Plain as the News on Your Face: Clinton Lies and Obstruction That TV News Has Ignored

1. Hush Money for Friendly Witnesses.

THE CHARGE: Hillary's former law partner and friend Webster Hubbell was forced to resign in early 1994 as Associate Attorney General, the Justice Department's number-three position, for embezzling nearly a half-million dollars from the Rose Law Firm, with some of his false expense accounts signed by his Rose Law partner Hillary Clinton. Last year, print reporters discovered Hubbell had been paid more than $500,000 from dozens of Clinton-affiliated people for "jobs" (on which little or no work was performed) before he testified to Whitewater counsel Kenneth Starr, leaving the suspicion Hubbell was paid to keep quiet.

textbox1_319WHAT PRINT MEDIA REPORTED: The New York Times first put Hubbell's pre-prison bonanza at $400,000 in a March 6, 1997 front-page story. Two weeks later, the same paper found James Riady of the Lippo Group put up $100,000 of that after five days of meetings with White House officials. On April 6, the Los Angeles Times noted White House lawyer Jane Sherburne wrote "monitor cooperation" by Hubbell's name on a 1994 memo. In May, USA Today revealed Clinton pal Vernon Jordan got Hubbell a job with Revlon, the same company he later approached for Monica Lewinsky. In December, the Los Angeles Times reported Mickey Kantor, the President's 1992 campaign manager and Commerce Secretary, admitted he lied when he said he didn't attempt to get Hubbell jobs.

WHY IT WAS IMPORTANT: These stories underline a conscious plan to enrich Hubbell before he testified to Starr on Whitewater; the President's use of Jordan and Kantor to get him out of trouble using legally questionable methods; and the way Clinton associates lied about their knowledge of and cooperation with the plan. Politically, the charges could have been a nightmare: a man embezzles a half-million dollars, and the White House shows that crime pays by rewarding him with another half-million?

HOW TV NETWORKS COVERED IT: The networks aired only six evening news reports, four of them on February 9, 1997, when all the networks noted Time magazine reported Starr was looking into it (and admitted Time Warner hired Hubbell). The reports of a $400,000 killing, James Riady's $100,000 after White House meetings, plans to "monitor" Hubbell's cooperation with Starr -- never received more than one of the three networks' attention in the 48 hours after the newspaper story ran. Stories on Jordan's and Kantor's roles were ignored. (Jordan's Revlon deal for Hubbell first made TV on the March 3, 1998 NBC Nightly News.)