecticut Democrat Joe Lieberman's successful campaign for Senate. After putting in a year at ABC, in 1985 she became a reporter for WFSB-TV, the CBS affiliate in Hartford.

Nader's Rowe. The April 12 Christian Science Monitor contained a two page article by staff writer Jonathan Rowe reviewing the achievements of liberal anti-business activist Ralph Nader. The Monitor didn't bother to inform readers Rowe once worked for Nader. Before joining the Monitor in 1985, Rowe served as Special Assistant to U.S. Representative Byron Dorgan (D-ND).

Marching for Abortion. Quite a few Big Media reporters attended the April 9 march for abortion rights in Washington, D.C., an article by The Washington Post's Eleanor Randolph revealed. Among them: New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse. She was unaware Times policy states that "staff members avoid employment or any undertakings, obligations, relationships or investments that create or appear to create a conflict of interest with their professional work for the Times." Nonetheless, Greenhouse will continue to cover the court when the abortion issue comes before it.

"A number of Washington Post reporters," including Post Magazine Senior Editor Amanda Spake who once helped edit the far-left magazine Mother Jones, also participated. This led Post Executive Editor Benjamin Bradlee to issue a directive: "We once again remind members of the newsroom's professional staff that it is unprofessional for you to take part in political or issue demonstrations." After reading the memo, another marcher, Post science editor Boyce Rensberger, wondered: "How can the Post permit reporters and editors to express their opinions on events in the news through op-ed pieces, news analysis and regular columns but prohibit the same people from expressing their opinions through the right of peaceable assembly?" Indeed.

Donilon and Beckel: Together Again. In 1984 Bob Beckel ran the Mondale campaign with the help of Deputy Manager Tom Donilon. Five years later, they are back together trying to formulate Democratic Party policy. In between, Donilon put his political skills to work for CBS News. When the short lived Joe Biden presidential effort left Senior Adviser Donilon unemployed, the network brought him aboard as a campaign coverage consultant. When the political conventions ended, Donilon jumped right back into politics, serving as debate coach for both Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen. Now, in a confidential memo to top Democratic Party operatives, the two are leading the charge to change the Democratic delegate selection rules for 1992.