Jumping on Jones; Blaming Capitalism for Chinese Oppression
1) It took NBC's Meet the Press 11 weeks to bring on Stuart Taylor after his American Lawyer piece which showed that Paula Jones had a strong case. His article appeared in late October, but Meet the Press host Tim Russert didn't interview him until January 12. Taylor has now written a Legal Times story that may detract from Jones' case. But Tim Russert didn't wait 11 weeks. This time he showcased Taylor immediately on Sunday June 22 -- before his article even hit the newsstands.
Similarly, while CNN's Inside Politics didn't bother reporting Taylor's discoveries last October, on Monday (June 23) the show reported his story in the Legal Times which said that Jones didn't mention the "distinguishing characteristic" to her original lawyer in Little Rock who has now decided to leave the case.
2) Saturday night the CBS Evening News aired a piece on the questions lawyers for Paula Jones wished to pose to President Clinton. "Lawyers for Paula Jones are turning up the heat on President Clinton. CBS News has exclusively obtained a copy of the questions they want Mr. Clinton to answer under oath. Bill Plante takes a look at what they are asking," announced anchor Paula Zahn.
One problem with this "exclusive:" Saturday's Washington Times carried a Scripps-Howard story with the same information.
Reporter Bill Plante, as transcribed by MRC intern Jessica Anderson, relayed the questions:
"In the wake of the unanimous Supreme Court decision, which allows Paula Jones's suit to proceed, her lawyers quickly filed a short list of questions, which Mr. Clinton must answer under oath. There are just six queries, but as one lawyer unconnected with the case observed, they go right for the jugular. The President is asked if he was alone with Jones in a room at the Excelsior Hotel on May 8, 1991, and whether he ever requested sex from her. Mr. Clinton, then the governor of Arkansas, is asked to identify anyone he directed to bring Jones to the room. Jones's lawyers also want to know whether Mr. Clinton ever discussed Jones with her boss, the head of an Arkansas state agency. Finally, they ask whether he talked about her subsequent charges against him with any Arkansas state troopers, and whether he got jobs or money for those troopers. The questions, known as interrogatories, are the first step in the pretrial process. Mr. Clinton's attorney wasn't available for comment today, but the release of the questions seems designed to place maximum pressure on Mr. Clinton by serving notice that Paula Jones wants a quick trial."
Plante then concluded by endorsing some conspiratorial paranoia: "And it's probably no coincidence that they became available now just as President Clinton was here in Denver being presidential with other world leaders. Bill Plante, CBS News, Denver."
Maybe they did "become available" just as Clinton tried "being presidential," but those worrying about the interrogatories tarnishing the President's great weekend had two of the three networks on their side: Neither ABC's World News Tonight or NBC Nightly News on Friday, Saturday or Sunday ran a story.
3) With China's takeover of Hong Kong just days away the two network anchors are already on their way to the island. CBS anchor Dan Rather swung by Beijing on the way and came across a housing protest shut down by Chinese authorities. A sign that the quest for freedom still rings in the Chinese capital, a yearning the communist leaders ruthlessly suppressed in a very ominous signal as to what awaits Hong Kong? Nope, nothing to worry about, Rather assured viewers.
In barely a minute Friday night Rather managed first to blame the housing shortage not on communist controls but on too much capitalism and then second, to empathize with the difficulties of ruling faced by China's communists.
On the June 20 Evening News
"Today's protest is more notable for its timing than for its size, coming less than two weeks before the Hong Kong transfer. This protest today is a reminder to the Chinese leadership, and all who watch, that this is a complicated country, which even for the Chinese, is hard to understand and difficult to rule. Dan Rather, CBS News, Beijing."
One can only imagine the CBS stories in the late 1930s on Germany as a "complicated country" with all those troublesome Jews that made it "difficult" for the Nazis to rule.
4) The ten hour American Visions series has now completed its run on PBS, but not before host Robert Hughes, art critic for Time magazine, squeezed in a shot at Ronald Reagan. On the final hour shown on most stations on June 18, MRC development associate David Young caught this historical theory from Hughes:
"Ronald Reagan, like most American Presidents, including John Kennedy, had no particular interest in the visual arts, beyond film, of course. Yet his presidency had large indirect effects upon the American art world, more, perhaps, than anyone since Franklin Roosevelt's. Why? Because in the course of quadrupling America's national deficit to about a trillion dollars, and filling the country with oceans of borrowed money, his economic policies created the art boom of the 1980s. This bubble had a blinding iridescence while it lasted, and every new investor was aware that if he bought new art, he'd come up smelling like Lorenzo de Medici's aftershave."
At least Hughes is the first Time staffer to discover anything good about Reagan.
-- Brent Baker