In This Issue Clinton Scandals? News You Can Lose; NewsBites; Mrs. Clinton, You're Our Best Landmark!; Public Realizes Liberal Bias; Revolving Door Clinton Scandals? News You Can Lose In 1996, Atlantic Monthly writer James Fallows released his fifth book, titled Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy . He quickly became a media critic the media could love, appearing for interviews on ABC’s Good Morning America and serving as the main source in a PBS Frontline shaped almost entirely on his book’s theories. His take on scandals sounded conveniently close to Clintonspeak: "For the national press, scandals have... continue reading
In This Issue TV Still Spiking Fundraising, Missile Scoops; NewsBites: Al Gore's Airball; Why Did CNN, Time Push Gaseous Lies?; The Subtle Seduction of a Feminist Time Reporter; ABC's Firearms Fearmongering TV Still Spiking Fundraising, Missile Scoops When in China, Skip China Scandals Imagine if, just a couple of months after the Iran-Contra affair broke, Ronald Reagan had planned a nine-day trip to Iran, with the President featured at a historic joint news conference with Ayatollah Khomeini. Then imagine that the networks and news magazines helpfully said nothing about Iran-Contra, and praised the President for his "constructive engagement" toward a... continue reading
In This Issue Networks Plug Brill's Attack on Ken Starr; NewsBites: Kelly's Heroes; Keeping Quiet on Clinton's China Trip; "Damaged by CNN", Says One of Network's Own'; Pounding the Primitives Networks Plug Brill's Attack on Ken Starr Piously Pro-Clinton Content Analysis Professional critics of the news media would seem to be the least likely subject for news reports. Why would the media elevate their critics to prominence and perhaps damage their reputation? Five years ago, Newsweek media writer Jonathan Alter dismissed critics on the right and left: "What you realize is these people aren't really interested in media criticism. What... continue reading
In This Issue Networks Prefer Monica News to Missile News; NewsBites: Ads for Aliens; Please Push NRA to the Left, Mr. Heston; Rest in Peace, Extremist; Smaltz vs. Clinton Justice Networks Prefer Monica News to Missile News The Monica Lewinsky saga is completely unique in the annals of Clinton scandal coverage. Even after disparaging Ken Starr's focus on what Dan Rather insists is the President's "personal life," the networks have shown much more interest in Monicagate than the ongoing fundraising scandal. As NBC's Claire Shipman explained in February, "Who's thinking about Buddhist nuns when the issue is illicit sex in... continue reading
In This Issue If you Impugn, You Are Immune; NewsBites: The Alexis Nexus; TV, Print Outlets Slow to Recognize China Missile Scoop; OverHolster Overhauled; Revolving Door: NBC's China Waiver Saver If you Impugn, You Are Immune Two months ago, Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz reported that National Journal writer Stuart Taylor was considering a job offer from Whitewater counsel Ken Starr as he wrote about the Lewinsky affair. All the interviews Taylor gave in the weeks that followed (including ABC's April 5 This Week and April 13 Good Morning America ) raised the issue of his professional conduct. PBS's... continue reading
In This Issue Failing to Assemble the Hubbell Puzzle; NewsBites: Handgun Haters; Forget Corruption, Pick on Dan Burton; ABC's of Helping Hubbell; 60 Minutes Assails Starr Failing to Assemble the Hubbell Puzzle Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell, the number-three law-enforcement official in America, resigned in March 1994 and pleaded guilty in December to stealing almost $500,000 from his partners at the Rose Law Firm. In the months after Hubbell resigned, he received more than $700,000 for little or no work from Clinton friends and donors, which Whitewater counsel Kenneth Starr believes could be hush money to prevent him from cooperating... continue reading
In This Issue Only Conservatives Qualify as "Haters"; NewsBites; Scientists Don't Scare Viewers; We Knew Reagan Was Phony; Fox on China Only Conservatives Qualify as "Haters" Students of history make distinctions of quality: there's history, which builds a story based on documented fact, research, and interviews; and there's psycho-history, which instead of dwelling on evidence, simply puts historical actors on the couch and attempts to read their mind as events unfold. Likewise, there's journalism, based on facts, and psycho-journalism, which simply seeks to guess the motivations of public figures. In the last few years, reporters have introduced a new term... continue reading
In This Issue Clinton Communion Condoned; NewsBites: Harsh Truth; Revolving Door: Jabbing Jones; Today Paula Jones, Next Kenneth Starr; Peter Jennings: Al Gore is Our Savior Clinton Communion Condoned Catholics may have been upset by President Clinton taking communion at a Catholic church in South Africa, but no network ran a full story on it and NBC contended Clinton did nothing wrong. In the week after the March 29 incident, 30 seconds on the CBS Evening News was all the network time the controversy earned. On Palm Sunday, April 5, New York’s Cardinal O’Connor condemned Clinton’s action, but ABC, CBS,... continue reading
In This Issue Five Clinton Practices Ignored by TV News; NewsBites: Belated Flowers; Jonesboro Ambush: Who's to Blame?; The Ron and Nolanda Story Continues...; ABC on the Budget-Busting Transportation Bill Five Clinton Practices Ignored by TV News Polls suggest the public believes that the Monicagate story is simply a sordid tale of office hanky-panky that a sex-starved media could not resist. The most serious aspects of the story — coverups, perjury, subornation of perjury, and obstruction of justice — have antecedents in previous White House attempts to stonewall damaging Clinton scandals. A MediaWatch analysis of past TV coverage suggests there... continue reading
In This Issue TV Touts "Reform"; NewsBites: no Label for Lois; Willey -- Why a Seven-Month Stall?; Turn Against the Right; Only Clinton Pals Welcome; Myers on Hubbell's Ties TV Touts "Reform" The DNC fundraising scandal has lapsed into obscurity. When the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee released their final report, none of the networks even mentioned it. But the Senate’s latest rejection of campaign finance "reform" legislation on February 26 drew angry network demands that liberal corruption should have been answered with new liberal rules designed to limit free speech, as if the Democrats might obey the new laws better... continue reading