1) Eleanor Clift equated the
"right-wing, zealous" House managers with Ku Klux Klan
murderers: "All they were missing was white sheets. They're like
2) Sen. Tom Harkin abandoned
impartiality, disparaging the House impeachment articles as a "pile
of dung," but NBC didn't care.
3) Senate plan, good or bad
for Clinton? ABC: "The President's team wasn't happy."
CBS: "This agreement is not what the President hoped for." But
NBC: "The White House...likes the Senate deal."
4) Margaret Carlson
denounced Linda Tripp for "lying," Al Hunt condemned Ken Starr
for "storm trooper tactics" and Wolf Blitzer warned of the
danger in the House from the "conservative, very conservative
right-wing of the Republican Party."
5) Before his vacation,
Geraldo Rivera let loose his vitriol against Tom DeLay for how he
"shamelessly slimed the President" and successfully pressured
moderates with a "despicable slander."
6) Letterman's "Top
Ten Little-Known Facts About Elizabeth Dole" and "Top Ten
William Rehnquist Pickup Lines."
7) ABC's Judy Muller
suggested more woman in Congress would mean more consensus, less
partisanship. Ever hear of Maxine Waters?
>>> Notable Quotables now
online. The January 11 edition is now up on the MRC home page thanks to
Webmaster Sean Henry and research associate Kristina Sewell. Topic
headings include: "A Legislative Coup d'Etat?"; "Hitting
Clinton....from the Left"; "Ken Starr: Just Larry Flynt With
Subpoena Power"; "Stop a Senate Trial" and
"Republicans Hate Clinton Because....He Can Do Two Things at
Once." To read the issue, go to the MRC home page at http://www.mediareseach.org
or go to it directly by jumping to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/1999/nq19990111.html.
For back issues: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/nq/archives.html
Corrections to two items
in the January 8 CyberAlert. First, it's Julie Hiatt Steele, not Hyatt
as CyberAlert misspelled her name. Second, the CyberAlert quoted Dan
Rather as asking Warren Rudman: "Is or is there not some concern of
the public concern in some quarters, not all of them Democratic, that
this is in fact a kind of effort at a quote 'coup'?" The second
"concern" should have read "perception" as he
actually asked: "Is or is there not some concern of the public
perception in some quarters...."
Clinton's pep rally "was totally appropriate" and as for the
"right-wing, zealous" House managers, "all they were
missing was white sheets. They're like night riders," declared
Eleanor Clift on this past weekend's McLaughlin Group in seeming to
equate Henry Hyde and Lindsey Graham with Ku Klux Klan murderers.
In sequence, the
Newsweek staffer asserted:
-- "That so-called pep rally was designed
to head off calls for his resignation which might have come. I think it
was totally appropriate, unlike Richard Nixon he wanted to show he has
his party with him. And the fact that he dares to do his job and the
country wants him to do his job, I think is a mark of his resilience and
-- On whether
Clinton should appear before the Senate: "I think there are real
questions about separation of powers and I don't think he should go up
there. And second of all, that herd of managers from the House, I mean
frankly all they were missing was white sheets. They're like night
riders going over. This is bigger than Bill Clinton." (Check the
MRC home page late Monday morning for a RealPlayer clip of this blast.)
-- And piling on
in denouncing the House managers: "I think they put a right-wing,
zealous face on the Republican Party which does not serve the party well
in the future."
Impartial jury? On Fox News Sunday one Senator made clear he's already
made up his mind, but NBC News didn't notice. Senator Tom Harkin of
Iowa, a liberal Democrat, judged the House guilty and thus the charges
against Clinton illegitimate.
World News Tonight ABC reporter Mike Von Fremd picked up on the
intemperate outburst, announcing: "Unlike the proceedings in the
House, the Senators say they want to move forward in a bi-partisan,
congenial manner. But there were strong indications today that spirit of
cooperation may not last."
Tom Harkin on Fox News Sunday: "I don't
think there is any way that we can cloak with any dignity this reckless
action taken by the House. All we can do is hope to cloak ourselves with
some dignity in handling this pile of dung, if I might use that
Von Fremd then
showed Senator Orrin Hatch saying Harkin will regret the comment. Though
World News Tonight did not show it, Hatch's answer came in response to
a question from George Will on This Week which is taped at 10:30am ET, a
half hour after Fox News Sunday wraps up.
Nightly News opened with two impeachment-related stories, but neither
mentioned Harkin's blast at the House. First, John Palmer used Sunday
talk show soundbites to illustrate the debate over whether to call
witnesses. Second, with a focus on Republican Rick Santorum of
Pennsylvania, Joe Johns focused on how "The President's current
popularity could cause several Republican Senators problems unless they
allay perceptions that their party, including members in the House, has
CBS affiliate did not carry the CBS Sports basketball game Sunday
afternoon at 4pm which may have bumped the network feed of Evening News,
but in any event the station ran a syndicated sports show at 6pm instead
of the CBS Evening News.)
If you watched the three broadcast network shows Friday night you
learned from ABC's Sam Donaldson that "the President's team
wasn't happy" about the Senate plan as CBS's Scott Pelley
confirmed the "agreement is not what the President hoped for."
Or, is it? "The White House also likes the Senate deal,"
insisted NBC's David Bloom.
Here are the
spins on White House reaction to the unanimous Senate plan for a trial,
as delivered Friday night, January 8:
-- ABC's World
News Tonight. Sam Donaldson at the White House, to Peter Jennings:
"Well Peter, the President's team wasn't happy about the Senate
decision to possibly call witnesses down the line, although the delay in
making that decision could work in the President's favor. But, with
Senate Democratic leader Daschle calling the agreement fair and
expeditious, presidential lawyer Gregory Craig was careful not to
-- CBS Evening
News. Scott Pelley at White House, to Dan Rather: "Dan, this
agreement is not what the President hoped for. The White House had
wanted to foreclose any possibility of witnesses or new evidence. Now
the trial becomes all the more unpredictable..."
-- NBC Nightly
News. David Bloom with Clinton in Detroit where the President touted
economic numbers, to Tom Brokaw anchoring from Los Angeles: "Tom,
the President likes those strong economic numbers and make no mistake:
The White House also likes the Senate deal. The House prosecutors can
make no new allegations, present no new evidence, call no witnesses, at
least until after the White House makes a detailed defense and even then
there will first be an up or down vote on a motion to simply dismiss the
It's like deja vu all over again, with comments on two CNN shows over
the weekend that could have been lifted from any one of many 1998 show
transcripts: Margaret Carlson denouncing Linda Tripp for
"lying," Al Hunt condemning Ken Starr for "storm trooper
tactics" and Wolf Blitzer warning of the danger in the House from
the "conservative, very conservative right-wing of the Republican
"Outrage of the Week" on the January 9 Capital Gang from
Margaret Carlson of Time magazine:
"Linda Tripp, who makes $90,000 a year,
has just sent out a fundraising letter in which she claims that Kathleen
Willey told her that the President sexually assaulted her. But before
the grand jury, Linda Tripp said no such thing. Willey, in fact, was
happy, flustered and, quote, 'smiling from ear to ear' after her
visit. Tripp also testified that she wanted to be -- not Linda, but
Kathleen Willey -- wanted to be the President's girlfriend. Is Tripp
lying in her fundraising letter or was she lying under oath?"
"Outrage of the Week" from Al Hunt, Executive Washington
Editor of the Wall Street Journal:
"Any lingering doubt that Ken Starr has
turned into a partisan ended this week. With his eye apparently on
affecting the Senate impeachment trial, Starr indicted a marginal
figure, Julie Steele, for contradicting Kathleen Willey's charge that
President Clinton harassed her. In the investigation of this irrelevant
figure, Starr's aides used storm trooper tactics, once even threatening
the legitimacy of Ms. Steele's 8-year-old adopted son from Romania. But
to Ken Starr, nothing is too marginal or too sacred in his obsession to
bring down Bill Clinton."
As Bob Novak
tried to point out in the last few seconds of the show, this charge
against Starr is not proven.
Hastert, puppet of the evil right. Near the end of the ponderously long
two-hour Late Edition of January 10, host Wolf Blitzer warned that new
House Speaker Dennis Hastert might really be a pawn of the right, an
anti-conservative prejudice Steve Roberts agreed with in considering
conservatives to be "a problem."
Wolf Blitzer: "What about the argument
that some people fear is that he's simply a stalking horse for Tom
DeLay, who really put his candidacy out there, and he's really not his
own man, he's going to be beholden to that conservative, very
conservative right-wing of the Republican Party?"
Steve Roberts, U.S. News contributing editor:
"Well I think that's a real issue. I said earlier that I think
Trent Lott can resist those pressures from the House conservatives.
Hastert is going to have a much more difficult time resisting those
pressures from his own constituency, that's going to be his biggest
Have you missed Geraldo Rivera? Other than some holiday repeats, he's
been off CNBC since the day before Christmas. For those of you suffering
Rivera withdrawal after two-plus weeks, here's a dose of his vitriol
uttered on his last pre-vacation show on December 23 and caught by MRC
analyst Geoffrey Dickens in catching up on holiday week programs.
As you can see
from this diatribe on CNBC's Rivera Live, Tom DeLay's efforts on
behalf of impeaching Clinton really enraged Rivera, driving him to
denounce the Republican for McCarthyism, for how he "shamelessly
slimed the President" and thus "armed with non-existent
evidence and this despicable slander, wavering Republicans were
pressured into an impeachment vote that many of them, as you know, now
seem to regret."
"Remember when the House Majority counsel
David Schippers made that intriguing allusion without a shred of
supporting evidence in his summation to the House Judiciary committee?
Lamenting the fact that he had to abandon the promising leads of other
possible crimes. We now suspect that Schippers' oblique remarks were
part of a secret ongoing campaign to discredit the President with wild
and unfounded allegations. We believe there is something down and dirty
going on and it involves the Texas congressman Tom DeLay. Worried that
the Senate might cut short a trial and reach some sort of compromise the
Republican Whip today issued a statement that I think sounded an awful
lot like Senator Joe McCarthy during the bad old days.
"Mr. DeLay said quote, 'Before people
look to cut a deal with the White House on the impeachment matter it is
my hope that one would spend plenty of time in the evidence room. If
this were to happen, you may realize that 67 votes in the Senate may
appear out of thin air.' End quote.
"What kind of evidence is Mr. DeLay
referring to? And why would it persuade two-thirds of the Senate to vote
to convict and remove President Clinton. I can tonight report that DeLay
who strong armed wavering moderate Republicans to vote for impeachment
in the House of Representatives is apparently now trying to pull the
same stunt with the United States Senate. I'll tell you what he did
and how he did it.
"Hi everybody I'm Geraldo Rivera. My
investigation reveals that Tom DeLay, assisted by Judiciary Committee
members like Steve Buyer of Indiana, shamelessly slimed the President
during the days before Saturday's impeachment vote. According to the
committee's Democratic counsel Abbe Lowell they did it by secretly
showing GOP house members inadmissable hearsay evidence that smeared
Bill Clinton without ever giving him or his Democratic supporters a
chance to rebut or even to view the evidence themselves. Five wavering
Republicans saw the information last Wednesday. 12 more saw it on
Thursday and on Friday the day before the impeachment vote fully 30
House Republicans were secretly taken to the secure room that the
committee maintained in the Ford office building. What they were shown
there was mainly slanderous and never admitted evidence gathered by the
Paula Jones attorneys having to do with so called Clinton-women other
than Monica Lewinsky.
"The most inflammatory allegation involved
a woman who supposedly claimed to some male friend that years ago Bill
Clinton had quote, 'Brutally assaulted her. So violently that there
was evidence of physical injury.' End quote. In other words we are
expected to believe that the man who would later become President of the
United States was an attempted rapist. That was just the most salacious
charge among many.
"Now here's why I accused Tom DeLay and
his henchmen of the most fundamental unfairness to the President. Item:
When asked about the alleged incident during her deposition in the Paula
Jones case the purported rape victim denied it. Item: When asked about
the alleged incident by the FBI the purported victim refused to even
talk about it. Perhaps even fearing a perjury wrap. Item: The man to
whom she did talk allegedly tape recorded her conversation but when this
guy was asked to produce the tape he told authorities he had burned it
last year to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Yeah.
"So armed with non-existent evidence and
this despicable slander wavering Republicans were pressured into an
impeachment vote that many of them as you know, now seem to regret.
DeLay's office expressed anger at my report but they refused to
comment on the record. For the record we have invited the Congressman on
this program many times. The White House late today issued a response to
Mr. DeLay's press release. Tonight the spokesman Jim Kennedy said,
'Having put the hammer to his colleagues in the House Tom DeLay is
trying to do the same in the Senate and we believe that senators will
reject the politics of personal destruction.'"
For a bit more
rational look at this Jane Doe charge, see the December 29, 1998
CyberAlert which details how among those spreading this story months
before DeLay was....Rivera's own NBC News. To read the CyberAlert
item, go to: http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1998/cyb19981229.html#5
Catching up with some top ten lists from last week, from the January 5
Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Little-Known Facts
About Elizabeth Dole." Copyright 1999 by Worldwide Pants, Inc.
10. Thanks to pouches in her cheeks, can
go 6 months without eating.
8. The real reason she left the Red Cross? Caught stealing gauze.
7. If elected, she would be America's first female President since
6. In "Star Wars" trilogy, she was the actor inside Chewbacca
5. Once took a sledgehammer to a rented minivan because it didn't have
enough cup holders.
4. Remember Kool and the Gang? She was "Kool."
3. Runs on 4 D-cell batteries.
2. Under court order to remain at least 100 feet away from Pierce
Brosnan at all times.
1. Is actually Bob Dole's daughter.
And from the January 7 Late Show with
David Letterman, the "Top Ten William Rehnquist Pickup Lines."
10. "How 'bout we go back to my
place and watch some videos Clarence Thomas lent me."
9. "You won't believe how long I can sustain a motion."
8. "Let's just say I'm part Oliver Wendell Holmes, part John
7. "Counselor, please approach my pants."
6. "Wanna see my judicial branch?"
5. "The definition of justice: me getting to spend the night with
4. "I've just written a brilliantly-argued majority opinion and I
don't think I should be alone tonight."
3. "You be Judge Judy, and I'll be Wapner..."
2. "He might be the leader of the free world, but I can put his ass
1. "I rule you going home by yourself unconstitutional."
And from the
Late Show Web site, some of "the extra jokes that didn't quite make
it into the Top Ten."
-- "Care to study the 69th
-- "Would you give me oral arguments?"
-- "May I rule that the court must buy you a drink?"
-- "You're unimpeachably hot!"
-- "When I think about you, I pound my gavel."
-- "In the case of Me vs. You, the verdict is love."
More women means more consensus? At the end of Saturday's World News
Tonight ABC reporter Judy Muller talked with the five women who won
Arizona's top slots last November (Governor, Secretary of State,
Attorney General, Treasurer and Superintendent of public instruction).
"They all agree that women tend to persuade not through
confrontation but though consensus," Muller declared before asking:
"The impeachment trial is underway in Washington. Do you think it
would make a difference if the Congress were made up of more than 12
As if Maxine
Waters and Sheila Jackson Lee served as models of consensus-building.
-- Brent Baker
Support the MRC, an educational foundation dependent upon contributions
which make CyberAlert possible, by providing a tax-deductible
donation. Use the secure donations page set up for CyberAlert
readers and subscribers:
can learn what has been posted each day on the MRC's Web site by
subscribing to the "MRC Web Site News" distributed every weekday
afternoon. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters.<<<