MediaWatch: October 1995

Vol. Nine No. 10

Revolving Door: White House Fall

In moving personnel around in preparation for the 1996 campaign, the White House has shifted three media veterans. Donald Baer, Assistant Managing Editor (AME) of U.S. News & World Report until becoming President Clinton's chief speechwriter last year, has taken the title of Communications Director. While a lawyer in 1984 he organized a $75,000 fundraiser in New York City on behalf of Democrat James Hunt, the unsuccessful nominee that year against North Carolina Republican Jesse Helms. He joined U.S. News in 1987 as an Associate Editor...

At the Labor Department, Clinton will nominate Susan King as Assistant Secretary for public affairs. She spent the first half of the year as the presidentially appointed Executive Director of the Commission on the Family Medical Leave Act. In the early '80s King was a White House and general assignment reporter for ABC News until taking an anchor slot at NBC's station in Washington, D.C.... In Foggy Bottom, The Washington Post reported that Secretary of State Warren Christopher has gained a new Senior Adviser: Bob Boorstin, a New York Times metropolitan reporter in the '80s who has spent the last year writing speeches for NSC chief Anthony Lake.

Self-Outed Clintonite

"Andie Tucher is editorial producer of the ABC News Twentieth Century Documentary Project," read the identification tag on an article in the Summer issue of the Freedom Forum's Media Studies Journal. In the piece exploring the media's unpopularity, Tucher and co-author Dan Bischoff recalled their positions when attending MTV's inaugural ball: "One of us had toiled as a speech writer in the Clinton campaign's War Room...and the other was then political editor of the Village Voice." A check with Nexis found that Bischoff worked for the Voice, leaving Tucher, a writer and producer of Bill Moyers documentaries in 1991-92, as the Clintonite.

The duo argued in their article that "the rampant dissatisfaction with the `fairness' of the media may well stem from one fundamental misunderstanding: People seem to believe that the definition of objectivity is `agreement with me.'"

USA Today's Carter Column

To beef up its presidential campaign coverage USA Today has brought aboard a Carter Administration veteran. Walter Shapiro, Press Secretary to Labor Secretary Ray Marshall and later a speechwriter for President Carter, has begun "Hype & Glory," a weekly news section column that will appear twice a week starting November 22. Shapiro, a Senior Writer for Time from 1987 until Clinton's inauguration, when he became Esquire's White House correspondent, will remain in that slot for the monthly.

Remembering Scali

John Scali, the ABC News reporter who became an intermediary in the Cuban Missile Crisis and later a part of the Nixon Administration, passed away on October 9. Scali gained fame after it became known in 1964 that in October 1962, a year after he joined ABC News, he had carried a critical message from a KGB Colonel to U.S. officials. He left ABC in 1971 to serve as a foreign affairs adviser to President Nixon, becoming U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in 1973. Scali re-joined ABC in 1975 where he worked until retiring in 1993.