More on Freeh/Reno Ignored; No Interest in Nashville; Shirtless Gumbel & Drag Queens
1) Dan Burton released long-suppressed Justice documents and the key officials in the controversy, over whether Reno was pressured to drop fundraising, appeared before Burton's committee. NBC gave it 35 seconds, FNC a full story. Zilch on ABC, CBS and CNN.
2) George W. Bush was clueless about the identity of DNC Chairman Joe Andrew, FNC's Carl Cameron pointed out. Bush: "I don't know who Joe Andrew is." Cameron added: "With Democrats questioning Bush's overall smarts, Andrew could not resist a jab."
3) NBC actually slipped in a 17-second mention of the Gore rental property situation, sans any video. GMA spent over a half hour with Gore but did not mention his rental house. FNC's Brit Hume revealed that the Nashville Tennessean has run only a wire story on the situation and has no plans for further coverage.
>>> Watch the
appearance by the MRC's Tim Graham Monday night on FNC's The Edge with Paula
Zahn when he discussed Elian coverage. The six minute segment, during which he
appeared with a woman from Salon.com, has now been posted in RealPlayer format
by MRC Webmaster Andy Szul. It's in two places. First, at the bottom of the
executive summary for the MRC's special report on Elian:
House Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton on Tuesday released documents the Justice Department had long suppressed about conflicts in Al Gore's statements and three FBI and Justice Department officials who participated in a 1996 meeting, in which two of the three maintain Justice's Lee Radek conceded Janet Reno was under pressure not to pursue fundraising, appeared before Burton's committee.
The ABC and CBS evening shows ignored it all Tuesday night, June 6. ABC led with productivity growth and a new diabetes treatment topped the CBS Evening News. CNN's Inside Politics delivered a brief item about the document release but skipped the hearing. The World Today ignored both developments.
NBC Nightly News gave the document release 35 seconds, but only after devoting over two-and-a-half minutes to Robert Hager reciting a Washington Post story about how a United Airlines flight, from Washington Dulles to San Jose, diverted to Denver for an early landing when the airline realized they'd put a dog in the unheated baggage department with limited air. The move saved the dog. FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume ran a full story on the hearing.
Anchoring from the
National D-Day Museum New Orleans, Tom Brokaw felt compelled to taint the
source of the latest disclosure:
On FNC's Special
Report, anchor Brit Hume reminded viewers:
Goler, as transcribed by
MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth, explained: "House Government Reform
Committee Chairman Dan Burton released a number of documents he said the
Justice Department had tried to keep secret by warning Burton he himself
was the target of an investigation."
"Wendell, what exactly was Burton talking about when he said he was
intimidated. What did he mean by that?"
How much or little does George W. Bush pay attention to political news? Both CNN's Inside Politics and FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume ran stories on how the DNC will start airing pro-Gore TV ads paid for with soft money and how that seemingly contradicts Gore's promise to not allow the DNC to use soft money for ads until after the Republicans did first on behalf of Bush.
But only FNC's Carl Cameron alerted viewers to how when asked about Democratic National Committee Chairman Joe Andrew's claim that Bush had benefitted from ads placed by secretive section 527 groups, Bush clearly never heard of Andrew.
Cameron played a
soundbite of a clueless Bush: "I don't know who Joe Andrew is,
I'm sorry, I don't think I've ever heard of Joe Andrews."
[second time he got name wrong by making it plural]
After the taped piece,
Hume asked Cameron: "Back on this Joe Andrew business, Carl, do you
expect much fallout from Bush's not knowing who the guy was?"
Let's hope he's at least heard of Jim Nicholson.
NBC actually slipped in a 17-second mention on Sunday's Today of the Gore rental property situation, but sans any video; Gore appeared on Tuesday's Good Morning America for over a half hour but was not asked about his rental house; and Tuesday night FNC's Brit Hume revealed that the Nashville Tennessean, edited by a Gore friend, has run only a wire story on the rental house and has no plans for further coverage of the local story. Meanwhile, tenant Tracy Mayberry and her husband have moved into their pick-up truck and dumped their kids in a trailer.
-- The June 5 CyberAlert
accurately reported how none of the broadcast network Sunday morning
interview shows or evening shows on Saturday or Sunday had mentioned the
Gore rental house problems. And ABC, CBS and NBC didn't touch on it in
the morning or evening on Monday or Tuesday either. But, MRC analyst Paul
Smith noticed that during the news update on the half hour on the June 4
Today, over a picture of Gore, news reader Hoda Kotbe took 17 seconds to
Since Today ran no
video, it remains true that only CNN, in a 38-second Inside Politics item
Monday, and the Fox News Channel have shown video of the condition of the
home. See the June 5 CyberAlert for a RealPlayer clip of FNC's story:
(One caveat, Washington's WUSA-TV did not carry CBS's Sunday Morning on June 4 so I cannot rule out a mention on that show, though neither Face the Nation or the Evening News that day touched it.)
-- The June 6 Good Morning America had Al Gore on for over a half hour for a roundtable on women's issues, but apparently working toilets and sinks are not of concern to women as the rental home was never mentioned by ABC's hosts or guest questioners.
The roundtable took
place at 7:30, but toward the end of the 7am half hour ABC's Charles
Gibson posed two questions on other topics to Gore, including pressing him
about breaking his promise to not spend soft money first. Gibson's
questions, as transcribed by MRC analyst Jessica Anderson:
money. Let me play you something you said on this broadcast March 15th,
money and politics. Take a look."
moderated the subsequent roundtable and Marie Wilson, President of the Ms.
Foundation, got the first question:
The second question went to Good Housekeeping magazine Editor-in-Chief Ellen Levine: "Our Good Housekeeping readers tell us they're seriously worried about the quality of education, and it was a shock to some of us that the top three spots in the National Spelling Bee were taken by home schooled kids....What would you fix first in our public school systems that would help give parents back faith in the quality of our school education?"
The third and final question from the panel actually hit Gore from the right. Melody Hobson, Senior VP at Ariel Capital Management, wondered: "You have opposed Governor Bush's proposal to privatize Social Security, whereby an individual could take just 10 percent of their annual contribution and contribute that to stock or bond investments, and for someone like me, young people who have another 35 years to work -- a long time -- that sounds like a great opportunity to create wealth. Yet you have been opposed to this opportunity to create wealth in a way that would also offset the funding shortfall that we know we have looming out there. Why is that?"
Next, pre-selected audience members got to pose a few questions, such as asking about the plan for an NRA restaurant in Times Square, but none asked about the rental house. Of course, if they rely on ABC News for their information they don't know about it.
-- In a larger piece on Gore's day spent in part with Rosie O'Donnell at an event promoting Gore's day care plans, FNC's Jim Angle picked up on how Letterman's Top Ten list Monday night was the "Top Ten Al Gore Tenant Pet Peeves." Before playing a couple of them Angle showed a clip of Letterman explaining the tenant's complaints: "Busted septic system, crumbling plaster, missing linoleum. Ooh, had linoleum floors!"
Letterman delivered more information about the situation in setting up his Top Ten than has CBS News so far.
Later, in the
"political Grapevine" segment of the June 6 Special Report with
Brit Hume, the anchor of the same name noted how Gore has promised
repairs, but Hume added:
-- It's not only the Tennessean. The print media in general have shown no more interest in this story than have the networks. The New York Times and Washington Post have run only one AP story inside and USA Today ran the AP dispatch on Monday as well as another paragraph on Tuesday. Only the Washington Times, New York Post and Weekly Standard have sent reporters to talk to the Mayberry family, Washington Times reporter Bill Sammon pointed out in a June 7 story.
In a June 6 story filed
from Carthage, Tennessee, the New York Post's Vincent Morris disclosed:
CyberAlert usually skips, actually, always has skipped over National Enquirer stories. But I came across one too good to ignore. And since it is accompanied by pictures, it has the added advantage of appearing to be accurate. Here's a sentence I bet you thought you'd never read: Matt Lauer "participated in a 'sandwich,' between the dancers' gyrating bodies, squashed along with bare-chested Bryant."
The June 13 issue features a two-page spread of four illuminating photos under the headline: "Matt Lauer and Bryant Gumbel's Wild Night with Drag Queens."
One photo caption, which matches what you see in the color photo, read: "Bare-Chested Bryant has the time of his life as he gets his own personal lap dance."
The National Enquirer Web site does not post current articles, so you'll have to go to the store to see the pictures, but MRC intern Michael Ferguson typed up the text of the accompanying unbylined story:
Morning star Matt Lauer had a WILD night out -- at a drag queen bar!
That's where Matt's wife Annette Roque gave him the surprise of his life -- a sexy lap dance by a trio on transsexuals!
Joining the fun were Matt's buddy "Early Show" host Bryant Gumbel and his girlfriend Hilary Quinlan.
As these exclusive ENQUIRER pictures show, modest Matt and a shirtless Bryant enjoyed every kinky minute!
"Matt was grinning from ear to ear," an eyewitness told The ENQUIRER. "Bryant was having the time of his life. And Annette and Hilary cackled like two hens."
The couples had dinner on Friday, May 19, at Lucky Cheng's, known as "New York's original Drag Queen themed restaurant."
After the foursome was seated, three scantily clad performers -- Desire, Sparkles, and Mayoko -- surprised Matt and Bryant and led them to the back of the dining room.
"The ladies had prearranged a special treat," explained nightclub manager Tommy Bolski.
Mayoko unbuttoned Bryant's shirt. "He was eager and it came right off," said Bolski. Wearing only a black lace body stocking, Mayoko squirmed on Bryant's lap.
Matt refused to part with his shirt, but participated in a "sandwich," between the dancers' gyrating bodies, squashed along with bare-chested Bryant.
The dancers were so stunning that a baffled Bryant had to ask one "her" real gender. The performer relied: "What do you think, Bryant?"
Afterward, Matt, 42, and Bryant, 51, signed autographs and feasted on filet mignon and a $40 Belgian chocolate dessert.
The June 13 "double issue" costs $2.69 and it's definitely worth it just to see these photos. Or, you should at least go to your local grocery store and take a peek. The story runs across pages 2 and 3 of the issue featuring a photo of O.J. on the cover, with a blonde putting a sombrero on his head. The headline: "O.J. Attacks Lover: 'You'll Die Like Nicole.'"
Maybe if The Early Show played this kind of video of Gumbel's wild nights out a few more people would tune into his low-rated program. -- Brent Baker 
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