Nets Finally Find Hearings Newsworthy; CBS on Clinton's Harassing
>>>> The MRC's new fax reports, Media Reality Check: A Daily Report on the Media's Coverage of the Campaign Finance Scandal Hearings, can now be read from the MRC home page or directly from: http://mediaresearch.org/mrc/reality/faxrep.html  <<<<
1) An FBI agent's testimony about how Charlie Trie laundered foreign money that he delivered to the Democratic Party prompted stories on all the broadcast network evening shows Tuesday night, but by Wednesday morning two of three didn't consider it newsworthy. Neither ABC's Good Morning America, for the second day in a row, or This Morning on CBS mentioned a syllable about fundraising. July 30 marked the 15th morning that CBS failed to utter a word about the fundraising scandal: This Morning's last story aired way back on July 9.
-- Only NBC's Today featured a fundraising story, its first since last Friday. During the 7am news update NBC ran a story from Joe Johns re-capping the FBI agent's revelations from Tuesday.
-- GMA couldn't find time for fundraising, but made room in the 7am news update not only for the Jerusalem bombing and Michigan car crash that killed nine children, but also for items on JonBenet Ramsey and Andrew Cunanan. GMA devoted the first interview segment to Autumn Jackson's mother and her attorney followed by a talk with Bill Cosby's attorney. NBC raced all three across Manhattan to Rockefeller Center so they could appear in the same order and combination on Today during the 7:30am half hour. An interview with the Mayor of Fort Collins, Colorado about deadly flooding in her city finished off GMA's first half hour. The next half hour featured live coverage from Spencer Christian in Chincoteague, Virginia of the annual pony swim.
-- Cosby also dominated This Morning. With This Morning's mixed local/national format in the first hour, the show's top interviews of the day run in the 8am half hour. Wednesday featured three segments: Dr. Howard Torman on how paternity tests work, a Jane Robelot interview, with the head of the ABA paternity committee, on the legal implications of Cosby taking a paternity test, and third, a Window on America piece by Hattie Kauffman on how the Earth Conservation Corps is trying to bring the Bald Eagle back to Washington, DC.
CNN viewers got a taste of the hearings as CNN went live at 10:09am ET to the opening statement of Michael Cardozo, head of the Clinton Legal Defense Fund. At 10:26am CNN switched to Richard Jewell's statement to the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on crime, jumping back to the Senate hearing at 10:42. Less than ten minutes later CNN ceased its live coverage, running hourly updates from Candy Crowley or Brooks Jackson the rest of he day.
MSNBC did not offer any live coverage, just updates from the Hart Building from Joe Johns, but MSNBC did go live to Jewell for about 15 minutes.
evidence of illegal donations and obstructionist tactics by the White
House may have hit critical mass on Wednesday for the networks: For
the first time since the hearings began July 8, with July 30 stories
the three broadcast networks had all aired full stories for two days
in a row. Two themes emerged Wednesday: Senator Fred Thompson lashed
out in anger at the White House for waiting until after Tuesday's
hearing on Trie and Mr. Wu to release documents detailing Wu's White
House visits; and Wednesday's hearings explored how Trie funneled
funny money to Clinton's Legal Defense Fund.
On ABC's World News Tonight Diane Sawyer introduced the story:
Dan Rather announced on the July 30 CBS Evening News:
Following a q&a exchange with the Clinton Legal Defense Fund's
Michael Cardozo, Schieffer explained the concern:
-- The ABC and CBS stories ran just after the first ad break, but NBC Nightly News didn't squeeze in the piece prepared by Lisa Myers until more than 20 minutes into the show and didn't allocate enough time to tell NBC viewers about the Wu visits that the White House just admitted. The Myers story appeared after stories on the Jerusalem bombing, Medicare fraud, a big Michigan car crash, an "In Depth" on mysterious deaths at an Indianapolis hospital, and Richard Jewell's request for an independent investigation of how the FBI treated him.
Brokaw intoned: "On The Money Trail tonight, imagine someone
walking into your office and dumping almost a half million dollars, in
cash, on your desk. Well, one man told Senate investigators today
that's what happened to him. NBC's Lisa Myers has more on this mound
of money story."
-- CNN's Prime News (8pm ET) Wednesday night featured a piece by Candy Crowley on Thompson's anger over the White House waiting until after the hearing to release relevant information and how Wu made ten White House visits.
Earlier, on CNN's Inside Politics, Brooks Jackson highlighted a bit of
information that contradicted White House claims from last year that
they didn't know about the foreign money and when they learned of it
they took action to correct the problem. Reviewing Wu's ten White
House visits, Jackson observed:
None of the evening shows relayed that nugget.
Wednesday's CBS Evening News surprisingly allocated time for a brief
story on a charge from lawyers for Paula Jones that Bill Clinton
harassed a White House employee. Bill Plante reported the CBS
CNN picked up on the charge and brought James Carville and Susan Carpenter-McMillan onto Larry King Live to argue about the charge and the Paula Jones case.
It sounds like the woman Cammarata has identified is the same one whose charge Newsweek was looking into, but had yet to report, according to the Drudge Report.
-- Brent Baker