MediaWatch: October 5, 1998

Vol. Twelve No. 17

That Was Then, This Is Now

FNC demonstrated again how it offers a unique perspective. On September 23 CBS and NBC relayed the Democratic strategy of blaming the GOP for dragging out the Clinton impeachment inquiry, but only FNC picked up on Democratic hypocrisy.

"Republicans take a hard line," declared NBC's Tom Brokaw on Nightly News before Gwen Ifill found that even "one Senate Republican" decided "that House Republicans are too shrill." On the CBS Evening News Dan Rather emphasized the GOP's unreasonableness: "On Capitol Hill not only did the Republican-led majority reject any punishment deal, they're even talking now of a wider, deeper, longer investigation."

Only Fox Report viewers heard a different take, as FNC's Carl Cameron observed: "For the last couple of weeks the Democrats have said Republicans are in a 'reckless rush to judgment.' Now they seem to think that the GOP is moving too slowly."

After allowing House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt to charge that "if the Republicans don't want to drag this out we can do it fairly and judiciously and justly in the next 30 days or so," Cameron highlighted the Democratic change of ploys: "Quite a contrast to recent Democratic complaints that Republicans have moved too fast." To illustrate the point, Cameron played a clip of Democrat John Conyers from just nine days earlier: "What is it that we're rushing for? What are we trying to find? What deadline have we self-imposed on each other?" Cameron observed: "Republicans accuse the minority of trying to pick fights and cause distractions."